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  1. #1
    Community Member Wren666's Avatar
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    Lightbulb DDO's Difficulty Levels and D&D Compliance


    It's very likely too late to have any chance of implementing something like this, but with the overall paradigm that DDO's design has been following, IMO it might have been much better off if there were just 2 types of "difficulty" to begin with;
    • Casual (nothing to do with the actual difficulty level introduced with Update 3 besides the name, but that is what made me think of all this) and
    • Hardcore.

    Those should have been server-specific options.


    Casual DDO would've been more or less exactly like the game we know and love today, but maybe with a much more "accurate" challenge-scaling system instead of per-quest difficulty options, and a few other tweaks.


    Now, the Hardcore setting, just like its namesake in BioWare's Infinity Engine games (Baldur's Gate etc. or Neverwinter Nights,) could have implemented a much more strict compliance with the "pen and paper" D&D rules. Such as,
    • Attack bonuses decreasing instead of increasing with every attack in a sequence.
    • "Appropriate" penalties for dying.
    • Multi-classing penalties. *wince*
    • Heavy currency (i.e. not weightless.)
    • Lore Checks for Identifying items before their specialities can become usable. (not sure if this was in P&P, but definitely in all the D&D CRPGs AFAIK.)
    • Maybe no DDO-specific alternatives for unimplemented P&P features (such as Prestige Classes vs. Enhancements)
    among lots of other differences obviously, way too numerous to all list out (although you can see for yourself at DDOWiki.com's page about the same.)


    Being server-specific, it just might have been the near-perfect solution in keeping everyone happy, both the P&P veterans and those new to D&D.


    There might be hope still; once all those external legal entanglements have been dispelled, maybe Turbine could fork their D&D MMO offering into separate products? The current incarnation "evolving" into, say, DDO 4E alongside a separate DDO 3.5E product?

    Hey, one can dream, eh?

    Last edited by Wren666; 01-13-2010 at 09:22 AM. Reason: improved formatting to reduce TL;DR'ness
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  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wren666 View Post
    Attack bonuses decreasing instead of increasing with every attack in a sequence.
    The problem with that is that swing-move, swing-move becomes the best way to attack whenever your foe has an high AC which then becomes very un-D&D-like, odd looking and not particularly fun either. It's the reason the developers switched the order around to begin with.
    Quote Originally Posted by Wren666 View Post
    among lots of other differences obviously, way too numerous to all list out (although you can see for yourself at DDOWiki.com's page about the same.)
    Even that list is pretty incomplete. It does not even mention grazing hits, for example.
    Quote Originally Posted by Wren666 View Post
    Being server-specific, it just might have been the near-perfect solution in keeping everyone happy, both the P&P veterans and those new to D&D.
    If you do that, you end up with basically two different games that you have to maintain as fun which means you've got to make sure you'll have enough customers to make both services profitable.
    Last edited by Borror0; 01-13-2010 at 06:44 AM.
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  3. #3
    Community Member Letrii's Avatar
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    In D&D, you don't need to identify an item to use it. The DM will add bonuses from that +1 sword, you just won't know what it is until you use Identify or some other spell on it.


    Quote Originally Posted by MajMalphunktion View Post
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  4. #4
    Community Member Lorien_the_First_One's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Borror0 View Post
    The problem with that is that swing-move, swing-move becomes the best way to attack whenever your foe has an high AC which then becomes very un-D&D-like, odd looking and not particularly fun either. It's the reason the developers switched the order around to begin with.
    That could have been solved by now allowing movement to break the chain but basing it on timing (if not used up, attack chain resets in 3 seconds)

  5. #5
    Community Member Wren666's Avatar
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    Ah Borror0. The DDOWiki helped me a lot in getting years worth of information about DDO in the short time that I played the game; Thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by Borror0 View Post
    The problem with that is that swing-move, swing-move becomes the best way to attack whenever your foe has an high AC which then becomes very un-D&D-like, odd looking and not particularly fun either. It's the reason the developers switched the order around to begin with.
    Well, not to get into the specifics of how to adapt D&D's turn-based system for a real-time MMO, because that's material for an entirely different discussion (for example, I could stir up a hornet's nest by suggesting that a turn-based battle system would've been better)

    That particular issue though, might have been addressed by making the bonuses maybe "linger" after each attack? That is, on your first swing, you might get a +5, then on the next swing within the following 3 or so seconds, you'd get a +2 or so, whether or not you moved between those swings.

    Just throwing that out there, not presuming it to be a solution. and lol I see Lorien_the_First_One beat me to it!

    Quote Originally Posted by Borror0 View Post
    If you do that, you end up with basically two different games that you have to maintain as fun which means you've got to make sure you'll have enough customers to make both services profitable.
    In a way, they already did have a more "P&P-compliant" system in the beginning, didn't they? like the XP debts and everything. Instead of making the current changes mandatory, they could've just forked them off into another server, especially if any of those changes caused any controversy when they were introduced.

    Quote Originally Posted by Letrii View Post
    In D&D, you don't need to identify an item to use it. The DM will add bonuses from that +1 sword, you just won't know what it is until you use Identify or some other spell on it.
    My bad then, I assumed the bonuses weren't usable at all. Still, not knowing what an item does would still limit "clickies" won't it?
    Last edited by Wren666; 01-13-2010 at 07:37 AM. Reason: Lorien's post
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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lorien_the_First_One View Post
    That could have been solved by now allowing movement to break the chain but basing it on timing (if not used up, attack chain resets in 3 seconds)
    Considering that has been brought up to them several times and that it's a pretty obvious change, I'm assuming that it does not work as well as we both think it does. I could easily see how it could become annoying by making the combat more buggy and less "active" or how it's harder to get working than desirable.
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  7. #7
    Community Member SquelchHU's Avatar
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    No one would really want a DDO that strictly complies with PnP.

    Here are a few of the many reasons why this is so.

    1: Decreasing attack bonuses. Not only does it make attack move repeat the way to go, it makes BAB higher than 3/4th worthless as the only thing it adds is +to hit, but the 3/4th BAB classes can boost their to hit as well.

    2: Low wealth. Not only is only getting 76k plat over the course of your career not very exciting, it is woefully inadequate for gearing out most characters even if you go by market prices and not AH prices. Say goodbye to non casters as a valid playable character type.

    3: The combat system. People would just randomly die without any chance to react as combat is fast enough as is, and making it real time would make it even faster. Know how when you twink a character out and go into waterworks norm how you can kill through it as fast as you can run? Imagine every quest being like that, except that the mobs also are demon queen like so you die super fast as well.

    4: The XP system. You'd hit level cap in one hour, if that. I am not even kidding. Assuming of course you didn't just die over and over due to the random death instead and make no progress.

    5: Impossible to make any meaningful boss fight. Arbitrary immunities means they aren't being accurate to PnP, but if they don't have them everyone rolls a 1 eventually. Imagine the Shroud where Harry is guaranteed to die in under 5 seconds, because everyone just spams Finger/Implosion/Wail on him until he rolls a 1. Imagine higher end content under the same conditions. Sound like a terribly unbalanced game?

    6: How would you even enforce all this anyways? So you hit level cap in an hour, and have your 76k plat. What is stopping you from farming (and breaking WBL, thereby not being true to PnP)? Is it the same thing that's stopping you from playing? It's an MMO, if they can't keep you playing they fail at marketing. If you can complete the game in a 10 day trial they fail at life forever.

    TLDR version: Making DDO true to PnP is A Very Bad Idea (TM).

  8. #8
    Community Member Letrii's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wren666 View Post
    My bad then, I assumed the bonuses weren't usable at all. Still, not knowing what an item does would still limit "clickies" won't it?
    That falls under UMD, blindly activate a magic item if you don't know what it does. There may be clues as to what it does that help you figure out what it does and what would be a logical way to activate it.


    Quote Originally Posted by MajMalphunktion View Post
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  9. #9
    Community Member Lorien_the_First_One's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Borror0 View Post
    Considering that has been brought up to them several times and that it's a pretty obvious change, I'm assuming that it does not work as well as we both think it does. I could easily see how it could become annoying by making the combat more buggy and less "active" or how it's harder to get working than desirable.
    I know, it was just a theoretical alternative, not worth bothering with at this stage in the game.

    And frankly with the to-hit being so inflated in DDO it doesn't matter much so its not worht changing now...I mean really, you have to be pretty gimped to miss at all.

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