Going back to the mill stone

All gripes aside; the next patch will deliver a lot of bug fixes, 2 raids with some interesting items and a new ‘greensteel2’ system. I say GS 2 – but it is a lot more limited and only for weapons. Plus the damage part is primarily fire and negative with a bunch of other things added. But there’s no denying that it both covers melee and casters – something that has not always been true (even including orbs).

The downside is of course no items but there are some in addition to the new crafting. A few things with various effects such as shields, ring(s) and a helmet and there’s also the shadow armor, where you can bake an effect onto them. It was first to be a specific effect dependent on what type it was. So DR for heavy, repair amp for docents etc but I think they’re now done so you pick type and then effect.

However it’s strictly limited as far as I can tell to the one thing, making the armor pretty lackluster compared to Gianthold armor and it doesn’t really feel worth pursuing, other then for tanks and the DR armor.

The draw back, at least for me is that one raid is almost entirely puzzles. And puzzles done wrong adds lots of wait time – and a raid that hits over an hour is not going to draw a huge following. Sure – there are always those who love puzzles and want more of it and that don’t mind wasting time in quests, but I have a feeling that a lot of players are like me with limited game time and don’t feel like spending time filling groups and then wasting an hour or more running a raid that can fail.

And that’s really the big crux – a raid should be able to fail. In fact success should never be given – but failing after wasting an hour plus just turns people off. And this is suppose to me shroud 2. If it turns into another Lord of Blades it’ll simply be another ghost raid, seldom run and DDO will lose even more players that feel there is very little to do once you hit cap.
Perhaps the greatest flaw right now is that the items and the crafted weapons will cap at ML 28. And that is unfortunate. One of the reasons people still play shroud is because you can equip the items at 11 and the weapons at 12. That gives you 8 levels to 20 (and even beyond that for some) where you get a great use of these gold standard items. At ML 28 the weapons will be used for a tiny amount of time for people who TR a lot and it feels kinda pointless to get on the raid train for these new ones if you’ll end up TRing every so often.

It’s hard to understand why Turbine don’t get this, especially since they asked players what they wanted and it was overwhelmingly a new greensteel system with a similar ‘lower’ ML for longevity.

On the World of tank front I’m about 20 days from saying goodbye until they get their act together. When I started there was a semblance of balance. Then arty became the power broker and turned of a lot of people that left. Then WG made the mistake of letting people get premium rounds for credit and thereafter started releasing a bunch of fantasy tanks with enormous DPS that could 2 shoot other tanks. The result was that armor didn’t matter; everyone could pen anything with premium rounds and autoloading fantasy tanks started tearing apart the balance. Especially when the T57 American top autoloader came on the scene but definitely after the release of the new German line with the ‘waffentrucks’. The top one being a highly accurate, great pen autoloading tank destroyer with incredible hide rate.

Worst of all, these had turrets. See the basic drawback were always that most TDs come turret less. So while they had better guns, they also didn’t have the traverse. A good light or medium tanker could outmaneuver a tank destroyer and then flank and rear shoot them. That was the deal. Then came the American TD line with turrets, but most of them couldn’t turn 260 degrees and they were slow loading – so they still had weak points. Plus their hide rating were abysmal – large tanks, large caliber guns and bulky hard to hide tanks.
Waffle tanks are different. Sure – very little if any armor but armor at this stage is pointless. They instead are low profile, great at hiding and with horridly accurate and great penetrating guns.

In general your average player does much better in these fire and forget monsters and skilled players are making a killing. Which brings us back to balance. Since so many things are no longer important, like armor – most people are leaving the game since it’s more like playing one of those Japanese fantasy games with huge walking monsters. It’s no longer a good ‘tank game’.
Adding to that is also the wonky and disastrous visibility system. Back in the day it was still ever present – but since there were no super deathstars around it wasn’t that great of an issue. The best TD was the Jagdtiger but it was a large, slow and clumsy TD that could be easily spotted once it fired.
Now you can have one light tank spotting while the deathstars sit back and nail everyone with highly accurate fire. There’s no drawback anymore to having these big guns and abusing the horrid visibility system with tanks blinking in and out of visibility and where tanks can sit in the open and spam premium rounds, games quickly turn into 15-3 routs. Sure, it’s fun for the winning team, but people leave because it’s no longer balanced.

And I’m right there. I’m good, but sometimes you end up with 10 terrible teams in a row and that blows away any entertainment value you might be looking for. And yes – some elite players don’t mind. They figure that once all the ‘bad’ players are gone it’ll be all fun and games – but the reality is like with DDO – ones regular players with money is gone, you have a few elite collecting dust until the servers turn off.

And unfortunately WG can’t undo what they broke; you can’t suddenly remove these deathstars, but they could fix the wonky visibility system and remove the hidden super snipers ability to sit and spam and they could remove premium rounds for credit. It won’t fix everything, but it will fix some. And most of all – add a system that balance good and bad players equally, right now most good can end up on one team and most bad on the other and that’s almost an automatic loss.

I hate to take a break, but it’s hard to stomach losing 10-15 times in a row for the odd chance of winning a few, it sours the entire day and especially with one team lose 2-3 tanks while obliterating the other. It’s not only demoralizing but it is after all a game. And it’s hard to be interested in something so savage if the reason you lose has to do with poor design, rather then overwhelming skills of the other team.

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