Friday, August 28, 2009

Or you COULD just gut the item exp curve...

So I'd heard something about overpowered "bounty" item experience quests in LOTRO. One thing I didn't know until Foolsage dropped by with a comment was that these level 60 quests were actually open to Allarond at level 55.

I figured that my chances of soloing at least one of these quests with both of my emergency self-heal hour-long cooldowns available were greater than my chances of convincing anyone that a level 55 DPS would be anything but a leech to their group, so I gave it a shot. I was eventually able to complete two of the quests, accruing more item experience in about 30 minutes than I had received during nearly four levels since unlocking the legendary item system. It was fun, but also sad, since these quests will only get easier as I actually get to the correct level.

(Apparently there was a miscommunication between the quest implementation team and the quest reward team - as with recent WoW daily quests, the sheer travel time required represents the majority of the work on these quests, unless your class is lucky enough to have travel shortcuts. Somehow, the reward guy saw "go to another zone and fight a boss" and thought that these must be tough quests deserving of a major reward. The quest mobs are heavily camped, and there's talk of slapping a longer cooldown on the quests.)

None of this really changes the rest of my complaints about the system. It's still random as heck - I reforged a weapon, intending to trash it, only to pick up a DPS boost that suddenly made it better than the weapon I was using. There's still a point at which continuing to stick with your current weapon represents a longer-term commitment that you may regret when you randomly generate a better one. The main difference is that the inflated exp - until it gets nerfed at any rate - covers up the flaws by making it easier to start a new weapon or acquire relics (leveling a throw-away weapon to 21 is not that hard anymore) to replace the ones that are stuck in an old one.


Yeebo said...

I am honestly disappointed in the LI system. I expected to get a LI at level 50 that I would be using until I could trade up to the next age (e.g., 3rd to second age). I also expected to be opening up legacies through quests and rare drops (not at random when I ID something), and to have some choice as to what legacies I get.

I did not expect to be swapping my legendary items every few levels for better DPS. I did not expect to be leveling and deconstructing an endless stream of of LIs to get slot items in some Las Vegas take on pinatas. I did not expect LIs to be an order of magnitude more common that any other type of magic item in the game.

There is a lot to like about MoM. The stunning sights, the emergent story, the challenging and varied solo play. I'm sorry to say the LI system really isn't on that list for me now that I've had a few months to reflect on it.

An extra layer of customization based on unique items is a great idea. The way that it is implemented is deeply flawed.

Kairos said...

Just to put the new Bounty Quests in context: any two competent l.60s can complete all five in under an hour, or in 30' if they include a Hunter who can port them around. As combat difficulty goes, even the Troll and Drake are pussycats. That said, you could level two so-called legendary items from zero all the way to fifty in two weeks, if you repeated the quests daily. So one of the three legs the LI system is built on, namely leveling up the items, is blown to bits.

Frankly, I think the system is bunk, and was ill-conceived from the word go. What was (is!) needed is a major quest or quest chain which will award players a legendary weapon of their choice which then grows alongside them; this must be the only legendary weapon they will ever find or acquire. Legendaries dropping like hail from every mangy orc is a nonsense...

My hope is that with the massive devaluation of the current system, Turbine will introduce a proper legendary weapon scheme in the near or middle future - perhaps with Volume III.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, overall I'm not terribly happy with the LI system. I feel like some opportunities were missed here. I get that Turbine wants to keep a certain amount of grind in game as a time filler, but I don't like the very random lottery system of legacies, and I don't like the reiteration of disposable gear. One of the basic premises of the LI system, when it was first announced, was that players would get and keep items. Well, we don't, by and large.