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[personal profile] tanithryudo
So it's been over a month since the Heart of Thorns expansion came out, and I figured I should write something up on my impressions. I had wanted to wait until I played more of the content, but looking over my progress that's probably going to take a good while, which may not necessarily be a bad thing.

(Note: I'm coming into this with a POV of a casual player and altaholic. So there's very little I can really say about Raids, Fractals, sPvP, WvW, or high end items/economics (eg. Legendaries).)


First of all, I'll start with the things I've liked with the expansion, in no particular order:

1. Most of the elite specializations have been awesome. Seriously, I think I've spent as much time playing my characters in their new specs out in Core Tyria as playing through the new zones.

I know I was highly skeptical of the Druid as a healer class and the last class to be announced (and thus had barely any time allotted for feedback and fixes), but it's become my favorite now and has made me start playing my ranger as my main main again. And the thing is, I love it without even using its new healer mechanic much (hence I barely felt the...'fixes' to AF). The traits are must-haves (for me), I prefer the staff over longbow (I just don't feel the longbow, not that it's bad), the glyphs have decent options that I find myself actually running, and the new dino pets are awesome.

I was also pretty skeptical of the Tempest during the betas as it didn't seem to offer much over base elementalist, which was already at the top of PvE. Yet...I've dropped water and arcane for air and tempest now and haven't really looked back. I feel like I'm doing more damage, have more control with stability on demand, and I don't feel like I've given up all that much in exchange. The only thing I miss sometimes is the fall damage trait and that's only relevant in Dry Top, really.

Chronomancer has been pretty much the top of my list in the betas and still remains pretty strong. The wells are also nice additions but honestly the mesmer has so many useful utility skills that it's always been hard to choose just three at any time.

I've also heard good things about Dragonhunter and Reaper, obviously, but I just haven't had time to play them. My thief is running Daredevil for the perma-swiftness, but again, not enough time to play it. Pretty much the only lvl 80 alts I have who are not switched over to the elite specs are the warrior (my gathering farmbot) and engineer (not feeling the hammer and gyros).

2. Revenant/Herald. Still pretty awesome, even if I've been liking Druid, Chronomancer, and Tempest better.

3. PS/Achievement/Collection rewards

A...somewhat oddly specific thing to like, admittedly, but popped up a lot on my radar as I played through the content.

I love that I can get the majority of the Auric weapon skins (which then unlocks the Auric backpiece and collection for the Ascended Auric backpiece) by running the personal story. Getting all my alts through will get me 9 of 16 pieces. And if I craft the rest of the 7 pieces, honestly it only looks expensive if I'm going to buy all the mats from the TP - otherwise, it feels like it's less work (certainly less RNG) than doing the Ambrite weapon set.

And the second to last mission gives you a choice of a exotic gear in one of the new stats, meaning I can get eventually my engineer fully geared out in Viper's stat without having to spend a single copper.

I like the Ascended Marauder trinkets we get for the personal story achievements. Honestly the achieves for the first two PS Acts haven't been that hard, and I haven't even had to beg for help on LFG. (Protip: Mesmer is OP, and last one for City of Hope can be cheesed by Engi kits.)

I like that starting the new elite specs gives you a free exotic weapon, and that completing the traitline gives you a free exotic armor (and the associated awesome rune which you can salvage). Even if I was dumb and accidentally deleted some of those pieces instead of salvaging (T_T). I like that they also unlock a collection where you can get an ascended weapon + skin. While it's not entirely free and is mastery locked, it's still cheaper and faster than the rate at which I've crafted ascended items previously (= P).

4. Gliding. Just...gliding. Everything gliding.

5. Squad UI. Actually saw these in action during the Dragon Stand meta event. They're kinda cool, especially with a commander that knows what they're doing.


Things I neither like nor dislike:

1. Masteries - This...honestly seems like one of those standard fare MMO 'endgame progression' things that come standard with the genre. I mean, I'd already seen similar systems on other games so it's not really much of a surprise. I mean, some of the specific choices for masteries were odd (such as being able to get a PvE mentor tag as tier 1 of the core track, and I feel that leyline gliding and advanced gliding should switch places, etc.) but not the system itself.

2. The maps - Personally I haven't had performance issues with them. The layouts are confusing at first, though that gets somewhat better over time, with practice and mastery unlocks. I do find myself doing a lot of waypointing, but I've been making gold consistently so it's not a big drain or anything. The time-based mechanics that all the maps operate under are sometimes...stifling...but also sometimes convenient as I can plan ahead when I go to which zone with which character. I get tired of all the green and brown sometimes but at least it's better than Orr.

3. Moar boxes - So many of the drops in the new zones are boxes that don't stack well, requiring an extra click to get the loot. On the other hand, since some of these are apparently affected by Magic Find, so that means I can funnel them to bank or an alt and then open them under boosters or something.

4. The storyline - I...found it pretty much on the same level as the original personal story. I mean, I didn't have much expectations going in and it hit all the cliches I was expecting, so...?


Stuff I don't like:

1. The dungeon nerf. Even though I hadn't actually been running dungeons for a long time even before HoT, at least the option was still there. Now it's pretty much impossible to find groups for explorable mode dungeons on LFG, which sucks. I do eventually want to complete the CM collection set for the Ascended Assassins ring reward, but that's going to take forever through PvP tracks. Especially when there's so many other PvP reward tracks in competition.

2. Increased cost to ascended mats and refined mats. Admittedly some of this may just be due to increased demand from all the people trying to gear up for raids or doing their legendary collections. And previously I hadn't been planning actually craft ascended armor anyways so the increase in leather doesn't impact me too much. Still. I look at all the growing prices for mats everywhere and I feel bleh.

3. Guild changes. Not that I've ever had expectations to be able to do any of the cosmetic stuff that were going to be added to guilds, but it kinda sucks that some of the existing functions for small guilds are gone now. Specifically, banners. Even if I hardly ever used any of the ones we had in the private guild before HoT, it was still nice that the option was always there.

4. The absolute clutter that is the LFG tool. Seriously, they need to fix this. And I would really prefer to have a search or filter function rather than just adding more tabs.

5. Modrem snipers. Normal non-veteran mobs should not be able to two-shot a character that is not even running full zerkers. Modrem cavaliers need a higher cooldown on their charge skill. Also, those damn frogs from the Octovine meta event. Grr.

6. Reclaimed Metal Plate - seriously? I wished I'd bought some of the rare reclaimed weapons while they were lower in price.


Hm...I probably have some more stuff to say, in general to some of the stuff I've been seeing on reddit this last month+. But it will probably go into a separate post.

(no subject)

Date: 2015-12-03 03:06 pm (UTC)
cashew: Sumomo acting like Sumomo (Default)
From: [personal profile] cashew
1. Elites. I wants them. ;_;

2. Will make a herald, in the future. >.>;;;

3. Given that I've pretty much made most of the ascended stuff that I want already, I think the rewards are less of a motivating factor for me.

4. Gliding would be great, if I can actually get the mastery finished. Stupid optimization problems...

5. Huh. Will be interested in seeing the squad UI - again, once I can actually get the damn thing to run.


And finally Guilds - yeah, I didn't use it much, but it was nice knowing we had it. Also, while not personally affected, because we were able to get the final level of the bank built, it kinda suck balls for any new players trying to start a guild for bank space.
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