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Author Topic: DAOC - Darkness Rising Expansion  (Read 75996 times)
Furiously
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Reply #70 on: October 24, 2005, 11:59:56 AM

Gratuitious propaganda link:

http://camelot-europe.goa.com/downloads/videos/daoc_goa_b_wmv_en.zip

Created by our European partners. Probably the best DAOC movie I've ever seen (and I've seen a bunch).

You know what DOAC needs? A decent backend Question and Answer database on their webserver to answer these questions.

Llava
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Reply #71 on: October 24, 2005, 12:21:24 PM

Did they ever fix the bug with Ripper?

I'm asking about that now. Considering that fixing these sort of bugs is actually my job now, uh, you can get schild to sucker-punch me this week in retaliation I guess?

See, but it ain't your fault.  It's been bugged, to my knowledge, from release.  I still remember Sanya saying years ago, "According to our spreadsheet, Ripper should be the most damaging attack in the line aside from Perforate Artery.  So go ahead and send me logs if you're experiencing something different."

So I hit 50, took it, and recorded tons and tons and tons of logs of Ripper.  This was in... I think 2002 or 2003. I put them up on the Safehouse as well, we all talked about it, and then someone figured out what was wrong with it and showed the specifics of the bug- that its growth was based on weapon spec instead of Critical Strike spec.  Since the style requires 50 in Critical Strike, this makes it useless to anyone but the most deranged Infiltrator.  In fact, below a certain spec (maybe 20 or so, it's been a while) the display would actually be further bugged- the performer would see "You perform your Ripper! (+34289127397812) You hit for 123409873429734 damage!" while the recipient would see "You are hit for 0 damage!"  Naturally, the latter was actually the correct one.

Ah, memory lane.

See, it's cool that you're looking into it.  The problem is, I no longer have a stake in DAoC.  I did once.  But from the time the player community experimented with Ripper and found out what was wrong and repeatedly told the devs, without a word of response, the game has seen 9 new classes, a huge RA review, horses, housing, a billion balance changes, etc, etc, etc.  It's things like that which make you question how big of a priority it is that everything be polished and working well.

But anyways, I hope you fix it, Lum, that'd be cool for everyone still playing.  But personally, I'm as finished as it gets with DAoC.  It's because it was my first MMOG that I can't stop myself from talking about it every so often. >.<

That the saints may enjoy their beatitude and the grace of God more abundantly they are permitted to see the punishment of the damned in hell. -Saint Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica
Johny Cee
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Reply #72 on: October 24, 2005, 02:48:54 PM

I'm fairly certain Ripper has been "fixed" for some time.  The problem is that, if you do a min/max calculation on potential DPS,  the styles in the chain and lack of good effects (no long duration stun) plus difficulty in getting off the 4th in chain style,  mean it's more efficient to use Diamondback/Dragonfang (hib/alb pierce stun styles) for evade reactionaries.

Money is actually very easy to come by even on ToA servers.  I've made a couple hundred plat just from gaming the market,  knowing which items/scrolls sell for a premium, buying low and selling high.  All it takes is scanning some of the posted templates and then noting what is a "chase" item is,  and once a night taking 10 minutes to scan the Market Explorer for target items.

People have pointed out one serious problem with DAoC: 

The lack of an up to date and easy to access general game overview or manual.  Especially for new or returning players,  this is a real hardship.  I know that the Herald has a searchable archive,  and that there is a help system in game,  but both are not particularly intuitive and it can be difficult to dig info out of them.

A newbie manual in .pdf format, or easily reachable while in game,  would be a huge boon to new folk.  Just something that lays out, "casters need int and dex,  and spec points in your spell line increase your damage" or "your chance to evade is based on your dex and qui" would be great.

Right now,  newbies are dependent on being in a guild with semi-helpful people.  If they don't find that guild,  I can see why new player retention would be difficult.
Llava
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Reply #73 on: October 24, 2005, 03:35:27 PM

I'm fairly certain Ripper has been "fixed" for some time.  The problem is that, if you do a min/max calculation on potential DPS,  the styles in the chain and lack of good effects (no long duration stun) plus difficulty in getting off the 4th in chain style,  mean it's more efficient to use Diamondback/Dragonfang (hib/alb pierce stun styles) for evade reactionaries.

That's what I used to do.  In PvE, I'd evade, then Diamondback, Hamstring, Diamondback, Hamstring (enemy unstuns here), Leaper, Rib Separation, Ripper.  In PvP, due to status immunity, I couldn't extend it out so long, so I'd Diamondback, Hamstring, Hamstring (enemy unstuns here), Leaper, Rib Separation, Ripper.

It was very tricky to pull off the whole chain and sure would've been nice if Ripper made it worthwhile.

That the saints may enjoy their beatitude and the grace of God more abundantly they are permitted to see the punishment of the damned in hell. -Saint Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica
HRose
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Reply #74 on: October 24, 2005, 06:45:16 PM

If you have a decent group, there's really no trick to it.  50-60k rp's is a pretty common saturday for me with about 3-4h in rvr.  No tricks, just good solid fun.  Lay off the seige.  You spend a lot of money and the rp's are awful... unless you enjoy beating on doors.
Money is actually very easy to come by even on ToA servers.  I've made a couple hundred plat just from gaming the market,  knowing which items/scrolls sell for a premium, buying low and selling high.  All it takes is scanning some of the posted templates and then noting what is a "chase" item is,  and once a night taking 10 minutes to scan the Market Explorer for target items.

I'm sorry but in my book you are both catasses.

I'd be lucky if in a 4h session I get more than 15k at the moment. In the Old Frontier I used to farm a lot more but right now I don't have access to that type of RvR.

-HRose / Abalieno
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Reply #75 on: October 24, 2005, 06:50:35 PM

How come he plays successfully for 4 hours, you play with less success for 4 hours, and he's the catass?

I thought catass was strictly regarding amount of time played, not the rewards gained from that.

That the saints may enjoy their beatitude and the grace of God more abundantly they are permitted to see the punishment of the damned in hell. -Saint Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica
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Reply #76 on: October 24, 2005, 06:52:12 PM

Boo.

More hate please. Too many damn people defending shitty games lately.  angry
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Reply #77 on: October 24, 2005, 07:06:39 PM

Boo.

More hate please. Too many damn people defending shitty games lately.  angry

We aren't here just to hate on games for the sake of hating. If Mythic can improve DAoC, why should we be getting down on them for trying to do so? Sure we can complain about the pace of the improvement or whether the improvements actually matter, but they are trying to do something.
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Reply #78 on: October 24, 2005, 08:01:55 PM

Gratuitious propaganda link:

http://camelot-europe.goa.com/downloads/videos/daoc_goa_b_wmv_en.zip

Created by our European partners. Probably the best DAOC movie I've ever seen (and I've seen a bunch).

Okay, that was just totally INSANE.

Really, at times it seems almost using CG. Some parts remind me more Final Fantasy than DAoC.

Btw, just out of the blue, it would be cool to recode the /follow command to use formations. That's an idea that the video gave me. Instead of running around with the characters all overlapping in a line it would be great to code 4-5 types of switchable formations like it happens with the squads in Homeworld. These would work only when /sticked and would even add some tactics to the game since they would actually simulate the formations in the medieval battles.

Not only they would be cool to watch and use, but they could define different strategies. For sure this wouldn't be trivial to implement, but it would be really a cool feature :)
« Last Edit: October 24, 2005, 08:12:12 PM by HRose »

-HRose / Abalieno
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Reply #79 on: October 24, 2005, 09:17:48 PM

Boo.

More hate please. Too many damn people defending shitty games lately.  angry

We aren't here just to hate on games for the sake of hating.

Fair enough, but I'm only hating a specific type of game really (and this isn't even about DAoC specifically). And I only hate, because it hates me first.

I also hate that a lot mmog discussion around here has turned from that of broad criticism (positive and negative) of the genre to that of specific game fans who care only to discuss things from one angle. An angle that, I personally, completely fucking dread. People who like the core of the games, but only want to see little "tweaks" and "improvements" here and there. Anything touching on the underlying design (and the shoddiness thereof) is off limits --- Because that's the part they like.

Anyways, I'm terribly sorry for taking this into "Star Wars ownz Serenity!!" territory, but what can I say? The hate made me do it.

Carry on, etc..


« Last Edit: October 24, 2005, 09:19:28 PM by Stray »
Llava
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Reply #80 on: October 24, 2005, 10:43:54 PM

An angle that, I personally, completely fucking dread. People who like the core of the games, but only want to see little "tweaks" and "improvements" here and there. Anything touching on the underlying design (and the shoddiness thereof) is off limits --- Because that's the part they like.

What makes them wrong to enjoy the underlying design?

I mean, not all games are going to appeal to everyone.  CoH, for instance, isn't a game where I'd do much to change the underlying design.  DAoC has definite problems in this realm (largely stemming from when it was created, I believe- certain rules just hadn't been broken yet, certain technology just wasn't available) but if someone does enjoy the underlying design of DAoC, who am I to say they're wrong?

Of course, if you're saying that the problem is that they don't want to debate the virtues of the design and just immediately shut those conversations down and move onto specifics/particulars, then I can agree with that.

That the saints may enjoy their beatitude and the grace of God more abundantly they are permitted to see the punishment of the damned in hell. -Saint Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica
stray
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Reply #81 on: October 24, 2005, 11:13:05 PM

An angle that, I personally, completely fucking dread. People who like the core of the games, but only want to see little "tweaks" and "improvements" here and there. Anything touching on the underlying design (and the shoddiness thereof) is off limits --- Because that's the part they like.

What makes them wrong to enjoy the underlying design?

I mean, not all games are going to appeal to everyone.  CoH, for instance, isn't a game where I'd do much to change the underlying design.  DAoC has definite problems in this realm (largely stemming from when it was created, I believe- certain rules just hadn't been broken yet, certain technology just wasn't available) but if someone does enjoy the underlying design of DAoC, who am I to say they're wrong?

Of course, if you're saying that the problem is that they don't want to debate the virtues of the design and just immediately shut those conversations down and move onto specifics/particulars, then I can agree with that.

Heh. Funny that you mention the underlying designs of CoH and DAoC as being different from each other.

That would be the angle that I'm talking about.

If you think one needs changing and another doesn't, then what you have in mind are still particular/specific.

[edit] In other words, say DAoC and CoH are "Poker" and "Blackjack".

Both may be different as card games, but still, they're both card games. For the sake of argument, lets say that I don't care about either the virtues of Blackjack or Poker simply because I don't care about cards in general. I want to throw the whole fucking deck out. I want to replace them with, for example, Legos.

That would be a fundamental change in design. Taking the Joker out of a card deck wouldn't.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2005, 11:30:31 PM by Stray »
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Reply #82 on: October 25, 2005, 12:02:08 AM

'm not entirely sure if I should post all this here. It risks to kill the whole thread (but I'm noticing it's already at a good point) or just take unneeded space. But since I wrote it and it explains my point of view and what I think would be good for the game, I'll try.

There actually is a button to /release. The fact that you didn't know about it is a good demonstration that our UI needs some serious reworking, you'll never get me to disagree on that point.
Yes, in the command window that has plenty of useless buttons. That's the first thing I modded.

The /release button should be moved where it belongs, on the "time out" window that appears as you die and with the "/release entrance" aside. At least for the NEW commands and things you introduce it would be a good idea to implement them in the proper way.

Quote
Doing the Champion quests should get you enough CL experience to reach CL3, assuming you do nothing else. As for the rest, I'd argue that unlike TOA, you absolutely do not need CL5 to be RvR-ready. It's like the titles at RR11+, something nice as a reward once you get there, not something to "grind" to.
1- This ruins the content. At least assuming that for "champion quests" you mean the three chapters. Retaining these to do them at 50 to maximize the gain (since you can start to acquire the exp only at 50) makes the content even more dull than how it is already since the first chapter is tailored for level 30 and the second for level 40. Fighting a bunch of greys to accomplish very simple and linear tasks won't be all that entertaining.

2- It's not that the CLs are required for RvR, it's just that in this case the reward isn't really appropriate to the time required. In other words: not justified.

Now the points is: why was it changed (nerfed) at the end of the beta? From the comments, true or not, I heard that you received around a .4 for killing an enemy in solo. Which would still be an acceptable balance considering you would have the bar moving and the ten bubbles filling up at a decent pace. There are already the Realm Ranks to define that type of slow and exponential progress, there's no reason to add another overlapping.

Since the Cs don't really stack in power (the same assumption that was betrayed with ToA) their purpose is to broaden the class. Offer it some more minor tricks. This has the sole scope of making them more fun to play since one of the limits of the game is about having classes that are too strict and specialized. Hence it's another of those parts of the game that you WANT to valorize, instead of keeping it away from the players.

The titles in RvR and the Ranks can be "achievement based". Because that's their direct and natural purpose and sense. But it's not so good to retain the achievement based mechanic for the CLs. There's nothing to achieve because they don't offer anything that is worth pursuing. Instead they add some FUN to the classes that would be a good idea to hand out to the players for "cheap". Like it already happens for the weapons.

What I mean is that there isn't really a good reason to make it slow instead of more quick. You are just pushing back the fun.

And this goes further because it's a patter Mythic is repeating. In September you nerfed the exp in the TDs. Why? Again there isn't a good reason to do this and it just damaged the game some more.

Let's put it in this way: our life is too short to waste time grinding repetitive and dull PvE content that doesn't offer any challenge. That's what the TDs are. So why a designer would want the players to spend MORE time there? Where is the gain? Where is the purpose? This problem is really at the basic level. In a game you can offer a grind only for those parts that are already representing a satisfying repetable content.

The RvR in DAoC is a great and perfect example of "satisfying repetable content". The PvE is NOT.

This is why noone criticizes the Realm Ranks *grind* and why there are players that always praise it above what WoW implemented. The grind here is appropriate. It doesn't ruin the game. It valorizes it. But it's completely different when you reapply grindy mechanics to the PvE (both as exp grind and money grind). ALL KINDS OF GRINDS aren't fun in a dull, repetitive PvE. And there isn't a single decent reason why you would find acceptable and useful to TRAP the players in a cavern for days. It follows the same unjustified and unfun design trend that we have criticized for all these years. It's masochistic.

Players complain because this is logically wrong.

So, again, why the exp in the TDs was nerfed? The only reason I can imagine is to rebalance the experience gained there in relation with the rest of the game. In fact there's that "triad" that I already commented and that is the reason why I was against AlteredOne proposed changes:
1) In TDs you quickly gain money and exp / but not loot
2) In the instanced dungeons you can "quickly" gain Aurulite, hence items / but the exp is crap
3) The quick task quests around the non-instanced zones give you easier *soloable* and short tasks that give you medium money and exp

Schematizing:
1) ++money ++exp --loot
2) --money --exp ++loot
3) +exp +money ++easy to solo

The first patter was by far the most efficient. In fact with the money you can also go buy equipment and even aurulite. This is why the only reason I found to the nerf to the exp in TDs is about rebalancing those patterns. But this doesn't justify it. We still lack the satisfying repetable content and these patterns were rebalanced in the WRONG direction. It was the other two patterns that needed to be brought in line with the TDs and not the other way around.

But there's even another point to consider. Why the hell we would need three different patterns? The PvE is the same in all three. It doesn't offer anything different. This is why I believe that DAoC would need a *consolidation* of its PvE and not a further fragmentation as it happened. Of course, it would benefit from a fragmentation of the PvE intended as: different type of challenges and patterns presented. Different qualities and something that could be actually involving. But what DAoC diversificates is not the actual PvE (which is dull and repetitive in every case) but the rewards. The reward is the only difference setting apart the three patterns. And it is obvious how this isn't positive for a game that definitely doesn't need a grind applied to this type of content, in particular when the fragmentation of the PvE is furtherly made worse by the population problems and the isolation of the players through the instanced content.

We already know that instancing has both good and bad consequences. This is even worse in a game with population problems (in particular at the lower levels, where the newbies need reasons to have fun and get involved) and with this fragmentation of the PvE that has no good effects or logical justifications.

This is why it's always not so trivial to analyze all these parts and why it's not possible to just claim a bonus to the exp or something similar. All these things delve deeper. Why the hell we cannot have a place where we can get good money, good exp and even good equipment? What are the valid reasons that brought to the fragmentation of patterns I illustrated above? I don't know any. What I know is that the great majority of the players are grinding the TDs DEFINITELY NOT because they are having fun. But just because they are the most efficient pattern offered. They don't enjoy the content. They ENDURE it. And this isn't acceptable in an environment where you are supposed to have... fun. An environment that is supposed to valorize its qualities and not its problems.

Now I hope my point is clear: the existence of the TDs in the game is completely unjustified. So it makes sense to remove them since they damage the game. Now think to what could happen if Mythic would announce the removal of the TDs. The players would RAGE. And here's another important point. The players wouldn't be angry because you remove something fun from the game, but because you remove a viable, consolidated and optimal pattern that they *absolutely need*. It's their pattern of choice. The "fun" and the optimized pattern must be kept separate. They aren't the same entity. The players are merely choosing the "less worst" pattern they have available to endure the PvE treadmill and reach the endgame, that, contrarily to WoW, is that part of the game that still justifies a subscription fee. How could we "valorize" the PvE instead of balancing the "less worst" patterns as it happened till now?

Imho the TDs must be completely eradicated. That's the very first step. They never made sense both from the player's perspective and the design. They are unjustified and just damage the game. They only "dissimulate" a value by offering the best pattern available. But that value is solely functional and totally inappropriate.

The second step, also following the line of thoughts above, is about moving the "TDs mechanics" (go to taskmaster and take the two-types missions, the "clear dungeon" should be just removed) WITHIN the Instanced Dungeons where you farm aurulite. Because there isn't a valid reason to keep the "reward" patterns separate. There are no advantages. This would instead encourage the players to focus on something more varied. The IDs offer a more refreshing experience than the TDs and they are naturally suitable to inherit their role. We remove the TDs and carry over their functional role to the IDs where the players would benefit from a more rewarding and complete experience:

a) Players will hunt everything they need: money, exp and equipment. Also helping them to be "viable" for the RvR BattleGrounds.
b) The experience will be more varied and refreshing: the IDs offer more varied environments and challenges.
c) This would consolidate the "game space", encouraging the players to gather and group.

While ToA exhibited a blatantly flawed design under everyone's eyes, Catacombs still brought new mistakes that are also damaging the game, just in a more subtle and less apparent way. Which doesn't make those mistakes any less significant.

I think that what I wrote here is a demonstration of why we cannot compile a personal wish list and expect to do something positive to the game. Things are complex and need an involved discussion where the arguments can be delved and explained. This isn't a conclusion even if I provided my own. This is instead a possible start to confront those ideas, contribute to shape new ones and avoid to repeat the past mistakes.

-HRose / Abalieno
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Reply #83 on: October 25, 2005, 12:18:55 AM

Would have killed the thread if I had read it, but considering I saw DAOC's short commings a mile away and quit before I'd even got my first character to 40 its no biggy.  Not to mention for all its bug-free launch goodness DAOC had the worst class balance I've experienced ever in a pvp game.

Ignore Stray for the next week or so, he's in the bitter stage everyone who realizes just how utterly worthless WoW's pvp is and how the endgame is like a truffle but made of brick instead of chocolate and once you finish breaking your teeth then your jaw getting to the center its full of shit not the fluffy dark goodness you sacrificed so much to enjoy.

Ok not the best simile but you get the point.

A nation consists of its laws. A nation does not consist of its situation at a given time. If an individual's morals are situational, then that individual is without morals. If a nation's laws are situational, that nation has no laws, and soon isn't a nation.
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Llava
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Reply #84 on: October 25, 2005, 12:59:57 AM

What makes them wrong to enjoy the underlying design?

I mean, not all games are going to appeal to everyone.  CoH, for instance, isn't a game where I'd do much to change the underlying design.  DAoC has definite problems in this realm (largely stemming from when it was created, I believe- certain rules just hadn't been broken yet, certain technology just wasn't available) but if someone does enjoy the underlying design of DAoC, who am I to say they're wrong?

Of course, if you're saying that the problem is that they don't want to debate the virtues of the design and just immediately shut those conversations down and move onto specifics/particulars, then I can agree with that.

Heh. Funny that you mention the underlying designs of CoH and DAoC as being different from each other.

That would be the angle that I'm talking about.

If you think one needs changing and another doesn't, then what you have in mind are still particular/specific.

[edit] In other words, say DAoC and CoH are "Poker" and "Blackjack".

Both may be different as card games, but still, they're both card games. For the sake of argument, lets say that I don't care about either the virtues of Blackjack or Poker simply because I don't care about cards in general. I want to throw the whole fucking deck out. I want to replace them with, for example, Legos.

That would be a fundamental change in design. Taking the Joker out of a card deck wouldn't.
Quote

Okay.  Well.  I like a lot of the basics of MMOGs.  A lot of things need to be fixed, but I do enjoy them for the most part.  If I didn't, I wouldn't play them.

Why am I wrong and why are you right?  I'd say neither of us is right or wrong, but that we like different things.  While you might not like cards, surely you can respect that, while I can think of a few ways to make cards better, I ultimately do want to stick with cards.

That the saints may enjoy their beatitude and the grace of God more abundantly they are permitted to see the punishment of the damned in hell. -Saint Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica
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Reply #85 on: October 25, 2005, 02:50:42 AM

Nobody's wrong. I'll get that out of the way first.

In fact, I think everybody's right (Err...."Bartle-wise", that is). A deck of cards can be made to both create a game of Poker, or, like Legos, used to build things (i.e. a House of Cards). Whatever.

It's not that "I" am the one telling people that they're wrong. It's the complete opposite. Look at the mmog market and see who's telling who what's "wrong" or not. Look at most mmog discussion and see what particular system is under discussion. That I say "Fuck that" doesn't mean I'm judging any point of view. I'm merely asserting another. One that doesn't paint the entire the genre with one brush and color (that's not as condescending as it sounds....it's more a point of inclusivity than anything).

The reason why I brought it up here of all places is, like most discussions about EQ-ish/Diku games, players envitably are driven a little nuts about things....But they only come up with and look at solutions that are drawn up from the same well that created the very same problems that drove them nuts in the first place (This is a bit abstract mayne? Hopefully it makes sense). As good as some ideas and improvements may sound, they'll still be playing the same game with the same goals ("goals" being a key word here) that'll leave them wanting for more.

"Improvement" threads are like treating the symptoms of a disease, but never curing the disease itself. They're like trying to solve the problems of crime only by putting criminals in jail. It irritates me because I'm more interested in cures, not the other stuff --- And I know that none of you would even be here if you didn't want the same thing too! You just derail yourselves sometimes (like I'm derailing this thread).
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Reply #86 on: October 25, 2005, 07:30:34 AM


I simply do not have time to respond to Hrose in detail.  However I will say this...  Clearly you would like to see some major revolutionary changes to DAOC, with idea like abolishing Task Dungeons.  That's all fine and good, but I guarantee you Mythic's energies are 90% directed at Warhammer now.  My focus tends to be on how we can take the existing game, and make it actually fun at low levels.  The catasses and hardcore players already have their game, and they must like it if they're still playing. 

The battlegrounds are a fascinating artifact of DAOC's patchwork development process.  They have no effect on anything, and players are discouraged from staying in the BGs by many game mechanics.  In short, they were an afterthought for Mythic.  Yet there is a substantial community of BG lovers who play DAOC almost purely to mess around in these pointless zones.  So it occurs to me that Mythic might win some new customers simply by improving the BGs.  This would not be a big development effort, and it might make a lot of casual gamers happy.

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Reply #87 on: October 25, 2005, 09:28:25 AM

Btw, just out of the blue, it would be cool to recode the /follow command to use formations. That's an idea that the video gave me. Instead of running around with the characters all overlapping in a line it would be great to code 4-5 types of switchable formations like it happens with the squads in Homeworld. These would work only when /sticked and would even add some tactics to the game since they would actually simulate the formations in the medieval battles.

I would just like to stick my head in here and say that Shadowbane actually had working formations of this type, but they were rarely used in battle. They were great for marching over distances, but in battle, you really needed your own autonomous movement.

And frankly, without collision detection, formations in battle really mean fuckall, since the whole idea of most formations in medieval combat was to press a mass of bodies onto another mass of bodies so that an individual always felt the morale boost of his buddy next to him.

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Reply #88 on: October 25, 2005, 09:48:12 AM

And frankly, without collision detection, formations in battle really mean fuckall,

We spent alot of time spreading out in DAOC (and yelling at folks to spread out) to keep from having our entire squad mezzed.  Even if formations were nothing more then spread distance they would have been helpful, and may have reduced the total effectiveness of mez classes sufficiently to not require more drastic measures.  Course, there would be even more getting stuck on trees and run off cliffs, but folks that did that weren't allowed to lead all that much.
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Reply #89 on: October 25, 2005, 09:59:15 AM

Everyone on my floor's on Camelot. Warhammer's upstairs.

So it's not that we wouldn't remove task dungeons because we don't have anyone working on Camelot, we wouldn't because it's an insanely drastic change to the game at this point and wouldn't achieve what is being asked for, anyway.

There's nothing preventing people solely from levelling up solo in Catacombs instances that drop aurulite. However, they're not balanced for solo players and often have monster layout that would be hot death to a class without, say, crowd control. But they're fine for what they are - group challenges. If we changed those to be solo-friendly, they wouldn't be a challenge for a group (and HRose would complain about "static mobs that just sit there waiting for you to kill them" - in other words, no wanderers or scout mobs that might present aggro control issues).

Task dungeons present one thing and one thing only - a short, hour-long or so play session that allows a solo player to advance their character when nothing else is available. It succeeds in that. If you hate task dungeons - uh, don't do them? There's plenty of other things for a solo player to do. Darkness Rising introduced champion tasks, which are basically kill tasks 3.0 - go out in the world, kill things (that are already there), get quick XP. Catacombs introduced quite a few quests outside of task dungeons. If you're doing TDs over and over because it's the minmaxer's quickest way to level, that's fine. But there are other options.

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Reply #90 on: October 25, 2005, 10:05:08 AM

Never underestimate the number of players who will do whatever the best xp/time ratio activity is no matter how boring and stupid.  Also never underestimate the number of players who will bitch at you while they do said activity, even though you've given them a million other options that are wonderful and fun.  For the majority of MMO players anything that is not considered the best xp/time way to level might as well not exist.  Myself included, because I hate all forms of PvE leveling so it might as well get done as fast as possible.

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Reply #91 on: October 25, 2005, 10:59:20 AM

Everyone on my floor's on Camelot. Warhammer's upstairs.


Granted, I may have overestimated the % of Mythic employees devoted to Warhammer, but then again the Camelot floor might be a very small one :P

As for Mythic strategy, a few things should be clear...
1.  The Classic servers and free trial were good for convincing a lot of old players to re-up at least short-term.  From what I've seen in a couple of large guilds, this was a big boost for a few months, and now the numbers have dropped off.  End result, probably a decent boost from some old-timers returning and staying.  This was your best shot to win these people back.
2.  Darkness Rising is aimed exclusively at high-end players.  Which is fine, if your goal is to retain your existing base.  I've only seen a few people reactivate for it, but lots of current players seem happy with it.
3.  WoW has brought a lot of new players to the genre, and many of them are burning out on that game.  Mythic can market themselves as the RvR game with true complexity.  Hence Mythic is likely to reap good rewards, if they focus on making the game more exciting for true new players.  So long as the game's most unique aspect (RvR) is fun at all levels, at minimum you should get a lot of people thinking "DAOC is cool but maybe a bit dated -- man I can't wait to see Warhammer."
« Last Edit: October 25, 2005, 11:07:31 AM by AlteredOne »
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Reply #92 on: October 25, 2005, 01:02:35 PM

Quote
If you're doing TDs over and over because it's the minmaxer's quickest way to level, that's fine. But there are other options.

Thats like saying you have the option of walking to work if the commute bothers you.  Its nonsense.

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Reply #93 on: October 25, 2005, 01:35:29 PM

Quote
If you're doing TDs over and over because it's the minmaxer's quickest way to level, that's fine. But there are other options.

Thats like saying you have the option of walking to work if the commute bothers you.  Its nonsense.

I believe Statesman said something to the effect of, "The best route should also be the most fun route."

<shrug>  Making combat in DAoC fun, though, would require a huge rebalancing of how that all works.  Notable above in Lum's post is how he mentions that interesting AI behavior like scouts or wanderers is out of the question for solo players, because single characters are not built to handle that kind of aggro.  Ding, problem.  The player-to-mob strength level is so low that mobs /have/ to sit there and wait to be killed, or solo players can't take them.  That, in my opinion, would require rebalancing the PvE game so that a solo player /can/ handle adds, to a certain degree.  But it would change so many core aspects of the game so late, not to mention the perceived assault on already-good soloers, and require so many resources, it's probably not worth it.  Most people who are willing to play DAoC nowadays seem willing to slog through the PvE.  The tradeoff is that you just have to listen to them complaining.

That the saints may enjoy their beatitude and the grace of God more abundantly they are permitted to see the punishment of the damned in hell. -Saint Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica
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Reply #94 on: October 25, 2005, 01:39:02 PM

Oh and I wanted to mentioned, Stray, that I understand and agree with that point.  I just wanted to be clear on what you were saying.

That the saints may enjoy their beatitude and the grace of God more abundantly they are permitted to see the punishment of the damned in hell. -Saint Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica
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Reply #95 on: October 25, 2005, 01:55:06 PM

People have pointed out one serious problem with DAoC: 

The lack of an up to date and easy to access general game overview or manual.  Especially for new or returning players,  this is a real hardship.  I know that the Herald has a searchable archive,  and that there is a help system in game,  but both are not particularly intuitive and it can be difficult to dig info out of them.

A newbie manual in .pdf format, or easily reachable while in game,  would be a huge boon to new folk.  Just something that lays out, "casters need int and dex,  and spec points in your spell line increase your damage" or "your chance to evade is based on your dex and qui" would be great.

Nobody reads manuals (especially me).  The real problem is all that complexity - I don't like dealing with 4+ scrollbars of hotkeys full of new spells and buffs, weapon styles, slash commands, item procs, realm abilities, and then ToA master abilities.
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Reply #96 on: October 25, 2005, 02:42:20 PM

Quote
If you're doing TDs over and over because it's the minmaxer's quickest way to level, that's fine. But there are other options.

Thats like saying you have the option of walking to work if the commute bothers you.  Its nonsense.


Assume that Mythic moved from beautiful downtown Fairfax to beautiful downtown DC. I now have a problem. My commute turns from 5 minutes to 2 hours (most of which is spent waiting to cross over the Beltway).

Walking to work if my commute bothers me is out of the question. It's a fairly idiotic thing to do.

Taking the subway if my commute bothers me is not out of the question. It's not the most convienent of alternatives. I probably have to walk further (from the metro station to my new office instead of just from the parking lot). But it is an alternative, it presents its own pros and cons different from taking my car to work.

So, I would argue that the alternatives I presented are less walking 20 miles, and more taking the metro in to work.

I would also note for the record that the last 50 I levelled saw the inside of a TD only a few times between 40 and 50, and I soloed my way through 49 to 50 by doing high-end Catacombs quests. It wasn't the most efficient way, but it did work.

I would also note that I personally would claw my eyes out before sitting in a finnlaith or redcap group for hours. I'm not a very good min-maxer.

The problem here is that you can't min-max fun. Even in World of Warcraft, which has done an absolutely outstanding job of creating non-grindy content for levelling up, people still grind levels, because they percieve it to be more efficient. You can't out-design the player's desire to race through content as quickly as possible, and in fact I'd argue it's a mistake to try, because it will inevitably result in penalizing the casual player who doesn't min-max their way through the game.
« Last Edit: October 25, 2005, 02:45:20 PM by Lum »
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Reply #97 on: October 25, 2005, 03:20:07 PM

The problem here is that you can't min-max fun. Even in World of Warcraft, which has done an absolutely outstanding job of creating non-grindy content for levelling up, people still grind levels, because they percieve it to be more efficient. You can't out-design the player's desire to race through content as quickly as possible, and in fact I'd argue it's a mistake to try, because it will inevitably result in penalizing the casual player who doesn't min-max their way through the game.

I strongly agree with this.  My highest level WoW character is 42, I have a few more between 25 and 40.  Every time I play I have a blast.  I do almost nothing but PvE quests/instances - in fact having to kill something not on my quest list bugs me.  I've done a couple of raids and had fun but it is still not my preferred playstyle.  I had much the same fun with CoH until Cryptic also began gearing more content towards group-only play.

I enjoy WoW.  I'm not tired of it yet.  I consider it the ideal Diku-derivative even though I'd really rather have "lite" virtual worlds like UO.  I tried to play EQ and DAOC the same way as I play WoW but unfortunately those games were not really for casual players who wind up soloing more often than not.

Anyway when I watch people group and grind levels I don't see what I call outward exclamations of fun - unless fun is defined solely as comparing jockstrap sizes.  Since 2000 I've castigated MOG houses that ignore casuals and chase the catass crowd and then wonder why there are so few subs left after the catasses have burned out on the product and the casuals have long since been driven out.

Not to be snarky but Mythic has been one of those shops.  Sounds like they realize that now and are taking strong steps.
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Reply #98 on: October 25, 2005, 03:53:45 PM

I personally would claw my eyes out before sitting in a finnlaith or redcap group for hours.

That is so sig worthy.

That the saints may enjoy their beatitude and the grace of God more abundantly they are permitted to see the punishment of the damned in hell. -Saint Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica
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Reply #99 on: October 25, 2005, 05:45:36 PM

I would just like to stick my head in here and say that Shadowbane actually had working formations of this type, but they were rarely used in battle. They were great for marching over distances, but in battle, you really needed your own autonomous movement.
Wait.

I'm speaking strictly of DAoC and the /stick command. As the player presses a directional key the "/stick" breaks and even the formation would break.

So you have the autonomous movement in the exact same way you have now.  It's exactly and solely to move around, not for the battles. The formations would just help aesthetically, because the characters will maintain their own position instead of overlapping on a line, and tactical, because if the characters aren't all stacked the whole "mezz/root" wars will acquire a different depth.

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Reply #100 on: October 25, 2005, 06:22:38 PM

Yes, what you are describing is identical to Shadowbane's formations system.
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Reply #101 on: October 25, 2005, 06:49:39 PM

Clearly you would like to see some major revolutionary changes to DAOC, with idea like abolishing Task Dungeons.
Excuse me, but moving the taskmaster from the task dungeon to the aurulite doungeons isn't "major", nor "revolutionary". Just intelligent. "Take this here and move it there where it is more appropriate and fun."

And it's EXACTLY because I cannot propose anything a bit more daring that I try to hand out suggestions that are doable. This "small" change wouldn't shift the PvE from "dull", to "interesting". But it would move the game more toward a positive path that valorizes what's already in the game.

Quote from: Lum
So it's not that we wouldn't remove task dungeons because we don't have anyone working on Camelot, we wouldn't because it's an insanely drastic change to the game at this point and wouldn't achieve what is being asked for, anyway.

You know already my opinion. If even this is a too drastic change, DAoC will never go anywhere. Moving a taskmaster to equilibrate and streamline the PvE is really a minimal step to what DAoC would need.

Quote
There's nothing preventing people solely from levelling up solo in Catacombs instances that drop aurulite.
Yes, it's just, I don't know, seven times slower? Both in solo and in a group, mind you.

Quote
However, they're not balanced for solo players and often have monster layout that would be hot death to a class without, say, crowd control. But they're fine for what they are - group challenges.
As I wrote above I'm not questioning the "target" of this PvE pattern. I'm questioning the *reward*. The exp in the aurulite dungeons sucks. Even if, as you say, this would be optimal for group challenges. But in my experience 99% of the groups don't go in the aurulite instances as the design would imply. They go in the Task Dungeons. In your theory these TDs are supposed to be there for solo players instead.

So there's something broken already there.

Quote
If we changed those to be solo-friendly, they wouldn't be a challenge for a group (and HRose would complain about "static mobs that just sit there waiting for you to kill them" - in other words, no wanderers or scout mobs that might present aggro control issues).
And here you twist what I proposed. I didn't propose to take the aurulite dungeons and replace their content with the task dungeons. I just proposed to move the frigging taskmaster. The Aurulite dungeons wouldn't change at all.

As you should see this is logical. The Aurulite would provide everything they provide now: the aurulite dropping and optimal group challenges. By adding the taskmaster and completing those missions they would also finally offer good exp.

So not only good experience points. But it would also move the "optimal group challenges" to where it belongs (and is more fun) instead of the awfully boring (and now nerfed) TDs. Basically I wouldn't do anything else than what has been quoted:
Quote
"The best route should also be the most fun route."
The best route is about those Aurulite dungeons that are tailored for groups. That offer something slightly more than mobs standing still and that would finally also become the "best" route.

Why this wouldn't make sense?

Quote
Task dungeons present one thing and one thing only - a short, hour-long or so play session that allows a solo player to advance their character when nothing else is available.
Is this their design? Because if this is their design, it's broken. I dread to go in a TD in solo. That's way too slow and dull to be able to tolearate. But the TDs have been where I levelled for most of my character life. And the same for most of the players. Just not solo but in a group.

The TDs aren't used just by players soloing, they are used by the groups and simply because they are the most efficient way to farm exp and money.

The TDs offer just one simple pattern: you complete the task and get a dump of money and a bubble of exp (back then). At the level of content they offer NOTHING. This is why the TDs should be removed, because the content is already null. What we would retain, instead, is their function (money+exp) that would be carried over to the aurulite dungeons where the money+exp would be aintegrated with items. Bingo.

This is what would be optimal content for a group and without going down to propose something actually radical like changing the combat mechanics or the classes. This is why I wrote that my idea valorizes the content. The content that is already there and wouldn't require brand new development time.

This would also encourage the players to... group. Since the aurulite dungeons would become even more appealing and, as you wrote, tailored as "optimal group challenges".

What we would lose (and need to reintegrate) is the original purpose of the TDs: "a short play session that allows a solo player to advance their character when nothing else is available". Since the Aurulite dungeons wouldn't be appropriate for this (being "group" content, but this is even questionable considering I actually soloed way more time the aurulite than the TDs).

About this problem you already say that there are patterns available:
Quote
There's plenty of other things for a solo player to do.

Which would finally bring to another point that I didn't want to bring up, but that was the direct consequence of what I wrote above (because, as I said, this is the START of a long process, not just a change to fire and forget):
- The solo quest missions should be really tweaked in a viable solo experience. Right now they hand out medium money and medium exp, they should be instead organized in "chapters" where at the end of each you are able to also have access to all the items you need for your character. So, basically, the idea would be to integrate the medium exp and money also with usable items. (and following this idea to integrate the rewards instead of splitting them without a logical reason)

Right now what I see in the game is a broken pattern: players solo the Aurulite and group in TDs. My ideas, among the goals I listed above, is aimed to encourage the players to group in the Aurulite dungeons and solo the task quests.

From a "technical" point of view the *content* wouldn't need any work:
- The TDs would just be removed. The art assets in there wouldn't be lost since they are just reused and mixed from other parts of the game.
- The taskmasters and their tasks would be moved at the door of the Aurulite dungeons (and the mechanics adapted so that they aim at the mobs and boss monster within each, shouldn't be a biggie)
- The solo task missions should be integrated with good items along the path and maybe buffed up even in money and exp in the case the solo players rant about the removal of TDs.

If this is "an insanely drastic change", well, it would be better to just give up altogether.

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Reply #102 on: October 25, 2005, 07:34:40 PM

The problem here is that you can't min-max fun. Even in World of Warcraft, which has done an absolutely outstanding job of creating non-grindy content for levelling up, people still grind levels, because they percieve it to be more efficient. You can't out-design the player's desire to race through content as quickly as possible, and in fact I'd argue it's a mistake to try, because it will inevitably result in penalizing the casual player who doesn't min-max their way through the game.

Camelot negates that idea, though.

The optimal pattern is about grinding TDs. The casual players have full access to this min/maxing because it is soloable (or accessible with small and not balanced groups) and doesn't requires hours. This is why Catacombs was well accepted.

WoW is exactly the same. What is fun and also rather optimal is what is accessible to the casual players. This is why WoW was well accepted (and now criticized at the end game).

If we now change WoW and make the exp bar moving consistently only by joining raids of 20 or 40 players and for long hours, the players would complain.

I believe what matters here isn't what is min/maxed, it's just the accessibility.

The "rule" is that it would be a good practice to keep what is fun also accessible and optimal.

If it's accessible the casual player is never penalized.

WoW is soloable because IT DOES offer good exp and items by questing. And it is praised BECAUSE those patterns are also rather optimal. I hope we aren't going back to the point where we claim that you can even solo FFXI if you want.

Quote from: Lum
Yes, what you are describing is identical to Shadowbane's formations system.
Well, this means that my ideas aren't always that crazy so :)

-HRose / Abalieno
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Reply #103 on: October 26, 2005, 03:45:57 AM

What I'm saying is that in a game where the only thing to do at level X is to try to get to X+1, then players are not interested in the less efficient alternative.  They will always take the efficient, boring route, and then complain about the boredom. In response, simply saying that they could stop trying so hard to level is silly - its the game itself that demands that they level.  Its a confusion of purpose.

 Its not a DAoC thing, its a class/level-based game thing. 

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Reply #104 on: October 26, 2005, 01:18:19 PM

Here's where I think I'm an atypical gamer.  When I start playing an MMOG, I want to know what the game is like when I reach the max level.  All of the newer MMOG's offered me nothing but raiding and slapped-on PvP of some sort.  I play DAoC because it offers me the endgame I'm looking for.  I can stomach the crap from levels 1-50 because I know that the majority of my time in game will be spent at level 50, not on the way there. If they could make the trip from 1-50 more fun, that would be nice. 

As for the timesink: On a classic server I just got a toon from level 1-50, fully equipped, and ready for competitive RvR in 15 days.  I work 60+ hours a week and didn't play all that much on the weekends.  I also did at least half of each level doing tasks (not task dungeons) and quests.  The problem as I see it, is that DAoC has a steeper learning curve than the other MMOG's and is less new player friendly.  If you know exactly what to do, getting to the endgame is pretty easy.  If you don't, it can be a confusing and slow affair. 

After 4 years of playing DAoC there are a million small suggestions I'm sure I could make.  I accept the fact that the game is flawed, but in my eyes it's flawed in ways that I can live with.  I'd love the chance to have a dialogue with the people that work on this game, but realize that I'm just another blip on the radar.  The truth is, that as a player I'm less able to see the big picture both in terms of balance and the business model and it's naive of me to think otherwise.  For now, I'll keep playing until it stops being fun.  It's well worth my $15 a month in entertainment.  I can't think of anything that gives me so much entertainment for so little money... ok, maybe a set of guitar strings. 

 

"Always do what is right. It will gratify half of mankind and astound the other."

-  Mark Twain
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