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Thread: Closing the gap

  1. #1
    Community Member SiliconScout's Avatar
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    Default Closing the gap

    ?Hey everyone, first off I am well aware this should probably be in suggestions but let’s face it that forum is deader than dead and I’d like some feedback on this idea. I am hoping this won’t be the roasting that I am expecting but we shall see because I think it’s important. Let’s see if we can keep it productive and classy in this one K team?

    When this game started there was no TR’ing, hell you needed leveling sigils to even level up and permanently lost XP when you died. Back in the early days Masterwork weapons were actually useful and a Vorpal blade made you nigh a God. Gear was power, levels were power and both were tightly gated.

    Flash forward to today and the landscape is vastly different as TR’ing is a thing and we have so many options / lives to run. Gear is power sure, but let’s be honest much of the real power in a build comes from past lives and Reaper points (less so if you don’t run Reaper) and the power that gear grants for most of the levels. Sure near the top and at certain points gear is a big piece but I have gone all the way to 30 in my Heroic Ravenloft gear and even my Heroic Ashbai set so it's somewhat debatable outside of weapons and caster sticks. I think that it’s safe to say that from a power perspective and in general: Heroic < Racial < Iconic < Epic <= Reaper Points. With Gear landing somewhere around Iconic for most levels.

    So let’s look at the new or relatively new player if I wanted completionist in everything I need:

    • 42 lives - Heroic TR’s – 14 Classes x3 lives each
    • 36 lives - Racial TR’s – 12 Races x3 lives each
    • 21 lives - Iconic TR’s – 7 Iconic Races x3 lives each
    • 36 lives - Epic TR’s – 4 Spheres x3 Feats each x3 lives each


    That gives us 135 lives, and the XP costs.

    • Life 1 (Heroic / Racial) = 1,900,000
    • Life 2 (Heroic / Racial) = 2,850,000
    • Life 3+ (Heroic / Racial) = 3,800,000 each
    • Iconic Lives = 1.7M to 20 + 8.25M to 30 = 9,950,000 each
    • Epic Lives = 8,250,000 each


    Triple completionist in everything would be 662,700,000 XP. Even at 3K / minute we are looking at about 3,700 hours to hit that. I can see why a new player looks at that and walks.

    Now don’t get me wrong you don’t need all these past lives, at all, to be a competitive toon. Realistically you don’t even need half of them for the vast majority of endgame ready builds. Heck I don’t have a toon with all of them and I do fine though I am currently on live 32 and counting; most of which have been Heroic. Yes that means if this was adopted I would already be well beyond the point where it would help me, as I am on the last Racial I feel I "need" but that is totally not the point. I am not trying to help me, I am trying to help out the newer / casual player that we really do need if we want to grow the population a little.

    When you look at the numbers they just don’t add up for these guys. The Racial and Heroic TR’s account for well over HALF of the available ones are at the bottom of the scale for usefulness AND have a scaling factor applied to their XP.

    What I am suggesting is to give the new players, even the casual players, a chance to play catch up. How you might ask? Well what I suggest is that we change the 1-20 XP curve. If you average out those 42 lives they run at just over 3.7 million each. What I am suggesting is that they all become the XP that a second life currently sits at: 2.85 million. Heck I’d be really happy if they just stayed at the 1.9 million but I expect the blowback from that idea would be outright painful.

    The reason for this is to make that early life grinding a little easier for them to play catch up. Shave some time off getting those 8 to 10 Heroic / Racial lives that make a difference in jumping into EPICs so they can make the transition to them without having to simply be carried through. It gives them a reasonable target to shoot for that has light at the end of the tunnel.

    Keeping in mind that even if they are running these at reaper since there is less XP per level that will be less Reaper XP per life so there is a trade-off to this, and a good one IMHO as reaper points can make a massive difference if you are running reaper and a small to moderate difference if you don’t. For the player who wants to be an x3 everything completionist the total ends up being 625,650,000 so in the end you aren’t talking a ton of XP overall about a 5.6% reduction in total XP needed for x3 everything but the difference for that is that newer players have an opportunity to catch up a little faster leaving the true power grind intact. Indeed in the case of Reaper it might be a little harder.

    The hope is that by the time they are working the Iconic / Epic lives grind they will have devoted enough time and effort into building a character with some Heroic and Racial lives that the upped cost doesn’t faze them. Secondly it eliminates a point of confusion that new players often seem to have.

    So let's say I am that that new player who wants to make his “Max HP” Con to Damage Dwarven Barbarian could head into epics faster.

    So on the Heroic PL side, I decide that I need to grind out Barb x3, Pally x3, maybe Monk x3.

    On the Racial PL side I want to grab Dwarf x2 and Warforged x2 at a minimum. If I want throw your weight around to be as cheap as possible then I need racial completionist but let’s keep it at a “I’m getting ready want more HP range" level instead. I think about a 3rd of each racial so have at least 2 fee Racial AP. But let's say that's for a (on my way back down from Epic sort of plan right now).

    I am looking at 10 lives to get into Epics, and for those 10 lives I get +2 Con, +30 HP (likely 50 with the active Barb feat), +30% Hamp and it’s a 36 point build at that point. Here though the 10 lives would be a million cheaper each, which at this point is quite significant as it’s basically 3 less “lives” I need to run (at the cost). So here I am headed into Epics a little faster but once I am there I progress at the same rate as everyone else did and does today.

    Any way that's my idea. A relatively minor grind reduction with the hope that it aids in new player retention.

  2. #2
    Community Member banjo174's Avatar
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    I mean... As a multi lifer, I can go from 1-20 in 3 days if I really wanted to, I usually do it in a week just cause I dont want to kill myself. Further more, you can't really say 3k xp a minute for 1-30, because in epics it is very easy to attain 10 to even 20k xp a minute so long as you know what you are doing.

    Further more, if we were to use your math, that is only 154 days to hit the max past lives. Not even a full year. There are games with rewards that are much harder to attain taking a year or longer to get. Yet people stay with it. The only game I can think of off the top of my head would be Warframe. There is a melee weapon in that game that is the best melee weapon for high level play, but in order to get it you have to log in for 300 days in total. Making is a much harder item to get than uber completionist in this game. Yet Warframe has over 100 thousand people playing on PC alone.
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  3. #3
    Uber Completionist kain741's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SiliconScout View Post
    ?

    So let’s look at the new or relatively new player if I wanted completionist in everything I need:

    • 42 lives - Heroic TR’s – 14 Classes x3 lives each
    • 36 lives - Racial TR’s – 12 Races x3 lives each
    • 21 lives - Iconic TR’s – 7 Iconic Races x3 lives each
    • 36 lives - Epic TR’s – 4 Spheres x3 Feats each x3 lives each


    That gives us 135 lives, and the XP costs.
    This is slightly inaccurate. If someone was starting with a fresh toon and no lives then there would be no reason they couldn't double up on their iconics and heroics. Many of us didn't have that option but it is certainly out there now.

    That being said a new player does not need near all that to be capable and productive in the game. I will also add that running those lives and gaining that actual in game experience goes a long way in learning it inside and out. What makes a strong player is not the PLs or gear (though they help) but rather their game knowledge, situational awareness and ability to process everything that is going on. Only way to effectively do that is through repetition. To be honest it really helps to have run many different builds and understand the challenges of those in your party...if i'm a tank (as i normally am) it really helps if i know what my healer is dealing with (having healed those with no healing amp before gives you perspective), what my dps needs as far as positioning and aggro, how can i help my caster and ranged have best line of sight and recognize how i need to be prepared to respond to their burst dps, etc etc etc. That used to be the glory of making completionist way back when it was still a novel thing was you knew that person had full perspective of all the roles and challenges in a party and quest.
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  4. #4
    Community Member SiliconScout's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by banjo174 View Post
    I mean... As a multi lifer, I can go from 1-20 in 3 days if I really wanted to, I usually do it in a week just cause I dont want to kill myself. Further more, you can't really say 3k xp a minute for 1-30, because in epics it is very easy to attain 10 to even 20k xp a minute so long as you know what you are doing.

    Further more, if we were to use your math, that is only 154 days to hit the max past lives. Not even a full year. There are games with rewards that are much harder to attain taking a year or longer to get. Yet people stay with it. The only game I can think of off the top of my head would be Warframe. There is a melee weapon in that game that is the best melee weapon for high level play, but in order to get it you have to log in for 300 days in total. Making is a much harder item to get than uber completionist in this game. Yet Warframe has over 100 thousand people playing on PC alone.
    I know it can be done faster, and I know people grind them quick who can. For players like that we are saving a couple of hours, maybe half a day. Again I am looking at it from the point of that casual player who doesn't play 24/7 (literally what your calculation of 154 days would be and let's be honest that is just plain silly) AND I am taking into account, somewhat, time to get to and from quests as well as sell, repair, AH, vendor, etc. Also note that I am talking purely HEROIC XP .. 1 - 20. What you, I or any other player can hit in Epics simply doesn't matter in this discussion, not really.

    If we get a player who is reasonably dedicated and can give us 10 hours a week (on weekends for the most part) that player is looking at over 5 years to hit that mark. He's going to walk because he doesn't see a path to any meaningful success. Even with my suggested change, small as it is, he's looking at 16 weeks to hit that "I'm ready for Epics" Stage. In the current system he's looking at 20 weeks. So it saves the guy a month, that might not sound like much but it's significant. Once he's there and want's to to an eTR he's going to spend the same amount of XP as you and if he can hit your speed then it's all even at that point and it's where the character power can really matter. This proposal is to make that first step up accessible enough to keep that player.

    Also note that if we lose this guy, then he will not be spending any money. Now will losing 1 of these guys matter, no not really. How about 10, 50, 100, 500, 5000 of these players. Can you imagine if every server suddenly had a couple hundred more players every weekend running around. It makes the game look better, makes it feel more alive and increases everyone's chance of finding the player / style / group they are looking for.

    I am a premium player, I play at most 20 hours a week, I spend probably close to $100 a year on points and by all the expansions at a minimum. Now I was along for the ride since the early days I walked my toon(s) up with the creep and grind and it's all good. If I was a brand new player I wouldn't be here much more than a couple of months at best because I wouldn't see a path to any meaningful success. I'd look and never see the chance to run with the "big boys".

    How many of those players pop into the game and leave because of this. My experience says a lot, enough that I stop looking for new players to help out because they just don't stick. If we could keep even just 100 of these players a month across all servers and they spent money on the game the way I do (average of $150 or so a year) then we are looking at adding $15,000 a month every month to their bottom line so $180,000 a year. Some of these players will spend more, some less, some will move to VIP but the key here is that they are staying. Hell even adding 50 a month with this sort of change is well worth it.
    Last edited by SiliconScout; 06-11-2019 at 03:43 PM.

  5. #5
    Community Member Potatofasf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by banjo174 View Post
    I mean... As a multi lifer, I can go from 1-20 in 3 days if I really wanted to, I usually do it in a week just cause I dont want to kill myself. Further more, you can't really say 3k xp a minute for 1-30, because in epics it is very easy to attain 10 to even 20k xp a minute so long as you know what you are doing.

    Further more, if we were to use your math, that is only 154 days to hit the max past lives. Not even a full year. There are games with rewards that are much harder to attain taking a year or longer to get. Yet people stay with it. The only game I can think of off the top of my head would be Warframe. There is a melee weapon in that game that is the best melee weapon for high level play, but in order to get it you have to log in for 300 days in total. Making is a much harder item to get than uber completionist in this game. Yet Warframe has over 100 thousand people playing on PC alone.

    Like you said, Warframe has over 100 thousand pleople playing on PC alone... DDO is losing people faster and faster because the grind and power creep (at least it is a 13yo game, this population lost is natural).

    All I can see in foruns and in-game after comeback in May/2019 is that...

    1 - Devs don't care about new or returning players
    2 - Elitist players don't care about new or returning players
    3 - New and returning players are leaving for other newer/recent/friendly games
    4 - Some people throwing nice ideas at forum and been hammered/smacked/criticized

    Everybody is seeing the PLs - Hamster Wheel - is a broken concept that need to be addressed without hurt Old/Elitist Players at same time be friendly to new/returning players.
    (Sarlona) ACTIVE TRleveling Valenttina (Warlock - Past Lifes Monk X3 / Ranger x3 / Rogue) - Just for Cannith Crafting Usbing (Unarmed DPS - Past Lifes Fighter X3 / Monk X2 / Paladin) Stucked at Level 24 Iconic...- Outdated Build inactive Adnanref (Evoker - Past Lifes Wizard X3 / Cleric X2 / Favored Soul / BladeForged) Stucked at Level 15 Iconic...

  6. #6
    Community Member SiliconScout's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kain741 View Post
    This is slightly inaccurate. If someone was starting with a fresh toon and no lives then there would be no reason they couldn't double up on their iconics and heroics. Many of us didn't have that option but it is certainly out there now.

    That being said a new player does not need near all that to be capable and productive in the game. I will also add that running those lives and gaining that actual in game experience goes a long way in learning it inside and out. What makes a strong player is not the PLs or gear (though they help) but rather their game knowledge, situational awareness and ability to process everything that is going on. Only way to effectively do that is through repetition. To be honest it really helps to have run many different builds and understand the challenges of those in your party...if i'm a tank (as i normally am) it really helps if i know what my healer is dealing with (having healed those with no healing amp before gives you perspective), what my dps needs as far as positioning and aggro, how can i help my caster and ranged have best line of sight and recognize how i need to be prepared to respond to their burst dps, etc etc etc. That used to be the glory of making completionist way back when it was still a novel thing was you knew that person had full perspective of all the roles and challenges in a party and quest.
    Won't disagree that game knowledge trumps most other. But if they don't stick they can't gain the knowledge and for sure you could double up some of it and In my example I showed a 10 heroic life toon that I think is not unreasonable for a new player to consider before taking a step into the 21+ game. Heck my toon does JUST fine there and I just got Heroic completionist last year because I realized I was only 1 class away from it, nothing that I felt I needed and a feat I rarely select. I think we can all agree we are talking about freeing up some time on that initial 5 to 10 life heroic grind that can make a noticeable difference in Epics and are often the initial steps for new players before heading in that direction.

    On the whole we are talking about a very small change to the overall structure that has the potential to retain more new players. Where is the downside in that I ask? What would be the harm in making such a change?

    I can't see it outside of the "back in my day" argument and if we really want to go there then most of you guys needs to start hunting leveling sigils and hanging out in the Inns to gain your lost XP back you whippersnappers.

    What I am saying is that the game has changed, will continue to change, and this is one that I think is worth pursuing. So far I haven't seen an actual reason why this would be a bad idea.

  7. #7
    Community Member SiliconScout's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Potatofasf View Post
    Like you said, Warframe has over 100 thousand pleople playing on PC alone... DDO is losing people faster and faster because the grind and power creep (at least it is a 13yo game, this population lost is natural).

    All I can see in foruns and in-game after comeback in May/2019 is that...

    1 - Devs don't care about new or returning players
    2 - Elitist players don't care about new or returning players
    3 - New and returning players are leaving for other newer/recent/friendly games
    4 - Some people throwing nice ideas at forum and been hammered/smacked/criticized

    Everybody is seeing the PLs - Hamster Wheel - is a broken concept that need to be addressed without hurt Old/Elitist Players at same time be friendly to new/returning players.
    Excatly. This exactly.

    What I am suggesting is easing up on the very lowest and smallest (but FIRST) hamster wheel that new / returning players are faced with.

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    I agree with the problem you identified but dont agree with your solution. Simply shortening the curve from 1-20 doesnt solve the problem...it just means EVERYONE goes faster, so the gap stays wide open, especially as they introduce new races and classes, or new hamster wheels entirely. Also, shortening the curve means that you need to do fewer quests to TR, which means more non-meta quests become trivialized. You just hit RL, GH, Sharn, Necro, Vale to go 10-20 and you can ignore everything else.

    I'd rather see a system that preserves the current level of effort, but rewards you more for that effort. So keep the XP curve as it is, but maybe on a character's third life and beyond, any PLs you earn are unlocked account-wide. Then at least you can play alts without needing to completely replicate the entire grind. Or maybe on the first life for a given class or race, you can pick one other class or race you've already done once and add another PL in addition to the one you're earning - that way it rewards newer players with bonus PLs to catch up, but doesnt reward players who are already completionist. That would help to maintain the value of having lots of quests available.

    Or even better - maybe add a PL as a reward for hitting 5000 Favor, in addition to the tome. That would reward you for doing a great deal of unique quests, more than it takes just to hit 20. You'd essentially be grinding a little extra per life, but getting two PLs by the time you TR. And that rewards you for being VIP, or at least for buying a buttload of adventure packs (which is good for game revenue).

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    Master Assassin nokowi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Potatofasf View Post
    Like you said, Warframe has over 100 thousand pleople playing on PC alone... DDO is losing people faster and faster because the grind and power creep (at least it is a 13yo game, this population lost is natural).

    All I can see in foruns and in-game after comeback in May/2019 is that...

    1 - Devs don't care about new or returning players
    2 - Elitist players don't care about new or returning players
    3 - New and returning players are leaving for other newer/recent/friendly games
    4 - Some people throwing nice ideas at forum and been hammered/smacked/criticized

    Everybody is seeing the PLs - Hamster Wheel - is a broken concept that need to be addressed without hurt Old/Elitist Players at same time be friendly to new/returning players.
    I do believe you have it figured out.

    It leaves those that care or those with useful suggestions rather powerless.
    It's much easier to demonize those providing feedback (whining, childish, bringing the forums down, etc) or minimize their voice (small number, vocal, etc) than to accept the fact that the agro/stealth system just missed the mark.
    A good company learns to listen to their customers.

  10. #10
    Community Member Potatofasf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by droid327 View Post
    You'd essentially be grinding a little extra per life, but getting two PLs by the time you TR. And that rewards you for being VIP, or at least for buying a buttload of adventure packs (which is good for game revenue).

    The ideia is reduce the grinding... the timing consuming grinding... we already have to grind for gears because the RNG drop rate is painful for new/returning players. The Old/Elitist players already know what to do and what not to get End game content.

    I really tried that 5000 favor points (made once for the +5 Tome... never will do that again), but it is painfully difficult with no LFM flag/raids on very old content and have to Solo almost everything.

    Why would some one run Restless Isle (get to the quests is not worthwhile, Tangleroot, Sorrowdusk (same as RI)?
    To do Necro I, II and III have those mandatory 4 + players, if you don't know how to do or don't have group you have a broken content...
    Those quests on huge wilderness where is more complicated go to the quest than do the quest instead... I love how Ravenloft had those guides that send you directly to quest entrance even you don't have come there yet or completed the quest first (i.e. Necro IV)

    So go for favors in one full life 1-30 isn't that great if the idea is "Close the gap"
    (Sarlona) ACTIVE TRleveling Valenttina (Warlock - Past Lifes Monk X3 / Ranger x3 / Rogue) - Just for Cannith Crafting Usbing (Unarmed DPS - Past Lifes Fighter X3 / Monk X2 / Paladin) Stucked at Level 24 Iconic...- Outdated Build inactive Adnanref (Evoker - Past Lifes Wizard X3 / Cleric X2 / Favored Soul / BladeForged) Stucked at Level 15 Iconic...

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by SiliconScout View Post
    Triple completionist in everything would be 662,700,000 XP. Even at 3K / minute we are looking at about 3,700 hours to hit that. I can see why a new player looks at that and walks.

    Now don’t get me wrong you don’t need all these past lives, at all, to be a competitive toon. Realistically you don’t even need half of them for the vast majority of endgame ready builds. Heck I don’t have a toon with all of them and I do fine though I am currently on live 32 and counting; most of which have been Heroic. Yes that means if this was adopted I would already be well beyond the point where it would help me, as I am on the last Racial I feel I "need" but that is totally not the point. I am not trying to help me, I am trying to help out the newer / casual player that we really do need if we want to grow the population a little.
    I have yet to meet a new player who saw the grind and quit. Maybe they quit without saying something?

    I've certainly seen people burn out from TR chaining etc, but like I'm a pretty casual player and I'm still here with like 15ish PL's since I joined a few years ago lol.

    I would love to be a racial completionist, but I'm not in a huge hurry for it and I can still have a lot of fun and contribute in endgame (even Reaper! Wow!) without it lol. No, I'm not a R10 zerger but I can do mid-skulls pretty reasonably so I guess I'm missing the point.

    Maybe extend the first few lives being cheaper a bit past life 1/2, but I'm not sure that it should be the first 30 lol.
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    Community Member Ghwyn's Avatar
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    I'm a bit tired of the grind. I haven't been able to keep my main at cap for over two years now, and even longer once another class comes out.

    One solution I propose is to keep completionist granted once its obtained. Most of the heroic past lives are not worth the effort to grind. Same with racials; that last point for one more race x3 is not really needed.
    Gwhyn Saige - heroic and epic completionist, loving the EK build
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  13. #13

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    Would a player fresh off of the boat, "need" (want is a different story) to be a completionist?

    I have played for several years, I earned Epic Completionist and basic Heroic Completionist (1 life per class, a few I have 3).

    Some issues a new player will have are; in-game knowledge, meta-game knowledge, and gear related.


    In-game knowledge comes from playing or watching others play.

    Meta-game knowledge is truly found on the Forum(s) and wiki.-This is the toughest to achieve.

    Gear, well depending on server, most new players will never have any Green Steel gear (makes heroic leveling ridiculously easy) or most of the slightly older (but still useful) heroic raid gear.

    When I first started playing (around update 9); most content was run not just the most recently added, raids filled pretty quickly, and team play was encouraged (very few jack of all trades builds).

    Now we have a game filled with mostly solo players, some quests are just Invisible zerg too the end, builds are wickedly powerful, and ranged is one of the "best" ways to survive in higher level content.


    Even the meta-game is incredible, I have seen some of the Must Have All Racial Reincarnations to attempt this build and the DDO Store bought Tomes (AP, Racial, Fate, Stats, XP, and all Skills).


    Most builds are worthless, due to highly customizable nature of this game (ironically one of its best features).

    I left the game before Ravenloft dropped and got back in last year around Night Revels (so no Reaper or Racial past lives) and the leap the game made in that short amount of time far exceeded anything before the release of Epic Destinies.

    I have a quick list of Past Lives I would like to get, knowing full well I doubt I will achieve it.

  14. #14
    Community Member Potatofasf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gljosh View Post
    Would a player fresh off of the boat, "need" (want is a different story) to be a completionist?

    I have played for several years, I earned Epic Completionist and basic Heroic Completionist (1 life per class, a few I have 3).

    Some issues a new player will have are; in-game knowledge, meta-game knowledge, and gear related.


    In-game knowledge comes from playing or watching others play.

    Meta-game knowledge is truly found on the Forum(s) and wiki.-This is the toughest to achieve.

    Gear, well depending on server, most new players will never have any Green Steel gear (makes heroic leveling ridiculously easy) or most of the slightly older (but still useful) heroic raid gear.

    When I first started playing (around update 9); most content was run not just the most recently added, raids filled pretty quickly, and team play was encouraged (very few jack of all trades builds).

    Now we have a game filled with mostly solo players, some quests are just Invisible zerg too the end, builds are wickedly powerful, and ranged is one of the "best" ways to survive in higher level content.


    Even the meta-game is incredible, I have seen some of the Must Have All Racial Reincarnations to attempt this build and the DDO Store bought Tomes (AP, Racial, Fate, Stats, XP, and all Skills).


    Most builds are worthless, due to highly customizable nature of this game (ironically one of its best features).

    I left the game before Ravenloft dropped and got back in last year around Night Revels (so no Reaper or Racial past lives) and the leap the game made in that short amount of time far exceeded anything before the release of Epic Destinies.

    I have a quick list of Past Lives I would like to get, knowing full well I doubt I will achieve it.
    Same feeling here... I started playing when the thing was to do Shroud for Green Steel itens, long before MoTU. The game was packed with PUG ADQ1 and 2, Reavers Fate, Abbot... even a Titan would pop up and fill fast. Now we have to go on (and be vouched!!!) in-game raid channels. How a new or returning player would know the content or the ways to learn?

    Just keeping playing it because DDO is one of the few virtual games with a decent D&D Lore.
    (Sarlona) ACTIVE TRleveling Valenttina (Warlock - Past Lifes Monk X3 / Ranger x3 / Rogue) - Just for Cannith Crafting Usbing (Unarmed DPS - Past Lifes Fighter X3 / Monk X2 / Paladin) Stucked at Level 24 Iconic...- Outdated Build inactive Adnanref (Evoker - Past Lifes Wizard X3 / Cleric X2 / Favored Soul / BladeForged) Stucked at Level 15 Iconic...

  15. #15
    Community Member SiliconScout's Avatar
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    Hope you don’t mind I am going to chop this into manageable chunks just so my reply doesn’t appear too rambly.
    Quote Originally Posted by droid327 View Post
    I agree with the problem you identified but dont agree with your solution. Simply shortening the curve from 1-20 doesnt solve the problem...it just means EVERYONE goes faster, so the gap stays wide open, especially as they introduce new races and classes, or new hamster wheels entirely.
    Well yes but mostly no. Most players who have been around a while already have these lives. Sure it shortens the new x3 run on a new race but if it’s taking a guy 2-2.5 days instead of 3 or a week instead of a week and half is that a difference that actually matters in the long run? Does it change the investment or experience and ability to retain that player? For those who TR slower *Raising my hand here* the difference is probably more like 3 weeks instead of a month per life. This IS a significant difference. For the new player who isn’t averaging that kind of XP per minute at all it could be massive.
    Quote Originally Posted by droid327 View Post
    Also, shortening the curve means that you need to do fewer quests to TR, which means more non-meta quests become trivialized. You just hit RL, GH, Sharn, Necro, Vale to go 10-20 and you can ignore everything else.
    I would say this is a little bit of hyperbole but also yes, however you give up favor rewards. Frankly I can do the EXACT same thing now running a couple of them a couple of times, and I have with either a second saga OR just doing some slayers on the way.
    In the end the “grinder vets” are going to plow through this one way or the other. Knocking off a couple days here or there will NOT matter in their retention but if could matter a lot to that new / casual player.

    Quote Originally Posted by droid327 View Post
    I'd rather see a system that preserves the current level of effort, but rewards you more for that effort. So keep the XP curve as it is, but maybe on a character's third life and beyond, any PLs you earn are unlocked account-wide. Then at least you can play alts without needing to completely replicate the entire grind.
    This would help the Alt scene for sure (and me as I like my alts) but it does little to help the new /casual player who is getting into the game. They have their one toon and are working through it or several alts who are half done experiments that were abandoned. From a new player retention point of view I am not sure it helps that much and this is my main concern here.
    Quote Originally Posted by droid327 View Post
    Or maybe on the first life for a given class or race, you can pick one other class or race you've already done once and add another PL in addition to the one you're earning - that way it rewards newer players with bonus PLs to catch up, but doesnt reward players who are already completionist. That would help to maintain the value of having lots of quests available.
    Perhaps but it also cuts the XP needed by 30% for these lives. And doesn’t do anything for the player who only wants 3 Heroic PL’s in a class. I guess it encourages him to run 4 lives to get x3 in 2 Classes. It’s a LOT more generous than what I was suggesting I think. Those 6 lives in your suggestion are 12,350,000 vs. the 17,100,000 in mine. I’d be OK with that so long as it’s not hidden behind a pay wall or something that needs you to grind out mats, etc for. It’s kinda messed up cannon wise, although if it allowed you to claim a second PL if you used the Active PL feat from another class I think that would “make sense” for those that need such justification.

    Quote Originally Posted by droid327 View Post
    Or even better - maybe add a PL as a reward for hitting 5000 Favor, in addition to the tome. That would reward you for doing a great deal of unique quests, more than it takes just to hit 20. You'd essentially be grinding a little extra per life, but getting two PLs by the time you TR. And that rewards you for being VIP, or at least for buying a buttload of adventure packs (which is good for game revenue).
    Excepting that first life new player can’t handle EPICS so the 5000 favour grind isn’t in the cards. He’s wanting to get some Heroic PL’s to get a handle on the game mechanics before making that jump so it does little to help him. Guys like me where I am now it helps for sure but I think that for the new player it’s just not useful. You tell him he’s got to run ALL the quests in the game (more or less) on the hardest difficulty (again more or less) and buy / have access to all the packs (more or less) and expansions and it’s a much worse sales pitch than what they are looking at now.
    Again I am looking at this from the point of view of reducing the barrier to entry such that we are able to keep a player long enough to get them invested enough in their toon to stick around and spend some money. Once they have enough time and effort invested the cash flows naturally.
    I like the ideas for sure, but the only one that makes a lot of sense from a retention point of view is the x2 up on a life to me. That being said SSG would need to likely but that behind a paywall / gate and knowing them it would be $25 - $50 per life and thus be another mechanism for the power gamer / whale but defeat the opportunity for new players.

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    A new player isn't going to complete a life in 3 days, or even 3 weeks. Three months, maybe. My first life took over a year.*

    Any suggestion to 'lessen' the grind isn't going to do anything to help a new player close the power gap that exists between a new player's character and a vet's multi-life character. The power gap must be short-circuited.

    Imagine you are new to DDO, and within a week of playing the game, you discover you need to grind for hundreds or thousands of hours before you can achieve power parity with the vets that currently play the game. Is the allure of DDO that strong?

    It appears to me that SSG chose as a business strategy to survive on an (ever diminishing) existing pool of customers rather than enlarging the customer base. DDO players, strap on some new running shoes, that hamster wheel won't spin by itself.




    -----
    * Things were different then. I had to walk uphill, in the snow, to get to Korthos, both ways!

  17. #17
    Community Member SiliconScout's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SpartanKiller13 View Post
    I have yet to meet a new player who saw the grind and quit. Maybe they quit without saying something?

    I've certainly seen people burn out from TR chaining etc, ...
    I don't think they NEED to say anything, it's all in their actions right there. And in a handful of cases where I introduced good gamers I know to the game and got them to try it OR got to know a newbie a little they all quit for varied reasons but the grind mountain they faced was always at least one of those reasons if not the primary.

    Quote Originally Posted by SpartanKiller13 View Post
    ...I would love to be a racial completionist, but I'm not in a huge hurry for it and I can still have a lot of fun and contribute in endgame (even Reaper! Wow!) without it lol. No, I'm not a R10 zerger but I can do mid-skulls pretty reasonably so I guess I'm missing the point.

    Maybe extend the first few lives being cheaper a bit past life 1/2, but I'm not sure that it should be the first 30 lol.
    That is exactly what I am proposing basically you save about a million on life 2 and 2 million on every other life if we go Heroic life is 1.8 million. If we go the 2.8 million cost 1st life is more, second is less and 3+ is a million cheaper each.

    The real point here is allowing new and casual players the opportunity to at least believe they could one day "catch up" while in reality just letting them close the gap ever so slightly. It's not a big change but it might be enough to keep them around a little longer, maybe forever.

  18. #18
    Community Member Grailhawk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SiliconScout View Post
    Triple completionist in everything would be 662,700,000 XP. Even at 3K / minute we are looking at about 3,700 hours to hit that. I can see why a new player looks at that and walks.
    • Very casual player only playing on average 2 hours a day. 3700/2 = 1850/356 = 5.2 years
    • Casual player only playing on average 4 hours a day 3700/4 = 925/356 = 2.6 years
    • Gainfully employed with other priorities but no commitments in life player playing 6 hours a day on average 3700/6 = 617/356 = 1.8 years
    • I'm a Student with out an SO player playing 8 hours a day on average 3700/8 = 463/356 = 1.3 years
    • Some one should maybe be worried about you player playing 10 hours a day on average 3700/10 = 370/356 = 1.04 years
    • This is no good for you but I don't care about you so meh player playing 12 hours a day on average 3700/12 = 309/356 = 0.87 years


    From 2009-2013 I was 10-12 hours a day player, 2014-2016 was was a 4 hours a day player and am back to that now in 2019 (get married have a kid or two and see how life changes ...) got to say I don't really see a big problem.

    The alts problem is bigger deal in my mind you really kind of need be in that 10-12 hour range to have alts and that sucks for the rest of us because its fun to play different things.

  19. #19
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    Default Perspective from a first-life newbie

    There's a lot of talk about first-lifers here and their ability to handle Epics and Legendary, so I wanted to share my experience as I am one of them. I am a new player still on his first ever toon, who has NEVER reincarnated. I am not making a judgment either way on the grind question as I’m in no position to do so, so perhaps I need to apologize in advance for slightly OT wall of text to follow.

    I agree that meta-game knowledge is #1. Some of you who linger on this board will recognize me. I’ve posted here probably a lot more than most first-lifers. I’ve spent at least 50 x as much time googling and reading old posts on this forum as I have actually interacting here. I spent more time on DDOwiki and this forum than I did actually playing DDO for the first 4 or 5 months. I wanted to learn every detail that I could. The fact that DDO is a 10,000 layer onion that has to peeled one layer at a time in order to understand and play well was really fun for me.

    I chose what was recommended as a good first life rogue (mechanic), and I took a LOT of time to research the build and get it right, tweaking as I went. At level 20, around Xmas 2018, I bought MoTU (along with most of the content in the game with the great sales) and started Epics. It took me two months to get to epic cap, while also exploring a lot of the new content that I bought. For the most part, I solo’ed (with hires) everything in Epics on EH. At cap I was still exploring new content but largely farming gear solo on LH, sometimes with help when I throw up LFMs.

    When I hit cap, I had Shiradi, SD, LD all pretty much maxed, but LH was still not easy, and I would get mauled trying to solo LE, really no chance at all even with extreme kiting. Then I got the Mist Laden Vestment, then the Ring of Prowess, Braided Cutcord, Mantle of Fury, Crumbling Gloves, Bracers of Fallen Hero, Cursebane Focus, Rose Quartz Sigil, Drow Sages Cowl. With my new gear and running an Adherents set, the power gain was huge. LH became much easier to solo. LE soloing was still a massive challenge, enough to make it still not really possible (without taking an hour and dying many times).

    Sharn came within weeks of mostly finishing my Legendary gearset. Sharn allowed my end game gear set to finally come together, due largely to the Leg. Celestial Sapphire Ring. After MUCH ingredient farming, the Sapphire Ring became my CON item and directly replaced Mantle of Fury. I got a Key of Rhuken Draal, pulled Leg Rumbling Thunder, added 4 pieces of Crackshot Negotiator (for +20 RP and +5% doubleshot). The last piece of the puzzle was the Shadowhail Cloak, which had been my white whale. I pulled it on my 2nd run after a kind soul joined my LFM and blasted through a Reaper run for me. The cloak went on (Avenger finally!), along with my new CC goggles of Seeker 15 insightful Seeker 7. All of this came together within 2 days about 2 weeks ago. The DPS increase with Silent Avenger is huge, and I realize now that I should have tried a lot harder for that cloak long ago.

    I’m quite proud to say that I can now quite suddenly and pretty reliably solo (again with a few hires) LE quests, and fast enough that it is worthwhile to run them. Again, Sharn came at the perfect time for me, just as I got my RL gear set (mostly) done, and was a blessing for the spike in LFMs at my late playtime (9 PM+ pacific). Most importantly, I’ve gained a lot of confidence in joining LFMs and no longer being a hindrance to the party. I actually feel like a valuable member of the group in LE pugs. Sharn gave me the chance to learn the new quests along with vets, and I even found myself sometimes leading the way, which I never experienced before. I’ve joined a number of low Reaper pugs and somewhat held my own (and apparently picked up a some rxp in the process). I'm pretty sure that I'm finally ready to raid too.

    The jump from ‘soloing’ LH to LE is huge, in my admittedly inexperienced opinion. I made this jump only with gear upgrades. I’m not saying that my experience as a new player is at all typical, I just wanted to give a perspective on what is possible on a first-life toon from a new player.

    Carry on.
    Last edited by 0ldschool; 06-11-2019 at 05:23 PM.
    Zanthiss - Level 30 Rogue Mechanic - Cannith

    I've got a Dungeon Master's Guide... I've got 12 sided die...

  20. #20
    Community Member SiliconScout's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pyed-Pyper View Post
    A new player isn't going to complete a life in 3 days, or even 3 weeks. Three months, maybe. My first life took over a year.*

    Any suggestion to 'lessen' the grind isn't going to do anything to help a new player close the power gap that exists between a new player's character and a vet's multi-life character. The power gap must be short-circuited.

    Imagine you are new to DDO, and within a week of playing the game, you discover you need to grind for hundreds or thousands of hours before you can achieve power parity with the vets that currently play the game. Is the allure of DDO that strong?

    It appears to me that SSG chose as a business strategy to survive on an (ever diminishing) existing pool of customers rather than enlarging the customer base. DDO players, strap on some new running shoes, that hamster wheel won't spin by itself.




    -----
    * Things were different then. I had to walk uphill, in the snow, to get to Korthos, both ways!
    I think this is what some are missing seeing. Sure we do keep some who take on that challenge, hopefully close to as many who leave for various reasons. But what if we could keep more of them. What if there was a way for them to see the Vets, and know that they could sniff that sort of power in a year or two of casual play. That's not an unreasonable thing to expect.

    SSG comes out with a new grind about every 18 months (seems to be speeding up though) so at the end of that year or two chances are there's new grind already in place.

    Personally I think if they want to keep this game running / growing they need better retention. Also having some lateral progression that encouraged ALT play isn't a bad idea either but I struggle to think of a way to encourage ALTs that isn't either just more grind OR a massive shortcut. You make too big a shortcut, especially one that vets can take advantage of, you lose the "grind" that currently challenges them. If you make too big a short cur that vets CAN'T take advantage of and, well Sony has already shown that a big shortcut in the name of retaining new players risks alienating your base / core players and losing it all.

    What I am suggesting is a very small drop in that bucket. I can't see where it hurts the game or vets at all but if it can increase new player retention at all that is a bonus.
    Last edited by SiliconScout; 06-11-2019 at 05:26 PM.

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