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Impressions of Solace Bridge Outskirts

Discussion in 'Release 41 Feedback Forum' started by Elgarion, Apr 27, 2017.

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  1. Elgarion

    Elgarion Community Manager Moderator SOTA Developer

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    As I progress through the Solace Bridge Outskirts, I'll add my thoughts to this thread.

    Appearance thus far -- looking beautiful ;)

    Immersion -- as a new player, I come in expecting an immersive/story rich environment as expected in an LB game. Alas, however, much of the dialogue I'm encountering is simply short, 1 sentence replies to my statements to the NPC's. Oft, I cannot learn about the NPC themselves, and even when asking about Solace Bridge or Soltown, the statements are so curt, I don't feel they really know much more about the locations than I already have suspected.

    Training Quests -- about to explore...

    Adventure Trainer -- this is in regard to the slow release of capabilities in the interface, such as Free Attack, Utility Hotbar (in conjunction with Combat Bar), and advanced Deck Building guidance. Some of these worries might be related to me visiting this dialogue as an advanced player and not all my initial triggers when selecting these options are functional, but when I click these items to gain access to them and hopefully learn about them, all I get is the former, with little in regard to the learning aspect.
    • Free Attack: perhaps some explanation should occur when getting access to Free Attack which fully explains it. A quest perhaps, which requires you to hit a target dummy using free attack (hit it softly, hit it hard) to ensure they understand how it works. If a mechanic has to be introduced that allows the quest advance system to detect different strength attacks, this could be used elsewhere in quests when we're supposed to hit something slightly or hard, each possibility taking the quest in a different direction.
    • Utility Hotbar: as a vet, I know what this means, but once activated, as a new player, I might not have realized what was just enabled. Simply a quest for them to hit Z to see both hotbars active at once to confirm that both hotbars are active could be cool. If a mechanic has to be introduced which requires being in combat mode to be detected by the quest advance system, this could be used later to detect if you're being agressive or passive in the presence of an NPC.
    • Glyph Building: this didn't take me to any sort of instructions on how to build glyphs, it simply opened the skills window (not the glyph window).
    More to come ;)
    Thanks for this new zone! I think this will be superb in helping new players with the learning curve for the game!
     
  2. Lord_Darkmoon

    Lord_Darkmoon Avatar

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    It was absolutely not clear that I have to train free attack, utility bar etc. This should be made more clear somehow.
     
  3. MarleVVLL

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    Quick question -- if one is starting a new toon, what's the fastest way to this new zone? I keep finding starting across the world when I'd love to visit and explore this new zone.
     
  4. Elgarion

    Elgarion Community Manager Moderator SOTA Developer

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    @MarleVVLL this new zone is just SE of Solace Bridge, in the Perennial Coast region. You'll likely need to sprint through Brightbone Pass or Eastreach Gap to get into this zone, take Cooper's Pass on the western side of the Brightbone mountains, or port to a friend who's already here. Here's a link to show you where its at. If you follow the mountains surrounding the Perennial Coast, you'll see the 3 locations to cross said mountains that I mentioned above.

    https://www.sotamap.com/?map_id=1&poi_id=2757&openPopup=true&z=5 (new zone isn't in SotAMap yet, but its just SE of the marked location)
     
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  5. Elgarion

    Elgarion Community Manager Moderator SOTA Developer

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    Quest: Obtain a Fresh Zombie's Olfactory Gland

    I noticed the quest log doesn't go into any sort of description as to how to obtain the fresh gland as does the initial conversation. There is no mention of turning a wheel on the weird, under explained gas vents. So lets say someone logs out for a day or two, forgets the conversation with the researcher, then logs back in, they may think the zombies in the nearby ruined village are the ones he needs to kill, not Fresh Zombies that are created by turning the wheels. (So, perhaps just add the gas vent/wheel descriptions into the quest log as well?)

    Also, I noticed that once the wheels are turned and the zombies killed, they are locked open and cannot be turned again until they reset. My initial visit to this area, all the wheels were locked, and I couldn't generate any new fresh zombies to farm for the quest item.
     
  6. MarleVVLL

    MarleVVLL Avatar

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    @Elgarion, thanks! I suppose I'm a little confused why it's supposed to be for newbies yet it's across the entire map?

    I was worried I've have to trek there; nonetheless, thanks for confirming my suspicion. I'll try to check it out later! :)
     
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  7. DooMAGE

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    I was inpressed with the area. Looks like a open world game area, immersive.
    Hope for more areas like this!
     
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  8. Elgarion

    Elgarion Community Manager Moderator SOTA Developer

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    No worries--there are 3 starting areas. Yours is slated to have its new orientation/outskirts scene in an upcoming release :) Once the game launches, i think they'll be a great intro for new players ;)
     
  9. MarleVVLL

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    @Elgarion -- is there a way for a new toon to guarantee that they spawn next to this new outskirt?
     
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  10. Vladamir Begemot

    Vladamir Begemot Avatar

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    Just come in as a Ranger. For some reason combat builds is tied with the Virtues. Sucks that you have to stick all those points in something you might not like, but it is what it is right now.

    @MarleVVLL
     
  11. Cobra101

    Cobra101 Avatar

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    @MarleVVLL
    There is an easier way.
    Each starting area has a Lunar Rift.
    This is where you arrive from the initial mirror/oracle bit with a new character.
    This allows travel to the other starting areas on a cycle
    https://www.shroudoftheavatar.com/forum/index.php?threads/lunar-rift-travel.41863/

    You just hop into the rift at one starting area and come out at the other.
    It is a short run from Solace Bridge to SBO.

    Unless they have closed the scene to avatars that are not newly created of course. I haven't tried to zone in myself yet
     
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  12. Cobra101

    Cobra101 Avatar

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    Ok, I went in and checked it out.
    So the Rift jumping solution will work fine

    My own observations:
    It is a large and generally well created scene. Not available on sotamap though.
    The quests seem inconsistent and buggy and there are 5. Yes 5. I thought I must be missing some but I talked to the npcs and some of the trees. Just the usual circular conversations

    You start with the guard at the zone in who tells you to speak with Commander Kinsey.
    This is a good breadcrumb but it doesn't update the journal.
    Arriving in camp you find Kinsey and a couple of nobles Kinsey tells you to help a soldier on the shore and the nobles want a painting recovered from bandits.
    The first has no journal entry, the second does.
    The soldier wants you to catch a fish and gives you 4000xp and 250g when you do. Nothing appears in journal but otherwise a good quest to teach a bit and get started

    Heading off to the bandit camp to get the painting I met wolves and bears and I think the bears would probably challenge a newbie.
    While killing bandits to find the painting I found a "Solace Bridge Outskirts Heirloom" which I kept.

    The nobles were happy to get their painting, another 4000xp and 250g

    I returned to Commander Kinsey who wanted me to find a farmer. This didn't update to the journal.
    I headed off to the southeast only to find that there is only one useful exit from the camp - unless you like swimming. But at the edge of the camp I encountered Eloise (or Heloise depending on who you talk to) and she wanted heirlooms.
    I gave her the one I had and she gave me 500xp and 32g

    Then I went east before crossing the bridge and going south to the farmer who wanted a wolf killed. There were only two spawn points which begs the question of how it will work under a load of "new users". He also talks about a lost farmhand but I couldn't trigger a quest from anything I could type, certainly not from the clue words provided. There was also no journal update telling me to look for him.

    The journal did update for the wolf quest and on killing the wolf and reporting to the farmer I got another 4000xp and 250g.
    He says some things that imply the quest is repeatable so I went and killed another alpha wolf but he wasn't interested.

    Returning to the camp Kinsey sent me to Heloise who asked me to collect heirlooms. The journal updated to show this.
    After killing 30+ swamp badnits there was no heirloom so I put this down to poor quest flagging and gave up. I am now stuck with the journal entry of course :(

    Returning to Kinsey she tells me to see the alchemist across the river to the south - by the graveyard.
    Again ignore the "south" bit and go east until the bridge and then southwest.

    Ackerley the alchemist wants the "fresh zombie olfactory glands" although from the dialogue he clearly doesn't need them. I didn't get any text to turn things on, just went over the road and killed fresh zombies. the drop came on the third and I handed it in for another 4000xp and 250g.

    There is a ruined village (presumably Solace Bridge itself) near the graveyard and I returned to Kinsey expecting a quest into it but she just told me to see the farmer again with the same text as previously ie not "go see him again he needs more help" just a repeat of the earlier quest lead.

    I could have gone to the village and rootled about but I had a bad attack of CBA and zoned out.

    Just my experience.

    My opinion is that this isn't a polished opening to the game.
    It is much better than wandering into Soltown and finding all these odd cloned vendors but actually doesn't have as much tutorial value as I'd expected.
    I didn't do the craft and adventurer trainers so I guess they might have counted for a couple more quests and useful info

    I'd strongly suggest someone on the dev team makes a character in EQ and does the Mines of Gloomingdeep tutorial sequence. It is at least 10 years old and has little breadcrumb quests teaching all the important elements while giving some options to fight stuff and get rewards. I appreciate that the SotA concept is very different from EQ but the principles of the "NUE" can be seen working there.

    I also found that the average gold drop in SBO was 20g. I think new players would be perfectly happy with much less and it would give them a better feeling of progression when they left.
     
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  13. skeggy Media

    skeggy Media Avatar

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    I only found one problem was that I could net complete the painting quest because there were too many people either doing the quest or just killing to skill up which hindered me in the quest. possibly need higher spawn rate or look into the starting zones to be solo mode instead of an open instance.
     
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  14. Cobra101

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    The painting is on the floor in a building. You don't need to kill anything to get it
     
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  15. Lord_Darkmoon

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    Whats up with this skeleton in the barn at the farm? The farmer doesn't seem to know about it...
     
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  16. Cobra101

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    There are signs up all round it saying he has installed "traps to catch the varmints" and warning Dawson not to get hurt.
    I could not read the signs with weapons drawn.
    The trap is quite sophisticated for a rural building,
    Multiple flaming crossbow bolts.

    I think that Dawson might not of read the sign?

    On the bright side there are cooking/butchery stations in the barn loft which is very convenient.
     
  17. Paladin Michael

    Paladin Michael Avatar

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    I wonder if the Skeleton shot by an arrow on the bed should be Dawson?

    Anybody found Dawson?

    Well, the information from Kinsey isn't updated correct at the moment.
    Will take a bit polishing :)

    But the new Outskirts are really nice! It is great to explore and doing the quests.
    What I miss is the information after doing the quests (may be from Kinsey) to go further to Soltown ...
     
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  18. Cobra101

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    I ran a second character through here yesterday.

    Mostly the same results but it does appear that the Heirloom quest is repeatable (or intended to be).
    I managed to get the painting without acquiring any heirloom so the next thing Kinsey asked me to do was see Heloise and she asked me to find heirlooms and I set off to do so.
    I had to kill a lot of bandits before it dropped. The mage I was running could mostly one-shot them but it could get very tedious for genuine new players, especially if there were lots of them trying to do it. I've not grouped in this game on any quests so I don't know what happens if a group kills the bandits. do they get an heirloom each when it drops, or do they have to wait for separate drops?

    IF the latter then it isn't the thrill I would want on starting a new game.

    The farmer was worse.
    I got the quest to kill the alpha wolf, I killed it, I returned. I said everything he offered and invented a few of my own like "The alpha wolf is dead", "I killed the alpha wolf", etc. He just went "Hmmm" or went through the original quest giving speeches. I said goodbye and fumed for a while, then tried again.
    This time when I said "alpha wolf" he did the quest completion and gave me the reward.

    There needs to be clear, consequential, quest flagging. A quest NPC should have different dialogue for before the quest, on the quest and after the quest. When I returned he should have recognised I was on the quest (it is flagged in my journal) and said things like "have you killed that alpha wolf yet" to which a "Yes" or even "I have killed the alpha wolf" would have worked. After killing it he should either be offering me more quests (I really couldn't find anything about Dawson - I think he is the skeleton in the bed and it is just a little touch of humour), or telling me Kinsey needs me back. This keeps the trail simple.

    When I got back to Kinsey she sent me to Heloise again and I got the Heirloom quest a second time. I really didn't want to have to kill that number of bandits again. This is when I realised there is no option to refuse a quest. You talk to the NPC and it writes to your journal. There is no option to refuse and no way to remove from your journal. If the volume of quests ever gets up to what I would like to see in an MMORPG then I'm going to have a journal full of quests I don't want to do.

    Luckily when I went straight back to Kinsey she sent me to the alchemist at the graveyard. On the way I met a bear and it would definitely give a new player their first death experience - ankh training I suppose.

    After the alchemist quest I decided to explore the burned out village. The first section was full of zombies. The second had a force of Ebon Cultists with lots of fighters, archers, and a wizard who was yellow to me. I suspect this is intended as group content for a strong party of newbies. I couldn't find any quest sending you there and you would not level enough skills to tackle them by just doing the existing quests. A group of experienced players starting new characters could probably manage but the usual newbie area rabble group would get a lot of ankh training.

    If I could figure out how to find my adventurer level I could give you more to go on here.
     
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  19. Drake Aedus

    Drake Aedus Avatar

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    Use these commands sequentially in chat:
    Writes stats to chatlog
    Opens file explorer to your SotA data folder

    Navigate to the ChatLogs folder and open the newest log.
    Scroll to the end and work your way up to the stats write-out. Adventure level is near the beginning of it.
     
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  20. Cobra101

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    many thanks.
    So the second character I ran through is Adventurer level 29. Having bears and a Wizard yellow to him in a new user area seems quite tough on a genuine new user
     
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