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View Full Version : A bone for the casuals ...



dajg
12-22-2012, 09:29 AM
Some background first. I've played DDO for a couple of years. I have a TR1 wiz sitting at level 24 and a couple of alts mid levels. I play a few hours a week and I can afford to spend cash on the game should I want to. I am in a good but small guild and play European time so I PUG or solo exclusively. I am a little bored with the game.

I like PUGing, I like that this is a social game with some great people playing it and that I enjoy grouping with, however, given that I am usually on a time constraint it is not easy to find a group for a quest you want to do quickly. This is especially true at the higher heroic levels (16-20) when even an hour is not enough time to find a group and complete a dungeon during the hours I play. I do not think this sort of time constraint exists so much at lower levels so I would recommend this idea be aimed at levels 16-20.

I suggest a new type of adventure pack, the "come and go". It would have a setting e.g. forest or devils battleground or whatever and basically one path through that setting. You would have a large number of encounters in the pack and as you wander along the path you would randomly spawn one of these. Most would be beat up the monster type encounters, some would be protect the villagers, some would be puzzle based etc. With a small number of models you could easily make hundreds of encounters.

If you wanted to run a "come and go" adventure you would go to the quest giver and you would enter a queue. If a space was available in an existing group you get parachuted in, if not you enter a queue and wait until either a space is available or there a 4 or so people in the queue to form a new group.

Once in a group there a 2 statuses: green, when no encounter is going on and red, during an encounter. You can leave the group at any point when the status is green and each encounter is short so you can literally "come and go" as you please in this pack. Once you lose a player from your group a slot opens up for anyone in the queue. If two groups get too small and there is no one queueing the groups get merged (think tables in a poker tournament).

Now this would be pure PUGing and you would have no idea about the skill or ability of the people you are going to adventure with and you don't know what is coming next so XP/min would have to be pretty high and you would need to be pretty self sufficient to survive. I propose when a player leaves you get to rate them (thumbs up/down/neutral) and that over time determines their reputation. High rep players get put in groups with other high rep players and vice versa. If you get your rep above a certain level you can apply to become a "sensei" and you get dumped into the worst groups and teach them how to play in exchange for a massive boost to your XP (thinking +100%).

This whole situation would work best when there is a large pool of players obviously. I would also set up a forum for encounter suggestions from the players - it costs nothing and there will be some great ideas.

This would be great for the casuals who play on a tight time schedule and often have to leave quickly because a (usually family) situation arises. It would lets us dip in and out of the game easily and let us meet a large range of people to have fun with and after all we play this game to have fun not wait around for a group. Ever played rush poker? - straight into the action.

Krelar
12-22-2012, 10:02 AM
What you described sounds essentially like doing the wilderness areas using a public group. Especially the newest areas where mobs/rares respawn randomly.

dajg
12-22-2012, 10:52 AM
What you described sounds essentially like doing the wilderness areas using a public group. Especially the newest areas where mobs/rares respawn randomly.

Yes but the xp would be better. We NEED to encourage grouping and casual players if the game is to flourish.

Zakharov
12-22-2012, 11:26 AM
I think the situation you're looking for (jumping in & out of something that you can do quickly) is pretty much what they intended challenges to be. If they expanded on those and upped the xp back to something decent that would be a good start.

We can always use more quests at the mid/upper mid lvls - new quest packs with large explorers etc.

Unfortunately lack of other players sounds like the main problem you're having.. even a pack like you describe would depend on those people playing as well. How many would buy this pack? If they are the same ones who you're having trouble getting together for a quest will this really be better? I'm not sure.

Memnir
12-22-2012, 11:40 AM
The day they add any sort of official Rep system to the actual game is the same day I just walk away from it. Rep is already a horrid and useless system here on the forums, and one that contentious and prone to abuses. Adding it to the game itself would be far, far worse.


I'm not a huge fan of the idea in general, but then again I also hate the Challenges... so there is that.

Karavek
12-22-2012, 11:43 AM
Unfortunatly just the idea of rating another player alone is so bad it taints the rest of your idea.

Sadly the fact is Turbine just doesnt want to admit the entire core design of DDO and having to run entire and often lengthy instances to earn any notable XP. Why they are so afraid to do the reasonable thing and start giving XP per kill like every other MMO is still beyond me. Especially considering that higher dif mobs often prove dangerous to much higher lvl characters during favor farming of old content. Cant tell you how many times I have seen a high end barb get destroyed by a elite kobold shaman while trying to clear up some harbor content for favor. One hold person, a DA because of the fast pace, and a blind spell or the like( amazing how few carry blindness removal anymore) and down the mighty warrior goes.

The fact is though its pretty clear no one in the Dev team has any inkling of the art of DMing. Of the painstaking effort a good DM spends when designing even a minor encounter to take into account every possible trick a player character might bring to the scene.

For casual players about these days our only real option is to zerg like a hard core xp/minute pro just to get something done in our limited window, or grind challenges. While I like challenges, the fact they are the only content Ive been able to use for the last year to get any meaningful xp earned during my short windows has really started to take its toll on my enjoying the game. Having to run a thousand time is moneys rather then a few dozen FR quests not because I dont want to, but because I cant be certain of time when I play and dont want to risk having to waste time invested in content.

In most other MMO kill xp tends to out pace quest completion xp, this is a good thing as then even if you had to leave before the mission is over, its not a big deal.

Honestly its just all problematic when it comes to xp and earning it here. Some lvls go fast, some mind numbingly slow. Other MMO have the sense to have ways to lvl up fast so those who want to be they newbs or vets dont have to ever feel like they are stuck in a sandtrap of lvling.

I dont even enjoy playing an MMO until a character feels complete, yet here they cant even finish the over all lvl range and figure out a way to let old high lvls join and work with new low lvls. Exemp and sidekick systems are innovations in MMO older then DDO and its pathetic DDO all these years later still doesnt recognize the need to make partying across all the lvl ranges a viable option.

smkalinowski
12-22-2012, 11:50 AM
I suggest a new type of adventure pack, the "come and go".

Great, now I'm gonna have Karma Chameleon stuck in my head for the rest of the day.

Charononus
12-22-2012, 11:58 AM
Yes to more quests, no to everything else. Motu was a huge casual expansion as is.

Zakharov
12-22-2012, 12:11 PM
Unfortunatly just the idea of rating another player alone is so bad it taints the rest of your idea.

Sadly the fact is Turbine just doesnt want to admit the entire core design of DDO and having to run entire and often lengthy instances to earn any notable XP. Why they are so afraid to do the reasonable thing and start giving XP per kill like every other MMO is still beyond me. Especially considering that higher dif mobs often prove dangerous to much higher lvl characters during favor farming of old content. Cant tell you how many times I have seen a high end barb get destroyed by a elite kobold shaman while trying to clear up some harbor content for favor. One hold person, a DA because of the fast pace, and a blind spell or the like( amazing how few carry blindness removal anymore) and down the mighty warrior goes.

The fact is though its pretty clear no one in the Dev team has any inkling of the art of DMing. Of the painstaking effort a good DM spends when designing even a minor encounter to take into account every possible trick a player character might bring to the scene.

For casual players about these days our only real option is to zerg like a hard core xp/minute pro just to get something done in our limited window, or grind challenges. While I like challenges, the fact they are the only content Ive been able to use for the last year to get any meaningful xp earned during my short windows has really started to take its toll on my enjoying the game. Having to run a thousand time is moneys rather then a few dozen FR quests not because I dont want to, but because I cant be certain of time when I play and dont want to risk having to waste time invested in content.

In most other MMO kill xp tends to out pace quest completion xp, this is a good thing as then even if you had to leave before the mission is over, its not a big deal.

Honestly its just all problematic when it comes to xp and earning it here. Some lvls go fast, some mind numbingly slow. Other MMO have the sense to have ways to lvl up fast so those who want to be they newbs or vets dont have to ever feel like they are stuck in a sandtrap of lvling.

I dont even enjoy playing an MMO until a character feels complete, yet here they cant even finish the over all lvl range and figure out a way to let old high lvls join and work with new low lvls. Exemp and sidekick systems are innovations in MMO older then DDO and its pathetic DDO all these years later still doesnt recognize the need to make partying across all the lvl ranges a viable option.

I disagree with everything other than your first line (rating people is no good).

The way quest xp is structured is one of the nice things about this game that sets it apart, I hate grinding kills for xp in those other mmo's. If anything I wish there were more quests that had less killing of mobs & more storyline/puzzles/exploration etc.

Lack of interesting encounters is a problem but I think that's more of a time/effort/engine issue. Better AI would help but I've never seen a dev say that's likely to happen.

The time constraint thing is a common complaint but I still don't get it.. even with just an hour you can complete most quests in the game without a problem, particularly the new fr ones. If you have kids or need to go afk frequently you can still solo the quests and go afk at a moments notice.

Please don't let this game ever become anything like other mmo's.. I don't want to play them, that's why I'm here.

Miow
12-22-2012, 12:35 PM
Yes to more quests, no to everything else. Motu was a huge casual expansion as is.

Yes this is how i feeeel too. Let us hug each other in this sweet sweet moment.

:P

DrakHar
12-22-2012, 12:40 PM
Some background first. I've played DDO for a couple of years. I have a TR1 wiz sitting at level 24 and a couple of alts mid levels. I play a few hours a week and I can afford to spend cash on the game should I want to. I am in a good but small guild and play European time so I PUG or solo exclusively. I am a little bored with the game.

I like PUGing, I like that this is a social game with some great people playing it and that I enjoy grouping with, however, given that I am usually on a time constraint it is not easy to find a group for a quest you want to do quickly. This is especially true at the higher heroic levels (16-20) when even an hour is not enough time to find a group and complete a dungeon during the hours I play. I do not think this sort of time constraint exists so much at lower levels so I would recommend this idea be aimed at levels 16-20.

I suggest a new type of adventure pack, the "come and go". It would have a setting e.g. forest or devils battleground or whatever and basically one path through that setting. You would have a large number of encounters in the pack and as you wander along the path you would randomly spawn one of these. Most would be beat up the monster type encounters, some would be protect the villagers, some would be puzzle based etc. With a small number of models you could easily make hundreds of encounters.

If you wanted to run a "come and go" adventure you would go to the quest giver and you would enter a queue. If a space was available in an existing group you get parachuted in, if not you enter a queue and wait until either a space is available or there a 4 or so people in the queue to form a new group.

Once in a group there a 2 statuses: green, when no encounter is going on and red, during an encounter. You can leave the group at any point when the status is green and each encounter is short so you can literally "come and go" as you please in this pack. Once you lose a player from your group a slot opens up for anyone in the queue. If two groups get too small and there is no one queueing the groups get merged (think tables in a poker tournament).

Now this would be pure PUGing and you would have no idea about the skill or ability of the people you are going to adventure with and you don't know what is coming next so XP/min would have to be pretty high and you would need to be pretty self sufficient to survive. I propose when a player leaves you get to rate them (thumbs up/down/neutral) and that over time determines their reputation. High rep players get put in groups with other high rep players and vice versa. If you get your rep above a certain level you can apply to become a "sensei" and you get dumped into the worst groups and teach them how to play in exchange for a massive boost to your XP (thinking +100%).

This whole situation would work best when there is a large pool of players obviously. I would also set up a forum for encounter suggestions from the players - it costs nothing and there will be some great ideas.

This would be great for the casuals who play on a tight time schedule and often have to leave quickly because a (usually family) situation arises. It would lets us dip in and out of the game easily and let us meet a large range of people to have fun with and after all we play this game to have fun not wait around for a group. Ever played rush poker? - straight into the action.

I didn't like this idea. Then I saw the rating system. Now I hate this idea.

Encourage grouping? There was a family death of a guildy - I lost ALL of my levelling partners for my TR because they were related. So I've pugged my way to 17. Pure pug. No guildies. Even my private channels came up dry. It isn't hard to pug.

Public instances are always bugged and don't work right, I wouldn't trust these ones to either. If you don't know what I mean, if you go public and set a level range, it doesn't use the level range you set. Public and elite streaking? Well, that's funny, 3/4 of the way through the quest it lets in a person who breaks the streak.

twigzz
12-22-2012, 01:25 PM
The day they add any sort of official Rep system to the actual game is the same day I just walk away from it. Rep is already a horrid and useless system here on the forums, and one that contentious and prone to abuses. Adding it to the game itself would be far, far worse.


+1. Totally agree.

Look at how much I added to Mem's rep! Mad greenis! :p

Talon_Moonshadow
12-22-2012, 02:28 PM
Great, now I'm gonna have Karma Chameleon stuck in my head for the rest of the day.

I had a character once whose name was "Kamakamakama Kama Kama Khameleon" :cool:

(guess what weapons he used. :D )

Krelar
12-22-2012, 02:46 PM
I had a character once whose name was "Kamakamakama Kama Kama Khameleon" :cool:

(guess what weapons he used. :D )

Handwraps? :D

Silverleafeon
12-22-2012, 02:51 PM
the day they add any sort of official rep system to the actual game is the same day i just walk away from it..+1


i think the situation you're looking for (jumping in & out of something that you can do quickly) is pretty much what they intended challenges to be. If they expanded on those and upped the xp back to something decent that would be a good start.

We can always use more quests at the mid/upper mid lvls - new quest packs with large explorers etc..
+1

what you described sounds essentially like doing the wilderness areas using a public group. Especially the newest areas where mobs/rares respawn randomly. +1

LordMond63
12-22-2012, 03:29 PM
I do get, and share, the OP's frustration.

One of the things I liked about EQ (and DDO's Turbine stablemate LotRO) is that you did not have to group in order to make appreciable levelling progress. Sure, grouping was faster, but there was an acceptable alternative if time was short or some other circumstance prevented you from grouping.

Turbine has decided that DDO is going to be almost exclusively instanced, rather than persistent. The only real exceptions I can think of are Mabar and Crystal Cove. The only alternative to soloing quests or doing wilderness areas are the Challenges. I've done a bare handful of them and, frankly, I didn't enjoy them....but, setting aside my personal opinion on them, they are designed to be quick (15 minutes or so?) so they fit almost any timeframe you have.

I would not be a fan of any in-game karma system, however, as you're likely to be punished for any number of insufficient reasons and thus your rating would suffer unwarrantedly. We see people getting negative rep here on the Forums for no reason other than daring to disagree with someone. Why should we expect any better behavior in-game?

coldblade000
12-22-2012, 06:31 PM
As others have said, this sounds a LOT like a wilderness area with a public group.

I really think what you are asking for is a little insane. You want basically an entire new system implemented in a pack that rates players and revamps life for "casuals" feel but demand since it's a crazy pug scene that "of course xp/min should be high".

Casual plus a buttload of experience? Auto grouping?

It really sounds like you want the game to do all the work for you. Which is fine. Some people have a time restraint.

I don't mind paying attention to the names of terrible people and great people I've grouped with. Reaching out and telling them they're good or bad, and working with the person is fun, instead of passive aggressively "rating" them which isn't a healthy direction for our community either.

One of DDO's appeals is how they hand our experience, it's very much like PnP DnD where hours of roleplaying and improvising finally nets you a bunch of experience and that sweet sweet level, that gives you insane powers suddenly and is why some DM's insist time passes between each session to let the adventurers "grow".

I'd say casual gamers deserve more to help them get through this game, but really, it is already laughably easy. If your complaint is it's no fun because you'd be solo, again, then take the time to find a group or come with one prepared.

Don't try and ask DDO to be LoL.

DoctorWhofan
12-22-2012, 06:54 PM
So.. more wilderness areas ala King's Forest??? Granted only a few, but the system is already in place.

But the rep system...oh that would DESTROY this game. It's ok on the forums, but as an in-game system...YOu hate DDO that much?

I, too am a casual player. Living in Hawai'i makes for difficult playtimes, too. This game is simple enough to solo, even for a casual, 75% of it. PuGs, at least on Thelanis are plentiful at all hours and level ranges, even if it isn't the quest you want to do.

While I feel for you, your idea is very screwy.

GeneralDiomedes
12-22-2012, 07:03 PM
how exactly would a rating system help casual players? I would think it would hurt them more than anything. you have a chicken and egg problem, plus you have a vet bias issue.

EnjoyTheJourney
12-22-2012, 07:10 PM
With the game getting more and more content, the player population gets spread out more and more across the growing amount of content. It's unavoidable, and it's part of the reason that LFMs will tend to become harder to fill, in the future -- unless the player population substantially increases, of course.

As for rating players, I think we should be able to make account-specific ratings and notes about players so that we at least warn ourselves when we run across somebody whose personality doesn't mix with our own. Public ratings may sound appealing. But, there is plenty of room for problems with that, especially with guilds involved.

The core argument in favor of shorter missions gets a "yes" from me. Mission design seems to follow the principle given below:

"If you don't succeed, then you'll get few rewards. And, we like to make long missions and often keep the highest chance for mission failure in reserve right up until the end of the mission"

... and this design philosophy seems to have perverse consequences for some players (particularly parents and those with various handicaps) and to work against the long run popularity of the game.

Qhualor
12-22-2012, 07:39 PM
Yes to more quests, no to everything else. Motu was a huge casual expansion as is.

Ha! Thats the first ive heard MOTU described as casual and sadly have to agree.

Singular
12-22-2012, 07:41 PM
I do get, and share, the OP's frustration.

One of the things I liked about EQ (and DDO's Turbine stablemate LotRO) is that you did not have to group in order to make appreciable levelling progress. Sure, grouping was faster, but there was an acceptable alternative if time was short or some other circumstance prevented you from grouping.

Turbine has decided that DDO is going to be almost exclusively instanced, rather than persistent. The only real exceptions I can think of are Mabar and Crystal Cove. The only alternative to soloing quests or doing wilderness areas are the Challenges. I've done a bare handful of them and, frankly, I didn't enjoy them....but, setting aside my personal opinion on them, they are designed to be quick (15 minutes or so?) so they fit almost any timeframe you have.

I would not be a fan of any in-game karma system, however, as you're likely to be punished for any number of insufficient reasons and thus your rating would suffer unwarrantedly. We see people getting negative rep here on the Forums for no reason other than daring to disagree with someone. Why should we expect any better behavior in-game?

I have a question: is it possible to have non-instanced environments in an MMO like DDO that is instant based?

If so, a mix of both would be totally awesome. It would be great to see something like the King's Forest or Vale as a link between two "safe cities" that is non-instanced.

Musouka
12-22-2012, 07:44 PM
I have a question: is it possible to have non-instanced environments in an MMO like DDO that is instant based?

If so, a mix of both would be totally awesome. It would be great to see something like the King's Forest or Vale as a link between two "safe cities" that is non-instanced.

It is possible. Is it possible with DDOs code? Some events have happened where they opened up certain areas to everyone to join as a public instance. They have done it before, and Mabar and Crystal Cove show that it can be done. Can it be done well enough and with much fewer bugs? I'm not sure. Will it strain too much on their servers? It does with Mabar.

Qhualor
12-22-2012, 07:50 PM
How do you define casual? 1 hour per day? 1 hour every other day? 1 hour a week? If casuals are getting a bunch of xp, you better believe everyone else would want some of that action. If it was limited to casuals, rants would ensue. If it was open to all, it would be "abused". I already think there is enough pendulum swinging in game. Currently i feel the pendulum has swung towards casuals.

RedHost
12-22-2012, 08:37 PM
This sounds like it would be abused by players who pike, going AFK or doing the bare minimum keytaps to keep from being booted, if the XP is any good. And if the XP is not good, then no one will use it at all. Trying to come up with more ways to encourage grouping is a good thing, but it sounds to me like this kind of forced PUG group will just promote abuse. And the player rating system will only further the potential for abuse.

I would think that a 'mentoring' system, where you can artificially lower your level, and your character's abilities in order to run lower level content, would do more for expanding your range of people to group with. After all, you can promote grouping all you want without any benefit if the players just aren't there.

Ungood
12-22-2012, 10:13 PM
Ummm ok.

Lets say, I look at this.

Kinda cool idea.

You have what amounts to an Endless "Ring of Fire"/"Fight to the Finish" type of Challenge, but with endless "waves", and players earn exp after each "wave" is done, and anyone can come in or leave between "waves".

I would wager broken into 8 categories. 1 - 4, 5 - 7, 8 - 10, 11 - 13, 14 - 16, 17 - 19, 20 - 22, 23 - 25. So that everyone was pretty close in level and thus max EXP and skill for all involved. This would need hard lockout, so the levels were fixed (Not what happened to Mabar)

This would be pretty much any solo builds dream type of deal.

A couple of points.

There should be no party size minimum, so if one person joins then they just start, no need to wait for others. IE: if you are on an off time and your are alone , you can play alone, or if you are the 7th person to join in, you simply start your own instance.


Grading System. Not a good idea. While fun in concept, I don't see it doing any good, and only people who know each other would be prone to give a pos anyway, and neg anyone that even remotely disagreed with them.

I think a better system would be for Group to be able to enter of their own accord and stay that way, as opposed to risk breaking up upon arrival (like they could in Mabar)

Death should kick a player from the Challenge. Perhaps give 40 seconds for a party member to raise them, otherwise they are kicked from the Challenge with no exp.

All in all, it could be a fun "Something to do to pass time when you are not sure what to do next" because lets be real, objectiveless slaughter is just fun sometimes.

ThreeEyedBob
12-23-2012, 03:35 AM
I would love to see a "Random Dungeon Delve" where you can generate a challenge style dungeon with several levels (1-5 for example) with a boss and difficulty increase for every level until a final big boss at the bottom. Typical oldschool hack and slash adventure with a random chest here and there.

Preferably where you can choose how many levels the dungeon has initialy so if you are time constrained you can pick just a 1 level dungeon.

Uska
12-23-2012, 07:35 AM
Maybe for casuals you could add a xp bonus the first character on the account they played after being gone for a bit the longer they were gone they larger the bonus to a max of +25% the reason I say only the first character they played is other wise it would maybe start to be abused.

Natedogge
12-23-2012, 03:22 PM
If you wanted to run a "come and go" adventure you would go to the quest giver and you would enter a queue. If a space was available in an existing group you get parachuted in, if not you enter a queue and wait until either a space is available or there a 4 or so people in the queue to form a new group.


Now this would be pure PUGing and you would have no idea about the skill or ability of the people you are going to adventure with and you don't know what is coming next so XP/min would have to be pretty high and you would need to be pretty self sufficient to survive. I propose when a player leaves you get to rate them (thumbs up/down/neutral) and that over time determines their reputation. High rep players get put in groups with other high rep players and vice versa. If you get your rep above a certain level you can apply to become a "sensei" and you get dumped into the worst groups and teach them how to play in exchange for a massive boost to your XP (thinking +100%).




If this system was already implemented, you'd be complaining about the queues. It's a fact of (gaming) life.

Rep is bad, +100% exp for an easy to abuse system is worse.

Tshober
12-25-2012, 03:51 PM
I agree that the game could use more short quests. There are too few of them and the few we have are nearly all very low level.

But I very much disagree with everything else suggested. I particularly hate the idea of a public rating system for players. We have way too much bias against other playstyles as it is.

LordMond63
12-26-2012, 01:35 PM
I have a question: is it possible to have non-instanced environments in an MMO like DDO that is instant based?

If so, a mix of both would be totally awesome. It would be great to see something like the King's Forest or Vale as a link between two "safe cities" that is non-instanced.

Yes, as Mabar and Crystal Cove are both examples of a persistent, if temporary, environment.

Musouka raises the key issue though: Turbine's servers seem to become overstressed when running Mabar and the dragon spawns. Last incarnation, I sat twice through instances where no one could move from the time the dragon showed up until we all died from mob damage and a couple more times where things were not quite as bad but still pretty awful. That doesn't give me much reason to hope that they'd be able to smooth things out enough to make it work on a regular basis.

The more I think on it, the more I'm convinced that Turbine sees the Challenges as DDO's version of this. Small group, set goals, short time frame. It fits. Some folks seem really to enjoy them, but, judging by the lack of LFMs for running them, the majority do not (though I concede that they may well be soloable, so we wouldn't see groups if they are unnecessary).