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Title: Early levels now more solo friendly...
Post by: Xilren's Twin on June 06, 2006, 09:17:56 PM
Happened to read the news at on the DDO site today (http://www.ddo.com).

Upshot, new solo difficulty choice for most Harbor area quests and reduced exp needed for levels 1 and 2.
Personally, I now think its only a matter of time before they have to start adding the same option to market level and beyond quests b/c once you cave to the solo people this much, why stop?  If eveyone can solo 30% of the game anyway....

DDO works best as a grouping game (as it was designed to do), so this has got to be a cave to increase subs.  Apparently most of the feedback from people who didnt stay the inital month was "too hard! i can't solo like i can in WoW".

Quote
Solo Play Arrives in Stormreach!
06-Jun-2006
 
DUNGEONS & DRAGONS ONLINE™: Stormreach™ delivers some of the most exciting game play experiences available in online gaming today. Turbine has received tremendous positive feedback on the launch of DDO. Feedback from new players has included the request for more solo-play content as an option to the already fun and challenging group-focused content throughout the game. Turbine has listened to this feedback and is pleased to announce the upcoming availability of solo-friendly content. An all new solo setting is being introduced to help new DDO players navigate through the early game content, allowing them the time and space to learn about their characters, try strategies and face monsters for the first time on their own. Players will now have the option to play at their own pace as a solo-player in the Harbor.

The Harbor Solo Option

Quests in the Harbor have a new option available to you, opening up solo gameplay during your character's earliest levels. In addition to the Normal, Hard and Elite settings already available for each dungeon, the Solo option allows you to take on a dungeon at a difficulty setting suited for a single player. When you enter a dungeon on the solo setting, it contains monsters and traps that can be defeated without the help of a party.

After completing the solo adventures, you will be better prepared to gather allies and gain the best Experience rewards and loot, only available at the higher difficulty settings. Solo mode will not unlock the Hard and Elite difficulty settings. To gain access to the increased danger and reward from the Harbor's higher difficulty settings, you will need to complete each dungeon on its Normal setting, just as you do today.

The Waterworks, Irestone Inlet and the Kobold Assault dungeons will remain areas that require a team to conquer. The Solo difficulty setting will not be available in these areas.

Experience Table Adjustment

You will need to learn quickly in your early days in Stormreach and advance not only your own knowledge, but also your character's power. New players will advance more quickly than ever before in Stormreach, gaining the benefits of new feats, spells and enhancements from advancing through levels one and two at a faster rate. Advancing to level 2 will now require 5,000 experience points instead of 10,000, allowing you to visit the trainers even earlier. Advancing to level 3 will require 20,000 total experience points instead of 30,000, bringing character progression benefits even closer again.

As a result of this sliding experience, the experience point requirements for level 3-10 will be 10,000 points lower. The amount of experience required to move from level 3 to level 4 will remain the same, but will require less total experience as a result of the changes to total experience requirements made at levels 1 and 2. If you have a character at level 3 or above that is within 10,000 experience points of reaching the next level, you will advance to that level, due to the lesser requirements for total experience.

Experience Requirements
      Old Requirement New Requirement
Level 1     0  0
Level 2  10,000    5,000
Level 3  30,000    20,000
Level 4  60,000    50,000
Level 5  100,000  90,000
Level 6  150,000  140,000
Level 7  210,000  200,000
Level 8  280,000  270,000
Level 9  360,000  350,000
Level 10 450,000 440,000

Xilren


Title: Re: Early levels now more solo friendly...
Post by: Tmon on June 06, 2006, 11:31:59 PM
Bummer, not that I much cared for the game and I never liked the grouping required aspect, but I hate to see a game that tried to do something a little out of the main stream being dragged back to the middle of the channel.  I would guess that the D&D icense demands a certain minimum player base to justify the cost of aquiring it and the number of subscribers wasn't quite tracking with the business case projections.


Title: Re: Early levels now more solo friendly...
Post by: stray on June 07, 2006, 12:55:00 AM
Anyone who already didn't have the insight to know something as simple as "required grouping sucks" is destined to make stupid mistakes over and over again.



Title: Re: Early levels now more solo friendly...
Post by: Soln on June 07, 2006, 08:19:02 AM
Anyone who already didn't have the insight to know something as simple as "required grouping sucks" is destined to make stupid mistakes over and over again.



QFE

I never got out of the harbour.  I only learned second-hand weeks later that you needed to finish Waterworks to get to the Market.  There's nothing in the game driving you to move to the Market.  Hell, I didn't know there even was a bank for inventory. I figured they didn't build one as part of their whole minimalist approach. Who's the more stupid?  me for assuming this, or them for allowing that kind of impression to occur?  Ok, I was the idiot to buy the pre-order without more info presuming this was a pretty mainstream MMO.



Title: Re: Early levels now more solo friendly...
Post by: Samwise on June 07, 2006, 11:46:47 AM
I only learned second-hand weeks later that you needed to finish Waterworks to get to the Market.  There's nothing in the game driving you to move to the Market. 

Well, except for every other NPC you meet in the harbor steering you towards Waterworks.


Title: Re: Early levels now more solo friendly...
Post by: Xilren's Twin on June 07, 2006, 12:07:57 PM
I never got out of the harbour.  I only learned second-hand weeks later that you needed to finish Waterworks to get to the Market.  There's nothing in the game driving you to move to the Market.  Hell, I didn't know there even was a bank for inventory. I figured they didn't build one as part of their whole minimalist approach. Who's the more stupid?  me for assuming this, or them for allowing that kind of impression to occur?  Ok, I was the idiot to buy the pre-order without more info presuming this was a pretty mainstream MMO.

What you didnt read the beta report? :-p

On a more serious note, doing things like this and adding a Wow like mail system just smacks of dilution towards yet another mainstream MMO.  The problem is they will never succeed in this fashion b/c the game isn't setup that way, and the more they try to force it down that path the more glaringly obvious that becomes.  It actually shares some similarities to the dreaded SWG combat revamp.  Developing in one direction for months/years and suddenly switching direction is bound to be a disaster.  What DDO needs much more is a general expansion of content (more quests/dungeons) and, just as importantly, a revamp of all the existing content b/c so much of it is underutilized.  There are some quests people will never do b/c the risk reward ratios are so bad.  It shouldn't be difficult to look at the stats to see whats not being used and tweak them to be more worthwhile.  Just trying to do them all it's not hard to discover which ones might be well designed but give low exp and treasure....

From a business standpoint I can see the suit logic; we need more players; playears who dont sub said the game is too hard to solo and they want some pvp, therefore, make the game easier to solo and add pvp.  But they always fail to understand the effects such change will have on their current subs.  It so stupid; pick direction, commit to it, and do what you can to make your product stand out in that direction.  You cannot be all things to all players; stop trying.  If some of the god awful mmorpg's we seen released over the years still manage to stay in business for years, a limited scope but well done game should certainly be able to turn a profit.  

Though I have to wonder what the projected subs for DDO in their business case was.

Xilren

(BTW, you only have to do the first 2 Waterworks quests to get Harbor access and nowdays getting a WW group is ridiculously easy b/c people are constantly rerunning the linked quest series for the exp rewards and phat loots at the end.  Lots of people going though WW at level 1...
In beta it was the hazard zone quests like Irestone over and over for all the chests.  Nowdays it Waterworks, Seal of Shan to Kar, Tangelroot Gorge/splinterskull keep, and some higher level series that are run over and over ad naseum.  90% of the group invites I get are for people wanting to do those; if you want to do something else, you best start your own group and avertise it as such.  Path of least resistance rears it's head in every game to date.  Don't fight it, give the water more directional choices to flow into)

Xilren


Title: Re: Early levels now more solo friendly...
Post by: Arthur_Parker on June 07, 2006, 12:33:26 PM
I wonder how much the "Friends don't let friends play solo" trailer from a few weeks ago cost to produce.

DDO would have worked much better with a lobby system for joining dungeon runs, they didn't need to waste development time on a town as it's all instanced anyway.


Title: Re: Early levels now more solo friendly...
Post by: Soln on June 07, 2006, 01:20:39 PM
I only learned second-hand weeks later that you needed to finish Waterworks to get to the Market.  There's nothing in the game driving you to move to the Market. 

Well, except for every other NPC you meet in the harbor steering you towards Waterworks.

you know it's important, but no, I don't remember anyone saying, "to enter the rest of the city, you need to finish these quests".  You can instead, like me, waste all your time trying to do the other ones.  And being fair, if you don't have a PUG able to finish Waterworks you are stuck.  And yeah, back at pre-order and launch people were not spam-running it.


Title: Re: Early levels now more solo friendly...
Post by: Samwise on June 07, 2006, 02:04:40 PM
I don't remember anyone saying, "to enter the rest of the city, you need to finish these quests". 

Actually, they do.  If you go to the market gates, the guard will stop you and tell you that if you want to pass through there, you'll need a writ from the harbormaster.  And if you go to talk to the harbormaster, he'll tell you to go to the Waterworks (which is where all the other NPCs are already telling you to go).  Too subtle?   :evil:


Title: Re: Early levels now more solo friendly...
Post by: Soln on June 07, 2006, 03:03:16 PM
I don't remember anyone saying, "to enter the rest of the city, you need to finish these quests". 

Actually, they do.  If you go to the market gates, the guard will stop you and tell you that if you want to pass through there, you'll need a writ from the harbormaster.  And if you go to talk to the harbormaster, he'll tell you to go to the Waterworks (which is where all the other NPCs are already telling you to go).  Too subtle?   :evil:

U win

I never got that far

was that there at launch?  Regardless, my fault but I still keep the money and goodwill for someone else


Title: Re: Early levels now more solo friendly...
Post by: Samwise on June 07, 2006, 04:00:40 PM
I started playing at the end of alpha and it was there then.  They do a pretty good job in the harbor of pointing you at each and every NPC who might have a quest for you, and having most of them steer you toward Waterworks when you're done with them.  In later areas you might have to explore a bit more to find the quest givers, but in the harbor they really do everything short of having them assault you in the street.

Obviously, YMMV.


Title: Re: Early levels now more solo friendly...
Post by: Big Gulp on June 11, 2006, 06:01:58 PM
They tried to fit a game that isn't an MMO in any way, shape or form into the MMO space and are getting crushed.  How is that a surprise?

They'd have probably been successful if they'd have gone with Guild Wars model, but alas, that ship has sailed.


Title: Re: Early levels now more solo friendly...
Post by: Xilren's Twin on June 15, 2006, 10:12:25 AM
BTW, the new solo diificulty level for harbor stuff and exp curve switch went live yesterday.  Logged on this morning and was level 5 auto-magically due to the 10K exp point shift.

Next content module will be in July and apparently will have Mind Flayers if the new loading screen can be believed.  Interesting choice with their not being psionics at all...
Oh yeah, and drow.  Grrrr.

Xilren


Title: Re: Early levels now more solo friendly...
Post by: stray on June 15, 2006, 10:41:25 AM
So the Drow are coming in as a patch? I though it'd be in a small, pay to play expansion at the very least.



Title: Re: Early levels now more solo friendly...
Post by: WindupAtheist on June 17, 2006, 04:53:55 AM
When people talk about DDO, I understand how everyone else feels when I talk about UO.  You know, that sort of "Jesus fucking Christ, who gives a shit?!" feeling.


Title: Re: Early levels now more solo friendly...
Post by: Broughden on June 17, 2006, 06:28:48 AM
When people talk about DDO, I understand how everyone else feels when I talk about UO.  You know, that sort of "Jesus fucking Christ, who gives a shit?!" feeling.

 :-D


Title: Re: Early levels now more solo friendly...
Post by: Xilren's Twin on June 17, 2006, 09:21:55 AM
When people talk about DDO, I understand how everyone else feels when I talk about UO.  You know, that sort of "Jesus fucking Christ, who gives a shit?!" feeling.

I am a forum of one.....

Now, go back to playing UO with the other necrophiliacs :-p

Xilren


Title: Re: Early levels now more solo friendly...
Post by: Savant on June 17, 2006, 02:23:50 PM
I still haven't made up my mind about the solo changes.  On the one hand, PUG's usually suck and anything to fill time between when your guild/friend's are on is nice.  On the other hand, I always felt one of the strongest points of DDO was the grouping and community aspect.  So yeah, still on the fence.

They also nerfed most of the ransacks this patch. *sniffle*

What server you play on Xilren?  What levels?  You should come over to Fernia ;)


Title: Re: Early levels now more solo friendly...
Post by: Broughden on June 17, 2006, 03:06:34 PM
I still haven't made up my mind about the solo changes.  On the one hand, PUG's usually suck and anything to fill time between when your guild/friend's are on is nice.  On the other hand, I always felt one of the strongest points of DDO was the grouping and community aspect.  So yeah, still on the fence.

They also nerfed most of the ransacks this patch. *sniffle*

What server you play on Xilren?  What levels?  You should come over to Fernia ;)

Who were your toons on Fernia? Which guild?


Title: Re: Early levels now more solo friendly...
Post by: Cheddar on June 17, 2006, 09:31:13 PM
I downloaded the trial and do not have the heart to try it.  Give me heart.


Title: Re: Early levels now more solo friendly...
Post by: Xilren's Twin on June 17, 2006, 10:16:37 PM

What server you play on Xilren?  What levels?  You should come over to Fernia ;)

Argonnessen, but its easy enough to reroll a new toon on Fernia, especially with the new changes.  I may roll up a new cleric and see if the grass is greener.

Xilren


Title: Re: Early levels now more solo friendly...
Post by: Savant on June 17, 2006, 10:36:23 PM
Who were your toons on Fernia? Which guild?

My two mains are Savvy (9 Rogue/1 Fighter) and Phenom (9 Fighter) - shoot me a tell if you're on Fernia.

Guild is called the Allnighters (I didn't pick the name, but a swell bunch of guys in the guild just the same).

I downloaded the trial and do not have the heart to try it.  Give me heart.

Cheddar, roll up a toon on Fernia and shoot me a tell - I just rolled up a new Sorcerer that I need an excuse to play anyway.



Argonnessen, but its easy enough to reroll a new toon on Fernia, especially with the new changes.  I may roll up a new cleric and see if the grass is greener.


Same goes for you.  I'm usually on after business hours on week days (7ish pm 'til about 1 am PDT) and on weekends whenever I can avoid gf aggro.

Savant

P.S.  Our guild is pretty low on Wizards, so if you have any inclination towards playing a caster, that'd be great.


Title: Re: Early levels now more solo friendly...
Post by: Cheddar on June 17, 2006, 10:43:42 PM
Cheddar, roll up a toon on Fernia and shoot me a tell - I just rolled up a new Sorcerer that I need an excuse to play anyway.

If I have time and the wherewithal tomorrow night, I will.  I am starting to hit "casual" as far as gaming; fucking RL.  FYI, what the hell happened to your personal site, Savant?  I get depressed every time I click the damn link. 


Title: Re: Early levels now more solo friendly...
Post by: Savant on June 17, 2006, 10:55:43 PM
If I have time and the wherewithal tomorrow night, I will.  I am starting to hit "casual" as far as gaming; fucking RL.  FYI, what the hell happened to your personal site, Savant?  I get depressed every time I click the damn link. 

Yeah, I definitely don't have time to game like I used to either - which is why I made the switch from WoW to DDO.  I find even with the high level content I can be in and out in under an hour if need be, and still feel like I made some headway.  That's not to say the game is not without its shortcomings.

As for the personal site, the domain was registered when I had/used an email address I haven't had access to in a couple years now.  So when renewal time came up, I decided it was just less of a nuisance for me to give up the domain than to jump through the network solutions hoops to re-register it or to get involved in retrieving the domain name through that other email address.

C'est la vie. 

Savant



Title: Re: Early levels now more solo friendly...
Post by: Xilren's Twin on June 18, 2006, 08:23:29 AM

Cheddar, roll up a toon on Fernia and shoot me a tell - I just rolled up a new Sorcerer that I need an excuse to play anyway.

P.S.  Our guild is pretty low on Wizards, so if you have any inclination towards playing a caster, that'd be great.

Rolled a wizard and linked up with Savant and his guild last night.  We grouped with some other folks from the guild and did the Goodblade quests, Low road and Waterworks start to end, which was fun. As a comment on the new exp curve just from doing those few quests I'm only about 2k away from level 3, and Savant I believe hit 3 last night with his newbie Sorcerer.  The new exp curve shift is nice for that; we repeated just 2 Goodblade quests on hard and I was level 2 before I even passed the first harbor gate.

Thanks for the hook up Sav.

Xilren 
PS Ched, as I've told lots of other folks, DDO is worth trying just to see what it does differently.  LIke it or hate it, its not a other EQ style game.


Title: Re: Early levels now more solo friendly...
Post by: Chenghiz on July 03, 2006, 09:58:50 AM
I'm gonna try this trial out, I think. Just started a d20 campaign with some friends and re-discovered the game system, and I need an alternative to WoW.


Title: Re: Early levels now more solo friendly...
Post by: Raging Turtle on July 03, 2006, 07:56:18 PM
I think I may give this a try as well


Title: Re: Early levels now more solo friendly...
Post by: stray on July 04, 2006, 08:43:32 AM
I just tried it again (haven't played since beta). I can't really think of anything that hasn't been said before really...


...But just to rehash one of my favorite subjects:

Instancing. Bad. Blah, blah, blah.


That being said....If you are going to incorporate instancing, at the very least, don't make the game group centric.

Seriously, what two ideas could be more in conflict? What exactly was the point of instancing the fuck out of everything if all you really want to do is get people to group up and play with each other? That doesn't make any sense to me.

If you want heavy grouping, then give a player as many options as possible to interact with others. Make them aware at all times that there are other players in the game with them. Don't require them to look people up. Have players running around all over place. In the streets, on every chat channel, in every tavern, room, and shop, etc..


I do think instancing could really shine though if you're aiming for a rich, world altering feel. A game that you can wander around in without too much interference or outside dependency. An MMO that behaves like a single player game. Massive optional.

Too bad DDO doesn't actually try to do that. Not only does it requires the dependency of others, but the world just flat out sucks. This would be worse than the most shitty bargain bin Wal-Mart crap if it was a single player game. It doesn't play to any of the strengths on why the idea of instancing was invented in the first place. It doesn't offer one thing to grab a lone player that'd make them WANT to avoid other players. The best possible entertainment this game (and every MMO) offers IS the other players. And until you can make a fucking simple game that is good on it's own merits, then keep the instancing idea out. "Other players" is the only worthwhile idea around right now.


Other than that, same clunky interface, same promising (but awkward and unfun) combat. I'll give it an F for Effort. They tried to include active block and dodge.

/incoherent, highly caffienated rant off

[edit] And...Spellcheck

Oh, and don't ask why I posted in this thread (the "soloing" thread) of all places.


Title: Re: Early levels now more solo friendly...
Post by: pxib on July 04, 2006, 12:12:50 PM
Other than that, same clunky interface, same promising (but awkward and unfun) combat. I'll give it an F for Effort.

Truth. Your master plan is irrelevant if your game sucks. All the high-minded ideals in the world wouldn't save DDO from its nitty-gritty basics... and it hasn't even got that many high-minded ideals. I can see, and appreciate, the game they were trying to make but THEY DID NOT MAKE THAT GAME. That I'm foolishly optimistic and want to play more is entirely a symptom  of the paucity of "something new" available in the MMO market. WoW wasn't something new, it was just something good... and look how popular that turned out to be.


Title: Re: Early levels now more solo friendly...
Post by: Xilren's Twin on July 05, 2006, 04:30:25 PM
That being said....If you are going to incorporate instancing, at the very least, don't make the game group centric.

Seriously, what two ideas could be more in conflict? What exactly was the point of instancing the fuck out of everything if all you really want to do is get people to group up and play with each other? That doesn't make any sense to me.

Point of order.  There is nothing about instancing as used in DDO, or any other game I can think of currently for that matter, which detracts from group oriented play.  On the contrary, IMHO using instances enhances what is possible to offer a group b/c you can serve them consequences a public space can't offer.  Simple example, take any trap; in a tomb there are three altars that must be purified in different sections; once you trigger the last one, the floor in that room collapses and dropd to a new level that you have to fight your way back up from including some locked gates and ambushes.  One the floor is down, it's not coming back.  If you had split up your group to try and accomplish sections simultaneously, one part of your group would now be in trouble.  If that area wasn't instanced, the floor would constantly be in state of collapse irregardless of what step you and your friends were on b/c random Sir Chucklehead had just trigged that event 5 mins ago (and unlocked the gates, and triggered the ambushes, etc).

Instancing allows you to do a lot of one shot events that you don't have to worry about their effect on the next players through.  So you can actually clear an area of monsters, and it's stays clear.

The public spaces of towns/taverns whatever are where you meet up with other players BEFORE giong to an instance for the actual fun part.  Doesnt matter if that fun part if a PvP battleground, raid zone, or 6 man instance.  Those things are all about group play.

Instancing brings the experience closer to a SP game for certain, but isn't that what people want? (i.e. a much more focused, interactive play session rather than the old EQ style find a safe mob spawn and camp the hell out of it hoping othe players DONT intrude?)

Xilren


Title: Re: Early levels now more solo friendly...
Post by: Broughden on July 06, 2006, 12:25:26 AM
Xilren,

I think you missed Stray's point. I believe that he meant that the town, the taverns, the stores and EVERYTHING are instanced. I think his suggestion is that such public places shouldnt be instanced thereby adding to the over all feel of a vibrant live world teeming with people. And yes in DDO all those places are instances created depending on the number of players presently trying to access them.


Title: Re: Early levels now more solo friendly...
Post by: Ironwood on July 06, 2006, 04:04:20 AM
I think Xil just wanted to go off on a little rant of his own.  Leave him to it.

 :roll:


Title: Re: Early levels now more solo friendly...
Post by: Xilren's Twin on July 06, 2006, 08:17:36 AM
I think you missed Stray's point. I believe that he meant that the town, the taverns, the stores and EVERYTHING are instanced. I think his suggestion is that such public places shouldnt be instanced thereby adding to the over all feel of a vibrant live world teeming with people. And yes in DDO all those places are instances created depending on the number of players presently trying to access them.

No, I got that, it's just those public spaces have pretty high limits before they force you to go to a different instance of the public zone, and they are transparent for things like grouping and chatting.  It doesnt seem to detract from grouping up any more that it does in CoH or GW for that matter (who both use the same type system for public spaces).

The whole "instancing is bad" concept just rubs me the wrong way b/c I tend to think just the opposite; good use of instancing can get us better games.  I think one of the main problems in MMORPGs has always been their massive nature which leads to really poor designs for managing player interaction, and making reuseable content and static crap which ceased to be fun 2 months in EQ1.  YMMV.

Xilren


Title: Re: Early levels now more solo friendly...
Post by: Soln on July 06, 2006, 11:13:25 AM
agreed -- instancing for directed team advancement (read: quests/lewt) makes sense.  Feels more dislocated when public places are instanced.  But I can live with it.  The cantinas in SWG were awesome mosh pits at times, but horrible lag pits getting there.

FWIW, I'm planning to resub once the new module goes live.  Still the best looking game I've seen out there at the moment.  And I'll enjoy levelling the solo stuff and see if I can hook up for more later.


Title: Re: Early levels now more solo friendly...
Post by: stray on July 06, 2006, 05:43:34 PM
The whole "instancing is bad" concept just rubs me the wrong way

There's the whole issue of the second part of my post too. I don't mind instancing if it was truly taken advantage of -- Things like world altering events, for example. Things which aren't possible in a multiplayer space. Instead, not only are the zones and taverns of DDO bereft of player characters, but they don't offer jack shit as far as compter characters are concerned either. The NPC's just stand there like dumbass, static automatons, issuing out boring text quests ike any other online rpg.

If you're going to include full blown instancing like this, then make it worth my while. Make the PvE world dynamic. If I'm a mage, let my magic missiles put holes in the walls. Let me alter the environment in more ways, have the NPC's move around at least...Something. Don't just give the same bullshit MMO world AND take out the chances of seeing player characters on top of that.

Instead of having the first quest be some bartender giving a quest to get him some more rum in his cellar, let the scenario kick off with more excitement: You walk into the tavern, see all kinds of animated characters doing various things at their tables (shouting for drinks, arm wrestling, doing the riverdance on the dancefloor, halfling/dwarf tossing -- WITH enviromental destruction, etc..). After observing this scene for a few moments, two drunk sailors approach you, spouting off hostile gibberish -- Boom, one takes a swing, and a fight goes down -- Your first combat situation.

After you kick their asses (which will be simple enough), the bar is a mess. The barkeep comes out from behind the bar, starts picking up chairs, and then looks at you and demands some payment (which will carry on to some newb quests you'll have to do for him later). But before that, he tells you to go down to the cellar to get some more rum (seeing that you and the sailors destroyed a whole wall filled with drinks).

If the whole point of instancing is to make it more like a single player game, then do just that. Don't just take out the occurence of seeing player characters and then tell me that's more like a single player game. That's bullshit.


Title: Re: Early levels now more solo friendly...
Post by: Rhonstet on July 06, 2006, 06:39:45 PM
It's all about creativity.  Aside from a very rare few characters, most NPCs exhibit all the personality of a vending machine, only with less variety.  That's nothing new. 

That whole 'lack of variety' seems to be a theme within the game.

I can forgive the lack of interactivity.  I can forgive the bugs.  I can even forgive the fact that combat is suck-twitch.  But at least give me what is in the title. 

(DnD Geek Alert)

I think DDO uses as much instancing as it does is because the creators of Stormreach and all other points lack a sense of creativity.  Lacking a sense of creativity isn't really that damning, but in a world like Ebberon, that's staggeringly stupid. 

For those of you who don't know, Ebberon as a DnD world was created when several thousand DnD authors decided to submit their ideas for worlds, and the WOTC basically picked the coolest one.  When handling an IP that gets tried under that kind of fire, you want to be as creative as possible when generating content.

Stormreach itself was implemented right artistically, but in almost every case they managed to drastically fuck up the scale.  Stormreach is a jumping off point for the exploration of an entire continent.  A continent once populated by a civilization of giants that thought drow were lapdogs, and only fell because an entire plane of existence softened them up first.  A continent devoid of law, being explored by a combination of military hardcases, academics, spies, commercial interests, churches, pirates, and refugees.  The story, as it sounds, should be interesting.

So, naturally, I spend my first four levels whacking kobolds in the city sewer. 

Occasionally I take a break, and whack kobolds outside the city, or I whack something else other then kobolds in the sewers.

I'm exaggerating a little here.  But not much.  I can count the number of missions in the first few levels that don't enough kobolds or sewers on one hand. 


Given the fact that you have a continent to explore, DDO should have gone with dynamically-generated instances.  That might have conveyed the proper sense of scale, at least to the world outside the Stormreach Gates. 

Instead, what we got were A->B->C adventure modules.  Ones that the multiple difficulty settings clearly indicate that we should be grinding.

And grinding is an MMO artifact that should not be infecting anything that wants to be DnD.


Title: Re: Early levels now more solo friendly...
Post by: Xilren's Twin on July 07, 2006, 09:37:57 AM
The whole "instancing is bad" concept just rubs me the wrong way

Instead of having the first quest be some bartender giving a quest to get him some more rum in his cellar, let the scenario kick off with more excitement: You walk into the tavern, see all kinds of animated characters doing various things at their tables (shouting for drinks, arm wrestling, doing the riverdance on the dancefloor, halfling/dwarf tossing -- WITH enviromental destruction, etc..). After observing this scene for a few moments, two drunk sailors approach you, spouting off hostile gibberish -- Boom, one takes a swing, and a fight goes down -- Your first combat situation.

If the whole point of instancing is to make it more like a single player game, then do just that. Don't just take out the occurence of seeing player characters and then tell me that's more like a single player game. That's bullshit.

Stray you seem to be really hung up on the instancing of the public spaces like the taverns and the city zones.  The public zones ARE intended to have people interact within them and so they most definately do have vending machine npc are completely static.  For all intends and purposes, the only reason to make the public areas instances at all is managing the number of players you can have in one area before performances starts downhill.  So if the player limit in the tavern is 100, should you ever hit that it just opens a new instance, which is exactly the same as CoH and GW for that matter.  That type of instancing really has nothing to do with the gameplay instancing of quest/mission areas.

DDO (or those other two games) doesn't limit your meeting/greeting other players with instanced public spaces.  And in truth, when I say moving mmo's more towards SP games, I am not talking about the public spaces, I'm talking about the private adventuring areas where you actually do active stuff.  Public spaces should be there for player interaction, crafting, trading which generally works better with static places, but when the time comes to go do a quest I much prefer private instancing.  But even public spaces need to be managed so you don't lag out visiting the Bank or autction house due to the critical mass of players.

However, i will definately agree that DDO doesn't capitalize nearly enough on the potentials for instancing in the quest zones either.  Even when you do quests outside the city, there's just not enough varierty in their overall design.

I'd kill for a mission where most of the group has to make a distraction attack while a sneaky type avoids combat, traps and stuff and open's the gate/assasinates the leader/steals the idol. Just something which allows for variety of gameplay, not just hack and slash now in a temple instead of a sewer.

Xilren


Title: Re: Early levels now more solo friendly...
Post by: Rithrin on August 04, 2006, 06:37:25 AM
I think DDO had a lot of good things going for it (for its niche) until now. Making the first third of the game soloable takes out what the game is based on. Solo play in DDO is almost guaranteed to be the more boring thing seen in MMO's for a while. The flaw isn't just in the game, but the fact that it is based on D&D. The rules for D&D just make soloing uninteresting, since it will come down to having the highest attack bonus and the most d#'s on your damage roll. Tumble to one enemy, swing swing swing (or cast spells, whatever), continue through dungeon. And since some of the missions require specific spells (water breathing, feather fall, etc) it will just encourage the do-it-all type builds since a focused build won't be able to do all the solo content. Simply put, groups makes DDO fun. And now they're slowly starting to get rid of that.

And as a side comment, Rhonstet has a point. The setting on DDO has an incredibly interesting backstory and exploring it would be really fun. But through your whole career there are a handful of times where you actually do something outside the city and even those only cover a few small areas of the continent.