I don’t like to ER just to be able to get some challenge mats, but I wanted to finish off some items and this was about the best way I could do it. Plus I was interested in trying to make a Swashbuckler out of my pure bard; just to see how it works. Fighting a flawed challenge system is one thing – but doing it with a new enhancement with a toon that only have basic gear is another. The experience have definitely been mixed.
Worst is of course that Challenges bottom out at 25. Making it impossible to use capped toons. Sure – there’s the Eveningstar challenges but I don’t like those at all. Plus the items aren’t all that great (there’s one cloak of course but that’s it). The bad part is just how wonky the challenge system is. You’ll get a nice amount of mats for some challenges – by design and others, especially the terribly timed ones you get a pittance. I really loath that type of nonsense. Like the Eveningstar Arena ones. A while back when they had the challenge bonus I decided to do one of the Eveningstar cloaks. I did it with a level 15 guy, 2-3 levels above level and I got something like 150-170 mats with bonus and gave up. That’s simply not worth it.
Other times I’m frustrated with the fact that you can find the right sigil. Like today. I run up to the FIRST door and I had to use a Skeleton Key. FIRST. We’re not talking about the ones that require 4 sigils and 3 of them are of the same type nonsense. No the VERY FIRST door you unlock. Requiring ONE sigil.
THAT is just how broken this challenge system is. And today I also tried to get some Orthon ones and that means the Island. With my bard I figured that with the faster running speed (Swashbuckler) plus haste it would get places fast. I still only received enough to make it before the clock ran out. And something like 140 mats. And you need those stupid mats for a lot of items. It’s frustrating and nonsensical. We’re not talking about a challenge here. We’re talking about a challenged mechanic.
I can do a lot of them. The crystal palace. All of them are possible to do, including the Epic. The worst one – the one that’s relatively short and where you only get 5 kobolds can be done for about 200-300 mats per time. And that’s fine. That’s generally 2-3 runs for one item or tier. The portal one requires luck. You can spend 5-10 minutes just running to get enough sigils just to hit a door that require 3-4 sigils, most of them of the same kind and you can’t get through. It’s frustrating and stupid.
I don’t do the island ones. They’re borked. The turrets are for most part worthless at defending anything and there’s not enough time.
Some of it has to do with buff time. On the shorter ones it hurts you to buff. You’re basically stealing your own time. It would be better if there was a pre-room, say a small room before entering a portal to the place where you could get ready. And that the timer don’t start until you’re ready.
There’s also something profoundly silly about rewarding the more challenging quests LESS then the easy ones. Take Crystal Palace. The scrolls one offer the least amount of time to do it with the fewest possible Kobolds. Yet you do not get a lot of mat from it. On the other hand you get tons of time doing the armor bits one. Even the one where you have to buy the time can go on for as long. As long as you find the good crystals, there’s no reason not to buy time.
Lava caves are ‘easy’ enough. If you know where to go you can do all of them even the Jaded Scorpions. Of course if you want to do the scorpions you’re better off with a ranged toon or caster. But not the Orthon one. Shortest island quests and least rewarding. You will fail more often from lack of time then anything. And once you DO get something it’s such a pittance it’s disheartening.
And finally; the arbitrary cut off between what challenge can be run at what level is just pure stupidity. I don’t know what the plan was but it was dumb. There’s about no worse way to create a system then to let some challenges only work between 1-12 and others from whatever to 20, then make a special ste of them for Epic, between 21 and 25 and no way to ‘downgrade’ Epic mats for heroic.
A much better system would be to drop all the different levels requirements and do like Eveningstar. Do them from 1 thru 30 and 1 type of material per challenge. No division between heroic or Epic. Figure out how the mats scales with level and make a simple system. It would cut down on material and it would allow people to freely run these challenges as they want, just as any level 15 and above can run the Eveningstar ones without (other then a min level 15 requirement) restrictions.
And maybe even make a ML 24 version of the Cannith loot. That would be great.