May 162016

Memoirs of an Illusory Larcener

I’d been waiting to run the new quest Memoirs of an Illusory Larcener because it was broken and could not be completed. Yes, it could be soloed, as several astute readers pointed out in last week’s Update 31 review. But it could not be completed by a group.

Meaning, broken.

But then came Thursday’s Update 31 hotfix, with release notes that say

Fixed an issue with the teleportation portal to the tavern that could prevent quest completion if there was more than one person in the party.

The notes say other thing too, of course, they always do, but those other things are not important right now.

So … buttressed with the confidence of the patch notes, off we go, my Gamer Girl, our friend and guildmate Witwin, and I along with three hirelings for healing, on Legendary Elite.

Once inside it became apparent that yes, the quest is still broken, but in our favor. Right away there is a fight that would be truly fearsome if it worked properly, there are many archers (12? 15) and two red-named melee opponents. If they fell upon us all at once it would have been very challenging. But instead, they only activated two or three archers at a time, an easily-handled number, and the red names just stood there looking at us, politely waiting for us to kill off the archers before engaging.

That one fight alone should have thoroughly kicked our asses, and it was not the only one like that.

Nothing against our characters, but this is Legendary Elite and none of us were on our top-shelf end game characters. My Gamer Girl’s druid is an awesome character but at the moment was only level 20. Witwin has amazing missile characters but his monk is like every other monk right now in that it is not really capable of melee at end game and dies a lot. I am on Mawry – who I think is a decent character for end game, but has only level 26 gear.

But I digress. Regardless of the nature of our characters, it can’t be working as intended to have a huge encounter occurring only three bad guys at a time.

So … broken still, but in our favor.

I need to stop for a moment and compliment this quest for the interesting conceptual design behind it. I think I heard Cordovan say that it was based on the Choose Your Adventure books, and I can see the influence. It adds a level of interest, and makes me wonder just how different it will be on future runs when I make different dialog choices.

Really, I wish this whole article was talking about the innovative parts of this quest, because it is innovative. But instead I am talking about the bugs; they dominated the event and overrode any interest we might have developed in the story.

Aided by the quirky/buggy monster activation behavior, we finish everything fairly rapidly, and soon reach the point where all we have to do is open a chest and start (what we believe will be) the end fight.

Except no. We can’t open the chest. Can’t even select it. Somehow, the quest objective (Gather the Party in the Treasure Room) had become unattainable. No matter how gathered we were, and regardless of our location smack dab in the middle of the treasure room.

We tried all kinds of things. We ran around the quest again, and talked with everyone who would talk with us. It is a talky quest, and talking to NPCs is part of advancing the quest. But no. Something has gone awry with the quest scripting; most of the NPCs will not talk to us, cannot even be selected to talk to us, and those that can are just repeating the clues they had given us already.

Witwin tried dismissing his hireling. No help.

I asked in the /Advice channel if anyone had a clue and was told to log out and log back in. So I did. No help.

Then my Gamer Girl logged out and logged back in. No help.

Then my Gamer Girl and I logged out and logged back in at the same time. For a brief moment, Witwin was the only character in the quest, with no hireling. And that did it. At last, the end fight.

On the plus side, the end fight was quite ferocious, finally appropriate for a Legendary quest on Elite. On the negative side, we’d sort of been lulled to sleep by the ease with which we’d progressed to that point and promptly had our asses handed to us. Everyone died. Somehow, something about being killed by a super bad ass halfling didn’t bother me as much as it might have. Which is good because it was going to happen more than once.

It ended up being a two-cake fight for me. But in the end, we won, although there is not much pride in a two-cake victory.

But that is not the point. The point is that the quest is still very much broken.

But it can be beaten. As long as you don’t mind having to have all-but-one of the party disconnect and log back in.


πŸ™‚ πŸ˜€ πŸ™‚

p.s. I’ve now run each of the new quests once, in groups. And there have been four of the new named items. Averaging more than one per quest. Nice!

  9 Responses to “How To Complete Memoirs of an Illusory Larcener”

Comments (9)
  1. This quest had so much potential in it, and I was disappointed all the way. First, that quest was never on Lammania, so was never tested properply by the player base. That would have avoid these bugs from going live, I believe.

    But what disappointed me the most was that it isn’t nearly as close as what I had in mind, when they said “As the tale unfolds, your choices will affect the outcome.”. I really thought this would be a quest that I could redo and have a totally different quest, The only thing I think I can change is the name of the red-named in the tavern. That is meh…

    Unless they plan to add things in that quest in the future. That could be awesome then. Add another NPC, gives you different paths. Real choices really having an impact on the outcome.

    This has potential, it may just be a start. But for now, it is meh. On heroic elite, at level, it is an easy quest, that can be done really fast (just not in a group… lol)

    • I agree. I spent possibly three hours poring over every possible “choice” – what if I say this? Sneak here? Click this rubble which does seemingly nothing, yet is selectable? – on multiple runs. Couldn’t change anything except the elf’s name to Whomever. Woo.

      Add to that I’ve had quest breaking bugs on close to 40% of the runs, and have fallen through the floor on half a dozen occasions..

      …that several building locations don’t even touch the floor, and are apparently just floating (and not in the “it’s Stormreach and I’m on floating columns” sort of way, but the “alpha build quest” kind of way..

      ..a complete absence of texture variation in the first city area, which reminds me of a throwback to the Eye of the Beholder era “3D” games, where every wall looked the same; fine by 1996 standards, pretty sad by 2016 ones..

      There’s just so much potential here, but the delivery left an awful taste. Especially so when set up against the other two quests, which are downright fun and awesome and filled with textures and life and humor.

      Like, what happened? Did the developer responsible for Larcener get the sack two weeks into development? That’s what it feels like. So many bugs, so many things without any form of final polish.. It desperately needed to be pulled from the launch. It would have looked better to have two finished quests, rather than two finished quests and one you’ll have a 50% fail rate on, purely because the quest poops out on you.

      (For the record, Turbine, I found the other two highly enjoyable. Not a hate rant, just.. Disappointment.)

  2. Sorry to burst your bubble…but the only difference based on the changed dialog choices is the name of the red named mob in the tavern.

    Ton of potential…but very lacking in execution.

  3. I am writing a review of Update 31 for Massively / Bio Break and I ran Memoirs repeatedly to take notes. Other than the tavern Elf’s name, the NPCs in the streets around Upstanding Citizen change over multiple quest runs. The first few times they had titles such as Completely Ordinary Citizen and Extremely Dull Citizen and then during subsequent runs the NPCs were mostly Saltire Arcanists with new attire.

  4. I really do like the concept between Memoirs and I did enjoy running this quest. The quest obviously needs more polish and would be much better if it was a genuine “choose-your-own-adventure” quest. Perhaps future updates will see something along those lines but any quest with complicated mechanics requires at least double the normal development time.

  5. They fixed quivers, added a box smashing quest, added default drop volume slider, confused me by resetting my enhancement trees, and … threw in a few beards for good measure!

    Sounds like a good update πŸ˜€
    (There are probably some more valid things to list like new quests, new bugs, new loot… But what would I know?)

    I made my whole party fall through the floor, quite amusing. And that sneaky gather your party in the treasure room, kill all the baddies and no loot πŸ™

  6. Anyone else have issues with orange named chests automatically popping open and not allowing you to get the loot list while error message says chest locked and not pick-able? LOL I thought that was entertaining but quizzical

What do you think?

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