Yeah I didn’t like MKX’s krypt and think this one is a drastic improvement. That said, everything you take issue with is on my list of negatives as well. I get that it’s easier to reload chests than it is to create new areas for them, but if that’s the case, then there needs to be another, more straight forward way to unlock things in the krypt than wandering around areas you’ve been a thousand times.
I’m also not a fan of the blindfold, which requires you to wander around the whole krypt as souls drain, searching the same area. I think they came up with the forge and the coin dump machine as ways of getting more without having to search, but the problem is that neither of those are even remotely fun.
For one thing, you have to already know what you’re mixing in order to get anything in the forge, otherwise you’re just wasting your time. With the coin dump machine, that’s all you’re doing… Dumping coins. Huh.
It might’ve been nice if they had NPCs, anyone from pirates searching the deserted island for treasure to ghosts of tournaments past give you stuff, trade you stuff for some of your useless items that you collect or whatever… This might also help make the island feel more “full,” I guess. I know it’s supposed to be a dead island essentially, but running around the same places over and over again gets boring. It’s basically just you and the Kollector and he’s not overly chatty lol.
So yeah, I think they’re heading in the right direction. MK:DA’s krypt was extremely basic, boring, and there was a ton of useless junk in it. MK:D’s was basically more of the same. MK9 added some variation, some areas to explore, etc, but that made it a bit of a long, tedious mode and the payoffs weren’t great. Same goes for MKX.
The idea of exploring Shang Tsung’s island is great on the surface. It’s a place most MK fans are familiar with, and it’s chocked full of fan service, call backs, inside stuff… whatever you want to call it. That’s all great. But if you have this much stuff to give players, you have to find more interesting ways to do it, or at the very least, less random ways, or less tedious ways. There’s a rewarding grind, and then there’s just dull, soul draining, repetitive work.
They’re at the point now where they can at least create a place that you want to explore and their giving you more compelling stuff than they did in the 3D era, so the rewarding grind is there. Now they just need to figure out how to keep that feeling going before the dull, repetitive work feeling creeps in.
Having events, like the gold Kronika orb are a nice, albeit small start. I also liked the heads requirement to open an area. It took a long time and the payoff wasn’t overly worth it, but if they can improve the rewards, I don’t mind working toward something. Finding the items for the character to use is also good, as it adds a slight Metroid aspect, allowing you to explore more and unlock more, etc. Overall though, I think they just need to concentrate on making the search more fun, and making the rewards of the search both intuitive to find and ultimately worth it.