With the 1.3 patch notes coming out; Land of the Dead, AoE and class balance is obviously getting loads of attention. Forums are heating up or exploding with joy and the blogging community is busier than a crack dealer on a day trip to Luton. But lets not forget the patch also brings us lots of other changes. I'm going to pick out a few things (not all of them!) that for me are the kinda underdog highlights, including some things I've been asking for since I started this bloody blog.
"To ensure that you and your allies can wage battle against the undead legions of the Tomb Kings (or any of the game's other challenging instanced bosses!), we have made several player-friendly changes to the instance lockout timer system. Now, players both with and without lockout timers can join forces to crush the enemy and reap the rewards of conquest. "
I'm really, really, REALLY pleased to see this. I've whinged about the current system so many times before. This is actually a huge improvement for the PvE experience. There's a lot more info about this change further down the patch notes. Basically it's the WoW system and in this case, that's no bad thing.
"The Armor Ward system has been replaced with a new achievement-based system called Sigils. Each Sigil represents a Ward that was previously awarded through the acquisition and equipping of armor sets found in the Old World Armory. The purpose of the Sigil system is to allow players to get the benefit of the Wards previously associated with the armor sets without being required to wear and use that armor set. It also allows for new methods of receiving the Ward and progressing through the game without collecting armor sets.
The new Sigil system can be viewed and tracked in the Old World Armory section of the Tome of Knowledge. Clicking on any Sigil loads a page that displays the fragments needed to complete the Sigil, and describes the tasks associated with each fragment of the Sigil. For any given fragment, only one task of those presented will need to be done. You can see the tasks associated with each fragment by clicking on the fragment icon on the left side of the screen. Also, obtaining a fragment of a higher level Sigil will unlock the fragment for any lower level Sigils. Any players who have current armor or sets that would fulfill a fragment task for any Sigil fragment will be granted credit for the fragment task upon first logging in on that character. Once unlocked, a fragment is unlocked; completing multiple fragment tasks for any particular task will not grant any additional bonus. "
This is an incredibly good move. I've posted in the past about wards and how the system has the potential to be the best PvE instance progression system in any MMO to date. On paper this looks to be the realisation of that potential.
"Respawn checkpoints have been added throughout Gunbad. In most cases, this means that when a character dies, he or she will respawn closer to the location of death instead of at the dungeon entrance.rather These checkpoints also include a Healer. "
I wanted to like Mount Gunbad and Bastion Stair, but I just found both a frustrating experience. Anyone dies, discons or whatever and it's repeat killing the same bloody trash over and over again. To be fair I haven't done either since the first month or two after launch, so maybe it's not so bad now, but regardless this is a good change. I might even take an alt through these dungeons sometime...
"Players logging out in most instances will be able to log back into the instance at the spot they left if they return within five minutes. This includes Scenarios and dungeons. "
Everytime a CTD or discon shafts us mid instance a kitten dies. The kitten community will be relieved. Another great dungeon fix. GJ Mythic.
"Guilds can now purchase the Deadbolt upgrade for their Keeps. This upgrade locks the inner door of a claimed Keep, making it so enemies cannot use Pick Lock or Bypass Defenses to gain entry into the inner Keep. When the Deadbolt upgrade has been purchased, the postern door will be named "Dead-locked Postern Door." "
Ninjas get nerfed which includes my Choppa, but still no complaints here. This is exactly what I had hoped for. Result! :)
"Players now have the option to opt-out of the loot roll at any Public Quest. Opting-out will not affect your contribution, but will bypass your character when rolling for loot, allowing others to get a chance at the loot. The following rules apply"
The community has been crying out for this since launch. Finally!
"Players who have won loot from a Public Quest, but were unable to claim it for one reason or another, will now have that loot mailed to them 24 hours later. The unclaimed loot will appear in the player's mailbox after the 24 hour period with the Public Quest listed as the sender for easy identification"
Another common complaint fixed!
"Take control like never before with improved Action Bar functionality. Show up to five action bars on the screen, and customize the orientation and number of buttons on each bar individually. "
For most of my characters this isn't so important, but for my Chosen this is great. I use a LOT of abilities, pots, items and macros on him and can't fit everything on 4 tool bars. Good news.
"We have expanded player inventory to ensure that you have room for all of the new treasures you find in the Land of the Dead. Players will be able to obtain additional inventory space for alternative currency and crafting, freeing up their existing inventory for more loot! "
Much like action bars, this is going to make my life a lot easier for my Chosen. I carry around a range of different armour and equipment for using in different situations, which doesn't leave me much inventory room.
"New weapons that can be customized with special talismans from the Land of the Dead! "
At the moment the only top end weapons come from Lost Vale, with no RVR equivalent. There's quite a few mid range end game weapons from Bastion Stair, the remnant weapons or RvR influence rewards, but nothing that compares with the good Lost Vale drops. Hopefully the new LotD weapons will be on a par with the best that LV has to offer.
On paper 1.3 is looking like a very good patch. It bring us the wonders of Darkness Falls 2 in Land of the Dead, the AoE fix the game was desperate for and the rebalancing of single target damage. All of which are very good, but it also brings us loads of things that improve the general experience of playing WAR and relieve many of it's longest serving frustrations.
I'm sure there will also be new problems and no doubt performance headaches whilst the patch settles down, yet for me the content of this patch clearly demonstrates that Mythic are not only listening, but also understand our frustrations. They took their time with some of these changes, but 1.3 is shaping up to be a huge step in the right direction. Credit where credits due.