Alright. This year was crazy. Here's my year feedback/review on this year, 2010. Enjoy!
Well, I guess since I've got nothing better to do, I'll just make a comprehensive review of Mechquest.
Alright, how do we start this off.... Oh right, nowhere better to start off than the actual start of the year itself! Mechquest, is now 4 years old (2007,2008,2009,2010), and soon to be 5 in October 2011. Well, from the past years, we're once again seen the advent of past New year's celebrations of MQ. Nice to see that they decided to even release the 2008 rares. However, I myself was a little disappointed with the fact they did not change them, and the anniversary mecha was not anything anyone was hoping for, far under it's anticipated hype. However, they were still great for their levels. Overall, though they had some loose ends, they had a good start for the year.
Ah... The Annual competition of the G.E.A.R.S Games. This one, however was a bit different. Instead of letting people use their whole arsenal, instead, they were only allowed to use their GG's House Mechas. However, if you wanted to have a bit of saboteur, then you could use any of your mechas in order to steal a mascot. Though the team did very well in the respect of balance, they failed to add that kind of excitement, as the battles were long, and boring, and the penalties were un-desired, especially if you were in House RuneHawk. Though the 3 houses were neck to neck for the first 30%'s, Wolfblade somehow against all odds and Shadowsythe interference pulled a massive lead, and won for the 3rd time, in a row. Heavily dissatisfied MQ players freely shouted their anger at Wolfblade due to the fact that once again, Wolfbalde won with Sheer numbers, and using their numbers to win for the 3rd time. The aftermath wasn't pretty either, as Xaria was kidnapped by the Shadowsythe. Was not pretty at all. However, there were some positives to this. If you had Nova Gems, you could buy Corrupted House Mechas, which were REALLY powerful. All 3 of them were quite powerful. Also, as a plus, they re-released Betrayal into the mix, which I personally took advantage of to switch from MR, to RH. However, the very fact that Wolfbalde won for the 3rd time left us with a bad taste in our mouths to remember the 3rd Annual GEARS Games.
Next, I'll hit the Star Captain Monthly Mechas. I'll arrange this one in a list...
The Automorph, the first SCMM for 2010, was a good mecha, with Damage Boosts, and heavy damage weapons in the mix, though damage was a bit random. However, solid mecha in a package.
Next, the Physic Wing. Ah... We hit a Defensive SCMM, and this one has everlasting effects too! I myself used this mecha in hard boss battles. A Good mecha to offset the offensive minded SCMM's that preceded it, and a powerful force when looked at in a general perspective.
Next, we hit the Lucky Blademasters and the Bladestorms. These things were beasts. Frenzied specials with highly powerful stuff in all directions, with no weaknesses at all, causing it to be a very popular SCMM to use. However, a bug that made the Front arm extremely powerful by doing absurd damages was nerfed, causing people to shout at anger over the nerf. Overall, they were solid Mechas, and one that had great performance in a fight.
Next is the Morehawk. Great Body with an Automatic stun. Heck, it could've been a great stun mecha with the right stuff added to it. However, it's less than satisfactory arms were it's only downside. Other than that, the Morehawk was highly praised for it's hovering, and it's powerful body, and power increase Shoulders.
Now, we hit the AC-490. Like the Physic wing, it had perma-effects. However, it was discovered that it was only great for longer fights. Nevertheless, people found ways to make this mecha beast through minor customization. It was one of those mechas that "improves with age, just like wine" Solid SCMM like it's ancestors, and excellent for frustrating boss fights, provided you could stall enough to have the specials kick in.
Now, be warned here, unlike the earlier SCMM's, the ones that came after AC-490 were heavily un-specialized, which caused many people to look down on all the SCMM's, favoring the older ones of 2010....
The Master Blaster, Cosmic Talon, Steve Skysplitter, and even The Nemesis seemed to lack a focus and therefore were all looked down upon. Though the SCMM's of 2010 were great on the earlier part of the year, they began to loose a bit of Sheen in the 2nd half of the year. This proved to discover something within the community's values itself; We, when it comes to gifts, essentially love a more specialized gift that focused on 1 theme, rather than the Jack-of-all-Trades yet, Master-of-None. Hopefully, they'll attract more positive reviews in 2011. As for now, they were quoted and dubbed, "Utterly disappointing" by the MQ Community.
Next, I'll review myself over the Necryptos Saga. This planet can be started off with a lot of choices. MY word, will be frustrating. I for one did not have a very fun experience with this. The very fact that you needed to purchase an expensive mecha, was only the beginning of my frustrations. Though it was not required to use a V-Hunter from the earlier parts of the Saga, the later bosses proved it was more than needed to kill them using V-hunters, though, many of the people from the MQ Community found ways to beat the latter bosses without the heavily recommended mechas. However, The planet did do a fair job of providing more Non Rare content to the game, with several Non Rare equipment giving a run for their money to rares, such as the Flore DLX Back Shoulders, and the Lord Mechula Mechas. I'll begin to say positives too. The Scenery, as well as the animations can be praised a bit. The Backgrounds and missions were great to suit their territories they were in. The uniforms, in conjugation with the Lord Mechulas, were also a nice addition to the planet. However, there were some non rare equips from Necryptos that did not offset the negatives, and NSC's were especially angered with the fact that they had to use (Back then) 33% (1 out of only 3 their spaces) of their inventories just to get through the saga, resulting in a bad taste in our mouths, yet again.
Valentine's day - The love's in the Air! Well, at least, the enemies that are being blown to bits by Barddock Steele were. HE was to try to save Xaria from the Shadowsythe. Instead, he had fun with a Shadowsythe Killing spree. Anyways, the Valentine'd Day release was highly praised upon, as it saw the new release of a cool mini-game. It was even offered as a starship item for those who wanted to play repeatedly. Also, as a fun twist, we found out that General Mediera is in love with Barddock Steele. For one, minigames are always highly praised, and, it hinted future events as well. Also, the weapons were pretty created, and fit very well with the theme of the love season.
Ah... March Madness... Saint Patrick's Day War... Where can I start off? Oh yes, with the actual war itself. The War gave many pople a chance to farm. For a massive 200 clovers (Though, reduced later to only 70), which was extremely tedious, you could have gotten some EXTREMELY powerful weapons. The most infamous no doubt, was the Runehawk Cloverblade, which basically sapped EP until you had none left to drain. Also, class specific blades were a good thing too, as they were quite powerful. Yes, there was the credit cost, but that was just a minor setback for a most powerful special. Ones that non-literally, broke the game. Also, the addition of Luck boosting Mods, and Lucky versions of the Advanced House mechas, and Lucky Nubertrons proved to stand positively with the community. After all, who doesn't like the chance to abuse luck's many advantages? As an added bonus, we even got to Korin Torturing the Dragonoid, thanks to Wolfencreek.
Time to hit April! To start off, people were sad that the April Fool's Mecha was not happening that year. To make up for this however, Korin made versions... OF HIS OWN HEAD! They were very powerful, and for builds that ran out of energy, this was a good thing for them. Also, the team re-released the Easter Wars/Events of the past, allowing people to get the past rares that were so coveted. Also, to satisfy those Novelty rare collectors such as myself, they released an Egg for a Mecha, and a more powerful version of the 08' Bunzilla. Also, the promotional Choco Bunz Shoulder was a cool item to get, as it's specials were powerful. Also, the Rixty Zookas, which proved to be highly used, was a nice twist to the AE-wide Rixty Promotional offers that were going around. To top it off, they even released a version for Nova Gems for those who didn't have access to Rixties. Also, the War on Lagos was nice. The enemies were easily farmable thanks to the powerful Anti-ShS weapons and it furthered the storyline, which we all wanted. Also, Charfade finally made her appearance in game, though, coming a bit... short (lol). After that, the Earth Day shoulders were highly praised too, as the high Regeneration they offered was just TOO good to pass. It was a beast back then, and is still a beast today. Able to stop Enemy EP regen, AND giving them a DoT AND even giving you a regen bonus based on your level. A truly potent force to behold. And now, I've finished April. Now, time to go on to MAY!
Ah… I’d like to start May, with the first day. Maypril Fools. A Good mecha was released, with a STRONG front arm that let people do over 500 damage in a turn! It was nerfed, causing people to rethink their thoughts on the Maypril fools mecha. Also, the team released equipment that were powerful for their levels, and can still be used today on a frequent basis. Nonetheless, a solid mecha, and a solid release. Now, let’s go to the Dragonoid Saga, starting with Planet Yokai. Easily, I could say somethigns about this place – A solid reminder to it’s contemporary, AQW Yokai. Also, the enemies fit well to their themes, with even a spoof to Kung Foo Panda. (5 masters). The weapons there even filled in some equipment gaps, though, the persisting problem that Yokai could be played first, made people ANGRY. Let me tell ya why… You see, Planet Yokai didn’t let people play it until they met all the requirements, and for some reason, some couldn’t get access to the planet, so all pre-exquisites were removed in favor of accessibility. This further added to the problem of Storyline holes. However, the good thing was that content was at least filled in at levels, and that they even had generic (Not meant to be a frequent used mecha like a SCMM) mecha just for those who liked Generic stuff. So let’s talk about the planet itself. The Missions were pretty much repeats of themselves, and the enemies were pretty tough for those who desired for a challenge. However, the fact is, repetitiveness and seemingly endless waves of enemies proofed to take a strain on a player, forcing them to trudge hours to get to the boss for some. Well, that’s all there was to May. Let’s head on to June for a moment…
Ah… Time for June, and to talk about the art museum! Easily, this filled in a part of Soluna, as it finally filled in a part of the city. And for those with artistic talents, it allowed them to shine, and for an added bonus, standing in one certain area allowed people to “Kick” a box that made funny sounds when kicked. Although most of the Yokai Saga was covered in this month, I took the liberty of explaining my thoughts and analysis of Yokai in a previous section to help the flow of the analysis. So, this is the reason why this paragraph is so short, however, July is more than stuffed with things to say…
Well, July had a great start, with a powerful mecha, the Liberty Mecha. This mecha was and still is a massive DoT Beast (for both EP and HP), although, I shouldn’t have bought the NG version myself because it wasn’t really all that more powerful from its SC and NSC counterparts. However, I still thoroughly enjoyed the mecha, and it received a lot of paositive feedback, though, the fact that customization disabled specials kinda made people sad. None the less, great mecha. Now, another thing I’ll bring up is that the C-Mail improvements for the storyline. IT was a good thing to implement, as the storyline problem became more and more apparent as time went on, and the fact that any reform was appreciated. Now, the Yokai war was pretty special, as the war was mostly farmable (Except for those lolspam Yokai stick abusers), and the rewards at the end came out fairly strong, and the best part was, it was all Non Rare equips, and a lot of them too. Good to fill in equipment gaps as always. And finally, the Yokai saga was finish. And with a strong finish too. Now, time to move onto August.
Well, August was mostly a month of Promotions, ranging from the Ipad sweepstakes, and the Best Buy Upgrade card promotion. However, Friday the 13th proved to be a great event. The Jamesons were buffed (Uber and vengences were upgraded), the equips were re-released, and they even released a few extra new equips in the mix for their current year event. Also, a cool cutscene was released which was given high praise. Great release, and replays are always nice. Also, although the storyline was finished for Yokai, extra additions were made, such as the Hazuko Challenges and the Supreme Master Mechas. They were good at adding some extra dimensions to the planet Yokai. In fact, in the future, I think most players would like to see extra dimensions to planets, and within planets, extra elements to cities to help give the feel of the player being on another planet. After all, not many planets only have 1 city. It was generally a small month for MQ, but however, it was good enough. Now, time for September.
September was a lively month for 2010. First off, the Calendars were released for those who were major AE fans, and extra mecha slots were released. (Good thing for NSC’s, and rare hoarders such as myself.) Along with this, came a level cap raise, and higher level versions of various Non-Rare equips. Also, the traveling salesman’s stock proved to be really powerful. However, my mind about this month is a bit fuzzy, and the DN’s don’t say much about this month, so I’ll leave it at this for this month. The Extra Mecha Slots proved to be a great thing for those who were running out of space, and even more vital to NSC's. This was because before the update, they could only have 3 mecha spaces, which made people angry. However, They got a great gift of 10 more mecha slots, which they needed badly. Now they didn't have to throw away Rare Mechas to make room for other rares they would throw away too. The Cap raise was nice, though, a lot felt that they should have made more non rare equips before they raised the cap, as non rare content has always been low, and that equipment gaps served a problem as well. However, the cap was raised, and the content was filled with rares ( >.> )
Ah… October is one of the greatest months of MQ. MQ Aniversary, Moogloween, and a lot of other stuff that makes people kindle good memories (FOR THE WIN LOL). The Dropship got updated, which was extremely needed as it would help new players in game basics. Also, the Minigame was fun too (I would try to beat it, but I’m just too lazy.) Everything got updated, from weapons to tutorials. The Anniversary was not so well. The Nubertron which was highly dissed, was not updated, and the anniversary mecha was deemed "sub-par" to other rare mechas. However, although I frankly agreed with these people, I guess they did become novelties, which were meant for fun play, not serious play. Moogloween was nicely re-released with updated Frankies, Mortis Starmaps, and Doom Riders. Most players seized this opportunity to grab these highly coveted mechas for the purpose of speed farming, as these mechas were great for farming (even better for NSC's). The Skelepunk was cool too. However, bad for NSC as most of specials were SC only. The Weapons were VERY good however. Especially the NG Wicked Pumpkin series. They would be able to last for many days, because of their specials, which was permanent status change, whether it was buff or nerf, whichever way you like, they were an excellent buy for those who were willing to cough up the Nova Gems to improve their builds. Best thing is, They even released a map to this event so people could get them later. The staff even released Evil Jim album Overkill to those who liked music, and the Evil Jim wars proved to be a high success, with powerful rares, mechas, and even replay maps for those who love rares.
Ah… Novermber. The Chrono Mecha was released. I’d give something on that mecha, however, I don’t have it myself. However, if someone would like to let me see it in pvp, that would be more than appreciated. Anyways… Thanksgiving was a main event here. Releases were always appreciated, and the year’s event was nice too. I myself grabbed a Turkey Talon in order to destroy enemies that were addicted to nerfing bonus. Evil Jim also came about, adding a special spice to Thanksgiving. The Rares were powerful, and as usual, the staff re-opened past Thanksgiving events to let people experience past events, and even the rares from past events were updated, such as the Updated Mecha Fryer 9000s and Ruinous Turkey Cannons. These combinded actions recieved high praise from the forum players, as they matched the ever increasing demands of the community's needs. However, I myself (though I like powerful stuff) wish to see this onslaught of rares stop. Otherwise, November was a pretty short month in terms of releases, however, the good thing is, that Thanksgiving was a high success overall, and once again, the staff made the players happy.
Now, time for December, the final month. Christmas was abound, and it was a great time. New MEchas, weapons, New Mini-Games, re-release of Zorbo’s and Past year events, and a heck lot of other stuff. And we can’t forget about Flavescent Friday either now can we? After all, our favorite rares were re-released for a day (I got what I wanted). I should probably get into this more, explaining my thoughts. Flavescent Friday for many was a chance to get the rares we needed/coveted dearly. In all respects, many of the people loved this event, and if you were lucky enough to get on during that one Friday, hell, you were lucky as a lucky dog. The rares that were sold there were the ones that the staaff heard the community for, which for one, gave hop that the staff still listened to the players, and they were willing to take suggestions openly. However, it was only for a day. But that was enough to get people to farm what they wanted. Also, the Re-release of the Past Frostvale events was a total success, as it allowed people to grab powerful rares that were found to be valuable use for many, so that was a good thing. However, the Ice harvester mecha was not given positive feedback, as it required too many turns for an actualy influence, and only the NG version proved to be strong. Also, the re-release of Zorbos were great. SC's were flocking to get them, as previous owners were satisfied when they had their old zorbo's buffed. I was a tense situation, but they found a way to make the players happy, more or less. The Year was ended on a positive note, and who knows what will happen in 2011.
Other important notes I jotted down
Also, there's a few things I must say before I close this review. One, I noticed something while reading through design notes, and from the feedback of others. For one, we seem to as a community be running in the WRONG direction. Yes, I'm right. Here's why. You see, people love powerful things. Non-Rare content cannot be as powerful as people want them because they are available to everyone. If powerful items were everyone, the difficulty of various game elements would need to be adjusted in order to compensate. This is a question of Difficulty Vs. Power. And this correlates to rares as well. Why? Because rares are not there forever (limited time). Since we love Powerful stuff, we love rares, because we love powerful stuff, and Rare stuff is always powerful. What does this mean? In order to satisfy the players (Well, at least the newer generation), I'm afraid the staff will continue to head towards the wrong direction and pace in order to suit the wants and ambitions of the players themselves. I noticed a lot that less than wanted items are shunned, and powerful things that compromise future balancing tend to be praised. Don't get me wrong here, I too like powerful things, but I'm beginning to see this dangerous trend here.
The Very ambitions of the community has caused this upsurge of rares, and we cannot afford to bring up powerful rares lest we want to raise the difficulty of this game. Rares is partially the solution to this. It gives people powerful things without the need to adjust the game to it's power levels because it will only affect a small portion of the players, not enough to influence balance. However, this upsurge of rares causes a drain on choosable content for the rest of these people. Simply, rares makes it possible to have powerful things without adjusting game balance. However, it hurts the actual game and player development due to the void of emptiness it leaves behind, which to me, makes me feel like I've failed many players due to the lack of choices I've been able to offer to them. This year as a whole was no doubt, 70% Rare content, 30% Non Rare content, most unfortunate. And also, the fact that the most powerful weapons were rares caused a huge equipment gap within the game itself, making the game yet harder to play especially those who are not able to keep up with the pace of this rare horde that clobbers us all.
However, I must also give fact that the staff has been reduced this year due to various things happening within the corporation itself. This makes it harder to keep up with the demand of the players which forces the staff to tone down releases due to the sake of the decreased workforce of the game. This causes a devastating effect to the game; Releases get smaller, and their quality, along with their playability is reduced. However, I can also take confort in the fact that the staff is listening. Korin and Maegwyn both have Formspring to ask questions, and DN's are being published to help evaluate the problem. What I'm hoping for is that the community can work together to save the game we love so much. For the last year, through quite observation, I can admit that we as a community are anything BUT united. In fact, I don't even REMEMBER the last time we worked as a unified community dedicated to solve the problems of the game. I feel a game is only as good as it's community is. If we could do this much damage to MQ when we are not unified to solve the problems of the game, just imagine what we would theoretically be possible if we worked as a whole to solve these problems that plague us; Power Inflation, Rare Content Needs, Equipment Gaps, Storyline Holes, Staff Cuts, and a whole lot more.
Yes, I believe that MQ is not in a good shape as is right now. However, I also believe that through a unified effort, against all odds, we can overcome anything. For me, we only started to bring back these thread of concern recently, not NEARLY early enough to make the problem only minor, as they became worse over time. However, I believe the priority of 2011 should not to be to keep churning on rares and expanding like we did last year, but rather, to focus and fortify existing game elements, fix major problems, and to re-establish the Player-Staff relations back to their 2008 levels. That is why, I wish to call this year, 2011 - The Year of Reform
As we come to a close, I must say… this was one heck of a year. As summed up in this feedback review. I wish you all a happy new year!
< Message edited by PD -- 1/1/2011 5:13:21 >