I completed the Grand Tour and it was no easy feat, let me tell you. The Tower of the Shuttered is utterly ridiculous. My character seems even weaker than before, if such a thing is possible and the creatures have their density and power turned up past 11! It takes all your health and mana to take down one skeletons and for some reasons the Devs thought it would be funny to riddle the land with so many monsters that it actually causes the game to freeze! What the hell were they thinking? It’s not just hard, it’s impossible and there is no fun to it. Plus, this new ghost effect, which I’ve seen more than I would like to admit, is just plain annoying. What the hell is the point of just hovering there for a minute?

The balance of gameplay is WAY OFF. It’s just too damn hard. I guess because people were able to make it past level 50 in a week for R11, it was time to punish everyone? Ease up on the thumb screws guys. Not all of us are dying to join a Guild or have 50 online friends we can form a party from. Some of us face these creatures and quests solo you know.

The new Skill Trainer is a horrible idea! Before you could add skill points as soon as you got them, i.e. when you leveled up, but now you have to go to a Skills Trainer. Ok, I’m fine with that. It makes sense you have to meet with your Combat Sensei before applying new skills, but what the hell is the deal with having to use gold? What kind of dumbass idea is this? Using skill points should not be coupled with having to use gold, especially since gold is so damn hard to come by in this game. You can’t kill anything because you don’t have skill points, but you can’t get skill points until you kill something. And all the while the precious few coins you do get go to buying armor and weapons because you’re mere life depends on it. I could understand using gold, but not for the first few levels, we just don’t have it. The game is already turning into a Grind, something Lord British said he really wanted to get away from.

There is a slight upside to the skill points though, you can gain experience by completing quests. I was actually able to gain several levels by completing the quests I was going to do anyway. Since I was too damn weak for combat this was a nice way of actually gaining some skill points. This was also how I got enough gold to actually buy some armor. This is actually working well and does a pretty reasonable job of offsetting the Skill Trainer.

And just to show how the creature density and strength is just too damn high, have you paid a visit to Vertas Pass? It looks the same until you turn the corner and head toward to the Control Point. Before, this had a few Mages and Fighter to start and then it would just keep sending waves at you. Now there are dozens of creatures just waiting. Again, unless you’re in a party of 50 people this section is completely useless and off limits to you. You’ll never survive.

I can hear it now, people are just going to say you need to get strong and quit whining. I agree, but where and how is that supposed to happen? There’s no progression so you’re fighting above your weight class right from the beginning. I thought things were pretty good last time, maybe needed a little tuning, but this seems to have tipped the other way. I’m sure I’ll have a different tune, when or if, I reach Level 40+, but starting out is really slow going.

To top it all off, my idea of getting a house this release is probably out the window. Owl’s Head is filling fast, which means other places are going quickly too. Where are people getting all this money? They have a money making scheme I need to be privy to. I thought I was doing well in R11 to make 25k in gold and people have already amassed over 50k. I also see the Guild names popping up for people, so money, money, money.

I’ll keep slugging away and see where I end up. Oh, and be careful of the spiders, those damnable things spin webs now which gets you stick in place.

More brilliant musings about my adventures in New Britannia

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