I am putting this here because I don’t feel it fits well in the PTR feedback which is intended to be feedback about this specific PTR build. This feedback is more about my experience trying to actually be a tester in PTR and trying to help make the game better.
I was hoping to get to test several important changes but after a whole evening of setbacks I failed to do that and this is my experience and feedback on how to address this for others like myself who want to help test builds quickly and easily.
I’ve worked in programming and software devleopment for 20 years. One thing I’ve learned is that the more hoops you force testers to go through the less quality testing you get done. If you can get someone to volinteer and interested in helping test your release candidate then you don’t want to require a bunch of setup to test the case scenario in question.
I’ve never loaded PTR before in New World so this was my first experience last night. My wife and I who both are 200 + Trophy + Expertise gear crafters in multiple professions both wanted to get online and test the healing and constitution changes in the context of PVE for Tanks and Healers.
Getting into the game and getting all the openable containers in our inventory was somewhat intuitive. Massive bags is great. I’d read about carefully opening containers as you go and I thought I knew what to expect.
We were actually delighted to see that opening certain containers produced options for different attribute sets for gear and then different armor weights. The unfortunate aspect we found was it appears this gear is completely random. The tank weapons perk wise were nothing I would ever consider using as a tank. The armor while the right stats (I opened heavy con/str) not a single piece of gear rolled with perks I would use for my SnS, Hammer, Hatchet, or GA weapons for tanking.
That wasn’t an issue in my mind, they want us to test crafting. Let’s do that, we can probably open a bag here get what we need with little hassle and craft some reasonably useful items with the perks we want/need and be off and running.
I found the trophies and went and bought the houses and put up the trophies. I found the gear for crafting and opened that. No Jewelry. Okay, we can make jewelry.
Let’s see okay materials check. Crafting skill check. Timeless shards? No timeless shards. Okay fine. Crafting mods? No crafting mods. We don’t care about level for crafting jewelry so whatever, my wife rolls a bunch of jewery and her first run produces the armorsmithing and weaponsmithing items. We don’t need arcana for her lifestaff because she managed to pull one with blessed on it.
Okay great. Break out stuff to make weapons. Timeless Shards? Oh right we don’t have those. Ask in chat, no answer. Look on the TP. None. Look on the TP for mods none. Ask in chat is there a vendor somewhere that we can buy timeless shards and mods? I get told no by several people. Fine.
I go to the forge to craft and I notice my gear score range is low, lower than a top end of 590. Oh yeah. Put the jewelry and gear on. Open the consumables bag. No crafting food. FFS. Go to the TP. There is some there but peope are asking 50k gold for the recipe and no weaponsmithing food at the time.
At this point I’ve wasted spent close to two hours of my time.
Okay fine I find someone willing to sell me one food for 1k gold. Buy it eat it and try to craft a usable sword with something useful on it. Okay let’s force the attribute and see what we get…wait no crafting mods. Okay Well lets full azoth the crafts and hope for the best. I think i was able to make 10 swords and then 6 more and then I was out of azoth. Crap.
Okay lets use these legendary azoth vials they probably refill your whole azoth. Pop one nothing seems to happen. What? So I ask in chat again. It only gives 50 per consumption. So it’s a suspended azoth vial. Why? Why not have that open up and give x100 suspended azoth or fill the bar? Well i can’t do much with 500 extra azoth. What now?
Ask in chat if anyone has any ideas. Infinate azoth through crafting pips. Okay got it. Limited reagents to refine items that isn’t gong to help. I need crafting food lets try to get recipes.
Open the container and get a ton of other containers of items. So I make hearty meals sinceI dont have recipes. I’m playing it safe a few of each as I go so I can move. But im only getting 3 levels of crafting exp per series of bags and this is taking forever So I decide to just open 25 of each food container and it lets me. I craft through the food, get some recipes not the ones i need but some T5 so i get better exp and faster levels.
Then I figure out there is a limit to how much stuff I can dump on the ground and it appears to be 1k kg of stuff. I’ve now statued myself with 200k of inventory, I can only get rid of 1kg at a time on the ground every 3 minutes with no way to destroy the stuff.
Okay /stuck then i can drop more. Works great the first time then it just teleports me back to the same spot. Now I’m stuck no where near a crafting station and I have no way to get rid of the 196k pounds of items i need to, to move.
I’m at around 290 or so crafting level open the remaining crates hoping for a recipe and out of all the ones i did no weaponsmith food or armorsmith food. I can’t move but I have a ton of suspended azoth now.
So I trade my wife the azoth and my gold. Delete the character and create a new one. Not paying attention I statued myself right outside of range of the cooking station this time before I even got to try to repeate attmepts for the trade skill food. It was at this point I logged off.
I’m not sure if I will even bother trying again tonight but here is my feedback based on that whole experience:
There needs to be a characeter copy functionality implemented from the live servers and it needs to be a very high priority. Testing is critically important and the ideal circumstance is that players can create these templated characters or copy characters from the live severs and have access to all their current gear and resources to test with.
Timeless shards need to be provided as well as crafting mods in the backstories. This is an integeral part of how players currently equip themselves their vastly avaiable on LIVE and very affordable. Everyone I know is rolling timeless shard pieces and wearing purple or legendary results.
Additionally, now that expertise and umbral shards are part of the gameplay loop getting gear to 625 to test with needs to be part of PTR. We need umbral shards in the backstories too. So that we can get the gear high enough to try harder content and figure out how things are working compared to live now.
Please for the love of god include a recipes container in the backstory at least for cooking or consider just having all cooking recipes unlocked from the get go. Needing to farm them from the aptitude pip boxes or from chests just isn’t what I’m on PTR to test.
I would also adjust the armor and weapon boxes. From what I could tell the role version on weapons wasn’t very role specific. It seemed to just provide different gems in the items. I know that AGS likely wants player to play with a wide variety of perks but players don’t do that on live now and we want to test how we play and how that changed. Please consider refining the perk pools to the most common perk pools used by players currently ingame. You should be able to datamine this info. I’d go so far as to say there needs to be a pvp vs pve gear set as well. What someone wants for pvp testing is different than pve.
All of the above is a work around to some sort of reforging system that would allow us to replace perks on items with different perks. This is something we’ve asked for on Live for awhile but we really need it on test to get equipment into a good aproximate state of live to test with.
If you want a specific new perk tested or whatever provide a special backstory item that specifically provides items targeted at the test you want ran on PTR.
I firmly believe that there needs to be vendors in town that offer raw materials for all the crafting professions. Each vendor should be near the crafting station and should have everything you could possibly need to do large amounts of crafting for that station.
The smelter would have iron, starmetal, orichalcum, silver, gold, platinum, tolvium, cinnabar, flux, green wood, charcoal, etc.
The cooking station would offer every cooking recipe and every cooking raw material.
The weaponsmith station would offer all the weapon timeless shards and weapon and all the crafting mods usable on weapons, the various refined ingots, leathers, and woods needed to craft. If it’s part of a weaponsmith recipe it should be on the vendor in its refined form.
The armotsmith station would offer all the armor and jewerly shards incuding the associated crafting mods. If it’s part of a recipe that can be made at the station it’s availabel in its refined form.
I understand the above is going to likely create twinks and can be abused but those players provide critical test feedback on the ultra min/max builds that there is no way your getting right now on PTR. Use that to your advantage and allow your average player to aproximate what we do on Live gearwise. If you need to test a change that these vendors would prohibit like changes to drop rates or something else then have test cycles where its disabled. However, I would suggest always having them available the first part of testing after a new update is on ptr so that the most important balance and mechanics changes can be tested early and ciritical feedback can be provided early enough to be addressed.
For myself, my wife, and our friends these sorts of enhancements to PTR would make it much more likely that we would spend ample time on PTR testing changes that we feel are going to impact us on Live and would allow us to provide feedback more easily based on actual game play. The result I think is a win win for everyone, we can preivew the content to prepare properly, we can provide better feedback and AGS should be getting better test feedback and I’m sure analyitcal data they can datamine for important data metrics they want to track as KPI for their changes.