The good news is that the infinite load screen seems gone.
The so-so news is that there are so, so many bug fixes that it sometimes feels like a different difficulty.
The bad news continues to be that all rewards being predicated on getting to the mission complete screen. In theory, that makes people spend more time playing rather than inventory management. In practice, I have experienced quite a few server crashes that meant 30-45 minutes were just wasted. Not crash as in I can jump back into the mission. Crash as in the mission server (or whatever it is) crashes and I get sent back to Tarsis.
Also, this game makes my laptop hit 99% CPU, and 95+ degrees. It is much more demanding than I had imagined.
Seeing as how I completed all the quest content last weekend, all I have now is exploration and the stronghold/dungeon/strike. I’ve pretty much memorized all the spawn triggers/points by now, so it’s more about optimizing the execution. In practical terms, when to use my ultimate.
I will assume this is bug fix territory, since AI behavior has tweaked a bit. They tend to work in groups now, more than solo. They are also harder to stun, and take more damage before dropping. The final spider boss is also more challenging, as it now seems to spawn more spiders than before. End result, I find myself dying more this weekend than last.
Still some kinks to work out, as I find myself getting hit by bullet fire while behind walls, flying controls are greatly improved, swimming still feels like a drunk tank, and some chargeable skills do not work consistently (e.g. they do while hovering, but not while on the ground).
I won’t say I have a huge amount of time in the game, but let’s say that I am surprised anytime I see anything other than a Colossus or Storm in my group. Rangers are there when low level, and I have seen a total of 2 Interceptors since last week. Storm is my bag of fun.
I’ve been trying more loadouts to see what works for my playstyle. There’s a large attack and a quick one, and each can come in one of 3 elements – ice, fire, and lightning. Ice slows/freezes enemies, fire does some AE and DoT, lightning just seems to be pure damage. I honestly expected lightning to have more effect on shields. Even in 18 power (blue) skills, it takes every cooldown I have to take down someone with shields.
There are also variants in the attacks. Like one is a giant fire explosion, and another is a fire element that skips through enemies. You’re provided a numerical representation of what the skill does in terms of damage, recharge and so one. But until you actually see it, you really don’t know if it works for you or not.
I am really liking the chargeable fireball attack as a quick attack. The large attack, I’ve yet to find one I really do like, though it’s hard to argue with something with big numbers (lightning explosion seems the one).
Not being able to add more options to my gear (due to level restrictions) is less fun. I’ve found quick a few upgrades to elemental damage that would certainly complement the playstyle. Stacking 5 or so elemental boosts would make a huge difference.
I have two distinct thoughts on this matter.
First – this weekend’s build should have been there last weekend. There are a lot of things from the previous build that appeared 90%+ of the time, and that was the build meant to appease the people who have forked a lot of money over. It’s really great that the wholly open demo works, but there are still some optimizations/fixes that are missing (swimming is absolute garbage).
Second – The content presented here is at most ~4 hours worth. Since you’re dropped into the middle of things, there are many systems that are simply not clearly explained. Why would you explore? How do you get recipes? How does experience work? What makes the ultimate skill get stronger/recharge faster? What do the stats actually mean? And when the demo content “ends”, it should present some sort of message to the fact since I spent 10 minutes trying to figure out if I could do more than kill a spider.
Clearly the weekend isn’t over, and the “cool event” of Sunday hasn’t come to pass. I know there are more things to discover here, and I am certainly motivated to see them come. That’s a good thing. I will certainly wait until release to put more thoughts to this, but right now it seems fair to say that there’s a market for this game. Maybe not as big as some hope (this will not steal Fortnite players), but a decent sized one at least.