Back to Norrath: Part 2

So it has now been a week since I started my return to Norrath, and thus far I am very impressed. I have played for a couple of hours every day and leave each session with a goal for the next; which is how I want every MMO session to end. If I ever log out and my only thoughts for the next session are “guess I will log in later just because”, then I am done.

Of course things are not perfect, so let’s start my thoughts with the “cons”.

  • The game is a performance hog and it still pushes the limits of my computer.
  • Washed out color pallet. They have tried to address this in many of the new areas of the game, but there is something to a BOLD color pallet that is easy on the eyes.
  • NPC names only appear when very close to them. 🙁 This is more annoying to me than I first thought. I do not need the names to be visible out to the clip plane, but I would love to be able to tell what something is maybe 3-4 times further away than the current limit.
  • No option for incoming chat notification,that I have been able to find thus far, outside of tells. And there is no customization of that sound.
  • With the leveling curve the way it is, along with all the new areas there are few people in the zones I am adventuring in. I personally do not mind, and almost prefer it but this is a multiplayer game and seeing other people helps reinforce that.
  • The mechanics of crafter are too tedious and dull, for the number of times you need to it.
  • Sometimes hard to find people/places. I tried to ask a guard where the mailbox was, but he could only help me find a specifically named person.
  • I can not find in the manual, or in game much education on how many of the game’s systems work. I had to resort to fan sites or forums many times.

Now for the things that stand out on the good side:

  • I like the interactive crafting…though it will become repetitive and tedious.
  • The Fae and the areas of Greater Faydark that I have seen are well done.
  • Plenty of quests thus far
  • the “pick a class” from the start system works. I always thought the “start general work toward specialty” system was the way to go, but the way it was implemented in EQ2 (along with the old steep leveling curve) just did not work.
  • Leveling curve up to level 18 has been smooth.
  • Combat is paced about right for my tastes.
  • I like the separate adventure and tradeskill XP system
  • Achievement point system looks like a nice way to diversify characters
  • Game has lots of options to tweek, I like this
  • Support for custom UIs, but no scripting language for UI mods.
  • every level has given my character something, I like that.
  • Anyone and everyone can collect all resources. This is good and bad. Good because every node I see I want to click on. Bad because the competition for nodes is so high.
  • Player Housing which provide more storage, private places to hang out, convenient access to broker list, and a place to decorate and show off player status.
  • Lots of lore and because of my previous time in various versions of Norrath playing the game does feel like talking to an old friend.

And finally a few things that are not really cons, but are a bit confusing.

  • AAs unlock at level ten and you are told that completing quests will give you AAxp, but most of the time you will still have quests in your log that are lower than 10 and give no AAxp.
  • Seems hard to plan out AA gains since you can not tell how much XP each thing you do will give you.
    • Though after working with this for a few levels, I see that over time you learn to manage your activities to optimize your AA gains
  • Over the years changes to the game have made a few things confusing. example: The newbie tradeskill quest tells me to find a “fuel vendor”, but there is not one. Instead all the NPCs in side the tradeskill hut are merchants and all sell fuel.
  • The only advantages to housing are: additional storage, ability to sell goods on the broker, and showing off stuff. I will they would offer some sort of game mechanic benefit such as; if you drink in your house with a fancy table your drink buff lasts longer.

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