Wednesday, July 26, 2017

We've only reached the third tier of...

"I can already see your name disintegrating from my lips
I've got bullets in the booth
Rather be your victim than be with you"

Marilyn Manson - Third Day of a Seven Day Binge

It's a month after Funcom re-released its dead horse The Secret World and predictably enough it broke a couple of legs right out the gate. However, despite the idiotically simplified gameplay and seemingly endless parade of bugs (literally, a giant bug boss in one of the instances is now in the habit of duplicating itself) this maze of bad ideas has managed to retain a few paying customers.

A few. And when you have just a few customers for a nominally multiplayer game, you'd think you'd be struggling to keep them in contact with each other no matter what. Old TSW failed to do that by segregating players into several tiers of gear quality requirements. You had your regular, elite and nightmare "difficulty" instances, then elite Tokyo and NM Tokyo instances. As more tiers were ladled on top of the old ones, the gap between new and old players widened, a process recognizable from any moronic WoW-clone online game. New players can't get groups because old players have no reason to group with them and as the number of old players thins due to various forms of attrition, they too become isolated.

New TSW's chat window's already peppered with occasional complaints about the impossibility of finding a group for even the most common daily grind in the game, tier 1 elite instances. What are those, you ask?
Why it's the first of ten tiers of l33tness segregated by nothing more than the number of upgrades you've acquired on your equipment. The same eight instances you'd encounter in the introductory Story Mode, reiterated in a tenfold gear grinding timesink.

I was able to heal and DPS through l33t instances with under 60 "item power" with few or no problems. Now I can't get groups, not because the instances have changed but because the brainless trash who've farmed over 250 power refuse to group with my measly 120. My e-peen is too small :( and size matters when you decide to pretend it matters.

This is one month into a system which is supposed to yield a player community viable for years on end. The loot grinding treadmill is already fracturing the game on entirely artificial, self-inflicted grounds yielding no extra content or improved gameplay whatsoever. And holy shit, this is still talking about players playing within the same second tier of those eleven! Those first eleven of presumably many more to follow!

Character levels have always been counterproductive in multiplayer games, yet somehow developers keep rendering this idiocy more and more laughable.

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