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  1. #1
    Community Member tralfaz81's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011

    Default Adding a New Level to the Game (in 3 parts)

    Intro (you can skip this for the real info). I’ve been on the forums for 3 years now and, overlooking zerging no longer being a debate point but a way of life, not much that people complain about has changed. New players complain it’s too hard, older TR, gear junkies complain it’s too easy.

    So they introduce a slew of new weapons, which benefits the grinders (myself included) but does little to help the (dwindling) new players, then the end crowd complains it’s too easy with the new equipment, so the devs crank up trap and monster damage making it harder, then have to introduce new gear to try and balance it out. Lather, rinse, repeat as needed.

    I’ve always belonged to the school of thought that if you think its too easy, take off some of your gear and make it challenging – but that seems to be an unpopular minority. Instead they raise the steaks and it creates a class system of creating a game that is (mostly) only appealing to the best of the best while losing the interest of the casual and minor league players.

    Been thinking about this awhile and here’s my recommendations for dealing with the problems while increasing interest in the game with the minimal amount of changes.

    A New Layer of Challenges – Yes, we have casual through elite now plus epic – but the BB system, as much as I love it, did remove the TRs for the regular players, but also decimated the pool of players for new players to run quest with. Elite becomes a 2 to 15 minute zerg to gain xp to work towards the next life. It’s not challenging or fun for most TRs, it’s just part of the grind, and it’s not really fun at all for the new players. They’re not playing a game, they’re just running behind someone else for 10 minutes.

    The first solution that came to mind was Naked Quest runs. It’s challenging, cuts down a good deal on the zerging and, by its very nature, forces a bit more of the social aspect of the game that’s lost with the zerg. It creates team work, lets new players learn the actual quest and is more challenging for older players.

    A number of draw backs came to mind though. One, explaining the concept to people not familiar with it – which you can’t really do with the LFM screen or you’re limited to the amount you can type in the chat box.

    Two, cheaters who’d use their gear anyways. Three, most Metamagic feats, especially Eschew Materials, would let the spell casters dominate the run. Most importantly, four, even with my bank maxed out, I don’t really have room to clean out my inventory to make space for the gear I un-equip, nor would I have room in my backpack for everything I’d pick up in the quest for just that one run. As fun and challenging as it might be – it’s just not worth the trouble for shuffling all my stuff around.

    Solutions -

    Make it a quest difficulty setting. When you select it, all your gear will automatically be placed in a TR style bank slot and automatically returned, in the same inventory spots, into your backpack (that’s a big one there devs – would have to be automatically returned, not making us repack our back packs each time).

    This makes it easier for the players and ensures no one is cheating during the quest. To keep the quest fair and challenging, all spell casters would temporarily have their Metamagic feats disabled when selecting this difficulty. Yes, that would make it harder and more challenging – that’s kind of the point.

    Incentives – this is the tricky part because XP and fancy new gear would be the complete opposite incentive for running the quest. XP should be the old, flat XP rate – calculated for first lifers where they can get the needed XP to level but not high enough where TRs would want to run it – outside of meeting new people and the challenge.

    Gear found in the quest would be one shots for that dungeon use only, to be removed from the backpacks, automatically, after the quest’s completion. Standard gold found in chest would be keepable, plus a bit at the end – enough for first lifers to be able to buy gear at the AH or pots from vendors, for normal quest.

    On top of the XP, I’d recommend some form of dungeon tokens be issued that could be saved up and exchanged for cosmetic prizes. Armor or hat skins or unique pets. Things that some people would want and would be willing to play this setting for, but nothing game changing.

    Instead of XP bonuses for running optionals, you’d get percent bonuses to the tokens rewarded at the end. This would raise the incentive for running opts – which is pretty much the whole goal of this setting – to get people to spend more time in quest, not less. Or possibly even deduct a certain percentage of tokens for traps not disarmed, red names not killed, etc. That would deter grinding.

    The main incentive, though, would be bragging rights – which we’ll cover in part two.

    Part two – the character sheet

    Or in this case, the bio. It’s something I feel is very under developed in this game. It gives very little info, outside of what we add ourselves. What little is shown isn’t really needed – except maybe to know if someone is smart enough to get buffs before a quest or not. What we add is limited by space and if they person does add a lot, you can’t even read half of it because it refreshes and takes you back to the top of the scroll box.

    The limited bio box we’re given overlooks and doesn’t capitalize on two basic human traits – we like to personalize things and we like to show off. People like to accomplish things and if you pick their accomplishments for them, many will change their behaviors by themselves.

    I’ll be honest, this type of thing has like zero interest for me – but I know from things like Steam and from friends who play a ton of on line games, if you give them the option to add some little crest or shield or whatever, next to their names on the bio, a good percentage of the players would do so with no incentive outside of the previously mentioned sparkly thing. Give a rogue a chance to earn something that says how many traps he’s disarmed and he’ll disarm more traps. People like to earn badges and respect. Give pure breed classes something multi-classes don’t have and you’ll see more pure breed classes popping up.

    Give them an additional reward and they’re sure to put more time into the badges – but many will do it just for the badges themselves. Decide what you want them to brag about, give them a badge that shows up on a fancier bio/character sheet – and watch how many people change their playing styles.

    I’m limited to actual ideas of accomplishments, but I’m sure people will volunteer what they’d be willing to work for if you ask.

    But this ties into the naked questing difficulty setting. Give them different levels of badges for most amount of equipment-less quest run where others can see it and people will run those styles of quest.

    Especially if badges are given for PvP – which brings us to the next section.

    Part three – PvP

    Once again, another side of the game I’ve nearly zero interest in myself – but something I’ve seen people cry for on the forums for years. Since this is recommendations on how to make the game better and not just things I want, I’m adding it too.

    I did have some interest in the PvP aspect of the game when I started playing, but since this aspect is so under developed, it was a complete joy kill for me. My first year, I’d occasionally jump into the fighting pit in the harbor tavern, only to be killed literally seconds after jumping in. I did want to test my skills and my build against my peers – problem was, what you actually got was a bunch of bored, level 20 TRs who’d pick off level 1 through whatever toons just for the hell of it. By the time I got a toon leveled up to 20, the cap had been raised and it was still the same scenario, so I lost interest.

    There are two solutions that would make PvP more accessible right off the bat. Either set a range in the pits where only characters with in a 3 level range can attack each other – where a level 19 or 20 can’t touch a level 1-18 toon and so on, or divide a few of the taverns by level range – where only toons of a 5 level range can enter. 1-5 in the harbor, 6-10 in House D and so on. Of course, you’d have to (and should) advertise the change and just the existence of the limited PvP that DDO offers.

    I think that’s the minimum that should be changed to PvP but there’s actually a lot of potential there that would add another layer and interest to the game with a relatively low production investment. Daily battles in one of the already existing quest arenas between players and weekly competitions between guilds or groups. Have a ladder of competition where 6 player groups can compete against each other and everyone can go and watch. Personal PvP kill counts/badges would be a huge incentive for this.

    Why should the devs bother with this and why would players bother competing outside of badges? Think about this – a 25 to 50 shard entry fee for a chance to climb the ladder and win a renown purse for their guild. Add a badge on a better bio/character sheet for bragging rights and you’d see a lot more interest in PvP.
    "Shut up and die like a wizard"

  2. #2
    Community Member TheGuyYouKnow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009


    sorry if i missed something important, i was just skimming though but you want to make a special difficulty in which you cant use body armor or metamagics then change pvp slightly and give renown on kills, that just about it?
    if your after a challange then join a permadeath guild or something along those lines where you only use items you find
    Elemo IronCast - Patorikku Yama - Happyfruit Wardancer - Toysoldier - Wookiee ~Ghallanda~

  3. #3


    The biggest problem with spells and naked runs isn't eschew materials, it's that many high-power "I win" spells have no material components in the first place.

    Consider a necro cleric: Blade barrier, slay living and destruction are all "free" spells with no material components required. I learned this about 3 minutes into a naked tempest spine guild run, and unfortunately that sucked much of the fun out of the run.

  4. #4
    Community Member lyrecono's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2013


    failed my save vs wall of text....

    here goes:
    1, no to the naked run, can you imagine the backlash that ensues when it is used for exploits or people loose their prized raid loot they spend years acquiring?
    If you want real naked runs or perma death-esque rules, set up a group with like mined people

    2, no the fluff: added fluff is just that added fluff, nobody cares about bragging rights. given enough time and dedication(not to mention dough $$) every quest can be done at the highest difficulty.
    no barb is gone get in on EE, even with 10 million traps disabled in previous lives.
    Post stuff in your bio if it realy matters, those who do care will read it anyway.

    3, no, nobody cares about pvp, including turbine, the entire game was not balanced for it, nor was the pen and paper version before it.
    If you want to pvp with lowbies, go to an empty bar, there are many.

    The most important reason to say no:
    The programming skills of turbine and their budget:
    the last couple of years, we have been getting rushed, broken content with endless patches attempting to fix it.
    Due to time constraints, updates have been botched up, banks not working , traps that follow you to shrines (really hilarious though XD), broken crafting stations, ship spirit binding not working, saga's not properly working, this just from the last (and really miner) update, there is still a list of broken stuff from previous updates.
    Remember ghostbanes? nightmares? the banner wall? etc, the list goes on and on

    I really can't imagine you wanting turbine to lift ddo's hood and start tinkering with the code at that level,

    So for all our sanity:

    /not signed

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