Monday, August 10, 2015

Deconstructing hyboria - interview analysis

After talking to Cirith in recent interview I feel like doing some post-mortem on it and giving you my piece of mind on the shape and the direction that Hyboria is taking.

Dungeon/Raid finder vs Crafting revamp: I haven't actually seen anyone being absolutely appalled by the development decision of giving D/R finder a priority over the long over-due crafting revamp. What is D/R finder? Its a sign up system that works pretty much like a minigame queue: you just pick dungeon/raid, select your role (deeps, heals, tank) sign up and wait to be teleported with your newly found group into the dungeon (at least I assume THAT'S what it is). It's a MMO industry standard that both AOC and TSW need to adhere to remain viable and somewhat current. Of course since it's in World of Warcraft it is pretty much in every game. I have had my taste of it when dabbled with WoW and I liked it. Current, very very dated model of just spamming LFG chat with "LF KK run, exp/gear/perks" is not only super old, but also a major content-wall that keeps new players form experiencing all the dungeons that are out there (hell, I still need to do a lot of dungeons). Besides I don't think crafting revamp would be all that successful since AOC stats system is all fucked. Current model rewards stacking very few select stats (crit and combat/magic rating) and I am pretty sure crafting revamp would result in either cranking out only sub par items that were only usable to modestly geared characters or an arms race in which people would create items en mass in order to hit that perfect stack of crit/combat/magic rating that would go beyond the T4 budget stats wise. Both scenarios would be a let down. AOC team needs to make a spot on decision for the content just like they did with achievements. Pouring resources into crafting and not having it be anything less than the second coming of Jesus would be a proverbial nail in AOC coffin (and them nails just keep on coming as prophesied by forum posters...since 2008).

When it comes to Tales of Hyboria which are new adventure packs its no secret that I am less than enthustastic about it's first installment. I really didn't want to ask questions like "how come Shadows of Vanaheim aka Shadows of Cimmeria Reloaded suck?"and to my surprise I got a reply exactly to that unasked question. SOV was a rushed and overpriced content. What I was afraid of seeing is something straight out of American Psycho where main character commits heinous crimes and gets away with it for no apparent reason. I am not against Tales of Hyboria per se, hell if its done right then bring it on! The interview gave me hope for the future that we won't see another blunder like SOV. And I have to agree that with AOC being strapped for cash (Khitai sized expansion is out of the question) the only way that we can see those cool locations pulled straight out of the lore are bite-sized adventures like SOV (I mean not like that, but also like that). I would love to see Aquilonia and Nemedia go at each other throats (Border Range in Wild Lands could be used for that) with Conan joining the battle along with the players (get that lazy bastard of out that castle!). What else? Well obviously Hyperborea is overdue! Just fix price..and quality..and replayability..and story and I am all over that next adventure pack!

I am bummed out by two things: both PvP additions and progression systems are probably years away. I mean placing them on a the development timeline next to "sometime after crafting revamp" is pretty much saying "it will be ready when Moses comes back". Solo arena, when and if its ready, won't fill any need that solo group pvp minigames are not already providing (those are providing mostly misery for all involved). I don't see good things in AOC pvp and onslaught of people coming from Fury to Crom (yours truly included) only show that PvPers are in "abandon all hope" mode.
Well, at least we will get that one server tech soon enough, eh? *wink* (and if you don't get my wink I will be blunt: everyone will eventually transfer to Crom and two remaining pvp servers will be an empty shells).

So we all just might as well jump with both feets into raiding because this is where AOC will be at for the years to come.