As you know, I romped around the greenskin area and the Gates of Ekrund last night with my little Squig Herder.

I had a lot of fun and the squig generally did as it was told; however, there are a couple of problems.

First, is with squig responsiveness and pathing. Frequently, I would command him to attack a given target and there would be a pretty big delay before he’d actually do anything (about five seconds or more). Other times, he just wouldn’t do it at all. Obviously, for a class that relies on the squig as its primary defense, this creates a problem. I’m not sure what’s going on there but Mark Jacobs recently made a post on the IGN boards stating that he feels pet pathing is “severely broken” so perhaps it was an issue with squiggy not being able to find his way to the target. Either way, I’m glad this is being fixed as, without it, the class can easily find itself in some hot water.

Second, was that I was never quite sure if my squig was executing its skills. Sometimes, it outright did not. I even tried beating him with my stabbing stick, but no go! At rank five, you get a skill called “chomp” that commands your pet to “do damage” and is on a 10 second cooldown with a 100ft range. Now, I’d expect that when I hit that skill my squig would run to the target and attack or I’d at least see the damage indicator pop up on the mob. In instances where the mob wouldn’t run to my target, no damage would be done. In many cases, it would trigger the cooldown but the squig wouldn’t touch the target until it aggro’d me. It’s possible that this is related to the pathing issue but that raises another question: if the pet does not execute the skill, should it really trigger the cooldown? I don’t think so. Here’s the other thing, when squiggy was attacking (and he did so well, when he actually got over there) there was no way to differentiate between his damage and my own. My experience is very limited, so, like always, I might be missing something; however, I think that’s the kind of thing that should be apparent. If I tell my squig to chomp, especially in the testing stage, I want to know if he’s actually chomping.

When he attacked, my squig was my best friend. He took blows for me, got blown up for me, and died at my command. Heck, he even allowed me to kill two mobs at once during PQs multiple times! I just wish he was a little more consistent. Unfortunately, I was in a rush to get off, so I didn’t report the issues I noticed but I’m sure others have. That’s the good thing about beta. All of these things we’re noticing now are really minor in the grand scheme of things. Mythic is paying great attention, so fear not! Most everything I’ve written about, and a lot of what I’ve read too, will probably be fixed before launch.

I’d also like to make something very clear, I’ve pointed out some issues that I’ve seen but based on my experiences and those of others I firmly believe that this game, on the whole, is far ahead of where a lot of other games have been at this point and that there’s no reason to worry. It’s fun, engaging, innovative, and polished. I spent three hours playing last night and I was immersed in the game play. It’s easy to pick up on, challenging to master, and a fun way to spend your spare time. If you’re anything like me, you’re going to love this game.


EDIT: I’ll put links to sources for this post, and those previous, in later. The boss doesn’t like when I blog at work 😉