May 112016
 

New Content Night! My favorite night in the DDO calendar; oh if only it came more often.

Update 31 sort of snuck up on me. I knew it was coming, I’d even written about it. Several times. But it was on Lamannia for only one weekend, and incompletely at that; I’d expected us to be getting another preview of a more complete version before it went live.

But instead, New Content Night! Yay!

Except it is not an unmitigated Yay. More of a throat-muffled, half-voiced, spoken-without-moving-your-lips kind of Yay. Because .. well, reasons, which we will discuss.

But before we get caught up in all that, it is worth remembering that Yay. The net of this is good. And some of it is very good, very good indeed.

But let’s start with …

The Bad

Yes, it is New Content Night, but a rather smallish version of New Content day. The smallest ever. Only three quests. A partial fighter balancing pass. And that was that.

It is not really an Update at all. More of an Updatelette? A MiniDate?

And all of the quests are “teleport to get there” quests meaning no new wilderness area. Considering that Update 30 had no new content at all, this is pretty sparse. We are halfway through 2016 and we have a total of three unrelated new quests.

Not good. Bad.

The Ugly

Turbine has the worst development process that I have ever encountered, and it just never gets better. This is not baseless hyperbole: I’ve spent decades experiencing  a huge variety of development processes (I am a contracting developer). I’ve spent thousands of hours playing hundreds (probably thousands) of different games as a game consumer. But in all that time I have never seen released software of such poor quality.*

Yet DDO does it time and time again.

One of the three quests can’t be completed. The two quests that can completed both feature significant, hard-to-miss bugs. The fighter changes weren’t finished. Even after subtracting the incomplete fighter changes, even then, some of the remainder were found to be missing too. The new loot is bugged. The one interesting quality of life change in the release … isn’t in the release. At all.

So it is a tiny release, and most of what made it out the door is broken. That is hard to take.

* This is a slight exaggeration. There was one game that was even worse, but only one, and that was 15 years ago.

The Good

Fruity

“Eat your fruit” they said
“It’ll be good for you” they said

I’m saving the good part for last because the good part is really good! I don’t want it to get lost while slogging through The Bad and The Ugly.

The two quests that can be run are fun! Very fun! Both of them feature all-new monsters, and one of those monsters – the Umber Hulk – is an all-new monster model! At least, as far as I can tell, maybe it is a re-skin of something else, and I will be disappointed again. but the Umber Hulk appears to be the rarest of all things DDO in that it seems to be entirely new. Yay!

Both of the quests are long too! Not ten-room quickies, but meaty expeditions with optional directions and places you may never go. Places you have to work to find. Places that reward the thorough explorer.

Serious Yay!

And even better, the lag monster is not featured in either quest!

I guess it is too soon to say that for sure, after all it was only Tuesday night, but the server seemed pretty populated and the instances housing the new quests even more so. And yet, even with a decent player load, there was only one instance of lag all night. Only one. And it was a short, four-or-five-second burst where we could not tell where we were actually standing, and then as suddenly as it started, it was over. Not to return.

Two fun quests and and minimal, entirely acceptable amounts of lag.

 

Glassy

I seem to have suddenly developed a drinking problem

 

Maybe Turbine’s lag-fighting efforts explain why this is such a tiny, incomplete Update.

And if so, and if Friday Raid nights are as lag-free as Tuesday New Content Nights, well, then this may turn out to have been one of the best updates ever.

🙂 😀 🙂

  10 Responses to “Update 31 Review: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly”

Comments (10)
  1. If you don’t mind soloing, the 3rd quest can be completed also. I did all 3 quests last night (solo) and the only bug I encountered was the un openable chest guarded by the iron defender. I got one nice ML28 named item to boot.

  2. I ran through all 3 heroic elite solo on a level 25, just to have a look around & enjoyed them – nice story, some fun things, found a couple of nice bits of loot. Despite it’s issues & while not being phenomenal, it’s certainly a pleasant little update overall.

  3. Seconded – Memoirs can be completed. But I’m not sure that’s saying much..

  4. Can be completed solo, not while in a group. If in a group all but one have to recall and leave group so the one char in the quest can advance the objective and then re-invite the rest of the party again. I found the “unselectable” magical barriers also to be troublesome.

  5. Small update, but I liked it. Going all smitey on all those crate monsters was very satisfying, and the new loot looks powerful compared with all my Korthos loot I seem to still be carrying.

    We will squash the bugs, eventually, and it will be most satisfying.

    P.S. Carmen Miranda made me laugh =)

  6. A guildie and I were able to complete Memoirs… but only if one of us waited outside the quest until the first was in the tavern. Still annoying. I’ve not yet seen an umber hulk – we ran out of time before we got to that one. Tonight, though!

    The new animated objects are a HUGE win, though. Being attacked by fruit and ladders and training dummies? Heck yeah!

    • Yeah, the training dummies final get a chance for revenge, perhaps…

      • Can’t recall seeing those in there, but considering the sheer amount of practice they’ve had in engaging with adventurers, i suspect they’re raid level enemies 🙂

  7. I soloed Memoirs (with a hireling) and made it out perfectly okay. At first I thought there was a bug, but then I realized I was just not observant enough to see where I had to go.

What do you think?

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