Virtrium has finally released (and spent all the Tuesday: had no chance to play) Spring update for Chaos and Order shards. As all updates, it brings both good and bad news.
Good news: some NPCs are returned to their homes (home sweet home) - something players have demanded for a long time; some new quests are introduced; some vanity items are being sold (like hats et cetera); semi-intelligent mobs lvl.91-95 would now drop formulas; metal veins and gems would not spawn on the top of the mountains (as only part of the Dragons could reach it, most players won't); also, some teleporters are reported to be constructed.
Bad news: mithrill now is almost unavailable:it's over-guarded by top tier 5 golems and officially there are only some nodes left "relatively safe" – good-bye, metal based schools; Granite nodes from previous rich region of Drift point have been almost removed, now there are maximum 6 of them and 1 node is guarded by 2-3 golems (reason may be player-based plot nearby which helped crafters to advance); completely removed Iron from Trandalar:Acul where there were motherloads of this metal (once more good-bye to any metal-based scool); Dark Iron veins in Acul became over-guarded (reason:player plots nearby, developers probably thought it was too good); some already dangerous monsters are made social.
To make things more complicated, some monsters were renamed. "Sand beetle" or "Sand ogre" were too easy, now they have been named "Loricatus beetles" and "Agh'kuk ogres". It's very easy to make distance between Thankuk, Aghkuk, Bhalkuk, Ishkuk ogres...
There are also cosmetic changes that won't affect gameplay, like plots' land redraw or renaming some mobs, like Lieutnant Vekh is now Commander Vekh. Also, some previous Spring content was removed.
Impression as per what I have read: more downgrades that upgrades. Good for hardcore players that want to fight for every piece of resource and very bad for those who are lesser than combat lvl.100. What they introduced mean that players now have far less intentions to buy plots near harvestable area: no one knows if within next downgarde the area would still be usable. Metal-based schools suffered unrepairable blow, both medium-levelled and high-levelled crafters now would be forced to use lower tier metals or they would be forced to harvest guarded by tens of high-levelled players.
Of course, developers are introducing static content, like teleporters, instead of dynamic (like scaffolding of teleporter which requires lots of resources from players: if you want teleporter, construct it yourselves). Sometimes I do wonder: what, if there were updates, but only introducing new things (enemies, quests, items...) and not changing old ones, unless everyone complains? Maybe then Istaria would be much better.
But once again, no one would listen to non-hardcore and non-paying players like me.