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MechQuest: Analysis of 5/22/09 Release

Posted by The Peanut Master on May 23, 2009

This week’s release strayed from the norm, as the Intro Dropship Shuttle received a major makeover to make it easier and more appealing for new players entering the game.

Intro Shuttle Overhaul

About

The Intro Shuttle received an overhaul this week, complete with new quests, new interfaces, and a completely different look to Tek’s shop on the shuttle. The bulk of the release centered around the four new quests (all designed to introduce the player to different aspects of the game, one SC-only), but the list of additions detailed in Warlic’s Design Notes post extend far beyond that, including a complete re-pricing of all mechs in the 1-12 level range,  a Tek’s shop makeover to make it much more organized and mirrors that of her bigger shop in Soluna City, a 2500 credit boost when you create a character, new lower-leveled weapons, fixed typos, and so much more. The quests did a great job introducing the different types of quests and battles (including energy blades, yay!), and the SC-only quest was a nice shooter-style boss minigame. The mecha rebalancing from levels 1-12 was also great to see, as there were still some pricing issues that needed to be dealt with.

Pros

As I mentioned in this post, the shuttle upgrades were much-needed and a win-win-win for all players. AE delivered on their promise to improve the shuttle tremendously, with a myriad of improvements and upgrades to truly enhance the new player experience. Everything AE needed to change, from better quests to Tek’s makeover to interface improvements to little tweaks here and there, was changed and made for the better. There was so much attention to detail and making sure every little thing was just right, and considering how this is oftentimes a difficult idea AE has struggled this time they got it just right.

Cons

There’s really only one thing I have a slight qualm with: A Star Captain-only mission. I can understand why from a business perspective you’d want to put in a Star Captain quest so early in the game, but it just doesn’t make sense logically. Why shove it into the player’s head so early that the best stuff (and that SC quest was clearly the best of the bunch) will go to Star Captains only, especially considering how in MechQuest that really isn’t the case? Look, I’m all for including as much SC-only content as possible because MQ really needs more of it, but the extent on the dropship should have been some weapons and a mecha, not an entire quest.

Also with the SC-only quest, the Diptera needs a HP bar in some form so we know exactly how many times to shoot it. I was only barely able to beat it with a level 33 mecha equipped, so I can’t imagine how much difficulty a newbatron might have with it. Unless the difficulty is scaled, it should probably be much easier to beat.

Overall Grade of Release

9.5/10. The only thing that bothered me was the inclusion of an SC-only quest, but I’ll be generous and only deduct 0.5 from the overall score, since everything else was so good. Oh yeah, that’s right. Everything else really was so good. AE did a superb job with the makeover, and I would not be surprised to see it pay major dividends down the road.

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