Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Zafaria Too Easy?

I've been seeing a couple of threads on central proclaiming that Zafaria is too easy: like this one (where at least 61 people agree) and this one (where a call is made to add 1000 health to all mobs and add more cheating bosses).

Personally I am sitting right below level 62. I kind of wanted to sit out for a bit and let the test realm die down from the madhouse that it was on day one. It's been really nice being able to find a battle circle and still group with people.

I can identify a little bit with the sentiment that the world is too easy, but then I also remember what Krokotopia was like. Do you remember playing through Krokotopia and encountering those 150 health manders after you had just been downing some rather difficult scarecrows (for your level) in the haunted cave? Eventually the difficulty of Krokotopia ramped up, but it never was horribly difficult.

Have I died in Zafaria? yeah, I took a defeat against Queen Tanei Ghostmane's 3 vs. 1 battle this morning in the Savannah right before posting this.

Will it stop me in my tracks over and over? Oh, not at all. I'll simply adjust my strategy a bit or bring an extra character with me. We have four accounts after all and people on our friends lists . . . the easiest way to beat something difficult is add another wizard, and perhaps that is why the difficulty seems meaningless to many?

Every fight in the test realm on the opening day (and day after) was most likely faced with 2-3 other wizards by your side. Then again, even with the Necromancer, who is designed to solo, I was feeling those first few mobs could have been a little tougher. Too be honest, you'd think KingsIsle would make things a little harder to upsell their hireling sales in the crownshop. ;)

I did keep thinking to myself, how in the world would Angus ever get through a world like this where mobs start with 3 power pips and cast right out of the gate . . . not giving many rounds to shield at all. I have no idea.

So, what do you all think after playing through Zafaria a bit . . . is it too easy? Should KingsIsle give us more of a challenge, even outside the boss fights?

And that's another question. How should KingsIsle make the fights more difficult if they do? I don't think it's as simple as adding 1,000 health to every mob. I think most of us would rather see a more interesting mechanic rather than just stacking health on the things we fight. Strange resists? Beserk on first round? More healing mobs? More but limited battle circle sizes? More difficult puzzles? What is it that could make this more interesting to the battle weary legendary wizards?

OR, does it not matter the difficulty? does it only matter that I play here with my friends and enjoy an "easy" (gotta put that in quotes because Angus is pooping his pants over how he'd survive without gear) challenge?

Let me know what you think!

Happy Dueling!


Anonymous said...

Actually the reason why wizards think Zafaria is easy is that wizards got way stronger than mobs and bosses in the game imo. Everyone is talking about how Calestia had challenging boss/mobs fights, because at that time wizards had no Waterworks gear and more advanced pets as well as mastery amulets. If wizards take off their WW gear, pets and mastery amulets and get their normal gear and fight you'll see how hard it is to survive in Zafaria after getting hit by street mobs casting Ra, Forest Lord, Giant, Scarecrow, etc. Another problem wizard101 has in Zafaria is with gear because they can not add no more resistance or other good stats to level 60+ gear since its getting almost impossible to take down someone's health in PvP case or no need of healing while fighting boss/mobs in terms of PvE. That's why, KingsIsle has come up with the idea of "Piercing" to go back a little imo. We can see so much improvement for our wizards but not much for mobs and bosses. what KI should do atm is improving bosses/mobs stats, such as giving them universal resistance, better shielding ability or healing, etc. We all know that Wintertusk is also one of the challenging worlds with so many ice bosses/mobs who keep putting tower shields and attacking with strong mutated spells making the fights harder and longer. Another adjustment would be taking out of boss/mobs boost to specific school spells. To do that KI can use all astral school specified boss/mobs to keep the concept of boss/mobs fights in the previous worlds.

Blaze Shadowblade said...

Another factor could be that the vocal minority are those who have mastered the challenge towers. I personally can not see myself ever getting past the first floor of the Tower of the Helephant. I can't see myself grinding the Water Works long enough to get my first piece of legendary gear. I also can't see why people would want Zafaria to be a minefield like Celestia can be. On top of all that, no class can truely solo everything in the game and that is what it will boil down to a year from now when most wizards have downed Zafaria and the people who just started playing or who will start playing in the near future will have a hard time running through a descelate Zafaria when they get there.

Benjamin Dragonsword said...

they should add a little health to a few bosses (i have heard how easy the 68 spell boss is), and i agree with the idea of adding a boss or two with universal resist. They could also give some bosses armor piercing. I dont know this myself, since i havent gotten on test (no need to spoil the new world), but these seem like reasonable answers.

Autumwiz said...

I honestly feel that Zafaria is set up as kind of a break on the larger story scale, kind of like Mooshu was after Marleybone. While it's important to continually challenge the PvE players, it can also be very discouraging after fighting tooth and nail through Celestia to arrive in Zafaria and die in the first mob encounter. Also, we need to keep in mind that Wizard101 is set up and designed with the 10 year old and the 53 year old player in mind, the casual player and the hardcore gamer. So I think of the easier battles as a reward for all the fights I've lost. Let it boost your ego before you move on to a boss that totally kicks your behind on your first attempt. While I have not completed Zafaria in test realm, I do feel it is building in difficulty as the story progresses, and I look forward to both the moral boosting battles and the mind numbingly difficult one's.

Jose Seashield said...

I think I'm torn. I do agree that it's too easy. Also, most people get their waterworks gear as soon as possible, which means they get it when they are in Celestia or sometimes even earlier. With the addition of Wintertusk I know several people that became legend even before reaching Celestia. So we are a bit too strong for this new world. I think if the mobs and bosses had armor piercing and some additional health it would make it slightly more challenging and more enjoyable. I personally don't mind that it's a bit easier, but sometimes a challenge is nice. The addition of a couple dungeons would be nice too (waterworks and ToH style).

Kevin BattleBlood said...

This is a very interesting topic, considering that I created a Vlog last night explaining the meaning of transcension, and how it perfectly applied to us. I think that the fact that some people are calling Zafaria "easy" may actually be based on a linear comparison between the time spent in Celestia versus the time spent in Zafaria. I even felt that Wintertusk was more enjoyable (and bearable) than the underwater world, since it didn't take 13 fights just to collect "3 of [something]." (Remember the sharks in District of the Stars?)

In Zafaria, it wasn't as tedious. And, you made a very good point about those Manders in KT compared against the Gobblers and Sunken City's mobs: I felt like the resident creatures were "easier" to handle than Wintertusk's. However, not many people are giving credit to how cheating bosses have been prevalent within this world; I haven't completed the main quest line yet, but I've met 4 distinguishable bosses that cheat. I've been occasionally asked to help with Belloq, and it was a FUN challenge to take on solo. (I had to devise a deck that would allow me to hit on every turn without fail; I actually used a bunch of Frost Beetles, Frostbites, and Imps to get on by!). It DEFINITELY would be an epic challenge for Angus Unicornpants, and I'd love to see him (or anyone in his...[lack of] shoes...) pull that off

It all depends on context, too. In the Test Realm, you're MORE likely to run into "help" since there are few locations to jump through. On the Live Realm, it could be very different.

Perhaps we're also giving ourselves *less* credit than we deserve... After all, we've had countless battles against the epic side dungeons like Briskbreeze and Tower of the Helephant. Now we've made the "cheating boss/cheating mobs" a new standard to measure the game's difficulty against, that we don't realize that we've become VERY different players than what we were last year.

On that note, if I may, I'd like to plug this link leading to the video I briefly mentioned, to *indirectly* touch on why people are feeling that "Zafara's too easy": http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J3TUGXEKAJs

Duncan Daystone said...

Most of what I've felt, but couldn't figure out how to express, has already been said, but I wil add that a lot of people spend their Test Realm Crowns on Henchmen for every Boss battle, so you emerge from what is intended to be a real challenge with maybe 750 health lost, and only three or four minutes spent fighting, whereas in the live game, the battles will prove to be longer, harder, and require more strategy than many of us, drunk with excitement as we are over testing the new world and seeing new sights, want to accept at this point. Players are so desirous to see as much of Zafaria as possible, that they don't mind zooming through it right now, while they can, because they know they will be able to do it all over again in a couple weeks. And at that point, they'll probably take it slower, if only because they'll have to. That said, Wizard101's third year of operation has been much more eventful than its second, and Zafaria is indeed slightly easier than Celestia, because, like others have said, we are more prepared for the challenges it offers than we were for Celestia. As such, it seems at this point that the margin of difference for Henchman use between the two worlds is just great enough that Kingsisle won't have to disable Henchmen in the Test Realm like they did last year with Celestia.

Swordroll said...

Zafaria has its ups and downs. Like Kevin said, in Celestia, we were fighting some number of battles before every obtaining anything, and it wasn't very enjoyable, really.

In the Test Realm, too, people are pulling out the henchman, XP elixirs, battke elixirs, and other new things that they won't likely use as many of in the Live Realm. It's also overcrowded, too, on only four realms, and therefore any "street" battles cannot be fairly judged.

Easy? Yes. TOO easy? No. While I'd like more of a challenge, Zafaria is alright the way it is. If they care to tweak it and make it harder, I say "go for it!"

Anonymous said...

If you make Zafaria harder how on earth will Balance manage. They are deffinently not the worst when soloing, but 1,000 more health? Try 100.

CodyG said...

I don't mind the mobs staying as they are, really I wouldn't find any enjoyment it making those fights last longer as they are just filler fights for the story line, if you really want to to last longer, fight double of everything your quest requires. I would love to see more boss fights, I loved WT because of this, and would have liked to see this trend continue with Zafaria. I would also love to see an area like Dragonspyres Plaza of Conquests or Celestias Stormriven where we can summon difficult bosses to fight that have unique drops. I haven't finished Zafaria in test so there may be something like this, but I haven't seen it yet.

Anonymous said...

I have a legend Balance in Zafaria now, and he's doing just fine. I've found I don't even have to use Ra most of the time. A garg on nova and one blade and most mobs are done. I too would like Zafaria to be slightly more challenging. Though I would like for Balance to get a convert as a bonus spell. Maybe call it a "chaos converter" or something like that. Where the converter would take a balance spell and convert it to the energy of another school at random. This way balance can more easily deal with balance mobs, just like the other schools.

Connor Mistblade said...

The second thread is actually mine and after considering it I don't thinks its a very good idea. I like how in Celestia we were constantly hit with high level spells I think that would help more.

Zachary Skywielder said...

I think Wizard needs a difficulty slider. Now this might be hard to implement in an MMORPG, but i've been playing since about a month after its release, and after 3.5 years i've grown out of it, simply because battles now consist of clicking a card when i hear that ding and then playing dead space on my ipod touch until the next ding.
If not a difficulty slider, then perhaps a veteran realm, that requires open (or maybe text) chat, a level 50 char, and maybe at least x amount of time playing the game. The older people who have been playing for longer could all be together, and beggars would be nearly eliminated (I have yet to find a player about level 30 begging)
Because of the un-difficulty issues, i haven't played for going on six months and my interest has been waning for a year.
I really used to love this game, but the last thing i did was get my waterworks gear and then start a level 15, but the battles were so boring i couldn't continue. Maybe in the veteran realm there would only be 15 seconds to choose cards, and animations would be shortened/accelerated.