So, maybe this issue is not a "bug". Maybe it is intentional - just bad design, but "bug" sounds better, right ?
The big issue is the timing of the insurgencies. Originally you had 5 minutes of insurgencies, followed by an hour of Bel and an other hour of downtime. That was a total failure...people were not able to get their 20% charge.
So, it was changed. Now we have 3, even 4 hours of insurgencies, followed by an hour of Bel and an hour of downtime.
This just doesn't work, as it means that many players get maybe one "window" to fight Bel per day, or maybe none - if their available playing time doe not overlap the Bel availability time.
Also, as it is, it just feels like the delay is getting longer and longer as people are giving up in frustration. This needs to be fixed....maybe have a reasonable "maximum" time, which gets shortened as insurgencies get completed - otherwise things are going to get ugly when the number of people doing insurgencies drops to maybe 10% of what it is now.
What you you have is not working.
There are smaller issues as well, the worthless and useless character bound transmutes for random classes and the (still broken) Infernal forge weapons, but those are less important.
Hoping for improvements...
From my alliance Discord:
10:47 PM: Insurgencies started @ 4% now
02:32 AM: Now we are at 51%....Almost 4 hours later??
04:51:AM 6 hours later we are at 71%....
05:50 AM 7 hours now at 76%....
06:25 AM So I'm giving up at 79%. 7.5 hours in and we are only at 79%. And no Rod. Night.
07:53 AM Its 92% rn if ppl still want to know
08:33 AM Bel's up
10 hour wait ? Dear developers and designers - you had one job - to make content that players enjoy playing....and you failed.
1) Insurgencies should be on a queue/lobby system, like trials. Once there are enough players in the queue to beat a boss, the insurgency starts. They should not be linked to Avernus instances.
2) Bel should also just be a queue/trial gated by completion of a certain number of insurgencies. Or put in a a schedule like old dungeon delve hours.
3) The low drop rate for rods is pointless. One of the worst features of NW ever since mod 5 debuted as an endless cycle of dragon runs and Tiamat is that each new mod (and now episode) is boring grinding of the same content until the RNG finally coughs up a reward. A campaign-style quest story line with the rod pieces on the way would have been a better idea, but since Bel is what we have, just put the rods with low drop rates in the store so they can be bought after a couple hours of Bel if they don't drop by then.
Insurgencies and Bel need to be re-looked at to allow folks to participate in either event or shorten Insurgencies so that Bel can be accessed more than once per day as it occurs now.
The entire episode has been beset with bugs, has been a complete farce from launch and just isn't fun. It is perhaps the worst content I've seen added to an MMORPG ever, and I've been playing them for twelve years.
Let's look at it objectively.
Endless bugs and design/system issues:
1: Rods not available to buy when they should have been. An oversight.
2. Rods having very low drop rates, e.g. the battle-worn metal rod - I'm now on 88 insurgencies and still don't have it. What do the developers seriously consider is a reasonable amount of attempts to get it? It's not the last rod required, it's fairly near the middle of the restoration chain...
3. Charging the amulet: initially required killing blow, then was patched. A fairly predictable issue...
4. Insurgencies lasting for only 2-3 minutes before Bel summoned, now lasting 10 hours or more. Again - more design issues.
5. Fixed time slots meaning if you need to get Insurgencies or Bel you have to log in at the right time. (Obviously, with insurgencies now taking forever, this is less of a problem if you want those).
6. Insurgencies spawning with no monsters in them at all. How did this happen?
7. The timer to the start of insurgencies counting down to 0 then starting again with another minute to go. Just sloppy coding.
8. The fact that players can afk the insurgencies / mob slaughter, hit a boss after 10 minutes and gain credit for participation. Displaying ignorance as to the ways that some players will take shortcuts to the detriment of others.
9. Players having to server jump to insurgencies which are actually active, because many of the instances don't have players attacking the insurgencies within their instance. Again - an entirely foreseeable issue...
10. The progress/health bar of insurgencies somehow breaking and getting stuck preventing completion.
11. I've seen Bel fall off the cliff and bug out.
12. The video sequence for Bel when you face him plays sometimes, doesn't play other times. Seemingly no reason why this happens.
13. It's possible to dps Bel so hard that he skips all the catapult phases. (Good, but almost certainly an unintended bug).
Most of these are a result of poor testing prior to pushing to live. But more worrying is that some of them are clear systems and design issues. It should have been obvious to anyone that a better process of alternating between insurgencies and facing Bel was needed.
The content itself:
1. Let's be clear, the insurgencies encounters are a ceaselessly spawning set of trash mobs that need to be killed to fill a bar to 100%. This doesn't make for compelling gameplay. The length of time required and the amount of mobs needed to be killed (at present) is absurd. I've spent another hour in there this morning. They are not fun and demonstrate a serious lack of imagination on the part of the developers, using mainly recycled assets with all the encounters taking place in a static, rocky environment, with the only movement / exploration being moving in range of mobs to attack them.
2. The Bel Encounter: Some people might like this. It's okay. As it is, the encounter is reasonable. It's basically a tank and spank, with the additional phase of carrying a cannon ball to a catapult. Where it falls down - like so much in Neverwinter - is that for the sheer number of times you have to repeat it, it's too samey. For encounters you need to do over and over, adding a bit of variety to them can go a long way to avoiding player fatigue. Perhaps Bel could have had one of three variants. One he summons portals with mobs, the other the catapult needs to be used, maybe another he does something else. The point I'm making, is that where you introduce an encounter players are going to have to repeat 10s / 100s of times, then you should make sure it has a little variety from attempt to attempt.
Overall, in my opinion, the first episode has been a failure. It's pushed me away from playing the game.
As for asking for player patience, this wouldn't be needed if you sufficiently tested items before pushing them to live. In any event, it's now been on live - bugs and all - for over a month. I think many people would consider that sufficient time to collect data, gather player feedback and implement and design fixes.
Can you add it to Alyssa Misdani market or the seal market?
It's currently impossible to rafine the Box due to this problem.
Thank for your feedback,
With the hope to be read.
Eleonore - CW Mof Renegade 17.5k
Harlgard le Vieux - OP Prot 18.3k
Valrik - DC AC 18.2k
Furiela - SW Temp 18.1k
You know if enough players play something else instead and revenue drops, the devs might just fix the game. Just Saying.
Today's server update really fixed the issue...insurgencies now take like 30 minutes, not 10+ hours.