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  1. #1
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    Default Open letter to Producer Rowan re-the game suffering massive player attrition

    Hi Mr. Rowan; Have you guys considered trying to keep the player base from shrinking wildly between updates? via less meta game heavy design perhaps, more procedural content, or perhaps an overhaul of old "endgame"? I asked a somewhat similar question in the Lam forum but it's just going to get lost in the uproar in that thread.

    The attrition I am speaking of is viewable in the below graph nearing 50% less logins since eGH was released, note this pic does not go back to eGH release where logins where were up well into 20,000's, now we're trending into 12,500 to 10,000 territory... nearing a 50% decrease in login activity.


    Yet the things you guys appear to be doing are announcing/implementing some ideas that frankly probably lead to more people leaving (like Epic TR ED XP Loss and a great deal of the newly restrictive and pigeonholing Enhancement pass).

    Things that IMO lead to more than normal attrition between updates:

    No End game (why are we leveling our characters to 25? there's nothing to do with them?)
    Bad vibes from Epic TR
    NO raids in the expansion (What are we going to do at level 28???? forget level 25 where we already don't have much to do)
    Significant build breakage in the Pass, mainly from the bad design choice of AP spent in tree coupled with needing to stuff PrE trees with unrelated old core enhancements, so there's enough AP to spend in trees to meet the bad prerequisite.

    In short DDO is in a binge/leave cycle of its own making, there's nothing to do, there's not much motivation to bother with ED's because of the scary things you guys talked about, there's an EP hanging over our characters heads (why make a new build when the Pass is going to break your multiclass splits and maybe even obviate your race choice?).

    IMO you need reasons/goals and things to achieve, and you need less meta gaming and more variety and chaos. Everyone knows what quest to do to get X item? Stop telling everyone, make items available in more than one quest, put in procedural content pathways and random traps... this game suffers from "farm efficiently until you get it then go do something else" there's nothing to USE IT ON, there's nothing to do (that is compelling or has relevant loot).

    "There's no there, there" - Endgame

    Revamp old endgame, redo the loot (don't spend lots of time changing the quests, just make their loot relevant), and put in heroic comms upgrades on all of it, make it scale up to level 28 (and then 30) like Cove does, then spend some time making a couple new "random element" Uber dungeons... in the Planes maybe something inspired by the Labyrinth of the Sundering books (Weiss and Hickman). Or Planescape! City of Doors indeed! What a great justification for a massive randomized procedural element dungeon. Add some stuff that doesn't have this meta gaming crutch that causes everyone to go away between updates. Put random secret doors and alcoves and chest false bottoms, in there and make people SEARCH for them and not while running, make people want to stick together like EE's because it's the best tactic to survive... go down steps and expect the mobs to get harder, use procedural mobs (See Diablo). Put Demi-gods in there are friends or foes depending on how the party handles them. Give us something to use those max TR's and ED abilities on... Cause right now there's no reason to bother playing past level 20...
    Last edited by IronClan; 08-07-2013 at 10:39 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by IronClan View Post
    You can't possibly design good gameplay if excitement unpredictability and unknowns are NOT ALLOWED because they confuse some players who want everything cut and dried and spelled out for them.

  2. #2
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    If they actually go ahead and make it so you lose all your epic destiny XP when you TR, more than half of the current player base will likely quit.

    Its bad enough losing all your raid completions and flags.

  3. #3
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    Given the point of reincarnation is that you start over--you do lose everything.

    They have tempered it though, by allowing you to keep your inherent bonuses-tomes--after TR.

    My hope is that we are given an option to either Heroic TR or Epic TR.

    If the Epic TR Past Life feats are well worth it, you will see folks drive toward that end. They will not quit.
    The devs also said that are adjusting the XP curve for reincarnation as well as introducing a ransack mechanic on XP. This will assure us that there will be XP to go around. All of this anyway is hypothetical at best.

    The game is approaching 8 years old. There is bound to be some decline no matter what is done.

    This is NOT a criticism of your ideas as you do have some good ones.

    I would add:

    1. Further unify the crafting system, and expand the Cannith crafting levels to include more of the collectibles, gems, etc. We need to see some of these "unfinished" projects come to fruition.

    2. I LOVE the Monster Manual! Further expand the Monster Manual to include more of the current monsters, and somehow program it to make it easier to just "fit in" the newer monsters as they are introduced. Then RE-introduce the chapters at a discount. (Maybe clip the TP rewards inside the manual (35 down to 10, 15 down to 5, etc), bump up the XP rewards). Despite the lower price volume of sales will make it worth it. Once the manual is well-fleshed out it will be a significant draw for VIP.

    3. Find a way, even in small ways, to further upgrade the graphics engine--so that there are more options for higher end PCs.
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  4. #4
    Community Member DynaTheCat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AnubisPrime View Post
    My hope is that we are given an option to either Heroic TR or Epic TR.
    See... from what I've read. This WAS the original idea.

    When you get to lvl 28 you have an additional option to epic TR. Or, you can still heroic TR. Just like at lvl 25 atm.

    So, you can choose to Epic TR (lose your ED xp and lvl xp) or Heroic TR (lose your current lvl xp but keep Epic Destiny Xp).

    The idea that Heroic TR reset Epic Destiny xp was perpetuated by some miss-informed people and just stuck.....

    Albeit, I would hate to lose my Epic Destiny xp. The whole discussion of epic TR was what perks you get for losing your epic destiny xp. The argument was not that all TRs make you lose your ED levels.

    I.E. one idea was you get 1 xp dot per epic destiny level you lost. So, in your Epic Tr life, you can start at a higher level than the current lvl 1 (when you Heroic TR).

    It was a bad idea... per level epic destiny xp to get 1 dot in lvl 1? Not even remotely worth it.

    Some people just freaked out and screamed "OMG, they are resetting all epic destinies!". Which... was not the case.....
    Last edited by DynaTheCat; 08-03-2013 at 09:13 PM.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by DynaTheCat View Post
    See... from what I've read. This WAS the original idea.

    When you get to lvl 28 you have an additional option to epic TR. Or, you can still heroic TR. Just like at lvl 25 atm.

    So, you can choose to Epic TR (lose your ED xp and lvl xp) or Heroic TR (lose your current lvl xp but keep Epic Destiny Xp).

    The idea that Heroic TR reset Epic Destiny xp was perpetuated by some miss-informed people and just stuck.....

    Albeit, I would hate to lose my Epic Destiny xp. The whole discussion of epic TR was what perks you get for losing your epic destiny xp. The argument was not that all TRs make you lose your ED levels.

    I.E. one idea was you get 1 xp dot per epic destiny level you lost. So, in your Epic Tr life, you can start at a higher level than the current lvl 1 (when you Heroic TR).

    It was a bad idea... per level epic destiny xp to get 1 dot in lvl 1? Not even remotely worth it.

    Some people just freaked out and screamed "OMG, they are resetting all epic destinies!". Which... was not the case.....
    I'm guessing you didn't read the dev post on the issue as that isn't anywhere near what it said.

    As in:
    With any type of True Reincarnation, all Epic Destiny Levels earned will give you an advantage when you rebuild your character, by converting Destiny Levels into Heroic Ranks. Every level of Epic Destiny you have earned will count toward ranks earned for your next life. (Epic Destinies will not carry over to your next life, except those destinies that you have bonded in previous lives with ED TR.)
    Last edited by Gremmlynn; 08-03-2013 at 10:05 PM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by DynaTheCat View Post
    Some people just freaked out and screamed "OMG, they are resetting all epic destinies!". Which... was not the case.....
    As the poster above me note, it indeed was the case in the original post form producer glin. The original plan was that heroic TR's would lose ED XP but "gain" it back on a per rank bases..so if you had ten ranks of ED's filled, you would lose the ED XP and gain 10 ranks in heroic levels.

    There have been no posts updating us on Epic TR's so what they have planned still is anyone guess.

    Quote Originally Posted by Glin View Post

    Heroic True Reincarnation


    • Heroic TR remains primarily unchanged at level 20 or above
    • Grants a Class Past Life Feat that can stack up to 3x
    • Adds 2 build points up to a 36 point build
    • Benefits from the Epic Advantage if you earn Epic Destinies before TR (below)




    Epic Advantage


    With any type of True Reincarnation, all Epic Destiny Levels earned will give you an advantage when you rebuild your character, by converting Destiny Levels into Heroic Ranks. Every level of Epic Destiny you have earned will count toward ranks earned for your next life. (Epic Destinies will not carry over to your next life, except those destinies that you have bonded in previous lives with ED TR.)
    Last edited by Drwaz99; 08-03-2013 at 10:17 PM.

  7. #7
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    1 ED level is no way worth just 1 heroic rank, especially not early ones which take very little XP each to gain.

  8. #8
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    Default I am also annoyed over

    The loot tables changing ALL the time.

    I was just getting used to the newest batch of loot and knowing what to use at what levels, but that is all changing again is what it seemed to me.

    I could be wrong. It has been two weeks since I was on Lammania as I am a Crystal Cove addict.
    April 2013 - Manager Meeting - New Forums, WOW!! We just had over 90% new players join!!

  9. #9
    Community Member Ungood's Avatar
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    Not to sound snide or anything, but, it's their game really, we just get to play it.

    When we don't like what they have done, it's time to move on and play something more our style or pace, or maybe just take a break from MMO's in general or whatever.

    Now while granted, I believe they have make some really poor judgment calls, and done things that were just outright alienating. But it is still their game, as much as there are those that hate a change there will be those that love it.

    In the end, and I realize I am saying this twice, but it is their game. As such they can do what they want, and what they think is best with it. Our only choice in the matter is if we want to continue to keep playing or not.

  10. #10
    Community Member Teh_Troll's Avatar
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    Que up the "all is fine" fanbois . . .

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ungood View Post
    Not to sound snide or anything, but, it's their game really, we just get to play it.

    When we don't like what they have done, it's time to move on and play something more our style or pace, or maybe just take a break from MMO's in general or whatever.

    Now while granted, I believe they have make some really poor judgment calls, and done things that were just outright alienating. But it is still their game, as much as there are those that hate a change there will be those that love it.

    In the end, and I realize I am saying this twice, but it is their game. As such they can do what they want, and what they think is best with it. Our only choice in the matter is if we want to continue to keep playing or not.
    It's their game, and if they want to swan dive off a cliff that's their call. There's nothing wrong with players trying to warn them about the sharp rocks at the bottom though.

  12. #12
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    Where did the OP get the login graph? Is it official? Or some kind of interpolated data?

  13. #13
    Community Member Ironclans_evil_twin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ungood View Post
    Not to sound snide or anything, but, it's their game really, we just get to play it.

    When we don't like what they have done, it's time to move on and play something more our style or pace, or maybe just take a break from MMO's in general or whatever.

    Now while granted, I believe they have make some really poor judgment calls, and done things that were just outright alienating. But it is still their game, as much as there are those that hate a change there will be those that love it.

    In the end, and I realize I am saying this twice, but it is their game. As such they can do what they want, and what they think is best with it. Our only choice in the matter is if we want to continue to keep playing or not.
    This doesn't mean we should just fatalistically accept everything and give up or move on without comment. I'm sorry but there are choices they have made that backfired and Turbine reversed or mitigated them (offer wall for example), not a lot of them admittedly but enough to hope that if the community expresses constructive criticism (notice how I refrained from calling Mr. Rowan names, or railing against the faceless "Dev's" by calling them disrespectful things or insinuating they can't do anything right?) they will listen, they still may go ahead with things like for example the EP because of their time investment, or because they disagree with me or you, or even because some Suit and Tie guy says they have to. But it's still worth trying.

    The pass for example: a large portion of their motivation seem to be making the game easier to understand for new players (just read the preview survey's, they were 90% about "do you think this is easier to understand" and only about 10% about "do you think this is fun/good/mistake". So of course they're probably going to ignore Veterans like myself pleading with them not to make the mistake of keeping AP spent in tree and the fluffed and Stuffed PrE's that are only like that because they've painted themselves into a design corner with the AP spent in tree requirements. Despite the fact that this is the one and only thing that actually breaks lives builds en mass...

    Obviously (at least from what I can glean) new player experience (Holding their hands with AP spending requirements) is more important to Turbine than avoiding breaking current characters. So we're not going to get any compromise there they seem to have made that obvious in Dev Chats, even if they wont actually engage in a dialog with us over that issue (believe me I've tried, I've got a thread on Lam forums openly asking them for a dialog, and they are ignoring it because changing it is not on the table). But that doesn't mean we should sit back and not complain about how the system works or what it breaks. If nothing else they may at least lessen the blow. Or they may go into this update knowing that much of the player base feel strongly about it and they might have to change that rule quickly to avoid a SWG's like Mass exodus. Not that there's a lot of mass left to exit

    With nearing 50% less player activity since eGH DDO is on life support at best... For gods sake just look at how close the big servers are getting to Wayfinders activity levels. Nearing 10,000 logins with Wayfinder nearing 4500... I am sure Turbine wont comment on this, but they have to know that if this Expansion/Pass go off poorly and it chases players away the game is in real jeopardy of having Wayfinder like population across the servers. Dieing from pure innertia of a grouping focused game with no groups to join. It went from give or take 20k down to around 10k already (Epic GH to now)... it's only half that to get down to Wayfinder like levels of activity. Granted the Expansion will bump us up for a while... but with nothing to do at 28 and the only two relevant raids left behind by level 28 loot, it wont be long before we're plummeting back down to the current levels... where's it hard to find a PUG at 10PM on a Friday night. Or hey maybe worse... a couple thousand lower and we're talking Wayfinder activity levels... and if you've ever logged into Wayfinder you know what that looks like.
    Last edited by Ironclans_evil_twin; 08-04-2013 at 12:53 AM.

  14. #14
    Community Member Ungood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Varus View Post
    It's their game, and if they want to swan dive off a cliff that's their call. There's nothing wrong with players trying to warn them about the sharp rocks at the bottom though.
    You are 100% correct, in both those points. It is their ship, and if they want to crash it into the light house or take heed of the warning lights, that is their call.

    We as players can express our dismay with their decisions, of which I have in the past, but we should also realize that it is not our choice to make how the game goes, or what the future holds for DDO.

    We can only control our own reaction to their actions, for some it will be to be to spend more because they love it so, others will storm off to another game in disgust, but all we can dictate is how we handle their changes.

    Case in point: The augment sockets, while nice, they did not give a means to just auto-upgrade any of my named gear, so if I wanted the newer better stuff, I needed to re-grind again. Well I was not too keen on that, I farmed the gear once, I was not inclined to do it twice for the same toon, so I opted to just ignore it.

    Thus my gear is older and does not have sockets, and strangely, I am ok with that, it's less money to Turbine, as I am not moved to buy their special stuff from the DDO store, nor am I moved to buy their new content to farm some special socket. That is how I opted to handle the change. I would wager that others have chosen to handle it differently.

    In that regard, to each their own.

    Game on and have fun.

  15. #15
    Hatchery Hero BOgre's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rayworks View Post
    Where did the OP get the login graph? Is it official? Or some kind of interpolated data?
    http://ddoracle.com/

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    I know its from the oracle, but where does the data come from? Turbine isn't publishing it.

    My point is "how trustworthy is it"?

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    Community Member Vint's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rayworks View Post
    I know its from the oracle, but where does the data come from? Turbine isn't publishing it.

    My point is "how trustworthy is it"?
    I think you can trust this just as much as you see with your own eyes. LFM's on Thelanis have been okay, but no where near what they were a few months ago. You can say that more are soloing or staying in channel/guild, but this does not make it true. Even if it is true is is not helping get new people into the game.

    I can agree with Ungood that it is their bus. I like watching train wrecks, but not when I am part of them though.
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    Quote Originally Posted by rayworks View Post
    I know its from the oracle, but where does the data come from? Turbine isn't publishing it.

    My point is "how trustworthy is it"?
    I found some information about my guild and it's not accurate. Garbage in garbage out.

    Of course I don't know how accurate other parts of the system are.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teh_Troll View Post
    Que up the "all is fine" fanbois . . .
    Some of us like the changes.

    The only thing here that remotely bothers me was the ORIGINAL epic TR idea, but the last post in that thread from a Dev made it sound very much like the idea had been scrapped, or if they were to implement it in that manner, we would have our current destinies grandfathered in.

    Other things in the OP seem to be confused.... Like redoing old endgame loot. That loot isn't endgame anymore. It's now gear that is 8 levels below cap. It's like level 12 gear when the cap was 20. Epic quests aren't endgame. They're simply quests above level 20.

    Further, the lack of "endgame" content. DDO's endgame is TRing. This is by design and is caused by a lack of PVP in the game and Turbine's inability to release content quickly. It's sort of at the point that if you don't like Turbine's idea of endgame, it's probably best to just leave the game, instead of mislabeling content, endgame, and then demanding Turbine act as though it is actually endgame.

  20. #20
    Community Member Ungood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ironclans_evil_twin View Post
    This doesn't mean we should just fatalistically accept everything
    Not in any way to be rude, but you say this like you think we have a choice in the matter.

    We maybe able to comment, even outrage on the forums, but in the end, the only impact we have on this game is the impact they let us have. The things we changed or the things they rescinded due to our outburst were things they were willing to let us affect to start with.

    Case in point. The change to Wail, was discussed with the players, we were somewhat allowed to affect the outcome of what was changed and how it would be changed, where other things like the nerf to Fire-wall was just done and we were left to deal with it.

    In the end, DDO is a product, and as long as you play and pay for it, then you have put your stamp of approval on what they have made. Not until the day you walk out the door, and say "I have had enough of this" do your actions say otherwise and in the business world, it's money and actions that talk, not words.

    The dive in numbers might be players finally making their feelings known and realizing the truth, I mean, what has been, 8 years of players screaming threats of leaving and cursing that DDO will die away, perhaps some of them finally got the brass to follow through with their threat.

    Once that happens, it's turbines move.

    Honestly, if they wanted to hear what we have to say, they would ask us, like they have in the past. They have the Mournlands, they have Lammy, they have players talking to them, giving info, and I would like to hope that the Lammy and the Mournlands, are as diverse as Live with many view points and approaches, I don't think they are as I think only people with a lot of free time and a borderline addiction to the game get involved in either of those so the views are all going to be skewed in that direction, and that means Turbine can only give their input so much weight either, as they most likely only represent a very small demographic of the game. But I would like to hope they are a diverse group. Perhaps it is not a lack of input that is the problem, but a lack of getting diverse input.

    Case in point: Take your open letter, there are some that agree with what you have said, some that disagree, some might even think what you said would be worse for the game then what they are doing already. It's a diverse group, a one persons feelings are just that, one persons feelings. Who really represents the masses? Can turbine even know? Maybe that is why they take surveys, and ask questions to the general populace because perhaps the formites really are not as informative of what the game overall needs as we might like to think.

    In a twist if irony, I have seen some ideas I have put up a while ago getting put into some contemporary games, it seems I was not alone in wanting those things or thinking that they would be good for the players as a whole, Turbine was not responsive in providing them, as such, some other game made their players happy with the ideas. I am sure other people can say the same thing I have just said, as a good idea is a good idea and almost never limited to just one person coming up with it.

    Anyway, I would say that we should try to just enjoy the game and let the devs worry about the design part, if they ask for our input, then kudos. If not, then such is life.

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