Last year, I wrote about having fun in the open-world sections of Bozja. Sadly, early November, our fun in this area slammed against a hard wall… a wall called “The Battle of Castrum Lacus Litore.” We got one attempt in before the patch rolled out that allowed many rewards from Castrum to be obtained outside of Castrum after you finished the instance once.
What this patch did was reward those who already ran the instance, but left anyone who hadn’t finished it yet floundering to even find a party for it. Because of the massive amounts of mettle lost due to failure, people just didn’t want to run it once they’d beat it. There wasn’t enough reward for the pain.
Needless to say, the one run that we participated in failed to complete the instance. So, we were a part of that group of floundering players who were basically cut off from finishing the original Bozja storyline because people just didn’t want to run Castrum anymore.
The instance itself was frustrating to me. There are many ways for the whole thing to fail if you don’t have anyone guiding you who knows how to succeed. This is especially the case because you kinda just get dumped into the instance without any job checks. You could technically have a group that had no healer or tank, for example.
The first fight is a two-prong push that requires these mis-matched groups to beat two boss encounters at nearly the same time. Or else… fail. The second part has you rushing around trying to save prisoners… or you fail. I was totally lost at this point, and just followed along with what the others were doing. I still have no clue what to do there.
I think I remember another fairly challenging boss fight after that. And then the final boss.
By the time we got here, I was feeling like our team was going to succeed since we pulled through the previous fights, and were doing well facing this boss. Only, it didn’t happen that way.
This fight is actually two bosses in one fight. For the most part, you attack the beast, but there’s a specific point in the battle when 8 folks break off from the main fight to attack Lyon. This is what ended up killing our chance at completing this instance.
The team urged 8 folks to form a “Lyon team.” They did this, though, from what I gathered, some of them were new to this instance or had never fought Lyon before.
They failed to take him down. This wiped the entire encounter. They tried again. They failed again. Another wipe.
People started to get antsy because time was ticking down and we had just enough for one more try at the fight. So the team decided to send a different group of people in to fight Lyon.
Guess what? They failed, too. And we ran out of time in the instance.
And so, our first attempt at Castrum was a huge let-down for us as we watched all that mettle just drain away on top of the sting of a failed instance. The next week, the patch dropped that made it so folks who’d already beat Castrum wouldn’t want or need to run it again. If you got very lucky, you might get enough people in a team to run it, but since most of them would have been new to the instance, chances of failure was high.
Our fun with Bozja ended there, and I haven’t been back in since. We couldn’t progress, so there was no point in going back. This really soured our experience with the whole thing. And come this patch, this gated our ability to even start to work on the next phase of relic.
Hotfix To The Rescue?
I’ve been meaning to write about my frustration with how this all turned out. Why the heck would they put in a patch that completely killed participation in an instance that was required to progress through the story as well as the rest of the relic line? This was just bad design!
However, during the last Live Letter, Yoshi-P noted that they were aware of how Castrum had become a bottleneck for content in Bozja. They announced a hotfix coming that would “increase rewards” for Castrum and encourage people to come back to play it again.
I was a little dubious. Maybe adding mettle rewards would help, but I couldn’t imagine what they could do to encourage people to run this thing again.
Last night, this hotfix dropped, and while the difficulty of Castrum wasn’t lowered, the rewards were indeed increased:
・ The number of loathsome memories of the dying obtained upon completion of the critical engagement “The Battle of Castrum Lacus Litore” in the Bozjan southern front has been increased from 1 to 5.
・ The maximum number of Bozjan coins that can be obtained from personal spoils in the critical engagement “The Battle of Castrum Lacus Litore” in the Bozjan southern front has been increased from 26 to 100.
・ Completion of the critical engagement “The Battle of Castrum Lacus Litore” in the Bozjan southern front will now reward mettle and Allagan tomestones of revelation or experience points.
* Characters whose levels are 80 outside of the instance will receive Allagan tomestones of revelation, while characters below level 80 will receive experience points.
The response on Reddit has been overwhelmingly positive, and it sounds as if there are now too many people queuing for the instance. This gives me hope that we might finally get our shot at clearing it, perhaps this week!
So hopefully this story will have a happy ending (if we don’t fail again). I’ll post an update if/when it happens!