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Calaway
05-20-2010, 10:20 AM
After getting to experience all the raids and most of the quests in the game, I have to say that I find the end-game of DDO quite lacking when compared to what other MMOs have done/are doing to keep players logging in.

Before you click back on your browser, this isn't a "X is greater than DDO" Q_Q post. I've been playing MMOs for over twelve years now, and been a hardcore raider for most of that time. Even though I still subscribe to other games, DDO commands most of my free time as of late because of its amazing dungeon design. The overall difficulty and flavour that the average dungeon (and most of the boss fights) exhibit is way beyond what other games are offering at the moment, and it keeps me coming back, but lately my friends, who are staunch supporters of this franchise since they were young (and dinosaurs roamed the Cretaceous) are hitting the wall and aren't playing as much.

Sadly, the problem is the game, specifically the end-game design. The attention to detail is gone, the ingenuity of the designers of memorable gameplay is wasted, the skill exhibited in DM'ing is replaced with a lazy nonchalance in the raiding end-game. In short, a great micro-experience of a 6 or 12-player dungeon (and again in those same instances solo after a re-roll or heavy twinking) is not enhanced by this MMO, its just a counterbalance against all the shortcomings in every other facet of this game. Once you step out of the dungeon, there really isn't much for this game to offer.

Some of the many things that this game could use some help on include, but aren't limited to, User Interface (why did my spell fizzle?) Graphic Design (why does this ML18 belt look exactly like my ML5 Disease Immunity belt on my hot bars?) PVP (currently implemented, or so I'm told), Loot design (you receive 5x Potion of Paralysis Removal) Bugs (being tripped can cause you to lose your instant cast LOH) Lag (ok Horoth is at 80%, everyone take a break) and most importantly, Philosophy.

Many people smarter than me have already commented on the mouse-in-the-treadmill/scientist relationship that gamers/designers have with a lot more eloquence than I can muster, so I'll spare you. Bottom line is; we want that cheese so we'll keep running, and its in their best interest to keep us running for as many months as possible.

The trick is to make that cheese eventually attainable where you don't have most of the population achieve godhood before you can bring out 10 new levels/dragons/level of difficulty. The problem with DDO is, there is no ceiling. The cheese might as well be in outer space.

Risk/reward is actually pretty stable up to the Elite level. If you like a dungeon, you can solo it on Normal (or Casual for those of us with jobs/spouses), group up for hard and bring in your vets for the elite.

However, when it comes to raiding, once you've reached your 20th completion (a mechanic I applaud), there's only two ways to get the cheese:



1. Reincarnate and smash mid-level dungeons with your new gear and stats.



2. Run epics.



I'm so frustrated with #2 that I'm beginning to think about #1. A lot. In fact I'm considering Completionist, which by all accounts is a one year investment in the game, as a quicker means of improving my character than getting epic gear.

Which brings us back to Philosophy. The designers of DDO seem to think its ok to put together a great system for the first 60% of your character's life, and then leave the rest at the end of such a grind tunnel that a one-year vacation to Korthos Island seem like the preferable alternative. I'm a gamer, not a mouse, and eventually I'm going to stop running if I think there's no chance of me getting the cheese.

At the moment, I think that's the Epic Grind.

Now we, the players, want to keep playing, and maybe even bring our friends along to Eberron, and you, the designers, want to keep getting our monthly subscriptions, so here are my suggestions to help everyone get what they want.



1. Reduce the amount of junk. Seriously. Level 18+ quests dropping seven, eight loots, all of which are going to the vendor really bog down the experience. How about 3 loots for each player; one armour/weapon, one stack of coins/jewels, and one scroll/wand/stack of arrows. This doesn't hurt our banks much but really helps with crucial bag space, and can even give rise to a more equitable reward system, where fair-minded DPS can dump their third loot to the healers and arcanes who actually spend gold and consumables during the adventure.

Also, Quest loots. Why do I need a copy of soandso's journal after the adventure? it doesn't hand in for a reward, nor step a quest. Most of them you can't even click for storyline (not that I care, but I'm sure some RPers out there do). It's just junk. The stuff you can't use outside of the instance it drops should drop to the floor like keys. Too often I open a bag to look at some arcane doohickey and ask myself, "if I destroy you, will I have to redo some terrible questline in the Restless Isles"?




2. Reuse low level collectibles and shards for new ends. There are far too many Discs, Shards, Trophies and Portal Fragments in game. All they do is cause player stress due to complete lack of bag space and premature Alzheimer's. Does anyone even know how to unleash the suppressed power of a Dreamspitter?

Create a system where there is one powerful currency, say, Epic Raid tokens. Make them tradeable to a vendor in the Twelve's Conclave for really amazing things, such as +3 tomes, Gems to socket your Epics, Hearts of TR, and Scrolls of all the available Epics. Put those up for something really high, perhaps 20 or 25 for a dungeon-loot and 35-50 for a raid-loot. Make all of these things Bind on Acquire.

Next, take a second tier currency, say Epic Dungeon Tokens. Put up +2 tomes, Hearts of GR, Shards of Power/Great Power/Supreme Power, all the IQ Discs, Boots of Anchoring ingredients and Draconic Runes. Make all of these things BoA. Next, arrange to have all the War Trophies, Dragonshard Essences, Shavarath Stones, Essences, Crystal Shards, Shard Portal Fragments, Medecine Totems, Bladestorm Fragments and Infernal Pacts tradeable to this vendor for Epic Dungeon tokens.

Finally, only make the items available if you have the corresponding reputation, say 75 for Yugoloth gets you Boots ingredients, 150 with the Twelve gets you Shards, 250 with the Coin Lords gets you IQ Discs, 250 House K for Con, 250 House D for Strength, etc.




3. Recycle old gear into Epics. This is implemented (and I applaud the notion) but it hasn't gone far enough. Currently the system of 4 for 1 (shard, seal, scroll and item) is bottle-necked by the acquisition of the epic drops, most notoriously, the scrolls. I say keep the drops the way they are, but also make the Scrolls buyable from a vendor for Epic Raid Tokens (as mentioned above) and charge Epic Dungeon Tokens for the process, but offer a deconstruction as well.

The Free Agents offer next to nothing for most classes, so perhaps make that awful dwarf smith in Zawabi's capable of "de-Epic'ing" your items back to their 4 components, minus the cost of the Epic Dungeon Tokens. That way, a player can't "Epic-ize" and "de-Epic" ad infinitum, but they aren't punished if they want to reincarnate. If you have the Twelve rep, you can deconstruct your Green Steel mistakes too. This should probably cost the appropriate Power Source, or perhaps a Cleansing Stone (from your 20th completion). Many of us would love to start over, but feel we can't give up our gear. Fix this and we will want to pick up another 6 months of billing.

Speaking of the Twelve, I'm holding about 100 small and medium ingredients for no apparent reason. Get that Eldritch device up and running, let us craft some larges for our ingredient trash. You could probably go as high as 10 smalls for a medium and 5 mediums for a large and still the players will sing hosannas in your name.

This game has a huge upside. It's fun. The replay value is very high as it offers the right combination of mental acumen and keyboard-dexterity, and the community is the most mature and helpful of any that I've been a part of. It needs help though. Currently, a small percentage of us are actually "playing" epics, which is to say we're doing our best to kite every mob through firewalls and blade barriers and make levers and sarchophagi our hidey-holes. Far from an epic experience, let me tell you. Perhaps if we had some Epic gear (even one per player) we could actually take on the challenges as "intended."

Devs, these humble suggestions are just some of many (much-needed) tweaks that will make players who are burning out on their alts or trying other games get back on the treadmill. If you make it a bit more realistic for your end-gamers, you might find your subscriptions climbing to the point you can finally afford to fix the bloody shroud lag, or possibly some fun emotes, or maybe even a proper auction house. At the very least, this mouse would squeak a lot less.

REALb0r3d
05-20-2010, 10:26 AM
Read This Devs. +1

Qzipoun
05-20-2010, 10:53 AM
/sig(h)ned

Unfortunately some of these issues/requests have been around for a while already :(

grodon9999
05-20-2010, 11:02 AM
+1 - could not have said it any better. After 3 weeks of epic-grinding I got bored and started leveling up alts.

Psyk0sisS
05-20-2010, 11:33 AM
1. Reduce the amount of junk...

There's nothing more annoying than getting 5 Potions of Fox Cunning in a lvl 18+ dungeon. Whiskey Tengo Foxtrot, over! Why would anyone above lvl 9 need ANY +4 stat potion, let alone a 5 stack? Maybe implement some sort of "Greater" effect on the stat potions, making them +6?

Does anyone above level 0 use Repair or Healer kits?! I've seen these just the other day in Shavarath.

So yes, there is waaaay too much trash that doesn't even qualify for vendor fodder. It rots in chests.

Eladiun
05-20-2010, 11:40 AM
/Signed +1, you smashed it right down the fairway.

Srozbun
05-20-2010, 12:00 PM
If only....

/signed

maddmatt70
05-20-2010, 12:09 PM
I am a little surprised at the lack of change in both epic quests and epic grind both could use some improvement and neither has really been touched through 3 updates. There is something just plain old displeasing about having to keep track of 4 different items just to make one piece of gear and to upgrade that gear you need to keep track of tokens as well.

Khelden
05-20-2010, 12:18 PM
/signed... even if they probably won't even read the post =(

sephiroth1084
05-20-2010, 12:32 PM
The sad thing is that the devs appear to be moving in the opposite direction, making the epic grind even more difficult, frustrating and pointless.

grodon9999
05-20-2010, 12:36 PM
The sad thing is that the devs appear to be moving in the opposite direction, making the epic grind even more difficult, frustrating and pointless.

They can make it as pointless as they want if they'd give us more non-epic high-end content. Amrath needs parts 2 and 3.

osirisisis
05-20-2010, 12:41 PM
I say great ideas and great post for the most part.

But in my opinion I would change:

BOUND ON ACQUIRE (BOA)
1. BOA is a gross perversion of the AD&D rule set.
2. BOA is the electricity thats powering the treadmill the mouse is running on.
3. If all the the things you mentioned above were unbound then most of what you posted wouldn't be necessary because players would be engaged in trading each other on the fourms and AH with these items at the going rates (great example of this is the large devil scale)
4. BOA is a marketing technique that turbine adopted from other MMO's to keep players grinding, the set back with it is in the short term players may stay to grind but in the long term theres lots of leakage in that players get grind burn and leave which creates a self defeating process in population gain vs population lose.
5. Binded Binds this MMO from reaching its full potential.
6. When things bind they have no resale value when there out grown, which induces more grind which then induces more "grind burn" inturn with population lose.
7. The reason you probably wrote this post is due to that your suffering from grind burn and grind burn is not entertaining.

Calaway
05-20-2010, 05:22 PM
Osiris,

When I was playing Everquest and they first implemented BoA I felt exactly how you did. During the ensuing twelve years, I've learned to accept this non-intuitive mechanic as a necessary evil of online play, collateral damage in the war of risk (us) vs. reward (them).

BoA makes no more sense than "glancing blows" helping your character, or why archers continue to attempt to shoot you through walls rather than chase you down the hall (and into your blade barrier) in an AD&D sense. However, taking up the Devs point of view, it isn't good for your game if everyone can defeat a Dragon at level 16 and then drop a godly sword on their twink. This is a scenario that isn't possible (or at least highly unlikely) in AD&D but happens every day in our game. Now multiply that potential for abuse by the number of players on your server, and that number again by the number of servers, and you can see the necessity of strange, alien rules being implemented.

If you can posit a workable solution to high level characters keeping the best loot in the game, and not dumping it on the AH or their level 4 monk, please post it and I'll be the first to /sign.

P.S. I intentionally didn't mention putting a BoA on shroud ingredients, as I think a trading vendor would have two enormous positive effects on the playerbase. First, we'd all get some double-imbued gear in our first twenty or thirty clears, and second, the economy would probably be stimulated with actual interest in smalls and mediums, and see a reduction in the price of larges

I for one am tired of seeing Large Devil Scales go for 10 million+ while I loot 2-4 smalls every three days.

rimble
05-20-2010, 05:29 PM
This brings me to a thought I had recently...

Let us finish. Let us finish a character. Let us finish the game.

What's so bad about that? You sold a product, I consumed it, transaction over. Let's both move on. Why must you drag this transaction out to infinity? If our transaction was beneficial I'll come back when you have more to offer, really.

But for now, let me move on.

Let me sit back and bask in the glow of a fully decked out and 'completed' character.

Let me start an alt, without worrying that I'm wasting time not polishing off that last 3% of gear on another character.

I've NEVER had that feeling in a MMORPG. You've never let me. No one has.

I want to know what that ****ING carrot tastes like. If it's delicious, I'll probably come back for the radish, and the potato after that, and the zucchini...instead of flipping the carrot the bird and storming off after some other carrot.

WoW, maybe I'll get THIS one!

stopdying
05-20-2010, 05:42 PM
+1 to the OP. signed.

HarveyMilk
05-20-2010, 05:44 PM
Don't we just need a turn in mechanic?

Turn in 10 shards/scrolls/seals and you get to choose the one you want. Make them area specific. You have to turn in 10 VoN shards/scrolls/seals to get 1 VoN piece.

Wouldn't that be easier? And maybe make 20 instead of 10.

SilkofDrasnia
05-20-2010, 06:25 PM
/signed

i see this suggestion section in the forums but no request part to it ? why not add a REQ section where ideas like this can be put in n then we can all "vote" with a post like say agree or disagree. when so many "agrees" are acheived its then sent to the dev for consideration or what not.

not saying this would make things happen but at the very least it might help the devs keep "in touch" with us the players ?

osirisisis
05-20-2010, 08:46 PM
Osiris,

When I was playing Everquest and they first implemented BoA I felt exactly how you did. During the ensuing twelve years, I've learned to accept this non-intuitive mechanic as a necessary evil of online play, collateral damage in the war of risk (us) vs. reward (them).

The above statement sounds like you "given up" on BOA ...and if you haven't
I think you would have a better chance of changing it if you didn't promote it in your posts.
I'd ask your what reasoning, logic or whatever brings you to BOA being "necessary"?

BoA makes no more sense than "glancing blows" helping your character, or why archers continue to attempt to shoot you through walls rather than chase you down the hall (and into your blade barrier) in an AD&D sense. However, taking up the Devs point of view, it isn't good for your game if everyone can defeat a Dragon at level 16 and then drop a godly sword on their twink. This is a scenario that isn't possible (or at least highly unlikely) in AD&D but happens every day in our game. Now multiply that potential for abuse by the number of players on your server, and that number again by the number of servers, and you can see the necessity of strange, alien rules being implemented.

If this is your reason then in my opinion the above statement seems to be a little over drama sized to fit your bias.... but has some truth to it.

I would say more of a truth is there has to be a balance. If there was no "rarity" to gear the game would be to easy I.E. if every random chest dropped the greatest of loot every time or every peice of raid loot didnt bind and everyone got a piece in every raid chest there would be a problem.
As it stands I have yet to see a player post in the last 3 1/2 years "this games to easy, I have everything and have done everything I'm leaving" That doesn't mean it hasn't happened tho. I have seen many post grind burn syndrome related complaints and many I've talked to personally have given me conformation.
With TR in place I would say its almost impossible to have nothing to do in DDO now, but the issue of players who leave from grind burn needs to be address in my opinion.
Which I sure you concur in that your post was intended to ease your own grind burn... Right?



If you can posit a workable solution to high level characters keeping the best loot in the game, and not dumping it on the AH or their level 4 monk, please post it and I'll be the first to /sign.

I would want the best loot in the game on my highest level characters so the first part doesn't make sense. If I couldn't use it and dumping it on the AH or trading it for something I can use is perfectly viable or ethical in my opinion and strong economy is good for the game and population. They earned it they deserve to reap what they sew. As for the lvl 4 monk it wouldn't meet the level requirements so it wouldn't be use less until more work was put in the toon to level it up, which in my opinion is also a viable and ethical scenario.

P.S. I intentionally didn't mention putting a BoA on shroud ingredients, as I think a trading vendor would have two enormous positive effects on the playerbase. First, we'd all get some double-imbued gear in our first twenty or thirty clears, and second, the economy would probably be stimulated with actual interest in smalls and mediums, and see a reduction in the price of larges

I support your Trading vendor idea in that I think its a step in the right direction, I would just support for now removing BOA from anything non Raid Related gear with a balance of power in random loot, named loot, vs Raid Gear context, more so as I feel it to be a better solution.

I for one am tired of seeing Large Devil Scales go for 10 million+ while I loot 2-4 smalls every three days.

I'm tired of seeing massive pages of garbage posted on the AH polluting honest priced gear, where someone trying to take advantage of someone else hoping some one will buy there trash.

Garth_of_Sarlona
05-20-2010, 09:02 PM
Also, Quest loots. Why do I need a copy of soandso's journal after the adventure? it doesn't hand in for a reward, nor step a quest. Most of them you can't even click for storyline (not that I care, but I'm sure some RPers out there do). It's just junk. The stuff you can't use outside of the instance it drops should drop to the floor like keys. Too often I open a bag to look at some arcane doohickey and ask myself, "if I destroy you, will I have to redo some terrible questline in the Restless Isles"?

if you find you leave a quest and you still have quest-related items then bug report this.

Garth

Averroes
05-20-2010, 09:26 PM
Excellent post. I hope this stuff is on Turbine's radar. +1

BlackSteel
05-20-2010, 09:43 PM
nice suggestions

would just like to add that the 'ceiling' reached upon hitting 20 and grabbing the gear you want (altho for some people, this takes far more than 20 runs in a raid, as its only a partial list), can easily be postponed by the timely introduction of a new high level area + raid.

personally I have the worst luck with epic shards, seals are an easy farm (already got all the ones i want), and scrolls are easily traded for. So I found myself logging in simply to run a dragon and a dq every 3 days, nothing else. So instead of crossing my fingers every 3 days, I decided to start the TR grind (your option #1) Its obscenely easy to lvl with all the raid gear, but it just takes time. So my current plans are to just keep on collecting fighter past lives on my barbarian until we get definitive news of new high level content. Which then in turn I'll farm on whatever life my main is currently on.

Sweyn
05-20-2010, 09:59 PM
Extreamly well said, but alas, we can only hope. I will not be surprised if none of these ideas are implemented, not because they are bad, (Prolly some of the best ideas i've read) but because it is Turbine we are dealing with.

Calaway
05-21-2010, 07:47 AM
I'd ask your what reasoning, logic or whatever brings you to BOA being "necessary"?


Since I already answered this further down in the post which you quoted, I'm not going to answer it a second time. Please don't quote someone and then reply until you've read everything they've written; its really difficult to follow the discussion.






Which I sure you concur in that your post was intended to ease your own grind burn... Right?


Yep, you're right. I posted this because I don't like the end-game Philosophy and I want it changed. Another reply was "finishing" a character, and that would be a refreshing change, but I'm pretty sure runs in diametric opposition to the point of MMOs; you log on, your character grows and changes every day, never stopping. You can, temporarily, "finish" the game if you have collected all the gear and beaten all the quests/raids before new content comes out. I want to beat this game; my suggestions (which certainly aren't new ones) are meant to help more of us accomplish this.




I would want the best loot in the game on my highest level characters so the first part doesn't make sense. If I couldn't use it and dumping it on the AH or trading it for something I can use is perfectly viable or ethical in my opinion and strong economy is good for the game and population. They earned it they deserve to reap what they sew.


One of the smartest things I ever heard outside of a classroom or a piece of great literature was, again, in my Mistmoore Castle grinding days of Everquest. A fighter friend of mine (he was a merchant marine IRL) said to me: "people play their characters in this game how they would live in real life...if there were no rules, laws or punishment."

While you or I might 'play by the rules,' it doesn't mean everyone who plays this game does. I've alluded before to the great maturity and general feeling of camaraderie this playerbase boasts, but I think I'd be insulting your intelligence if I told you that we all RP Lawful Good and no one tries to take advantage of players in trades or auctions. I sense a strong Smithian contradiction in this notion of a Strong Economy, but I don't want to go to business school, I want to kill dragons. I'll just say if I wanted to have to play the market to get ahead in DDO, I'd sooner cancel my account and go be a Stock Broker.

Pugging raids remains one of the great joys of this game, and if we were to remove the BoA flag from raid loots, it would be every man for himself in there. No one would ever offer up unusable pulls because now that item isn't an item, its a commodity that can be used to help gear your character up. This would bode well for the lucky SOB who pulled the rare, but would suck for the other eleven people who might have used it.

As a result, factionism would rise in the form of guilds. Casual players or members of small, casual guilds (like me) wouldn't get invited any more, and in our attempts to continue to raid, our relations would become frayed. After all, why should you spend those heal scrolls or mnemonics when no one is going to return the favour when the chest is popped?

If you don't believe me, click on any Realm forum to see countless Q_Q posts about the cleric who looted the Goggles or the barb who looted the Napkin. We could make the game more beneficial to the individual but I've already seen that model and I don't want to play that way again. We have a good thing going here, and BoA in that sense helps protect it (by filtering out the baddies who don't read when they click).



I would just support for now removing BOA from anything non Raid Related gear with a balance of power in random loot, named loot, vs Raid Gear context, more so as I feel it to be a better solution.


Here is a refinement of your position as stated earlier in the post. I can agree to this point a lot more readily. If we take off the BoA from non-raiding items, we're immediately talking about something that isn't the best loot in the game, so I say its fair play. On the other side of the coin, I personally won't pug the Mind Sunder for exactly this reason, but that's just a personal bias.

Or did you mean, epic dungeon loot as well? If you did, then I'm going to have to disagree again. I think I speak for everyone when I say its a lot better to have 6 shots at something you want and give up things you can't than just have 1 shot and take your chance on the free market, at the very least from a karma perspective.

RobbinB
05-21-2010, 12:34 PM
I'd strongly like to echo a few of the points you brought up, regarding collectible clutter. It seems like no-brainers, but apparently the devs are somewhat lacking in that department. Re: collectibles/ingredients, please do the following

1. Exchangeability

On a micro-scale, ingredients should be tradeable for other ingredients of similar types, even if the cost is steep. On a macro scale, a trader that pretty much lets you trade any collectible or ingredient for useful rewards would be nice. 5000 gp gems should be given a crafting use.

2. Inventory

Stop all the endless bag nonsense already, it's only a coping mechanism. Increase inventory and bank space, significantly.

sephiroth1084
05-21-2010, 02:48 PM
2. Inventory

Stop all the endless bag nonsense already, it's only a coping mechanism. Increase inventory and bank space, significantly.
I actually like bags. It's a lot easier to sort through 100 collectibles in 3 or 4 bags than it is to look through my inventory. That this consolidates so many different things is very helpful. The real problem is that there are items that don't go in bags that should. That, and my epic tokens are broken--new ones go to bags, while old ones (and any i take out of a bag) won't go in.