First up is the Apprentice System. Now I’ve never been exposed to such a facility in my previous 2 MMO’s (DAOC & WoW), but I do have a hangup about experiencing content out of sequence, but I’m sure this will not be that big a problem in the long run.
In all the MMO games I’ve played, I’ve often levelled relatively slowly in comparison to others in the guild, who seemed to have an abundance of free time (The bastardo’s). So this has meant that leveling in an MMO hasn’t been that much of a shared experience, apart from various times when other guildies have briefly been within my level range. So it will be nice to have the opportunity to group up more frequently, that’s assuming they return from Aion. I need to get online soon, so I can checkout how there getting on, it’s been a couple of weeks now, so we should be through the Aion acclimatization phase now.
There is a small concern that we could end up with people actively down sizing to play in the 1st tier. For instance, there was a phase within the guild where they were just rerolling lowbies to play tier 1, where things were felt to be so much simpler with the absence of CC. I honestly don’t think it’s going to be that big an issue anyway. It’s all about choice in the end.
Due to my general inexperience with these buddy systems, I will be intrigued to see how the RP/XP is awarded for the level adjusted people. So for example, I kill someone in tier 1 who is worth 100 rp, is this then factored by up to my actual level, so I actually get 500 rp or is it just 100 rps?
I also assume that the downsized level 40’s, don’t get turned into chickens until the level 11 they are apprenticed to, hits 12, which will be quite amusing when it happens.
When I originally started my comments on the Apprentice System, I was more negative, but I think I was just being contrary. Over the last couple of days, I have pretty much rewritten that negativity out. I am sure there are going to be issues, but as I’ve said, I’ve no experience of other similar MMO systems, from which to base any realistic concerns, bar the obvious xp/rp scaling, so I’ll just wait and see. If it brings people back or makes life better for new starters, then what’s there not to like.
Moving onto the New User Journey, which apes what happened in DAOC. The numbers dropped off and the point of having multiple starting zones, became a negative more than a positive. No one likes to be on their own when they start an MMO, it just doesn’t create the right first impression. Oh on a side note, at least I now know where I would start my 3rd realm Skaven tier 1 zone, obviously underneath Destruction vs Order.
When you actually look at what Mythic have done, it’s all positive. A lot of similar stuff got added to DAOC after a few years (A newbie guild, one starting place, reworked tutorials etc), though I’d expect these additions to be of a higher quality. Mythic obviously felt it was needed within DAOC, so why was this polish felt to be unnecessary in a newly launching game? I know, I know, insufficient time before launch.
I like the idea on limiting the interface until the player actually needs that functionality, a nice graphic tutorial system which will hopefully ease the learning curve for new and current players. Starting on the far side of the burning village outside of Grimmerhagen (Empire) just makes such a much more a dramatic introduction to the War, rather than starting in the middle of Grimmerhagen. Again a polish issue. If you follow the link you can read James Caseys blurb on it all.
Now I am slightly perplexed by the addition of the Apprentice System and the New User experience. I appreciate that they new user experience is more than just grouping all the new characters in the same zone. However, if you trying to achieve that, then why come along and allow users to have their level to be artificially bumped up, which then allows them to leave the very zones which you are seeking to make appear busy. I can only deduce, that Mythic believe the impact of the apprentice system will be minimal for tier 1 zones and is more a convenience factor. It will be quite cool for new starters to see level 40’s wandering around in their warlord gear.
Now there are things still to cover in 1.3.2 PTS, but any thoughts I have on them will hopefully follow shortly. I’ve been trying rather unsuccessfully to cut the number of rambling monologes, which is one of the reasons for the breaks. At least now I can go and read Bootae’s post on the subject.