August 2019: Goreomemu Swamp
Area of the Month for August 2019 is Goreomemu Swamp!
A template format for your review is below; click 'edit' at the top of the page, copy-pasta from the ---- to the next ----, and fill in the gaps!
(Yes, a wiki account is required to edit the page and therefore post your review, but take heart: The wiki is hosted by the Cleft itself, not a third party!
How does the area's room descriptions(descs) work for you? Do they give you a good idea of the area? Do things that stand out in the desc and NEED explanation GET that, either from flavor text(extra-descs) or NPCs in the room or anything?
What about mobiles(mobs) and their descriptions? Can you get a decent mental image of who or what this NPC/monster is? Do they respond when you talk or interact with them?
Some areas have interact-able objects like fountains. Do they stack up well also?
Balance: X/10 (OR N/A)
(NOTE: combat will be most accurately gauged when your character is in the area's suggested level range.)
If this area has combat, how does it feel? Does anything jump as horribly overpowered and impossible to deal with? What about the flipside, anything far too easy to beat?
Are purchased or rewarded items at the appropriate strength levels? Is the effort required to obtain rewarded items reflected in their usefulness (or uniqueness and fancifulness)
Why would you suggest someone come to this area? Is it just a good place to grind experience(lots of mobs)? Does the area provide a chunk of good gold and loot?
What about the quests? Does this area's quests feel properly done, or is there some part of it that you feel needs work?
For towns, are the shops good? Any other non-combative attraction for the area?
How easily and well does this area connect to its nearby areas? Does it make sense thematically to be connected to the areas it is?
Any comments you'd like to make that you don't feel apply to the other sections can go here!
Player - Vashka , lvl 100 Cavalier (14th Remort) --Token'd! Review Date - 14/8/2019
While understandably repetitive, due to it primarily being a Maze, the unique room sections apart from the maze, and the feel of the place in general, are quite good. The descriptions do a good job of telling you just how horrible the swamp is. That said, the actual surroundings, while rife with would-be ExtraDescs, dont actually pan out as having said Descs, up to and including things like a View when up in the Witch Tree, where the room-desc deliberately goes out of its way of making it look like there ought to be one. This holds true for the zone as a whole, which is rather sad, since the area is well desced otherwise. The Mobs themselves fall under the same general view, well-desced, but somewhat lifeless, in that they mostly miss a basic Talk-Response at the very least. So, quality-wise, good, but in general falls just short on little details like that.
Generic Mobs around the place have the right weight-class for their lvl-range, but for the most part, feel lifeless in that, if they have combat-progs, they dont stand out. Aquaregia, which are scattered across the area as pseudo-mini bosses, are a nightmare, in that they actively use Heat Metal on you, while less horrific then it used to be, it still melts your at-hand cash, thus actively punishing you for exploration. The main-quest boss-rush however, feels a mite on the light side, they could stand to be a bit hp heavier to make them feel more 'boss-like', though the main area-Boss is just right thanks to her set-up. Rewarded generic Items, such are they are, are few and sparse, though as it is a fetid, evil swamp, this makes sense in context. The actual rewards for the area's Quests however, are worth the efforts involved for the most part.
Quite frankly, I would not in fact, send anyone into this place, unless a Quest or Quest-chain requires you to go in. It is a fetid, evil and disgusting sore on the land, and makes no excuses for this fact. Which is absolutely and perfectly right in context. It's an Evil Swamp, governed by an Evil, Necromantic Witch. You wouldnt want to go there, unless going to deal with them. That said, because of the way exploration is handled, the swamp actively discourages you going there, and indeed with Heat Metal shenanigans, punishes you for it. Again, makes sense in context, but does not make it an attractive place to go unless you absolutely have too. Quest-wise, there's the one listed, and to my knowledge, a few others about the place, including being sent into it along an otherwise un-related Quest-chain. Said Quests, are enjoyable, and feel appropriately done, though they could stand to be a bit more polished. But, they do work and all make sense in context.
It makes sense map-wise to be where it is, and requires a puzzle effort to even get in. Which is all to the good; It is an evil, repugnant place, you would not want to enter unknowingly. Connection-wise, it is otherwise completely isolated, one-entrance, which again, makes sense in context; It's a Swamp, for which you might admittedly make an argument of being able to exit it some other way say a waterway out to the Lowlands below, but the one safe-entrance point, is perfectly sensible.
Over many, required and reluctant visits, I've seen a lot of hints that the Swamp still hides a lot I've never actually discovered; mysterious npc's, hints of other stuff and lots of possible side-paths to be discovered by painstaking exploration. The problem is, it is not a place that encourages said exploration, and in fact goes out of its way to dis-encourage said exploration. On the one hand, that's fine, in that taking away said dis-encouragements would break its Evil Horrible Place aura, that befits its 'I am Home to an Evil Witch' feel. On the other, it could probably be tweaked to be more welcoming and thus encourage said exploration a bit more.