View Full Version : My Challenges Experience: Initial thoughts

12-20-2011, 06:08 PM
In general I've had fun with these. These should be more fun when I am able to find consistent groups for them especially now that I have a general I idea what to do on most of them.


They should never have been released as one large pack. You should have split the pack into four parts: Extraplaner Mining, Rushmore, Lava Caves, and Kobold Island. You should have then split the rewards so that you could get X weapon, X accessory, and X armor from Extraplaner Mining, and Y weapon, y accessory, and y armor from Rushmore for example. You could have set each individual challenge pack around 300-400 turbine points and not had the huge uproar about cost that you had when you released update 12. In general most newer packs have been around 4 quests and each challenge quest pack would end up being so as well. Please be smarter next time. It's not so much the cost of the challenge pack at 1495 its how you presented it to the community. You have a community here that has gotten used to small micro transactions for your content updates since ddo went f2p and when you release content at the cost of a typical monthly subscription people will react negatively as you saw. Continue to release content at a price point around 500 turbine points and you won't see any mass hysteria next update unless its also as buggy as your most recent releases.

Free Token Giver:

Positive: Free tokens. Everyone likes getting stuff for free.

Negative: Does not list which one she is giving out before they end up in your inventory. There should be chat window with which is the days free challenge and an option to accept your first time daily tokens. My level 20 character has 20ish tokens now for lv4-15 only challenges this is a problem. Fix it so that I can at least make sure my daily tokens go to the most relevant character.

Extraplaner Mining challenges:

Positives: They are the most like crystal cove this is a good thing because it gives players something familiar that you should be able to reasonably complete for some resources. Fun and soloable with a hireling so long as you get back in time to mop up the bosses. Seems to be a nice quest with a full party just like crystal cove.

Negatives: Kobolds too often ignore crystals that are right against the wall especially in some of the corner round rooms. I've lost a lot of purple crystals because they get ignored. As other people have said kobolds tend to wander off the path and wind up dead halfway across the map. Three bosses that are immune to Lightning in the same quest really? Really? (Dragon, Marilith, and Lich) This was not well thought out makes the quest very unfriendly to Air Savants.

Rushmore challenges:

Positive: Fun concept. Love the observatory puzzle as I am a big fan of the floor tile puzzles in ddo.

Negative: The scale of this dungeon is too large. Makes getting around difficult for characters without haste and some form of abundant step. Scaling down the map to 1/2 to 3/4 its current size would do wonders. I've only been able to explore about half the dungeon so far as I run out of time before I can get any farther. I can imagine doing these quests on non caster with haste or monk must be close to impossible.

Make it easier to turn the upside down facing tiles in the observatory puzzle. Its annoying that I have to jump every time I want to turn a tile. Go in there and try it yourself a few times I'm sure you'll get annoyed as well. Every time I turn a tile I say to myself why isn't the usable distance for the tiles farther?

Lave Caves:

Positive: None that I can find so far very frustrating challenge.

Negative: Tried Circles of Power don't plan on going back into this one any time soon. Not enough starting torches to reach a progenitor crystal even when grabbing all the starting torches, -2 needed to get to the teleporter circle, and maxing out the 10 buyable ones. Once again this dungeon suffers from being too large in scale. What made crystal cove so nice was that is was pretty well contained. Easy enough to learn map. This one is very large and has multiple levels. Which makes it bad for a collection quest. Rarely is the map very useful to get you to where you need to go. Plus the huge crystal paths are not even mapped. Why are the kobolds not immune to lava? Do I really have to run this with my caster so that I can fire resist every kobold? I've had more than one Kobold die in the lava because they aren't smart enough to avoid it. Not solo friendly at all as I imagine it will take one torch layer, one path clearer, and one person to stay and protect the foreman at all times. Even with a hireling camped at home base to protect the kobolds while I laid a torch path it seems impossible to even one star this on your own. Disappointing as I found the two way teleporter action to be fun.

Kobold Island: Will give feedback after I've done some of these.

I will update this as I do more challenges. I will need to find more groups to try these with so far there are very few groups pugging these on Cannith from what I've seen.

12-20-2011, 06:25 PM
Give the Lava Caves another shot. The main thing you need to know is that the teleporters are two-way in this dungeon, if you put the far end in a Circle of Power. (Circles are in semi-random locations and are pretty obvious and plentiful).

I've been able to solo Colossal Crystals fine at level or a bit overlevel.

I agree with the feedback about 'this pack should have been split up'. All the people that wanted to unlock Artificer would have bought all four parts anyway.

12-20-2011, 11:25 PM
Also, using the teleporter in a circle effectively makes both ends part of the torch path - kobolds follow the path into one, teleport, and then continue the path. So you don't have to link them the long way. If you didn't realize this (took me a few times), this could help.

I don't like the crystal ones (either the Caves or the Mansion) for another reason - I'm not a very good torcher, and I never see any groups for 'em lol New hireling class: Torch Runner! You can run around and plant flags where you want 'em to go, and the hireling will lay the torches...

I find Kobold Island ones to be fairly fun, though I tend to run them a few levels below (16 on my L18 gimpy hagglebard, or 15 for the Kobold Chaos one 'cause that's max). The only time I really fail is in the Disruptor when I can't find the damn skeleton. And I don't even bother with Rushmore solo anymore - it's just too damned big.

12-21-2011, 11:32 PM
I agree on all points. I personally am really enjoying the challenges for the most part, but they definitely have some flaws (which you've pointed out in most of your negatives). One thing I'd like to add on the negatives for extraplanar mining is the lack of a rest shrine; it'd be really nice to have on there. Here's some things that I think would go a long way towards eliminating the whole lack of PUGs for them:

1) Change the optionals and primary objective(s) to work more like traditional quests, in that you get your bonus XP (and in this case, extra ingredients) when you complete the optional rather than at quest completion. Then allow it so that once the primary objective(s) is completed, you get your main XP and ingredients and you can finish out (though the timer will still keep ticking down for how long you have to complete optionals before you're kicked out). I think the strongest factor keeping PUGs away from challenges is that, even though the XP for the quests is pretty good most of the time, the XP/min is low in most of them since you are forced to wait out the timers. I personally disregard the XP/min notion since I'm a more casual player, but I understand the desire for high XP/min for all the vets that have already run everything for umpteenmillion times, and I'd really like to get in some groups dangit!

2) Add a few more items in the named rewards lists. Currently, there's nothing specifically for divines, so that's a good place to start. More reward variety is always a good draw-in factor.

3) Change the essence bags to be by school. This way, you can narrow down what essences you're going for, which I think would be a BIG draw to all those crafters out there.

4) Add supply chests to more of the red named mobs, such as the rakasha in extraplanar mining or the hill giant shamans in the lava caves. These mobs are pretty challenging at at-level, often moreso than the bosses that actually do drop supply chests. This would help eliminate the low-loot factor that turns many players away from the challenges.

Overall, I'm pleased with the challenge system in general. I like that it gives options throughout your entire leveling cycle, and if you ignore XP/min the XP is really pretty decent, especially since it doesn't seem to have as severe a penalty for repeat runs as normal quests do. The lack of XP was my biggest complaint about the Crystal Cove and Mabar events, it made them completely undesirable for non-capped characters. I'd just really like to see more incentive to run these so that people will group for them under cap more often. I've never once received a hit on my LFMs for these while I am out soloing them. :(

01-26-2012, 12:30 AM
Just spent the day running the challenges after the most recent changes. Here's my feedback after learning the them better. I still have yet to run them much with a party. But when I have the level 20 challenges have been slaughtering a good amount of the random pugs I ran with. It is a bit discouraging how unfriendly these are to non self sufficient characters. Thankfully I can take care of myself and just bring a hireling with for backup.

Kobold Island Challenges- These ones are a lot of fun. I really like the small map and getting first star is reasonable for all of them. I can farm these for ingredients on both my Monk and Sorcerer with a hireling and get at least 100ish ingredients each time. They feel like time well spent. I've done these at lv15 and lv20. The skeleton in disruptor can be a little annoying to find sometimes. I wouldn't hurt to have an icon for him on the map in the non epic version of the challenge.

Extraplaner Mining Challenges- I like these ones as before due the familiarity to Crystal Cove. Removing the Marilith helped make sure the kobolds don't get slaughtered before I can make it back to the center to defend them. Feels like you also toned down the hp on the Lich which is a good thing. These challenges are about the difficulty of where they should be now if someone wanted to grab a hireling and get some ingredients in their downtime. Please give better crystal drops to the north so we can occasionally build a path that way. So far the east and west paths are a far better choice to lay out your torches. I immediately abandon the north for one of the other paths.

Dr. Rushmore's Mansion Challenges- These are getting easier as I get to know the map better. I still dislike the size of the map it is much too big. You should really remove the Air elementals from the boss fights or at least remove their ability to spam knockdown. I suggest you put their knockdown on a 15-20 second timer. This is extremely unfriendly to melee characters. I cannot imagine a non evasion character surviving the trapped hallway on the way tot eh Succubus boss let alone the traps at the door. It looks amazing with all the traps but I think its a bit over the top. I feel like I am getting more crests than the last time I ran these. If the drop rate on them was increased then thank you.

Lava Caves- Still the absolute worst challenge. Once again the scale of the map is too large and there need to be more circles of power incase you have to get back to the foreman in a hurry. I was running colossal crystals and just quit the game in disgust. Please give more starting torches. Even with 10 bought incense torches and all but two at the start I did not have enough torches to make it to a progenitor crystal. It took forever to find a circle of power to link to the teleporter. These are semi random correct? So with a total of 17 torches could not make a long enough path. So by the time I made it back to the foreman to finish my line with healing torches I was out of time. Also Hireling AI seems to have trouble targeting mobs around the starting area. I left a favored soul hireling at the start and she just got destroyed because she would not fight back or self heal regardless of aggressive or defensive mode.

In general Kobold Island and Extraplaner Mining are well done challenges. I find Rushmore and Lava Caves to be lacking. One suggestion I can think of is give more speed boost buffs in Lava and Rushmore. They are such huge maps I have no clue how someone without haste, monk movespeed or abundant step gets around those in a timely fashion.

01-26-2012, 12:38 AM
One last thing. This deserves its own post. Please add an ingame command to let you know what the day's free challenge is. Or add a window to the token giver asking if you will accept your free tokens and what challenge they are for. This is important so that people stop wasting level 4-15 tokens on level 20 characters. I should not have to go to a forum thread to find this out it should be available ingame.

01-31-2012, 06:07 AM
One last thing. This deserves its own post. Please add an ingame command to let you know what the day's free challenge is. Or add a window to the token giver asking if you will accept your free tokens and what challenge they are for. This is important so that people stop wasting level 4-15 tokens on level 20 characters. I should not have to go to a forum thread to find this out it should be available ingame.

Challenges, much like green steel crafting was fun because it was a give or take part of the game you encountered in small doses. Now neither are very fun because a good idea was once again over bloated then sucked dry for every morsel of worth instead using it in good taste as when it was originally introduced.

Pizza is great every once in awhile too.

01-31-2012, 11:00 AM
I have been doing challenges (up to level 13) pretty heavily for the last 2 weeks and thought I would add to this discussion.

1. Agreed. Rushmore is too big. The idea (I thought) for challenges was to have a series of quick quests to take up small amounts of down time between traditional quests. Rushmore can take 45+ minutes...no breaks allowed. Definitely my least favorite map.

2. Kobold Island: Disruptor- I already gave you 1495 TP for the pack so asking me to buy requisitions from the store to 5 star this is...not cool.

3. Lava Caves: I don't hate it but I don't love it either. I am bad at maps thought so that is probably most of my problem. The multiple levels confuse me. I am sure someone has done it but I don't see how you can solo 5 star Colossal Crystals...of course soloing may not be intended. Its big so speed buffs are pretty much mandatory.

4.Kobold Chaos- I have never seen a Djinn. Do they only pop on higher difficulty??

5. All Kobold Island- The extractors generate waaaay too much agro. IMO the mobs should turn to attack me way before I have dropped 3/4 of their HP.

6. The ingredients are a mess IMO. Players need to farm level 14+ quests for level 12 items. I don't get that. By the time I can farm the ingredients I don't want a level 12 item (even a Tier 3 one). The quests that I have noticed that need a level range adjustment (down) to at least 12 are: Short Cuts, Moving Targets and Time is Money. The other option is to adjust the reward ingredient lists.

7. The miscellaneous benefits of the pack are not well advertised. Trade ingredients for xp pots, crafting xp pots, slayer pots, healing pots ets. is really nice. Crafting bags are nice though I agree they should be broken down by school and maybe cheaper (?).