I have gotten to the point where Shroud is a game that feels too slow. Not slow in loading, but slow in game play and a sense of progression. For a game that wasn’t supposed to be a grind, it has become nothing but a grind.

Resource gathering, the other half of the game since adventuring is missing or broken, is mundane and monotonous. Field dressing, harvesting cotton, mining and even pulling garlic from the ground all take too long. Taking 10-15 seconds to cut down a tree you find along the road might not seem problematic, but when you need to harvest a dozen trees from an area, that piles up. That 10 seconds takes into account a high success rate and not the usual “harvest failed” for higher level areas.

It’s 15 seconds for the first attempt. Then another 15 if you get a meticulous collection. But it resets for a “harvest failed” or if you get interrupted by wolves. Then there is added time to harvest hides because it’s a matter of waste not, want not!

In most cases, 15-20 minutes of game play yield 1-3 of a couple of items, which doesn’t give a big sense of accomplishment.

At the start, it should take a long time for these activities. But once you have done it several hundreds times, it should only take a second or two to complete. Yet that time doesn’t decrease. The rare “critical” speed is probably too fast, but the normal speed is far too slow and laborious.

Additionally, I feel skills are upside down as the power barely increases and the fizzle barely decreases. A 0.1-0.2% change per level is hardly worth chasing.

As expected, when you first begin a skill tree, spells fail and offer minimal damage. After prolonged use, the success rate and damage should be much higher. However, a level 60 spell is only a percent or two better than a level 40, yet it takes thousands of XP points to get there. Reagent consumption rate goes down, which is about the only thing that makes sense.

For example, Stone First, Fire Fist, Ice Fist and Death Touch are melee styled spells, usually doled out by a fighter. Being up close and personal, the fighter would wear the heaviest most protective armor available. But, that raises the fizzle rate, negating the practicality of the spell. It becomes a foolish game of acceptable punishment for advancement.

And that’s not a game worth playing.

More brilliant musings about my adventures in New Britannia

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