Difference between revisions of "October 2019: Arlia"
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'''Player: Abaril--level 100 KniVamp'''
'''Player: Abaril--level 100 KniVamp'''
'''Review Date(s): 10/28/19'''
'''Review Date(s): 10/28/19'''
Revision as of 16:23, 31 October 2019
Area of the Month for October 2019 is Arlia!
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: Abaril--level 100 KniVamp --Token'd!
Review Date(s): 10/28/19
Overall, Arlia's descriptions are pretty strong. The area has an old west feel and is consistent with use of color. The talk programs for the various NPC's in town are impressive and lend a lot of genuine flavor to the zone--one of the best is the dancer in Lanky's Saloon. Her dance routine is amusing and is very reminiscent of something you might see on an old western from the 60's that was trying to be risque for the era. Another bonus is the fact that there are no obvious typos. Arlia's main quest line is incredibly well-described and feels more immersive to me than many of the other lower level quests.
I will preface this by saying that it's been ages since I've visited Arlia at an appropriate level. Revisiting it for this review, the reasons for that stand out immediately. As a town, it's ok, and the shops do offer serviceable gear for newbies when they hit level 25. As a town that attempts to also offer limited combat, it's definitely lacking though. I believe there are six readily killable mobs in the zone. That's definitely not appealing enough to make it a stop for very long on the initial life or a stop at all on any subsequent lives. The best gear from the zone requires a stop elsewhere to improve it but is completely worth finding and keeping for at least the first few remorts. The quest rewards are cute but not something that I've ever really felt worth repeating once I solved them. Nothing is necessarily bad; it's just that there are other areas that are more useful for the level range.
The shops are decent enough for that fresh level 25 character, and therefore they serve the purpose they are intended to serve. The one major quest line that's comprised of "rescued a damsel in distress," "been deputized," and "interrogated a miner" is definitely worth seeing at least once--it's a fun and clever experience that really builds a feel for the Old West with some tongue-in-cheek aspects that shows the builder wasn't taking herself too seriously. For that matter, Comedy Goldmine is a cute little pun that would fit in some of the old 90's video games. Mining in the goldmine, though, is a bit disappointing. It seems like it would be a great out of the way kind of place to have some of the crafting materials you could use elsewhere in the Cleft. From what I've experienced though, the haul is mediocre. Maybe I just haven't hit the mother lode yet.
Connecting Chimp Caverns to Coronar is borderline pointless. As I stated in the Chimp review, I don't know of anyone who uses that route to get from Truce to Viorar. It's easily one of the most frustrating walks around. I would guess that the only reason anyone did pass through Arlia was either on an initial exploration foray or they were explicitly trying to get to the town. I did give connections a bonus point for having an owlite statue and being one of the standard player housing portal options.
There's nothing intrinsically wrong with Arlia at all. It is well-described and does offer a few things that players should see and do at least once. The equipment store and the sandwich shop both have a nice inventory variety. The bar could probably use a few more drinks though, and the mine definitely has underwhelming results. I dislike that it shows up on the 26-30 range when you do pull up a list of areas while leveling. It just doesn't have the mob density and is completely outclassed by McNeil, Safari, Freeza and even Tonoe in that respect. I did enjoy repeating Claude and Rena's quest for this review, but at the end of the day, Arlia is still one of those places you kind of forget about completely until you're reminded it exists. I would like to see it upgraded to match the 2019 Cleft of Dimensions.
Player: Kaze (Done it all over the place. Most recently with a L33/WarVamp.)
Review Date(s): October 29, 2019 was most recent completion
It's silly, but you can get a good image of a dusty mountain town with weird characters roaming the area being various levels of gruff and naughty. Things that matter are reasonably clear and even the short descriptions do a solid job. (That last part is a particularly nice touch)
Interactions are fun and fit the general vibe of a silly fantasy world western.
A few objects are a bit disruptive to the scene as described (poop with emoji, the stinky outhouse) but that's as bad as it gets, so it was well written. Even these are generally entertaining, if a bit incongruous.
The big fight is a bit of a puzzle fight and it can be a smidge hard for some classes at level, but my various encounters have demonstrated that in or, at least, near the suggested range, it's generally doable, even for frail classes.
Everything in the area seems a bit harder than average but only to a degree that feels good for a challenging areas.
The scenery is worth a bit on its own. The main quest is fun. The little extra quests are nice. After finishing those, well, the town is mostly a waypoint on the Viorar/Truce route.
It does have a couple nice items, though. The miner container is a soild piece. The lamp is fine. The food options are good, and the selection of healing kit is pretty nice, actually.
As to exp. it is quite wanting. It has variety but not many options.
Later quests are hinted at but, to my knowledge, are undeveloped. I'f love to see these expanded in some way. (For all I know, maybe that's there and I missed it.)
Thematically the only flaw with its connections is the sudden jump to monkey theme, but the cave connection from the mine and connection out to the fields is just fine. Its terrain makes sense. it's not trivial to get to the town, but that's intentional and fair.
The flaws of its connections are not its own, when you get down to it.
Personal It's small and focused, which is good. Editing is important.
Because it's good, I'd like to see the area expanded, both in rooms present (mostly in the mines so there's logically some room for other claims and (gamewise) some more MOBs.) and in quest content. Some elements that I'd particularly welcome development on: the pharmacy and supplier, the bank, mayor, and the heist, and, of course, the gallows and the chocobo stables.
Ed: A point that I didn't mention is that one of the things I adore about Booster's is the layers of little polished features and things to do and see. This seems to me to be one of that kind of area waiting to happen. It has some subtle nifty things to do. It has combat and some pretty reasonable approaches to its challenges. It's not ALL violence, though it has some. (I think it could stand at least one other skill/attention quest added in. A puzzle of some sort might be fun if someone has an idea of what might fit.)