Thelanis: Nassim* (F12/P6/M2) - Talienor** (P18/Ra2) - Feithlin** (F12/Bd7/C1) - Stoneoak* (F12/M6/P2) - Hokusai (M17/F2/C1) - Ardence* (Bd15/F3/Ro2) - Matsushiro* (Ro11/M6/P3) | Argonessen: Luneargent (W18/Ro2) - Talienor (Ro20) - Takshir (Bd16/F2/Ro2) - Hiacynthe (C20) | Ghallanda: A bunch of pre DDO Unlimited characters (field of testing for post U19 )
They changed it up quite a bit in the last cpl patches.
Now kills add to score in every challenge. Even the collection ones.
1 trash kill = 1 point
1 orange named = 5 points
1 red named = varies:
rushmoor bosses - huge, 600+ points
common reds in extractor - 10
cloudgiant in caves - 15
Then in collection crystals = 1 point. Tho in an epic, since its 21+ min, thats +10%, so:
Green = 1.1 point (it does count fractions)
purp = 11
progenitor = 110
And yea your ingredient reward is a percentage of your score. Though it varies from challenge to challenge, not just map to map.. EG: Collosal non epic is ~75%, collosal epic is 100%.
Also in rushmoor, monsters are worth a bit more, but still very litte. Seems to get up to around 1.5 to 2.5 points a kill in the top epic ones, +score modifier.
But bosses are worth like I said 600+ (spiders worth less, maybe ~100)
Opening gates are worth ~80 points
So if you ONLY kill all bosses and open all gates youll have 3000 + 1280 = ~4280 base score on lvl20. Most of the best end scores posted are only in the 4400 to 4800 range, so actaully killing trash monsters has extremely little effect on your ingredient reward.
So actually in rushmoor, is you want the best ingredient over time ratio, the best strategy is to ignore all the trash monsters using mass invis, and go straight for the gates and bosses.
Personally I like the challenges. I like that they finally gave us a way to compete besides speed runs or simple kill count contests. I like the repeatable nature and fact running epics never really has a way to win, their is always that run where you could get luckily or do better and top your best score..
But they could be so much better with some minor fixes:
-Disable the scaling and greatly drop the hitpoints in epic versions. Encourage group play because for a lot of players, thats the only way theyd get in (easy to give unbound tokens to a friend if you know they cant be a detriment)
-Tweak the 25s to add more incentive to run em over 23 (max loot lvl). Maybe add some epic fragments in the chests, or rare changes at rare ddo-store only items like super ability potions.
-Fix the leaderboards. People like to compete for score, not arbitrary stars. Let us sort them by either score or stars, and track the highest score for each player, not just the highest score they got on their highest star run.
-Unbreak the disruptor and shortcuts extraction challenges. They are utterly unfun without the ability to invis the things, and just plain annoying and too difficul to run. Yet I actually enjoy kobold chaos.. Main issue is that disruptor and shortcuts are just far too hard for most players, so if I pug a run, all I can expect is a lot of deaths. Decrease the difficult al around, SEVERELY drop the red named (who have freakin 100k hp on lvl20 and 300k+ on 25 hp down to reasonable lvls. No idea why you made these so insane, but made the marilith in the palace so easy, when to begin with, she was already easier.
And fix in the scaling in them. The extractors hp should not scale, nor should how the canon perform. It ends up being FAR easier to solo as the canons deal similar dmg while solo, but mobs have way less hp. Then in a grp the canon are worthless as they cant put a dent in the mobs.
Lava caves: Wouldn't tweak too much.. Just the Cloudgiant: He's just an annoyance with excessive hp and crazy AI.. I guess thats partially intended. But monsters should be a "THREAT" not an annoyance.
Decrease his hp, but increase his damage output and make him more interested in melee'ing so you can take the brunt of that damage to save the kobolds, and not have to try and guess where his random arrows will fly next.
Make the buffs more common on high lvl epics, seems like they are less common for some reason. Also put in the chrono buffs in pic portals/moving targets, they seem to be only in behind the door which is sucky.
Air Elementals: Ugh.
Fix their no save abilitys. I don't care if you set them to a DC40+, just put a freakin save on the knockback and the gust of wind. Doesn't make sense for them to have 2 utterly crazy ability that cripple melee classes so harshly and not casters as much, in the ONE challenge where melee may actually be able to compete with casters (at great difficulty.)
I have another thought - and this is going to be such a minor point for a lot of folks it is probably irrelevant to the majority, but its relevant for me.
Where's the plot?
The challenges are just tacked on to the game. There's about a paragraph of text at each quest giver which gives some fairly 'meh' reason why we're doing the challenge. It follows none of the plot strands of the game generally that I've noticed, there's no link between the challenges themselves, no hard link to House C... they're quite clearly arcade games tacked on. They don't feel part of Stormreach, they don't feel part of the rest of the DDO game itself.
Perhaps if the challenges were spread around the various other houses, with themes appropriate to those houses. e.g. House Apprenticeship challenges.
House Phiarlan Challenge
Be a Phiarlan spy!
Enter the House Phiarlan Academy entrance exam, and stealth your way into the traitor's lair past all the traps and guards, eavesdrop on the secret meeting without being detected and steal the secret plans! Bonus stars for not raising an alarm, not killing guards and getting poison into the drinks at the meeting without being detected!
House Deneith Challenge
Join the Sentinel Reserves!
Prevent the construct army from taking the command post, either by holding the line or taking the fight to the enemy!
and so on.
i see no reason to buy the pack.
The cost is so high, its simply not worth it. Also its worth even less because we can play it for free.
I would pay 600TP for it. 700+ if there wouldnt free access to it.
Valyria - Hulkie - Sillymilly - Killberry - Silvyanna - Walour - Corgak - Thalrian-1
In short, I don't actually see the problem - if people want to grind ingredients with their 20s to outfit their lowbie toons, that seems to fit with the overall game model as it is anyway. L20s running shroud & reavers refuge, soloing Droaam quests looking for marks... its what we do, isn't it? The current set up with the challenges, where people (apparently) try to get gear at level doesn't seem to work either because, as I said, you outlevel the gear befor eyou get the ingredients to buy them, unless you make a concerted effort to grind out the challenges at that level. The folks who are willing to grind generally want to level fast too, and the two are mutually exclusive with challenges since they (rightly) don't offer a lot of XP.
The fact that unless you buy the VERY expensive pack or are a VIP, you can only run like one or two challenges a day with tokens exacerbates this problem - if there are no LFMs for the challenges, F2Pers see no reason to buy the pack, meaning less people to run the challenges ad hoc and therefore less people running them at all.
Sooo many things to discuss I wont cram all my comments into one post. to keep it constructive Ill post each concern sepereately...
So far I like the challenges, some I favor over others but I was a big fan of Crystal Cove. Like others have mentioned, the relative dificulty and the need to be self sufficient is what cripples the enjoyment of most of these quests. I appreciate that you suggest people to run it at lower difficulties than their actual levels but going backwards like this is alien to human behaviour, we would much rather do it at level and then TRY higher levels. something the N/H/E system accomplashes...
Levels & Scaling (yeah i know thats two things but they are linked)
So since the challenges came out I have been running them on my level 20 pale master. doing some at minimum level (to learn and 5 star) and others at max level (for ingredients and gold star).
Once I unlocked artificer I started to concentrate more on ingredients, not being able to do 3 of the quests at level 20 I decided to run them at level on my level 9 cleric8/monk1 with a friend ive been running the quests for a while now on a level 9 barbarian. Quite frankly we got destroyed in kobold chaos. not having heavy fortification to mitigate the 6+ mobs critting us for 30-40 damage bled my spellpoints dry in under 5 minutes. extractors where getting "under attack" messages and instead of going down 1 or 2% ever few seconds like at level 20, they were dropping by as much as 15%! we couldnt keep more than 2 extractors up for more than 2 waves and near the end, even with 2 turrets helping, extractors where being destroyed before we could aggro all the sahuarghin.
Quite frankly the ability to choose a level needs to go! Unless you can balance EACH level for new players, old players or balanced parties and unbalanced PUGs, the level system just encourages people to give up or wait until they are 20 to run these.
Scaling is incredibly harsh, especially on the non-self-sufficient. even by just adding a hireling the quests can become uncontrolably difficult. on the flip side running them solo on a self -sufficient character makes some of these challenges a walk in the park. experienced players and TRs will likely stock up on potions thanks to disposable incomes to achieve success on non-self-sufficient toons (MY TR barbarian has been quite successful soloing back door and circles at level 7 but the moment I tried in a group it failed misserably).
Make challenges use the traditional Normal/Hard/Elite progression. Include Casual/Solo in the challenges but have this one SPECIFICALLY DESIGNED FOR SOLO PLAY BY ANY CLASS!
Set each quest to a specific level. On a few maybe make them available on 2 or 3 other levels.
Back Door, Circles of Power and Kobold Chaos: Make one of these level 4, one 6 and the last one level 8.
Spend time to balance each quest at the specified level. Certain quests lend themselves to higher levels especially the combat orientated ones. Help out certain classes within the dungeon. You have already done so with speed boots in rushmore but theres just not enough. challenges need to put everyone on an even slate so if you need haste to win make sure everyone can have haste without the need for a caster. (personally I've already voiced that rushmore needs to be scaled down in map size so that haste is not infact required when these appeared on Lam)
Additionally, the Turrets should be there to help succeed, but the costs in making them impeads their use, especially when playing a melee that needs to protect additional turrets. modify the quests to reduce self-dependancy. With the exception of rushmore all require 3 or more dedicated jobs to be maintained to achieve victory. Ill explain how to reduce this in a followup post.
Also give players a trigger to start the quest timer with it automatically starting after the quest entrance is locked (3 minutes). At low levels buffs are a necessary requirement but you can waste precious time buffing at the start that some dont even bother resulting in failure. All the quests except Extraplanar Mining and Lava Caves have some form of start (first door in Rushmore, stepping off the airship in Kobold Island). Would suggest talking to the forman to "unleash the kobolds" would be a good starting point for the other two.
I'll go into loot a bit more on another post but for now with regards to the leveling structure I would suggest completely dropping the level 4 loot (it sucks and by the time you start running challenges your thinking of level 8 stuff because your past level 4). Distribute the ingredients rewards over one quest either via turns or % drop rates and make the items that require them available AT LEVEL!
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"
I've been running the challenges mostly solo so my view may be a bit biased in that regard.
* Some of the challenges are short 5-10 minute solo runs so are a nice filler when there is not enough time for something longer.
* Some of the loot is really nice.
* Can be run in a wide range of levels and repeated endlessly so are always available.
* Give house C favor.
* Ability to exchange tokens instead of being forced to run the less fun variants.
* There are really only 3 challenges (kill boss in mansion, protect Kobold miners and protect extractors), with a few subtle variations, so the repeatability value fades quickly.
* Timed challenges are not conductive to a relaxed questing pace and/or "real life AFK"
* Have to wait out the timer even after objectives are completed. This is especially annoying if I've managed to complete the main objective in less than 5 minutes, got killed and then have to twiddle my thumbs for 15 minutes as a soul-stone or forfeit the rewards.
* Party size scaling is a disincentive to group for running most challenges.
* Wide range of levels compounds the problem of filling non-epic LFMs.
* Most have horrid xp/time once the initial star bonus has been achieved
* Kobolds and extractors are super hate-magnets. It is very frustrating having a red-named enemy maintain aggro on the kobolds for the entire 5 minutes it takes me to kill it. I've never ever managed to get the aggro of the storm giant in lava caves for example, even though I have killed it a few times.
* Buggy NPC AI, especially Kobolds ignoring the torch-line and going the long-way around aggro-ing half the dungeon.
* Large amount of quest-specific items (mansion crests f.x.) can quickly clog up my inventory.
* Air elementals make it impossible to solo-melee half the bosses in the mansion. I have enough strength and evasion to not get knocked down or hurt by them, but being endlessly tossed around like a ragdoll is no fun at all. I could live with that if it were not for the fact that once an elle gets sight of you it will never stop chasing, effectively halting my progress untill it is killed. To confound things they respawn very quickly unless their boss is killed as well.
* Random luck in pulling crests, crystal placement or Disruptor spawn can make a challenge trivial or impossible
Personally I find the Extraplanar palace to be the most fun, Lava caves and mansion are decent and the Island I dislike, so run it only for the favor unlocks.
Note that the class imbalance is particularly striking in many of the chalenges. My bard can keep herself perma-hasted, the ranger at least has a few sprint boosts, but the fighter wadlles along so very slowly that she is at a distinct disadvantage in the bigger maps. Extraplaner is hardly affected, lava caves is still doable, but the mansion is very iffy and I haven't even bothered trying the island with her.
Ability to cast persistant AoEs and/or CC is also magnified due to the time and aggro constraints in the challenges. In normal quests I can get by with doing things a bit slower on the fighter, but in the challenges I can't peel aggro so have to kill/control enemies fast when defending kobolds/extractors.
- It's something different. I really like a little change up now and then.
- XP is solid on first pass through star objectives. It drops rather dramitacally after that, but it keeps the "feel" of bravery bonus.
- The loot is solid. Some very nice items in there that make it worth repeating to get what you want.
- A nice alternative to getting epic tokens. Epic tokens were really becoming a grind, this atleast gives a nice alternative to bringing in some purples.
- Kobolds are frackin hilarious, and the vocals added on kobold island and colossal crystals were perfect.
- Not sure why I haven't seen this one mentioned yet, but it is my number one dislike about challenges. Renown. Why doesn't it drop in these clicky-chests? Sure would be nice if running Challenges didn't cut way down on the amount of renown we bring in in a day. Sure, some is awarded for kills, but it isnt nearly enough compensation.
- Number 2 dislike of the challenges is the return of the blanket immunity epic ward. The removal of this made epics so much more fun to play, the fact it remains in challenges reminds me regularly of how much I hate/d it. At least it reminds me of how much I like the removal of it everytime I run a regular epic quest.
- Way too many hps on badguys in the Kobold Island. Particularly I am talking about red names. Wheeps, Shadows, Succubi, Horned Devils. It's absolutely crazy how many hps these guys have.
- I can 5-6 star any of the Mansion, Lava Caves and Dragons Hoard (or atleast get pretty damned close), but the Kobold Island star objectives are 3 reasonable, with 4-6 requiring TP spent or some crazy amount of skill/luck that I am no where near achieving. I have run these things on level 20, 21 and 25, and havent gotten better than 3 stars on Disruptor or Shortcuts. 25 orthons and 10 fully upgraded turrets? I havent even seen more than 5 orthons in a run and lets just not talk about the turrets. How about 20 crystals per second for two solid minutes.. chya, right. I haven't even gotten close to a 4th star.
I played the challenges some when they came out, but haven't bee back to them since. I don't really lilke them, though some of the rewards are nice enough that I may have to grind them at some point. Eww.
I was given to understand these were made to be soloing friendly, for when LFM/guild activity was low. This is clearly not the case for me. I get very little out of them solo, ingredient wise. I may not be the uberest player out there, but I not the worst by far, either - I don't see how they are solo friendly by any stretch.
They were also supposed to be short, fast missions that could be fitted in before a guild run. I don't see this at all - the ones I've played have been long, and some are extendable so you don't even have a set time frame.
Also, I severely dislike the constant time pressure. If I was going for top scores, sure time pressure should be extreme. But it feels wrong to me, a stress factor I don't appreciate in a game I play for fun. Fights should be hard, time pressure and runnig like a headless chicken in hope that you understand a little of the mission before it's too late? Not so much, IMO.
The price is overwhelmingly extreme for a pack that offers so little content. "But there are so and so many dungeons!" No, there's not. There are variations on a few themes. It's like calling each slayer step a seperate quest - naming it so doesn't make it so. It costs much more than any other pack, and has much less to offer.
The XP is horredously bad. Or was, when I tried them. I seem to remember something about it being made better, but I haven't been back since.
There are some decent (at least niche) items, and I guess the chance at +3 tomes and some epic tokens is good.
Items: This is good.
Tomes: These should drop elsewhere - if they do, I haven't seen them. If they don't, it's silly to try and make up for lackluster content by making exclusive drops in it. Make the content better before even thinking about exclusive stuff. It's a game, we're here to have fun - not grind bad content.
Tokens: Seems another bad way to entice players to play content they feel is lackluster.
Where's the story, the plot, the reason we're doing this? The challenges feel unfinished, a strange add-on to the game, both in mechanics and story-wise.
Crystal Cove was fun. Once or twice per year. Twenty variations on the theme is not.
I actually payed for the pack, to try it out and see if there wasn't some good in it. Bad mistake, it's the worst use of TP possible since the introduction of +2 weapons.
<seemingly offensive Army of Darkness quote>
As to the topic in general, I like the challenges myself, but as has been said the amount of scaling that happens is a bit silly. I'm kinda neutral about the deathward. My own caster has 44 necro dc and were you to remove the deathward I'd simply instakill almost everything (scorps and drow can be troublesome). On the other hand such blanket immunities, as has been said in the past, aren't very fun or logical.
Even with the deathward casters are generally more useful in challenges because not too many melees are as self-sufficient as casters are, and often in challenges being self-sufficient is very important/useful.
Oh, and I hate air elementals...
I don't have a zerging problem.
I'm zerging. That's YOUR problem.
The AI of kobold is ok, but can be better. Sometimes they ignore dds and teleporter and run the whole way back thorugh lava and pulling monster.
Since I am a perfectionist, I want the optionals (stars) to be achievable. There are some implemented which can not be done. Also there are some i realized where you have to spent tp for it (at least i think so). I do not appreciate that.
I bought the pack, and I love to have the challenge token to put them into the supply vaults. =)
I also welcome the diversity of rewards you can get. Really, epic undead or velah beater for many weapon types. Thats great. I need not to build so much gs items. I like building gs items, but i am in need of many. So every item which i can build not running shroud (i like shroud, but not more than 2-3/week) is welcome.
All in all, thumbs up!
Last edited by lhidda; 01-12-2012 at 06:44 AM.
I really enjoy Challenges. The one thing that got me hooked is the Challenge leaderboards, I always want to be the top, and make every run better than before.
As for the challenges themselves. It is much too difficult to do without a self sufficient build. I have yet to run any epics yet however, so my feedback will be at level.
Dr rushmores mansion, by far my favorite. Once learned, it is almost always possible for a 4-5 star at level with a self sufficient group. I like the bosses getting biffs from elementals idea, but Water seems to heal much more than you can DPS (if they are alive) and Air elementals really annoy everyone (as many have complained).
Kobold Island, to me, this is not possible without a large group. I guess I am not experienced enough, but most runs are us running around.
Lava Caves, The power circles are a good idea. 300 extra crystals is really pushing luck rather than skill. Colossal Crystal is brutal when the kobold dies. Especially when they are all so weak (I understand this makes sense for Extraplanar palace)
Extraplanar palace, again, 300 extra crystals is near impossible without good luck. I can consistantly get 4 stars, but just not manage that. The other one that requires 120 monsters killed. For some reason, this doesnt seem to be possible anymore with a small group as things dont seem to be where they usually spawn. And also, they seem to randomly spawn there at some time which really disrupts the crystal flow where they should be cleared.
But thanks for giving us challenges, it really does have another element to the game to those who like it and give a different way to aquire epic items.
My first impression of challenges: I didn't like them, it felt like they were way to hard to ever get enough stars to unlock artificer or get enough ings for items and some parts seemed buggy to me (Kobold AI in extraplanar palace).
But after a few weeks I started another attempt with a friend and we started running different challenges to get some of the items. And hey, we managed to do better and better with each attempt. Right now I got several goldstar runs a lot of "many-stars" runs and got some top positions in the leaderboard (wohoo *g*). And of course i unlocked Artificer (with only LoB hard, MA normal, 2 flagging quests elite and Schemes only normal). I can say it simply takes a while until you can love them *g*
So I will give a little breakdown what I like and what I don't like:
- A lot of funny quests, I even like the Rushmoores quests best, even if Time/Reward ratio is horrible. Its never boring in there, i always think "Oh, i have to hurry only few minutes left" and in the end I spent 30 min in there and didn't even realize it.
- Nice items
- Mostly doable in very small groups (2-3)
- Insane XP for firsttime completion of an objective. I think we got about 40k XP for a 5 star lvl 21 buying time 11 min run on our first attempt, since we practised on 20. Even if you cant do every quest easily with 5/6 stars, lets assume around 10 is possible, thats 400k XP without grinding repetitions, only repetitions to learn the quest and manage to do a good run.
- Another way to get epic tokens
- Possibility to compare your score with others
Bad stuff (most was mentioned already):
- Some objectives need Store Items (10 Lvl 2 turrets)
- Time limit in disruptor and shortcuts is way too small, there was a post where someone did the maths which showed that you had a 6 second window in one quest and it was impossible in the other quest to get all star objectives. All challenges should be doable without store stuff (pack is expensive enough)
- Very low XP as soon as you got the same amount of stars in a previous run
- Low score points for starobjectives/bosses/reds/oranged etc, actually only in rushmoores you can get stars AND score
- Cloudgiant AI/HP
- Adjust quests so they can be done without store stuff. The store should be a help for people, not a requirement.
- Starobjectives/bosses/etc. should have bigger influence on your score
- Raise XP for star objectives on repetitions. For example first star stays as is, second 10% more than now, third 20%, 4th 40%, 5th 75% more. Raises the replayability for XP (not given right now)
- Cloudgiant AI/HP, either allow hate on the giant so you can pull him off the kobolds, or lower HP a bit or change something that makes him less annoying
Last edited by Tiamas; 01-15-2012 at 04:24 PM.
Bruyak ~ Razahe ~ Duzzared ~ Marwachine ~ HukwallerMitis Mors|Thelanis
I enjoy the challenges because it gives me something to solo. I love the short challenges b/c I can solo them without committing alot of time.
I'd like to see more named epic items added to them over time. I think this is a good venue to close existing gaps in loot. I think adding the elemental weapons after the initial release were great.
The Nak Abides - Ascent - Argonnessen
Tanak Arcarius (TR) ~ Xanak the Irregular (TR) ~ Sanak the Streak (TR)
Ganak Goblinjuicer (TR) ~ Panak (TR) ~ Wanak Ryuha (TR) ~ Vanak Ahriman (TR)
Manak Bloodscreamer (TR) ~ Qanak the Absolute (TR) ~ Kanak (TR) ~ Fanak Voltaic(TR)
I'd like to echo what people say about scaling but the biggest gripe is the silly level requirements. Especially when I have to either TR or start up a whole new character to be able to do something of the 1-15 challenges just to have mats to make certain level gear.
All challenges should be 1-20 and 21-25 (when needed). I don't see why that couldn't be accomplished and I'd like less stupidity in Kobold Pathing.
Having poor pathing and excusing how Kobolds have a tendency not to take the torches back the same way and then end up getting attack where their first impulse is to stand there and take it, just frustrates me.
You'd think the Kobolds would at least have some of the instinct of their waterworks cousins; to jump around a lot or run.
But they don't. They scream panic and then stand there and take it until dead.
Please make all challenges doable 1-20. And please fix pathing.
I would like to get your thoughts on these - preferably in a constructive manner. I’m specifically interested in gameplay feedback.
---They added something else to do to break up the leveling.
For those who do not enjoy this type of gameplay, can you elaborate on why?
---I dislike being stuck to a clock. I would rather finish in my own time. I hate finishing and have 10 mins left with nothing left to do.
--- To many things to collect to build stuff. Please let us name our collectable bags. I think I carry 6 or 8 now just so I can keep the trash a bit tiddy.
For those of you who do enjoy playing them, what aspects do you enjoy?
---I like the use of the CC turn in system.
One thing I thought I'd see in a challenge that I didn't was a non-killing related challenge. Something like lemmings but with kobolds or randomized puzzles under a set time limit where you'd get more stuff (stars, mats, what ever) baised on how many you solved or how effective your solving skills where (like the game Intelligent Qube). This takes build and gear out of the equation and challenges the team/player.
Last edited by MeatSheild; 01-12-2012 at 08:08 AM.
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