The latest patch NW.45.20150515a.1 introduced some nice changes for low-end players , especially those that recently hit 70 and are trying to get geared for T1 content. I have touched on the topic in my Lowbie Diaries and my rant about the Progression Paywall: Coming from the leveling dungeons with blue gear, players need to solve a mystery. How do I compete in T1s if I need T1 gear for it?
Normally with my 4.5k CW I don’t premade for Skirmishes, I just queue into them because I know it’s beatable anyway. Yesterday, I got queued into a group with three Pallys and one GF, all from the same guild, all at 75k HP max and no purple gear. We wiped a few times and I ended up soloing Kessell because they couldn’t stay alive to save their live.
In the end it was a subpar run for me, but they thanked me more than once and it felt good to provide players with their presumably first Seal of Elements. But the group also left the dungeon realizing that they cannot do such difficulty on their own.
Yesterday, there was little you could do. The next upgrade, in PVE, was indeed the Elemental Assault Armor Set from the T1 dungeons and skirmishes. Today, they introduced another step in the ladder with ilvl 120 from the Sharandar and Dread Ring campaigns. Both sets need about six days of Dailies per piece, falling in line with how long it takes to get the PVP Grim gear, which is ilvl 130, but offers less stats for PVE. It’s actually the first time ever that the Module 1 and 2 campaign tasks grant appropriate gear, because the Dread Servitor and Iliyanbruen Ancestral sets have never been a factor in the progression. Speaking of which: The appearance has been transferred from the lvl 60 sets.
It remains to be seen whether T1 content will be manageable with the new armor, but it’s good the devs recognized their design flaw and are actively trying to fix it. There are still some inconsistencies left that might or might not be tweaked in the future. The Well of Dragons with lvl73 mobs offers a smaller ilvl 115 than the areas with lvl71/72 mobs and while the Eternal set can theoretically be used while leveling, it’s practically impossible to obtain it until you’re 70, where the new sets make more sense.
I’m also a bit skeptical about the injected RP. Those that need them the most are unable to complete the quests comfortably, much less in timely manner. The fact that too much of the campaign stuff is essentially group content remains an issue and has to be dealt with. At least Tiamat is being reported as doable on a wider basis again, so people finally have a viable way to get their Artifact Cloaks.
Overall, the patch did right some wrongs and implemented the promises that were made in the Roadmap mid May. The next big step could be a class balancing pass, especially with the new PVP tournament coming up.