I didn't want to post about Festival of Bloodshed until I have taken it for a good spin (Bori taught me that impressions can be deceiving). My verdict: I don't like it in it's current form. I am not claiming to be objective on this matter, but when it comes to my personal opinion I want to be honest in here: it is a cheap content done in a sloppy manner and it doesn't address my issues with the game. Not even Funcom denies that this content was cheap to produce and it really shows. But quite honestly I have a low expectations for 6 year old MMO when it comes to budget and resources allocations (even more so now that AOC doesn't have it's dedicated team). Still I cannot overlook the sloppy implementation of the events and by that I mean complete lack of any UI and visual indicators that would allow me to have a basic understanding of just what the hell is going on. You see all the information about the events is feed to player via on screen messages and system whispers. That is just less than elegant. Any revelant information is usually served to me with just tons of text clutter informing me that I might not have enough soul shards to perform something. Things like score goes into whispers which is even more messy. The result? Things like arena events are just blood baths in which you "Live.Die.Repeat" (in true Edge of Tomorrow fashion) with your guildies asking over TS: "is it over yet?", "is this still going?" How the hell I should know?
To add insult to injury whatever class balance issues that are present in minigames are magnified ten folds when it comes to open world pvp. My recipe for utter destruction? Take soldiers, and some healers and just a pinch of ranged damage (Necro for 30s dots is preferable). Arenas are just rogues chasing casters while getting their asses pierced by ranges with soldiers just racking up the kills. There is no respawn downtime, no limited lives or any structure to those "arenas" so if you die just respawn and run back. Live.Die.Repeat (unless you are a soldier and in that case just live).
Furthermore you have to take just absurd amount of quests from Picts NPC instead of those quests just spawning when the event is active (minigame style). Since I am already crapping on Picts I might as well go all out: I think that it was a horrible decision lore wise to use Picts for these events. It's a pet peeve of mine but seeing skin clad, body painted, gruesome savages that Picts are just HANGING OUT IN in Tarantia Commons with the locals is dumb. Funcom have always treated Conan source material with respect and this is first time in 6 years when I am actually upset about the story, writing and the implementation.
But I can stomach all that. Class balance was always out of whack and the PvP Events got a lot of fixes and updates which is a nice change from Bori. My problem is being capped on gear/AA/pvp lvls. I have absolutely zero incentive to do those events. This is still a MMO and it needs progression.
I could just repeat every point that I have made in "No progression" post and it would be as valid as it was a year ago.