So, you know how in my early impressions post, I was saying how the difficulty wasn’t quite where we were promised it would be?

Found it!

There are a few jumps in Challenge Tier that you can really feel, and CT10 seems to be one of those. Although to be fair, part of that has simply been in catching up friends who haven’t been able to play as much, or at least not as the same time as the rest of us. Between general life and raiding in WoW it has been a wee while now since a group of similar gearing has been around all at the same time.

Still, that aside — although perhaps its nothing more than mental state after waiting to progress past it for so long — it seems like CT10 is quite a step change!

Can get CT9s done pretty reliably, but have yet to beat a CT10.

This was post-nerf, too! … I suspect another nerf will be incoming.

Though I think that the next time we have a full group of three together that CT10 will fall before us. Most importantly though, I’m still having a lot of fun with the game.

Certainly, as you progress further the flaws of the game become ever more clear. The extreme limitation of variety in how the fights play out from arena to arena. Or even in the enemy types themselves. Most disappointingly perhaps in the boss types. With the answer to that lack of boss variety to just throw more… everything… at you.

Fortunately, this is balanced out by the fact that the moment-to-moment gameplay is glorious. And that the game isn’t overly stingy with loot drops or resources. Making progress feels good.

I’m currently at max gear level — 44 with CT10 done, will jump to 46 with CT11 — and I’m pretty happy with it’s itemisation so I’d like to carry on leveling it through with me to 50 (or at least until I replace it with a legendary set I like) but I’m not sure yet just how feasible that will be.

Item level 43 -> 44 introduced a new material cost to the equation. Drop pod resources.

Drop pod resources come from finishing expeditions and uh… You need 40,000 of them (in addition to reaching CT15) to run through the game’s final expedition and, I assume, see the final close of the boxed game’s story.

When I initially saw that figure it was a little panic-inducing truth be told. But as you progress through the challenge tiers the rate of acquisition goes up significantly. I think now that it won’t take too much running of CT15 at all to get to see the last mission. Nor do the once insane sounding costs of things from Tiago’s shop — he sells for drop pod resources too — seem so insane anymore.

But! Circling back to upgrading my gear. The titanium cost per level has been going up fairly rapidly. While the drop pod resource cost has started out low — 180 for item level 43 -> 44 — I wonder how much it’ll be for the next levels.

Hopefully tonight, or at least over the course of this weekend, I will get to find out with higher challenge tier unlocks! :D