Another beta is about to begin. I spent some time this morning reading the patch notes and sadly it seems like Trion is continuing to make the game easier. (Will know better once I actually try the changes.)
I get where they’re going… WoW has really lowered the bar when it comes to the difficulty in early levels of a game, and it stands to reason that by dumping goodies and rewards on players ASAP (“3 souls by level 5! Best offer in the ‘verse!”) they’re liable to draw in more short-term players. So I don’t hold these changes against them; I just miss the challenging Rift game we all played in the first few betas. You used to die in the first 10 levels. Crazy right?
This time out, they’ve redone the racial abilities to make them much less unique than they were (a balance change, I believe…people thought the old racial abilities varied widely in usefulness), and they’ve removed the level requirement on previously level-20 mounts:
* Level requirements have been removed from the previously-level 20 mounts. If you can get to them, and can afford them, you can use them. This includes the Collector’s Edition turtle mount.
I’m assuming this is in response to the complaint that there’s too much running around in the game. Honestly I feel like the Defiants have some legitimacy to this complaint since there isn’t a teleport bind point aside from Meridian, but I’d rather have seen them add a teleport point in King’s Retreat rather than offering level 1 players a mount. Not that having a mount is that big a deal, but must we be given everything at level 1? MMO’s are turning into games like pee-wee soccer matches where everyone gets a trophy.
Expect the complaints of “The world is too small” to increase after this beta, now that people are zipping around on turtle mounts.
Other changes that caught my eye (and I don’t see these as making the game easier…switching topics here):
More consumable reward items have been turned into skills rather than taking up inventory space. No longer will you use items to spawn forces to fight invasions or to buff wardstones; these activities fall under Ascended Powers now. Our bags (and hot bars) get emptier with every patch.
There are LOTS of soul changes, and early release is getting near. I’m getting a little concerned about how much testing these changes will get.
The Ancient Wardstones system sounds very interesting… I’m looking forward to getting a taste of that.