Just pug, it's like a box of chocolates only full of retards.
Just pug, it's like a box of chocolates only full of retards.
Moral of this short story is: friendly fire is overrated in D&D.
*Crazy prestige class for dwarf: wizard in fullplate.
Whenever discussions of difficulty come up some variation of this idea is always put forth.. basically "you can always artificially inflate the difficulty on your own if you like, so there is no reason to implement anything like that in game". Yes that's true if you only solo or if you can find like minded folks who want the exact same thing you do and can be reasonably relied upon to follow the same rules. That's how perma-death groups have existed. In practice though, this idea doesn't work over any larger scale.
Like it or not, most people follow the path of least resistance. That means finding the quickest & easiest way to get whatever loot/xp/etc they want. "Fine" you say, "Who cares? You don't have to be like them". The problem is I do have to group with them if I want to group at all since the number of folks willing to artificially limit themselves are so small I'll never find anyone to group with. I don't just want uber hard solo difficulty, I want uber hard groups & raids that require the best gear/strategy/skill. The only way people will run those is if it's encouraged as a game mechanic. I would run them regardless but I am not a raid unto myself, I need others to run with and there just aren't enough players that will bother on their own.
There was very clear evidence of this when MotU launched. Before that our server had several large raid guilds running raids almost constantly, each guild running multiple raids per day almost every day of the week. These were elite or epic raids and there were many, many raids to run since even very old content still had useful loot. There was only 1 epic difficulty and 1 way to get that loot so everyone was heavily encouraged to run things on the "hardest difficulty" by the game mechanics.. and they did. Even new players could get in since we always pug'd a couple spots when there weren't enough guildies on and got to know many new players that way. I never saw the horror some folks complained about here about new players getting berated or kicked, new players got a nice little tour of anything they hadn't done before and most did just fine. I saw the same thing with other raid guilds so it wasn't just us.
Then MotU launched.. and within a short while most of those guilds became inactive/defunct/etc. There seemed to be a number of factors (obsoleting old raid loot, destinies being too powerful, lvl cap with only 1 new raid, etc) but I think the introduction of EN/EH/EE division is the biggest contributor. Suddenly everything became fractured. The loot mechanics no longer encouraged running things on "the hardest difficulty" but instead running things on "the quickest/easiest difficulty" to guarantee a completion. Having the same loot attainable on all difficulties was a terrible mistake and led to everyone running everything on easy mode almost exclusively. Half the people I knew got bored and stopped playing, some left to other guilds, some just ran stuff on normal with pugs since it was all you needed. The entire raid culture just died seemingly overnight.
After a while they changed the loot mechanics slightly with the new packs adding different loot for each difficulty. I thought this might help a bit, though there really should be more difference in quality between each tier. It actually did encourage us to run things on EE somewhat and I saw a resurgence of EE play afterwards. Oddly though they opted for an upgrade path with the new Gianthold / FoT raid.. again heavily encouraging everyone to run things on easier difficulties and making it impossible for me to get anyone to run the raid on EE. The most irritating part of this pack was the fact that nobody was willing to run the raid on EE but everyone wanted to run all the quests and especially Tor on EE.. since the loot was better and that was the only way to get it. People are heavily motivated by the in game mechanics.
How do you fix this? The easiest way is to just follow the pattern you started of having separate loot for each difficulty but extend that to raids. FoT is not the right way to do this.. there should be much better incentives to run harder difficulties. Lord of Blades was a better method - making normal difficulty viable but requiring harder difficulties for each upgrade. Of course now it's all obsolete but that's another issue.
That all being said, the biggest problem with "difficulty" in this game continues to be the terrible AI and lack of parity PC's have with NPC's. Adding uber abilities for players as Destinies or Enhancements is fine so long as NPC's get the same benefits. There should not be any such thing as a "trash mob" at higher lvls. Every enemy should have every ability appropriate for something of their class & lvl and be able to use each effectively. Until that happens we'll just see boring HP inflation. Surely quest designers can make more creative encounters than that? There have been many suggestions on how to fix this but we don't know the technical limitations. At the very least when any npc spawns it should get some random buffs that make sense for it's class/lvl to simulate gear or abilities, that should be pretty easy to code right?
Even with best reward in EE raids, no one will pug them.
EE raids are guild/channel, at best there is 1-2 spots to pug.
(of course relevant raids, not old and non rewarding).
EE should not mean "50% more HP, 100% more damage, Evasion/Deathward/60+ Saves". It should mean mobs behave completely differently, in a way which has you wondering whether you will make it out alive. Not simply that you need a couple of uber DC Wizards and lots of pots to chug.
Astreya the Unturning
It's always a shame when the hammer of poor design choices smashes the fun of player tactical adaptation.
Heck, just implement Dungeon Alert on RED as soon as anyone enters an Epic quest. Problem solved because the code is already there.
Recipemaker Guild: Top Chef School of Recipes
Event Statistics: Risia, Festivult, Midwinter, Daily Dice, Mimic Hunt
If you really believe what you wrote, come try Ghallanda. It seems to be where the cool kids are.
- Quijonn on Ghallanda, Triple Completionist ---> 3350 HP Unbuffed ---> 3405 HP Unbuffed ---> 7447HP Buffed (17,693HP total) ---> 130 CON
- Monster Manual, Known Issues ---> <string table error; tableDID [0x00000000] token [0x00000000]> ---> All Epic Quests EH and EE, XP/Min, Comms/Min
- The Stormreach Campaign ---> The Stormreach Campaign Blog ---> Enhancements in PDF format ---> Saga's simplified
- Quality of Life Fixes
Hitting harder is the most boring way to add 'difficulty'. Ever.
I don't want to force anyone to play any certain way but there should be a clear benefit to running things on harder difficulties or else no one will. Then when nobody runs anything on harder difficulties some analyst can say "well nobody runs raids on EE so lets not bother putting resources into them at all" and the downward spiral of mediocrity continues until it implodes. If the intention is to cater only to casual players then fine as long as they state it clearly so we can move on to something else. So long as EE exists as an option I will assume they intend some people to play it. If they actually want more people to strive towards it though, it needs some incentive.
As a side note I really hope they add some user content creation system at some point because then all my complaints will be put back on me - yes let me create the dungeons of death that I want to play in. Let's see how far we can push the AI to create interesting encounters that don't rely on high numbers or damage output. Cmon devs what are the chances of that happening?
But then the min/maxers would cry like little school girls because skills that they never take and deem worthless would have use. It would bring challenge and party diversity. Teamwork would be vital.
You see, people that claim they want a challenge don't want to be challenged for the most part.
It's funny reading a thread sometimes and coming to a realization. You can't please everyone. It seems that everyone agrees something should be done, or it would be nice to have something done, but no one agrees on what.
Some say EE is too hard and it's hard to find non-guild/static groups to join to try and learn.
Others say the content is too easy
Most seem to agree that raising mob HP and damage is not the answer (I also agree)
But then when someone suggested more tactic style play someone complained how bosses with special attacks are easy and boring.
Just too funny. I mean if raising mob HP and damage isn't the solution then you have to have an encounter where things change and it's dynamic as opposed to just hammering away for a longer period of time. I mean you could just randomly kill a player off every 30 seconds. I mean that would be surprising and hard to plan for, but then someone complained that mobs with assassinate and random one shots wouldn't be fun.
Well here's my suggestion. HP and damage increases are no good. Most agree on this. I'm more in favor of the boss special attacks. I think Lord of Blades is a fun quest. You have different party members doing different things at different times. Someone is watching for the tells and directing a group. Some are focused on trash, some on pillars, some on boss, Tanking, healing, dps. Everyone is involved. It's a good concept. The boss also has different attacks, not just one. I mean maybe it's not the absolute best way it can be done, but I felt like it was starting down a path of something different. I think the only problem with that raid is that it is such a huge time sink. Mostly due to the path to get to the raid I think. I wonder if it would be more popular if like all other raids it's right there accessible in a town.
Even Velah spouting one hit fire so you have to hide behind the pillar was fun. The eggs should pop up faster. More chaos.
I think we need more of this. Maybe the devs were trying and we just did a better job of countering it. The gatekeepers in CitW are easy enough once Lolith is down. Maybe they need to be dealt with before she disappears. So you have a few working dps on her while others try and take the gatekeepers down all with sp drains being fired around (gear up those absorbers!!!). Or in the last Wheloon quest the boss going to another plain is a good concept, but easy enough to deal with.
Bosses need some tell to their move, if they are massive damage/debilitation. Sorry. Else it's akin to one shotting randomly. The game play tactic should revolve around it though. I.e. Lord of Blades is firing so all go to center. OK. But the center is filled with sewer water from the run off of the above world. It curses everyone's STR and makes them nauseated. So you can either stay in the field of fire and maybe shield block (allow it to work like holding shield over head) or suffer the damage penalty.
In any case we all say a change needs to be made. I know we have some smart and creative people here. How about we take each raid and work on a scenario for each. Try first to work with the environment and game rules that we have. I.e. Velah isn't located in a dwarven dungeon with endlessly high pillar ceilings and gold and treasure everywhere and a portrait of dogs at cards above her head. She's right where she is and halfling rangers don't have rocket-launchers.
Come up with some attacks or challenges the boss (or mobs) could present, things in the area or room to counter them or obstacles in the room to deal with. Maybe traps that can only be disarmed during a certain time in the quest. How as a party you would react. Keep in mind though that there can't be one way of doing the raid. People will come up with new tactics, but think of how you would like to see it unfold. Then who knows. Maybe the devs will get some new ideas. At the very least it might be fun to create.
The fact is that the people who are good enough players to think the hardest content is too easy are a very small percentage. Developers try to create content for a wide range - that's why we already have Normal through Elite in both Heroic and Epic. But they can't cater to them - most of their players range from casual somewhere in the medium difficulty.
Last edited by HAL; 11-11-2013 at 10:03 AM.
Subtle things to supprize players.
Advocating repeated nerfs in the name of "balancing the game" then complaining about how DDO is moving away from D&D, is a direct contradiction in logic - D&D 3.5 (what DDO is based on) is not a balanced game. We can either have a balanced clone MMO with homogenized classes, or we can have a D&D game. We cant have both.
I agree that it should be subtle. In fact the word "tell" means more of a give away in a situation like poker as opposed to "telling" someone something verbally. Like Velah's breath was. However no matter how subtle you make it then it will only surprise a group once. Once you've been surprised and figure the tell it's the same as if it was posted in group chat by the boss themselves.
Maybe a few game changer boss attacks with tells and a few more harrying ones without tells. Like the chain guys in wheloon just popping out their weapons and stunning you. (Though I'm sure they have a tell, but I just haven't noticed it yet). A couple of those guys in a confined room can make solo-ing difficult as I found out.
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