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Echovald, why? Why do this?


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Just need to point out how awful Echovald is. It's Tangled Depths Jr with all the same problems. Tiny hidden underground paths, teleporters, poor map presentation for any sort of accurate wayfinding. 

 

And yet somehow y'all managed to make exploration worse. Not just one, but two mini-dungeons required to finish the map, and one of which requires an easily-missed collection to even start? 

Why? It's awful design. 

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When I first saw it I commented that it looked like a leftover HoT map.  People were like "no, give it a chance" "it's beautiful".

...no it is as bad as it initially looked. The further in you go - the worse it gets.   Just doing the story is painful enough, there is no way I am going to even try for map completion on it.  The one avatar I running through the story will likely be my only avatar to go there. 

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You may have to look up a guide to get to some of the more obscure POIs and vistas, but it isnt so bad. Certainly not as terrible as any of the HoT or PoF maps. At least the common mobs in Echovald Wilds are actually soloable and don't require a zerg of 50 people. iirc you don't even need to complete the minidungeons, just stepping into the first room gets you the POI.

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When HoT launched, I utterly hated Tangled Depths, but I've been playing through Tangled Depths over the last few days, getting the hero points I missed, and it's growing on me. I don't think the geography was the problem. I think the problem was the overtuning at launch. The map was incredibly dense with mops, and they eviscerated you in seconds, but it took you ages to kill them by yourself. Months after HoT, the mob damage was nerfed, and now we have had years of powercreep that makes it so that you can kill a mob in a few seconds without needing ascended gear with expensive runes and sigils. Casual players like myself can now casually explore Tangled Depths now, and exploring those cave systems is really fun.

 

I haven't gotten to Echovald yet, but perhaps the mobs difficulty is frustrating people?

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5 hours ago, Rauderi.8706 said:

Just need to point out how awful Echovald is. It's Tangled Depths Jr with all the same problems. Tiny hidden underground paths, teleporters, poor map presentation for any sort of accurate wayfinding. 

 

And yet somehow y'all managed to make exploration worse. Not just one, but two mini-dungeons required to finish the map, and one of which requires an easily-missed collection to even start? 

Why? It's awful design. 

 

Paths are clearly defined and can be used with ease on the roller beetle.  It's not the same as TD.  The only things that require you to go underground are a handful of map completion objectives and maybe a couple MP.

 

Actually doing the mini dungeons are not required for map completion.

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… What? There's roads marked everywhere. Most stuff happens on a single level. I was able to get 95% of map completion without any real difficulty, it's only the last few POIs *in mini-dungeons* that were really any issue.

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5 hours ago, Rauderi.8706 said:

Just need to point out how awful Echovald is. It's Tangled Depths Jr with all the same problems. Tiny hidden underground paths, teleporters, poor map presentation for any sort of accurate wayfinding.

All those secret places and mini-dungeons are what's making it a great map. I, for one, love it! 🙂

There are also tons of people who love Tangled Depths. Hence phrasing your opinion like a common fact might be a bit misplaced. 😉

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I too had trouble enjoying my first playthrough of the echovald map. I'll have to disagree that the roads are marked adequately. I found it much easier taking later characters through the map for map completion.

I will defend Echovald from some of the criticism.

The required collection for the Valdhertz POI is an account wide unlock so later characters than just go there immediately.

The mastery insights are also account wide and only need to be collected once.

That leaves 3 secret paths, 2 for POI's and one for a HP that have to be remembered. There's also 2 poi's in Aspenwood that can be risky when attempted outside that meta but can be done.

I'm glad that 3 of the 4 maps require some ingenuity to map out. Echovald is probably the hardest with its nonlinear paths between any 2 locations (where you are and where you want to go). Kaineng adds difficulty through elevation while Dragon's End has the subterranean area to discover and the damaging southwest corner area (that can be done outside of a successful meta with a suicide run).

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The more characters you run through these maps the better it gets. Map completion for all four Cantha maps takes me less than 3 hours now.

 

But I agree with you regarding the Cryptseeker achievement. Locking map completion behind either story or achievements is frustrating as hell.

Edited by Maria Murtor.7253
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Spend more than 5 minutes on the map.

There are clearly marked roads and access points to nearly 95% of the map. Getting to any major or story related location is very strait forward for any player able to circle around a tree.

The remaining around 4-5 points a tad more hidden required for map completion are available via guides by now or simply asking in map chat. God forbid one has to remember them.

Edited by Cyninja.2954
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So Cyninja, could you explain why many people have trouble navigating the map? Whenever I'm on this map, there are always questions in map chat about how to get places unlike most other maps. The map is NOT clearly marked and deliberately so. I don't have a problem with it, I've learned the map and I find it fun to explore with each new character I take through it. The OP was probably venting on their first time tackling the map and the first time through can be tough.

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34 minutes ago, tmorrow.5189 said:

So Cyninja, could you explain why many people have trouble navigating the map? Whenever I'm on this map, there are always questions in map chat about how to get places unlike most other maps. The map is NOT clearly marked and deliberately so. I don't have a problem with it, I've learned the map and I find it fun to explore with each new character I take through it. The OP was probably venting on their first time tackling the map and the first time through can be tough.

 

Yes, a majority of players are challenged if they can't find an answer within 10 seconds of a problem coming up. The most questions asked are in relation to 3-4 positions, one of which is not even that hard to find (the teleporter into the tower like structure for the mastery point and POI).

Navigating the map is NOT hard. Getting to 3-4 specific points is. That hardly makes the entire map hard to navigate. In fact if one follows the roads on the minimap it will get you pretty much anywhere you need to be given there is no separate layers and at most you need to climb some branches.

Edited by Cyninja.2954
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Honestly, I think a lot of the pain in navigating these maps (Kaineng and Echovald), especially for those without a skyscale, would be alleviated somewhat by zip lines being marked by icon/arrows on the maps (like how the Nuhoch Wallow icons incorporate an arrow to point in the direction of the other wallow they connect to). Right now use of the zip lines requires you to either actively remember where they are, or you just happen to stumble over one and maybe, maybe it'll take you where you want to go. If you could at least see the markers on the map, you can then identify by looking at their placement which ones will take you up to places.

Echovald is better for navigation in general (getting from event to event) than TD in that in most cases you can go in an almost straight line as the roads are not the only paths, there's passages between roads as well. And to be fair TD also has some objectives that I've seen people regularly ask for help in how to get to (Mushroom Queen HP, the spider HP, the lab HP accessed via the water passage/subsequent mini JP from Rata Novus, the vista overlooking Rata Novus that requires going via the decayed hive to drop down a small easy to miss hole at the back of one of the ledges) The most annoying POI in Echovald is easily the crypt one at the ancient lantern, and only because it requires the achivement the first time. As someone else pointed out, the achievment is done once and all other characters after that just stroll up to the lantern and go in.

My tip for remembering how to access the other 4 underground objectives in Echovald is this. All three have an access point that starts at water level either east or south east of them. St Anjeka's Shrine is accessed at water level from the small pond/lake east of it. The HP at the south next to Lake Lutgardis is accessed via a water tunnel on the lake directly east of it. The secret cavern POI and the armory poi can both be accessed via the same water passage south-east of them on the north shore of Lake Lutgardis (The other access for these locations being the the mining tunnel north of the village south of Secret Cavern). I hope this proves useful for people 🙂

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4 minutes ago, Alaia Skyhawk.5064 said:

 would be alleviated somewhat by zip lines being marked by icon/arrows on the maps

 

That is a good idea imo. Currently the zip lines only show their adjacent point when standing next to them. Having them clearer marked on the map would be helpful indeed.

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I'm not a fan of zip lines in general, nor jade-tech teleporters. They ruin the immersion of exploring maps like the Echovald Wilds for me.

In any case, what some criticize, that their first run through this map was a pain -- to me, the unknown and truly having to explore for a change in order to find your way round, was what makes it a great map, as it carries a feel of adventure. There is no adventure in simply traveling from point A to point B and have a sound mark each unlock of a POI -- that's just boring and not what RPGs are about.

Edited by Ashantara.8731
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1 hour ago, Cyninja.2954 said:

Yes, a majority of players are challenged if they can't find an answer within 10 seconds of a problem coming up.

Your use of hyperbole doesn't make your case. The players I've chatted with have spent several hours trying to track this stuff down, not 10 seconds.

I love the map just the way it is but I can see why first timers get frustrated with it. I expect the frustration to settle down over time as more and more learn the map.

 

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I love this map because it has gothic theme vibe and i'm a big fan of Gothic style arts. But the map has 2 problems, first is it is a decent big map, but at the same time it feels caged, high walls, narrow paths, the exploring potential is there but most main roads, villageds are connected so just take a path and go from A to B isn't fun. The second problem is that the map expands vertically but most of the events, stuffs happening are on the ground level which make mid and upper level feels so empty. I climbed to the top level and was amazed how great the map is but at the same time feel sad because nothing going on up there beside a few mobs and npcs, just by standing on the ground looking up gave you the vibe and expectation of what can be going on up there but until you climb up, there is nothing.

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It’s not an especially difficult map to navigate, but I don’t find it especially interesting either compared to Tangled Depths or Verdant Brink which makes better use of layers. I think it tries too hard to accommodate the skyscale. It’s been the weakest map for me, although it is pretty in places

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