Empyrea P2: Test Realm

Introduction:

Welcome to Chapter Two of my Empyrea Part 2 Series!  This chapter focuses on the current state of the test realm as of 3/11/18.  As this is most likely near the end of Test Realm as a whole, and most of the big changes have been made already!

Once again this article will review information taken from the questionnaire we’ve shared out across a multitude of discord servers, so if you want to help out for the next one (Chapter 3, Live Realm) stay tuned for them!


So, we’ll cover the changes made in Test, what was good, what was bad.  And then overall conclude how we feel about the world in general, let’s get into it!


Questing

In our Expectations chapter, we covered that the overwhelming majority of the discord player base wanted a long storyline.  Nothing that only too a few hours. What we got seems to have split everyone, almost down the middle!

It’s clear to see the majority wanted a longer storyline, but nearly half are happy with the length we got.  It seems Kingsisle have succeeded here, reaching a nice middle ground.  I think the only way we could have got a better result is with a slightly longer story, maybe an hour or two more.  And even then, the story was compelling!  We weren’t bored, tirelessly spamming spacebar to clear through it ASAP (At least the second time).  It’s actually a storyline we can get invested in and enjoy, and I cannot wait to see what the final ending to the Third Arc contains for us!

When asked about the difficulty of the world, it was pretty cut and dry as to what we wanted to what we got.  Overall the questing side of Part Two seems too big a success, with little to no flaws, and without spoiling the story, has some fun bosses, challenges and more!

Not a single person wanted the world to be easier.  With a good portion wanting it to be a little bit harder, a potentially perfect compromise would be to keep the offensive ability of the world the same, but increasing the health overall a fair amount, say 10%-15%.


Unique Content

This was never going to be an easy task for Kingsisle.  They had a lot of work ahead of them if they wanted to match their own creativity and design of Part One.  Not only would there need to be a good amount of this new, unique content but it would also have to live up to expectations!

It’s clear when asked if they were happy with the number of new areas, most people were.  Again, no one wanted less, with a respectable portion wanting more areas than what we saw.  However overall this is another check in the list for Kingsisle!  

I think the only way this could’ve been improved was if the story itself was longer.  It never really felt like we did nothing in an area, or that it was a waste of time. Every area felt fairly fulfilled, and that’s without side quests too!

Here’s the true success story though.  It is almost impossible to deny the beauty, creativity and sheer scale of the new areas.  They’re all incredibly unique, well put together and are very fun to play through.

There’s not much more to say here.  Fantastic job to Kingsisle, and while we acknowledge the smaller portion who disliked the design of the area, it’s almost negligible compared to those who liked it!

But how do the mobs and NPCs fair in these new environments?!  I mean what is there really to say.  An overwhelming majority loved the new mobs, bosses, and NPCs.  

It’s safe to say that no real NPC was boring, felt unneeded or didn’t contribute much to our play through.  Not a single mob really felt useless or unrequired either, and Kingsisle even added multiple roaming mobs you don’t actually take on in the story simply to expand on the world!

As for bosses, well dang.  The regular bosses were all challenging in their own right, with heavy hits and some unique and fun cheats.  And certain bosses were overall super creative and fun to fight through.

But what about puzzles?

Well, this wasn’t too hard either, with a majority enjoying the puzzles and mini-games that were incorporated into the story!  They added a nice change of pace and character to the world, once again making it feel more and more immersive!

But now to tackle something that could potentially taint some players opinions on the world.

It’s safe to say Whirlyburly was being fairly hyped up by the Kingsisle team.  They spoke at length about it in a video on their Official Youtube channel, and we had a lot to expect going into it.

However, it somewhat failed to deliver based on how you responded when we asked what you thought of it.  Most of the player base just didn’t really care about it.  It was kind of just there for them, nothing to take note of, which is a major shame.  Overall not even 20% found it above just meh.  

Further a scary percentage actually just disliked it entirely, which for something that they apparently sunk a fair bit of effort into is upsetting.

Kingsisle have made a fair amount of changes to Whirlyburly in between Test realms, but I still don’t think it has lived up to our expectations, which is a major bummer.

It’s safe to say this is not the potential PvP substitute that many players were expecting, but hey?  At least there are some cool badges to earn.


Gear

Now we get to the juicy stuff.  This is almost what makes or breaks a new world in today’s game.  The grind for the perfect gear has never been easy and everyone wants to be the guy with almost unbelievable stats.  So how did it fair?

Well, we asked what you thought of the rarity, and we got some mixed results!  With a majority finding it to be just about right, just over two-fifths of the players wanted it different!

A near perfect split of that mount going either way, with nearly half wanting it to be a little more of a grind and harder.  Whilst the other half are under the belief that it’s too hard and should be made easier.

What’s unique here is that the craftable gear, like Part One, is an exact copy of the dropped gear, so you won’t have to cry yourself to sleep at night wondering if you’d have got it after just one more run!

However, there is an issue…

It was safe to say, based on just game knowledge and the results from Expectations that we desperately needed improved offensive robes, not useless ones with critical block, as well as Amulets and Athames.  Wands and Rings were also needed, though not as badly, and Hat and Boots were in a good position with Cabalist Gear.  So when asked what gear you believed wasn’t improved enough, we got pretty much what was expected.

An overwhelming majority wanted an improved robe, as for many schools Malistaire or Rattlebones at level 100 is still the best!  And while some have Tenni’syn gear, it’s not enough.

We also clearly see the desire for Wands and Athames, closely followed by amulets.  And whilst the new crafted mastery amulets are great and all, we need some good ‘ol stats on some Amulets!

It’s safe to say we aren’t too happy with most of the new gear, which is a tragic end to an otherwise near perfect world!


Conclusion

All in all, I’d be more than happy to call the world a success as of Test Realm.  It seems polished, minus some bugs, and vibrant.

Almost no issue whatsoever with the Questing side to the world, with the only possible critique being making it a little longer and challenging.  But all in all very nice.

The unique content in terms of design is near perfection!  I am more than happy to say I love this world visually, and how diverse and colorful it is.  The mobs, areas, cutscenes and more were all splendid! Sadly what was potentially the most unique and hopefully long lasting piece of content, Whilyburly, seemed to drop the ball.  Let’s hope Kingsisle change that for Live Release!

Now, gear.  Always a controversial and dividing factor, and yet somehow Kingsisle managed to leave everyone a little disappointed.  I think it is very, very clear that no one wants a robe with basically just block and incoming. It seems they’re a little behind on the “gear meta”.  Let’s hope we see some big changes.

Overall though I am looking forward to bringing all my characters through this world!  Let’s just hope Live Release only bolsters this world’s already impressive achievements and accolades!

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