Both Marvel Heroes and Neverwinter are having kitchen sink patches today. Well, maybe a bit less on the former.
Marvel Heroes, as I’ve mentioned in the past, has some problems with core mechanics and less to do with balancing. Patch notes try to address a bit of that. I don’t get why you need to login to see patch notes… Anyhoot, they are upping the drop rate of heroes and costumes (I’ve seen a total of zero in about 60 hours, even though I’ve played the entire game with +drop gear), fixing some rather large combat bugs and adding more grouping to end-game content. 1) is cool. 2) is badly needed. 3) doesn’t even come close to addressing the problem of longevity.
Remember DCUO when it launched? Everyone could reach max level in a day or two, then had nothing to do (raids were sort of in but broken). Well, Marvel Heroes is the same except you’re not at max level. You can complete all the content in what seems like 5-6 hours and get to level 25 or so. With a max level of 60, you’re looking at about an extra 100 hours of grinding the same content (about a dozen dungeons) and no rewards from it, because itemization is more or less broken past level 30. Yay? There’s a tremendous, massive, gaping lack of incentive to keep playing as there’s no tangible progress. I don’t change my appearance, I haven’t changed items in over 10 levels (I’m at 37 now), I haven’t had a new skill in 7 levels either. The most “optimal” run for me right now gives me 5% of a level in about 7 minutes of work. And I have 23 more levels of this to go. Eh…there’s just no real carrot. And honestly, 20$ for another character, which is basically another skin, is crazy pricing.
Neverwinter on the other hand has content a plenty but lacked balance. This patch is a true kitchen sink. Grouping is being fixed, threat, class balance, enemy difficulty, bugs, crafting, display… you name it. I had tried a fair amount of Tier 1/2 dungeons, with friends and random folk. As a Cleric, I just simply died after 5 seconds of combat due to threat mechanics. Not only is that changing but the tank class is getting an across the board boost of 35% to threat plus a few more tools. Maybe the game will actually have a trinity rather than just the current damage/healer paradigm. If they get it right, I think it could be seen as the standard for F2P games from now on since it’s the only one that I know of that hasn’t been retro-actively made F2P but instead designed that way from the start. Fingers crossed on this one!
PS. For those looking for a decent ARPG, free to play, massive amounts of depth and challenge, try Path of Exile. They are open beta, they are taking money but it feels more like Minecraft open beta than anything else. I think it’s one of the best ARPGs out there, personally. Here’s a picture of the skill tree, no joke.