To Whom it may concern,
I've decided to get ahead of this before there is a massive backlash because, frankly, constructive criticism is more beneficial than the yelling and complaining that will certainly come as a part of this change.
My Abstract: F12 is a Quality of Life change that benefits the player experience. For this reason, changing it is fundamentally flawed and out of touch with the player experience. Ultimately, this changes the player paradigm. In cases where unpopular changes happen, people can adapt. However, the removal of Quality of Life content is something that is hardly (if at all) adaptable for the current player experience.
First, let's address the rationale that Gimli gave to Channel 3 for this change on 12.28.2020
[11:09PM] Gimli: Reasons? Well it was never intended to be out of combat to begin with. It makes all of the animations look broken not to mention a trigger for people with health conditions
Now I'll address these 3 reasons that Gimli mentions and tell you why I believe them to be flawed.
1) Well, it was never intended to be out of combat to begin with.
Mistakes happen all the time. Why should a positive quality of life change, that was not intended, be thwarted because it wasn't originally in the playbook? I don't understand how this is a reasonable rationale for change when the current system is superior to the player experience.
Bob Ross - "Happy little Accidents"
2) It makes all of the animations look broken - If you believe animations are a concern for the player experience in a 25+ year old MMO, then you should perhaps re-evaluate the priorities for the game designers. I can't think of a time since I returned to The Realm (~2-3years ago) when an enfranchised player mentioned "broken graphics" as a reason for stopping playing. As for a new player, if graphics are the reason for not becoming enfranchised or retained then F12 certainly wasn't the reason this happened. They formed their judgement long before they figured out what F12 does.
3) A trigger for people with health conditions - WHAT? This is the most flawed of all of the rationale for this change. If health conditions are of concern then you hit the F11 button. Isn't flexibility and customization in place so that you can meet with the ideal player experience for as many people as possible? I really don't understand removing customization as a reason for solving health problems…
I do want to note that there may be unknown factors that I, and the general player base, do not know about. If this is true, then it should be made apparent to the players ASAP. If there is no unknown factors, then the rationale is clearly flawed.
Also, this paradigm shift will certainly see people adapting to the use of Memory-Recall spells. While Memory-Recall is a cool concept, I'm not excited to have 15+ scrolls in my inventory at all times or littered all over my house. If inventory management in this game is annoying to you… it just got much worse. Additionally, one of the spells for Memory-Recall is (currently) a prestige only spell. Until that gets changed all the new players get screwed when it comes to mobility. Another suggestion would be to consider making Memory-Recall Scrolls work in a backpack.
Now for my anecdotal evidence: When I returned to Realm on MistWalkers, I got bored after about 150 levels because frankly the first ~300 levels were boring. But, then I saw a post on the Discord Server that shared the speed files! I added them and suddenly my desire to keep grinding had returned. The pace of play was a limiting factor in my enjoyment. I ultimately stopped playing on MistWalkers because the friends that joined me in game lost interest due to the pace of play being slow. I tried to get them to use speed files, but they just didn't really care anymore.
I decided to give Finvarra's Fortress a chance after a few months of it being up. I figured I would get bored because the pace of the game was so slow and Speed Files were probably not allowed. When I saw the many Quality of Life changes that were implemented, I gained confidence in the group of people working on The Realm for the first time since like Codemasters days (if that). I can say that F12, and other quality of life content, was the most important factors for me staying with the game and without it, its a deal breaker for me. If there is ever a server wipe I will never grind those first 300 levels again at 1994 King's Quest speed.
I really hope you will reconsider this change. Until then… So long and thanks for all the fish (again).
P.S. Are we allowed to use Speed Files on Finvarra's Fortress?