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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.