Aggro Me: Sweet Sixteen
Alright, I'm back at it with more Live Update 16 commentary.
We will be getting some new content in the form of the "Reclaiming the Wilderness" quest. It refers to helping griffon tamers in Nek and TS. Now, a longtime complaint of MMO players is that they feel their actions do not affect the world in a dynamic fashion. No matter how many monsters they slay, nothing really changes in the static game world. Well, this would seemingly be a chance to change Norrath through your participation in a quest. In fact, it's billed in the update notes as a "chance to make your mark on the world and help reclaim the Shattered Lands!"
But let's be honest. This is what I call faux-dynamic content. Whether 50,000 or 5 people do this event/quest, those griffon towers are getting built. It's simply relating a quest/event to a change SOE is making in the game, in this case making travel through Nek and TS quicker. Your actions will, in reality, still have no actual effect. But that doesn't mean it's not a good idea. It works from a roleplay standpoint and true world-changing dynamic content is very hard to pull off. So why not add some fun and lore to a zone change? It's much better than just logging on one day and suddenly finding griffon towers in TS and Nek.
But what about those griffon towers? This goes back to the difficulty issue. Some like instant travel, some enjoy the old EQ style travel. Your opinion on the addition of the griffon towers in these zones will vary depending on your opinions on this issue. And we saw a lot of different opinions in the comments section of yesterday's post.
I'm happy to see that mages (and crusaders and priests) can now make use of the ranged item slot. It always bothered me to see that slot empty and I'm all for further customization of my character.
I've often found swapping potions, horse whistles and dolls in and out of my activation slots to be rather annoying. It now appears that potions can be used directly from the inventory. On the negative side, the food and drink slots seem like they will make things more time consuming for me, only because I prefer to eat and drink one item at a time rather than use the "eat or drink when hungry or thirsty" option. But I'm probably not the norm. The food slots will free up inventory space.
The famous Harclave quest is now limited to once a level.
The reason Harclave was great was because it was innovative from start to finish. From the unusual way you received the quest to the feeling of surprise and power you felt when you first got the buff, it is easily one of the most memorable quests in game. But why would you want to do it repeatedly?
Probably because players get used to comfortable things and also tend to gravitate towards the easiest and fastest way to obtain levels and items.
I agree with Gallenite's quote, "The problem is that if it's possible for that 'by-myself-in-the-same-cave-for-25-levels' experience of a never-ending grind to occur, people will continue down that path...then get bored because EQ2 (in their experience) is a big, ugly, foreboding grind they have to do alone just to get to the 'good stuff'."
I also feel that this more general statement is an important one: "When people think 'I want to get some good gear' in an adventure game, ideally, the environment we create should be one that makes them then think, 'well...I'd better go undertake some dangerous adventure to get it," as opposed to, 'I'd better go farm so I can afford to hit the mall.'"
So, I definitely think SOE is right on the Harclave issue.
Now, please excuse me while I log on to repeatedly farm Tear Grifter's quests in Maj...