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.
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.
- 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!!!
- 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.
- 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.
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!