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Path of Balance *spoilers*

Discussion in 'Release 43 Feedback Forum' started by Bowen Bloodgood, Jul 15, 2017.

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  1. Bowen Bloodgood

    Bowen Bloodgood Avatar

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    While partly general feedback, I mainly want to focus on a particular issue. The current difficulty of the Pathers of Truth, Love and Courage.

    I just recently started playing through these quests, both online with multiple characters and offline with a fairly fresh character.

    The first thing I note is that neither the path of Truth or Courage require any real fighting. Truth I can understand.. but Courage??? Really? Ok from an RP perspective you could say it requires courage on the part of the PC.. but from the viewpoint of this player is requires no courage at all. Even offline with a relatively low level character with underdeveloped skills, when I got to Skrekk I just ran past everything and inside and that was it. Didn't have to fight a single thing.

    After finishing those it was on to the Path of Love.. There is more necessary fighting on the Path of Love in the first encounter than in Truth and Courage combined! That's just wrong guys.. ok.. think about that one.

    You would think that the difficulty between each of these paths would be roughly equal. I've heard Richard say a few times that these quests were designed in such a way that you should hit a tough spot and jump over to another quest line and do other things until you were strong enough to continue.. As it is.. this is only the case with the Path of Love..

    On that note, the combined XP from Truth and Courage isn't enough for you to be strong enough to get past the first fight on the Path of Love.. the Shuttered Eye. Where, if you're not careful even a level 60 can get swarmed and killed. Truth and Courage only provide you enough XP to get to the mid 30s.

    My offline character who's now level 36 has very little chance in the Shuttered Eye, having finished both Truth and Courage. I expect he'll need to be in the 40s before he'll stand a reasonable chance. My level 53 mage? Nearly died.. well actually DID die in there at one point. It's hard (for me) as a mage to fight in close quarters.. which is most of the tower.

    Now if you can do the Tower you shouldn't have any trouble with Necropolis.. that's all well and good.. let's say you do it at level 45.. (after nearly 10 levels of grinding!) and let's say you want to avoid PvP cause you're online.. the alternative route requires you to kill a raging water elemental to get a key to midmear passage.. here's the next big jump in difficulty. My level 53 mage? yeah she couldn't damage a regular water elemental fast enough to overcome its healing never mind the tougher ones.

    Now I realize in that case it's a build issue.. but what about all the players who want to play pure mage and just happen to not be effective against water elementals? They're pretty much screwed. Now my mage might be able to do it if I use up all the XP I've earned so far on just the right skills.. but honestly if feels like hitting brick wall #2.

    It's no wonder people still say they feel forced into PvP zones.

    Even if the game holds your hand and directs you through the alternative routes, it doesn't do you any good if you're 10 levels too weak to use them. The difficulty progression through the Path of LOVE is nuts!

    So my level 65 & 66 characters can get the keys.. but after the Crypt comes Malice and at 65 I had a really hard time. I skipped half of Malice after getting killed by finding the ankh farthest in as I could.. bypassing a lot of mobs.. (and especially the group that killed me in the first place).

    Ultimately the fight with Anapa required 3 attempts to draw off some of the undead and try to kill them off while running around in circles through the halls trying not to die. I eventually did it.

    So what I'm looking at with my new character.. is about 10 level of grinding to get through the Shuttered Eye.. another 10 level of grinding if I want to bypass the ruins.. that'll put me at level 56.. plus another 10 levels or so to get through Malice..

    So I get through Truth and Courage.. half way through Love as a young, low level character and then BAM.. I need to grind for 30 levels in order to finish.

    Either the difficulty of the Path of Love needs to come way down.. or those 30 levels need to be spread out across all 3 paths.

    And I'm not even taking into account the need to put all that XP into skills so you're effective when you hit Malice. But I suspect that won't be an issue after 30 levels of grinding.

    With the time I get to play.. it will take me weeks for my offline character to get through the Shuttered Eye.. IF I don't play online.
     
  2. GreyMouser Skye

    GreyMouser Skye Avatar

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    Courage was a total joke. Love was actually tough for me at lvl 76. Truth I hear is a joke as well but just started. Not much balance, that is true.
     
  3. Lord Aventine

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    In a game where fighting is continuous, perhaps courage then is knowing when to *not* draw one's pole?

    For me, the 'feeling' of courage doesn't come from whacking yet another monster. Doing so is somewhat transactional. But the feeling did come to me in game when I decided to walk amidst mobs that might have had me for lunch, but did not attack when I had the courage to now draw my weapon. That momentary realization, that I was on a walk of courage, was more transformational.
     
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2017
  4. GreyMouser Skye

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    Courage comes in many forms, yes. The lack of fighting was fine and I like your reasoning. However, go to A, take this to B, show up in C (ignore how beautiful the underground city is because you just need to talk to one person), now stand there and let things happen that you have no real input on, and finally get your reward which you did not really earn.
    I do not think there are any spoilers there, but yes, it is that boring.
     
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  5. Bowen Bloodgood

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    Hopefully the addition of side quests will help the primary story feel fuller and more satisfying. I've yet to really explore a lot of side quests and so far I've only 1 character offline that is still relatively young and actually been to one of the Outskirts (where she still is even though she's already level 20).

    There is that.. but it's really hard for me at least to not meta-game that moment. As a player I knew I'd be safe in the city or the game wouldn't send me there... so there was no sense of fear to overcome. No risk to going once inside. The kobolds tell you as much.. So long as you behave they'll leave you alone. So for me.. there really was no courage involved once inside.

    Now perhaps if there were situations to provoke the player somehow.. an antagonistic guard.. or kobold in need of assistance that would require the player to interfere in something.. anything that could raise tension and cause the player to doubt their own safety if they try to do the 'right thing' in a given situation.. where they might think they could be forced to fight their way out of a situation etc.

    Otherwise you're just walking around a normal NPC town.

    I managed to do love in the lower 40s. Though it was a pain. But going through the Grannus Colossus?? at 68.. no chance.. Those darn high mages are just too much. I managed to do everything offline by the lower 40s.. at 61 I cleared my first siege (cabalist was long gone so I only had a lich mage).. but I still feel like I'm no where close to doing the Grannus Colossus. That's like a 30+ level gap going it alone. Unless by chance you can run fast enough to get through the gated areas before the gates close?
     
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