Atlantica Online is not the game it was when I played it back in late 2008. It’s still got the combat system, and graphics, and all of that. It still has the same initial quest structure, town system, pops up, etc. But the game today is insultingly easy, and not just in the usual ways.
Yes, the monsters you now face seem much easier. They don’t hit as hard, they die faster, and, most shockingly, it seem that when you face a group of 5-6, only one or two will attack you per turn. This not only makes the whole thing easier, but it’s just silly. Wtf is the point of grouping 5-6 mobs together if only one or two are going to actually act and attack you?
It gets worse though. You now receive a ‘help box’ as you play, first at level 5, then again at 15, and once more at 25 (have not made it higher). Each box contains a bunch of gear, generally much better than what you have found so far, along with some cash shop ‘samples’ (7 day devil wings for example). In other words, you not only get ‘welfare epics’ to use on super-easy mobs, but the game makes sure you ALWAYS (again up to 25 so far) have them.
Finally, the two boss encounters so far have been a total joke. What was once a rewarding and ‘gatekeeper’ fight is now the same faceroll as any random mob group. No real special abilities, no need to actually go in with a plan, no defeat-and-grind-up-a-bit wall; just enter, faceroll, leave.
The changes have really crippled AO for me so far, because when the game is this easy, all of the other things just don’t matter. Who cares about crafting or consumables or party setup when no matter what you do, you are going to win easily? The quests and locations also fade into just another spot, as you don’t really develop that respect for a boss, or that edge from a particularly tricky combination of mobs.
I’m hoping that all of this is a result of extending AO’s ‘intro’ into the first 25 or so levels, and that the challenge and battle complexity comes back (if anyone is playing currently please chime in). Since the level cap is now 150 (it was 100 back then), perhaps that’s what happened. I really hope so, because if not, ‘accessibility’ has claimed another MMO.