The Elder Scrolls

3 points of constructive criticism on Blades: Things to change/add for the future

TheElderScrolls15 - 3 points of constructive criticism on Blades: Things to change/add for the future
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First off, I was very happy when I finally got my hands on Blades, and I think it's a game with a lot of potential, great graphics, solid combat and an equally solid concept as a whole. But this potential is supressed in some areas and as a consequence my excitement wore off quite a bit. This will neither be a discussion of the technical aspects of the game, nor do I claim that this will be a complete discussion of the game- it's just three points that came to mind while playing.

I. CHANGE: The Chest System

This system is an atrocity. I don't mind the monetization of the game as a whole since it was to be expected, but the chest system is supposed to be a reward system that is instead punishing.

Over the course of the quite enjoyable dungeon crawling, you'll find a bunch of chests that you cannot open immediately, instead they go to your inventory. There are three types: Wooden, Silver and Gold, with ascending quality and quantity of loot. You can open the wooden ones after 5 seconds, the silver ones after three hours, the gold ones after six hours. The thing is: One CHEST at a time, one TYPE at a time, and you can only have a certain NUMBER of chest at a time (upgradable with gems). The consequence: You'll max out faster than you think, which really discourages the central dungeon exploring part. Because now you'll have to wait to open the next chest so you'll have room for new ones. Of course you can pay gems to open one immediately. This is bad and punishing design supposed to make you buy more gems. It's simply way too agressive monetization.

How to change without abolishing the system as a whole (which is too unrealistic I guess):

  1. The countdown has to apply to all types at the same time.

  2. Reduce the countdown for silver and gold to 2 and 4 hours, respectively. This together with point one makes the system fairer. The gold and silver chests are something special and are simply harder to crack, but eventually they'll open instead of wasting space.

  3. Add an option to open multiple chests at once for a reasonable fee in septims (or gold, whatever it's called in the game) and NOT gems. Let's say you pay 100 septims for 2 chests, 200 for three and so on. I feel the septims have too few uses in the game, so this could be one. It could also be done by buying keys for septims to add a bit of flavor.

Feel free to add other ideas in the comments.

II. EXPAND: Writing and dialogue options

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This game has no voice acting, which gives it an advantage it doesn't use at all: You can have a bunch of dialogue options and deep characterization. This uses a minumum of data and would make the game so much more enjoyable. But at this point, the game has a bare-bones story at best and lazy writing, pale characters and hardly any decisions with real consequences.

How to add: Give the NPC's real backstorys, give us quests with multiple dialogue paths that have consequences. Give us a way to build our character by making these decisions. This is such a simple and effective way to add layers of interaction to the game. Hire a capable writer, maintain the lack of voice-acting since it's cheaper. It just works

III. ADD: More variety and a push towards open level design

I like how the game is structured. You have a hometown that you have to rebuild and you go on quests and dungeon-crawling adventures to get the materials and funds you need to do that, all while leveling up your character and crafting things and gathering things that will aid you on your adventures. This is a solid concept. What we need now is more variety. I highly expect more types of dungeons in the future as updates will come in.

You always teleport between the dungeons and the Town. I understand this is due to the technical limitations, but there is potential to shake that up a little. Right now this is the thing that makes this game feel like it's just no proper Elder Scrolls Title, since there is no real sense of exploration.

How to add more variety: What needs to be done for now is to improve the random quests. Too many of them take place in the fortress, way too few in the cave and virtually none forest area (this seems to be preserved for the main quests). Make it more even, it's that simple.

How to add more open level design: Add "adventure" updates that give you a larger pseudo-open area like the town. In those areas there could be new npcs and direct entrances to hand-made dungeons, giving it a proper Elder-Scrolls feeling. These dungeons could then lead to another open area for example. I realize this is probably not easy to pull off, but it would work super well with the expanded dialogue options and questlines with consequence-driven decisions, giving you a proper Elder-Scrolls experience.

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