Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Open Beta and "The Big Patch"

Last week Alganon went into open beta and released a large patch a few hours prior. I was hoping this might be "the" patch that would really polish some things up. But unfortunately most of the patch consisted fluff additions such as emotes and mail icons. Any actual fixes really wouldn't be evident to anyone just starting the beta.

What many perceived as a nerf to the healer class, was supposedly a fix. The fix was to add pushback so spells would be interrupted when you are hit. So instead of nuking, I am having to rely on my wand and hit them to death. It's not an impossible feat unless there are multiple mobs, but it certainly isn't very fun. The magus class was difficult to play already since all their abilities are not yet functional. Now they are fairly impossible to play.

So I shelved my healer for a bit and decided to try a class unaffected by pushback -- the soldier. And I got to view things from the perspective of those just entering beta. Back when I started, two out of the first ten quests I received weren't functional. And I learned they still aren't functional. There's an issue with any quest that involves harvesting or picking up a specific item. The item never respawns if someone else has done the quest. And you have to wait for a server reset for it to spawn again and hope someone else hasn't picked it up.

As a healer, I was pulling with nukes and never really had much difficulty engaging mobs. As a soldier, I didn't have a ranged item yet, so was having to run up and hit the mob. And the mobs were ignoring me and walking away. I'd chase and hit an attack. Nothing. It was taking me several attempts to actually engage the mob. So for those just coming into beta, their frustration is really understandable. This kind of stuff should have been more a priority than adding emotes. I hate to be gloomy about a game I actually do like in many ways, but based on open beta numbers, I'm not sure they'll have enough subscribers to function.

In other news, Turbine has tempted me once again with their continual emails. They offered a deal where if I subscribed for three months at the $9/month rate, they'd give me the next expansion free. So both of us loaded LotRO up once again. And much like Keen, I'm a bit at a loss on how to play. For some reason I always have trouble relearning my class when I come back to LotRO. I've got hotbars full of so many darn abilities. It really takes me a long time to get back in the swing of things. And unfortunately, the game still doesn't like the SB X-Fi soundcard. Both hubby and I are still getting the blue screens of death we had previously and have to play with sounds completely off. We're not playing often but we'll see how long we last this go around.


Yeebo said...

That's too bad about Alganon. I hope that they can get those basics sorted before the game goes live.

Having melee attacks eliminate the ability to cast is a personal peeve of mine. In general, having melee attacks completely interrupt spell casting is a very nice way to gimp the living hell out of your casters. It's fine in a game where you intend for the majority of classes to be nearly useless outside of groups (ala EQ or FFXI). However, if you intend for casters to be viable soloers they absolutely need to be able to cast while something is beating on them. Even in a game where on a good pull ranged casters can butcher even cons before they hit melee range (e.g., bolt casters in WAR or DAoC), soloing is painful. Any time you try to solo in a building or get jumped while running around outside you get beat within an inch of your life. An unexpected add in melee range is nearly a death sentence.

Thallian said...

Yeah I hope Alganon gets it together too. There's always Allods online also though :P In Lotro the best thing to do is just focus on one hotbar of "core" skills for your class and then put the other stuff in the above bars and only learn about how to use them later. I hope you can hang on until December 1 (not sure of the launch date) for the skirmishes, I think they are going to be a big step in the right direction.

Aspendawn said...

Yeah interrupts are just an annoying feature. They did modify it after the initial patch so you can get it off at about the third attempt. But the time you waste trying to cast could be spent doing wand damage instead. So there's no point in even attempting the spells. Can't imagine now why one would pick a class subject to interrupts when you can play a soldier with no interrupts and more efficiency.

Was a really long time ago that I first heard of Allod's. Isn't that one pvp? And as far as the skirmishes, even though I know they're coming I have no idea what they are lol. Just haven't been keeping myself up to date on LotRO.

Tesh said...

Allods looks like it's a little of everything, not unlike WoW's "appeal to everyone" approach.

It's been getting some good press, so it's off to a decent start.

Aspendawn said...

Ah, I heard it was open pvp once you hit the level 20 quest areas, so I just stopped looking into it further.

Will keep an eye out though to see if they change that.