I generally don't spend a lot of time on the forums because a) I'd rather be playing the game, and b) most of the time there's a lot of drama to wade through before you find anything interesting. But this post has been brewing for a while, and I'm pretty fed up.
About two years ago I took a break from the game because I'd become bored with grinding TRs, was becoming one of those XP per minute junkies, and basically not having any fun. A few months ago, I was looking for a new MMO to play, hopped in to see how many TP I had laying around, and now I've capped, TR'd, and am about to cap again. Unfortunately, I re-upped my VIP for a year, and I'm wishing I hadn't.
I don't know what happened to this game after WB took over (if that's even what started it). None of the issues I enumerate here are enough, in and of themselves, to sour me on the game; but my enthusiasm for the game is being crushed under the weight of so many.
- Inventory space has not kept up with the shear amount of stuff I need to hold onto. I play one character, that will eventually be a completionist, and every time I TR it takes an afternoon of managing inventory and deciding what I need to part with and what I need to re-farm next life. I have every inventory/bank bag available, and it still isn't enough.
- There is so much BtCoE junk, it's ridiculous. I can see no reason for many items to be BtCoE except to drive activity on the ASAH. Raid loot was always BTC for obvious and understandable reasons, but there's no logical reason for ALL named loot to be BtCoE. What need is there for every lacerating, riptide, night's grasp, etc., weapon to be BtCoE?
- We still don't have bags for spell components, potions, scrolls, or augments. Quivers hold far too few arrows/bolts when I can go through 1000 or more ammunition per quest. I have 11 mules and still don't have enough space.
- There have been too many changes that don't improve the game, and that's precious development time wasted. There are so many pressing issues that need to be resolved, yet developer focus is always on eliminating player advantages while ignoring player inconveniences.
- Was it really necessary to add dragon scales to the already excessively long list of ingredients even though their functionality didn't change?
- Was it really necessary to "fix" the marginally useful Archer's Focus and make it practically useless?
- Why is it that the stormreaver's time bomb attack in FoT was fixed in the first patch, yet folks are still receiving no loot from the raid chest?
- Why was the min level of pure good increased?
- Why is wail of the banshee still broken?
- New content has been lackluster. The first time I played through Beyond the Rift, I was wowed by the level of immersion, and Eveningstar is actually pretty nice. But too much of the new content just plain sucks.
- While I appreciate the attention to story, I don't want to wait through twenty minutes of exposition before I can loot my chests at the end of an exhausting raid.
- The "kill everything twice" mechanic was alright in Inferno of the Damned, because it fit the context of the quest and story and seemed kind of clever. However, it is entirely overused and unnecessary in the new FR content. It's just lazy programming to add difficulty and that reminds us we're playing a game and not actually battling our way across the Demonweb.
- Spellwards are the single cheapest, laziest invention in the game, and they're the worst of a disturbing trend. One of the selling points of 3E D&D was that players and DMs used the same rules. Too much of the new content uses "DM fiat" in place of clever design to create difficulty. Deathknights are human, but inexplicably have undead immunities but no undead weaknesses. Spellcasters were powerful, so everything has evasion and super spell resistance. Ability score damage was powerful, so it got nerfed and epic mobs regenerate it faster than we can deal it. Negative levels made mobs with gobs of HP conveniently vulnerable to instant kill, so they regenerate those, too.
- Update 18 has got to be the lamest update in years. There is literally nothing to be excited about. When I saw the release notes I thought Turbine had mislabled a hot fix/patch as an update, and had to re-read it to make sure.
- Worse, the next expansion looks so bad I can't believe they bothered. The only remotely interesting part of the pre-order packages is the epic XP tome, and that shouldn't even be separate from the heroic tome in the first place. When I play a game, I want to have everything. This expansion is the first content that even my OCD self can't justify buying.
- Finally, I really can't find enough folks to play with anymore. On Argo, I never see the market top 3 instances. It's only 2 on Friday and Saturday nights! The combination of level cap increase, veteran statuses, heroic iconics, and xp stones has the already dwindling player base spread across too much content and too many levels. Whole swathes of the game have become dead levels. It should never take as long to fill a Reaver's Fate as it does an Abbot run, yet that's my recent experience. An entire night of gaming was consumed running Reaver's Fate and Shroud - two quests that, together, shouldn't take more than an hour.
I'd like for this post to be constructive criticism, so if you're a dev that managed to make it through my wall of complaints, I do want to offer some ideas and solutions.
- Eliminate BtCoE. BTC raid items and BtA chain rewards were plenty. Special event loot (Mabar, Crystal Cove, etc.) should be BtA as well, considering those events favor certain classes. All other binding ought to be optional - an optional way to BtA would be especially awesome.
- Expand all inventory/bank bags to 36 slots (6x6 vice 5x4). As an added bonus, it makes the store bought bags more attractive.
- Put all but the most game-breaking player convenience bugs on the back burner until the inconvenience bugs are fixed. Player happiness should be the priority, not WAI integrity.
- If a bug turns out to be a pleasant surprise (i.e., Archer's Focus), fix the description, not the bug.
- Challenges that require strategy, ingenuity, and teamwork are good. Challenges that invalidate player choices like blanket immunties, or artificial challenges like inflated HP and damage are bad. A raid like Abbot, with "succeed or return to start" as opposed to "succeed or recall and hope everyone doesn't leave" puzzles, would probably be the best raid in the game.
- Continue the trend of removing immunities like you did with poison and disease - for players and monsters. How much more interesting and challenging would beholders and vorpal wielding monsters be if we didn't have deathblock? How nice would it be if vorpal was actually useful again? The fact that vorpal, one of the most iconic and devastating abilities in the game needed a recent boost to make it interesting is a travesty.
- Merge some servers already. Just give the new servers new names so you don't have any "natives" vs. "immigrants" drama.
- Delay the next level cap increase until some of the more pressing problems get fixed.
For what it's worth, I believe that you guys sincerely desire to produce a great game and take pride in your jobs.
P.S. I'm actually looking forward to the enhancement pass. Historically, shaking up the field of character builds causes a lot of moaning and groaning, but it also makes things interesting again.
P.P.S. No, you can't have my stuff