I realize nobody is listening at Ubisoft, if the past few months have shown us anything, our complaints and our hopes increasingly fall upon deaf ears, and so, I must admit, I am broken, I cannot continue to hold out any hope for this game. I will delete Valhalla from my drive today, but before I go, I feel as if I have earned the right to scream into the void, so to speak, do feel free to move along if rehashing old complaints and bitter recriminations don't appeal to you.
I bought Valhalla pre scaling, in fact, it was the reason I was willing to buy it in the first place. The ability to turn off scaling or being able to tailor it to an individual's style of play is crucial to the RPG experience. To change this a month after release, with no warning, and with no option to avoid it is, in my opinion, unconscionable. Ubisoft either sacrificed a plurality of their audience to the whims of another, or felt that they should control how people play. With more than one interview from people working on the game telling us there would be no scaling, I felt lied to, and betrayed.
Yet still I soldiered on into this beautiful, albeit in the same vein sometimes boring world that was laid out before me. I suffered with the lackluster parkour mechanic, and succeeded in getting to England, and began to subsequently ignore the main story, and explore the map. This lasted till about my tenth treasure chest that I had to search down a key for, or find a hidden entrance for, that only rewarded me with cheap resources that I did not need. This whole endeavor felt like busywork that's only purpose must be to extend the life of a shallow game, with only enough substance for a short playthrough, not the deep exploration of a true RPG. I was disappointed, and frustrated.
But, I persevered. Maybe the exploration section was busywork, surely the main quest would breathe new life into this game. I would be a Viking hero, and settle in England. This lasted until The Absence of an Ealdorman, which bugged out on me, and stalled my progress for a couple months, and while this quest has been fixed for me and some others, this game is inundated with a plethora more, some game breaking, some just irritating, but all unacceptable, this long after release. I am infuriated, and disgusted.
Still, my better nature, and my forgiving attitude prevailed. I will seek out other things to do while this game is fixed, I assured myself that such a large game must have something for me to bide my time with, so I once again began to explore, plodding around, doing lackluster world events, and searching for varying amounts of dross in overly hidden chests. At this point I came upon a Zealot, and proceeded to be thoroughly trounced, having to retreat to safety. Fear not, I thought, I am playing a game where stealth is an option, I will sneak up and take the upper hand. Little did I know that Ubi had once again been misleading. To my surprise, I could not stealth attack this Zealot, there was no option to do so, there must be some mistake. I paused my game, and checked my menu options, guaranteed assassination was on, and the menu option clearly stated that ALL enemies were subject to it. Is a Zealot not an enemy, are they really my friend? No, just something Ubisoft felt I should work harder at. I felt patronized, and belittled.
At this point, I stopped playing Valhalla, it has sat on my drive for weeks, untouched. Today it will leave, and, while I may pay attention to updates from Ubisoft, I will no longer be tempted unless serious change is made. An RPG is about player choice, to rob us of these things lessens your products, and in my opinion, lessens you as a company. We want to play your games, but on our terms, in the world you created. If you keep altering it while we are trying to find our way, or everytime we use our ingenuity to play differently, you will only alienate your broader audience, and limit yourselves to your core base. If that is your plan, go forth, but if you want to bring your products to the masses, I urge you to treat us like the adults we are, and not the children you seem to want us to be.
Goodbye Ubisoft, it's been a great run.