New forums. Meh. They look fine at my end - everything changes... Anyway, I've seen alot of people leaving DDO lately, and felt like I needed to post a message to everyone else, to the devs...to anyone listening and thinking about it.
Some will say that this is just another DOOOOoooooom! Thread. Maybe so.
For background, I've been playing this game now for a good three years or so. I've enjoyed it for hours and hours and hours - to the detriment of my REAL life on some occasions. Regardless, I have fond memories of many hours of play, and thank the devs for many enjoyable times.
That being said, something changed a few months ago. The turning point was the extended downtime (was it 3 days?) during one of the updates. This sort of "cold-turkeyed" my DDO addiction long enough for me to try Skyrim again, which until then had sat un-opened on my desk since the day Skyrim had come out. Actually, it HAD been opened, but after the first 10 minutes of Skyrim on release day, I said to myself "I miss DDO...badly..." and I never turned Skyrim on again until that unexpected downtime event. (I think it must have been 1.5 years...) Still, I digress.
I do still love what this game WAS. But its changed, and ultimately, I found that I didn't care to play it anymore. Recently, I will login maybe once per week, for 10 minutes, just to roll my GOLD/SILVER dice, to check who in the guild is online, and to see which LFMs are up. I might even take my capped PM or Clonk out for a quick head bashing or two in a slayer area....but the desire to continue playing just isn't there anymore.
I attribute this loss of interest to a few things, and this is my main reason for posting, so hopefully some dev is tasked with reading all these posts.
1 - Recent changes to the game, and to the items in it, have OVERLY-leveled the playing field.
2 - The devs should create some mechanisms to promote guild adhesion better.
If you've read this far, I'll explain.
First, I spent alot of time in this game - first I was the newb, then the noob, later just a regular, eventually becoming experienced enough to be an officer / co-leader of a high-level guild. I knew what I was doing. I have multiple TR-ed toons, with reasonably decent epic gear. This is all before the EN/EH/EE type of epics, and I can solo-farm ADQ or Wiz-King for epic scrolls / seals etc. I have a few Torcs, and most of the pieces to make an eSOS etc. I'm having fun, though I'm starting to recognize that there is a grind for those last few items, or for past lives to get passive feats or increases in spell pen etc.
All of a sudden, epic destinies come along. With a guildie, we both maximize ALL of the EDs over a month or two (on one of our toons). That being done, you start to notice that the extra few points gained from TR-ing (28-32-34 point builds) doesn't matter, since you can easily add stat points from ED choices. At the very least, the benefit from TR-ing has been lessened.
Furthermore, when MOTU came out, alot of new gear appeared, which frankly, was often better that the epic gear I had SLAVED to get for so long.
When EN/EH and EE came out, it didnt make much sense to run EE. Most of the epic gear could be solo-farmed with a decent toon on EN, so why spend the extra time and effort doing it on EE.
Don't even ask me about the +3 and later +4 tome SALES. I dont mind the P2W thing, but I dont think these tomes should have been on the SELL list.
There are other examples, but my point is just that after several years of making myself a better player, and acquiring the gear and past-lives to be an effective player, it was frustrating to have that entire grind NULLIFIED by newer gear, EDs or a variety of DDOStore bought items.
Sure I was a bit hardcore. Sure new items will be better than 4 year-old items. But the devs should have been aware that putting an item on the random drop list, which is equivalent/better than an epic item diminishes the time an effort I spent to acquire the epic item.
......and if THAT grind is not worth anything in the game, then why would I continue to play a game which is essentially all about GRINDing...
How many people can honestly say they only ran a quest one time?, or that they ran a new quest with a bunch of people and nobody in the group had ever done it?
The reality is that people grind through quests repeatedly for the XP and the gear. If you make that grind of no value, then you take away my reason for playing. When the new loot tables came out, the devs should have upgraded the old epic stuff to a level commensurate to the degree of effort required to get the item.
If you've read this far, you deserve a medal. In fact, if you REALLY read this far, please just post a quick sentence of agreement/disagreement when you're done.
My second issue with the guilds is much shorter.
Presently, I am a member of Templar on the Cannith server. As you may know, its one of the biggest guilds there, as far as membership. Prior to that I was in Gods and Heroes for a few years, which I enjoyed immensely, until it essentially imploded. I was in Endless before that for a few years, when it imploded. When these guilds imploded, it was a bit difficult as a player, since the people I would be playing with would disperse, or have grudges against one another, or whatever. The end result is that I have fewer people who all know they enjoy grouping with one another. When I don't have a good group, I'm less likely to enjoy myself/stay online.
SOoooo, I just think the devs need to come up with ways to promote interaction AND adhesion within guilds. When a guild implodes, I'm willing to bet that the Turbine folks can actually measure how much less "stranded players" come online.
Templar is a decent guild - though when I came onboard, it was a little after it had suffered a bit of its own implosion. Many of the old guard had left, and Kmn cleaned house shortly thereafter. My impression is that it used to be VERY elitist, but had morphed into a very inclusive guild of a wide variety of skill levels. However, it did not (and does not) have the "family feel" that I came to enjoy with Gods&Heroes. I recall on many occasions jusy coming online because I had agreed to help out a group with a certain quest on a certain day/time. So...incentive for guild cohesion are required to keep us coming back for the social network of DDO.
The last time I played more than 20 minutes of DDO was probably 3 months ago. Skyrim was fun, but I've essentially beaten that game, since once the novelty wears off and main questlines are complete, it doesn't have the same degree of re-playability as DDO. I do miss the old DDO, but its current incarnation leaves me flat, not caring to login. I peruse the forums occasionally to see what's new, or what people are happy/unhappy with.
Devs / Turbine, I hope you've considered what I had to say. Thanks for the years of fun, but something soured in DDO over the past 6 months. Let me know if you fix it, since I'd love to come back someday.
To everyone else, I've enjoyed playing/grouping with many of you, and maybe we'll see one another again some day. Until then...
- Tarshyn (Templar); Ralindar (Templar); UndeadJim (Gods&Heroes) and a few others.