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  1. #1

    Default Suggestion: Do away with the older historical difficulty levels, just use reaper.

    I've noticed, at least on Khyber, very few quests are being run on the older historical normal, hard and elite settings anymore. Players, mostly the veteran multiple TR types simply don't play on anything less than reaper.

    I see this as a problem for new players wanting to start in DDO. There aren't a lot of quests they can join as 1st lifers being run at the historical diff levels. It's discouraging for them as they aren't game savvy, aren't geared and many times can't find a PUG to run with. As well, joining an experienced group running reaper can be both daunting and irritating. Daunting because new players don't always understand the roles of the classes, like clerics for healing, how to kite mobs, etc in a group dynamic. Irritating because some of the multi-life TR'd types who run reaper have little to no patience with newbies. I don't say this as indictment of all veteran players, but I've seen enough of it with my own eyes.

    I don't see many new players being attracted to DDO these days and I think this is a partial cause of it. Multiple TR'd players tend to simply zerg the lower level quests, or bypass then to get to reaper enable ones as soon as possible. Entry level players have little to no opportunity to get on the learning curve.

    My suggestion, do away with the older historical difficulty levels and just use the graduated reaper ones. Update gear drops to be more in tune with reaper, especially in the 1-2 skull range. Integrate the reaper leveling trees with the historical enhancement trees and unify them. Reaper level changes have brought back, at least partially, the need for group cooperation in quests like it was years back and would give new players a better opportunity to learn the game.

    I think implementing something like this would help level the playing field a bit more for entry level players.

    Cheers.
    Last edited by TheDarkTraveler; 03-09-2018 at 10:25 AM.
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  2. #2

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    Good lord no.

    If anything, get rid of reaper and scale down the ridiculous power creep. Make it so epic past life bonuses only start at level 20.

    You don't make things better for new players by making the game IMMENSELY more difficult. And yes, R1 is IMMENSELY more difficult than Normal.

    Forcing new players into Reaper is not going to suddenly cause people rushing through the TR train to group with them. The people rushing low levels will continue to do so by themselves or with a handful of regular partners. They are not going to take any time at all to deal with someone who has never set foot in the quest before and has no idea what they are doing.
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  3. #3
    DDO Players Council Renvar's Avatar
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    I disagree about reaper being the only thing being run. And I play on Khyber. I see runs done on Elite in heroics with some regularity. And in Epic, EH (and EN) is often used for speed leveling characters. EE is pretty challenging still for a good number of players in a lot of newer content. Getting into Legendary, this is definitely true. Most Raids are still run on LH or LN.

    I do agree it would be good to revamp difficulties:

    I'd be in favor of a revised difficulty system of 1-10 for each quest where 1 = current casual, 2 = current Norm, 3 = Hard, 4 = Elite and 5 = current R1, 6 = R3, 7 = R5, 8 = R7, 9 = R9, and 10 = R10. I don't think we need 10 levels of reaper difficulty. 5 would have been sufficient. And 1 difficulty metric vs two separate ones. I'd work in a favor revamp where each quest earns favor based on quest level x difficulty level. (level 1 quest on difficulty 10 = 10 favor. Level 30 quest on difficulty 10 = 300 favor). With the favor awarded also being reduced by the same formula for over level XP running. (1 level over quest level 90%, 2 levels 75%, etc). And then revamp the favor rewards and the tiers. With a system like this you could have more overall favor possible, but some of the tiers be harder to earn. Offer what is currently available for favor based on someone running all quests on elite at level (so nobody is "losing" what they can currently get just by running elite), but then offer new rewards for players who can run a variety of content on higher difficulties at level (or slightly over).

    It would be another way to reward players for running higher difficulties and running a variety of content.
    Last edited by Renvar; 03-09-2018 at 10:27 AM.
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  4. #4
    Community Member CSQ's Avatar
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    With this logic, I would think it would be better to get rid of Reaper and simply have the "historical" difficulty levels.

    The issue with getting rid of N/H/E (unless you add a generic "Non-Reaper" difficulty, in which case you're not really fixing the problem) is that Reaper has mechanics that are based partially on luck (Reaper spawns, champions, etc.). Now, Hard and Elite have these now too, with champions, but in a much more limited, manageable way. A new player, who has never played DDO, is going to get killed by a gimmicky reaper spawn and think the game is unfair. Normal, much as people don't play it much in groups, offers something to players who don't know the mechanics of DDO yet, whereas Reaper expects a solid understanding of gameplay. The amount of balance changes that would be required to make Reaper the default difficulty would be mind boggling, and once those changes were done, it could very well lead to the situation where R1-3 become a "newbie" zone and no one except "casuals" play low skull and everyone just plays R5+ for the Reaper experience.

    Additionally, Reaper disproportionately punishes solo play styles (especially healer) and melee, which would basically make certain classes even less viable in general. Even if you rebalanced things to make this less painful for solo/melee, you would have to make Reaper so much easier that it's not the challenge that it should be.

    Varied difficulty settings are a good thing. I find myself playing a combination of low Reaper, Elite, and on certain frustrating/long/grindy quests Hard or Normal even though I'm running on a character with a bunch of past lives (not full completionist in all regards, but still...). Even if you did extensive work to make a Reaper style difficulty easy enough for new players and engaging for veterans, the amount of work that would be needed merging mechanics across difficulty settings, fixing old quests that will inevitably glitch, and perhaps even adding a meaningful introduction to mechanics and systems, you would be stalling content development for a long time. Not to mention that SSG has, except for Ravenloft, done a relatively hit or miss job of balancing recent adventures so that all characters, regardless of player experience and class builds, can play them (I'm looking at you, The Devil's Gambit chain, with your BS Abashai that do insane damage to characters without either incredibly high resistances or evasion). I think the difficulty settings, as they are now, are an improvement, even if there are problems with matching. If instead of complaining about matching being all veterans power gaming through content and getting salty when a new player joins a Reaper group, people spent an equal amount of time making learning groups for content and mentoring newbies, most of these problems would be relatively minor. But some people still have all that salt from the days when newbies gave the whole party death penalties to experience and think if you can't keep up with the zerg train you don't belong in the group, never mind that you are looking to learn what to do and get better.
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  5. #5
    Community Member Lonnbeimnech's Avatar
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    2 problems.

    First and second lifers would be unable to open quests.

    Some quests are such good xp that they are worth running on elite and hard. Like if you jump into 3bc at lvl 3 and run everything REH you can leave there lvl 7.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Matuse View Post
    Good lord no. If anything, get rid of reaper and scale down the ridiculous power creep. Make it so epic past life bonuses only start at level 20.
    I'd love to see it. While I appreciate the new content and such from the devs, I think they really need to re-examine the power curves in the game and adjust them.

    I disagree about reaper being the only thing being run. And I play on Khyber.
    I don't think it's the only thing being done. However, I do see far fewer quests being done at the historical diff levels.
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  7. #7
    Community Member zehnvhex's Avatar
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    It's a problem with the LFM system.

    If we had an automated match making system that ignored content lockouts, BB, first runs, etc...such that you could simply say "I want to do a dungeon on hard difficulty" and it automatically found 2~4 other players who also pushed that button we'd be in a much better place.

    Toss mentoring on top just for kicks and grins and watch the amount of groups in DDO increase by about skyrocket overnight. It was during one of the development videos but I remember GhostCrawler saying that the amount of people running dungeons in WoW increased by something crazy like 6000% when they implemented group finder.

    But thanks to BB, first runs, favor, not owning content, having already done content, the insane level lockouts, our own inherent laziness, etc...etc...etc... you're lucky if more than 2 people online are even eligible to do the same quest you want to, let alone are actively looking at the LFM panel when you post the group.

    Don't worry though, Sev has no problem getting groups with the other guys at the office so they'll just push out a underperforming, poorly done healing tree for Artificers instead because that's what we need right now.
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  8. #8
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    so you replace a system of tiered difficulties where newbies struggle in the higher difficulties... with a system of tiered difficulties where newbies struggle in the higher difficulties. This does exactly what?

  9. #9
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    Am I the only person left who thinks that Reaper is an abomination that throws the once carefully constructed lore out the window? I mean from my perspective, we might as well have a difficulty setting where intergalactic aliens appear out of nowhere and gun you with high powered laser beams. That would be just as easy to explain as Reapers. I don't think either one is in any of my monster manuals and even if they were, they probably wouldn't take up shop with kobolds.

    If I joined the game today and the only option was reaper, I'm pretty sure I'd wonder what WotC was thinking when they licensed this game as official D&D, and go try something else. The fact that it was probably the only affordable way to fix the power creep in short order doesn't really make it less appalling. Removing C/N/H/E would just make it universally appalling.

  10. #10
    Build Constructionist unbongwah's Avatar
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    "The player base is too fragmented due to power creep and four different difficulty settings."
    "What's that? You want ten extra difficulty settings and more power creep? DONE."

    I'm not seeing how getting rid of the easiest difficulty settings is going to fix that.
    Last edited by unbongwah; 03-09-2018 at 12:46 PM.
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  11. #11
    Community Member Qhualor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDarkTraveler View Post
    I've noticed, at least on Khyber, very few quests are being run on the older historical normal, hard and elite settings anymore. Players, mostly the veteran multiple TR types simply don't play on anything less than reaper.

    I see this as a problem for new players wanting to start in DDO. There aren't a lot of quests they can join as 1st lifers being run at the historical diff levels. It's discouraging for them as they aren't game savvy, aren't geared and many times can't find a PUG to run with. As well, joining an experienced group running reaper can be both daunting and irritating. Daunting because new players don't always understand the roles of the classes, like clerics for healing, how to kite mobs, etc in a group dynamic. Irritating because some of the multi-life TR'd types who run reaper have little to no patience with newbies. I don't say this as indictment of all veteran players, but I've seen enough of it with my own eyes.

    I don't see many new players being attracted to DDO these days and I think this is a partial cause of it. Multiple TR'd players tend to simply zerg the lower level quests, or bypass then to get to reaper enable ones as soon as possible. Entry level players have little to no opportunity to get on the learning curve.

    My suggestion, do away with the older historical difficulty levels and just use the graduated reaper ones. Update gear drops to be more in tune with reaper, especially in the 1-2 skull range. Integrate the reaper leveling trees with the historical enhancement trees and unify them. Reaper level changes have brought back, at least partially, the need for group cooperation in quests like it was years back and would give new players a better opportunity to learn the game.

    I think implementing something like this would help level the playing field a bit more for entry level players.

    Cheers.
    This would make me quit the game for good. Why I even still play is a question I ask myself every single time I log into the game. I play only elite or below and do solo because very few actually want to run elite. I absolutely refuse to play Reaper.

    What you say about Khyber is exactly what I have said since the devs first talked about Reaper. It is difficult to find a group that does not want to run Reaper. Some players that want to group, but don't want to solo lower difficulties, do feel compelled to run a difficulty they don't want to play or aren't ready yet to play. Reaper has been funneling players since implementation and is about 2 years over due for a change.
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    You are the one choosing not to play alts.

    Casual player now investing way less than I used to into the game, playing 1-3 months at a time and still want nothing to do with Reaper. #improvepuggrouping#alldifficultiesmatter

  12. #12
    Cosmetic Guru Aelonwy's Avatar
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    I'm sorry but I am NOT a newer player and if they did this I wouldn't care how much time I had spent with this game nor how much money had been spent on it. I would have to say good bye to DDO. And frankly, as the only online game I've ever gotten into I would probably just say good bye to online gaming altogether and go back to the occasional multiplayer PC game.

    In all honesty, I think Reaper is the worst thing to have entered this game. I do not begrudge people tiered difficulty, I begrudge Reaper being toted to the community as a challenge difficulty but adding Reaper trees to circumvent that difficulty and worse yet giving further power creep advantages in the pre-Reaper difficulties.
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  13. #13
    Community Member glmfw1's Avatar
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    I don't agree with Aelonwy that Reaper is "the worst thing to have entered this game" but I understand the thinking.

    C/N/H/E are all variations on a dungeon using a fixed set of mechanics and an underlying logic. Champions in H/E dungeons can be viewed as creatures that have a bit of extra power, just like a Player Character can outclass others of the same class in certain scenarios through the right synergy of race and class tree choices for that scenario. Unless a quest is Xoriat related (insanity makes a lot of things make sense that really shouldn't) the mix of monsters and objectives generally makes some level of sense, scenarios follow on from each other within a quest and fit with the info given on the quest from outside and your abilities work as advertised unless a specific planar effect relevant to the theme of the quest is in play that impacts things.

    Reaper, on the other hand, introduces restrictions to game play that are based totally on "challenge" and unrelated to the setting. They also have extra monsters, unrelated to the theme of the quest and extra ways to gain power when things are killed. On top of that, Reaper Trees add extra benefits unrelated to normal progression, that reduce the "challenge" as they are earned. All of this, while making for "challenging" gameplay breaks the immersion in the game. The quests on Eberron still happen on Eberron (no extraplanar effects in play), but for some reason healing is impeded and dead enemies can drop packets of spell points. The only aspect of Reaper that does fit the setting in any way is "increased Monster power" on regular monsters which is present in C/N/H/E, and just the next step up in difficulty.

    If Reaper existed without Reaper Trees, just as an additional difficulty mode, there could be a case, over time, for the number of difficulty choices to be reduced. A better alternative would be to leave the options there, but improve the UI for LFMs, so people could set preferences (e.g. Planning: HH, Willing to play higher: Yes, Won't go above: R3), allowing people placing the notice to advertise the limits they are comfortable with and those looking to get a better picture of what could be on offer.

    Without that change, removing the genuine "in setting" difficulty levels, and leaving just the "for challenge" levels, you alienate many people from the DDO player-base.
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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by SuperNiCd View Post
    Am I the only person left who thinks that Reaper is an abomination that throws the once carefully constructed lore out the window? I mean from my perspective, we might as well have a difficulty setting where intergalactic aliens appear out of nowhere and gun you with high powered laser beams. That would be just as easy to explain as Reapers. I don't think either one is in any of my monster manuals and even if they were, they probably wouldn't take up shop with kobolds.

    If I joined the game today and the only option was reaper, I'm pretty sure I'd wonder what WotC was thinking when they licensed this game as official D&D, and go try something else. The fact that it was probably the only affordable way to fix the power creep in short order doesn't really make it less appalling. Removing C/N/H/E would just make it universally appalling.
    I have to agree with this some. Reaper difficulty is fine. Scale down all the player power, it needs to be done. But reapers themselves are just unnecessary, they don't add anything but killing immersion. Champions already add enough randomness, without killing immersion (some bad guys are just tougher than others).


    I also think the reaper healing penalty should be all healing, not self healing. A total healing penalty addresses power creep, a self healing penalty punishes players who don't want to group (or play undead or robots), but does nothing to address power creep in a group.
    Last edited by Cantor; 03-09-2018 at 12:55 PM.

  15. #15
    DDO Players Council Renvar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Qhualor View Post
    Reaper has been funneling players since implementation and is about 2 years over due for a change.
    You know reaper has only been out for a year, right? (Feb 2nd, 2017 was the release date).
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  16. #16
    Community Member janave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aelonwy View Post
    I'm sorry but I am NOT a newer player and if they did this I wouldn't care how much time I had spent with this game nor how much money had been spent on it. I would have to say good bye to DDO. And frankly, as the only online game I've ever gotten into I would probably just say good bye to online gaming altogether and go back to the occasional multiplayer PC game.

    In all honesty, I think Reaper is the worst thing to have entered this game. I do not begrudge people tiered difficulty, I begrudge Reaper being toted to the community as a challenge difficulty but adding Reaper trees to circumvent that difficulty and worse yet giving further power creep advantages in the pre-Reaper difficulties.
    I am on this page too, the problem with reaper is reaper enhancement trees. As it stands, reaper is yet another stacking layer to grind out.

  17. #17
    Community Member SerPounce's Avatar
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    There is a population fragmenting issue, but I don't think the number of difficulty levels is the issue so much as the rather strict and inconsistent grouping penalties for being the wrong level.

    Make bravery, full regular XP, and full reaper XP consistent (Personally I don't care whether it's base level, +2, or +3, but just make them all the same).

    I do think there's value in visually separating "reaper" difficulty from "standard" difficulties because reaper has unique mechanics that some people might want to avoid beyond simply being more difficult.
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  18. #18
    Community Member SerPounce's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cantor View Post
    I have to agree with this some. Reaper difficulty is fine. Scale down all the player power, it needs to be done. But reapers themselves are just unnecessary, they don't add anything but killing immersion. Champions already add enough randomness, without killing immersion (some bad guys are just tougher than others).


    I also think the reaper healing penalty should be all healing, not self healing. A total healing penalty addresses power creep, a self healing penalty punishes players who don't want to group (or play undead or robots), but does nothing to address power creep in a group.
    I liked the reapers at first, but I have to agree it gets old seeing the exact same mobs in every quest. With the exact same abilities, weaknesses, and vulnerabilities. At least with champions the camp type interacts with the mob type to make them unique.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cantor View Post
    I have to agree with this some. Reaper difficulty is fine. Scale down all the player power, it needs to be done. But reapers themselves are just unnecessary, they don't add anything but killing immersion. Champions already add enough randomness, without killing immersion (some bad guys are just tougher than others).


    I also think the reaper healing penalty should be all healing, not self healing. A total healing penalty addresses power creep, a self healing penalty punishes players who don't want to group (or play undead or robots), but does nothing to address power creep in a group.

    See, I don't mind the reapers but hate the self healing debuff. Sure the reapers kill immersion but does this game really have any left where the meta is to rinse and repeat constantly?

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDarkTraveler View Post
    I've noticed, at least on Khyber, very few quests are being run on the older historical normal, hard and elite settings anymore. Players, mostly the veteran multiple TR types simply don't play on anything less than reaper.

    I see this as a problem for new players wanting to start in DDO. There aren't a lot of quests they can join as 1st lifers being run at the historical diff levels. It's discouraging for them as they aren't game savvy, aren't geared and many times can't find a PUG to run with. As well, joining an experienced group running reaper can be both daunting and irritating. Daunting because new players don't always understand the roles of the classes, like clerics for healing, how to kite mobs, etc in a group dynamic. Irritating because some of the multi-life TR'd types who run reaper have little to no patience with newbies. I don't say this as indictment of all veteran players, but I've seen enough of it with my own eyes.

    I don't see many new players being attracted to DDO these days and I think this is a partial cause of it. Multiple TR'd players tend to simply zerg the lower level quests, or bypass then to get to reaper enable ones as soon as possible. Entry level players have little to no opportunity to get on the learning curve.

    My suggestion, do away with the older historical difficulty levels and just use the graduated reaper ones. Update gear drops to be more in tune with reaper, especially in the 1-2 skull range. Integrate the reaper leveling trees with the historical enhancement trees and unify them. Reaper level changes have brought back, at least partially, the need for group cooperation in quests like it was years back and would give new players a better opportunity to learn the game.

    I think implementing something like this would help level the playing field a bit more for entry level players.

    Cheers.
    If people aren't using them anyway, how does that level the playing field? And if new players do join, how can they even start getting XP / gear if there are no quests they can run at level 1 with no gear?

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