Different game, same problem…

The last thing I wrote about Elder Scrolls Online was the complaint about the importance of race when choosing a class. I have gotten used to it now – I am still not a big fan of that system, though. But now the next problem emerges: I was happily playing my orc stamina sorcerer and it was entertaining. The game is beautiful, the stories in the quests are interesting, the voice over is great and I have also finally found the subtitles setting (first thing in “Audio” while I was looking for subtitles in “Interface”). Not because I don’t understand English well enough, but because I enjoy watching a stream or a film when gaming in the evening after a long day at work.

And then I made the mistake to remind myself that there are more classes than the sorcerer. It ended up being: Do I want to play the sorcerer or rather the dragonknight?

As bookahnerk made his first steps in ESO (we had both gotten the game when it released, but never really got into playing it), I decided to accompany him with the dark elf (dunmer) dragonknight I had created.

Elder Scrolls Online Dragonknight Lava Whip

My sorcerer was nice. Combat was good. But look at this picture! My Dragonknight has some spiky armor coming out of her body and uses a lava whip to attack! How cool is that? It’s always amazing how such little simple things can change the way I look at a game and my enjoyment.

After taking her out for a few quests, I am pretty certain that I want to play her instead of the sorcerer! Well, for now, at least… My track record in Guild Wars 2 doesn’t exactly prove my determination… (mesmer in April 2012, after a brief switch to the warrior, mesmer again in February 2013, warrior in August 2013, mesmer in August 2015 – and currently, I am almost exclusively playing my warrior again).

Trove: Candy Barbarian revelead!

Trion Worlds made a news post revealing the candy barbarian yesterday. Or rather, revealing the skills that new class will have. We already know its name, after all. :)

Trove Preview Candy Barbarian

I’m going to be lazy and copy and paste the skills and their descriptions here:

Gum Drop (Passive): When you hit (or are hit by) enemies, you’ll spill candy on the ground. Scoop it up for sweet boosts to health or speed!

Vanilla Swirlwind: Spin like a cotton candy machine gone berserk, striking all enemies within range.

Sugar Crash: Launch into the air and crashes down on your target with devastating force.

Eis-Crom Cone (Ultimate): Invoke the powers of Eis-Crom, god of all things candy, to waylay your foes with an exploding ice cream cone of terror!

The first skill is passive which means that no matter what happens, this will always be active. Boosts to health or speed sounds a bit RNG. That reminds me of the elixirs that the engineer in Guild Wars 2 has which have that element of surprise as well (or did they change that? I haven’t played my engineer in ages, but I know people always complained about the random nature of some elixirs).

To me, the Vanilla Swirlwind sounds the most fun! Spinning and hitting. Of course, this only makes sense if there is more than one enemy, I assume? You cannot see any numbers in Trove, by the way. There is no combat log and no tool tip showing you that you did x amount of damage.

I wish they had streamed last night, so that we could have seen the candy barbarian in action. They wanted to, but seemed to have technical issues.

Anyway, I am a bit skeptical, actually. I know Trove is a fun game with silly stuff in it, but so far, the classes always still seemed “serious” enough to just put them in any fantasy game. The candy barbarian – not so much. On the other hand, I did write about classes and expectations and it is nice that they’re trying to be creative here with themes and class names etc.

Trove Candy Barbarian fighting

And look at that! The candy barbarian is a dual-wielding class! I love dual-wielding. My favourite classes are usually warrior-like types who dual-wield swords.

The patch that will bring us the candy barbarian will arrive on November 18, by the way. I can’t wait to try it out. If they go with it the way they have released the other classes, then we’ll be able to get it for 5000 cubits (the in-game currency) or alternatively, for 1050 credits*. So, go do your daily dungeons in Trove to earn the cubits needed for this class. :)

* For 18,99 €, you get 3250 credits. So, that class would cost you something like 6 € (plus a few cents). But if I were you (and wanted to support the game and buy credits), I would rather spend the cubits on the class and buy something else for my credits which cannot be paid for with cubits like costumes, some mounts and so on.


Lotro’s class changes

Lotro FireworksThe NDA for the beta of Helm’s Deep has dropped, so I can now write about my impressions. I had “quit” the game months ago, although “quit” is probably too harsh. I just haven’t played it anymore, but especially with my lifetime account, I always have the option of going back. My warden is not at max level yet and I find it quite hard to get back into playing her, because of the way this class is designed. I had little notes stuck to the bottom of my monitors with the skill combinations. You have three skills, gambit builders, that you use in different combinations and depending on the combination, you can then use a gambit finisher. The good thing is that this feature leaves your hotbar quite empty of skills. Most of the class’s skills are executed by combining the gambit builders.

Anyway, the proposed class changes are quite controversial.So far, you can basically mix and match traits from different trait trees (each class has three) as you like. After the changes, this will not be possible anymore. It will be more like traditional skill trees (think old-school World of Warcraft). What I did in the beta was mostly looking at the new trait trees trying to figure out if I can play the way I’ve played my warden most of the time. I mixed between offensive melee traits and defensive ones. I found that this worked best for me. It took ages killing mobs solo, but I didn’t die either and I could also easily pull several mobs towards me and still survive the fights. Whenever we wanted to do 3 man instances, I could tank them easily.

I’m not saying this isn’t possible anymore, since I didn’t test it. I’m going to comment on the impression I got and that others will probably have as well. For years now, traits and builds worked in a certain way. Our skill bars were crowded (except for the warden, of course). A change was welcome. I loved the idea of not having that many skills anymore. Some aren’t needed or skills are very similar in their effects.

lotro_hobbits_picnicBut what Turbine did instead seems just bad. It’s not about how the classes and their trait trees will work out in the end. That may even be good, who knows? But if the players look at the trees, try to work with them and are appalled and shocked by the changes… then what good does that do? You can say and argue about how great those changes are, if the first reaction is that of “horror”, your chances are that players will just log out and forget about this game. Unfortunately, when you read the discussion about the upcoming expansion, it seems that several players react just with that horror.

I felt like the devs are putting us into boxes. My warden is either melee DPS, ranged DPS or a tank. But a melee DPS with tanky traits didn’t seem to work anymore. Some skills that you have been using for years now are suddenly locked away in other trait trees. Instead of mixing, e.g., tanky traits with using offensive skills, I now get access to tanky traits and tanky skills with a few offensive skills.I also apologize for not going into detail here, but I can’t access the beta at the moment to check for the skills’ names. ;)

The choice when to use which skills isn’t in the middle of a battle anymore. The choice for using certain skills is now made before you even step into battle. This diversity was what I really loved, together with the ability to choose whichever traits I liked and put them together instead of choosing for a specialization that predetermines which skills you are allowed to use and which ones you aren’t. At least, we’ll get multi-builds. You can make several builds and switch between them when you’re not in combat.

Those changes are drastic and probably a bit too much for the average player to chew on. Only time and more experience will tell if those changes are for the better or not.

Guild Wars and Guild Wars 2 news (no, not the last class reveal ^^)

Guild Wars now have their own official support forums! So far, they never had any official forums. I think that’s a good sign. Or at least, I interpret it as such. Guild Wars is still doing well and Guild Wars 2 might become quite big judging by how many people are interested in playing it. So some forums might be a good idea. Limiting it to support is also nice because from what I have seen in other official MMO forums, general forums etc. can get quite nasty with lots of “I want XY now!”

Tap Repeatedly has an exclusive interview where they’re talking about the design process of the Guild Wars 2 professions and how they’ve changed – yes, even after their initial release! The elementalist apparently got a bit of an overhaul again and we’ll be able to see that for ourselves when we’ll play the demo during the summer conventions. It’s a rather long read but if you’re in any way interested about the design process or rather the thoughts that went into designing the Guild Wars 2 professions, this will be very interesting for you!