Dawn of the Morninglight Review (After 1 Week) - (SPOILERS)

spoilers

#1

I just wanted to share my thoughts on the Dawn of the Morninglight release after ~1 week of playing it. I’ll walk through the various elements of it and the Good, Bad and Ugly and provide a summary of my experience.

SUMMARY

The first playthrough didn’t leave a good impression. Many of the new creatures were either really odd, or just lacking. The zone itself wasn’t very big, and it initially felt pretty bland and…lacking. BUT, after playing through 3 times I have changed my tune on most of the things that initially bugged me. The hyena demons and the pteradactyl-men kinda grew on me. The blooded… no so much. The story being told here was pretty great. I got to see my handler again. I also really started to appreciate the thought put into the zone itself. It was well layed out, had lots of hidden details and felt very full of life. I also loved the day-night cycle and the repeatable rewards at the end are a nice touch. I wish Kaidan had been handled in the same way.

CONTENT AND REWARDS

The whole flow of the story was pretty great from start to finish. I had some problems with some of the actions and dialog of a few characters, but I’ve heard enough compelling arguments for those actions to kinda shrug off my opinion on the subject. I especially like the creative re-use of the map between night and day. That was very clever. I think the low point for me was when I first encountered the Blooded. They were just so goofy looking that they really gave that whole section of the content a more comical feel. I felt like I was fighting some of the uglier early City of Heroes enemy groups than I was playing The Secret World. They just don’t fit in.

I did really like all the boss fights and the challenges help give them even more replayability. The end was fine, it sets me up for the next episode.

GOOD

  • The whole zone feels alive, even at night time. You can see some people sleeping (You can see some other people NOT sleeping and doing mysterious things.)
  • It was great to see my handler again.
  • Lots of boss fights. Most of which had clear mechanics.
  • Filth T-REX!
  • Decent repeatable distillate rewards. I hope notes were taken here. Even though Kaidan has the potential to reward more distillates over the course of an hour (through the use of container keys), New Dawn delivers a consistent way to earn a fixed amount of distillates. I vastly prefer New Dawn’s delivery here.
  • MFING ROCKET LAUNCHER!!!

BAD

  • Some cut scenes had pretty rough animations. The one that stands out is the one with the introduction of Marquard’s wife. This was pretty jarring.
  • Some critters have unclear mechanics. I still have no idea what the demon hyenas are doing. Sometimes they never deal any damage to me, sometimes I lose 3/4 of my health in a few seconds. I have no idea what’s going on.
  • The enemies in this region felt out of place for this universe. Maybe it’s the goofiness of the mythos, maybe it’s the way they were implemented. I am not sure. They just don’t feel like they belong to me.
  • Dead Drop… This mission was super frustrating at first. Not it’s only annoying. I like what Funcom was going for here, but it’s just not very fun. Good thing the rewards are pretty sweet.
  • Graffiti Time, I found it difficult to find the “blank canvas” places to spray paint. I have been able to consistently complete this mission, but it’s just annoying. I find marking my map to be a helpful way of speeding this up.

UGLY

  • The Blooded. They really left an ugly blemish on this otherwise great content delivery. They look pretty low quality, they animate like they have a stick in their rear and they look like a cheap re-use of the hulked out vampire hybrids. They just felt like the point where the budget ran out. Like, a tough decision had to be made and this was the end result. The other thing that bothers me about them, is that they literally don’t belong there. There’s no place for them to just… be. Funcom’s greatest strength (in my opinion) is world building. They’re respected throughtout the industry for it, so the Blooded feel like a misstep to me. On the upside, I did get to frag dozens of them with a rocket launcher. So, there’s that…
  • Automaton Fight. I don’t think enough attention was called to this boss’ weak points. All in all, the fight felt cheesy and unsatisfying for Berihun to get killed by the console exploding.
  • There’s a couple of places in the nighttime map where I will get dropped into combat, but there are no enemies around. Maybe they’re stuck in geometry? Hard to say.

CONCLUSION
It wasn’t perfect, but I don’t think anything could have lived up to expectations from waiting for this content for almost 3 years. This piece of content got me to play daily again, and I will probably do so for a month or two. Between Kaidan Key runs, Scenarios and New Dawn I have some fresh gameplay to throw into my cycle. I also dropped some cash on keys as a way of paying for my enjoyment. I will keep doing so as long as you keep dropping content.

Thanks for reading!
TL


#2

The ga-gorib can inflict a debuff on you that causes you to take a lot more damage than usual. If you’re good about not getting hit by the light from their spots, you’ll not get hit with the debuff. I think both kinds can also inflict it via Consuming Flare.


#3

I agree what you wrote about Blooded. Their design is totally out of SWL aesthetics, I would say it’s immersion breaking. They don’t fit into SWL. Maybe if there would be only few of them…


#4

Lots of good points here i can agree with, i didn’t think about marking the map for the graffiti spots, but that is def a good workaround:)

Although i didn’t mind the blooded that much, they were a result of experiments by the Morninglight, guess we can blame their looks on them:P Would be nice to have some diversity though by putting out some normal guards here and there:)

I think many of us feel it a bit weird because we never had this small of a playfield before, and as you said, our expectations was probably way too high for the most of us:)
That said, i did really like the story and the new info we got.

Looking forward to more content being added :soon:


#5

I think more could be done to make the Blooded look different from eachother but otherwise they kinda make sense. Take blood from a ‘fairly’ human looking creature to make flesh eating super humans? And you’re a cult? Yeah, just make them all have crew cuts and wear unaggressive uniforms so they are less threatening… of course hilariousness that results makes them even more unsettling.


#6

I’ll respect the OP’s opinion, but I thoroughly enjoyed the new content. Some of it was a breeze easy and some took a bit of searching (Dead Drop - and it moves around). But I routinely mark up my map for things. So Graffiti, white washing, area kills, listening devices, NPCs, etc., are all marked the second play thru. Overall I’m happy that some missions are quick and some a bit more involved. Although I do hope that lag in Foulfellow the first jump gets fixed - that’s annoying. I can kill myself quite easily on lasers and security lights w/o lag assistance thank you very much.

I did find Elisa (Marquard) a bit jarring, but she should be? She was a bit sketchy looking, but I may have had the graphics on low - it can depend on my lag/fps I switch back and forth, but she seemed a bit unfinished. I never could figure out what the daughter contributed to the fight, but Alexandre - he’ll one shot you - found that out yesterday.

The final automaton fight - it did take us awhile to figure that mechanic out without spoilers/help the first day. Then it was an ‘oh duh’ for anyone that has done dungeons/raids in other games.

I liked the night time. The demon hyena’s as it’s hard to reticle check what the heck their abilities are - better to do with a partner let them read it while you hold aggro! But interesting to see them roaming around.

The blooded. IDK, I guess I didn’t care that much - they’re a mass produced army for him to throw at people. I didn’t expect diversity or thought from them, just brawn. Do they fit? Good question. Marquard is making an army and I thought it was explained enough the how’s and why’s. Did they look like the hulk meets vampire super-soldiers yes. What should they look like, I do not know.

Loved all the easter eggs from TSW. The details were great.
Seeing the animals I’m assuming are going to be in the Congo - the cat in the basement that will one-shot you. The t-rex with the speed babies. We let them grow up one play through – that should be fun later. We had to just to see what they’d do.
All the conversations if you stop and listen to people wandering around.
The named NPC’s and guessing what role they’ll have coming up.

My biggest let down - I want more. I thought this was well done, but enjoyed it all.
Not enough things to spend the new currency on.

Oh and a big thank you to all those that figured out how to get some of the lore/achievements. Some things were straight forward – others I would never ever ever have thought of! Good going FunCom!


#7

Just hoping the bit they pulled with the mech boss fight (and the unbound) isn’t going to be standard (we’re going to scale you down to X powerlevel), kind of defeats the purpose of getting stronger.


#8

Super quick on the Blooded, since I keep hearing folks are really split. (Also, I’m not trying to argue - if you don’t like them , you don’t like them!) For me though, if anything they reminded me of the giant zombies in Kingsmouth. Those seemed kinda goofy to me, until one killed me. (heh) And then as I got more used to the area and understood the story reasons they existed, they made sense to me and stopped feeling out of place. YMMV, as always. :slight_smile:


#9

I applauded the devs for this one, honestly. The first time I fought it, I thought maybe it was bugged - I actually exited and re-entered the game and googled around to see if it was a known issue. Then I thought, “Wait…wasn’t there something odd during the fight that I decided to ignore at the time?”

I’ve been playing the game for so many years now (well, TSW for most of it) that I got lazy and complacent and I legit had to chuckle when I realized that was what my issue was. I was so sure I could just power through the fight that I wasn’t paying attention like I used to. >_>


#10

I like the scaled fights, some of the other bosses (like brother summoner) my power move one-shotted and I didn’t get to see any mechanics on most of them until I switched to only using basics. I kinda need to level a new character to see what most of the fights are like when you don’t do >10k dps.

On the other hand without the unbound dropping a blue signet bag there’s no reason for me to return to that mission in particular so I dunno.


#11

I’ve used it for a mission before timing it when I was pressed for time before work (Was trying to stay in Egypt or later for the glyph bags), I’ve since found it takes too long and only run it since I’m trying to farm agents (2 weeks and counting not including the 2 achievement ones from SA) from certain regions.


#12

I kinda liked the automaton fight (Even though some phases where you had to wait took too long.) but I agree that Berihun got shafted, character-wise. Doubly frustrated since the new things we’ve learned sounded really interesting. Marquard Family Friend? Likes to tinker with Third Age Tech? Has also been into contact with the Dreamers? ‘No Mortal this age should know how to do this’? I want to know more!


#13

Except for some of the Lore collection, I found everything quite easy. Haven’t had the time to read all the Lore yet (I make it a point of reading it only once I’ve collected all, which I now have) but if Scrivno had a hand in it, I’m sure I’ll love it!
Didn’t feel like the Blooded didn’t belong there, in fact, that’s what you would expect from a cult at its higher levels of devotion (see FNF and their shenanigans). Maybe I’m spoiled from too much White Wolf and Demon: the Fallen, but the Blooded, Morninglight and the Demons used felt just right, in the setting.
As for the automaton, too many 80s games have taught me what to expect when fighting Megabosses, so no trouble figuring what to do and when. Thing is, I’ve downed it 3 or 4 times already, and apart from the 1st, where I died, I’m sure I’m doing it under 4mins but the achievement just won’t pop for me…
Hate the randomness of the Dead Drop, it’s an annoying cop out to make it be not a fire and forget mission, especially because there are WAY too many access points and there are no hints given on where it might be, each time you run it. Marking all points done so far on the map, but I fear there will be more waypoints than map if this keeps up… :stuck_out_tongue:

As a parting thought, is it just me who wants to kill everyone in that map (especially that thrice damned announcer) and wipe it from existence, Che included? Yes? No? Am I wrong?

#RocketLauncherLove


#14

It has fixed spawn points during the day.


#15

I know. It doesn’t stop it from being annoying, though.


#16

I largely agree with the OP. Overall it was a good story, and generally well paced. The day/night thing was a good design choice.

The final 2 fights which were very underwhelming to me. The family could have been a more interesting concept if we had any clue who they were, some prior interaction or something, and of course the mechanics of it are generally easy to power through. And the automaton fight, meh. Too much waiting and it wasn’t really a satisfying ending for Berihun.

Also, the blooded. Bleh. Their aesthetic just doesn’t fit at all. And I’m not a fan of the hulks in other zones, but they are easier to suspend disbelief due to the general level of filth involvement. I would have taken the blooded a completely different direction. They aren’t scary, disturbing, or otherwise intimidating, they are comical. This is especially true during the fight with the blooded leader with the animations of them constantly getting knocked on their ■■■ by the rockets.

I think they would have been better off as some kind of wraith, or wraith/human hybrid, like they were devoured by the aixamuga (however you spell it) and reborn with some of marquards magic as some kind of demon ghostly thing. I think it would have fit better with the cult as well, given what we saw in Tokyo at FNF, but also with the nuclear family and Marissa (the dead person whose bracelet we steal.) The whole Morninglight cult has been a far more metaphysical buildup to this point, so to see the blooded instead as mad-scientist creations is jarring, both in theme, and definitely in their model.

And I have to echo the weird issues of being in combat for no reason at night.


#17

A few notes:

We may get 1+ mansion missions that players could be able to do before or after the main story, and this could help flesh out the family that we just dispose of.

Also Berihun may indeed be gone, but something about how he left makes me wonder if some other weird tech instead materialized him somewhere else, like he’s got horcrux or something. I dunno, it just feels a bit like ‘you thought you saw the last of me? I have X tech!’.

And yeah while I found the first 1/3 of the zone fairly complete, the 2/3 (as in Anointed and Favored areas) were not so polished, and there wasn’t really a 3/3 yet (‘To be Continued’). My hope is that they tend better to ways of getting Points, do further passes over the art/animation/content of the 2/3, and actually release the 3/3, within a few months total. My ideal is that a dungeon, interesting advanced (higher rewards?) action mission in the outskirts, and instanced lair happen, but most of this probably won’t.

The Bloodied are ridiculous. Even just through their animations and how they’re so, so easy to down. Feels too Orochi (sans Filth theme) too.


#21

I watched it as it exploded. He didn’t move away before, and his hat was blown off during.

If he’s not dead, it would be even cheaper.


#23

I didn’t mind the Bloodied. Like, they looked like re-skinned super-soldiers, but with the Aigamuxa link they kind of made sense. All that doesn’t make sense is where they kept them, but that might (potentially) be explained in a later “issue”; we can hope.


#24

I disagree with a few things from OP:

  1. Blooded are exactly what I would expect from brainwashed cultists injected with monster blood. It amused me greatly that they ran around in formation, and they were perfect as mortar/rocket launcher targets. Even serious movies can have comic relief.

  2. I thought the cutscene with Marquard’s wife was excellent. It just channeled the Loveraftian style crawling reveal that “somethings not right here” about what Marquard did to his family. I’m not sure if it was intended or not but the animation in the cutscene enhanced that for me, like a description of impossible geometry.

One thing I noticed that the OP didn’t mention were the Aigamuxa voices (or voice). I found it odd that there was so little differentiation between them despite their differing proclivities, but the voice actor did do an excellent job of lifting those lines to near perversion. I wonder if they are actually clones and not brothers despite what they claim or believe…