I was going to try to write some stuff this week about my thoughts on TRing, but Samius has done that quite a bit, and I haven’t sorted it all out in my head yet.
But I’ve come to a starling realization last weekend, culminating this week while I was home sick.
I’m just not feeling the excitement of next weekslaunch of Shadowfell Conspiracy, in fact I’m feeling more than a bit blue about it. For years, I’ve been a fan of this game, defending it when it needed, but also being a harsh critic when I saw Turbine screw things up. And thiis probably their biggest screw up EVER. It is a lesson all developers should learn from. But lets rewind a bit.
Back when the pre-order for Shadowfell Conspiracy was announced, I went ahead and got the full deal – Collector’s Edition and the Legendary Upgrade. They made it clear in their announcement that it included a handful of quests, with no mention of a Raid, and that we were getting Iconics and level 28. Those were the big highlights if not the entirety of what SfC contained. I knew when I purchased it, that it wasn’t as big as MotU was (which in my opinion then and even more reinforced now, was still not large enough to justify the cost, but it was a good start for the game). But after spending some time on Lamannia over the weekend, I feel like anyone who pre-purchased any form of SfC was a victim of the ole “Bait & Switch”. The only real thing I am getting as a pre-purchaser is the Iconics and a very limited offering of quests. The quests are ok,the loot I’ve seen is meh on a good day. The only plus side to it is some of the art/visuals. The biggest change coming with the expansion is what in my opinion is a major revamp to the enhancement system that is far from complete. )Did I mention, that is what happeend the last time the revamped the enhancement system and added PrEs?) And on top of this, we are seeing lots of “minor” “fixes” to things that have been working fine for years. And you know what? Everyone who pays DDO, whether or not they pre-purchased SfC benefits from these changes.
I was fine last years with not getting the enhancement pass, because they promised to do it right, and included complete PrEs for every class and race. Are we getting that now? No. Some classes only have 2 PrEs and others 3. Haven’t seen much in my time on Lamannia to speak to Racial PrEs either. It really feels like that either the expansion is either unfinished or was extremely rushed. The Developers (meaning the folks who actually do the work) are not to blame. Rather, the folks who make the decision are to blame. They either fail to comprehend what should constitute an expansion, failed to allocate enough time and resources, shifted gears mid-way through, or some combination of these.
And the whole +20 LR Heart is akin to pouring Lemon juice or vinegar on a cut. It just points out all the flaws in the enhancement system, (past and present) and how failing to think ahead or taking shortcuts here and there can really come back to bite you in the ass.
In my opinion If Turbine wants to win me back, they need to seriously make up for this as well as show me that they are taking radical steps forward to fix the big holes in the games base code that make simple fixes to large problem not even remotely possible. Specifically, they can star t by addressing the information it records on Character creation and advancement to include the way it is stored so that it can be more easily altered and Quest Design and XP assignment.