What’s Wrong with TSW?
There are a couple of really interesting posts by Sypster and Rowanblaze that talk about the problems with The Secret World combat system. Mostly Syp’s post is him trying to articulate the way he feels about it, and then Rowan breaks down those points and tries to speak to each. Combined they provide a really nice bookend and are extremely worth reading. It is really nice to see someone try and put into words what is wrong with the combat other than “it’s clunky”. I have my own love/hate relationship with the combat in The Secret World. For the good I love how flexible the character build system is especially at lower levels, but there seems to be a point where all of that breaks down.
Like always, my little circle of regularly group mates rushed headlong into the content of The Secret World, and were starting in on Nightmare content only a few weeks after launch. For the most part we found normal and elite content in The Secret World to be overly easy. However facing nightmare content felt like slamming our faces into a brick wall at 60 miles per hour. The transition was brutal and unforgiving and seemingly unfairly stacked against melee players. I had managed to stubbornly limp my way through the Gatekeeper encounter with my Shotgun/Blades build, but when it came to nightmares I abandoned it quickly in favor of a pure ranged Shotgun/Pistol build.
The game went from being super forgiving and open to any build you could dream up, to being extremely punishing and narrow focused over night. So yes while the combat is essentially an overly repetitive use of “wow rogue” tactics over and over until you finish the battle, it was the fact that playing melee was a detriment to my groups survival that ultimately did the game in for me. We all return to the game to play the new content every now and then, but Nightmares were the point at which the game stopped being fun for many of us. Our creative builds that were super personalized were force culled into the few builds that “worked well” for nightmare level content.
Bloodlust Pays Off
Last night I had every intention of just quietly questing away in Elder Scrolls Online. However I logged in to a message from my friend Tam, wanting to know if I was down for running some dungeons. What can I say… I am a sucker for spelunking my way through bad guys. At the beginning of the night we were trying to figure out why I was a level ahead of them with the “dungeon” faction… aka the Undaunted. We ended up sifting through our achievements and found that I had already hit the “kill 1000 monsters in dungeons” achievement and they had not. I may or may not have issues with bloodlust, and as a result I have been tanking pretty much any dungeon someone asked me to. We started off the night with Wayrest Sewers again, and honestly I was expecting a rough time. However I found that I was able to split the packs much the same as I did the very first time I had run the dungeon.
I am guessing maybe in the previous group I had someone “helping” me by pulling something other than the one I was yanking with my chain. This is a super important point that needs to be addressed, and while I covered it in my tanking post… I figure it bears underlining here. When you are running these dungeons, let your tank pull and do not touch ANYTHING until you see the mobs run up at the group. The way combat packs work in Elder Scrolls Online is that all of the mobs in a pack will aggro you, but not all of them will actually engage you in combat. Touching them, means they will be doing so and you can quickly get overwhelmed. Let the tank pull and watch to see what actually starts attacking you. Then do not touch the ones that are just standing around cheering on the fighters.
I was not feeling like streaming last night, but I wish I had been… because after finishing off Wayrest Sewers we also ran the other two dungeons in the level 20 range. Darkshade Caverns and Elden Hollow were both really awesome. However in the case of Darkshade Caverns there is a bit of a surprise involved with running the dungeon that I really don’t want to spoil. Darkshade had some of the coolest fights to date, and I look forward to running it again. The loot seems to be improving as well as we go up. Granted it is still fully luck based, but several of us managed to pull out blue set pieces from the dungeon, as well as the normal unique loot drops. The lighting and effects in the dungeons are just superb. Final Fantasy XIV had some really amazing dungeon encounters, but I have to say so far at least Elder Scrolls Online trumps them.
I guess right now I am simply preoccupied with Elder Scrolls Online, but right now I am pretty oblivious to the news coming out about Warlords of Draenor. I still very much care what happens there, because even though we have this insane guild right now in ESO, there are still a batch of diehard Stalwarts that will likely never leave WoW. I want the expansion to be awesome for them as much as anything else. I have to say that the new Draenei female is nice… but not really the night and day difference that you see with the Vanilla model makeovers. I guess the Draenei and Bloodelves were in a better state already than the previous models, so they were not quite so primitive looking.
I have been phenomenally bad at keeping up with my RSS feed since coming back from my grandmothers funeral. I guess I rushed headlong into ESO, and have simply not come up for air. Things have just been going so well over there that I have not needed additional diversions. I am still listening however, and occasionally things creep into my consciousness about Warlords. Story from yesterday was that MMO Champion got DDoS’d for not giving credit to the folks running the private servers where he collected the alpha zone screenshots. Now all of those shots are down from the site, with a disclaimer saying that Blizzard had asked them to take them down. While I can’t confirm anything about the DDoS, I am guessing the image take down is more related to that instead.
At this point I will be far more interested when someone I know actually gets into Alpha or Beta. The rumors that I am hearing about the garrison sound intriguing and a fun minigame to keep me engaged in the expansion content long after I have finished leveling. My real hope however was that the garrison would be shared among all of your characters. I have an army of tradeskillers, and it would be nice to have access to ANY of their trades, from ANY of my characters. It feels like Blizzard is always one step away from making something really awesome. For whatever reason they always stop just short of what I would like to see from them. Hopefully we will continue to get more official news, since really at this stage in the alpha… anything that gets datamined is mostly bullshit and likely to change before beta.
#ElderScrollsOnline #TheSecretWorld #WoW #TSW #ESO