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Impressions of Server

Posted: Wed Oct 05, 2022 7:28 am
by Twirlip
I played casually on this server a couple of years ago for a while and then had to go off and do other things. I came back about a month ago and thought it might be interesting to describe how I see things from that perspective.

Firstly the good things, which are many. A generally friendly and helpful community of players is probably the most important asset of any server and BSK gets a huge tick on this one. In the past I've inadvertently done things which caused problems for other players and the response has often been an explanation of what the problem was together with advice on how to do things better.

The next big plus is the number and variety of quests available for people soloing and playing small groups. These provide a nice steady increase in difficulty and with a few lessons learned in terms of character builds and gearing I've been able to do all quests on my own up to and including the Lost City. The blood cult quest seems to be a step too far, at least for now.

The crafting system has to be the best I've seen on any server. I love the way that you are rewarded for designing and building a dedicated crafter character and that information on crafting has to be learned by experimentation or by asking in game. I also like the fact that once you have a crafter character, a source of forge stones, and a few lucky drops, you can build gear that seems at least in the same ball park as that used by veterans here. It certainly allows people who like to solo to get to level 40 and work their way through the quests relatively easily.

The idea of the Horde is wonderful. I used to play on various Last Stand or Zombie Survival type servers that have now largely disappeared. Attaching this idea to a more general server with a relatively buoyant population as a sort of mini-game is a great way of allowing this sort of challenge to continue. In theory it should also be good practice for team work in end game raids, which brings me to what I see (personally) as the not so great side of the server.

Once you have a geared out max level character, the next obvious step is to get involved in end game content. From the limited amount I've seen, it's obvious that a lot of thought and hard work has gone into the design of these areas and encounters. The problem I have is that unlike the earlier quests that can be soloed, the background and reasoning behind the end game raids does not seem to be present. What typically seems to happen is that you get invited on raids where a few people seem to know what is happening and to understand the mechanics. Many of them seem unable to explain the background to the raids and why, for example, they need to go to certain places and do certain things or say certain words. I'm guessing this is because they learned through the "monkey see, monkey do" method themselves.

A more concrete example of what I'm talking about might better explain things. When a raid is being set up, typically certain people will disappear to places you've never visited and have no idea of how to get to, and then transition to another area where they will set up a portal, or open a locked door from the other side. I suspect that there must have been quests done before to open up the later raids and explain how to get to them and what the mechanics are, but if so I've never seen or heard anything about them. As someone who hates not understanding the hows and whys of a situation, this is a big reason why most of the time I'd prefer to be solo leveling or doing Horde rather than raiding.

Another thing that puts me off raiding is that in many cases it becomes a zerg. Maybe in theory if you have max geared characters backed up by a team who know what they're doing, you can raid without this being the case. In practice though, what I see are lots of people running around getting one shotted whilst others are running in circles trying to allow others to rez the fallen. Rinse and repeat. It works, kind of, but it's not pretty. What's more a concern is that it relies on numbers. If the server population goes down these tactics will no longer work and no one seems interested in doing things properly and won't know what that involves. I've seen servers die for this reason because the end game content is no longer possible.

One final point. Loot drops seem well enough balanced for solo leveling, though drops of certain items seem much rarer than I remember them before my break. I'm essentially relying on a stock of such items I found before my break, but good luck to anyone new to the server. The loot drops I've seen so far in raids though are pretty pathetic considering the time and effort involved and consumables used. This in comparison with the drops that could be expected spending the same amount of time doing high end solo content. Sure, there might be the chance of a rare drop or crafting component, but if maxed out gear gives very little advantage anyway in raiding over that which is craftable using widely available components, then I don't see it being worth it.