Jul 2008: Zigolis Swamp
- The actual article for this area is Zigolis Swamp
Source: Final Fantasy Tactics
[ Kolem ] Zigolis Swamp (No level requirement) July 9, 2008 (My scale runs along the lines of roughly this: Five is an area that is completely MEH in one category, with higher scores reflecting interest and lower scores signifying something visibly or distractingly wrong with an area.)
This brand-spanking new (At the time of this writing) area was put directly north of Viorar as part of the effort to turn Viorar into a viable game starting point slash recall point, and as such, I write this while bearing in mind that brand new players will ideally be exploring it. Right now, it's sort of distant--getting to Viorar takes some legwork or a ticket and some time. However, travel distance for the purpose of this review will be ignored for the above reasons (EG it will one day be a start point.)
Descriptions 7/10 My experiences with the Cleft's descriptions are *usually* quite positive (Monstro town/Giganto Hold aside). With that in mind, the descriptions in this area are perfectly servicable, seeming to average about four to six lines in length, with different regions of the swamp using different colors (EG underwater, riding the raft ect ect ect). The mobs stand out okay, and there is at least one exit which is not immediately obvious, but is presented in such a way that the observant player will pick up on it once they've taken a good look-command around themselves. My interest in this zone may be because it was added relatively recently, however.
Balance OKAY I find it difficult to assign a numerical score to the balance of a zone for level one characters without MAKING level one characters. There are some slightly stronger unique mobs which likely take a level or two or three, akin to the Imp King, to take on, and this is as it should be: variety is good and hidden easter eggy drops are also nice. (Just ask Tanoomba.) Nothing seems to be *seriously* amiss in this zone, and all my characters are a high enough level (13 lowest) that nothing here poses a real threat to them. As I am too lazy to create a brand new character to write one review, I may revise this review once I remort and have a recall set to viorar one day.
Attractions 8/10 First, let me mention I approve the recent trend of slipping minibosses and interactable mobs into every level range of area, and I think it should be mentioned that the few in Zigolis represent a decent bar to set a brand new area by. The Old Man in particular demonstrates a neat mechanic for the brand new player, and the Fishing hole--despite the fact you catch only combats--is nice. I'm a little leery about the image of fishing as a different way to draw fights, but that will probably be alleviated when Destiny Island is linked. The monsters in this zone have amusing drops in general, though I have not aquired any from the Mastering yet--a nice blend of treasure, utility, and equipment that represents a nice blend of items. The Old Man bit in this zone is enough of an attraction for ANY player to visit regardless of level, and low level players will probably find it nice to find special and harder-to get equipment, even if they can't use all of it.
Linkage NOT RATED Quite bluntly, this is a newbie zone for a town that isn't a start point yet. It's just about as far away from the default start point as you can get without getting into really hidden places or dungeons like Barrel, and as such, accessing it is a pain in the ass. On the flipside, as mentioned above, this is intended to become an adjoining newbie zone for Viorar, and once it does, it will be one of the easiest zones in the game for some players to get to. I somewhat question the wisdom of building a town directly next to a swamp (those crazy Viorarians), but gamewise the location makes sense and when more zones are linked to it it will likely represent as commonly used a road as Imp Canyon is.
Personal 9/10 I love NPC mechanics, and when non-combat things like fishing, taming, and discussion/itemswap rewards are involved I genuinely enjoy myself. Add to this the existence of Viscous Servant, and, well, you get a lot of love from me. (Summoner is, yes, STILL my favorite class.) I look forward to seeing where this zone links to later.
Player: Demonicor Character: Akumakaze, Reploid Thief, Levels 2-4
Review Date: 7/25/08
I decided to start this review off with a character set for the recommended level range, with the given newbie equipment, along with anything equipment I pick up while in the swamp. I will be running through without the use of skills.
The swamp is a well written one, it makes me see the swamp fairly clearly in my mind, I'm almost surprised I haven't felt a bug-bite. The responses of the creatures in the swamp are well written, even the ones that aggro when they fall from the tree have a some kind of response when you talk to them.
Balance 9/10 The pineco and ledyba seems a bit difficult for a level 2 newbie to take easily, but any newbie who reaches the point of attacking trees has probably already killed off a few porings, mudkips, and wisps and gained enough levels to have a good grasp on at least one skill. I actually had to upgrade to stuff I got outside the swamp to beat the masterling, oh well, I had to do it at some point.
As far as I can see, the drops would prove very useful to any newbie who grabs them, I especially like the gem missile. The scarf seems like a restrung imp medal. The quests are fun, and if done properly, very easy and quite rewarding.
It's not actually dark at daytime, like you would think it would be seeing as Viorar, the city of eternal night, is just south of it, though most of it does go dark at night (not all of it though). There is no "The sun slowly disappears into the west." or even a "The light fades from the swamp as nighttime sets in." when the darkness appears, it's just there. The blending of water rooms and land rooms gives the feeling of walking through a swamp well enough to make up for it though.
Personal 9/10 Overall, a great place to level a newbie. It's a new area so it has its quirks, but it makes me look forward to the day when Viorar is a choosable recall point.
Review Date: 9/05/10
Descriptions: Descriptions are well done, though the area could use more extra descriptions.
Balance: There is a pretty large variety of things to kill, and most of them are hidden from plain sight. It's hard to think of balance for this area because it's your first area, and should be very easy. Porings die if you so much as breathe on them, maybe they could have a little more HP. The rest of the enemies scale up expectedly, and the boss won't go down lightly.
Attractions: The area is built in a way to indirectly teach new players about specific things - something that is absent from other newbie areas. There's a good quest that also teaches you extra information, essentially a beginners' guide to pets/taming. I think more low areas could use similar types of beginner quests.
Connections: Well, it's a swamp that's just outside the gates of Viorar. There's a main path that leads toward the forest and eventually the Beast Kingdom when that is added. When more areas get added beyond it I could see adding another traveling NPC or something.
- Some rooms are lit even though its supposed to be an always_night area.
- Up until recently, Zigolis Swamp was what I would consider the standard that other 1-5 areas should live up to. Some newbie areas have since been updated and now live up to this standard, yay!
- In general, I would like to see more helpful/tutorial-type NPCs or situations in the newbie areas.