Wednesday, February 08, 2017

[Off Topic]: Fortress Seiges!

     So they've finally put an actual official announcement on the Fortress Siege release, even though it's out a few  times since it was first introduced a couple of weeks ago. I say a few times because it had serious problems when it first went live. For one thing, it repeatedly crashed clients for lots of players because of lag and other server issues from the sheer number of players rushing to the area, all excited and eager to do this event. I can't really blame them, seeing as how this is the first interesting and major introduction for lvl 70 players to actually DO in the expac. Unless you count Tok's Proving Grounds...which a lot of end game raiders don't even consider part of end content.

     Actually, there isn't much end game to the end game this expac. Starfall is a bit...lacking in the "things to do" department when it comes to raiding and dungeons after you've reached lvl cap. Usually in these types of games, you'd go on to doing dungeons, rifts, slivers, etc so you can gain better gear, skill up, that sort of thing. Not so in Starfall, sadly, which is causing a ton of frustration for players right now. Maybe if I had a lvl 70 character I could assess this for myself and potentially cry as well, but right now my little Rae and Kara are still not at end game, so I don't have anything to worry about personally. But what were we actually talking about? Oh right, Fortress Siege!

     This Fortress Siege is called "Cracking Xarth's Skull" and is located in Xarth Mire. The objective is to overcome a series of stages, all of them a "siege" type battle. There's a wall you need to destroy, endless enemies to destroy, 5 bosses to take down, and canons to protect and charge up. I do believe there's....4 stages total? I think? Apparently there's a few kinks and problems so far with the Siege event though. The timer is way too short for any player to complete successfully, leaving most events an utter failure, and the rewards for completing the event are rather lackluster, leaving players uninterested in even attempting to complete it. The only reason anyone seems willing to put effort into such an impossibly difficult event is that at the end if the Ascended are successful, it opens up a new 1 boss raid, the first raid to introduce LFR. For those who don't know, LFR means Looking For Raid. I'm most familiar with it because of Warcraft, who has had LFR for...a very long time now. At least 5 years. Was it a good decision? Not necessarily, in both Warcraft and Rift. Speaking from my experience in WoW, LFR has brought a new generation of players who expect easy content and easy high end epic loots. Because LFR picks players from the large amount of playerbase based on hard stats, you have no way of knowing if the people you are teamed up with are even advanced enough in skill to handle a raid, or raid mechanics. And sometimes, sadly, you get the jerks who deliberately join an LFR raid just to screw it up because their bored or trolling or something. And then there's the afk types who just want their loot and join the LFR and then sit at their keyboard either doing nothing or just auto attacking the boss to make it look like their doing something when they're really scrolling through facebook on another screen or watching a movie instead.

     Of course I can also see the good side of LFR. It helps less skilled players see content that they would otherwise never see, because the LFR level of the raid is lower than say the normal version or expert version. It also eases players who are first time raiders into the raiding scene more gently, instead of shoving them face first into a chaotic, intense, anxiety-ridden regular raid where even a second of inattention gets your entire team killed. At which point, you would get insulted and removed from the group. That kind of puts a damper on your dreams of being a raider, right? Especially if your guild is small, casual, or not into raiding or you join the game or the end game scene later and never got a chance to gear up with everyone else.
     This method though, relies on the fact that you DO have more than one difficulty level for the raid, like say LFR, normal, expert. That way the more skilled and high end raiders who will burn through the LFR in record time, still have something else to while away their time on, as well as help the less skilled players advance after confidently completing LFR and feeling like they can try something harder. That's the point of LFR after all. To help the lesser skilled become better so they can advance on to harder modes of the dungeon. Sadly, Trion seems to have...well I have no idea actually what happened this expac and it makes me sad that so many players are so upset! I love Trion, they are my second favorite game company after Blizzard and I've been part of the Rift community since 2011. I've never seen any release of content that was so lacking on content ever in Rift. Starfall Prophecy was just so bare of anything relating to end game. Maybe they didn't expect players to level so fast? Or to get so frustrated at lack of raids so fast? I think this has something to do with how they are dumbing down content and making it easier for the less skilled players. Even the regular 5-man dungeons in Rift in SFP are so easy and silly that no one is taking them seriously. Both regular and expert mode are so easy that it's not even worth writing guides about apparently, since if you're really skilled you can run in there with a friend or two and do it yourself without any strategy or a full 5-man team. This makes me sad as well....

    Wow I'm actually kind of mortified that I turned a post about Fortress Sieges into a semi-rant about Starfall Prophecy. I'm sorry! I didn't mean to sound like the various threads all over the forums, but I guess when you are as passionate about something as I am about Rift, when something goes wrong you tend to have some pretty strong feelings about it either way. I just wish that something could be done to fix the depressing mess that is end game. I would like to see:
  1. More difficult dungeons
  2. Fortress Siege timer being extended a little bit
  3. Better rewards and achievements for completing Fortress Siege
  4. Three difficulty levels to dungeons instead of just 2
  5. More raids, although I hear Tartaric Depths is coming in March, but we need more!
  6. Better crafting recipes and recipes for higher end gear to give crafting something useful
  7. Get rid of the karma system, it doesn't help anyone
  8. Fixes and patches for all the bugs and issues with end game content
  9. Don't remove something simply because it has a bug or a problem, please fix it instead! We enjoy your hard work and like doing it if it works correctly!
  10. Fix the randomness of Planar Fragments. Today I got a mage frag on my rogue and a rogue frag on my mage.
  11. Where the hell is the Valentine's Day (Mariel-Taun Festival)???? Did you remove it?? WHY!!???!!?!?!?! I loved that event!!!!!!!!!
     Okay that's enough for now. All I can say is, I hope that Fortress Sieges prove enough to keep players occupied until March 1st when Tartaric Depths comes out. And I hope all the kinks and bugs also get ironed out pretty quick because nothing is more depressing than having nothing to do because the only thing to do is so glitchy that it's impossible to succeed at.

     Let me know what you think about Fortress Sieges, just comment below if you wish! I look forward to doing the Sieges myself and investigating the 1-boss raid hehe.