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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Memory of Laurelin
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    1,243

    U14: final beta impressions, opinions, feedback

    Short and sweet?
    Tl;dr - The promise of the Update held throughout the beta.

    Visual & Aural
    • Visually, the looks build on what we've previously seen of Gondorian culture; what differences there are appear to be because previously we've seen ruins, but here, the people of West Gondor have taken care of the structures, let their own 'style' evolve and grow. There's also the subtle Mediterranean feel to the climate; subtle enough for me to not pick up on it before the last builds.
    • I'm not going to get over the rush of seeing the black banners bearing the image of the White Tree anytime soon. Or Aragorn's banner, for that matter. Great job on those, guys.
    • Ships sailing in the bay! The whole setting of Dol Amroth, Edhellond, the ships makes me hopeful that, one day, we might reach the Grey Havens.
    • Gondorian guards are pretty much just reskins of the Rohirrim guards, but then there are the Swan Knights... Both are nice, imo.
    • Both Dorthaneth and Lothíriel having their own, unique models is nice; I wonder why Dorthaneth wears a veil, though. Lothíriel's wreath of golden flowers certainly fits her name and, perhaps, her status.
    • The roads in West Gondor make me sad, though; you have access to a road graphic (seen all the way back in Evendim, and again in West Gondor itself) and yet you've chosen to pave the roads with plain stones.
    • As it is, I'm at home in West Gondor's soundscape. The music triggered weird nostalgia trippy feelings about games of 80s/90s, so objectivity's pretty much impaired. Sure, it's not Chance Thomas' level, but it seems to fit the areas, and it was easy enough on the ears, imo.
    • The gulls. That's all. Lingering on the cliffs near Dol Amroth and just listening to them became one of my favourite ways to pass the time in the area.


    Writing
    • The Epic. When we reached Lothíriel, the writing of the Epic made quite an impression on me; I love the fact that you've taken a feature of the world that's well-attested (prophetic dreams) and woven it into the story in the way you have.
    • Epic ladies; that's what they appear, both Lothíriel and Dorthaneth, by the roles they play and by the words put in their mouths.
    • One thing I either missed or it was left unclear: did all of Lothíriel's brothers run with their father to Minas Tirith? As it is, I fail to remember a single mention of her brothers in the dialogues...
    • The landscape quests seemed to flow well enough, and I was gladdened by how it seemed as if you could 'choose' what area to quest in... if this is true, colour me happy. Great River/Eastemnet kind "You have to finish area X before moving on" probably had its place, but was frustrating.
    • Return of Solo/FS choice! \o/


    Gameplay
    • The Essence system seems pretty much like LIs... with the exception that what I gained via beta, I'm probably going to stick with quest reward/crafted gear.
    • The Grind. Dol Amroth seems to even beat Fangorn, as it is, and I already know that I'm not going to be doing it. It's not the grind that's bad... it's the fact that in each instance there appeared to be Signatures that come in groups, do stuns and toss (nasty) AoEs... and are hopeless for me to deal with, alone. I know there are people who love the challenge; the worse, the better. I, however, love to come and relax in Middle-earth; repeatedly perishing isn't my idea of a good time. The easiest solution, then, is for me to just avoid content like this.
    • The locales and the quests for the dailies seem fine, even if Emyn Ernil is just Stangraf, with the entrance at the bottom instead of the top, and new mobs.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Everett, Wa.
    Posts
    169
    Thanks Daeross. Very well explained and I appreciate your insight (and it appears that we might share similar play styles).

    I very much look forward to this update and it sounds like they did a lot of work to make this mesh. One question, you mention the return of solo/FS choices. Did you see any sign of content or advancement (reputation or armor) that was gated behind forced group content?
    [IMG]http://www.jerrywagoner.com/galrin_pal2.png[/IMG]
    [B] Level 100 Lore-Master[/B]

  3. #3
    So B4 was the final beta?
    So the minstrel isn't getting new traits or revamps like the other classes?
    Are they not going to address the fact that DoTs won't crit?
    etc. etc.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Catholicism View Post
    So B4 was the final beta?
    So the minstrel isn't getting new traits or revamps like the other classes?
    Are they not going to address the fact that DoTs won't crit?
    etc. etc.
    ... and the difficulty balance still not fixed after 7+ months.
    If FA LIs drop in T2 raids and in T3 skraids, skraids being now ~10 times easier than raids, no one will do T2 raids anymore, in particular with actual HD itemizaion (same loots in 3-mans and T2 raids, ...etc)

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Finland
    Posts
    2,327
    That was good summary, Daeross, and I more or less agree with you there.

    What comes to graphics, I was also very happy to see that those ships actually move! Actually I didn't notice it at first, but when I first parked my character on the hill facing Dol Amroth for taking a screenshot (Dol Amroth is just BEAUTIFUL!), I had taken two screenshots because one stupid goat parked his behind just next to me and I had to wait until it wandered off And when I compared those two screenshots, I noticed that one of those corsair ships had been moving!

    I also love what I see when entering Dwarf area of Dol Amroth, on top of those stairs. Way below you see those big ships and a lot of seagulls flying around. Also it is nice to see that all settlements in Western Gondor had a lot of non-interactable NPC's doing this and that or just standing there, more than anywhere before. It really makes the gameworld alive!

    Finally, and this was mentioned by devs as well in some chat etc: you can now see much further than you have used to. There are places where you can see three great beacons (which look nice with smoke and all) at once.


    The end-game grind seems too big to me, though. If I had only one character, this could be okay to spend time in until next update, but with 9 characters, I rather skip it. I do like the idea of socketed armour, but I simply have no interest to gear all my 9 toons up, because that would take forever. I think that I will try to get 1-2 socketed armour pieces (you get one purple chest piece from Epic questline, with three sockets, while barterers have teal armour with four sockets in each piece) and then use those essences that I have been found during questing. I think 7-9 essences dropped for me from mobs for one characters during beta when I had done all landscape quests (except Tarlang's Crown ones) and some Dol Amroth repeatables. So I might just pick and choose among those I have found, and trade them between my characters. Things were a lot better if Dol Amroth armour pieces were bound to account instead of character.

    Quote Originally Posted by webrender View Post
    Thanks Daeross. Very well explained and I appreciate your insight (and it appears that we might share similar play styles).

    I very much look forward to this update and it sounds like they did a lot of work to make this mesh. One question, you mention the return of solo/FS choices. Did you see any sign of content or advancement (reputation or armor) that was gated behind forced group content?
    Two CLASS armour pieces, helm and chest require that you have both Bank or Warehouse tokens (can't remember if Bank was for helm and Warehouse for chest or vice versa) AND a deed completed that needs four daily quests completed, and these quests are either 3-man (Tol Aduial quests) or 6-man (Tarlang's Crown quests). You can get bank and warehouse tokens randomly from other faction repeatables as well (and the rest of them are solo), but that doesn't help with those quests, so you will need a fellowship to do those. However, you can always choose socketed armour instead for head and chest, if you don't want to group.

    Personally I would have preferred if that deed was not mandatory for those armour pieces OR even better, if both Tarlang's Crown and Tol Aduial would have four solo quests as well and those would have been part of the deed, but...
    Quote Originally Posted by Catholicism
    So the minstrel isn't getting new traits or revamps like the other classes?
    All classes, including minstrels, have six capstone traits now (one additional trait in each tree). Some minor tweaks to some traits as well.

  6. #6
    What I noticed and that I really dislike:

    T3 Solo Skirmishes are a way far to hard now. It is not worth the time for completing them when you can run 2 to 3 instances in the same time on T1 or T2.

    The new essence system is boring in the way they implemented it. The current benefit (at least for my Champion) I see is to get 2 to 3 pieces of socket armor and fill them
    with Critical Defence (1 Piece), Tactical Mit. (2 Piece) and a third piece of your choice. It is *amazing* how less you have to sacrifice on offensive stats to get CD and MT nearly capped again.

    Would it be so hard for Turbine to add additional loot to T2 instances (maybe just the Raid instances) the will drop the same teal loot but may also has an additional essence slot on that loot ?
    Just make this *improved* version rare so it would takes some time to get it (at least something for the raiding faction)

    No level 100 crafting receipes (at least not in build 4) forcing you to either grind instances or just buy level 100 items from the AH (will be cheap anyways at least on my server).

    The requirement to barter the new class set is ridiculous. You need to complete deeds, which would be not so bad at all if this would not depend on RNG. And at least the champion 2 set bonus
    was somewhat underwelming (at least on B4).

    You have again to farm BB for level 100 gear with the same set bonuses and only some minor improved stats.

 

 

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