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  1. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cordovan View Post
    Thanks for the feedback! The journals are intended to be written in a way that they can be discovered out-of-order, which is why they don't (for the most part) contain a linear narrative. I'm hearing that people like the lore and voice work, but have some discovery issues with them (clicking on them, not seeing clues as to their location in the explorer journal, some visibility issues, etc.) Much appreciated!
    This echoes my feelings. I think scrolls and messages made sense for the Cannith area as an interior as scrolls left behind by all the parties involved, and concievably for Wheloon too. And they're a great way for voicework and more background characterisation. But for outdoor areas like King's forest it didn't make a great deal of sense that Elminster would scatter his conversation to you across the landscape like easter eggs. That's the kind of place where you want to discover landmarks and features- which also calls attention to the wonderfully atmospheric and textured map design work in the sprawling landscapes.

    I think it'd also be really cool if we could reread/review/rehear journals/messages/missives already discovered through our journal completion log, rather than tracking it down again. It would add to the collection aspect I think. I'm not sure how technically feasible rehearing it is (I guess the sound files are loaded into memory when we enter the wilderness) but the text seems like it would be doable.

  2. #42
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    I prefer the old, but the new has its moments.

    King's Forest is the new at its absolute worst. 40 messages, scattered randomly as people have already discussed, and IMO not one of them was worth hearing!. Well, maybe the one about cats in Cormyr or something.

    Elminster made me run all over the &*&## forest tracking down what he had to tell me, and all the 'lore' I learned from it could have been squeezed in maybe three conversation boxes. By the time I got halfway done I was calling him "Old Windbag".

    Please, never do that again.

    Personally I found the GH ones much more interesting, enlightening, and worth hearing, although I can understand why some felt the voice acting was overdone. And the Cannith ones... I'm one of the few people who actually went back and read the messages in order to get the full 'narrative', because unlike in King's Forest, there was actually a narrative to get.

    But none of them compared to the best of the old system. It will be a long time before I forget wandering around Searing Heights, having defogged every inch of the map that I could reach on foot, trying to figure out how I had missed an explorer about 'the lone tree', and realizing that there was a single tree out on an unclimbable hilltop below me. But how to get to it? Figuring that one out was a true light-bulb moment -- especially since I didn't have a permanent FF item yet!

    And the views from some of the old-style explorers are the best scenery in the whole game.

    Not to mention that in many cases, a single one of the old-style explorers contains just as much 'lore' as two or three of the newer ones. Often they will be a little self-contained story, like the thief cave in the Cerulean Hills, or the Temple to Arawai, or the Vineyard.

  3. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gizeh View Post
    snip

    In my opinion the new explorers would be a lot more fun if they were named like the old ones, so that we had clues (however obvious or cryptic). For example "Eastern Aqueduct Memorial Pillar" (Vale of Twilight) or "Dead End" (Menechtarun) give you at least a rough idea what to look for, "#10" (any of the new wilderness areas) not so much.

    Also, I'd like to have an explorer journal for the new areas. As I know I will not get the story in the correct order anyway I don't really read them or listen to them, but if each entry was put into the journal once we found it we'd have the complete story in the correct order once we have all explorers.
    Agree, the names help a lot to find them AND make it more fun to do so. Your idea of adding them to the journal is a really nice one. Sure not many people are going to read it more than once, but you could hide some really nice things in there for everyone to find!

  4. #44
    Community Member FranOhmsford's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsquishwizzy View Post

    Yeah, but the upside is that you don’t have to really go far to do slayers.
    I simply can't bring myself NOT to do a Full Instance when Slaying - It seems to defeat the object.

    3 Barrel is a Much Larger Explorer than Ataraxia yet I can Clear the ENTIRE INSTANCE - 330+ Kills - In 45 Minutes!
    I regularly lose my Ship Buffs while in Ataraxia so over an hour to clear a small zone with just over 200 mobs!

    Quote Originally Posted by bsquishwizzy View Post
    And rusties are primarily centered around that one cave too, which is rather isolated.
    Rusties move each instance - Sometimes you get loads of them, other times none!

    They also spread from The Lighthouse Quest all the way to the Rare Rusty's Cave - That's a Large Zone!


    Quote Originally Posted by bsquishwizzy View Post
    The Scrag are working on conjunction with the Druegar, though, this doesn’t fit well with Wildmen on the island.
    In your opinion - Not sure if you got this from the NPC but I see it more as the Duergar having come to the Island and Enslaved the Scrag and Wildmen.

    What gets me is why with all that manpower the Duergar haven't wiped out the Rusties - Direct Competition for Adamantine Ore {the Reason the Duergar are on Ataraxia in the First Place!}


    Quote Originally Posted by bsquishwizzy View Post
    Yeah, but scorps in general are annoying in this regard. And they are just as annoying in Vale and 3BC.
    Not even close!

    3 Barrel it's very obvious where to run to wake up every scorp with NO back and Forth - Undead in the water is a different matter but that's a quick run too and the water there doesn't slow you down either!

    Vale - Scorps are rare enough not to be an issue - Finding Spider-Ants isn't that hard either as they come to you from some distance away!

    Quote Originally Posted by bsquishwizzy View Post
    I have two toons on their second life, and I ran the island for all of the explorers and some slayers. I developed a newfound like for that area. It’s not too stretched out, it is quite beautiful visually (not as nice as 3BC, though), it has some pretty diverse mobs, and a couple of cool almost mini-quests in it. This is on top of the three quests (one of them with a really nasty end-fight) that are fairly easy to get to.
    What Mini Quests?

    Also there's only 2 quests in Ataraxia NOT 3!

    Quote Originally Posted by bsquishwizzy View Post
    I think this is where the issue really is – you’re fairly big into slayers. I’m not.

    I mean, I like Sands, especially when I ran my ranger out there. I used lots of stealth, and tactics – Sands was a blast no matter how you sliced it. But getting to a quest? In a PUG? Major, major PITA. I STILL don’t know how to easily get to quests like ADQ and Chains of Flame, and that’s even with a map available. The area is huge. If was a pure slayer thing, I’m sure I’d love Sands. Orchard is kinda the same way.

    I sorta like Sorrowdusk too, because of the map layout and diversity, but again that’s another one where dealing with the quests is a PITA. Likewise restless Isles.
    Sands - Getting to ADQ is simple IF you go through the Tunnel NOT all the way round the Windlashers and Scorrow - Same for OoB
    Getting to CoF also isn't as hard as people make out - The First few times I went out to Sands were a nightmare BUT one night I took it upon myself to clear the entire instance solo {it took me 4 hrs plus - I wasn't in a rush}.
    That Night I memorized Sands!

    Pugs should remember that it may take a bit more time BUT killing those mobs that are on the way not only helps those who are newer to the area BUT also moves your Slayer Count up!
    Complaining about someone not knowing the way yet being already in the quest despite the group not being marked as IP BYOH, Zerg etc. is also a No-No!

    Honestly there's not even that many mobs on the way to CoF so long as you don't go off the path.
    I find it much much harder to get to PoP without having the Tele Spot or to Rit Sac in Vale {bleedin' Air Eles and Trippy Lions} than to Chains of Flame!


    Yes I loathe the Undead Zone around Wiz King {Rare Runs get you about 50 kills - I rarely bother running back and forth to get the rest of the Undead after the first two runs thru the Zone - It just takes too long!}.
    BUT
    The Gnolls and Scorrow more than make up for the Undead Issue!
    AND
    You can fill out your Undead Slayer while Farming RoSS!

    Quote Originally Posted by bsquishwizzy View Post
    Fens is almost useless when it comes to S/R/E. The amount of running to upgrade items makes them useless by the time you’re ready to use them. The mob counts are low, the variety is kinda meh. The quests are fun to run, though.
    Fathom the Depths is a great quest - I'm really not a fan of the other 3 though!

    The Mob Count's not actually that bad - The Max Slayer is the Issue - IF Red Fens was a 1500 {or even a 3000} slayer then I'd make sure to clear it every time!
    It requiring 7,500 to max However just leaves me saying "Heck No!" and leaving it at 750 more often than not {usually have all the Rares before hitting 750 slayer!

    Quote Originally Posted by bsquishwizzy View Post
    My biggest issue with Ataraxia is that they need to expand it a bit – maybe add a couple more quests. It has no named items, and no other reason to go there other than those two quests and that it is F2P. You may be right about the slayers, but I don’t really concentrate on that too much myself.
    More Quests in Ataraxia would be great BUT it's such a small island that it already seems overpopulated!

    Adding a couple of named items to the rares a la 3 Barrel would be a better way to get people running it more.

    Possibilities:

    -Scrag Troll rare drops Min Lvl 12 named goggles of the same quality as the new 3 Barrel items.
    -Duergar Sharpshooter drops Min Lvl 12 named Bracers.
    -Wildman drops Min Lvl 12 named Trinket
    -Duergar Overseer drops Min Lvl 12 named Hammer {Warhammer of course} that does Piercing Dmg as well as Bludgeoning as it has a Pick Head on the Backside!
    Also - 1.5W, Adamantine, Shatter 10, Destruction, Shock III.
    He uses this Hammer/Pick against us!

    Quote Originally Posted by Texlaw1992 View Post
    Red Fens actually was my favorite slayer area - I went from levels 11 to almost 15 just doing slayers and rares in Fens (yes, did all of them over a period of 2 months or so).
    Red Fens is MAX Lvl 13 - Once I'm self capped 15 and have to take 14 there's really no point going back there - I try to get 1500 before that happens but what with Ataraxia, Restless Isles and Sands being the same level I usually end up with 750+ and go back only to grab the 1500 slayer {EXACTLY 1500 if at all possible so it looks good in the Compendium} when I get the time.


    Quote Originally Posted by Texlaw1992 View Post
    The advantage of the old system is that you could never miss an explorer point for all practical purposes - as long as you went to a "fog of war" area on the map, you'd find it virtually automatically (exception was the Lone Tree or whatever in Searing Heights which required feather fall). The new ones can be missed even if you're standing on top of them, although using Q and circling around usually does the trick.
    Korthos - Top of Aquaduct above Necro's Doom counts as hidden away.
    Tangleroot - Having to go all the way to the edge of the broken bridge outside the Ogre Cave.
    3 Barrel - Super Swim to Hidden Treasure and Sunken Ship next to Dancing Kobbies.
    Searing Heights - You mentioned the Lone Tree.
    Sorrowdusk - Rhath's Rare Spot and Explorer.
    Ataraxia - The Lighthouse - Again having to go all the way to the edge to get it {unless of course you leave the quest by the ladders and jump off the top without FF on.
    Restless Isles - Needing an item from a Quest {Slavers} just to get the Last Explorer {Never mind the fact that the Rare Wildman isn't Guaranteed to be there so multiple runs of Slavers to get more items is expected!}.
    Sands - The Overlook by ADQ
    Vale - You know which one!

  5. #45
    Community Member bsquishwizzy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FranOhmsford View Post
    I simply can't bring myself NOT to do a Full Instance when Slaying - It seems to defeat the object.

    3 Barrel is a Much Larger Explorer than Ataraxia yet I can Clear the ENTIRE INSTANCE - 330+ Kills - In 45 Minutes!
    I regularly lose my Ship Buffs while in Ataraxia so over an hour to clear a small zone with just over 200 mobs!
    I think probably the reason is that, with a couple of exceptions, the actual mobs are spread out in Araraxia, whereas in 3BC they are more clustered.


    Quote Originally Posted by FranOhmsford View Post
    Rusties move each instance - Sometimes you get loads of them, other times none! They also spread from The Lighthouse Quest all the way to the Rare Rusty's Cave - That's a Large Zone!
    Strange. I’ve always found them around that one cave.


    Quote Originally Posted by FranOhmsford View Post
    3 Barrel it's very obvious where to run to wake up every scorp with NO back and Forth - Undead in the water is a different matter but that's a quick run too and the water there doesn't slow you down either!
    True about the water. And maybe you have a point about spawning the scorps. But for the most part, scorps are just plain annoying anyways.

    Quote Originally Posted by FranOhmsford View Post
    Vale - Scorps are rare enough not to be an issue.
    They are all over the Devil area, the zone where the cave with the bats are, and interspersed with air elementals near the spider lair rare. They are hardly rare.

    Quote Originally Posted by FranOhmsford View Post
    What Mini Quests?
    The cave with the Rust Monster rare, there is another cave with Scrags in it (and a Scrag rare I believe), and another one with the spiders and a spider rare. They are not quests per se (rare encounters), but they are a tad longer than your usual “enter cave kill rare” encounter in many quests.

    Quote Originally Posted by FranOhmsford View Post
    Also there's only 2 quests in Ataraxia NOT 3!
    Yes. Typed the wrong number.

  6. #46
    Community Member Ungood's Avatar
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    For me it's mixed.

    For some areas the run by really works best. Mainly, in outdoor zones.

    It makes sense that I am exploring, I am not following someone else, or looking for their journals, or any of that, this is an open area, and I am going on an adventure. The run by gave that feeling.

    Case in point, I am looking the zone Giant Hold (heroic), this was brilliant, as a first time player you could almost guess "Oh look at that huge crystal giant, I bet it's an explorer" if you were right, you go over there and get a message "You can almost feel the power of the blows from the long frozen statues" and that is what it about, exploring the zone. If you were wrong, you explored the zone just that bit more, it made sense, and did what it was intended to do. An Open area explorer is supposed to be: "Here look at this!"

    In house Cannith, it made sense, because I was going into a factory a place or work where people have gone before me, I am not exploring a wild open range, I am clearing out an infested building, I expect to see notes describing what is going on, maybe messages left behind to warn me and the like.

    Then I go to Kings forest and find these snowflakes with messages to me.. HUH? What you are tryign to tell me is that this Elimister guy ran around this area before me and left all these markers for me to go find? Really? Really?

    So in some cases the run by makes more sense, in others the click makes more sense. The idea is to use the one the makes the most sense in the situation you are putting it in.

  7. #47
    Community Member FranOhmsford's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsquishwizzy View Post
    I think probably the reason is that, with a couple of exceptions, the actual mobs are spread out in Araraxia, whereas in 3BC they are more clustered.
    Nah - The Mobs in 3 Barrel are pretty spread out over a much larger zone so that can't be the reason!

    More like to get the 200 in Ataraxia you have to go hunting for invisible {till u step on em} mobs, you have to go into ankle deep water that slows you down, you have to fight annoying break your weapons Rust Monsters, Razor Cats, Duergar, Multiple Regenning Scrags, Trippy Mutts {and those Razor Cats again} and of course - Scorpions!

    Whereas the 3 Barrel Slayer is much less irritating {though it does have it's moments} in the main.

    And NO this ISN'T a Difficulty issue!

    Quote Originally Posted by bsquishwizzy View Post
    Strange. I’ve always found them around that one cave.
    Coincidence - Rust Monsters and Scorps have random spawn points in Ataraxia - Each instant can be different.

    Quote Originally Posted by bsquishwizzy View Post
    True about the water. And maybe you have a point about spawning the scorps. But for the most part, scorps are just plain annoying anyways.
    Can't disagree here.

    Quote Originally Posted by bsquishwizzy View Post
    They are all over the Devil area, the zone where the cave with the bats are, and interspersed with air elementals near the spider lair rare. They are hardly rare.
    I was only thinking of the Lamannia Scorps - Forgot about the little Red Fiendish Variety!

    Quote Originally Posted by bsquishwizzy View Post
    The cave with the Rust Monster rare, there is another cave with Scrags in it (and a Scrag rare I believe), and another one with the spiders and a spider rare. They are not quests per se (rare encounters), but they are a tad longer than your usual “enter cave kill rare” encounter in many quests.
    If the Rust Monster Rare is in there'll be a Rusty or two in the bottom of that cave - If he's not in Scrags will be in there instead.

    The actual Scrag Cave does have the Scrag Rare yes!
    And the Spider Cave is there too
    Plus you forgot the Duergar and Wildman Caves.

    Honestly though I'm not seeing them being longer than for instance:

    Trog and Ogre Caves in Tangleroot
    Quickfoot and Orc Waterfall Caves in Cerulean Hills {I'll give you the Orc Cave by The Captives}
    Fire Ele Cave and Drow Archer Tunnel in Searing Heights {I'll give you Guck's Cave}
    Multiple Ogre and Troll Caves, Hell Hound Cave, Tunnel to Upper Sorrowdusk and Wight's Lair in Sorrowdusk
    Multiple Tombs in Orchard

    And not to mention Threnal's Giant Caves which actually are Quests!

  8. #48
    Community Member bartharok's Avatar
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    I agree with 3bc being a lot of fun, and ataraxia being a pain in the posterior.
    Dystopia = utopia achieved

  9. #49
    Community Member bsquishwizzy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ungood View Post
    In house Cannith, it made sense, because I was going into a factory a place or work where people have gone before me, I am not exploring a wild open range, I am clearing out an infested building, I expect to see notes describing what is going on, maybe messages left behind to warn me and the like.

    Then I go to Kings forest and find these snowflakes with messages to me.. HUH? What you are tryign to tell me is that this Elimister guy ran around this area before me and left all these markers for me to go find? Really? Really?
    I’m glad I’m not the only one who has this opinion (as I am seeing a couple of others that express the same opinion). I like certain aspects of the King’s Forest explorer – namely where the explorers are situated – but there are way too many messages to keep track of in a single setting, and the fact that there are so many of them means that a lot of people will not piece together whatever messages or clues they contain.

    Cannith, however, you’ve got maybe 12 of them in a single area, they are written in a way where they can be read in a non-linear fashion, and they are somewhat interesting to someone with even a casual interest in the backstory.

    I personally believe that eGH suffers from the same problem. That and the fact that Truth sounds like Sniedly Whiplash…

  10. #50
    Community Member sephiroth1084's Avatar
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    I like both, though I hate having to find the new ones.

    I enjoy the GM narration, backstory and such for the new ones (especially Llolth's!), but I much prefer having to look for a landmark than some hidden trinket. Being able to suss out a location from the brief description was helpful, and for many of the locations, you could tell even from far off whether it was likely to be an explorer or not. These? Not so much.

    I'd prefer a mix of both: some locations that are simply landmarks to be found, with a few missives or whatever scattered around the environment with some clues on their locations (they should be in spots that make some sense). For instance, the weapons dropped in eGH could be at locations of battles or major deaths with some geographical indication of the general location.

    The old style points definitely need to have their trigger areas increased in size by a little bit, however.
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  11. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsquishwizzy View Post
    I’m glad I’m not the only one who has this opinion (as I am seeing a couple of others that express the same opinion). I like certain aspects of the King’s Forest explorer – namely where the explorers are situated – but there are way too many messages to keep track of in a single setting, and the fact that there are so many of them means that a lot of people will not piece together whatever messages or clues they contain.

    Cannith, however, you’ve got maybe 12 of them in a single area, they are written in a way where they can be read in a non-linear fashion, and they are somewhat interesting to someone with even a casual interest in the backstory.

    I personally believe that eGH suffers from the same problem. That and the fact that Truth sounds like Sniedly Whiplash…
    I'd like to see both types in Explorers. But like many things in the past two years, the Devs have ditched the old simply for the sake of ditching the old, instead of incorporating the new along side with the old.

    The main drawback with the Message explorers is that they are just numbers. I don't care if you only have 12, as found in Cannith and High Road, the naming of messages as a simple numerical sequence makes them very unfriendly to players.

  12. #52
    Community Member Ungood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsquishwizzy View Post
    I’m glad I’m not the only one who has this opinion (as I am seeing a couple of others that express the same opinion). I like certain aspects of the King’s Forest explorer – namely where the explorers are situated – but there are way too many messages to keep track of in a single setting, and the fact that there are so many of them means that a lot of people will not piece together whatever messages or clues they contain.

    Cannith, however, you’ve got maybe 12 of them in a single area, they are written in a way where they can be read in a non-linear fashion, and they are somewhat interesting to someone with even a casual interest in the backstory.

    I personally believe that eGH suffers from the same problem. That and the fact that Truth sounds like Sniedly Whiplash…
    Agreed, Moderation on "Story Bits" is really important as well.

  13. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by danotmano1998 View Post

    Personally, I liked the older version better, but I enjoy the additional lore (and voiceovers!) that come with the newer way of doing things. What are your thoughts?
    I'm not opposed to the new way but I kind of like the old way better because the landmarks were more distinct so it was easier to learn them. The new areas tend to be short on truly distinctive landmarks. It's hard to tell where you are in the area just by looking around.
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  14. #54
    The Hatchery zwiebelring's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bsquishwizzy View Post
    Then I think they did their job.

    That sorta ties into the master Artificer, and LoB, as well as some of the narrative of the explorer items. The Bladesworn are cold, calculating, and almost emotionless.
    That particular atmosphere is different to just the dullness of House C manufactory. With the design of Demon Web, Underdark (which also feels empty and does not offer much interior except rocks) and especially Wheloon prison, the manufactory is too clean for being a place of guerilla WF ambushes, slaughter and grinding wheels. It is too clean for its context.


    Kings Forest, on the other hand, was also done with a similar moodscape plan. It seems warm and inviting – maybe like the Orchard once was before the Abbot appeared. Yet once you get to the Drow area you begin to see the blight.

    Honestly – and I don’t give the people who made DDO a lot of credit – but places like Cannith Manufactury, Kings Forest, the Underdark, 3BC, High Road, and even the Cerulean hills are brilliant in how they were designed, and implemented. All of these are created to invoke a specific atmosphere, have very environment-centric explorers (the letters in Cannith I thought were really well done and are among the few that I actually listened to when I was exploring), even though I wasn’t a fan of the way the explorers were done in Kings forest. I did really like how they did the rares, however. You could run that area for hours just for the rares.

    But the theme is that they are all unique, they all play off a specific mood or atmosphere, and do so rather well. You may not like the fact that Cannith is cold and uninviting, but that’s how the area is SUPPOSED to be. And that is exactly what they were going for.
    I have a similar opinion except Cannith manufactory. Won't give credits to the design there.
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