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Thursday, February 23, 2006

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.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

All Freeport tradeskills are set up the same way, but at least we don't have doors ever 2 feet. The trip to the broker is much faster if you just jump straight down. You'll lose around 50% hps without safefall. If you have safefall->shop more=more skill ups

10:12 PM  
Blogger Aggro Me said...

Haha, thanks for the tip. And you have a point about the doors.

10:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I tend to hop from floor to floor at the lowbie levels, heh.

10:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed the new noob isle also. The 12 slot bag is a nice touch. Fishing is a bare to bring up and havesting as a whole seemed ok. your right about the tradeskill zone, not much direction there. Overall I give the new isle a big thumbs up. Its nice starting out knowing what your char's play style is.

6:53 AM  
Anonymous Scott Adams said...

I would appreciate a heads up when links goto to where the bloggers use foul language.

9:40 AM  
Anonymous Fergle said...

I can verify that the 'final battle' or whatever that cave step is called *can* be solo'd. You just need to level up a bit more on the island.

All in all, I *love* the new newbie experience.

10:09 AM  
Blogger Bandito said...

Scott, my sincere apologies if you are offended by the use of foul language. Not sure aggro would need to put a disclaimer, as my blog link has been posted for months. If it comes across as crude, uneducated teenage blabber, I can assure you it's not...I am highly educated,professional adult. I just shoot from the hip and don't treat my blogging as professional. I am sure the internet has taken you to many worse sites, which are a lot more explicit than the occasional cuss word.

11:09 AM  
Blogger Karnatos said...

--- Disclaimer: Slight Topic Derailing Here

Have you all been having problems with the Forums? I just want to make sure its not a problem on my end; I've been getting several error messages for the past 3-4 days. I'd say 75% of the time it works fine, but then for a while I get nothing but errors.

Maybe it is just because of the increased traffic due to the PvP section in the Forums?

11:34 AM  
Blogger Bandito said...

Scott, should have just let it go at an apology...please disregard any of the other blabber. Cheers.

2:05 PM  
Anonymous Scott Adams said...

No apology needed Bandito, you are certainly free to post however you like.

I would just prefer being warned in advance when a site points to another with words/images that would not be acceptable in say a pg-13 movie.

2:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i tried soloing it at level 6 or 7 as a coecer and died badly.
i just gained one more level and was able to solo it.

4:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's really annoying the way the Freeport tradeskill instances are set up, but I guess I rather go for the ramps than the doors. :\ The placement of the broker isn't so hot either!

- Melime, Unrest

11:57 AM  

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