It took me a while, but I finally found the new content for Song of Dreams. Looking at the map around Ember Isle, I noticed there was a shaded area off to the west of the island that looked new, so I started running that way and found a little island at the extreme western edge with new stuff! (If you think Ember Isle looks like a reverse Pac Man like I do, it’s in the mouth.)
It’s a level 60 quest line so if you aren’t there yet you’ll have to go from Ember Isle to Storm Legion and then back to Ember Isle. Overall I found it an enjoyable handful of hours (I spent maybe 4 hours in it over a couple of days). My mage is already in 60 expert dungeon gear, so of course I was just in it for the story and the visuals. It had something to do with underwater sirens and a big crustacean using people’s nightmares to take over the world … or something like that.
The final boss battle actually gave me some trouble because I kept using my standard Harbinger solo explorer build which is melee-based, but the big dude was doing tons of damage up close. After dying once and almost dying a second time, I finally retreated to ranged distance and blasted him with Vile Spores until he died. A slow, but steady, victory. I didn’t get any tangible rewards except for a couple of new pets that I’ll never use. Maybe I got an achievement but I didn’t check.
I found the idea of an underwater adventure a novel concept. There were some neat visual moments, for example, when you first came up on the big underwater zone that appeared and lit up after swimming in the dark for a while. But I think I, like everyone else, finds underwater MMO mechanics tiresome after a time. Thankfully they gave you a buff to swim faster so the travel time wasn’t unbearable, but fighting underwater is kind of a pain, especially as melee. It’s hard to judge distances so you can’t tell if you’re close enough to hit the monsters. There also seemed to be some bugs because my camera angle kept randomly changing for no reason.
The new underwater zone event was interesting, but the final boss was a massive pain. It had some ability that would pretty much insta-kill anyone who wasn’t within a protective bubble, but it was hard to find and get to the protective bubble in time, and once I would swear I was inside the protective bubble and still got killed. Then you had to swim all the way back to your corpse as a ghost, and after you resurrected, you didn’t have the fast swimming, underwater breathing buff anymore, so then it was even harder to get into the protective bubble, plus you were slowly drowning to death until you found another underwater gizmo that gave you the buff. (I happen to have an underwater breathing amulet from a previous world event so at least I didn’t drown.)
Overall I give it a thumbs up. Although I really would have liked to be able to find the new stuff a little easier.
P.S. I didn’t look at anything else, so I have no comments on any other gameplay changes.