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  1. #41

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    I recently got my 69 year old father to sign up for a F2P account. He's computer literate but not game savvy. After a month of casual play and much tutelage, he is beginning to learn the ropes. Watching him play, I'd have to say that at least low-level content is tuned just about perfectly for the casual or new player.

    He's mostly been puttering about Korthos trying to figure the basic mechanics of running his character. He dies every once in a while but can handle most content on normal. Granted I've twinked his character so that failure is almost an option, but he's having fun and not getting discouraged when he fails a quest.

    I suppose the greatest challenge he faces is simply the scope of the game. There is so much to do, so many lessons to learn. What I now take for granted, he has yet to master or even encounter. DDO has a high barrier to entry for a new or casual player. Not because the quests themselves are terribly difficult, but rather that the game is so enormous it can be overwhelming.

  2. #42
    Community Member BlackSteel's Avatar
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    from 1-19 I find the game to be appropriately easy/difficult based on what settings you use n/h/e when you TAKE AWAY DUNGEON SCALING. With the exception of traps, I often find it easier to solo something on elite versus playing it on normal with a full party.

    I like the general direction the game has taken with quest/raid difficulty over the past 6 monthsish. My only comment would be that some of the HP levels seem more than a little excessive. My favorite thing about DDO was the fact that as a semi'casual player, I could still run endgame content with only short bouts of 30 minute or an hour play time. Between organizing a party, the super high HP of elite/epic bosses, and the unneccarily long wilderness treks, I find it hard to participate in the new raids. Not b/c my characters are not up to snuff, but simply the time investment is not there. I can count on one hand currently my completions for both MA and LoB. I've enjoyed both of them alot when I have had a chance to play them, both on normal and epic. But I dont like having to wonder, "do I have time to sit in a LFM, clear to the quest, and complete before the wife comes home?"

    TR'ing is nice b/c no matter how little time you have to play, you can log on and knock out some exp and actually accomplish something. Its a grind, but certainly not challenging. The new top tiered raids on the other hand actually seem to require some time investment
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  3. #43
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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?

    occasionally. some quests are just harder than others. some are easier. an easy lowbie example of a 'hard' normal quest would be Proof in the Poison. sure ship buffs have trivialized it a great deal, but it's still no walk in the park.

    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?

    to some degree there are 'breaks' at what used to be previous level caps where the overall difficulty ramps up a bit (stepping into Gianthold for the first time ever is a bit of a daunting eye-opener) but that's not necessarily a bad thing

    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?

    normal should be scaled so that a first time first life not-well-geared character can complete with some difficulty, but not too much. failing repeatedly is discouraging. failing once or twice usually sparks a person to ask "why did i fail. how can i do better?" especially if they were close to finishing.

    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?

    YES YES a thousand times yes! it is a bit hard not to when a game gets a few years on it, and everyone has at least *some* gear... but i remember when i first started. i remember that some quests kicked my arse on normal. some zones were SCARY. Gianthold kicked my rogue's backside six ways to sunday, and god i avoided Shavarath my entire first life with Pointless, and she was my first 'capped' character. i was neither confident in my skills, nor my character, to play in a zone that difficult compared to what i was used to. the first time i ran IQ quests i remember thinking how hard it was. even the first time i tried to run it on Pointless' second life was a bit messy and trialsome. 2 days ago i ran Finding the Path normal, solo. as in, not even a hire. it was... easy. i was amazed at how easy. my husband and i turned around and duo-ed all IQ and most of DD (everything except the end quest with the dreamforge) on hard and breezed through it (ok, we didn't 'breeze' thru mindsunder, but we did complete with reasonable ease). but if the game were to be balanced to give us, a pair of decently geared third life TRs, a challenge, it would be next to impossible for that character my first life self was.

    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.
    some inline responses in yellow

    many of the raids are, IMO, a bit out of whack. as grodon9999 said, a 14th level raid (reaver) should not be throwing 500 damage spells around (also, unrelated, those air elementals are INSANELY annoying), and as rdasca said, normal shroud should not be killing 500+ HP toons in seconds because they couldn't move away from the blades fast enough.

    and as others have mentioned, In The Flesh elite is extraordinarily difficult/nearly impossible at level.

    and Abbot is just downright ridiculous.
    Last edited by katz; 12-21-2011 at 05:23 PM.

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  4. #44
    Community Member umeannothing'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.

    The right balance vs success for me personally is first and foremost, casual (or solo)difficulty needs, let me emphasize that NEEDS, to be an option for every single raid and quest in the game. This allows people to go in the quest/raid to learn it with little expectation of failure, they can spend as much time as they want to in the area exploring the lore without being rushed by a group of players that has done the quest umpteen times and just wants to get in and out as fast and as many times as possible. (solo difficulty should also allow for the same rewards the quest/raid would drop, but at a very, very extremely low chance, like 0.0005% or less imo so that nobody that does the quest/raid, whether solo or in a group has a zero chance of a reward for the time they put in)

    Normal I feel is a bit easy, but also just right. It allows a various divergence of playstyles to play, solo, casual, guild, non guild, group, RP, etc. Raids, I cannot attest to other than Chrono, and that was I still had to ask for help at the end boss when my Hurc was a fresh L20 no gear, so that to me is just about right.

    Hard is good, if you do not know the quest well, expect to die if you solo it (in general) but there is a good chance to complete without a death.

    Elite I feel is right there, and should be right there, when doing quests at level, you have a good likelihood to die from it as a solo and as a group, skill comes into play for the most part imo on elite.

    The balance of success vs. failure to me is touchy, I play solo for the most part, and as such, I avoid quests where I know I haven't the gear to carry my way through, because nobody likes to fail, but the chance has to be there or the game has no interest for very long. I feel that harbor quests are a bit easy on all levels by the way, and give new players the misguided assumption that this is an easy game, maybe a slight bump in difficulty to all but Irestone and WaterWorks and Butchers Path and Kobold Assault wouldn't hurt much, and maybe give a real sense the game can kill you as a new player. When I group, I generally do so to get things done I don't feel I can solo at my level, and I personally like this aspect.


    I also feel that re-tooling quests and raids to make at level elite impossible for at level players needing to do the quests just to make it a challenge for those that have already gotten all the gear from the raid/quest so as to make it easier is basically an affront to the up and coming new players that can now not expect to realistically ever get to do it on elite in a reasonable amount of time as well. When I say reasonable amount of time, I mean days/weeks/months. ALL content should honestly have an epic difficulty to accommodate the uber geared best players, to provide them with a myriad of quests and raids to play, even if all they get are tokens, I would love to see an epic Irestone inlet for example, or an epic 'The Pit'(with a higher chance at a muckdoom dropping) or an Stormcleave Outpost You could even take the old good gear from them and make special upgrade tokens for them etc. etc.


    Time invested in a quest: ok, realistically, dying in a quest sucks. Really, nobody likes it, but it is a chance we take. The biggest problem I have with dying in a quest, is that about 1/3 of the time, by the time I get back to the quest, it has reset. THAT is where the frustration comes from, I would like to see the 5 minute timer before reset removed, and an option on the quest entry screen that says "reset quest" I get that they have to reset eventually, so how about they automatically reset the moment you step into a new quest (not explorer zone, as some quests are in them).

    I really don't feel that people get so much upset about dying, but that they don't get to complete things when they do spend 45 minutes in a quest/raid. I think everything but epic difficulty should allow for re-entry, and every re-entry drops the % chance of the loot by a certain degree for each player that re enters the quest/raid.

    Thanks MadFloyd for doing this, very much so.

  5. #45
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    Another difficulty problem:
    In recent quests, the designers have tended to put in special additions on Hard and Elite, on top of the natural buff to monster/trap stats caused by those settings. Look at Small Problem or Demon's Den.

    That pattern causes several problems, including making the difficulty less consistent with older quests: the amount by which it increases on Elite is much more if the monsters are not only stronger, but more numerous and in better situations. Previously Elite dungeons had strong encounters, but they had the expectation that players had learned the mechanics on Normal first. Now Elite gets its own separate mechanics, breaking that principle (and denying non-Elite players the opportunity to interact with those mechanics at all)

  6. #46
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    In-quest difficulties seem well balanced. There is a casual difficulty for guaranteed completions, normal for new/casual players, and harder ones for the crazy TR grinders. I think normal content should be hard enough that people will learn basic skills, so they don't sit like dead ducks on elite/epic content. The blades whirling around harry in part 4 of the shroud are a good example.


    I find loot randomness to be really annoying in DDO. It is hard, but it feels artificial. Sure, raids have a 20th end reward list, but getting named quest loot and epic ingredients is hard in the worst possible way - you can't control it, and you can't progress towards it. Making more items/ingredients unbound would help a lot with this issue.


    I really, really hate the mass instant kill spells. When a mob is held/dancing/webbed, that effect is timed. If the DPS are not good enough to clear them quickly, encounters will drain a lot of resources, and they might wipe a party. Wailed mobs don't come back.

    I know there are wizards out there who ground out multiple TRs and rare loot to get their DC of 45 and use all sorts of debuffs to make their wail land more often. I don't mind those that much. It's the wizard who is playing terribly and getting random kills on lucky dice rolls (or worse: power word) that make the game look cheap and easy. I know it's not that easy, but the feeling is hard to shake. Adding a deathblock to key-mobs (like the Gnoll Conjurers in chains of flame) and higher fortitude saves would help a lot with this.
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  7. #47
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    Overview for tl;dr - It seems the assumption has now become that all upper level content will be run in either groups or by leet players. Anyone not leet or who runs solo needs to assume he will not see the highest level content he paid for.



    Difficulty choice hinge on what you guys want for a "customer".

    You cannot be all things to all people. You need to target who you want playing this game, and think through interactions of the various systems within this game.

    In my case, I do normal, hard, and elite up through about level 18-19 quests; then I am stuck on Normal and Hard only. I don't do Raids.

    This is tied to the loot mechanic (including BTC flagging items, treasure, and ingredients)

    I am a solo'er primarily. Because Elite content above ~18 and raids are primarily about hp,fort, and sheer numbers (require a tank/distraction that can think and survive) or being able to do mad crowd dmg (casters); I stay out of those on elite unless I feel like pugging.

    Where difficulty becomes a problem for me is loot - i cannot get greensteel because of said limitations above UNLESS I roll up a character of said capabilities.

    I can roll a caster (and actually enjoyed the one I rolled) to get BTA and unbound high-level loot to other characters; but the bound (and I could argue required) loot I _require_ (due to current difficulty balance) to experience the highest level content I purchased has to stay on that caster.

    This is actually true to PnP somewhat, because you don't trade gear across character sheets;but with respect to DDO, it pigeon-holes a player into specific content for specific characters (or play styles).

    Unbound gear would potentially screw with the economy (see - Diablo II - "you give me SoJ TT"), so BTA across the board seems the only way to allow all characters in my account to experience all content.

    Compounding this is loot nerfs in much of the content in all but Elite and Epic (though I cannot comment on changing Epic since I've not run any of it) skill levels. A lot of the highest-level content requires at least a second life TR or better to run; but it's a catch-22 when the first-lifers cannot get the requisite Druidic Heart of Wood due to inability to access that level treasure due to the stuff above. So we're left with the choice of skipping paid-for content OR - IMAGINE THAT! They're up for sale in the DDO Store!

    I cannot help but feel like it's intentional business strategy - hence becoming jaded. When the store was there for my convenience, I had no issue with it (I bought stacks of SP and thieves' tools because I was lazy - and didn't complain about it to anyone but myself). But when it becomes pay to play in THAT sense (must pay to experience content you had to... well... pay for once already), I find it a scam infinite loop.

  8. #48
    Community Member Lifeblood'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 have been a fairly steady subscriber to DDO (2006) in that time I have seen several transitions in game difficulty ..

    My favorite packs have always been spme of the early ones i think the balance was good in most of them
    mod-1, Mod-3, Mod-4 from there I would go to the vale ..these packs have good balance imo. for new players at lvl they pose a challenge..for vets most quests are trivial after xxx completions

    the rise of the Arti pack is ok i like the flag quests..as for the raids..my healers ..never again will they pug those. all guild runs or channel people only..i don't mind dieing or getting beat in a quest i do mind blowing resources on people that cannot contribute to a completion

    I do not mind the rising of the bar..but to go from IQ1-2 quests where everyone gets a ribbon even last place to needing to be a Blue ribbon player to qualify is poor management and weak direction imo


    as for the last update...*** made anyone think that was a good idea?...and for the loot...Vorpal ring Are you nuts..If I had a stick that would reach from Wa. to Turbine Central ..I would beat the person/people that allowed that to go live

    overall I like the game..i just don't run the quests that bring me no joy..
    I prefer the many hours long beating that we took in von 3 (at lvl or below grp..no res cleric all first timers)

    over the fast and easy quests

    the deal with the Von 3 run..we used no resources except cure pots/wands we did die..a lot we did recall a few times...we did die a lot more...but we completed and lost 60k xp in the process great fun all around

    if it was easy to beat every quest i would have been gone long ago..if i had my @$$ handed to me every quest i would have moved on long ago

    I understand ya'll want to retain customers..strong and weak players...you added casual for that..i thought...the issue was you added casual AND lowered the bar for the other difficulties

    I am sure you know this ..But i want it in writing somewhere When trying to build a product that appeals to many diverse people you need to IGNORE the extremes and go with the middle ground
    yes the extremes tend to cry the loudest but more often than not it is only to self aggrandize themselves or their agenda
    ..it is rare that an extreme has the best interests of the product at heart

    stop the buggy releases and put some heart into this game...remember its DDO
    when all else fails go back to the basics

    "Come on folks its easy" Tico 20 Cleric, Montico Arti, Longlife 18/2 Ranger/monk, Jaaomae wc 20, Teeco Cleric

  9. #49
    Community Member Terminus-Est's Avatar
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    Is Normal too hard?

    As I am now? No. As I used to be? Yes.
    Like other people have said, this varies wildly with your class; things that would never challenge my well-built Artificer or my Sorcerer were absolute torture for my Monk/Rogue or my Fighter/Ranger/Rogue.

    Is this associated with level?


    Yes and no. As another poster said, the schizophrenia inherent in quest difficulties can be found throughout the whole game, but the inherent weakness in a weak build will be more and more apparent the higher you go and the more difficulty you have advancing.

    For me, the very first time I was really challenged by the game was at Misery's Peak, which I entered at level 3, by myself. Many deaths and months later, I wouldn't call Misery's Peak a 'challenge' nor would I expect any of my characters to be unable to complete it, alone, at level 3. Because I've changed as a player.

    Yet, instances of wildly different difficulty at each level start as early as level 2. Misery's Peak, Stealthy Repossession and Walk the Butcher's Path are a great deal more challenging than any of their contemporaries. Two of the three reward you for the extra effort in one fashion (gear) or another (xp and 'potential' gear), one does not. Stealthy, in my experience, since it is so difficult, gets run for favor by much higher level characters or now to increase a streak number as part of an iron-man type self-challenge for some high tier players. Is that enough for a quest?

    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?


    Yes, I do not expect to fail on normal when in a full group. But it wasn't always so. Familiarity with most quests in the game has raised my expectations of myself. Now, I should be clear, when I say 'fail', I'm talking about a full party wipe that leads to releasing from the quest and maybe trying again or more likely disintegrating the group. That kind of experience should be reserved for the higher tiers of difficulty. A death or several is not 'failure' in my book.

    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.

    Partial rewards are a good way to ameliorate this, and could certainly be more widely instituted. An example is Eyes of Stone (One of the harder at-level quests in the game, I'll note), even if you wipe on the Medusa (Yeah, I've had this happen to me, on good characters and bad) you've had access to at least one chest, more likely three, one of which includes named items, so not a total loss.

    Part of the frustration from dying, is not only a lack of partial rewards in some quests, but the very tangible loss of money from repair fees. I understand the need to penalize death in -some- way, so that it has meaning beyond temporal inconvenience, yet, you do understand that repair fees hurt most those players who should be penalized the least, yes? The poorly built melee character is hurt the most by repair fees and is generally piloted by a novice player who has the least resources to come back from such a setback; and now has even less with which to rectify and empower their character.

    As a player, I've moved past the point in resources where dying is a dent in my pocket, but I remember playing before this was so, where dying in a solo attempt to finish a new quest on normal meant running that same quest two or more times -without dying- in order to fund the single mistake! It's a narrow niche, this 'medium level but weak character' but I don't think its a niche you should throw under the bus, since it is one that most of your players will occupy at one point in their times as paying customers.

    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!'

    Yes.

    In the time that I have been playing 'seriously', all of the new content has definitely had a marked higher difficulty curve than -some- of the old content. The only exception to this in recent memory was In the Flesh, which has since been altered and adjusted to be a good deal more difficult.


    Now to give you some thoughts on the question you didn't ask; What should we do about this?

    I think that balancing content to level on a more uniform platform, then to player skill by selected difficulty is the key. In this regard, an inexperienced player can progress through the levels with a natural soft ramp in difficulty as he goes, hopefully matching or almost matching his increase in abilities and gear.

    Meanwhile the grizzled veteran can enter the world of hellish difficulty and heavenly delights right from the get-go as he battles rappelling Ninja Troglodytes in Elite Misery's Peak.

    Which is to say; Make normal more uniform and the difference between Normal and Elite more of a -difference-, not just an increase in numbers. Yes, this requires more time per quest and it likely isn't feasible to expect a massive sweeping change of every quest in the game. That's fine! A few quests per update would be just fine!

    Do you know how happy I was when that first Korthos quest got a facelift? Even though I hadn't run through it in months? I made a character just to enjoy the 'new' Korthos experience, to get a feel for what the newbies of today and tomorrow would be seeing. Before too long I'll have to do it again; but if I can expect even one 'new' experience for each of my travels through the lower levels (reincarnations), that is a great carrot for a grizzled veteran.

    One other thing I would like to mention while I'm here is the disconnect between reward and effort in many of the lower level quests. I mentioned in et al Stealthy Repossession but I'd like to bring it up again because it is a glaring red mark in the category of Difficulty. You have some great successes. The main korthos quests, waterworks, ringleader, butcher's path, durk's secret, the main quests in the Shan-To-Kor pack. And you have some infamous failures; Stealthy Repossession, Sacred Helm, the entirety of the Three Barrel Cove pack (Which has some schizophrenic difficulty in itself as well, some of the worst I've seen in the game), Kobold Assault and its attendant clones, the Ataraxia quests (a great area that needs expanding!)

  10. #50
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    I will break this down on quests and raids. Don't know or care to much about challenges.

    Quests -

    In a quest I do not expect to fail on normal. I can die. over and over. suffer pain. Spend an hour...or two...but not fail. Overall for a quest -
    Casual - fairly easy even for a new player
    Normal - Death and pain possible, but failure should be rare (New enter the kobold normal is probably spot on)
    Hard - Here is where failure should be expected for new players and possible for vets/TRs
    Elite - Should require me to pay attention on my double TR or vet groups

    Rewards as far as xp seem about right now with bravery. Loot is always pretty meh, but maybe updated drop rates would help (i.e. stronger skew towards named and special items on elite).



    Raids -
    On normal I expect to fail going in on a first time on a raid. It should be more complicated. After some experience this should get easier. So overall for a raid -
    Normal - Should be hard the first time, but easy once you get the hang of it. After time an at level PUG group should epxect to succeed with minimal resources if ~half the party knows the raid. I believe LoB and MA are spot on for this. ADQ and VoN also. Shroud is not currently well scaled for an at level PUG group on normal.
    Hard - Should be challenging for a PUG group and very very difficult for people with average gear and experience.
    Elite - Should be very difficult for a group lacking experience and gear. Experienced well geared groups should have to use some resources to complete or play 'perfect' for zero resources.
    Epic - Should be impossible to do with a random set of people. Experienced well geared toons should be required BUT not specific classes or gear (i.e. please don't focus on SoS barbs and casters as the be all end all for raid completion).

    Raid rewards for every raid should use the new shroud mechanism. In general the rewards for higher raid dififculties are often not scaling well (and in some cases counter-productive as drop rates shift).



    Some specific comments -
    I think updated epic raids are good. Pre U11 epic raids were pretty much take the 1st twelve and go.
    I think updated shroud went too far. In particular this raid would be much better off with a timed death penatly ala LoB than the penalty box OR it should have weaker blades.
    Updated shroud loot mechanism is awesome. Should be extended.
    Abbott is always kinda funky. I don't care for 'platform game' features in an MMO anywhere.
    Quest scaling with levels with the 'classic' quests works very well. You see a natural progression in difficulty as you level up. The recommendation to update the challenge rating system on some quests would be appropriate though (xorian, von3, lots of necro, some of the new stuff).
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  11. #51
    Community Member MsEricka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MadFloyd
    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?

    Overall game difficulty is fine in my opinion

    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 expect most normal quests to be a cakewalk and never die in them. When death does occur it's because of doing something stupid like going AFK when you think it's safe and coming back to find yourself dead and your party members laughing because they watched you die.

    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.

    ANY quest with an absolute failure option sucks. And you know I'm talking about Coyle. To spend FIFTEEN minutes in there and have him die in the last 30 seconds is an absolute waste of time. It's not a hard quest, not at all. But his serious lack of hit points makes it difficult for people to even want to run this chain to get themselves a Mantle of the Worldshaper even at level 20.

    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!'

    I still say "enough with the easy button", but I'm an experienced player. One way to possibly alleviate this is to make lower level quests easier and higher level quests harder. I realize that there is normal and casual difficulty, but since the release of the bravery bonus pugs don't run quests on casual/normal any more. Completely unprepared players are willing to go in on elite for the bonus XP only to nearly wipe while the one experienced player in the party is expected to carry them through. Personally I'm quite tired of this attitude from new players.

    Would love to know your thoughts on this. Feel free to reference specific quests.

    1) Lord of Blades. Pugs often fail this on normal. Perhaps lighten up a bit and drop the loot a little.

    2) Master Artificer. Pugs often fail this on normal. Perhaps lighten up a bit and drop the loot a little. In this case it's the damage from the electric floors.
    Direct responses in red.

    This is a scary proposal, but what about a casual option for raids for beginners? This would give people the ability to run raids that they normally can't get in or complete and at least learn the raid or learn what to expect. Make no raid loot drop from casual completions and the casual completions should not count towards their raid counter. This way they would still get random loot, but only benefit from the learning experience.

  12. #52
    Community Member marcosoneghett's Avatar
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    Let me try to make another contribution here. I think casual and normal difficulties are good as they are. Also agree that some changes to Raids can be good, but they can also be bad for casual players. But overrall let me ask for something more here.

    This game has a history of some very distinct and some may say difficult quests as: The Pit or The Crucible just to name a very few. Please dont eliminate this type of the quests of the equation. Some of these are my favorites and others i really hate, but they are what give a different flavor to the game.

    That said and incurring in the risk of saying something who should be obvious, casual should be for solo / inexperient players; normal should be for casual players in parties; hard should be difficult but not impossible for casual players in parties and elite should be difficult for regular players and at least present some challenge for experient players. Epic should be a whole another level for experient players.

    That said, there´s really a gap between Hard and Elite. It´s something that maybe the designers should rethink in the future. Also, I'd like to see more traps and some more puzzles in the game, but that´s just my personal preference.
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  13. #53
    Founder Lifespawn'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.

    Casual should basically be no fail but it should also not key you to run a raid people run casual vale and then do one on hard and can into the shroud.I think they should have to be completed on normal have casual give ok xp but no pie piece or a minimum favor from the set of flagging quests for the raid giver to talk to you.


    Normal should be like casual but with better xp/favor/pie pieces .


    Hard should not scale down with amount of people in the party but i think it should scale slightly up with more people an extra chest at the end with chances for special quest/flagging/other loot.

    Elite should not scale down and should scale up decently this should be the last required diff to make/craft an item( like alchemical t3) end should have 1 extra chest same as hard but with increased drop rate in both chests.


    Epic should scale steeply with each member of the party more spell selection for casters not just greater command greater dispell give them black dragon bolt, polar ray, niacs biting cold and what happened to hypnotism?
    End should have 2 extra chests with increased drop rates in all 3 maybe double what normal gives.


    Quests need to have decent xp for the level and diff those house C quests are pathetic xp on elite, getting more xp from waterworks is just plain silly.




    Summary hard would be the elite for casual players epic should be very hard and not just more hp but the rewards need to scale up with difficulty and please stop with this binding to char stuff . If you don't want saturation of some things bind them to account all your doing is making parties harder to fill and forcing people to play classes they may not care for which then makes for bad questing.
    Quote Originally Posted by MadFloyd View Post
    Fernando has yet to even suggest a nerf of anything.
    Oh and by the way (referring to your sig), we aren't nerfing the Torc.

  14. #54
    The Hatchery Galeria's Avatar
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    It's fun to fail!
    -FlimsyFirewood's signature

    Actually, it's not fun to fail. But you are close- it's fun to almost fail.

    Failing is frustrating, leading you to feel like you have wasted time and resources for no good reason. It can make you ragequit or just logoff and walk away.

    Have you ever heard the theory that what makes us happy is the pursuit of happiness, the process, the anticipation, the feeling that you are gaining ground and achieving something?

    That's the narrow line a game like this has to walk- challenge plus goals. We want to see progress and we want to feel like we earned our way there. (Except for pikers. They want someone else to do it for them. But even the pikers don't want it to be too easy or too hard.)

    I don't remember the hundreds of smooth dungeon/raid completions I've had. I clearly remember the wipes and the almost wipes. They make good stories. But they also made an impression. And taught me lessons. (Some lessons are not to group with obviously drunk people, but that's still a lesson!)

    On my first life, I ran Threnal with my family and guildies. 2 guildies, my two sons and my husband. I had no idea what to expect from the Threnal arena.

    OMG.

    We ran like crazy, died a lot and when we thought it was over, another wave spawned. Beholders!!! NOOOOOO!!!!

    But we finished it, and upgraded our little blades into upgraded blades that we threw away. It wasn't the end reward that was cool, it was the struggle and the eventual win.

    I ran Arena of Threnal last week with 2 TR's who had never run it before and were curious. We were at level. It was a snooze.

    The quest didn't change. The players did, and I suspect it's the power creep of better gear rather than the changing of any specific quests. I know I didn't run that quest on my first life with the fully maxed stats and gear that a level 10 could possibly have... but my crafting work and the AH and past lives have all given me the means to make sure I have the best I can have for the level.

    I'm not sure what the answer is. I think the quests are just about right for first life toons. I would not like to see the difficulty increased for low levels. The bravery bonus has convinced most TR's to run quests at the highest possible level for greatest XP rewards.

    I don't really have a suggestion, just an observation. I started playing a year ago. In this past year, the gear choices have gotten significantly better. Cove items alone are really powerful. Cannith crafting with masterful crafting lets you max exactly what you need. The new challenge crafting combines some very powerful abilities into single slots.

    The creep is from power gear. But I don't want you nerfing my gear!! Or drop rates!

    The only thing I might suggest is a super reincarnation bravery bonus for doing elite below level. I almost hate to suggest it because I feel the current BB is really generous. But if you set it so that a TR would get a small bonus for being below-level elite it would encourage the people who are bored to challenge themselves further.

    Oh, and nerf the Abbot! NERRRRRF HIM!
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    Get people to read your post.

  15. #55
    Community Member Vormaerin's Avatar
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    Context for my comments: I play almost entirely with friends, casual style (ie lots of family AFKs, no worries about xp/minute, sometimes 8 yr old son's are the barbarian, etc). However, I have played the game a long time with a lot of alts, but no TRs and no huge twink source. I build good characters and know what kind of gear they should have (though I don't always have it).

    I like a failure risk and I like figuring out quests. While I'm happy with the difficulty levels in the game (see below), I do find there is huge variance in the difficulty of quests in the same level range, often without commensurate variance in the rewards. I like the new style of quests (Lordsmarch, Reign, etc) over the older quests, though I have mixed feelings about the ever increasing BtA supply.

    Normal is monstrously easy. The scaling is the main culprit, since we often only have 2-3 people doing a quest. I can't stand doing a quest on normal, even first time ever. If the VIP 'start on hard/elite' benefit didn't exist, I might not still be playing.

    Hard is a good place for the "new" style of quests (Lordsmarch, Harbinger/Reign, etc). Our first life, low twink characters generally can handle the quests unless its one with a trick we just don't figure out (first time in Monastery of the Scorpion got completely destroyed on final boss, for instance).

    Elite can be much harder than "hard". All the older quests we do on elite, both because they are easier and because we know those quests inside and out. We can't always manage elite at level on new quests, but I don't think there's any problem with that. We don't have really elite geared characters.

    To be honest, I haven't seen any actual evidence of this "scale for the uber elite" that gets complained about alot. Individual quests/raids (abbot) have issues, but I don't see the game as a whole having this issue.


    SUMMARY: Party Size scaling is way too significant and makes normal trivial and exaggerates the gap between hard and elite, but overall the difficulty of the game is pretty decent.

  16. #56
    Community Member Nataichal's Avatar
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    Rather than wax verbose, I'll try to go with succinct. I'll fail, but try.

    Overall, game difficulty should fall along a sort continuum. Very low level quests should be a bit too easy, low to moderate level should have some difficulty to them, and high level more difficulty, but not extreme. This is due to the fact that your player skill level will fall along the standard bell curve, with a few completely inept, many competent, and some prodigies. In general, this curve exists.

    Problems:
    1)Some quests, for whatever reason, have been designed to be near impossible (or improbable) to complete at level with your average pug. Obvious examples include the new psychotic blades of shroud elite, or the insta wipe mind sucking pain that is the end fight of In the Flesh. These aberrations of difficulty I feel detract from game play rather than improve. Of course, its often caused by....

    2)There are 2 distinct tiers of player ability in the game. For people that have been around for years, especially those before epic gear, ship buffs, or high level caps, the school of hard knocks has taught them to perform at an increased level of play. Thus, much content that was normally seen as a moderate challenge is now, due to new gear, experience in the game, ship buffs, etc. as "easy". I think the argument that some content (high level raids, the quests mentioned above, etc) are coded for these 'elite' characters is accurate. I've played since 2006, but I have several characters right now that I simply cannot play because they have not gone thru the TR/Epic gear grind, and thus would be a joke in something like LoB. This level of extreme difficulty is a shame.

    3)This makes it difficult to JOIN this cadre of elite characters, as you need to have the epic gear to complete many of the quests where you get the epic gear in the first place. Combine this with the fact that the drop rates of some Epic item pieces are so low that they are almost considered mythical to the average player, and that in general many epic pieces are too hard to get, and it increases your division between these two classes.

    4)Conversely, I think much of the school of hard knocks lessons learned at low levels has been lost, and characters woefully unprepared for high levels are getting to them without the basic skill sets needed to function. Upping the difficulty of some lower level content might kill some more newbies, but will make them into better players as they progress.

    Thus, instead of a single peak bell curve, we seem to be developing one with two distinct peaks. The haves and have nots, as it were. As the content to gear up to join the 'haves' continues to get more difficult, the gap between these two peaks will increase.

    Solution
    Do not code the game for the top 10%. If someone has gone TR/gear crazy and made a god of a character, good for them. Their reward should be an easier time in quests, not quests being scaled up to meet them. Code the game for the C average students, your 70% mark.

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  17. #57
    Founder Xyfiel's Avatar
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    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? Not often

    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? throughout but minor

    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? failing is ok occasionally, but a quest I have ran a hundred times and on a decent geared character shouldn't have a high chance of failure on normal. I should run elite for a challenge at that point, not worry about completing normal. Raids/Epics on normal shouldn't fail often either.

    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. The higher the grind, the more frustrating the failure is. Turbine made the grind high for too many things.

    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!' Yes. That was mainly aimed at Dungeon scaling and the ease of leveling. You also have to consider the main type of player who uses the forums and says stuff is easy. Powergamer Achievers who have everything on multiple characters are not going to have issues completing 99% of the game. They play the best builds with the best gear then complain the game is too easy. Stop reworking content for the upper echelon, you can't keep up with them.

    Would love to know your thoughts on this. Feel free to reference specific quests.

    The following quests are too hard in general for their level:
    proof is in the poison
    eastern threnal part 3(hold for reinforcements?)
    chronoscope
    bastion of power(only the dungeon alert issue)
    in the flesh end fight
    enter the kobold end fight
    stealer of souls

    I just went thru a TR1 on a Artificer/Rogue/Ranger mutt with a moderate amount of gear and resources. I was unable to complete in the flesh and east 3 for bravery. I stopped after level 16 quests.

    There are many quests even with the bravery bonus are just too long to be good xp. Most of the higher end quests give horrible xp considering how much xp a TR needs at high levels. I tie this to difficulty issue as well, if the higher difficulty isn't rewarded I don't want to do it.

  18. #58
    Community Member gloopygloop's Avatar
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    Some quests are trivially easy. Some quests are maddeningly difficult. Most are in between.

    I really like the fact that there is a variety of quest difficulties in DDO. Some quests are so easy that I won't go through them more than once on Elite just to grab the favor, but there are a lot of players who need quests like those to practice in because they're just not ready for the tougher quests.

    I really like the fact that there are some quests that I'm just flat out not ready for. I'd be sorely disappointed if I knew there were no quests waiting for me when I get better at the game.

    I think some quests could be tweaked a little bit, but I think that the balance *across* quests is very good.

    As for "balancing quests for the uber-players", there has been a little bit of this recently. And that's okay. There are still hundreds of quests for the players that aren't uber. It's okay to make a dozen quests for the people who really need the extra challenge.

  19. #59
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    Firstly thanks for this opportunity and I appologise if this post goes a little off the rails but these are some ideas thoughts and suggestions I have been waiting for an opportunity to air for some time!

    There are a few things to consider with Difficulty.

    The first is the type of player.

    1) As a new player fresh out of the wreckage "Oi can you move?", the learning curve of the game can be quite challenging. To that end, quest easiness needs to be something all can relate to. going in on normal is likely to appeal to people over casual/solo. Since they are likely to do it first solo and will learn the quest at the same time. Grouping will come later but many new players will refrain from grouping unless they know someone else.

    2) After a player has experienced a good portion of the game hes likely to want to do more difficult quests. He may not have a level 20 or TR'd yet but hes on his 3rd or 4th character and feels he knows the game well enough to jump in on hards and elites when he can.

    3) Top end players that have TR'd multiple times will only want to run elites. They want to challenge not only their characters and skills but also their gear set up will make certain aspects of the game trivial.

    ---
    Second thing to consider is gear.

    1) new players will likely struggle to aquire level approriate gear. they may be lucky enough to have a full set of Korthos gear by the time they are level 3 but around level 10 gear seems to be more difficult to get right. many key items are required by certain quests and are actually made difficult or even impossible without them like underwater action, featherfalling, etc.

    2) Once you have run through the quests on a few characters picking up that minimum level featherfall boots or having a deathward item becomes trivial. however just as with a players experience once you get to the teens gear begins to let you down. You may still struggle to get the +6 items at their minimum levels or may need to farm enough ingredients to finish your first greensteel.

    3) By now gear isnt a problem at all - you have the best gear regardless of level, often pulling from your TR stash as you reach certain breakpoints. By level 12 you are close to what the other two wont see until 17+. Also, having a large sum of disposable platinum also affects things like pot, wand, and scroll use throughout your leveling.

    ---
    Thirdly you need to consider time.

    1) People new to the game may fail, and often will due to unknown things happening to them such as traps. when they start to group the will likely slow down more experienced players while they learn their way round a quest.

    2) By now you have learned most of the starter quests, if your Premium/f2P you might have bought a few packs that you might consider trying out, not knowing what to expect, but overall you know how things work.

    3) Quests are like telephone numbers to you, you stop short of any and every trap, find ways to bypass certain areas with spells or using the geometry to your advantage.

    Ok now lets look at the quest levels...

    1) 1-6 quests offer great challenges but dont always end in failure after the second or third attempt. 7-10 quests offer a greater challenge as certain elements become required for success, featherfall, waterbreathing and deathward all start to play a role in completion of a quest. 11-14 by this stage soloing is completely out of the question for a first lifer. Many actually turn to wilderness areas to level first time round if they find groups intimidating to join. Quests become alot more involved with many requiring chains or flagging. 16-18 quests are the break point for many first lifers IMHO. Most new players will have decided if they are playing a class worth sticking with or stop and make a new one. 19-20 quests for those that push on to cap are an uphill struggle - many new players will not "Bank" level 19 and will find groups for 19s difficult to find without a guild.

    2) 1-6 quests are a breeze on normal, many will seek hard or elite groups or run quests N/H/E before moving to the next. 7-10 Quests start to become more challenging and a player notices his weaknesses - elites often fail without a full group but hards arent much more difficult than normal for them. Grouping is a little easier due to the knowledge you already have. 11-14 many quests seem easy but can turn nasty for an un-prepared, under-geared character. elites can wipe more frequently and the occational zerging hard can go south very quickly. however a careful player with the right group can find his way through these quests with little difficulty. 16-18 quets require some heavy grinding - by now most are bored of wilderness areas beyond picking up the initial explorers and rares so grouping is where the XP is at. for these levels its the start of the uphill struggle to 20. 19-20 quests are still new to this type of player, many tactics are used and although you have learned to bank level 19, getting to 20 can prove challenging to some still.

    3) 1-12 quests are simply a roadbump for most veteran players. they will solo, small group (of friends) or hireling their way through them. 13-17 the grind starts for XP expecially for multiple life TRs, quests are attacked systematically to maximise XP with grouping common but mostly with those they know and trust not to slow them down. 18-20 quests continue the grind but lack too much importance as they are considered useful in most endgame content and raids.

    Level 20
    Quests for 20 have their own consideration. While for many reaching 20 is all there is, those that reach 20 are met with the new challenge of epics. some enjoy epics, others cant wait to TR to start leveling again or abandon one character for a new one, often using their 20 to twink others.

    My thoughts on the quests.
    Ok so thats the overall analysis on difficulty in the game as it stands. now here are my thoughts on difficulty itself.

    for new players 1-6 quests are perfect. They can plow through them with expereinced players or learn the game at their own pace. for Vets 1-6 quests are normally broken down to a couple of High XP quests, the rest may as well not exist. Time Vs XP is all that counts, if a quest is too long they wont bother with it.

    Difficulty at this level range is nothing more than "how much XP can I get?" which is fine as is.

    Beyond level 6 quests should almost always be about grouping. pulling the community together to achieve a goal.

    Currently the difficulty brackets of Normal/Hard/Elite are treated a little differently by each type of player. One of the key elements of a difficult quest is the amount of time invested. In my opinion optional objectives should grant the bulk of XP scaling with the length of the quest. The longer you spend in one quest the more XP you gain. if you fail you still feel you have achieved something in the process. This might not work well on lower quests but it would remove alot of frustration from failing a high level quest you spent 40 minutes on just to wipe at the last hurdle with just a large repair bill to look forward to.

    How I view Difficulties:
    Normal Quests should be accessable by all - regardless of player exprience.
    Hard Quests should be accessable by all - player experience should make life easier as you have knowledge of what to expect from normal.
    Elite Quests should provide a quest with new challenges. while still accessable by all, many inexperienced players will find that without good resource management elite is simply not possible "at level".
    Elite should be aimed at providing TRs with not only the XP they need to level but also the challenges to keep the game entertaining and enjoyable rather than just a grind. Unfortunately the only way I can see of doing this is to alter the quest or add random elements to the quests. Perhaps moving or removing certain shrines, making traps random, etc.
    More damage doesnt mean a quest is harder if you can avoid that damage altogether. This seems to be the approach elite quests have over normal or hard. quite frankly its lazy, unimaginative, and boring. Players simply find a way of avoiding the damage entirely which has since resulted in certain nerfs to spells that should be a part of DDO.
    Resource useage should play a big part in Elite quests - shrines should be a commodity not taken lightly, many quests lately have far too many shrines for N/H/E although some see more use on Epic. Make this a more important factor of the difficulty.

    EPIC
    While the recent changes have been nice for people like myself who have little epic gear, epics just feel like elites with more HPs. Many vets I know find the changes made to epics have made them too easy. Personally I think they have made them more accessable which is a good thing.

    I will pick on a single quest however, Epic Devils Assault. I ran this quest on a first life 20 pale master, well geared but in need of a TR, I found it impossible to fulfill my role in this quest. The damage was too heavy for the healers to deal with without good CC and I just didnt have the DCs to CC anything! In steps a 3+ life TR wizard PM with 40+ enchantment DCs and my roll was just to buff the party with rage and haste! This quest is certainly not accessable by all!.

    Suggestions
    New XP Reward: Include a bonus XP based on the number of times the party rests in a dungeon. The fewer shrines used, the more bonus XP is achieved.

    Limit Resources: This might require some work but perhaps the inventory needs a little overhaul. My thoughts are to limit resources such as wands, potions, and scrolls during a quest. break up the inventory into potion belts, scroll cases and wand haulsters. while at a rest shrine you can place a number (say 10) of scrolls, potions and 2 wands into the relevant slots as you would preparing a spell. When you leave the shrine those resources are locked and can only be spent. When you rest again you can replenish/replace what you have used. All gear with clicky effects should be set up beforehand in clicky slots. In effect you have 1 clicky option per slot. so if you have a +4 int hat, an invisibility clicky hat and a water breathing hat you must choice one to load at each rest.

    Final Thoughts
    Drop the Damage wins all philosophy! every time you raise the bar on what HPs/DPS the players can achieve the damage the mobs take and deal has to increase. Without some additional level scaling, the more this happens the harder quests will become for newer players. Shroud blades is a good example of this.

    Progression.
    DDO misses out from one fundamental elements present in most MMOs, progression. Once you hit 20 there is nothing beyond. Many other MMOs simply raise the level cap to keep people interested. What DDO needs is some Extreme Quest Progressions. Aimed at Epic level quests only, quests chains need to be far more complex and challenging. giving people a sence of achievement beyond their next epic item. Achievements dont need to be virtual items either; special cosmetic gear, banners, titles, unique airship amenaties or new airships entirely, could all be used to entice people to play more.

    Packs
    Adventure packs need to cover more than just a few levels. sure there is still room for a couple more mid or high level packs but overall future packs should accomodate a much broader level range. However, they should most certanly not eliminate the existing content altogether!.

    Challenges
    Fatal error #1. A player can, if he so chooses, level from 4-20 on this pack alone. and he can do it solo! sure it could take some time and I'm assuming its the reason for the huge cost of this pack, however the free tokens make it possible (though very unlikely) for someone to get to 20 without paying you guys a penny!
    Fatal error #2. Challenges ignore difficulty. While it may be nice to "try" doing a challenge quest at its highest difficulty for you, there is very little incentive given the scaling of the challenges. Crystal Cove was different in that it had a time contraint - players felt a need to achieve as much as they could from the quests because they where an event - Put CCove into a normal pack and you will likely see the same issues you are having now with Vault of the Artificers. IMHO you should remove the challenge scaling and replace it with traditional banded levels.

    heres what I mean...
    currently you have 5 quest options - Casual/Solo, Normal, Hard and Elite Plus Epic at level 20.
    Dr Rushmores Quests
    Behind the Door L4-15 ... becomes a level 5 10 and 15 quest. On the level 5 option Casual/Solo is level 5, Normal is a level 6, Hard is level 7, Elite is 8, there is no Epic.
    Moving Targets L10-20 ... becomes a level 10 15 and 20 quest. On the level 10 option Casual/Solo is a level 10, Normal is a level 11, Hard is level 12, Elite is 13, the Epic version is level 20.
    Picture Portals L15-20 ... becomes a level 15 quest and 20 quest. On the level 15 option Casual/Solo is a level 15, Normal is a level 16, Hard is level 18, Elite is 19, there is also an Epic version.

    XP scales normally and overall people can play these quests continueously but eventually the XP will dry up and they will have to find new revenues for XP.
    Casual/Solo needs a facelift. It should be made the quest of choice for those wishing to solo. Normal difficulty should be aimed at groups. perhaps adding in temporary hirelings for solo players to purchase in the quest that expire on exit, or simply adding additional resources or extra time. Casual should not be great XP. you want people to group for that. however casual xp should never zero out. my suggestion is set casual XP to 1/10th normal xp. with a +200% first time achievement. Casual does not affect bravery in any way and after 1st run xp drops with a flat 50% penalty for runs beyond the 3rd.

    Bottom Line
    Overall, I think difficulty needs to play more of an active role in quest design, not just a switch you flick that scales up the mobs hit dice.


    edit: Damn took me over 2 hours to write all that!
    Last edited by quijenoth; 12-21-2011 at 06:30 PM.
    1) "Quijenoth" Main Arcane Caster, 2life PM, 3life BrdTR, 4life FvS.
    2) "Vallaes" Melee Tank build, 2nd life Barbarian.
    3) "Elvraema" Experiments, 1-Mnk6/FvS14 Solo build. 2-"Dronker"

  20. #60
    Community Member JakLee7's Avatar
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    Ok -
    1. Normal/Solo/Casual - I think these difficulties are spot on. Some quests are harder than others for new players, and the imbalance of classes means that sometimes you NEED some other type of player(s) with you to succeed if you are just a casual gamer. Great example of this is Ghola Fan; the end battle of that can be tough if you are soloing on a first life non-twink rogue. This is not a problem though with the quests, just a limitation of the game, not every character can do every quest at every level by themselves.

    2. Hard - I seldom run hard, BUT....I do feel that other than XP, there is very little reason to run hard over Elite or Normal. The mobs hit harder, have more buffs (to hit, ac, spell selection, ect) and the DC's are slightly higher than normal for traps; and you get one use of shrines....this for a chance at slightly better loot & 1 time bonus for first hard run on XP.... I think hard needs some different standout otherwise it is a tool for TR's and that is really it....

    3. Elite -sigh.... Elite is a crapshoot. Some quests do it well (Butchers Path is one) while others don't. The big problem I have with elite though mostly has to do with the raids.

    3a. OK, so try this out if you haven't before. Take your level 20 character (class/race combo makes no real difference) and go do The Storehouse's Secret on elite. How many times did you die? This is something I LOVE about DDO. You can actually advance your character to the point that previous parts of the game offer no challenge.

    3b. Which brings me to the problem with the most recent changes to the raids. A group of level 20's should be able to do a level 10 raid on elite with little to no challenge; a level 12 raid with little to no challenge; a level 15 raid with some small challenge..... ALL WITH A PUG. A level 17 raid on normal with very small challenges. I understand this means that some things are easier to farm for than others, but there really isn't anything wrong with that.

    3c. The fact is, on NORMAL you should be able to PUG any raid in the game. That is not to say you can't sometimes fail (take shroud since F2P until mod 11 was released); but it is the exception rather than the rule. I really don't understand why VON6 would be difficult on elite for decently geared PUGS. The answer is - it shouldn't be. ELITE TOD, sure, that is actually what a level 21 quest on elite? It should be tough for your standard PUG - but normal PUG's should be sending out LFG's, and since 11 was released I have seen very, very few. That is a sign that the hard factor was turned up too much.

    so... tldr:
    solo/normal/casual=fine
    hard doesn't fit well except for XP in its current form
    elite is ok on some things but was fubar'd for raid difficulty and some quests (and if you are unsure of quests, we can provide lists).
    - my reputation says nuetral, my character sheet says Chaotic Good!
    Quote Originally Posted by Kominalito View Post
    if grief for you is a few minutes of a pumpkinheaded player in a videogame, you must live in a palace of naked women made of chocolate and money.

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