Brenlo: Well when I said that, I had been drinking . . . Seriously though, we plan to only allow new characters to start in the newer player areas. Timorous, Greater Fay, Darklight and Soon Halas. The new player experience in Qeynos and Freeport are just not up to snuff anymore and do not provide as solid an experience when you enter the game for the first time.
I think the entirety of the Dev team had been drinking (emphasis mine btw). Clearly they enjoy their dev chats, if nothing else. But they are also drinking their own koolaid, which is never a good sign for people in leadership positions.
As someone who just went through the Gorowyn experience for the first time, I can tell you – its not any better than the Colony starting areas for Qeynos and Freeport. In fact, it may just be worse. And early reports of how New Halas works are terribly confidence lifting either. Here’s a few of the common reasons I’ve heard that Gorowyn is superior to The Colony as a starting area:
Okay, well, this one is true, particularly along the lines of DPS. Whatever revamp of lower level items they did awhile back didn’t really do a whole lot for the Colonies, where they can’t even bother to give you a full matching suit of armor.
Gorowyn has class specific rewards.
No actually, it doesn’t. It does often gives gear based on archetypes, which may or may not help you. Along the way, it also double dips rewards and more often that not gives rewards *below* the level of the quest done. Level 15 quests offer level 12 gear for instance. At one point, I turned in two quests from the same geographical area and my rewards on both were a choice between a helmet and a wrist slot item. Both the helmets boosted agility, and both the bracelets boosted wisdom. One quests bracelet and helmet were better than the other, despite the gear being the same level. And my Brigand didn’t need a whole lot of wisdom gear, if you know what I’m saying. There were more rewards alright, but they weren’t there for my class and were redundent as hell.
Gorowyn has an overarching storyline.
Sure it does. If you complete the quests in the right order. To do that means that in Mok Rent, at level 11-12, you have to fight your way past level 17 mobs to complete a level 12 quest. If you’re thinking you might do the other quest line first and come back to that one, as I did, you will find yourself in the odd position of having to kill off bird-men after the supreme commander has told you to lay off of them. It also means that as one quest giver is getting increasingly bloodthirsty, another is backing off. I also had to fight a duel with a Sarnak mad that we had stopped attacking the birdmen – before we had stopped attacking the birdmen.
One line of quests on the beach has you run up and down the same hill 3-4 times. The story reason is because the supreme commander has not given permission for the sub commander to kill a pirate captain. Which is odd since two levels before that, a lone Sarnak scout had me kill a pirate captain on the other side of the beach. Without any orders from any commander at all.
Is there a storyline? Yes, there is. Is it better than the Colony/Neighborhood quest lines? No, not really.
Gorowyn takes you to level 20.
Actually, it only takes you to level 19, which is hella frustrating. I had to fly to Butcherblock to ding 20. And that was with my finding the obscure quests hidden in the Timorous Deep zone – the extra intact artifact, the acting as a peace negotiator on the beach, the killing of the Sarnak in the duel, etc. If you aren’t into reading the fluff, or don’t have someone guiding you through the zone, you could easily fall short of even the 19 mark.
The crafting tutorial is better.
I don’t even know what to say to this. I skipped it with my second character. It saves you about 12 silver in books, and gets you to tradeskill 9. But it makes you create a wide variety of items that will be of absolutely no use to you, that you can only sell for the cost of the fuels you bought to make them. Suck it up, pay the silver (which you will get back in one quest over in Butcherblock) and spend the levels crafting equipment that you will use. Or stuff for your room, like I did. Since crafting works the same no matter what your crafting, having a player craft one of everything is rather daft don’t you think?
Gorowyn gives you a smoother transition into regular content.
This one makes me hopping mad. It does no such thing. You know what happens when you finish the starter quests in Gorowyn? Absolutely nothing. Not a damn thing. No quest giver suggesting which zone you shoud head too, no travel funnel to get you to the next rung in the leveling timeline. Do I use the carpet? Go to Butcherblock? Freeport? I’ve played the game before, and *I* had a moment of panic when I finished the area, because I had literally been cut free in the big world with zero direction.
Say what you will about the colony, but that never happens in those quest lines. You may get sidetracked in the big city or lost in the catacombs, but there is always an NPC to tell you where to head to next in the chain of quests.
Devs, you may think you are doing yourselves a favor by giving players less choices…but history says thats never a good thing. You wanna revamp the Colonies, or even offer new ones? Go for it. You want to remake Qeynos/Freeport as end game content? Good luck with that.
And for what its worth – I’ll put up with a tutorial that has no story, crappy rewards, and choppy progression, if that’s the price I have to pay to not hear a little girls crying and ultra-violet-hued fairies squeeking at me.