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The Veridan Seer

An ongoing indepth review series, focusing on a single game over an extended period.

Author: Vesavius

The Chronicles of Spellborn: What I need to be seeing to be re-subbing 3 months from now

Posted by Vesavius Thursday April 16 2009 at 11:24AM
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Ok, most here will know that I am a self confessed fanboy for this game. I have no issues with that. It's not a stick you can hurt me with, so it's not even worth trying. Saying that, I feel I can be objective and critical.

The fact is I am on my 2nd character right now (only L21) after deciding my L26 WG wasnt for me, and this means that I have spent a fair amount of time in game and certain things have become clear to me.

To Paraphrase; Something isnt right in the state of the Enclave.

I have paid for 3 months of game time right now, and though I hugely enjoy the core game and think the community is great, there are issues I need to see fixed and need to hear some feedback on if I am going to re-sub after that point. This isnt a QQ or a whinge or even a threat, it's just a fact.

Things that I personally need to see or hear within 3 months to gain my re-sub;

House Faction based play

I need to have official clear communication that House factions will continue to be the under pinning motivation behind the game play of SB.

Houses, to me, are core to this game and the continuing muddying of the water to allow mongrol multi-house guilds (further accentuated by the recent comments on the last webinar that in Shard PvP they would like to have multi-house guilds 'possible' in Shard PvP) will destroy another essential element as to what promises to make SB special.

If multi-house guilds are going to be supported, even though there is going to be a House change quest put in apparently that would allow each guild become single House at a later date, then why are we even bothering with House icons on our characters? Or a House channel? or even being tied to one House?

If what High House we choose dosent have any impact on anything, then why am I even locked out of the extra content that the other House quests give?

On one hand, we are being told that our House is our 'super guild' that we should be investing in, and one the other we are being told that House alignment won't matter in the future as the Devs would like to see the same House fighting against it's self. Fighting just for their guild rather then the High House itself.

Which one is it?

High Houses are feeling increasingly marginalised and pointless. I saw the same thing happen in the 'competitive PvE' in EQ2 between Qeynos and Freeport, and I saw how that betrayel of the original game concept in a effort to appease the 'masses' was the first step it took towards becoming another failed vanilla WoW wannabe. If SiL buckle here in the same way i don't want to stay and watch this game fall into a bland pointless chasm.

This is becoming about 'Guild Wars', not the 'House Wars' as I saw when I originally subbed. The vision of what a House means, and will continue to mean with regards to PvP etc in the future, on the part of the Devs is unclear and messy and needs a open and clear statement of direction and vision from SiL.

Content

This is a themepark mmorpg. In a themepark mmorpg, content is king.

Right now, I am loving SB and what it offers, but easily within 3 months I, and many many others, will be L50.

With things standing as they are now I never want to level another alt through HM, AV etc. Twice is enough because there is only 1 path of content to play and I found even the second time to be crushingly dull. I have now done that story. This in effect means that once I reach L50 and have seen everything in the game, I will be done with no reason to carry on playing.

I am not the kind of guy that can do the arena for a year with no word in the hope they get more content in.

What am i asking for then?

One of my suggestions to get more value out of the existing zones would be to drop in at least one whole new quest chain (with new stories, nameds, items) designed to take me from L1 (allowing me to skip the tutorial) to L50. This will allow me to start levelling an alt and carry on enjoying the game in that way while I wait for shard conquest and more L50 PvE with my main. Do this every 3 motnhs and we are golden.

This would even go a LONG way to solving the bland and repetitive quest problem in Hawksmouth, making the game's 'shop window' much more attractive to the trial people. Right now, it's a pretty poor display and I am getting tired of explaining to people 'carry on playing! they get better!'.

I want to carry on playing, but SiL have to give me the reason to. This isnt a sandbox game, and it will need constant updating and implementing of new rides. If these can't be done now, which I accept given the nature of SiL as an indie Dev, then I want clear timetables, projections, and communications of when they will be. They know their game and resources enough now to make this possible.

'We are working on it' will not be enough to make me re-sub.

Bugs

This is a short one.

Fix them.

Vault 2, Becoming Clear, Exarch, whatever.

If we are still in the same place by the time my 3 months are up, then I am not going to re-sub.

Itemisation

Ok, like I say, loving the game, but man SiL need to get some depth into the itemisation.

The shops need to be stocked. The quests need to be giving non buyable rewards more then they are. Nameds need to be given better loot tables.

This game needs a money sink, and vanity items are that, so use them. At L10+ people want to be seeing more and more options to change how they look. I see already gear being worn by NPCs that I seemingly can't get, and facial hair, tats, and hairstyles I am not being offered... Why not?

I am also getting tired of seeing everyone wearing the same items, variations on a theme, in a game that touts customisation as a feature. The basic character customisation system is brilliant, I love it and think it's the best one I have ever personally seen in a mmorpg, but giving me the same items as Q rewards that I can buy in the shops is... confusing.

I was hoping that when the Auction House opened I would see a flood of new personally undiscovered visible gear flood into my world. I didn't.

Let us buy entire collections of visible gear that we can swop out and mix and match. Give us a 'Wardrobe' tab on our BP that attuned visible gear can be stored seperatly.

I understand that all this takes time to get in, but I need to hear firm commitments and realistic schedules for it all.

I love the core game. I want to re-sub. I want to give you my money. Give me reason to.
 

infrared1 writes:

All in all you have valid points. One thing that i have a problem with personally is he camera. I can only play a few mins at a time due to the fisheye lens effect. For some reason this just gives me a headache from hell and is annoying. (don't have a problem with any other game) I would like to see, a the least, a setting that allows me to disable this effect. ATM i will not be resubbing. I cannot enjoy the game completely due to eye strain.

Thu Apr 16 2009 11:48AM Report
Vesavius writes:

hrm... I have never noticed this or read about the issue anywhere... Yeah, hopefully for you they do allow it to be removed then. :(

Thu Apr 16 2009 12:10PM Report
craynlon writes:

 i agree on all but itemisation

i still have fun tough on my deathhand mostly because i play with some friends. once i reach lvl 50 (im 37 atm) im prolly take a break as well till stuff like house fraction play/ splitter conquest is introduced.

well maybe i wont if the arena is interesing enough to keep me playing.

one of the problems i see tcos has that because its not ultra high budget with millions of players these developements may be slow

Thu Apr 16 2009 1:14PM Report
Wharg0ul writes:

Overall I agree with ya. I'd also like to say that they quest bugs at the upper levels NEED to be fixed, and more quests added to the game (NOT in RingHELL) at the 14-17 range, and 25-27 range.

The game has amazing potential, and I'm not sorry I subbed for 90 days. But as you stated, it will be up to the devs weather or not I continue past that.

Oh, and infrared1...have you tried changing your screen resolution??

Thu Apr 16 2009 1:40PM Report
littlemonkey writes:

Vesavius, I'm not seeing this on TCoS Official Forums. Get it over there!

littlemonkey

Thu Apr 16 2009 5:09PM Report
rsreston writes:

"drop in at least one whole new quest chain (with new stories, nameds, items) designed to take me from L1 (allowing me to skip the tutorial) to L50." - wow, that's a big request! How easy do you think that is for the developer of ANY MMOG? Practically one theme park per new character??

Thu Apr 16 2009 6:53PM Report
Vesavius writes:

@ Littlemonkey- Done ;)

@Reston- yep, it is, but it is one they should have been ready for imo. They knew how much content they had, and they knew how long that would take the average player to get through it.

Seeing as Shard Conquest isnt slated until next year, I am interested in hearing clear communication on how they intend to keep us here. Like I say, Im not that interested in the arena that it will hold me for 6 months...

All I am saying is that If they can't deliver new content, or at least communicate to me their projected schedule (with leeway for RL given), then I just can't see myself commiting to the game past 3 months.

Even an indie dev should have a road map as to what they want to achieve by when, and all I asking is to be told enough of it to maintain my interest or i can't see myself lasting past my current sub.

 

Thu Apr 16 2009 7:10PM Report
mackdawg19 writes:

Vesavius, you might want to attend one of their webinar's. A lot of material get's talked about there. Not only that, but they allow everyone to sit in on the conversation, so everyone can ask a question, if you have a mic of course. One long questline from 1-50 is a tad over board though, and no game will ever make a questline like that. Good luck suggesting it though, but be prepared for laughter! =)

Fri Apr 17 2009 12:55AM Report
Vesavius writes:

Yeah, I do listen to the webinars :)

No, ok, maybe not a single Q chain from 1-50, but a series of new Q chains that will take me from 1-50 (using existing zones, models, SFX etc) is very possible imo.

The core question though remains; What will I be doing for the next 6 months if I re-sub while I wait for Shard Conquest?

Fri Apr 17 2009 9:08AM Report
craynlon writes:

 id hope that early may we get the arena and ranking system and even if thats not a lot it would help to ease up the wait a bit.

well thats and the fact that i still have 10+ levels to go till im 50

in the beta there was talk that you could learn other classes skills thrue quests when you 50 but i dont think thats in the game yet

on the other hand the devs patching speed isnt to bad and they bring in new stuff on a monthly basis so id think that if you sit out 2 or 3 month youll have enough fresh meat in the game to reinstall some interest

Fri Apr 17 2009 10:41AM Report
craynlon writes:

 ah and id suggest farming and crafting as a way to pass some more time but somehow that became a bit to grindy/ frustrating along the way. still if ud put in some hardcore dedication ud probably come up with never been seen armors/weapons because some of this stuff has drop chances <1%

Fri Apr 17 2009 10:43AM Report

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