I know that all of these points have been brought up before, so I am not really expecting any kind of response to them. But I guess that I am just wondering if other fans are as frustrated with the current state of things as I am.
When Update 1 was looming, at the end of the 'vast and mysterious', players were given a pretty clear idea of what the plan was. Even if they did not like it, they were informed about the goals that Turbine was working towards with DDO. There was much whining and gnashing of teeth, a great deal of it about nothing at all while some of it has since proven true.
The design direction has changed rather drastically over the years since then. Many of the people working on DDO have changed as well. I think it is fair to say that the road that DDO is on right now doesn't really resemble the one laid out when DDO was first preparing to make it's impression on the F2P MMO scene. That is all fine and dandy, it is after all your game, but.... don't we, the players, deserve to know where this road leads?
For an extremely long time DDO's end game was divided between Raid trains, Epic quests that provided quite a bit more challenge than the current batch of content does relative to the abilities that players had, and the TR cycle. There were people who enjoyed the social aspect of DDO's 'raid lite' style of content, goofing around with friends as they played the lottery for those pretty pixils. There were people who liked the epic grind, even with it's oh so elusive and potentially frustrating shards and seals, and enjoyed finding creative ways to get through this difficult content efficiently. And there were people who enjoyed rerunning the older content through many different lives with that promise of a stronger character awaiting them.
In today's DDO you can still keep TRing, even thought the benefits provided by it are dwarfed by the amount of power given by Epic Destinies. But the 'social raiders' have effectively been kicked to the curb. There is one raid, Fall of Truth, that is currently considered to be worth running. Nowhere near enough content to really make for an enjoyable evening spent with online friends. Those who used to enjoy the challenge of old-epic content are likewise wondering what to do. With no disincentives to reenter Epic Elite quests they have become something of a joke. And with the gear becoming Bind on Equip players geared up very quickly, and are left with very little reason to keep going back except for the fact that there isn't really anything ~else~ to do either.
And now the Shadowfell expansion promises to raise the level cap yet again and make this lacking pool of end game content available obsolete once more. With no raid in the expansion, and relatively few quests even, I am left seriously baffled. So I have to ask..... What do the people making design decisions expect players to be doing? What is the focus of your game?
I am a really big fan of DDO. I have enjoyed it immensely over the years. But right now I really need a bit of help finding where exactly the 'fun' is supposed to be. Because it feels like what we have gotten over the last year is lackluster content without any real focus, and systems changes that make little sense or are very out of touch with the way that the game is played. So please, I would really like to know; What is the direction that DDO is headed in? Because from what is observable to players it is very difficult to see what the overall plan is, or if there even is one!