I know that the headline to this post will sound like sarcasm when you read the rest of my rant, but it isn’t. In fact I do appriciate Necropolis as much as I do Restless Isles – it was something they did, got wrong and hopefully will never do again.
But let me take a step back and explain. With brevity. Some people love these quests, because it forces people to cooperate. Yet if you compare some of the best quests Necro will most likely not rank very highly for fun and cooperation. To me a quest is something that adds challenge, fun, brevity, complexity and most of all the use of tactics.
There is none in Necro. You like to think so, but there isn’t. Torment; most peoples least favored quest. It’s really not the worst if you know what you’re doing but it’s not fun. See the thing that Necro does is that it takes the one thing people don’t like and multiply it. People that like that will say ‘I loooooooooooooove it’ because they get so much of it.
Like having to step on 4 pressure plates to open 2 separate doors. Silly gimmick. Or swim most of the time under water for breif battles. Over and over. I mean once or twice is okay. See Fathom of the Deep and into the Deep. Swimming in those quests serves a purpose. It’s part of the quest. It’s not what drags it down. Once or twice maybe in the place, but all the time. And the thing that gets me is that I can understand phase spiders, wraiths, ghosts and such. But humans? How did they get, swam too?
A quest where you have to remove a bunch of flames then everything respawn so every single foot progressed is another inch of pain? A relentless barrage of sameness.
At least when you get to the Vale there’s only one horrid quest – Coal chamber. The rest with quirks and all differ in many degrees. Necro doesn’t. It’s mostly the same mix of traps, undead and rince and repeat.
Ever since I started playing DDO Necro have been almost as dead as restless isles. That’s a perfect reflection of what’s wrong with so many of the quests. There’s just something about taking one bad thing in something that might be good and copy it over and over in the same quests. So it’s a long string of soul hammering runs. Even worse; at one point in one quest I locked my guy (and my wife) into the same place. So I had to recall, take the XP hit and go in again in order to get back where I supposed to go so we could progress. That’s horrible design right there.
Now if you want to look at good quest design (quest chains – some might not be perfect induvidually but as a whole they’re good) I suggest Waterworks, Shan-To-Kor, Carnival, Deleras, Red Fen, Missing, Vale and Underdark (Drow City). It’s not so much that the other quests are bad, only that these chains are challenging for a beginner and moderately geared toon as well as logical progression with okay story. And where some stuff is tedious the quests are relatively quick and the XP is good. Ironically of course Necro in a way still feels ‘funner’ then U15 and U16. I think most of it is because of the challenge and XP – U15 and 16 is bad for both.