Tokens, and Scarabs, and Skeletons, oh my!

goggleswmAs I’m sure we’re all well aware, the Live Event is today in its fourth day after release, and the recent update of 1.2.1 has been out for about a week now, and this is going to be my post going over my impressions of the two systems as a whole. I’ve had time to experience and really digest what the changes from 1.2.1 have made to the game, and I have been all the way through this most recent of live events, so I think I can discuss it without qualm now.

On its own, the 1.2.1 patch is decent. It’s not the be-all, end-all of patches. It won’t make your insides do cartwheels, or cause unexpected out-cries of joy and adulation. On surface, it just appears to be some real basic, minor changes, that will make you thank God, that Mythic finally got around to fixing that stacking bug, and yes, keep sieges will be possible again.

Until you get to the tokens.

Oh, might tokens, secondary method of gear progression and advancement. Thanks unto thee for finally arriving and giving the unlucky souls among us (not myself, I’m a lucky mofo) a chance to get that last elusive piece they have been denied so long. It has been clarified by Adam G. (Gershowitz for the uninformed), that the token system is not meant as a primary form of gear attainment, and is to be used to help the unlucky get that last piece or two that they have been unable to receive. As things stand now, the cost to get a piece of conqueror gear is something around 10-20 Conqueror Crests, and 300-500 Officer Medallions (numbers pulled out of my ass, and are purely a ballpark from half-fuzzy memories).

There has been a lot of discussion on the forums about the numbers they’ve set, and whether they’re too high, the drop late is too low, or it’s just spot on, etc… Since you’re here, reading my blog, I’ll give you my two cents. The prices and the drop rates seem fine. The trick is in knowing how to best acquire them. If you actually participate in a zone lock, by helping take the keeps, and the BOs, you are going to get a very hefty amount of officer medallions (about 5-10), and probably a conqueror’s crest if you do enough as well. As of yesterday, I had the following:

  • 84 Officer Medallions
  • 4 Conqueror Crests
  • 4 Invader Crests
  • 1 Warlord Crest

nicotine_patchI got this by my typical, every-day gaming of taking BOs and keeps, helping to flip zones, defending Altdorf and Fortresses when they came under siege, and “shooting bitches in the face” TM. This is pretty quick advancement in tokens as I see it. I’ve already got almost enough to get a piece of invader gear if I wanted. After breaking down my Conqueror Crests, I’m sitting at 104 medallions, and if I wanted to, I could be at 9 Invader Crests by breaking down my Warlord. After one week of fairly casual play, I think that’s more than fair.

Now, onto the Live Event: Beyond the Sands.

As I made clear before, I have a deep-seeded love for all things Egyptian. My entire life, I’ve been a fan of the classics, and Roman culture in particular. Anyone who has followed the history of Rome, knows that Egypt’s past is tied closely to that of one the greatest civilizations our planet has seen. There is also a mystery of the foreign and unknown about Egyptian culture that is intriguing to those from western cultures because of the very alien nature to us. Look to the popularity of “The Mummy” movies for evidence of this (despite your personal feelings about the quality they represent).

So far, Mythic has done a pretty good job and carrying through the mystique of Egyptian culture and eeriness that accompanies the dark aspects of the Tomb Kings. The event takes you through a quest of discovering why exactly this is all important to you and to the coalition of Order (or destruction). Secrets of a powerful gem found in a journal, and stories of unlife running rampant are made clear with each step on the path to a confrontation with a powerful Lich Priest.

One of the best things about this Live Event, has been a stellar intertwining of the PvE aspect of the game, with the RvR side we all know and love. Very little of the PvE questing is particularly challenging in and of itself, but it all does prove to be very entertaining, particularly because the goals are placed dead center in the middle of the RvR lakes. This has naturally led to a huge increase in head-to-head conflict with the enemy, everyone fighting over control of quest location, and this was before the PQ was even introduced. Yesterday, with the opening up of the third and final portion of the event, people clashed like titans. On my server, each side was trying to keep Thunder Mountain locked so they could dominate the original destination and where the bulk of players went to partake of the fun. While other zones had the PQ and almost all of what you needed to complete the quests, or updates, none of them seemed to have nearly as much enjoyment as the setup of Thunder Mountain.

winged-scorpI also need to put down in words the rewards from the events, so that any of you who have yet to get through it have a carrot to strive for. One of the quests rewards an item called the “Bone Ward”. This is a pocket item, and it has an affect that lasts for ~10 seconds, and is useable once per hour. The affect makes you immune to all critical hits and negates any armor penetration that may come your way. Sure the reuse is long, but it’s a POCKET ITEM. Something that was previously all fluff has just had a change in direction to functionality. It’s great that a new dimension of gear is being added to the game, but I can’t also help but feel a slight twinge for those fluff lovers out there who are loosing something purely cosmetic, because as we all know, once new gear slots or upgrades are put into a game, it becomes mandatory to compete. The Herald’s Cloak for instance, I will never be letting that out of my hands, it has a permanent position in my backpack and on my hotbars.

The influence rewards are fairly shnazy as well, the first is a title, the second is a trophy of a winged scorpion that actually looks pretty good, and show up well on the back of my Shadow Warrior when the bow is in hand, and the last is a pair of totally original goggles never seen in any other game *innocent whistle*. The goggles look like complete crap on a female Shadow Warrior, but absolutely amazing on male Witch Hunters, so here’s one more reason to put on the list of “Reason Elves are Terrible”. Other than being the height of fashion, they goggles serve a function (they better if I’m going to wear them in place of my armor). As you’re running around with these things on, large golden boxes, bursting with a radiant light along the seams of the lid will just randomly appear. Beat the crap out of the box to open the bad boy up, and reap your rewards. Inside, you should find a jeweled scarab, not the burrow-under-your-skin-and-eat-you-alive kind, but the tokens-for-the-upcoming-dungeon kind. Or, if you’re like the bastards in the warband I was playing with last night, you’ll roll need on the scarab from MY box and get it yourself without having actually worked for your own damn goggles. No, I’m not bitter.

So, Mythic seems to be embracing the idea of token systems whole-heartedly, damn things seem to be just raining down from the heavens. Hell, it’s almost of if full plate armor is falling from the sky. In all seriousness though, it’s a huge step in the right direction, and I really hope it can give a boost to the existing players and help convince old players to come back round and give it a go. Oh, and if anyone reading this wants a buddy invite, feel free to ask me, I’ve got plenty of keys to give out!

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