This isn’t a topic directed at other players. Feel free to comment but I’m not going to come back and read any replies.
The further I get in the game (on the second awakening quest at the moment, around 1060 GS) the more the side content seems to get worse. I’ve done my fair share of exploring, and have over 800 Mokokos, 34 island souls, several giants hearts, etc. Suffice to say I have not nearly seen it all but I’ve been around.
The problem with side content is when it’s not really side content. I’m a completionist so I’ve tried harder at some things than I should probably bother, but when must-have items are locked behind “side content,” it’s not really side content anymore. Now, in reality, there’s only a few: the skill point potions. And, they don’t require a lot of work to get in comparison to some of the other rewards.
Regardless, there’s some (in my opinion, of course) very bad game design behind some of these. Now, I’m not going to go on a long spiel about THIS point, but suffice to say, I get that the goal is to keep players playing, but artificially extending grinds isn’t necessarily going to do that; it’s going to drive at least some players away.
There’s two kinds of grind: one that incrementally brings reward, and that where in reward is completely random and could happen the 1st time or the 1000th. The latter is objectively worse because it provides no sense of progress.
Una’s tasks are the former, for instance; the Walpurgis island soul and the Sea Gate maps drops are the latter.
A grind of the second type can be tolerable if it’s fun; when it’s not, it’s a chore. I would also include in this type sections that may have a definite reward, but that require as much trial and error as they do skill; a good example of this is Werner’s Manor. It’s entirely possible to make every decision right and get killed anyway.
I’m not suggesting an overhaul, but rather one of (or two) things: increase drop chances of things like RNG souls and maps, or add a pity mechanic that slowly increases chances of obtaining one of a kind rewards at each failure (for that reward specifically.) Honing already includes a pity mechanic, I don’t see why other goals couldn’t as well. It needn’t ever reach 100%, but should increase substantially with enough failures.
It’s fine in my opinion to have a piece of equipment drop based on static RNG; but an item that is “needed” should not have an unbearably low drop chance to be obtained. By "need’ I specifically mean collectibles, although there may be other items that fit in this category.
That’s my main piece. A couple of specific things I find frustrating however, and would like to see changed. These may seem like small issues but some are cases where absolutely no care for the player’s time is given by the developers (which is the main point of the above argument.)
-PVE content should not be locked behind forced PVP (many island souls.) These are very often different types of players and they should not be forced to coexist, and it encourages griefing.
-Argos Island statues should not be targetable by other players for 2 seconds after being hit.
This would prevent griefing by people looking to break other people’s statues, as well as prevent those who would try to tag several statues to prevent others from using them, as they are mostly far enough apart.
-Ice Maze Isle should have exits at the spawn points so those trying for the 5th mokoko don’t have to wait 30 seconds each time they want to leave. It adds up fast.
-Werner’s Manor should be reworked to play more competently, or at the very least, have checkpoints. It’s an interesting diversion destroyed by bad controls, getting blockaded against a wall and killed, enemies that can’t be consistently outmaneuvered to grab objectives, and a fairly useless attack that is easily depleted and doesn’t always hit where it seems it should. Also it should not take a guy that long to open a door! Atalanta isn’t nearly as bad but still could use a redesign or at least checkpoints.
-Sources of silver other than login rewards should be more viable, especially monsters. By Rohendel, random drops haven’t increased at all, and the elites no longer drop any silver at all.
-Gambling with pirate coins to get souls is not fun, but a pity mechanic would make it tolerable, at least.