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View Full Version : Suggestions for future Epic content - The Reaver's Fate



sirgog
10-26-2009, 02:06 AM
I for one am really looking forward to the introduction of the Epic difficulty setting in Menechtarun this week.

Here's a little suggestion as to how it could be applied to the easiest raid in the game. Presenting: Epic Reaver's Fate.


1) Changes to the raid mechanics:
Keep the 'idiot box' for deaths, and the two levers. Pump the spikes up to deal ~300 damage.
Keep the spinning orbs and the 20 or 25 air elementals, but do not scale them up from elite (they aren't meant to be the key challenge in Epic mode).
Keep the concept of 'getting a charge', subject to the changes below.
Keep the final puzzle as-is.
Keep the overall time limit (IIRC it's 23 minutes). This version of the encounter includes a significant DPS race - raid groups will need to put out significant DPS and losing 2-3 players early may cause the players to be unable to deal enough damage before the bomb goes off.

2) Changes to the Reaver himself:
Increase the Reaver's stats to give him enough HP to sustain about three minutes of sustained beatings from a top-notch, well-equipped raid group; give him melee attacks comparable to those of Arraetrikos on Elite and offensive spellcasting comparable to the Abbot on Elite. He's not the major threat here, but he shouldn't be so soft that he can be ignored.

3) Changes to the 'charge' mechanic:
As in the normal versions of the raid, players can get up to four charges, and while they have exactly three or four, receive a potent buff (immune to Air Ele knockdown; +40 max HP; massive SP regeneration), and just as on Normal/Hard/Elite, the Madstone Rod can clear all charges a player has. However, losing a charge (for any reason) is much more dangerous on Epic.
Whenever a player loses their charges for any reason (time expiring, or overcharging by getting a 5th charge) other than being hit by the Madstone Rod, an enormous eruption of electrical energy surges forth from that player. This energy burst deals 100d6 electrical damage per charge to that player and all others within 40 feet (Reflex DC 50 for half). In short, it's pretty much always fatal to overcharge, to stand near someone that overcharges, or to run out of time on a charge - the only safe way to deal with this power is to ground it with a Madstone Rod. This pushes players to communicate and use teamwork.
In addition to the normal benefits of a charge, add something more for melee builds: A player that is charged gets a +60% enhancement bonus to melee attack speed and a 125% bonus to ranged attack speed (does not stack with Haste). This will be important, as high DPS is required to beat this encounter within the 23 minute time limit, and this allows melee characters to contribute in an environment where casters have unlimited SP.

4) Changes to the encounter pacing/scripting:
After the first orb is lit, have the Reaver call out (as an emote, like the Abbot announces Inferno), calling for help from the three dragons in Gianthold Tor by name. "Grundrassir! I am under attack, come to assist me at once!" "Rhudavathir, your master calls you, come and play your role in the Prophecy", and so on. (These names are likely wrong here).
As the dragons have all been slain by the players in the blooding process, the Reaver isn't able to summon them alive - instead, the corpses of the three slain dragons appear in the centre of the room.
When the second orb is lit, the Reaver notices that his dragon allies are dead and calls out 'Rhudavathir! What has become of you? Grundrassir? *name of the third dragon*? Who could have bested you? Return to battle! True Resurrection!'. At this point the DM voiceover states 'The Reaver's potent magic brings the dragons back to life. You have a fight on your hands.' From this point on, the party suffers a 'grounding' debuff, which prevents all jumping and flight, for as long as a dragon remains. The raid group must slay the three dragons, as well as deal with the exploding charges, Reverse Gravity (after four orbs are lit) and the remaining Air Elementals, and then they can fly up for completion/resurrection as usual.
When the dragons fall under 5% HP, each says something to the effect of "Stormreaver! I will not sacrifice my life again for your prophecy. No more of dragonkind shall die for you - I abandon you to your madness." and then teleports away. (Note - this provides the perfect opportunity to use one or more of them later as recurring villains somewhere else)
Once the three dragons are defeated, the encounter is the same as the Elite mode, except for the Reaver and the earth and fire elementals being tougher than usual.

5) Stats of the dragons:
The dragons are the main challenge in this design of Epic mode. Their HP should be truly significant - each should have HP 50-100% more than that of Arraetrikos in Shroud part 5 on Elite, and they should deal similar damage (each) to normal mode Arraetrikos.
In short, to beat them before the bomb goes off, players are going to need charges for the extra damage from both weapons and spells, and the extra SP for healing. Players may also want to use teamwork to focus on one at a time.
Give the dragons different defences against melee attacks - give the White Dragon a high AC and heavy fortification (as White Dragonscale armor provides these), plus a high DR; the Blue Dragon has medium AC and only 25% fortification, but deals retributive damage when struck (similar to Lightning Strike guards from the Shroud, but less damage and more frequent procs - say a 10% chance to proc 40d6 lightning damage on striking it); and the Black Dragon has low AC, only modest DR and no guards but uses a wing buffet attack.



There. That's how I'd program the epic Reaver's Fate. Discuss!

FluffyCalico
10-26-2009, 02:12 AM
More likely

1) 10x the air eles
2) 1/10th the rate of the balls being hit
3) Make air eles immune to fire and all red named
4) Give all air eles immunity to pierce

poof epic quest noone wants to set foot in.

Borror0
10-26-2009, 02:41 AM
Keep the spinning orbs and the 20 or 25 air elementals, but do not scale them up from elite (they aren't meant to be the key challenge in Epic mode).
I don't agree. I think that the air elementals should be replaced with other monsters (earth and fire elementals would probably be the best pick but maybe it's possible to come up with something that makes more sense) or at least be mixed in with other mobs (this latter option only if air elementals are changed to be less annoying).

I realize that you're attempting to change the fight so that additional melee characters do contribute to the party rather than being abler to stand back and watch (or simply go afk) but I think that allowing melee characters to deal with adds without needing to have the right charge will help make the fight less monotonous. To be honest, what makes DDO fun is fast paced combat. Standing still and holding my mouse's right button does not really fit in that category. It is rather boring, actually.

Whenever a player loses their charges for any reason (time expiring, or overcharging by getting a 5th charge) other than being hit by the Madstone Rod, an enormous eruption of electrical energy surges forth from that player. This energy burst deals 100d6 electrical damage per charge to that player and all others within 40 feet (Reflex DC 50 for half). In short, it's pretty much always fatal to overcharge, to stand near someone that overcharges, or to run out of time on a charge - the only safe way to deal with this power is to ground it with a Madstone Rod. This pushes players to communicate and use teamwork.
I like the overall concept but I think it could use a few tweaks:
1. Madstone Rod has no charge or is an eternal wand. I don't see the point of depleting it, really.
2. Having any charge prevents you from using the Madstone Rod
3. Since players are more likely to die for a small mistake, give them the ability to fly more often. Making a player wait until his group finishes the quest is not really fun. It's not something that should be encouraged. If the fight becomes pretty tough, you won't want to have someone going up there too often anyway.
4. The Reaver can only grant Fly to one player at a time.

In addition to the normal benefits of a charge, add something more for melee builds: A player that is charged gets a +60% enhancement bonus to melee attack speed and a 125% bonus to ranged attack speed (does not stack with Haste).
I am worried about the technical and aesthetic issues to such a huge attack rate increase. I understand where you're coming from but I think it would be better to think of something else that would be less likely to cause problems. I would suggest a strength bonus as it is not as biased toward TWF than a straight bonus to damage would be.

S&B and ranged get left behind but it's S&B and ranged so that is to be expected.

At this point the DM voiceover states 'The Reaver's potent magic brings the dragons back to life. You have a fight on your hands.' From this point on, the party suffers a 'grounding' debuff, which prevents all jumping and flight, for as long as a dragon remains. The raid group must slay the three dragons, as well as deal with the exploding charges, Reverse Gravity (after four orbs are lit) and the remaining Air Elementals, and then they can fly up for completion/resurrection as usual.
Wow, that's a pretty intense 23 minutes in one small room! Don't you think that's a little too much all at once?

Don't get me wrong, I always thought that the dragons should have been part of the raid but I don't like this approach.

uhgungawa
10-26-2009, 02:54 AM
My money is on VoN. You still have to do 1-4 before you can even get into the raid, so it would give them the most content usage of any other raid.

Borror0
10-26-2009, 02:58 AM
My money is on VoN. You still have to do 1-4 before you can even get into the raid, so it would give them the most content usage of any other raid.
If I was a DDO developer, I would retrofit VoNs and Tempest spine for DDO's 4th anniversary...

uhgungawa
10-26-2009, 03:24 AM
If I was a DDO developer, I would retrofit VoNs and Tempest spine for DDO's 4th anniversary...

If you or I or many others were DDO developers there would be a lot of reworking of alot of things....... ;)

sirgog
10-26-2009, 03:43 AM
Responses in yellow.


I don't agree. I think that the air elementals should be replaced with other monsters (earth and fire elementals would probably be the best pick but maybe it's possible to come up with something that makes more sense) or at least be mixed in with other mobs (this latter option only if air elementals are changed to be less annoying).

I realize that you're attempting to change the fight so that additional melee characters do contribute to the party rather than being abler to stand back and watch (or simply go afk) but I think that allowing melee characters to deal with adds without needing to have the right charge will help make the fight less monotonous. To be honest, what makes DDO fun is fast paced combat. Standing still and holding my mouse's right button does not really fit in that category. It is rather boring, actually.

The intention with the air eles is that they are quickly slain and provide a minor nuisance, plus a chance to have an 'oh **** I'm being chased by two dragons and a quartet of air elementals' moment, but that they aren't the centre of the raid. On Elite, a top-notch player can solo all 20-25 of them; by not ramping them up at all, they remain an obstacle but not a true threat. In this sense I see them being like the traps in Elite Vision of Destruction (assuming no trapsmith in party) - dangerous, but gone quickly enough and not the most important part of the raid. That said, it does make me think - adding trap boxes that an absolutely top-notch trapsmith could disable (think pre-nerf Cabal Elite trap) and thus prevent elementals spwaning is something I could get right behind.
As for adding different mobs - well, I do... Three of them...

I like the overall concept but I think it could use a few tweaks:
1. Madstone Rod has no charge or is an eternal wand. I don't see the point of depleting it, really.
2. Having any charge prevents you from using the Madstone Rod
3. Since players are more likely to die for a small mistake, give them the ability to fly more often. Making a player wait until his group finishes the quest is not really fun. It's not something that should be encouraged. If the fight becomes pretty tough, you won't want to have someone going up there too often anyway.
4. The Reaver can only grant Fly to one player at a time.

Really, really good ideas all around.
My initial intention was that groups would call it a wipe if 2-3 players died early, but now that you mention it the 'lockout until completion' mechanic isn't so great.
I'd change it so a 90 second duration Fly (no longer 2 minutes) becomes available once the 6th orb is lit, but the completion lever is blocked by a hemisphere of force until the third dragon is slain. That way, players can be raised - dying has severe consequences, but you are only out for a third of the raid, not 90% of it.
As for the Madstone Rod changes, they are great ideas.

I am worried about the technical and aesthetic issues to such a huge attack rate increase. I understand where you're coming from but I think it would be better to think of something else that would be less likely to cause problems. I would suggest a strength bonus as it is not as biased toward TWF than a straight bonus to damage would be.

S&B and ranged get left behind but it's S&B and ranged so that is to be expected.

I'd be hesitant to go with (say) +20 Str as that makes little sense in the context of the Reaver turning this chamber into a conduit to the Syriana, the Plane of Air, also it raises +To-Hit ratings through the roof.
That said, a blanket +50% melee damage and +125% ranged damage (for instance) could be done I suppose - I'm no animations expert so I have no idea what complications my initial suggestion would have.

Wow, that's a pretty intense 23 minutes in one small room! Don't you think that's a little too much all at once?

Don't get me wrong, I always thought that the dragons should have been part of the raid but I don't like this approach.

IMO Epic should be intense, chaotic, crazy, and reward players that can quickly adapt to changing circumstances.

sirgog
10-26-2009, 03:48 AM
If I was a DDO developer, I would retrofit VoNs and Tempest spine for DDO's 4th anniversary...


Personally I'd make a high level quest (6 or 12 player, but with traditional non-raid mechanics and loot) in each of Stormcleave Outpost, Tempest's Spine, and Gwylan's Stand. Same maps, new scenario, new opponents, just like Invaders! is the same map as the Waterworks explorer area.

But hey, now I'm derailing my own thread. /facepalm

Borror0
10-26-2009, 10:06 AM
The intention with the air eles is that they are quickly slain and provide a minor nuisance, plus a chance to have an 'oh **** I'm being chased by two dragons and a quartet of air elementals' moment, but that they aren't the centre of the raid. On Elite, a top-notch player can solo all 20-25 of them; by not ramping them up at all, they remain an obstacle but not a true threat.
I get that. It's just that I don't want another right mouse button raid. Maybe that's something that should be accomplished through the dragons themselves. After all, they have wings and a few more abilities. Hmmm...

(Thanks to the DDO immunities, a high level spellcaster has less tools to create diversity in a fight than a dragon does! Yay for immunities!)

That said, it does make me think - adding trap boxes that an absolutely top-notch trapsmith could disable (think pre-nerf Cabal Elite trap) and thus prevent elementals spwaning is something I could get right behind.
I find that a little too easy though. It's just "a bonus you get for bringing a rogue" and that's a bit underwhelming. It's not like there was some kind of trade off. You,ll just get better by adding a rogue, period. If you add something like that, make it at least fun for the rogue.

Here is my take on it:
1. You get some DM text saying that the orb is going to light up
2. As the DM text appears, a trap box appears somewhere in the room
3. If you find it and disable it in time, that wave of air elementals will be prevented

A way to make this part less about chance and more about skill would be to make the balls light up in a random order (I think they do - it's been a long while since I payed attention to that in the Reaver) and have each ball correspond to a specific box/location in the room. Thus,remembering it the location would help.

IMO Epic should be intense, chaotic, crazy, and reward players that can quickly adapt to changing circumstances.
I agree that epic should be intense and crazy but I'm not quite sure that it should be chaotic. Well, at least as chaotic as you make it be.

When I try to picture the three dragon in that room, it just looks kind of messy and a bit silly. The dragons just look like a dog in a bowling alley. It just... does not feel right.

Mockduck
10-26-2009, 03:19 PM
I think they should double the stormreaver's hit points and ac and make HIM a super-huge air elemental! Best idea ever!

JakLee7
10-26-2009, 05:44 PM
I really like the Idea Sirgog.
Borr0 makes some interesting point as well.
How about you each create a test instance for me to try multiple times & I will tell you which one I like best & we can go with that?
:)

sirgog
10-28-2009, 02:25 AM
I really like the Idea Sirgog.
Borr0 makes some interesting point as well.
How about you each create a test instance for me to try multiple times & I will tell you which one I like best & we can go with that?
:)

Sadly, one has no way to access Turbine's level creation software :(.

Borror0
10-28-2009, 02:27 AM
Sadly, one has no way to access Turbine's level creation software :(.
Does that mean that you do or that I supposedly do?

sirgog
10-28-2009, 03:09 AM
Does that mean that you do or that I supposedly do?

One was merely speaking of oneself in the third person.

One does that on occasion. One's readers should pay no attention.


No, I don't have any ability to actually design dungeons in this game.

Borror0
10-28-2009, 03:28 AM
Borror0 now understands what sirgog mean. Borror0 was confused but, now, Borror0 understands what sirgog meant.

sirgog
11-18-2009, 01:45 PM
Borror0 now understands what sirgog mean. Borror0 was confused but, now, Borror0 understands what sirgog meant.

One feels your imitation is intended not to flatter, but instead to mock.

Borror0
11-18-2009, 01:49 PM
One feels your imitation is intended not to flatter, but instead to mock.
sirgog might be right. Borror0 might have indeed intended to mock sirgog.

PS: Suggestions for future Epic content - The Reaver's Fate is an interesting thread. It is unfortunate that no one wants to further discuss sirgog's or Borror0's points.

maddmatt70
11-18-2009, 01:57 PM
I care about one thing in regards to epic quests and that is getting more people interested in running Epic quests. I enjoy that they are more challenging then elite quests which is my real reason for running them. There are almost no lfms for epic, there are very few tight groups running epic, and if I put an lfm up it takes a long time to fill. Turbine give people more of an incentive to run the quests. I am sick of the Shroud being the best gear in DDO especially considering it has been around for almost 2 years now. Please Please Please give people more of an incentive to run these quests.

Mav145
11-18-2009, 02:00 PM
I like the dragon idea. Would the room not get a little too chaotic (not in the alignment sense) if we had to deal with three dragons, air eles, and the stormreaver all at once?

What about portals that open for the melees to transport into to fight each of the dragons in turn?

sirgog
11-18-2009, 02:11 PM
I care about one thing in regards to epic quests and that is getting more people interested in running Epic quests. I enjoy that they are more challenging then elite quests which is my real reason for running them. There are almost no lfms for epic, there are very few tight groups running epic, and if I put an lfm up it takes a long time to fill. Turbine give people more of an incentive to run the quests. I am sick of the Shroud being the best gear in DDO especially considering it has been around for almost 2 years now. Please Please Please give people more of an incentive to run these quests.

Epic Spectrals are one reason, tokens for True Reincarnation are another, but I do agree. There's not enough incentive to run them.

Epics are now not all that much harder than the Shroud was when it had been out a fortnight or so. People ran the Shroud in large numbers back then, because even the second-level upgraded loot was pretty impressive at the time. Who didn't drool upon seeing the Wizardry 6, +50 stacking SP, True Res 1/day goggles when they were first posted? Getting those goggles was worth the six-pass part 4s on Normal. Oh, and did I mention that even groups that failed part 4 got 8 chests that could all drop the (previously extremely rare) +2 tomes?

On the other hand, with only a couple of exceptions, the Epic loot is generally weaker than Shroud and Reaver's Refuge loot (although better than almost everything else in the game), and it's almost as hard to get a single item made as it is to make a Tier 3 Shroud item. It's very possible to run 20 Epic dungeons, get no Epic items you want, and not even be close to any of them.

I think the Epic weapons in particular need major upgrades - the known ones are far behind Shroud items, and/or have effects like Vorpal that are utterly ineffective at endgame. I would like, for instance, to see Flint (the +4 shocking burst dagger from the desert) become:

Epic Flint (hypothetical)
Base damage: 2d6
Crit: 19-20/x3 (yep, a Khopesh wannabe)
+6
Shock
Shocking Burst
Lightning Strike 2%/600 (as Shroud effect)
+7 Dexterity
Red socket x2

There, that's something a little better than Shroud items when you first loot it, and once you have it made, you can grind a bunch of tokens to add extra little bonuses.

spifflove
11-18-2009, 02:23 PM
Epic water works:

1. All non helmeted, non naptha throwers now carry flame throwers
2. Triple hit oger instakills up to 3 players per swing.
3. All clan leaders carry mini vulcan cannons.

sirgog
11-18-2009, 02:28 PM
I like the dragon idea. Would the room not get a little too chaotic (not in the alignment sense) if we had to deal with three dragons, air eles, and the stormreaver all at once?

What about portals that open for the melees to transport into to fight each of the dragons in turn?

One of the things I like most about DDO is that fights get utterly chaotic here.

Take the VoD raid for an example. Some groups have it downpat and the raid goes like a raid in games like WoW - everyone does what they say they will, healers heal enough, tank(s) mitigate enough damage, DPSers deal enough damage and successfully dodge avoidable damage, and loot is won. These raids end up smooth, predictable and pretty dull.

Other times, it's a total cluster**** - people keep taking aggro, Suulo turns around and whacks the group, Orthons start gnawing on the caster, and the group needs to quickly agree on a new plan and recover. Whilst these raids are more expensive resources-wise than smooth ones, they are also more memorable, more fun, and more uniquely DDO rather than things you'll get in other games.

I've had a very memorable VoD run on my cleric where the tank died (the arcane that was brought into the group to repairbot them just stopped going along with the plan) then six other raid members died in a short lagspike. That forced me to go out of my way to take Suulo's aggro for a time, and we had me casting Quickened True Resurrections every cooldown, the other cleric rebuffing all the folks that died, and a ranger handling my curses so I never lost a selfheal to a poorly timed curse. That was an absolute blast of a VoD, one of the most fun raids I've ever been in - precisely because it was chaotic.

So I'm all for bringing on the chaos and having battles with a million and one different things happening at once (as long as the hamsters that run the servers are up to that). Fighting the dragons one at a time wouldn't be a unique encounter (after all, we'll be doing this in the Epic Tor). All at once? That's epic.