So, I was nicely surprised by those. Sure they are strikes, but I prefer those compared to boss only ones. But I don't say they are perfect and some details itches me:
Firstly the pros:
-The event chain is interesting. Some tasks to do like an heart quests, a boss to kill at the end.
BUT please add aditionnal morale boost tiers for each task, they fill very fast and beyond when 5.
-Abundance of Npcs, allies or foes. It is more realistic than usual. Npcs aren't just generic ones with generic names. (Example, I can save professors, genius, or assistant in metrica)
Through, can the escorts npcs be made veterrans and be more resistant? They die every two seconds.
-Use a good chunck of the corresponding map. Respecting their out of story versions.
-A system of tokens, that can be exchanged with various things in eye of the north (Hope that the volcanic stormcaller weapons and recipes can be obtained that way)
-Good length when compared with steel warband as example.
-Nice little "story" behind it and dialogues between the allies.
-Cool factions support mechanics during escort. Well apart the firemen hazmat suits for asura. Better putting a veteran classic golem per player (like you did with fern hounds with kennelmaster for sylvaris) cause even taimi sais when arriving "I brought golems with me" and nope she hasn't brought any.
Now the cons:
Before I start, it is mostly about the mechanics, not really the environments or the look of the instance. It is just detailed.
It is said, suitable for 1 to 5 players. BUT excuse me, but have you tested it? Nah, it can's be done, solo: It's a pain, see follwoing points:
-If you are solo, you don't have the time to do all the tasks before escort. Either you multiply by 2 or 3 the timer, or make the pre-escort tasks trigger the escort when they are all finished.
I simply can't fix 10 golems, save 10 researchers, and kill 25 destroyers solo, in what, 5 mins?
-The final boss of each mission is a fricking HP SPONGE. I'm just fed up of that, I go solo and it took me 40 mins with my holosmith! For bad rewards! Divide at least the final boss HP bar by 20 if you are alone! The private insctance should really scale to the number of players in, in term of timer, but also in term of foes healths. This is the case for solo, but also in group, the other day did brisban one, we were 5, it took an eternity to kill the destroyer crab queen at the end. Just stop already with the Horrid HP sponge foes!!!
It just feels quite bland because no unique foe 3D model, nor big signature move. (edit: APPARENTLY HEALTH WAS A BUG, but to me, even after that fix, you still need to divide by 2 the health in public, 10 at least in alone
-Each time we finish a public mission, splash screen displays: '0/3 challenges, bronze chest" What the kitten frick is that? There is no hint there is any challenge motes or factions npcs in the instances, and most public instance I join have already started and without motes! HAVE YOU SIMPLY FORGOT TO PUT THOSE NPCS IN PUBLIC VERSION?
1-> Make it so the INSTANCE DOESN'T START IF THERE ISN'T 5 PLAYERS IN THE INSTANCE AND AGREEING TO START (you can use that rectangle where you bring the npc saved)
2-> ADD A BIG CHUNKY VISIBLE ICON ON THE MAP WHERE THE MOTES NPC IS.
3-> DISPLAY A SPLASH SCREEN INDICATING THAT THERE IS A CHALLENGE MOTES NPC
4-> ADD A HOUSE EXIT BUTTON
They are present in private version.
-The rewards.... I only got bronze, can't judge the others but only 1-2 faction tribute crystal per mission, and very bad loot of some useless low mats... After spending so much time on the final bosses? It is the sixth time I did a mission (2x each) I'm already fed up. Not rewarding, and fighting foes that are basically just a large Health bar, using foes models from 2012, doing basic attacks from 2012 ( well apart boss who have interesting fighting mechanics, but can be better using bounty ones base on ley lines).
-Make the volcanic stormcaller weapons less rare as a loot. Tune down the smoke. Make the hue red and not pink like they are currently.
-The challenge motes themselves (tried in solo private): In addition of having useless water asuran power suits instead of real help, destroyer buffed to the extreme and stupid timer not giving enough time. A big pain to do. https://imgur.com/a/S3AC3T4 The fun of dying again and again. Again, someone tested it or? "SUITABLE FOR 1 PLAYER" recked as dps holosmith. Cannot even complete with challenges, had enough, closed the game. Nice design Anet, really. And welp the boss with ton of life for a solo player... so basically, challenge equal group but group don't have npcs to toggle challenges on, does that make sense to you?
-About those challenges it say that there are vigil, whispers and priory forces fighting against them to help us, asking us if we want to call them back to strenghten the foes. EXCUSE ME? THERE IS NO ORDERS NPCS IN ANY INSTANCE FIGHTING OR HELPING WITH THE ESCORT. Another thing forgotten?
-BONUS NITPICK. So, it happens in respectively, soren draa, skrittburgh and ascalon settlement. BUT, no veteran classic golems (should I say that they are here to defend against awakened invasions, but they aren't here against primordius invasion? GOD ANET the continuity... if they are all around metrica defending against awakened, why not here....
We are in a skritt town, skrittburg, with a skritt king, but none of them help us fight them? Putting dead corpses is an easy, bad solution.
Haha. Somehow, you've put watchknights in brisban, but forgot rata novan golem in soren draa and skritts in brisban, you can't be serious.
Ultra nitpick: You pass through a nightmare court camp for brisban response mission, but you don't see any nightmare courtier???
No pirates profiting in gandarran and stealing goods in town while the others are occupied?
-Who are those unfamiliar allies? Ryland? Crystal bloom? If those it's your biggest 1st april joke. Because they were expected.
TLDR, it's still good, don't really be afraid of the big cons paragraph. It is really just a major issue of tuning. Make it so it is doable in solo-private instance by increasing start tasks timer, that the final boss isn't a big hp sponge and more interesting. And make the challenge motes existences perfectly indicated and prevent the mission from starting without being full of players and all of them agreeing to start. (No more bonus challenge reward missed), seeing those vigils crusader , whispers agents and priory arcanists. And make that reward/time invested ratio better. Those are the issues decreasing the replayability to 0 and increasing the boredom.
Shiny links, take a look!
->Ideas: Housing , Designing a new lounge , New GameMode
->Project: ASURAN/PRIMORDIUS EXPANSION available on WIKI.
->NEW: Crucible of Eternity path 4: Legacy on WIKI