Starfield | Securing The Scientist
Something this season has done well over the last one is keeping me wanting to engage with the season's content. It’s almost as if any hour I'm logged into the game I have at least once within that period sought out the season content. Most of the time that tends to be in the form of Blood Harvests.
One thing many ARPGs can struggle with having seasons is just how similar each one can feel and be. That is unless you are willing to change things up enough. You also need to ensure those things are rewarding enough that players are going out of their way to engage with them. Otherwise, they might as well just be in standard as they are not doing much if anything else new.
While I have been a bit critical of Blizzard from early on in the season. I have so far been having a blast hitting up a Blood Harvest. It will be interesting to see if this tends to be more of a format they use moving forward. The game mechanic rotates around every hour giving you something to go for some quick rewards.
While some people will sit there for the full hour and grind out the Blood Harvests. I prefer to just clear till I have finished off any objectives. More times than not this usually requires me to make two trips to the Tree of Whispers to turn in since you get a decent number of Grim Favours.
Even more interesting. Sometimes the Blood Harvest will end up in a region that has ongoing normal whispers of the dead bounties going on. Making it even more of an insanely rewarding environment. Those are the times I've seen myself spending the most time in the event farming out every single last favor I can before I run to do something else for a short while.
Even when I have tried for the day of running Blood Harvest if there is already another event running in the area that one of these pops up as well, I go for it. A couple of times I've even lucked out and had Helltides going as well. Which ramps up the reason to sit there and grind out for as long as you can.
A lot of the time, however, you don’t get the full hour of both events overlapping in a single area. I’m usually just thrilled if I can get half an hour or so of both. The amount of progress I can make in that time has just been amazing.
There are however many reasons to just grind out Blood Harvests even when you have finished off any of the normal objectives that appear like getting so many kills, rescuing villagers, or destroying targets. One thing I have been overlooking a bit is Hunter’s Acclaim.
Hunter’ Acclaim you get while in the Blood Harvest from a wide range of activities. Any kind of activity that tends to have an objective also tends to reward Acclaim. Which makes for a nice overlap. Many times, even after rescuing the villager's objectives have been finished, I'll still nap one if I can for 5-6 Hunters’ Acclaim. Most of the time I'm just looking to take out elites for some.
For the most part, I have found the loot caches from Hunters’ Acclaim to be a bit lackluster. I have mostly been collecting them for the small amount of blood they reward. The two biggest things in there I most want to gain are the two blood powers. One of them I might be using at some point and the other I'd get anyway.
Blood also tends to be the major driver in just wanting to grind out Blood Harvests. You need an insane amount of it to level up vampire powers. Every time you spend blood you get to choose from one of three randomly selected powers. Making it so you can just sit there and level up only the ones you want to use.
I did kind of find this an odd way to go about having the system. If anything, I see this way as trying to timegate things. You already need to use a large amount of blood to max things out to tier three. Having it random every time where you might not even get a choice to put the next blood spent into did feel a bit annoying at times.
Blood Harvests naturally have not been the only thing I've been up to either. I might spend twenty minutes if that is most of the time in a given hour on them. Then I'm off finishing the storyline or running a dungeon to unlock an aspect I could use for my build.
One thing I keep noticing over and over again is just the number of legendary drops I appear to be getting. I believe it’s mostly because they gave us back the monster density we used to have before they nerfed it. It also seems like a few game mechanics that took a heavy nerf bat have been buffed slightly if not reverted to the way it was as well.
Unlike last season where I felt myself getting a bit bored while I was grinding out the campaign then spent most of my time in Hell Dungeons. I’m finding myself enjoying this balance of running around and doing a few different activities in a given hour.
The biggest thing I have yet to do is join in on any world boss fights. With my schedule, it just never seems to line up with one about to be active. In many cases about the time, I needed to log out for a while once was about to start. Hopefully, at some point, I'll get around to collecting some rewards off those as well.
For me at least I'm starting to feel that this season more than the first or all the Beta testing beforehand the game is starting to lock things down to where they need to be. Sure, the game had quite a nasty start that turned away many people for the entire season who just were not going to have any of it. I just hope seasons move forward and they keep finding ways to keep the game feeling refreshing and new in a way. That was something a game like Path of Exile did well for a very long time that kept me coming back far longer than most games could ever hold me.