I'll go over all of this with Brandon in this weeks episode of Talkin' the Plank, but here are some of my initial thoughts about all the exciting new changes coming up with the next major patch. Abbreviated notes in white, my thoughts in blue:
Level 65, new area starts when you finish Mooshu Glad I encouraged folks to finish Mooshu in a previous episode. I'll have to get my WD to 50 and complete all the quests if I want to use her. I imagine that this will go live in less than a week!
Bazaar! Same as Wizard, all realms, located on Skull Island, NPC Harvey Deuce Many players have been waiting patiently for a bazaar to be added to the game and here it is. Items will be more readily availabe and everyone will be slightly wealthier. No downside to this!
Changes made to staring experience including new enemies and quests, initial battles with Troggies are single player only A beefed up, more forgiving starting area can only be a good thing. The more people who play the game, the more resources KI can afford to put back into the game!
Rental Mounts Added I never used them in Wizard and didn't miss them in Pirate, so no thoughts on this, really.
Turret Bosses added to Skyways, can attack up to 4 ships at a time This sounds pretty awesome. Having a large battle and something more exciting for NXP parties is a great idea.
Transportalators transport you for a fee (gold for members, crowns for non-members, transportation to Skull Island is always free) if you have already entered that world on a ship. Woohoo! Finally a quick transport. One more reason to subscribe!
2nd chance chests added (for crowns) I never really used these in Wizard, but then again, I never farmed for gear in either game (it didn't really feel necessary in Pirate and I didn't get far enough in Wizard). Still, for those trying to get a specific piece that have crowns to burn, this can only be positive.
Once a battle board has been filled by four players, no additional “different” players may join the combat if one of the original four players flees.
(Multiplayer only) If a player doesn’t issue any orders for a planning phase, in the next planning phase they will be presented with a dialog that says “Are you still playing?” If “Yes” isn't clicked within 10 seconds, then the absent player is forced to Flee. Good. As it should be.
Combat tougher after lvl 25 How tough? I won't know if this is positive or not until I've tried it.
New promotions for Bonnie Anne, Ratbeard and the Mag 7 Good. Expected, of course, but good.
Companions who share the same class as your PC gain extra xp from Training tomes This makes a lot of sense from a game world perspective
We have reduced the variation in companion quality in an effort to make all companions more worthwhile. Companions who were previously "third string" have been boosted up to "second-string" status. They will have more non-epic talent slots to purchase simple upgrades like Accuracy, Armor, etc. Thank you, KI. I was always bummed out that certain companions were essentially albatrosses (not animorph sea birds but dead weight) even though I really wanted to revel in the variety having so many could bring. I'd much rather adjust my strategy to figure out which way to use my useful crew than trying to make up the slack if a useless one shows up. This also makes buying training tomes feel like much less of a burden.
No more fixed talent slots for companions. The more I think about this, the less I like it. Having a fixed slot would sometimes force me to learn an ability I wouldn't have otherwise picked, which in turn introduced me to the joys of flanking.
20% reduction in cd for ship powers Boom. Awesome.
Nautical XP increased by 25% Double boom.
Players onboard your ship earn NXP at 50% of the captain’s rate but only from mobs less than 10 levels higher than the players nautical level Boom? I dunno, I never had anyone on deck for more than a few minutes. This is good in that it could encourage that underused game play and could give characters a boost that were having trouble with their NXP gain.
Fuel efficiency increased x2 Never really used this, but maybe they'll give us a reason to in the new content?
Many high level ships will target multiple enemies Player ships or enemy ships? Hmmmm . . . .
Quest Sharing added for some book 1 side quests
Quests will sort themselves by Mainline, Trainer, Promotions & Sideline Finally. This should have always been there, but I'm glad they added it.
Go Go Stormzilla: certain companion powers will be available during the fight, added life fountain near the entrance, adjusted stats and health of Stupendor-x and stormzilla Being able to use crew powers as well as having a life fountain right outside will greatly reduce the frustration of this encounter. Well done.
Housing space increase available, Aquilan Pegasus mount eh. I like mounts but I don't really get too excited about player housing. Not until there's something to do there besides decorate.
General & UI:
More secret chests added Yarrrr!
Experience bars now hide a level cap Might reduce confusion for those not familiar with the concept of a level cap.
Badges listed in Alphabetical order Good.
Well, there you have it. More news and thoughts as more is revealed!