Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Kitty's Got Claws!

I fear my time in Noah's Heart may be drawing to a close. You'd think maybe I'd gotten bored with what is, after all, a fairly ropy mobile port that the developer pretty much stopped bothering with after about six months. Or maybe it's just the sudden surge of competition from other, rather better, mobile ports or from dedicated PC games or their expansions. There's a lot going on.

It isn't any of those things. I'm still very happy with Noah's Heart in general. I still have plenty to do there. There's a good deal of the world I haven't explored yet. I haven't even finished the main storyline.

For a couple of months it was enough just to explore the delighful environments, level my character and do my best to follow the confusing plot. Then for a few months more I enjoyed the Seasons, each of which came with a convoluted storyline of its own. 

Eventually, though, the Seasons sputtered to a close. We haven't had a new one for a long time although, since the last two or three were almost impossible to follow, thanks to the truly terrible translations, and obviously padded with pointless boss fights just to make them last longer, I can't say I was sorry to see them go.

About all the game gets now are rotating "events", most of which exist only to drive business in the cash shop. There are still a few, new "holidays", which do have the odd worthwhile reward but a year after launch the game seems to exist in some kind of stasis that looks very much like maintenance mode.

As a player, I don't have an issue with maintenance-mode MMORPGs. If the gameplay is satisfying and the content deep enough, a good MMORPG has almost infinite replayability. It's one reason I've not been keen to see the creeping reliance on linear narratives in the genre - it's probably the least-replayable content of all, while at the same time being possibly the most costly to produce.

Noah's Heart clearly hasn't had either the time or the funding to develop the kind of deep, nested, recursive content that keeps games like EverQuest II or Star Wars: the Old Republic ticking over indefinitely, even through times of content drought. Even so, as I said, I'm still a way from exhausting everything it has to show me.

So why do I suspect I might be moving on sooner rather than later? Because I've run out of clothes I want, that's why! If I do drift away it won't be through any fault of the game. It'll be because I can't find anything new to wear!

As has probably been apparent from the posts I've written about the game this year, my primary motivation for logging in every day has been fashion. I've been grinding away, cooking lunch and dinner for various Phantoms, using home-cooked food made with vegetables I dug out of the ground and meat from animals I slaughtered.  Mostly wolves, weirdly.

It's been a time-consuming but satisfying process and I'd be happy to carry on but I've run out of looks I want to copy. Tonight (Well, tonight as I write this post. Heaven knows how long ago it'll have been by the time this gets published.) I finally made Gretel's outfit, the Heroic Mortality set. 

It was the last one I wanted and even then I only really wanted it for the leather jacket. The piped, zipper-leg jeans aren't bad either but the shoes don't really seem to go with the ensemble at all. I won't be wearing those when I have several pairs of boots that work so much better.

What really surprised me when I tried the jacket on were the claws. There's no indication in the schematic that the outfit comes with white gloves, tipped with long, curving, vicious metal talons. They're clearly visible in the dressing room view so I should have noticed them when I was trying the look out weeks ago but either I'd forgotten or I was concentrating so hard on the overall appearance I failed to register the fine details.

It's a great bonus. I love claws. It's just a shame that the claws from Gretel's top can't be mixed with Sisyphus's tail but as I said, when I wrote about it at the time, the tail is also part of a piece that goes in the same slot.

Last time I was faced with choosing which Phantom to curry favor with next it took me the best part of an hour to make up my mind. I looked at all the possible outfits I could get and tried the various pieces out in all kinds of combinations before committing myself for the long haul I knew it would take.

I really don't think I want to go through that again. I haven't acquired any new Phantoms since then so I'd be looking at the same choices, every one of which I didn't consider worth the effort last time. It's a classic case of diminishing returns.

Without the motivating factor of a new look, I'm not sure I'll have the determination to keep logging in every day. I wanted to complete an unbroken year-long run of "playing" every day and I've done that. I've already skipped a couple of days since, so the streak is broken, which is the very best thing that can happen to any streak.

I'm not planning on backing away from the game altogether. For a start, if I miss a whole week I risk getting booted from my guild, which has fairly strict activity requirements. I could ask them to put me on hiatus but since I've barely spoken to any of them it seems a bit cheeky. The guild is still surprisingly active, too. I may not say much but I hear a lot of other people chatting.

I do also have a possible, alternative motivation in housing. I still have a couple of housing levels left before I cap out and I haven't put anything like as much effort in decorating my house as I could have done. I'm a little wary, though, of getting too involved with the housing system in a game that very well might go belly up in a few months. 

We had yet another server merge last week and I find it hard to imagine the developers can be making much money out of the game any more. They most definitely aren't going to keep a server up out of the goodness of their hearts. As I said the other day, it's entirely possible the game will vanish before my interest in playing it does.

For the time being, I'll probably keep logging in and doing my dailies but not every day any more. If it happens that most days becomes sometimes becomes hardly ever then so be it. It's been a good run.

Before I quit, though, I'll definitely spend all the tokens I've saved up for the gacha draw. I have more than seven hundred of them. Who knows? I might pull a new Phantom with a must-have outfit. Then I'll be back to doing my dailies for sure, at least until I've got my new frock.

Or my new leather jacket. Can't have too many leather jackets, after all.


  1. You would've have had a lot of fun unlocking The Secret World's whole skillwheel bit by bit just to get all the outfits that came with that.

    Or maybe you did, I'm actually not sure. :-)

    1. TSW/SWL is my favorite game of all time for appearance. but by and large I didn't like the outfits as much as the regular, shop-bought gear. My main characters in each of the games are probably the characters I'm most happy with in terms of looks to this day.

  2. I have to admit that this post alone got me enough bunny ears pics to last me for a while. So, if you do back away from the game a bit I'll be fine. Still, I'm sure you'll provide us an update on your goings' on before Christmas.

    1. I think I might drop the bunny ears. They don't really go with the rest of it. Nor does the backpack for that matter.


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