Open letter to RARE: From Alpha to Launch
To prefix this whole thing I want to say I hate needlessly negative posts for the sake of whining, that I'm here to provide constructive criticism, and to mention that I was in the initial closed Alpha and have played every iteration since.
To be blunt I've had a truly awful time with this game since it launched. I truly believe I had a better experience with this game in the Alpha stages... Why? The only moments of great gaming I've had in the released game are the same that I experience in the Alpha. Don't get me wrong, when the game is good it is the best. If you don't believe me dig up my last post (if you still can) from the Alpha and read how much praise I gave it for providing an astoundingly memorable experience. That one experience left me wanting more and as the Alpha progressed each new addition had me salivating over what new fun things could be added between then and the game release... and then it sort of stopped.
The sad truth is that the last Alpha build (not Beta) was more or less about 95% of the game you are playing right now. The three biggest changes added were the Skeleton forts, the Merchant missions...Dear go they are bad!
TANGENT AHEAD: Who had the bright idea of of making a mission set that can only be turned in one at a time but will actively force you to turn it into a different port each time? Think you can out smart the system? No! you will only get the cages needed for that mission and you will only get given more when that mission is over. Even if by some fortune you find more cages the animals you catch will be given in for a reduced price, that chicken that was worth 1,000 gold is now worth 100 because the progression would be too quick. It is almost as if they were never Alpha teste... oh wait)
TANGENT OVER: Where was I? oh right and the Kraken which is interesting and quite a shock the first time you fight it but after fighting it five times now it has yielded no loot and no enjoyably repeatable experience. It isn't even hard, one time we ran out of cannon balls and still managed to sail out just fine. No risk, no reward... where is the fun in that?
My biggest gripe is with the pathetically low incentives given to the player. I know how to grind take it from me I spent the entire Alpha and Beta doing it for the sole purpose of ensuring the final game was going to be great. I must have done it too much though because the team at RARE must have thought the gold counter was the only thing of importance to me. The joy of leveling up is utterly destroyed by the time you get past level 10 as you realize the neat little trinkets you unlock for each faction is replaced not by some other amazing faction specific item but the exact same thing but with a very slight change in model. You want cool endgame gear? Don't worry we have graciously provided a lovely set that will unlock when you reach level 36... but they are clothes you already have on, just slightly different in colour.
I won't blame you for wanting to bring up the 'Pirate Legend' stuff as a counter point but let's face it, were it really the best part of the game they would make sure we knew about how great it was. They already have a mouthpiece in-game that should entice us in the form of the 'mysterious stranger' but instead of cool riddles or fun treasure hunts they give the same stupid "see you in another five levels so I can tell you to see me in another five levels" c**p. There is every possibility that it is fantastic and will crush my doubts into dust but for all we know there isn't any Legendary stuff in the game and RARE is simply buying time to make it with their poorly designed 'linear progression'. If you think about it, were it truly 'linear' there would be no sensation of smashing head on into a brick wall at level 20. Call me pessimistic but my BS meter went of the scale after that.
As a nice topping on the cake I still have no Founder stuff or any of my pre-order bonuses.
I love what this game could be, I really do but the glitches and oversights are mindbogglingly high for a released game. I look at other posts and want nothing more than to correct the negative view they have on the game... but here I am making my own. I don't want to be 'that' guy on the forums but I've ticketed every bug, glitch, or oversight that I can in the pre-release build and it feels like I'm doing the same thing now. I hope someone of importance actually reads this so I can tell them just how much I want for it all to go right and how much I want to help it go right for them. I know game development is hard and the backlash from the community can be frustrating but RARE needs to know that a game as wide as the ocean it's based in still needs to be as deep.
@rdizz While my friends and I were watching the mixer stream for the Ebony Flintlock skin we joked that we would get them before the black dog packs. It stings a little how realistic that might be.
@amused-asphodel Have you gotten yours already?
@xcalypt0x Nope, I've been told it should arrive within 7 days of the stream... never hear that before cough "Black Dog Pack" cough.
@amused-asphodel Lol! Actually all my pre-order stuff worked properly from day-1. Black-dog, Ferryman, and Mercenary (just a recolored black-dog) are all there. The only thing I don't have yet is the Ebon Flintlock.