It's really long, but ok:
First of all, thank you Trion for letting me into your CB 3. So here is my contribution.
I only played Beta 3 and I only played the Defiant side, as well as, only the mage archtype from 1-20.
Essentially the standard benchmark of what the interface/gui is for MMOs, although really nothing out of the ordinary here. However, I did like the layout editor, all the windows were movable, and that almost all the ("WoW") addons were already part of the default interface with quest tracking, etc.
I tried to change the keybindings of my action bar numerous times, and kept facing a roadblock. It took me a while to figure out that I had to mouseOnOver the action keys and then click the key I wanted. I kept just trying to find it in the list of keybindings. I think a tooltip should pop up to inform the player to "mouseOnOver" the action bar key to rebind it. Perhaps it's already there, and I just turned off the tutorial part by then. Regardless, that has to be more apparent. I kept seeing people asking how to rebind action bar keys in General Chat many times throughout Beta.
I like the graphics in the game. They do remind me of WaR/Aion, but in a good way. I thought the world looks great, the rifts when they come out of the sky are amazingly good, good mob skins, and clothing textures.
However, there are some graphic glitches throughout the game and I kept seeing "breaks" while zoomed out and moving around in the world. It was annoying, since it happened way too often, but it wasn't "game breaking." It's Beta so I am hoping they are addressing this.
It's the WoW/WaR/Aion-ish combat system. I really can't comment too much on it; however, it does seem a bit slow/sluggish. The targeting system itself is great with focus, target of target, etc in place; however, occasionally I find that when I hit an action bar ability it doesn't go off. I am not sure if it's due to the GCD or if it just didn't register; however, sometimes things do register even if I do it during the GCD. So, either some abilities are more forgiving during the GCD or perhaps I activated them closer to the end of the GCD or...not sure. I think the interface should have an option for "button queue" just like in EQ2, which can be turned off or on. I am guessing it's on (?) right now, but that it is really short like 0.2s so that sometimes abilities are "queued" and sometimes they are not. I am really not sure, but it's frustrating.
Another issue is the whole GCD thing. Ofc GCDs are necessary, however, I think the devs need to really sit down and think how to implement it to ability specific spells/combos rather than a blanket across the board implementation. I mean I played a lock/necro combo soul build and it was really slow/frustrating to put up all my DoTs, because it took so bloody long. By the time I put them up, the first ones were like already needing to be refreshed. I want to play a lock/necro not micro manage DoTs as 100% of my gameplay (ofc managing DoTs is what my class does, but not to this extent).
Overall, I thought the combat vs mobs was pretty freaking easy. I mean when I first started playing I was literally yawning from boredom. I know it was levels 1-5, but it was so easy, so I was like "ok, maybe it will get better." Yes, it did, but really not that much. The world mobs are way too easy. Ofc if you pull a few at a time it sucks, but 1v1 I could have been reading a newspaper and playing the game. Rift mobs same...I'll talk about rifts next.
Ok, Rifts are a cool idea and well what this game is called. Ok, so I can see the marketing team and perhaps the production manager going, "Hey, we need lots of Rifts!" Well...yes, and no. I think Rifts should be what this game is about, but not to the point where they feel like spilled milk in the aisle of the supermarket and we are the cleaners. I know there is going to be a range of opinions of what rifts should be and how they should be implemented into Rift, but currently I think they are not succeeding to the level that they could be.
Currently, rifts are many and stupidly easy. During beta, I think they were everywhere, probably two every 5-10 minutes? You go there, if more then 3-4 people show up it's going to be closed and then you move on. There were just soooo many, I felt like a janitor cleaning up messes in the world. Then there were the drops where you collect things to "purchase" gear. I saw that, and I was "oh no." I mean, I don't see a better way to do it, so that is ok, it was just the fact that it was "Hello, you will need to grind this" just slapped me in the face. But it isn't that bad, and not really a concern. It's the rifts themselves that need work.
They are just too damn many and easy. I mean real easy. I can see there being some easy rifts, because hey we want the noobies to feel like they just did something, but really what did they do. The rift was a joke to begin with. So my suggestion is to have fewer, but tougher rifts. I mean rifts (and the idea of this game???) was so a rift would appear and potentially change the world if left unattended. It was to make the game world dynamic and different. A changing world! How great! Except, that rarely happens, because they get closed way too fast, because there are so damn easy. Also, they show up on your map, which I feel is a bad thing. Have them appear but not on the map so players don't know where they are, so they can grow, make them tougher, and send out raiding parties (not always elites) to try to conquer nearby things or try to place territory holders; however, the actual rift should be tough and will take a party of high levels to kill, or just a bloody lot of noobies. I mean seriously these mobs open a rift go into another world, what do they do give a roll call out to the most wimpiest of monsters..."Let's see here, is that you Henry? Yeah, ok, well you suck as a water elemental so let's send you. I mean we made all this effort to open a rift into another world, but our goal is not to conquer it. It's to send our most pathetic fellow monsters...and...well we don't know why. I guess we just enjoy getting our *** kicked."
Basically rifts need like a 200% boost, while having like 60% of them a 50% boost, but will still fall into the category of easy (because of right now, they are house of cards), but still doable and somewhat of a challange. Perhaps, this is just me. Perhaps, I don't want them to just be "dynamic PQs" reminiscentof WaR, but something that will actually change the game world, and perhaps even be a part of the world because they are just so damn hard to kill.
DUNGEON - IRON TOMB: 9/10
Ok, I guess I had my doubts when I first went into my first dungeon. I am not sure why, but I just felt that I would be disappointed to some degree; however, to my surprised it was really well done. I mean I was impressed! The dungeon looks great graphics wise, and the mobs are interesting. My only suggestion again, is to make the mobs 10-20% harder and the boss mobs harder as well. I mean sure my parties still wiped while doing the dungeons, but it was usually due to a bad pull or something, we never died on a boss. I think a challenge is what makes it fun. It almost...almost reminded me of vanilla WoW and BFD and SFK. I am not sure how many readers actually played vanilla WoW and did those instances, but they were hard back then and damn fun.
I am looking forward to seeing more dungeons.
Honestly, perhaps I would give a lower score, higher score? It's hard to say, since I didn't really get that far into crafting. I think I have crafted in all MMOs I have played, so I have seen and crafted a lot of shizznizzle in my day. The crafting system itself reminds me a lot of Aion rather than WoW, but essentially the same. It's slow, it's boring, it's uncreative, but it is what it is. It works. You can queue a bunch of stuff, go get a coffee and move on to the next item. Ok, so it doesn't have the amazing EQ2/Vanguard crafting system, but eh it works.
That isn't really what bothers me. It's the fact that the stuff I made just suck. Ok, I never got past cotton (the tailor type crafter...whatever it's called...not important, it's just semantics). However, I would craft something and then a quest reward was on par or better. I was like what! I just spent all that material and time (!!) leveling up this stupid profession to have it worthless. Ok, so I can make bags, but really...make it worth while.
I mean, I was a max tailor in WoW on my mage, and man did tailoring suck. I mean it sucked bad. I spent hours and tons of gold leveling it up...for essentially bags. Make crafting useful, Trion!! Make it better than any other item (and on par with raid gear). I mean look at EQ2. Whoever thought of their crafting system was the man. I mean the system was amazing, but not only that, but the best of gear of that gear was crafted (ok, not best, but it was very, very viable).
I know there is the augment thing...which I failed a few times, but really it isn't enough. But then again, I didn't craft that much so perhaps I am missing something huge. I would suggest a "crit" to crafting that gives you a chance to "crit" it to make the next tier up (green->blue, etc a la Aion). I am not sure. And perhaps it was just for the "tailoring" profession, but really it's utterly useless (at least in lower tiers). Or perhaps there was rare recipe drops that I just missed...regardless the greens for that level (first and second tier) just suck. Normal quest rewards should be at the bottom, not crafted gear...*sigh*
It's the same o' s.... as always. Nothing can really be said. It's run of the mill so it gets a 7. However, I never thought I was doing too much running around back and forth to the same 2 people who want this and that done. So I give Trion props for that. Nor did a see a lot of "send x to y" unless it was to lead you to the next quest hub, so that is good too. I mean I remember in AoC where I think I had to go to the same place and then back to another place again about 6 times in a row. Rift doesn't have that, so they are well done in that respect.
I have heard that Rift quest system seems linear, and perhaps it is, but it isn't too terrible. Also, it's only 1-20 so not sure. Regardless, to me it's not too big of a deal if it is or not. There were plenty of rifts that give pretty decent xp to do if you want to stray from the norm.
Personally, I think the questing system is fine the way it is, and would have no qualms if it was this way throughout the game.
Hard to rate this, since I only did a bit. And the bit I did was me being exposed to the opposing faction raiding our area. Regardless, I love open world PvP and that is what I live for. Essentially, that is why I play MMOs and the only reason, so I am biased.
I liked that there was open world PvP and that people were going to each others area. I saw, but never used the port-thingy that you can use to port to the opposing factions area. Like I said, I never used it so I can't comment, but I hope it's fun. I always had tons of fun doing it in Aion and using rifts.
The whole PvP flag system works like the PvP servers in WoW, which I think is a good design.
I guess the whole thing I will say is I really hope that Warfronts (or whatever they are called) never enter into the game. I have seen it before...and I swear I will see it again, the whole BG style kills open world PvP. We all saw it in vanilla WoW...when will devs learn. Arg, it's frustrating...so frustrating, but it will continue to survive, because it draws subscribers...initially, but overall it ruins the game and kills it. But whatever, I said my peace.
The game was very stable, and as everyone has said before it was very polished. There were a few graphical bugs throughout my beta testing; as well as, a few times that the mobs got bugged in Iron Tomb. However, I think WoW had that mob bug all the way into TBC, so I really can't put too much stress on it other than I hope it gets fixed.
The game world is immersive enough; however, a bit linear. Although, I am only guessing it's due to the 1-20 thing and essentially "tunneling" everyone to end up at the main city. I am hoping the rest of the world is rather quite open. I can understand guiding new players into the game, but once 20+ let them go where they please and if they get lost...that's half the fun! I guess I am optimist, but if the rest of the game is that linear I don't think I could continue. I am hoping open world means open world.
Another thing I would like to address is hp/mana regen. I think it's way too fast. I understand the need to lessen downtime, but I never had to drink once as a mage in all 20 levels (including instancing 3 times). I mean, I practically heal full in a few seconds. This will be very, very, very bad in PvP when people "break" combat and then regen. Or I just hope PvP combat lasts 30s after last attack otherwise people will just cc, wait till they are out of combat, regen (currently like super regen) and then be ok.
Hard to really give a fair assessment, since I didn't see a lot of the game. I only got to level 20 because of the extended 4 hours of Beta so I experienced a little bit of 20, and riding a mount and perhaps actually making a difference in PvP.
It was unfortunate that I didn't hit 20 sooner, since I would have loved to raid Silverwood, so I can't comment on that.
It's funny I guess because I went through a few different phases while playing this game. Overall, I am kind of sick and tired of "these" types of games, let's call them Theme Park. I played WoW for years, EQ2, and preordered AoC, WaR, and Aion, but I wanted to keep an open mind and give this game a chance.
Initially, ofc I was bored. My hp/mana regen was ridiculously fast, as were the mobs ridiculously easy. I figured since it's early levels it was the devs way of keeping noobs in the game. OK, I grinding out the quest system and did rifts along the way. By the time I got to around level 15, I was sure I was done with the game. I got to a point where I really couldn't be bothered to log into the game world, there just wasn't any depth for me to continue playing.
Regardless, I logged back on grinded out a few more quests and got to level 17 and went on my first instance into Iron Tomb. That is when the game got interesting/fun. I was also at a point where I could help out in PvP here and there.
6-11: meh, quest/rift grind. Was indifferent to the game and just chugging along doing the things I had to do
12-16: bored with the game
17-20: had fun, and now might consider continuing with it post-launch (it all depends on how PvP is done!!! seriously).
It wasn't Iron Tomb specifically that started my interest, but I guess it was the fact that finally this "MMO" gave an "MMO" experience. I mean, I actually "had" to party with someone to play the game. I can understand solo game play, but to the point where the mobs practically kill themselves? So I guess, I became interested because the game got semi-challenging (Iron Tomb) and that I had to party with some people.
I was also a part of PvP and could contribute and possibly raid the opposing faction's area (though I ran out of time). Also, since I was a higher level I could put more points into my souls and contribute and earn more in rift "PQs." The game seem to open up around 20, so that is what interests me...the possibility of hope, hope that the game continues to get better 20+.
Essentially what perked my interest towards the end of my play and what bored me to tears during the middle area of my gameplay was the gameplay it self. The world as it is currently does not pose or brings any sort of challenge, though when it did it finally got interesting.
And even though rifts are a major part of this game, the game world doesn't draw me into it enough for me to care about defending it from these meaningless rifts that keep popping up like weeds. What I am saying is if the rifts were more difficult and actually posing a threat then yes, let me help destroy, but currently it's "oh another rift big deal...by the time I get there 3 people will have showed up and closed it already." They never posed a threat, a serious threat besides DM events.
Mage class: necro/lock/dom build.
As I was playing this class combo, I saw myself going more and more necro. I found DoTs in general were lackluster and again with the GCDs it made it really annoying. I mean if I have 1000+ hp with crap gear and as a mage at level 20, and my DoTs do like 15 damage per tick, and some fighter in pvp has like 2000+ hp what am I really doing? Furthermore, I have to deal with the stupid GCD with each DoT cast...it so reminds me of the Magus class in WaR and the weaksauce of their DoTs.
I temporarily switched to a pyro/ele build and I had an insta cast that did like 78 fire damage, which is what one of my DoT casts do in 16s...
Regardless, I switched back to my original build, because well I like necro/lock class (every MMO I have played a mage/pet class all the way back in UO times...I was a mage/tamer).
DoTs need to scale better with spell power, need a boost in power, and some need to negate GCD. Also, DoTs being able to crit individually and not on cast would be a bonus, but that isn't a biggie at all.
Also, pet aggro needs to be fixed. When my pet was on follow it would keep getting aggro from mobs that I was going around. This is a problem, and would be a serious one in instances. Do you really want pet classes to have to dismiss and resummon their pets? It's just really annoying. I suggest making the pet non-aggro while on follow unless carrying out a command (i.e. attacking), or at the very least lessening pet aggro in general