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Feedback New Player Experience Feedback - Duo playthrough, first ~7 hours.

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New Member
Below is my feedback coming from a duo only player. I played with my wife entirely, we took it slow, explored We ended at level 4, level ~10 gathering, and level 5 crafting upon entering Newhaven. We did not sit and monster grind

I'm playing a Tank, she's playing a Healer. I understand this game is a grind, and I understand it is marketed at "hardcore" players only. Below are my thoughts.

Summary: The world feels hollow and feels like it actively tries to drive new players away with systems that allow you to interact with them briefly, and then for any meaningful advancement you need to commit a significant amount of time that feels like it would outweigh the benefit of committing that time.

Things I like:
-Combat is slower paced and more tactical with positioning
-The game is meant to be played in a group
-Music and scenery is fantastic
-Actual navigation via landmarks is incredibly fun when translating location to party members.
-Hunting expertise rewards hunting the same monsters, making you proficient against them.
-Crafting (while my view is basic) is still fun, using the gathered materials

Things I do not like:
-The world feels empty (at least the starter zone). There are houses, abandoned carts, crates spread out sporadically but we cannot interact with them/loot them for anything left behind. It feels like these were assets just dumped in for the sake of having something there, without actually a purpose. Exploring feels empty.
-Hunting expertise feels extremely top ended and demotivated me from interacting with it. I love that you gain attributes against certain foes after slaughtering hundreds of them, but the spacing should be more forgiving. 10-100-250-500-100 feels incredibly demoralizing. I got to 10 and then basically gave up. If it were 10-25-50-75-100-150-200-250- (increase incremental differential) and instead of giving large bonuses (+1 dmg, +6 hit, +3 stun resist) break them down into small bonuses at each of those landmarks. Breadcrumb us to keep us hooked and motivated to push on to the next goal.
-The game feels entirely crafting required and not crafting rewarded. I get it, work with other players, you can only pick certain crafts, it'll be a true MMO where you have to interact with players! HAVE to interact vs being rewarded to interact is my problem. The main town of Newhaven had zero armor vendors. I picked weaponsmithing, my wife picked outfitter - we have basic clothes, a weapon, and no armor.
-The town should sell basic armor/weapons and crafted armor/weapons should be stronger than the town-sold ones. For example, if a Tier1 armor provided 10 armor, and a Tier2 armor provided 20, make a crafted Tier1 armor provide 15 armor. This rewards you for using the system, and doesn't penalize you to the extreme that the game currently does. Reward players for partaking in crafting, or for partaking in the multiplayer aspect. If not game-wide, at least do this for the introductory town - give your new players a basic set of armor. I was extremely unsatisfied when talking to every NPC in Newhaven only to find that they only sold me recipes.
-The gathering to crafting xp ratio feels imbalanced. I am a Miner / Weaponsmith. At level 9 mining, I am only level 5 Weaponsmithing. To my understanding you can obtain 1 gathering and 2 crafting professions. This makes me feel like if I wanted to get 1 crafting profession to level 10, I would need effectively double that level in gathering. Then to factor in 2 crafting professions, I would need to double it again - so to have 2 level 10 crafting professions, It makes me believe I will need level 20 + 20 mining, which feels really demotivating to interact with the system. If it were a close to 1:1 ratio of mining vs weaponsmithing, but then I have a chance of failing to smelt the ore into ingots, it comes out to closer 10:9 ratio which feels much better that the perceived 9:5 ratio I have currently - especially since there is no XP indicator telling me how much XP is required per level, and how much an action is giving me.
-Arbitrary requirements of level 6 and level 12 to learn a crafting profession / second crafting profession / class specialization feel weird and random. Why aren't they 5/10?
E: -Being able to fail gathering sucks. Mining a node only to have "vendor trash" as the item does not feel good.
E: -Not being able to wear an entire armor set b/c armor weight max capacity feels bad. I leveled armoring hoping to craft and wear a full set of armor. Crafted the armor, found out about armor weight - I'm now wearing ~1/2 of my crafted gear. That felt bad. It's cute that you get to mix-match what you're wearing, and IDK if jewelry or clothes add to this weight, but that mix-match feels less fun to me than trying to obtain a great armor piece for each slot. Is this specialization dependent too? Could a Knight wear more than a Juggernaut, etc?
E: -Class system feels very simplistic - Choosing a class gives me access to 8 new abilities that I can earn over the next 100-hour grind. Outside of that, I don't see anything else. No skill tree to allow for diversity in building my character to be different than someone else. This means that all Juggernauts are the same, all Warlords are the same, etc.
E: -Obtaining item drops to augment/empower abilities feels clunky. I understand the goal is the get players to trade with each other so you make connections and help each other out, but the system feels clunky. This feels like it should be baked into a talent tree that I would make choices on empowering some skills and not others, without the need of a consumable that is used per attack.
E: -Quest Diversity feels lacking. All quests feel like some iteration of "Help! Go kill 5 Boars!". I'd like there to be some additional quest types out there. I'd love for there to be some form of "My farm was ransacked, go collect wood and help rebuild the fence" and then the fence stays permanently rebuilt for my character. Some form of town improvement / area improvement and then the area changes for my character (cosmetic changes like added torches, cleaned up fences, crops grown and more healthy, etc). This would make me feel like I am having an actual impact in this world.
E: -More armor/weapon upgrades every 10 levels feels too wide of a gap. Leveling is SLOW. It feels brutally slow when you have nothing to look forward to every 10 levels. Adding a weapon/armor tier every 5 levels would help break that monotony and smooth the damage curve of players out.

I love the game, I love the concept, but it feels rough around the edges and I think that roughness is deterring more new players than retaining them.
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You can gain 3 gathering or crafting professions on a character.
It could be 3 gathering OR 3 crafting OR any other combination.

It's interesting reading a new players experience after having been around the traps for 12 months.
I initially argued for the hunting expertise levels to be more generous also, and have not changed my mind.
I like your ideas about selling the basic armour.

To go full circle you'll find a lot of crafters, go 1. Gathering skill, 2. Gathering skill, 3 Crafting Skill so as to get all 3 as quick as possible while knowing that gathering rises faster than crafting.
But that is one of those learned things.

Interesting reading.