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f13.net  |  f13.net General Forums  |  The Gaming Graveyard  |  Dungeons & Dragon Online  |  Topic: Early levels now more solo friendly... 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
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Terracotta Army
Posts: 207

Reply #35 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.

We now return to your regularly scheduled foolishness, already in progress.
Xilren's Twin
Posts: 1648

Reply #36 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.


"..but I'm by no means normal." - Schild
Terracotta Army
Posts: 149

Reply #37 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.

The sweetest wine comes from the grapes of victory.
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