There’s not really any spoilers here, but just in case people really do not want to know anything at all about personal story stuff they haven’t experienced yet, here it is.
SPOILER ALERT: If your character is not a member of the Durmand Priory, and if you don’t want to know anything at all about Durmond Priory adventuring, then DO NOT CONTINUE.
With that out of the way, this is more or less a complaint. I want to make it clear that I really enjoy everything about my character at this point and that I love Sieran to pieces. I’m a big fan of how my personal story has progressed thus far. Sure some of the adventures have been a challenge and sure some of the escapades have been rough, but I’ve enjoyed all of that. Any of the defeats that I have experienced up and to this point have been entirely of my own accord, either because I chose to enter a story at a lower level or because my equipment wasn’t up to par or even simply because I suck.
I’m okay with failing when things are entirely within my control. In fact I like failing when it’s 100% my fault because it means that I can learn and improve, and I often do. What I don’t like is failing due to circumstances wholly or partly out of my control. I don’t like failing when I’m expected to perform superhuman feats, or when I’m expected to have intimate knowledge of a puzzle or encounter from a designer’s point-of-view in order to proceed.
That’s how I feel with my current personal story instance, Bad Blood. I’ve spent two hours at the start of the mission trying to get past the initial puzzle. I don’t find that fun; I find that to be absolutely infuriating. The problem isn’t lag, and it’s not my inability to run in a straight line. The problem is camera angles, and a factor out of my control blowing me into a wedge I can’t get out of at the start without committing suicide if I’m unlucky enough to show up a few seconds early. On top of that, the problem is most of my time being spent on the ground reviving myself, running back to the puzzle, and trying to set up to try again, all of which consumes about 30-40 seconds of time on its own.
Basically: for every 3-5 seconds I actually challenge the dungeon, I spend 30-40 seconds doing nothing. That is not fun. I’m only posting about it because all of this could be avoided with two simple changes.
First, the starting pad needs to be protected from the wind. It’s frustrating when I’m a second late (due to not being able to keep track of the wind patterns, due to the long respawn fluff period) and I get tossed to my left into the “suicide crevasse”. It’s even more frustrating when the wind throws me into the back wall and my camera angle for resetting is basically the inside of my skull and some shoulder armor.
Second, there needs to be a flag or some sort of visible icon across the way. The torches aren’t very helpful (even though they’re supposed to be), so it’s hard to figure out what the wind’s status is. I don’t like having to rotate my camera up to check on a flag, rotate it back, and be expected to be able to move instantly. It doesn’t work. It’s too much to track at once.
It’s not that I’m incapable of completing the puzzle or incapable of learning, and it’s not like no one has ever completed the puzzle before. I understand that. The problem I have is that much of the challenge has been taken out of my hands and has been assigned almost entirely to random luck and bad mechanics.
Protecting just the starting pad from the wind would pretty much solve everything, as instead of sitting in a tiny doorway watching the flag from within my own skull and/or getting thrown into a ditch before I even begin the puzzle I’d actually be able to put my own skill to the test. Anything else would just be a bonus, but absolutely the starting pad should be changed up. Committing suicide because the game decides it’s time to sneeze isn’t fun. If the game kills me then fine, whatever; it’s the “go kill yourself” part that I don’t like. It’s basically as though the game is saying: “HA! You took 0.5 seconds too long, so now YOU have to kill YOURSELF, and waste a minute of your OWN time!” followed by an evil laugh.
This is the first time that I’ve done a personal story adventure and actually wished there was a skip button, and I’m not even actually in the adventure yet. I’m still at the first dialogue. Doesn’t that strike anyone as problematic? Again, the majority of my problem is the starting pad. Even if I do somehow finish the puzzle in its current state (and I’m sure that I will with a few more hours of practice) it would definitely help others out in the future, as I’m sure I’m not the only one that’s been frustrated by this.