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  1. #1
    Community Member Teh_Troll's Avatar
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    Default Make Explorer areas not a terrible waste of time

    I've never played another MMO but I'm (possibly mistaken) under the impression that much of the leveling in those MMOs takes place in zones like the DDO explorer areas. Doesn't really happen here.

    Here's the thing . .. explorer areas can be awesome . . . once. One of my fondest DDO memeorys was day 2 or 3 of Motu getting lost int he Underdark with a party trying to find the Drow City. It took us like 3 hours and it was a blast.

    But . . . Explorer zones offer little to no replay value. The whole schtick of DDO is REPLAY value. This is a grind game, a crazy grind game where XP is the most valued commodity by far.

    Shadowfail came with a enormous explorer area . . . but no raid. All the work that went into the Stormhorns was wasted time for something people run around in once. Why put all that work into something with no replay value?

    So how do you give Explorer zones more replay value?

  2. #2
    Community Member biggin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teh_Troll View Post
    I've never played another MMO but I'm (possibly mistaken) under the impression that much of the leveling in those MMOs takes place in zones like the DDO explorer areas. Doesn't really happen here.

    Here's the thing . .. explorer areas can be awesome . . . once. One of my fondest DDO memeorys was day 2 or 3 of Motu getting lost int he Underdark with a party trying to find the Drow City. It took us like 3 hours and it was a blast.

    But . . . Explorer zones offer little to no replay value. The whole schtick of DDO is REPLAY value. This is a grind game, a crazy grind game where XP is the most valued commodity by far.

    Shadowfail came with a enormous explorer area . . . but no raid. All the work that went into the Stormhorns was wasted time for something people run around in once. Why put all that work into something with no replay value?

    So how do you give Explorer zones more replay value?
    Well, back in the good ol' days, while it wasn't very fun, Sands at least had a reward with the best named items in the game. Team up some decent named items (with slightly higher drop rates then Bloodstones) and put some decent XP in it and you may have something worth playing. Even quests like Weapon Shipment still get run as boring as it is because there is a low chance of a reward. Basically I see no replay value in Explorer areas because they just won't ever make the XP on par with any quest. And I'm not about to go kill 10 beavers and bring the pelts to some woodsman, which is about as exciting as explorer area quests are in other games.
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  3. #3
    Community Member Teh_Troll's Avatar
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    The random encounters idea was a good start . . . but it's not enough. They do not pop often enough to ever intentionally go looking for them.

  4. #4
    Community Member Fedora1's Avatar
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    Mobs respawning while you are in the explorer area (instead of waiting until you recall and reset) might allow you to get your kills faster to help a little with the xp/min ratio.

    Not much, I know. Just the first thing that came to mind.
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  5. #5
    The Hatchery Wipey's Avatar
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    On the other hand, wilderness areas are damn gorgeous.
    Kudos to the "art department".

    Shame they are trivial and don't give almost any reward compared to running quests and stuff. Large portions of really beautiful awesome areas are basically never seen or run.
    This applies to some quests too btw.

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  6. #6
    Community Member Satyriasys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teh_Troll View Post
    So how do you give Explorer zones more replay value?
    This has always puzzled and annoyed me. They go through all this hard work making these huge, beautiful zones and fail to give us any incentive to spend time there.

    Here are my ideas for giving these areas more use...

    -Named Treasure from certain rare encounters.
    -Place new quest packs in existing explorer zones. King's Forest, Underdark and Stormhorns could easily support several more quests. There are many locations that would be perfect for quest entrances.
    -Make the slayer reward curve less steep. Having to kill 1600 mobs for your next reward is very discouraging.
    -Rare Bosses. The Dragons in GH are a joke. having some rare spawn bosses that were so tough as to encouraged grouping could revitalize the s/r/e scene.
    -Commendation of Valor. The commendations for King's Forest are a decent incentive for newer players who may need Eveningstar items. Why not do the same with CoV for the higher level zones?
    Last edited by Satyriasys; 02-20-2014 at 12:47 PM.
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  7. #7
    Community Member redspecter23's Avatar
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    I think we need bigger, better encounters in wilderness areas. There may be system limitations, but how about a raid in an area the size of a wilderness. Perhaps the party needs to split up to accomplish multiple objectives. I originally liked the dragon encounters in EGH, but I think it's too small scale. Dragons with many more hp and multiple at once. Offer unique treasure for unique encounters.

    Put more quests in explorers. Even small quests like in Threnal at least give players a reason to go to certain areas of the map.

    Some explorer areas just plain need more encounters and more frequent rare encounters. I think High Road has a great balance. King's Forest is just a bit too spread out, especially if you're solo. The Stormhorns rare encounters are so few and far between that it's not worth looking for them. Back when Orchard was new, many players did S/R/E runs and you could expect 5 or more rares on a single trip in about 15 - 20 minutes. In the Stormhorns, a full trip at about 40 minutes (or much longer without a map) could have you see only a small handful of rares. I've had full circuits with no rares at all. When your best shot at rare mobs is entering a quest, recalling out and repeating until a rare spawns right outside the door, then the distribution is off. Some of the encounters aren't able to be completed on all toons or efficiently (poacher) so that lowers the number even more.

    Short version. More truly epic encounters with named or unique loot and place them in positions that encourage us to explore the map fully. Right now, Coms of Valor would be great incentive. Next year, maybe some other widget. No reason not to place even a small number in any epic explorer chest.
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  8. #8

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    This can easily be done.

    1) Reduce the amount of needed Slaying for Slayer XP, 10,25,50, 100, 200, 400, 750 are fine but 1500, 3000 are too far of jumps, 750, 1000, 1500, 2000, 2500, 3000
    2) CoVs in the Epic Explorer ares (actually they should be in all Epic chests)
    3) More Monster Manuals, killing rares gives some XP killing rares to fill out Monster Manuals give a lot more XP.
    4) Farshifter Waypoints for Completed Areas-Gianthold/Wheloon are easier with these ports. Complete the explorer or Journals and get to be ported "close" to the quest(s).

  9. #9
    Community Member redspecter23's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Satyriasys View Post
    -Place new quest packs in existing explorer zones. King's Forest, Underdark and Stormhorns could easily support several more quests. There are many locations that would be perfect for quest entrances.
    This is an amazing idea, but microtransactions ruined it as soon as they were introduced. You decrease sales of a new pack if you require an older pack to play the new one. The easiest solution is to make all explorer zones completely free to play, then you can start repopulating some older zones with appropriate quests as they are made. Double clicking a wagon just doesn't have the same feel as running through an explorer zone, even if it is faster.
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  10. #10
    Community Member Postumus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fedora1 View Post
    Mobs respawning while you are in the explorer area (instead of waiting until you recall and reset) might allow you to get your kills faster to help a little with the xp/min ratio.

    Not much, I know. Just the first thing that came to mind.

    That can be horrible though. Epic Wheloon is nothing but constant respawns and it feels like you're dragging half the screen from one quest entrance to other.

  11. #11
    Community Member Satyriasys's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by redspecter23 View Post
    This is an amazing idea, but microtransactions ruined it as soon as they were introduced. You decrease sales of a new pack if you require an older pack to play the new one. The easiest solution is to make all explorer zones completely free to play, then you can start repopulating some older zones with appropriate quests as they are made. Double clicking a wagon just doesn't have the same feel as running through an explorer zone, even if it is faster.
    They could just have these new packs give access to the zone they're in.
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  12. #12
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    Agreed, these areas are often huge, and when you start a quest in there it does not show where the dungeon is if you have not explored the area where it is (bad idea imo). The experience given from wilderness areas is only good on a pc's first life and if you tr the xp does not increase (the xp should scale linearly). These 2 things are the bane of wilderness explorer areas.

  13. #13
    Community Member Teh_Troll's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Postumus View Post
    That can be horrible though. Epic Wheloon is nothing but constant respawns and it feels like you're dragging half the screen from one quest entrance to other.
    Go into Heroic Wheloon when trying to get to the EE versions of the quest. You're welcome.

  14. #14
    Community Member mobrien316's Avatar
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    I think they could allow difficulty levels in explorer areas, and change the XP for slayers to a moderate amount for every ten or twenty, with normal XP scaling for difficulty level.

    Plus, add a guide at the zone entrance and outside every quest that will transport you to the quest for plats. The people who want to explore and kill stuff can do so, and the people who just want to get to the quest (probably to join an IP group) can do without wasting time.
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  15. #15
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    Default Drum up some trouble

    I would like the group leader to have a "drum" appear in their inventory when they zone in-

    Place it on your hotbar - activitate it - you drum up some trouble - say 2 - 3 times the spawn density in the area.

    Don't use it when you are new or just trying to get somewhere -

    Use it when you are after slayers - looking for encounters - named - etc...
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  16. #16
    Community Member Vellrad's Avatar
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    The other MMOs takes places almost entirely on landsape, something similiar to wilderness areas.
    But landscapes ssucks hard, as:
    • They're shared by everyone on server
      While you're killing mobs or gathering crafting resources, someone 50 levels higher will come to ninja loot your chests (unstopped by mobs), or to kill them all before you have chance to attack once. In permanent pvp games, that lvl100 guy will be killing lvl1 rookies just for fun of weak trolling.
    • Mobs just stand there and wait patiently until you'll kill them. They might walk arround, but they won't react when they see you killing thier brother 50 feet away, unless you shoot them too (or come as close as 5-10 feet, depending on mob) They will just watch you slaughtering their entire family, and won't attack or run. They just stand there, in line.
    • BTW, that mobs are usually transparent- you can run past them, and they can run past you.
    • Quests found on landscapes are much more repetive than anything you find in DDO. They're:
      • Go kill mob A, and come back or report to NPC nearby
      • Go find item X on the ground.
      • Bring me X pieces of item A found on mobs in area.
        (sometimes that 2 objectives are combined, peak of developers' creativity is to make quest items that are dropped by mobs and found on the ground)
      • Go there and use object (be it piece of scenery or NPC).
      • Rarely, devs are combining objectives (like go there, activate magical device, and kill 10 rats that will try to destroy it, then collect 5 rat tales and 3 pieces of dirt that can be found near river or from earth elementals). Theese are extremally uncommon, as they are usually beyond possibilities of players that got used with quests consisting of other objectives.
    • Quests are essentially copies of other, the only difference between killing 10 orcs and bringing their weapons and killing 10 bandits and bringing their scalps is... well, there's no difference actually.


    DDO's wilderness areas are far better than standard MMO landscape.
    The only thing that can make landscapes bearable are texts written for quests. Some are good, and create illusion of lack of repetition between objectives, but most are idiotic.
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  17. #17
    Community Member Qhualor's Avatar
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    I'll take a good dungeon crawl over getting lost in the woods any day. I think there are some great wilderness areas in the game, but slayers isn't my cup of tea. I only like them when I need a little more xp to level.
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  18. #18
    The Hatchery danotmano1998's Avatar
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    Slayers and Rares are a one-off for me.

    They aren't something I typically do, as I find questing much more enjoyable.

    HOWEVER.. These are great when you are just killing time waiting for a party to form, or you're feeling a little lazy and just want to run around killing things, or you want to do something a little different than the norm, or you just need a few more xp to get the next level.


    I like them as they are, for the most part completely optional. I would agree that adding the rare random spawns idea was a great one, and would love to see more of them in every explorer area, code permitting. This would make them more enjoyable for me.
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  19. #19
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    Exactly, the areas are huge (way bigger than any dungeon) and do not really provide anything worthwhile for doing a lot of extra work making them an inefficient way to gain experience. I like dungeon crawls better too, but sometimes people get tired of doing them all the time and want something different that adds flavor, which is a good reason for wilderness areas. Also, maybe they could make zone specific dungeons where it is a jump puzzle in the current environment of the wilderness area, again another thing that's different and adds flavor and something you could do when you have done a lot of dungeon runs and want something different.

  20. #20
    2015 DDO Players Council Seikojin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by danotmano1998 View Post
    Slayers and Rares are a one-off for me.

    They aren't something I typically do, as I find questing much more enjoyable.

    HOWEVER.. These are great when you are just killing time waiting for a party to form, or you're feeling a little lazy and just want to run around killing things, or you want to do something a little different than the norm, or you just need a few more xp to get the next level.


    I like them as they are, for the most part completely optional. I would agree that adding the rare random spawns idea was a great one, and would love to see more of them in every explorer area, code permitting. This would make them more enjoyable for me.

    ^this^

    Except I think that there should be some mechanic to force spawns. Either some challenge like NPC, who will force a 1x spawn of a rare, or some other way to help induce rare spawns. Nothing sucks like hunting rares in wilderness and having it not appear after 4 hours of resetting the instance.

    In it's entirety, ddo wasn't supposed to be that mmo where you have to grind. I think that is starting to become the focus again, where running elite 1x on evry quest can cap you. In the longer run, it will be possible, and thus needing explorers and slayers would be more optional than they already are.

    Another thing they could do to increase explorer traffic; rewards for finding the explorers in an order. This would add more boost from them (since they always have offered abysmal exp save epic), and it would make some linear progression of the DM speak and notes.

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