One night into 1.2, here is the good, average, and bad.
The weekly crafting rift quest is well designed. The rifts themselves are new, look good, and are pretty damn easy (you can duo them at worst, most could probably solo them). The quest is also easy, just turn in some higher-end mats, and get your plaque and rift lure.
The smart design piece is that done solo, the cost-to-reward ratio is unfavorable; the cost of the mats to complete the quest is higher than the reward from the completed rift, even if you finish the final bonus stage. However, if you get 5+ people together, and everyone has the crafting rift lure, and you complete all five as a group, everyone will end up with more rewards than the cost of the single lure. Simple, but pretty brilliant. The quest is technically possible solo, but only really gets rewarding in a group. Very solid addition to the game.
Another solid addition is the map changes, which now show which zones have an event and the event status. Pretty handy.
The new search filters are incomplete. For instance, you can search runes by slot from the crafting window, but you can’t in the auction house. Most people looking to buy a rune don’t have runecrafting to search in the crafting window.
We also noticed some bugs, such as exquisite cloth still dropping for non-outfitters, something that was supposedly fixed according to the patch notes. It’s not a major issue, but in a game that trumpets polish so proudly, that’s pretty sloppy.
We ran one tier two expert dungeon, and never came close to wiping on a boss (my pet was so bored he was speed pulling, and the baddies I was with could not handle it, so the only trouble we had was with 3+ group pulls). Pre-patch we would wipe a few times on some bosses, and overall had to focus a bit more to get the job done. Post-patch, I was mashing my two macro keys while chatting about whatever on vent. The whole run was also much quicker (even with the pet deaths) due to the massive trash nerf and the increase to character power across the board.
What this really means is that we will burn through this set of content much faster than we would have previously (and pre-1.2 it was already going somewhat fast), and we either have new stuff to do, or we move on from the game. So far Trion has kept up in terms of content additions, but short of a guild merger, the 20 man stuff is out of reach, leaving only the new 10 man raid and expert/raid rifts for us, neither of which I expect to really challenge us.
So one day into 1.2, I’m still in a wait-and-see mode with the game. I like some of the changes, I don’t like the general dumbing down of the content, and overall I’m not really sure there is enough to keep us going. Facerolling content gets boring, fast, and the notion that I’ll want to run said content even MORE is a bit crazy.