I’ve never really been fond of the whole public quest things. It all sounds good in theory but every game that tries to do it pretty much fails. Unfortunately FATES seem to be the only way to gain experience later on in the game. Right now Keen and I are 46 and there is really no other way for us to level efficiently.
The Down Time
Most people will probably think I mean the time between fights when you need to regen HP and MP, but that’s not what I’m talking about. You pretty much pick a hub in a zone that has FATES your level and just sit there waiting. Sometimes they pop up often and other times you will be stuck sitting there twiddling your thumbs like an idiot. I find myself jumping around and trying to get to higher places on the various game geometry, which is what I tend to do in every MMO when I get bored. Interesting note: I’m actually typing this article during my time between FATES.
Running Across the Zone
This is probably the part I hate the most… When a FATE does finally pop up you may get lucky and have it be close by but more often than not it’s going to be across the entire zone. Usually you can get there in time if you move with the zerg but sometimes you may only arrive on enough time for partial credit. Sometimes 2 show up at once and you basically have to choose which to do because you most likely wont get to both. And if you finish one and THEN another shows up far away you are screwed unless you wait to pay teleport fees to hit the hub quickly.
FATE Groups and AOEs
It’s not that I don’t like grouping. I actually don’t mind it. People join up to benefit from chain exp and so on. The problem is that it doesn’t really do anything to help you if there are also groups stacked with archers and blackmages or whoever has the bullshit AoE abilities. They tag it all and it’s dead before you can hit it enough to contribute. Running with a group or by yourself, there is really no difference unless you are in the group AOEing everything.
I never thought a game would make me miss instancing but here we are… Since FATES are really the only way to level up later on (or with other classes) there are an ass-load of people. Way too many people. The problem with this is that it makes everything a giant zerg. The FATES themselves tend to last for only a fraction of their alloted time and getting good participation can be difficult if you aren’t quick. The whole thing is just not fun when it goes so fast. I’ve never liked quick fights in MMOs and this takes that to the extreme at times. But hey, at least the game runs decently with tons of people.
Except When It Doesn’t
When enough people show up things start to get all screwy. People around you rubber-band and the lag is awful. This mostly only happens when the rare FATES with primals pop up but I’ve seen it occasionally. I’m not sure if the game is fit to handle so many people in one zone at a time. There was a Behemoth FATE a bit back and it almost crashed the zone. You didn’t even need to be near the FATE to feel it’s effects, either. If you were crazy enough to head over there you could see a sea of connection issue icons. You also probably wont be able to load everybody on -screen so the fade it will be nasty. The worst part is sometimes the boss monster itself disappears. It’s crazy.
At Least The EXP Is Good
EXP from fates really is pretty great and that’s the only redeeming feature. Keen told me I shouldn’t bitch about this because people will probably say I’m doing it wrong. Feel free to advise me on this, though, because I’d absolutely love to know how to make this fun.