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When Rift added the new expansion, Storm Legion, the game went through many changes. The additional content was the big selling point, and along with it came changes in difficulty in relation to the new content.

When we look at the difficulty changes, we are not necessarily looking at older raids being done with new gear (as that is to be expected). Rather, what we are looking at is the difference between how hard old content was with old gear vs. how difficult new content is with new gear. When it really comes down to it, it is like night and day. It is very, very easy to tell the difference.

We actually first started seeing these changes when Ember Isle was released. Compared to, say Stillmoor, the mobs were significantly different. This is taking into consideration the fact that they were all the same level as well. Over time this was curved (with players getting into better and better gear), making it about equal to how things were prior to Ember Isle for those who were geared well. For those that were not geared too well yet, such as the fresh level fifties, they could simply join up with those that were and be able to do the content pretty easily.

With Storm Legion, we are not really seeing the same things happen. My prior theory was that as players get more geared, doing the content would be significantly easier. While it is most definitely easier than with fresh level fifty gear, the difficulty in regards to prior zones (even Ember Isle) does not really add up. Instead, it truly is much, much harder.

There are some points where you have to decide if it is even worth continuing in an area, due to the difficulty of the mobs found within and the lack of population you will find. I have traveled across many zones and seen only a handful of players throughout the entire search. This would not be such a problem, but a lot of areas have high densities of mobs and their difficulty, mixed with the spawn rate of them, makes it very hard to get through. And then once you do make it through, you have to get back out to go turn in the quest. Sometimes getting out is just as hard as it was getting in! Plus, then, at the worst possible moment, a zone event will start, bringing invasions over to you. Yes, this has happened. Enough times to take it as a warning that you should not travel alone unless you absolutely have to, and even then you should be very watchful to make sure you are not bringing yourself in to a situation you can not get yourself out of.

Keep in mind that all of this is also dealing with just PvE stuff. I can not even begin to imagine what it must be like in these zones for players that are on PvP servers, where you are facing not only overly difficult mobs, but also tough players that can debuff you, throw out snares and otherwise help the mobs take you down. And if fighting the mobs is hard enough as it already is, fighting them off while chasing after a player is even worse. It is possible that a lot of people use the “respectful” way of PvP, where you wait until someone is finished with the enemy they are already fighting before you start attacking them, but a lot of people definitely do not follow that same rule set, and it only takes a couple deaths at the wrong moment to really turn your day from going well to being a nightmare.

I'm going to roll with the idea that it will be gimped down at some point, although I do not really agree with it. From the casual point of view I can see how the difficulty can be problematic (playing solo in the new zones, even while geared, can be a big hassle), although I personally love the challenge. With the new areas, I still can not go pull massive amounts of mobs without being pummeled into the ground, whereas I can (and could before as well) do so in pre-SL zones.

If there are any changes to their structure in the future, I am hoping that it will be with only some of the zones, rather than all. There is plenty of content for getting to level sixty, and I think it is a pretty feasible request to leave one easier than the other (and with possibly slower rewards or something). This would help keep both groups of players happy, and would allow taking part in all zones still if someone wanted.

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