Thursday 1 July 2021

NWO: Sharandar Episode 3 - The Odious Court

So that's where the bad smell was coming from.

It's safe to say that this final chapter of New Sharandar is the best, despite the new area being less visually appealing than the previous ones because its basically a swamp. That said, props to the very vertical Grung village which is always an extra pain to code NPC pathing. A few things make this one stand out: first it has an early and fast 25 currency repeatable, which is my  favorite of all three zones since it's literally step through portal, take ten steps over there and fight a boss.

Easy to access and no mobs make it perfect, much like Baphomet's weekly. Next up the repeating tasks are less painful this time around since some of them send you to the other areas. These allow for some breathing room from the repetitiveness. Lastly, the final story instance has some really pretty rooms, which kinda counteracts the ugly swamp it sits in. The finale also makes a good story end, much like Barovia's quest line where you feel you "won", prior to entering any dungeon.

The best area in the entire episode.

Those really are my favorite type of story structures. I absolutely hate stories where everything leads up to a ten man instance because suddenly the same enemies you've killed thousands of are more heroic than you. That absolutely kills the vibe for me. Lastly to keep players around, you can hunt not-so-rare critters in each of the three zones to gain some companion gear which is a decent lure if you don't already have said gear.

All up, not bad - but the release structure for New Sharandar simply sucked balls. Here's hoping it doesn't happen again.

Insight: The final repeatable quest lets you skip straight to the hag fight, which means you don't need to go through the earlier stages over and over.

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