Radiance, Instance Gear, and Experience- Is any of it working?
Firstly I’ll apologise unreservedly for this being the first post for 2 months. We have had a crazy busy time at work, and indeed at home with a few new ventures, and on top of it all baby dwarf is teething. We have had some time to play, but that’s been it really not really much time to devote to writing new posts, or finishing half done ones, even though I have wanted to. However, time to start and try to set that straight.
Last night I logged into the main kin we are in outside of the Khazad Guard, to check my post on those characters. A friend asked if I fancied doing an instance for old-time sake and I said why not. It was pretty late but we got a team together and an odd random member from outside the kin, and decided to do Grand Stairs. In the short period of milling around we were discussing the new armour sets and radiance removal and a few people said they didn’t like the radiance removal, their logic being that possession of enough radiance gear meant that you knew players were experienced. Now I don’t necessarily agree with this but we were about to set off so I said I wasn’t so sure, and off we went. But this got me thinking over this debate that has raged on the forums and lord knows elsewhere for ages, because Radiance gated an instance until you had the relevant experience and gear, and the acquisition of the gear would ‘train’ you as part of a team and give you that experience, but the system was flawed and we have moved away from that, to a system that to my mind added some flexibility in, but does neither of these initial goals. Anyway, if you want to read a potted history it is written down here by Haakon and very well at that, and I agree wholeheartedly with him.
Now Ironically our PUG joining champion proved my reservations about the whole system as it currently stands, and how it actually does not teach folks to play their class or give them experience. To cut a long story short, when it came to the final boss the leader asked the champ to tank the archers and the warden the boss, the champ expressed reservations about tanking the archers, and basically couldn’t/didn’t leaving myself and the minnie to try to heal, whilst we swapped agrro from them to me on my captain. Now the silly thing is, this champ had some decent gear, was level 65, so if the theory purported was true he should be experienced right? Well, no, because basically he had probably just run GS and Sword Halls a load of times, and even then seems only to have got through them as you can easily run these with fewer players than necessary, especially above level, so probably got carried by some groups, like ours. I suspect anything requiring a degree of proficiency like Forges or Dark Delvings will never get touched by such players, indeed why would most players focused on endgame gearing up bother when they will soon work out which single instance to grind.
Now the old system of each instance dropping a coin for a specific armour piece, prevented this, and also made sure that someone wearing a full set of gear had seen the variety of fights and strategies required, and probably tried a few of the variations of role their class may be asked to play. The draw back…. well lets just say I did enough Fil Gashans, watching others who had barely run it win, to last a lifetime before I finally got those gloves. I always wondered why under this system every player couldn’t get a coin/token, yet it require 3-5 of them to pick up the armour, surely this would have addressed the biggest complaint?
The new system meant there was always a reason to help, you could always go into any instance to earn some points for whatever armour piece you needed, however it seems all anyone wanted to do was run Grand Stairs, and then with Mirkwood Swordhalls. So; so much for variety and experience.
I don’t think radiance was the answer. I think a deed gated system if a far more appropriate method, and hopefully similar to the Helegrod system, though that too has its grind flaws. If in the new instances there is a deed to kill/complete both 3 mans, and both 6 mans before you enter the raid, then that as far as I am concerned is not a bad idea. It provides the complete story, and opportunity to refresh skills and get an idea of what you may face in the raid, and you can begin to build up your gear for the raid, and the barter system will hopefully mean it is possible to vary the way you acquire these pieces for folks with less time such as myself and Emma. Of course, it will inevitably mean that in a few months time one or two of these will become grind fests, because that’s the way min-maxers often work, but maybe if they add some nice jewelry drops to all 4 instances, then this will encourage folks to keep up a variety?
Anyway, I suspect they are not quite there yet, but I am optimistic it is getting nearer where it should be, and look forward to the new content!
P.S: If you were thinking, this pictures were a bit random and irrelevant, then well spotted. It was a wall of text I had nothing relevant to put with it, so I thought what the hell… love that shadowwy picture of Izbaruk though!