Why I asked for a refund after CBT2 - The core idea of the game is great but it fails on details.

  • I really enjoyed SOLO in CBT1 when I was leveling up and played a few normal mode dungeons towards the end. I like the fact that this game is not pay-to-win, I like the combat system and game aesthetics, and I enjoyed the random leisure aspects of the game. I thought I could stick with the game. However, CBT2 turned out to be a complete flip-over for me as I entered the end game.


    Main reason that really ruined my experience is that I found the PVE endgame community being ridiculously toxic, and this toxicity, in my opinion, is directly related to the game design, which I will talk about later. In my hard mode dungeon experience, usually we had a party with 70-80% new players with the rest being veteran players. In most cases we were able to clear the regular bosses in the HM dungeons without any wipe and got to the hidden boss, where we started having a bit trouble to clear due to dps check. There is always a learning curve for new stuff, and most of us were trying to learn and improve. However, in almost every hard mode party I had, ppl ended up getting extremely impatient even after just one wipe, and started throwing rages over others randomly. Don’t get me wrong. I am a semi-hardcore player coming from another active combat mmo game, and I know toxic ppl exist in any game. However, I don’t think it is normal to get raging people in almost every party I joined everyday in this particular game (and to be fair the fact that a mostly newbie party could clear HM dungeons smoothly on their first try already proved that we weren’t THAT bad, sure we did have maybe 2 veteran players from lfg but we weren’t carried as our tank + healers are new players), and it is ridiculous as how much toxicity ppl have thrown in this literally-just-two-week-old game in its western market. Part of the toxicity definitely was introduced by the “veteran” players who had experience in this game in mainland China and Taiwan servers, who want speedruns and rank runs from the very beginning, and probably think they are superior. But most of the rages among players, in my honest opinion, are just accumulated from little things, mostly from design flaws.


    Dungeons in SOLO are traditional mmo style, so they are relatively long and would take you a long time by default (at least 20 min per dungeon). I am not complaining the dungeon being long here (I personally actually enjoy longer dungeon since it feels more content and diverse), but keep it in mind, this is already a big factor to make people who are used to “fast game” being impatient if anything goes un-smooth there. The boss or mob mechanics in hard mode dungeons imo isn’t even hard at all, however, there are a few design features or flaws that add “artificial difficulties”, ends up being super annoying.


    One thing this game differs from other mmos is that it has very low tolerance for mistakes, simply due to its very retard res mechanics. You get 1 or 2 "sword heart" in every boss fight, and it can be used for either dps boost or res. So in boss fight, for the entire party, you can only use res twice (for 10 man, only once for 5 man). So basically it means, if someone dies, it is most likely just ended up being a wipe, especially if the person died is tank or healer. This res mechanics makes the game very unfriendly to new players. People learn from their mistakes, nobody is born to be perfect from the very beginning. This swordheart mechanics might be a special feature of SOLO, but what it does is just simply pushing people to be elitists.


    Another major design flaw is in the boss model. Most bosses are in the same size with the player, making it very difficult to even see the animations. Sure we have the option to hide teammates and decrease the player skill effect, however even that certain class skills are not hideable, so it still can be a mess. Not mention, hiding everyone is not even an option for healer and tank, you just simply SHOULDN'T do so as a support player. Many carpet mechanics are with colors very similar to the floor itself, which makes it very hard to even recognize. One example be, there are a few elite mobs in Yemo city and Chou prison dungeons that would drop poison puddles, which are purple in color, while the background is blue (ice +water) or dark, and it's a mob fight which means you usually group 10 ish trash mobs together, so almost impossible to see anything on the ground. On top of that, if you also have reapers in your party whose skills consist of tons of purple auras which are unhidable, it is just such a mess. ppl wonder why their hp drop like crazy during these phases, and I know a lot ppl didn’t even notice there were carpet mechanics after their first few runs.


    Another thing that is very annoying is that this game lacks direct teleports to the dungeon entrance. The developers probably did this on purpose since in Mainland China and Taiwan servers you need to pay for the online time in order to play the game, so the lack of direct dungeon teleport is probably a (very bad imho) commercial strategy to force players to stay online longer. However, this feature has been making tons of trouble. If you make a party, you either have to go through ims (then it is forced to be 10 man) to save the trouble of running across maps to get to the entrance, or you have to wait endlessly for ppl to manually go to the entrance. From my past experience, if we wanted ppl to go to the entrance manually, what happened was we had to wait at least 10 min for everyone to get there, and in most cases there would be one or two party members who either didn't read the party chat and assumed we were going through ims, or just simply had no idea where to go to. So in the end it sometimes took us over 30 min to even get ppl in the dungeon. And if we did ims, it ended up being impossible to swap the players if anyone leaves the party (or exits the dungeon for whatever reason).


    Some dungeon locations (as well as quest locations) are very poorly described, and auto-pilot either takes the most sub-optimal path (takes you ages to get there), or just simply doesn’t even lead you to the correct spot. One example here is the Frostbitten path dungeon. From the dungeon codex it says it’s in Weichuan Plain, but when you open your map with “M” or using the maps from Cloudrise/your class home, Weichuan Plain is nowhere to find. Only “fast“ way to find it is using your 1-hour CD world teleport skill, and it’s shown there. Otherwise you will have to go through half the map in Chang’an to its eastern end to get to Weichuan Plain, and bear in mind, ONLY IF you know Weichuan Plain is east of Chang’an, which, for a new player, this information is nowhere to find except from the one of the main story quests, which, people forget about it easily. This poor dungeon location description is literally just like telling a person to go to the 1st avenue, but not telling him which city this 1st avenue is.



    And here is the gear durability thing, which is probably one of the most stupid features in the game. The durability decreases as you fight and die, and once the durability drops to 0 you do little damage or heal. And the only way to repair it INSIDE of a dungeon is either you run all the way back to the entrance (which is not even an option in certain dungeon), or if you have a spear master class in the party, ask him to drop a merchant, which has 30min CD....And your gear will be broken after 4 -5 wipe, so yeah, if you have only 0-1 spearmaster in party and you wipe a few times the dungeon is basically unclearable. Or you can get out of the dungeon to find a merchant, however as I mentioned before, if you entered the dungeon with IMS before, once you leave the dungeon you can't even go back.


    To be fair, I don’t mind the pve dungeons having ACTUAL difficult boss mechanics, but the way that SOLO now is doing is just making easy 2-4 mechanics per boss, yet putting a lot disturbances such as extremely limited res chances, super small boss models, almost invisible mechanics indicators due to unhidable skill effects, the gear durability paradox (no spearmaster in party? Better just disband huh?), and aids accessibility to dungeons is very frustrating. It makes it unnecessarily harder for new players to learn, and the annoyance coming from these “little things” just accumulate to make people be more and more impatient if there is anything going south in the dungeon.


    In the end I just want to say, I still kinda like the core idea of the game (the story, the aesthetics non pay-to-win aspect, relatively easy to gear, active combat, lots of different types of daily/weekly activities etc.), however, the developers really fail in details to make the game more “user friendly”, and as I found out, it is just very unfriendly to new players. At least in the PVE part of the game, the way how they design the dungeons + certain game-specific-features have a trend to push people towards elitism, hence rising toxicity among players. The way-too-complex systems in the game doesn’t help it either as ppl get lost easily. This is not going to lead to a healthy community and player experience in a long run.

  • Some points I'd like to throw out given the (constructive) criticism and your issue with the game here:

    • A lot of what you said ultimately falls to people, not the game. Sure, you could argue that the way the game handles it encourages or reinforces people's behavior, but the root of it is that it's a people issue. For example, the thing with the poison puddles: the combat in this game is similar to GW2 in that there's a lot more focus on each person to be aware of their own position and dodge things--it's not a traditional "just eat any damage and stand there and hack at the boss while relying on tank and healer to miraculously keep you alive spamming shield and party heals"--which some including me actually prefers. If you enjoy classic holy trinity PvE games, this is not it.
    • I've personally haven't experienced any outright aggression or rage when it comes to flopped dungeons. There are two thoughts to be had here:
      • At worst, I've had people who just did not attempt the hidden boss or left after the initial wipe. I think that as much as it sucks, it's fair; they shouldn't be forced to "donate" their time by being in an unwanted fight, regardless of the lack of experience of the party. It's a very neutral / fair way to handle it. More often I've given out advice or told people what not to do, but never in an angry manner. You also should look from their PoV at effectively wasting hours inside a dungeon from consistent wipes, since myself and some of my unfortunate guildmates have experienced the same thing, which is frustrating.
      • You're talking about *hard* mode and the *hidden bosses*. These are supposed to be difficult and assume you obtained all the 50s/some 60s gear pieces, otherwise they wouldn't exist. It also implied you should understand the basic mechanism which they inherit from the easier normal version (also consult dungeon codex in game). Some of the fault here does lie with those going in clueless or don't yet have a full grasp on the combat system. As you've said, they're not actually that hard, so mistake-tolerance will naturally be low. Having it be hard mode with a high tolerance, or saying it's "not that hard" but then also attacking the low tolerance, is contradictory.
    • Some of your other points I either don't have strong opinions on or think have merit. My first class was a reaper, so I may not understand the confusion, though I can see it. That said, it didn't take me all that long to figure out some of the summoner/bard green healing area effects are distinct from some off the green puddles in dungeons or green healing pools when fighting Tong pi. It may not be intuitive but it's also not a major problem to figure out as you progress through the game, especially after normal mode runs. Also, aside from Frostbitten Path, the other instances are literally 1 teleport away Cloudrise if you're not in a 10-man team.

    In conclusion, I think your entire dissatisfaction is primarily with the experience you had around PvE in hard mode, which is but a part of the endgame. I've found much more "toxicity" in the novice chat channel during CBT2, which sometimes even bled over to world chat, limited by the spam timer. I hope you re-assess this and are still around after release so you can lead instance teams and be a model. Call out the really aggressive ones, and tell them if they wish to leave the run, then leave.

  • This is literally my first MMO, and while I agree with a few of your points, I don't think any of them are particularly game breaking or anything unfair. As a person who predominantly plays exclusively FPS, and MOBA's I find it extremely hard to believe you actually play "hardcore" mmo's in any kind of capacity with complaints like this.

    Maybe it's my jaded experience as a MOBA player, but I think this game is far from toxic. I've never had a game where people will literally take the time and read the mechanics for you, then kindly explain them before a fight starts, and then proceed with the raid. I had plenty of cases where we wiped several times over with even the most mediocre players and we'd either keep trying or call it. And even as a mid to bottom tier DPS'er, I don't remember a single instance where anyone was (at least publicly) toxic about it.


    I agree the visual clutter in fights can be pretty crazy sometimes, especially reaper circles and other ground AOE's and tells and such, but those also completely disappear in harder dungeons/difficulties so there's not much point getting used to them to begin with really. You also say the boss or mob mechanics aren't hard, but I think one thing you might be missing is that part of that visual clutter may be there by design and is part of the difficulty of the raid/is the mechanic (especially thinking of like... the secret ox boss on chou prison). This is something I hadn't considered until a friend who plays other MMO's mentioned it to me, that it's likely that all the colours on the floor at least in that case are by design and pretty much the difficulty of the fight/the mechanic.


    You say ressing is limited and this is unreasonable, but idk.... it doesn't bother me that much. Revives are probably meant to be saved for the tank or the healer as they are the only real key components whose mobility may be somewhat limited in a raid. DPS you're only real excuse for dying is not paying attention imo. As a person brand new to MMO's I find it somewhat difficult to watch my HP, manage my dots/rotation, see what the boss is doing, and check where I'm standing at the same time, but I noticed I was getting a lot better at this even after just the first beta. I have no reason to believe this is some impossibly difficult task for anyone who is actually familiar with MMO's. One things that helped me quite a bit (which may not be worth investing in for a beta that gets wiped) was moving a lot of these bars and information to places where I could actually look at what is most relevant all at the same time. I also found that at the end of the day as a DPS it's quite easy to actually just step back if I needed a minute to recover or figure out what was going on. If you're dying a lot as a DPS, I have reason to believe it's because you're trying to squeeze out that last 0.2k DPS at an extreme risk which for most pub dungeons or people who aren't min maxing probably isn't reasonable. You might be slightly below average or not completely optimal, but the DPS of a corpse is zero. So if you need a moment, take a moment, and you'll get better with time. No need to die because of this made up pressure you've put on yourself and then blame the game for it.


    I have the blessing of having both a friend who tanks and a friend who heals so we rarely had trouble finding DPS to fill. When people left, the game has an auto find team mates to fill feature, so unless like your healer or your tank left, I really don't see how you'd have an issues. I also don't see why you're waiting for anyone to walk to a dungeon entrance since in every case I experienced the game seemed to pull in someone who was already queued to run that dungeon? My guess is that the dungeon locations will get better with both translations and familiarity to the game world in general. Maybe I'm also not understand what you're really saying here so I wont comment more than I have already.


    Being new to MMO's in general. I can tell you I died a plenty, on normal and hard mode. I played spear master so I'd drop the shop for me and teammates. One thing you might be missing is that yellow gear is not broken. You get a warning before your gear is completely busted. There were several cases where I'd wait and do one or two more runs with yellow gear, wait for friends gear to also break and stuff and then we'd drop the shop, all repair, move on. There's no way your shop isn't ready after 4-5 wipes. You'd have to literally be dying every 6 minutes, and with the time it takes to get to the boss, and everyone to be ready, you've probably spent 2-3 minutes just doing that already. Every class has a small buff they provide to the raid just for having that class in your team, and this game definitely tries to encourage you to keep a variety of party mates through various means, the spear master shop being one of them imo. As a spearmaster who was often not top DPS, and having seen many other spear masters who were nothing near top DPS also, this seems like one of the least elitist things in the game, and here you are still bitching about it. Even as a sub optimal DPS class at least I can contribute repairs to the raid, so people still want me around for some reason.

    I can definitely understand if SOLO isn't the game for you because you have enough disagreements with how they've done everything. Sometimes you don't like a game, it's not your flavour of game, fine. But in my humblest scrubbly of opinions having only played TERA to level 36 on release, and having literally no other MMO experience. I found nothing about this game extremely unfair, or unreasonably difficult.

  • ppl ended up getting extremely impatient even after just one wipe, and started throwing rages over others randomly.

    Hahahahaha, [REMOVED].

    (at least 20 min per dungeon).

    wooow, such a long time huh? How about 15 min per boss try? (obv. Another game and last boss of hardest challenge mode dungeon, but still)

    This res mechanics makes the game very unfriendly to new players.

    [REMOVED]

    Maybe it's my jaded experience as a MOBA player, but I think this game is far from toxic

    Indeed. This mmo is one of the easiest on players. Any more and the game would just handle anything on the silver platter.

  • Main reason that really ruined my experience is that I found the PVE endgame community being ridiculously toxic


    Curious reason to consider a game poorly executed when it is not related to the gameplay itself.


    Dungeons in SOLO are traditional mmo style, so they are relatively long and would take you a long time by default (at least 20 min per dungeon)

    Traditionally speaking 20 minutes for a dungeon is not a very long time. Dungeons in early WoW for example, could last for several hours.

    Someone that does consider that 20 minutes a long time will likely not have the required patience to deal with trying out harder content.


    This is not a problem of game design, but attitude or time available to someone. Its one of the reasons why harder content is not for everyone.


    One thing this game differs from other mmos is that it has very low tolerance for mistakes, simply due to its very retard res mechanics. You get 1 or 2 "sword heart" in every boss fight, and it can be used for either dps boost or res.


    1-2 combat revives per boss fight is not low tolerance for mistakes, but a reasonable good-high tolerance. The dps boost isnt high so I'm unsure why you even consider that in this context.


    So basically it means, if someone dies, it is most likely just ended up being a wipe


    This directly contradicts your earlier mention of 1-2 combat revives. If there are 1-2 revives, why would anyone dying result in a wipe?


    This swordheart mechanics might be a special feature of SOLO

    Combat revives are not a special mechanic of SOLO. Their implementation might be different, but atleast for dungeon use its also better then it is in many other MMO's. In WoW most healers didnt even have a combat res. It had a very high cd at first (10 or 20m iirc) and cost a lot of mana. In FFXIV it costs a huge a mount of mana. Having it cost a unique resource is prefered.


    One example be, there are a few elite mobs in Yemo city and Chou prison dungeons that would drop poison puddles, which are purple in color, while the background is blue (ice +water) or dark, and it's a mob fight which means you usually group 10 ish trash mobs together, so almost impossible to see anything on the ground. On top of that, if you also have reapers in your party whose skills consist of tons of purple auras which are unhidable


    This is a problem I experienced myself, but it should be noted here it stopped being a problem once I became used to the game. As you learn the abilities of other classes it becomes easier to distinguish between a boss and player effect.


    Initially I was not even able to distinguish between water and ice areas so I would die from the water damage over time, which is clearly a learn to play(watch with attention to detail) issue on my part.


    I believe this is much more common in the beta as most people, myself included, were still in ''rush mode'' where we just ignore half of what is going on in order to focus on some aspects of the game we wanted to test. (in my case, playstyle of classes and fluidity of combat/builds) I dont think it can be judged fully untill release once people arent trying to rush anymore and actually pay attention to their surroundings.


    Another thing that is very annoying is that this game lacks direct teleports to the dungeon entrance.

    You can place a housing teleport in front of one dungeon. There is also matchmaking which effectively functions as a teleport to the dungeon. Movement is fast in this game as a result of flying and plenty of teleporting mechanics. I personally do not consider 2 minutes of traveltime to be a problem, however I am also an older MMOr from the days where travelling would take a much longer time. In early WoW it might take 10-15 minutes just getting to a dungeon.


    Maybe my perspective is too old and not relevant anymore in modern days.


    The developers probably did this on purpose since in Mainland China and Taiwan servers you need to pay for the online time in order to play the game, so the lack of direct dungeon teleport is probably a (very bad imho) commercial strategy to force players to stay online longer.


    Given your context it sounds like it makes sense, but in practice traveltime is very low as it is so this seems very unlikely. Perhaps they did, but it would be an odd choice. They would not have so many teleports and flying available early on if that was a general design philosophy of theirs.

    One example here is the Frostbitten path dungeon

    In case of this dungeon its location isnt shown on the map very well. (or at all, even)


    That is something that could be improved.


    It was hard to find for many players as they attempted to do the dungeon before they naturally got to the location via quests. It was the same for me. When I found the dungeon I slapped my face thinking how silly I was tryiong to find the dungeon instead of getting there naturally. Said quests lead straight up to its entrance.


    I am not opposed to this, as many times in MMO's dungeons didnt unlock (or have locations shown) untill I progressed story enough. However considering that other dungeons are correctly shown on the map, indicating this dungeons location clearly would be an improvement as its in line with the rest of the design.


    However this does contradict your point that dungeon locations are hard to find. Frostbitten path is considered hard to find because all the other dungeons are easily found on the map. This makes that dungeon a clear exception and not the rule.

    As someone that pays a lot of attention to global chats, I would say it was almost exclusively this dungeon that received inquires for its location.


    Mechanics or game elements should not be solely judged by its exceptions as that would give a very skewed perspective of the whole picture. Better feedback would be:


    -the location of the Frostbitten Path dungeon is unclear, as its map (dungeon) icon is not visible on the map.


    here is the gear durability thing, which is probably one of the most stupid features in the game. The durability decreases as you fight and die, and once the durability drops to 0 you do little damage or heal.


    This is a very common aspect of MMO's. I'm unsure why this is critism of this game in particular. I would consider this interesting feedback and subject for debate..... 15-20 years ago. Its a bit late now to consider it a poor mechanic?


    Well, you can ofcourse still argue against it. Not sure if there will be good reason to change the system itself as so many other MMO's do this.


    I would say in case of a mechanic like this it is better to argue its balance:


    Is the cost of repair too high? Does durability drop too fast? Do we have to repair unreasonably often, or spend unreasonable amounts of money?

    And the only way to repair it INSIDE of a dungeon


    SOLO is one of the few MMO's ive played where there even is a guaranteed place to repair inside of dungeons. Its a very welcome QOL feature as it means you can forget to repair before a dungeon (as most people tend to do) and take a few seconds to repair once you enter the dungeon. As it is even a vendor, you can also clear out your inventory of thrash items as well.


    This is not going to lead to a healthy community and player experience in a long run.


    Your arguments dont support that conclusion.

    I appreciate feedback and critism a lot. Games deserve to be (even) better. I have no shortage of topics of discussion for any game myself. So I can appreciate someone writing feedback on the game even if it is mostly negative.


    However you seem to have had a bad experience in the game with hard mode dungeons and some players, and then through backwards reasoning and a negative filter confirmed for yourself that it must be because of the game. This leads to very skewed feedback that only shows a small part of the picture and does it at odd angles.


    Most of your issues, including the core issue as you outlined it; are not a result of the game itself but your interactions with other players. That is worth discussion too. But it shouldnt be confused with the game mechanics if they have no correlation.