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KKDragonLord
08-17-2010, 10:42 PM
I finally started running the VoN Epics on a daily basis, as well as a few of the desert epics and i have reached enough of an informed opinion to make some suggestions about Epic loot distribution which is a key factor that makes some quests be ignored and others emphasized.

Personally, i believe the harder it is, the cooler the Epic quest gets, and my favorite so far is certainly VoN 5, but i only had the opportunity of running it once.

Not many people play epics openly in Khyber, and i wonder how many people actually do so within their guilds. It is noticeable though that people tend to avoid those quests that are perceived to be A) too time consuming, B) Have lower rewards and C) are Harder than the others.


The Epic grind is a steep one, and i have yet to get anything from the loot i have been looking for. That is not really the problem, the problem is that this makes people want to equalize their odds of getting what they need so that they can get all the parts of the item at the same time.

Scrolls drop from mobs
Seals drop from random chests
Shards drop from specific end chests

Generally you will always be killing mobs and the fact that scrolls aren't bound makes it easier to worry less about them.

The more chests there are in a quest the higher the odds of getting a seal but...

Since Shards only drop in end chests they are usually the hardest thing to get (to those of us who dont pull them in their first run).

So people will want to loot the most End chests as possible, getting Seals will be secondary to that goal and getting Scrolls is tertiary, or an after thought.

VoN 3 is a harder quest than VoN 1 and VoN 2 but it is generally more rewarding as well when it comes to seals because it has more random chests than both those quests combined, and can be completed in the same amount of time by a skilled and prepared party.

Despite the generally greater rewards, people tend to avoid pugging for VoN 3 because of the uncertainty of the completion.

VoN 4 is the most fun Epic quest after VoN 5 because of the amazing level of challenge that it represents, and is also the most dreaded quest precisely for that reason. Even if both lever sides can be partially circumvented by the expert use of stealth, it is still more challenging that the regular Epic quest and yet it has the least amount of rewards, not mentioning the uncertainty of the full party getting to loot the End chest.

VoN 5 is extremely fun, because it is challenging even for a raid group, and it has an end battle of truly Epic proportions. The chances of SP pots being consumed in that quest are extremely high.

The method that has been chosen to reward the players for more time consuming or dangerous quests so far has been to include only Fragments in VoN 1 and VoN2 and full tokens in VoN 3 and Von 4, as well as double tokens in VoN 5.

This method is unfortunately insufficient.

The nature of epic grinding makes Tokens less desirable than crafting parts because, unless you are a lucky fella, you are very likely to hoard more tokens than you can or will want to use whenever you finally get all the parts you need to make your loot Epic. Tokens are pretty much a Non issue.

Epics are a lot of fun, but there are many quests out there that don't get played as much, if at all because most people tend to avoid them.

The trade off to running an epic quest should be balanced in such a way that if you spend an hour in 20 mins quests you should get roughly the same chance for loot as when doing 1 one hour long quest.

At some point, the description of how long a quest took to complete meant something to those who wanted to choose a particular quest over another. Since XP is no longer a defining factor for running quests at Cap, it becomes much more of an Effort vs Reward consideration than it normally is.

For these reasons i will suggest that the rewards for a few long Epic quests are rebalanced in a few ways that can be replicated for all the other avoided Epic quests in general.

VoN 3 takes roughly as long as VoN 1 & VoN 2, and despite the fact that it is much more rewarding with regards to random chest distribution it still has only a single Epic chest with the chance of an Epic shard, so in general, people will avoid doing it because A) its a lot harder and B) its less effective in the hunt for Shards.

Therfore i believe that VoN 3 should have Two End chests instead of just one, both with epic token fragments instead of full tokens.

VoN 4 should definitely have a lot more chests, preferrably at the same rate of VoN 3, but placed strategically to entice the group to go through the quest in its entirety.

One extra chest could be placed behind the last barriers in the upper corner of the left side, the one closest to the lever, and another behind the lower barriers under the same area. One extra chest could be placed beside the lever in the Right side, and one more chest atop a stack of crates in the right side which could only be reached by jumping from the high catwalks. This way, the party has to fight for them.

A chest should be placed in each shrine area and a final extra chest should be behind the sliding wall from which the iron golems come from at the end fight.

And finally, there should be 2 Epic chests at the end with token fragments.

The quest would still be harder than most and would still require a certain level of coordination in the final stretch which could lock some people out of the chance of getting shards but those particularities are a part of the challenge that makes the quest unique, although i suspect even then people would tend to avoid it.

The number of chests in VoN 4 would go up from 2 to 10, but each one would be a challenge to get to.

VoN 5 is Epic in every sense of the word, and part of the challenge of getting a party to run it, is getting 12 crazy individuals together and the time it takes to go through each part. So the amount of chests in that quest should be increased from the current 5 to about 15, with 3 End chests after that Epic iron golem fight, preferably each with a full token on it.

A balancing factor of the rewards of running VoN 5 on Epic with these parameters is that unless you don't complete the Raid (which everyone seems to be doing like clockwork), you can only run it once every 2 days and 18hours.

This way, the time investment on each quest becomes equalized in a way that it is much more of an option to run VoN 1 & 2 or VoN 3 or VoN 4, and would actually make people Want to run VoN5 on Epic on a somewhat regular basis.

And if the Devs dont want to increase the drop rates too much with all these chests, they can always regulate the appropriate odds to even out in the end for all quests.

Since each area is different and has a different set of unique loot, the Chests/minute ratio would vary, but in principle, every quest in an area should have the same rate of rewards so that they all get a chance to shine equally bright. The variations to that would come only when a quest is more challenging than others, which implies that it should have better rewards than them.

In regards to the dreaded Ninja looting Scroll mechanic, there is also the case when a scroll drops and a part member picks it up and no one wants to roll on it, because they have no need for the item, and the person who picked it up ends up with it since no one wants to be greedy and roll for it to sell.

Regardless of whether that happens to anyone else or not, Ninja looting is a bad mechanic for determining scroll ownership.

I understand completely that the reason why it drops from mobs is to make people Want to kill them, as much as Seals are to make people Want to go to random chests even when they are hard to get.

One sensible solution that was suggested for that was to make it be randomly assigned to a charcter once it hits the ground. But my idea is different.

Make it so that when a scroll drops, an Alert icon lights up at the right corner of the screen which can be opened at any moment by the members of the party. It would show the scroll and the information of the item it could be used to make along with the option of Rolling for it or Not. When all members made their choice it would then show up in the inventory of the winner, and if no one chose to roll on it, the scroll would be assigned randomly to someone.

This way it doesnt involve being picked up by someone, and it gives a fair choice for those who want it.

TL;DR
1 Add more random chests as well as End chests to VoN3, 4 & 5 to compensate for the time and resource consumption of those quests.
2 Make scrolls auto-picked up by the party showing an alert icon that would allow people to choose whether to Roll on it or Not, assigning it randomly to someone if no one rolls.

Noctus
08-17-2010, 11:03 PM
Excellent proposal.

KKDragonLord
08-18-2010, 09:40 AM
Thanks, i thought about it a lot.

I have yet to experience other desert quests on Epic besides OoB and Wiz king to know the specific ways they could be improved, but i think i managed to outline the general concept for all kinds of epics.

Maetrim
08-18-2010, 06:40 PM
As a note as far as I know the von1-4 final chests never drop shards. These can only be found in the raid.

KKDragonLord
08-21-2010, 12:24 AM
As a note as far as I know the von1-4 final chests never drop shards. These can only be found in the raid.
Yep, and thats something that could be changed
Ideally, the most juicy stuff could drop in end chests from VoN 4, 5 and 3, and the least in Von 1 & 2.

Delving suit, goggles and Kundarak boots in Von 4
Mror Belt, Mror Helm and Ruby Gauntlets in VoN 5
Cloak of silver Concord and Ring in VoN3
each in one specific end chest ofc.

Not sure if those are the most universally desired loot but i made sure to avoid suggesting SoS or Dragons Eye because they are meant to be that hard to get

sirgog
08-21-2010, 12:29 AM
Excellent ideas in general.

I think they should add a new chest to Epic VON5, which has *exactly* the same loot table and drop rates as the warded chest in Elite VON6 (elite, not epic). You'd still need to beat epic 6 for the shards, but you could get the base items in Epic 5, speeding up the process of 'finishing' gearing up through the epic VONs for those groups good enough to handle Epic 5.

Or, if you can't hack eVON5 - you can keep getting gear slowly the easy way, by doing eVON6.

oweieie
08-21-2010, 01:15 AM
And if the Devs dont want to increase the drop rates too much with all these chests, they can always regulate the appropriate odds to even out in the end for all quests.

Challenge is good, but challenge with no reward is usually only good once. As it is, the epics are pretty unrewarding which is why the longer ones don't get run, VoN 6 gets run the most (short + scale drops + full token + raid loot) and VoN 5 gets run the least. Unless that gets changed DDO's endgame is going to suck hard.

Putting scrolls as mob drops was such a ridiculously bad idea it needs to be fixed or nothing else will really work.

Putting seals as random chest loot was also a bad idea which they seem to have realized with the newer epics which only have them (too rarely) in the end chest... well except small problem which in an amazing display of incompetence remains broken.

I think there are a lot of viable solutions. Putting scrolls as a common drop in optional chests is a good way to actually get the optionals killed in epic because as of right now no one will kill any of the carnival optionals on epic ever because the chests have nothing in them.

Buying seals and scrolls with epic tokens is another idea, maybe not a great one, but it at least gives players reason to run some epics they might not otherwise. People are pretty demotivated to run long epics because literally 9 times out of 10 they get nothing out of it but some level 5 end reward which feels like a kick in the ass. This way the token at the end is a guaranteed portion of that seal or scroll you're after so you always get something.

Anyway, short summary, drop rates are too low, people aren't interested.

Angelus_dead
08-21-2010, 01:47 AM
VoN 5 is Epic in every sense of the word, and part of the challenge of getting a party to run it, is getting 12 crazy individuals together and the time it takes to go through each part. So the amount of chests in that quest should be increased from the current 5 to about 15, with 3 End chests after that Epic iron golem fight, preferably each with a full token on it.
The simple change to fix the VON5 situation is to allow you to play VON5 regardless of being on VON6 lockout timer.

The barrier to beating VON5 should be that it's hard to beat VON5, not that everyone you'd want to recruit is already on timer for VON6.

Auran82
08-22-2010, 05:04 PM
Anyway, short summary, drop rates are too low, people aren't interested.

Agree with most of what you said, especially regarding seals, it's disheartening to finally pull the shard for the item you really want, only to realise you are still missing the seal and who knows when you are going to see that.

Scrolls you can trade for and are pretty much guaranteed to get if you put enough up for the one you need. Shards should be (IMO) the hard part to get, once you have the one you want you should be almost ready to go.

Scrolls and seals are in a weird position as they encourage farming enemies without any intention to complete quests and (in the case of VON and Desert anyway) seals promote chest running. In some ways I understand why the newer epics only drop seals in the epic chests, but it really kills the optionals in the quests as there is no point doing them for the level 12 loot you get. It would be nice if scrolls dropped in them (like The Last Stand, wasn't that just full of win)

sirgog
08-22-2010, 07:17 PM
The simple change to fix the VON5 situation is to allow you to play VON5 regardless of being on VON6 lockout timer.

The barrier to beating VON5 should be that it's hard to beat VON5, not that everyone you'd want to recruit is already on timer for VON6.

Agreed - and ADQ1 should be able to be opened by someone that's on ADQ2 timer.

If guilds run ADQ2 as often as their timers allow, they need to keep an ADQ1 opener off ADQ2 timer, so that the guildies on lockout for ADQ2 can enter ADQ1.

Garth_of_Sarlona
08-22-2010, 09:54 PM
a few good suggestions here, but the numbers of chests you are proposing is too many. I would prefer a way to allow more focused running of quests e.g. tying the scrolls or seals to a particular quest (and publishing this information?) - this would make it easier to get the items you want by focused running of certain quests.

Garth

KKDragonLord
08-22-2010, 11:26 PM
a few good suggestions here, but the numbers of chests you are proposing is too many. I would prefer a way to allow more focused running of quests e.g. tying the scrolls or seals to a particular quest (and publishing this information?) - this would make it easier to get the items you want by focused running of certain quests.

Garth

I am basing the number of chests entirely on the number of chests in VoN 3 which is 8-11, and surprisingly enough, it is still not run often enough, which pretty much shows that people will avoid anything that has challenge and time attached to it.

The chest locations i suggested were carefully thought out to prevent chest running, which is pretty much the norm these days, with people ransacking dq1 and von 2 chests without fighting a single mob.

Cyr
08-23-2010, 09:06 AM
Excellent ideas in general.

I think they should add a new chest to Epic VON5, which has *exactly* the same loot table and drop rates as the warded chest in Elite VON6 (elite, not epic). You'd still need to beat epic 6 for the shards, but you could get the base items in Epic 5, speeding up the process of 'finishing' gearing up through the epic VONs for those groups good enough to handle Epic 5.

Or, if you can't hack eVON5 - you can keep getting gear slowly the easy way, by doing eVON6.

IDK, I think Von 5 on epic is 5 times harder then Von 6 on epic. As such I would be perfectly open to an additional epic raid chest at the end of Von 5 (being a copy of the Von 6 epic chest).

It sure would increase the amount that epic Von 5 was run.