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1.18 First ImpressionsFollow

#1 Jul 22 2011 at 12:09 PM Rating: Excellent
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1.18 launched yesterday, and while I haven’t done every new thing in the game, I was able to test many things and get my overall impression. And right off the bat, I don't like this patch much at all.

Guildleves: I understand that its better for the game to remove guildleves as the major focus, as sweeping changes will bring this game in line, but I have to say its still a bad change. Guildleves’ function mainly as solo content to farm minimal SP and guild marks. The mobs offer no additional SP and the reward at the end is static thru all levels, even through the level curve goes up. It feels dumb since grinding may be faster. They could have had SP rewards higher for completion, instead they gutted it and then gutted it some more. Mobs 7 levels above me were giving 41 SP each out of 81,000 SP to next level. Are you kidding me with that junk? And the reward SP was….. 1,200. That cut guildleves out as the predominate way to level up. For guild mark farming, and solo content when low on time, they are practical, but still gutted down to far.

Regarding the action bar;
the bar can now be made to always stay active, instead of hiding. Hiding was aweful, because you had to guess which of the 3 bars was up and then guess which ability would pop up that didn’t trigger an action you don’t want to take. I cant count the times I cast quickstride when I didn’t want to. So now its made static if selected in the menu. Great!? Yes and no, the bars are mainly toggled thru the arrow keys, but the arrow keys also toggle targets on the field. So when you think your moving the bar up and down, your really just reselecting targets in front of you. This multi-use function for the same keys needs to be removed. Let me map the keys, all the keys, and let me see the bars, all the bars. Its frustrating to have a target, want to cast sleep on them, try to toggle to bar 2 where it resides, only to select a new target… Frustrating!

Combat: If someone said to me “The developers of FFXIV are going to make the combat slower than it already is” I would have said no way, Yoshi isn’t that stupid. Guess what, Id be wrong. Combat now relies on Auto Attack as the main source of damage. Auto attack is… slow, like really slow, and requires two key clicks to engage. The main abilities that were spammed before are now on a 1 minute cooldown, and have all but removed their usefulness. TP gains are slower because of this delayed actions/second and so TP moves come out slower. It plays more like FFXI but its slower and painful to watch. Its like watching a slow movie play out in front of you. I want more input on my actions, I don’t want to watch auto attack alone. I like auto attack, but don’t make it the main focus. I buy a car to drive it, not pull over and let a computer drive it for me.

Archers: I main archer and I did because I felt they would get a nerf eventually and leveling them after that would be hard. It was true, and Im glad I did level archer. After this patch they aren’t bad, but they feel disjointed. I get 4 seconds between attacks based on my bow speed, which is slow. I get 15 seconds between multishot, big deal, I can live with it, it still functions but I do miss it. Auto attacks are thrown in when I solo but they look like stone throw animation. The bars made playing feel even weirder because it wasn’t very fluid combat. Im moving faster than melee because I have direct input with Light Shot but its not the same. I cant pinpoint 1 thing that makes it bad, but it just doesn’t feel like good combat anymore. Before it was good, it was fluid and I understood my place, my playstyle and my buffs. Now its just odd gameplay and I need to relearn it.

Casters: I lump these together but I only really touched Conjurer. I did 2 Guildleves and was not impressed at all. The bar issues cause a lot of problems when trying to switch targets and do actions. The AoE toggle is still there so I can have some control. But the thing that really sucks is spells and wanding “The no-MP-cost abilities”. The cooldown is so long. 10 seconds? Really? I have to wait 10 seconds before I can use my wand on an enemy? This puts the main damage on spells and with the increased cost of heals and only heals every fight was an MP drain. Best case in a fight, I don’t link any mobs, sleep 1 add or AoE both, I still walk away with 20% mana remaining. Wait for 2 to 3 minutes while I regen mana before moving on. Its slow paced and difficult. Mana for Heals should be increased but they took it to a level beyond. I could average 10 heals on myself or party members. That’s it! Its just costs to much mana to heal. Its like they wanted to control group combat by regulating incoming heals, but its repercussions are on all types of play, solo, duo, light and full parties.

Melee: Specifically Marauder, but Lancer feels the same way: SLOW. With auto attack the main focus in combat, its like watching paint dry. I want more input, not once per 30 seconds… They took the abilities to the extreme, from 1 click per second to 1 per 30 seconds. Way to fix combat guys! Gaining TP is slow, very slow and without TP I can’t really click anything but the two abilities I have on 1 minute cooldown. And one is an AoE move that I sometimes don’t want to hit, but need to so I can gain hate.

Enmity: I like the new icon, its pretty neat way to see all enemy enmity at once. But the problem I have is the game still has the same bad enmity generator links to it. One heal pulls hate even when Im wailing on the mob? Really? I get it, heals are high threat but still too high. AoE abilities do nothing to pull hate. And Taunts are on a 1 minute or 30 second cooldown. Why so **** long? Are we playing chess?

Companies: Disappointing. That sums it up. An instanced quest hub hidden in the Market Wards, a quest hub with vendor that sells items, weapons and armor for a new currency. Weapons and armor that are not linked to the guilds within the City-State the Company Resides IN! I want a new bow, so join the Gridania Company? Nope, go to Ul’dah. Ok? Companies were supposed to have some link to gather linkshells. And all they truly are is a faction within the game you can join and buy gear if you grind quests/dungeons for the faction. That’s it, nothing new, innovative, or cool. Just a place to kill time and have access to gear you may not even want.

Claiming and SP: The same problem that existing before still exists, when you have 1 group or mob claimed others give less or no SP if also attacked. This problem is even more noticeable in the new dungeons because a single room could have 5 or more mobs in a small area but each is single claim only. Each area is so tightly packed you link them all. It makes for dumb design, because I have to tank mobs that aren’t claimed which means Im attacking them, which means im gaining less or no SP. Why? Why do I have to forego SP gains just to function as a tank in a bad pull situation? Why is there no AoE taunt abilities? Gah it’s frustrating.

Changing Classes and Bars: Still the same as before. Have to readjust action bars and equipment every time you change classes. Its going on 10 months since release and this is still a fundamental flaw in the game. I really wish this was a higher priority because Macros are filled with Action Bar macros, not action macros.

Loot Distribution and Display: Last night, first run in, we beat a boss in the dungeon. Our LS members in attendance each received a small sum of gil, and one member received a piece of armor. That armor is not viewable by other member, nor is it rolled on. The game just randomly selected a person. The game then gives the other members no way of seeing what the stats are until after the item is looted and equipped, or you could look it up online. Why is there no roll feature? The person who looted them item wasn’t even using the class that the item was specific too. It makes no sense. And I can’t even see the item until its looted, equipped and no longer tradable. It is a bad design on loot distribution to coincide with the launch of new instanced dungeons.

Encampments: Across the zones there are a large number of new encampments both of allies and enemies. I was actually really excited to see these pop up and ran over to one to check it out. And, nothing. Every NPC just has generic text and nothing of interest. It is literally a landmark only and serves no real purpose. I was very disappointed that there wasn’t even a quest or vendor for these camps. They are high art containing landmarks and nothing more.

Summary:
This patch was something I had high hopes of, a lot of people did. And because of its long delay those hopes grew beyond what they should have. This patch is still transitional to the next and the next, so it’s a work in progress. But it is still unfortunate to see the developers get wrong so many of the new features. It’s hard to see them still have a problem coding in what macros must do. It’s hard to deal with an even more boring combat system. This game was disappointing at launch, got better and tolerable with 1.17, but now is less so until we finish this transitional state. I will keep playing but I just feel less excited about the games future


Edited, Jul 22nd 2011 2:41pm by Takahime
#2 Jul 22 2011 at 12:31 PM Rating: Decent
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#3 Jul 22 2011 at 12:43 PM Rating: Decent
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I have to agree on the opinion they screwed the pooch with the control a player had in combat. You don't feel in control of your combat at all. Why they chose to put abilities that were pretty much main attacks on a 30 second timer is beyond me. Weapon delay is terrible as well. I could manage my stamina and fight 500% more efficiently than whatever this joke of a balance is. Mage MP cost and the fact that they pretty much nerfed THM into 2004 DRG status is unforgivable, being that they made a big deal about taking extra testing time on the battle changes before releasing the patch. Damage cut and MP costs are way out of balance for the mages, and without AOE, they've moved THM out of any useful role.

**** poor battle update in my opinion. Smacks of undertested, or tested by people who weren't very experienced or familiar with the actual use of these jobs.

I agree with the drastic bottoming out of SP from leves as well. Not needed. If they wanted us to stop failing them, they should have just made them all available every reset so linking up wouldn't be so difficult. I hardly think 2 months of grinding to cap a job is too fast, so I'm failing to see why so much effort was put into this particular adjustment.

I do like the dungeons though, and I won't complain about the encampments, as we have no idea yet as to their purpose. And let's not forget 1.19 is as big if not bigger than 1.18, and it's not very far off.

Hopefully they don't wait a month to balance/tweak these battle/magic changes. If it's one thing we learned from launch, it's that an annoying and unintuitive combat system will have people quit faster than anything else.



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#4 Jul 22 2011 at 12:47 PM Rating: Good
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Great post man. You've pretty much summed up all my concerns.
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#5 Jul 22 2011 at 12:59 PM Rating: Good
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Every 2 hits w/ auto attack all but ensures you will be able to use a TP move, the non-TP moves are now meant to augment your TP for a quick emergency burst... at least that's what I'm begining to think.
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#6 Jul 22 2011 at 1:03 PM Rating: Excellent
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Im not out to quit or rage quit. I will log on tonight and play most of the weekend. I still don’t have my Archer capped so I will keep pushing him up to cap. I will continue with my Conjurer because everyone loves a good healer.

I just feel they gutted some things to stop us from doing something. And they cut it so far down its like looking back at the glory days of a game that was worse than it is now.

I like that Leves aren’t the main focus of the game, but they were good for group leveling and should still be. Dungeons are a good replacement for group leveling purposes, but then they leave in the poor claiming/SP system.

The new static cast bars are great but then they link the buttons to arrows for targeting and it makes fluid combat distracting.

Auto attack is a feature I wanted, but they made it too strong and everything so long on delay. And to top it off, entering Auto Attack mode is not always easy to recognize. You can attack a mob but not be in auto attack mode until you see the Red Sword Icon. It makes for odd combat as you constantly have to check and recheck auto attack when switching targets.

Healing and Mob damage both were too high. A players health is like a bucket full of water. The water coming in is from heals, and the holes draining are the mobs attacking us. The game and combat can be slowed or sped up but that bucket drains too fast before and after the patch. It gives little to no wiggle room, and in a bad situation you just end up dead. I like to see people manage hate, health, and mana consumption, but it feels like the axe swings too wide when it comes back around.
#7 Jul 22 2011 at 1:05 PM Rating: Excellent
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Perrin, ****** Superhero wrote:
Every 2 hits w/ auto attack all but ensures you will be able to use a TP move, the non-TP moves are now meant to augment your TP for a quick emergency burst... at least that's what I'm begining to think.


That is the way I feel also, but it gives the player less control over their combat, as you have to wait for a long cooldown, or a long delayed AA.

AA should be the frosting in the combat-cake, not be the whole cake.
#8 Jul 22 2011 at 1:20 PM Rating: Good
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Takahime wrote:
Perrin, ****** Superhero wrote:
Every 2 hits w/ auto attack all but ensures you will be able to use a TP move, the non-TP moves are now meant to augment your TP for a quick emergency burst... at least that's what I'm begining to think.


That is the way I feel also, but it gives the player less control over their combat, as you have to wait for a long cooldown, or a long delayed AA.

AA should be the frosting in the combat-cake, not be the whole cake.


The short work around ATM is to load up the first bar with non-TP skills from every class you can and the second bar with whatever TP skills you want.

I think the problem is we're used to spamming our way to victory and now it does FORCE a bit of thought. I do think that AA is slightly too slow and maybe some of the skills should have a 15 second cool down BUT I think of it also as these current classes are soon meant to be solo. If solo enemy hits augment your TP.

Maybe the jobs will have slightly different mechanics and timing. If so it could be a fresh take on MMO party play.

So far the only thing I absolutely hate is that they didn't add an animation between running and combat stance and vice versa. Everything else I feel confident I will adapt to or the Devs will tweak.
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#9 Jul 22 2011 at 1:21 PM Rating: Good
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This is what really worried me about removal of the stamina gauge. I thought they would end up putting a lot of stuff on recast timers and it would just turn combat into a rehash of FFXI, which is exactly what it seems like. Now, I haven't tested it in-game, but if it's anything at all like what you are describing, it sounds like exactly what I DIDN'T want in XIV. I really love the stamina gauge, because it allowed you to make decisions based on your scenario as opposed to your recast timers. Need to kill something fast? Spam all your DD abilities and go to town. Now it seems like everyone just waits for auto-attack a couple rounds, then spams a tp move, rinse repeat. Sounds awful.

I have a feeling there will be a lot of tweaks to the system, and I really hope so because as it stands it doesn't sound like something I'd have any interest in.
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#10 Jul 22 2011 at 1:35 PM Rating: Excellent
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BartelX wrote:
This is what really worried me about removal of the stamina gauge. I thought they would end up putting a lot of stuff on recast timers and it would just turn combat into a rehash of FFXI, which is exactly what it seems like. Now, I haven't tested it in-game, but if it's anything at all like what you are describing, it sounds like exactly what I DIDN'T want in XIV.

To be fair, even the most ability ridden job in FFXI only had some 5-10 active abilities. Even counting jobs like BLM, we only had 10 or so spells we actually used on a regular basis. In FFXIV, on the other hand, you can load on a substantially larger number of active abilities. This means, quite simply, there are more things to juggle and more things to click and do. While this is definitely a step towards FFXI, it definitely hasn't gotten there yet.

Edited, Jul 22nd 2011 3:36pm by Hulan
#11 Jul 22 2011 at 1:39 PM Rating: Good
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Combat is a game of balancing resources, if that Resource is a cooldown or TP or MP, its still a resource. Problem is that Time delay is so long it feels as if your watching combat not engaging in it.

I will speak for Maruader only because I did use my Mar for the dungeon run. I have 2 abilities that require no TP to use, Heavy Swing, and Broad Swing. Those are the only ones I have. Full Swing will be purchased soon. But those are my only two currently and both on a 1 minute cooldown. So its hit those two, wait for TP to use, and then use one or two TP moves, and then wait. The whole process is hurry up to burn cooldowns so you can be waiting while using TP moves and then wait some more. It feels less controllable overall. I wanted Auto Attack to make things less spam-festive, but they took it too far and now its just watching time go by.

Archer actually feels more controllable because Light Shot never went away, and is on 4 second cooldown. If Heavy Swing was like that and the damage was tuned down it wouldn’t feel so boring to engage in combat. And waiting for auto attack swing when your trying to save a mage who pulled agro, is just awful.
#12 Jul 22 2011 at 1:40 PM Rating: Good
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I don't think it's like XI at all it's slower yet faster if that makes any sense? If anything it reminds me of the majority of current mainstream MMOs but that could just be the new icons and such.

Seriously it's not as bad as a lot of people are saying. I think we need to figure out how to work with it instead. This is exactly why I stopped leveling when they annoucned these types of changes. I can easily see how a R50 person would be ****** off, however they also have a lot more non-AA options to augment their bars.

On my PGL I'm torn, it feels slow but honestly it might actually be faster.

On my other DoWs I've tried so far I actually like it a lot, I am not set in my ways of how the action bar works for these classes.

DoMs I'm still trying to figure out how I want to proceed with things but it doesn't feel that much slower. The oddest thing to me is having cure and curega but still pressing the button for AoE everything else.
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#13 Jul 22 2011 at 1:42 PM Rating: Excellent
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BartelX wrote:
I really love the stamina gauge, because it allowed you to make decisions based on your scenario as opposed to your recast timers. Need to kill something fast? Spam all your DD abilities and go to town. Now it seems like everyone just waits for auto-attack a couple rounds, then spams a tp move, rinse repeat. Sounds awful.
I already said this in another thread, but I can use all the abilities I want now, because I'm not restricted by stamina cost.

It actually makes it easier to spam "DD abilities" to bring something down fast.

Edited, Jul 22nd 2011 1:43pm by Kirby
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#14 Jul 22 2011 at 1:45 PM Rating: Excellent
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wow i have to completely agree.

the action bar setup sucks, my phantom dart doest do good damage yet its on a 10 second cool down and MP absorb aswell as stygian spikes are not helping the situation by much. that 10 min cool down MP restore is nice but again, how am i supposed to solo guildleves if i dont have MP and the mobs arent giving much SP at all?
i understand the importance of grouping, but most people group in dungeons and solo quest as their two main ways to level in MMOs, how am i supposed to do that now?
the party search function kinda sucks too :/ (not that i want an old fashioned grind party but ill take what i can get)
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#15 Jul 22 2011 at 1:50 PM Rating: Excellent
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Combat is like a Sin-wave. At start your low because you have no TP, but you build up with 1, 2, 3 non-TP moves, then burn that TP and wait, and while your waiting DPS slows, then back up with TP moves, then back down, up and down. The problem I see is TP, and the emphesis on AA, if we had it full as a resource like mages have MP, it would feel more balanced as we would have to balance the use and regen of TP. Invigorate will be something I use on all melee classes now.

Pick another MMO where you could wait 10 seconds or more between inputting a combat command? It feels slow to the player.

Again this is my impression with a R30 Marauder, it may feel different with a full ******* of abilities.
#16 Jul 22 2011 at 2:02 PM Rating: Default
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Pixel, while I'm not that high in my DoMs I have to think to some extent you're tyring to play like you played before.

Experiment a little or wait a week until others have figured things out.

The new system might be broken, it could just be us though.

I'm having zero issues with MP in leves or missions.
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#17 Jul 22 2011 at 2:03 PM Rating: Decent
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I kind of like the new combat. I'll agree auto attack is slower then i would have liked but now that skills like bloodbath, second wind, and invigorate aren't on stamina I find my self using them religiously. I like this because it feels like the levels I gained as other classes now matters.

I like that we got more music, big fan.
#18 Jul 22 2011 at 2:24 PM Rating: Decent
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KenJammin wrote:
I kind of like the new combat. I'll agree auto attack is slower then i would have liked


FYI AA is about 4 seconds using the one one thousand method.

So far lancer and archer seem to feel the least hobbled and pugilist feels a bit slow... gladiator and maruader don't feel that bad to me but those are the two I'd played the least. As you can see most of my DoWs are around R20 with the exception of pugilist.

Archer actually feels faster to me not sure why I've seen a lot of people ******** about that class as it's the only one I've played so far today that doesn't even really utilize AA. I was really worried when I saw archer AA was a hand attack and not a sling or something. However even solo I'm playing it the same as I was before. Light shot to pull, close close close, shadowbind, back up some and unleash 3k TP. Honestly the TP bar is almost always max and I'm rarely waiting. Archer may become my new main.

*EDIT* Don't forget you're throwing weapon on DoWs

Edited, Jul 22nd 2011 9:36pm by Perrin
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#19 Jul 22 2011 at 2:30 PM Rating: Good
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Quote:
Archer actually feels faster to me not sure why I've seen a lot of people ******** about that class as it's the only one I've played so far today that doesn't even really utilize AA. I was really worried when I saw archer AA was a hand attack and not a sling or something. However even solo I'm playing it the same as I was before. Light shot to pull, close close close, shadowbind, back up some and unleash 3k TP. Honestly the TP bar is almost always max and I'm rarely waiting. Archer may become my new main.


It does feel faster, I think peoples main gripe with Archer is the cooldown on Multishot. Its cooldown is appropriate I think. As far as combat goes, its still as fast if not faster. Not as solo-friendly but thats related to MP cost for heals.

Maruader to me feels slow, snail slow. 4 seconds between AA but it could take 3 or more AA to get TP to use an ability, so thats what? 12 seconds?
#20 Jul 22 2011 at 2:33 PM Rating: Decent
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What can I say my first impression after finishing leves is awesome. This impression of mine is based playing as my 2nd main Thurm 46.

SP: Before full 8 leves would only give me around 20-25k max. Now with just 6 leves I gain 25k++

Combat: All I have to say whoever complains about mp needs to learn how to play their class. Before I would never use these 3 skills which 1) Exaltation 2) Spiritbind 3) Siphon mp. I 5 star all my leves today and never died but I actually used spirit bind and siphon mp and almost had to use exaltation. Even with dart at 10seconds didn't matter just meant I used more spells and still never once did I run out of mp.

EDIT: Forgot to say I love the 100% repair

Besides that all I can say is wow did they improve the game to the point that I actually for once enjoyed doing the leves.

Edited, Jul 22nd 2011 4:37pm by dooglee

Edited, Jul 22nd 2011 4:38pm by dooglee
#21 Jul 22 2011 at 3:23 PM Rating: Excellent
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I feel that combat picks up tempo at higher levels when you can add more abilities to your action bar. On my lower level jobs I feel like the pace of the fights are pretty slow with AA because you really only have 1-2 abilities to use, which are on a 30s-1min timer. But when you have 3 rows of abilities the possibilities are really endless and I find that I'm constantly thinking about which abiltiies to use for the situation rather than hitting 1111 during the fights. Also almost all DoW jobs have a cheap 250/500tp ability which in the past did not really offer much than a last resort tactic. But now i find myself pacing my TP usage by adding a number of these "cheap" abilities to my action bar and really having the option to direct the flow of fights the way I want.

Take for example, on my ARC I start the fights with typical multishot + light combo followed by one or two addtional light shots + AA attacks if the mob gets close enough. By this point in the fight I'll have accumulated over 2000tp (closer to 3000 with invigorate) and the fight can go anyway I dictate. If i want to end it in 30s then I simply spam 4 consequetive cheap ws i.e. trammel,foeseeker, shadowbind, scouring strike (all for less than 3000tp with some to spare) while mixing in ferocity, raging strike and hawk eye buffs. By the end of this ws barrage I'll have a decent amount of tp again due to the AA attacks in between my ws and can either continue to spam cheap ws or build up more tp for another chain of ws. If i would rather save my tp for a second mob in a group then i may use some more expensive ws like barrage or quick nock to deal more dmg early to the first mob and give myself time to build up tp again for the chain of ws on the next target.

I don't feel like this kinda of freedom was around prior to this patch because everyone just spammed the strongest ws that required the lowest amount of stamina (victimize, skull sunder, foeseeker, etc) and this relegated a lot of good abilities like shadowbind, trammel, and scouring strike to situational uses only. Now with tp as the sole limitation, all abilities are fair play (in fact cheap ws are really powerful used in conjunction with other skills) and this makes all the fights seem more dynamic and strategic.

If however you still play the game the way you played prepatch by only using the "best" 1000tp+ ws then the pace of the fights will most certainly feel slow and restrictive.



#22 Jul 22 2011 at 3:59 PM Rating: Excellent
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I used shadowbind and trammel ALL THE TIME when I used to play, before this system was changed... so... yeah... okay.
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#23 Jul 22 2011 at 4:05 PM Rating: Default
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Iron Chef Olorinus wrote:
I used shadowbind and trammel ALL THE TIME when I used to play, before this system was changed... so... yeah... okay.


Olo, I luv ya... but if you haven't played it since downloading the patch... tone down the negativity. I'm still trying to figure things out, but every class I've changed to seems better. I switched back to PGL just before logging off and setup my bars a lot different than I usually do and it felt almost as/if not faster than before.

I completely understand the mages gripes, but playing solo at the ranks I have available I'm not seeing any issues. I'm gonna grab some pots tomorrow when I'll have time to dedicate to a party situation and see if that helps things. I'm glad we're starting to see more people using alternate approaches with success, it means things aren't completely broken. While I don't have anything high enough to truly contribute to strategy I will say that all DoWs should have (sorry I forget the skill) the Lancer(?) ability that hastens TP gain for solo play loaded. It made a big difference on PGL in solo leves.

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