Aggro Me: Newbie Revamp
I finally got around to checking out the revamped newbie zones.
First off, I liked the new class system where you pick your final class from the start so much that I played a few classes through the first levels. It just feels and plays so much better (including the equipment you start with). I believe this one succeeds in its goal. As a Dirge, I felt like a Dirge and not a generic scout. Combat also felt way more fun than I recall during the early levels.
Onto the actual tutorial. I'm only commenting on the Freeport side.
I miss the boat ride. I loved that opening.
Luckily, the island quests are pretty good. The one where you lure birds in with a mouse as bait is excellent. I tried dropping the bait in random places just to mess with the quest, but it appears you actually have to drop it under the bird, which is a good thing. The quest where you have to piece together parts of the parchment was a good story (though the reward was lame - who needs a ring with resists at that point in the game?). Oh, and the tent burning was deliciously evil. Very well done. The fact that it killed nearby good mobs was icing on the evil cake.
They did retain the quest in the main series which encourages grouping. I know some soloers might not like this but you don't really have to complete it. You can head to Freeport at any time. I think it's a nice introduction to grouping because basically all you have to do is stand outside the cave for a bit and you will be invited to a group soon enough. The fight is good and the event that takes place is fun. And, if you're a decent player and a high enough level you can probably solo it. I duoed it with a Coercer and it was smooth sailing.
My sole issue with the new zone is the tradeskill stuff. You could easily miss the tradeskill npc and there's no compelling reason to find him. The npc says something like, "Well, you can learn to tradeskill here or do it in Freeport." Thanks for nothing.
Now, I actually like the tradeskill quests you can do once you get to Freeport. Those are okay and help you get something of a handle on the different tradeskill professions. But if you're going to do that in Freeport, why even introduce it on the Isle? That giant three-story tradeskill cavern is kind of intimidating.
On an unrelated note, are the brokers in all the Freeport tradeskill zones so hard to find? In Qeynos the broker is right there in plain view and can be accessed quickly upon zone-in. The Freeport one is like three stories down. Very annoying.
I like the fact that the pop-up tips, which are helpful, continue in Freeport. I got one there when I targeted a guard which told me about asking guards for directions to NPC's. I thought that was excellent.
The housing quest is much simplified and far more pleasant then the old version which required a lot of boring lectures and re-zoning. The new version is straightforward and to the point. All in all, I'm pleased with the way the revamp went. You can check out Bandit's review as well.I'll have a few posts on more current stuff (i.e. the PvP/KoS launch) when I get a chance to write them this weekend.