Yes, Yeeeesssss... Come Over to the Dark Side!!!!
By: George Argyropoulos
Because of the nature of this update, my reaction to it, and time constraints, you guys are going to get a less polished version of an article today and more of my mental ramblings. Sorry... ok, maybe not so sorry...
As many of you know I have been an ardent and vociferous advocate of quickly increasing the Tech Depth of players who are either new to the game or are just coming back and of getting players to feel relevant far quicker than was possible so as to have a higher incidence of engagement. I was exceptionally vocal about this and the topics surrounding this theory. I emphasized the FM above all in several articles (like this one), in shows and on pages. I found out later - I was not alone.
I spent hours in recent months speaking to a few Kixeye contacts and found that not only were they open to the idea, but several of them agreed with the theory. What was even better was finding out that several Admins of the TFC page, the BV page and the BP Crib page and some ardent players as well had started pushing for these same things. Many of us independently of one another!
What this update really signifies at the minimum is an absolute denial to every player that accuses Kixeye of not listening. Of much more significance (let's face it - I knew they at least listened) is that this release signifies a paradigm shift in the way the game is approached by the Company. This is huge. YUGE even! With cheese curl dust on top! If Kixeye continues down this path and makes it easy enough for a new player to gain relevance within a month or so, I see a good chance for an influx of new players. That would be monumental in a game such as this and would be an immense boost to the longevity of the game. If done properly (ok, that IS a big if) the game could see a resurgence and possibly double players numbers - but I believe that will hinge entirely on how fast a new player can gain relevance in the game. They have to see and feel progress within that paramount first week!
What I want to make absolutely clear here is that there ARE advocates working for the player base, and it is not just players that are advocating for us. This change was the work of a community, and that includes Kixeye! Huge kudos to everyone involved. I can NOT wait to see where this leads!!
Ok, ok, let's get into the new bits in the FM. You all can read the release notes or watch the shows to get the background stuff from Kix, and you already heard my spiel, so I'm going to do a once over on the FM changes and then go over the new entrants into the FM so this isn't just a rambling post.
YES!! The fact that they are acknowledging and taking ownership of the fact that this is the single most important PvE aspect of the game; that they are cognizant of and proactive enough to adjust this and look forward with it makes me grin. I'm not sure about the name change, I really don't understand the need for it, however, the fact that they are streamlining a progression towards higher levels of play is fantastic. Is it ideal? Likely not. I do think they should have been far more aggressive. Quite honestly, i would have taken that Tier one and made a new Campaign moved two and three over and then moved half of four into three and half of five into four. Players will play longer when they feel they can climb up quickly. I WANT them to get near 'end-game' quickly because they are more likely to stay and coin once they are able to engage US... but I digress...
I do not want to diminish the enormity of what Kixeye has done here. This is a huge shift in perspective and one that should serve as a boon to both the company and the player base. It should help many people struggling and feeling mired down to gain some momentum and get back into the game. I really can't express how big of a deal this is. (Yes - for the naysayers: It is only a big deal if they follow through. Happy?)
I like some of the moves and availability of items in the lower tiers. This should help players quickly gain traction in the FM and once they can reach that vaunted Tier 5 (why was the name changed again??) they will begin to access the 'good stuff'. I really, really do wish there were less blueprints in Tier 5 though (really though Kixeye... don't you know this community? A name change will not mitigate confusion. lol!!!). Additionally, I hope they take this opportunity to try and get 'chore' hulls to players. Either through the FM or possibly through the updated Foundry that is upcoming. (Completely different story - stay tuned!!) I DO like the moving down of tech into lower Tiers.
The Punisher and, in particular, the Citadel are available in the lower Tiers now. This is such a huge step forward for the community and should help players not only get further in the FM, but will give them the opportunity to engage in the next raid on some level. I love it!
Hailstorm D - I'm a little confused about this one. It has a higher Tier rating and better reload than the Gale III, sure... but... but... but not by enough to overcome the lack of accuracy this thing has. I would say this might be a Tier 4.5 and the Gale III is a Tier 5. The only real bright spot of these is if you do not have Gale II's or III's, or ran out of them, this is not a limited print so you can build as many as your little heart desires.
Ballistic Upgrade - Much like any of these stackable upgrades, I believe they will be for niche builds. Another one I do not see as Tier 5 quality. (Maybe that is the reason behind the name change? That would fit better.)
Concussive Dampening Overlay - Just like Chromium Overlay, just... different. Just like it's anti-corrosive cousin, this will be for niche placements.
Oh... Did I mention... I LOVE this:
Ok. I think I've rambled long enough. Thaks for stopping by folks!