Daily Archives: December 27, 2012

The Long Lancia – More Fun in Need for Speed World

Not that Need for Speed World isn’t fun in and of itself.  I just think we have found a new source of even greater fun.

NFSW had been revamped yet again since I last played.  The cars have all be reclassified into new brackets based on their performance.  Levels have been rendered all but useless in the game, save for unlocking certain cosmetic items in the in-game store which, if you think about it, is kind of dumb.  Why would you restrict people from buying some of your vinyl decals until they hit level 20, 25, or 30?  They have added a new kind of event, drag racing.  And they have revamped the items and driver skills so that they have various stages of quality.

But the heart of the game remains the same.  It is a serious pay to win design.

The best cars are all for sale in the RMT currency, Speed Boost (or SB).  And while the best, four star parts and skill upgrades cannot be bought directly, you can buy an unlock that means you will win only the best items when you race.  You can still win such parts without the unlock, but they are exceedingly rare.  I have several dozen races in and I have only seen one three star item.  You can spin that as buying convenience, but it still smells like pay to win to me.

Probably the best thing they have done is the revamp of car classifications.  It used to be that a certain car was in a certain bracket no matter what you did to it.  Now each car has a numerical rating, and the rating is based on the performance of the car.  The rating is made up from the cars handling, acceleration, and top speed stats.  That rating then determines the bracket in which your car races.

The brackets are, best to worst, A to E, plus S for super cars I guess.  Your base starting car is likely in the E bracket but can be upgraded to the D bracket with just a few parts.  You can buy cars in better brackets and improve them further as well.

Ideally, what this should mean is that when you join a random race in the game, the match making process should group you with cars of the same bracket.  However, the match maker seems to be tuned to deliver more races over maintaining parity, so you will regularly end up in races that cover three brackets.  If you are the C bracket car in a race with a couple of A bracket competitors, you had better be very good or they had better suck.

And sometimes they do suck.

I have been the C bracket car and beaten the guy in the A bracket Porsche.  But it doesn’t happen very often.

So racing can be fun, but you really have to be ready for an uneven playing field.  And if your skills are otherwise modest like mine, you had best be ready for a mostly losing record.  Not that that has changed much over time, pre or post revamp.

And then Earl and Potshot joined the game.

More after the cut.  Pictures and long winded descriptions.

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