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cforce
02-29-2008, 04:16 PM
A quote from jwbarry in this (http://forums.ddo.com/showthread.php?&postid=1591006#post1591006) thread got me thinking:


That's the core problem with multiple paths. Only the one that is the most efficient is worth the time to build, because all the other ones get ignored. MMOs can never have enough content, not us, not WOW, nobody. So we can't really afford to build secondary paths through dungeons that end up just being ignored.

This is really true of a game at a macro level now, too. When was the last time you saw any of the following:

LFM: The Swiped signet
LFM: Archer Point Defense
LFM: Purge the Heretics
...

I could continue this list for a while. Probably 90% of player hours spent in-game are spent in less than 50% of the quests! Why? Because players figured out which quests have the best XP reward/investment ratio, and focus on those -- only a small segment of the population spends time on less XP-efficient (or, in some cases, reward-efficient) quests.

Turbine, you *must* have data on which quests are being run frequently, and which are lying fallow, yes? Can't you balance out the rewards on the ones that players have figured out are under-XP'ed, to get them back in the rotation? If you can't afford to develop unused *paths* in a quest, then isn't developing unused *quests* even worse bleeding?

Impaqt
02-29-2008, 04:26 PM
A quote from jwbarry in this (http://forums.ddo.com/showthread.php?&postid=1591006#post1591006) thread got me thinking:



This is really true of a game at a macro level now, too. When was the last time you saw any of the following:

LFM: The Swiped signet
LFM: Archer Point Defense
LFM: Purge the Heretics
...

I could continue this list for a while. Probably 90% of player hours spent in-game are spent in less than 50% of the quests! Why? Because players figured out which quests have the best XP reward/investment ratio, and focus on those -- only a small segment of the population spends time on less XP-efficient (or, in some cases, reward-efficient) quests.

Turbine, you *must* have data on which quests are being run frequently, and which are lying fallow, yes? Can't you balance out the rewards on the ones that players have figured out are under-XP'ed, to get them back in the rotation? If you can't afford to develop unused *paths* in a quest, then isn't developing unused *quests* even worse bleeding?


Well, heres the thing, they DID go back and rebalance the XP on most, If not all, of the LotD Series Quests.... and guess what... We still dont run those.....

Yes, the XP:Time:Loot ration plays a big gactor in many quests, but the quests still need to be fun.

If EE3 gave us 2500XP instead of 740 would it get run More?

THe Swiped Signet... The XP is decent.. its just that the Mobs are overpowered for the quest level. and archer points Fail Mechanic is just stupid.

cforce
02-29-2008, 04:38 PM
Well, heres the thing, they DID go back and rebalance the XP on most, If not all, of the LotD Series Quests.... and guess what... We still dont run those.....

Well, I'd argue that they went back and *tried* to rebalance those, but didn't get the number right. If you look at the flip side, The Pit got a big boost in the amount of people running it, and having fun running it, after the XP was significantly increased. But, to your point...



Yes, the XP:Time:Loot ration plays a big gactor in many quests, but the quests still need to be fun.


Yeah, I intentionally left the 'Shadow' tomb series off of that list, for example. If there's something fundamentally frustrating about a quest, there are some things you just can't compensate for. However, I think that's the minority of the unused content. I think there are far more quests that are *actually* pretty fun, if somewhat challenging, that more people would try to take on if the challenge/reward was set correctly.

Angelus_dead
02-29-2008, 04:38 PM
LFM: Purge the Heretics
Can't do that! I'd lose paladin features.


I could continue this list for a while. Probably 90% of player hours spent in-game are spent in less than 50% of the quests! Why? Because players figured out which quests have the best XP reward/investment ratio, and focus on those
They don't have to be the "best" either, or equal to the best... just in an appropriate ballpark.



Turbine, you *must* have data on which quests are being run frequently, and which are lying fallow, yes? Can't you balance out the rewards on the ones that players have figured out are under-XP'ed, to get them back in the rotation? If you can't afford to develop unused *paths* in a quest, then isn't developing unused *quests* even worse bleeding?
What's especially sad for me is the numerous quests which I could tell would be unused simply by looking at the level on the door when it came out.

Whisperdoom's Spawn, Made To Order, Dreams of Insanity, Dead Shall Rise... Litany of the Dead... all those quests were dead on arrival, and solely because of the level they were set at. If they'd had +2 CR level (and somewhat stronger monsters to compensate), then they'd have been fine. But NO, Turbine got this funny idea they needed to add quests across a wide range of levels, instead of just at the highest level.

Fortunately Turbine finally seems to have gotten past this idea. Notice that with module 6, they skipped adding level 15 quests and went straight to level 16.

CDevil
02-29-2008, 04:41 PM
All this is true, and you make some valid points.

Let's not forget, though, that there's still FAVOR to consider.

So in the end, although many may detest it, they'll still run these adventures at least once, just to put that check in the box for their favor totals.

(Now if only they'd put the difficulty levels back for those beginner quests in the harbor...)

:D:D

Angelus_dead
02-29-2008, 04:42 PM
Well, heres the thing, they DID go back and rebalance the XP on most, If not all, of the LotD Series Quests.... and guess what... We still dont run those.....

Yes, the XP:Time:Loot ration plays a big gactor in many quests, but the quests still need to be fun.
The early stages of Litany were fun originally (if you could pretend loot and XP were total non-factors), and are still fun now... EXCEPT that they're at the wrong level of the game. There are plenty of other quests at those levels which offer needed loot and favor, as well as XP. By the time you've done them a bit, you are past the level where Litany's XP can do you any good.

Then you're left in the position of going back to the Litany series at overlevel to pick up some favor or a Silver Flame Necklace by going through solo... but you can't solo, because there are a lot of forced-group-split mechanics, so you need to drag someone else with you...

Borror0
02-29-2008, 04:51 PM
Well, heres the thing, they DID go back and rebalance the XP on most, If not all, of the LotD Series Quests.... and guess what... We still dont run those.....

You don't know XP crypt?!:eek:

jwbarry
02-29-2008, 04:53 PM
A quote from jwbarry in this (http://forums.ddo.com/showthread.php?&postid=1591006#post1591006) thread got me thinking:



This is really true of a game at a macro level now, too. When was the last time you saw any of the following:

LFM: The Swiped signet
LFM: Archer Point Defense
LFM: Purge the Heretics
...

I could continue this list for a while. Probably 90% of player hours spent in-game are spent in less than 50% of the quests! Why? Because players figured out which quests have the best XP reward/investment ratio, and focus on those -- only a small segment of the population spends time on less XP-efficient (or, in some cases, reward-efficient) quests.

Turbine, you *must* have data on which quests are being run frequently, and which are lying fallow, yes? Can't you balance out the rewards on the ones that players have figured out are under-XP'ed, to get them back in the rotation? If you can't afford to develop unused *paths* in a quest, then isn't developing unused *quests* even worse bleeding?


We do have that data. The challenge is finding the time to do anything with it.

As soon as you rebalance the xp on one quest, you might as well do it for all quests. Anything that goes down will get screamed out as a nerf, so if you're going to balance down more than one quest, you might as well do them all at one time, just so those who will freak out will only do so once and get it out of their system (Fun random information fact, every time we've done a rebalance, the overall xp in the game has always gone up). And then, once you rebalance the quests, you really should also rebalance the optional objective xp at the same time. And thus, we've created easily a month long task.

I am in no way saying its not worth doing, and generally, if one is really wrong or off we'll adjust it. But its a lot of time it would take to do a real thorough solid pass, and most players put a lot more value into the bullet point "X new dungeons" than they do into "XP rebalanced." One you get excited about, its a bunch of new stuff, the other is a nice bugfix or polish, but certainly (for me at least) doesn't excite me as much.

Again, ones that are really off we look at and adjust, but there's a massive time sink to do them all, and they really should all be done at once. It'll happen sometime I'm sure, but there's a lot of stuff on the list above it.

BlueLightBandit
02-29-2008, 04:58 PM
Of all the gianthold quests, Madstone Crater is my least favorite... and yet I seem to run it just as much as the others because the XP benefit is simply that much greater than the others.

The problem is, they need to look at the quests that they *REDUCED* the XP on, or the quests that people run a lot without them having to alter the XP... and shape new quests like those. Those are the "good" quests that people "like", so determine what makes those better than the others and use that as a model for creating new quests.

Impaqt
02-29-2008, 05:03 PM
We do have that data. The challenge is finding the time to do anything with it.

As soon as you rebalance the xp on one quest, you might as well do it for all quests. Anything that goes down will get screamed out as a nerf, so if you're going to balance down more than one quest, you might as well do them all at one time, just so those who will freak out will only do so once and get it out of their system (Fun random information fact, every time we've done a rebalance, the overall xp in the game has always gone up). And then, once you rebalance the quests, you really should also rebalance the optional objective xp at the same time. And thus, we've created easily a month long task.

I am in no way saying its not worth doing, and generally, if one is really wrong or off we'll adjust it. But its a lot of time it would take to do a real thorough solid pass, and most players put a lot more value into the bullet point "X new dungeons" than they do into "XP rebalanced." One you get excited about, its a bunch of new stuff, the other is a nice bugfix or polish, but certainly (for me at least) doesn't excite me as much.

Again, ones that are really off we look at and adjust, but there's a massive time sink to do them all, and they really should all be done at once. It'll happen sometime I'm sure, but there's a lot of stuff on the list above it.

EE3 is about as Off as it gets Jw......

15 Minutes of Hell. There are NO shortcuts and in the end, you get a Whopping 750ish XP. Coyle is a lunatic.. Buffed or not, that guy has a death wish.

Angelus_dead
02-29-2008, 05:05 PM
But its a lot of time it would take to do a real thorough solid pass, and most players put a lot more value into the bullet point "X new dungeons" than they do into "XP rebalanced."
That's an unfortunate triumph of marketing over substance. I think the Ascension Chamber is the biggest example of this- it must be painful to market something when you know the substance isn't there. Poor Kate Paiz releasing that video advertising mod5 and mod6 raid content, but already knowing that players had completely given up on the Abbot raid by that time. (The vid showed 4 PCs in one puzzle room! Thats SO out-of-date).

But that's the way it is... "NEW features" gets press, "FIXED features" doesn't... and it's doubly forbidden because it's an admission of fallability.

I notice that you personally created many of the unupopular dungeons, and that they incorporated a lot of broadly-requested replayability features such as random traps and nonlinear pathways. It must be tough having some good work going wasted because of how it was positioned in the game as a whole. Litany I & II got improved XP and new named items... but only when it was too late.

Angelus_dead
02-29-2008, 05:09 PM
15 Minutes of Hell. There are NO shortcuts and in the end, you get a Whopping 750ish XP. Coyle is a lunatic.. Buffed or not, that guy has a death wish.
Yes that's very funny. During the original XP-rebalancing patch to DDO, a 100 XP/minute metric was used. Yet somehow EE3 is at half that, when really it should have started at 1500 XP base, and then had a huge bonus added on to account for the possiblity of failing the quest (which creates the possibility you'll have to do multiple partial runs until you win, bumping the time to well over 15 min)

But that reminds me there is another problem in the Threnal chain. West Excavations are a whole lot easier than East Excavations, with obvious differences in the CR of monsters and such. Yet the XP and level is about the same.

Hafeal
02-29-2008, 05:26 PM
We do have that data. The challenge is finding the time to do anything with it. As soon as you rebalance the xp on one quest, you might as well do it for all quests.

You are right - but it has been done and it was not done right - Gianthold. The idea has been sold wrong all along. New content was seemingly implemented without thought or proportional impact to existing quests - or whatever thought was put into it was just miscalculated.

Re-balancing and informing players is giving them new quests. It's all in how it is marketed. It will to be re-marketed, in order to reintroduce players to seldom run quests.

Besides XP, spread the wealth. Instead of making a list of 15 named items only part of chain quests, give a them a random opportunity to pop up in other quests for that house. Loot is a driving force for many players besides xp - good, useful loot at any level.

Lastly, because of the long delay in character class raises, many people have capped faster than content was available or lower level stuff that was put out - who cares if you don't have or play your lower level alts too often. People want the best. They played necropolis because it was the highest level loot in the game - until this Mod. And despite the unique items you can get in necro, the raid is too hard for everyone but the power gamers, who also found it too challenging. Thus, even before the new mod people had migrated back to GH and now are flocking to Meridia. More varied content that is fun. I'm sorry, necro just isn't. These forums are filled with threads as to why and what could be done to make necro better, from the 5th level set through the raid.

I dunno, perhaps I am wrong, but I am willing to bet necro numbers are down to what they were when Gianthold came out.

narizue
02-29-2008, 05:37 PM
I am in no way saying its not worth doing, and generally, if one is really wrong or off we'll adjust it.

Threnal East 3, Hold For Reinforcements.

Tell me its not off.

parvo
02-29-2008, 05:42 PM
We do have that data. The challenge is finding the time to do anything with it.

As soon as you rebalance the xp on one quest, you might as well do it for all quests. Anything that goes down will get screamed out as a nerf, so if you're going to balance down more than one quest, you might as well do them all at one time, just so those who will freak out will only do so once and get it out of their system (Fun random information fact, every time we've done a rebalance, the overall xp in the game has always gone up). And then, once you rebalance the quests, you really should also rebalance the optional objective xp at the same time. And thus, we've created easily a month long task.

I am in no way saying its not worth doing, and generally, if one is really wrong or off we'll adjust it. But its a lot of time it would take to do a real thorough solid pass, and most players put a lot more value into the bullet point "X new dungeons" than they do into "XP rebalanced." One you get excited about, its a bunch of new stuff, the other is a nice bugfix or polish, but certainly (for me at least) doesn't excite me as much.

Again, ones that are really off we look at and adjust, but there's a massive time sink to do them all, and they really should all be done at once. It'll happen sometime I'm sure, but there's a lot of stuff on the list above it.

This is why XP rewards should by dynamic. A forumla should be in place that dynamically adjusts XP based on how often a quest is run server-wide.

DrAwkward
02-29-2008, 05:54 PM
Again, ones that are really off we look at and adjust, but there's a massive time sink to do them all, and they really should all be done at once. It'll happen sometime I'm sure, but there's a lot of stuff on the list above it.

Time sink, and very very boring on your end, I imagine. New content is probably as much fun for you to create as it is for us to run. Should be, anyway.

How about this? Can you at least figure out "dry spots" across the level range?

I think you'll find (I sure do) that XP rains from the heavens until about 5th, then we get a drought in 7th through 9th, and then XP rains from the heavens again at 10th and up. This rough spot is frustrating for me, and this level range is where I abandon most of my alts; I suspect it might be a sticking point for new players as well.

So also take a look at the level range of the Mains for folks that leave the game. I don't mean the "ZOMG Nerf! quitters" or the "capped retirees". Just the regular folks that try it out, play for while, lose interest, and wander off. I'd guess that a high percentage fall in the 7-9th level range.

Vinos
02-29-2008, 05:58 PM
We do have that data. The challenge is finding the time to do anything with it.

As soon as you rebalance the xp on one quest, you might as well do it for all quests. Anything that goes down will get screamed out as a nerf, so if you're going to balance down more than one quest, you might as well do them all at one time, just so those who will freak out will only do so once and get it out of their system (Fun random information fact, every time we've done a rebalance, the overall xp in the game has always gone up). And then, once you rebalance the quests, you really should also rebalance the optional objective xp at the same time. And thus, we've created easily a month long task.

I am in no way saying its not worth doing, and generally, if one is really wrong or off we'll adjust it. But its a lot of time it would take to do a real thorough solid pass, and most players put a lot more value into the bullet point "X new dungeons" than they do into "XP rebalanced." One you get excited about, its a bunch of new stuff, the other is a nice bugfix or polish, but certainly (for me at least) doesn't excite me as much.

Again, ones that are really off we look at and adjust, but there's a massive time sink to do them all, and they really should all be done at once. It'll happen sometime I'm sure, but there's a lot of stuff on the list above it.

I think we would rather see the unused quests go UP in XP not lower the XP of the popular ones.

jwbarry
02-29-2008, 06:04 PM
This is why XP rewards should by dynamic. A forumla should be in place that dynamically adjusts XP based on how often a quest is run server-wide.

Anything dynamic you guys will just figure out a way to game it and overload something.

On a slightly less cynical note (although the previous isn't incorrect, lol), XP is supposed to reward for challenge and difficulty. Just because a dungeon isn't being run doesn't mean its any more challenging. It might be harder, it might not be as compelling, it might have 1 fewer treasure chest than the other dungeons at its level, it might be part of a chain that's tough to get through, it might be just hard to reach and find. That's part of the challenge of balance. XP shouldn't dynamically change just because people aren't doing something, the core reasons as to why they're not doing it should be looked into, figured out, and time permitting, fixed or the reward increased proportionally to everything else. And on the flip side, just because everyone thinks a dungeon is fun to do, definitely doesn't mean that I should get 'punished' by getting less xp for running it a day after everyone else. That's just bad.

jwbarry
02-29-2008, 06:06 PM
I think we would rather see the unused quests go UP in XP not lower the XP of the popular ones.

If you're going to balance you might as well do them all. No sense in just upping the low ones, then you only fix half the problem. Or even worse, you create a large problem of greatly increasing your xp and thus changing the advancement rate along your levelling curve, and invalidating some content because now players are outlevelling it faster than before.

Nope, if you're going to balance you go all out, up what's too low, and drop what's too high. No sense in doing anything but.

Impaqt
02-29-2008, 06:09 PM
If you're going to balance you might as well do them all. No sense in just upping the low ones, then you only fix half the problem. Or even worse, you create a large problem of greatly increasing your xp and thus changing the advancement rate along your levelling curve, and invalidating some content because now players are outlevelling it faster than before.

Nope, if you're going to balance you go all out, up what's too low, and drop what's too high. No sense in doing anything but.

Really? What Quests in the l11+ range had there XP Raised when you lowered all the XP in the Gianthold?

I'm Just saying People got over that change pretty quickly even though PoPs XP was probobly too High to start.

There IS Presidence for Adjusting Some quests and not others.....

jwbarry
02-29-2008, 06:09 PM
Time sink, and very very boring on your end, I imagine. New content is probably as much fun for you to create as it is for us to run. Should be, anyway.

How about this? Can you at least figure out "dry spots" across the level range?

I think you'll find (I sure do) that XP rains from the heavens until about 5th, then we get a drought in 7th through 9th, and then XP rains from the heavens again at 10th and up. This rough spot is frustrating for me, and this level range is where I abandon most of my alts; I suspect it might be a sticking point for new players as well.

So also take a look at the level range of the Mains for folks that leave the game. I don't mean the "ZOMG Nerf! quitters" or the "capped retirees". Just the regular folks that try it out, play for while, lose interest, and wander off. I'd guess that a high percentage fall in the 7-9th level range.

I love making new stuff :) In fact, there are many days when I stay late because I'd rather make new stuff than go home and game (watch, someone will flame me for that).

A lot of the challenge falls in where the level cap is and how that affects the power levelling penalties. It's been interesting to see the perception of the "dry levels" increase as the level cap does.

In each mod we evaluate stuff and areas that need improving and work on those during the polish and bugfix phase. When we get to that part, I'll take a look at the xp for 5 to 10, and see if anything looks really off during there. It might be a matter that it just needs more dungeons, which we can do, but it will take time. I'd personally rather have the levelling be a little slow in those levels for a bit while we make new dungeons for it, than artificially raise the xp to get by. I've also seen a polish task floating around to look at seeing if we can't help soloers out in ataraxia's, apparently the cats are just really vicious. So that should hopefully provide a little help in those areas as well.

jwbarry
02-29-2008, 06:10 PM
Really? What Quests in the l11+ range had there XP Raised when you lowered all the XP in the Gianthold?

Probably none of them, cause they were all set too high to begin with and it blew our levelling curve.

ahpook
02-29-2008, 06:16 PM
Anything dynamic you guys will just figure out a way to game it and overload something.

I believe a model could be adapted that would be resilient to this affect.



On a slightly less cynical note (although the previous isn't incorrect, lol), XP is supposed to reward for challenge and difficulty. Just because a dungeon isn't being run doesn't mean its any more challenging. It might be harder, it might not be as compelling, it might have 1 fewer treasure chest than the other dungeons at its level, it might be part of a chain that's tough to get through, it might be just hard to reach and find. That's part of the challenge of balance. XP shouldn't dynamically change just because people aren't doing something, the core reasons as to why they're not doing it should be looked into, figured out, and time permitting, fixed or the reward increased proportionally to everything else. And on the flip side, just because everyone thinks a dungeon is fun to do, definitely doesn't mean that I should get 'punished' by getting less xp for running it a day after everyone else. That's just bad.

This assumes that the difficulty and challenge can correctly be determined in advance. This is not always true. :)

I believe that over time the player masses will do a much better job determining this reward for challenge. Additionally, XP is only one aspect of the reward. Loot is equally important and quests which are loot run do not need XP as reward as the loot is already doing that (re: POP).

Kisaragi
02-29-2008, 06:25 PM
If you're going to balance you might as well do them all. No sense in just upping the low ones, then you only fix half the problem. Or even worse, you create a large problem of greatly increasing your xp and thus changing the advancement rate along your levelling curve, and invalidating some content because now players are outlevelling it faster than before.

Nope, if you're going to balance you go all out, up what's too low, and drop what's too high. No sense in doing anything but.

There's another way of doing this. Instead of relying on experience (as you mention people will outgrow it) why not increase the loot? Personally I feel the loot is pathetic, and it's partially why everyone was farming prison of the planes as much as possible when it came out. It was one of the few quests giving out loot people expected for their level for the level of the quest.

So how about this. If you haven't run a quest in a while, and you enter the quest you get +1 loot from that quest. This means the quests that people might not normally do, they might now, for a chance for a rare item out of the quest. In most of the high level quests all this means is that items will be +6 instead of +5 (for power/value)

In addition, every quest in the game should have four to five named items (possibly even weighted depending on the type of quest) in addition to the normal junk people pull. There's far too few of em out there. I'm not saying they have to be uber-omg-you-lucky-son-of-a (I'll stop there) but when I did dungeon crawl it was less about the exp, and more about the loot any day.

Originally in pen and paper, dragon lairs were cool, because you got huge amounts of loot out of em. Now I beat a black dragon on their home turf and I get a +2 Heavy Steel Shield of Lesser Acid Resistance, Race Required; Halfling. And it makes me want to say, "if I give back the shield can you let the dragon rampage in the marketplace?"

Pellegro
02-29-2008, 06:35 PM
Great thread! Love the feedback and insight into what its like to make an MMO. Its my dream job .... be an MMO dev ... someday ..

In the interim, while I think there's much wisdom to an "all or nothing" approach on XP rebalancing, I think that there is a lot to be said for a quick pass reshuffle.

My intuition is this: You've got a LOT of content that isn't being run. Some of it is GREAT... some less so. But its not being run due to 1 main reason, with 2 subparts: Rewards (made up of XP + Loot).

If there were some way to quickly adjust the XP/Loot matrix to get the "always run" quests out, and put some of the less run quests in ... I think it would be a breath of fresh air.

If the only way to do it is to dedicate an entire DEV cycle to it ... well, the answer is obvious. But I'm not ready to give up on the idea that maybe there's some way to pull it off ... really quickly and easily ...

Hafeal
02-29-2008, 06:45 PM
When we get to that part, I'll take a look at the xp for 5 to 10, and see if anything looks really off during there. It might be a matter that it just needs more dungeons, which we can do, but it will take time. I'd personally rather have the levelling be a little slow in those levels for a bit while we make new dungeons for it, than artificially raise the xp to get by.

Thank you - I think that is a fair response.

I would like to emphasize loot, though. I am not a loot person, but many are. I think a better job could be done separating loot and xp. Yes, yes, you want the highest xp quests to have good loot. High xp quests though are not always the hardest.

IF you give the less frequent quests better loot chances, they will get run, even if you don't change the xp. People run Durk's because of 1 item - not xp. I know plenty who hate Invaders and Xorian, but they run it - for the chance at certain items, not xp.

I think many quests could be reinvigorated by upping their loot or giving a random chance at a named item normally found as an end reward in a long chain quest. If creating quests is fun - I would think creating unqiue items would be just as fun. Having 1-2 unique AND USEFUL item per quest will get people to run it.

cforce
02-29-2008, 07:28 PM
Anything dynamic you guys will just figure out a way to game it and overload something.

On a personal note, I'd disagree with this, but getting into a long discussion about designing systems to prevent malicious manipulation requires a two hour discussion over a few cups of coffee, not a quick forum explanation. :D It's a tough problem though, no doubt.


On a slightly less cynical note (although the previous isn't incorrect, lol), XP is supposed to reward for challenge and difficulty. Just because a dungeon isn't being run doesn't mean its any more challenging. It might be harder, it might not be as compelling, it might have 1 fewer treasure chest than the other dungeons at its level, it might be part of a chain that's tough to get through, it might be just hard to reach and find. That's part of the challenge of balance.

What I'd suggest is that no dungeon's frequency of use depends on any one of these factors, but instead it's the aggregate of all of these things -- including, but not limited to, XP. It just happens that no other knob is as simple to tweak as the XP knob. All of these other factors require real fundamental analysis, but the XP mix-in is pretty fine grained and can be tuned to try and compensate for all of the other factors you list.


XP shouldn't dynamically change just because people aren't doing something, the core reasons as to why they're not doing it should be looked into, figured out, and time permitting, fixed or the reward increased proportionally to everything else.

I agree that is a perfect solution, but in this case, is perfect the enemy of good enough? Right now, you don't actually have the *time* to do anything like this, by your own admission. Would using something dynamic to nibble away at the edges of the problem really be worse than doing nothing?


And on the flip side, just because everyone thinks a dungeon is fun to do, definitely doesn't mean that I should get 'punished' by getting less xp for running it a day after everyone else. That's just bad.

True dat! Another notorious example of this was the Asheron's Call magic system, which fluctuated power levels of spell in the same day before they did away with the system (a couple years into the game, iirc). A dynamic system which reacts too quickly or drastically doesn't really work too well.

Gypsy_Mouse
02-29-2008, 07:31 PM
I've also seen a polish task floating around to look at seeing if we can't help soloers out in ataraxia's, apparently the cats are just really vicious.


OMG! That would be SOOOOOOO awesome!! :D

I'm not much of a soloer because I like the camaraderie of a group, but I took great pride in the fact that I took my "hagglebot" bard through the Tangleroot and Sorrowdusk areas almost completely solo.

Once I got her to the point where she could do some of Ataraxia's, I gave up almost immediately because of those cats.
They are some real mean kitties.

Vinos
02-29-2008, 08:05 PM
Probably none of them, cause they were all set too high to begin with and it blew our levelling curve.

But it kind of shows a disturbing trend in a way. You(not you personally but devs in general) are very quick to lower XP in some quests(I do agree PoP was ******** high XP) but don't act as quickly to increase the XP of vey bad XP to effort ratio quests like some of the necropolis quests.

binnsr
02-29-2008, 08:09 PM
We do have that data. The challenge is finding the time to do anything with it.

As soon as you rebalance the xp on one quest, you might as well do it for all quests. Anything that goes down will get screamed out as a nerf, so if you're going to balance down more than one quest, you might as well do them all at one time, just so those who will freak out will only do so once and get it out of their system (Fun random information fact, every time we've done a rebalance, the overall xp in the game has always gone up). And then, once you rebalance the quests, you really should also rebalance the optional objective xp at the same time. And thus, we've created easily a month long task

<snip>

Again, ones that are really off we look at and adjust, but there's a massive time sink to do them all, and they really should all be done at once. It'll happen sometime I'm sure, but there's a lot of stuff on the list above it.

summer's coming up .. hire an intern for a month :)

Impaqt
02-29-2008, 08:38 PM
Probably none of them, cause they were all set too high to begin with and it blew our levelling curve.

ANd Many quests are Set Too Low as well.

The10man
02-29-2008, 08:40 PM
Hopefully you haven't given up reading this one yet. As a relatively new player to ddo (I have one 16th level toon) I can tell you I almost cancelled my subscription at 9th level because making 10 then 11 took entirely to long! There weren't many good quests to run and I was getting power leveled all the time. The only reason I kept playing was that I had my brother and some friends I had made in game encouraging me to stick it out. Now I have one 16th level toon and I am bringing up another but am severly dreading that middle ground that you run up to but languish in while you're there. After 11 you can run gianthold and stuff like it and cap very quick. I'll bet many players give up in that area (8-11) as another poster stated.

MJNOR1
02-29-2008, 08:48 PM
If there are players that are not running all of the content available in order to "farm" xp and power level (and I am sure there are) then they are missing out. They are missing out on the complete experience of the game. IMO they are not getting the most value for their money.

Maybe I am looking at the game differently but I feel that if I don't explore every inch of every quest I am not getting the full effect of the game. I don't want to miss anything. Exploring all of the parts of each quest is a major part of the enjoyment of the game for me.

honkuimushi
02-29-2008, 09:44 PM
For some of the really painful quests, how about just raising the quest level? You could add a slight increase in xp and loot to meet it's new level and as a bonus, the higher level parties that do it won't be suffering as large an xp penalty. I think adding a useful named item is also a good idea. Maybe not right away, but if you notice a quest is getting left behind, add a theme appropriate named item and give a hint in the release notes.

An additional note, I don't think it's Archer's Point, that's not to bad. It's Gladewatch Outpost Defense that's the real nightmare. I think, Archer's gets a bad reputation because they're right next to each other and I think they're the same level. People just mix the two up. Would it be that much of an issue to remove the ludacris fail condition? Isn't surviving 15-29 minutes of constant hobgoblin and bugbear spawns capped off by a few ogres with only 1 shrine (which is in an exposed area) tough enough? If you had to, I suppose you could lower the level a bit.

Another cheer for nerfing the cats. They have DR, they have improved trip and to add injury to insult, If you do attack them, you take damage yourself. That's in addition to having a fair number of hit points, a good attack bonus and doing a fair bit of damage. Most of my characters can handle one, but if I pull more than one it's pretty much over. One of them will trip me and the others will savage me while I'm on the ground. Then when I start to get up, I'm hit by improved trip again. And there are several places where 2 or 3 or 4 cats are very close together and even more with 1 or 2 cats and a bunch of other monsters.

Though honestly, high level adventure areas become a lot less solo friendly in general. In the desert, mummies and air elementals are really tough for a solo player unless he has some specific skills. A lot of the enemies in Gianthold are pretty tough unless you are a high level caster and the Vale has issues with teleports and unleased mobs. I have heard complaints about the Orchard being rough for any except for casters and clerics, but I haven't really spent any time there myself.

Coldin
02-29-2008, 09:59 PM
Probably none of them, cause they were all set too high to begin with and it blew our levelling curve.

If you ask me, they're all still set too high.

sirgog
02-29-2008, 11:15 PM
I was a big fan of the Gianthold XP drop. Those quests were definitely paying way, way too much XP. I think you have most of them about right now.

Here's the changes I'd suggest making.

Low-level (1-5):
Information is Key - halve the XP award (this is the most ridiculous quest to farm in the game at low level)
All quests not mentioned here except WW, STK, Tangleroot, Goodblades and the Low Road: Add 5&#37;
The Swiped Signet - change to a 4th level quest (this adds 10% XP anyway) and add a further 10% XP
Freshen the Air - change to level 5, add extra 10% XP
Gladewatch Outpost Defence - double XP
Necropolis Series 1 - add 30% XP and 1 more chest to each (except The Bloody Crypt, which is about right)


Mid-level (6-10):
Gwylan's Stand, Stormcleave Outpost: Reduce by 30%
Tear of Dhakaan: Reduce by 10%, make the main optional (find all 6 shards) worth 2500XP instead of the piddly amount it is now
Delara's chain: Reduce by 30%. Once the optional 'kill all Omaren sentinels' is fixed, have it be worth 3000XP
Necropolis Series 2: Increase all save The Shadow Crypt by 35%. Drop The Shadow Crypt by 15%.
All unmentioned quests: Add 10%
Threnal: Reduce XP for South 3 by 50%, East 2 by 25%. Increase East 3 by 250%.
VON1-5: reduce by 5%
VON6: Increase base XP to 5000 (150% increase)


High-level (11-14):
Necropolis Series 3 (excluding The Cursed Crypt): Increase by 35%
The Cursed Crypt: Increase optional XP for 'kill no silver flame' from current ~1600 to 2500, drop completion XP by 500.
Invaders!: Increase to level 14, increase XP by further 35%. This quest is much harder than anything in the Gianthold.
Increase all not yet mentioned level 11 quests by 25%.
Reduce all Gianthold quest XP by a further 10%
Increase Ruins of Gianthold Explorer, Slayer and Rare encounter XP by 50%.
Reduce Stormreaver raid XP by 50%

Endgame (15+)
Generally no changes needed except Black Abbot raid should by increased by 200% (and should be upped to level 17 and have more chests). You got better with this mod :D

Elthbert
02-29-2008, 11:20 PM
Can't do that! I'd lose paladin features.


They don't have to be the "best" either, or equal to the best... just in an appropriate ballpark.



What's especially sad for me is the numerous quests which I could tell would be unused simply by looking at the level on the door when it came out.

Whisperdoom's Spawn, Made To Order, Dreams of Insanity, Dead Shall Rise... Litany of the Dead... all those quests were dead on arrival, and solely because of the level they were set at. If they'd had +2 CR level (and somewhat stronger monsters to compensate), then they'd have been fine. But NO, Turbine got this funny idea they needed to add quests across a wide range of levels, instead of just at the highest level.

Fortunately Turbine finally seems to have gotten past this idea. Notice that with module 6, they skipped adding level 15 quests and went straight to level 16.

You see thats funny because I actually like having quest over a wide range of levels. I was particulalrly annoyed atthe lack of level 15 adventures.

sirgog
03-01-2008, 12:49 AM
You see thats funny because I actually like having quest over a wide range of levels. I was particulalrly annoyed atthe lack of level 15 adventures.

I'd be a big fan of adding more level 15 quests too.

If, as we assume, Mod 7 has no level cap increase, I'd like to see it include about 4-5 level 15 quests, 1 or 2 level 16 and 1-2 level 17 quests.

Borror0
03-01-2008, 01:04 AM
Reduce all Gianthold quest XP by a further 10%
Increase Ruins of Gianthold Explorer, Slayer and Rare encounter XP by 50%.
Reduce Stormreaver raid XP by 50%

For the lack of level 15 quests, these should not be touched. When we'll more higher level quests.... maybe, but not right now.

sirgog
03-01-2008, 01:42 AM
For the lack of level 15 quests, these should not be touched. When we'll more higher level quests.... maybe, but not right now.

I got Myrmidral from level 12.1 to (pre mod 6) cap doing almost exclusively Orchard quests (was at the time of the release of Mod 5). And this was during the 'old days' of XP debt - my elite Doomsphere run cost 20k XP. There is a LOT of XP out there for the taking.

Angelus_dead
03-01-2008, 01:43 AM
You see thats funny because I actually like having quest over a wide range of levels. I was particulalrly annoyed atthe lack of level 15 adventures.
That's a risk of game design- moreso than other other entertainment fields, you cannot trust your audience to accurately explain their own preferences. You've got to learn what feedback to ignore. After two years, perhaps Turbine has learned.

Borror0
03-01-2008, 01:49 AM
I got Myrmidral from level 12.1 to (pre mod 6) cap doing almost exclusively Orchard quests (was at the time of the release of Mod 5). And this was during the 'old days' of XP debt - my elite Doomsphere run cost 20k XP. There is a LOT of XP out there for the taking.

Not saying XP isn't thgere, it's grabbing peopel in a PuG for it that is harder...

sirgog
03-01-2008, 01:59 AM
Not saying XP isn't thgere, it's grabbing peopel in a PuG for it that is harder...

I don't find it tough to get groups for Inferno of the Damned, but that's probably because I can honestly post an LFM with "Powerlevelling - Inferno elite 15 min runs - I know the maze".

Haven't tried the others in a while.

Vormaerin
03-01-2008, 06:14 AM
Yeah, the so called "Dead level" syndrome has nothing to do with xp. Its all about available players. There are tons of low level characters and tons of high level characters, in my experience. There's fewer mid level characters for some reason.

I'd love to have more mid level quests, because I like playing in that range a lot. But I don't think they are needed from an xp point of view. My current main is level 10. I haven't repeated any quest on the same difficulty ever. I've done most of the quests lvl 6 and below on hard, with most of the harbor quests on elite. Farmed out Cerulean Hills and Sorrowdusk, but not waterworks, tangleroot, or searing heights. Haven't done most of Tangleroot or Delera's or any of Litany I or Greymoon/Co6 except on normal. Haven't finished VoN4 or any of Threnal or the Shadow Crypts at all. I think the only lvl 10 stand alone I've done is Sykros' Jewel. Still have all of HIPS and the other lvl 10 quests untouched, not to mention the actual raids.

And I'm 10.2. With a huge pile of untouched xp laying there for the taking in my level range or below. I'm not having any dead levels because have a fixed RP group for this character. My other lvl 10, which primarily PuGs, definitely feels the bite as there are aren't many LFMs up for lvl 10 characters and most of those seem to be raid flagging runs.

None of that is directly related to the subject of boosting lost quest usage, but it does show that lack of xp overall is not a problem. Just ran the 2nd Delera's on hard tonight. Even with the 20&#37; xp penalty for being two levels too high, we got twice as much xp for that as we did for Sykros' Jewel, which was a heck of a lot harder and seemed about as long. (Might be subjective, as we'd never been in Sykros' Jewel before and Delera's wasn't exactly a mystery....).

So I agree that rebalancing really ought to go both ways across the middle of the level span. And it really should be an independent issue from number of quests. Any new quests, regardless of level, are a good thing in my book. But they aren't a solution to 'dead levels'.



Edit/PS: And yes, Ataraxia's Haven's wildlife is particularly nasty for solo characters. Razor cats in particular: trip, a damage shield, evasion, DR against the most common weapons.. whew. And then there's the duergar spellswords... Our group is having a fun, challenging time in there. But if I'm on by myself, that doesn't even get considered as a destination.

GoldyGopher
03-01-2008, 09:42 AM
In each mod we evaluate stuff and areas that need improving and work on those during the polish and bugfix phase. When we get to that part, I'll take a look at the xp for 5 to 10, and see if anything looks really off during there. It might be a matter that it just needs more dungeons, which we can do, but it will take time. I'd personally rather have the levelling be a little slow in those levels for a bit while we make new dungeons for it, than artificially raise the xp to get by. I've also seen a polish task floating around to look at seeing if we can't help soloers out in ataraxia's, apparently the cats are just really vicious. So that should hopefully provide a little help in those areas as well.

JW Here is my Breakdown:
Quest Level Quests Available Standalone/Chains Total XP Available Running Total XP for Next Level XP For Next level Difference
1st Level 14 11 7,000 7,000 5,000 5,000 2,000
2nd Level 19 14 28,000 35,000 20,000 15,000 13,000
3rd Level 13 5 25,000 60,000 50,000 30,000 -5,000
4th Level 11 6 26,000 86,000 90,000 40,000 -14,000
5th Level 15 6 32,000 118,000 140,000 50,000 -18,000
6th Level 18 13 44,000 162,000 200,000 60,000 -16,000
7th Level 12 6 57,000 219,000 270,000 70,000 -13,000
8th Level 18 9 90,000 309,000 350,000 80,000 10,000
9th Level 11 1 60,000 369,000 440,000 90,000 -30,000
10th Level 15 5 90,000 459,000 550,000 110,000 -20,000
11th Level 17 12 124,000 583,000 660,000 110,000 14,000
12th Level 8 2 55,000 638,000 780,000 120,000 -65,000
13th Level 6 6 60,000 698,000 910,000 130,000 -70,000
14th Level 9 8 169,000 867,000 1,050,000 140,000 29,000
15th Level 2 (5) 1 88,000 955,000 1,200,000 150,000 -62,000
16th Level 5 5 59,500 1,014,500 1,360,000 160,000 -100,500



I think the real key is the number of standalone quests or quests chains. The issue is between level 7 and 10 you run out things to do and end up repeating and repeating and repeating. The one stand alone uest at level 9 is the Church and the Cult and because you need a decent party to complete (it is one of the toughest quests based upon level in the game) it doesn't get run much.

Riggs
03-01-2008, 09:57 AM
Most people really hate the mid levels.

You can level fast if you want at low levels (unless you want to take your time), and you can level fairly fast after level 10(again unless you want to take your time). Level 8-9 is where people often get stalled. The good xp quests at that leve lare usually longer chains, which can be a lot harder to find people at that level to group with than either at low or higher levels.

Antraxias Haven is a good example. The 2 quests are not easy, yet give xp low enough that few people run them. The outdoor area is great, except for the cats and rust monsters.

It is true that people will complain if only some quests are rebalanced. However it is a pretty common complaint about mid levels. The sad fact is that there are quests - like say the Caverns of Korromar, that give pathetic xp for their length and difficulty. And you can get more xp in a fraction of the time in even a level 3 quest, or a level 10-12 quest. Compare Korromar to Stormcleave, both are level 8...which one is easier, gives way more xp, and gets run 100x as much?

Mid levels are already a harder time because you have a smaller pool to group with - all the high level characters you cannot group with because of the power level penalty, and most of people's mains will be higher unless they are constantly rolling new characters. There is always an influx of low level players so harbor to level 6 stuff is easy to fill - but it gets harder to fill groups in the level 7-9 range. Add in a bunch of quests at that level that give very low xp for the time involved....

People really hate Threnal east 3 usually, and people who do it for the first time are shocked and upset over all that effort, esp if you fail once or twice, and you get as much xp as if you just ran a level 2 quest like missing in action say....that quest alone needs to be adjusted to at least 2000 base xp.

xynxie
03-01-2008, 10:04 AM
Am I missing something? I understand doing alot of the quest once for favor..and I mean once have someone open it on elite get it done...but after that just do the ones that are fun for you. I maean to me thats what a game is for....fun. Tis what I like aout this game...you can cap out and not have to be miserable or even dread the next step. I think the variety of dungeons I can chose to or not to do is great. As fo rewards and XP...its the same for everyone...so though you don't get uber points when ya think you should is just a personal issue...not really a game issue. my humble opinion

KaKa
03-01-2008, 02:53 PM
Yes we have unused quests. Yes it would difficult to change that, and balancing on a large scale would be required. To tell the truth what's done is done. Going back and changing the xp on old quests will do little to help them, they are already dead. Did the xp boost to the necropolis help them? Nope, I bet most people even forgot you did increase the xp for them.

So I think what needs to happen is we should improve the future by looking at the past. What were the best content updates for DDO and why? Which updates failed? Which updates did a decent job but didn't excel? Here is what I think starting from the beginning and almost completely from memory.

Module 1-2 were pretty good updates. We got the Vault of night series, We also got the Titan experience which has been changed for the better. The good here is chain quests that end in a raid get run. Also during these update periods we were introduced to Favor, making even the worst quests getting run by all if even once. But the biggest thing during this period of time that caused the most unused quests to be used was the introduction of a static reward list for all chain quests not just the Water Works. Before the static reward list, Tangleroot was not run by a vast majority of players, in fact most skipped it entirely, now Tangleroot is one of the most run quest series in the game.
Conclusion: Static named loot brings people to quests. More new quest chains with a static reward list.

I will pick up my history lesson with the very popular Stormreach Under Siege update. This update provides a great deal of insight into what quests are good for updates and what quests get left in the dust. If my memory serves me right this update had 5 quests added. But only 2 of them are worth mentioning. This update had both The Black Anvil Mines (BAM) and Invaders. These 2 quests were adored by the players. minimum level 12 quests when the max level is 10? Wow what an amazing challenge. Great xp and the best loot in the game. On top of that BAM had the ore collection which was awesome and Invaders had the invader token collection both of these systems provided great rewards. These 2 quests were all anyone did until Mod 3. But what about the other 3 quests? Correct me if I'm wrong I am going off of memory here but these 3 quests were The Faithful Departed, Keepers Sanctuary, and Bounty Hunter. All 3 quests have all but been rejected by the community except for that favor run. Which is sad because I think the Keepers Sanctuary is a great quest.
Conclusion: The highest level of quests will be run for the best loot and xp and the lower level quests with be ignored (This pattern repeats for a few more modules). Also rewards based on collection will be ran more often.

Module 3 this is where the game really picked up and started one of the best runs the game has had in its 2 years, the run went all the way until mod 4 but theres still a lot of bad in between Mod 3 and 4. Mod 3 had a huge wilderness area, the first one the game had (This concept has been duplicated to much success). The module had a level cap increase to lvl 12 and provided quests of both lvl 11 and lvl 12, quests below that level were not in the module. The raid flagging system was slightly better then the Dragon and not as good as the Titan, but it kept people coming back to the desert time and time again. Also at first the xp penalty was very high and caused lots of complaints but that was fixed shortly after the current DDO president insulted the players. Over all this Module rocked.
Conclusion: Level cap increases are good, and quests at the level quest get run.

Litany of the Dead: I will be addressing the Litany of the dead series (LOTD) as a whole here. The first part was introduced well before mod 3. This quest series failed from the beginning. These quests were all mid level quests at the time if each of their arrival depending on the level cap. The first part failed because of it difficulty and the time it took to complete it versus its rewards. While I personally do not think these quests were hard they still offered a very small amount of experience for their completion. Therefore everyone hated it and went back to do tangleroot or deleras instead, because they were of the same level but offered not only better xp but a static reward list. The second part of the series was even worse. Almost everything was incorporeal. The quests were a pain in the neck complete and not very fun. Also they were not set at the current level cap of them time and provided no unique rewards aside from the amulet upgrade (Which was not impressive until lvl 3 upgrade). The next part is part of Mod 5 but I will only talk of the crypt quests because the other mod 5 stuff doesn't really fit into the pattern. LOTD part 3 had some good and bad, some quests were very fun and challenging while others were the worst quest in the game. The rat maze quest is by far the most boring and frustrating quest in the entire game, yes I know the tricks to it and can do it very well but I can't say I had fun. Again quests not at the level cap and no good rewards.
Conclusion: A pattern emerges here for quests that do not get played, low xp, coupled with non lvl cap play, with no unique rewards will mean quests are left in the dust. Parts 1-3 were a perfect candidate for a static reward list, I was holding out hope for one since I first got nothing good for completing part 1, but the ball was dropped big time.

Evil Resurgent: Mod 3.1 I beleive. The overall concept and quest designs were amazing, some of my favorite quests. The idea of going back and revisiting some of our old adventure story lines was great. But this mod suffers from the same problem. Non lvl cap play, lvl 11 quests instead of lvl 12 quests meant the loot was 1 worse then the other mod 3 quests and you didn't get closer to being raid ready. They were fun quests but got abandoned after receiving elite favor from the majority of the community. Now the only one maybe worth doing is The Spawn of Whisperdoom because of the chance of special loot from the collectibles. The exploit is not worth mentioning in detail but does provide some insight into player behavior, which is good loot drives certain behaviors.
Conclusion: Non level cap quests do not get played as much as quests at the cap. Also special rewards means quests get ran more often. With most of the complainign about how hard lvl 7-11 are I wonder why these quests are rarely mentioned if at all.

Mod 4: Mod 4 did the same thing Mod 3 did but did it better. Level cap, big adventure area, Level 13 and 14 quests and a raid. Also the experience here is the best even after it was reduced. All quests get run pretty often while some get more attention then other because of ease. The best part was the lvl 13 not capped quests gave relics which helped make them a viable option even if the loot was one level lower then the other quests. Also the Dragon scale collecting kept people coming back time and time again. While some players will complain about grinding at least these quests get LFMs.
Conclusion: Mod 4 did what everyone wanted, more exp, more loot, and raiding.

Mod 4.1 and 4.2: I am going to start out by saying these Module updates failed horribly. Worse months of my DDO career was the time in between Mod 4 and Mod 5. Modules 3.1 and 3.2 were pretty decent and at least added something new to do. Mod 4.1 added 2 quests and updated old explorer areas with the new tech. 2 quests not at level cap means no one plays them. People wanted more level 10ish quests they were provided and ignored. Atraxia's heaven would of been the perfect candidate for a quest chain that would be on the level of Threnal. If it were 4 quests and ended with a static reward list, there would be less mid level slump complaining. 4.2 was worse, a very low lvl adventure area and 1 quest. No one does Proof is in the poison. Its forgotten because it was so out of place.
Conclusion: Non lvl cap means forgotten quests. No static reward list means players swarm to the ones that have them.

Ok I am going to stop here because I think my points have been made and people don't like reading Novels, I would call this more of an essay. So what have we learned for the future? Mod 7 is promised to provide new leveling opportunities for players who will be inevitably making a monk. Here is what I beleive will work and what will not work. Since these quests are not at the lvl cap of 16 they need a few things to make them more attractive then the familiar options. One the xp must at least match the popular quest chains. Two there must be at least one new quest chain that ends with a static reward list. If xp is low and the rewards are not there, then they will be largely ignored a few months after release. Yes everyone will play them because they are new, but what keep them coming back for more?

Devs please don't worry about what is already in the game please work toward a better future. That means more updates with quests at or above the level cap; more Invader and BAM like quests at 2 levels above the cap would be awesome, a lvl 18 quest with the cap at 16 would rock. Also add another static reward list quest chain, I am sure everyone would love it.

Invalid_86
03-02-2008, 01:44 AM
This is why XP rewards should by dynamic. A forumla should be in place that dynamically adjusts XP based on how often a quest is run server-wide.

Dynamic too could include an "too easy" penalty for excessively overequipped characters and a "skin of your teeth" xp bonus for characters with more level appropriate gear.

GlassCannon
03-02-2008, 01:56 AM
Dynamic too could include an "too easy" penalty for excessively overequipped characters and a "skin of your teeth" xp bonus for characters with more level appropriate gear.

You mean using Handaxes and Starter gear on a level 10 character... no Masterworks... nothing better than Starter gear...

Invalid_86
03-02-2008, 10:43 AM
You mean using Handaxes and Starter gear on a level 10 character... no Masterworks... nothing better than Starter gear...


Replace 10th with 1st and you'd have the idea.

Basically if you are actually carrying a level appropriate amount of gear the quests are more challenging, and you deserve a +10% or so to xp.

If you are insanely loaded to the gills quests are far less challenging, so less xp should be earned. -20% xp or more depending on how crazy you get.

If everyone in the party qualifies for a "skin of their teeth" bonus then maybe give another 5-10% bonus on top of everything else to the whole party. They earned it.

MrWizard
03-02-2008, 12:30 PM
A quote from jwbarry in this (http://forums.ddo.com/showthread.php?&postid=1591006#post1591006) thread got me thinking:



This is really true of a game at a macro level now, too. When was the last time you saw any of the following:

LFM: The Swiped signet
LFM: Archer Point Defense
LFM: Purge the Heretics
...

I could continue this list for a while. Probably 90% of player hours spent in-game are spent in less than 50% of the quests! Why? Because players figured out which quests have the best XP reward/investment ratio, and focus on those -- only a small segment of the population spends time on less XP-efficient (or, in some cases, reward-efficient) quests.

Turbine, you *must* have data on which quests are being run frequently, and which are lying fallow, yes? Can't you balance out the rewards on the ones that players have figured out are under-XP'ed, to get them back in the rotation? If you can't afford to develop unused *paths* in a quest, then isn't developing unused *quests* even worse bleeding?

I always do them when leveling...they are quick and easy xp and favor.

Borror0
03-02-2008, 12:54 PM
I always do them when leveling...they are quick and easy xp and favor.

Archer Point Defense is quick XP?

Frodo_Lives
03-02-2008, 03:03 PM
The problem with leveling slowly at 9 - 11 isn't because there isn't anything to do that is level appropriate. It's because everyone seems to want to run the big xp chain quests far too early in their career. If you leave TR alone until lvl 5, Delera's alone till lvl 7, Co6 until lvl 8-9, you wouldn't even have to think about going to GH until lvl 12.

I find that lvls 10 and 11 are pretty slow going simply because I don't want to waste my time in GH with crappy groups that fail quests half the time, take xp hits for reentering quests because of party wipes, and spend a ton of plat on rez/heal scrolls or pots because you get stuck in a bad group. At level 12 it's not so bad, level 10 it can be quite scary in a PuG even for the easier GH quests.

I can level quickly and easily to lvl 4+ just running around the harbor without WW more than 2 or 3 times, mess around with STK and some of the easier house quests and you are lvl 5 in a flash. By the time you are done TR and a few more of the house quests you are level 7 without even touching SC, Delera's, Gwylan's Stand, or any of the big xp quests for that range. Simply doing them will get you to 9 no problem and then a couple of Co6, TS, and the rest of the house quests and even running around the desert explorer/slayer (easy to get 20K xp in a couple hours) you will be close to 11. Through in the VoNs and whatnot you'll be ready for GH in no time. I've never had a problem or hitting a lag until at least lvl 10 and I PuG through everything.

I will agree that it is a bit of a drag around 10 or 11 unless you want to go to GH early, but that has less to do with what is available at that level then trying to find a party at for it at that level.

With all this being said I do agree that there are certain quests that the xp vs time/risk is a joke. There are certain quests that I barely do at all simply because I can never find groups to do them with. There are other quests that I really do enjoy (Caverns of K for example) that aren't great for xp and the loot is simply ok (even though there can be a lot of chests) I will run it a couple times on every character I level simply because I like those quests.

Look at stuff like 3 barrel cove, Church and the Cult, some of the house quests, the marketplace quests, and anything else that seems to be ignored by level appropriate characters and if the xp is too low then bump em. I know that SC got a reduction quite a while ago, the GH stuff got the hit, and probably a few more that I may have missed. I don't mind that some quests get the xp reduced, but I am certainly in favor of giving some of the others a modest raise to make them more attractive. After all more content that is being run equals more choices and more choice is never a bad thing.

sirgog
03-02-2008, 03:16 PM
Yes we have unused quests. Yes it would difficult to change that, and balancing on a large scale would be required. To tell the truth what's done is done. Going back and changing the xp on old quests will do little to help them, they are already dead. Did the xp boost to the necropolis help them? Nope, I bet most people even forgot you did increase the xp for them.


One big exception - The Shadow Crypt. It's on my powerlevelling list - far better than Stormcleave for XP, it takes the same time to 5 min longer, but has double SC's XP and is easily ripped thru on norm or hard by 7-8s with 2 Firewall casters.

Only porblem is you need to swap in an opener each run.

Borror0
03-02-2008, 03:32 PM
One big exception - The Shadow Crypt. It's on my powerlevelling list - far better than Stormcleave for XP, it takes the same time to 5 min longer, but has double SC's XP and is easily ripped thru on norm or hard by 7-8s with 2 Firewall casters.

Same here, but it's one I'd never PuG!!

liamfrancais
03-03-2008, 09:04 AM
Is there a problem or know issue with the Stormreaver raid xp. I have one character who has not made it to 20 completions and gets 710 xp for extreme repetition and another who has completed it over 30 times and will get like 7 or 8 k each time not that I mind but just seems strange to me.

Angelus_dead
03-03-2008, 09:07 AM
Is there a problem or know issue with the Stormreaver raid xp.
There is no problem; everything you described is perfectly correct behavior

Completions by xp-capped characters do not count for purposes of repetition penalties. Character A is at XP cap and does Reaver's Fate 29 times. When the XP cap increases, he does it again and gets XP with no penalty.

Character B is below XP cap and does Reaver's Fate 12 times. When the XP cap is raised months later, he does it again and gets almost no XP.

honkuimushi
03-03-2008, 09:18 AM
Archer Point Defense is quick XP?

What's so hard about Archer Point Defense? A decent party that has an idea of what to expect can get it done in about 10 or 15 minutes with minimal problems.

Gladewatch Outpost Defense on the other hand is a real nightmare that will fail without 5 competent players with the right combination of classes. I would be very hesitant to run that quest without 2 or 3 casters, a cleric, and at 2 or 3 melee classes (at leat one with a decent AC.)

Borror0
03-03-2008, 09:21 AM
Gladewatch Outpost Defense on the other hand is a real nightmare that will fail without 5 competent players with the right combination of classes. I would be very hesitant to run that quest without 2 or 3 casters, a cleric, and at 2 or 3 melee classes (at leat one with a decent AC.)

It's the one I meant.. xD

Arundil
03-03-2008, 10:05 AM
Maybe I am looking at the game differently but I feel that if I don't explore every inch of every quest I am not getting the full effect of the game. I don't want to miss anything. Exploring all of the parts of each quest is a major part of the enjoyment of the game for me.

True for me as well.

Coogan
03-03-2008, 11:55 AM
Just to throw my 2 cents in, I'll give everybody the reason that there are so many quests out there that are rarely run: there's simply no benefit to it.

There are 3 rewards you get from any quest in the game: the XP, the loot, and the favor. Let's take a quick look at each one. But first, let's look at the progression from a newly-rolled lowbie to lvl 16. It's been posited here already that it's easy to get to lvl 6-ish, then the progression starts slowing around 7 or 8, then becomes a drag to about 10 or 11, then picks up again to 16.4. There's a simple reason for this: it's generally in proportion to the availability of PUGs at those levels. There's plenty of lowbies to join up with early, because the lowbies are made up of either new players or established players trying to build to toons up to 16. By the time you get to around lvl 6, the new players have a good idea of the game, and might decide give up and try another game. The established players, on the other hand, know the (more or less) optimal way to powerlevel: running WW, STK, TR, SC, then Deleras over and over, until about lvl 9, then hitting GH, where the XP really picks up. There's no benefit to "stopping and smelling the roses" (doing other quests). The mid levels (7-9) are in a bind simply because (A) it's usually about the place where a player says either "I don't like this game" or "this toon isn't as good as I thought. I'm rerolling him" and (B) the powergamers who have spec'd out their toon's entire progression beforehand just want to fly right through those levels as fast as humanly possible.

XP: yeah, a big problem with many of these quests is that their XP seems to be out of balance with the time it takes to complete them and the difficulty to complete it. But that an XP balance wouldn't help much because, again, the powergamers know the more-or-less established way to powerlevel. Fixing that would pretty much require a XP "reboot" across most of the quests, which is only going to serve to REALLY cheese a lot of people off. Again, by this time, a lot of non-powergamers have either stopped playing the game altogether or are back in the harbor with a rerolled toon.

Loot: please. With only so much room both in your pack and your bank, a lot of gamers already have too much stuff as it is. And who's going to go out of their way to run a quest that MIGHT score them something that will in all likelihood be replaced in a few levels anyway? With the rare exception of some loot (Golden Cartouche, Chaosguardes, etc) a player with lvl 16 in mind isn't going to bother keeping any loot from these quests anyway. So adding more loot (even unique) isn't going to do much unless it's something that a capped toon is REALLY going to want.

Favor: now here's where I really think these unused quests can make a difference. Currently there's no way to hit 400 favor in any category of favor. So the last time you get any reward for favor is at 150, which can be accomplished with a little work, but it's in no way particularly difficult. The hardest thing about hitting 150 is probably getting a group together who actually WANTS to run quests that few people actually run. And once you've hit 150, the only reward left by gaining more favor is your +2 tome and open your 32-point build. And there are easier ways to get a +2 tome than to spend days grinding out quests that you probably have little or no familiarity with. Considering that the +2 tome from favor can't be traded or sold, it's actually worth LESS on the whole, since the player might not even have a real need for it. And of course, once the 32-point build has been opened, there's no reason for a 2nd toon to achieve 1750 favor.

So what to do? Maybe put another level or 2 of favor rewards between 150 and 400, and give the player something that can be used long-term, or has actually value to a toon that will eventually be capped. Keep in mind that players that have made the effort to get to this level of quests is planning on eventually capping that toon, and they're not going to have any incentive to deviate from the powerlevel track unless they're given something that they'll actually use for more than 2-3 levels. Loot is a bad incentive since it's so disposable/replacable. The best incentive is to give them something that is TRULY unique. For instance, at around 250-275 favor, give the player a free feat. Or something like +80 spell points (for casters) or hit points (for non-casters). Now THAT'S something a player can still benefit from at level 14 and beyond, and will go out of their way to get.

As a final note, I'd like to add some interesting stuff about my own toons. A few things to keep in mind: I consider myself a casual player like many around here. I rarely post LFMs simply because of the unpredictability of the quality of the players I might end up with. When I roll up a new toon, I do with with the mindset that I'm going to run him/her up to lvl 16, and thus prefer to stay on the powertrack as much as possible. But I certainly don't mind running other quests. In fact, I find it kind of refreshing when I'm in a SC pug, and afterwards the team is open to run some obscure quest that I've never done before.

I've been playing DDO since Nov '06. I currently have a 16 cleric and a 13 barb (and previously had a 13 rogue), along with a handful of lowbies.
-- I'd never done the Sacred Helm in STK until this past week.
-- I've never run 75% of the pre-Orchard Necro quests.
-- I've never completed the Threnals. Farthest I've gotten is trying to keep Coyle alive in that last battle (yeah, I hate that guy too)
-- I've never gotten more than about 30 kills in Searing Heights.
-- I can count on one hand the number of times I've been to 3-barrel cove and Ataraxia's Haven COMBINED
-- My cleric with 1811 favor has not even attempted at least 25% (probably more like 1/3) of the quests in the game.
-- I know nothing about the Spawn of Whisperdoom, Black Anvil Forest, Invaders, and hardly anything in House K outside of VON.


Coog

Akadi : 16 Cleric
Thibodeaux: 13 Barb
Faythe: 6 Fighter
--== Stormbringers ==--

Coogan
03-03-2008, 12:00 PM
True for me as well.

Add me to this list. Of course, it can be really difficult to find a pug to run these with. And the problem is compounded when you see somebody with an LFM up running something you've never run but would like to, but for all you know the pug could be composed of complete morons. If you're ultimate goal is to cap your toon, there are a lot easier ways to get XP.

Coog

Akadi : 16 Cleric
Thibodeaux: 13 Barb
Faythe: 6 Fighter
--== Stormbringers ==--

sirgog
03-03-2008, 10:20 PM
Currently there's no way to hit 400 favor in any category of favor.

Not true. There's a quite substantial reward for 400 Silver Flame favor - you can buy some awesome healing potions, although they do knock you silly for 30 seconds after drinking one. 400 Free Agents favor is achievable but has no reward (it unlocks an Expert Weapons Repairer in the Desert that you can unlock far more easily just by asking him to tell you stories).

400 Free Agents favor isn't too hard to get, but 400 Silver Flame requires literally everything save the Abbot done on Elite.