Glitch received some new content in the run up to Christmas, some seasonal, some permanent. I’ve decided to call this the third significant content update, though there have been many more tweaks and behind the scenes changes. I’m also completely ignoring the addition of party spaces, of status updates to our profile pages, and icons of the giants — I know, don’t bother to yell at me about it. I’m mainly just referring to the two prior updates that added skills to the game world, thus changing game play for many. The first would be the addition of eyeballery and snapshotting, and the second was the November update that coincided with the Unlaunching and provided so much love for the herbalists. This update falls somewhere between the previous two in regard to size and significance, having much less impact on the game then the November update but creating a larger blip than the screenshot skills.
The seasonal stuff is nice. There’s a new party zone—which might be a permanent addition but is definitely holiday-themed—and there’s a couple of items at toy vendors that help with gift-giving and party atmosphere fun.
But the permanent stuff, obviously, has more an impact on the game. Mostly, they added quests, which is really the one aspect of the game that I have no interest in. I almost find them irritating — I have no idea how much development time it takes to create some quests, but even if it was only 20 minutes for all of them, that’s 20 minutes that could have been dedicated to The Big Update that has to happen before relaunching. But I admit that there are many players that like quests or don’t like to be left to their own goals. And I am just as free to ignore these quests as I was the few dozen older quests I have no intention of ever completing. I’m also pleased that the overwhelming majority of these quests are linked to skills which is the role I believe quests should have in Glitch: they should mainly be tutorials for newly acquired skills that give players an idea of what that skill can do and how it is done.
This update also brought a new skill, or rather a new level of an existing skill: Herbalism III. My second character works primarily with herbs, and all his income comes from herbs and their products. Once he finished what he was already learning, I threw Herbalism III in the mix. While it would take a serious study of results with Herbalism II versus results with Herbalism III, whatever the boost in odds for super harvests and shucking (acquiring seeds from herbs) may be, it appears subtle as the frequency of these successes has not increased in a way that is obviously visible without tracking statistics. I will accept that there is a boost, and I assume it is working and not bugged, but I won’t be surprised if I later learn it was at or under 5%. The benefits just aren’t immediately apparent.
I know my head is deep in the gift horse’s throat at this point, and part of me just wants to be pleased that they are still providing new content during beta part deux. I suppose these little updates will help player retention, but I’d much rather the time and effort be thrown into The Big Update. And I think player retention could also be accomplished by firing back up the Glitch Blog and using it tease and hype aspects of the upcoming changes that are the subject of much speculation by all players.
But that’s just me.