I bet no one saw this update to the blog coming, following so soon after the previous one. I originally planned on posting this one tomorrow or Friday, but since we have some other things planned I thought it best to get it done.
I have also been accused of not wanting the EU community to have their first (re)view of the new dungeon come from some half-arsed source from another version of the game. This may or may not be true 😉
But first! I will go through some of the questions from the comments on yesterday’s blog entry. Someone asked about the new names of the crafted items. The name-order stays as it always was, so we will be dealing with a ‘Blade of Fatal’ instead of the arguably smoother ‘Fatal Blade’. Perhaps this will change with a later update, as we certainly suggested it.
Another person asked about cookies… I am honoured that my eating habits appear to be a matter of some interest, although I do not see the relevance to the update. (Chocolate chip cookies, if you have them thanks.)
Now, about the Astral Bikes. From my information the only way to obtain a colour-kit will be to buy one from the NPC, for 100 million. EST also confirmed a new change to the current coating kits. They will apparently change to a bike-kit-cube, which will give you either a low or medium bike upgrade kit. I have not been able to test this myself, unfortunately. I also don’t want to kill the excitement too much, but I suspect bike-upgrade-kits will be just another core. They certainly appear to be common enough to not be of a help to anyone planning on a get-rich-quick scheme. The bikes appeared to stay the same colour as they were before the update, to answer another question.
There is also some changes to the droptable. Osmium can now be dropped in the Forgotten Temple B1F, etc. I am not going to post the full tables, but I am sure they are floating around somewhere. Play the game and find out 😉
About Option Scrolls. EST confirmed that Option Scrolls can only be gained from transmuting slotted items. Option scrolls are also random, but if you transmute a weapon you will not get an option scroll that cannot be used to upgrade a weapon again.
Lastly: No guild emblems. We will announce if we ever get them. Take my word for it. I am honestly not sure where that question came from, but oh well.
********** POSSIBLE SPOILERS AHEAD **********
Enough of the mundane. Time for the more interesting part of the blog update 😉 Maquinas Outpost. And let me say this right from the start. This place is hard. Very hard. You are going to get a nasty surprise if you go in there unprepared. I have seen several people make some very confident claims on the forum, about how quickly they will finish it, and I am very curious indeed to see if anyone has what it will take to back those claims up. As I mentioned elsewhere, [GM]Reeves and myself have a small wager going as to how soon the dungeon will be finished. Yes, it’s that bad. The last dungeon that this one can be compared to is the Forgotten Temple B2F. The Forbidden Island, Altar of Siena, Radiant Hall… They have nothing on this place. You might think that I am exaggerating now, but you will see. You enter behind the now non-aggressive Pluma, and that’s about the last non-aggressive part of the dungeon 😉
I do not think it is going to take as long as it took Tempe B2F to be finished for the first time, of course. Players have much better gear nowadays. Perhaps the right party, with the right tactic, might even finish it on day 1. Perhaps people will waltz through there on day 1, and I will look a bit silly predicting it to be so terribly hard 😉 I doubt it, however. I am very curious to see what happens.
Visually, the dungeon is impressive. It takes the general feel of Pontus Ferrum, on which it is based, and gives it a cleaner, tighter feel. The interior of the dungeon looks good, to put it in simple terms. I especially like the design of certain gates in there, for some reason. The bosses unique to Maquinas Outpost are quite cool – you might get plenty of time to admire them while your character studies the ground face-first.
Then again, perhaps you might not have as much time. You see, the dungeon uses a completely new game mechanic, where you start with a very small amount of time. Kill certain mobs, and you get a couple of seconds extra. Kill the wrong mobs, and you lose time. Kill a boss, and you get a couple of minutes worth of breathing room. To describe the dungeon as ‘fast-paced’ is rather accurate. You will have to be fast. You will have to hit hard, and you will have to be able to take those hard hits as well 😉 The bosses are not the only hard-hitting enemies in there, after all.
The dungeon layout is going to be confusing, at least at the start. There are multiple warp points, moving you from one zone to the next as you fight your way into the lair of the metal clan. The dungeon story also makes good use of the lore of the game, and I think it should be done like this more often.
The dungeon is short, compared to others (especially the epic-length Radiant Hall) but it is going to test you. And with the excellent Drei Frame pieces as a possible reward, not to mention the Drei Frame Epaulets, well… Players wanted a challenge for a while already. I think Maquinas Outpost delivers solidly on this.