I suppose bi-monthly Glitch reviews are sort of becoming a thing for me. Which means it’s about time for a new one. I usually look for specific content releases, but I think I’ve decided to tie the reviews more so to an approximate time frame, and just work with what’s there. As such, this review will deviate quite a bit from my usual focus of housing/construction-related stuff. Sort of. While there haven’t been any changes that directly involve housing and construction (I’m rather fond of getting to build stuff, so those have been a recurring theme in my last three reviews), there have been quite a few major additions nonetheless, including things that Glitch has been lacking up until this point (namely things that provide a story behind the game). Ultimately, the root of most of these are feats (albeit I think these have a bit of work to go before they serve as a suitable replacement for street projects, much for the same reason street projects were problematic; more on this later). They tie into some of the new quests, and now serve as a method of unlocking new regions in the game. A series of new lore-related quests (Respect for the Beginnings and The Last Pilgrimage of Esquibeth) unlocks the ability to participate in feats. On a different note, two new, gardening-related skills were also added to the game. Also notable is the new tutorial, but outside of a bug that allowed a few of us to see it (I got to see one street, but couldn’t do anything on it), no existing players were able to visit the new tutorial, therefore it is out of my capacity to review it. I have seen videos of it though, and suffice it to say it looks awesome, and I wish I had a chance to go through it. Now, let’s go one by one through the new stuff that I have gotten to play around with (with the exception of this first thing).
Several months ago, street projects were removed from Glitch. I had never participated in a street project, although I did get to witness one. It was basically a hoarding contest, that culminated in a lag-fest during the actual project. Fifty or so people would gather at the project location, and hand their hoarded items over to the vendor on the street to help “construct” the street. There were badges for contributing large quantities of stuff. The main problem is these projects just didn’t scale. I believe they originated in alpha, when maybe a couple of thousand people played Glitch. If you’ve got about 20 people on the street, okay. But at some future point when you’ve got hundreds of people all wanting to participate, it’s A Bad Thing. ® Enter feats. Feats are the new method by which players can unlock new game content (usually new map regions), although quoin sharding was unlocked by the same method. While I didn’t get to participate in either feat (because, thus far, they haven’t scaled as well as they supposedly should), I’d imagine it’s something the staff will have under control soon. The good news is, feats are not un-scalable by design. Street projects forced large numbers of people to congregate on the same street. While the second feat (Mihceal, Blow that Conch) did encourage people to gather on one street, they did scatter over a couple of streets, making the lagging and crashing not quite as bad. The first feat (The Meditation of Groddlocritus), however, didn’t even encourage people to gather on the same street, and serves as a slightly better example of how feats solve the problem of scalability. As a near one-to-one parallel to street projects, participation in feats also rewards artifact pieces, that can be assembled into full artifacts (in street projects, one was given trophy pieces, that could be assembled into trophies). As a badger, I hope to see badges added aside from the artifact pieces, as well as the artifacts behaving as trophies (which also count as badges). In summary, once Tiny Speck has tweaked feats such that they scale properly to a community the size of Glitch, they will serve as a promising solution to the dilemma of unlocking content as a result of collaborative effort among players, and I look forward to being able to participate in them in the future.
Waterfall Hollow, the last street in the quest The Last Pilgrimage of Esquibeth
In the past couple of months, numerous quests have been added to the game. A fair few of these add details to the story behind Glitch, and quite a few of these new quests are repeatable as well. These include story quests such as The Greedy Street Spirit, as well as puzzle quests ranging from the easy (Walk Toward the Light) to the rather challenging (Le Miserable). Also included was a quest called Respect for the Beginnings, designed to introduce new players to the Giants. Upon completing this quest, a musical quest (screenshot above), The Last Pilgrimage of Esquibeth, is unlocked. I enjoyed this quest, and it basically represents everything a quest in Glitch should be, at least in my opinion. It has a place in the story line of the game (unlike several of the quests I remember from earlier in the game, that involved things like planting and selling crops), has just the right amount of challenging element to it (it took me a bit to solve the puzzle, but at no point did I get frustrated with it; on the other hand, I did have to give up on Le Miserable and come back to it later), is repeatable (I also liked Walk Toward the Light, but don’t have any screenshots or video, because it isn’t), and has a keepable, unique item received at the end of it.
Quoin sharding is a mechanic that was added to Glitch after the completion of the first feat (The Meditation of Groddlocritus). This was added as a solution to the dilemma of quoin collecting while there are other people on your current street. The idea is that those around you also receive rewards when you grab a quoin on a street. While the rewards are only a fraction of those received by the one who actually grabs the quoin, they do add up to quite a bit. For instance, even in a (very!) small sharding party like the one demonstrated in the video above, I managed to get ~33k iMG. While trying to figure out the mechanics of sharding as it was explained to me, I described my understanding as “OK, so I follow you, but I don’t follow you? I think I follow that.” Which is basically how it works. You have to be reasonably close to the person grabbing the quoins to receive shards, however you can’t be following them using Glitch’s follow option. This, in effect, turns quoin sharding into a fun mini-game in which you follow the leader. As an occasional Game of Crowns (join that group!) player, the challenge for me is primarily to make myself easy to follow, as, instinctively, I’m not. Regardless, even though I don’t need iMG anymore, by any means, I find quoin sharding an extremely enjoyable activity for its own sake. It also gives purpose to the regions of Roobrik, Balzare, Haoma, and Kloro, regions whose emptiness never really made sense up until now.
New Regions (Haoma, Kloro, and Firozi)
Tiny Speck has introduced three new regions to the world of Ur since my last review.
Me, exploring Firozi. Just so happened to get a badge. Not planned at all. I’d never go out of my way to show off getting a badge in a review video…
Tumera Hilda in Firozi. Yes, there are things here besides quoins!
The region of Firozi was added a few hours ago as a result of the completed feat Mihceal, Blow that Conch. It’s the most interesting of the new regions. The four regions introduced before it (Haoma and Kloro [which I’ll cover in a bit], Roobrik, and Balzare) were fairly empty regions solely for the purpose of quoin collecting, and the streets within any one of these regions look almost entirely the same. Firozi, however, has an interesting combination of scenery, resembling several different regions, as well as some scenery all its own (including much-demanded water and beach scenery, as seen in the video above). Also, it’s got vendors and trees and rocks and other stuff that fully-functional regions have! As such, Firozi’s completist badge was the most pleasurable I’ve earned in quite awhile.
Russula Involutii in Haoma
Porcini Bolete in Kloro
Haoma and Kloro are new quoin-collecting regions similar in purpose to Roobrik and Balzare. Just like Roobrik and Balzare, they exist as a pair of similar, but different regions. And much like the aforementioned pair, any street in one of the regions is basically the same as any other street in that region, and no shrines, vendors, trees, or other “verbable” items are to be found. Haoma and Kloro do bring with them some interesting new artwork, as well as bouncing red platforms (which questionably obsolete the old rainbow potions, as these do the same thing, for free).
The new gardening potions at work. Video edited so you don’t have to stare at nothing happening for two minutes while the herbs grow.
Two new skills have been introduced to Glitch, Potionmaking III and Master Gardener. These new skills allow you to make (Potionmaking III) and use (Master Gardener) potions that automate gardening. Gardening used to be a really tedious activity, especially if you’re like me and have 90 garden plots in your back yard. Furthermore, this tedium was usually compounded by lag, which affected gardening more than any other activity in the game. These new potions, at least in my opinion, change large-scale gardening from something boring and tedious, into something fun (although you then have two options for obtaining the potions, resulting in less profitable gardening: make them yourself, or buy them). Regardless, even though I don’t particularly have a reason to garden anymore, the primary reasons not to garden have been dealt with, and dealt with well.
While the last few major releases (and therefore my last few reviews) focused on housing-related content, this round, different things have been addressed. An impressive set of quests, in fact, some of the best in the game, have been added. Quoin sharding has introduced a fun and useful mini game style mechanic to Glitch. Feats have brought the return of player-unlocked content, in a way that (with tweaking) should provide a replacement for the street projects of old that were hopelessly unscalable. Finally, new potions have decreased the chances that you will want to smash your computer while gardening by 100%. As a result, the story behind Glitch is now better fleshed-out, existing game mechanics have been made more fun, and new game mechanics have introduced unique new activities.
Thanks to Gwynne for helping with the review; be sure to check out the artwork in her tower!