With the Cloaked Ascendancy hitting consoles, it’s time to put Module 10: Storm Kings Thunder to rest! What were the highs and the lows? Let’s go through and rate the introduced mechanics, systems, gear and group content!
Voninblod (Rating: D)
The only reason the Voninblod mechanic comes away with a D is the fact that the devs recently raised the Voninblod you get from Relics. Otherwise this one was a disaster. It’s not so much about the system itself. I have to say that maintaining four pieces of armor turned out to be reasonable. At least it’s much less of a pain than I originally thought it would be. It’s also not really wrong to grant players, that put more time and effort into something, better item levels.
Nonetheless the game doesn’t need another grind mechanic in a new area on top of those we already have. In the grand scheme of things Storm Kings Thunder greatly added to the daily stuff players have to do and Voninblod was one of the main culprits. New grind at this point should always be designed in a ways that it replaces something old. I certainly hope this was the only time we’ve seen a reincarnation of Black Ice.
Fishing & Treasure Hunt (Rating: B-)
I’m really torn on this one. Apllying my logic from above, Fishing and the Treasure Hunt actually did replace other grind. In fact, it was flat out the most profitable thing to do. Not only was it a great source of Voninblod, but you would also land a considerable amount of unbound RP. So it could be all good if hunting for Maps in a Bottle wasn’t so goddamn boring. Sitting in your Kyhek all day is just not the type of action-packed activity that you expect out of a game. I think it was a nice try to introduce a little mini-game that wasn’t executed very well, at least outside the rewards.
Another thing that works against Fishing is botting. It’s exactly the boring and repetitive kind of tasks that bots perform way better than humans. At least they removed the bottles from the weekly instance, but if you like you can still get all the Elk Tribe Support you’ll need in there with a simple macro.
Consequently bottles have steadily dropped in price and with it the profit of farming them.
Fangbreaker Island (Rating: B+)
In my opinion Fangbreaker Island is a really solid dungeon. It’s challenging, requires a solid group setup and awareness and is actually quite rewarding since the dungeon key changes. Some folks told me they were even farming it with Dragon Keys. Every Artifact, Mount and Companion that drops there is unbound and can be sold, netting a decent profit on average. The different Rings are useful as well and drop at a reasonable rate. Legendaries are still a pain though.
What the dungeon might be missing is that one mechanic that is immune to the power creep. Today FBI can be completed in under 15 minutes by competent teams. And part of the issue is that you can skip boss phases with DPS alone. So there’s not really a true skill component in place. Even Drufi’s Call of Winter can simply be countered by a Scrolls of Life, which players should have plenty of from the Winter Event.
Svardborg (Rating: C)
Svardborg majorly suffers from its chest key design and Mark grind. It’s just so horrible to first get all the keys and then all the Marks you need. The chest I had the most trouble with was Storm Giants. It feels like Module 10 was largely about running Heroic Encounters and then some more. For me personally it’s probably the least enjoyable activity ever and I can’t stand doing it for more than 30 minutes.
The devs raised the drop chance of legendary Marks, but I’m still just waiting for the day the last legendary Mark drops for me so I can finally leave that piece of content behind. It didn’t exactly help that the Trial essentially gated the new weapons behind a considerable item level requirement. That’s why some people never were able to participate in the progression or just skipped the entire mod.
On the bright side, just like FBI, the fight is well designed, challenges groups in multiple areas, but is lacking a skill check as well. And if you manage to fill up all support bars, you could farm a sizeable amount of chests in a relatively small amount of time.
Campaign (Rating: C+)
The overall rating of the campaign would be better if the Sea of Moving Ice didn’t feature each and every daily quest as “introduction”. My goodness that was some boring stuff… Besides that the dailies and weeklies aren’t as much work if you’re not in a rush, collect over a few days, batch complete and hand in what you need to complete the daily. With 50 days for both Storm Kings Thunder and Sea of Moving Ice the campaigns are not too long, but certainly no walkover either.
The boons are ok. I think everyone will find something useful here and I’m glad they’ve added Everfrost Resistance on top of something else. If it’s going the same path as Black Ice it will be removed at some point and then the boons will still remain viable. Voninblod however is a show stopper once again. 65,000 for the last two boons is just insane, especially based on what those offer.
Adventure Zones & Story (Rating: A)
The devs normally do a marvelous job with the visual design of the adventure zones and mod 10 is not different. I personally also like the Khyek travelling although the transition between water and land is still somewhat buggy. Otherwise everything makes sense and there are even some gimmicks and Easter eggs. Not much to say here, just well done. It’s unfortunate that the maps are only used in Module 10 content. I’ve already largely moved on from them with the exception of Bryn Shander and Relic farming.
The same praise applies to the overall story. The sequences surrounding the death of Makos certainly tugged heartstrings and reminds us that Commander Ander will be missed.
Weapon Restoration (Rating: B-)
The weapon restoration in my opinion was a necessary evil in the past module. You couldn’t just hand over a new tier of weapons to everyone and see how they would refine them to legendary during the first Double RP event. It’s clear they had to do some new type of grind or gate. So this is not better or worse than something else, but again: Why so many Heroic Encounters?!
I also like that they’ve brought progressions into the process. These are still heavily underused for everyday content and at least can contribute something here.
Overall Storm Kings Thunder was a decent module. The problem is that its few issues are severe ones. Voninblod and the Svardborg grind are just poorly designed and spoil a lot of an otherwise solid experience. That made Storm Kings Thunder a controversial extension right from the start and it will probably never become a fan-favorite.
What’s your opinion on Module 10? Share your thoughts in the comments below or visit the corresponding thread on our message board!
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