Aoeo Celeste Project Review The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly Hello fellow AOEO Fans! With all of the ups and downs of the games return, I wanted to take some time and review the game in its current state. We will be narrowing down the points in to three categories. The good, the Bad, and the Ugly. I hope you enjoy the read, and that in the end we can come together to make this great game project a success. Lets get started! The Good: I think we can all agree that the very best thing we have going is, the game is back! Those iconic quests you know and love are back, and as fun as ever. You can once again fight for glory on the PVP battlefield. Most of the games original features are now functioning, including crafting, material production, milestones, visiting capital cities, a functioning friends list, and more, just like the good old days. We have new quests. Yes, for those of us that like to finish every quest, we now have a bit more to work through before we are 100% and from the sounds of things, they are going to keep coming! We have some pretty awesome web features. With aoeodb.net there to help us research gear and units, the forums to report issues, make suggestions, and find help or answers. It is looking lke we are going to have web to server options, opening up the possibility of an auction house! It sounds like there are more great things to come from this! Who can leave out the awesome discord server? The global marketplace has been implimented! We never had this before and it is here! I was very nervous about the implimentation of the global marketplace. It seems all of my concerns were thought of! I am very happy about the way it works. It leaves selling/buying in trade chat still very relevant, and includes checks and balances to prevent a flood of items, and a list fee that is designed to encourage the seller to price an item to sell, to avoid being hit with a non refund for the listing. It may be a tad low causing some players comfort listing at higher prices, but it is a start. list fees can always be adjusted, and it is a huge convinience to find the exact item at the exact time you are looking for it. I am truely excited to see what the future holds with some of the things the dev team is doing. The Bad: The Dev team seems very disorganized and uninformed. It is very odd when a game dev learns of a new implimentation when they are announced. People ask them questions, just to get the reply "I have no idea, you know as much as I do" The ideas the game devs have seem to have checks and balances to make sure exploits and game breaking ideas don't sneak through, But the same checks and balaces seem to be missing when it comes to Lead Dev ideas. The latest example being the rushed, and very sloppy divine gear released. There seems to be an opinion of the lead devs that any gear determined to be the "best" needs to have a legendary version of it released. I am very concerned with the sloppy releases, and lack of checks and balances, and how it could lead to some real problems down the road. Such as; 1. Crafting If current "best" gear that is crafted gets replaced it could cause some major issues with crafting. If players do not see the value in crafting items to sell or equip, Not only is it possible to kill the need for crafting all together, but we could see a huge devaluation of the materials used in crafting as well as the item itself. 2. Moes If the items many players purchase chests at moes to obtain are replaced, we could lose a very valuable coin outlet for the game. With more and more coin not making an exit from circulation, it is possible to see hyperinflation. As many players know, we can sink a ton of coin in to chests in an attempt to obtain the items we are looking for. For example The new Divine Thrusting Xiphos replaces level 16 Xiphos. Many people buy level 15 chests and sink hundreds of thousands of coins trying to obtain it. Once the top PVE players fit their scouts with the legendary versions, they will be looking to sell them. With a large supply, the price could get to a level that would make buying the level 15 chests financial suicide. At this point, it would make more sense just to buy the legendary version, effectively killing the need for anyone to buy level 15 moes chests.. The same with all of the non level 40 Moes chests. 3. Alliances. We all have our reasons for picking the alliance we fight side by side with in the battle. One of these reasons is the exclusive gear we get access to. We have already seen Delos exclusive longest range bow in the game"Delian Adept's Bow" take a backseat to the Celeste exclusive "Bow of the master hunter" Could further implimentation remove perks for choosing a specific Alliance? 4. Lose playerbase. With its diverse appeal, many different reasons bring many different types of players to the love of AOEO. We have Hardcore PVE and PVP players, the casual PVP and PVE players, but we also have farmers, that spend hours farming for the chests that drop at many different levels looking for those hard to get pricey items to prize for themselves, or to sell in the market for big coin. They are the Archaeoligists of AOEO. If the need for these items is removed, we effectively remove somthing they love about AOEO. We also have the collectors, that prize holding very rare items that they can show off. Players looking to get their hands on these hard to get pieces from farmers to fill gear slots. The gear does not have stats that provide a massive advantage over current existing gear while questing, but just having that hard to get special item that other people do not have is somthing they enjoy. I heard a comment not so long ago that "The Devs want gearscore to mean somthing" With everyone cramming their slots with Legendary gear, everyone will have 1,000 gear score, and effectively, it really wont mean anything! I also have heard players call for quests to be made easier. Just alike, It makes much more sense to improve your knowlege on gear, and to look at your units, and what they do, and try to find gear that will help your units in battle, and gear them based on knowlege, rather than dumbing down the gearing process and have everyone toss a legendary gear in every slot. We can find proof in the old game with items such as delian hood, and delian Adept's Bow (much later added items) That the intention to make everything legendary gear just was not there. I personally have played this game for an embarrasing amount of hours. Back before the game was closed, I had all of my civs nicely geared with rameses on every unit, but only one (Perfectly) geared with all of the really hard to get items. What do we do when we are all geared out from just grinding 40 quests? Hopfully the Dev team can get reorganized. I would love to see them utilize people for their knowlege in the game. Pair a dev comfortable with design with a Dev that is a really strong pve player. Hopefully they will take their time with anything released and do a good job with it. I hope they bring someone on board that has a good knowlege of in game economy, and items. I heard a comment "We owe the game the respect to make sure anything we do, is done very well" I strongly agree with this. I am hoping the team starts to think of everything and its possible effects on the game, and stop being in a rush to add items for slots that we have not even had a chance to fill with the old stuff yet. The Ugly PVP The true end game. I will start out by saying there is a 19 year old age of empires still going strong AOE2: Why have people been so loyal to this game which has had little continuous development? There is a strong PVP community that keeps this games heart pumping like an 18 year old on red bull! Pvp Players are the essential "front men" to the project. With the casted tournaments with cash prizes, the streams, the youtube videos, they bring a face to the project that reaches outsiders and creates hype and excitement about the game. Sadly, PVP is in terrible shape. Sparta is currently functioning, but visiting this city will bring more sightings of rolling tumbleweeds than another player to have a match against. As a casual looking for the experience pvp has to offer, you will likely get matched with someone above your skill level, and before you get the opportunity to hone your skills in order to be a viable opponent, discourage may set in and squash your desire to further develop them. The top players, or more skilled players, run in to problems trying to find others that match with their skill level, causing boredom, also leading to discouragement. What is causig the issues with PVP? I have heard quotes from players such as "Hands down best PVP gameplay in the genre", "the closest you can get to rts 1v1 perfection" "superb pvp experience, our best kept secret" many described how smooth the rts gameplay is and how well balanced the game is. Sadly, many players who want to get the PVP experience, are not getting the chance. Why is it such a ghost town in Sparta? We are a small community reliving the experience of an abandoned game. We are in a conundrum with playing a previously dead game resurrected, it is hard to get new players in, If we invite players from another RTS, they would try Sparta out and run for the hills for the above mentioned reasons. So how can we get Sparta in a position where there is an active playerbase big enough to not be a total embarrasment for any players we might invite to try out Celeste? Our answer is right in front of our noses! We have a gold mine of PVE players. Casuals don't stay casuals forever. They either move up, or move on. While Sparta never really had an attractive reward system back in the old game, it was an alive game, and didn't really need it. Currently the Sparta rewards offer no appealing reason for any PVE players to even take a second glance. The reward system compared to pve quests is appalling. You could grind Sparta for weeks, just to get the kind of rewards you would get for playing a couple of PVE quests. Why do the Devs seem so unwilling to invest in PVP, when this is the Ultimate end game experiece? Years from now, the only aspect of the game that will remain fresh and replayable will be our PVP. Neglecting PVP is one of the same mistakes Microsoft made in the original game, being a contributing cause that lead to the games death. There seems to be a common theme here, a staunch stance of trying to make one type of player's experience more enjoyable, with no care or concern of how it could be destroying another. Again, we must understand that there are different types of people that enjoy the game differently. Appealing to only casuals will not support longevity for the game. We shouldnt want the game to die for any of them. Some PVP folks express doubt that the glory that is AOEO PVP will ever fully recover. I say, lets prove them wrong! In closing, there are many different types of players in AOEO. Which players provide the biggest opportunity for longevity of the game? Which type of players are the most loyal? Most of us would probably agree that the biggest thing that bothers us about the old game, is its short life span. How after all said and done, through all of the ups and downs, we never got to show the world what AOEO had become. Lets band together to make decisions to ensure longevity of the game, so history does not repeat itself. And give us the opportunity to show the world, the experience of AOEO!