Overall I enjoyed my time in beta. I didn’t run into any major issues that would make me feel like the game wasn’t close to release. This is a major plus as a number of other games I’ve beta tested didn’t feel like they were ready for the public to consume. Most of the issues I encountered were in the realm of things that hadn’t been implemented yet rather than things that overall felt missing. So overall nice job.
1. Customization in Character Creation
I really liked how much customization there was in character creation
but I wasn't overwhelmed by the options. There was even a fingernail
setting. The one thing I felt was missing was a decent green for my
half-orc. Even a dark green. Instead everything ended up to human, even
the grayer options. My Horcs are green, let them be green.
2. Action RPG
Most of the time action RPGs end up on consoles in games like Gauntlet,
or the old DnD PS2 game. Having a good action RPG work online is
difficult but I feel that it was pretty well done here. I enjoyed
learning to dodge with their system and having enemies attacks be
obvious when they show up made for a different kind of play than most
MMORPGs I've been involved in. Playing was also way more active than
games like WoW or SWTOR. I'd liken the style closer to what I'd expect
Diablo online to be like.
Although almost all of the foundry content I went through was TERRIBLY
bad I'm excited to see what the future has to hold with this. If I
devote serious time to this game, the foundry will be why.
1. Healer Aggro
WTF. I couldn't heal anyone without getting someone to want to kill me.
Regardless of whether I was in combat or not. Healing aggro seems to be
greater than visual aggro range so if I was healing before the next
attack I'd just get jumped again. This is just going to need some kind
of fix in the near future for the game to really be enjoyable long term.
2. Narrow Classes
I felt that the combination of limited class choice along with narrowly
defined classes really limited my interest in investing in a particular
class. With only 5 available classes and incredibly limited
customization within each one, I'm not really that impressed by my
options. Maybe once all 20+ DnD4 classes are available I won't feel that
way. But when I compare my options to DDO I'm WAY more pigeon holed
than I want to be.
3. Limited attack options
When I play an MMO I generally have 4-5 hotbars open with 10-12 spaces
on each. DDO limited me to what ammounts to a single hotbar with very
limited space for my abilities. I basically get to choose my 2 free
attacks, 3 10-20 second cooldown powers and my "daily". This isn't
really a spread of options. I can't investing a ton of energy into a
character who can only have 8 different attacks at a time. Also with the
encounter powers, they were entirely on cooldown timers as a cleric so I
was just spamming them every 12 seconds. It worked out OK but I'm not
sure my interest in doing this will last.
4. Respawn times
In the shared instances respawn times were very short. I hate this.
There was always stuff to kill but clearning a path through and stopping
to try to heal up would often times get you respawned on. I'm not a
fan. Most of these zones could have delt with the same number of enemies
and a 10-15 minute respawn timer rather than a 2-3 minute timer. Or
even better yet, the use of off stage respawns like I saw in the intro
quest (zombies were appearing up on a hill you couldn't get to and
running down at you) would be great. I always hate the idea of orcs
randomly appearing where I'm standing.
5. Class Weapons/armor
This is really a pet peave of mine. When items drop and they are almost
all class specific I get really annoyed. I understand the existence of
light, medium, heavy armor in a game and there being some things you
just aren't proficient to use. But when the nice leather boots that just
dropped I can't put on because they're Rogue only, I just get annoyed.
This is even worse for weapons. If only 1/5 weapons fit my class and the
rest are all junk regardless of how "good" the weapon may be why should
I even bother. It might not be smart for me to put on the two hander
with my cleric, but considering how often I'd wade into battle, let me
do it anyway. Being stuck with a holy symbol didn't make me feel like a
cleric. It made me feel dumb.
I just found out about the foundry in STO and Neverwinter last week so I
was really happy to get into the beta and give Neverwinter a try.
Although, without the foundry, I doubt this is a game I'd really be very
interested in. The limited class options combined with the lack of
flexibility in builds for my character made the game feel like something
that wouldn't hold my interest at all. To be honest I felt myself more
interested in going back and playing STO because at least the game let
me define my own role as I leveled. I'm really interested in seeing what
the Foundry can bring to the game as it was my main interest in NWN and
NWN2. But how can the foundry be totally sufficient for a game that is
basically lackluster. The game is better than Diablo III, it could
provide some fun as something to play with some friends, but I'm not
sold that this is really the next game for me. It's free to play which is always a bonus, so I'm sure to give it a try. But I doubt the upper levels will keep me attached unless the foundry locks me in.