Why Bother

Some of the Bigger Issues Facing B&S

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I've been playing since our first beta tests over two years ago, and here's the biggest issues I feel they need to address.

 

Improve Performance, and Address Ineffective Performance Enhancing Options:
Poor performance has been a complaint here since our beta test phase, while many keep blaming the servers, I find the client to be the biggest issue, with horrible load times being the main issue of the lag, and stuttering many encounter. With my old computer, my typical load times were about two minutes when loading in a new area, with my new computer, it's about fifteen, to thirty seconds. Everything runs better on my new computer, but the difference for B&S is just far too extreme, as it just seems very finicky as to what it wants to run well on. Many have quit the game due to the general poor performance of the client, and while many blame the user, or the game engine, I should point out that TERA uses the same version, of the same game engine, and my load times in that game for my old computer were about thirty seconds, or less, which was my typical load times in games with my old computer, so clearly the problem is B&S itself.

 

Aside from general poor performance, options you'd think would help, I find pretty useless when it comes to loading issues. There's an option to hide other player characters, but even while hidden, the game still loads in all their assets, including attack effects, a matter that becomes obvious anytime you enter a crowded area with it already enabled, or when everyone attacks at once in a raid, and experience lag/stuttering due to it loading everyone in, or their attacks, which is only further demonstrated when you later disable it, and see everyone instantly pop up, fully loaded in, while if you entered a crowded area with it off, they'd load in over time. The option to run the game optimized for low end computers you'd also  think would reduce load times, but with my old computer, I didn't see any difference in load times between using that, and maxed settings. Both settings only seem to impact the rendering of graphics, not the loading of assets, which for many, is the bigger issue.

 


Progression, and the Community:
The story is really just a solo experience, but outside of the story content, pretty much everything you need to do to advance your equipment, which is now the main drive of playing, requires a team. Although getting a team to do content can be a real pain, as either people don't do the content, or much of the community puts stats/equipment demands on getting a team well beyond what is actually required to do it, and what the dungeon was made to provide materials to make, as they want a fast, and easy run (ex: Skybreak Spire is where you get the materials to make Raven weapons, but people typically insist you have a Raven weapon to do it). If you can't get a team, you can't get what you need to advance your character, and if you can't do that, you may as well quit, which is what many do.

 

Events in this game seem to often get used as ways to get the materials people need, and other such things, rather than be fun side activities. Personally, I feel what we need should come from playing the game, not from events, events should just be for fun extra stuff, and as a break from the daily grind, rather than add a new daily grind. What can make events even worse is how they can involve those dungeons people put absurd requirements on, which limits who can participate. On the plus side, the Daily Challenge, which is also crucial to the development of our characters, and often related to events, is finally far more accessible to newer players/characters what with there always being one, or two easy dungeons, that people don't tend to care about your stats for, and two things where you just need to show up, making it far more manageable for newer players/characters to complete.

 

To help with progression I really wish there was solo versions of most dungeons, so some would have three variations, solo, normal, and hard. With the solo version you could learn most of the mechanics of the dungeon to help prepare you for running it with a team, and could provide equipment upgrade items, but not everything that normal, and hard group dungeons have. Normal, and hard would have items solo doesn't, like cosmetics, legendary equipment drops, and so on, similar to the difference in normal, and hard mode now. This would help when much of the community refuses to team with people below certain absurd standards, and provides a means for people to advance, so they can reach those standards.

 

Another issue is the dungeon loot system. With everyone bidding on the same loot, it means the ideal thing when doing a dungeon with something you want, is to do it with others that don't want it. Although if you're doing the dungeon with newer characters than you, it's likely they all want it too, making for another reason why people put in the high team member stat/equipment requirements they do, even if they themselves don't meet those demands. People try to justify the bidding system by saying you get a cut of the gold someone spent, but that could easily be compensated for by giving more gold in dynamic quests. Then with most drops all being either character, or account bound anyhow, every player could be given their own loot, rather than going through the potentially lengthy bidding system. You ask players to work together, and play nicely with each other to do dungeons, but the bidding system just ends up being another thing that causes players to fight with each other, and an added reason to restrict who is allowed to participate.

 

Finally, revert the gold reward reductions that were made to various mid level dungeon dailies since the level 55 update, and stop doing so in the future. First off, at the same time that was first done, those dungeons also got scaled up, so you made the dungeons harder, but also less rewarding. Then there's a limit to how many dailies one can do per day, and you keep adding more higher level, more rewarding dailies to do, so over time, the high level, well geared players just won't be doing those mid level ones anyhow, if that was the concern. Although if it was, it should be pointed out that the main way the high level, well equipped players make lots of gold, is by selling stuff, not doing quests. This has always been the case, which is why when you'd tinker with things like ways to get Moonstones (back before there were Moonstone Crystals), they'd complain that you were cutting into their profits. Although for a character that is still trying to advance, quest gold is a big deal, as they can't get much in the way of stuff to sell these days, so you're just hurting characters that are trying to advance by reducing those gold rewards.

 


Comment on Being Alt Unfriendly, and the Addition of new Classes:
The game has never been very friendly to those playing alts, outside of doing things like events on alts to farm event rewards, although you have been adding more new classes, and if the rumors are true, intend to keep adding more in the future. Given how many long character specific grinds the game has, playing, or starting another character doesn't work out well, so if playing/starting more characters is what you will be continuing to ask people to do by adding new classes, some changes would be in order to make the game more accommodating to doing so. These would be things like a third storage tab that is shared by all characters on the account, have at least some equipment, and more items made account bound, rather than character bound, and have our Hongmoon levels shared by all our characters on an account, rather than being per character.

 


Stop Selling Materials in the Cash Shop, and Integrating the Cash Shop in Events:
Once a company starts selling the things we're suppose to be playing to get, then you can bet they will manipulate the supply, and demand of such items to try to maximize their profits from selling such items, even at the detriment of the game on a whole. It then just becomes a matter of how obvious the manipulations are, and how willing the player base is to accept them. These sort of manipulations tend to get worse over time, and as a result causes more, and more people to get fed up with the game, and quit, which especially for a game as dependent on playing with others as this game is, gets to be an increasingly big problem. There's plenty of other ways to make money from a game, and games out there that don't sell such items, it's just a troubling trend that more games are selling such items, and more players are excusing companies for doing so.

Edited by Why Bother
Adjustments to the wording.

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+1000. Specially on your points about "Progression, and the community", which nailed the issues for me in that respect; but overall very good, accurate post. 

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