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Old 10-31-2014, 01:42 AM   #331
Lodrelhai

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I think part of the different experiences with early content might be because of different definitions of what constituted "solo" content.

You mentioned taking on yellow and orange con mobs, and yes, for those you would need upgraded gear and spells. I didn't do that. I took on white and blue con mobs, and if they had a heroic tag blue or green. It might've meant waiting a level or two for some content, but that wasn't much of a hardship - there was plenty of content and lots of places to hunt. It did also mean missing some content until it was green or even grey, but that's because it was heroic content. Heroic, by definition at the time, meant group. So if I couldn't get friends together and couldn't find a PUG, I waited.

I always thought that was the intended method of adventuring for the casual player, especially because orange or red mobs gave diminishing returns. A friend and I tested this periodically - yellow mobs were worth the most xp, and orange mobs gave equal or less xp than white. To me this said white con and below were for straightforward play, yellow had an extra perk for those who were willing to put more effort into it, and we shouldn't worry about orange or higher. So handcrafted/quested gear and apprentice/journeyman abilities carried me from the combat revamp all the way through Kunark. TSO was a mess with their 1-group raids and such, but SF was equally friendly to casuals.

Things have changed. The diminishing returns mechanic was eliminated, and the levels at which a mob cons yellow are expanded at high tiers, so there's no reason for the devs to provide white and blue con mobs in the entry area for the new content. We have researchers to get us our spell upgrades, so we are expected to have them, even if we don't have the plat or the rares to go full expert, even if it would take years to get them upgraded by the researcher. Dropped treasured gear is transmutation fodder, and quested is Legendary, even for soloers. Level caps aren't rising every other xpac, so the ability to wait and outlevel tougher content isn't an option anymore. More and more the expectations and mechanics which used to be considered challenging or high con are being required for even the most rudimentary play. And this is what those of us who quite purposefully did not do that stuff because it had no appeal to us are protesting.

Without the signature line in AoM, there is pretty much nothing to do. Casual players like myself are almost completely locked out of the testing, because we cannot even get past the first mandatory dungeon. We don't really even have the option of doing other things to level and coming back to this dungeon at 100, because there will be no beta buffer when this goes live and without the questlines and dungeons there aren't any good options to level. This really puts a damper on willingness to pay for content we can't use. It frustrates us because we can't get anywhere. And yes, it infuriates us because the only beta reward targeted to us is completely unobtainable by us, even if we're playing for hours each week and filing precise and in-depth bug reports, feedback, and forum posts. Heck, ToV beta I couldn't get through the first room of the first advanced solo dungeon, but at least there was a complete and entertaining solo overland quest line that could be done and earn the reward.

This is also why we get frustrated and, yes, insulted by posts from those who do enjoy more challenging gameplay that if we'd just follow this strategy, have this gear, use this stance, reforge for this stat, have this mercenary, etc., we'd have no problem. All those extras are not solo play, and this zone is advertised has having both advanced solo and solo versions. So by all means, keep all the strategies and sudden-death scenarios and and requirements for help in the advanced solo version. Solo should mean you have an excellent shot of finishing it with just the basics the devs are providing for us without having to repair your gear, and if you do have a merc or friend to help then it should be fast and simple.
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Old 10-31-2014, 04:30 AM   #332
Ashy

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I've given up on the beta altogether because Brokenskull Bay causes me so much frustration that I can't enjoy the instance and since I can't seem to get beyond the instance, there isn't much else for me to do. I would have liked to have the mount but it's not worth the stress I was going through. I made multiple attempts but simply could not defeat Captain and the amount of times I had to run the entire length of the instance to get back to him per each attempt only added to the amount of stress. The total amount of hours I put into Brokenskull Bay is astronomical. Granted they have made the instance easier but apparently I am just not skilled enough as a player and am completely worn out on trying any further.

It's a shame we couldn't have had that rope a lot sooner but hopefully there are lots of other players who are making it through the instance and can test the remaining content for the beta. I wouldn't argue that the elite players in the game need something more fun and challenging for them to play and if I ever do become an elite player, I'll surely be glad to have something challenging to keep me interested in playing but for now, the new expansion zone turns me off entirely.
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Old 10-31-2014, 04:42 AM   #333
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I ran this tonight with my 95 monk in fully cryptic and mostly ToV quest jewelry along with Stamper as my merc.

The run through was still challenging but once you learn the mechanics of the named fights they're much easier now. Still, I don't think there is any way I could have done this completely solo. A monk just doesn't have the heals/cures to get through some of these fights. The Drunken Boxing is still doing a ton of damage if you don't get it cured reasonably quick.

Over all I think this zone is about where they're expecting it to be difficulty wise. However, there is still a big problem, at least as far as using it for the quest progression. The evidence of the Far Seas Traders drops are still way to rare. I managed to run the zone and killed everything that I could figure out a way to pull - including using the merc to pull stuff up on the roof/ledges. I've killed all of the named, including the Captain so I have his key but I can't do anything with it until my quest progresses. This means that I have to reset the zone, go back and kill everything all over again just to get 1 lousy drop.

In talking about it in chat, it's all to common and someone even told me that their last run they only got 5/12. There's no reason for this drop to be that uncommon.

Since this is beta I /bugged it and am hoping someone will fix it. If this was live it'd be a CS issue because there's no way I'm going to run the same instance multiple times just to get a silly drop to progress the only real quest line in the expansion.
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Old 10-31-2014, 08:28 AM   #334
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I managed to get 12/12 in one run, killed almost every pirate in there and all the nameds but the Captain. And I agree with Lodrelhai, once upon a time adepts and handcrafted got you through most everything. Mastercrafted and Experts were for heroics, and Masters and Legendary were for Raiding.

I do not even care about the mount, I wanted to test the content as the player I am. My time in game may be hardcore, but that is due to circumstances, my play style is casual due to those same circumstances. I am also still trying to wrap my head around the BS phrasing of advanced solo really meaning duo since CoE. So if Solo in AoM now means duo on a near raid level, then advanced solo must now mean 'small group' of the same, which really scares me to think what the 'Heroic' version will need.

You want the hard stuff, fine, there is already the Advanced Solo (req level 98!) and Heroic zones to test your mettle, but for the rest of us, make Solo be what was advertised as a fun zone for casual players.
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Old 10-31-2014, 09:46 PM   #335
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I have just encountered this myself. I have managed to get 11/12 drops. I used my merc to pull stuff high up which I seemingly had no way of accessing myself. Tracking mobs led me to a door I was unable to open. As such, while there are still mobs in the zone, it appears I have no way of getting to them. Zone out and wait till I can reset the zone and do it again, for one drop.

That aside, I am having no other issues with this zone. I had no problems with the named's and I'm assuming it is because I have come to it late in the day, so to say. Lvl 100 (beta buffed) fury running this zone in a mix of potent and dreadlord gear with Lord Valkiss Ssi'sh as my side kick.
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Old 11-01-2014, 04:33 AM   #336
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The captain is undertuned now, needs to do about 2x as much damage.

Smooth-Talking spinny name needs to be able to auto again, I was getting hit for roughly 5k or less every auto round on a 100 assassin. And his spinning effect only did 6k per hit.

Advanced Solo, not regular Solo.
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Old 11-02-2014, 01:17 AM   #337
Matia

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I'm still waiting for any of the "fun" part to be put in. Taking several minutes for each fight (non-named) with mobs several levels above mine, then doubling or more that time for named, plus running around like a maze getting to places multiple times because of a bad drop rate, all to reach a named mob at the end that has buggy indicators which you apparently have to know exactly how to react to in a specific way and even then are likely to suffer exorbitant damage from is all pain and no fun.
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Old 11-02-2014, 02:26 PM   #338
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Went in and did this zone again because I re-copied my character and had to start the signature line over again.

Now the Captain I one shot him, Im assuming he is nerfed now extremely easy.

I can do the zone in 15 minutes if I do not need the updates for the signature series.
Having to have the updates for the signature series it takes me 30-40 minutes running around looking for mobs to kill for updates, I even had to climb on top of rooftops I barely got 12/12, I do not have track on this conjurer and ran out of tracking scrolls the marketplace is not working so couldnt get any more of these.

The marketplace would be nice to have on beta like we had for the TOV beta.
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Old 11-03-2014, 10:54 AM   #339
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Just ran the zone on my beastlord again (beta buffed to 95, wearing beta buffer gear). Without a merc was able to get pretty far, though it was a long haul.

Thank heavens almost all my Spiritual Stance advantages and primals involve heals. Drunken Brawling would've had me a lot more often otherwise.

Make it Hail is still doing more damage than I have health when it lands - got sick of being one-shotted and started dodging/sneaking past the wenches.

Grouped mobs - bouncers and bilge rats specifically - were pretty much impossible alone, but burned down pretty well once I did call in a merc (Qho).

And I actually managed to beat the Captain, which was a pleasant change! Did get caught by the ghost ship/wave ability once when he'd knocked me back just before calling it on me, but I survived the hit and spammed primals to get my health back. Definitely was not a one-shot, but was doable.

Still don't think this zone qualifies for the tag "Solo" (again, this is the ordinary solo, not the advanced that I'm running), but it's getting there. We'll see how it goes when it's me and a friend instead of me and a merc and a pet. But seriously, if a merc or a skilled friend are going to be required help for solo (not advanced) content, you guys really need to consider making mercs free content.
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Old 11-03-2014, 03:00 PM   #340
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Ran the solo version of this zone on my 96 Fury a few days ago. Enjoyed it very much. The art and format of the zone is very reminiscent of what a fantasy maritime community should feel like. The lay out was deceptively large. I was happy that AOEs didn't pull mobs down from above. The encounters were well tuned to my class and level and gear. I'd probably use a merc with some of my weaker toons. I was glad there was no significant knockback from any of the mobs, that would have been discouraging. The spinning gnome was funny and a challenge to avoid his spin, but it didn't one-shot me. I really liked the graphics and concept of the Captain's frontal attack, it seems quintessentially appropriate for a pirate captain.
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Old 11-04-2014, 09:49 AM   #341
Lodrelhai

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My 95 dirge and my friend's 100 (beta buffed) shadowknight this time, both of us in gear off the beta buffer, hitting the solo (not advanced) version of the zone. We got through the zone cleanly, which was very pleasant. We were both on the Pirate Plot stage of the signature quest, and got all our updates before we even reached the Navigator. So thank you for putting those updates in the chests of booty, and for (apparently) increasing the drop rates.

Duncan is definitely not spawning adds anymore, and while I didn't mind them once I figured out the mechanic, I'm sure many casuals will be happier without it. We certainly went flying often enough that we would've been swamped otherwise, and that was with me knowing the mechanic.

Captain went smoothly, even with getting hit by the ghost ship once - are we sure he's not programmed to automatically knockback before calling the ship for the third time? Well, even if he is, it's not an auto-failure attack, so I'm willing to deal with it.

Overall I still wouldn't call this a solo zone, but as a casual duo zone it's very nice. And I'll repeat, if this is what is going to be considered solo from now on, the ability to use mercenaries needs to be taken off the marketplace and made free content.
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Old 11-11-2014, 01:53 AM   #342
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Just done this zone after getting incredibly frustrated with it a couple of weeks back. I'm pleased to say i managed to solo the entire zone with my merc and I didn't die once Smile Still didn't get the point of the ghost ship with the captian, but what the hell, worry about that when I get my hands on the xpac.

Just wanted to say that I can see work has been done and it know feels like it fits the original description, job well done Smile
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