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View Full Version : Why DDO shouldn't try to be a clone



Aspenor
04-04-2008, 09:21 AM
From all the recent development I've seen, I feel that Turbine has decided to take an inappropriate route. Solo content? PvP?? Monks with a Qi bar?? What???

DDO is a grouping game, always has been. It's also not exactly the best engine for a PvP environment, with the way the classes balance (or imbalance, if you prefer).

I'm not knocking people that put "not enough solo content" or "not enough PvP" in their exit surveys, but frankly, I don't think that DDO should strive to please that segment of the market. DDO has an amazing combat engine and TPS style that I and many others love. I think that rather than attempt to please those that leave, DDO should attempt to build upon its strengths rather than weaknesses.

Once the level cap has reached 20, I'd like to see robust content releases with emphases on questing. Numerous raid zones, high level raids, high level non-raids, and mid-level raids/non-raids. Give us another TS. Give us another Kobold Assault for high levels (we have this with the Anniversary Quest, but it's said to be temporary).

Essentially, I'd rather DDO focus on the things that people view as "right" in the game rather than the things that people find as "failings." Some people just aren't cut out for DDO as a game. They don't have the time to devote to sitting down for any length of time, or they refuse to go out and make connections and friendships with other players that will enhance their gaming experience. DDO is a game built around people, not persons (get it?).

I worry that Turbine is trying too hard to appeal to the WoW/etc. crowds with their development activities lately. DDO should be different, we are the "complicated" MMO for the "big folk." Every build can be unique, and people can create any class to do virtually anything they want it to. I think that DDO actually appeals to a wider segment of the gaming population than is reflected in the server pops.

So, *sprays this thread with asbestos* let the flames begin, but I am concerned with the patterns and intentions I've seen of late.

Samadhi
04-04-2008, 09:33 AM
I agree with the OP considerably. Focus on the strengths, the reasons people are STAYING, and you will have a longer lasting game by solidifying your gamebase.

One additional thing that I feel is a strength is the character design system. One thing that many of the players, at least that I run with, enjoy is the endless diversity of character builds that can still be effective in the game. Please build on this game strength by giving us more character slots to experiment with!!

Thanks in advance for your quick agreement :D

Raithe
04-04-2008, 09:33 AM
Your idea of what DDO "is" (the actuality of which has fluctuated significantly over the last 2 years) is not sustainable, not D&D-like, and is not the anti-WoW that you claim. Raids? Never heard of those before coming here, and I've played almost every other D&D computer title and experienced several MMOs before the onset of EQ/WoW.

There is nothing different about DDO. I could point out a hundred antiquated shareware games that lacked playability due to extreme hack-n-slash focus as close cousins to what has happened here. Yes, DDO has an excellent 3D engine and superb artists behind the scenes. That doesn't make up for a lack of game structure and interesting player-created storyline.

Rav'n
04-04-2008, 09:35 AM
I hate to be the first to disapoint you....

But I AGREE!! I've been playing DDO for over a year. Been a PnP player since.... (okay... no long term memory here...) and a LARPer for over 5 years. I've seen it in LARPs and I've seen it in DDO...the WoW Mentality.

Dev's ...please don't focus on what WoW or any other MMO does. I don't play them BECAUSE of what they do. I play DDO because of the little things you've done right. (Imo)

Mad_Bombardier
04-04-2008, 09:35 AM
I agree with the OP considerably. Focus on the strengths, the reasons people are STAYING, and you will have a longer lasting game by solidifying your gamebase.I agree. The game can certainly be expanded and new fluff areas dabbled in, but the focus should always be quests, groups, and D&D.

Aspenor
04-04-2008, 09:37 AM
That doesn't make up for a lack of game structure and interesting player-created storyline.

Player-created storyline??

The storylines in DDO are actually kindof fun and interesting if you pay any attention to them.

MysticTheurge
04-04-2008, 09:56 AM
Player-created storyline??

The storylines in DDO are actually kindof fun and interesting if you pay any attention to them.

Absolutely no game has a "player-created storyline."

Toolkits do, sure, but not games.

Even ones that allow you a wide array of possible storylines to choose from still do so Choose-your-own-adventure style. It's all prewritten, you're just choosing one road or the other.

Aspenor
04-04-2008, 09:58 AM
Absolutely no game has a "player-created storyline."

Toolkits do, sure, but not games.

Even ones that allow you a wide array of possible storylines to choose from still do so Choose-your-own-adventure style. It's all prewritten, you're just choosing one road or the other.

I know, MT...

I was just confused as to why this would be a gripe...GL getting a DDO toolkit, the graphics and such are far too involved.

moorewr
04-04-2008, 10:00 AM
Player-created storyline??

The storylines in DDO are actually kindof fun and interesting if you pay any attention to them.

Yes, although every once and a while the silliness just overwhelms me.. like the picture (which I think MT put up?) of the Laughing Knives with the caption "What, why don't they just do it?"

I mean, there's a reason I'm in outer space again, but I can't put my finger on it. :P

Vorn
04-04-2008, 10:05 AM
To use a football analogy if you have three guys on the left side of the offensive line who are 200 pounds and three guys on the right side of the line who are 350 pounds and your goal is to run the ball...for goodness sake, spend most of your time running right!

I love the strengths of this game: interactive-cooperative questing, character creation/development, combat system. I would very much like to see them spend more time on not only the obligatory quest line/raid for each release but also a 12 person stand alone quest similar to tempest spine--no raid loot, though unique items would be cool, repeatable as often as you like with no timer--the beer and pretzels type fun experience.

There are lots of fun story lines in the quests. I appreciate the level of writing that has gone into many of them. I particularly like the quests that revisit old haunts in new ways--Invaders, going beyond the Iron Golems in that House J quest,...kind of like "Return to White Plume Mountain". I'd enjoy seeing some of the characters/stories from past adventures show up again...how are Margurette and the bishop doing now the duality has been defeated? What else is Rosie in Three Barrel cove up to now the turtle idol is rebuilt? Have the Druegar set up a bunch of Condo's for time-share at Ataraxes's Haven? Is there more the the Fallowcrest Library than stealing an overdue book? That girl from Dead Girl's Spell book...whatever happened to her? What mischief did she get into because she aquired that book (if not from me, from someone else)? The quests need not be chain-linked (as many folks, I among them can get tired of re-running). Just follow-on's to expand the narrative framework of the Stormreach.

DDO is like an amusement park with rides called quests/explorer zones. Being able to move beyond that, admittedly challenging, would, I think, help a lot.

Strakeln
04-04-2008, 10:08 AM
Yep. I'm here to play DDO, now WoW.

KoboldKiller
04-04-2008, 10:09 AM
I agree with you totally Asp.

All that needs to be said.


That is all...................................

MysticTheurge
04-04-2008, 10:09 AM
I'd enjoy seeing some of the characters/stories from past adventures show up again...

They do. A lot.

Deragoth
04-04-2008, 10:31 AM
I would work on adding Character (prestige?) Classes and Races to the list of things to do before you start playing with ANYTHING related to PVP.

Vorn
04-04-2008, 10:37 AM
They do. A lot.

I know, I want more!
:)

Laith
04-04-2008, 10:40 AM
I know, I want more!
:)too many references, and you'll start thinking things like "you know, maybe Haywire doesn't DESERVE to be saved again..." ;)

Vorn
04-04-2008, 10:47 AM
too many references, and you'll start thinking things like "you know, maybe Haywire doesn't DESERVE to be saved again..." ;)

I kinda figured Haywire would go into business with the guy from the Fleshmaker's Lab and rebuild the warforged Titan and use it to create yet another portal to Shavaroth...or launch a mission to the Moons.
:)
(sorry for the tangent, Asp)

Westerner
04-04-2008, 11:02 AM
I agree with the OP. DDO doesn't need an engine redo in order to broaden the player base... it needs better packaging of existing content.

Two Ideas:

1) Make it easier for players of similar abilities to find each other via the LFM. Due to the nature of the game, we have very different skill levels of players all clustered together in a narrow band of content. Allowing LFMs to specify Quest Speed (http://forums.ddo.com/showpost.php?p=1559358&postcount=58) as Slow/Medium/Fast might help folks find a group that goes at their pace.

2) Allow players to interact more with the storyline. Embed more quest clues, or allow players to change the story in some meaningful way.

Dariun
04-04-2008, 11:03 AM
I'm not knocking people that put "not enough solo content" or "not enough PvP" in their exit surveys, but frankly, I don't think that DDO should strive to please that segment of the market.
...
Once the level cap has reached 20, I'd like to see robust content releases with emphases on questing. Numerous raid zones, high level raids, high level non-raids, and mid-level raids/non-raids. Give us another TS. Give us another Kobold Assault for high levels (we have this with the Anniversary Quest, but it's said to be temporary).


It is entirely possible that DDO needs "that segment of the market" in order to have a subscriber base big enough to justify the development work to hit level 20 and introduce numerous raid zones, etc. I don't know for sure, of course, but it wouldn't surprise me if that is the fiscal reality of the situation.

In fact, I think for the first year of its existence DDO did try to ignore that segment of the market, and for some reason (subscriber numbers?) decided that it was a mistake (from a business perspective) to do so.

I don't know if DDO is becoming a clone of WOW or not or if that's a bad thing. I've never played WOW or seen it played.

I know I'm one of those always clamoring for more solo content (and yes, that was #1 priority on my survey and raids were #5), but if raids are what you want, then definitely clamor away.

I hope we both get what we want. And, I think if Turbine is getting money from both of us, there is a better chance of that than if Turbine is only getting money from one of us.

dcoy
04-04-2008, 11:16 AM
I'm the leader of a raiding guild on WoW and I recently renewed my DDO sub (left after the 1st patch and the shrine changes). The reason is I'm actively looking for something to replace WoW because of the ever increasing emphasis on PVP and Solo play. To the point where PVP rewards and Solo/Group content are in many cases better then top end raiding rewards that people have to work for months as a guild to receive. So I'm here on DDO looking for a game that is more evolved. One that doesn't attract people who think its ok to cuss out people for making a mistake, rip people off and laugh about it, and all the other stuff that a game that tosses rewards at people for nothing and focuses on imitating a FPS will breed. And I'm sure I'm not alone. Serious gamers are leaving left and right.

So while I don't have the PnP or DDO experience some of you might have I know that I'm a "raider". The only reason I'm sticking with WoW is the lack of raiding alternative (crappy raid content with little support is still better then no raiding). I'm enjoying DDO because even in groups it has a "raid" mentality at times and the players tend to be mature and competant. So obviously I'd like to see more Raid content in DDO.

Its easy to say raiding wasn't a part of PnP and neither was solo or PVP. But they were, just not big parts, and they are definetly a part of MMOs. In PnP, PVP and solo type content was something we did when not enough people showed for a normal group and that is IMHO how it should be used here, as a fill in for when you are bored and LFG, not as a focus or a end-game content. Also, Raids were easily supported by PnP. If you had 12 people who wanted to play it was easy to adjust the Dragon to still be a challenge.

I guess my long winded point here is while DDO has some really great group play at some point its going to have to push beyond that. And as someone who has played raid oriented games (EQ), PVP/Solo oriented games (Guildwars), and seen a game switch its focus from raiding toward PVP/solo (WoW) I can tell you that raid games will attract a more mature, competant player base than the other games. And IMO a game that is called "Dungeons" and "Dragons" sounds a lot more like raiding then it does PVP/Solo play.

akla_thornfist
04-04-2008, 11:16 AM
i agree with aspenor 100% this game is not about pvp or grinding its about character creation and questing with your friends to save the world from the bad guys, the more you try to clone wow the faster i will be out the door looking for something else. imo the devs should be working on new quests and core classes and less on pvp or grinding.

Allistair
04-04-2008, 11:26 AM
I agree with you 100% Asp.
They should steer away from PvP and Solo content.
D&D was always and should always be a game about getting together and grouping
with friends or meeting new adventurers.

I'm here to play DDO, not WoW.

Borror0
04-04-2008, 11:48 AM
I'm with Aspenor here.

I don't like the way Turbine is heading right now. Invest in DDO'S strength and you'll see more people playing. Don't try to correct your weaknesses, some people aren't made for DDO. If you ask me, I'd change nothing in DDO (well not more solo content, more crafting, go Killl X mobs, PvP or silly Qi bar), but I want more content, more enhancements, more spells, more class and more races.

Raithe
04-04-2008, 12:19 PM
Absolutely no game has a "player-created storyline."


After an initial development investment, it is easier to allow player-created storylines than to continue to build generic storylines into quests. I'll give an example:

*****

A guild on Argonnessen has captured a friend of mine and placed him inside a special anti-magic cell within their guildhouse. The only way my friend can escape is to /death, recalling to his bind point. Since the penalties in the game are quite severe for such an action, I decide to attempt a rescue. I happen to know that Aspenor can grant me access to the guild hall, and I also know that Aspenor is seeking the Belt of the Seven Ideals and is easily swayed from loyalty by powerful artifacts. I entice Aspenor to let me inside the guild hall by trading him the belt that I obtained during a journey inside the fortress at Gianthold Tor, and sneak through the corridors avoiding guild members when I occasionally come across them. Eventually, after a half-hour or more of avoidance, I reach the cell and mechanism for opening the entrance of it. I activate the opening device and smack!, a DC 45 spike trap shoots up from the floor and hits me for 283 damage. I die. Suddenly the hallway I'm in is filled with annoying elvish laughter as Aspenor emerges from a nearby room with some of the residents of the guild hall to point at my soul stone and make several somewhat-witty remarks at my expense.

After recalling to my bind point and a few days have passed, I receive a message from Aspenor with my Belt of the Seven Ideals attached. It informs me that he has long since obtained better artifacts for his use, and that his loyalty is not up for barter. I take this to mean I should have offered a 100k plat bonus for successful completion of my mission.

****

Player created storyline. Ingredients:

1) Guild hall mechanics including player capture implemented by Turbine.
2) Set trap mechanics implemented by Turbine.
3) Fairly severe /death penalties while located within a player capture cell (i.e. loss of an inherent bonus, loss of gear), implemented by Turbine.
4) Plat and loot already implemented by Turbine.
5) PvP instances already implemented by Turbine.
6) A "villain" provided by Aspenor.
7) A "protagonist" provided by me.

Aspenor
04-04-2008, 12:21 PM
After an initial development investment, it is easier to allow player-created storylines than to continue to build generic storylines into quests. I'll give an example:

*****

A guild on Argonnessen has captured a friend of mine and placed him inside a special anti-magic cell within their guildhouse. The only way my friend can escape is to /death, recalling to his bind point. Since the penalties in the game are quite severe for such an action, I decide to attempt a rescue. I happen to know that Aspenor can grant me access to the guild hall, and I also know that Aspenor is seeking the Belt of the Seven Ideals and is easily swayed from loyalty by powerful artifacts. I entice Aspenor to let me inside the guild hall by trading him the belt that I obtained during a journey inside the fortress at Gianthold Tor, and sneak through the corridors avoiding guild members when I occasionally come across them. Eventually, after a half-hour or more of avoidance, I reach the cell and mechanism for opening the entrance of it. I activate the opening device and smack!, a DC 45 spike trap shoots up from the floor and hits me for 283 damage. I die. Suddenly the hallway I'm in is filled with annoying elvish laughter as Aspenor emerges from a nearby room with some of the residents of the guild hall to point at my soul stone and make several somewhat-witty remarks at my expense.

After recalling to my bind point and a few days have passed, I receive a message from Aspenor with my Belt of the Seven Ideals attached. It informs me that he has long since obtained better artifacts for his use, and that his loyalty is not up for barter. I take this to mean I should have offered a 100k plat bonus for successful completion of my mission.

****

Player created storyline. Ingredients:

1) Guild hall mechanics including player capture implemented by Turbine.
2) Set trap mechanics implemented by Turbine.
3) Fairly severe /death penalties while located within a player capture cell (i.e. loss of an inherent bonus, loss of gear), implemented by Turbine.
4) Plat and loot already implemented by Turbine.
5) PvP instances already implemented by Turbine.
6) A "villain" provided by Aspenor.
7) A "protagonist" provided by me.

HOLY ****!!!

I really like that idea....okay I can get behind some user-developed content of this sort.

Oh and in the case of my guild it would a grease trap. lots...lots and lots of grease....and probably a mummy involved :)

MysticTheurge
04-04-2008, 12:32 PM
Player created storyline. Ingredients:

1) Guild hall mechanics including player capture implemented by Turbine.
2) Set trap mechanics implemented by Turbine.
3) Fairly severe /death penalties while located within a player capture cell (i.e. loss of an inherent bonus, loss of gear), implemented by Turbine.
4) Plat and loot already implemented by Turbine.
5) PvP instances already implemented by Turbine.
6) A "villain" provided by Aspenor.
7) A "protagonist" provided by me.

You forgot:

8) A "victim" willing to not play the game while you and Aspenor enjoy your ***es off.

Aspenor
04-04-2008, 12:34 PM
You forgot:

8) A "victim" willing to not play the game while you and Aspenor enjoy your ***es off.

I would expect this unwilling participants could be prevented from being forced to participate...

MysticTheurge
04-04-2008, 12:36 PM
I would expect this unwilling participants could be prevented from being forced to participate...

So essentially, what you've created here is "More PvP options."

Next we'll have PvP zones where guilds can fight with each other over <insert whatever the heck you want to here>. (Maybe one of them can be named "Horde" and the other one can be named "Alliance." :p)

Meanwhile, all the people who don't want PvP are going to have left because DDO was sold as a non-PvP game and the devs have wasted a bunch of time building more PvP options. And you're right back to what you covered in the OP.

Aspenor
04-04-2008, 12:39 PM
So essentially, what you've created here is "More PvP options."

Next we'll have PvP zones where guilds can fight with each other over <insert whatever the heck you want to here>. (Maybe one of them can be named "Horde" and the other one can be named "Alliance." :p)

Meanwhile, all the people who don't want PvP are going to have left because DDO was sold as a non-PvP game and the devs have wasted a bunch of time building more PvP options. And you're right back to what you covered in the OP.

True, but it's all about in the presentation, I guess.

Bursting my bubble...I curse you, MT.

Laith
04-04-2008, 12:40 PM
aside from all of the RP, how is that not capture the flag?

/say works in the PvP instances i believe... this sounds like something that would be interesting to do there.

MysticTheurge
04-04-2008, 12:47 PM
aside from all of the RP, how is that not capture the flag?

Not to mention you get into trouble when things don't follow the script.

What happens, as the most obvious example, when Aspenor doesn't send the item back? Does Turbine have to arbitrate this? If not, how are you going to get anyone to trust anyone else in this sort of a scenario? Especially since it seems double-crosses are common enough to be problematic.

Given the likelihood that the rescue attempt is going to go awry, and result in more people captured, why doesn't the captive just /death out? It's probably easier. And doesn't involve waiting around for weeks for your guild to get their act together and come rescue you.

On top of that, this scenario is all well and good, but what's another example of "player created stories" you can build with just these tools? Cause other than resuce-someone/steal-something from an "enemy" guildhall, there doesn't seem to be much potential here.

And it's not as though "guildhall mechanics including player capture" is an easy thing. Or, even assuming they're doing "guildhall mechanics" anyway, "player capture" isn't just a simple little thing you'd tack on in your spare time.

It's a major undertaking for a relatively small pay off, that really, isn't fundamentally different from PvP, except that you've tacked a story (of sorts) on to it. And tacking stories onto the existing structure is something you can do right now, but very few people seem interested in doing that.

Dirac
04-04-2008, 12:55 PM
There are a lot of different issues here. My 2 cp:

raiding: pro
solo otions: pro
grinding: con
pvp: very con
4-6 person group content: very pro

To reiterate others, keeping the game group focused can still leave opportunites to incorporate other things. To the extent that it brings (or keeps) more people around without distracting form the main objective, it is a good thing

Pellegro
04-04-2008, 01:47 PM
Great OP but I think as you dig a little deeper the issue is a bit more complex.

First, there is alot to be said for focusing on a game's strenghts rather than its weaknesses. First and foremost, your strengths brought you your current subscriber base. Retention is your #1 priority in an MMO. If you stray from your strengths to venture into the unknown realm of attacting *new* customers, you risk losing the easy, low-lying fruit (i.e. the folks who have already chosen to subscribe and are at least somewhat invested in the game).

However, what is more difficult is coming to a consensus on what are this game's strengths. All you have to do is read this (relatively short at this point) thread and you'll see different folks think different aspects of the game are its strengths.

That's why the recent entrance-survey is such a good move on Turbine's part. They're getting feedback, from teh current player base, on what they view as important. So far they're probing PvP. We'll see what comes next.

Despite the importance of maintaining current subscribers (which is paramount), this is a business, and they need to grow. Without growth, the game dies as people *will* tire, and move on to something else, or try the new thing, etc.

So you have to make some efforts to attract new players as well.

How do you do that? By identifying what new players want .... In a game that has been out two years, most hard-core gamers have at least heard of this game. Some have tried it and left, some tried it and stayed, others never tried it. That segment is the "holy grail" of an MMOs subscriber base, because they're going to spread the word of what they're playing, they're going to get into it, they're going to be your salespeople out there talking up how great the game is.

So they need to identify what that segment wants ... and consider efforts to give it to them. On PvP in particular - I think DDO has the best MMO combat I've played (I admittedly haven't played much). The TPS, variety of builds, equipment, feats, spells, the action of it (as opposed to pressing buttons for automated combat) - all of it to me seems uniquely situated to make for a great PvP experience, and moreover - a unique PvP experience that is something more like an "FPS lite". I don't play PvP myself ... but I can see how it would make sense to explore that option for growth.

Then there's the casual MMO segment. Not sure how you get them interested except for buzz in the gaming press, adverts, free trial subs, etc.

Then there's the D&D crowd - which I'm surprised we don't see more targetted marketing for. They're ripe and just waiting. Inserts with WOTC books & pubs; adverts on WOTC site; cross-marketing, etc. There's a whole advertising synergy there that I just don't see ....

Anyway, that's my "2 beers into Friday" view from 10,000 feet. I hope you have enjoyed the flight.

LeLoric
04-04-2008, 01:57 PM
I dont know if Ive ever seen thsi many people agree with asp

The world must be ending

Doooooooo0000000000m

Artemis
04-04-2008, 03:01 PM
I agree with Asp. I would add one thing though that I would like the devs to spend there time on that would really help and would alleviate the need to add more grinding, etc into the game.

That solution is.....a tinge of randomness!!

Using: The random generator used for loot + die roll tables + current spawn points of mobs.

If fleshed out more, using these three pieces could add a LOT to each quest, each time.

How it would work: Take any quest. Upon entrance all these pieces kick in. Using the CURRENT spawn points a die roll is made to see what the makeup of the monsters at those spawn points will be and the spell list used if applicable, using the SAME TYPE of mobs that are currently in the quest. This die roll, though, will determine the makeup of each group ( 1 shaman & 3 fighters with shaman throwing fireballs or 2 shaman and 6 fighters who use different methods with 1 shaman going with fireballs and the other with melfs, for example) from a table of possible group makeups and spells useable and the table can be adjusted by the devs so that it won't make the quest harder than intended. This will also allow them to keep certain monster in certain quest for storyline.

So, basically, just applying the loot table mechanics in certain ways, the game can take on a whole new flavor. This would make each quest, each time play different and you'll never really be sure what is around the corner or if you should have fire protection up or acid, etc

They have bits of this concept already in game, such as the giant cave that either has fire or hill giants in it.

By developing this concept out more and advancing mechanics already in game, this is where I would like the devs to spend there time....as well as more content of course :) Oh, no more senseless grinding mechanics either...

Just my 2 cts.

thanks

Snoggy
04-04-2008, 03:53 PM
Your idea of what DDO "is" (the actuality of which has fluctuated significantly over the last 2 years) is not sustainable, not D&D-like, and is not the anti-WoW that you claim. Raids? Never heard of those before coming here, and I've played almost every other D&D computer title and experienced several MMOs before the onset of EQ/WoW.

I call shennanigans. If you've heard of EQ, you've heard of raids BEFORE coming to DDO.

Snoggy
04-04-2008, 04:04 PM
Its easy to say raiding wasn't a part of PnP and neither was solo or PVP. But they were,

Raiding does come from PnP like you suggest. Raiding is simply an MMORPG's way of translating the "epic" campaign or storyline from the good ole days of pen and paper. The grandiose mega-scheme that your DM had been cooking up while you levelled. The reason why you built up henchmen ... and retainers ... and a castle ... and raised an army.

:)

I read your post. I'm sorry to hear WoW's endgame focus has become as blurred as it has. I left the game right as Burning Crusade was released. Partly because of the time committment involved. Partly because of the lack of community. And partly because the expansion negated over a year's worth of playtime. I saw that green items were going to overwrite and marginalize all of my blackwing lair and AQ40 items. It was just time to step back.

DDO has been a game I've kept a running sub on for over a year now. I find it's raid content enjoyable. I find its community very easy to interact with. And I find its community very much more my ... I guess I want to say ... my age bracket?

totmacher
04-04-2008, 04:07 PM
I love PVP but as long as solo content is never worth as much as adventuring with companions, then it will never be worth it

Raithe
04-04-2008, 04:09 PM
On top of that, this scenario is all well and good, but what's another example of "player created stories" you can build with just these tools? Cause other than resuce-someone/steal-something from an "enemy" guildhall, there doesn't seem to be much potential here.

Well, you already mentioned one, but there are more:

1) Turf war stories every couple of weeks or so when you can get your guild(s) all grouped together.
2) Infiltration of guild ranks by rolling up a new character and going through the hoops of joining legitimately. RP skills better be up to snuff to avoid being caught, and a story of espionage would ensue.
3) The same mechanics could be used to populate a mage tower or rogue's maze with summoned creatures and traps. Slightly different gameplay for those - they might include stories of puzzles, runes, and spatial disorientation.
4) Stories of brokering/diplomacy for the release or exchange of captive characters. What can turn different guilds into enemies could also pull them together into allies.
5) Training and recruitment activity stories. PvP areas within a guild hall could be used to train or evaluate candidates for recruitment to a guild.
6) Guild meetings for large guilds. Simple stories of being able to gather more than 12 people together in a somewhat privacy-secure area and the discussions (and visual roleplay) that could be involved.
7) Day to day guild hall activity stories. They won't be extremely interesting, but perhaps they'll be slightly more so than logging into the tavern in Meridia, checking mail, checking auctions, logging out amongst strangers.

What's required isn't a Horde/Alliance mentality, and having a WoW-like dependance on maintaining stat levels and ownership of gear would be extremely detrimental to enjoying what I am suggesting. I wouldn't expect those types of players to be involved at all anyway.

I also wouldn't expect those types of players to last long playing a MMO. Period.


I call shennanigans. If you've heard of EQ, you've heard of raids BEFORE coming to DDO.

Baffling. I have no idea how you've arrived at your conclusions. No, didn't hear of a raid before coming to DDO. I barely remembered hearing at all of UO, EQ, WoW, and Asheron's Call. I did play several text-based MMOs a long time ago as a young adult, and no, they did not have "raids."

Depravity
04-04-2008, 04:28 PM
Saw two things in here I can actually post about:

As a refugee from City of Heroes/Villians I've had some experience with
The idea of guildhall raids &
Randomized dungeons

The CoX versions of guilds could take xp/reward hits that translated into group funds to build a base. Bases were designed and built by the players themselves, and could be raided by other guilds (there was a scheduling mechanic, so you douldn' just traipse in while they were away). This was an awesome idea, even if I never actually got in on one. Being able to build our own dungeons as guild halls would be a wonderful addition, and may be on the horizon with the addition of guild housing. give us the ability to add some mobs for exposition, and you have A) Player created storylines and B) Expanded PvP, which some people are asking for, without too much trouble. Done well, I would consider this almost worth an entire module to itself.

The randomised dungeons area good idea, but CoXs implementation needs to be avoided. They randomly spawned on randomly created maps. The map segments were bland and too similiar to each other, causing a reliance on he minimap it's hard to describe. You also got used to the way rooms were constructed, and became far to good at figuring out where/what the spawns would be. Actually made things so incredibly grindy I stopped playing. Only things that were fun were the static quests, because someone actually took some time to design them, and most of them you had to grind through multiple random missions to get into. DDO has an advantage, because it has things like swimming, traps, secret doors, etc. Again, implement it well, and I would love to see this. Give us some variability in mission paramaters (Don't kill more than X of Y, Kill everything, recover the whatsis of whosis by an means necessary, even a few randomly named/configured orange/red names) and make sure the dungeons don't all come out the same, and I can see a lot of players bored with running the same quest time and time again getting a group together and gleefully tripping through there.

Haven' seen it in this thread, but I've seen posts about open landscape between quests, like WoW. Bad idea. Again, same thing occured in CoX, and everyone, absolutely everyone, took a 'transportation power' (I usually took super jumping or flight) as soon as they possibly could, just so they could avoid all the trash mobs between them and the quests. Having a safe hub to take a short run through is a strength. If someone wants to wander around outside and kill stuff, we have outdoor zones the can go play in. Not as huge as WoW's external environment, and not anywhere near as boring.

/rant off

Apologies for the length

*Edit*

There are things that could be adapted from other games, but doing so at the expense of DnD's strengths would not be worth the effort. We've got a group-encouraging system, and many of us like that. Too much solo content would detract from that, and make the game grindier. I for one really enjoy going into a dungeon with a less than "perfect" mix for that dungeon (did Depths series beginning to end three rogue, three pally other day. Loved it) and seeing what that group brings to the table and how to use it to achieve our ends. PvP gets away from that group mentality and pits the players against each other. I have friends that fight IRL because one's horde and one's alliance. I don't want to see that here.

By all means bring us new things, new ideas, new ways of doing things, but make sure it still feels like DDO at the end of the day.

MysticTheurge
04-04-2008, 04:48 PM
Well, you already mentioned one, but there are more:

1) Turf war stories every couple of weeks or so when you can get your guild(s) all grouped together.
2) Infiltration of guild ranks by rolling up a new character and going through the hoops of joining legitimately. RP skills better be up to snuff to avoid being caught, and a story of espionage would ensue.
3) The same mechanics could be used to populate a mage tower or rogue's maze with summoned creatures and traps. Slightly different gameplay for those - they might include stories of puzzles, runes, and spatial disorientation.
4) Stories of brokering/diplomacy for the release or exchange of captive characters. What can turn different guilds into enemies could also pull them together into allies.
5) Training and recruitment activity stories. PvP areas within a guild hall could be used to train or evaluate candidates for recruitment to a guild.
6) Guild meetings for large guilds. Simple stories of being able to gather more than 12 people together in a somewhat privacy-secure area and the discussions (and visual roleplay) that could be involved.
7) Day to day guild hall activity stories. They won't be extremely interesting, but perhaps they'll be slightly more so than logging into the tavern in Meridia, checking mail, checking auctions, logging out amongst strangers.

Almost all of these can be done right now, and no one does them.

KristovK
04-04-2008, 04:52 PM
Agree with Asp, which seems to be pretty common in this thead..did I miss my saving throw?

As for the user created storylines..I'll pass, thanks, been there done that on a NWN server I helped run. Owners decided to their let friends do what they wanted for storylines, which many of us on the server staff were against..we knew the people involved and what they wanted to do, but the owners..well...they wanted to make their friends happy. Pretty soon those friends had player characters that were gods, because, what do you know, THEIR storyline made them gods! I won't even go into the horrible writing they did, the horrible acting, the RP that would make a mime scream..it was really a bad experience all around. And that's pretty typical of user created storylines, people end up trying to get something for their own characters and they ain't anywhere NEAR as creative and good at writing as their mommy said. Bad idea, there's a reason people get paid for that stuff, it actually takes talent and skill, not just a LOT of enthusiasm ;) And putting frosting on PvP doesn't change it from being PvP....

cappuccino
04-04-2008, 04:59 PM
To use a football analogy if you have three guys on the left side of the offensive line who are 200 pounds and three guys on the right side of the line who are 350 pounds and your goal is to run the ball...for goodness sake, spend most of your time running right!

I love the strengths of this game: interactive-cooperative questing, character creation/development, combat system. I would very much like to see them spend more time on not only the obligatory quest line/raid for each release but also a 12 person stand alone quest similar to tempest spine--no raid loot, though unique items would be cool, repeatable as often as you like with no timer--the beer and pretzels type fun experience.

There are lots of fun story lines in the quests. I appreciate the level of writing that has gone into many of them. I particularly like the quests that revisit old haunts in new ways--Invaders, going beyond the Iron Golems in that House J quest,...kind of like "Return to White Plume Mountain". I'd enjoy seeing some of the characters/stories from past adventures show up again...how are Margurette and the bishop doing now the duality has been defeated? What else is Rosie in Three Barrel cove up to now the turtle idol is rebuilt? Have the Druegar set up a bunch of Condo's for time-share at Ataraxes's Haven? Is there more the the Fallowcrest Library than stealing an overdue book? That girl from Dead Girl's Spell book...whatever happened to her? What mischief did she get into because she aquired that book (if not from me, from someone else)? The quests need not be chain-linked (as many folks, I among them can get tired of re-running). Just follow-on's to expand the narrative framework of the Stormreach.

DDO is like an amusement park with rides called quests/explorer zones. Being able to move beyond that, admittedly challenging, would, I think, help a lot.


Actually, Last Friday Night I saw 'Dead Boy go give a dead rose to Dead Girl and took her out for a night on the town....perhaps some dead babaies are in the future? check back in 9 months....

Snoggy
04-04-2008, 05:04 PM
Baffling. I have no idea how you've arrived at your conclusions.

I arrive at my conclusions because of this statement you made:

"and experienced several MMOs before the onset of EQ/WoW."

You see, you are trying to state you have an MMO pedigree. And when trying to state that you are claiming that you have "experienced" several MMOs before the onset of EQ/WoW.

Why would you mention EQ and WoW? If you had not heard or experienced raiding? If you had not experienced EQ or WoW, you wouldn't know what a raid is. Unless of course you had experienced or heard about raiding. In MMOs. Like Everquest. Which has been around since the 1990s. I call shennanigans.

Your experience seems to have this gaping decade wide hole where you didn't experience anything MMORPG related, and thus you "never heard of raids" until coming to DDO 2 short years ago. Nada. Zip. Zilch. From Ultima to Everquest to Dark Ages of Camelot to Final Fantasy 11 to World of Warcraft. You never once heard, read or experienced an iota of what raiding culture might be like on the entirety of the internet. Until the fateful day you logged into Eberron.

So either your 'pedigree' with the genre of games is severely lacking, or you're being somewhat misleading about the experiences you've had with MMOs.

Either way ... shenanigans. You don't know what Everquest is, without knowing what raiding is. That game was centered firmly on raiding.

Raithe
04-04-2008, 05:18 PM
Your experience seems to have this gaping decade wide hole where you didn't experience anything MMORPG related,...

Yep. It's called work. Too busy to pay close attention to it. What little I heard of UO, EverQuest, WoW, and mainly Asheron's Call - did not mention raids. Everything I've learned since I started playing DDO about those games has mainly come from the players writing in these forums combined with a little research trying to fathom what went wrong here.

Your incredulity speaks more about you than what you might want made obvious. You might want to check it a little.

Twerpp
04-04-2008, 05:18 PM
More races and classes. Subraces. Prestige Classes. More adherence to D&D rules or a hardcore setting. More D&D lore in the content. D&D&D&D&D&D&D&D&D&D. Did I mention more D&D stuff?

Also agree with Asp, please don't turn into that Saturday Morning Cartoonish garbage that WoW is.

Depravity
04-04-2008, 05:18 PM
Agree with Asp, which seems to be pretty common in this thead..did I miss my saving throw?

As for the user created storylines..I'll pass, thanks, been there done that on a NWN server I helped run. Owners decided to their let friends do what they wanted for storylines, which many of us on the server staff were against..we knew the people involved and what they wanted to do, but the owners..well...they wanted to make their friends happy. Pretty soon those friends had player characters that were gods, because, what do you know, THEIR storyline made them gods! I won't even go into the horrible writing they did, the horrible acting, the RP that would make a mime scream..it was really a bad experience all around. And that's pretty typical of user created storylines, people end up trying to get something for their own characters and they ain't anywhere NEAR as creative and good at writing as their mommy said. Bad idea, there's a reason people get paid for that stuff, it actually takes talent and skill, not just a LOT of enthusiasm ;) And putting frosting on PvP doesn't change it from being PvP....

This.

Have you read some of the bios on here, or worse CoX or WoW? Giving players carte blanche to design content is going to make those of us who can spell and use something approaching proper grammar scream and gnash our teeth.

Snoggy
04-04-2008, 05:25 PM
Yep. It's called work. Too busy to pay close attention to it. What little I heard of UO, EverQuest, WoW, and mainly Asheron's Call - did not mention raids. Everything I've learned since I started playing DDO about those games has mainly come from the players writing in these forums combined with a little research trying to fathom what went wrong here.

Your incredulity speaks more about you than what you might want made obvious. You might want to check it a little.

I'll state it very simply:

You are trying to state that you have a long, storied experience with MMOs. You have been playing them LONG before silly old EVERQUEST or WORLD OF WARCRAFT came out.

But arrived one day in Eberron saying "Raiding? What is this raiding you speak of?"

I simply do not believe your story.

So either you had heard of raiding and were trying to bend your story a certain way. Or you do not have the history with MMOs you claimed you had and were trying to bend your story a certain way.

As stated, you do not hear of Everquest or World of Warcraft without hearing about raiding. You do not spend time on the internet, reading anything about MMOs, especially the MMOs YOU MENTIONED ... without hearing about raiding.

The10man
04-04-2008, 05:36 PM
I play this MMO because I can play it with the amount of time I have to invest (3.5 hrs 4 days a week) and can for the most part hold my own with the uber players. If you make it PvP driven then that will change instead of being a helper to the ubers now my char becomes fodder. There have been many times my casual style has saved the day cause I was lost behind the group when an unexpected thing took the party out.

moorewr
04-04-2008, 05:44 PM
This.

Have you read some of the bios on here, or worse CoX or WoW? Giving players carte blanche to design content is going to make those of us who can spell and use something approaching proper grammar scream and gnash our teeth.

I am Alfred Sartan, and I endorse this message.

DDO's quests are special because of the careful filter they are put through. A player might be able to construct one of the VONs, but player-created content is likely to be too easy, too hard, have states where it can't be finished, etc.

It's just not worth Turbine's time to build end-user dungeon creation systems into the game - a major reworking, more than some of you imagine.. and once they were there they'd have to make them no-favor, no-xp, so I for one would stay away in droves. As it were.

Turbine needs to keep implementing the core rules and cranking out quests. Everything else takes them away from the core mission.

KillingGameshow
04-04-2008, 05:45 PM
I have to agree, in part, with the "OMG PLZ NOOoooOOOOOoOoOoOoO" crowd, but i do sympathize with the developers. I want more D&D online. Not some run & grind MMO. I play with my friends, and enjoy the odd group, and love, just love the group dynamics in this game, as well as the depth of character options. DDO goes far beyond the DPS, Tank, and Heal classes, and gives each class real usefulness. The dungeons aren't just hack fests, but situations where real thought and planning can, in fact, pay off. All these things are just awesome.

Nope, i'm not interested in solo content. I just started a character that plays with some real life friends, and we didn't even pick up that first battery of solo quests in the harbor, and instead opted to start hitting the group stuff a bit early.

I'm in favor of seeing more classes and subclasses, and some more races while we're at it. Keep that content coming. I myself don't raid (i'm a pretty casual player) so i'm not really pro-raid content. But i understand why it's there.

I also understand that Turbine is trying to keep their doors open, and that requires a certain amount of catering to the populace. How else can they make more money? It's really hard to compete in the MMO genre (i'm a video game producer during the day - games aren't as profitable as some are led to believe). So what can they do? They can either a) raise the subscription fee, and hope nobody cancels. b) lower the subscription fee, and hope that more people join or c) change the product to be more in line with what the "mass gaming population" wants.

All of them are potentially bad options. We'd all love to go with B, but will that make more people join?

Depravity
04-04-2008, 06:56 PM
I'm in with the people who want more races and classes. One of the real strengths DDO has is the amazing array of ways you can build a character. A lot of other MMOs, you pick an archetype, maybe get to choose a few different 'flavors' of that archetype, and that's it, that's what you are. Around here, I can play a 4 barb/4 wiz/8 bard if I want. Won't get too many invites, but I can do it. Even 'pure' builds have different ways to go with the AP system.

Eberron still has more races and classes to bring to the table, over and above core D20 rules. I for one would love to see whatever the semi-lycanthrope race is (away from my references, along with a fuzzy memory) show up. They synergize well with monks and (hopefully coming soon) druids.

My 16th level character doesn't do all that much but grind for loot to throw at my lowbies. I find more enjoyment playing something I haven't before than grinding at high levels, trying to get that 'perfect' set of equipment. Although there is some satisfaction in going back to STK and watching the end guy disintegrate in one shot.

I endorse guild housing and maybe some expanded PvPing, especially if they bring new players, but not if it comes at the cost of DDO's strengths.

Depravity
04-04-2008, 07:02 PM
It's just not worth Turbine's time to build end-user dungeon creation systems into the game - a major reworking, more than some of you imagine.. and once they were there they'd have to make them no-favor, no-xp, so I for one would stay away in droves. As it were.

Thanks for the endorsement. :)

If we allow user created content, it should not, in any way, reward in terms of core gameplay. Let people do it to count coup, or for bragging rights or whatever, but it should never have 'real game' rewards - no loot, no xp, no favor, no nothing. I'm formulating a post on some ideas about how to do this in a way that rewards group effort and cleverness, I'll post a link on here later if anyone's interested.

Again, something like this should not take away too much dev time from real content, new races, classes, etc.

Sandmek
04-04-2008, 07:03 PM
signed and agreed, though i still want to see the monk, forget pvp

Raithe
04-04-2008, 07:48 PM
So either you had heard of raiding and were trying to bend your story a certain way. Or you do not have the history with MMOs you claimed you had and were trying to bend your story a certain way.


Ah, ok. I pick the underlined/bolded version then if those are my only two options. Never claimed to have a long history with MMOs. I said I had experienced several text-based versions while I was in college and shortly thereafter.

Artemis
04-05-2008, 12:13 AM
Saw two things in here I can actually post about:

As a refugee from City of Heroes/Villians I've had some experience with
The idea of guildhall raids &
Randomized dungeons

The randomised dungeons area good idea, but CoXs implementation needs to be avoided. They randomly spawned on randomly created maps. The map segments were bland and too similiar to each other, causing a reliance on he minimap it's hard to describe. You also got used to the way rooms were constructed, and became far to good at figuring out where/what the spawns would be. Actually made things so incredibly grindy I stopped playing. Only things that were fun were the static quests, because someone actually took some time to design them, and most of them you had to grind through multiple random missions to get into. DDO has an advantage, because it has things like swimming, traps, secret doors, etc. Again, implement it well, and I would love to see this. Give us some variability in mission paramaters (Don't kill more than X of Y, Kill everything, recover the whatsis of whosis by an means necessary, even a few randomly named/configured orange/red names) and make sure the dungeons don't all come out the same, and I can see a lot of players bored with running the same quest time and time again getting a group together and gleefully tripping through there.



Ya, i agree with you that randomness should NOT be implemented in this way. The way I promote would still use the devs carefully planned dungeon layouts and storyline, it would basically only affect the number of mobs/makeup of mobs and the spells they would use. (heck, they still spawn in the same place even) I've have got to find another word besides random for this idea, it seems to throw people off.

Nevthial
04-05-2008, 02:02 AM
Monks with a Ki bar?? What???

This makes me physically ill when I think about it. I really,really hope it isn't going to be this way. :(

Hvymetal
04-05-2008, 03:00 AM
Well unbelievably I find myself agreeing with a majority of what Asp wrote, especially in maintaining focus. I play DDO because it is a group-based game, not a game where you have a bunch of individuals sitting around camping mobs and not really interacting at all.

Personally I could care less about PvP one way or the other, unless they start balancing classes for PvP, then I am against it strongly. Some people enjoy it, fine just so long as my game is not effected for PvP.

And for the Snoogy/Raithe discussion, correct me if I am wrong but there basically were no MMO's prior to UO right? Just MUDs?

Raithe
04-05-2008, 09:07 AM
And for the Snoogy/Raithe discussion, correct me if I am wrong but there basically were no MMO's prior to UO right? Just MUDs?

Compuserve and GEnie were online services back then that had enough customers to provide massively multiplayer games. The games I remember playing were Gemstone III and Dragon's Gate (the latter being my favorite), but there were several others that I tried, I just can't remember their names.

EDIT: Anyway, the argument is really about the prevalence of raiding in MMOs. None of those text-based games had raids. I don't believe that Ultima Online has raids. No D&D title before DDO had any part of the game where you could add several additional members to your party and go jump hoops for named gear. The fact that DDO has raids makes it particularly un-D&D-like and very much like WoW and EverQuest.

Lorien_the_First_One
04-05-2008, 11:41 AM
Asp is totally correct on this one. DDO needs to stay something unique. They will never out-WoW WoW so why try? All you will do is destroy the loyal player base you have. The few WoW loving strays you bring in won't stay because ... well... this isn't WoW...

Edit: What Turbine should spend more time and focus on is the things that make this D&D...and the things that make this game unique...

Forceonature
04-05-2008, 12:03 PM
I also agree with Aspenor on most of his points.

The big problem with DDO is that they need to ADVERTISE more! Throw an add in <insert gaming mag here> highlighting the new mod, etc.