Dec 112013

When I picked up the game again after a three-week absence, I immediately noticed two things, one good and one bad. Yesterday’s article addressed the good thing, and I remain totally impressed with how effective the caster-based Druid build can be.

But now the bad. This is not bad-horrible, more like bad-annoying, but still there it is, annoying the hell out of me within minutes of getting back into the game.

I have a character parked at 4th level so that I can quest with any new players that join the guild. This poor sod is named Cutlass, he’s pretty well equipped for his level, a fighter/paladin tank that can keep the heat off the new players, but he hasn’t earned an experience point since 2006.

I loaded him up to check something out and was immediately flummoxed to see him moving in slow motion. Running and striking both, as if he was in a permanent state of Red Dungeon Alert.

Notice the NPCs in the background at full speed, and the random character that zooms by towards the end of the video, also at regular speed. Only Cutlass is moving in slo-mo. Everyone else is fine.

It takes me a minute to consider possible causes. Maybe he is still under some weird curse from his last play session? It seems unlikely, but I remember back in the day when curses would last forever, remaining through disconnect and login/logout until removed by a cleric.

I search Cutlass’ status icons: there is a Slow icon? A perma-slow? Am I bugged like people sometimes used to be with Blindness? I examine it:

Punishing me AND shaming me? For what?

This is some kind of punishment? Worse, some kind of shaming too? Slow-Shaming? WTF? Cutlass doesn’t cheat, he’s too low level! Wait that doesn’t sound right, I don’t cheat at any level, but the point is, how much could poor little Cutlass do that is so wrong at 4th level?

I check everything in my inventory. It does not take long to find the culprit:

The sinful Ring of Haste. For shame!
A sinful Ring of Haste, stealth-nerfed by Turbine and now apparently an act of shame just to possess

This item is one of the many that had their minimum levels increased arbitrarily in a game update sometime ago. I’m pretty sure I’ve played Cutlass since then though, and if so the minimum level increase is not new. Only the shaming is new.

So let me get this straight: Turbine stealth-nerfed my gear and is now punishing me for it? In a snarky way that makes it seem like I am somehow cheating by having been nerfed?

Really, really annoying.

Even worse, some developer spent time on this. Instead of fixing the stupid scroll-wheel bug that annoys my Gamer Girl every single time she plays the game, no let’s not fix that, let’s invest time into coding a way to punish Geoff Hanna’s 4th-level new player guide character for wearing a one-use-per-day Haste item!

Ai yi yi.

It is bad enough that I had the most expensive item I’ve ever bought (a Risia Festival Glaciation IX shortsword that I made for Coin at great expense) made useless by this arbitrary set of changes. Now I am being punished for it too? And not just punished, but shamed?

Poorly played Turbine. Very poorly played.

  7 Responses to “Minimum Levels, Maximum Annoyance”

Comments (7)
  1. I had a similar issue on my lvl 4 Paladin with a crafted shield with Invulnerability on it (that got it to lvl5). Did you notice that when you tumble you move as fast as normal (if you can tumble that is), bye the way – that did bring a smile to my face, I was adamant that from now on this character would forever tumble his life through the game – until he would reach a higher level somewhere next century.

    I completely agree that its highly annoying to see Turbine actually spend development time to force all characters like this who had items that were nerfed to be above their lvl to unequipped them. I am convinced that most of them were bank characters, or parked characters, because otherwise players would have switched out most items during play already.
    For the life of me I cannot imagine any exploit resulting from keeping these items equipped, as its impossible to equip them once they become higher ML anyway.

  2. The Burden of Guilt was used as a way to address an exploit where people were able to equip much higher level items (think ML 28 items at level 1!) The “burden” part is a way to address the issue of how to get people who already have items equipped to unequip them. That said, it’s unfortunate that some folks (like yourself) who has items equipped that saw ML changes (like your haste ring) were caught in the net.

  3. I have disagreed with a lot of what you have said in the past, but here I think you are spot on! Turbine’s band-aid fixes are always sub par. They are always causing side problems. Why they can’t just fix a bug instead of making up new mechanics to discourage a bugs use I don’t know, but personally I am sick of it.

  4. You beat me to it, Geoff. The net was cast too wide here. The culprit I’ve seen is Life Shield of Invulnerability armor that I crafted ages ago. With masterful craftsmanship, I think the min level used to be 5, now it’s 8. Bam! Burden of Guilt. Sure, none of my main chars were affected by the change. It’s bank mules, characters that get played once in a blue moon in special situations that are getting punished when they were not the intended target. It’s annoying to have them rendered useless by a revisionist ML change, and it’s off putting to see effort put into shaming players instead of building up positive things about the game.

  5. Don’t get me started…

  6. Behold the power of GAME SCORN!!!

What do you think?

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