Aggro Me: Live Update 24: Part I
Live Update 24: Part I
Here are some comments on the portions of LU 24 I've had direct experience with. I thought the launch itself went quite smoothly.Tradeskills & Harvesting
On a personal level, I'm actually enjoying tradeskilling since LU 24. I'm going to stop short of saying I'm having a blast tradeskilling but I am having a good time. This is totally new to me. The spreadsheets and inventory annoyances of the previous system were just not for me. And I'm seeing a ton of people who never tradeskilled before really get into tradeskilling and have fun doing it. And while I understand there are those who do not like the new system, I know that there are many who do.
For those who see the changes as easier or dumbed down, I understand your reaction. But to the best of my knowledge the core mechanic of tradeskilling has not changed at all. I'm referring to the screen you get with the progress/durability bars and the skills you use to counter events and so on. That is the "game" portion of tradeskilling.
Now, you may not like that "game" or think it is fun. I don't think it's the greatest. But it's not terrible either. If you really want to make tradeskilling more difficult or complex, SOE can make that core mechanic more difficult or complex. Add more strategy or pure difficulty to that mechanic and thereby make it harder to make a pristine. That would make tradeskilling harder, in a good way, if people feel it needs to be harder.
The subcombines made tradeskilling harder in a bad way. It was just a time-sink of tedium. The spreadsheets and lists you needed to figure out how many subcombines and what subcombines you needed were just an annoyance to me and not a "game." Managing tons of subcombines in your inventory was not a "game" either, just another annoyance.
Now, after LU 24, the majority of tradeskilling is based on how skilled you are at the core mechanic I discussed before. So, if you don't think that tradeskilling is hard enough, direct your complaints to that mechanic, not the removal of subcombines. Personally, I have enough trouble making pristines as it is but I get the feeling that's due mostly to my own incompetence. But even still, I would never complain if tradeskilling was made more difficult. As long as it was not tedious and annoying the way it was under the previous system.
I'm not blind to the fact that sub-combines in some way had an immersion factor but for me they were far too tedious and cumbersome. Under the new system, a friend asked me for a bag and I was able to make it as he stood there. For me that was a fun and rewarding experience. In the old days I would have needed 8 Stromo Oils or 4 Tin Buckles or whatever which would have each required subcombines and and so on.
What can I say, I'm a tradeskill convert with these changes.
I understand that some worry the economy will suffer with all the new tradeskillers out there. But you can't manage an economy by making a gameplay element so unpleasant that people don't want to partake in it. I think the new tradeskillers are a great thing for the game. I now actually look forward to tradeskilling for an hour before I start adventuring. And that element of variety makes the game as a whole more fun for me.
As for harvesting, it's still harvesting and it's never going to be pulse-pounding excitement. But the ability to harvest multiple nodes does add some amount of fun and variety to it. And the introduction of harvesting tools brings a new element to the process. I like the fact that the tradeskill instances are open to all now. If the tradeskill societies ever had any purpose, I might feel differently. And it might have been cool if they did. But they didn't, so why bother restricting tradeskill instances? As a new player I found it annoying to go around to various instances to see which one I was supposed to belong to. And under the new system I can work in the same tradeskill instance as a friend, even if we are of a different race. I understand that people might have role-playing issues with that, but in practice it's a lot more fun and convenient. All in all, I think the tradeskill and harvest changes are fantastic.
I haven't seen an official rationale posted for the removal of access quests to a large number of instances. That doesn't mean it wasn't, I just haven't seen it. And I'm having trouble understanding the reason behind the change.
I'm not going to buy a generic "artificial restrictions are bad" argument. Instance access quests never felt unduly restrictive to me. And gaining access to a certain area is a valid part of many heroic stories. I suggested previously that perhaps the change was made because people simply weren't visiting some instances.
But I've thought about that some more. I think that people are always going to visit awesome instances like Nek Castle even if there is an access quest (after all only one group member needed access). And I think that people are still not going to visit dull instances like the Lair of the Necromancer even without the access quest. I'm guessing that it's the quality and content of the instance that dictates use and not the access quest. I've visited some instances since LU24 and it just seems odd to be zoning in to some random instance without the backstory of the access quest.
Now, it's not all bad. I did get to check out some instances I'd never seen before and that was fun. I probably wouldn't have seen them otherwise, I have to admit. So that's like adding additional content without creating new content. And I didn't see any complaints on the forums about this as opposed to the morass of complaints about other portions of LU 24. So I might be the only one who cares and I'm torn on it myself. But if I had to pick one or the other...I probably would have kept them in.
I'll have more tomorrow on other aspects of LU 24.