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UTC Expansion Official Review by me

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Hello and welcome everyone to my first and probably last review for an ApexKO expansion (since there won't be more expansions). *Shakes yours hand*. Let's begin, shall we?

At last it's here! The so long awaited and forever teased UTC expansion. The meme to be spammed in shoutbox, the game changer. Does it live up to the expectations? Find out in this review.

Ok so first we have the goals of this expansion which I presume are:

  • Give the players extra activities to do.
  • Bring tons of new comers into the mix.
  • Shorten the gap between new comers and long time players gear-wise.
  • Update old systems and implement new ones (farming, events, etc).

Overall, give the players more freedom and versatility in the ways they choose to play the game, whether it is pvp, pve farm or event attending. Now, how well does this expansion fare in these aspects?

The answer is, not too well, at all.

The patch features little to no significant changes aside from the completely isolated UTC event itself, some very questionable choices, few welcome additions and other changes that didn't even make it into the patch, despite being advertised as such!

Let us delve into specifics now. Starting with the UTC event itself.

As seen in the official patch notes, this UTC event implementation is a standalone, weekly(?) PvE event where you can get drops at random while inside it. Sounds good enough right? Except it really isn't as good as it should be. I'm aware that it still is being tweaked, but the points I'm gonna address have little to do with the currently abysmal reward drop rates, which is an issue in itself. Let's have a brief throwback to the old uniques implementation, Fela and Ultima patch and why not, even the Holy Armor patch. What do all of these have in common? They're activities / events that had strong incentives in making you do them. Activities that required playing several parts of the game in order to get your end objective.

To craft old uniques you need, well, old uniques. Where do you get those? Monster stones. Where do you get monster stones? Juraid, Mining, Achievements. But to actually have a guaranteed shot at a successful craft, you needed dragon scales. Where do you get those? Forgotten temple. Without noticing, players were making use of a lot of the existing game content for a goal in particular. Holy Armors, to a lesser extent, also require parts obtained in many places in the game. EG: National Points, coins and Bifrost monster drops.

What about UTC, you ask? Well, it's just... UTC. You go there to get random materials (no guides have been posted yet) and a small chance for a unique <selfname> weapon. That's it. There is zero integration with the rest of the game. UTC could have been the golden chance to revitalize old content and engage the players into a mini scavenger hunt across the already limited world inside Knight Online. Instead it's nothing more than a missed opportunity.

 

Moving on, the changes to the default items in the gear dispenser.

At a first glance, they look alright. Everyone didn't get tankier, but instead more powerful attack-wise. There isn't much more room in the game to itemize against damage, and while that's unavoidable, it really feels bad to be hit by absurd amounts of damage even by starter gear players. Then again this is a subjective opinion.

The real problem lies in the choice of items. Namely the now infamous True Silver +9 (105 AP). Assassin players have been given a jamadar with 2 less AP points than the still currently best-in-slot jamadar, which happens to also be a normal upgrade item. One could argue that Hepa's Raptor and it's whole 212 AP present a same problem, I would beg to disagree on that front. Why? It's simple. The current best weapons for warrior aren't normal upgrade weapons; they are unique, with very strong bonuses. So if you compare a Chaos Baal +11 vs a Hepa Raptor +11, you realize that it's more than just an attack power variation.

However, for jamadars, they have always been normal upgrade items, meaning, it's just attack power and elemental damage, no other bonuses are in play. So when the only difference between the gear dispenser weapon and the formerly best one, which used to cost thousands of KC, is TWO points attack power, we have a problem. The jamadar of choice should have been Blood Finger +9, sitting at a not too shabby 101 AP.

The rest of the choices are mostly alright, if not a little lazy in how White-Silver Earrings and Agate Earrings remain at +1 while every other jewel is at +2 or higher, bar iron belt.

 

Now I'll cover in a broad take, the negative changes to various existing aspects of the game.

The change of 1 hr DC premium to 1 hr of WAR premium. Users aren't very happy about it, and it makes sense. It was an arbitrary change made for no reason. A dev briefly commented on the reason for this change, a reason which I consider poorly thought out. 1 hour of WAR premium won't automatically make people crave to pk, but the loss of DC will surely discourage players from even attempting to farm, in order to PK later.

I wish the negatives about this change ended there, sadly they don't. Instead, we reach the biggest downfall about this change. The removal of free DC premium indirectly affects content designed with the existence of this feature in mind. Shortsightedness? Or a deliberate change? Either way, the ideal solution would have been to give users the choice between the two premiums, not to force them to do an activity they might not be fully confident / prepared for just yet.

 

The offline merchant fiasco. I fully believe this item should have been made free, or perhaps been given as a reward for playing a specific part of the game (in a shorter version probably, say, 4 hours, like the Menissiah List). The problem, as usual, lies somewhere else. The trial of this item ended the day the expansion released, it makes sense, to fully release it on expansion day but, a side effect is the impact on the main selling area: moradon. Moradon looked more crowded than ever before  this last week, mostly thanks to this nifty little item. Offline accounts or not, moradon activity has always been a huge indicator in a server's activity, so when 3PM PST hit for a daily reset and the item expires, we're left with a literal ghost town in moradon. What do you do as a new user, when you see moradon with no more than 25 merchants? You reach the ALT key in your keyboard, and one of the function buttons. One that rhymes with "mourn".

 

Then we have Rosetta dropping from mini-bosses at CZ altar, an undocumented change and a rumored nerf to warrior AoE damage. Both somehow evading the patch notes. The addition of Spirit of Logos to Ronark Land and the droprate increase to Super shells also avoided the patch notes, but in a different way: Those changes are not even live despite being announced as expansion features.

 

Or how about "Event rewards that are PUS items (Trinas, Karivdis, Dragon Scales) will now expire in 24 hours after obtaining them" and the enormous implications in the economy of the server? These items are no longer tradable, so good luck finding Tears of Karivdis, the main driving force behind high profile reverse upgrading, some time in the future. Sure they still drop from the elusive Ultima and Felankor chests, the former sometimes not even getting killed when it spawns. We'll see how this change plays out. There was no reason for this change to exist, or alternate tweaks that could have been done instead, but the easy fix was this and it shows.

 

Onto the positives! Finally, the part most Apex enthusiasts have been waiting for.

Darkness weapon and holy armor set for the #1 ladder point holders of the month! A welcome change, if not a little lackluster but hey, at least it's something.

H owners will get only a holy armor set though, I kinda wish it was the other way around (weapons instead of armor), perhaps at a lower trial duration. Maybe it is like that and the patch notes are mistranslated so there is still hope.

Mage damage changes are also welcome. It's good when underperforming classes receive much deserved buffs, even if they're simple tweaks based on official rates.

And that ladies and gents, is where the positive things about this patch end.

 

All in all, UTC was probably the last chance to revitalize the server, and the changes made into this so called expansion are sorely lackluster. An expansion is supposed to be more than a standalone event and a set of weapons / armor. Couple that with a peculiar lack of new players, and you have a major flop. I don't know what could have caused new players, especially big clans, to not even bother returning or giving this server a try, certainly hope it wasn't because of a lack of advertising, or an unupdated website (which up until yesterday still showed the halloween event from 2017).

Not sure if it still can be saved, but at least there's always room for improvement. When you're at the bottom you can only go up, right? Well, fortunately ApexKO is not quite at the bottom just yet, I'm sure with earnest effort from the admins, with more commitment and less snarky remarks, this server can take off just like it did on the pk phase release. Unlikely as it may be, I want to believe.

Taking everything into consideration, and looking at the initial four pointers I gave at the start of this review, I can only say that ApexKO succeeded in one of them, which is shortening the gap between new comers and old players gear-wise. So then, for my final score...

I rate this expansion 4 out of 10.

Too many missed opportunities and wasted potential. A signature of this beautifully coded server.

 

 

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i'm in a rush. i'll be back to edit with other opinion later when im home.

but this needs to be said now: 

The expiring Tears/dragon scales. is a terrible idea. Why would it be a good idea to make us use these in 1 day?

this serves absolutely no purpose except putting KC $$$ YEN TL into the server.

Edited by BulletClub

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+1

It's a nice and right collection from mind of everyone

Also as an old player, what we hope more is that this patch will bring the biggest changes to this server
Not cause conflicts between Apex management and players

Refer to our thoughts. The server will be more better

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