July 2019:Mount Rolante
Area of the Month for July 2019 is Mount Rolante!
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: Galatea (Witch, 7 incarnations)
Review Date(s): July 27, 2019
The room descriptions are the high point in this zone: gently evocative and a little bit post-apocalyptic without becoming crass or saccharine. Bad things happened here, recently, but the amazons are resilient (and sometimes kinda ditzy) so the area descriptions can let you feel the sense of loss without getting too mired in tragedy.
The ruined castle could have used a few more interactables (I especially wanted to read about the broken columns and ancient vases), but overall I like the writing here.
Mount Rolante is a pretty safe area. Normal mobs are all safely in the level range for the area, and the much-more-dangerous boss mobs are clearly signposted. The god-beast is much tougher than everything else, but that's to be expected given his name, and his unique mechanics give you a better-than-usual chance of survival if you can't beat him and can't recall.
The amazons are the one sour note. They have the best drops in the area, but they also have a move that lets them hide with 100% success, and they always use it when they get low on hp. This is no big deal if you can detect hidden, and if you have a source of spike damage it turns the fight into a puzzle, but if you have neither you just have to sit and wait for the amazons to reveal themselves so you can finish killing them. There are various ways around this but on my first remort I didn't have any of them, so I wound up skipping them, and their drops, until I'd been around the block a few more times.
Mount Rolante has only two marked quests, and they're both pretty straightforward: if you explore the area and pay attention to the room descriptions, you'll easily find everything you need. Having said that, the god-beast is *hard* if you try to take him on solo; if you want the quest reward at level you're going to have to bring a friend or two.
The area mechanics aren't remarkable either: there are a few spots with unconventional movement, and the Corridor of Wind is almost a puzzle, but mostly you just walk from point A to point B.
Mount Rolante isn't good for grinding: none of the monsters offer interesting drops or exceptional XP, and the amazons are annoying to kill if you can't detect hidden and can't evade their trigger. Once you've done the quests, and played around with the aftermath, you can move on.
Mount Rolante is, by design, somewhat isolated from the rest of the Cleft; the amazons of Rolante live by themselves, and they like it that way. For a long time, there was only one way onto the mountain, and no way off except by hot air balloon. Nowadays the region is a bit better-connected, through a small area that connects Gigan Canyon to Hu Lao Gate, but one gets the sense that the amazons would have stopped that if they could have.
This is a solid but unspectacular area, and that's fine; not every area can be an essential component of every remort run. If I wanted to spruce up the area I'd add a little more background flavor: some talkprogs for the chibi devils so we can find out what they're doing there, say, or more named amazons to talk to.