There is a lot I could say about the Neverwinter Beta (round two for me) this last weekend.
I got to L20. I got a companion (the dog) and enjoyed some outdoor scenery, which didn’t win any Kitty awards, but it was acceptable. It wasn’t “open world” as much as I expected.
Healing aggro was broken. All gear rewards I received were unusable due to one or two levels above me. Cleric self-heals were nerfed to such uselessness that I took them off my bar. I was not happy and quit playing halfway through Saturday.
Not because a class was nerfed in beta. I just began to realize that the Neverwinter store sells healing and resurrection, so clerics will be competing with the store.
For example, my cleric died a number of times due to the self-heal nerf. On the death screen, I had an option to buy a Cure Serious Wounds scroll from the store, but I could *not* cast a CSW to save my own life.
This is stupid. Also, to quote someone in the forums: “The only way to resurrect someone at this point is to pay real money for a rez scroll from the zen store, and I think that’s a HUGE mistake.” I also imagine clerics will now be potion-buyers, including, no doubt, premium store potions.
I.e. from another quote, which I found to be true: “The Cleric with no heals (now) uses far more pots than any other class.” I agree, and at the same time the DPS stayed low, and worse yet per another cleric forum thread, this situation will not be changed back. I used many healing potions from level 14 to 20, and made lots of repeated runs back to the healing circle to get healed up.
Between this and the gearing/time necessities of being a healer in the first place, which also typically involve store usage, and the inability to target except by facing, I no longer plan to play a cleric. I’m thinking to wait for more classes, like a paladin or druid, and wait for TESO at the same time. Of course, DDO players had to wait for years to get a Druid class, if I remember right.
A D&D cleric without a rez or raise dead, because those are store-only? Really?! F2P makes my head explode.
PAX East ended over the weekend, and news-wise it seemed to fall flat. Turbine didn’t have a booth at all. Blizzard had a big announcement that fizzled (a trading card game based on WoW). Chris at Levelcapped wrote a nice PAX mega-postup. The most interesting observations to me were how the people at PAX East were obnoxious. He says:
“People just seem to really prefer being angry, annoyed, and grumpy, and find it easier to give into the need to let anyone and everyone know about it. I cannot fathom how people claim to love gaming, yet feel that it’s more important to be negative, to be abusive to one another, and to treat one another and the hobby like absolute shit.”
I then noticed in his previous post that he has only just reached level cap with his second character ever. The mystery is solved. This is probably why he is still in a good mood. Not enough raiding or endgame PvP gear grinds. He also calls gaming a “hobby” and not a lifestyle.
Chris is obviously a dedicated gamer and great writer, but I wouldn’t dis people for douchebaggery when they are ten times more dedicated than you are. Hardcore and douchebaggery go hand in hand, and they are an important part of the scene. They go hand in hand with gaming.
In fact, I don’t like obnoxious, annoying people either in real life, but how can you argue that Fawkes (Will Wheaton) and the Axis Of Anarchy jerks in The Guild aren’t part of what makes gaming awesome and never boring?
First of all, this is nothing new. Before video games, there was chess, which has a history filled with jerks, egotists, racists, and general troglodytes. Certainly not all arrogant jerks are good players, and maybe these are the people to whom Chris is referring.
My point is just that as an average (expert-level in college) player, I would never bash a chess grandmaster because he is a jerk. If he smelled bad, I would never mention it.
Speaking of chess, there is another factor to consider: a lot of people see games as a competition, even MMOs. The goal is to win, even by cheating.
For example, to continue the chess analogy, in a college tournament in Florida, I had a winning chess position against an older guy, an average player. His side was in bad shape, and he had no move left except to lose. He offered a draw. I took it. Why?
I’m a Buddhist. Then and now, I don’t really care about winning. I did this all the time, even in tournaments. I drew a lot of winning positions. I really don’t like confrontation, and actually prefer cooperative games over games where you try to “beat” people.
So in chess if someone offered a draw when their position seemed lost, I considered it to be lame, undignified, dishonorable, and I lost respect for that person, but I typically went with it. I won, and I didn’t care about the official score.
So what did this guy do? When we signed each others’ scorecards, he wrote a comment insulting my intelligence, as if to say “sucker!” Who is the idiot? Maybe the idiot is the guy who cares about winning so much instead of playing with class, which is what a lot of game developers are doing with F2P and DLC these days.
What’s the moral of the story? Badass can be classy, but it can also be 100% pathetic. Which are you?
People these days like to bash and make fun of forum trolls, crybabies, playstyle snobs, and angry gamers, and I don’t like this trend. I support evil (excepting corporate evil ruining RPGs, which is another story). These people are a real and entertaining part of the gaming culture, and I love them. Even Francis.
A new MMO blogger came onto the Kitty radar today. If you’d like to see some more blogging about the Neverwinter Beta, plus some pics, the LvlingLife blog is worth a look. She apparently did not see what the cleric was like two weeks ago, so she will probably cope.