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  1. #1
    Community Member glennson's Avatar
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    Default Updating older items

    This is a subject I feel is extremely important to everyone involved with DDO.

    With the advent of sentient weapons and the need to feed the sentience with named items, I am concerned the development team has decided this is a way to avoid updating/fixing older named items.
    Regardless of the ability to use named items as food, the older gear needs to be updated.

    The booming discussion about "the massive grind wall" illuminates several of the pressing reasons for this.
    Firstly returning players will be boosted by having gear that is usable at its appropriate minimum level. Moreover the content that they already own will be worth having beyond just the experience/favor earned.
    Secondly new players will not feel disenfranchised when they purchase a pack because the named loot they find is worse than the randomly generated items they find regularly.
    Lastly current players may actually find themselves running content they haven't run in a long time, increasing variety and enjoyment of the game.

    Starter gear (lvl 1) is actually one place where little to no updating is needed. Who doesn't love a good romp through Korthos.

    The low level gear (lvl 2-6) while most important for the newest players and also the oldest gear it is the least likely to receive any attention. This is mostly because of the perceived value and the general ease of progress through these levels. Many of the items in this level range needs updating.

    The mid level heroic (lvl 7-14) gear has actually already received quite a bit of attention, including the recent addition of heroic ravenloft gear. However, there is a lot of older mid level heroic gear that while it shouldn't always outshine new gear needs desperately to be updated. An excellent example of this is the majority of the raid loot from Titan, VoN 6 and Demon Queen, which being raid loot should be at least competitively useful, especially when its unique (like the Torc).

    High level Heroic gear and Low level Epic gear (lvl 15-25) needs the most attention, especially since the realignment of the Epic XP curve. With people spending an increased amount of time spent in low level Epic this area truly needs a solid item selection. The old (shard, seal, scroll, base) epic items have been long in need of serious adjustment, especially considering its generally significantly harder to obtain than other gear of this level. ToD rings/sets are an excellent example of things that frequently disappoint new players deterring new players from even flagging for the raid. Then of course there are the variety of items from Eveningstar vendors and the items from CitW flagging missions which are supposed to compliment them that no one uses anymore. Dragontouched armor, High road, Druids and heroic Wheloon/Stormhorns drops to name a few more that desperately need attention. These items are a big part of one of the most developed parts of the game. Every time I find myself at level 15 wearing mostly crafted gear that I intend to wear till level 23 at which point I will switch those items out for more crafted items I'm disappointed.

    High level Epic gear (lvl 26+) is mostly just fine, but that because these are also some of the newest packs/updates. This is however less than an ideal group of Items to have be in good shape: more than a few people dislike the endgame, most people reincarnate, a variety of builds that work well in endgame are less than fun through leveling up. There are still a few places where the items have become essentially useless at these levels, such as Epic Wheloon/Stormhorns and Epic Heart of Madness.

    This continued inconsistency was actually a primary impetus for some of my long time in game friends moving on to other games.
    Its very untidy, makes the game look bad to everyone, especially new and returning players.
    Detracts greatly from one of the most enjoyed parts of MMORPG game play, finding cool stuff.

    I actually don't care how difficult this is to do for the developers, its a really bad problem and it needs to be fixed.

  2. #2
    FreeDeeOh PsychoBlonde's Avatar
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    I generally agree with this. It's mostly a matter of just updating the numbers, but there's always the problem of "what happens to existing items"?

    Personally, I wouldn't mind if getting the new version is simply a matter of running the quest again for most of it. You should be able to upgrade any S/S/S items already made to the new versions, though.

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    Simple fix, add functions to the Stone of Change, where an old weapon exchanges for a new version.

  4. #4
    FreeDeeOh PsychoBlonde's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kraizimiklune View Post
    Simple fix, add functions to the Stone of Change, where an old weapon exchanges for a new version.
    That is a lot of recipes and testing to make sure that they work.

  5. #5
    Community Member Chacka_DDO's Avatar
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    Reasons for the problem:
    The first thing DDO needs is a good solid idea how powerful items should be at which level. Cannith crafting is a good example and could have been the "backbone" of such a system but too bad in DDO we don't have power creep... we have power sprint!
    And now the up to date lvl 29 named items have 20 wisdom e.g. while Cannith crafting only 15 wisdom at level 30, this is ridiculously stupid and needs to be stopped.
    I mean, seriously, my dear developers from SSG, must I tell you this?
    Don't you see it by yourself, that you tear down with your ass what you build with your hands?
    This gets into a never-ending story you introduce one new item and at the same time you "destroy" the worth of ten "old" items and with this, you won nothing!

    The next thing is the obvious big fat gap between level 15 and lvl 28. Every new expansion does this we have to run around sometimes even with level 10 gear until we reach level 28/29.
    Do you still don't see that DDO demands items for lvl 1-30 and not only items for lvl 15 and level 28/29?
    One solution would be of course if you introduce quests with working items for each level.
    So you can theoretically have itemization for 1-30.
    But two things speak against this:
    a You would need like three times the amount of game content we have now to do this (or you give each quest we currently have much more items)
    b The power creep of items which makes old items rapidly worthless.

    Cannith Crafting at least lessens the problem because you can craft proper items for level 1-27.
    But the question is, is it really your intention that you use Cannith crafting from level 1 to 27 and then only named items?
    But what is the solution for this?
    In my opinion, the solution is items that scale with your level.
    We need much fewer items if you do this and the life of the players would be much easier.
    Maybe I am too enthusiastic regarding this question because I believe basically every last item in the game could scale with level and I am quite sure we would have a much better DDO then.
    Out of my knowledge, DDO would be even more unique in the MMO market because no other game has such items they only have items with a level range.
    But what is the reason because no other game got something, that DDO should have in my opinion?
    The reason is simple, DDO is unique with the character progression, in other games, you level your character e.g. from lvl 1 to level 125 and then starts the so-called endgame.
    But DDO is not the same after you reach lvl 30 you start over again from level one, in my opinion, a grandiose system of character progression for those who like it!
    If you don't know DDO you might think DDO is fast and easy done, because it got only 30 level but if you look deeper into it, it got by far more level as any other MMO in the market!

    But this system needs also other itemization than other MMOs and this is items that scale with your level.
    Sure you might fear that you need much fewer items with this, which means that you got a few items and then you are done with your items.
    I think a lot of players and even developers fear this, but this is simply not true because the DDO system of character progression with the endless number of possible class/race/enhancement combinations gives your room to design much more possible different and interesting items than any other game.
    And this even if we would have items that scale with your character level!
    Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations (I'm a star trek fan ) is what makes DDO strong.

    so what does DDO need in the future to be an even better game is in my opinion?

    1. A strong idea behind what exact power items should have at a certain character level.
    2. Items should scale from level 1-30.
    3. All quests deserve at least one interesting named item that is up to date and useful

    This is of course not easily done but doable and I have also ideas how and I'm very optimistic that the professional DDO developers have even better Ideas then me.
    But I don't want to write even more now because I think I wrote as usual already too much.
    Last edited by Chacka_DDO; 02-01-2018 at 12:40 AM.
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  6. #6
    Community Member Chacka_DDO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kraizimiklune View Post
    Simple fix, add functions to the Stone of Change, where an old weapon exchanges for a new version.
    I think they should introduce a new system how you acquire named items in a quest and not just open a chest and get an item with luck.
    Only because we are used to this it doesn't mean this is the only and best system!
    But in any case, I'm looking forward to acquire upgraded new versions of old item again, by playing the quests again.
    Therefore I wouldn't need a retroactive Item update or stone of change recipes or something.
    But as usual, only my opinion.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by PsychoBlonde View Post
    I generally agree with this. It's mostly a matter of just updating the numbers, but there's always the problem of "what happens to existing items"?

    Personally, I wouldn't mind if getting the new version is simply a matter of running the quest again for most of it. You should be able to upgrade any S/S/S items already made to the new versions, though.
    I think this is 95% of the issue. It should be easy enough to change what drops but changing existing items is a big deal, I remember a comment about it in relation to lama resets and testing this stuff.
    I'm all for update it and get it again, you don't lose anything just gain the option of improving.

  8. #8
    Community Member zehnvhex's Avatar
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    To play devil's advocate here are the arguments against doing such things:

    1 - Updating old loot takes a significant amount of time. So much so that it actually impedes creating new content.

    2 - On top of that, the bar keeps getting moved. They would have had to update all the items when MOTU came out, then again with Shadowfall, then again with the Cannith update, then again with Slavers/Mines, then again with Ravenloft.

    3 - What's the point in farming new shiny gear from new XYZ dungeon if all my old loot just automagically gets brought up to be on par? Should my Bloody Cleaver that I got like...6+ years ago? be as good as the brand spanking new Ravenloft stuff?

    4 - With the addition and heavy use of set bonuses in Slavers/Ravenloft, making old gear relevant would take even more time

    5 - Why is it not okay for old loot to sometimes fade away? It makes the standout pieces even more stand-out-ish.

    6 - Do we -really- want them adding more recipes to the Stone of Change?
    Last edited by zehnvhex; 02-01-2018 at 10:17 AM.
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  9. #9
    Community Member glmfw1's Avatar
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    With each Update (or Patch/Hotfix if ready sooner), they should update the numbers on 2-3 packs worth of named items (maybe only one if the pack has loads). If there are huge numbers of named items (I think Menechtarun falls into this category) then maybe only one pack in an update in those cases.
    Based on ML, things should be updated to match Cannith Crafting values, with items that were deliberately created with higher level abilities at a lower ML adjusted accordingly, so the updated item matches the original intent.
    This should just be a case of going through Named Item tables and updating entries... time consuming and repetetive, but nothing taxing on a coding front.

    While Stone of Change upgrades would be nice, it's easier to just say "it's a new item with the same name. If you want it, find it" for non s/s/s items. For upgraded S/S/S items, a Stone of Change recipe or a dedicated NPC would be nice, given the effort involved in collecting all the parts.

    If there are any named items are still significantly underpowered or irrelevant after the numbers are adjusted, this can be noted as they are updated, so there is a list of "items to be reworked" that can be given new/tweaked powers and abilities once the main pass is done.
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  10. #10
    Community Member zehnvhex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by glmfw1 View Post
    This should just be a case of going through Named Item tables and updating entries... time consuming and repetetive, but nothing taxing on a coding front.
    Devil's Advocate again:

    From what I can piece together from the mad ramblings of Lynn (apparently looking on the DDO code in its naked form renders you enfeebled for 1d6+3 days) it's "not that simple(tm)."

    Items are basically a container and hold links to effects. So you'd have to update the effects. Problem is that they don't always know what items are linked to an effect and otherwise borrow, modify or utilize part of the code involved in that effect. Sometimes those effects link to scripts and sometimes those scripts are used in multiple places even not related to the item.

    That's how we end up with a quiver of poison that says it changes the DR on your attacks to good. Somebody, probably an intern or something, was messing around with effects and even though there was seemingly no possible way that the two things could be related...whoops!

    So they could have someone 'innocently update' some items and suddenly your bracers of wind think they're a 2d6 crossbow that grants you the Child of the Sovereign Host feat.
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  11. #11
    Community Member glmfw1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zehnvhex View Post
    To play devil's advocate here are the arguments against doing such things:
    Here's my take on those arguments...
    Quote Originally Posted by zehnvhex View Post
    1 - Updating old loot takes a significant amount of time. So much so that it actually impedes creating new content.
    With the Cannith Crafting update, how Magic Items worked was updated. The code was made better, so in most cases it's a case of "look at the ML and use standard code referencing table". Yes, time consuming, but not difficult, so a lot can be achieved in a short period of time by a single person tasked with this as their main task.
    Quote Originally Posted by zehnvhex View Post
    2 - On top of that, the bar keeps getting moved. They would have had to update all the items when MOTU came out, then again with Shadowfall, then again with the Cannith update, then again with Slavers/Mines, then again with Ravenloft.
    Cannith Crafting provides the basic bar for how powerful things can be - it's top end of the random loot scale. Special Crafting methods and new named loot can still be more powerful in certain ways, but really the Devs in making new items should be using the bar and finding interesting ways to use it rather than raising it altogether. The odd item or ability on Named Loot here and there should always have the option of being more powerful, but set abilities and grouped powers are a better way of doing this than just making the items all a step up on the scale.
    Quote Originally Posted by zehnvhex View Post
    3 - What's the point in farming new shiny gear from new XYZ dungeon if all my old loot just automagically gets brought up to be on par? Should my Bloody Cleaver that I got like...6+ years ago? be as good as the brand spanking new Ravenloft stuff?
    That's why updated items shouldn't necessarily mean that old versions can be updated. The reason for farming the new shiny gear should be because it works with the build you want to have, or the gear you already own, so you may re-run the same new shiny quest over and over to get the new shiny necklace that fills the slot and works with the gear setup you have.
    Quote Originally Posted by zehnvhex View Post
    4 - With the addition and heavy use of set bonuses in Slavers/Ravenloft, making old gear relevant would take even more time
    The sets still leave item slot gaps and items from sets work on their own and build synergies with other items, even when there is no set bonus (due to only X-1 items out of X being worn). Sets work well if you the items and the set bonuses work with your build choices, but aren't always relevant. Old named items don't need to be parts of sets or have new bonuses added to bring them up to that level... they just need to be viable enough to be used in the slots available on your own build.
    Quote Originally Posted by zehnvhex View Post
    5 - Why is it not okay for old loot to sometimes fade away? It makes the standout pieces even more stand-out-ish.
    It is fine to let it fade away... except that people are still running that content. Why should people who don't want/need to go to location X while gaining XP suffer loot-wise by running quests in location Y? Loot of roughly comparable levels in all quests means people have choice in what quests to run as they level up,rather than needing to run certain packs to get items of the same power as others have.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by glmfw1 View Post
    Here's my take on those arguments...

    With the Cannith Crafting update, how Magic Items worked was updated. The code was made better, so in most cases it's a case of "look at the ML and use standard code referencing table". Yes, time consuming, but not difficult, so a lot can be achieved in a short period of time by a single person tasked with this as their main task.
    This is probably true for most newer stuff, it's certainly not true for stuff from before the change. Which means rewriting all old loot to the new version... basically remake every item in the game.

  13. #13
    Community Member Chacka_DDO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zehnvhex View Post
    To play devil's advocate here are the arguments against doing such things:
    so I play advocate too then

    Quote Originally Posted by zehnvhex View Post
    1 - Updating old loot takes a significant amount of time. So much so that it actually impedes creating new content.
    I think you should see DDO as a whole, so-called new content is not any better than old content and doesn't have to have significantly more priority.
    If you update old items it needs much less time/adventure pack than creating an all-new adventure pack.
    Therefore I think the time would be well invested and therefore you should invest the time!

    Quote Originally Posted by zehnvhex View Post
    2 - On top of that, the bar keeps getting moved. They would have had to update all the items when MOTU came out, then again with Shadowfall, then again with the Cannith update, then again with Slavers/Mines, then again with Ravenloft.
    Right, the bar keeps moving. This is the first step, dont make the bar moving, new items dont have to be more powerful than old items, they have to be different and this is enough to make them atractive.

    Quote Originally Posted by zehnvhex View Post
    3 - What's the point in farming new shiny gear from new XYZ dungeon if all my old loot just automagically gets brought up to be on par? Should my Bloody Cleaver that I got like...6+ years ago? be as good as the brand spanking new Ravenloft stuff?
    Maybe no retroactive change of your old item, but why should be a Bloody Cleaver (or whatever) you loot today worse than another item from the latest expansion you loot today?
    For you it might be different but imagine you are a new player, out of his view he buys a game with 95% of the content are outdated due to powercreep. Is this an atractive product/game?

    Quote Originally Posted by zehnvhex View Post
    4 - With the addition and heavy use of set bonuses in Slavers/Ravenloft, making old gear relevant would take even more time
    A set bonus is just another item property there is no fundamental difference the big problem is that the DDO developers obviously donthave any strong idea how powerful an item can be at which level. So the first step is to get such a system/idea and create new items under this rule.
    And then you can go to update old items following the same rule.

    Quote Originally Posted by zehnvhex View Post
    5 - Why is it not okay for old loot sometimes fade away? It makes the standout pieces even more stand-out-ish.
    As I said already before, you must see DDO as a whole, ALL adventure packs are part of the game. I think you also know the saying nothing is older than the news from yesterday. So called new content is only new until you played it once, then it is old too.

    Quote Originally Posted by zehnvhex View Post
    6 - Do we -really- want them adding more recipes to the Stone of Change?
    No we dont want it and it is not need, but the items you actually loot today should be up to date.
    And this is possible if you do two steps
    1. remove the reason why items get outdated in the past and now.
    2. Create new items and update old items under the same rule.
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  14. #14
    Cosmetic Guru Aelonwy's Avatar
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    I'd be fine with having to re-acquire updated old loot. Forget the stone of change. Add a new device or NPC for S/S/S loot or anything else that is deemed necessary to have an updated exchange.

    Yes its boring and tedious to the devs but it increases the value and enjoyment of the game as a whole rather than the content from just the last two years. We want people to purchase most adventures yes? Not just the most recent?

    I do agree however that the devs needs to set a limit for themselves with the loot. They need to draw a line in the sand and say this it, the stat-flation ends here and going forward it will be the combination of effects, number of effects per item, set bonus, or unique effects that drive loot.
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    Community Member fmalfeas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aelonwy View Post
    I'd be fine with having to re-acquire updated old loot. Forget the stone of change. Add a new device or NPC for S/S/S loot or anything else that is deemed necessary to have an updated exchange.

    Yes its boring and tedious to the devs but it increases the value and enjoyment of the game as a whole rather than the content from just the last two years. We want people to purchase most adventures yes? Not just the most recent?

    I do agree however that the devs needs to set a limit for themselves with the loot. They need to draw a line in the sand and say this it, the stat-flation ends here and going forward it will be the combination of effects, number of effects per item, set bonus, or unique effects that drive loot.
    For the S/S/S stuff, maybe a vendor tucked away someone who will give you back your Seal/Shard/Scroll in exchange for your 'valuable antique', and then you just take them to the altar of epic rituals and get the new one?

    You'd lose any augments you didn't pull out of it, but hey, that's an excuse to sell Jeweler's Toolkits, so people can retrieve the Meteoric Star Rubies from their Epic Garos' Malice.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by PsychoBlonde View Post
    That is a lot of recipes and testing to make sure that they work.
    Not really, based on everything I've read about the Stone of Change this is all you need when you create an item you also need to log a clean version of the item +Mythic and +Reaper pts if applicable and lock it into the Stone of Change. It is easiest to do when you create an item. When you update the stats on an item you should update the clean version for the stone as well, I am sure that most of these steps could be automated.

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    One simple idea that requires almost no work - make all items from the Forgotten Realms low to mid Epic era that have normal/hard/elite versions have the same ML (set to the current ML of the normal item):
    1. These items have aged poorly due to loot-flation so making the Epic items -2ML is actually a reasonable change
    2. Changing all to same ML means there is no reason to keep multiple copies in your bank or shared bank; if the elite version is ALWAYS best then you might as well throw out any lesser versions you get (helps inventory management)

    Currently, because of newer better items there are actually cases where the normal level of the item has a utility for a level or two, but the elite version has absolutely no utility since there is something better at the higher ML
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    I have had many conversations with players who have been around for a while and we always venture into this arena.

    It would be wonderful to make use of old content in this fashion. As others have said, maybe just one pack at a time but something of this nature.

    1. Update base items to current Canneth Crafting stat levels, maybe +1 better to represent Named Item category.
    2. Update Epic Versions (shard/seal/scroll) to current level 20 Canneth Crafting stat levels, maybe +1 or +2 for the same reason as above

    This in and of itself would be a great start. It would give many something to use at 20 during epic reincarnates and first time characters to use going into epics. It would also give people many other lvl 20 options for sentient weapons. (besides ESoS).

    My wish list would be to add a Legendary version (i.e. Level 30) of all the old raids. No need to change mechanics, just update stats on Monsters to current Level 30 monsters. Then offer a Legendary Shard to update a level 20 Epic (s/s/s) to level 30. Again, nothing special, just update the stats to current level 30 Canneth Crafting stat levels, again, maybe +1 to +3 better for the Named Item category.

    The Level 30 part would take more time but again, we are not talking about changing the design of any item, just updating some numbers. While yes the dev time would be there, it is not as involved as redesigning items like we have seen in the past for older content.
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    new items dont have to be more powerful than old items, they have to be different and this is enough to make them atractive.

    it was a nice read till i saw this then it become a big no no. new content im paying for as far as in concerned has to have
    slightly stronger loot.

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  20. #20
    Community Member Chacka_DDO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zehnvhex View Post
    Devil's Advocate again:

    From what I can piece together from the mad ramblings of Lynn (apparently looking on the DDO code in its naked form renders you enfeebled for 1d6+3 days) it's "not that simple(tm)."

    Items are basically a container and hold links to effects. So you'd have to update the effects. Problem is that they don't always know what items are linked to an effect and otherwise borrow, modify or utilize part of the code involved in that effect. Sometimes those effects link to scripts and sometimes those scripts are used in multiple places even not related to the item.

    That's how we end up with a quiver of poison that says it changes the DR on your attacks to good. Somebody, probably an intern or something, was messing around with effects and even though there was seemingly no possible way that the two things could be related...whoops!

    So they could have someone 'innocently update' some items and suddenly your bracers of wind think they're a 2d6 crossbow that grants you the Child of the Sovereign Host feat.

    The developers should consider what they would do if they where going to create DDO2. A lot of things changed over the years and I think it is maybe time for a real overhaul how items work in DDO.
    Sure this would be some coding work but I think it would be worth it in the long run.

    And here some thoughts regarding this:
    On my view, in the old days, there was a strong idea how powerful an item can be at which level, most likely directly adapted from pen and paper an item had a certain enchantment level and this decided the minimum level of the item.
    Then they figured out that these restrictions are too strong but instead to consider what restrictions they need, they completely dropped all restrictive rules.
    This is why we have in one expansion pack an lvl 28 item with 12 wisdom and 8 updates later we have an lvl 28 item with 18 wisdom.
    And now we have an lvl 29 item with 20 wisdom.
    Basically, everyone should see, that this is simply wrong but we see only a few complaints about this.
    Because the players only see they get more power easily and for the developers, it is also a fast and easy way to create new items if you make them just stronger.
    What the developers do is similar to what some states did as they start to print money when they needed money, at first it works but it certainly fires back after a certain time with a hyperinflation.
    I hope you see the similarity already, the items get more powerful (that's the money) but the monsters need more power too, or the game gets too easy (that's the rise of the prices) at the end you won nothing.
    For one item that is now new shiny and up to date, you devalue like twenty other items at the same time.
    And this cause not less, it causes more work for the developers. And this all because they thought not far enough.
    Or at least they act like that.
    In DDO the same players who demand more power on items most likely going to complain later the game is too easy because they don't see the whole, but nothing else is to expect from a normal player.
    But I would expect by far more from the developers from SSG!

    In my opinion, items should have at least one limit, the power that one effect can have at a certain level and maybe the number of possible effect on one item.
    And this is very close to the current Cannith Crafting system and not too far from the old system before the epic levels where introduced.
    this is also very similar to the very good system in slave lords crafting.
    In addition I would strongly suggest making items possible that scales with your character level because this fits perfectly into the DDO environment.
    But then it should be only possible to loot items if the Quest is actually a challenge for your character.
    Therefore I would suggest that characters get only loot out of chests if no character in the quest is too high in level, the same as no one gets any experience then.
    But i think thats more than enough written for now.
    "Act according to a maxim which can be adopted at the same time as a universal law."
    -Immanuel Kant-

    "Nothing is more fairly distributed than common sense: no one thinks he needs more of it than he already has."
    -René Descartes-

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