ToEE patch 3, now with 20% more chance for rare

It’s not the only ‘new’ thing. They’re adding a few more items to the daily roll (or if you like – for an investment of 15 shards you have a small chance to pull something like a 6 to 7 tome).

For ToEE in particular Turbine heard the complaints and decided to add more rare. 20% more. The actual chance to pull named items seem to be the same. That in itselt doesn’t bother me. I welcome having ‘more’ chances, but the fundamentals of the problems still remain the same; even with 20 percent more rare you’re still wading through tons of mobs to get there. And when you do you’re still up against the mountainous HP rare.

In order to articulate the problem you also have to compare it to what works.

So lets compare with Haunted Halls for effect. Haunted hall was, much like traditional quests about getting to the end zone and profit. Along the way there was options and in the end you also had a choice of a few more optional encounters for specific named items. In other words, just like regular quests but with a slightly different scheme for named items.

ToEE took this further, here the premise was that IF you explore you have more chances for named items, some of which ONLY drops in the ‘explorer zone’ (such as armor in random rare chests in nodes) and it also adds more materials.

You can go to the end zone, but the incentive in order to get more and have more chances is to explore.

The problem is the method, not the premise since the premise remains fairly close to HH. Here it is the ‘mechanic’ in place. It’s sorta like a slayer and rare explorer in Wilderness. But being the defacto premise and not just something you do once in a blue moon while going for the quest itself.

HH had specific encounters, with separate mechanics, tactics and strategies. Each encounter hand crafted with several possible good solutions.

ToEE got one. Kill mobs, find rares, get keys and profit along the way or end. But there’s no tactics to speak of. Unless if you count skipping part of it because the alternative of fighting it seems so dreadfully tedious.

So while Turbine read the tea leaf’s wrong and provide ‘now with even more rare’ the kept the problem intact and exacerbated the outcome. More rares might mean more chances for named items and mat, but it’s still the same boring and unbalanced encounters. It’s still a tedious flora of mobs, spaced out every so many feet with possible a few more small chests and more red named piles of beat me forever.

That is the issue. I’m not saying that ‘we want more chances for named items’ or ‘we want more xp’ players are wrong – but it missed the Elephant in the china shop.

Slaughtering gobs of enemies is not fun. And the experience drenches, SOAKS, overwhelms the images and the score. It becomes the one thing you don’t want, but must do to profit.

HH offered portioned out specific encounters. All with separate approaches. There was some trash mobs, but they were spaced out and anonymous in the larger scheme. Within the specific encounters there were mechanics. Each one had intensity and relied less on massive HP bloat and more on ‘must beat the mechanic or else I run out of resources or get overwhelmed’. Like the undead area.

Waves of undead until you get the necromancers. But you can’t get to necromancers until you clear areas in front of the force fields. So the encounter hinges on snap judgement and well times DPS.

Each extra rare for named items in HH require separate tactical approaches. The lighting ‘statue’ guy require evasion or plainly run in circles while hitting but maintaining a safe level of stack.

The Giant skellie intimi and timing as far as replacing back the spear.

The Mummy maintaining resources, fighting off spawning skellies and to keep moving to fight the Mummy and remove rot. All fights, but intense. Not dependent on HP bloat of standing and smacking for minutes, but more coordination of maneuvering, spot heals and maintaining momentum.

ToEE relies on hordes and HP bloat. That’s it. There are no real optional strategies. Ones hordes are dealt with each rare becomes a matter of math. Dish out x amount of DPS, heal y amount of incoming damage. Rinse and repeat. Moving is almost entirely optional for most parts.

To put it bluntly; ToEE suffers from too much of the same. It would be one thing if you had a smaller quest with this mechanic, but ToEE is huge, so naturally doing the same for a few hours feels more like Crystal Cove or Mabar than an actual quest experience. And maybe that’s fine for a few times but not for longevity.

The answer was not 20% more rare – the answer would be to re balance the entire approach and make encounters special. It’s not the amount of time it takes to beat down stuff. It’s how intense and engaging you make it. That it feels special, apart from other encounters and that you feel accomplished for winning it. Having 20% more rare might ‘help’ getting stuff, but the price you pay is getting burned out a lot quicker.

I want ToEE to succeed. And people to play it, but I think Turbine is missing the window of opportunity here and ToEE will just be another example of sideway fail that might doom Turbines willingness to try again – as it did for Turbine to invest in another MOTU and Wheelon type release. After shadowfail Turbine have been outspoken in stating that there is probably not going to be another one.


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