My comments here are my own impression of the changes made or not made to the event in comparison to the past 5 times the event was run.
Day 1 -
I am glad to see that the vendor in PE will accept the old currency that our characters have from previous Siege events and that the items available previously are still attainable. The menus appear to be identical to the last time it was run including items for the Medal of Heroism obtained by trading in the defense supplies. As the current event reward description indicates that defense supplies will be available in week 2, I am hopeful that that means the exchange of donated supplies for the old currency (for at least the Stronghold voucher boxes) may still be possible.
I realize the new rewards from the 'Appointment'-style event is in line with other current event rewards. Siege of Neverwinter (at least for me) has *always* been about helping the stronghold and providing new players/toons access to a mount/Griffon that has Wanderer's Fortune bonus for the RP needed by new players. It is unclear to me why the Dye packs unique to the event are not included in the new currency tabs as this is the only source of them (to feed the AH).
I equipped my Injured soldier outfit and my Siegebreaker Charger mount and headed to the ever-familiar battlefield map. The 'new' version of the quest specifies the type and quantity of Heroic Encounter needed to obtain credit for defending Neverwinter. In the old event I believe it was 3 of any kind for the daily writ of commendation. The spawn rate of instances seems to be close to what is was last time (max 3-5 min wait) but the sequence appears to be totally random. Instead of a fixed sequence (Ex. mHE, bHE, mHE, Bhe, mHE) that could predictably determine the time required to complete the quest ... we have a totally random situation that results in instances with 5 or more mHEs before a single bHE spawns. This results in instance hopping just to finish a quest, something that should not be needed if properly/fairly designed. On some toons I have spent more than 1-1/2 hours just trying to complete 5 or the right type of HEs to finish the quest. I'm sorry, but the reward for that much time doesn't seem correct.
The Stronghold Guard Recruitment quest from the Master of Coin is active and available ... but there are no guards to recruit. It is unclear at this time if they will appear in week 2 or the entire quest should not have appeared.
There is no Siege artisan or recipe for Defense supplies in the Workshop. Again, the hope is that this will appear in week 2 and function as before.
For 4 years every time this event was run we would see the error message 'You cannot have more than one of this item' and every year players asked that the program check our stable and inventory for the item and not have it appear (the error triggers a re-roll for another item). The longer one plays, the more of the possible unique drop items are in your inventory and the more often the message comes up. As this had been reported so many times, I had hoped the update had been changed to prevent the message ever appearing, but I am disappointed.
My characters are around 24K so they were scaled to 26K in the instance. I no longer have an 18K character to try the event at the minimum level. I know previously participating with groups was ok, but trying to attack any of the cultists solo/with NPCs was a failure because they could not be killed before the black cultists read their scrolls and grew in size. I tried my favorite spot with my 24/26K characters and noticed that instead of 4 cultists there were now 8 or 12 at a time which was disappointing. Voucher Drops seem to be similar to last event running, so I'm ok with that part of the event.
The rocks to the right of the south ramp to the forward camp have been changed removing the nice plateau that was a nice spot to sit and observe the battles below, I am saddened by it's removal.
The mHEs are very erratic/bugged for Cult Assault and Invasion. There was a hypothesis that the Cult Leader would not spawn because the mobs were not allowed into the stockade area or up the hill. In testing this for hours it seemed to be more instance number related rather than player action driven. Players adjusted but once the required enemies were defeated the leader never spawned on some instances. This led to very annoyed players after killing enemies for 15 minutes straight. I also had one red dragon stand perfectly still while 3/4 of his health slowly decreased never attacking any of the players (was over 5 minutes).
I'm not quite certain why the developers felt that adding Siege of Neverwinter to the 'Appointment'-style event (a term that most players find vague and ignore it) rotation would be a good thing. I know I had always ignored the Hell Pit and the other event because the IL requirement was always 20K higher than I was. So I'm uncertain how having the rewards equal accomplishes anything for the newer player that just wants to help his growing guild stronghold.
In summary, I find the new version of the event not significantly more engaging than it always was, instruction/blog notes vague and incomplete, and the flow/execution of the HEs in the event unpredictably buggy and tedious because of unnecessary RNG/quest requirements.
Short term recommendation:
1) Change the quest to accept any 5 HEs or change the spawn to fixed rotation order instead of random
2) Clarify the defense supply/guard situation for week 2 now.
3) Get the dev team in the game actively experiencing the HEs that do not spawn Cult Leaders and either fix the code or clarify what player action is causing the failure to spawn.
Thanks for listening. Please help make Siege of Neverwinter my favorite again.@nitocris83 @noworries#8859