Now, I can't imagine failing on normal. Some is experience and some is simply gear.
I think you need to approach the difficulty levels with the idea that "normal" should be appropriate for early players - first life, new players, etc. A vet who can equip their character with decent boat buffs and nice BTA gear should find a challenge in hard/elite content.If so, do you associate this with a given level in the game (e.g. 10+) or do you think there is just too much inconsistency throughout?
I would not expect a vet or geared player to fail on normal for content they know; too much metagaming. I would expect far less reward.What's the right balance of challenge vs success for YOU? Do you expect to never fail when playing Normal - or would that simply bore you?
What folks dread is not the wipe ... it's the wipe on the quest that takes 30 minutes to get everyone to (chains of flames) and happens at the last minute. Coyle sucks, but even he isn't that bad in that you can re-run the quest relatively quickly. eDQ wipes aren't horrible because, frankly, you can restart DQ pretty quickly.I'm raising this subject for a few reasons. I think a lot of people expect that when it comes to an MMO, if you put time in you must get progress/reward out of it - and that failure is just plain bad. Spending 45 minutes into a quest only to fail can be very frustrating.
So failure is ok ... but if that failure carries with it a huge tax of other non-challenging time, that's kind of a pain. There's a reason folks flag VON5 and ADQ1 on casual - to speed through it.
A wipe in Stealer of Souls is more painful not because the content is too tough and out of scale (honestly, I do love the fire room) but because if you do wipe, the decision to recall and reform isn't about the encounter in question ... it's about the unholy pain it is to get to Reaver's Refuge.
Now I do like the Lordsmarch and Madness chains ... but one thing I don't like so much is that the end fight on Seigebreaker and In the Flesh are so far into the quest such that the incremental time lost is substantial. Truth be told, those "quests" aren't super hard even on elite ... the end fights are.
You can do some things to offset that, like shunting people out to an area if everyone dies, etc. There's a shrine right there before each of those end fights. I understand flagging can be a pain, but imagine (if you will) that ADQ2 was really just a third queen fight tacked on the end of ADQ1.
A really long quest with a shrine right before the end fight but a super hard end-fight isn't a challenging quest.
Personally, I'd have broken both of those quests into two sections - and similar ones.
I want to fail. I don't mind failing lots. What I don't want to do is fail in the last 5 minutes of something that takes 55 minutes to get to and isn't challenging at all. Break that up into shorter bursts. Shorter, harder quests with no rest shrines on elite/epic, etc. Make me fail, hard ... just don't eat too much of my time when I do.
Ah well, if that were the case we wouldn't be here ;-)We have been accused (and perhaps there's truth to this) that we've been balancing the game for the uber-player. Are you finding this to be the case? It seems like a couple years ago the salient message from the community was 'enough with the easy button already!'
Would love to know your thoughts on this. Feel free to reference specific quests.
Normal really should be aimed at newer or casual players at that level. Experienced players shouldn't have trouble here.
Hard should be geared towards experienced players with some gear. Still, that experienced player with all the boat buffs and absolute best crafted or BTA twink gear may coast by. Should be doable by less-geared but savvy players with a rock solid plan.
Elite should be geared to be a significant threat or challenge for people sporting even the best gear. They'll need to metagame seriuosly, prepare, have solid plans and maybe really dedicated roles on top of the gear.
Since treasure and XP are level-based, you really need to make these distinctions based on the level of the quest as well. There's no reason an elite level 12 quest should be a challenge to geared 20s ... and if the uber players want it to be a challenge and you make it so ... adjust the level too.
And keep in mind, blanket immunities and huge piles of hit points are not challenging. Big blankets that essentially mean only direct damage works aren't fun - they minimize and reduce the options players can bring to bear.
"Moar attrition" isn't a challenge either ... it's annoying. It isn't any harder, it's longer. The new mechanics to eVoN6 are a step in the right direction ... you didn't just make the encounter numbers bigger, you added additional mechanics. That's awesome. I'm still not sold on abbot. Most of that is a Mario event and I'm the worlds worst Mario player, so I tend to not like it. Too many groups still fail on the puzzles, still lag out on the tiles ... to just make the pile of HP bigger on top of that is kinda uninteresting. You're not challenging the uber players, you're challenging my calendar and free time.