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  1. #121
    The Hatchery
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    Generally I think the level of difficulty is fairly spot on, normal being generally easy throughout and elite being a big jump up.

    However, there are a few quests that are clearly much more difficult than normal. Proof is in the poison comes to mind, and Enter the Kobold.
    I do not so much mind that EtK is difficult, it's more that I mind that the entire quest is a walkover until you get to the boss fight. I think that this makes for bad feelings when you have been leld to expect something other than what the quest turns out to be.
    In the case of PiitP I think the rewards for actually running it ought to be turned up some, so the effort put into completing it can pay off.

    There are also a few quests that are not so much "hard", but more annoying. East Threnal quest 3, and in some ways West Threnal quest 2 as well. I haven't run Faithful Departed in ages, but that at least used to be annoying too.
    I do not mind that these quests take some skill to run, but it's annoying when the NPCs can be more or less one-shotted by mobs. Every other quest in the level range can be fairly easily soloed, but these can be very hard even in groups.
    I would like these quests to be revisited and made less tedious. Especially the 15 minutes of pure agony that is East 3. Cutting down on quest length, upping rewards a little, and making the NPCs you're protecting more hardy would all be nice.

    EDIT:
    As regards to raids, I think it is a little silly to keep changing year-old raids around. People were still running those you changed, so I'm not sure what the point was. If you'd changed something like Titan instead, I'd have understood.

    Also edit: While I'm not an uber powergamer, I have played for a long time, and do have both decent gear and (somewhat) thought-out builds. So that's the perspective my thoughts are from.

    More edit: Dungeon scaling seems over the top. It's generally better to solo than to pug, which I think is a bad thing. Dcaling should be a help, not an incentive to not group up.
    Last edited by Dandonk; 12-22-2011 at 02:25 AM.
    It's definitely an N-word.

  2. #122
    Community Member redspecter23's Avatar
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    I think overall the difficulty of the game is ok. I wish that you wouldn't change old content to be harder later on. I like to think my character is becoming more powerful over time, but if the content I play just ramps up to keep pace with my character growth, then not only does it make it feel like a waste to progress with that character, but it makes it that much harder for fresh toons attempting the same content. Not everyone will agree, but I like crushing old low level content if my character is powerful enough. I find that rewarding.

    One area of difficulty that I've never agreed with is extreme spikes of damage in quests that otherwise don't have any other threats on par with that particular aspect of it. The new Shroud comes to mind. The much more deadly blades trivialize the damaging aspects of the boss himself, making him look like a secondary player in the fight. Elite traps are another. It's odd that an elite quest that has traps is so much more threatening than one that doesn't have traps. The traps scale to a much higher degree than the rest of the quest. I don't mind high damage, but again, I don't want the main threat to be the fact that the quest has traps. The mobs should also be an equivalent threat in most cases. Compare elite Shadow Crypt to elite Von 3. In the first case, the jump from normal to elite is hardly worth mentioning, but in the second, your chance of extreme spike damage leading to death is much higher.

    I believe the larger problem that needs to be looked at and would directly effect difficulty is class balancing. If for instance, casters and divines get toned down significantly in order to achieve balance, some content becomes much harder, but if melee is buffed to be more on par with casters than some content becomes much easier. If you're looking seriously at rebalancing classes, then game difficulty should be looked at after that.
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  3. #123
    Community Member voodoogroves's Avatar
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    As you monkey with difficulty, some things I think are worth considering.

    I kinda think you need to provide some sort of incentive for "grouping down". Give me a reason to grab some random strangers in some quests. As it is ...

    Normal - is still and should still be fun and challenging to new players who lack both experience and twink gear

    Hard - is fine if you give it the caveat that it is meant to challenge players with either experience or gear, but not necessarily both

    Elite - should be the challenge spot for people with both experience and gear ... and someone without both would need to be on their toes and play smart (this is how the permadeath folks do it - planning and coordination replaces gear).

    ... and those all kinda work. Some are off balance. Some are off balance within themselves (mostly easy, one much harder fight at the end) ... but in general that kinda works.

    What it does not do is give my multi-TR riding his elite streak any reason to open an LFM and grab some random strangers for the quest. Perhaps dungeon scaling is to blame ... but if I'm challenging myself to solo content on elite, adding 5 other random people into the mix shouldn't make it insanely harder.


    ===========================

    The bravery bonus may provide too much incentive. Personally, I hate repeat "farming" to get the necessary XP ... I like the idea of running more of the quests on harder difficulties - and for this the bonus is awesome. I find though that I'm further dis-inclined to group or run on normal so I don't disrupt my streak ... I imagine most others are like me and if they do a few quick normal runs it is AFTER they hit that quest on elite first.

    I almost think it needs to go away and be replaced by a simple strict bonus to running the first time on elite. No disruption, no fear of jumping in that normal group and taking the XP hit to do so. Make it so I can group with less experienced folks on a lower difficulty without penalty.

    ===========================

    The challenges are rarely run. Part of the reason I think folks talk so much about how to solo them is that, frankly, they are not run much. I'm not sure what the answer to that is (and really, I'm unclear how they work with Premium / F2P folks anyway) but some other mechanism to get more people running them (and able to run them) would be a bonus.

    Ya'll spent some time there building them. Shame they aren't run more in groups.
    Ghallanda - now with fewer alts and more ghostbane

  4. #124
    Community Member lugoman's Avatar
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    I think everyone in the game should be able to play any of the non-epic content in the game. I think all raids should be pug-able in some way. Maybe add casual to the raid difficulty with a reduced drop rate so people can learn the raids cheaply.

  5. #125
    Community Member Deathdefy's Avatar
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    Long quests with the difficulty massively backloaded are the most disappointing.

    I think that's ameliorated if you have a 'you can repeat this in the event of a wipe' mechanic, but there needs to be more of these + tweaking of existing implementations!

    Tweaks:
    1) Still keep the 'you can repeat in the event of a wipe' mechanic on Elite... I mean you still have to actually beat the end fight, and as long as it resets after a wipe it's just as difficult. A New Invasion is infuriatingly designed in this respect. In The Flesh is dodgey in that if you kill the beholder that spawns at the start on your first attempt, it won't spawn on later attempts.

    2) Have the mechanic not require someone to re-enter. Looking at you 'In The Flesh'. Either put the soulstones just outside the end fight where the shrines are, or add a res shrine to wherever you teleport the stones to.

    I'd add this mechanic to:

    P2P:
    Enter the Kobold - it's not fun to have to place someone on 'lever' duty so people can get back to the res shrine. Just port the stones there in the event of a wipe. Kobold flavor text opportunity! "Mystical Kobold magic purifies the great kobold's sanctum of your soulstones".

    Monastery of the Scorpion - I'm always certain I can make it to the end fight; on normal I'm certain I'll be able to complete it too, but on elite it's a huge gamble as to whether it's a total waste of time or not. I'd very much like this to dump you back at the previous shrine (just before you air-jet over to the final corridor with the puzzle and scorrow at the end).

    Shadow Crypt - It can be an extremely long quest, and has an enormously more difficult end fight. I'd give it a 'party wipe teleport to res shrine in previous room' mechanic. At the worst it would confirm to people that yes, they need to bypass his DR, and it wasn't a one-off unlucky fight.

    Jungles of Khyber - Not for the 3 champions; the shrines are close and forcing some strategy to deal with the possibility of a wipe isn't a bad thing. For the Marut though, come on. You could easily plot justify it too. Veil has temporarily forced the marut back out and re-warded the room (with a fresh coat of paint for being good). Soulstones transported to shrines.

    Lord of Eyes - Longish, and I suspect the last fight claims exponentially more wipes than anywhere else. I'd just port the stones back outside in the event of a wipe.


    F2P:
    Diplomatic Immunity - while a relatively simple end-fight if you know what you're doing, it's a very long quest, and is F2P. I can imagine this would be very disheartening for new players. Just dump people outside where the friendly orcs are and add a shrine.

    Eyes of Stone - same reasoning as Diplomatic Immunity. Just put people back outside the trapdoor.

    The Pit - Another F2Per with a huge sting in the tail. I'd reset the switches, spawns and trogs that start spawned on the platforms in the event of a wipe. I'd also add a res shrine just outside and place stones there. I'd even add a rest shrine on all difficulties including elite. If you made it to the end fight in that horror story of a quest, you deserve at least a few decent shots at a completion.

    Halls of Shan To Kor - Again, massively backloaded. If they managed to pass the fire room, they deserve multiple shots at that guy. In that this boss fight in particular has earth eles and a giant with an enormous club, every earthgrab check is a 5% chance of a death sentence.

    Proof is in the Poison - Maybe? Maybe just more rest shrines along the way. I feel less strongly about this than the others.

    Xorian Cypher - The end fight is again by far the most difficult in what can be quite a long quest. That said, part of the difficulty is navigating the respawns in the final corridors to get to it. I'd teleport the party soul stones all the way back to the rest / res shrines in the center of the quest.

    Relic of a Sovereign Past - Very long. Very backloaded. Get teleported to Res/Rest shrines in room that you pull the lever in.


    That's it off the top of my head, but could easily be many more. I honestly don't think you need flavor text to justify any mystery soulstone teleportation, but flavor's fun. I hope this wasn't too specific.


    Final thought for normal difficulty:
    Generally I'm happy with the difficulty in DDO. Bravery bonus was very much a double edged sword though, in that the VIP and TR population won't run normal quests anymore, which is where new players should be.

    For that reason, I'd make normal (particularly low-mid level quests) even easier since parties will often be composed purely of new players, which is different to any other time in DDO's history.

    By easier, I don't mean normal = casual now since that's just not fun.

    I more that if you have a party wipe on normal, maybe every stone automatically teleports to a res shrine regardless of where the wipe was. Provided all important quest items either reset to their original location, or drop on character death, it'd be difficult to abuse, and would make wiping much less frustrating.
    Khyber: Aggrim (Completionist!)
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  6. #126
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    My take on difficulty on ddo is: its way way to easy and too difficult at same time. Guess i need to elaborate it.

    With all the changes made to the game in the past 18 months, the game in general became way too easy, especially low level to late mid-level on normal and hard setting. Additionally, all the new added missions have 'dozens' shrines, which make it even for caster classes trivial!

    Changes im talking about are:
    - poisons and deseases are no threat, ppl simply ignore them
    - negative levels are no threat in a grp (no chance to accumulate too many) and they go away by themself, and resting at a shrine completely removes all neg levels
    - negative levels in solo play are only a threat in very special situations or 'the most difficult dungeons' (aka invaders!)
    - trap-damage is only a threat for the worst built toons (on normal/hard)
    - adding shrines to existing missions or unlocking doors
    - ship buffs (my personal grudge #1, i will find a way to put all my trapparts to some use, some day, and blow up those buff-shrines)
    - streak-xp inflated xp for non-TR toons, which makes them fly through levels
    - cannith crafting (reaching lvl 20 in each school is a, well, lets say very very easy) made equipping low level toons trivial
    - new named loot, especially at lower and mid-levels
    - raid loot made bta

    The result, ppl will simply fly through the levels and do not have time to get accustomed to game mechanics, rules and strategies.

    some examples:
    - lvl 18 wizard - pure - who was in shroud and did NOT have resist-energy, he didnt even knew there was such a spell
    - regularely melees in epic do not flank, even though its absolutely clear, they do not hit on a 2, not even on a 10
    - ppl - lvl 20 - generally stay in the middle of several cleaving mobs and have no clue whats happening, told that they make it hard for the healer, often they just 'shrug'
    - sorc in a grp with an additinal wizard in epic small problem, complains that we do not fight one moob at a time, cos his cc works best against single mobs (earth savant)
    - ppl do not 'lock down' mobs, which tend to move arround alot (surrounding, so the the mob cant move) - epic caster bosses (eg. into the depths)


    At some point i wondered myself, is the game really that easy? Or is it just my metagaming, my knowledge, that makes things so easy. The openeing of wayfinder was the perfect testbed. 14 days after the server opened, i was the very first one who did lvl to 20. I started there fresh, with a 28pts build, without ressorces, no friends, no guilds or shipbuffs, was quickly amongst the highest lvls on the server (leveld almost completely alone with hirelings), after lvl 16, i was completely alone (transfered in characters were mostly 20 and did just take a look arround and logged off), the ah was empty (in fact i was the one who fueled ah quite a bit with usefull stuff). The only 'cheating' i did, wast at lvl 18, when i was almost 19. A friend transfered in a character and i gathered all the ingredients for a GS-Greataxe until that point, except the large horn. I asked him to borrow me that and made a gs-gaxe. Was somehow like gifting myself with some toy to reward myself (thx again merkades, for the gift). Until then, the maelstrom gaxe (one of 3 or 4 items i got from ah) was my best weapon.
    Addmitedly, i choose a build that is solo friendly, still. Metagaming alone shouldnt allow me to level that quickly with the circumstances like i stated.



    So why am i saying, the game is too diffcult as well? The 'lower level' raids. Compared to what ppl experience when they level, how easy they can get xp, suddenly they face a wall. In fact, on orien (no longer a fresh server but still 'newbish') its impossible to do chronoscope, vault of night, against the demon queen/zawabis revenge, reavers fate at level. Everytime i put up a lfm for elite, lvl range base level (normal) till +2, i get tells:
    - Its impossible
    - You would get ppl if u opened it to lvl 20
    - No rogue/arty ever can disable those traps

    Then i sit there for 2 days, trying several times a day to get a grp and nada.
    I am getting in VOD normal, it goes really ******, ppl die, ppl steal aggro, healers have to use pots and at the end ppl say/write: gj, well done, nice work !?????
    Doing HoX normal, with an Intimitank (no fail intimi) *** high hp and 3 healers, optimal grp setup. And it goes south cos ppl dont know about basics.


    Another thing, some of the new missons (harbor eg) on elite are real showbreakers. Thats no longer being a challenge and totally different from what ppl experienced on normal/hard. Even for twinked out toons and experienced players, those are suddenly really hard missions. Not saying that is completely wrong, but its inconsistent and there is no sign for it, until ur at that endfight in harbor final mission and suddenly realize: There is no way i can fight a boss and a bunch of respawning beholders and mindflayers and renders.



    My point is, the game was made too easy during leveling, ppl dont care about being not a dead weight (to improve themselfs) and then are faced with 'tougher' (thats their perceiving), impossible difficult raids. While i agree that the original beef up in shroud (blades) was way over the top, the outcry only came from, not being able to steer one owns toon properly (at least in my opinion, i dont wanna know how many ppl dont know about mouselook, without that, certain things are almost impossible to do - shroud blades and fighting/casting, lob avoiding damage, vod positioning urself making room, chronoscope watching battlefield and reacting according to things happening).

    As a GM (and here for ddo, turbine is the gm) its my job to make sure the grp does know my rules, make it a entertaining and challenging and rewarding experience. Because of the mentioned inconsistencies quite a bit of ppl deem ddo too hard and quite abit deem it too easy. Im well aware that turbine is not our mommy and that almost all ppl are too old to have a teacher. Despite that, turbine needs to make certain things sure, enforce them, lead ppl to. At least thats my opinion.

    - choices have consequences
    - nothing comes for free
    - there are things i need to know
    - there are things i cant do, but others can
    - there is difference in power for different toons
    - investment bears rewards


    I personally would prefer it if leveling wouldnt be as easy. If ppl would be guided to learn something about their toons, game mechanics, strategies etc. Cos i think that would lead to more ppl that could take a challenge and thus i wouldnt be forced to play alone that often. But i dont know what direction turbine wants to go. The hearing of: I have 132 store sp pots from a healer/arcane, after i offered compensation cos things went bad, makes me cringe everytime. And sadly i hear it more often lately.
    Last edited by rkreutz; 12-22-2011 at 01:46 AM.

  7. #127
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    I've found that the game does get balanced to the uber-player. I play a fair amount, and I can't even get into a good number of quests simply because they're so hard to time, and if you don't know exactly what's going on, no one will take you into the quest. It's frustrating and has been making me consider giving up my subscription. Add to that the changes to Elite Reaver's Fate...gods that just frustrates me.

    Quite simply, I think a quest on Normal, with a character at-level, should have better than a 75% success rate. Regardless of actual build. I know that several friends that I introduced to the game have all but left because they can't get through quests, and because the bar to actually be effective in some of the new content is so high.

    To be perfectly honest, if the next set of quests/updates are anything like the last few, in that regard, I'm absolutely certain that you're going to lose me and at least a few of my friends. Which would suck, because otherwise I love the game. It's just too bloody hard better than 90% of the time past level 14.

  8. #128
    The Hatchery Barazon's Avatar
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    One problem is that the adventures in the world are all over the map. You've got quests that give 20-40k xp in under 10 minutes, and others like elite abbot that are ridiculously overpowered, and in fact discriminate against the people for whom most of the raid's loot is geared. You have quests in which exact timing is required, but lag is the norm; sometimes even when the game is running smoothly, voice chat is a second or two behind what is happening inside the game, making that exacting timing difficult to accomplish (watch an abbot raid: "go on my swing" replaces voice chat).

    You've produced a chicken-and-egg problem with epic raids, in that to get epic raid gear you need to be equipped with epic raid gear, producing a great deal of frustration amongst those who don't already have it. You've also produced a world in which, like most MMOs, grinding quests over and over to have good gear is the norm. Remember those hamsters and their levers: if you make the food pellet come out on random pulls, they'll pull it all day! However, you keep raising the bar on raids making them harder and more likely to fail. No one wants to pull the lever if 50% of the time they die. Stop using the "Achievements" forum as a list of "omg 3 people solo'd this raid, it must be nerfed!", ignoring the fact that they are all wearing 8+ pieces of epic gear, took 2 hours, and used 100 mana pots each.

    After an online game exists for a while, the power level goes up, so new equipment, spells, quests, etc must be introduced to keep up, and it is a vicious cycle. This is what we used to call "Mudflation", back in the old days of MUDs (Multi-User Dungeons). This problem is not new: it existed long before the first graphical multiplayer online fantasy game, let alone the first MMOs. However, instead of doing what most other games have done, and increase the level cap periodically, you have chosen to go back and make existing raids harder, raising the bar too high for many new players (see chicken-and-egg above). You have to make a decision about what you want to have happen: long-standing, top notch players completing the highest level quests at a high success rate, new players getting frustrated and leaving, or adding new bars without moving the existing bar up out of reach.
    Last edited by Barazon; 12-22-2011 at 02:10 AM.

  9. #129
    Community Member Calebro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deathdefy View Post
    Jungles of Khyber - Not for the 3 champions; the shrines are close and forcing some strategy to deal with the possibility of a wipe isn't a bad thing. For the Marut though, come on. You could easily plot justify it too. Veil has temporarily forced the marut back out and re-warded the room (with a fresh coat of paint for being good). Soulstones transported to shrines.
    [nitpick]
    A Marut is an Inevitable. An Inevitable is an extraplanar construct designed to uphold the natural laws of the universe. A Marut's specific goal is to seek out and punish those that use unnatural ways to cheat death. The transportation of soulstones to the shrine after a party wipe should absolutely not exist in this fight, nor in any fight that involves a Marut.
    [/nitpick]

    /derail
    .

  10. #130
    Community Member Willibold's Avatar
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    ok, my 2d.

    Overall I think that the game is fairly balanced in terms of difficulty, my only gripe, and it is purely from my point of view, is that as the game progresses the quests get longer. I have a relatively short window to play of an evening and the longer and very long quests just elude me/frustrate me/annoy me. It is ok if you can schedule a run and everyone turns up on time, but how often does that happen? And then real life pokes its nose in and one or more folk have to bow out,it just doesnt happen. Is there possibly someone who could produce some higher level but short or medium length quests please?
    Willibold,Hesteban,Tooflower,Commabayou,Skummspawn ,Machiavehlli,,and Dramoh.
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  11. #131
    Hatchery Founder
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    I'll work on a longer post later, specifically about the difficulty of Epic quests.

    But my main probably with difficulty for the general game is how simple easy running a quest on Normal solo can be. With dungeon scaling how it is, any decent player can run on level quests and pretty much walk through without issues. So casual then becomes incredibly easy and not at all challenging.

    The funny thing though, is that it seems to 180 to hard the more people you bring into the quest. This has been one of key complaints about dungeon scaling since it was introduced way back when Shavarath was introduced. Frankly, a group of four heading into a quest, should never have an easier time completing it than a group of six.

    It used to be picking up a PUG was always a good idea, because it was still some extra damage to help out. But now, unless that PUG is fully contributing, it's better to simply go with less. So you end up in a situation where people don't want to grab unknowns and would rather just bring a cleric hireling. It's simply not good for a game that thrives on promoting people to interact and work together.

    Anyway, I feel like I went a bit off-topic.

    Basically, running quests on solo need be a bit more challenge (without simply boosting the monster's health and damage), and running quests with full parties should be easier than running quests with just a few players.

    Edit: Regarding the key topics in the OP.

    I go into a normal quest expecting to have a decent chance of success. I don't mind dying once or twice, knowing I simply did something wrong. Some high level quests on normal though do feel just silly in difficulty. Everything will be going swimmingly, and then you run into that boss that can take out half your health in a few hits. That's not fun.

    The only difficulty I'd never expect to die though is casual. Honestly, just remove the xp penalty on running quests on casual. It's really not needed.

    Epics really do feel completely catered to the hard core "uber" player though. And it really bugs me, since that is essentially DDO's end-game right now besides the few high level raids we have. The grind is ridiculously long, only a few of them are worth doing because of the risk/time/reward benefit, and any players that are sufficiently min-maxed tend to have extreme difficulties running them. Simply put, they are too difficult. Monsters have too much HP, too much AC, and too much damage. It tends not to be any significant challenge in terms of strategy, but simply having built a character to have 600 HP and deal heavy damage....or be a high DC Pale Master that can actually get spells to land.
    Last edited by Coldin; 12-22-2011 at 02:30 AM.
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  12. #132
    Community Member Vengeance777's Avatar
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    Difficulty is great unless its where the quest is made difficult by dragging a fight out. When it becomes a battle of stamina the game gets very unfun and resource intensive, especially for the healers, more time usually means more mnem pots or heal scrolls spent. Examples:

    Elite Abbot - With the last update the abbots hp was increased to around 300k making the fight really time intensive. The abbot is crit immune, immune to the majority of spells in the game, and teleports constantly dragging out the fight much longer than it needs to be. Spending 5-10 minutes playing cat and mouse with the abbot between infernos isn't very fun. The single chest for elite is really unfair for the time it takes to run the quest, need to up the chest rate by 1 per difficutly, 1 normal, 2 hard, 3 elite with chances for seals in those chests.

    Lord of the Blades and Master Artificer Wilderness areas - Takes 10 mins to get to the quests. These quests really needs a TOD type of teleport to the door after making the run once. Part of the frustration learning these raids at higher difficulties is having to spend another 10 mins running back if your party fails. If a teleport can not be added perhaps the best thing to do would be to make it like VON 5. Turn these wildernesses into a preraid that rewards the party with xp, loot, and favor.


    Lord of Blades raid- Add a shrine to the Lord Of blades on higher difficulties. Currently everyone with a blue bar just stands in place for 10 mins in the elevator shaft getting Torc/conc op procs to refill before the fight, and the poor guy without those has to drink pots. Its boring standing around for 10 mins, just add a shrine so the blue bars can get sp so we can get to the raid.


    Master Artificer - Tone down the electric floor damage just a bit or make it so it can be disabled by a rogue or by doing optional. Its really frustrating that characters equipped with Green steel Electric absorption and 33% electrical absorption can't even survive the floor on higher difficulties. Most of the wipes I've experienced in higher difficulties come from the floor not the battles.

    That said I think you guys got the other raid redos right last update.

    Von 6 Epic is fun again. The eggs break up the monotony of swinging away at Velah for 5 mins straight.

    Reavers Fate is fun again, on elite it plays similar to how the raid was first run. The raid reminds me of the fun I had when I first started playing the game.

    The Shroud on Elite is a perfect update. Thanks a ton for this one. Players just have to learn to dodge the blades and its fun, no more going afk with auto attack lol. Five chests in part 5 is awesome. All raids should have more chests on elite like this raid does. I haven't ran normal since the update but most of the complaints I've read are about the blade damage. Maybe tone the blade damage down a little bit on normal. Please don't touch elite though its great the way it is.

    Adding new tricks as difficulty goes up is definitely the way to go in the future. Shroud Elite, VON6 Epic, and Reavers Fate have all been funner this update with the new tricks instead of higher hp.
    Last edited by Vengeance777; 12-22-2011 at 02:27 AM.
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  13. #133
    2015 DDO Players Council FuzzyDuck81's Avatar
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    IMO rewarding higher difficulties is a good thing - the recent changes that give an extra tier of named loot in HoX & VoD is a pretty nice way to implement it.

    I think the difficulty in most places is about right - about the only real exception to this i've noticed is in LoB (not tried MA yet) where even on normal that sudden rush of spawns at the end can cause a nasty wipe in a hurry even if you've been doing well up until that point - maybe reduce the number of enemies, or keep the same amount but have them in waves with a reduced number of mobs in each?

    Personally, i think attaining a completion of on normal should be doable for a halfway decent 1st time PUG at level without the high-end raid loot, so long as they still have appropriate tools for the job, then harder difficulties ramp up the risks & reward appropriately.

    Another thing i'd like to see implemented are more optional objectives, even in raids, which could be handled in a few different ways:

    - early objective: something that takes a little bit of time & has its own loot (with small chance of some nice named or special loot maybe) that you do before the "main" fight, but can be bypassed completely. I'm thinking like in the phiarlan carnival, where theres all those optional side bits, and as you complete those it reduces the end fight a little by meaning less reinforcements, maybe a debuff on the boss etc... you can still complete without too much problem, but taking the time to do them makes life easier.

    - middle objective: like in bastion of power with those lightning-locked chests... something extra you can do in the middle of the quest or boss fight - the rewards can make the extra time & risk of diverting attention from the main boss can make it worth it, but again the quest is totally doable without it

    - end objective: as in LOB with the optional elementals, or more like the end optional in weapon shipment where you assault the stronghold.. the main quest is already done & there are some decent rewards, but you can carry on & do that too for some nice extra rewards.

    I guess if they were included as a kind of "challenge raid" scoring (extra favour for completing certain of the optional objectives) in addition to the regular methods, that could further incentivise having the extra time & effort taken to do the more interesting & challenging runs
    Last edited by FuzzyDuck81; 12-22-2011 at 02:31 AM.
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  14. #134
    Hopeless Romantic dunklezhan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MadFloyd View Post
    What are your thoughts on the overall difficulty of DDO? Sure, we offer difficulty choices, but do you find yourself in a postion where even Normal difficulty feels too much like hard?

    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?

    There are a few quests that feel like this at about L11-13 (e.g. the one in House J with the mindflayers and all the frost skellies felt way tougher than similar quests). Mostly I think normal balancing is ok. I'm much more concerned with the fairly random nature of how much the difficulty jump can be between normal and hard, and hard and elite. Sometimes its just a little tougher, other times its overwhelming (in the flesh prime example). I'm happy with elite being overwhelming, but hard should be about half way in between and some of the new content doesn't quite manage this balancing act.

    Quote Originally Posted by MadFloyd View Post
    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?

    Pfft. Failure is always an option. Or it should be, even on casual.
    Quote Originally Posted by Vargouille View Post
    The best of the best DDO players generally overperform when given a real challenge

  15. #135
    Uber Completionist luvirini's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MadFloyd View Post
    What are your thoughts on the overall difficulty of DDO? Sure, we offer difficulty choices, but do you find yourself in a postion where even Normal difficulty feels too much like hard?
    There are few quests where the difficulty is just wrong compared to the quest level.

    Basically we have lately been running as two man group on our TRs and most quests even at elite are pretty easy. The notes from below are based on soloing/pug groups first life characters.

    Too hard at level on normal compared to others at level(these are all ofcourse too hard on elite too unless noted separately):

    Redemption: The gimp mage that does not buff himself, has low hitpoints and does melee instead of casting is supposed to save the island? really? Hard if you cannot buff/heal him. And the note says it is easier than normal for the level...

    Rescue: Again the agression level of the one you escort and his low hp make this annoying unless you leave one party member to just babysit him and thus be out of half the quest.

    Escort the expedition: Again boring for one in the group who has to stay way behind the rest and babysit as the gimps you escort die too easy. Also the need to have a trapmonkey just so the gimps do not die is annoying.

    Hold for reinforcements: Ok this quest is just silly. The gimp caster wants to agro everything and then melee them and is one shotted by enemies. This quest is the reason why we could not twoman elite threnal even with hirelings that we definitely do npt need normally. (2 powerfull monks+2 healer Hirelings+1 mage Hireling and 1 bard hireling can not hold of enemies is just.. on the four tries most of the deneith defenders were still alive when the gimp that was invisible, knocked out, displaced, element protected, stone skinned and had 2 healbots standing closeby to heal him and with disco balls flying all around and most enemies stunned cannot survive)

    Shroud part 4: The blades just do too much damage on normal if you hit any lag.

    So the common thread for me seems to be the escort/protect people who are just too weak. The last stand is about the only quest where the target you are supposed to protect is actually not a gimp.


    Too hard at level on Elite compared to others at level:

    Missing in action: The rare shamans and the end boss damage output is way higher than most other level 2 quests.

    Swiped signet: The fact that the only shrine is 3/4 the way into the quest makes this quest very demanding on casters/healers in terms of resource management. Basically you need self sufficent characters to do this at level. "The standard party" of a mage, healer, rogue and couple melees will be out of spellpoints both for the mage and the healer way before it.

    Reposession: The traps just do insane damage if you do not have a trapmonkey on elite. More than 100damage*dozen attacks at effective level 6? really?

    Freshen the air: There is too much difference if you have protection vs magic missiles(shield or nightshiled) or not.

    Jungle of khyber: The end room electric thing that fills the whole room is just silly. Having to stand in one specific spot AND have the 30+120 resist or evasion+high saves to survive is..

    The threneal side quests with giants that are not in the quest journal and the threneal arena: Opponents hit very hard for level, lots of them and no end reward and no favor and the loot and xp is just bad.

    Against the demon queen: Has several couple with difficulty: The shrine is pretty far in the quest. The image of the queen is annoying to fight in the room with the pilars, as she does kind of extreme damage for the level so unless you have a very optimised tank+healer you need to range/spell her and the room layout is annoying. The "end fight" in circle of eternity is a joke compared to it.

    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?
    Overall the balance is pretty good.

    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?
    Basically I see normal as something I can run when falling asleep on a first life with bad gear and still succeed being pretty experieced. No need for 100% success on such, but should be forgiving of some mistakes.

    Hard is something I expect to solo on my well geared TR characters with very high success rate if I am carefull. Should punish for mistakes but should really not one shot you.

    Elite is something I expect to fail at occasionally even on a TR.

    Basically I like when there is a real difference in the difficulty between normal and elite. That way I can select how challenging I want to run things today.

    That is the reason for my dislike for changes like more hitpoints for abbot and the blades ofn shroud on normal. I mean Elite:sure make it extremly hard, should be a challenge for a farly optimal party. But normal should be pugable at level.

    I would love for a few devs to just test running shroud or abbot at level with pugs, just log into the game some evening with a level 17 character and run normal with a pug with max level being 17. If you still think that the raids in question are fine as level 17 raid on normal...



    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.
    There are several quests where the quest itself is fairly easy and the end fight very nasty, that can indeed be frustrating if you fail.

    I however find the quests where I know going in: Ok this quest has a x% probabilty to fail base on some stupid NPC doing stupid things or hitting lag most frustrating. This thus includes things like protecting coyle and the blades in shroud.

    As for progress, if the quests have chests and optional objectives that give fairly good loot/xp the progress would be higher. I personally find the current progress good (Except for the TR xp thing that I will vent about in the TR thread)

    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.
    Overall I like the more challenging quests, but I hate when the challenge is shifted to the healers, thus I have stopped playing my level 20 cleric except to solo a bit and instead do my level 20 running with my warchanter bard(just sing and buff and then melee-easy) or wizard(palemaster is more skill needed than bard, but really only reponsible for own behavior). I think healers could use some love with the raised difficulties.

    Also there should be a real difference between normal and elite, that way the game could cater to both the hard core and the casual players.

  16. #136
    Community Member red_cardinal's Avatar
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    From my perspective, this game has the best game difficulty settings of all the games in the market.
    You shouldn't change anything really. It all scales quite nice, with a glitch here and there...

    Players should be able to fail on normal - and why not? However, Shroud blades in U12 did hit to much on normal difficulty, but also they were a new tactic.
    Last edited by red_cardinal; 12-22-2011 at 03:14 AM.

  17. #137
    Community Member blkcat1028's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MadFloyd View Post
    What are your thoughts on the overall difficulty of DDO? Sure, we offer difficulty choices, but do you find yourself in a postion where even Normal difficulty feels too much like hard?

    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?

    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?

    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.

    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.
    I would like to thank you for these threads. It makes me believe we have a lot to look forward to in the upcoming updates.

    1. The fact that we have four difficulty levels to choose from pretty much ensures that we can have as much of a challenge as we want. The main issue is that there is an inconsistency across content. Someone cited the example that the Lord's March quest on elite were much harder then elite Gianthold quests. The real issue is can this inconsistency be addressed without having an impact on the advancement of the game as a whole.

    2. There's just too much consistency throughout.

    3. I always want a challenge. With the exception of some raids, I rarely play on the normal difficulty. Having a chance of failure and overcoming the challenge is what I find fun about any game, not just DDO.

    4. If you put in enough time you will advance. Failure is the greatest teacher. There's an old saying that Good decisions come from experience and experience comes from bad decisions. For every quests I've failed, I've come out the other end a better player. As far as spending 45 minutes on a quest to fail. We have mechanisms to recover form a non-raid wipe... one player stays in the instance while the others release, heal up, buff up, and re-enter. ("In the Demon's Den" on elite, anyone?) The five minute delay before the quest resets also allows you to recover from a wipe.

    5. It does indeed appear that a lot of the recent content has been geared towards uberness, but this is not necessarily a bad thing. We needed more high level, high challenge content. What we don't need is low to mid level content that a group first lifers can't complete on normal. The changes to the blades in the Shroud are an example of this. While I REALLY like the changes, I've made several hundred Shroud runs. A group of moderately geared first timers would have a nightmare of a time completing. The solution is not to revert the changes but to revamp a lower level raid to help prepare players for the challenges of the Shroud. Re-work "Tempest Spine"!

    Over-all the difficulty choices of the content provides a pretty balanced game for most people. The real issues will come to the forefront when we discuss other things such as AC and class balance.

    Thanks again for the opportunity to have my say.
    R
    "You know how sometimes when you’re drifting off to sleep you feel that jolt, like you were falling and caught yourself at the last second? It’s nothing to be concerned about, it’s usually just the parasite adjusting its grip." -David Wong

  18. #138
    Community Member Moltier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MadFloyd View Post
    What are your thoughts on the overall difficulty of DDO?
    - Overall its easy (easy enough for the casual players, which is good).

    Sure, we offer difficulty choices, but do you find yourself in a postion where even Normal difficulty feels too much like hard?

    - Normal raids can be tough for the first time, as they should be.
    Some exceptions: New Shroud, Abbot, (possible) Chrono, and im sure there are a few more. For different reasons these raids can be a killer for a newbie, even if he/she is geared up for the task.


    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?

    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?

    - If we do hard or elite, i think we rightfully expect MUCH better chance for loot. Let see Shroud: now hard and elite gives more chest. Awesome. Blades are silly but thats another story. Now let see Abbot... Normal. 1 Chest. Loot? Huh, when, where? Hard? Maybe next time, or after that, naaah, im just kidding, you have to wait till your 20th. And you believed that? Hah! Wait till 40th. Oops, sorry. End reward is bugged, but dont worry, we upped the challenge again, so you can have more fun till your 60th... Also have fun on your other characters doing this as well... I think i did nearly 100 abbot so far (~half on elite). Im looking for 2 items from there. Guess how much i pulled from that lonely chest.

    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.

    - Its not the 45minute fail that bothers us. Its that we have to do a raid 20-40 times to get the base item we want. 2raid/week means 2+months, and then possible another 2...
    Btw fails can be fun. Forgetting auto run on in von6 in a guild run as a key member...



    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!'

    Balance for the casual AND the vets. Casual and normal for the newbies (vets can be newbie for a new quest/raid), hard for the somewhat experienced/geared, elite for the "uber-players". Elite should give the same loot as hard but with much better chance.

    Would love to know your thoughts on this. Feel free to reference specific quests.
    Thanks for making this thread.
    Cannith
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  19. #139
    Community Member Monkey_Archer's Avatar
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    Most low-mid level quests on normal seem to be easy as they should be, with some exceptions
    Some high level quests even on normal may be a bit unforgiving for newer players (shroud comes to mind)

    Some mid-high level quests on Elite may be too hard for some groups, and in many cases are much harder then epic
    Many epic quests are way too easy for their intended player-base, and are much easier then some lower level quests on elite (amrath, acute delirium, demons den, dreaming dark, cannith etc...)

    Most of the low-mid level challenges seem to be pretty well balanced, although I haven't played them much.
    Epic challenges are a complete mess with the current scaling: Solo/2-person they can be way too easy, while full groups are sometimes way too hard/tedious due to overinflated hp and extra spawns


    Also important to note: Risk/Reward ratios are poor in most high level elite quests/raids/epics/challenges... For example, shroud on normal could be made easier for newer players but with a reduced reward, while the reward for elite could be raised to actually make it worth the effort.


    In the most general terms: I think high level quests/raids on normal should be easier but reduce their rewards so newer/inexperienced players can get a better handle for them. High level quests/raids on elite/epic should be be harder but with increased rewards. Raiding on Hard should be a comfortable middle ground where both experienced players and less experienced players can get pugged raids done, but with a moderate challenge.
    Last edited by Monkey_Archer; 12-22-2011 at 04:26 AM.
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  20. #140
    Community Member Calebro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Monkey_Archer View Post
    Also important to note: Risk/Reward ratios are poor in most high level elite quests/raids/epics/challenges... For example, shroud on normal could be made easier for newer players but with a reduced reward, while the reward for elite could be raised to actually make it worth the effort.
    Maybe they should add a couple of extra chests that drop ingredients or something. Maybe one chest on Normal, two chests on Hard, and three on Elite. Or something like that.

    .

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