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MadFloyd
01-11-2012, 06:11 PM
This topic should prove interesting. :)

As you all know, U12 saw the release of a new type of content - Challenges.

I would like to get your thoughts on these - preferably in a constructive manner. I’m specifically interested in gameplay feedback.

For those who do not enjoy this type of gameplay, can you elaborate on why?

For those of you who do enjoy playing them, what aspects do you enjoy?

General feedback is encouraged, but again, please limit feedback to gameplay and respect other’s opinions. I expect this to be a very polarizing subject.

Thanks in advance.

Ganolyn
01-11-2012, 06:12 PM
Oh boy, here comes thirty pages of complaining about Air Elementals! :D

nibel
01-11-2012, 06:18 PM
At this moment, there is only one problem on challenges to me: After you craft what you want, there is no reason to keep farming ingredients. The golden stars challenge is nice too, but I doubt many people are going to keep trying improve their time after getting the 6-star rating once.

whereispowderedsilve
01-11-2012, 06:18 PM
This topic should prove interesting. :)

As you all know, U12 saw the release of a new type of content - Challenges.

I would like to get your thoughts on these - preferably in a constructive manner. I’m specifically interested in gameplay feedback.

For those who do not enjoy this type of gameplay, can you elaborate on why?

For those of you who do enjoy playing them, what aspects do you enjoy?

General feedback is encouraged, but again, please limit feedback to gameplay and respect other’s opinions. I expect this to be a very polarizing subject.

Thanks in advance.

http://forums.ddo.com/showthread.php?t=357415

Mr. MadFloyd not my thread but check that out, especially what Kinerd has to say!

I have a group of peeps that run the challenges a lot 4 the cool stuffs & to crunch the epic mats into epic tokens.

I like it cos it's a change of pace from the normal. Some tweaking does need to be done though which Im sure other people will touch on forthcoming!

Keep up the great work!

/offtopic Can we plz get the shared bank window back to being resizable? That would be super awesome! :P! :)!

Zess-wolf
01-11-2012, 06:21 PM
air elem...just kiddin, mainly i think there are 2 points i would like to comment on:

-Kobold island objectives(difficulty/DDO store only) ; Some of them are achieved by requisitions only, which i dropped just one in since challenges were released(and i play them quite often), also they are really hard, making more than 2 stars almost impossible.

-Pack price(related to first topic), ok they are really valued, but i think it was over valued, i did bought the pack, but on sale only, and i regret sometimes(some lapses...if you get what i mean)...


Besides that, nice quests for free time ;D keep up with this!

Just my toughts,

Zess

ps:The air eles too...

Targonis
01-11-2012, 06:22 PM
If you look at them, the challenges are really three types of challenges on four maps. As a result, you will get a lot of feedback from people who don't care for one of these TYPES. In general, I like the challenges, though I HATE Kobold Island: The Disruptor.

One thing I would like to see would be to make the exchange be for a 2:1 of any one of a tier to any other of the same tier. Going on the same exact sequence from Rushmore's Mansion going from there means that if Rushmore's Mansion is your preferred challenge, you MUST then do 3 exchanges in some cases to get what you want, and that is NOT good(unless Rushmore's seems so much easier than other challenge types that it should be that way).

Gimpinator
01-11-2012, 06:24 PM
Mr. Floyd, in my opinion, the challenges are a joke. You took an interesting and fun event (dungeon) that we see a few times a year, for a fixed amount of time, cloned it ten-fold, and then crammed it down our throats. I think we can all admit that Crystal Cove is probably the best dungeon in DDO, however, the short time window forced a lot of us to get down to business when the event came around. As a result, most of us are burnt out on crack cove.

The challenges have potential, however, your team need to be more creative and original if you're going to release content like that. I have a high tolerance for repetition, pain and blurred vision, but it only takes a few runs of these challenges to send me packing. If I could have it my way, they would be removed entirely. Sorry I cannot be more constructive; Thinking of challenges causes my blood pressure to raise to unhealthy levels.

sirgog
01-11-2012, 06:29 PM
Edit: Rethought some of this. Post 246 has my feedback now. Leaving this regardless.



First thoughts: I didn't like them much at first.

With experience: These have really grown on me. So much fun to zerg, and they can be really tough (4-starring Lava Caves: Time Is Money solo on 25 was... intense, five of the most fun minutes I've ever had). And you have made some really, really impressive boss fights in them.

But:

- They are brutally punishing of toons that are not self sufficient. Many players build characters (stereotypical Barb without Silver Flame pots, etc) to do one thing and do it well. Challenges don't work well for those toons as so much of them is 'Hey Numot, you split off from the group and kill kobolds for parts' or 'Myrmidral, answer that "Incoming"' etc.
- The scaling encourages metagaming group size around prior knowledge of the challenge. Time is Money I always solo, duo or trio for this reason. Short Cuts I want a full group for.
- Mob HP is nonsensical on 24/25. A supergeared character (one 25 is designed for) might do 30% more DPS than a modestly geared 18-20 (what 21 is designed for). So mobs should have 30-40% more HP, not 100-300% more. I think the scaling of damage players suffer from 21 to 25 is perfect. As a rule of thumb: If players are kiting mobs rather than killing them, something is wrong. Likewise if the most effective thing a melee can do is UMD Enervation scrolls on mobs, again something is wrong.
- Mob HP also scales too much with party class makeup. The Cloud Giant in 20 Time is Money seems to have less HP when in a 3-player all melee group than when I've soloed it on a Wizard or Sorc.



One suggestion: Allow raid groups to attempt challenges (with further scaling). Then instead of sending off 1 character to deal with an 'Incoming' in a 4 player group, we could send two Barbarians AND a Bard or Cleric in an 11 or 12 player group. That lets the 'I do one thing and do it well' builds be useful in challenges. You have solo to raid scaling tech in the Cannith Manufactuary.

I'm not sure what your intention was re. underlevel (17-19th level) toons in 21-25 challenges. You gave the challenges XP and put a 'soft lockout' of 'you must have a 20 in your group to enter' rather than a raid-timer style 'hard lockout', indicating you want characters to be able to attempt 21-25 challenges pre-20, but getting in to them requires a 20 in group. Can I suggest changing this to a hard lockout of level 1-16 characters, and letting 17-20s in freely (possibly with a warning to 17s, 18s and 19s that 'this is an extreme challenge intended for level 20 characters, you can try it if you dare').


Another thought: Combat is DDO's strong point. The non-combat mechanics of Challenges effectively remove 1-2 players from combat throughout the challenge. IMO a future Challenge that is *pure combat* against bosses has real potential. For example, think of fighting a toned-down Harry and 3 of his Lieutenants at once - the Lieutenant auras buffing the pit fiend as well. Primary star for killing the Pit Fiend before time expires, and another for killing all three Lieutenants within 30 seconds of each other, then another for killing the Fiend first, then another star for no player deaths, and a final star for not using a rest shrine that is in the arena.

CaptGrim
01-11-2012, 06:29 PM
I actually enjoy herding kobolds, its not too grindy.

I do not enjoy the extractors, it used to be fun albeit easy when you could invis the stones. Now it seems a must to have 3-4 players just to hit a decent payout.

I absolutely hate Dr. Rushmore, its not the quest, or the theme behind the whole thing. It is the simple fact it takes 30-45 minutes to do a full run and still end up with a few hundred goblets(or whatever).It has little re playability at least to me.

quests>challenges

Still I think it is cool to have something different every once and awhile. I'm not sure what percentage of dev time it takes to make a challenge compared to a quest but if it isn't twice as fast IMO i would not like to see anymore, or only for special events, cove, mabar, etc.

Hoglum
01-11-2012, 06:30 PM
I heard there used to be a developer named SaneFloyd. Then his boss made him do the "Let's Talk" series.

Combat_Wombat
01-11-2012, 06:30 PM
Challenges that are only 6 starable through the use of store purchases and/or stupidly rare requisitions are my major complaint.

Also the inability for non-casters to fully contribute if they need to be babysat aka no silver flame pots which really is allot to ask.

Edit: Also bringing back blanket death immunity for epic challenges was a stupid move especially with the HP so amazingly high on some things

sirgog
01-11-2012, 06:33 PM
At this moment, there is only one problem on challenges to me: After you craft what you want, there is no reason to keep farming ingredients. The golden stars challenge is nice too, but I doubt many people are going to keep trying improve their time after getting the 6-star rating once.

There's plenty of reason to keep running some - flawlessly executed 8-minute runs of 21 Extraplanar Mining: Buying Time or five-minute 25 Lava Caves: Time is Money are the best Epic Dungeon Token per minute ratio in DDO, excluding stealthed epic Claw.

Systern
01-11-2012, 06:34 PM
I've complained in the past about the structuring of the rewards and difficulty breakdown. That you need to be level 10 to make level 8 stuff, and level 14/15 to make tier 2 level 8 stuff.

I like the soloability of the mansion/island, but don't do the mining challenges. I don't know if this is because of burn out from CC or the perception from CC that you really need a group to complete them. Maybe a little from Column-A, a lil' from Column-B...

I like the near-pick-up-and-play of them... I tend to run with the same group of friends all the time, and it's nice when one of us needs to level/dump inventory, the other 2 can run a challenge and kill some time without just standing around...



I'm 1st life, new to DDO player, so I don't like the bias towards the veterans to farm and grind the mats for twink gear.
I dunno, maybe that's just the way the game plays out, and the design intent is to upgrade tier 1 eq as a 1st lifer, and then farm the mats for twink gear at L20 while you wait for raid timers to get 20 epic tokens for a TR heart...

maddmatt70
01-11-2012, 06:36 PM
I can not really articulate why I have never gotten into the challenges, but I disliked the kobold torch ones so much and at the time you had to do them when they came out that it was a cost-benefit lose for me. DDO has a definite cost-benefit to the grind component as in a player is better off skipping a content area altogether and focusing on other content areas with the way the current content reward system works. Once I made the decision to skip the challenges for the first few months it became a why should I start into that grind when there are other grinds to do scenario. The loot is good but not a must have (the one possible exception is the chime for lord of blades, but you just need one in a raid party).

I liked the mansion challenge area personally. Really the challenges are not unlike regular quests just with an odd scoring/reward component, but it is about the grind and farm - there is something nice about just going into a quest and looting a chest and having a shot at something the first time instead of it being a grind times X which you have to do with the challenges. If the next challenges are enjoyable like the mansion area I will likely choose to do the grind.

Chai
01-11-2012, 06:39 PM
Every single epic scorpion, rat, and lion has deathblock. Arbitrary immunity is arbitrary. I understand when drow witchdoctors cast deathward on themselves, but please remove the deathblock snuggies from the animal and vermin mobs that should not have this effect.

I like the challenges because it is a completely different concept than running quests or raids and adds another dynamic to the game that otherwise would not be there. It also provides a parallel way to farm for some decent items that does not have a timer or require a specific number of completions.

Oh, and one more thing...

http://i41.tinypic.com/2ywfgbc.jpg

Psiandron
01-11-2012, 06:40 PM
First off, I love the cove. It's a fun break from questing and there's some great loot to be had. That said, it's not why I play the game. I like running the quests. That's why I'm here. I really don't mind that the challenges exist (excepting that I do find it a bit irritating that so much development time and resources were spent on them when there are longstanding bugs and issues with the core game). I also am not thrilled at the prospect of carrying around x amount more of twink items and the various and sundry ingredients needed to upgrade them.

I have run them a few times and I'm sure I'll run them on occassion again. Barring mindcontrol, I really can't see every spending the thinnest dime to have greater or any access to them.

Hey, you asked. :D

NXPlasmid
01-11-2012, 06:41 PM
Mr. Floyd, in my opinion, the challenges are a joke. You took an interesting and fun event (dungeon) that we see a few times a year, for a fixed amount of time, cloned it ten-fold, and then crammed it down our throats. I think we can all admit that Crystal Cove is probably the best dungeon in DDO, however, the short time window forced a lot of us to get down to business when the event came around. As a result, most of us are burnt out on crack cove.

The challenges have potential, however, your team need to be more creative and original if you're going to release content like that. I have a high tolerance for repetition, pain and blurred vision, but it only takes a few runs of these challenges to send me packing. If I could have it my way, they would be removed entirely. Sorry I cannot be more constructive; Thinking of challenges causes my blood pressure to raise to unhealthy levels.

Crystal cove best dungeon in DDO? Really? Better than Gianthold, better than Amrath? Better than the Siegebreaker series? Are you on crack? Crystal cove, not unlike the challenges has some very excellent loot for a relatively small expenditure of time comparied to other named loot or epic loot. The first few days of CC was awesomely fun and hilarious with the kobald voices, super fun for the first few days... Very repetative after that.

The problem I see with the challenges is basic structure is the same for all of the challenges and it gets to be very repetative and boring quite quickly. To be honest, I can't imagine anyone being happy with more of them based on the mechanic currently employed, it's really been run into the ground, and by making artificer unlocking dependant of doing the challenges many many times, you should be prepared for a massive you know what storm if you try to release any others that aren't completely totally and fully different. This is because, for those people who really don't like them all that much, they will be resenting having to repeat them so many times to get that favor....

Personally, I am less against the challenges now than I was right when they came out, mainly because at that time I had just run the cove for 6 days straight and thought "yeah, never have to run that junk again"... well I found out that wasn't the case at all. The loot is quite nice, so I hold my nose and run them and I want to unlock Arti. T

My advise for future challenge releases.. only a couple per update.

Kmnh
01-11-2012, 06:43 PM
Colossal crystals, Moving targets, Picture portals, The Disruptor and Short Cuts are a blast to play. I think if more people were trying to beat these on higher difficulties and get more stars/points, they would enjoy them too.


The collection chalenges, where you set the kobolds to get some crystals, kill some mobs, but never face any serious threat, bore me.

I played colossal crystal and the disruptor on Lammania during the event. They were my first contact with the challenges, and left a good impression. If had started out with, say, the dragon's hoard, I would dismiss the pack as a silly gimmick.

Can we please change the loot system for these? Forcing players to run "Labor Shortage" multiple times won't do any good for the pack's popularity.

Riggs
01-11-2012, 06:45 PM
- They are brutally punishing of toons that are not self sufficient. Many players build characters (stereotypical Barb without Silver Flame pots, etc) to do one thing and do it well. Challenges don't work well for those toons as so much of them is 'Hey Numot, you split off from the group and kill kobolds for parts' or 'Myrmidral, answer that "Incoming"' etc.
- The scaling encourages metagaming group size around prior knowledge of the challenge. Time is Money I always solo, duo or trio for this reason. Short Cuts I want a full group for.
- Mob HP is nonsensical on 24/25. A supergeared character (one 25 is designed for) might do 30% more DPS than a modestly geared 18-20 (what 21 is designed for). So mobs should have 30-40% more HP, not 100-300% more. I think the scaling of damage players suffer from 21 to 25 is perfect. As a rule of thumb: If players are kiting mobs rather than killing them, something is wrong. Likewise if the most effective thing a melee can do is UMD Enervation scrolls on mobs, again something is wrong.
- Mob HP also scales too much with party class makeup. The Cloud Giant in 20 Time is Money seems to have less HP when in a 3-player all melee group than when I've soloed it on a Wizard or Sorc.



One suggestion: Allow raid groups to attempt challenges (with further scaling). Then instead of sending off 1 character to deal with an 'Incoming' in a 4 player group, we could send two Barbarians AND a Bard or Cleric in an 11 or 12 player group. That lets the 'I do one thing and do it well' builds be useful in challenges. You have solo to raid scaling tech in the Cannith Manufactuary.

I'm not sure what your intention was re. underlevel (17-19th level) toons in 21-25 challenges. You gave the challenges XP and put a 'soft lockout' of 'you must have a 20 in your group to enter' rather than a raid-timer style 'hard lockout', indicating you want characters to be able to attempt 21-25 challenges pre-20, but getting in to them requires a 20 in group. Can I suggest changing this to a hard lockout of level 1-16 characters, and letting 17-20s in freely (possibly with a warning to 17s, 18s and 19s that 'this is an extreme challenge intended for level 20 characters, you can try it if you dare').


Another thought: Combat is DDO's strong point. The non-combat mechanics of Challenges effectively remove 1-2 players from combat throughout the challenge. IMO a future Challenge that is *pure combat* against bosses has real potential.

yeah, scaling is really whack.

Each level up adds a lot more than one level of challange and hp and monster stats it seems.

And if you have to split up in a lot of them to handle kobolds on the line, getting crests, killing, defending etc - anyone not self sufficient becomes really limited in usefulness.

NXPlasmid
01-11-2012, 06:46 PM
Another thought: Combat is DDO's strong point. The non-combat mechanics of Challenges effectively remove 1-2 players from combat throughout the challenge. IMO a future Challenge that is *pure combat* against bosses has real potential. For example, think of fighting a toned-down Harry and 3 of his Lieutenants at once - the Lieutenant auras buffing the pit fiend as well. Primary star for killing the Pit Fiend before time expires, and another for killing all three Lieutenants within 30 seconds of each other, then another for killing the Fiend first, then another star for no player deaths, and a final star for not using a rest shrine that is in the arena.

How different is that from any of the (fill in the blank) Assaults? except you get tokens along the way?

Riggs
01-11-2012, 06:46 PM
And just because it is here.

Air elementals auto knockback no save no roll no defense is also whack and OP.

Getting a roll to avoid being knocked DOWN is nice - but you still get knocked BACK even when you save. Bad.

Ninety
01-11-2012, 06:47 PM
farming for epic tokens is nice. that was one of my major complains was the cost of slotting everything jsut takes forever. If TRing ever gets easier, this will definitely be nice for TRing as well.

however on the non-epic token turn in side of things, some of the non-epics have such a low reward that it's tiring to run. Thinking picture portals here. I had a 2400 score run, and recieved about 300 rewards.

also some of the saves of the level 20 challenges are harder than the regular epics.

xTethx
01-11-2012, 06:47 PM
I'd like the challenges if you could actually slot the epic items.

Riggs
01-11-2012, 06:52 PM
There's plenty of reason to keep running some - flawlessly executed 8-minute runs of 21 Extraplanar Mining: Buying Time or five-minute 25 Lava Caves: Time is Money are the best Epic Dungeon Token per minute ratio in DDO, excluding stealthed epic Claw.

Some of the runs are very good for ingredients for a short amount of time.

Other ones - you collect the same amount, or more crystals - or spend 30 minutes in Rushmore trying to find crests and killing masses of stuff and several bosses and then get a measly 200 ingredients.

It seems that getting stars has little to no effect on how many ingredients you get - some say they do but havent seen it yet and few can actually confirm it rather than rumor.

Makes running them even less cooperative when some people want stars and many do not - and stars = less ingredients because you are spending time doing other things than collecting crystals or whatever.

AMDarkwolf
01-11-2012, 06:53 PM
I wonder.. are these really discussions, or a random thread popped up just to appear 'as if we care'?

Ive gone over the other 2 and this one and I think I saw a dev comment ONCE out of like 15bashillion pages.

If its a discussion i think you should take part in it beyond the first 'tell me what u think' post.

If you show some interest in your own thread/question, you may get MUCH more responses and a lot more helpful constructive advice/input.

voodoogroves
01-11-2012, 06:59 PM
So, I kinda like them. However ...


They are rarely run. For things that are there 24x7 and essentially a good dozen different quests, they simply are not run. I've got a guildie who, because of the token/whatever mechanics, basically never runs them (he's premium). They are just too much hassle to coordinate. I think the premium and free mechanics are a herring and really don't contribute meaningfully. I don't bother with the VIP tokens and I trash most oft he things I get from kills simply because the inventory space is more important than the noise.

Rewards are nice, the turn-ins for other things are nice as well (tokens, fragments, potions, etc.) This appeals to me as it means I can always be working towards some real goal. The ingredient turn in is handy, but honestly ... too many freaking different ingredients. There's what ... 12 challenges (basically) and about as many ingredients, etc. Ingredient overload.

Couple these two and the challenges essentially require a spare inventory slot in and of themselves.

oradafu
01-11-2012, 07:03 PM
First, I'll comment on the current Challenges, then I'm move on to what I hope to see in future Challenges.

With the current Challenges, the main problem is the repetitiveness of the Challenges. The Vault was just 3 Challenges on 4 different maps another nothing more. The gimmick of different objectives or mobs was just too thin. Vault should have been released as 3 Challenges on 3 Maps with I'd say no more than 2 variations for each Challenge. Also, I'm not sure why the Epic Challenges were separated from the regular Challenges except for maybe coding for the Epic ingredient. So what we got was the same thing repeated several times cluttering the map.

Cluttering the map is a minor issue, but if you do it in a group, you get alot of "which one is it?", "oops, I stepped into the wrong one", etc type situations.

Finally, for the cost of the pack, there was not enough items in the pack. The pack cost the same as the Necro4 bundle, yet the items offered were lacking. There was no healer item and only one docent. Additionally, not all melee style weapons were offered, such as the lack of quarterstaff for acrobats. This pack would have been an ideal place to place a new dwarven axe and other overlooked weapons.

There's other things, but the above seem to be my biggest complaints about Vault.

===

What I expect in the future...

First, let's look at some currently in game quests that can have Challenge type variations. As much as several people hate these quests, a Challenge that is similar to Kobold Assault, Devil Assault and Sinister Storage. This would seem like a no brainer to me since the concept is simple: wave after wave of mobs and each mob increasing their CR until the player is dead. Let's see how long a player/group can last in such a condition with no time limit and no shrines.

Another no brainer would be a Challenge similar to Stealthy Repossession. Objectives could be to not be noticed, not to kill certain mobs, killing fewer than a certain number of mobs.

I like the suggestion that someone pitched about a Challenge based on Blown to Bits.

Puzzle based challenges would be a nice change up also. Perhaps you fight a mob to get to a locked room where you need to solve a puzzle to advance. Rinse and repeat. This could be a good way for people to get familiar with puzzles already in the game. How many types have you had someone say "I'm not good at puzzles" in the Shroud. Well, now you have a place where you can practice/teach without needing a raid group.

I'll probably post later with more ideas.

Kushiel
01-11-2012, 07:04 PM
...and have not stepped foot back in one since; and am very unlikely to up until (if) I absolutely have to do them for enough favor when the time arrives for me to do my Artificer lives.

1) I hate timed missions in general, but especially where timing is extremely tight.

2) The dungeon had some sort of specialized semi-corporeal critter in it (or something like that) that made them as annoying to fight as scorpians, wraiths, umbrals, and ogre magi... not always 'there' when I loosed an arrow, or gone after I'd already cast and 'wasted' sp. And as usual they all moved so much faster than me, had better AC/HP, and never failed a casting attempt, nor had "bad facing" nor ran out of SP.

3) Yet another new recipe-driven mechanic to collect and inventory (if I'd enjoyed it enough to keep trying).

Ganolyn
01-11-2012, 07:08 PM
I wonder.. are these really discussions, or a random thread popped up just to appear 'as if we care'?

Ive gone over the other 2 and this one and I think I saw a dev comment ONCE out of like 15bashillion pages.

If its a discussion i think you should take part in it beyond the first 'tell me what u think' post.

If you show some interest in your own thread/question, you may get MUCH more responses and a lot more helpful constructive advice/input.


They have been quite active in the Enhancements thread. More so than in any other, so I hope that activity continues.

sirgog
01-11-2012, 07:11 PM
Some of the runs are very good for ingredients for a short amount of time.

Other ones - you collect the same amount, or more crystals - or spend 30 minutes in Rushmore trying to find crests and killing masses of stuff and several bosses and then get a measly 200 ingredients.

It seems that getting stars has little to no effect on how many ingredients you get - some say they do but havent seen it yet and few can actually confirm it rather than rumor.

Makes running them even less cooperative when some people want stars and many do not - and stars = less ingredients because you are spending time doing other things than collecting crystals or whatever.

The ingredients are calculated like this:

First you have a base score - e.g. the number of crystals in Lava Caves. Say you've acquired 190 crystals.
Then this is modified by the difference between the highest player level and the difficulty setting. e.g. if you are doing 21 Time is Money with level 20s, you are 1 level under quest level, which is +10%. 190 + 10% = 209. This is the score that shows up on your screen at the top.
Then, each challenge has a multiplier. Rushmore seems to be 12% of your score. Lava Caves seems to be 61%. Kobold Island might be 13% or so. You then get this number of ingredients (61% of 209 is ~130).

Note that stars have nothing to do with it, and some of the star objectives seriously sabotage your score (e.g. 'Send Kobolds through teleporters 200 times'.




How different is that from any of the (fill in the blank) Assaults? except you get tokens along the way?

The focus of Rushmore runs is optimizing speed killing of trash mobs. Killing Phantasmal Hounds in 8 seconds rather than 10 makes a big difference in a 23-25 run, whereas killing Smiling Sam in 90 seconds rather than 110 makes a much smaller difference to your performance overall.

I'd rather a future challenge where boss combat is the focus instead of trash combat. Classes are *moderately* balanced in anti-boss performance, but no class without Energy Drain can match the performance of Energy Drain classes against 8k+ HP trash.

BananaHat
01-11-2012, 07:12 PM
My two cp:

The challenges are nice in that there is a sense of progression once you figure out how they work enough to get a completion. "Huzzah! Assuming I don't screw up, I can farm this item in about 9 hours!" sort of progression. Soloing/Duoing (which is what I've mostly run them on) seems fairly workable, but larger parties have yielded even higher ingredients/time when people actually contribute to the challenge, which is a good thing as it encourages grouping.

I will say that I completely and utterly hate the Rushmore mansion. Why? The stupid crest doors. Example: First crest door, need 1 monkey. What do me and my wife get before the monkey finally shows up after 5 minutes? About 5 of every single other crest after breaking everything in the area and killing lots of guys (we ran out of time trying to find more monkeys for other doors too). Being held up in a certain area by something so unlucky makes the entire quest entirely too luck based. I do not feel like I am making progress in the quest so much as just getting really lucky and getting the crests I need. Am I worried about the boss difficulty? I wish, I can hardly ever get far enough into the mansion to find them. Even when I did complete, the returns were very poor for the time spent in the mansion. I am probably missing something major about the quest though.

At this point however, I have decided not to run all Rushmore mansion challenges, I would much rather farm another one of the challenges twice as much than run that horrible challenge.

Here is my suggestion:
"To further thwart you, Rushmore has smashed up most of the crests that control his security doors. You may be able to assembly the fragments into a workable piece however and there may even be crests he missed hidden about the mansion."

Have the picture illusion guards drop 1d3 crest fragments and allow 10 fragments to be used as a skeleton key for any crest. The whole crests would be a bonus and allow you to progress faster. This change would alleviate the "I just spent the last 7 minutes of this quest trying to get the one crest I need to progress and now I'm out of time" issue.

k1ngp1n
01-11-2012, 07:15 PM
For me its an entirely psychological element: there is no feeling of progress, only a timer. For this reason I eschew Kobold Assault and other quests of its like (eDA included - its boring to me).

moops
01-11-2012, 07:16 PM
I have to admit, that I didn't want to do these because I don't like this kind of gameplay

BUT

I started to jump in with my guildies, and I find many of them quite fun to play. The story line could be a bit stronger tho.

bhgiant
01-11-2012, 07:18 PM
Oh boy, here comes thirty pages of complaining about Air Elementals! :D
+1 for the forum reference :)

slimkj
01-11-2012, 07:22 PM
For those who do not enjoy this type of gameplay, can you elaborate on why?

For those of you who do enjoy playing them, what aspects do you enjoy?
I don't see why you have made the distinction around gameplay so many times - every element of the game involves gameplay. Or do you mean "the combat system" or "quest design" or both? Or something else?

Generally speaking, I've said before one of things I don't really enjoy about them but here it is again with some other bits.

Defined goals with small incremental steps. I prefer the random chance as at least there's a chance of an early pull and beating the odds. Here there is no chance, only (usually too) small steps. For the longer challenges that can put potential time to acquire an item into a "not worth the sustained effort" category for me. Hence I've not run them much at all. I'm a gambler I guess.
Map size / back & forth design - some of them feel like blatant running timesinks.
Inflated HP of boss mobs - same supposed difficulty-increasing design I dislike wherever it features in game. It feels littered in a concentrated area in these though, perhaps because they are a smaller set of a subtype of gameplay. Slower =/= more challenging
Cove fatigue - some of them are just simply too much like Cove which, due to Point 1, I tired of very quickly. At least with cove you got something worth spending if you didn't complete or failed an objective though.
I think the concept of short burst activity over longer questing and being more solo-friendly is what I was expecting and found some of them longer than I can run most quests, for poor xp/min and loot that is too far in the distance to be enough carrot (see above)
Some positives;


Short challenges are ideal whilst waiting for friends or if you have little time and can be soloed.
Rushmore's Mansion is nicely designed, apart from the size, and the wonderfully silly buffs can make it more variable (and hence more tolerable in repetition)
That second list is shorter than I'd hoped, I like to try and be balanced most times. Sorry I really can't think of other positives now, but I'm sure there must be some. It's been some time since I ran them and of course negatives tend to stick with us better.

In short, they tick too many of the staple MMO tricks boxes to be of interest to me even short-term. If I were not VIP I would not buy the pack, even if it were half the price. I tried them briefly because they were there.

Not sure that's what you were after given the heavy hints at gameplay oriented feedback but as I don't really understand that frame of reference, it's what I've got. :)

MaxwellEdison
01-11-2012, 07:24 PM
I've only recently started running them at all (tried 4 different ones each with no more than 5 runs so far) so can't form a solid opinion. My main toon is my monk so my preferred type of quest is one which allows me to run directly at a group of enemies and wail away at my keyboard like a bad actor pretending to type until I'm surrounded by a pile of corpses and candy. Some of the challenges appear to fit this mold and make me glad. Others do not.

Some friends and I are going to try out leveling new vet-status toons exclusively through challenges so I'm sure I'll have more varied complaints in the future. I will say my time in Cove made me focus extensively on a self sufficient character though as anyone who is not is no more than a soul stone in waiting who makes the challenge harder.

fuzzy1guy
01-11-2012, 07:24 PM
Redacted

Sgt_Hart
01-11-2012, 07:26 PM
Take Extraplanar mining + Lava caves. Same Dog, Different ends of it.

How about...

1.) Get kobold to point X. Give 'em 8 torches by the start, but make the party run a kobold to a point in the dungeon to win. This shift's the priority and mechanic a bit I'd say.

2.) How about a mansion-like challenge with the objective to sneak past / avoid the spawns?

3.) How about a challenge to (Literally) herd kobolds to a collection point. Simple to code: GetNearestPlayerCharacter, Face 180, Move 10 feet. On a heartbeat, or however you guy's do reoccurring AI events.

4.) Next weird Idea: Kobold Assault redux. OK, not KA, or weapon shipment, but a similar wave-based Hold Point X. To ratchet up the diff, make it "Keep X alive"

5.) Prey on the hunter, Redux: A race in Randomly generated maze, Hell make each party member "ring the bell" to end it. Start with 2K points, and drop one per second until its 1st rung. Each ring = 1 more second until next tick. When all have rung: Victory. Admittedly, this'll mostly be loved by solo'ers.

6.) Haywire Redux: a "grab the money and run" quest. Hell make a "steal the dragons horde" And give the party a literal horde to fill their inventory with loot. Do it in a box, let 'em pull **** until they have no inventory slot left, and give 'em 15 items more than that. The challenge? 2 minutes later the dragons home, and chasing. Make it nasty enough so that its run-or-die and award points on how much (Platinum value)loot the party manages to get to the scoring point. Give player's the option to turn in treasure for double (its otherwise) score value. Fluff text: House Cannith wants to spite the dragon.

7.) I'll see what more I can dream up, but I (And I suspect a good many others) were thrilled to hear about challenges, and a bit less impressed with the... variety or different tasks.

Still, let's be honest, you guy's have most of these mechanic's already.

Spoonwelder
01-11-2012, 07:33 PM
I have only run Picture Portals - twice - two wipes.....so discount my notes based upon that.

First - there are never any LFMs up and since I don't know the quests I don't want to lead one and the two times I did the leader was just ok but didn't give very good instructions so we failed. So bad taste for the challenges so far....

Second - the loot just didn't really get me going - looked on the Wiki and saw undead and dragon stuff....not high utility in my mind vs. the level of grind required. That is what I simplified it to on a glance - so I haven't seen a real need to run the quests....but if someone says hey this one item is best in slot for X build(s) then I will look again.

Third - which builds from the first - I got these tokens - and wanted to use them to help in the quest but it was absolutely unclear to me as to how to use them (and the leader was no help either) - frustration set in at that point because trying to figure something out that seems like it should be simple by yourself in a timed quest != fun.

Fourth - grind - I don't like grind ie. doing the same quest 100 times to get something....heck I haven't even finished 4 loops of Litany to flag for Abbot on a single character....getting a sigil frame filled only happened by accident on a TR that ran each quest 3-4 times for XP. As you can see 3-4 times through something is about my limit. That said I have no idea how much grind is involved to get good challenge loot - but it smells like grind, looks like grind....maybe even tastes like grind.

That is all.

nibel
01-11-2012, 07:33 PM
There's plenty of reason to keep running some - flawlessly executed 8-minute runs of 21 Extraplanar Mining: Buying Time or five-minute 25 Lava Caves: Time is Money are the best Epic Dungeon Token per minute ratio in DDO, excluding stealthed epic Claw.

Ah, right. Epic tokens. I tend to ignore any epic on DDO because of my alt-holism. Good point.

Vengeance777
01-11-2012, 07:39 PM
Heres what I hate about them.

- Price. I would not have bought this pack had the pack not been on sale and had I not won 500 tp from the forum. The pack cost me about under 600tp after the contest win and sale which is what it should have been priced at to begin with. Its only a few maps with shifting objectives not really the 20+ quests it claims. Its not worth the listed price, not even the nice items justify the price.

- Hate the timers. I don't like racing against a timer or being locked into having to set aside a certain amount of time to complete something. You could make the timer count up instead of down with no fail based on the timer. That way people get props for fast times and your not punishing those that have to take a break during the quest.

- The random crest drops are horrible in the one quest. Some runs you just don't get the crests you need to drop. Either hide every crest needed along the route or just make them all a generic crest. Killing everything you see, breaking every breakable, and finding every crest on the path only to come up 1 scorpion crest short of opening a door after 20 mins in the quest is not fun!

- The whole pack seams to have been designed strictly to sell store stuff. Buy more time. Buy requisition forms and challenge tokens, use tokens in a machine to get crests and items to complete an objective, items that should have be given along the way. I feel like I'm being charged again to play content I've already bought.

- Babysitting. I hate escort quests which most of the Vault it. Its not fun when your defending bad AI. The Kobolds are funny to listen too but are a pain to babysit and it is really not fun when they space out and don't move.


- And Finally, there's no one to play them with. Hardly anyone in my guild has bought the pack and I never see any lfms for it on Orien. No one wants to pay that much for them. Forming a group for them is nearly impossible. Soloing them is monotonous.

Vormaerin
01-11-2012, 07:45 PM
I'm not fond of the kobold herding. I didn't do it on the Cove and I don't do it on the challenges. Basically, I'm not fond of escort type quests in general, where manipulating the AI properly is the key factor in success.

On the other hand, I like the Mansion and Kobold Island quests quite a lot. Enough that I'll run them twice as often and just convert my loot into the stuff I need from the mining quests. I like the time pressure, the clear goals, and the ability to decide how to finish the quest (ie take the easy victory of guarding 2 small collectors solo or go for broke trying to get the big ones running and maybe failing, etc).

The scaling does seem crazy in the mansion, but I haven't done rigorous tests to prove it. It just seems to get harder the more players.

Probably need more renewable rewards that are actually useful if folk are to run the quest after grabbing the couple big ticket items they value.

geoffhanna
01-11-2012, 07:48 PM
The challenges are fun, but even so I have not yet attempted all of them.

The problem for me is that the rewards for the challenge are just more items, featuring yet another crafting/barter system. We have so many ways to get items now that the new ones just kind of get lost in the noise. Not one item from the challenge reward list jumped out at me as something I had to have even if it meant grinding a challenge for two weeks - which, really, it would.

I am not saying the reward items should be better. I am suggesting that the rewards need to be something different, maybe something that is not an item at all. And preferably something I can't get any other way.

Then I'd be able to get a challenge group together for more than a lvl12 House C favor run.

Thanks!

Rizzia
01-11-2012, 07:50 PM
I find all the challenges, with the exception of kobold islands, soloable (after practice) on a melee (Self healing monk), and all very doable in a group, tho some optionals are questionable to say the least. The lack of a shrine in the extra planar is curious, I think their should maybe be 1, that is in the same room as the dragon (and only appears on its death).

Mob AI, and getting their aggro away from kobolds/extractors is frustrating, (red named giant (how many hit points?) that appears at the quota in lava caves seems to be the worst, tho the lich in extra planar is a close 2nd), if they can see a kobold they will ignore any player no matter what.

Some of the kobolds still seem to go on a wander at times, I mean, Ive witnessed some go hiking through the dungeon trying to get home, rather than use the teleporter that was 2 torches back, Or the ones that just get flat out stuck at the bottom of the arena ramp (lava caves) ddoor seems to be the only cure, not good if your on a melee.

The power ups in-quest that require tokens dont last long enough, your almost garunteed to get quad damage and see no mobs for 61 seconds...For anyone who doesnt own the pack they are trading 1 run for a 1min buff?, at least make it worth it, make it 3mins (thinking extended haste) or more^^, It also gives people who own it/VIPs a lil perk.

I rather enjoy the challenges, yeah they tend to become a grind after a while, but infinatley less than other epics, and at least if you complete your garunteed something at the end of it. Half of me wishes other epics were dealt with in a similar manner, rather than pure luck. Takes a group anywhere from 6-12+ runs to complete a tier 1 item (sometimes less), yet any other epic item out there could take 2 years...or more if ever.

The xp and renown elixirs was a nice addition, tho I wish the bulk of the crafted items were more generalised, ie: I can insert a blank <insert weapon> and make it into either : mournlode, calomel, elemental. (My arti would love a heavy repeater of earth for example)

bhgiant
01-11-2012, 07:51 PM
Price. The price really cannot be described as anything but laughable. 1500TP.... really?? Sure there's some good loot, but for a casual between-the-quests type of mechanic, this is a lot. Also, the Challenge Tokens. I get 5 every day and I don't even get to run all of those. Why would I buy the pack when I basically have it already for free?

Scaling and class balance. It's really odd that I can solo something just fine but when a guildy joins me, we wipe. I also find it odd that I can solo some just fine on my melee, and then others are near impossible unless I'm playing my Sorc (anything with my Sorc is easy though...). Cannith Crystals is an absolute joke without a caster. DDoor makes that challenge doable. I tried dozens of times on my melee to, making refinements along the way and each time I got better but without success. The same with Rushmoor's Mansion. Impossible on my melee but with my caster I can do it just fine.

Rewards. They are out of proportion. Running mansion is HORRIBLE. I spend 45 minutes running around this square mile mansion for 200 ingredients? I get 3x that many running Colossal Crystals with my sorc in 20 minutes! I know the ingredient reward rates have been adjusted in the past, but this needs to be revisited.

As a final note, I find the challenges frustrating. I don't know exactly why, but they just are. I run them for the ingredients because I want the lootz! but without it, there would be no way I would do them.

sweez
01-11-2012, 07:51 PM
First off, I love the cove. It's a fun break from questing and there's some great loot to be had. That said, it's not why I play the game. I like running the quests. That's why I'm here. I really don't mind that the challenges exist (excepting that I do find it a bit irritating that so much development time and resources were spent on them when there are longstanding bugs and issues with the core game).

My opinion exactly. Challenges feel like DDO for people that want to take a break from DDO. I'm weird that way, when I want to take a break from DDO, I just shut it down. I understand how it may make sense financially (although, the price is way too steep), but I'd much rather if resources were spent on making 'standard' DDO content. Challenges feel more like something seasonal.

Kinerd
01-11-2012, 07:54 PM
To expound a little here on what I said in the other thread, we've seen two different stated design intents for challenges. In the first they are akin to a 40 yard dash: pretty much anyone can run 40 yards, the "challenge" is in getting the very best time. In the second they are akin to an ultramarathon: the "challenge" is in finishing at all, and requires serious preparation and effort. Is there an overall design intent for challenges? If so, which is it?

There are also nagging questions that to my knowledge have never been addressed.
-Are you aware that guild renown doesn't drop in challenge chests?
-Are you aware that some star objectives are mathematically impossible to obtain?
-Are you aware that certain challenges have a dramatically worse ingredient/time rate than others?
And as follow-ups to each: is this intended? If so, why?

Kinerd
01-11-2012, 07:55 PM
Then, each challenge has a multiplier. Rushmore seems to be 12% of your score. Lava Caves seems to be 61%. Kobold Island might be 13% or so. You then get this number of ingredients (61% of 209 is ~130). The last time I measured they were 11% for Rushmore, 75% for Lava Caves, 14% for Kobold Island, and 65% for Extraplanar, in all cases truncating. It is a little odd they truncate because the level penalty/bonus rounds, but they do. This was at least a month ago, so it's conceivable the rate for Lava Caves came down.

paraplegic
01-11-2012, 08:02 PM
1) IMO the price is huge minus
it would be ok to pay that TP for it, if it offers more challenges. then ill be happy.

for example what if turbine tone down the price ?
or add other challenges.


here are some examples of other challenges
DPS the boss---
kill harry in 5 mins, with a DPS meter included ( you guys can +1 me later)

Last man standing
included stances for only mele/divine/arcane

player skill test [/LIST]


2) tbh i got bored after few runs. my melee, feels like a bag.. he cant solo well

3) i dont like that much the rewards..

4) i do like the bta

5) love ya all thats all i got

wax_on_wax_off
01-11-2012, 08:05 PM
I'm just starting to get into the challenges. So far I've found them pretty fun but it's difficult to pick up what to do and the best way to do it in a group when you don't even have time to read the "what to do" part.

Perhaps have a tutorial for the first time you're in the challenge that you can turn off if you like?

Challenges seem fun so far, I've managed to collect tokens on one character that I want to unlock Artificer on, I'm really happy that I can access the challenges and the class as a freemium player (potentially, still 43 favour to go but no epic challenges done yet bar 1).

The amount of space that tokens take up is probably my biggest complaint so far, I think there is a token bag but if it costs TP then it isn't for me, maybe make it possible to get bags some other way? Planar Shards turn in perhaps?

It's really difficult to find the token that I want for a particular one in my bank. Will it be possible soon to view the bank in a list with titles rather than waiting for tooltips to appear above tokens (which sometimes doesn't even work due to bugginess).

Access to House C is a limiting factor. I want to get ship buffs but it is such a pain to get to the ship. I want to run consequetive challenges but inventory is quickly overflowing with chests which often give +2 arrows, resist fire pots and other junk (even on level 20).

le_goat
01-11-2012, 08:06 PM
I've only run three of the challenges so far so my opinion may be watered down:

1. Rushmore: you either need to drop more crests, require less crests or scale the mansion down by 1/3rd

2.the one that you kill the kobolds for parts-personally i think the mobs respawn too quickly .

3.lava caves- multi-floor maps and kobolds do not mix.

GoRinNoSho
01-11-2012, 08:08 PM
They definitely favor the zerg style play until you work out a system.

Things I'd like to see based on existing challenges:

Rushmore : A shortcut exit. When I've collected all 5 stars and have 20 or so minutes to burn, at least provide an auto finish if I return to the starting gate.

Kolbold Island : Scaling on mob zerging makes these quests more profitable at min level as at higher levels, reasonably geared characters fair worse than a comparable min level char. Plus must have a full set of characters to really complete due to the need of being in 6 places at once.

Extraplanar/Lava Caves : Smatter rest shrines periodically. Something I thin Lava caves does better than extraplanar minds.

dTarkanan
01-11-2012, 08:13 PM
I actually really like the challenges and the loot they offer which is incredibly powerful, but I find the lack of players or LFMs for it frustrating. Whenever one goes up, it's rarely the one you want, which is why even if you create it it takes forever to fill. The current endgame environment means that casters, like the cove, are far superior to all others for almost every run.

I have several suggestions which should drastically improve convenience of the challenges without an unbalancing effect, I think.

Earned powerups as opposed to DDO store are handy but having them be
any or all of
a) BTA
b) more universally applicable (i.e. a general requisition form for anyone thing, a kobold powerup gem that could select from any one of the temporary powerup options)
c) for the love of god, please let them stack.

Would make a big difference in whether I would actually carry them around in my inventory or not- it's awful to have 3 or 4 kobold disguise gems taking up a slot each.

SImilarly, please let tokens, universal or otherwise, fit into collectable or ingredient bags. I have 12 slots of my inventory occupied on all of my toons right now.

Something I think would be really simple and helpful would be if the token NPC described the challenge of the day and let you choose whether to accept the tokens on that character or not, so the first-time bonus tokens could be distributed to the desired toons without needing to log onto different servers or different accounts.


I think perhaps having a 'daily featured challenge' matching the free daily token challenge, where you get bonus time and/or xp ingredients and/or points and/or ingredients would help funnel the portion of the population interested in the challenge towards one challenge at a time, which would hopefully help build up both some of the time pressure and the critical mass that made cove a popular 'pick up and play' option.


Both disruptor and extraction challenges are nigh impossible to six star within the given time period without heavy, which is very frustrating. We ran into a 6 turret limit last time we tried disruptor, so it seems it requires requisitions forms, and while I understand that you'd like to drive ddo store traffic, having goals that either spending points or require extraordinary amount of luck- people to earn and hold onto turret requisitions until they can gather 4 on the specific character classes needed for the run, which of course limits what classes can earn the favor in the first place.

Dopey_Power
01-11-2012, 08:26 PM
I had an idea. I don't know if it would end up being awesome or not, but I figure I can lay it out and see what happens. What if challenges were tailored to each class?

Normally in quests, a casual group will want a balanced party. Caster, Dps, specialist. Little serving of each. I thought to myself "Since challenges are trying to break the mold on quests, why not go a little further?" Suppose we had a set of twelve challenges, each tailored to a specific class. Only that class was allowed entry. (In the case of multiclasses, whichever class happens to be your party icon) I figured this would give more opportunity for different builds in the same class to gain the spotlight.

For example:

Barbarian Challenge
Mobs spawn from portals. Defend the important thingy.
Some portals spawn mobs with craploads of hp, and lots of them. They favour surround tactics. However, when they die, everyone within x number of metres gain the effect of a heal spell (think the mindbubbles popping in In the Flesh) Perfect for all DPS Frenzied Berserkers. They can go ahead and hurt themselves as much as they want, as the more DPS they have, the more healing they get (the surround tactics being for the cleave line). As time goes on, the mobs get more and more hp (or do more damage, or something) so that the frenzied berserkers, if their DPS wasn't high enough, would start to lose hp. (With the massive amounts of hp a barbarian has, this could be a steady decline like +150hp/xseconds but -165hp/x seconds)

To make things more interesting, casters spawn to ruin the FB's day! Bring on the Occult Slayers!

And so on and so forth.


For sorcerers, you could have a part where while some nuke, you would need another to earthgrab something that moves fast to temporarily stop it, so an air sorc could abundant step to it to get across a chasm.

Or something.

What do you guys think? Would it make challenges more interesting?

LeLoric
01-11-2012, 08:29 PM
The last time I measured they were 11% for Rushmore, 75% for Lava Caves, 14% for Kobold Island, and 65% for Extraplanar, in all cases truncating. It is a little odd they truncate because the level penalty/bonus rounds, but they do. This was at least a month ago, so it's conceivable the rate for Lava Caves came down.

A couple of the epic ones pay out at 100% Buying time and colossal crystals. Buying time is so fast 8 min for ~300 that it is much easier/faster to get the wings from here and trade them for goblets than it is to run rushmore.

Sad because I find rushmore to be extremely fun but to get a high enough score to really start to get a good return for items per run you have to spend a pretty large amount of time. I generally run the smiling sam/the succubus/ and the spider at lev 23 for loots too and it basically becomes a 20+ min run for 250-300 goblets. I can get 900 wings in this time (450 goblets.)

I'd really love to see some balancing out here and make the 20+ minute runs as profitable on a per time basis as the 5-10 minute runs.

I grow pretty sick of torch runs but others are too long in their runs (rushmores) or not long enough to accomplish star objectives (kobold island). Neither of these approach a per time item bonus to really make it worthwhile to run them over a torch relay run and swapping ingredients.

Vazok1
01-11-2012, 08:30 PM
call me old fashioned but I prefer the 'will I get it, will I not' approach of % based drop rates on completed items rather than knowing I MUST do 10 runs of this to get the item. I know its odd but I am more likely to run it 50 times if I have a chance to get the item EVERY run, even the first. I like the mystery rather than the, 'I am going to run this xx times and I will do it here, here and here then I wont run it again as there is nothing left from it for me'.

and the price was too high, considering what it is, I would expect to pay 1500 for a 4 quest, 1 raid, 1 explorer area pack not for challenges.

CheeseMilk
01-11-2012, 08:33 PM
I have yet to try any challenges; the cost is prohibitive.

I am collecting the daily tokens, when I remember to do so, so I'm sure I'll spend an upcoming weekend doing them, but that's about all the interest they hold for me.

KillEveryone
01-11-2012, 08:38 PM
I don't have the pack yet. I feel it is a bit too pricy.

I do like how you give out free daily tokens to run these. I think that number is fair, especially since they are free.

I did check out one of the quests. There is just soooo much to do that I think I'm going to put off these quests a bit to get other gear on the character I want stuff.

The quest I did check out, was like Crystal Cove. I did like that event but I would have liked that as a event that came around like the Jester. I kind of wonder why you didn't include Crystal Cove in the pack anyway, you might as well.

It is something different to play. While I do like what I ran, I don't want to run this type of stuff all the time.

Rinnaldo
01-11-2012, 08:47 PM
I love the challenges, but I agree there's a lot of room for improvement.

I read many good suggestions so far, but here are some of my own:



I have about 46 favor from getting stars in challenges with my level 20. I set the goal for myself to try and get the first 50 favor from them - as I do not own the other Cannith content - and I feel like 1 favor per star is too low. If it were even just 2 favor per star, gaining them would feel much more worthwhile. Alternately, if you could select or have a randomized list of new star objectives for some challenges, that would increase replayability, in my opinion. (Example: Let's say I've gotten all 5 stars on Rushmore's Mansion: Picture Portals, next time I enter, I get the option of selecting newly unlocked star objectives, which could be harder or simply different than the previous 4 optionals - main goal will remain the same. Maybe these new stars are worth 2 favor each.)
Inventory space is a major hassle in some challenges. Because you need to have a clear space for teleporters, cannon construction kits, torches, 8+ different kinds of crests - and also largely because your inventory is constantly taking on more and more supply chests that don't stack - having 1 or 2 blank spaces free is almost a non-starter. In Rushmore, I try to have at least 8 spaces free, and that just sucks to clear out. It might be nice if there were some sort of "challenge space" for challenge-only items like torches, or else some kinds of challenge bags, although having yet another kind of bag would make me die a little inside, I think. Anyway, lack of inventory space. Major hassle. Point made, I hope.
The ingredients and equipment you can buy with them are a great carrot. Even if I've done a challenge many times and don't "need" the ingredients from it (right now), I still am quite willing to run it with a group for others who might need it not only because I like the challenges, but also because you can readily convert them and trade them between characters on your account. Nice job with these! For those who don't see any reason to gain ingredients after you have what you want, aside from epic tokens, there are XP potions. (Lower % than others and shorter duration, I know, but still pretty cool.)

More variety amongst the challenges would be great! I mean both within the same map and between challenges. Or, wildly different goals on the same map for different levels could be very fun. (Example: What if, on one version of lava caves or extra-planar mining, the PCs were trying to STOP the kobolds (who had all the super-speed and stoneskin buffs, etc. That would be a neat twist on the same dungeon. Especially if the NPCs like the rakshasa, etc. were still trying to kill you or accomplish some other goal themselves. Maybe you'd get optionals for fewer crystals collected, and ultimately try to kill off all the teleporting, stealthy, super-speeded, displaced kobolds. Or even just screwing up their torch lines and sending them off a cliff or into the dragon's lair.)
Might be fun to have a couple even shorter ones - 5 minute timers with no need/ability to extend time.

In general, I like the way the timers work in all challenges now. However, I'd like it if the random extended-time buffs I've seen only rarely were more common in some challenges (I've only seen it in Rushmore, whereas, it might be nice to have this on Kobold Island.). Furthermore, other ways to extend time by one or two minutes here and there would be fun. (Example: New, rare, yellow crystals for kobolds to gather that did nothing for crystal count, but added between 15 seconds and 1 minute to the timer - depending on whether they were just kinda rare, or really, really rare. Heck, you could even have evil, time-draining crystals that might entice naive kobolds that you'd have to avoid. That'd be pretty darn evil, though.)

Just a note on difficulty: With my (admittedly, non-optimized) level 20, I can solo Epic Extra-planar Mining: Buying Time at level 21, even though I die a lot, and usually end up dead or continually re-using the center resurrection shrine by the end. And I can usually do this while getting about 3 stars. Conversely, I can't do Kobold Chaos anywhere near level, solo. With a hireling and his high-level summons for guard duty, I can eek out a completion (1 or 2 stars, rarely 3) at ~6 levels lower (if I'm lucky). Certainly at 10 levels lower. Either way, the scores you get when you're that far below level are abysmal and the ingredient rewards are almost non-existent. It was fun to try these (Kobold Island challenges) solo at first, but it is not fun to play them solo now. Similarly oddly, I have found it much easier to solo Colossal Crystals with a level 12 character than to do it with a group at that level, or any higher level group, either. This might be due to scaling of the NPCs when more PCs are in the party. It seems a little over-balanced, I guess. I'm not saying they were in any way designed to be done solo, but the soloing difficulty difference between challenges that I point out may be interesting for some to think about.

Two-way teleporters are fun. More challenges involving them would be fun.
The price of the pack was too high. I only bought it after it went on sale for 30% off, and still thought that that was a little too high. Future add-ons to challenges should be priced lower. 100-150 TP per kind of challenge would make sense to me. So, for example, if you come out with 2 new kinds of challenges (with 3 variations on each, and 2 epics for each), 200-300 TP for that add-on would be reasonable. 1200 would not. See what I'm getting at?
I thought of this during Crystal Cove, but here goes: Please start selling taskmaster whips in the DDO store that are only usable in challenges. Different colored whip could do different things, but the main idea is that you target a kobold and activate the whip, and all it does is MAKE the KOBOLD TURN AROUND (180 degrees). These could be one-shot items or multi-use. A pink one could maybe make the kobolds jump a certain height. A blue one might tell the kobold to skip the next torch and continue on in the same direction they're facing for a few seconds. Endless possibilities here.

In general, good, well-thought-out work on the challenges. Thanks for the ability to be a part of the discussion.

DANTEIL
01-11-2012, 08:48 PM
Okay so I have tried nearly all of the challenges on my Lvl 18 Warchanter. I have only done them solo, and have probably failed them more than I've succeeded. I have run Rushmore Mansion more than the others, with Kobold Chaos not far behind. The crystal collection ones leave me dumbfounded and frustrated, since I missed out on the whole Crystal Cove mania and torches just confuse me (a couple of times I have somehow gotten the needed number of crystals, but I'm more likely to get a star from stupid counterintuitive stuff like "Let the Foreman die"). Also, the maps in the torch quests are ridiculously unhelpful. Although I have collected some number of ingredients by now, I have not really even looked at the loot turn-ins and have been mostly focusing on just trying out different Challenges to see if I can do them. As a level 18 character I have mostly been trying the challenges in the level 15 (e.g., Behind the Door) to level 18 (Moving Targets) range. It has occurred to me, though, that I should perhaps try some of them on a ridiculously low level -- e.g., Behind the Door at Level 4 (maybe those air elementals won't be so frustrating), for favor if nothing else. Does that even work? I'd still fail to find the crests I need, though, I'm sure.

With all of that as background, my feelings about the Challenges are decidedly mixed. First of all, although I did buy the Vault pack, it was waaaay too expensive for what you got, and I would certainly not recommend buying it to anyone else -- at least not at that price.

Another negative is the confusing reward system. I can kind of see what the Devs were trying to go for, in that they created these Challenges such that you could either a) try to run them for favor or b) try to run them for ingredients, but not necessarily both (plus, there's c) run them for experience). The points themselves are not transparent -- for the longest time I had no idea what that little number next to the stars was supposed to represent or how it related to the seemingly paltry number of ingredients that I seemed to get most runs. That is, when I got any at all -- failing the primary objective means you get nothing and it was all a waste of time. Then, there is the endless variety of ingredients -- is all of that really necessary? And the daily tokens -- while a nice thought -- just end up accumulating in my inventory since I never seem to have the tokens for what I'm running.

Related to the tokens: speaking specifically about Rushmore, the powerups that appear with the token turn-ins or out of boxes/barrels seem incredibly pointless. Okay, so I can intimidate the next guy to jump out of a picture. or jump really high for the next minute even though I am nowhere near anyplace that would be useful. Or I'm invisible for a minute. Big whoop. The only one I get excited about is quad damage, and that's only because it allows me to kill the next two invisible guys a bit faster. I'd like to be able to pop a powerup when it is going to do some real good. (They are also oddly distributed. I get tons from breaking things in the early rooms but close to none anywhere late in the mansion, which is where I really need them, if I get that far).

Since I am pretty much exclusively soloing these days, the Challenges represent an easy thing for me to jump into and try. I like that, and I like that they are right there in House C and don't require traipsing across an explorer zone. However -- and I would really hope to see some Dev clarification on this -- it is still not clear to me what the gameplay intentions were, from the perspective of whether they are actually supposed to be solo-friendly or not. The torch-running ones -- and to some extent the kobold island ones -- seem decidedly *not* solo-friendly (or at least I haven't hit upon the strategy that would make them so). And, I think one's view of Rushmore as solo-friendly or not depends on how one defines a "completion." Getting one star and some ingredients is doable solo, certainly (depending on one's luck with crests). Getting multiple stars -- and especially objectives like killing all of the bosses (especially given that there are several with insta-spawning elementals -- really, you had to go to that well more than once?) or activating all the portraits -- seems highly solo-unfriendly. Of course, there are some players (and some classes) that have no problem doing this -- just like there are some players that can solo epic quests. I'm not one of those players, however, which means that the Challenges often leave me frustrated. I won't ever get Cannith favor, it feels like.

Finally, I strongly dislike the fact that ALL of the present Challenges involve time-limits. While having a timed challenge in some cases is perfectly fine, I certainly hope that in dreaming up future Challenges (and somehow, I think that we'll be seeing more of these) that the developers come up with alternative designs that do not involve time. I've been playing lots of LOTRO, and the nearest analogy is skirmishes -- which are repeatable but still challenging based on the difficulty of the enemies that you have to fight to win -- and best of all, they are all untimed (in the sense that there is not a timer to beat, as in DDO. The defensive skirmishes are still timed in that the incoming waves of enemies appear at set intervals). Something like that could be a nice alternative. You could even still premise ingredient rewards on speed of completion, but someone (like me) could still take forever and actually complete!

In sum, I *want* to like the Challenges, and although I've been trying them a lot recently, I have to say that I really don't like them much. Yet I keep banging my head against them, although I'm not sure why. They certainly feel different from the rest of DDO, and I'm not sure that is a good thing. I agree wholeheartedly with others who have stated that these should have come out as "add-ons" to standard quest packs rather than forming an entire quest pack all by themselves. So, bravo for thinking outside the box, but I'm hoping the feedback in this thread prompts some rethinking of what these are supposed to be.

My2Cents
01-11-2012, 08:50 PM
I've only run Rushmore, and except the obvious fact that my main melee can't defeat air elementals, I find my melee main again at a significant disadvantage to casters for the simple reason that my kills/minute is a lot slower.

I also find it hard to find groups and don't expect my L20 main to get any epic items.

I'm building a new caster primarily so I can be on an equal footing in the challenges (and elswhere.)

Otherwise I find Rushmore to be imaginative and visually pleasing and I do enjoy it from that perspective.

Oh and -please- make challenge tokens BTA!. Please?

Kambuk
01-11-2012, 09:24 PM
I would like to see the stars give a flat bonus in ingredients at the end.

Something like +50 per star after the 1st doubled if you 6 star it.
1 = Normal
2 = +50
3 = +100
4 = +150
5 = +200
6 = +500

Possibly with a 1st time bonus as well.

Or scaling to reward more stars

1 = Normal
2 = +25
3 = +75
4 = +150
5 = +300
6 = +500

Or a mutiplier

1 = Normal
2 = x1.25
3 = x1.5
4 = x1.75
5 = x2
6 = x3

At this point as far as replayability goes people are figuring out the best ingredient per min runs, currently this does not involve trying to max stars as well.

Trying to max the stars out should reduce some of the repetition, and balance a bit the ingredients earned per minute.

Kambuk

in4theride75
01-11-2012, 09:27 PM
Current issues with challenges:

1) You do not get 25 turbine points if you go over a 100 favor mark during challenges.

2) The Rushmore's palace challenges have a low item to time ratio compared to all other challenges.

3) Some of the star objectives in the kobold island are either impossible, (Disruptor comes to mind) or require DDO store items/lucky drop, to obtain. I'd give all those star objectives a second look.

4) Extraplanar mining not having a shrine at all. This one is not as big a deal, but putting a shrine in the dragon's room might be nice.

Auran82
01-11-2012, 09:27 PM
To be honest, the pricing on the pack was the last straw that made me take an extended break from the game.

I was getting a bit bored with things and was looking forward to trying out challenges as something different to do every now and then. Then it was released at 1500 points and I was like ***? I have enough points to buy it, but I refuse to out of principle, I'm not going to help justify Turbines ridiculous pricing on the pack.

The challenges themselves are widely varying in enjoyment and some people like one or two, others like different ones. The stupidly large number of ingredients doesn't help. If I look at an item and I need ingredients from a challenge I despise, I just wont worry about the item, the item exchange helped, but it's still painful.

Related to challenges as well, I really hope something can be done one day about the insane number of different ingredients we have to lug around, organse between characters and keep track of. It would be awesome if any BTA ingredients could go into an account accessible UI pane, so any character on the account could use them from there. Ingredient tetris is just not fun or interesting in any way at all.

I personally enjoy the rushmore mansion (when soloing or duoing), and the island quests weren't too bad while you could invis the extractors (haven't done them since the change), the cave crystal gathering wasn't too bad, was more like cove but the indoors crystal gathering is just downright frustrating at times when kobolds wander off on their own and get killed.

tldr - Pack costed too much, too many different ingredients, not fun being forced to run challenges you don't find fun, and the wacky scaling.

Tsuarok
01-11-2012, 09:45 PM
Crystal Cove was probably my favorite quest in the game. For me it was not too repetitive as the layout of the crystals changed every time. I know that for many that didn't provide enough variety, but for me it was fun.

But what I really liked about it was that you logged on and there were like 10+ groups running it and you could usually get into one. It was challenging enough that the group wouldn't always work out, but fast enough that you could just jump into another group without having "wasted" too much time if you failed. I think that that was what ya'll were trying to recreate. But the thing is, they're not run enough.

As I've said (http://forums.ddo.com/showthread.php?t=357415), I think that the best way to combat this is to give the option for the challenge parties to be cross-server, and auto-filling. With the combined interest of all the servers we could have that "something to do to fill short time-play gaps", as there would be no waiting.

lugoman
01-11-2012, 09:48 PM
I am not a fan of timed quests.

TheDearLeader
01-11-2012, 09:51 PM
Good :

New Loot! Yay!
Alternative to Epic Dungeon Token farming/grinding. Let's face it - yes, tokens are an amazing grind currently.
(Mostly) Clear, attainable objectives.


Bad :

Lag upon beginning an instance - for the first few seconds of especially Lava Caves - based - challenges, everyone in my parties is experiencing a period of lag. It basically means we lose the first ten seconds of any challenge.
Return rate varies *wildly* between quests. Some, I'm seeing 40 ingredients/minute, some only 10/minute. My group five-starred Picture Portals CR20, felt awesome about it... until we realizes that we'd gotten 450 Goblets for 45 minutes of work.
Conversion/Upgrades are different between Normal, and Epic, ingredients. What do I mean? Jade Scorpions can go 20:10 into Necromantic Charms. Epic Jade Scorpions go 20:10 into Epic Orthon Metal Scraps. Calomel Weapons require Magma - Orthon - Jade for Tier I Epic, but the upgrades require ...different epic ingredients, differing dependent upon the weapons. What? It was and still is confusing. It's a lack of uniformity that would make the system "flow" better.
New Loot, but entirely too many loot bugs. One bugged item out of the lot? Okay. But so far I've heard of:



Anthem not working on any version of the Blasting Chime (Still out there!)
Manslayer not working on Ring of the Stalker (Fixed, except for Handwraps/Unarmed..maybe ranged?)
Multiple items have Cannith (Potential) Crafting errors when trying to slot Epic Versions (Epic Crafting).
Missing Blue Slot/Superior Ice Lore on Frozen Tunic (Also fixed, but was nonetheless there)
Stringtable Errors abound for any item that was bugged, and subsequently fixed.
Some of these "fixes" seem to possibly introduce new bugs, including aforementioned crafting errors.


Kobold Health. The CR 20~21 dungeons have what, 600 HP or so? They die fast. Meanwhile, Rats in Rushmore and Scorpions in Lava Caves have maybe double this? You're not shy about giving NPC enemies massive HP - give it to the NPC friendlies as well.
Air Elementals - Yeah. It has to be said, again. Their current implementation is not "fun", it's not "challenging".
Five-Starring objectives in some quests is doable if you focus on Stars/Favor. Some, it's barely manageable. Others, literally impossible. Maybe some tweaking needed there?
AI of mobs in Kobold Island challenges - Why do they have such ridiculous Hate/Aggro on Extractors? I can see us being "punished" for leaving an Extractor unguarded. But I can do over 50% of an enemy's health in damage, and they'll still be damaging the extractor. That's... silly. Needless. Give them closer to "Normal" aggro.
AI of Giant Mobs in Lava Caves challenges - Similarly, the Giants, Esp. the Cloud Giant Red-Named Mob, seem to be un-aggro-able by players. Why can I go 80% of their Redbar in damage due to high-octane Arcane blasty goodness, and blow through my Blue Bar... and not be able to pull him away from the line? Even Intimidate doesn't seem to work on him.
Visibility - Multiple points on Visibility, Esp. in the Lava Caves, but really in all challenges:
Hidden Mobs - Each and Every Wolf. Each and Every Scorpion. Each and every Mephit. They can even attack, and sometimes go invisible a second Later. Majority of Lions. Why? Reduce/Remove all the "super sneak" mobs.
See Invisibility - Last I checked, you don't give this to every Drow Player Character in game. Why do I see this buff on each and every Drow in the Lava Caves? The Giants, as well. Actually..most mobs in the challenge quests have See Invisibility, if they are sentient. ...Why?
Drow Rogues in Lava Caves - They. Hit. Too. Hard. Rogues of all flavors should struggle against Heavy-Fort Mobs (Us, the PCs). These guys do more damage than I think any other melee mob in this Content Pack. No sneak attack, no critical hits - I'd hate to see what would happen if I *wasn't* wearing Heavy Fort. Either drop their Strength by about 20 points (seriously), or give my Rogue the Roids you've been passing out.
Challenge Favor bugging Turbine Points - If I'm at 1899 Favor, and I get 4 Challenge favor, therefore bringing me over the 1900 Favor Threshold - I don't get Turbine Points. It seems to bug it entirely. Fixity?


Maybe I'll add more. That's what I've got for now on both fronts.

barryman5000
01-11-2012, 09:54 PM
This topic should prove interesting. :)

As you all know, U12 saw the release of a new type of content - Challenges.

I would like to get your thoughts on these - preferably in a constructive manner. I’m specifically interested in gameplay feedback.

For those who do not enjoy this type of gameplay, can you elaborate on why?

For those of you who do enjoy playing them, what aspects do you enjoy?

General feedback is encouraged, but again, please limit feedback to gameplay and respect other’s opinions. I expect this to be a very polarizing subject.

Thanks in advance.

I enjoy the challenges very much. Unlike the lottery system of a lot of the game when it comes to getting loot, the challenges lets you get closer to your loot goal with every completion. If you do very well then you get alot of ingredients. If you do poorly than you can get a few or no ingredients.

They are also a nice change of pace from zerging through quests. I would like to see more like the mansion challenges though. The objective nature and open spacing of the map made it very fun. My favorite by far.

The challenges also offer varying difficulty which is great for when our group switches to our lower levels and want to run a bit to get xp and ingredients.

The biggest thing that made getting the challenges to not get ran by our group was the pricing. I understand that the pack is actually quite large when compared to some other recent packs but the price you asked for made my f2p friends not buy it. One of them has bought every single pack. For Christmas my wife and I bought him some points to get the pack. Otherwise we would not have played them so much.

A suggestion also: Can we please get a guest pass for the challenges? The tokens are great but 20 tp for 10 mins is the worst "guest pass" option of any pack.

Meat-Head
01-11-2012, 09:56 PM
I've only tried the kobold one. Didn't really like it.

But, I liked Cove pretty well. I assume I'll get around to these challenges also for the gear. I like the idea of tokens being farmable there.

I dunno why, but they don't excite me much. But, the loots cool.

gloopygloop
01-11-2012, 09:57 PM
Every single epic scorpion, rat, and lion has deathblock. Arbitrary immunity is arbitrary. I understand when drow witchdoctors cast deathward on themselves, but please remove the deathblock snuggies from the animal and vermin mobs that should not have this effect.


100% agreed (even though it's Chai, so I'm contractually obligated to disagree with him - I'll violate my contract for the sake of the Challenges).

Epics had deathblock removed, let's get the code for the Cove and for the Challenges fixed to match the new style Epic quests.

Cleanincubus
01-11-2012, 10:07 PM
I do not enjoy the Challenge gameplay.

- I prefer the "regular" gameplay style. The "go into a dungeon kill things, maybe deal with traps & puzzles, get to the end and maybe fight an end boss." Running around trying to collect things, while fending off enemies (who are trying to prevent you from doing so), just isn't my cup of tea. I will however contradict myself, and say that Crystal Cove was pretty fun the first 2 times it was around. But that was a special event, that was unique at the time. Now that it's not that unique (and more importantly I've farmed it for countless hours), I'll likely no longer participate in that event again.

- I'm not a fan of timed missions.

- Not very good for solo players. I don't belong to a big guild (currently 3 member) and I don't have people that I regularly quest with. So I'm either forced to PUG, or do it solo. Being as anti-social as I am, I prefer to solo. I know I'm not alone on this, since there are guilds built on players who solo and just want the guild level convenience. When you have so much going on at once in a quest, it's hard to deal with, with one person in the party.

- Going along with ^, the Challenges are too difficult, IMO. I expect to be able to do a quest, at level ("normal") or 1 under ("casual"). The only realistic exceptions, to me, are the ones that require more than 1 person in a group. Yes, I do realize they are called Challenges, and they are suppose to be challenging. But if they are too difficult, at level, then it's not worth my time to play them. Especially when they require the use of tokens.

- Costs entirely too much for the adventure pack.

MeliCat
01-11-2012, 10:19 PM
Some are more fun than others - but that is a personal preference thing. I do not enjoy defending things. I like exploring big places.

Wish the epic ward would be removed - limits soloing for certain builds.

I've enjoyed mucking around with others. For the most part they're setup so that if you're not super competitive it's easy fun.

Love that it doesn't affect BB and still gives XP. Like that under-20s can go into the epic levels. Like the dungeon scaling. Like some of the different types of mobs.

Like that there is no chaining of quests - they are all right there and immediate access. I don't think I would like the whole of DDO to be like that - there is a reason that a lot of people play DDO for the themeing and exploring and RPGing, but this is a nice change for brief occasions. On those grounds alone (immeidate access, no explorer area, no chaining, no themeing, no particular connection to a story) I hope that DDO doesn't continue this way but it's nice to have this little area.

Oh yeah... and a friends request... please please please could we have the mansion as like a PvP area? We were imagining playing counterstrike in there and it would be just AWESOME!

Thrudh
01-11-2012, 10:19 PM
I really like the Colossal Crystals one
And the Kobold Island ones

Picture Portals is kind of neat, but too many times I get stuck without enough crests. And the return rate in there is terrible. Please up the number of goblets you get.

Overall I think the Challenges are fun... And the grind isn't too bad.

badbob117
01-11-2012, 10:27 PM
Would be nice to be able to slot my epic items i made! I have 2 bugged out items that i cant slot with epic augments. The belt and the ring. Hope you guys are looking into fixing that!

The scaling is kinda crazy on the epic challenges. level 25 solo is easier then level 21 with a full group! It should be the other way around. This just discourages grouping. Their should be no scaling in epic quests. That is the whole point of having a set level to choose. Players who want it easy at the cost of rewards should do 21. players who want more of a challenge and higher rewards should do higher. I think if you guys keep the scaling the way it is, full groups should be rewarded much more then a solo player or shortman team. It is ten times harder with a full group but the end reward is the same as is and that is not right!

The rewards still lack stuff for all classes. Would be nice to get some quarter staffs, dwarf axes , bastard swords and any other wep you guys forgot to add. Would also be great to see a divine item.

Would also be cool to add some sort of set bonus to the items. Lets face it they pale in comparison to real epics and most are not the best. Give us a reason to wear more then one. Give them a minor, lesser and greater set bonus with some killer effects!

As is i have mixed feelings about the challenges. I like the easy epic token farming but Right now i feel as if i am at a point where i am when Cove and Mabar are on their last days and we are all kinda just waiting for it to end.. Just kinda not really motivated to run em. They seem to have run their course. You guys need to figure out a way to keep these challenges fresh. They grow stagnant fast! Maybe randomly change monsters and weekly objectives or something? Maybe have some kinda weekly community challenges?

And of course the price was to much. That was what ****ed everyone off the most. I think a lot of players would love the pack if it was around 1/3 of the original price! The big price scared most premiums away!

I would like to see the devs keep tweaking this and figure out a way to keep the challenges from growing boring and repetitive! I think the big price tag justifies they keep working on it and make it the best it can possibly be!

Claver
01-11-2012, 10:33 PM
This topic should prove interesting. :)

As you all know, U12 saw the release of a new type of content - Challenges.

I would like to get your thoughts on these - preferably in a constructive manner. I’m specifically interested in gameplay feedback.
.

Before I say anything else, let me say whatever I may think of Update 12, Challenges have to much potential to categorically reject. The ability to customize a wider level range to new content would seem to improve the health of the game.

I don't think you can objectively evaluate gameplay in a vacuum. You have to consider how different the challenges seem from one another versus the recent crystal cove event and consider the rewards/incentives that those challenges provide. I gave some feedback on this on lamannia.

http://forums.ddo.com/showthread.php?p=4154790#post4154790


Ran this a few times on a level 20 with a hireling in a level 10 instance. It plays differently than the vanilla crystal gathering mission in that its more dungeon exploration searching for the appropriate crests and luck (do the right crests fall and do you get a power circle very close to the Primal crystal).

I'm not sure how well I like it in that it seems very luck dependent. I failed the first few runs until I started to get an idea of the spawn points for the octopus crest. It seems tricky to solo.

I do like that some of the monsters near crests were sleeping; stealth was sometimes a more efficient means to take a crest than battle.

BUG: Sometimes the kobolds would bunch up on the Power Circle near base camp and become "stuck". I think this occurs when they are attacked when teleporting back to home base. I could sometimes "unstick" a few by purchasing an extra kobold worker or two.

BUG: When I finally got the progenitor crystal my kobold returned to one torch and then froze. I tried replanting all the torches, replanting the teleporter, making sure all enemies on the path were dead. Nothing worked, I just had to wait for the minutes to count down to failure.

Having now run all four of the different challenge categories (Zerg Mansion, Kobold Island Mining, Crystal Cove Part II and Crystal Cove Part III), and their various incarnations, I can give some feedback on this “quest” chain as a whole:

1. Don’t Give Up on Challenges!
2. Diversify
3. Incentivize


DON’T GIVE UP: I have been less glowing in my praise for U12 than for other updates but that doesn’t mean I don’t think the “idea” of challenges itself is exciting. I applaud Turbine for doing something different and strongly encourage you to continue to explore the rich design space that challenges would seem to offer. My enthusiasm for challenges as presented in U12 has been dampened by concerns over diversity and incentives (see below) but that doesn’t invalidate the overall concept of challenges. It is a great idea! Keep the faith Turbine! Keep working at refining better and better challenges! You have winner here that will help sustain the game for years to come.

DIVERSIFY: Having two challenges in the same update that are so similar to each other and so similar to the recent crystal cove event greatly detracts from the experience of running both. Emotionally, I want to also group Kobold Chaos with the two Crystal Cove challenges just because Kobold Chaos also features kobolds and mining - illogical I know. I feel like Turbine is trying to trick me with U12 by taking one idea (Crystal Cove) and marketing it as 10 challenges instead of one. Because of this, I’m emotionally predisposed to think everything is just the same (Crystal Cove) with window dressing even if that is not the case.

Next time, split Power Circles and Extraplanar Mining between two different updates and consolidate the variations into one set of rules for non Epic (Power Circles)and another set with different rules for Epic (Selling Time + Colossal Crystals). There should be two DIFFERENT versions of the challenge (Epic and Non Epic) not 5 versions of the same challenge masquerading as something different.

Next time, expand scope to more varied game play Challenges:

1. DUNGEON CRAWL (Don’t Hurt The Good Guys) Penetrate the Castle/Temple of an Ally while keeping casualties of that Ally to a minimum. Give opportunities to use diplomacy, bluff, stealth and neutralization tactics (charm, hold, flesh to stone). Allow Rogues/Artificers to lock doors rather than unlock them. Let non-lethal dormant traps (trap doors, portcullis) be reactivated instead of deactivated to corral Ally troops. Challenge the Captain of the Guard to a personnel duel for divine proof that your cause is righteous and that she should order her troops to stand down.

2. RESOURCE MANAGEMENT (Village Civilization). Clear cut the woods with fireballs and axes and eliminate monstrous vermin. Plant crops, address irrigation, use cure spells and bard songs on cattle to settle and feed a village while defending from raiders. Every 5 minutes brings a change of the season

3. PUZZLE (Stairway to Heaven) Solve puzzles to release breakable crates then place the crates into stacks to climb onto higher platforms or use the crates to construct defensive positions and barricades to help defend your stairway.

The specifics of the challenges are important but so are how they relate to one another (Dungeon Crawl versus Resource Management versus Puzzle Quest) in any given release. The challenges should be distinct from one another or trickled out over several releases to mask their similarity.


INCENTIVIZE: On its face, Update 12 is not without merit. What seems to be lacking is the right balance of Challenge versus Reward. It’s not clear to me why a player might be drawn to repeat the 4 different categories of challenges or their various incarnations. Let’s compare this to the Crystal Cove (CC) vs. Update 12 (U12).

XP: CC gives -2,000 XP at low levels to +5,000 XP at higher levels. U12 averages around 1000 xp to around 1500 XP at the higher levels. I was motivated to run Crystal Cove because I enjoyed the XP. U12 Challenges will not provide sufficient XP to motivate me choosing them over other quests; in fact, XP will be a disincentive given other more profitable options in the game. U12 has to offer a more addictive carrot in terms of fun or loot to compensate for its poor XP.

LOOT: CC provides quick access to interesting loot for low levels that are widely useful (trinkets and hats). Equally important, useful consumables such as Air Elemental Summon Gems could be crafted once the goals of specific gear had been achieved. By comparison, I don’t see that many “Must Have” items to craft from the U12 list – certainly few that will be desirable across a broad range of levels in a character’s career. Once I do craft the gear I need – what then, what is my reward in U12 for continuing to play the content. Unlike CC, there are no consumables for me to craft. U12 has to offer a more addictive carrot in terms of fun and good XP to inspire continued play once someone crafts the loot they need - and what happens if that person already has superior equipment than anything from the rewards list. The ability to craft useful consumables would help if random treasure chests are not to be included in challenges.

Also, what is the grind factor for acquiring this loot? When I level a new character can I run him only once Dr. Rushmore, Kobold Chaos, Power Circles and Extraplanar Mining without doing any of the variation challenges and expect to see any reward? Four quests in a chain should equal an end reward/crafted loot. If the answer is no then I won’t be playing the challenges at all. There are better XP options, better loot options and the novelty/fun will be gone after my initial exposure to the quest/challenge.

MEASURABLE SUCCESS: One of the carrots that kept me motivated to play CC was immediate feedback on how well I and party were doing. Outside of the loot and the XP there was the desire to beat my high score. I was always a little disappointed if I didn’t max out an additional 200 crystals as my take on the job and anything less than 100 profit was a failed run. The results of the CC score were clearly displayed. By comparison, feedback on U12 star objectives is not as immediately apparent to me. The various star objectives are buried in the XP window rather than on display in the quest dialog box. The degree of success in meeting one of those star objectives is not necessarily shown - did I just barely achieve the star or blow it out of the water, and if so, by how much, 113 crystals or 198 crystals? Granted, there are some numerical quest objectives on some of the challenges but this is not the clear consistent message of the challenge as was delivered in Crystal Cove.

Given that we get kicked out of the instance shortly upon completion – focus on making the star objectives more visible (quest dialog box) and often tied to a numerical score (track the amount by which we overachieve or miss the mark) so that we can easily digest this information before getting booted from the quest.


The changes to Bind To Account Ingredients have been a huge help in making this content more playable and it seems the Xp has gotten a little better too. I am also please to see some consumables now in trade window so you can conceivably get an immediate end reward if you are not up for the grind.

A problem I have noticed is with adjusting difficulty as you transition from one tier of challenge to the next. Take Rushmore's Mansion at level 4 - 15 for example. Say you are having difficulty completing that challenge with your level 10, you can always run it at level 9 or level 8 for less profit. The problem exists when you move to your next Tier of challenges to collect a different set of ingredients required for upgrading your gear to a level 8 gear you must enter a minimum level 10 challenge (Colossal Crystals). If your level 10 character is struggling to complete the Colossal Crystals they have no option of adjusting the difficulty of the quest, level 10 is the minimum level. The ability to adjust the difficulty (upwards or downwards) is something to keep in mind when designing a hierarchy of challenges.







Another negative is the confusing reward system. I can kind of see what the Devs were trying to go for, in that they created these Challenges such that you could either a) try to run them for favor or b) try to run them for ingredients, but not necessarily both (plus, there's c) run them for experience). The points themselves are not transparent -- for the longest time I had no idea what that little number next to the stars was supposed to represent or how it related to the seemingly paltry number of ingredients that I seemed to get most runs. That is, when I got any at all -- failing the primary objective means you get nothing and it was all a waste of time. Then, there is the endless variety of ingredients -- is all of that really necessary? And the daily tokens -- while a nice thought -- just end up accumulating in my inventory since I never seem to have the tokens for what I'm running.

QFT. I found the reward system unintuitive as well.

Deathdefy
01-11-2012, 10:57 PM
I enjoy most of them a lot.

Trying to actually explain why in gameplay terms will be difficult, but here goes:

1) You're constantly moving and doing stuff.

There's almost 0 down-time; you only really are best of standing still chilling waiting for the initial crystals to come in to buy things, waiting for a predictable 'incoming', or defending an extractor (which is only boring when it's a small). That is fun. For most people I think, though couldn't swear to all.

It's not inherently fun to defend a crystal / lay a torch line, but keeping me constantly busy running / smashing breakables / killin' / layin' torches / upgrading extractors is.

2) It's fun to play a ranged a character in there. Very little else is catered towards them specifically.

No one's mad at you for kiting, sniping kobolds is guilty fun, giant IPS lines of mobs are a given. I think it's the combination of the need to always be headed somewhere + lots of mobs that lends itself to ranged being fun.

3) They're darn hard.

Soloing Kobold Chaos to 6 stars is awesome. Intense, but all sorts of doable even underlevel. Similarly soloing Colossal Crystals to 5 stars is extremely difficult, but doable. I like accessible challenging things that can be done solo but aren't 6 man epics.

4) (Less Gameplay related) Running about a giant mansion is fun.

It's purdy and it's big. Someone in a group I was in recently remarked how it could be a viable Counter-strike map. I think that's a huge compliment to the designers (both layout and art).

5) Bosses are challenging.

Even ranged it's an interesting decision to choose between earths and airs for Ugg. It's an interesting decision to choose between going all Fire, or what combo you can kill Rushmore and Crystal at. As Sid Meier said and I have quoted on these forums before, "games are a series of interesting decisions". Bosses like these make you think. That's fun.

On that, choosing and planning how you're going to upgrade and use your turrets is also fun. The challenges require an actual plan which is cool.




Gameplay that isn't fun:

1) Scaling is borked. For real.

I honestly think that the scaling for one person is about bang on. Things are still very challenging to get high stars on and it does not feel remotely like a cakewalk.

But, it was easier for me to 6 star Kobold Chaos on my character at level 10 (albeit still pretty rough), than it was to 6 star Kobold Chaos with me and 5 other toons in the 18-20 range. All of whom are very good players with the possible exception of myself too. That's wrong.

I think the issue is scaling the # of mobs AND the HP/damage of the mobs as well. Maybe do one or the other, or do both less.

2) (Not gameplay, but being aware of this makes gameplay less fun) Impossible to complete star objectives make me mad at the Challenges collectively.

e.g. Shortcuts.
-Kill no kobolds. So you're only guaranteed about 6 x 5 = 20 parts.
+
-Maintain an extraction rate of 20 crystals/second for 20 seconds.

So: because in example land we magically have infinite shards to upgrade our larges and don't need to waste parts on the smalls:
-3 x Large Tier 1 = 9 parts, total extraction rate = 7.5/second
-3 x Large Tier 2 = 15 more parts, total extraction rate = 15/second
-2 x Large Tier 3 = 14 more parts, total extraction rate = 20/second

Total parts = 38. So, you're banking on not only good idol drops, but also you'd need a crate with 10 more parts in it. Maybe 2 crates both of which drop parts.

That's ridiculous. Also, this assumes you don't need the parts-inefficient smalls to get the dragonshards to upgrade, which you do.

Broken Star Objectives ruin the pack. Really puts a damper on the whole experience even of other challenges more than you'd think.

Ovrad
01-11-2012, 11:02 PM
I can give you the main reason I do not enjoy these challenges in two words: Defense missions.

I hate defense missions. I do not enjoy them at all. And yet, 75% of the challenge pack is defense missions. Judging by the number of people that abhor Coyle (die Coyle! diediedie!!), I'm probably not the only one either.

Why? Because :
- It is always unbalanced for classes, a melee can never perform as well as someone with a ranged lasting AoE effect for example.
- Playing the waiting game is not fun. You have to stay next to your helpless NPC and wait for enemies to appear out of thin air close to them. You can't simply go ahead and clear the area in advance because your enemies don't exist until they attack.
- Enemies always attack the defenseless target first, not the adventurer armed to the teeth next to it. This is especially problematic on kobold island where your enemies won't peel off the extractor until you've removed 90% of their hp, also some named bosses in crystal quests that never want to leave the kobolds alone while you're chipping down their bajillion hp.
- Victory depends on the stupidity of the NPC you have to protect. In this case kobolds running off the path for no other reason then they smelled a crystal through the ceiling. (If this was PnP, you know what I would do to Coyle? I'd stuff him in a crate, lock it up and not let him come out until the place is cleared)
- In all challenges here, you have to split up to cover multiple "idiots" at once! Even if you guard the whole line of torches, there's always some kobold that wanders off and gets himself killed. Generators are the worst and might need you to cover (from multiple enemies) as much as 7 points at once, in a 6 man party, making it almost mandatory to have 6 casters because anything else is not as good on it's own.


Rushmore's Mansion is a different case. The quest in itself is not bad, however,
- It relies a bit too much on luck, as even though you can clear the whole place up, you might be short a crest or two at your next door, and then you just have to let the time run out and fail.
- It also takes too long. If you're trying to get the whole mansion done, it's easily 45-50 mins. That gets repetitive real fast.


Just a few more things:
- Stars on kobold island are ridiculously hard to obtain compared to the other quests. (Kill 25 orthons? But we only saw 2...)
- Air elementals on their own are annoying but ok, respawning air elemental that buff a boss while other elementals spawn to buff him too... is just plain infuriating (tenfolds on a melee).
- Repetition is not that fun. I know variants were suppose to add diversity, but all in all, it just forces you to play the (almost) same quest more times.
- Yup, the price, it is 3x too high.
EDIT: - Because of said high price, it's very hard to get a group going for these challenges. Coupled with the fact that everyone needs specific ingredients, or specific stars, your chances of finding a group that wants to run the same thing you do are slim to none.

MRMechMan
01-11-2012, 11:27 PM
and the price was too high, considering what it is, I would expect to pay 1500 for a 4 quest, 1 raid, 1 explorer area pack not for challenges.

Really? Because Vale is 5 quests and 3 raids with 2 explorer areas...and is half that.

tyga250
01-11-2012, 11:34 PM
Overall, I like the challenges. I think there are great rewards to be had but some challenges are just plain not fun and a lot harder to get ingredients from (mansion and kobold island).

I also feel that scaling is a little to harsh; the difference between a 2man instance and a 6man instance is crazy (especially on 21+).

I hate that my 44DC archmage is completely useless compared to my sorc who can wind dance around nuking everything with ease.

One prevalent issue that I feel has been carried over from CC is that bluebars and self-sufficient melees rule the roost and all other builds fall very far behind in terms of contribution.

Ovrad
01-11-2012, 11:43 PM
Really? Because Vale is 5 quests and 3 raids with 2 explorer areas...and is half that.

Technically, it's 4 explorer areas, since the sub has 3 zones.

waterboytkd
01-12-2012, 12:00 AM
This topic should prove interesting. :)

As you all know, U12 saw the release of a new type of content - Challenges.

I would like to get your thoughts on these - preferably in a constructive manner. I’m specifically interested in gameplay feedback.

Let me preamble with I love Dr. Rushmore's Mansion. I'm alright with Kobold Island and Extraplanar Mining. I don't like Lava Caves.


For those who do not enjoy this type of gameplay, can you elaborate on why?

I'm not a fan of having to herd kobolds. It's why I don't like Lava Caves, and the only reason I don't mind Extraplanar Mining is the routes are super short. The reason I don't like herding kobolds is because I feel like the kobolds are distracting me from the important stuff: killing bad guys. And there is nothing worse than an Incoming call when I'm way out laying the end of a line, and lose a bunch of kobolds by the time I get back. That's why EM doesn't bother me as much. I can get back to the center very quickly.

Thus, I won't run Lava Caves. I'll do the quests that give me ingredients I can trade in for Lava Caves ingredients instead.

But that's my preference. I loved Cove because we always had a full group, and I never had to lead kobolds. I got to scout for good routes and clear em out.

Also, it kind of stinks that they stress being self-sufficient so much. Of course, really, all quests do to a certain degree.

That said, in my opinion, it sucks that half the challenges were kobold stuff. Also, in my mind, this pack kills Crystal Cove, as it won't be a rare, interesting thing if it ever comes back.


For those of you who do enjoy playing them, what aspects do you enjoy?

Dr. Rushmore's is just good fun. I mean, what's not to like about running around killing things?

But in terms of gameplay, I do enjoy the points idea. I'll often take longer runs of Picture Portals than is efficient just to see if I can 5 star it running solo. The idea of a quantified "perfect" run is kind of cool. It reminds me of the good old days of playing Tenchu on the first Playstation, and going back and forth with friends trying to get the highest score on a level.


General feedback is encouraged, but again, please limit feedback to gameplay and respect other’s opinions. I expect this to be a very polarizing subject.

Thanks in advance.

In terms of general gameplay, I feel sad because it feels like good maps are going to waste for me because I don't like the challenge. Also, it's a bit of a bummer than every version of Dr. Rushmores seems more or less the same, as does every version of Kobold Island, Extraplanar Mining, and (from my very limited experience) Lava Caves.

I think it would have been much better, and made the pack sell better, if every map had a number of different types of challenges (kobold leading, boss hunting, defending hardpoints). For example, Moving Objects could have been the boss hunting Mansion challenge. Then Picture Portals could have been a defend the harpoints challenge (make the portals a static thing so they could be learned and used effectively, and then make bad guys teleport into different rooms and you have to protect the rooms from getting wrecked), and there could have been a Raid the Mansion challenge, where you lead kobolds through and, rather than crystals, they steal books and art and other loot from the mansion.

Do that for every map, then reduce the number of ingredients to 4, one type for each map. That way, players could play the challenge type they most enjoy, and still get the ingredients they need, and a challenge type they don't like doesn't end up being half the pack (2 kobold leading maps makes me sad). Also, if the ingredients were standardized to the map rather than the individual challenges, it would become much easier to implement more or new challenges utilizing the same maps.

Also, I think new challenge types would be cool to implement. I know someone made the suggestion about a Blown to Bits style challenge, where you are constantly dropping explosives everywhere and killing teammates with explosions can be optionals and what not. That could be fun. Also, I wrote up a thread not too long ago titled Godmode here (http://forums.ddo.com/showthread.php?t=355980), and I think that would make for a fun challenge type.

Basically, I'd like to see more variation in challenge types within the individual maps, so that people could run what they like to do most.

The next part isn't going to be on general gameplay, but definitely challenge related.

First, cost. Who's idea was it to do a non-standard pack yet charge an insane amount for it? I saw a post on the forums where someone hypothesized that a upper-management type saw the participation in CC and thought: "Holy cow, people love that! Let's clone and sell it for a redonkulous amount!" and I have to think that's what happened. Why else was it so over-priced? Bring the cost on it down to 750 TP, and I bet you'll make a lot more money off it.

Second, lack of divine loot. Why were they left out? A number of items were made that were obviously meant to be caster or melee items (having abilities for both that very very very few builds could take advantage of all of them), so why weren't divine items covered here? That was a sad oversight in my mind, and I did start a thread on that here (http://forums.ddo.com/showthread.php?t=355364), too.

Third, BtA switching to BtC. It's not very apparent that this happens, and I've heard of more than a couple players making a tier 3 on the wrong toon thinking it's BtA. I think they should be BtC on tier 3, but that should be more obvious (like a warning message, similar to the one you get when you are about to equip a BtA or BtC on Equip item).

Fourth, Docents and Armor. You did a good job with Mournlode, making sure there was a version for everyone. But what about Frozen Tunic? Was there a reason you didn't want warforged getting access to a cold-caster-specced item? Or why a warforged monk wasn't supposed to get ki+1 on a body slot? Seems rude. Why not make a Frozen Docent, as well?

Dawnsfire
01-12-2012, 12:01 AM
I'm probably not the type you want to hear from. I avoided challenges like the plague but perhaps the reasons why I did might be useful. . .

1) I avoid timed content if I can. The first few times I run a quest I like to loiter and take things in. I don't like to be rushed through stuff.

2) It is way too tied to the Crystal Cove event. I mess around on the island when the event rolls around but I detest babysitting the Kobolds. It never felt D&D to me, it felt like a Facebook game.

3) It doesn't feel like it has a serious goal. It doesn't seem like it advances an actual serious plot line. It is just learn it so you can farm stuff. It has a 'hurry through this so you can gather stuff' feel that doesn't appeal to me.

I get that I am probably not the type that this is meant to appeal but is I had to sum it up in one word it would be too gimmicky. Good luck with feedback from people that actually play them though. Hopefully you can improve them a bit for those people :)

sugrcain
01-12-2012, 12:02 AM
I don't really mind the challenges myself. They have some decent rewards, are fairly easy with some practice which leads to progress you can count on towards whatever you're trying to achieve, and at least the mansion I find has a decent quick pace style. The thing I don't like about them is they just don't feel like D&D to me. They feel more like some shareware or popcap game to me. I get no sense of adventure from them, which is one of the biggest reasons I play MMOs.

arconalos
01-12-2012, 12:02 AM
Love the Low Level Lava Caves but from what I have seen theres not enough red named mobs for loot drop. I find it fun but agree that far to few ingredients drop for the time put in.

Hate the Mansions, grinding and repetitive. Would love fixed crest place for doors that attach to the rooms. Also the price for the pack needs to be lowered, at least a little, and if it is those of us who bought the pack should get a refund, maybe

Solmage
01-12-2012, 12:07 AM
They suxxor! (heh ok sorry =)

Constructive(?) Stuff:

- I despise with a passion that I can't insta kill on a caster on epic challenges. This alone was WAY more than enough for me to boycott challenges altogether and to not help even friends in the few times when they tried to run them. I'd simply reply sorry, challenges suck, I'm not interested.

(You guys already limited insta-kill's power by including a lot of mixed content such as constructs, undead, orange names, stuff immune to one element or necro bolts, or both, etc. This extra limiter was overkill)

- I hate the way scoring works. It should be extremely clear that achieving X yields Y reward, and these objectives should be in the quest objectives listed as optional, and not have to be read in some compendium entry that can't be easily referenced during the quest.

I never know exactly what the score is going to be until after the run, and then it seems to be based on some voodoo because some runs it SEEMS we do better but get worse scores, and sometimes it's the opposite and you go ...huh.

- I also hate with a passion that there's an order to the things. So if exploring I run into a dragon, kill it, it doesn't count because someone in the party accidentally used 1 teleporter too many, etc.

- I strongly dislike having to run 10 different quests to gather ingredients, and that maybe the one challenge I don't hate completely is the one that drops useless components. I think all items should require 5 or 6 components in equal quantity, while allowing you to exchange 1 ingredient for another in a 2:1 ratio.

- I hate quests where soloing is nearly impossible for a reasonable time vs reward.

This would also mean you could skip content you REALLY disliked or had horrible time to ingredient ratios.

- Speaking of which, I hate challenges that take 10x longer and don't deliver 10x the loot.

- Price for the pack is ABSURD. Call me when it's in the 700 or so BASE AND then it gets discounted 20%.
(Side note: Price for Artificers is also absurd, which is why I won't be rolling one apparently ever, since I don't care to do these !*#^! quests as they are to gather the favour to unlock. I still say making Arty's a regular favor reward for VIPs would have lessened a lot of the ill-will you created)

Lastly, I can't help but feel that you guys took something super special (CC) and cheapened it by making it available 24/7. These quests would have made for AWESOME future festival quests.

Ralmeth
01-12-2012, 12:17 AM
When the challenges first came out I really didn't get terribly excited about them and it was some time before I ran one. Perhaps this was because there didn't seem to be a story or compelling reason to want to run them . I didn't even really know what they were about. I took a look at the loot on DDOWiki and didn't see anything that really wowed me (no shields to replace my now ugly Epic Swashbuckler, really? Do developers hate shields?) and it looked like a lot of grinding. So I eventually tried a handful of challenges to see what they were all about:

Kobold Island challenges:
I tried one of these (the disruptor) on level 20 with myself on my 20th level Pally and a guildie of mine. It was crazy. There were so many things going on around the island and it wasn't clear to me what I needed to do. When a big red name showed up I spent quite a bit of time fighting them. Overall, I came away confused as to what I should have done, with my only thought that you probably need a full group to do the zillion things that need to be done. I haven't ran one since, or had the desire to go back because it didn't seem clear what I was supposed to even be doing.

Mansion challenges:
I ran one of these a few times. I liked the fast pace and motivation to keep moving, adding time on as you got through different portals. It was lots of fun, except when I got to a boss guy that had a gazillion elementals around him. My guildie and I were able to beat the elementals and boss guy eventually, but it was a frustrating fight (air elementals blowing you around for example) and I couldn't help but think if I was an uber caster the fight would have been over easily. Which just irks me to no end.

Crystal Cove challenges:
Loved it! I really like the Crystal Cove and I'm glad I could run this type of quest again. I've done these a few times and enjoyed it each time.

Overall Thoughts:
In general, these seemed fun and something a little different to do. I think there needs to be a story line / reason for adventurers to want to run them. I did like that you could select what level you could run at. However the higher difficulty levels need to be more melee friendly (though you could say this about epics in general). It's not fun to swing, and swing, and swing, and swing, and swing, at the same trash mob. There's a certain number of swings it should take to kill a mob to keep gameplay enjoyable. But I digress (into one of my pet peeves). Certainly when I log on, I don't think to myself...ooh, let me go run a challenge, instead I'm looking at what raids or epics are going on.

EnjoyTheJourney
01-12-2012, 12:23 AM
I like the challenges, and I like being able to pick out items in advance that are useful and reliably available.

I'm not experienced enough at them to provide detailed feedback, but I can suggest that you pretty much need mentoring or ddo wiki access to figure out how to do them -- or quite a bit of patience. I went the "wiki" route, but wasn't entirely comfortable doing it; in general, I like being able to figure out what to do without having to do external reading or invest a lot of time just on the "puzzling through" part. Perhaps better in-game tips for the challenges would help newer players not give up in frustration.

Don't make them more complicated, if you do similar things in the future.

bbqzor
01-12-2012, 12:30 AM
As before, answering the questions in an itemized format.


For those who do not enjoy this type of gameplay, can you elaborate on why?

At the risk of coming across as unruly, here is the rather large list of things I do not enjoy about them.

- They're Timed. This makes it very hard to play them in some of the more common mmo situations. Need afk to bio? Can't, timed. Coffee burning or stove beeping or cooking situation need attention? Tough, timed. Kid needs you a second? Well, there goes your progress, timed. The timed nature of these is somewhat necessary by their format, however its also one of their own worst enemies. Either these need to be kept very short (like 10, maybe 15 minutes tops; none of those 30-40 minute rushmore ones) where you could plausibly time those things outside them for the most part. Or, they need to be rethought to avoid, or provide alternatives for, any timers in future ones.

- Horrible Scaling. This makes it non-group friendly. By which I mean, I have 5 star'd about half of them solo or duo, including some on epic. It would be much more difficult to do that in a full group, simply because the mobs scale up so amazingly much. This is largely due to their hp scaling, specifically. It simply makes it take longer to do anything, which results in it going slower, which again works against the timed nature of things. They need to scale a lot less, especially in the mob hp department. As someone with over 160 cannith favor and tons of parts I assure you I'm not asking for the change out of an inability or unease with attaining the rewards. Its just not fun to tell people no, I don't want to group with you, you would be dead weight because of how Turbine coded it. While adding someone always bears the risk of them slowing you down with sub-par play, here it slows you down regardless of what they do... and that's not really much fun. (note, I consider hirelings not scaling it to be a wise choice, as it avoids punishing which classes you bring to a large extent; something that cannot be said of many places).

- Drastically Different Payouts. Some of them pay out well for your time, some of them decidedly do not. And, sadly, most of the fun ones (for me and my regulars anyhow) are the good payout ones. Why is this sad? Because I have to do the most reps, of the least fun missions. Getting the first chunk of ingredients wasn't so bad... but finishing up the rest feels like a horrible grind because I know when I log on for it that I'll be facing the same thing I don't like over and over. The trading hand ins to covert parts helps somewhat, but in the end its still (in most cases) shorter to do the mission you need (which I think it should be or the trade option would be too good), and for people with limited playtime it somewhat forces their hand into the quickest, not most fun, option. Consider taking some of the more popular or better paying ones, and trying to bring up some of the crappy payout ones up a bit. One of the castle missions (if I recall correctly) was paying something like 60% of the farmed amount on a run where the mission was higher level than the group... is that really necessary? In general, getting like 200-250 parts from there, when some other missions pay out like 350-450 is kind of disheartening, to say the least. Let alone some of the gravy ones which can go even higher. Requiring repeats for totally abstract reasons is not popular with me, heh.

- Unique Objectives Cause Unique Problems. I'm looking at you, Kobold Island. While defending things isn't new to DDO, defending them all over a whole zone largely is, rather than in a smaller area where you can combine arms. And, there can be more spots to defend than you can have people. This creates a situation where you really need several self-sufficient people to try and cover as much ground as consistently as possible, which caters to building very specific groups. To top it off, when defending only certain attacks/abilities are generally useful (depending on mob type, and the speed with which you need to control small groups of mobs) and combined you've rather alienated a large number of builds. The complaint here, as it were, is to maybe lighten up on some of the pressure. Maybe allow us to turn off a small extractor after a large is turned on, or spend shards on a 5 minute extractor cloaking in addition to turrets, or something. But you can't add a relatively specific group building requirement, and then make it a relatively general ingredient requirement, and not expect it to rub folks the wrong way.

- "Required" DDO Store Items. Yes, okay, I could farm for hundreds of missions and maybe enough would drop to not have to use the store. But practically speaking, if you want to gold star some of them (again, looking at you Kobold Island), you need to use the store. This is just unnecessary and insulting. Again, there's more than enough favor without doing those ones, and you can get ingredients without getting all the stars, so its not an issue of being forced to buy anything. But, it is something you cannot practically complete, without buying anything, and personally I feel nothing in the game should be beatable only by paying to do so. As the only thing its preventing is a 'completionist' feeling, whats the harm of fixing the requirements to allow this. If the argument over there is, well they drop so you could save enough up... well your drop rates may need to be adjusted. And also, you might consider making them mission specific if they're not already. I honestly didn't pay super close attention to what dropped where, but knowing that if I want a skeleton crest I can at least limit it to missions using crests, that's a way to feel like I'm working towards the right direction.

- The Chests. Boy do I hate them. They can spawn in a full inventory and delete something, that right there is a problem. And I can't avoid looting junk like arrows if I want to, so I have to spend extra clicks destroying or selling them. And they do not drop renown, which can be more valuable than vendor loot to some people. And they all require killing, every single one I can think of. No more stealth runs for rogues, or open locks, or optional objective spawns, etc. This is so unfortunate for the game. I know why: because they're timed, and because generally it wouldn't be good if people could blitz open them and recall out, nor would it be good if they ransacked after a few runs given the number of reps you have to do here. But for heaven's sake that doesn't mean they have to be sub par. Let chests of the same CR stack, that cuts down on the inventory slots taken. Stop them from deleting stuff when full and let it go into overflow, same as festival cookies or something (and cookies also stack, like chests should). Put renown in the chests so you don't have to look elsewhere to pay your daily decay before coming to house C. Maybe add a few (clam style so don't ransack) behind locked doors, or after talking and taking a non-combat resolution. Just put some work in on them.


For those of you who do enjoy playing them, what aspects do you enjoy?

And now, the smaller list of what I enjoy.

- Solo/Duo-ability. Yes, I just said above I dislike that its less advantageous to group. However, I also like that it is something I can log in and solo when no ones on, when I'm not feeling sociable, when I'm waiting on a raid to finish to catch the next one, when I'm timer-ed out on whatever's in the lfm, etc. Whatever is done to address the grouping issues above, maintaining the ability to solo and duo these is important. I would not want to see missions with objectives that required hitting 4 switches at once, or some other nonsense, where it was specifically designed to 'hurt' the solo player. I know you're not sitting there in your leather armchairs planning how to hurt people while sipping brandy and laughing maniacally (well, not Madfloyd anyhow) but when I see design like that, that's how it feels.

- Diverse Gameplay. Well, diverse relative to other missions/quests anyhow. I would like to see that maintained in the future, with the next ones perhaps ignoring kobolds, torches, extractors, pictures, and generally anything the heck having to do with the current set. Maybe one where you kill mobs and loot keys and open doors and facilitate a jailbreak of captured adventurers who help you as you unlock them (kinda like New Invasion or CO6 combined with Wrath of Flame post succubi in the middle combined with the fluff of Ghola Fan), so by the end you are leading a train of like 30 npcs you can buff up with bard songs and laugh when they all fall over to cometfall at once. But whatever you do, dont make defending them required. Let us send some npcs to their deaths for once... they're adventurers, they knew the risks. Freedom or Death! Anyhow its just one idea (which you are free to use) just don't give us more of the same in the next batch. I am tired of kobolds... its dungeons and dragons not dungeons and cute kobolds following torches (I mean stat wise they even have darkvision not scent, come on).

- Partly, the XP. Do not misunderstand me, the xp in here is generally poor. However, the 'first time' bonus parallel of unlocking the stars is great and fun. In other words, these missions pay off more the first time relative to others, and less on repeats relative to others. That is a model I am inclined to say is a good idea. I would like for content to be higher on rewards the first run, so that it is a game of diverse playing with changing story, and not a game of Shroud #500 hoooooo. I understand some repetition will always be needed... but consider keeping it at least as low as it is now, possibly lower. Its not too far worse than anything else, but its creeping up there. If anything, go lower, maintaining this level of reps for future items is going to be a bit much, imo.

- Item Rewards. Not to be confused with liking the items, I think the stats could definitely use some work (as usual, some clear winners, some losers, and some what were they thinkings... by this point players can pretty readily look at an item and call a spade a spade, the item devs should sure be able to do the same). However, not needing to run a ton of runs waiting for the last piece to drop has an appeal. And being able to choose tokens or loot, lets people cater to farming what they want to farm, and to both get some advancement in whatever adventures folks need. In other words, it saves 'I need an item out of quest A, and you need one out of quest B, so lets run both and half the time maybe I get something'. This is why, I assume, that the reps required was aimed high... since while it takes a tad more work, the payout is guaranteed. While the format of rewards (flexible so accommodating to different build's item goals, and more slanted towards time in rather than luck) is good, I again hope the items themselves and the reps required are examined.

I am sure there's more I'm forgetting, but this is a monster post as it is so I'll leave it at that for now. Thanks for the chance to offer feedback, cheers.

DocBenway
01-12-2012, 12:46 AM
I haven't read the whole thread so I'll likely be parroting some common concerns.

First off I'll preface this by saying I do not own the pack but do challenges, via daily token hoarding, on a regular basis with characters at levels from 4 to 20. I find them fun and there are very nice items to be acquired.

Now the meat, Pricing:
Way out of whack. The one sale was still overpriced, in my opinion. I mean if you take 30% of the letters away from "Way Too Much" you still end up with "Too Much".

Next, Pay to Win:
Having objectives that are only possible through DDO Store purchases is what leads to marketing departments being the ones "first against the wall when the revolution comes." I will grant that the items required also drop randomly within random challenges themselves, but at the rate that I have seen turret requisitions it will take a full year of 20 challenges a day to get enough to try and 5/gold star The Disruptor one time, then I'd still need to be everywhere at once right from the start.

Next, Scaling:
Brutal. If I do these with more than 2 friends, I shouldn't have (what feels like) 3000% increase in spawns and their hit points.

Lastly (for now, it's late and I'm tired) Nonsensical lvl8 items:
I've already asked about this in the Quests and Challenges forum, to no avail:

You can get ingredients for lvl4 challenge items at lvl4

You can get ingredients for lvl8 challenge items at lvl12, lvl10 if you trade for mephit wings.

You can get ingredients for lvl12 challenge items at lvl12, lvl10 if you trade for mephit wings.

You can get ingredients for lvl16 challenge items at lvl15.

You can get ingredients for lvl20 challenge items at lvl15.

^^ What's wrong with that picture?

Angelus_dead
01-12-2012, 01:30 AM
I would like to get your thoughts on these - preferably in a constructive manner. I’m specifically interested in gameplay feedback.
Quick hits of some challenges design feedback: The mechanic of a wide level range could've been separated from the "time-limited odd objective game" nature of challenges. There's nothing solid connecting those two ideas.


Some objectives don't seem fully designed, or rely on too much randomness of spawn positions. (How many people have gotten full stars on Colossal?).


It's a bit counterintuitive, but having a strict timelimit can work against replayability by punishing people who deviate from the "right" way to play the challenge. If you divert away from the optimal path, you're losing out.


Superlinear scaling with group size. Basically, increasing the number of players raises both the hitpoints of monsters and quantity of monsters, which is rather like doubling your team quadruples the enemy. That is especially bad when there is a deadline and there is a dungeon alert threshold of a number of monsters which is not scaled upward with party size.


Divergence between getting stars and getting loot. Basically, star objectives are meaningless wastes unless you are on a max-favor attempt, which is only needed once per character. Being good at stars is quite different from being good at loot.


It doesn't make sense to have the most expensive pack also allow (eventual) access to every single instance for free. Imagine if Gianthold allowed f2p people to get into one dungeon per day: that would lower the gain from buying a Gianthold pack, thus making it seem like that pack should be cheaper.


Let's count up the ways in which Challenges favor mages over other characters (beyond the usual advantages of mages):
1. You are under a strict timelimit, so the ability to blast resources faster to kill faster is important.
2. You need to move from place to place quickly, advantaging those who can cast Haste (plus those with Leap of Faith or Barb/Acrobat running)
3. You often (2/4) need to make kobolds run faster, advantaging those who have Haste.
4. You often (3/4) need to return to the center quickly, advantaging those who have Dimension Door.
5. You often (2/4) need to send kobolds to the center quickly, advantaging those who have Dimension Door. This is especially true when a star objective requires no teleporters.
6. You may need to protect Kobolds, advantaging people who have Invisibility. (Previously applied to extractors too)
7. You need to kill monsters without diverting from your running route, advantaging people with ranged attacks.
8. You often can't Madstone, disadvantaging those who don't cast spells.
9. Air Elementals + strict timelimit.
10. Party size scales up the number of monsters, but killing 7 guys with Cone Of Cold can be just as easy as killing 2 of them.


Abusing Kobolds again and again gets old.

sirgog
01-12-2012, 01:51 AM
One more thing I'd suggest. Currently getting items from the Challenges takes a fair number of runs. Maybe make 'tier 0' items that are really quite low quality versions of the real items, but that can be attained quickly.

As an example, the 'tier 0' Epic Elemental Greataxe of Fire might just have the augmented base damage and the Greater Incineration from the 20/t1 axe, but nothing else.

Totensonntag
01-12-2012, 02:10 AM
Playing FvS or caster speced artificer i do ok in most of the challenges.
currentlich doing the lvl21 epic ones. while grouping in "time is money" i noticed that for example rogues and elven sorcs have way harder time in there.
so i guess getting good results it's heavily class dependant. could be a letdown to some who bought the pack.
in addition having to repeat the same challenges over and over again becomes boring with time. (ok.some were even boring from the start.)

we need more randomness for less predictable outcomes and to give everyone the same chance on completing his stuff.


i'd suggest to add some new challenge types for people who are not that self sufficiant to give them an opportunity to get their mats.

the new mage fire canons have potential. you could easily implement some tower defense mini game where the player won't come in direct contact with the mobs.

you could even make it xoriat themed so you could spawn the enctrance in any challenge any time at random locations.
reward could be a random typed mat.

the content could be something like: preventing beds and bookshelves from building an air ship and invade eberron by taking them out before they reach their destination. this would be done by building and upgarding different kinds of mage fire cannons along their way.

Havok.cry
01-12-2012, 02:16 AM
I like most of the challenges. My main complaint with them is that too many of them involve torch running. Torch running is very boring. One challenge map with torch running would have been enough. Please do not inflict more torch running challenges on us.

The reason it sucks IMHO is that it involves nothing anyone builds a character to do. A hireling could be programed to easily do it... infact if you put a torch running hireling in the store it would likely be your biggest selling challenge item. When I am picking what I am going to spend my time doing, I prefer to pick things that will either make me shine, or that I will struggle through. The first is a fun pick me up. The second is for the feeling you get when you overcome incredible odds.

Running torches does not allow for either of those to occur. Other things in the quest might, but honestly running torches is one of the most menial things I could possible do with my time. Climbing up things and jumping off them in the market without any accomplishment is more fun.

Possibly more constructive feedback: One problem I have been experiencing on sarlona is that it is difficult to find people to run them with. Based on my guildies varying attitudes, I suspect it is that no one wants to learn how to succeed with this different structure of stars/scores. The weird differences between the challenges scare people off. If you can mitigate that at your end it would be nice.

I suspect another reason for the lack of groups is no one wants to teach others how to run them, and they are a far too new and unpopular a thing for people to be able to expect anyone they run with at all to know what they are doing. I honestly don't blame them. I spent an entire day trying to get people to come learn how to run them, and by the end of it I was burned out, not from running them, but from trying to explain everything.

As a side note, I have done successful runs of every basic map on: Arcane archer, acrobat w/ ftr splash, wizard, sorc, cleric, monk/pally, monk, barb... all solo. Some seemed easier to me on non arcanes/divines due to the lack of rest shrines. Some seemed easier on my melee types than on my ranged/caster types, though I'm not sure why.

Edit: Add my voice to those mentioning the scaling (specificly the number of mobs) they have said everything I would on the subject.

zorander6
01-12-2012, 02:16 AM
I'm trying to be constructive but the price for the pack is exorbitant. As for the challenges themselves I never see groups for them, I have only run one, and have no desire to deal with yet another crafting system. I mean seriously that's what, 9 different crafting systems now that I have to collect different items for? Crystal Cove was ok as a random event but seriously no desire to try challenges. I am not fond of timed quests and have no desire to run them unless absolutely necessary.

I gave up on cannith crafting since it was too time consuming for what little game time I get, I have not even started shroud crafting, and seriously have no desire to start challenge crafting. Every pack IMO does not need a new crafting system and personally I'd be happier if there could be a maximum of one or at most two crafting systems (gasp combine shroud crafting with lesser ones?) Sorry I see more requests for airships with altars for shroud than I do for challenges. Could I lead one? Sure, but I have other quests I'd rather run.

Frankly I'm probably not the intended market but I have no desire to bother with the challenges. If there was an item that would help my cleric or favored soul that I felt could be acquired in a reasonable amount of time I might bother but honestly haven't heard of anything worthwhile.

Gratch
01-12-2012, 02:23 AM
I like the challenge content as it does mix things up, gives a direct line of rewards that let you build toward certain gear (as well as slotting that gear). Though while we have the content devs at the capped end (80% of my toons are capped at all times), I'd really like more high level raids especially ones with a challenge like the pair of epic raids we just got. MORE OF THAT IS MY HIGHEST WISH.

As to the specific challenges. Some of it still needs rebalancing and sometimes the challenges seem to get randomly setup in unwinnable fashions (no crests to unlock rushmore doors, no purples anywhere near a torch chain in the lava caves, etc). There also seems to be a massively unfair balancing of mob HP versus arcanes for some reason. I get that in short and non-epic quests arcanes are abit Op. But in long spell point exhausting quests (dragon hoarde, colossal, disruptor) with epicwarded mobs and boss mobs that never run out of HP's - arcanes are almost the worst thing to have. Why so wardist and classist Turbine?

Drona
01-12-2012, 02:27 AM
1) I avoid timed content if I can. The first few times I run a quest I like to loiter and take things in. I don't like to be rushed through stuff.

2) It is way too tied to the Crystal Cove event. I mess around on the island when the event rolls around but I detest babysitting the Kobolds. It never felt D&D to me, it felt like a Facebook game.

3) It doesn't feel like it has a serious goal. It doesn't seem like it advances an actual serious plot line. It is just learn it so you can farm stuff. It has a 'hurry through this so you can gather stuff' feel that doesn't appeal to me.



Absolutely correct!

Flavilandile
01-12-2012, 02:29 AM
This topic should prove interesting. :)

As you all know, U12 saw the release of a new type of content - Challenges.

I would like to get your thoughts on these - preferably in a constructive manner. I’m specifically interested in gameplay feedback.

Oh dear.



For those who do not enjoy this type of gameplay, can you elaborate on why?


ok, I find the challenge as an effective time sink between two groups. Now I hate Rushmore... this Specific map is a pain and this kind of challenge is awful... And I only get tokens for it.

The other ones are more interesting though after a few times they become boring and tedious. ( like Cove, but Cove had both the items and the XP appeal, which the Challenges don't have )

Seriously, in my opinion Challenges are great idea for event type things, but not as a standard feature that is always on. Thats what made the Cove so loved, a Challenge with great items to get.

Right now the Challenges have several problems compared to the Cove :
- They are always on, people will get bored with them
- The items are not that appealing ( in fact compared to cove, crafted and other epic items they have almost no appeal )
- the pack price is too high. ( ok, I don't care I'm VIP, but a lot of people don't have them because they are F2P/Premium and don't want to pay that much for Cove rehash. )

Last, I find them tough on anything that is not a minmaxed arcane... On a minmaxed arcane it's just zergathon.



For those of you who do enjoy playing them, what aspects do you enjoy?


Pro and Con above.



General feedback is encouraged, but again, please limit feedback to gameplay and respect other’s opinions. I expect this to be a very polarizing subject.

Thanks in advance.

Xoltaz
01-12-2012, 02:38 AM
Well i bought the pack and was disappointed. Why? The items are good, i like them. But that's the problem - I like a few to have on several of my toons. And here the grind begins:

Let's just assume you go for Tier 3 - you need twice as much items as you need from the Epic Challenges than you needed for Tier 1. However you still end farming the same optionals all over again. I woul really appreciate some kind of variety. Is it too much to ask to assign for Tier 1 Rushmore-ingredients, for Tier 2 Lava-Cave stuff and for Tier 3 Extraplanar Palace ones? So you can switch to other challenges as soon as you get bored and don't just have to grind the same quest (if epic or not) over and over and over again till you get the amount you want. If you want 2 or 3 items of the same kind, well its just even longer you need to farm the quests. At least you got one good point - they are BtA up to Tier 2, but if you want to slot some stuff in there, you also want to go up to Tier 3 which means you need to grind again till you got that extra Item up to Tier 2 for your other characters to use.

You might get a pro running the same challenge all over again but seriously.... you consider this as fun? And I hope you all agree on the fact that DDO should be fun to play.

I'm quite experienced, got several 5-star optionals done and also got enough favor to unlock Artificer, so I had a good look in all of the challenges. I like several of the optionals you have to do, some are harder to get as others but they are quite easy to 5-star them with a bit of effort (i played before you made it easier with the last patch, I just was too demotivated to run the same challenge up to xyz times to get enough of the items to fully upgrade the rewards you get there as a side note, so not sure what exactly changed since then) but I guess the basic principle remained the same.

Now a closer look to the special areas:
Rushmore - it's quite fun to play, however if you got all doors covered and all optionals done you can choose if you hunt more enemies down or wait the remaining 10-15 minutes to pass. I would appreciate a 'hand in and get reward , I'm fine with what i achieved so far'-option. Saves you some idling till the time runs out. Maybe all of the rushmore adventures should have several salesmen where you can sell your spare time to them to make it end quicker.

Lava Caves & Extraplanar Palace - quite fun to play, I liked the extraplanar palace more however. Lavacaves was just too close to CC. Optionals are not that different but either its the palace environment or sth else - if i can choose, I'd vote for palace to do some stuff in theres

Kobold Island - One word fits it best i assume: HORRIBLE. As mentioned before i played it before the last challenge-patch which should make it easier, but it was quite a pain covering all of the extractors, for some optionals you even dont have enough time to suceed in there and the fact that you need stuff from the ddo-store to have even a slight chance to get more stars in there... doubt you will sell much of those and it also makes the challenges less popular. Not sure if you are aiming for that, but if you did you scored!

To sum it up - i bought the challenges-package. But it is pretty unlikely I will buy any further challenge packages if more come out. It is something different but its a) too much grind of the same challenge over and over again b) all of the challenges are too similar - aim for variety! You achieved it with the quests, why did you fail at the challenges? c) the price really hurt

dunklezhan
01-12-2012, 03:06 AM
I know people are running these things - but I have yet to see a single LFM on Argo, euro evening times. THis could be because they aren't being run on argo at those times, it could be that they aren't being run in PuGs (which is a crying shame) or it could be that people are soloing them.

I'd like to see LFM integration improved for challenges, for example the quest names in the LFM panel be changed to start with 'Challenge - [name]' to make them easier to find, as they would be all clustered together. I'd also like to see an LFM created for one of these selections default to +/- 1 level of the level of the person starting the LFM.

I'm also not sure its necessary to have all the ingredient types split over the 5 level brackets with the exception of maybe the epic gear. Fact of the matter is a lot of people (not me especially) level so fast that its pointless buying anything other than the L16+ stuff, unless you intend to hold onto the lowbie ingredients or gear until the next life.

I'm all for different ingredients coming from different challenges - but why not have those ingredients count for different items, not different levels of items? E.g. the ingredients you get from the Disruptor are always used to buy x y and z items - of whatever level. The only thing that changes between item x of L4, 8, 12, 16 would be the number of ingredients. This would more closely link certain gear with specific challenges, and hopefully would mean that players could for example pop back into a specific challenge once per level until the number of ingredients they have dovetails with the price of an item of comparable level, then they can choose to spend it there and then.

I think what's happening right now is that people are grinding the challenges at L4, 8, 12, 16 for ingredients in order to get an item they can usefor the next 4 levels, instead of just playing them in a more ad hoc fashion and buying stuff when they have enough ingredients. Currently you can't do that - starting at L4, by the time you'd have enough ingredients you'll be L7 or 8 and you want the L8 gear, but now you have to grind a whole different set of ingredients.

I like the idea of the challenges, I'd quite like to run them, but folks in my guild are not interested at all, there's no LFMs, and I don't want to start LFMs for challenges and give people the impression that I know what I'm doing...

Feithlin
01-12-2012, 03:16 AM
I'm probably not the type you want to hear from. I avoided challenges like the plague but perhaps the reasons why I did might be useful. . .

1) I avoid timed content if I can. The first few times I run a quest I like to loiter and take things in. I don't like to be rushed through stuff.

2) It is way too tied to the Crystal Cove event. I mess around on the island when the event rolls around but I detest babysitting the Kobolds. It never felt D&D to me, it felt like a Facebook game.

3) It doesn't feel like it has a serious goal. It doesn't seem like it advances an actual serious plot line. It is just learn it so you can farm stuff. It has a 'hurry through this so you can gather stuff' feel that doesn't appeal to me.

I get that I am probably not the type that this is meant to appeal but is I had to sum it up in one word it would be too gimmicky. Good luck with feedback from people that actually play them though. Hopefully you can improve them a bit for those people :)

I have an overall similar feeling about challenges. This sounds more nintendo than D&D. It's probably possible to make challenges with a more serious feeling though.

In general, I'm also not a big fan of timed quests. The good point of some of the challenges is that they're short (not all of them though), so I can do one then go to something more serious.
Overall, challenges greatly favor characters with a high speed run, and casters in general. I only do the challenges with my monk and my wizard.
* An example of another way to do it would be a challenge where you need to defend an outpost, with waves of enemies every time harder, with the points depending on how long you could survive. To prevent the challenge from requiring your death, you could have an option to stop after each wave so a character who had a bad time could decide to stop there.
* Another type of challenges could be to involve sneaking in a house to assassinate someone. The stealth could be optional for the barbarian-lovers, but still be an effective way to complete the challenge.
There are probably a lot more possibilities, these are only examples.

In the future, I wouldn't like updates with only challenges. It could be fine if there were 3-4 quests with one though, but in this case, the challenge should be some kind of bonus, not a requisite to advance the quest chain.

I like the fact that you can do them at every level with some benefit. This way, I can level my toon and do a challenge from time to time to gather some ingredients and get some xp. I'm not in the xp per minute mood so I don't really care if it's not the best way to level.

I also like the fact that you can do them for free. It takes more time to gather the ingredients obviously, but this is possible. And since I hate doing the same quest 5 times in a row, it's fine to do one from time to time.

As a final note, I would reiterate that I prefer content with a plot, more than platform-games, even if some are acceptable from time to time as long as they don't replace the *real* quests, which constitute the game.

Feithlin
01-12-2012, 03:19 AM
I'm all for different ingredients coming from different challenges - but why not have those ingredients count for different items, not different levels of items? E.g. the ingredients you get from the Disruptor are always used to buy x y and z items - of whatever level. The only thing that changes between item x of L4, 8, 12, 16 would be the number of ingredients. This would more closely link certain gear with specific challenges, and hopefully would mean that players could for example pop back into a specific challenge once per level until the number of ingredients they have dovetails with the price of an item of comparable level, then they can choose to spend it there and then.

(I highlight)

I wouldn't like it this way as it would favor grinding with level 20 only. One of the good things of the challenges is that you get the same benefit from doing it at level 4 or at level 20.

Shade
01-12-2012, 03:37 AM
The ingredients are calculated like this:

First you have a base score - e.g. the number of crystals in Lava Caves. Say you've acquired 190 crystals.
Then this is modified by the difference between the highest player level and the difficulty setting. e.g. if you are doing 21 Time is Money with level 20s, you are 1 level under quest level, which is +10%. 190 + 10% = 209. This is the score that shows up on your screen at the top.
Then, each challenge has a multiplier. Rushmore seems to be 12% of your score. Lava Caves seems to be 61%. Kobold Island might be 13% or so. You then get this number of ingredients (61% of 209 is ~130).

Note that stars have nothing to do with it, and some of the star objectives seriously sabotage your score (e.g. 'Send Kobolds through teleporters 200 times'.

The focus of Rushmore runs is optimizing speed killing of trash mobs. Killing Phantasmal Hounds in 8 seconds rather than 10 makes a big difference in a 23-25 run, whereas killing Smiling Sam in 90 seconds rather than 110 makes a much smaller difference to your performance overall.

I'd rather a future challenge where boss combat is the focus instead of trash combat. Classes are *moderately* balanced in anti-boss performance, but no class without Energy Drain can match the performance of Energy Drain classes against 8k+ HP trash.

Not exactly.

They changed it up quite a bit in the last cpl patches.

Now kills add to score in every challenge. Even the collection ones.
1 trash kill = 1 point
1 orange named = 5 points
1 red named = varies:
rushmoor bosses - huge, 600+ points
common reds in extractor - 10
cloudgiant in caves - 15

Then in collection crystals = 1 point. Tho in an epic, since its 21+ min, thats +10%, so:
Green = 1.1 point (it does count fractions)
purp = 11
progenitor = 110

And yea your ingredient reward is a percentage of your score. Though it varies from challenge to challenge, not just map to map.. EG: Collosal non epic is ~75%, collosal epic is 100%.

Also in rushmoor, monsters are worth a bit more, but still very litte. Seems to get up to around 1.5 to 2.5 points a kill in the top epic ones, +score modifier.

But bosses are worth like I said 600+ (spiders worth less, maybe ~100)
Opening gates are worth ~80 points

So if you ONLY kill all bosses and open all gates youll have 3000 + 1280 = ~4280 base score on lvl20. Most of the best end scores posted are only in the 4400 to 4800 range, so actaully killing trash monsters has extremely little effect on your ingredient reward.

So actually in rushmoor, is you want the best ingredient over time ratio, the best strategy is to ignore all the trash monsters using mass invis, and go straight for the gates and bosses.

Shade
01-12-2012, 03:37 AM
Personally I like the challenges. I like that they finally gave us a way to compete besides speed runs or simple kill count contests. I like the repeatable nature and fact running epics never really has a way to win, their is always that run where you could get luckily or do better and top your best score..

But they could be so much better with some minor fixes:
-Disable the scaling and greatly drop the hitpoints in epic versions. Encourage group play because for a lot of players, thats the only way theyd get in (easy to give unbound tokens to a friend if you know they cant be a detriment)

-Tweak the 25s to add more incentive to run em over 23 (max loot lvl). Maybe add some epic fragments in the chests, or rare changes at rare ddo-store only items like super ability potions.

-Fix the leaderboards. People like to compete for score, not arbitrary stars. Let us sort them by either score or stars, and track the highest score for each player, not just the highest score they got on their highest star run.

-Unbreak the disruptor and shortcuts extraction challenges. They are utterly unfun without the ability to invis the things, and just plain annoying and too difficul to run. Yet I actually enjoy kobold chaos.. Main issue is that disruptor and shortcuts are just far too hard for most players, so if I pug a run, all I can expect is a lot of deaths. Decrease the difficult al around, SEVERELY drop the red named (who have freakin 100k hp on lvl20 and 300k+ on 25 hp down to reasonable lvls. No idea why you made these so insane, but made the marilith in the palace so easy, when to begin with, she was already easier.

And fix in the scaling in them. The extractors hp should not scale, nor should how the canon perform. It ends up being FAR easier to solo as the canons deal similar dmg while solo, but mobs have way less hp. Then in a grp the canon are worthless as they cant put a dent in the mobs.

Lava caves: Wouldn't tweak too much.. Just the Cloudgiant: He's just an annoyance with excessive hp and crazy AI.. I guess thats partially intended. But monsters should be a "THREAT" not an annoyance.
Decrease his hp, but increase his damage output and make him more interested in melee'ing so you can take the brunt of that damage to save the kobolds, and not have to try and guess where his random arrows will fly next.

Rushmoor:
Make the buffs more common on high lvl epics, seems like they are less common for some reason. Also put in the chrono buffs in pic portals/moving targets, they seem to be only in behind the door which is sucky.

Air Elementals: Ugh.
Fix their no save abilitys. I don't care if you set them to a DC40+, just put a freakin save on the knockback and the gust of wind. Doesn't make sense for them to have 2 utterly crazy ability that cripple melee classes so harshly and not casters as much, in the ONE challenge where melee may actually be able to compete with casters (at great difficulty.)

dunklezhan
01-12-2012, 03:41 AM
I have another thought - and this is going to be such a minor point for a lot of folks it is probably irrelevant to the majority, but its relevant for me.

Where's the plot?

The challenges are just tacked on to the game. There's about a paragraph of text at each quest giver which gives some fairly 'meh' reason why we're doing the challenge. It follows none of the plot strands of the game generally that I've noticed, there's no link between the challenges themselves, no hard link to House C... they're quite clearly arcade games tacked on. They don't feel part of Stormreach, they don't feel part of the rest of the DDO game itself.

Perhaps if the challenges were spread around the various other houses, with themes appropriate to those houses. e.g. House Apprenticeship challenges.

House Phiarlan Challenge
Be a Phiarlan spy!
Enter the House Phiarlan Academy entrance exam, and stealth your way into the traitor's lair past all the traps and guards, eavesdrop on the secret meeting without being detected and steal the secret plans! Bonus stars for not raising an alarm, not killing guards and getting poison into the drinks at the meeting without being detected!


House Deneith Challenge
Join the Sentinel Reserves!
Prevent the construct army from taking the command post, either by holding the line or taking the fight to the enemy!

and so on.

Moltier
01-12-2012, 03:41 AM
i see no reason to buy the pack.
The cost is so high, its simply not worth it. Also its worth even less because we can play it for free.
I would pay 600TP for it. 700+ if there wouldnt free access to it.

dunklezhan
01-12-2012, 03:58 AM
(I highlight)

I wouldn't like it this way as it would favor grinding with level 20 only. One of the good things of the challenges is that you get the same benefit from doing it at level 4 or at level 20.

Note I deliberately excluded epic gear sharing the ingredients, meaning you'd be running the challenges at L19 for <L20 gear with your capped character, not epic gear. This would still be a reasonable challenge for average geared L20 characters, and frankly given that the choices at end game are to hit grindy epics or endlessly run (i.e. grind) the same raids over and over again, why not add some more grind to it? That's apparently what end game is for. Certainly all i've done with my L20 since hitting cap is run Shroud every 3 days for ingredients to try to equip my other characters (fruitlessly I might add, ye gods the shroud grind is dull), and epics don't appeal even remotely.

In short, I don't actually see the problem - if people want to grind ingredients with their 20s to outfit their lowbie toons, that seems to fit with the overall game model as it is anyway. L20s running shroud & reavers refuge, soloing Droaam quests looking for marks... its what we do, isn't it? The current set up with the challenges, where people (apparently) try to get gear at level doesn't seem to work either because, as I said, you outlevel the gear befor eyou get the ingredients to buy them, unless you make a concerted effort to grind out the challenges at that level. The folks who are willing to grind generally want to level fast too, and the two are mutually exclusive with challenges since they (rightly) don't offer a lot of XP.

The fact that unless you buy the VERY expensive pack or are a VIP, you can only run like one or two challenges a day with tokens exacerbates this problem - if there are no LFMs for the challenges, F2Pers see no reason to buy the pack, meaning less people to run the challenges ad hoc and therefore less people running them at all.

quijenoth
01-12-2012, 04:44 AM
Sooo many things to discuss I wont cram all my comments into one post. to keep it constructive Ill post each concern sepereately...

So far I like the challenges, some I favor over others but I was a big fan of Crystal Cove. Like others have mentioned, the relative dificulty and the need to be self sufficient is what cripples the enjoyment of most of these quests. I appreciate that you suggest people to run it at lower difficulties than their actual levels but going backwards like this is alien to human behaviour, we would much rather do it at level and then TRY higher levels. something the N/H/E system accomplashes...

Levels & Scaling (yeah i know thats two things but they are linked)
So since the challenges came out I have been running them on my level 20 pale master. doing some at minimum level (to learn and 5 star) and others at max level (for ingredients and gold star).
Once I unlocked artificer I started to concentrate more on ingredients, not being able to do 3 of the quests at level 20 I decided to run them at level on my level 9 cleric8/monk1 with a friend ive been running the quests for a while now on a level 9 barbarian. Quite frankly we got destroyed in kobold chaos. not having heavy fortification to mitigate the 6+ mobs critting us for 30-40 damage bled my spellpoints dry in under 5 minutes. extractors where getting "under attack" messages and instead of going down 1 or 2% ever few seconds like at level 20, they were dropping by as much as 15%! we couldnt keep more than 2 extractors up for more than 2 waves and near the end, even with 2 turrets helping, extractors where being destroyed before we could aggro all the sahuarghin.

Quite frankly the ability to choose a level needs to go! Unless you can balance EACH level for new players, old players or balanced parties and unbalanced PUGs, the level system just encourages people to give up or wait until they are 20 to run these.

Scaling is incredibly harsh, especially on the non-self-sufficient. even by just adding a hireling the quests can become uncontrolably difficult. on the flip side running them solo on a self -sufficient character makes some of these challenges a walk in the park. experienced players and TRs will likely stock up on potions thanks to disposable incomes to achieve success on non-self-sufficient toons (MY TR barbarian has been quite successful soloing back door and circles at level 7 but the moment I tried in a group it failed misserably).

Suggestions
Make challenges use the traditional Normal/Hard/Elite progression. Include Casual/Solo in the challenges but have this one SPECIFICALLY DESIGNED FOR SOLO PLAY BY ANY CLASS!
Set each quest to a specific level. On a few maybe make them available on 2 or 3 other levels.
Back Door, Circles of Power and Kobold Chaos: Make one of these level 4, one 6 and the last one level 8.

Spend time to balance each quest at the specified level. Certain quests lend themselves to higher levels especially the combat orientated ones. Help out certain classes within the dungeon. You have already done so with speed boots in rushmore but theres just not enough. challenges need to put everyone on an even slate so if you need haste to win make sure everyone can have haste without the need for a caster. (personally I've already voiced that rushmore needs to be scaled down in map size so that haste is not infact required when these appeared on Lam)
Additionally, the Turrets should be there to help succeed, but the costs in making them impeads their use, especially when playing a melee that needs to protect additional turrets. modify the quests to reduce self-dependancy. With the exception of rushmore all require 3 or more dedicated jobs to be maintained to achieve victory. Ill explain how to reduce this in a followup post.

Also give players a trigger to start the quest timer with it automatically starting after the quest entrance is locked (3 minutes). At low levels buffs are a necessary requirement but you can waste precious time buffing at the start that some dont even bother resulting in failure. All the quests except Extraplanar Mining and Lava Caves have some form of start (first door in Rushmore, stepping off the airship in Kobold Island). Would suggest talking to the forman to "unleash the kobolds" would be a good starting point for the other two.

I'll go into loot a bit more on another post but for now with regards to the leveling structure I would suggest completely dropping the level 4 loot (it sucks and by the time you start running challenges your thinking of level 8 stuff because your past level 4). Distribute the ingredients rewards over one quest either via turns or % drop rates and make the items that require them available AT LEVEL!

Atree
01-12-2012, 05:47 AM
I've been running the challenges mostly solo so my view may be a bit biased in that regard.

Pros:
* Some of the challenges are short 5-10 minute solo runs so are a nice filler when there is not enough time for something longer.
* Some of the loot is really nice.
* Can be run in a wide range of levels and repeated endlessly so are always available.
* Give house C favor.
* Ability to exchange tokens instead of being forced to run the less fun variants.

Cons:
* There are really only 3 challenges (kill boss in mansion, protect Kobold miners and protect extractors), with a few subtle variations, so the repeatability value fades quickly.
* Timed challenges are not conductive to a relaxed questing pace and/or "real life AFK"
* Have to wait out the timer even after objectives are completed. This is especially annoying if I've managed to complete the main objective in less than 5 minutes, got killed and then have to twiddle my thumbs for 15 minutes as a soul-stone or forfeit the rewards.
* Party size scaling is a disincentive to group for running most challenges.
* Wide range of levels compounds the problem of filling non-epic LFMs.
* Most have horrid xp/time once the initial star bonus has been achieved
* Kobolds and extractors are super hate-magnets. It is very frustrating having a red-named enemy maintain aggro on the kobolds for the entire 5 minutes it takes me to kill it. I've never ever managed to get the aggro of the storm giant in lava caves for example, even though I have killed it a few times.
* Buggy NPC AI, especially Kobolds ignoring the torch-line and going the long-way around aggro-ing half the dungeon.
* Large amount of quest-specific items (mansion crests f.x.) can quickly clog up my inventory.
* Air elementals make it impossible to solo-melee half the bosses in the mansion. I have enough strength and evasion to not get knocked down or hurt by them, but being endlessly tossed around like a ragdoll is no fun at all. I could live with that if it were not for the fact that once an elle gets sight of you it will never stop chasing, effectively halting my progress untill it is killed. To confound things they respawn very quickly unless their boss is killed as well.
* Random luck in pulling crests, crystal placement or Disruptor spawn can make a challenge trivial or impossible

Personally I find the Extraplanar palace to be the most fun, Lava caves and mansion are decent and the Island I dislike, so run it only for the favor unlocks.

Note that the class imbalance is particularly striking in many of the chalenges. My bard can keep herself perma-hasted, the ranger at least has a few sprint boosts, but the fighter wadlles along so very slowly that she is at a distinct disadvantage in the bigger maps. Extraplaner is hardly affected, lava caves is still doable, but the mansion is very iffy and I haven't even bothered trying the island with her.

Ability to cast persistant AoEs and/or CC is also magnified due to the time and aggro constraints in the challenges. In normal quests I can get by with doing things a bit slower on the fighter, but in the challenges I can't peel aggro so have to kill/control enemies fast when defending kobolds/extractors.

Lost_Leader
01-12-2012, 05:50 AM
Pros:
It's something different. I really like a little change up now and then.
XP is solid on first pass through star objectives. It drops rather dramitacally after that, but it keeps the "feel" of bravery bonus.
The loot is solid. Some very nice items in there that make it worth repeating to get what you want.
A nice alternative to getting epic tokens. Epic tokens were really becoming a grind, this atleast gives a nice alternative to bringing in some purples.
Kobolds are frackin hilarious, and the vocals added on kobold island and colossal crystals were perfect.


Cons:
Not sure why I haven't seen this one mentioned yet, but it is my number one dislike about challenges. Renown. Why doesn't it drop in these clicky-chests? Sure would be nice if running Challenges didn't cut way down on the amount of renown we bring in in a day. Sure, some is awarded for kills, but it isnt nearly enough compensation.
Number 2 dislike of the challenges is the return of the blanket immunity epic ward. The removal of this made epics so much more fun to play, the fact it remains in challenges reminds me regularly of how much I hate/d it. At least it reminds me of how much I like the removal of it everytime I run a regular epic quest.
Way too many hps on badguys in the Kobold Island. Particularly I am talking about red names. Wheeps, Shadows, Succubi, Horned Devils. It's absolutely crazy how many hps these guys have.
I can 5-6 star any of the Mansion, Lava Caves and Dragons Hoard (or atleast get pretty damned close), but the Kobold Island star objectives are 3 reasonable, with 4-6 requiring TP spent or some crazy amount of skill/luck that I am no where near achieving. I have run these things on level 20, 21 and 25, and havent gotten better than 3 stars on Disruptor or Shortcuts. 25 orthons and 10 fully upgraded turrets? I havent even seen more than 5 orthons in a run and lets just not talk about the turrets. How about 20 crystals per second for two solid minutes.. chya, right. I haven't even gotten close to a 4th star.

Dandonk
01-12-2012, 05:51 AM
I played the challenges some when they came out, but haven't bee back to them since. I don't really lilke them, though some of the rewards are nice enough that I may have to grind them at some point. Eww.

1) Soloing.
I was given to understand these were made to be soloing friendly, for when LFM/guild activity was low. This is clearly not the case for me. I get very little out of them solo, ingredient wise. I may not be the uberest player out there, but I not the worst by far, either - I don't see how they are solo friendly by any stretch.

2) Time.
They were also supposed to be short, fast missions that could be fitted in before a guild run. I don't see this at all - the ones I've played have been long, and some are extendable so you don't even have a set time frame.
Also, I severely dislike the constant time pressure. If I was going for top scores, sure time pressure should be extreme. But it feels wrong to me, a stress factor I don't appreciate in a game I play for fun. Fights should be hard, time pressure and runnig like a headless chicken in hope that you understand a little of the mission before it's too late? Not so much, IMO.

3) Price.
The price is overwhelmingly extreme for a pack that offers so little content. "But there are so and so many dungeons!" No, there's not. There are variations on a few themes. It's like calling each slayer step a seperate quest - naming it so doesn't make it so. It costs much more than any other pack, and has much less to offer.

4) XP.
The XP is horredously bad. Or was, when I tried them. I seem to remember something about it being made better, but I haven't been back since.

5). Rewards.
There are some decent (at least niche) items, and I guess the chance at +3 tomes and some epic tokens is good.
Items: This is good.
Tomes: These should drop elsewhere - if they do, I haven't seen them. If they don't, it's silly to try and make up for lackluster content by making exclusive drops in it. Make the content better before even thinking about exclusive stuff. It's a game, we're here to have fun - not grind bad content.
Tokens: Seems another bad way to entice players to play content they feel is lackluster.

6) Story.
Where's the story, the plot, the reason we're doing this? The challenges feel unfinished, a strange add-on to the game, both in mechanics and story-wise.

7) Misc.
Crystal Cove was fun. Once or twice per year. Twenty variations on the theme is not.
I actually payed for the pack, to try it out and see if there wasn't some good in it. Bad mistake, it's the worst use of TP possible since the introduction of +2 weapons.

Viisari
01-12-2012, 06:04 AM
1) Soloing.
I was given to understand these were made to be soloing friendly, for when LFM/guild activity was low. This is clearly not the case for me. I get very little out of them solo, ingredient wise. I may not be the uberest player out there, but I not the worst by far, either - I don't see how they are solo friendly by any stretch.


I've been able to get over 300 epic ingredients from solo runs myself. Think it was one of the extraplanar vault quest, haven't really soloed them much lately though so don't remember exactly which one. This was on a melee toon too, granted a very self-sufficient one (heal scrolls, SF pots, cure pots and 200-300% heal amp), but certainly not a caster.

As to the topic in general, I like the challenges myself, but as has been said the amount of scaling that happens is a bit silly. I'm kinda neutral about the deathward. My own caster has 44 necro dc and were you to remove the deathward I'd simply instakill almost everything (scorps and drow can be troublesome). On the other hand such blanket immunities, as has been said in the past, aren't very fun or logical.

Even with the deathward casters are generally more useful in challenges because not too many melees are as self-sufficient as casters are, and often in challenges being self-sufficient is very important/useful.

Oh, and I hate air elementals...

sirgog
01-12-2012, 06:20 AM
Even with the deathward casters are generally more useful in challenges because not too many melees are as self-sufficient as casters are, and often in challenges being self-sufficient is very important/useful.



Not to mention how important burst DPS is in a lot of them.

Doing 300 damage per second over a sustained time is not nearly as useful as dealing 1200 damage per second for a 30-60 second blaze of glory, at least when Devashta is threatening your kobold line.

lhidda
01-12-2012, 06:41 AM
This topic should prove interesting. :)

As you all know, U12 saw the release of a new type of content - Challenges.

I would like to get your thoughts on these - preferably in a constructive manner. I’m specifically interested in gameplay feedback.

For those who do not enjoy this type of gameplay, can you elaborate on why?

For those of you who do enjoy playing them, what aspects do you enjoy?

General feedback is encouraged, but again, please limit feedback to gameplay and respect other’s opinions. I expect this to be a very polarizing subject.

Thanks in advance.

I pretty much like challenges, its a welcome diversification of ddo gameplay. But I do not want challenges to dominate ddo (Actually they dont ...).

The AI of kobold is ok, but can be better. Sometimes they ignore dds and teleporter and run the whole way back thorugh lava and pulling monster.

Since I am a perfectionist, I want the optionals (stars) to be achievable. There are some implemented which can not be done. Also there are some i realized where you have to spent tp for it (at least i think so). I do not appreciate that.

I bought the pack, and I love to have the challenge token to put them into the supply vaults. =)

I also welcome the diversity of rewards you can get. Really, epic undead or velah beater for many weapon types. Thats great. I need not to build so much gs items. I like building gs items, but i am in need of many. So every item which i can build not running shroud (i like shroud, but not more than 2-3/week) is welcome.

All in all, thumbs up!

Natean
01-12-2012, 06:43 AM
I really enjoy Challenges. The one thing that got me hooked is the Challenge leaderboards, I always want to be the top, and make every run better than before.

As for the challenges themselves. It is much too difficult to do without a self sufficient build. I have yet to run any epics yet however, so my feedback will be at level.

Dr rushmores mansion, by far my favorite. Once learned, it is almost always possible for a 4-5 star at level with a self sufficient group. I like the bosses getting biffs from elementals idea, but Water seems to heal much more than you can DPS (if they are alive) and Air elementals really annoy everyone (as many have complained).

Kobold Island, to me, this is not possible without a large group. I guess I am not experienced enough, but most runs are us running around.

Lava Caves, The power circles are a good idea. 300 extra crystals is really pushing luck rather than skill. Colossal Crystal is brutal when the kobold dies. Especially when they are all so weak (I understand this makes sense for Extraplanar palace)

Extraplanar palace, again, 300 extra crystals is near impossible without good luck. I can consistantly get 4 stars, but just not manage that. The other one that requires 120 monsters killed. For some reason, this doesnt seem to be possible anymore with a small group as things dont seem to be where they usually spawn. And also, they seem to randomly spawn there at some time which really disrupts the crystal flow where they should be cleared.

But thanks for giving us challenges, it really does have another element to the game to those who like it and give a different way to aquire epic items.

Tiamas
01-12-2012, 07:01 AM
My first impression of challenges: I didn't like them, it felt like they were way to hard to ever get enough stars to unlock artificer or get enough ings for items and some parts seemed buggy to me (Kobold AI in extraplanar palace).

But after a few weeks I started another attempt with a friend and we started running different challenges to get some of the items. And hey, we managed to do better and better with each attempt. Right now I got several goldstar runs a lot of "many-stars" runs and got some top positions in the leaderboard (wohoo *g*). And of course i unlocked Artificer (with only LoB hard, MA normal, 2 flagging quests elite and Schemes only normal). I can say it simply takes a while until you can love them *g*

So I will give a little breakdown what I like and what I don't like:

Good stuff:

A lot of funny quests, I even like the Rushmoores quests best, even if Time/Reward ratio is horrible. Its never boring in there, i always think "Oh, i have to hurry only few minutes left" and in the end I spent 30 min in there and didn't even realize it.
Nice items
Mostly doable in very small groups (2-3)
Insane XP for firsttime completion of an objective. I think we got about 40k XP for a 5 star lvl 21 buying time 11 min run on our first attempt, since we practised on 20. Even if you cant do every quest easily with 5/6 stars, lets assume around 10 is possible, thats 400k XP without grinding repetitions, only repetitions to learn the quest and manage to do a good run.
Another way to get epic tokens
Possibility to compare your score with others


Bad stuff (most was mentioned already):

Some objectives need Store Items (10 Lvl 2 turrets)
Time limit in disruptor and shortcuts is way too small, there was a post where someone did the maths which showed that you had a 6 second window in one quest and it was impossible in the other quest to get all star objectives. All challenges should be doable without store stuff (pack is expensive enough)
Very low XP as soon as you got the same amount of stars in a previous run
Low score points for starobjectives/bosses/reds/oranged etc, actually only in rushmoores you can get stars AND score
Cloudgiant AI/HP


Suggestions:

Adjust quests so they can be done without store stuff. The store should be a help for people, not a requirement.
Starobjectives/bosses/etc. should have bigger influence on your score
Raise XP for star objectives on repetitions. For example first star stays as is, second 10% more than now, third 20%, 4th 40%, 5th 75% more. Raises the replayability for XP (not given right now)
Cloudgiant AI/HP, either allow hate on the giant so you can pull him off the kobolds, or lower HP a bit or change something that makes him less annoying

Ganak
01-12-2012, 07:10 AM
I enjoy the challenges because it gives me something to solo. I love the short challenges b/c I can solo them without committing alot of time.

I'd like to see more named epic items added to them over time. I think this is a good venue to close existing gaps in loot. I think adding the elemental weapons after the initial release were great.

voodoogroves
01-12-2012, 07:32 AM
Air Elementals: Ugh.
Fix their no save abilitys. I don't care if you set them to a DC40+, just put a freakin save on the knockback and the gust of wind. Doesn't make sense for them to have 2 utterly crazy ability that cripple melee classes so harshly and not casters as much, in the ONE challenge where melee may actually be able to compete with casters (at great difficulty.)
Make them strength and dex checks, not saves - similar to a trip check. Melee love.

patang01
01-12-2012, 07:34 AM
I'd like to echo what people say about scaling but the biggest gripe is the silly level requirements. Especially when I have to either TR or start up a whole new character to be able to do something of the 1-15 challenges just to have mats to make certain level gear.

All challenges should be 1-20 and 21-25 (when needed). I don't see why that couldn't be accomplished and I'd like less stupidity in Kobold Pathing.

Having poor pathing and excusing how Kobolds have a tendency not to take the torches back the same way and then end up getting attack where their first impulse is to stand there and take it, just frustrates me.

You'd think the Kobolds would at least have some of the instinct of their waterworks cousins; to jump around a lot or run.

But they don't. They scream panic and then stand there and take it until dead.

Please make all challenges doable 1-20. And please fix pathing.

shadowspeaker
01-12-2012, 07:57 AM
I would like to get your thoughts on these - preferably in a constructive manner. I’m specifically interested in gameplay feedback.

---They added something else to do to break up the leveling.

For those who do not enjoy this type of gameplay, can you elaborate on why?

---I dislike being stuck to a clock. I would rather finish in my own time. I hate finishing and have 10 mins left with nothing left to do.
--- To many things to collect to build stuff. Please let us name our collectable bags. I think I carry 6 or 8 now just so I can keep the trash a bit tiddy.


For those of you who do enjoy playing them, what aspects do you enjoy?

---I like the use of the CC turn in system.




..

MeatSheild
01-12-2012, 08:05 AM
One thing I thought I'd see in a challenge that I didn't was a non-killing related challenge. Something like lemmings but with kobolds or randomized puzzles under a set time limit where you'd get more stuff (stars, mats, what ever) baised on how many you solved or how effective your solving skills where (like the game Intelligent Qube). This takes build and gear out of the equation and challenges the team/player.

Sarisa
01-12-2012, 08:14 AM
I bought the pack when it came out, and have run the challenges a grand total of twice. Aside from Rushmore, I do NOT enjoy them, and doubt I ever will.

Rushmore isn't really that bad, its strengths and flaws are all described in detail above. It's just inefficient for ingredients when compared to the others. The time it takes is also difficult when the people you run with are all older people with families and other responsibilities.

Lava Caves and Extraplanar Vault are just rehashes of Crystal Cove. I'm simply burnt out on Cove after the massive grindfest we had recently, and many others I've talk to expressed the same thing. These kobolds seem a LOT squishier than the Cove ones. I wouldn't mind one set of challenges that were Cove-like, but these comprise half the pack. Having no shrine in Extraplanar Vault is also an issue, especially for the dragon challenge.

Kobold Island comprises the worst aspect of questing, protecting an aggro magnet. Requiring a self sufficient player with high Intim just to get a mob with under half health to finally change target to you from the extractor is crazy.

I also dislike the old-style epic ward, and the scaling on epic. This I know is made for making it friendlier for solo players, but it's a completely different mechanic from the rest of epic. People who have only done epic challenges (aside from the CR24-25 ones) are not prepared for what happens in real epic quests.

I also dislike that these quests are the best source of epic tokens in the game, by far. I've heard reports of upwards of 12 tokens per hour, which is way below the best speed you can get in real epic questing (4 in an hour with two consecutive runs of eDA with alts). eDA is way more challenging, and should reward you better (eDA I don't believe drops +3 tomes, high CR epic challenges can).

The challenge system also destroyed my desire to cap favour, which I had done in update 10, and almost completed in update 11. Some of these challenges are impossible to gold-star due to requiring cash items or simply unbalanced goals. Add on top of it the bug where you don't get your favour rewards if you cross over a boundary by doing the challenges.


Make them strength and dex checks, not saves - similar to a trip check. Melee love.

The knockdown already is. It's just that the STR required (nobody can get DEX high enough) for high CR eles in Reaver's Fate or Rushmore is so insanely high that only top tier Barbs and Kensai's can reach it.

Gust of Wind should be a fort save like it is in PnP (however, the PnP version of Gust of Wind and the DDO version have different effects, besides knocking down Halflings).

The knockback is the obnoxious ability that needs to be adjusted, with extreme prejudice.

EnjoyTheJourney
01-12-2012, 08:23 AM
I've read a few more responses an I realized that there's one more question not asked by MadFloyd, but that the devs would probably like to know about.

Question: Would I buy another Challenge pack, if another one was put together?
Answer: Almost certainly not

I like the current Challenges pack because it's different, and it's different in that it provides something unusual to do in a short (!) period of time, and they can be done solo (ie: no "simultaneous pressure plate" stuff that is an obvious attempt to discourage solo play). The increase in fun associated with another Challenge pack would probably be quite low (already got one, why would I need two?) and for that reason I'd be unlikely to want to purchase another one.

AZgreentea
01-12-2012, 08:28 AM
I generally dont have a problem with the pack, and I even purchased it when it was on sale. However, there are only two packs in the game that give House C favor. A high level pack, and this one which can be hard to earn favor from. I would like the pack more if earning favor was more straight forward.. Maybe leave the old star system in place, but reward favor based on a CR range. Divide the available CR by 3 (like the current N/H/E system) and if you complete the quest at the CR for Elite you get full favor.

somenewnoob
01-12-2012, 08:29 AM
I've only run Rushmore, Lava Caves and Extraplanar Mining, so from that perspective:

Crystal collection......."another one? Really?" . I liked Cove, but not because of the collection, it was kobold voices and GREAT loot that made it worthwhile. Plus the pirate theme was sweet. Using this over and over again feels lazy, and doing the exact same thing in different settings is pretty boring.

Rushmore wasn't bad.

In general, I'm not a fan, because they have 2 mechanics I don't like:

Protect the NPC.......there are just a lot of them to protect. I've never liked htose type quests, I never will. I do it when I have to, but I don't like doing it over and over again.

Timed quests......in general I dislike time limits. I like to take my time exploring new areas, smash everything, peek into every nook and cranny. You can't really do that in these, it feels more like a rushed zerg. Rushmore could have been a fun multi objective quest, but it's just this rushed cluster eff through the mansion as it is.


All in all, I think I would rather not see challenges added int he future. And definitely not lazy "cove clone" type things for sure. You should have just turned cove into a permanent challenge area with some minor modifications, and left it at that.

And one more thing.....STOP WITH NEW INGREDIENTS. Seriously, it's overkill at this point. Enough. I'm completely burnt out on having to collect 500 of this stuff to make this other stuff good.

One thing I DO LIKE, is that you make progress towards your item every time you run it. I wish more raid loot/spic loot was like this.

falcon2030
01-12-2012, 09:15 AM
This topic should prove interesting. :)

...
I would like to get your thoughts on these - preferably in a constructive manner. I’m specifically interested in gameplay feedback.

For those who do not enjoy this type of gameplay, can you elaborate on why?

For those of you who do enjoy playing them, what aspects do you enjoy?

...

For my opinion, I feel that the quest design as far as differentiation from the typical quest packs was a good idea, diversity is always a possitive. With that being said I have a couple big complaints:

First, as a player of primarily divine characters, I feel that we have been shunned in the loot dept. of these quests. Every savant, wiz, rogue, melee, and arti have loot that seems designed for their types but not one thing in the crafting table for these challenges works well for a divine character. So aside from helping guildies gather their gear for their toon why should I run them?

Second, and this is with all quest designs throughout the game. One of the reasons I started playing DDO 6 years ago was that the quest seemed to be diversified from the typical "Hack-n-Slash" of other MMO's. Hack-n-Slash is okay in a few quests as it caters to the diversity issue. Now with the revamps and nerfs to out-of-the-box strategies, this game is getting worse to the point where I find myself bored even with new content because it is the same thing as the old, with only the background changed.

I would love to see more cerebral gameplay and design out of these challenges, but I will not hold my breath.

Carpone
01-12-2012, 09:37 AM
Running challenges before level 20: I won't do it. Even with an optimal group with twinked gear, it's not efficient to run challenges for XP. I'd rather run XP efficient quests with little to no risk rather than bank on trying to 5-star a challenge for 55k XP that may or may not be possible due to the random number generator (mansion crest availability, crystal concentration/placement, etc).

At level 20, if you don't raid then the loot rewards are fine. If you raid, then there's little reason to do challenges for loot rewards. There are few exceptions, like the level 16 wind bracers for the AC tanks, and perhaps the Tier3 Spare Hand if you're a TWF toon with Improved Sunder, Tier3 Ring of the Stalker and Tier3 Frozen Tunic for monks (in certain circumstances at least). Compared to what's available elsewhere in the game, the challenge weapons really aren't a consideration for raid encounters. The undead weapon is fine for Abbot, but I already have a triple positive Green Steel maul which I've had crafted long before the challenges (and is more useful b/c of the Raise Dead clicky). The dragon weapon is pretty meh, considering other options available.

Healers have absolutely ZERO reason to run challenges for loot rewards. The Turbine itemization folks really dropped the ball on that. If you want healers to do challenges, then introduce multiple rewards for healers. You can start with a +7 Wisdom item (see thread in my sig regarding +7 WIS items being ignored compared to all other stats).

Blasting Chime's Weaken Construct doesn't work on Lord of Blades. Really?

zeonardo
01-12-2012, 09:39 AM
I have all the Adventure Packs/Races/Classes (except Drow for obvious reasons) in the game. All of them with my money without being VIP in any momment. I want to support the game and I like playing it on my free time.

I didn't buy the challenge pack because there's nothing in there for me.
I only play Divines. Other classes are just splashes or test builds.
If I want to play a content just for fun, I play the ones I already have.


I know some of you will say "and what about this item or that other one, it could fit in if, and only if, you were that one build MrGrog/Shadow posted on the forums and blah blah blah"

luvirini
01-12-2012, 09:50 AM
Overall:
Rushmore, really nice: feels different than normal quests so is quite fun. points: 9/10
Lava caves and extraplanar mining: Bleh, too much like each other and chrystal cove. Points: 4/10
Kobold island: Pretty much like other protection quests with small rts elements: points: 6/10

General notes on epic:
The old style death immune mobs are kind of annoying in the epic versions, for the very same reasons they were immune in normal epics.

Epic quests that use dungeon scaling, really? really?

General notes on all:
The dungeaon scaling is bit overboard overall.

Too many types of ingredients added.. total ammount of ingredients in the game is just way too high overall.

Suggestions for new challenges:
In general they should be something different, meaning things that are different from normal gameplay. Else just make normal quests.

Some possibilites: (though many of these are limited to some classes, so might not be development priority)
-A parcour track
-Direct DPS challenges, Melee, ranged and Spell.
-Million traps track for rogues and overconfident monks..
-Underwater swim track, with somethingcausing both warforged and underwater action items to need to surface too.
-Social skills challenges.

Some more generic things:
-Traditional treasure hunt: get some item that can indicate distance to nearest treasure(like: near, quite near, far, very far), but not direction. Having several such treasures hidden in random locations on a map and you would need to go around and use the item(with suitably long cooldown) and get readings, thus occasionally you would get reading from different treasure than the one you got reading for last time..
-Murder mystery.. closed room, random plot like those board games and then talk to people and such to who is lying and search places to get clues.
-Catapults. Defend some harbor or such by firing a catapult at approaching ships, with ballistic trajectory and moving ships.

zeonardo
01-12-2012, 09:52 AM
Healers have absolutely ZERO reason to run challenges most contents for loot rewards. The Turbine itemization folks really dropped the ball on that. If you want healers to do challenges play the game and group up, then introduce multiple rewards for healers. You can start with a +7 Wisdom item

Here.
Fixed it for you.

Nice thread btw, Carpone!

MartinusWyllt
01-12-2012, 09:54 AM
- Hate the timers. I don't like racing against a timer or being locked into having to set aside a certain amount of time to complete something.

I agree with this. For some of the challenges a timer makes sense (like time is money). To me the Dr. Rushmore timer does not specifically make sense, nor does it really in some of the mining quests. I'd like to see fewer timer-based failures and more time-based star objectives. This way you're rewarded for doing it fast...and you're obviously being rewarded for ingredients/min, too. I wouldn't mind doing them slower in some challenges, though, just a less frantic pace once in a while.

Thrudh
01-12-2012, 09:55 AM
I will say that I completely and utterly hate the Rushmore mansion. Why? The stupid crest doors. Example: First crest door, need 1 monkey. What do me and my wife get before the monkey finally shows up after 5 minutes? About 5 of every single other crest after breaking everything in the area and killing lots of guys (we ran out of time trying to find more monkeys for other doors too). Being held up in a certain area by something so unlucky makes the entire quest entirely too luck based. I do not feel like I am making progress in the quest so much as just getting really lucky and getting the crests I need. Am I worried about the boss difficulty? I wish, I can hardly ever get far enough into the mansion to find them. Even when I did complete, the returns were very poor for the time spent in the mansion. I am probably missing something major about the quest though.

At this point however, I have decided not to run all Rushmore mansion challenges, I would much rather farm another one of the challenges twice as much than run that horrible challenge.

This is how I feel too... I LIKE the Rushmore challenge, except for the pure luck of getting the right crests. And the drop rate is way too low, considering I can actually fail this challenge with bad luck... I'd rather just farm the scroll challenge where I never fail, it has a higher drop rate, and turn those in 2:1 for goblets.

Avidus
01-12-2012, 09:57 AM
Ok I read all the posts in this thread and rather than say it again in a slightly different way here are some quotes that capture my feelings on the challenges:


I would like to see the stars give a flat bonus in ingredients at the end.
<snip>
At this point as far as replayability goes people are figuring out the best ingredient per min runs, currently this does not involve trying to max stars as well.

Trying to max the stars out should reduce some of the repetition, and balance a bit the ingredients earned per minute.

Kambuk


I am not a fan of timed quests.


Every single epic scorpion, rat, and lion has deathblock. Arbitrary immunity is arbitrary. I understand when drow witchdoctors cast deathward on themselves, but please remove the deathblock snuggies from the animal and vermin mobs that should not have this effect.



1) I avoid timed content if I can. The first few times I run a quest I like to loiter and take things in. I don't like to be rushed through stuff.
<snip>

And here are some posts that I agree with as well that are just too long to quote all of them fully in one post.

http://forums.ddo.com/showpost.php?p=4254442&postcount=41

http://forums.ddo.com/showpost.php?p=4254523&postcount=60

http://forums.ddo.com/showpost.php?p=4254568&postcount=67

http://forums.ddo.com/showpost.php?p=4254584&postcount=71

http://forums.ddo.com/showpost.php?p=4254662&postcount=85

http://forums.ddo.com/showpost.php?p=4254681&postcount=88

Basically the price is too high, the loot is buggy, I do not like that all of them are against a clock, completing stars should not be separate from gathering ingredients, the sacling is wonky and out of whack, the payouts are way to drastically different bewteen the various challenges, the xp is poor giving a 'once you have your items why go back again?' feeling to them.

However I do enjoy the 'making progress every run' aspect of the loot as opposed to I ran this 100 times and never saw what I was looking for (http://forums.ddo.com/showthread.php?t=357450) lotto system.

Sorry there wasn't more positive things to say, but that is just how I (and most of my small guild feel about them)

GentlemanAndAScholar
01-12-2012, 09:57 AM
This topic should prove interesting. :)

As you all know, U12 saw the release of a new type of content - Challenges.

I would like to get your thoughts on these - preferably in a constructive manner. I’m specifically interested in gameplay feedback.

For those who do not enjoy this type of gameplay, can you elaborate on why?

For those of you who do enjoy playing them, what aspects do you enjoy?

General feedback is encouraged, but again, please limit feedback to gameplay and respect other’s opinions. I expect this to be a very polarizing subject.

Thanks in advance.

I'm not a fan of challenge type of quests (this include Cove and Mabar as well). I find them boring, repetitive, predictable and rather uninspiring. Additionally, running them while leveling will break your bravery streak, so that makes it a non-starter for people leveling TRs.

Now, I've watched the LFM panel closely since the release of U12 challenges, and perhaps it's a confirmation bias, but judging by the complete lack of LFMs for challenges at peak hours, I'd say most players feel that way as well.

So, as for constructive criticism, I would say that, in my humble opinion, time spent designing challenges could be time better spent squashing the plethora of bugs that seem to arise on every update and patch, or adding full-fledged content and quests.

ColsonJade
01-12-2012, 09:59 AM
My thoughts as I keep an eye on DDO from a galaxy far far away.

I like the challenges. They are quick, easy and repeatable quests you can do in a short amount of time. Each run, while the plan can be the same, the challenge is just random enough to have every run be different. And you have to make changes on the fly.

That being said it is only because you put in the ability to get epic tokens from them.

I have TRed my main 10 times and I don't see them as good xp grind for leveling.

The U12 gear is cool and adds to the many increases options a player has.

I like the normal story driven quests most but wouldn't mind seeing more challenges just not the whole update being them. Add one or two per update with at least double the story driven quests.

My 2 cent

ColsonJade

Darkrok
01-12-2012, 10:05 AM
First thoughts: I didn't like them much at first.

With experience: These have really grown on me. So much fun to zerg, and they can be really tough (4-starring Lava Caves: Time Is Money solo on 25 was... intense, five of the most fun minutes I've ever had). And you have made some really, really impressive boss fights in them.

But:

- They are brutally punishing of toons that are not self sufficient. Many players build characters (stereotypical Barb without Silver Flame pots, etc) to do one thing and do it well. Challenges don't work well for those toons as so much of them is 'Hey Numot, you split off from the group and kill kobolds for parts' or 'Myrmidral, answer that "Incoming"' etc.
- The scaling encourages metagaming group size around prior knowledge of the challenge. Time is Money I always solo, duo or trio for this reason. Short Cuts I want a full group for.
- Mob HP is nonsensical on 24/25. A supergeared character (one 25 is designed for) might do 30% more DPS than a modestly geared 18-20 (what 21 is designed for). So mobs should have 30-40% more HP, not 100-300% more. I think the scaling of damage players suffer from 21 to 25 is perfect. As a rule of thumb: If players are kiting mobs rather than killing them, something is wrong. Likewise if the most effective thing a melee can do is UMD Enervation scrolls on mobs, again something is wrong.
- Mob HP also scales too much with party class makeup. The Cloud Giant in 20 Time is Money seems to have less HP when in a 3-player all melee group than when I've soloed it on a Wizard or Sorc.



One suggestion: Allow raid groups to attempt challenges (with further scaling). Then instead of sending off 1 character to deal with an 'Incoming' in a 4 player group, we could send two Barbarians AND a Bard or Cleric in an 11 or 12 player group. That lets the 'I do one thing and do it well' builds be useful in challenges. You have solo to raid scaling tech in the Cannith Manufactuary.

I'm not sure what your intention was re. underlevel (17-19th level) toons in 21-25 challenges. You gave the challenges XP and put a 'soft lockout' of 'you must have a 20 in your group to enter' rather than a raid-timer style 'hard lockout', indicating you want characters to be able to attempt 21-25 challenges pre-20, but getting in to them requires a 20 in group. Can I suggest changing this to a hard lockout of level 1-16 characters, and letting 17-20s in freely (possibly with a warning to 17s, 18s and 19s that 'this is an extreme challenge intended for level 20 characters, you can try it if you dare').


Another thought: Combat is DDO's strong point. The non-combat mechanics of Challenges effectively remove 1-2 players from combat throughout the challenge. IMO a future Challenge that is *pure combat* against bosses has real potential. For example, think of fighting a toned-down Harry and 3 of his Lieutenants at once - the Lieutenant auras buffing the pit fiend as well. Primary star for killing the Pit Fiend before time expires, and another for killing all three Lieutenants within 30 seconds of each other, then another for killing the Fiend first, then another star for no player deaths, and a final star for not using a rest shrine that is in the arena.

I agree with everything here...even my own personal experience with the challenges.

I really enjoy them now although now that I've starred all of them at the best level I'm likely to get solo I've got less reason to run them in down time like I had been - at least until I hit epics on the toon I'm playing a lot right now. I've done the epic versions of these and I have to say that my bard is far more useful there than most of the much better melee dps that I'd grouped with simply because I could split off from the group and survive. You're exactly right - complete self-sufficiency is almost a requirement in here. Still find it amusing that they put my bard on guard an extractor duty in one of the epics and I was falling behind...just couldn't drop the high hp mobs fast enough solo on a pure bard. Didn't panic though...just spent the entire run keeping Fascinate up. By the end I had about 25-30 mobs surrounding my extractor...all with music notes over their head. I think I'd killed 2 of them before I realized, "Why bother?" :)

Cyr
01-12-2012, 10:11 AM
What I dislike about challenges...


They feel like something someone put together who does not play DDO. Really everything in it feels contrived and mini-gamish. If I wanted to play a mini-game I would play a good one online for free not one inside of DDO.
They are one giant money grab. Not a good money grab where a company makes a really solid product and then expects to make lots of money on it, no these seem like they were designed to get the most profit for the least effort with no concerns about the long term health of the game. Huge price tag, recycled content (that is what they are basically recycled content), stuff to make them easier in the store, very low favor reward for the time, making artificers unlock tied to them to frustrate VIPs into buying artificers, poor design and QA letting in devastating exploits, and worse yet huge reward amplification to try and drive sales after all this they were still seen to not make much money short term again drying up long term profits.
CC was cute the first three times. After that the only enjoyment I got from it was hearing my guildies do horrible kobold voice overs on TS. Making tons of content that is basically CC redone...yeah that is incredibly lame.
Delusional design goal of 'apealing to everyone' made these not great for almost any level range.
They actually were fairly lazy design. Lots of re-used stuff. Tons of consequences not thought out leading to tons of changes in waves after release. This was the worst pack released post EU and that says alot because there were alot of mediocre packs released post EU. Only the necro series packs and catacombs are worse in my opinion.
Different rules for these dumb things that had to be done differently...epic, nah we are not going to bother making them work like other epics now...xp, nah we are going to give them a completion bonus xp, because that worked out oh so well for you guys...loot, nah we are going to do these chests which appear in your inventory, again that worked out just great didn't it...favor, let's have these give a pitance compared to normal quests and make it dramatically harder to get full favor from them, all because you guys wanted to squeeze people into buying artificers
So what do I like about challenges?


Some interesting items from them.
Relatively known completion times for most lets people plan if they have time for them.
I would say that if the plan is to make more of these, stop it now!

Make quests and raids. We still need more high end leveling content and at some point you guys are going to have to make a real decision about end game advancement if you want to keep raising the level cap, create some sort of epic xp reward system, or just do loot gating type advancement. The status quo is boring, really boring. Some people are all excited about alchemical weapons, but to me it is like who cares it is incremental improvement to a melee which is not worth the time. It's not a lightning 2 compared to a mediocre loot gen weapon. It can't be because you guys have not figured out what you are doing with end game yet and that decision really needed to be made about a year and a half ago.

bhgiant
01-12-2012, 10:22 AM
I know it's a little off topic as Mad didn't ask for suggestions on new challenges, but if this challenge (http://forums.ddo.com/showthread.php?p=4255256#post4255256)were to be created, I would fully support, purchase, and would probably play the heck out of it if it were created. Everyone loves killing mobs, that's why we play DDO and get better lootz.

Valindria
01-12-2012, 10:29 AM
My only feedback so far: The adventure pack is too expensive.

Alaunra2010
01-12-2012, 10:35 AM
Well, two things. First, I do not like challenges because they break immersion. Clearly they can be fun and interesting, but they do cater to a certain style of play that I do not enjoy. Puzzles and quests that have a literary root in the game's lore are interesting to me. In this respect however, challenges seem very shallow. They do not seem to do anything to perpetuate a meaningful story in the game.

Or... hmm... perhaps you could take challenges in a different direction than what I'm suggesting. Perhaps it would be interesting to play to the strengths of these challenges, and embrace them for the play style to which they cater: introduce a ladder system listing the top 10 groups whose teams have achieved the highest score for the daily challenge on the maximum difficulty setting. Put up boards in-game that show the top 10 groups from the day before, so that everyone can see the winners. At the end of the day, give these players in the top 10 an account-wide perk that lasts a few game hours. +2% guild renown and XP boost. or +1 stacking bonus to all stats. +1 to all loot. *shrug* I don't know, just a suggestion!

barecm
01-12-2012, 10:36 AM
The challenges are fine. I would not take them away, but I would not get too "challenge happy" either. It is a good permanent feature for those who want to take a break. Adding different types of loot like a quarterstaff would be nice. Did I say add a quarterstaff? I meant to shout ADD A QUARTERSTAFF. The only class that really gets screwed is thief acrobat. Back to the main point. I agree with a lot of folks saying the quests are far and away more fun, but the challenges are nice to have if you need to grind out some ingredients for an item or for trade in for epic tokens or simply run something different. Other than that, there is a limited replayability once you get all the stuff you want. So unless you update items from time to time, eventually the interest will disappear. You may want to look into limited time offer items. So, make an item available for like a weekend or whatever. Something to spike interest from time to time.

Bakarne
01-12-2012, 10:49 AM
I have no desire to play the challenges. I was burnt out on Crystal Cove, and I have never even visited Mabar. Considering both of those are free, I will not purchase the challenge pack. Like posted above, they seem like minigames and not real quests.

Also, I do not wish to deal with even more ingredients clogging up my inventory. I already have 2 or 3 ingredient bags on all my characters and I'm at the limit with Scrolls, Seals, Shards and Cannith Crafting items as is. Imagine my annoyance first walking into the U11 explorable areas, as I cannot even choose to leave that junk on the ground.

During Crystal Cove it was impossible to pry people away from the event to do other raids and epics. Somewhat understandable due to limited time scale of the event. However, now my guild is entirely worthless for actual questing as they just want to do challenges for the quickest tokens. Unfortunately, there's no fixed and timed end for challenges. Considering finding somewhere else to play if the guild is going to be this consistently lame.

30 tokens for a Yellow slot in normal game play is far too tedious, especially if you swap gear (tanks especially).

Epic VoN4 and Spies in the House need to reward a full dungeon token for the trouble, but real epics all around need a boost to match the epic token rate you can achieve via challenges.

P.S. I had someone with that stupid Elemental Rapier with the Slicing Winds effect blow out my dancing ball crowd control in an epic. Why go through the effort to get a weapon that just is a griefing nuisance?

Calonderial
01-12-2012, 10:55 AM
I've only run three of the challenges so far so my opinion may be watered down:

1. Rushmore: you either need to drop more crests, require less crests or scale the mansion down by 1/3rd

2.the one that you kill the kobolds for parts-personally i think the mobs respawn too quickly .

3.lava caves- multi-floor maps and kobolds do not mix.

100% agreed on this

red_cardinal
01-12-2012, 11:01 AM
There are still bugs with challenges.
Lava caves - buying time - level 16 - Giants still drop unpickable bags,
Kobolds don't follow torch line -> Please, make it strictly to follow torch line. If kobold has some 3D area in which detects torch position, then maybe you should limit that to the very near area. Also, let kobold be lead by a player, if no torch in neighborhood.

Meat-Head
01-12-2012, 11:07 AM
Now the meat, Pricing:
Way out of whack. The one sale was still overpriced, in my opinion. I mean if you take 30% of the letters away from "Way Too Much" you still end up with "Too Much".





LOL!

Funny.
Clever.
AND Accurate.

= +1

sebastianosmith
01-12-2012, 11:19 AM
I don't care that much for the challenges. The similarity between them, the Cove and, to a lesser extant, Mabar events is the reason. When the events are in session, I don't object to spending a week grinding away to obtain something I find useful because I know the torture will end. The permanent nature of the challenges appears to me as a hill I have no wish to climb for items that frankly I don't want, need or could craft-copy if I did.

I understand their appeal to many, yet I'd rather spend my time running regular quests which are, to me anyway, not so mindlessly grindy. I don't wish to imply that the inclusion of the challenge system is a bad thing or that time was wasted on it when more important aspects of the game need to be addressed. I simply find them... boring.

undeadted
01-12-2012, 11:40 AM
At first I was totally against the very idea of these, but they grew on me a little. They provide a nice distraction from questing from time to time, and the gear is great for some of my builds, which is why I bought them.
That said, I don't want to see any more development time spent on them. These kind of things work much better as special events, because they become way too repetitive. They are too far removed from the spirit of D&D in my opinion. They remind me of console games sometimes, and that isn't really a good thing.
More quests please.

SickCat
01-12-2012, 11:51 AM
Unfortunately for the Challenges systems (in so far as I'm personally concerned) I've been playing MMO's since they came out, and I played MUD's before that...this means that I was burned out on grinding a LONG time ago. Challenges, again, for me, turned out to be Grindages...I got two pieces of unupgraded gear and couldn't do it anymore. There's my perspective :)

Vindraxx
01-12-2012, 11:54 AM
Overall I think challenges have been a fantastic addition to the game as they are a change of pace from questing and the rewards are good, but not mandatory where everyone feels like they have to run them. I like the variety offered, the mansion and the cove-like challeneges are my favorite (minus collosal crystals). Here's some constructive feedback I think could make them better:

1) Give challenges more of a group focus rather than encouraging groups to split up. A vast majority of the challenges encourage your group to split up instead of staying together, making less self-sufficient characters (usually melee) less useful when grouping. For instance, running lava caves most groups have someone torch, someone guard the center and others scout for good crystal locations. In all those instances it's more useful to have self sufficient characters. It's also not terribly fun to get stuck on guard the center duty. Kobold island is a lot worse, as usually players are expected to solo defend an extractor. More grouping type objectives, such as the mansion where you usually zerg as a group to ensure you have the right crests would make challenges more accessible to everyone. Plus, it's more fun to play with your group rather than solo in the same area as your party towards a common objective.

2) Any quest that has a timer, needs to have an option to either spend down the time or end the quest. Nothing quite like finishing a mansion run and having to wait 15 minutes to receive your reward if you completed with extra time on the clock. Buying time is a good example where you pick how long the challenge goes for, or Picture Portals where you can spend down your extra time at the end from the kobold.

3) Give groups a chance to buff when entering before starting the timer. Make it a circle where until your group leaves that small starting area, time won't start ticking down.

4) Make stars for completing optional objectives add a multiplier or additional reward materials at the end. It was frustrating trying run challenges for favor to unlock artificer (done now!) because many of the LFM groups were farming for materials. When farming for materials, there is no reason to even try for the optional objectives since you don't get anything additional for them. So unless the group specifically forms to farm for favor, the optionals are ignored (now when I do challenges, I don't want to even try for the optionals as I don't need them anymore). I think it would be worth looking into encouraging groups to try for optionals by increasing rewards for completing additional stars.

5) Agreed with others that optional objectives shouldn't require items from the DDO store.

Love what has been done with the challenges so far, but would love to see any new ones created stray away from the mantra of everyone splitting up and more of a focus on staying together. I know a lot of people complain that challenges are the best way to farm epic tokens, but I think it's ok as there is a tradeoff involved. If you're turning in your rewards for tokens, you're not using them to get items. Whereas when I'm doing epic quests, I have the opportunity to pull scrolls/seals/shards on top of the token rewards.

red_cardinal
01-12-2012, 12:05 PM
Challenges might be a little overpriced, but they offer pretty good equipment, crafting at all levels including epic and they're quite fun.

The other remark I might add is that you have overdone on kobolds. Only Rushmore is different, the rest are kobolds. Not really enthusiastic about that. I understand that you hired a good voice actor and stuff - but at least you could've put Troglodytes on the Kobold island instead kobolds :P.

Hafeal
01-12-2012, 12:16 PM
I agree with Psiandron. I would add that I find the overall problem for these quests to be that for players who like this playstyle, they will run, and re-run them and grind out the content or play it for fun. For those who do not, especially casual players, there is little to offer. If you do not like the quests, whatever the reason, then you are not going to grind them out - because rather than having good loot drop, you tacked on ANOTHER inane crafting protocol. Not only do many casual players not want to grind with their limited time, they do not want to learn yet some other system on how to build an item, often not even knowing what they should build or what fits best for their character.

I will say this, IF you made some challenges where you could pull good items from a chest, rather than having to learn another inane crafting protocal, I think more players, especially casual players, might be attracted to the challenges. Opening a chest or finishing one and getting a bunch of jargon named, inventory hogging parts is not fun for many, no matter the end prize. :(

It seems to me that by continually introducing more grind systems on top of the existing ones, you are constantly catering to the *not* casual player. The pendulum in this game seems overly tilted toward high end, high play time players right now. That is not going to attract flocks of casual players as f2p did.

I believe the House C challenges have a place in the game - whether they fit my playstyle or not, many players do like them and having 'quests' of different stripes is good. IF you want these (or future) challenges to attract a wider audience, I think you have take steps to attract both casual players with less grind, and make some challenges without any grind at all - just loot.


First off, I love the cove. It's a fun break from questing and there's some great loot to be had. That said, it's not why I play the game. I like running the quests. That's why I'm here. I really don't mind that the challenges exist (excepting that I do find it a bit irritating that so much development time and resources were spent on them when there are longstanding bugs and issues with the core game). I also am not thrilled at the prospect of carrying around x amount more of twink items and the various and sundry ingredients needed to upgrade them.

I have run them a few times and I'm sure I'll run them on occassion again. Barring mindcontrol, I really can't see every spending the thinnest dime to have greater or any access to them.

Hey, you asked. :D

red_cardinal
01-12-2012, 12:16 PM
Yes, elementals are impossible. Especially when solo on higher levels. Perhaps a tiny nerf?

Nuryam
01-12-2012, 12:20 PM
The Challenges were introduced as: something short you could do while waiting for your friends. Or quickly in between quests.

They often take as long as a regular quests. And some of them you can't really solo well (hence you need the friends you were waiting for in the first place). That has stopped me from diving into them headlong. I rather jump on Pug while I wait.

Do I dislike them? No, they are a nice break from regular quests/raids. And they can be quite funny and challenging. But do they yield enough to repeat them often enough for the items? No.

The first time you run one and get some stars you get decent XP. Not sure what happens after 3 or 4 runs. And the difficulty can be scaled, meaning there is a wide range at which to play. That's why I saved up all the coins from the daily collector and decided to try more challenges on the next life of my TR. Figured he could use the xp. But with opening all quests on hard and repeating on elite I get so much xp that I do not need the challenges.

I tried a few and found you are usually best off with a versatile character (that can at least cast or UMD something). DDoor and self-healing/buffing are good to have. Most non-casters find they do not perform too well in challenges. Making them less likely to join/set up groups. I must say I don't see many PUG's either. And if I do, they are level 20+. Not many people in my guild are into them either.

With the daily token vendor giving out the tokens, why buy the pack at all? Better to buy some universal tokens if anything at all.

So, recapping...not for items, not for xp, maybe for fun, not many pugs and even less guild organized runs.

I think the enthusiasm that was felt for CC was due to it being new, fairly easy, limited availability (for 2 weeks every event) and with good items.

My advice would be: do not change or expand the challenges themselves. Make the items better and just leave them be.

Hafeal
01-12-2012, 12:23 PM
Great point, I fully agree with you - actually, to preserve the fun of CC, I think they should have had NO kobolds.

IF they had a new voice and script of sayings for, say, trogs - many players, including myself, would be there to hear them, even if they were not particularly enamored of the challenges.


The other remark I might add is that you have overdone on kobolds. Only Rushmore is different, the rest are kobolds. Not really enthusiastic about that. I understand that you hired a good voice actor and stuff - but at least you could've put Troglodytes on the Kobold island instead kobolds :P.

Monkey_Archer
01-12-2012, 12:25 PM
Overall I like the challenges, but by far the worst part is the inconsistent (and quite broken) dungeon scaling mechanic. Its great that the challenges are solo-friendly, but the scaling on some of them really, REALLY, discourage group play. Which is bad.

Colossal crystals is the best example of this. With 2 players, you get a reasonable amount of spawns when you pick up the progenitor crystal (about 10 trash mobs and a couple named). If you do the same thing with 6 players, not only do all the mobs have 3 times and much hp and do 3 times as much damage, but you also get 3 times as many... causing an instant orange/red dungeon alert. But of course for some reason the poor kobold with back pain doesn't get his hp scaled up to the same ridiculous levels :( and can easily get killed if you don't quickly grab agro of everything (which is difficult for casters, and near impossible for melees while fighting in a red alert).

The biggest problem with this scaling is hp. On epic 25 many named mobs have raid boss level hp and damage output. But of course, you not have a 12 person party to deal with them. Not only that, but half the group is likely busy doing the actual quest objectives :confused: (oh right those raid bosses aren't even part of the objectives) so it basically comes down to 2-3 people trying to defeat a raid boss, or more likely one person kiting it all over. Which is not all that fun.

Solution:
Keep the current scaling, but turn the challenges into raids. (at least on epic 25) So a 6 person party would be dealing with the current 3-4 person scaling difficulty (which is more reasonable) and the ridiculous raid level scaling that epic 25 currently gives could actually be handled by a raid party. A huge benefit to this would be characters that are not self sufficient would actually be a welcome addition since you could have enough spots to include dedicated healers.


Also, do this:


-Tweak the 25s to add more incentive to run em over 23 (max loot lvl). Maybe add some epic fragments in the chests, or rare changes at rare ddo-store only items like super ability potions.

-Fix the leaderboards. People like to compete for score, not arbitrary stars. Let us sort them by either score or stars, and track the highest score for each player, not just the highest score they got on their highest star run.

danotmano1998
01-12-2012, 12:25 PM
While I haven't personally run any of these challenges, I CAN comment on one thing I see:
Almost NO LFM's for these, ever. I do believe I can count on one hand the total number of PUGS I have seen on Thelanis for any of the challenges.

That in itself should speak volumes. I don't have access to Turbine's data, obviously. It would seem to me that Turbine should be able to answer that question for themselves as to whether or not they are a success. From what I've seen: epic fail.

The initial price on these was ridiculous in many eyes, mine included. Heck, I'm VIP and as such got them for free, and was still stunned over the cost. The price excluded almost everyone I run with that is NOT vip. Yeah, yeah, the tokens, right? No thanks. a couple of free tries is not going to entice anyone when the content is weak, buggy, and pretty much a rehash of old content with a new 50 million component crafting system.

dragons1ayer74
01-12-2012, 12:28 PM
First I hope we never again see an update that only offers new challenges without the inclusion of new quests.

Balance
The balance between different challenges seems way out of wack, some are easier than others and I still am unsure how you are supposed to 5 Star some of the kobold island ones. Also the amount of components varies far too much. Some challenges seem almost too easy to get components, while many seem too hard to get a decent number in a decent amount of time.

Dungeon Scaling
Dungeon scaling is terrible on these, some of these are hard or near impossible to do by yourself (character choice makes a big difference, Sufficient Casters rule the roost – melee suffer) then you add some friends and it becomes way worse.

Rewards
End Loot: Very Nice (although not so much for level 8 and under) to perhaps too nice.
Challenge Loot: For the most part sub-par this could use a slight enhancement.
XP: Good first time, sub-par subsequent times look at bumping subsequent times.
Guild Renown: Needs more, lots more, every time you complete a challenge that would give you XP you should get a free random guild renown reward.
Favor: Interesting idea but the balance issue between the challenges makes it frustrating for some.

Thrudh
01-12-2012, 12:44 PM
Superlinear scaling with group size. Basically, increasing the number of players raises both the hitpoints of monsters and quantity of monsters, which is rather like doubling your team quadruples the enemy. That is especially bad when there is a deadline and there is a dungeon alert threshold of a number of monsters which is not scaled upward with party size.

I do think this is a problem.... Note also if you have more mobs active, you're more likely to get dungeon alert, so really doubling your party may equal 8x the mob difficulty (twice as many with twice the hp, with DA).

This is especially noticable in the Mansion, especially the rooms with elementals... 1-2 elementals when soloing is no problem... 6-12 elementals when with a full group is deadly...

Thrudh
01-12-2012, 12:46 PM
So actually in rushmoor, is you want the best ingredient over time ratio, the best strategy is to ignore all the trash monsters using mass invis, and go straight for the gates and bosses.

How exactly do you open the gates without killing trash mobs and getting more crests from them?

jsaving
01-12-2012, 12:48 PM
I play DDO because I enjoy leveling up characters via intricate quests that feature real-time combat and resource management over a sustained period of time. These are the strengths that differentiate DDO from its competitors and are the reason I have little interest in its competitors.

I found the challenge pack discouraging for several reasons: they're too short, they're too grind-y, their reliance on "beating the clock" inherently disfavors builds I enjoy playing, their heightened need for self-reliance and speed inherently disfavors other builds, and they generally encourage characters to split up rather than stay together. I'm even seeing some of these behavioral trends show up in PUG/guild questing and raiding, to the general detriment of group play. So it isn't a simple matter of "different strokes for different folks," as some people like to say in response to concerns about challenges -- it's an instance where an option I don't like actually worsens my gameplay elsewhere.

But my biggest concern about challenges is the dev time they consume. It's all well and good to say the devs can continue to produce core content while also doing challenges, but it's an unavoidable reality that the devs have limited time and always will no matter how many new people get added to the team. And as I look at the things that attract me to DDO over its competitors, I can't shake the feeling that reallocating dev time from quests/raids/classes/races to challenges dilutes DDO's key advantages without doing nearly enough to tear the challenge-friendly sort of player away from the MMOs that are specifically designed to serve that niche.

Thrudh
01-12-2012, 12:50 PM
Unbreak the disruptor and shortcuts extraction challenges. They are utterly unfun without the ability to invis the things, and just plain annoying and too difficul to run. Yet I actually enjoy kobold chaos.. Main issue is that disruptor and shortcuts are just far too hard for most players, so if I pug a run, all I can expect is a lot of deaths. Decrease the difficult al around, SEVERELY drop the red named (who have freakin 100k hp on lvl20 and 300k+ on 25 hp down to reasonable lvls. No idea why you made these so insane, but made the marilith in the palace so easy, when to begin with, she was already easier.

I never played the Kobold Island ones when invisibility worked, so I have nothing to compare it to, but they seem pretty easy to me.... It's not that hard to protect the excavators. The red names are a little over the top I agree.


Air Elementals: Ugh.
Fix their no save abilitys. I don't care if you set them to a DC40+, just put a freakin save on the knockback and the gust of wind. Doesn't make sense for them to have 2 utterly crazy ability that cripple melee classes so harshly and not casters as much, in the ONE challenge where melee may actually be able to compete with casters (at great difficulty.)

Yes, make another pass at Air Elementals or use them more sparingly.

Thrudh
01-12-2012, 12:55 PM
Make them strength and dex checks, not saves - similar to a trip check. Melee love.

Yeah, air elementals should be dangerous for casters, but easier for melee to handle.

LeLoric
01-12-2012, 01:01 PM
Blasting Chime's Weaken Construct doesn't work on Lord of Blades. Really?

It works fine on lob, it has since the first patch. Having a chime in group versus not is a huge difference in completion times.

Likewise the chain is nice for abbot. Not as nice as people are generally running bluntweapons with no imp crit but it's still a pretty decent increase in dps over the course of along hard/elite encounter with him.

Tunic is pretty good for any melee really even at tier 1 as freezing ice added to any weapons you use is absurd.

Even factoring in a full raid party and overwriting waves and salts calomels are in most cases the best dps weapons available against velah (esos is the lone exception and then only with a very large dmg modifier)

The rapier of air pwns rad II rapier so much it isn't even funny even with the save on greater sirrocco (which very little saves against). Elemental bow is nice as is greataxe.

Caster stuff is nice. Rock boots, bracers, cloak are all really good (better than tier two alchem in most cases.

Thrudh
01-12-2012, 01:02 PM
While I haven't personally run any of these challenges, I CAN comment on one thing I see:
Almost NO LFM's for these, ever. I do believe I can count on one hand the total number of PUGS I have seen on Thelanis for any of the challenges.

The LFMs for these are increasing on Thelanis... I see 2-3 every night (unfortunately, they are usually not the ones I need, so I just solo)

Hafeal
01-12-2012, 01:05 PM
I wanted to give props for the post below. Just a little thought and modicum of creativity would have tied a story line to the challenges to give them a more immersive element.

+1, well said.


I have another thought - and this is going to be such a minor point for a lot of folks it is probably irrelevant to the majority, but its relevant for me.

Where's the plot?

The challenges are just tacked on to the game. There's about a paragraph of text at each quest giver which gives some fairly 'meh' reason why we're doing the challenge. It follows none of the plot strands of the game generally that I've noticed, there's no link between the challenges themselves, no hard link to House C... they're quite clearly arcade games tacked on. They don't feel part of Stormreach, they don't feel part of the rest of the DDO game itself.

Perhaps if the challenges were spread around the various other houses, with themes appropriate to those houses. e.g. House Apprenticeship challenges.

House Phiarlan Challenge
Be a Phiarlan spy!
Enter the House Phiarlan Academy entrance exam, and stealth your way into the traitor's lair past all the traps and guards, eavesdrop on the secret meeting without being detected and steal the secret plans! Bonus stars for not raising an alarm, not killing guards and getting poison into the drinks at the meeting without being detected!


House Deneith Challenge
Join the Sentinel Reserves!
Prevent the construct army from taking the command post, either by holding the line or taking the fight to the enemy!

and so on.

Sarisa
01-12-2012, 01:07 PM
The rapier of air pwns rad II rapier so much it isn't even funny even with the save on greater sirrocco (which very little saves against).

This particular weapon was insanely disruptive in a heavy melee eADQ1. One of the procs of it will trigger a Cyclonic Blast effect and blow away clouds, dancing balls, and other types of CC.

That is the second weapon that is actually detrimental to a group in the same update (the other being the dispelling Paladin sword from VoD, that knocks off debuffs and DoT's).

LeLoric
01-12-2012, 01:14 PM
This particular weapon was insanely disruptive in a heavy melee eADQ1. One of the procs of it will trigger a Cyclonic Blast effect and blow away clouds, dancing balls, and other types of CC.

That is the second weapon that is actually detrimental to a group in the same update (the other being the dispelling Paladin sword from VoD, that knocks off debuffs and DoT's).

Absolutely incorrect. The slicing winds animation is the same as cyclonic blast but it is the same in only appearance. Functionally it only does dmg there is no blowing away of effects.

Sarisa
01-12-2012, 01:16 PM
Absolutely incorrect. The slicing winds animation is the same as cyclonic blast but it is the same in only appearance. Functionally it only does dmg there is no blowing away of effects.

Yet in our experience, every time it went off, the dancing balls went away, along with the Mephit's fog.

mystafyi
01-12-2012, 01:20 PM
Scaling in these are just awful.

The rushmoor ones need some tweaking. both with crests and mat drop rates. Lets say you are running it @CR20 for reg mats and you hit an impressive score of 5000, this will net you approx 500 mats. Sounds good right? WRONG, since you will have spent 35-40 minutes in there.
Running lava caves or extraplanar you can pull 400-500 reg mats every 8 min. Even converting 2:1 you still get twice as many.


Some of the kobold island optionals to get stars are impossible. no I dont mean impossible hard, I mean they are broken and cannot be completed. I think the wiki has been updated about those optionals now.

that being said, the challenges are the best epic token farm in the game. with a good group I am hiting 12/hour.

mystafyi
01-12-2012, 01:23 PM
The LFMs for these are increasing on Thelanis... I see 2-3 every night

same on orien. ofc we stay away from the kobold island and rushmore's unless we are going for favor.

Carpone
01-12-2012, 01:26 PM
It works fine on lob, it has since the first patch.
Ugh. Sure would have been nice to see that in the release notes. Silly me for thinking that important debuff changes like this would be communicated to the community.

Thanks.

Carpone
01-12-2012, 01:29 PM
Solution:
Keep the current scaling, but turn the challenges into raids. (at least on epic 25)
Please, no. Challenges are not an acceptable substitute for raiding content.

Firewall
01-12-2012, 01:39 PM
I have quite a lot of reasons NOT to run the challenges:

- They don't feel like they belong to the rest of the game

- I don't like quests where you have to do something in a predefined time window or where you have to defend or keep alive some stupid squishy NPC's. Coyle is hard enough to bare.

- I run with PUGs a lot and i think these challenges are especially PUG (and solo) unfriendly

- I don't like the "i'm more uber than you are because it took me 3 seconds less to complete the challenge"- part of it

- I'm P2P and bought all the adventure packs except this one since it is way overpriced and i don't like buying (-and i don't like that it is possible to buy-) special items from the store to make it easier running the content (which makes the whole "I'm more uber than you" thought of it even more useless).

- Since i'm not buying the pack i don't even like to collect all the different daily tokens - which fill more of my precious inventory space - just to be able to run one of the challenges when i feel like i want to play it or when i want to help one of my guildies. Not collecting tokens means to be dependant on what the game allows you to play that day.

- I don't like to have a whole bunch of useless crafting materials filling my bags and inventory. Managing to sort and keep track of all the other crafting materials in all the bags and divided over all my characters is more than enough time-sink work for me. I think we should have special bags for each different crafting type anyway. Keeping green bags sorted becomes more and more difficult.

- Playing mainly a caster-type FvS, a Pale Master and a Monk most of the items that you can craft from the challenges are useless to me. The only thing i would even consider crafting is the humanoid bane ring but i'm not even sure if it would be worth exchanging it for one of my crafted Tower of Despair rings.

I'm sure i forgot something but those are my main reasons. I think you get the idea.

Leo

cforce
01-12-2012, 01:57 PM
I really, really, really like new quest mechanics that are not, "make it to boss, kill boss" goals. Even Rushmoor is a bit of a variation, as the starting goal is "kill any one of five".

I've been reaaaally frustrated a couple of times in Rushmoor, on the other hand, when I've had a ton of crests, but because of random generation, was short on exactly one. This is exacerbated when soloing. I've gotten fairly decent at running this solo, and usually manage the ones that I need, but it's really, really frustrating when you've done a scorched-earth scouring of all corners/mobs/breakables in the servant's quarters, gallery, and entrance hall and are still, say, missing a monkey -- which of course is needed on both two-crest doors! My suggestion would be to reduce the number of different crests to 4. You still ultimately need to break and kill most stuff on the way through, since you still need a *lot* of crests to open all of the doors -- but the number of cases of "I've got 5 of everything *but* Monkey should go down.

A few of these aren't "soloable" -- at least, not without a hireling. Notably, the crystal collection missions basically require someone to defend from "Incoming!", and a second person to scout and run torches. It's notable that Kobold Island *could* have fallen victim to the same problem, but while solo you can erect magefire cannons as defense, and have a pretty workable strategy. It would be nice to introduce a similar option in the crystal collection missions... have a defensive item that could be purchased fromm the Foreman.

As numerous others have mentioned, these are really much more friendly to casters. Or, more specifically, they are more friendly to those with ranged capability. Being able to "run 'n' gun" is a key determiner in a lot of these missions, and so Arcanes and Artificers get a pretty big advantage. In the crystal collection missions, being able to clean up spawns with AoE also makes a big difference. I'm not sure much can be done about this without seriously changing the mechanics, though.

Even though you didn't ask, as others have mentioned: the price is too high. I waited until its on sale. Another F2P friend I have who recently joined the game is getting my advice to target other packs -- she shouldn't spend all those TP on one pack when she could get 3 others instead.

Overall, I give the content a solid B+, but the pack value a C-.

QuantumFX
01-12-2012, 01:58 PM
MadFloyd - I think the main problem with the popularity of the challenge quests is that we had the Crystal Cove return a half dozen times since it was released. And due to the very nature of festivals burnt the playerbase out on kobold collection quests. People remember running the Crystal Cove 100+ times to outfit their characters. It take a lot of effort to get players to put that aside so they can realize that the cannith challenges are a different creature.

As for the challenges themselves:

Overall:
- I enjoy the challenge quests.

- I remember when you guys added the Favored Soul class to DDO. The day the class became available a player could unlock it. It made me feel good about earning that favor. I wasn’t penalized for being a faithful customer. I wasn’t told to wait for 2 months for another update.
The day I unlocked 150 cannith favor I felt like I spit in the eye of a DM that was acting like a ******. Encouraging me to think of you guys as a “****** DM” is not a good marketing strategy.
If you ever intend to release another favor based class, make sure the favor is there on day 1.

- Completing stars should always result in more ingredients.

- The scaling for CR25 is absurd.


Kobold Island specific:

- Kobold Island: the Disruptor and Kobold Island: Short Cuts suffer from the problems of unrealistic star items. Orthon Lieutenants need to start spawning sooner. I shouldn’t have to buy requisitions from the DDO store to complete star objectives.

- Kamakazi attacks on the shard extractors needs major adjustments. Anytime I take over 10% of your hit points you should be attacking me and not the thing that is doing no damage to you.

- Bulls*** immunities are never fun. I can understand adding defensive buffs like deathward. But immunity to Jade Tomb for a flipping succubus? Way to marginalize PrEs that should be doing exceptionally well against those types of enemies.


Dr. Rushmore quests:

- Too many hit points/arbitrary immunities for trash mobs is lazy design. I am, of course, referring to fat rats and epic elementals.

- Air Elemental tripping is too spammy. We should only have to save against it once every few seconds when our character and the air ele hit boxes collide. Your current setup works like so “I only fail on a 1. It’s too bad that I have to make 30 saving throws.”

- Is there any way we could get better graphics for the phantasmal creatures? They can get really hard to track on a melee character. Especially when you get a group of em.

somenewnoob
01-12-2012, 02:02 PM
- I don't like quests where you have to do something in a predefined time window or where you have to defend or keep alive some stupid squishy NPC's. Coyle is hard enough to bare.


Aye, this is what I said in my post earlier. The annoying mechanics: time window + protect npc.........2 things I hate!

I am a big explorer type in most games I play, I like to peek into every nook and cranny, take my time.....you know......EXPLORE! And with the time limits and protection......not much time to actually ENJOY the challenges. But then again most of them are just lipstick on the cove event.....so there isn't much to see.

Carpone
01-12-2012, 02:11 PM
I've been reaaaally frustrated a couple of times in Rushmoor, on the other hand, when I've had a ton of crests, but because of random generation, was short on exactly one. This is exacerbated when soloing. I've gotten fairly decent at running this solo, and usually manage the ones that I need, but it's really, really frustrating when you've done a scorched-earth scouring of all corners/mobs/breakables in the servant's quarters, gallery, and entrance hall and are still, say, missing a monkey -- which of course is needed on both two-crest doors! My suggestion would be to reduce the number of different crests to 4.
This, a million times, this.

Darkrok
01-12-2012, 02:12 PM
I've seen it mentioned many times and just want to support it as well:
Stars should trump everything when it comes to number of ingredients.

Monkey_Archer
01-12-2012, 02:13 PM
Please, no. Challenges are not an acceptable substitute for raiding content.

The challenges already exist, so they wouldn't be substituted for anything. I don't see how flipping the "raid party on" switch for epic 25 challenges would have any effect on current or future raid content.
I can currently handle epic 25, I'm sure you can as well, as can many other people, but it really is raid level difficulty. The methods used to complete these I consider a problem (kiting every named around without killing them, brining nothing but casters to AOE nuke all the trash, etc..) I dont imagine this was the intended way to run these, and rather then just nerfing everything so melees can contribute (and becomes trivial for casters), I'd rather we be given the correct party size/balance to actually handle the difficulty as it exists. If it was actually viable and rewarding to kill some of those 100k+ hp rares, we would see a lot more balanced parties.

MadFloyd
01-12-2012, 02:24 PM
I don't see why you have made the distinction around gameplay so many times - every element of the game involves gameplay. Or do you mean "the combat system" or "quest design" or both? Or something else?


I really just wanted to separate the style of gameplay from things like price of the pack and rewards (loot, XP, etc).




Generally speaking, I've said before one of things I don't really enjoy about them but here it is again with some other bits.

Defined goals with small incremental steps. I prefer the random chance as at least there's a chance of an early pull and beating the odds. Here there is no chance, only (usually too) small steps. For the longer challenges that can put potential time to acquire an item into a "not worth the sustained effort" category for me. Hence I've not run them much at all. I'm a gambler I guess.
Map size / back & forth design - some of them feel like blatant running timesinks.
Inflated HP of boss mobs - same supposed difficulty-increasing design I dislike wherever it features in game. It feels littered in a concentrated area in these though, perhaps because they are a smaller set of a subtype of gameplay. Slower =/= more challenging
Cove fatigue - some of them are just simply too much like Cove which, due to Point 1, I tired of very quickly. At least with cove you got something worth spending if you didn't complete or failed an objective though.
I think the concept of short burst activity over longer questing and being more solo-friendly is what I was expecting and found some of them longer than I can run most quests, for poor xp/min and loot that is too far in the distance to be enough carrot (see above)
Some positives;


Short challenges are ideal whilst waiting for friends or if you have little time and can be soloed.
Rushmore's Mansion is nicely designed, apart from the size, and the wonderfully silly buffs can make it more variable (and hence more tolerable in repetition)
That second list is shorter than I'd hoped, I like to try and be balanced most times. Sorry I really can't think of other positives now, but I'm sure there must be some. It's been some time since I ran them and of course negatives tend to stick with us better.

In short, they tick too many of the staple MMO tricks boxes to be of interest to me even short-term. If I were not VIP I would not buy the pack, even if it were half the price. I tried them briefly because they were there.

Not sure that's what you were after given the heavy hints at gameplay oriented feedback but as I don't really understand that frame of reference, it's what I've got. :)

Excellent feedback - thanks.

MadFloyd
01-12-2012, 02:25 PM
I wonder.. are these really discussions, or a random thread popped up just to appear 'as if we care'?

Ive gone over the other 2 and this one and I think I saw a dev comment ONCE out of like 15bashillion pages.

If its a discussion i think you should take part in it beyond the first 'tell me what u think' post.

If you show some interest in your own thread/question, you may get MUCH more responses and a lot more helpful constructive advice/input.

We have been active in the other threads, but keep in mind they are HUGE and we're outnumbered!

grayham
01-12-2012, 02:35 PM
(The context here is that I've never really bothered with Cove/Mabar).

I like the challenges, and perhaps more importantly I like the gear they yield. Although some of the stuff looks widely useful, like weapons and the savant biased items, gear like the ring of the stalker, Rock boots and Spare hand seem geared towards players who solo/shortman a lot. Some of the loudest voices on these forums are part of guilds that Raid regularly and have large support networks. There are others like me who are not and rely on pugging or 1-2 friends to play with.

That leads me to my constructive feedback, in that some challenges like Picture portals and disruptor et al are very difficult to solo/shortman.

Big thumbs up from me all round though.

rdasca
01-12-2012, 02:37 PM
I am not a fan of the challenges, there are a few good points about them but over all I would rather they were not in the game. I liked cove, and the ice games, mabar not so much; but, these where nice diversions to the game, not required runs.

Pros:
Nice loot.
Sometimes a nice diversion from questing.
Can get a ton of epic tokens in about an hour, running the right one.

Cons:
If you want to unlock artis you have to run them.
Grindy as all get out.
Material drop rates suck in some of them.
Most are not at all solo friendly (which normally I would not care, but it can be rather hard to find a group for that last mat you need).
Star system is either broke, or next to impossible to achieve without using the DDO store, and on top of that you attach a class unlock to it? Come on, that is worse than lame.
The story lines do not mesh well with the rest of Stormreach.
The high cost of the pack.
Tokens not going into bags, and BtC instead of BtA (I do not even bother to pick them up any more).
Same for "add-on" power ups that drop in the challenges themselves (my caster does not have room for more crate drop power ups, thank you very much).
The foreman has about as many hit points as Coyle.
Deathwarded scorpions? Really?
Kobolds to dumb not to walk in lava, in other words the pathing via the torches suck.
Bags that cannot be picked up.


Basically, I really liked cove when it came out and looked forward to running it each time since; however, I will not be excited this year, I will run cove to finish the one or two items I want then I will be done with it. Why? Because the challenges have ruined the “specialness" that was cove. Might as well put in the ice games in full time.

I really hope this is the last time we will see any challenge type of "quest" added to the game, and if not I really hope the next set is not tied to favor needed to unlock something that should have been free to VIPs in the first place.

LrdSlvrhnd
01-12-2012, 02:38 PM
My two cents...

I can solo Disruptor at-level on my L18 monk (haven't tried since getting him to 20, but it shouldn't be too bad). I'm assuming I could solo Short Cuts. I can solo them both 3-4 levels below my L20 gimpy hagglebard crafterbot - I could probably go higher, but I just don't really see the need. Haven't tried too much with my L12 barb, but I've taken him through the L10 Kobold Chaos and Disruptor without too much difficulty. (And by solo, I mean solo - just the character and any summoned pets. No hireling.) I find them fun and easy to solo... although far less easy in a group.

I'm starting to learn my way around torching in the Lava Caves and Extraplanar Mining - not something I've done before, as I've always played scout/beater in the Cove. Monks and bards with Haste, Invisibility & Music of the Dead are good scouters. However, I have zone-in issues with both of those - my computer doesn't like it. About half the time, my display driver crashes, sometimes repeatedly, to the point where I lose a good minute of this timed quest just waiting to be able to see again. About half of the REMAINING time, it crashes to the point where I have to do a hard reboot of my entire computer. Doesn't just happen zoning in, either - I've had it happen on my bard when using DDoor to go back to the start, at least in the Lava Caves. Never had a problem using the teleporters or running back, it's just zoning in and DDooring. If I find a quick stash of purple, I'm golden. If I don't... I have decide between wasting 15-20 minutes and hoping, or trying again with that zone-in thing. Not a wonderful choice... and there've been several times where I and all my kobolds are dead with a success and 10 minutes to go. Or even just all my kobolds, including the foreman... a way to end prematurely after success would be wonderful. Maybe have it so you don't get any credit for "don't let any kobolds die" optionals, but... a way. Preferably one that doesn't involve going to the exit...

Dr. Rushmore... I hate it. It's not that I can't solo it... it's that chances are rather good that I won't get the crests I need to advance. I simply will not. And then if I manage to make it to a boss, I'll probably be so busy trying to fight eles who keep respawning, sometimes before they even get killed, that I'll run out of time to fight and kill the boss. And then I've wasted 20 minutes for nothing. And it's not much better in a group, because then everything is way tougher and harder to kill. Tuesday, I was in a group of mostly L20s (I was on my L18 monk) and we were killing the spawning phantoms as we went... but we got into the Inner Courtyard, and it was party wipe time because somehow the alert went instantly to Red. Full party, and we *all* noticed it go straight to red. Not one of us said "Oh, no, we hit green about the time we opened the first door, and we were at yellow in the Gallery, and orange on the way to the Inner Courtyard..." Nope, one moment nothing, next instant Red Alert, followed by party wipe.

So... I like and can do KI. I can deal with and do LC or EM, assuming my computer doesn't crash. Bur Rushmore? That's a non-starter. It's just not happening unless I can find a good group, and I never see groups. Or if I do, they're for Epics.

so, the good:

1) The items. A lot of them don't interest me, but my monk wants Calomel wraps just 'cause, y'know. NAMED WRAPS! And she's seriously looking at the Spare Hand. My bard wants that elemental longbow, wishes the khopesh was a longsword or at least that it and hte rapier were switched (she *likes* paralyzing), and is seriously considering a Mournlode weapon... though it'd be nice if those included ghost touch (C'mon, these're undead beaters. How come they (and the Mabar wraps) don't have GT and silver??) And my dwarven barb has been drooling over the greataxes and even eying the Calomel falchion. And my dwarven tempest ranger is merely glaring at the lack of anything he's remotely interested in... and my WF wiz wants, like, everything, but isn't gonna get ANYthing 'cause he's only L5 and I never play him. But the items are good... even if Mournlode doesn't have GT.

2) Kobold Island. Fun. I'll cheerfully do those when I just feel like wasting 10-15 minutes.

The bad:

1) The price. I'm VIP, so it doesn't affect me directly, but if it was cheaper, more people would buy it, and there'd be more LFMs up, and I'd maybe be able to get some Rushmore ingredients. I suspect people wouldn't have choked so much if you'd offered them in subpacks of each set. Could probably have gotten away with 395 TP each, or a bundle for 1,295. Especially if there was a way to credit previous purchases towards the bundle. "Oh, you've already bought KI and Rushmore? Then you can get LC and EP for 505 TP instead of 790!" kinda thing. Hell, you could probably STILL get away with that if there's a way to rebate the people who already purchased it. (I suspect people would buy at 345/1,195. They'd be quite happy at 295/995. And there'd be flocking at 245/895...)

2) Zoning into Lava Caves or Extraplanar Mansion. I'd be more likely to consider it's my computer if it didn't also happen when DDooring, which just seems weird. (Oh... and I run my graphics on the lowest possible setting, except for object distance, which I crank up so I can see monsters far enough away to be able to pick them off...)

3) Inability to finish early if desired (the Cove suffered from this as well).

The just plain ugly:

1) Crests in Rushmore. I like the idea somebody had about crest fragments, with the occasional whole crest.

2) Tokens. Bags. FREE bags. And BTA. BTC unbaggable tokens suck.

3) Power-ups. I've gotten turret requisition forms for KI in EP. I've gotten kobold gems for EP and LC in RM. I've gotten minutes of time that I just don't know WHERE they can be used from somewhere. And it's all BTC and unstackable. This is a travesty. I like the idea of generic (and BTA) (and stackable) kobold gems. And items should drop in the Challenges where they can be used. And there should be a decent chance of them dropping from at least the red-named bosses (and possibly the orange-named ones as well, though lower). Make the chance scale. Go into an L4 Kobold Chaos with a bunch of L20s, and you have a practically zilch chance of getting a turret requisition. Go in with a bunch of L4s, however, and you have a pretty good chance. Basically the same mechanic as req forms in Crystal Cove.

3a) And have the orbs go into the inventory to be used when YOU want them... or used on another player... or traded... or dropped to get picked up by somebody who does. I probably don't want the hate orb on my gimpy bard... but I bet that barb would love it, especially if he could also hold onto the healing orb to use at the same time. Have 'em disappear like crests when leaving so people can't collect them. But holding 'em 'til you want 'em would be GOOD. "Ooh, quad damage... I'm gonna wait 'til the Disruptor shows up! Or 'til I get to a boss! Or there's an Incoming!"

4) Ingredient conversion. Yay, you have it, great. But 4A ==> 2B ==> 1C is... sucky. If I'm good at the quest that gets me A, not so good at B, and C just isn't gonna happen... if it takes me 10 runs to get enough A) for what I want, that's 20 runs to get enough to get all of B, and 40 runs for all of C. That's 70 runs... ugh. Even keeping the 2:1 mechanic but allowing A to convert directly to B *or* C would knock it down to 50 runs. Which is still a lot, but more manageable. Oh, and A ==> B ==> C1 ==> (D1 *or* D2) ==> A is just silly. Direct conversion = good. Even at a ratio. You can convert any of the 4-15 ingredients to each other at a 2:1 ratio. Any of the 10-20 ones. Any of the 15-20 ones. Since you don't have all of them epic'd, you probably can't keep the same patterns, so you might have to do a generic "any epic to any other epic" thing there.

4a) Normalize Extraplanar Mining to match up with the others. Make Buying Time 4-15 instead of 12-20 (or 10-20 and Dragon's Hoard 4-15, which might actually make more sense), and Labor Shortage 15-20 instead of 14-20. The other three sets all have a 4-20, a 10-20, and a 15-20... so should EM.

5) Almost forgot... The star system. As many have pointed out, it's broken to the point of impossibility on a couple of the challenges, at least without purchasing items from the DDO store or being damned lucky with requisition forms/added time/etc. This needs fixing.

EDIT: Oh, I just saw the gameplay vs. rewards/cost/etc.

In that case, Good 2, Bad 3, and Ugly 1-3. Although Ugly 4 is arguably gameplay related...

Kilnedric
01-12-2012, 02:38 PM
I'm lukewarm toward them. They're ok. I definitely appreciate the effort to try to change up gameplay and offer something new and different.

The biggest reason I don't run them often is a combination of two things:

1. VERY FEW groups looking to do them. I'd love to try to them more, but most people don't seem to want to, compared to other content. I'm guessing many non-VIPs didn't buy the pack because of the expense. (I bought it when it went on sale, and I'm still not sure it was worth it.) I think lower the cost -> more people own -> more people run.

2. Not good solability (to me). I know some people report crazy amounts of rewards per run. That's great! You rule! I can't pull 300 scorpians per Colossal Crystals run. I can get about 100 on a good run. That makes it seems like I need a lot of time to get something worthwhile. I'm not necessarily saying "Change it! Make it easier!" I'm just responding with my reason for not loving this.

Aalric
01-12-2012, 02:57 PM
A few thoughts (& I know some of these have been brought up before):

1. Time vs reward: just work out how many ing you need to make a tier 2 epic item - it's 600 x 9 = 5400 ingredients. Lets say it takes an average of 20 minutes to run a challenge for about 100 ingredients (I know it varies but this is an average) - this works out to be around 18 hours or so which in my opinion is too much. investing that amount of tie to grind mutiple items would probably send me to a mental ward, ;)

2. Item synergy: A lot of the items are nice but messes up various long held synergies. An example - the robe is +8 AC - very nice, except that if you do care about AC (which is another subject...) you will be using bracers that already give you +8 AC & +3 or +4 on your robe (depends what you use). So you either have to grind the bracers for a +3 dodge bonus, which make the grind even bigger, or have to take a hit in AC.

I would have like to have seen +4 dodge on the robe, which would ahve made the robe a very nice alternative to icy raiment.

3. Although some of the challenges can be soloes, a lot can't. Getting more people increases the dungeon difficulty, which can make epic challenges a real pain.

4. Rushmore mansion - such a nice & interesting map & concept and it gets ruined by the fact it is a rush against the clock. It would have made a great untimed quest in the regualr game (maybe a different bonus could have been thought of for opening the doors) but I feel the rush ruins it.

5. Finally, after you have grinded out your loot you'll never want to see another challenge again - this is not a good game mechanic.

Suggestions:

1. cut down the number of ingredients needed. This isn't an issue of skill, its just a grind. There's already too much grind in ddo, we don't need more.

2. Look at some of the items & perhaps adjust them so they fit in better with some of the other items or epics items that are popular.

3. make the challenges more solo friendly - adjust the hp of mobs, bosses, dungeon scaling, etc

Cyr
01-12-2012, 02:58 PM
We have been active in the other threads, but keep in mind they are HUGE and we're outnumbered!

Yes, well you have two which go to the very core of the game difficulty and the enhancement system.

One of them seems to indicate that you guys are making the game much easier or are planning on spending tons of time reworking old stuff/adjusting the levels of old stuff.

These two issues need to be discussed together.

I think we need YOUR GRAND VISION spelled out at this point. What are your priorities? What do you want the game to look like next year and three years from now? Finally, how do you plan on accomplishing these things (not just small little snippet, but a real overall action plan)?

If you can articulate a clear and cohesive vision for the game that the players are excited about I can pretty much guarentee that the players will brainstorm like crazy about ways to bring these ideas to fruition.

somenewnoob
01-12-2012, 02:59 PM
4. Rushmore mansion - such a nice & interesting map & concept and it gets ruined by the fact it is a rush against the clock. It would have made a great untimed quest in the regualr game (maybe a different bonus could have been thought of for opening the doors) but I feel the rush ruins it.



Agreed. I had this in my post as well. Could have been a really cool multi objective quest, I wanted to explore when I was in it but didn't have time since it's just a zergfest.

dragons1ayer74
01-12-2012, 03:05 PM
...
4. Rushmore mansion - such a nice & interesting map & concept and it gets ruined by the fact it is a rush against the clock. It would have made a great untimed quest in the regualr game (maybe a different bonus could have been thought of for opening the doors) but I feel the rush ruins it.
...


Defiantly look at using this map in a regular quest!

ComicRelief
01-12-2012, 03:21 PM
We have been active in the other threads, but keep in mind they are HUGE and we're outnumbered!

True enough. It's because of that "huge-ness" that some of us feel like our opinions/suggestions are over-looked. I was trying to keep up with the enhancement discussions, but after a while it seemed like the entire focus was on the trees, when there are other aspects to be considered (e.g. Geoffhanna's Halfling racial PrE default, for example). I know this is somewhat off-topic, and I appologize, but the concern is valid for all such threads.

Even this one.
;)

Talon_Moonshadow
01-12-2012, 03:22 PM
Ive barely done them. :(

I did really enjoy the Crystal Cove event, and do like the fact that we have the current challenges in the game.

But I would rather you guys work on normal dungeons (for lvl 20+) instead.


Like I said, I've barely done them.
I would do them more if I felt I could solo them.....but I have failed to reach my quotas so far when I tried.


I am turned off by the LFMs I see, because I feel like people expect people to have experience doing them.

Maybe I just need to try more of them and practice more. Maybe I was just unlucky.

I wish they were more solo friendly. Or had a solo freiendly setting to practice on (and suceed and get results)


But seriously, I really want new stuff for my lvl 20 to do instead.

jkm
01-12-2012, 03:25 PM
This topic should prove interesting. :)

As you all know, U12 saw the release of a new type of content - Challenges.

I would like to get your thoughts on these - preferably in a constructive manner. I’m specifically interested in gameplay feedback.

For those who do not enjoy this type of gameplay, can you elaborate on why?

For those of you who do enjoy playing them, what aspects do you enjoy?

General feedback is encouraged, but again, please limit feedback to gameplay and respect other’s opinions. I expect this to be a very polarizing subject.

Thanks in advance.

So when the challenges were first announced, I decided I had a couple of characters that I'd level using them to get components for the rest of my characters.

The Good:


Nice Variety
Great new kobold one liners
The concepts are nice
Replayability


The Bad:


No way to end the quest early
Broad Disparity in Rewards/Minute
XP is not consistent
Rewards per class - Just pointing out that the mechanics of the quest allow certain classes to extract more rewards out of them than other classes. The fact that the kobolds can be hasted and can take ddoors allows those classes to spend less crystals than other classes.



The Ugly:

Soloing vs Geographic Separation -> I can't adequately explain how hard and frustrating the Kobold Island quests are to solo. The fact that you further penalize solo players by charging them rewards to cover it is a slap in the face. I only run the KI ones if I have too
The fact that all of the challenges are not 4-20 -> There are 2 sides to this. 1 -> the fact that I can't access certain quests until level makes it so that it is hard to accumulate xp. 2-> the fact that certain quests HAVE to be done with lower level characters to get maximum rewards is frustrating
Archers in the Kobold Island Quests -> I ran these on a level 10 barbarian. Exactly how was I supposed to protect an extractor from the archer who spawned on a hill unreachable by anyone but a Monk or a FvS? Half the time I have no idea where the arrows are coming from that are hitting them.
Dungeon Scaling - Is it really necessary to give the green named shamans 100k hit points for 6 level 20 characters? Especially when they have about a 40 fort save for an instakill? Do you guys hate grouping that much?
Coyle Quests - specifically collossal crystals. I have to get that crystal back to even finish it. So as a solo player if I have "incoming" I lose everyone at base while that stupid guy is moving back. Now think about what happens with 2, this is more example of the "geographic" problems above.
Soloing by Class - Mainly melee vs caster - everything has way too many hit points compared to how much damage they put out. You have to think more subtely here -> 300 hit points is more than one pass through most blade barriers/firewalls whereas 500 is still 2 passes. Once you start hitting 2000 melee's effectiveness in the quest go to nil whereas you are still talking about 1 blade barrier.
Crest availability - Only once have I not had a crest to get past the first door, but about 10% of the time I'm missing crests to get into a specific door on my route. Since there isn't time to go back, this effectively ends the quest. Yet we still have to wait for time to run out.
Lava - We shouldn't be responsible for damage done by the dungeon to kobolds. How am I as a solo level 10 barbarian supposed to deal with the kobold who ran away from incoming into the tar and died? Stop assuming that everyone is going to have a cleric in the dungeon.
Instakill Spells - The lich annoys me to no end with his spamming of finger of death. Once again, 10th level barbarian -> how am I supposed to keep him from fingering me AND the kobolds? I have 2 goggle clickies and I have to save one in case he disintegrates me.
Rushmore's Ellies - Water -> So 1 water elemental heals either the kobold or rushmore at the same pace that a triple stack of divine punishment damages it. This healing does not scale so it only punishes solo players.
Rushmore's Ellies - Air -> Just want to point out that playing a halfling against air elementals is enough to rage quit. If more than 2 get summoned at once, you WON'T get up again because of GoW spam and its automatic 6 second (no scaling) knockdown. The last run of this, the kobold spawned 3 of them and I was on the ground for 118 seconds before they killed me.

Kaldais
01-12-2012, 03:42 PM
I honestly don't like those quests. If the goal was to give player something to do while waiting for groups or take a short break from life. Then I feel those quests are too repetitive, and too boring. It feels like a grind. If I were to grind I rather spend those minutes to solo or duo a quick epic quest.

Suggestion to next challenges. It's a good idea; however I believe ramdonized dungeon is what DDO really needs. Pershaps an underworld type of dungeon broken into level 1-20. Maps are randomly drawn for each instance, a set of random objective? Randomly located traps, a set of minibosses randomly located.

slimkj
01-12-2012, 03:52 PM
I really just wanted to separate the style of gameplay from things like price of the pack and rewards (loot, XP, etc).

Excellent feedback - thanks.
Ahh, I see! Thanks, I get it now. Could've been the work day killing braincells at fault there, feel a bit dense now, heh.

No worries, felt it was a bit negative so am glad it was useful!

Riggs
01-12-2012, 04:00 PM
re rewards.

Among other things said - like having to grind multiple items if you want to replace one ac item even, or the cost of 1000's of multiple ingredients, different ingredients to get epic upgrades is a pain.

The elemental weapons as locked into 1 type of weapon is just annoying. Make them like the caromel/mournlode ones - each element has a choice of 5 or so weapons you can make. Some kind of two hander, some kind of ranged, finessable etc

Viisari
01-12-2012, 04:22 PM
Among other things said - like having to grind multiple items if you want to replace one ac item even, or the cost of 1000's of multiple ingredients, different ingredients to get epic upgrades is a pain.

Meh, with a decent group you can make an item from scratch and fully upgrade it within 4-6 hours of play, maybe even less. That's *extremely* quick considering how good some of the items are.

slimkj
01-12-2012, 04:29 PM
Perhaps have a tutorial for the first time you're in the challenge that you can turn off if you like?
Or a no timer mode that offers no reward, so you can explore at leisure.

Thrudh
01-12-2012, 04:31 PM
But then again most of them are just lipstick on the cove event.....so there isn't much to see.

To be fair, only 1/3 of them are CC rewrites (I really like Colossal Crystals though)

The other 2/3 are completely different from CC.

Thrudh
01-12-2012, 04:36 PM
Agreed. I had this in my post as well. Could have been a really cool multi objective quest, I wanted to explore when I was in it but didn't have time since it's just a zergfest.

Yeah. what's the deal with that giant puzzle in I think "the Observatory"? I'd love to try to solve it, but kind of hard when I only 2 minutes left to find enough crests to open another door!

MadFloyd
01-12-2012, 04:37 PM
To expound a little here on what I said in the other thread, we've seen two different stated design intents for challenges. In the first they are akin to a 40 yard dash: pretty much anyone can run 40 yards, the "challenge" is in getting the very best time. In the second they are akin to an ultramarathon: the "challenge" is in finishing at all, and requires serious preparation and effort. Is there an overall design intent for challenges? If so, which is it?


The design intent was to offer something not only different, but re-playable and more strategic. Many quests merely require the player to get from point A to point B; challenges were designed to give the player agency to form a plan and have some degree of control over not just success but the degree of success.




There are also nagging questions that to my knowledge have never been addressed.
-Are you aware that guild renown doesn't drop in challenge chests?
-Are you aware that some star objectives are mathematically impossible to obtain?
-Are you aware that certain challenges have a dramatically worse ingredient/time rate than others?
And as follow-ups to each: is this intended? If so, why?

No, no, yes, and no.

Vindraxx
01-12-2012, 04:42 PM
Meh, with a decent group you can make an item from scratch and fully upgrade it within 4-6 hours of play, maybe even less. That's *extremely* quick considering how good some of the items are.

I agree with this... once you actually "know" the challenges, IE: way around the mansion, torching/incoming patterns, you can really pull A LOT of ingredients in a short amount of time. For a competent group I think 4-6 hours is a very realistic amount of time it would take to make a fully upgraded item.

LeLoric
01-12-2012, 04:43 PM
No, no, yes, and no.

Guild reknown will be nice to have in chests but not a game breaker. The others though are some of the worst parts of challenges I think. Equality in time/reward is a big factor for me. Getting the same amount of rewards out of a 30-40 min rushmore run as I do out of a 5 min buying time run is pretty bad.

Kobold island star objectives need an overhaul. Look at the leaderboards for most of these and see how many stars people are getting. It's not many.

Vindraxx
01-12-2012, 04:44 PM
No, no, yes, and no.

In regards to mathematically impossible, I believe Disruptor (for almost certain) and perhaps Kobold Island are mathematically impossible to 5/6 star.

Thrudh
01-12-2012, 04:45 PM
No, no, yes, and no.

I'm glad you reading our comments! Many thanks for these threads...

Battlehawke
01-12-2012, 04:50 PM
To me the Challenges just don't have the AD&D feel. They are clearly worth the rewards and you almost "have" to do them if you want to keep your toons up to speed. I actually do enjoy them but sometimes get caught up in the Marathon, just to get back in and restart. They are a fun break, and I personally think they should remain in the game, but should be kept to a minimum.

I'm not sure of the decline of players on Gallahanda, but I think it is a combination of things.
1) STOR. My guild lost about 30 players to this game. I can only imagine the impact game-wide.
2) HOLIDAYS. Clearly a lot of people just haven't had tine to play, or have new "distracting" toys.
3) CHALLENGES. In a full pug these seem much harder to score higher on. I can solo on my caster with much better results. I think a TON of people are solo'ing these and not doing the typical Quests/LFM's, thus another contributor to the decline of LFM's. Once. Once everyone finally gets all the gear they want this will improve....

MadFloyd
01-12-2012, 04:51 PM
call me old fashioned but I prefer the 'will I get it, will I not' approach of % based drop rates on completed items rather than knowing I MUST do 10 runs of this to get the item. I know its odd but I am more likely to run it 50 times if I have a chance to get the item EVERY run, even the first. I like the mystery rather than the, 'I am going to run this xx times and I will do it here, here and here then I wont run it again as there is nothing left from it for me'.


I'm still making my way through the thread, but I don't think you're alone here. I think the lack of being able to get lucky and 'get it on this run' is a negative, compounded by the fact that it's a long haul to get your first reward.

MadFloyd
01-12-2012, 04:59 PM
I love the challenges, but I agree there's a lot of room for improvement.

I read many good suggestions so far, but here are some of my own:



I have about 46 favor from getting stars in challenges with my level 20. I set the goal for myself to try and get the first 50 favor from them - as I do not own the other Cannith content - and I feel like 1 favor per star is too low. If it were even just 2 favor per star, gaining them would feel much more worthwhile. Alternately, if you could select or have a randomized list of new star objectives for some challenges, that would increase replayability, in my opinion. (Example: Let's say I've gotten all 5 stars on Rushmore's Mansion: Picture Portals, next time I enter, I get the option of selecting newly unlocked star objectives, which could be harder or simply different than the previous 4 optionals - main goal will remain the same. Maybe these new stars are worth 2 favor each.)
Inventory space is a major hassle in some challenges. Because you need to have a clear space for teleporters, cannon construction kits, torches, 8+ different kinds of crests - and also largely because your inventory is constantly taking on more and more supply chests that don't stack - having 1 or 2 blank spaces free is almost a non-starter. In Rushmore, I try to have at least 8 spaces free, and that just sucks to clear out. It might be nice if there were some sort of "challenge space" for challenge-only items like torches, or else some kinds of challenge bags, although having yet another kind of bag would make me die a little inside, I think. Anyway, lack of inventory space. Major hassle. Point made, I hope.
The ingredients and equipment you can buy with them are a great carrot. Even if I've done a challenge many times and don't "need" the ingredients from it (right now), I still am quite willing to run it with a group for others who might need it not only because I like the challenges, but also because you can readily convert them and trade them between characters on your account. Nice job with these! For those who don't see any reason to gain ingredients after you have what you want, aside from epic tokens, there are XP potions. (Lower % than others and shorter duration, I know, but still pretty cool.)

More variety amongst the challenges would be great! I mean both within the same map and between challenges. Or, wildly different goals on the same map for different levels could be very fun. (Example: What if, on one version of lava caves or extra-planar mining, the PCs were trying to STOP the kobolds (who had all the super-speed and stoneskin buffs, etc. That would be a neat twist on the same dungeon. Especially if the NPCs like the rakshasa, etc. were still trying to kill you or accomplish some other goal themselves. Maybe you'd get optionals for fewer crystals collected, and ultimately try to kill off all the teleporting, stealthy, super-speeded, displaced kobolds. Or even just screwing up their torch lines and sending them off a cliff or into the dragon's lair.)
Might be fun to have a couple even shorter ones - 5 minute timers with no need/ability to extend time.

In general, I like the way the timers work in all challenges now. However, I'd like it if the random extended-time buffs I've seen only rarely were more common in some challenges (I've only seen it in Rushmore, whereas, it might be nice to have this on Kobold Island.). Furthermore, other ways to extend time by one or two minutes here and there would be fun. (Example: New, rare, yellow crystals for kobolds to gather that did nothing for crystal count, but added between 15 seconds and 1 minute to the timer - depending on whether they were just kinda rare, or really, really rare. Heck, you could even have evil, time-draining crystals that might entice naive kobolds that you'd have to avoid. That'd be pretty darn evil, though.)

Just a note on difficulty: With my (admittedly, non-optimized) level 20, I can solo Epic Extra-planar Mining: Buying Time at level 21, even though I die a lot, and usually end up dead or continually re-using the center resurrection shrine by the end. And I can usually do this while getting about 3 stars. Conversely, I can't do Kobold Chaos anywhere near level, solo. With a hireling and his high-level summons for guard duty, I can eek out a completion (1 or 2 stars, rarely 3) at ~6 levels lower (if I'm lucky). Certainly at 10 levels lower. Either way, the scores you get when you're that far below level are abysmal and the ingredient rewards are almost non-existent. It was fun to try these (Kobold Island challenges) solo at first, but it is not fun to play them solo now. Similarly oddly, I have found it much easier to solo Colossal Crystals with a level 12 character than to do it with a group at that level, or any higher level group, either. This might be due to scaling of the NPCs when more PCs are in the party. It seems a little over-balanced, I guess. I'm not saying they were in any way designed to be done solo, but the soloing difficulty difference between challenges that I point out may be interesting for some to think about.

Two-way teleporters are fun. More challenges involving them would be fun.
The price of the pack was too high. I only bought it after it went on sale for 30% off, and still thought that that was a little too high. Future add-ons to challenges should be priced lower. 100-150 TP per kind of challenge would make sense to me. So, for example, if you come out with 2 new kinds of challenges (with 3 variations on each, and 2 epics for each), 200-300 TP for that add-on would be reasonable. 1200 would not. See what I'm getting at?
I thought of this during Crystal Cove, but here goes: Please start selling taskmaster whips in the DDO store that are only usable in challenges. Different colored whip could do different things, but the main idea is that you target a kobold and activate the whip, and all it does is MAKE the KOBOLD TURN AROUND (180 degrees). These could be one-shot items or multi-use. A pink one could maybe make the kobolds jump a certain height. A blue one might tell the kobold to skip the next torch and continue on in the same direction they're facing for a few seconds. Endless possibilities here.

In general, good, well-thought-out work on the challenges. Thanks for the ability to be a part of the discussion.

Thank you. Love the whip idea.

slimkj
01-12-2012, 05:01 PM
It would be awesome if any BTA ingredients could go into an account accessible UI pane, so any character on the account could use them from there. Ingredient tetris is just not fun or interesting in any way at all.
Oh wow, YES! This would be amazing. There must be ways to make it continue to pay by granting access based on bag purchase on a char or something (perhaps number of withdrawals/deposits per day limited for smaller, free bags or something so still some incentive to buy).

I'm sure a dev could do this better but wow, I'd love this. Micromanaging increasing numbers of ingredients is tedious in the extreme.

Thrudh
01-12-2012, 05:03 PM
I'm still making my way through the thread, but I don't think you're alone here. I think the lack of being able to get lucky and 'get it on this run' is a negative, compounded by the fact that it's a long haul to get your first reward.

Whoa... careful... he may not be alone, but I don't think he's the majority....

I am on the opposite side of the field... I absolutely HATE random drop grinding... I would a thousand times rather have a goal where I slowly make progress. Having a chance to pull an item on my first run does not interest me when it comes with a corresponding chance to NOT have the item even after 100 runs...

My favorite grinds are where you are always making progress to your goal. Shroud, Crystal Cove, these challenges... I always feel like I'm making progress..

Raids are a decent combination of random, and progress... You have a chance to get the item randomly, but even if you don't you're still making progress towards that 20th list...

I HATED Reaver's Refuge when I could grind for a WEEK and be ZERO percent closer to my goal... I quit running that grind... If the whole game was like that I would quit immediately. Epic is only tolerable to me because I need tokens... I dislike the random drop nature of epics, but at least after a night of running epics with zero seals or shards, at least I've made progress on my next augment slot.

I may not be the majority either, but I guarentee there are some of us who love making slow and steady progress and who hate 100% random drops.

Avidus
01-12-2012, 05:03 PM
I'm still making my way through the thread, but I don't think you're alone here. I think the lack of being able to get lucky and 'get it on this run' is a negative, compounded by the fact that it's a long haul to get your first reward.


Whoa... careful... he may not be alone, but I don't think he's the majority....
<snip>
I may not be the majority either, but I guarentee there are some of us who love making slow and steady progress and who hate 100% random drops.
^^this and everything else in Thrudhs post.

As someone who has not, in almost 6 years of playing, ever hit the lotto and pulled anything worth half a **** in my first run of anything I have to disagree. Would I like being able to get what I am after in one run, sure I would.
Are the odds of that even remotely in my favor? No they aren't. Therefore I like the make steady progress approach to loot. This way I know I will eventually get my item. How many times have we seen the thread 100+ runs of <insert quest/raid here> and still no <coveted Item>. For example see this thread (http://forums.ddo.com/showthread.php?t=357450)

Now if you can just add some of the items to the loot drops in the various challenges so that the gamblers can 'hit the lotto' with out feeling that you need to lower the ingredient drop rate we will have reached the so called win-win.

Retired_Old_Gamer
01-12-2012, 05:12 PM
;; Removed comments as they were negative. And I shouldnt be negative about something I dont know much of.

Lifespawn
01-12-2012, 05:13 PM
Whoa... careful... he may not be alone, but I don't think he's the majority....

I am on the opposite side of the field... I absolutely HATE random drop grinding... I would a thousand times rather have a goal where I slowly make progress. Having a chance to pull an item on my first run does not interest me when it comes with a corresponding chance to NOT have the item even after 100 runs...

My favorite grinds are where you are always making progress to your goal. Shroud, Crystal Cove, these challenges... I always feel like I'm making progress..

Raids are a decent combination of random, and progress... You have a chance to get the item randomly, but even if you don't you're still making progress towards that 20th list...

I HATED Reaver's Refuge when I could grind for a WEEK and be ZERO percent closer to my goal... I quit running that grind... If the whole game was like that I would quit immediately. Epic is only tolerable to me because I need tokens... I dislike the random drop nature of epics, but at least after a night of running epics with zero seals or shards, at least I've made progress on my next augment slot.

I may not be the majority either, but I guarentee there are some of us who love making slow and steady progress and who hate 100% random drops.


10000000% agree i'd rather have an attainable goal 80+ tod runs and counting and still no shintao ring

sirgog
01-12-2012, 05:16 PM
Whoa... careful... he may not be alone, but I don't think he's the majority....

I am on the opposite side of the field... I absolutely HATE random drop grinding... I would a thousand times rather have a goal where I slowly make progress. Having a chance to pull an item on my first run does not interest me when it comes with a corresponding chance to NOT have the item even after 100 runs...

My favorite grinds are where you are always making progress to your goal. Shroud, Crystal Cove, these challenges... I always feel like I'm making progress..

Raids are a decent combination of random, and progress... You have a chance to get the item randomly, but even if you don't you're still making progress towards that 20th list...

I HATED Reaver's Refuge when I could grind for a WEEK and be ZERO percent closer to my goal... I quit running that grind... If the whole game was like that I would quit immediately. Epic is only tolerable to me because I need tokens... I dislike the random drop nature of epics, but at least after a night of running epics with zero seals or shards, at least I've made progress on my next augment slot.

I may not be the majority either, but I guarentee there are some of us who love making slow and steady progress and who hate 100% random drops.

Yeah I much prefer Challenge reward systems to randomness, despite having some quite impressive luck lately (2 Tharne's Goggles dropping for me in 4 runs of VOD)

I've given up on ever making Desert epics other than raid items, because there is no progress - after 100+ runs of the dungeons out there, I'm no closer than I was when I started.

Challenges, OTOH - I know that 8 good runs or 20 poor runs will get me an item or an upgrade of it.



Edit: Collecting 600/600/600 could seem overwhelming to people that find the challenges very, very difficult. Not sure that is any different, however, to completing 20 TOD runs.

LeLoric
01-12-2012, 05:31 PM
Yeah I much prefer Challenge reward systems to randomness, despite having some quite impressive luck lately (2 Tharne's Goggles dropping for me in 4 runs of VOD)

I've given up on ever making Desert epics other than raid items, because there is no progress - after 100+ runs of the dungeons out there, I'm no closer than I was when I started.

Challenges, OTOH - I know that 8 good runs or 20 poor runs will get me an item or an upgrade of it.



Edit: Collecting 600/600/600 could seem overwhelming to people that find the challenges very, very difficult. Not sure that is any different, however, to completing 20 TOD runs.

It's much more frustrating to run 100 vods to get your goggles then it is rewarding to pull a litany on your first ever abbot. I'd keep challenges as is there's enough lotto ticket pull items in the game for people that prefer that type of thing.

I could see a lowering of first tier item costs (especially at lower levels) to smaller amounts. I can imagine a new player hit's level 4 and finds out he needs 1200 total items to get some gear. On his first challenge he doesn't do so well and gets 75 ingredients for 20 min of work. I can see that being a bit disheartening.

This is also moreso of a reason i dislike all the lev 4 challenges being extremely long. It takes an extremely long time for a newer player to get it done and if they don't do well or worse not even complete it certainly doesn't make them wanna hop right back in. Whereas the shorter challenges are more inducive to lets get back in there and try and do better. I think the longer ones should have been relegated to later levels with some pretty tough objectives that would take most of that time but give them good rewards to boot.

slimkj
01-12-2012, 05:33 PM
One more thing I'd suggest. Currently getting items from the Challenges takes a fair number of runs. Maybe make 'tier 0' items that are really quite low quality versions of the real items, but that can be attained quickly.

As an example, the 'tier 0' Epic Elemental Greataxe of Fire might just have the augmented base damage and the Greater Incineration from the 20/t1 axe, but nothing else.
Also a great idea. This would alleviate the loot-is-too-far-off element I described for some, if they felt the drop in loot quality worth the fewer runs.

What I was getting at earlier in the thread was that, with Cove, even a failed run netted gems that could be traded for doubloons or spent on clickies, or whatever. Mabar also had a sense of progress without needing to do the full dragon bit if you didn't happen to be on when the doors were open. With the static challenges there doesn't feel like there's an intermediate reward, especially if you don't hit objectives.

As others have said, the timer is not that attractive for those of us who have to afk a lot. I think this exacerbates the above for some. I don't know if I'm just regurgitating received wisdom here but it feels like DDO has a more mature player base, generally, than most other MMOs I've tried. With greater age usually comes greater responsibility and that translates into need for afks for most of the players I know, or shorter available play times.

Riggs
01-12-2012, 05:43 PM
Whoa... careful... he may not be alone, but I don't think he's the majority....

I am on the opposite side of the field... I absolutely HATE random drop grinding... I would a thousand times rather have a goal where I slowly make progress. Having a chance to pull an item on my first run does not interest me when it comes with a corresponding chance to NOT have the item even after 100 runs...

My favorite grinds are where you are always making progress to your goal. Shroud, Crystal Cove, these challenges... I always feel like I'm making progress..

Raids are a decent combination of random, and progress... You have a chance to get the item randomly, but even if you don't you're still making progress towards that 20th list...

I HATED Reaver's Refuge when I could grind for a WEEK and be ZERO percent closer to my goal... I quit running that grind... If the whole game was like that I would quit immediately. Epic is only tolerable to me because I need tokens... I dislike the random drop nature of epics, but at least after a night of running epics with zero seals or shards, at least I've made progress on my next augment slot.

I may not be the majority either, but I guarentee there are some of us who love making slow and steady progress and who hate 100% random drops.

yeah +1 as well.

Most everyone I know hates, hates, hates the random grind.

The fact that some challenges are pretty annoying to run, and the wide discrepancy in rewards for time, and the whack scaling keep a lot of people from running them.

Moar two way teleporter - in fact ALL teleporters should be two way. Otherwise 'soloing on my caster' is basically the default setting because dimension door is so bloody valuable in these quests.

Auran82
01-12-2012, 05:46 PM
The design intent was to offer something not only different, but re-playable and more strategic. Many quests merely require the player to get from point A to point B; challenges were designed to give the player agency to form a plan and have some degree of control over not just success but the degree of success.

I'm not totally sure whether that design intent really comes through, most of the challenges are more "Learn to do it the most efficient way or why bother". Other than semi randomness of part drops/crystal placement/crest drops they are more or less always the same. Having them all being times immediately pushes away one segment of the players who hates timed quests (not really a fan personally).

Regarding the random drop Vs Cove style rewards, it would be nice if there was some chance of completed BTA base items dropping, as well as having the ingredients to work toward what you want, hell, make the rare drops BTA on equip.

And please, please, please, please do something about the insane number of ingredients that are being dumped on us, what really scares me, is that in the future, when we see more challenge quests being relased, it will mean even more different ingredients being dumped on us. I know it might be hard now with ingredient bags being sold in the store, but the few times I did run challenges (with free tokens) I did so on the one character, initially because the ingredients were BTC, and now with them being BTA, I'm not sure I trust the shared bank enough to put any bags in it, so I would need to drag them out of the bags one at a time.

Regarding bags, are there any plans to add more real categories to them instead of having everything sitting under misc?

Snarglefrump
01-12-2012, 05:46 PM
Instakill Spells - The lich annoys me to no end with his spamming of finger of death. Once again, 10th level barbarian -> how am I supposed to keep him from fingering me AND the kobolds?


You: Wear a deathblock item.
Kobolds: Kill the lich fast.

Auran82
01-12-2012, 05:50 PM
Oh yeah, last 2 points.

Standardise (between challenges) or advise the player in game so they have some idea what reward they can expect at the end of the challenge. CC was great, get X extra crystals, multiply by bonus multiplier, there you go.

Consider the price of the pack, I obviously don't have access to sales figures, but I can't be the only person who has not bought it out of principle even though I have enough points to buy it. I don't want to give the impression that I am happy with that kind of pricing going forward, this is from someone who owns every single pack other than the challenge pack (even 3BC, which I have not visited in what, 3 years or more)

Snarglefrump
01-12-2012, 05:52 PM
I'm still making my way through the thread, but I don't think you're alone here. I think the lack of being able to get lucky and 'get it on this run' is a negative, compounded by the fact that it's a long haul to get your first reward.

On the flip side, I've seen several threads where people comment that they prefer making gradual, measurable progress over trying to farm a rare item. It's demoralizing to run a quest 20 times and still have nothing to show for it.

I was able to get my first challenge item (L12 Spare Hand) after about 6 runs (3 types of challenges, about twice each). To me, the excitement wasn't in "will I get the item?" but in "how many widgets can I earn in one run?".

BladeTricks
01-12-2012, 05:56 PM
Keep in mind my experience with the challenges has mostly been at lvl 20-21 with a WF Sorcerer.

The Good:

+ Love the range of abilities enemy spellcasters use. Sphere of Dancing, PW:Stun, Wail, FoD, etc. That's awesome. I love the fact that they can punish you quickly if you did not come prepared. As I said, I mostly experienced lvl 20-21 gameplay, but if you made spellcasters use level-appropriate spells all the way from level 5 to 25 challenges, then big kudos!

+ Every run, I feel like I'm getting somewhere. Be it ingreds for items, ingreds for epic tokens, favor, XP, etc. Much of the rest of DDO is based on a lottery system, so it's nice to have something that's a complete opposite.

+ Challenge tokens are still worthwhile for VIPs and pack owners because of the small boosts they can give. Getting a couple free torches or a kobold for example is a nice touch.

The Bad:

- The return of the Epic Ward. I have nothing against enemy divines casting Death Ward on themselves and their buddies, or certain types of creatures being naturally immune, but otherwise, the blanket immunity needs to go, the same way you removed it from regular epic quests. It seems to come from the fact that you borrowed the Crystal Cove code for the House C challenges, but now is the time for a revisit.

- Kobold pathing. Kobolds not being able to follow the torch path because of terrain is INFURIATING!! Remember, these are all time-sensitive challenges, I don't want to spend one minute trying various torch placements until the kobolds can finally find their way down a slope or whatever the case may be.

- These challenges are made to be fast and furious, I don't want to spend 20 minutes to fill then 10 minutes inside the challenge playing. I put the blame squarely on the price point because it is such an easy target. :P No way I would buy the pack if I was not VIP. Probably should be about half price. As is it, I'm sure most people that have not pulled the trigger are happy to skate by with just the free tokens.

- Scaling with party size. Look, I understand there's a lot of tweaking going on behind the scenes, as you need to keep it equally challenging for party size 1 to 6 and from challenge level 5 to 25. Things are still out of whack. Some challenges are extremely hard solo, while others are extremely hard with a full party (but easy solo).

waterboytkd
01-12-2012, 05:57 PM
Whoa... careful... he may not be alone, but I don't think he's the majority....

I am on the opposite side of the field... I absolutely HATE random drop grinding... I would a thousand times rather have a goal where I slowly make progress. Having a chance to pull an item on my first run does not interest me when it comes with a corresponding chance to NOT have the item even after 100 runs...

My favorite grinds are where you are always making progress to your goal. Shroud, Crystal Cove, these challenges... I always feel like I'm making progress..

Raids are a decent combination of random, and progress... You have a chance to get the item randomly, but even if you don't you're still making progress towards that 20th list...

I HATED Reaver's Refuge when I could grind for a WEEK and be ZERO percent closer to my goal... I quit running that grind... If the whole game was like that I would quit immediately. Epic is only tolerable to me because I need tokens... I dislike the random drop nature of epics, but at least after a night of running epics with zero seals or shards, at least I've made progress on my next augment slot.

I may not be the majority either, but I guarentee there are some of us who love making slow and steady progress and who hate 100% random drops.

Completely agree here. Been running eDragon at least twice a week for over a year now, still no Shard of the Sword of Shadows. Kind of a bummer. The guaranteed nature of the Challenges could make their replay value go down, but the fact that ingredients could be traded in for other stuff helps that out quite a bit.

But a point on Epic Dungeon Tokens: Let's say I run epic Partycrashers. At the end, I get my token. Also, I have a decent chance at pulling at seal. So I can walk away with a needed ingredient for an epic item AND a dungeon token.

Now, let's say I run epic Picture Portals. At the end, I 4-5 star it, and I get my 300-400+ Chalices. BUT, even though I just did an epic quest, I get no tokens. I can trade those Chalices in for tokens, but then I'm not getting any closer to my epic item.

Shouldn't epic Challenges also let you walk away with a step towards your epic item AND some amount of token? My thought was simple: at the end of the epic challenge, you get your ingredients AND 20 epic token fragments per star completed, so a full token for a 5-star completion. If you gold-starred the epic, that's worth a bonus token, so 2 full tokens (remember, to get a gold star in an epic challenge, you need to be on Level 25). This way, we can get tokens AND work towards our epic items, just like other quests (and when we complete our epic items, maybe we'll have enough tokens to start slotting stuff).

One consequence of this is that, if you're just running challenges to token farm, they become the most efficient way of doing it. But is that so bad? Something has to be the best farm, and it'd help sell the pack.

Carpone
01-12-2012, 06:06 PM
The challenges already exist, so they wouldn't be substituted for anything. I don't see how flipping the "raid party on" switch for epic 25 challenges would have any effect on current or future raid content.
If Turbine thinks 12-man challenges are acceptable as raid content, then we'll see less raid-only content designed. Considering how infrequent raid-only content is released (once every 12 months), that would be a death knell for me.

sirgog
01-12-2012, 06:11 PM
...
The Ugly:
...
Instakill Spells - The lich annoys me to no end with his spamming of finger of death. Once again, 10th level barbarian -> how am I supposed to keep him from fingering me AND the kobolds? I have 2 goggle clickies and I have to save one in case he disintegrates me.

Deathblock item, and Intimidate him. Maladis does not use Wail of the Banshee below Epic, as far as I can tell, and Intimidating mobs in challenges is pretty easy.

Carpone
01-12-2012, 06:12 PM
Yeah I much prefer Challenge reward systems to randomness [...] I've given up on ever making Desert epics other than raid items, because there is no progress - after 100+ runs of the dungeons out there, I'm no closer than I was when I started.
Totally agree. Players can't really appreciate how bad the randomness approach is until they've completed epic quests countless times and haven't seen the seal or shard you want drop once in a full group (Epic Chains of Flame and Epic A Small Problem are A-list offenders), or get skunked on multiple raids with no named loot in the chest (ToD and Abbot, I'm looking at you).

Carpone
01-12-2012, 06:16 PM
Don't make me do math to figure out how many ingredients I'm going to be rewarded with based on the current score. Simply show it to me. That would be more valuable to me than displaying the score, which is largely arbitrary/useless data point.

slimkj
01-12-2012, 06:16 PM
Whoa... careful... he may not be alone, but I don't think he's the majority....

I am on the opposite side of the field... I absolutely HATE random drop grinding... I would a thousand times rather have a goal where I slowly make progress. Having a chance to pull an item on my first run does not interest me when it comes with a corresponding chance to NOT have the item even after 100 runs...
I think the approach Turbine have with a chain having BTA end rewards and named loot in chests in the chain is almost the perfect balance. Something for you, something for me. Chance to get it early, will almost certainly get it after a few runs of the chain. (Excluding a couple of famous items I guess.)

Lordsmarch and other recent packs balanced this element of reward very well, I thought.

aristarchus1000
01-12-2012, 06:18 PM
I'm still making my way through the thread, but I don't think you're alone here. I think the lack of being able to get lucky and 'get it on this run' is a negative, compounded by the fact that it's a long haul to get your first reward.

Just to chime in, I think we have plenty of "random drop" style looting in this game. The challenges are different, and it's nice to do a "quick 15 minute run" and feel like are making some progress towards an end goal.

In fact, that's the only reason I do challenges now. The random no-progress loot system is sometimes too much.

slimkj
01-12-2012, 06:27 PM
Totally agree. Players can't really appreciate how bad the randomness approach is until they've completed epic quests countless times and haven't seen the seal or shard you want drop once in a full group (Epic Chains of Flame and Epic A Small Problem are A-list offenders), or get skunked on multiple raids with no named loot in the chest (ToD and Abbot, I'm looking at you).
I'm in the cohort of having had their fair amount of crappy luck but a) I have occasionally had a good piece of luck that was so much more rewarding for it and b) I think there is an intermediate approach which could appease both. It doesn't have to be as polarised as challenges vs epics. There are other approaches to reward which could give an element of both. Off the top of my head...

Combined in-quest and end-chain rewards as I mentioned above is one - how about a shot at a base item in a reward list after running the full variety set of one challenge (or even 1, 4 times)? This could also include ingred stacks like the Cauldron of Sora Kell or whatever it was called pack.

Simply reducing the number of ingreds for the base item is another, or runs required to reach the total through a random element - how about chests from bosses dropping reasonable amounts of ingreds, or again a chance at base items?

I'm sure others would have good ideas on how both crowds could be pleased with a dual reward path system.

Monkey_Archer
01-12-2012, 06:30 PM
If Turbine thinks 12-man challenges are acceptable as raid content, then we'll see less raid-only content designed. Considering how infrequent raid-only content is released (once every 12 months), that would be a death knell for me.
I see what you mean, but I'm thinking in terms of development time. I could be wrong, but allowing 12 people into a challenge shouldn't require much, if any, actual development time, so it wont reduce any new content development. Actually the opposite could be true if dev time is spent "re-working" challenges to be more party size friendly. I'm sure the "raid challenges" line could be used in marketing and perhaps as justification for a higher pack price, but given the reaction to the last pack pricing i don't see that as very likely.

bbqzor
01-12-2012, 06:37 PM
I'm still making my way through the thread, but I don't think you're alone here. I think the lack of being able to get lucky and 'get it on this run' is a negative, compounded by the fact that it's a long haul to get your first reward.

Uh, he may not be alone but please don't use a solution that moves only in that direction.

It currently takes about 23 challenge runs (or a tad less) to get a full epic item (assuming 300 parts per run average, across the 5400 parts plus another 1500 parts for the tokens, needed in total). That's pretty close to the status quo of 20 runs nets you a set reward list, especially considering you can probably grind the tokens out using one of the ones you can make pay out faster (hence the tad less).

Compared to the number of runs you can be stuck doing trying to earn the last epic bit (which on multiple occasions has equaled or exceeded the 20 in my personal case, and I can't be alone in that), and its certainly not any worse going the challenge route.

I can appreciate the desire for people to be able to win in 1 run, but I would ONLY want to see that added if it did not remove or worsen the guaranteed pay off after 20-23 runs. For example (and maybe not a good idea but it illustrates my point), if you have a chance to farm a rare gold crystal which shows up in only 1% of the dungeons, somewhere in the dungeon, but is worth like 500 crystals, maybe you could get lucky and have it appear and get it farmed, and get a huge windfall making it easier to get your item by basically filling a large part of the 1800 runs in one shot, okay fine. Or, maybe you can get a rare drop from a chest which has a requisition form for a whole tier 1 item or something.

But going back to the old system forces people back into the "you need A, I need B, guess we run both and can only win half the time" scenario. Yea, you might get lucky, but more likely you'll be running a lot of stuff trying for one drop among many, or helping others in quests you need nothing from. The challenge system eliminated that problem, don't reintroduce it.

And, just so it doesn't go unsaid, personally I'm fine with no chance to win immediately. Frankly I'd rather sit down and have a known amount of work to do instead of feel like I'm playing a lottery. Hitting each mission knowing its 1 of 10 or 1 of 5 or what not makes every one completed feel like incremental progress, instead of the sinking feeling knowing I'm doing yet another run just trying to force the rng to pay out; something which I ultimately have no control over. I did mention this in passing in my first post, and I want to mention it again here. Do not reintroduce problems which have been successfully addressed. Re-engineering the address-ment, sure, but don't take a step backwards please.

(and PS, to add to what Kinerd said, are you aware that chests spawning in a full inventory delete your stuff... please fix, also allowing chests of the same cr to stack to further combat the problem)

redspecter23
01-12-2012, 06:43 PM
A few points. I haven't read the whole thread so apologies if these are repeats.

Air elementals suck for solo melee. Especially if they spawn along with other mobs. Having one single type of mob that is so massively easier to deal with on casters is just plain silly. The combination of wacky movement, knockdown, knockback and slow is just a perfect storm of "don't melee me" I have to believe it was designed just to scare the living daylights out of any melee attempting to solo it.

There is, in my opinion, a huge bias against bringing in more party members than absolutely necessary for any dungeon due to dungeon scaling. Perhaps it's no different scaling than a standard dungeon, but in the case of challenges, the party is encouraged to split up so you feel that scaling much more as you are far more likely to be stranded solo at any particular time. Taking too long to kill mobs is a massive liability in a timed challenge where at any given time you HAVE to get somewhere fast to protect an extractor or kobolds, etc. Hearing 3 or 4 kobold drop while you're slowly killing the cloud giant just frustrates me.

On a somewhat related note, many of the red named have ridiculous hp. Again, not a huge issue on it's own, but in a timed challenge you simply can't afford to waste time killing these names. It's often beneficial just to toss a party member at them and have them kite it until the end of the timer. That is no fun at all.

I've got more, but I'll just start with those as they are my main issues.

Rizzia
01-12-2012, 06:45 PM
Im not sure if this belongs in this thread or a new one, but since the "random luck vs obtainable goal" has been touched on here, I thought I'd try..

I very much like the challenge reward system because I feel I am getting somewhere, conversley all the other raids/epics I do, Im just hoping for the best and generally getting skunked (is skunked even a word?).

A new feature could be added to increase the value of the challenge pack, and something that would help alleviate some of the other epic grinds, taken from mabar (scales).

So you can grind epic ingred's and exhange for tokens, why not take it a step further, and say trade in .. 10k epic ingreds for a seal (let me finish..) You would have to own the pack or be VIP (guest passes dont work) for the seal you want. 10k ingreds is a huge grind, but alot less than farming 300-400 epic adq1 chests and getting 0 desired seals. A clear set goal is in my mind easier to swallow than "luck of the draw". Heck make it 10-20k epic ingreds and 3 seals from that pack (so people still run that content too) to exchange for 1 seal, it would still be a clear goal to shoot for.

gloopygloop
01-12-2012, 06:55 PM
I'm still making my way through the thread, but I don't think you're alone here. I think the lack of being able to get lucky and 'get it on this run' is a negative, compounded by the fact that it's a long haul to get your first reward.

He's probably not alone, but I'm certainly not with him.

I like the idea that I can make active progress toward obtaining something that I want instead of waiting to hit the loot jackpot.

I can't tell you how many times I've been in Xorian Cipher and I still have no Planar Gird and yet I've pulled 3 Bloodstones.


If you want to put full items in as a very rare drop on supply chests or something, that would be neat, but please don't take away our ability to make steady progress toward items.

DANTEIL
01-12-2012, 07:00 PM
I'm still making my way through the thread, but I don't think you're alone here. I think the lack of being able to get lucky and 'get it on this run' is a negative, compounded by the fact that it's a long haul to get your first reward.

The issue of a "long haul" is different from the issue of "the lack of being able to get lucky." I like the feeling of steady progression. If you are concerned about the long haul (because I agree that 1200-1800 items is crazeee), then simply up the ingredient reward rates. (and reduce the number of different ingredients. too many!)

MadFloyd
01-12-2012, 07:04 PM
Current issues with challenges:

1) You do not get 25 turbine points if you go over a 100 favor mark during challenges.

2) The Rushmore's palace challenges have a low item to time ratio compared to all other challenges.

3) Some of the star objectives in the kobold island are either impossible, (Disruptor comes to mind) or require DDO store items/lucky drop, to obtain. I'd give all those star objectives a second look.

4) Extraplanar mining not having a shrine at all. This one is not as big a deal, but putting a shrine in the dragon's room might be nice.

Thank you.

jkm
01-12-2012, 07:05 PM
You: Wear a deathblock item.
Kobolds: Kill the lich fast.

Um, you do realize that the lich does 112 points of negative damage on you with just an item. You have to have deathWARD or you are toast in 12 seconds because that is how long it takes him to FoD you, a kobold, you, a kobold, you (this doesn't include the fact that he throws 2-3 other spells in there like mass hold person and disintegrate. The character in question has the kundarak boots or I would have been even more toasty (as the one time i forgot them it took me a 20 to save).

jkm
01-12-2012, 07:06 PM
Thank you.

One other point here is that Account Services will not give you those 25 points either. My ticket was closed and they said "NOT A KNOWN ISSUE".

MadFloyd
01-12-2012, 07:13 PM
Good :

New Loot! Yay!
Alternative to Epic Dungeon Token farming/grinding. Let's face it - yes, tokens are an amazing grind currently.
(Mostly) Clear, attainable objectives.


Bad :

Lag upon beginning an instance - for the first few seconds of especially Lava Caves - based - challenges, everyone in my parties is experiencing a period of lag. It basically means we lose the first ten seconds of any challenge.
Return rate varies *wildly* between quests. Some, I'm seeing 40 ingredients/minute, some only 10/minute. My group five-starred Picture Portals CR20, felt awesome about it... until we realizes that we'd gotten 450 Goblets for 45 minutes of work.
Conversion/Upgrades are different between Normal, and Epic, ingredients. What do I mean? Jade Scorpions can go 20:10 into Necromantic Charms. Epic Jade Scorpions go 20:10 into Epic Orthon Metal Scraps. Calomel Weapons require Magma - Orthon - Jade for Tier I Epic, but the upgrades require ...different epic ingredients, differing dependent upon the weapons. What? It was and still is confusing. It's a lack of uniformity that would make the system "flow" better.
New Loot, but entirely too many loot bugs. One bugged item out of the lot? Okay. But so far I've heard of:



Anthem not working on any version of the Blasting Chime (Still out there!)
Manslayer not working on Ring of the Stalker (Fixed, except for Handwraps/Unarmed..maybe ranged?)
Multiple items have Cannith (Potential) Crafting errors when trying to slot Epic Versions (Epic Crafting).
Missing Blue Slot/Superior Ice Lore on Frozen Tunic (Also fixed, but was nonetheless there)
Stringtable Errors abound for any item that was bugged, and subsequently fixed.
Some of these "fixes" seem to possibly introduce new bugs, including aforementioned crafting errors.


Kobold Health. The CR 20~21 dungeons have what, 600 HP or so? They die fast. Meanwhile, Rats in Rushmore and Scorpions in Lava Caves have maybe double this? You're not shy about giving NPC enemies massive HP - give it to the NPC friendlies as well.
Air Elementals - Yeah. It has to be said, again. Their current implementation is not "fun", it's not "challenging".
Five-Starring objectives in some quests is doable if you focus on Stars/Favor. Some, it's barely manageable. Others, literally impossible. Maybe some tweaking needed there?
AI of mobs in Kobold Island challenges - Why do they have such ridiculous Hate/Aggro on Extractors? I can see us being "punished" for leaving an Extractor unguarded. But I can do over 50% of an enemy's health in damage, and they'll still be damaging the extractor. That's... silly. Needless. Give them closer to "Normal" aggro.
AI of Giant Mobs in Lava Caves challenges - Similarly, the Giants, Esp. the Cloud Giant Red-Named Mob, seem to be un-aggro-able by players. Why can I go 80% of their Redbar in damage due to high-octane Arcane blasty goodness, and blow through my Blue Bar... and not be able to pull him away from the line? Even Intimidate doesn't seem to work on him.
Visibility - Multiple points on Visibility, Esp. in the Lava Caves, but really in all challenges:
Hidden Mobs - Each and Every Wolf. Each and Every Scorpion. Each and every Mephit. They can even attack, and sometimes go invisible a second Later. Majority of Lions. Why? Reduce/Remove all the "super sneak" mobs.
See Invisibility - Last I checked, you don't give this to every Drow Player Character in game. Why do I see this buff on each and every Drow in the Lava Caves? The Giants, as well. Actually..most mobs in the challenge quests have See Invisibility, if they are sentient. ...Why?
Drow Rogues in Lava Caves - They. Hit. Too. Hard. Rogues of all flavors should struggle against Heavy-Fort Mobs (Us, the PCs). These guys do more damage than I think any other melee mob in this Content Pack. No sneak attack, no critical hits - I'd hate to see what would happen if I *wasn't* wearing Heavy Fort. Either drop their Strength by about 20 points (seriously), or give my Rogue the Roids you've been passing out.
Challenge Favor bugging Turbine Points - If I'm at 1899 Favor, and I get 4 Challenge favor, therefore bringing me over the 1900 Favor Threshold - I don't get Turbine Points. It seems to bug it entirely. Fixity?


Maybe I'll add more. That's what I've got for now on both fronts.

Tons of valuable feedback here; thank you.

Missing_Minds
01-12-2012, 07:37 PM
Thank you. Love the whip idea.
Ah, so it is Devs vs QA. We must tell Kookie that more whippings will be coming instead of spankings.

Tsuarok
01-12-2012, 07:43 PM
I'd also like to say that I love the incremental nature of the rewards. I don't want random loot drops out of this, I want mats, at a slow but steady rate. Just the way it is.

Except maybe goblets. Its a little silly that even at a horrible exchange rate it is still faster to do other challenges.

Kinerd
01-12-2012, 07:43 PM
The design intent was to offer something not only different, but re-playable and more strategic. Many quests merely require the player to get from point A to point B; challenges were designed to give the player agency to form a plan and have some degree of control over not just success but the degree of success.




No, no, yes, and no.Thanks for the response, and for keeping up with the thread.

It's hard to make this segue, but I am very concerned that the developers weren't aware of the first two issues. They have been brought up on the forums many times, at least one thread has been started regarding each, and a Turbine person has commented in at least one of those threads. It makes me very concerned that this information did not reach you.

There has to be a better way for Turbine to access the information that is common knowledge to the player base than you personally keeping up with a 12+ page thread. My recommendation is that for every release of new content, the devs release an exhaustively detailed set of release notes describing how they believe the content works. As we saw recently, players will absolutely point it out if a release note does not accurately describe what is happening in game. It's unlikely for any one player to exhaustively test every part of a new release, especially if they don't know what has been changed, but if you harness every player put together you have an incredible resource.

I recognize that is no easy task to comprehensively describe new content, but the challenges have been out for two months and you are just now learning things about them. Devoting more effort to documentation and if necessary slowing down the release schedule is absolutely worth not repeating this. I'm assuming that's not your call to make, but whatever pressures you can bring to bear against whoever does make the call would be greatly appreciated.

Rinnaldo
01-12-2012, 07:45 PM
Thank you. Love the whip idea.

Awesome. Thanks, MadFloyd!

barryman5000
01-12-2012, 08:04 PM
Tons of valuable feedback here; thank you.

Dearleader has a trend of valuable feedback. Kudos to him again. Hit alot of things I didn't remember to type.

parvo
01-12-2012, 08:06 PM
I don't like challenges. Challenges were a wasted dev cycle for me and my guild. I asked my guild for feedback on whether to include them and got almost none. What I did get was negative. It is the one and only DDO element that I disallowed from MV that didn't get a single argument from our members. Not one member argued to keep them. I tried one myself on a non-PD character and was not impressed. The one I tried was a DDO version of an RTS (real time strategy). Now, I love me some RTS. Back in the day, I played a lot of Age of Empires, and Command and Conquer. (I once relived myself in an empty soda bottle to avoid what would have been a guild match defeating AFK.) RTS is great when the opponent is a human. RTS is great when that is the expectation. But this is Dungeons and Dragons. There is no reason to turn DDO into RTS. It simply doesn't meet the expectation players have. You originally marketed DDO as Real Combat, Real Danger, Real D&D (with an initially successful subscription model I might add). Challenges are none of those things.

Ruphus
01-12-2012, 08:06 PM
What I like about the challenges.

** Something different than the typically dungeon crawl. It's more "gamey" feeling than the typical "Save the princess/mayor/town, Kill the Bad guy, adventure type things.

** They are quick paced, with little downtime.

** The rewards are great once you added Epic Dungeon Tokens, Guild Renown/Xp/Slayer boost potions, allowing for wanting to do them numerous times.


What I don't like about the challenges.

** To little variance from Crystal Cove. If you are going to add more, completely step away from Crystal Cove and do other things, similar to Kobold Island and Dr. Rushmoors mansion.

** The pack cost was excessive, I think 900-1100 (when not on sale) would have been more appropriate.

** Random elements that can dictate failure/completion is annoying to no end.

** Malandis? The lich in Extraplanar palace is still way to annoying, not that he's deadly, it's that he has to many immunities, to many hps, undead, and everything else. If your a solo caster that is spec'd for Ice/Cold, your going to hate it every time he spawns. On my wizard, I have found the only way I can kill him is to use a Mournload weapon, put up GH, Haste, Rage and then use Tensers Transformation and spend 5 minutes meleeing him down. Thats annoying as heck. For some reason Disintegrate always "misses" him, Sunburst never hits either, and I can't seem to figure out why.

** More loot type chests (they don't even have to be max loot level for the instance) for some of the more stingy type quests. It's very possible to run some of those instances 10 times and get 1-2 supply chests, which basically means your losing money for repairs/potion/hireling and whatever other costs.

** Any thing where a DDO Store purchase is needed to 5 star (ahem Kobold island turret requisitions) is a VERY VERY bad idea

** I'd like to see more weapon types added to the groups of Mournload/Elemental weapons and so forth, Dwarven Axes, Quarterstaves, Longswords etc etc. And they should be included for ALL the types, not just Rapier Mournload or Khopesh Elemental, you should be able to get each type in each weapon, and this will definitely increase peoples desire to do them.


Overall, I want to see more challenges, but I would like to see different things. Some ideas would be...

*** Tackling the Droaam Army - Similar to how at the end of Assault on Summerfield near the Koranoo River, DM text states "It would be suicide to take on the whole army head on"

Challenge level 15-25, Epic included. No time limit. The object is to kill as many Droaam Soldiers/Chiefs and so forth as possible, before dying or having to run. No rest shrines, no rez shrines. Only what you can bring with you. Star objectives based on # of kills, # of Generals/Leaders, maybe # of War tents destroyed (and please don't make fire spells necessary to destroy them, maybe have explosive barrels next to them).

*** Destruction Derby - Similar to Blown to Bits, but the object is to destroy as much of a target location as possible. Just like the one above, no time limit, no shrines, just how far can you go? How much can you destroy?


*** Run for your lives! - How about an adventure thats not based on killing or destroying, but instead, staying alive? The farther you can get, the higher the star rating.


Edit: Remembered a couple other things I disliked.

sirgog
01-12-2012, 08:43 PM
Reformating my thoughts to make them easier to follow, etc.


The Good:

* Epic content that can be run by level 18 characters that feel they are up to it, and that awards XP. 'Old' epics should get this tech of '20s can open, non-20s can come along'.
* If you like zerging, high CR challenges are serious zergfests.
* Really varied difficulty. Pretty much any group *can* beat most challenges on 21 given a few tries. But high-star runs on 25 are really tough.
* The boss fights. Most of them are quite different from the old style 'surround and pound' fights.
* Caster AI. The caster mobs are nasty, and they have been given spells that really hurt.

The Bad/Ugly:

* Lots of them require splitting the party. This is punishing of a lot of character archetypes - if you aren't self-sufficient, you are at a BIG disadvantage. While a raid group could send away 2-3 people to deal with an extractor being attacked, 6 player (or smaller) groups usually can only spare one person.
* The scaling encourages you to choose group size around prior knowledge of the challenge. Time is Money I always solo, duo or trio for this reason. Short Cuts I want a full group for. I don't like this sort of metagaming.
* Mob HP is nonsensical on 24/25. A supergeared character (one 25 is designed for) might do 30% more DPS than a modestly geared 18-20 (what 21 is designed for). So mobs should have 30-50% more HP, not 100-300% more. As a rule of thumb: If players are kiting mobs/bosses rather than killing them, something is wrong.
* Mob HP also scales too much with party class makeup. The Cloud Giant in 20 Time is Money seems to have less HP when in a 3-player all melee group than when I've soloed it on a Wizard or Sorc.
* Star objectives that require sabotaging your score (keep the Entropic Giant Skele alive five minutes, etc) cause an annoying tension in PUGs. I had this happen recently in a 20 Lava Caves: Time is Money where we decided on the fly to sabotage our score to achieve a six-star run, but two of the five of us already had that achievement down and would have preferred to get another 100 crystals instead.
* It's been said before, I'll say it again: The star objectives that cannot be completed without requisitions need to go.
* Some way to END CHALLENGES EARLY if everyone agrees would be great. I'm an impatient person, and sitting dead solo in Rushmore 23 with two bosses dead, an OK score, and six minutes on the clock is annoying.
* The barter boxes are too cluttered because there's just so many things available at each one. I'd rather have all the consumables (including epic tokens) removed to a separate vendor, and all of the ingredient swaps moved to a new vendor. Search helps a lot if you know what you want, but if you are browsing them, the search feature isn't useful. Oh and the prices for non-EDT consumables are silly - 300 ingredients - one-sixth of a high quality item - for 2d6 Greater Essences or a small number of Fire Resist 20 potions?

Suggestions:
1) Let players bring raid groups into Challenges if they want (with further scaling). Solves the 'self-sufficiency' issue as you can split the group in more different ways.
2) Add an 'End this challenge early' button that each player may press ONCE per challenge. If EVERY PLAYER in the instance hits it, the timer is set to one second immediately.
3) Reassess material drop rates. Rushmore and Kobold Island could do with a 25-60% boost. The five minute kobold ones might even warrant a nerf.
4) Remove Deathblock from the weakest 30% of mobs in 21-25.
5) Mob HP should scale less from 17 to 20 and 21 to 25. 23 is a 'sweet spot' IMO - 24/25 should be 8/16% higher, not whatever they are now. I don't mind boss HP scaling higher than this.

Vormaerin
01-12-2012, 08:55 PM
Thanks for the response, and for keeping up with the thread.

It's hard to make this segue, but I am very concerned that the developers weren't aware of the first two issues.

To be fair, "MadFloyd" not being aware of something is not the same thing as "the Devs" not being aware of something. If MF isn't the guy doing bugfixes for challenges, the memo may not go to him.

Still, it would be nice to have a better "known issues" feature.

fco-karatekid
01-12-2012, 09:36 PM
...For those who do not enjoy this type of gameplay, can you elaborate on why?
...

I don't want to play a casual game (and by that I mean the recent trend of everything being angry birds - see gamasutra for further elaboration).

I think the reason I got SOOO ticked off at these things was we introduced this out of character play style at a time when bugs hit critical mass and so many unfinished things COULD have instead been the focus.

nayozz
01-12-2012, 10:06 PM
my picks:


make challenge minimul level: 4 8 12 16 20

if i need material x to craft ml 8 gear, i dont want a challenge that can be played only if you level 10 or more

challenge should last between 5min or 10min or 15min (this way one could pick a challenge taking in consideration how much time wants to spend.)

getting a star objective should be humanly possible (and without ddo store item needed) so... rework those stars who arent "earnable"

sephiroth1084
01-12-2012, 11:32 PM
I'm still making my way through the thread, but I don't think you're alone here. I think the lack of being able to get lucky and 'get it on this run' is a negative, compounded by the fact that it's a long haul to get your first reward.
A possible solution to the two differing opinions on this, that has been brought up before in regards to epic loot, is to have a small chance of dropping completed items.

Maybe you have a small chance of opening an Epic Frozen Tunic (maybe base, maybe partially or fully upgraded). The chance should be low, but simply adding that into the mix would likely satisfy everyone. The pieces can be used for things besides making items, so even people grinding away to make something and then pulling what they were after will still have something to show for that effort.