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redoubt
01-18-2011, 05:57 PM
I know that Turbine has made recent (and not so recent) strides to make the game more solo friendly. It not my intent to debate that decision at this time. I've merely thought of a few things that could help encourage grouping. Also, not all of these ideas are intended to work in concert.

Please, make comments related to how it would or would not encourage grouping. XP bonuses, TR xp, scaling and the like are hot enough topics and their merits (not related to their impact on grouping) can be discussed elsewhere.

1. Bring back the xp bonus for running a quest under level. Right now the fastest way to get xp is to run normal at the quest level +1. This combined with dungeon scaling is very easy to solo. By encouraging running quests under level, they will be more difficult (by comparison) and more likely to require a group.

2. Remove the group wide xp penalty. A individual penalty of 10% per death or a debt (like the old system) could be given instead. This puts the penalty on the person who died instead of the whole group. This xp penalty is one of the reasons I seldom pug anymore and I've read that I'm not alone on this thought.

Sidebar to #2: Yes its technically a bonus that is not received. But I don't know any gamers who actually look at it this way. AND... didn't Turbine reduce the base xp back when they revamped the system so that completion with the two bonuses is roughly what it was before?

3. Remove dungeon scaling. This goes contrary to making the game more solo friendly, but it would encourage grouping. (Note: I don't think this is where Turbine wants to go with the game, but I felt it was appropriate to list it.)

4. Add more high level content. This higher level content is generally more difficult than the low level content and more often requires groups. (I know even high level Amrath content is solo'd. But its less efficient at high levels to solo, than say, "kobolds new ring leader".) This would also ease some of the pressure many TRs feel to maximize xp, thus they might be more willing to group with someone who might make a quest longer or worth less xp.

5. Flatten the TR xp curves to put more xp required at the lower levels. (This is not the line asking to lower the requirement.) The intent here to allow better grouping with non TR characters. Many people playing multi-TRs are very concerned about xp. This is one option to help aliviate that concern and get them to be more likely to group. (At present, a TR can run a few extra quests or an xp potion and keep pace with a non-TR for several levels. This ends when the levels hit double digits. If the curve was more flat, a TR would work a little harder early on, but have an easier time keeping up at the higher levels.)

6. Reduce the gap between normal xp and TR xp. Either lower TR (you knew it was coming) or raise normal. This is not about it being too difficult to get 4.3 mil. Its not difficult. There is plently of xp in the game, even for multi-TRs. The issue is not being able to stay with a group that is mixed between normal, TR1 and TR2+ characters. Close the gap and grouping would be easier. You would also get to know more people as you level because you would see them longer (as opposed to only grouping once or twice with them because the level gap increases too quickly assuming the same amount of play.)

7. More quests with group mechanics. (I.e. Tear of Dhakan, Xorian Cipher, The Titan, The Abbot.) This is not to say to make everything require six people to stand on buttons at the same time. That can be infuriating as well. Some of the quests with these mechanics are very popular and some just make people mad. This one could be tricky to implement as I believe Turbine does not want to hinder solo play.

8. Make it harder! But less grind. Harder quests require the assistance of other players. Grinds might, don't always (i.e. people solo epics.)

Falco_Easts
01-18-2011, 11:06 PM
3. Remove dungeon scaling. This goes contrary to making the game more solo friendly, but it would encourage grouping. (Note: I don't think this is where Turbine wants to go with the game, but I felt it was appropriate to list it.)


I would change this to scale dungeon scaling. Make it so the higher level you get, the less impact DS has.



7. More quests with group mechanics. (I.e. Tear of Dhakan, Xorian Cipher, The Titan, The Abbot.) This is not to say to make everything require six people to stand on buttons at the same time. That can be infuriating as well. Some of the quests with these mechanics are very popular and some just make people mad. This one could be tricky to implement as I believe Turbine does not want to hinder solo play.


This idea I do not like. When I play I can get called away for RL frequently. Because of this I mainly solo unless I can guarentee this will not happen. When I can commit the time, I will group. If I could not complete quests without grouping I would not play. I don't mind 2 required because there is no effort in getting a hireling but "requiring" 3+ people I do not liek the idea of.

There are a lot of people that solo out there for various reasons. Turbine do not want to see these people leave. The trick is to keep these people while also encouraging those that can group to group.

stille_nacht
01-18-2011, 11:20 PM
1. agree, players should be rewarded for completing challenges
2. agree, it doesnt make sense the whole group should be penalized
3. Totally disagree, while i do like grouping, i respect the fact that sometimes people dont have time, or dont want to group. There have been times when i just did not feel like partying, and people should be able to do this without having to be 4 levels above the dungeon level.
4. Totally agree, though i think they are working on this right now.
5. unsure
6. I would advocate increasing normal xp when and only when we get more [(playable/fun/interesting)] content, or do some reworking on old content (threnal for example, or three barrel cove).
7. Totally disagree, see 3. I would like quests that are more group friendly, but i dont like quests that require more than 3 people, especially if they have stuff you would farm for (fleshmakers for example).
8. I would like harder, but not in the "ridiculous hp" sense.

Ungood
01-18-2011, 11:47 PM
3. Remove dungeon scaling. This goes contrary to making the game more solo friendly, but it would encourage grouping. (Note: I don't think this is where Turbine wants to go with the game, but I felt it was appropriate to list it.)

While I am cool with the dungeon scaling to the larger group, have it also give MORE exp when it does this. This would inspire people to make full groups to get the best exp from a dungeon.

Or just like a base per person, IE: 1 person in the party -5% exp. 2 People in the party 0%, 3 People in the party +3%, 4 goes to +5, then 5 goes to +7, and 6 goes to +10. This would inspire larger groups.

Another Idea:

Death Exp Loss: Have it so that the the exp loss is based on the percent of the group to die. IE: IN solo play, if you die, it is a full 10% loss. But if you have a group of 5 people, and 1 person dies, you only loose 2% (and make it so that if they die more then once, it does not count towards additional percent loss) IE: Group of 5, 1 person died 6 times, it is still only 2% loss, but if 2 people die, it goes to 4% loss, Etc. Keep hires as they are now however.

And also have all exp loss round down, Like in a 12 person group, if 1 person dies, they don't loose any exp as it only a .8% loss so it rounds down to 0% loss, if 2 people die, then it goes to 1% loss, but if 5 people die, it is 4% loss. Etc, Etc. This way, larger groups hold the chance to loose less exp to deaths.

Just my two coppers.

Standal
01-19-2011, 12:14 AM
One way to make grouping more attractive is to reward grouping. Put a couple of chests behind a strength lever, followed by a int rune and a wis rune. You don't need to prevent people from completing the quest solo, just put some valuable optionals in the dungeon that are difficult or impossible to get without grouping.

People are motivated in this game by loot and XP. If you want to encourage grouping, make grouping improve the loot and XP generated by a quest.

QuantumFX
01-19-2011, 12:15 AM
I’m definately down for removing the XP penalty to groups because “xXDrizzzzzzzzzztXx” can’t get his A game going.

Also, more level 15+ quests should be on tap for the next 2 years.

I’d like to add the following though:

9) Give players more options for self healing that doesn’t involve running damn near every Silver Flame favor quest on elite. Nothing kills grouping quite like waiting for a “healer” because *xXBobXx McRage-n-Vicious* needs his clerical umbilical cord.

I would suggest allowing players access to all of the spells their hireling can cast. (Yes, I understand that they then fall into the “But then they just become buffbots!” But, then I have to ask: “Is being an extremely limited healbot better for DDO?”) The only “healer” players that have to worry about not being invited to groups are *bad* “healer” players.

10) Offer some way for players to play the role of hirelings. Angelus_Dead brought up this suggestion a few times. Some players are capped, fat and happy and can’t help their friends because they have 30 character slots filled with level 20 characters and/or quite simply don’t have a character “at that level.”

Just give each account an invisible slot dedicated to playing a hireling that has a permanent inventory and set up specific artifical NPC templates that get selected when you log in as a hireling.

Claver
01-19-2011, 08:12 PM
This idea I do not like. When I play I can get called away for RL frequently. Because of this I mainly solo unless I can guarentee this will not happen. When I can commit the time, I will group. If I could not complete quests without grouping I would not play. I don't mind 2 required because there is no effort in getting a hireling but "requiring" 3+ people I do not liek the idea of.

There are a lot of people that solo out there for various reasons. Turbine do not want to see these people leave. The trick is to keep these people while also encouraging those that can group to group.

The way to address the idea of promoting "group" quest mechanics is to avoid heavy handed designs that require groups but rather are more efficient with groups. Consider "Into the Deep", the final under water quest of the Red Fens. This has a modular design with one small "mine" dungeon, one small "temple" dungeon and a "wilderness" section before the final fight and then the optional demon fight in the pit. The different elements of the quest can be completed in series by a solo character but it is much more efficient for an experienced party to divide and conquer - half the party doing the mine while the other half clears the temple, you can even send a third party member to hunt sahaguin to save time.

It is possible to make quest designs that favor groups but don't mandate them.

katana_one
01-19-2011, 08:41 PM
2. Remove the group wide xp penalty. A individual penalty of 10% per death or a debt (like the old system) could be given instead. This puts the penalty on the person who died instead of the whole group. This xp penalty is one of the reasons I seldom pug anymore and I've read that I'm not alone on this thought.

Sidebar to #2: Yes its technically a bonus that is not received. But I don't know any gamers who actually look at it this way. AND... didn't Turbine reduce the base xp back when they revamped the system so that completion with the two bonuses is roughly what it was before?

For what it's worth, I'm one of those gamers who views the 10% bonus for no deaths as a bonus. Nice to meet you. :)

It may not have worked out as intended, but I think the thought process behind the "0 Death" bonus XP was that if you wanted the XP, you might look after your fellow party members a bit more. I know that's not how it plays out, but I do think they were making an honest attempt at rewarding good group play here.

Claver
01-19-2011, 08:59 PM
Another tack to take to promote grouping would be the introduction of a significant number of enhancements and magic items that increase power based on party size.

Paladin Enhancement (Defender of Nations)

- If 5 or more people are in party gain a +3 insight bonus to AC and intimidate

Mask of the Mages Council (helm)

- If 3 or more arcane casters are in the party gain +3 to caster level

Claver
01-19-2011, 09:04 PM
It may not have worked out as intended, but I think the thought process behind the "0 Death" bonus XP was that if you wanted the XP, you might look after your fellow party members a bit more..


I have to say that motivates me. Once I have already made the decision to PUG; I am highly motivated to throw heals towards party members who couldn't be bothered to bring one heal pot into the quest. If not for the XP bonus I would not try so hard. Once those players die, I give in to my frustration and stop trying to carry other people as much.

voodoogroves
01-19-2011, 09:08 PM
The way to address the idea of promoting "group" quest mechanics is to avoid heavy handed designs that require groups but rather are more efficient with groups. Consider "Into the Deep", the final under water quest of the Red Fens. This has a modular design with one small "mine" dungeon, one small "temple" dungeon and a "wilderness" section before the final fight and then the optional demon fight in the pit. The different elements of the quest can be completed in series by a solo character but it is much more efficient for an experienced party to divide and conquer - half the party doing the mine while the other half clears the temple, you can even send a third party member to hunt sahaguin to save time.

It is possible to make quest designs that favor groups but don't mandate them.

Agreed. Several quests with a fork-and-regroup; just wish there were more...

Falco_Easts
01-19-2011, 10:16 PM
One way to make grouping more attractive is to reward grouping. Put a couple of chests behind a strength lever, followed by a int rune and a wis rune. You don't need to prevent people from completing the quest solo, just put some valuable optionals in the dungeon that are difficult or impossible to get without grouping.

People are motivated in this game by loot and XP. If you want to encourage grouping, make grouping improve the loot and XP generated by a quest.

Good idea.

Bogenbroom
01-19-2011, 10:46 PM
I am all for encouraging more grouping, but my inclination would be to add more bonuses for xp that reflected grouping.

For example,
- a bonus for clerics minimizing scroll and wand usage, only achievable with a cleric in party.
- a bonus for fighters limiting their weapon swapping.
- a bonus for barbs not dropping below a certain hp percentage.
- wizards for making use of certain lesser used spells or for only using a certain percentage of sp on offensive spells.
- rogues for maximizing the percentage of swings qualifying as backstabs or minimizing the amount of threat they generate...

Things along those lines. Not necessarily advocating any one of those examples, they are just examples. Any class could have several options for bonuses, but I'd suggest that only one be applied for each player... So that if fighter x qualifies for a 5% bonus and a 7% bonus, the group gets a 7%... so they don't stack for any one player.

Point being that for each additional player in the party you have a chance for an additional xp bonus.

Claver
01-20-2011, 06:41 AM
I am all for encouraging more grouping, but my inclination would be to add more bonuses for xp that reflected grouping.

Things along those lines. Not necessarily advocating any one of those examples, they are just examples. Any class could have several options for bonuses, but I'd suggest that only one be applied for each player... So that if fighter x qualifies for a 5% bonus and a 7% bonus, the group gets a 7%... so they don't stack for any one player.

Point being that for each additional player in the party you have a chance for an additional xp bonus.

Interesting train of thought, many possibilities here. Could also enrich play style for those so inclined to use lesser used feats and skills (kill 10% of monsters with traps, turn 20% of the undead, etc.)

bryanmeerkat
01-20-2011, 07:08 AM
The way to address the idea of promoting "group" quest mechanics is to avoid heavy handed designs that require groups but rather are more efficient with groups. Consider "Into the Deep", the final under water quest of the Red Fens. This has a modular design with one small "mine" dungeon, one small "temple" dungeon and a "wilderness" section before the final fight and then the optional demon fight in the pit. The different elements of the quest can be completed in series by a solo character but it is much more efficient for an experienced party to divide and conquer - half the party doing the mine while the other half clears the temple, you can even send a third party member to hunt sahaguin to save time.

It is possible to make quest designs that favor groups but don't mandate them.

See my problem with this is not that it isnt at least a good start , but that it dosent really encourage grouping it encourages soloing in a group .

For example Bloody Crypt , the best way to do it is to have at least 4 people and each person soloing one of the locks . Sure your in a group and you have had to go through finding a group but efectively you are just playing solo with 3 other guys happen to be doing the same thing .

AZgreentea
01-20-2011, 07:23 AM
You could keep the XP penalty for a party member death and dungeon scaling, but add a bonus for the size of the group. This way you would reward people for taking a risk on a group.

sephiroth1084
01-20-2011, 07:27 AM
The character death XP, while sometimes due to a single, poor member of a group, is more often a result of the group's actions as whole. For example, I shouldn't get penalized exclusively because a cleric decided to go AFK during a fight, or someone else lagged, or...whatever. Too many reasons to not make this a penalty for only the person who died, though I agree that the way it is currently implemented makes for a strong reason to not group.