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.
Player: Abaril - level 40 Knight --Token'd!
Review Date(s): 8/24/19
Goreomemu's descriptions do a serviceable job, but they don't really stand out as being top-notch. The use of color is well done, and the greens, browns and blacks do convey the vegetation and murkiness normally associated with swamps. There are several noticeable typos: "narled," "misproportionate" and "a foul magics" stand immediately out. Mobs are, overall, fleshed out nicely and their descriptions convey the appropriate impressions. I did deduct a point for some very obvious copy/pasted room descriptions for non-mazelike areas. Then I gave back a bonus point for the Aquaregia dying with a loud "SPLUT."
I have actually used the swamp for leveling for quite a while now. It was my goto in the 55-65 range for my first several morts before I knew how to unlock Brigantes, and it was in the the rotation along with Brigantes and Wily's once I hit some of my higher tnl morts that required multiple sources of mobs to be efficient. There is nice variety between the beetles, multiple species of dragonfly, lost souls, imps, etc. for the basic mobs. None are extremely difficult, but none are pushovers either. The mire beetles are able to inflict Osmosis, so the unwary traveler could be in for a very nasty surprise with them. Multiple sets of Aquaregia act as gatekeepers for the area, and they can prove quite challenging, especially if two trigger aggro at the same time. The minibosses and main area boss are of suitable difficulty, but they're really not worth fooling with after they have been discovered fully.
There is only one quest completely within the swamp, and honestly I don't know that it's worth repeating more than a couple of times. The combat can be challenging for someone in the appropriate level range who hasn't got a few remorts' worth of gear or additional skills and spells, and the reward is a bit lackluster. Said reward can be used for another quest in another zone (hopefully that's mostly spoiler free), but that reward is rather underwhelming as well. There are a couple of quests from other zones that wind up tying into the swamp. Of those, one gives a VERY nice reward, making the swamp a must-visit locale at least once in your Cleft career. Another is only potentially worthwhile if you're the right class at the time. And finally, there's the blockaded dead end. Its mystery baffled me for the longest time, since the route I assumed would be around it wasn't. When I finally worked it out, I was surprised and pleased to have done it. Then I saw what was waiting there... No spoilers here, but I can say I haven't been back since!
Connections are actually harder to rate than you would think. On the one hand, there's only one way in or out of the swamp, so that'd be a fairly low score. But when you stop to consider that it's supposed to be a dead end kind of place that's hard to access, the connections seem reasonable. Access to the swamp does take a little bit of finagling, and I don't recall ever seeing any hints at all at how to do it. I happened to stumble upon it by accident one day though, and it was kind of an intuitive move. I do like that it's not wide open and takes a bit of puzzling out, even if it is a very basic puzzle. One major downside for the area is that it's not easily accessible from any of the standard player house portals and that it doesn't have, at least to my knowledge, any nearby owlite statues.
Probably due to its out of the way location and its slightly mazelike quality, I feel that the swamp is an underappreciated area for leveling. Being in the same range as the ever popular Brigantes doesn't help it at all. It also doesn't really have any drops worth mentioning. I feel like I have probably utilized Goreomemu more than most people over the past year or so, but I can recognize that it's not one of the premiere areas. What could fix its popularity issue is if it had its level range adjusted and rewards adjusted to match. We have several good level 61-70 areas already, so if the swamp were to be adjusted to be maybe an 85-95 area with a few decent drops, it could be utilized more and become one of the staples. I would love to see the the "defeated Goreomemu" quest turn into something challenging and fun, and most importantly, something worth repeating at least once every life. As it stands now, it's just one of those "oh I've seen it and don't see any reason to do it again" kind of quests.
Player: Asmodeus, level 97 Archmage, remort 6
Review Date(s): September 13, 2019
I liked the use of color in the area from the beginning, as they seemed very fitting to what the swamp was supposed to be: Dark, evil, murky and SWAMPY. The descs seemed to work well, but I always dislike rooms with repeating descs, as to me it just seems lazy. NPCS did a decent room of helping me around the area, with things like the local echo helping me figure out where to go, and a mob to follow around. I would definitely like to see more interactable objects in the area, and maybe even some new treasures to find. There seemed to be a lack of interactable objects in the area.
If this area has combat, how does it feel? The combat feels solid; this seems to be a proper spot to level. The amount of different types of mobs is great, I wish more places had as many different types. This helps the level become a good spot to gain levels for a while. Nothing seems too easy to beat in the area, and the boss is a proper punch in the face; suitably so, as they're a "boss". I could see how some people might think the boss is a bit too hard, but think it seems a bit appropriate. I don't really think much of anything equipment wise is worth coming to the area to get, which is unfortunate.
I definitely recommend people come to this area to grind out some xp, as the variety of mobs makes for good leveling. What about the quests? Does this area's quests feel properly done, or is there some part of it that you feel needs work? I was only aware of one quest in the swamp, which probably makes it one of the least quest intensive areas in the game; something to look at improving. There are no shops in the area, or really any other attractions worth noting, besides normal exploration purposes. One should visit, just to check it out, but there's not much reason to stick around other than running some experience.
The swamp connects in only one place, so once you're there, make sure you know how to get out, or bring some recall scrolls, as you won't find another way out. As far as I'm aware, there's no real story to how the swamp became to be, or the history of the swamp, but geographically it seems to work. Would be nice to see more about how one should get in, or even a quest to get in, as it seemed to be completely random to get in.
I'd like to see the swamp expanded. It would be nice to see there become more of a reason to visit, in relation to quests, and some useful loot. I'd also like to think there would be a few people lost in there that might have useful quests, or even might be selling things, but that's completely up to the builder to decide. I tend to like darker, more evil places, so this place totally suited my likes. The maze-y part of it seemed annoying, given the wait time, but that's what gives this place a "I don't want to go there" type of feel, which is seemingly what the area should be as far as it being a dangerous, murky swamp. The area is worth a visit to explore, but needs something more to make it somewhere you want to go more than once or twice.