Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Too Much Information

The last couple of weeks felt like something of a fallow period for the blog but this morning I woke up with enough ideas for several posts. I considered doing one of those portmanteu pieces with bullet points for unrelated topics but then I thought why not do several short pieces and  pad my post count for the month give each of the topics room to breathe?

Yesterday saw two of the most pointlessly overinflated sets of patch notes I have ever refused to read. Guild Wars 2 dropped its long-threatened "Competetive Content Update", Call To Glory, while EverQuest II unlocked the gates for the delayed opening of the Echoes of Faydwer expansion on the prgression server Kaladim.

The GW2 update brings a number of things to the game, including the long, long promised Swiss Tournaments for PvP and a new Reward track giving a skin for the Warclaw mount in WvW. Mostly what it does, though, is attempt a combat reset for both player vs player modes by way of draconian nerfs across the board to all classes.

The plan is to slow everything down, bringing fights back to the supposedly manageable level of a few years ago before Elite specifications from two expansions turned power creep into power sprint and fights degenerated into a competition to see who could hit their one shot skill macro fastest.

I can't say I'd really noticed. I play a Staff Elementalist in World vs World on all three accounts. I play that combo whether it's in fashion (like it was when Meteor Shower was buffed to one-shot whole zergs) or out (almost all the rest of the time). I might occasionally tweak a skill here or change a rune there but mostly I'm playing the same build on all three characters that I was playing before Heart of Thorns.

Consequently, even though I have getting on for twenty Level 80s covering all eight classes I only bothered to read the section on Elementalists, and then only the skills I use. Just as well. It's an opening paragraph and twenty-five detail entries. All the other classes get the same, often more.

The gist is "all your attacks do a lot less damage". They could have left it at that as far as I'm concerned. I went and soloed a Tier 1 camp this morning to see how bad it was (it was too busy last night - I literally couldn't take a camp without three people arriving out of nowhere to "help").

It was noticeably slower and I did have to back off and heal but I was still able to run into the middle, fire off everything as soon as it came off cooldown and clear the lot, so I'm happy. I wouldn't fancy trying it on an upgraded camp but even those should be fine if I go back to the old ways (aka playing properly) and actually pull stuff .

There was one change to Elementalist I really liked. ANet have buffed the heck out of the summoned pets. They now last two minutes on a forty second cooldown, meaning you can have one up most of the time if you want. It almost turns GW2's Elementalist into EQ's Magician, which works for me.

Even though I personally don't feel any need to read the nit-picking detail of every change to every ability of every class I play I can at least see the logic of tabulating them all out for everyone to study. Something will matter to someone in every case, I'm sure.

The same surely cannot be said about the torrent of detail unleashed in EQII's patch notes yesterday. Here's a sample:
  • Wind-Scoured Confessor's Bracelet: Requires Echoes of Faydwer expansion, Equip level is now 55, Primary Att increased by 6, Stamina increased by 6, Potency increased by 0.5, Crit Bonus increased by 0.2, Crit Chance increased by 0.5, DPS increased by 1.8, Offensive Skills increased by 3, Base Resists increased by 1.
  • Wind-Scoured Stalker's Bracelet: Requires Echoes of Faydwer expansion, Equip level is now 55, Primary Att increased by 6, Stamina increased by 6, Potency increased by 0.5, Crit Bonus increased by 0.2, Crit Chance increased by 0.5, DPS increased by 1.8, Offensive Skills increased by 3, Base Resists increased by 1.
  • Facet of the Silver Dragon: Requires Echoes of Faydwer expansion, Equip level is now 55, Primary Att increased by 7, Stamina increased by 7, Potency increased by 0.5, Crit Bonus increased by 0.2, Crit Chance increased by 0.5, DPS increased by 2, Hate increased by 1.9, Mitigation Increase increased by 0.9, Defensive Skills increased by 2, Base Resists increased by 1.
  • Earring of the Silver Dragon: Requires Echoes of Faydwer expansion, Equip level is now 55, Primary Att increased by 7, Stamina increased by 7, Potency increased by 0.5, Crit Bonus increased by 0.2, Crit Chance increased by 0.5, Haste increased by 1.4, Offensive Skills increased by 2, Base Resists increased by 1.
  • Earhoop of the Silver Dragon: Requires Echoes of Faydwer expansion, Equip level is now 55, Primary Att increased by 7, Stamina increased by 7, Potency increased by 0.5, Crit Bonus increased by 0.2, Crit Chance increased by 0.5, DPS increased by 2, Offensive Skills increased by 2, Base Resists increased by 1.
  • Hoop of the Silver Dragon: Requires Echoes of Faydwer expansion, Equip level is now 55, Primary Att increased by 7, Stamina increased by 7, Potency increased by 0.5, Crit Bonus increased by 0.2, Crit Chance increased by 0.5, Haste increased by 1.4, Offensive Skills increased by 2, Base Resists increased by 1.
  • Medallion of the Sky Warrior: Requires Echoes of Faydwer expansion, Equip level is now 60, Primary Att increased by 13, Stamina increased by 13, Potency increased by 1.3, Crit Bonus increased by 0.4, Crit Chance increased by 1, DPS increased by 3.8, Hate increased by 3.8, Block increased by 1, Defensive Skills increased by 6.
That is just a tiny fraction.  A tiny, tiny fraction. Seriously, it has to be seen to be disbelieved. It goes on and on and on like that for pages. It took me fifty seconds just to scroll through it at top speed using the mouse wheel! I am not exaggerating - I literally just timed it.

Who needs to know this stuff? I'm sure someone working at Darkpaw does but players? I mean, it's reassuring to know they've put that much effort into re-itemizing and balancing EoF for the Time Limited Expansion server.. I guess... but I would have taken their word for it. I didn't need to see every single change in full.

Imagine being the one who had to type all that out. Then imagine having to proofread it. I'm going to have nightmares.

I know, I know. I shouldn't complain. It's supposed to be vague patch notes we get all twisted about not over-detailed ones. But I like patch notes. I look forward to reading them. Getting something like that is like ordering a steak and the waiter bringing a whole live cow. Not that I'd do that, being a vegetarian. Alright, pescatarian, but that's such a made-up word.

It has at least made me consider playing on Kaladim again. I have a level thirtysomething I was playing there - a Dirge, I think she is -  and I'm very well aware that EoF is a major gear reset. I could do a couple of sessions with her, questing in Butcherblock, and probably replace everything she's wearing.

I'm not sure I want to, though. I take SynCaine's point on progression but sometimes it feels just a little bit too obvious to be enjoyable. Still, good to have the option and EoF was a decent expansion.

Also, if anyone was thinking of jumping onto Kaladim and making a character for a bit of prog server fun, now would be the best of times to do it. Faydwer comes with a complete new starting area, a new race and a full leveling path. There will be lots of people starting over, plenty of groups, a buzz in the air (literally, with all the bixies), all that good stuff.

I think I might just have talked myself into it...

3 comments:

  1. I tend to read the patch notes after I log in and notice something changed. And given that I am mostly doing the Overseer thing in EQII, I went to look at the notes last night. I remain unsure where Darkpaw is going with that feature, but it is going somewhere.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. From what I glean from the Test channel I think there will be another Overseer "questline" for Brewday in March. I liked the Erollisi one so I'm optimistic about seeing Overseer missions become a regular part of holiday content. Outside of that I'm not so sure - I do know that most of the gear I have above level 116 came from Overseer Missions, though, and all of my Expert/Mastercrafted spell books, so it seems to have become quite important quite fast.

      Delete
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    ReplyDelete

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