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Thread: Scatherran Forest - First Impressions and Feedback

  1. #1
    Telaran
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    Default Scatherran Forest - First Impressions and Feedback

    I logged in to the PTS so I could contribute something before launch, though I admit it's rather last-minute. I cleared through the entire first zone so I would have a clear picture of what playing in the expansion will feel like.

    First, I entered with the intention of skipping the story quests (spoilers, Sweety), but I actually never found a story quest despite discovering the entire zone. In Nightmare Tide, there are three or four points in each zone where you can jump into the story quests without being required to finish the previous parts. In Scatherran, there appears to be no such thing.


    Geography:

    Scatherran Forest is beautiful, but I couldn't help but be reminded of Cape Jule (green, rhinos and carnivorous trees, path circles around the center, portals form an upward-pointing triangle, conspicuous volcano nearby). The textures started to feel repetitive, but, fortunately, the zone is small so I was done before it got boring.

    Regarding the size, there's some pros and cons. On the plus side, I love that I'm not traveling through an endless expanse of nothingness to get from Point A to Point B. On the negative, it feels tiny for a paywalled expansion. Only 28 carnage quest? NT zones had about 60 each, and about as many quests.

    The path is also circular, making it not quite obvious which way to go. Coming in from Alittu, I went left (north) because I'm left-handed and just really like going left when there's a choice; this was not the best decision (see next section).

    Combat:

    Level 65 mobs had about 300k health and didn't hit very hard. In T2/T3, I was dropping them in 2-4 seconds which is hilariously fast for new content. I would expect someone in the 65 crafted armor set to take them out in about 10 seconds (ignoring tanky/healy solo specs), which sounds reasonable. I'm not sure about someone who quested to 65 and didn't bother to gear for the next step; I suspect it'll be a rude awakening.

    The southern part of the map has level 66 mobs with about the same amount of health, and they died about as fast. That area was a breeze.

    But then the north side of the map has level 66 mobs with 1.1m health, and they hurt. Solo, they aren't so bad, but certain areas have clusters of three that you have to deal with to complete some quests. Two on me at once could get me close to death, and a third forced me to kite. Those areas feel like they are designed for a duo, but that causes issues while questing (see next section).



    Taking the above into account, 65 rifts were a joke and 66 rifts were a grind. The few hundred planarite they reward ultimately means it's not worth bothering to close them unless on a quest.

    Footholds are frustrating. They can be killed (or just avoided), but they clearly aren't meant to be solo'd. The one I was able to take down (without switching to a tank spec) required me to pull one mob at a time and LoS the foothold behind a rock. When I aggro'd a second mob, I had to run away.

    And then there's zone events. Closing 6 level 65 rifts was easy enough, but I wasn't able to take down an invasion mob myself. They tended to travel in groups of four, which was more than I could handle (and only the "big" mob counts). After half an hour or so, the display only read 31/100. I'd logged out to Live for a few minutes, and the event was gone when I came back, leading me to believe it failed.

    Quests:

    Between the carnages and non-story quests, I was able to get from 65 to 65 (+40% exp from Patron buff).

    I only remember one quest starting from a mob drop, and I consider that a good thing since those are my second least-favorite quest types (escorts being the first).

    One particular quest didn't make sense to me. The unicorn mother gives you a device to help you find the hiding children. I ran around the highlighted area spamming the ground-target in a macro with no effect. Then I noticed that the unicorns weren't hiding, but just standing by trees. Rather than simply talk to them ("Hey, I found you!"), I had to walk up to them and use a device. While one reacted in a "aww man I was trying to beat my hiding record" way, another was more "oh, mom's looking for me?" when I could have just told them.

    I like the spacing of carnages, and that I'm not suddenly picking up six quests to kill 12 of each mob. On the negative side, mobs were sparsely populated. Even with no one else around, it didn't feel like there were enough mobs. Respawns were also pretty slow. Again, I expect frustration on launch.

    Planar Fragments:

    They drop everywhere. Round up a bunch of 65 mobs, drop 'em, and you probably have a new fragment. Love it.

    The equipment UI still needs to made into something, anything, that doesn't make it look like fragments attach to specific equipment. Two ideas that come to mind: something like the wheel in the infusion menu (or something like WoW's glyph menu) with the planar types most relating to your calling in the center and the rest surrounding. Another idea could be something like a pressure-point map with different fragments on different parts of the body (planes relating to wisdom/intelligence near the head, strength on the arms?).

    The infusion animation is annoying when you're trying to infuse several promising fragments at once. Some checkbox to skip it would be greatly appreciated. I have a button to spend all points into talent or PA trees, and this should be no different.

    I did not realize when I equipped a fragment that I would be unable to infuse it again. That it becomes bound to me makes sense (so I don't re-use top-quality fragments between a million alts), but that I can't infuse it is non-intuitive (I still have it on me, and the materials needed ). The "will become permanently bound" message should be modified to reflect that.

    I still have concerns about tertiary stats. At level 65, I was near 40% crit power, but at 66 this dropped to less than 19%. I don't even have a few hundred cp rating from fragments let alone the 3k I'd be giving up if I switched to all SP weapons/armor. If 7k is what I need at 66, what is 70 going to be like? What is the dps-ceiling going to look like, and just how bad is power creep going to get?

    Summary:

    I feel mostly positive about the opening zone, hopeful that later zones will get better, and have strong concerns over gear and itemization. The UI also needs more polish.
    Last edited by Harmonex; 11-16-2016 at 06:11 PM.

  2. #2
    Ascendant
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harmonex View Post
    First, I entered with the intention of skipping the story quests (spoilers, Sweety), but I actually never found a story quest despite discovering the entire zone.
    Your story quests are actually in Alittu now. What you're meant to do is grab the expansion starter quest near the Tempest Bay crafting area. There's a new port there too. This will lead you to the story quest givers in Alittu I'm fairly sure.


    Quote Originally Posted by Harmonex View Post
    They drop everywhere. Round up a bunch of 65 mobs, drop 'em, and you probably have a new fragment. Love it.
    How many did you get out of interest? I've just completed 4 hours of questing, getting to 68.5 and got 29 planar fragments.

    Quote Originally Posted by Harmonex View Post
    The infusion animation is annoying when you're trying to infuse several promising fragments at once. Some checkbox to skip it would be greatly appreciated. I have a button to spend all points into talent or PA trees, and this should be no different.
    The problem with an infuse all button is that the costs aren't static. It's random each time as to how much it will cost you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Harmonex View Post
    I did not realize when I equipped a fragment that I would be unable to infuse it again.
    You can still infuse it when it's in there. There's a little up arrow next to the slot to allow you to do that. But you're right in saying that you can't unequip them.


    Quote Originally Posted by Harmonex View Post
    I still have concerns about tertiary stats. At level 65, I was near 40% crit power, but at 66 this dropped to less than 19%. I don't even have a few hundred cp rating from fragments let alone the 3k I'd be giving up if I switched to all SP weapons/armor. If 7k is what I need at 66, what is 70 going to be like? What is the dps-ceiling going to look like, and just how bad is power creep going to get?
    A lot of people have been worried about not being at the CP cap... but you don't need to be. That was just how it was for the latter part of NMT. CP isn't valued as much anymore, so often it's better to stack main stat. The power creep is quite large in the expansion at this time, for main stats at least anyway. As for DPS, my guess is they're trying to balance it around classes doing around 200k on a dummy. Still a bit of balancing work needs to be done however.

    Quote Originally Posted by Harmonex View Post
    Summary:
    Thanks for the fresh eyes
    Archy Mage, Face, Prime, Primal Rouge, Rogue, Eric, W, @ Laethys --- Nefarious ---

  3. #3
    Telaran
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    Quote Originally Posted by Archyface View Post
    The problem with an infuse all button
    You misunderstand. The animation is long and unnecessary. It's longer than the castbar for runebreak/salvage, and longer than it takes to apply a rune or orb. I just went to the PTS to find a fragment to infuse, and it takes about 5 seconds before you're allowed to infuse again. If you infuse to 6, that's 25 seconds per fragment assuming you crit every time. It's worth at least infusing until a second stat appears for many fragments.

    You can skip cutscenes, and you can craft 20 bolts/bars/leathers at once, and you can spend all of your talent points. After five infusions I'm bored of the animation.

    How many did you get out of interest?
    I have 7 fragments on me and have probably had over 30 cores in my bag. Closest thing I can give to an estimate.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harmonex View Post
    You misunderstand. The animation is long and unnecessary.
    Ah yeah I agree with that. But it was changed because sometimes it either did, or it looked like it did, take your money without infusing the fragment if you spammed it enough.
    Archy Mage, Face, Prime, Primal Rouge, Rogue, Eric, W, @ Laethys --- Nefarious ---

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