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ZOS please consider restricting gold gear & monster helms from Icereach.

Soul Shriven
I've run in Icereach for a few years now, and while I like the guildies I have and want to stay, the meta-game is a horrific mess. It favours veteran players with more time and resources than sense. I seldom join my guild nights without wondering why *anyone* enjoys playing U50s (and for me, it is 100% about the people in my U50s guilds, otherwise I wouldn't touch the campaign ever again in its present toxic state).

Players who regularly run in Icereach are encouraged, both by guilds, and by the regular solo players, to gold out their gear (particularly weapons). This is because of the powerful way gold gear scales in U50.

Newer players, stepping fresh into Icereach, find themselves faced with months of grind to keep up with vet players who are golding out gear sets to swap to every few levels. Compounding this is the fact that monster helm sets like Zoal's are, through extreme inaccessible grind in IC, available to players in U50.

The rare pleasure of U50s is helping brand new players learn the basics as they level up their first toon. The design of this campaign, at present, is organically hostile to newer players because it *severely* rewards veteran players. While there are proc sets that over-perform in U50s, like Plaguebreak, these really aren't a major issue compared with campaign's heavy skew towards seasoned players.

The two biggest things ZOS could do to liven up this campaign, and increase accessiblity, are:

[*]Restrict Icereach gear to no higher than blue (or possibly purple, but capping at blue would be more accessible for complete newbies, and match the gear drops from normal level dungeon farming).
[*]Ban all monster helms in Icereach. Currently some are inaccessible (the least grind-y ones), and it is completely arbitrary. The former restriction to blue would inherently ban all helms

This would allow newer players to compete in an environment where the main barrier to entry is really collecting sets, not months of grinding gold materials or money. It would still feature a proc-set meta that resembles a "lighter" version of the vet experience. It would bring the focal point of the campaign back to learning and perfecting basic mechanics. I have dyscalculia, so I unfortunately I am not in a position to do the maths on how capping at purple or blue might affect players positively or negatively.

Many of the players who currently dominate U50 would continue to do so, because they play well. However, they (and a minority of extremely toxic "twinkers") wouldn't have an insurmountable edge over anyone who hasn't played for a minimum of 10-12 months. It would make this campaign the kind of entry-point to PVP that the game currently lacks due to the punishing design aspects of U50 PVP.
Edited by kiwi_tea on January 13, 2023 3:24PM
  • kiwi_tea
    Soul Shriven
    Edit: I should have mentioned in the post above that the requirement to recraft (or own) gear that fits your level band is the largest part of what creates this imbalance between experienced and in-experienced players. Some experienced players have full sets of gold gear for every four levels from 20-48 or so. When the meta shifts, they have the resources (ie, the money and gold upgrade mats) to shift with the meta quickly, while players a few months in are still chasing relevant dungeon sets for the first time.

    I have no issue with people rerolling toons to play U50s. It has its own meta-game separate from the other campaigns, and it's a space where you can level up new characters for PVP (although U50 BGs is probably better for that). What I would like to see is the devs making adjustments to account for the fact that U50s is much more costly to play compared with the one-and-done set building we see in any other campaigns, to the point where the barrier to entry for U50s is, in reality, (very, very) significantly higher than for the veteran campaigns.
    Edited by kiwi_tea on January 13, 2023 4:05PM
  • WaywardArgonian
    I agree. It used to be a nice, chill place to try out new classes in a casual environment. I took my first baby steps in PVP there before moving on to the big leagues. But on the few occasions I've returned there, it seemed less balanced than Gray Host, which is an achievement of itself. Every time I returned, I saw more people just running unkillable builds, proc sets, the whole bunch.

    Allowing to recreate gear from the Stickerbook at under 50 levels was a huge mistake, and the final coffin for this campaign and Under 50 PVP in general. The last time I went to Icereach, in the very first fight I saw someone running Plaguebreak and called it a day. I don't think I will ever go back as I would rather just grind out alliance skills for new chars in one of the 'big' servers.

    It's part of a broader issue where ZOS does not seem to have a vision for these campaigns going forward, just letting them wither and die out instead of ensuring they fulfill their intended purpose. It's the same story with Ravenwatch and its completely random set of rules that are barely even communicated to new players.
    PC/EU altaholic | Occasional PC/NA zergling | Former Empanada of Ravenwatch | @ degonyte in-game | Nibani Ilath-Pal (AD Nightblade) - AvA rank 50 | Jehanne Teymour (AD Sorcerer) - AvA rank 43 | Niria Ilath-Pal (AD Templar) - AvA rank 50 | Co-admin of Legacies of Nirn - PC/EU's primary RP hub
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