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Thoughts on Destiny 2
IntroductionI've wanted to collate my thoughts on Destiny for a while now. I was originally intending to create this post before Beyond Light dropped but personal reasons prevented me from finishing on time.
So as an introduction; I am a new light, joined in December 2019. For many here that will be enough to dismiss me and that's ok. But I hope to bring a fresher perspective on D2 never having known peak D1 or peak D2.
As for why I am making this post. It's kind of a praise of Destiny, a critique of Bungie and a letter of resignation. I know that I am largely preaching to the choir on this subreddit but I just wanted to air my thoughts and get any input I could.
PositivesI feel the best place to start would be at what Destiny does right. The first thing that comes to mind there would be the visual and sound design of Destiny, perhaps best demonstrated by Europa. Not an original observation but it is the truth; Destiny has some of the finest art design of any game I have ever played. Leviathan perfectly sold Calus's opulence, Nessus felt like an alien world and don't get me started on the Dreaming city. But talking about locations is one thing; the gun design is fantastic, Jötunn and Le Monarque are my go to's for how satisfying they are to use. The clunk of Jötunn's reload and the wooshing of it's bolts as they fly toward their targets and Le Monarque as such a satisfying ping when you let loose a fully drawn arrow, combine with the fantastic purple splash as you land a precision hit. I also cannot fault guardian design and customization. The very existence of DestinyFashion is a testament to that.
Then we've got the enemies that we have our guns for. Fallen, Cabal, Vex, Hive, Taken and Scorn. Each have a unique Identity. Fallen are skittish, Cabal are tanky, Vex are aggressive, Hive are flexible, Taken give a twist to familiar enemy types and Scorn are kinda a combination of the Fallen, Vex and Hive. Each faction has an identity and design that is instantly recognisable. But solid eneimies alone is not enough, you need the necessary context and that's when we come to where you fight your enemies. Partol spaces are nice little areas to mess around in, lost sectors and public events krank up the enemy hostility enough to challenge, Strike raise the stakes further, giving story and modifiers to mass slaughter, Dungeons too are an extension of all this. But the real meat is in the raids. The sheer diversity and challenge they offer really makes Destiny stand out from any other game.
The Lore of the destiny world is also fantastic, the history of the world, the nature of the Light and Darkness and the stories of the various people of the world are brilliant. Byf's youtube channel is a testament to the quality of Destinies writing. It's a shame we don;t see the lore expanded upon in-game however.
Also, before I move on, I would like to just touch on Crucible. While it gets a fair amount of complaints for it's balance, it's inclusion further elevates and diversifies Destiny above other MMORPG looter-shooters and really provides a nice place to relax in quickplay, or sweat in Trials.
While I am sure what I have listed here is not an exhaustive list of what Destiny does well, I feel if I were to create a comprehensive list then this post would be too long for its own good. There is a lot Destiny does well and it is truly deserving of it's recognition on the broader video game world. But I am afraid I must move onto what Destiny Does less well.
NegativesLet's just address the elephant in the room; sunsetting and the DCV. The DCV is a good idea on paper, but I feel that Bungie misinterprets why you replace old content with new content. When Bungie pulls; 4 locations, 5 raids, a social space, seasonal activities, 3 campaign, 11 PvP maps, 2 Gambit maps, 7 strikes and all the associated quests and activities; the goal shouldn't be just to replace them with new stuff but better stuff. Europa is pretty and all but is it really an improvement over say Io? Mars at least had Escalation Protocol, what does Europa have? I don;t want to say Europa is bad, it is a achievement, a step forward but it is surrounded by steps back. Perhaps on the way to the Witch Queen and Lightfall we will see Bungie pull out the stops and make content that doesn't just replace old stuff but superceede it.
As for sunsetting. Guns are not "stat sticks". They have a feeling to them, this is an action game after all. Guns are no more stats than a jump is. Sure, stats are important, but treating D2 weapons as if they are as disposable as MMO loot is absurd. That's not to say that sunsetting is a solution without a problem, there are definitely problems in the weapon sandbox but was sunsetting the right option?
Even without the DCV or sunsetting the Destiny loot loop leaves much to be desired. Farming reckoning is a particular stickler for me. Is it really necessary and reasonable that I should have to spend days grinding out the roll I want? Sure asking for some commitment from people for something isn't too much and I am not opposed to puting some stuff behind some real challenges. But when the only thing stopping someone from getting what they want is RNG you do not have a game, you have a slot machine.
And to beat a dead horse, Eververse. Having paid for cosmetics isn't that much of a problem. It's still a problem, remember the outrage about Oblivions horse armour DLC? What is a problem is when stuff in the Eververse clearly belongs in the main game as unlockables.
To add some pet peeves of mine; Gambit is still unbalanced, invaders are too strong, especially with heavy ammo. Why would you announce that you are sunsetting the Chronicler title after it became no longer possible to acquire? The vault is too small, how can I support armour builds for every class, on every subclass while also maintaining an arsenal for the doezens of activities you have?
ConclusionUltimately, however, this all stems from a single source; Bungie. I wouldn't have a problem with Destiny if I felt that Bungie was at least committed to making the game better. I would be willing to wait for Bungie to right the ship and get everything on course. But from just 1 year of playing Destiny I see that Bnungie has little interest in giving their fans what they want. Guardians have to scream at Bungie for months or even years to get Bungie to fix anything and when Bungie does acknowledge them it is just a dismissive "we hear you". Every week Bungie has a TWAB and what do they put in them? Nothing. Nearly every TWAB is silent on the most pressing issues in the game.
But even if Bungie was dismissive that would be one thing. Plenty of devs release bad games, ignore input and fade away. Not Bungie. Bungie takes active steps to undermine their own game. Double primaries and sunsetting. We told them it was a bad idea, they didn't listen and in a years time they be going on about how it was a "mistake" but they'll never apologise.
I've never seen a studio with a pedigree as prestigious as Bungie consistently undermine their own work so spectacularly. Bungie seems committed to turning the the legacy of The Taken King and Forsaken and urning it into a glorified skinner box. It's a disappointing turn for Bungie to be following the footsteps of so many other reviled publishers and developers.
I truly feel that Destiny is something great kept down by a number of bad decisions. Hell I'd argue that Destiny was great with TTk and Forsaken. Those expansions we so big that I heard about them and I didn't even play the game at the time. It is sad that I have to say it but; Destiny deserves better than Bungie.
End noteAll of this has lead me to reducing the time and money I spend on Destiny. Normally you would expect people to be happy when a dev releases and expansion but with Beyond Light I feel the game and Bungie are going to a place I cannot follow them and it is here that I am deciding to part ways with them.
If you enjoy this new direction then good for you. I am happy you are happy and perhaps someday Bungie will finally live back up to it's potential again.
Until that day; stay safe Guardians!
New World - my in depth review, constructive as I could make it.
Thoughts on Combat
Overall, the combat is very bland. It's far too simple, there is little room for skill expression or potential for interesting plays with combinations of attacks, abilities, or movements. There are many problems which stem from various different aspects of the game in relation to combat, but I'll try and be as detailed and in depth as possible. These are pretty sweeping and broad ideas that I'm going to throw out here, and I'm not sure which order to put them in to be the most easily digestible and understandable. I'm not saying my ideas are perfect, or that all of them should be implemented, but something definitely needs to be changed about the combat. All of the numbers and what not are completely made up, so please don't say something like "That doing X damage or draining Y stagger is broken and overpowered. People would just Spam Z or W. " Let's just pretend for a moment here, establish some verisimilitude, and imagine a world in which these systems and numbers are all well balanced and functioning. So, let's begin. In the words of Rich Cambpell, https://clips.twitch.tv/AliveRockyYogurtBabyRage
- Movement. The movement is extremely wonky and slow, feeling very clunky and unresponsive, especially when wearing heavy armor. It feels like you're trudging through peanut butter or cold honey. There is no elegance or fluidity. The movements have far too rigid and stiff feeling. Attacking locks you into place entirely, making it feel worse. While in the process of an attack, you cannot move, making the animation locking feel even more exacerbated. You should be able to maintain momentum and inertia while moving, and making attacks should feel smooth and responsive, making you feel like you're controlling the characters actions and having a smooth seamless transition between attacking, standing, moving, or jumping.
While running forwards and releasing the movement key, you should not stop suddenly, there should be a brief couple of steps to slow you and catch your stability for example, and not suddenly stop moving entirely. There doesn't seem to be any sort of movement weight or momentum, and it all feels far too mechanical and robotic. While moving and attacking, you should maintain a bit of the movement. Moving forwards and attacking you should keep advancing, as you currently do, but... the hitboxes need to be fixed and adjusted, because I constantly feel like I'm missing attacks that shouldn't miss. I don't know if the melee attack range is just really that low, but it feels like my character doesn't have arms and that I'm swinging from my chest. The animation and attack hitcones need to be touched up, they feel very inaccurate, more on this later.
- Stamina. Attacking should take stamina. Light attacks taking less, heavy taking more. Dodging should take stamina, as it does, and blocking should take stamina, as it does. You should be rewarded for making well timed strikes, rewarded for making well timed blocks, rewarded for making well timed dodges, and punished for just mashing left click.
When attacking, there should be a small ui element, what comes to mind when thinking of this is the "Active Reload" from Gears of War. A meter or bar with a spark on it that moves, and clicking Attack at certain points will change the outcome and future string of the attacks. Landing a hit outside of the "Timing" zone would do slightly less damage and increase the stamina that the attack takes. Repeatedly failing to strike accurately should fatigue you and slow your attacks and movement, while landing well timed or Perfect Strikes would yield reduced stamina usage or faster successive attacks. I envision a total of 3 areas. Fumbled attacks, Well Timed attacks, and Perfect Strikes. Perfect strikes yield the most beneficial reward, Well Timed consume normal stamina and deal normal damage, while Fumbled attacks do less damage and consume more stamina.
As an example here, everyone will start out with 100/100 stamina. Base stamina regeneration would be 2 stamina ever 0.25 seconds (8 per second, but more smooth) . Stamina regeneration could be increased by certain stats, talents, and abilities, or even give you more maximum stamina. Perhaps Focus could factor into this, giving you more build variety. Do you spec into more Strength/Dex for stronger attacks, or Focus for sustained assaults? This could provide some interesting variation in builds.
Light attacks, depending on the weapon, would require from 6 Stamina (Daggers), to 14 Stamina (Great Hammer), and Heavy Attacks require 10 (Dagger (But daggers don't exist! More on that later)) to 25 (Great Hammer). Dagger requires the least amount of Stamina, and Great Hammers require the most. Jumping should take maybe 10-20% of your stamina. Not sure if it should be a flat amount or a percent based, but the current amount of half your stamina is wack yo.
- Stagger. Stagger should not be applied every time you're hit. Each character should have a "Stagger Threshold" that is required to overcome in order to stagger the character or break their guard. Light attacks should have a small amount of stagger application while heavy attacks taking more stamina and apply a larger application. Landing a heavy attack rarely happens outside of your opener as a Melee weapon user, and should deal much more damage than it does currently. For example my Light attack will do 380 damage, but the Heavy attack will do 440, it's just not worth it to ever bother to do. You should be able to properly block attacks as well, timing them correctly in order to open up an attack of opportunity on the enemy and retaliate with a strike against them.
As an example, you're attacking someone with 25 constitutions, wearing light armor, and no skills/items to increase their stagger threshold. In order to stagger them, you would need to deplete their Stagger bar, which would be a maximum of 50+Constitution, so 75. You regenerate your Stagger threshold at say, 10 per second, Let's say that a light attack applies 10 Stagger, a Heavy attack applies 30, and say, Shield Bash would apply 40. The Stagger Threshold would be based on the players Strength, Armor Class, and Health pool. Rapidly striking someone with large stagger application attacks would stagger them more quickly and leave them vulnerable to attacks, requiring you to manage your own Stamina while using your attacks, and they must use their stamina to avoid or block the incoming assault.
- Left Click Spam. It has got to go, now. There should be a reward for timing your strikes appropriately and not just ravenously smashing the left click button as fast as you can. Adding in Timed Strikes to grant you additional effects, increased efficiency of stamina drain, increased damage, faster swings, or other perks and benefits that could be implemented through skill trees would make the combat much more interesting and exciting, as well as making it feel way less tedious and mindless.
- Animations. Animations are far too long and cumbersome in this game. It feels like I spend most of the game in combat fighting against my character, trying to gain control of my attacks and swings, rather than fighting the enemy. This is the current attack animation process: |Swing ----Hit ---------------Recover| It should look something more like this: |Swing -------Hit-----Recover| The animation locking and the inability to cut off the "end" portion of animation makes the combat feel extremely sluggish and overbearingly slow. There is no flow, no fluidity, and no room to perform interesting or fun combos of attacks. I'm not saying there should be wack levels of animation cancelling, but there needs to be something changed about this. Accurately timing attacks, getting perfect strikes, and being a better player should be rewarded and encouraged. Timing a perfect attack could look something like this. |Swing ----Hit---PERFECT!|Swing----Hit---PERFECT!| etc, shaving off some of the animation recovery that seems to take a thousand life ages of man. The amount of time stuck in animations is far too long. I don't feel like I'm really in control of my character most of the time and it's really frustrating.
- Enemy AI. Hoo boy, where to begin. The enemies AI in this game is god awful. Every single enemy follows the exact same attack pattern, regardless. A skeleton will always attack once, wander, then strike twice, while doing a dash back in between. A Lynx will always attack, dash back, then dash attack, repeatedly. I have not found an enemy that has a variable AI that reacts or performs different attack strings, they're all the same. Not only this, but they will sometimes just stand there, or wander, or run away for whatever reason. Their movements are very sluggish and glitchy sometimes as well, occasionally sliding around and rubberbanding.
- Hit boxes, desync, and immunity frames. How many times have I clearly hit something, only to have it hit me instead with a near instant attack animation? Boy, if I had a penny for every time that happened I'd have like, a lot of dollars. Enemies should not ever under any circumstances be immune to damage or strikes that would otherwise hit them. If I land my swing cone on an enemies hit box, it should register as a damaging hit. They should not have any immunity frames at all, it feels terrible and makes combat even more unfun. It makes the game feel unresponsive and laggy, when you hit something and you know you should have hit them but nothing happens, it's an awful feeling.
- There simply aren't enough attacks. I don't mean "abilities" (which, there aren't enough of those either, but this is kind of in tandem with that issue.) Every weapon has the same 2 light attack swings, the same single heavy attack swing. You should be able to perform as default, with every single melee weapon, a running strike, leaping strike, running leaping strike, a sidestep/dodge strike, lunging/thrusting strikes, every single melee weapon should also be able to make a riposte/parry.
The fact that you have to spend talent points in order to get a running attack is beyond absurd. There aren't enough attacks, it makes the combat feel repetitive, boring, and makes me want to avoid combat simply because it's not fun spamming the same Light Attack 200,000 times in a row all day. The types of attacks should be influenced by your character's movement, and which attack type you're making, be it Light, Heavy, or a R+L click attack varied by your weapon type.
- Weapon Trees. No, not trees that bear weapons as fruit (although... unless?). The weapon skill trees are simply put, a tragedy. A complete abomination of sadness and sorrow that consumes my waking soul as I type this up. They are boring and bland. There is nothing interesting about them. The sword is complete garbage compared to the hatchet. Literal immunity? Literally cannot die? Like, what is even going on here? They all need to be completely reworked and made to be interesting. Double the level cap for weapon skill trees and make them twice as expansive. There is nothing to get excited about in any of the skill trees other than the Hatchet godmode ability.
- Magic. I don't even know what to say. It's just so bad. There needs to be much more magic. It's way too clunky and awkward to use.
- Not enough variety. I know, I know, "It's just a preview!" they'll shout into my ears as if they were a grand concert hall. I'm aware of that. I cannot stress the point enough that there needs to be far more weapons in this game. There are not nearly enough weapons in this game. As of writing this, there are 3 melee weapons. 2 ranged weapons. 2 staves... You can't even dual wield the only two one handed weapons in the game. There needs to be more. Many, many more. Here are some; Daggers, Short Swords, Rapiers, Cutlass, Foils, Knuckles, Flails, Whips, Javelin, Trident, Glaives, Maces, Hammers, Sceptres, Spears, Halberds, Greatswords, Greataxe, Shortbow, Crossbow, Pistol, Shotgun/Blunderbuss It doesn't take much to make an interesting skill tree for them, and if in conjunction with player based skill trees they wouldn't even need to be that expansive.
You should also be able to dual wield, and use a shield with any melee weapon. The shield should NOT be tied to the Swords skill tree, that's like, comedy gold medal levels of heinous.
QUESTSI think this is enough about the combat, if I think of something else, I'll come back and edit it. Let's move on to the next point of order, quests.
The most accurate representation of the questing in the game, https://clips.twitch.tv/SnappyHealthyToadKappaPride - Asmongold "elequently" shares his opinion on the questing in New World, which I cannot agree with more, it's absolutely spot on.
The quests in this game are god awful, bottom of the barrel, complete gutter tier. I cannot stress that enough. The quests themselves are repetitive, boring, and annoying. There are 2 varieties of quests that I've encountered in this game so far. 1. Go kill X, loot Y. That's about 85% of all the quests. Sometimes it’s to kill 3 Wolves and loot 5 Chests. Sometimes it's to kill 30 Zombies and loot 12 chests. There seems to be no real rhyme or reason as to the amount needed. 2. In fact, I can't really think of any other type of quests. Maybe the "Make me a X" - such as a Distilled Corruption Tincture, but that was more of a one off type of quest. There isn't really any variation in the quests so far, I'm level 30, and it's all the same stuff. Go loot X, Y and/or Z. Such as the ones where you need to walk around 3km from point to point in order to loot a single chest and then return to the quest giver.
The quests would be slightly more tolerable if there wasn't 40 minutes of walking between, before, and after each quest. It just simply takes far too long to traverse the map from point to point. The travel time needs to be cut down, we need mounts, and we need them by, say level 10 ish. Perhaps when we pick our faction we're also given a mount that will increase our movement speed by 80-100% or so. I feel like I'm spending 80% of the game playing a running simulator rather than actually playing the game. The travel wouldn't be so bad, if there were interesting things to find while traveling. Most monuments are the same, copy/pasted towers and ruin structures and such. There are some that are unique and different, but there is no real reason to explore or search them, which ties in with another issue. There is no interesting loot, but I'll get to that in a bit.
There needs to be more interesting rewards for quests, which also ties into my next bit. There isn't enough of a reward or motivation to go do quests, because they all are absolutely terrible and unfun, and the return of taking 25 minutes to walk across the map and kill 6 wolves and then walk back is just non existent. More variety is needed ASAP. It's 2020, Amazon Game Studio has what I believe to be a nearly infinite budget. I don't know what is going on at the AGS HQ but there seems to be some incredible incompetent mismanaging of time and resources. There is zero imagination in any quest, there is zero interesting methods of executing the quest, there are zero different methods of conveying the quests and there is nothing new, unique, or exciting about the ways the quests are meant to be completed, how the interact with the world as a whole, or how they're integrated into the game.
Just running around killing and looting the same mobs from level 1-50 is not fun. Which is another point, the variety of enemies in the game, discussed later. There needs to be more of a defined and understandable reason for us to be doing quests in the game, it feels very meaningless for the most part and I have no real idea what we're doing them for other than "Traveler, do this random task for some pittance." The rewards for quests are seemingly nonexistent. You sometimes get a LOOT CRATE item reward which is just RNG pull an item out of the hat, some exp, and a tiny bit of coin. That's it. You get a little bit of reputation with the faction, but I don't really see the point in that honestly, it doesn't have much of an effect, the only thing that seems useful is increased gathering speed.
When questing there is no sense of danger, risk, or need to survive. Even if you do somehow manage to die, it doesn't matter. You just respawn at town. I've actively been using this as a means of fast travel. Once I'm done with a quest, kill myself, spawn at town. Easy clap, free teleport home, GGWP. I also use suicide as a way to gather materials until I'm well over encumbered, die, then res at town. Might want to look into this stuff. Maybe require you to get back to your body to get your stuff or something, idk.
The quests aren't interesting. They're all the exact same thing, in the exact same areas, in the same scenery, with the same enemies, with the same rewards, with the same requirements (save for the number of X/Y). The quests need to be completely redesigned from the ground up in nearly every way. I have absolutely zero interest in them and they do nothing in a fun, exciting, or rewarding way.
Also, the quest (J) Journal interface is horrid and does not have nearly enough information, we should also be able to track like 8 quests or so at once. If I'm out running around for 2 hours in order to complete 6 quests, I'd like to not have to open up the map and pin new quests. You should also be able to share your quests with your party, and the quests should have a level range on them. So many times I'll be sent on a quest, walk 1.5 kilometers, and be met with mobs much higher level than I am, sometimes also coming across enemies less than half my level. I don't understand it and it makes no sense. We need more information on the quest panel interface and quests in general.
ITEMSThe loot in the game is all the same, boring, uninspired items. A "LEGENDARY" item doesn't even really do anything legendary. It has 35% more Durability, converts 30% of the damage to Fire, and that's it. I had had 2000/2000 repair scraps since like, level 15. Durability should not be a stat. If there is a durability stat, it should instead be "Item is indestructible," because durability has never been an issue at all at any point. There is nothing to get excited about or happy about when finding an item.
"2.5% less damage from X" "25% increased durability" etc The only good item stat is "Deep Pockets" - encumbrance seems to be one of the most vital stats in the game, as it's the most limiting and restricting in the overall gameplay. Where are the interesting and meaningful stats, effects, attributes, perks etc?
Every sword is a sword is a sword, that's about it. The higher the damage, the better. The only stat that seems to matter on items are Defense, and Damage. It's a terrible system. I cannot ever see myself, and haven't yet, been excited for any item drop or item that I've crafted. Nothing about them is interesting or fun, nothing about them makes me think, "Which item should I use? Which will benefit me more, overall?" My choice in this regard always dwindles down into "Deep pockets? Equip. To hell with everything else, there's no point in the garbage 2.5% Slashing absorption.
Gear needs a total overhaul. If you're wearing all Heavy gear, you should get a boost, based on the armor tier. Example (Heavy armor)
Defensive Heavy Armor.
Tier 1: 50 Health, 3 Strength, 5 Constitution. Increases your Stagger threshold by 20.
Tier 2: 120 Health, 7 Strength, 10 Constitution. Increases your Stagger threshold by 30.
Tier 3: 300 health, 12 Strength, 15 Constitution. Increases your Stagger threshold by 40.
Tier 4: 550 Health, 18 Strength, 22 Constitution. Increases your Stagger threshold by 60.
Offensive Heavy Armor.
Tier 1: 20 Health, 7 Strength. Increases the stagger you apply with Heavy Attacks by 10%.
Tier 1: 60 Health, 12 Strength. Increases the stagger you apply with Heavy Attacks by 18%.
Tier 1: 100 Health, 20 Strength. Increases the stagger you apply with Heavy Attacks by 25%.
Tier 1: 175 Health, 28 Strength. Increases the stagger you apply with Heavy Attacks by 35%.
(Of course, these are just examples, don't' jump down my throat about them.)
There needs to be vastly more modifiers for items. The effects such as Whirling Blade cooldown are a good start, but still very underwhelming and leave me wanting more stuff along those lines, rather than just basic, plain, boring "3.5% Magical damage absorption" type stuff.
There should be modifiers that can be targeted and deliberately obtained on items, through crafting, that increase damage with specific weapons (example: Attacks with swords deal 3% more damage. Attacks with swords have a 20% chance to impale the target, dealing 25% additional damage over 6 seconds. Perfectly Timed heavy strikes regenerate 20 stamina over 10 seconds.) There are a lot of things that can be done here. Increases to block recovery, stagger recovery, movement speed, animation speed/attack speed, stamina recovery, health recover, maximum health, mana recovery, max maximum mana, increased stagger threshold, increased stagger damage, farther arrow/bullet range
Resilient: Increases your Stagger threshold by x-y.
Stalwart: Increases your Stagger recovery by x-y per second.
Knights: Increases your Block speed and block recovery time by x-y. (The time which it takes to raise one's guard, and recover from blocking a blow).
Hares: Increases your movement sprinting speed by x-y%.
Zealous: Increases your Action speed by x-y%.
Soothing: Increases your Mana Regeneration rate by x-y%.
Acolytes: Increases your Maximum Mana by x-y.
Kings: Increases your total health regeneration by x-y%.
Steadfast: Increases your maximum health by x-y.
Falcons: Increases the range your arrows fly before dropping off by x-y meters.
Ferocious: Increases the damage of your Heavy Attacks by x-y%.
Relentless: Increases the damage of your Light Attacks by x-y%.
Tigers: increases your Stagger damage by x-y%.
Evasive: Reduces the Stamina cost to block, parry, dodge, or counter by x-y.
Athletes: Increases your maximum Stamina by x-y.=
Invigorating: Increased Stamina Regen rate by x-y per second.
Precise: Perfectly times Heavy Strikes regenerate 20 Stamina over 10 seconds.
Keen: Perfectly timed Light Strikes regenerate 6 Stamina over 10 seconds.
Alchemists: Increases the effects of Potions, Tinctures, etc on you by x-y%.
Gluttons: Increases the effect of Food buffs on you by x-y%, and increases their duration by 10 minutes.
Dancers: Performing an evasive attack (Dodge attack, counter attack, feint attack, riposte, etc) grants you x-y% increase movement speed for 3 seconds, and grants you z-d Stamina over 3 seconds.
Bulls: Shield Bash attacks cause x-y% more stagger, and increase your stagger threshold by 10 for 3 seconds.
Murderers: Killing an enemy grants x-y% movement speed for 10 seconds, and recovers z-d stamina over the duration.
Of course, there are also loads more options, just throwing these out off the top of my head as we go. More simplistic, boring, stats.
Swordsman's: Increases your damage with swords by x-y%.
Gunners: Increases your damage with Guns by x-y%.
Behemoths: Increases your damage with axes by x-y%.
Assassins: Increases your damage with Daggers by x-y%.
Etc, you get the point on these basic weapon specific damage increases.
Sages: Increases your Intelligence by x-y.
Monks: Increases your Focus by x-y.
Bastions: Increases your Constitution by x-y.
Contenders: Increases your Strength by x-y.
Wolverines: Increases your Dexterity by x-y.
Spellwarding: Reduces magical damage taken by x-y%.
Bladewarding: Reduces damage from physical attacks by x-y%.
The weird crafting stuff can stay, it's fine, but it seems entirely pointless and out of place. I don't really know why anyone would want to, or enjoy, swapping their gear in order to craft something. Seems so arbitrary. Items desperately need some identity on them, and something that makes them unique, fun, and a reason to equip one item over another that impacts your choice as a player.
CraftingCrafting is far too simplistic and boring. I'm not asking for a mini game like crafting system such as FFXIV, but just clicking "Item - Amount - Craft" isn't fun. Thank god it's instant though, the amount of time sink this game currently provides, mostly in part due to the traveling between quests, is quite extensive.
There should be far more crafting options, tons more items to craft, such as armor and weapons, tools, etc. Maybe when you show us the mounts there can be a mount specific profession, to create saddles, barding, horseshoes, etc to better upgrade your mount. There is simply not enough interesting stuff to craft. Nothing is interesting to craft, it's just.. basic items. I'd wager this is due to the fact that there are no interesting stats on items. Using additional reagents to attempt to sway the result of an item is decent, but it's still too rng based. You need to be able to sit down and say, "Ok, so I want a piece of heavy armor that provides me with more Stagger threshold, and maximum stamina." and you should be able to go to the crafting station and craft it. No ifs ands or buts.
You should also be able to find recipes for specific items, and be able to make item sets which have similar attributes and traits on them. Not like "Diablo 2" style sets, but just an ensemble of gear that goes together and has synergy amongst itself.
Also something that is very annoying, when selecting an augment for your item while crafting, have there be a "Hide un-owned" option so you can browse the augments you have, without having to look through the entire list. There also should be a profession dedicated to creating these augments, and a way to enchant gear for additional effects and perks. I'd happily have deep pockets on every item please :)
Overall, crafting is very rudimentary, it feels rushed and poorly thought out. It should be much more rewarding to craft items, and less of a slog. I had to craft SO MANY items to level 24 Armoring it's insane. I spent most of my time so far farming iron, leather, and cloth in order to level it. Meanwhile I randomly hit up the cooking station and cook random stuff and I'm level 40+ cooking. There is a massive discrepancy in the experience needed/received for upgrading certain professions. That needs some more tuning as well I think.
PVPPvP in this game was supposed to be the core, the backbone, and the lifeblood of the beast. Unfortunately, that's not the case. The entire game has been 180d to the opposite direction and the main function of the game was entirely removed. PvP doesn't really have much of a purpose it seems. You can go PvP, or you can just not and you don't really lose out on anything. You can do PvP quests, but why? Just to get that bar filled up and possibly declare a war? To what end, and what purpose? Why do you want to own a territory? What is the point and reason behind it? Just to gain a little extra gold from taxes, a pittance to a kings cup? Seems pointless overall.
There is no punishment or risk for dying in PvP. You just respawn. Thanks for the free port, gents! My bags were getting full anyway. The PvP quests are absolutely by far even worse than the regular quests. "Go walk 2.8km and stand there for 100 seconds, then walk another 1.12km and stand there for 100 seconds, etc." Don't forget "Go do the same quest you've been doing this entire time, but do it on PvP!" Wow, such an interesting design. There needs to be a drastic overhaul to the PvP system. It needs a reason, purpose, and meaning to engage with it as a system overall, and as a player.
There needs to be quests to kill players. When you kill players in PvP, you should be able to take a portion (say 10-20%) of their gold and their Faction Tokens. This would be good for the economy as it would drive sales through the roof. Rather than people carrying around bags of money on them, they would invest into the economy and trade goods. It would give a greater value to, say Orichalcum Ingots or whatever. Going out to do some PvP Quests? Cash your gold out and buy some ingots or materials.
There also could be incentives to take these materials elsewhere and sell them for a profit. It would influence the economy in interesting ways. You should also drop some random items when you are killed in PvP. People cry about full loot - look, I get it, not everyone wants to lose their items - but there needs to be some sort of penalty for dying in PvP other than "Oh well I'll just respawn, no big deal."
PVEPvE seems to be rather lacking in this game as well. As far as I'm aware, there are no dungeons, no raids, no instanced combat outside of the Sieges, and that one fight against that Spriggan. That's it.
The bad PvE is compounded by the fact that there are only a handful of enemies in the game. I'm level 30, and the only things I've seen are A) A handful of animals (Boars, wolves, Lynx), B) Some undead (Zombies, ghosts, skeletons), C) Those weird bat things. That's it. I'm not asking for the entire game to be thrust into a high fantasy setting with dragons and such, but there's got to be more variety and what not with more different types of enemies to be found, more often, and more of them. People claim that "You just have to look for them! They are there!" I'm not saying that they don't exist, and that there aren't a couple different varieties here and there. I'm simply saying there needs to be more of them, more often, and more varieties among the different "genres" of enemy.
Considering the fact that we're magically ported into some magical land with spirits, demonic forces (corruptions?), magical spells, spectres, tree-encrusted elk, etc, that the game is already in a fantasy setting. There is tons of room for more additions in that regard.
The questing is not lending any help to this absolutely abysmal gameplay loop (literally loop in some cases) of running in circles several km at a time and doing the exact same thing all day. If you want this to be a PvE game, there needs to be PvE content, and not some watered down nonsense that we currently have. I could make many suggestions, but I don't think that I really need to. Nor do I think it wise for the health of this post.
GuildsWhat's the purpose of a guild outside of a bit of tax money from owning a property? You don't need to be in a guild to do anything, and they don't really provide any sort of benefit or interesting changes to the game. So, what's the point exactly? They seem just randomly thrown into the game. Why are there no Guild quests? Weekly/Daily guild quests that reward everyone in the guild with some crafting materials or something.
Craft 20 Iron Swords, 15 Iron Shields, 10 Muskets and 10 bows. Once you've crafted these items, bring them to jimmy joe bob the dude man. Random numbers for these quests, just to demonstrate an idea here. Once you complete the quest, everyone gets a large amount of Area Standing wherever the quest was, you get Faction Tokens, a small amount of gold, and some more crafting materials in return for the "next order." There are so many interesting and fun things that guilds could do in order to engage the players and get them involved with the game and the economy as a whole. The guild system just seems so lacking.
There should be Guild vs Guild PvP outside of Sieges. You should be able to declare war on specific guilds, flagging them permanently for PvP at all times (Save for cities of course), which would also flag you against them. Killing X of that guild would grant you standing and progress towards that territory, while diminishing theirs. In order to declare war on a faction they must have at least 10 players above level 20 in the guild, or other stipulations to avoid griefing new guilds and lowbies, but apparently that was too hard to do since the entire game was changed from a PvP game at the drop of a tear.
FactionsFactions need a lot of work. I don't even know what they are. Why they exist. What they're for, or what their goals are. Outside of the initial 2 paragraph introduction of them, there is nothing else mentioned and they're just kind of forgotten about. They just seem to dictate the color of your PvP flag or whatever.
In all honesty I don't think the factions serve any functioning purpose. The game should be based around players fighting players, guilds fighting guilds. Although I don't really quite see the purpose of the pvp in this game, which is another issue. Factions need to have something more interesting to do. The quests they give you are absolutely god awful horrendous. No, I'm not going to walk 2km to kill 3 boars and come back for a slap in the face worth of "rewards."
ExplorationThe exploration in this game is a mixed bag. The areas are beautiful, the scenery is great, and the audio is top notch. Sadly, that's where the positives end in this regard. There is no reason to ever explore. You will never find something cool, you will never encounter something interesting or exciting. Everything is, mostly, the same reused enemies, the same reused structures, and the same reused assets over and over ad nauseum.
Why have I not stumbled into a mine system and gotten lost for 2 hours just exploring it? Well, even if said mine existed, I'd have no reason to go in and check it out. Why? Because I know I'd walk in and wipe the floor with the enemies inside, and get nothing out of it other than "well that was a waste of time." There aren't items worth finding. Even if I found a chest with 200 Orichalcum bars, I wouldn't be able to carry them. Even if I found a chest with 20,000 gold, it's just gold. Don't really need it for anything except for maybe some over priced oil or whatever. There is just no reason to ever explore and search about the wilderness, as there is no reward structure for it. Exploration for exploration's sake is not rewarding. It's a shame because it's a very pretty game that is nice to look at. I want to explore, I want to find stuff... but there just isn't anything to find.
A massive overhaul to items must be required in order to make exploring feel rewarding at all. Maybe you can find a boss that when killed will grant you some Faction tokens, a bunch of standing and special crafting reagents, I don't know. It still doesn't seem like enough for me to want to explore anything.
Progression/CustomizationCharacter customization (Not character creation, I'm talkin real customization) is pretty abysmal. You get a stat point. That's it. You get a stat point. There needs to be more, this is seriously ridiculous. It's 2020, there is no reason that we don't have some sort of advancement to be made with our characters upon leveling. A single stat point is quite depressing. There is no reason we can't have skill trees, talent points, or perks to invest in while leveling. The only thing that sets you apart from another player is... well, what weapons you're using really. And since everyone will be using Hatchet/Life staff... it's just a bunch of clones running around in clone suits honking their noses at each other.
I'm not really sure how to fix this other than that. I can't design a system off the top of my head for this right now, but I'm sure given enough time I could.
Now, along to more technical/niche stuff. Not much to say here but I feel it needs mentioning.
Keybinds! Why can you not remap keys to what you want them to be? Small gripe, big deal to a lot of people.
Mob Trains, mob AI and griefing. Why do mobs randomly stop targeting you, and instead target someone else? I’ve had so many people do this to me while I’m gathering a Gold Node or something, they will bring a few mobs to me and then they will start attacking ME instead of the person who aggroed them, which causes me to stop mining and lose the node. Big bag. Very real and big bad.