Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 23
  1. #1
    Community Member
    Join Date
    May 2013
    Posts
    716

    Default Funding the meeting of Strategic Goals of DDO

    Normally I don't tell companies/artist I interact with what they need to do, but rather encourage them think creatively about how to achieve strategic goals rather than get bogged down in tactics. This generally has, in my experience, allowed me to separate interactions from people who are good at following orders, from those that are good at their own internal growth. But, since a lot of people adhere to the thought that without providing a tactical plan you're not actually being helpful then I'll provide an example of a tactical approach to aiming for and hitting strategic targets beyond the content growth of DDO.

    A few strategic targets immediately come to mind when considering DDO and the technical challenges it's faces as a root level (I'm sure others can contribute to this list, but I'll leave mine at 3):

    1. Environmental immersion gap, aka, aging graphical infrastructure
    2. AI challenge gap, aka, static AI experience in light of repetitive quest experience
    3. Broken major physical mechanics eliminating swaths of gameplay considered core to a traditional D&D experience: stealth, charm, etc

    The current solutions, or lack thereof, to 1-3 have been less than ideal, and yet, that's not made solving any of the above less pressing if DDO wants an extended lifespan. As we're really in nascent stage in determining how long MMO style games can exist for on balance, there's an open question in my mind as to whether or not you can execute a game for decades on end (although LoL appears to make a strong case that you can even on a F2P model). I've little doubt any of the above 3 can be solved given time + money. But without money, enough time may not be able to be purchased and eventually time does runs out. For the sake of this thread, I'm going to assume the current budget for DDO is dedicated to operational and content costs with little room for strategic gains, because by any outside observer measure, it behaves that way.

    The important thing isn't the technical details on 1-3, it's whether you can construct a financial model for paying for them (beyond the current debatable choices) in a timely manner. I think you can, if one isn't closed minded about how one finances foundation improvements. Technicians prefer to think the technical details are most important, but in truth that's missing the financial forest for the coding trees (an outstanding software architect I mentored under early in my life used to wave smile and say, "that's implementation details" and in truth pretty much everything devs got bogged down in was). So a second assumption is that adequate financial funding pays for the needed expertise used to address 1-3. That leaves us with considering the remaining forest, and how we can approach that we have a variety of options:

    1. Increasing VIP subscription costs commensurate with funding strategic improvements in solving long term game challenges. I for one would sign onto a sizable increase in VIP costs if said increases were earmarked for strategic goals execution and not operational budgetary costs, and saw resolute movement on those goals in a reasonable time frame. Considering monthly VIP costs run me less than single fast food trip here in L.A., my immediate reaction to lack of funding for meeting strategic goals is to point out the day to day product is severely under-priced.

    2. Executing a defined fundraising campaign for strategic goal execution. I, as I've mentioned in the past, would also kick into funding campaigns to address some of the cross-content issues that sit at the root of DDO. I backed Wasteland 2 at a high level and my nostalgic connection to that game was far less then to DDO.

    3. Offering potential ownership stakes in DDO similarly, but perhaps not exactly, akin to the Green Bay Packers. To the best of my knowledge there is no true public ownership of an MMO at least not down at the game level. You can interpret this in a lot of different ways, but I am not suggesting player ownership of SSG, only of DDO within it (which can in fact be legally constructed) by offering a limited minority, but still voting stake in the interest of raising funds for the above. You'd have to jump through some finance hoops to get there, but if Green Bay can raise something like $64M for a new field, I think a committed player base could raise a decent sum earmarked in response to this.

    As I've raised funds and pitched VCs in various capacities, I'm aware that the above is just a tiny subset of what can be creatively accomplished to solve the money+time issue. I am additionally interested in either what players would pony up for commitments to major strategic improvements/advances, or creative ideas to gain financial commitments in addition to these.

    I've no problem putting, as my friend would often say, one's money where one's mouth is. Although I don't know whether others would, I can't imagine serious players wouldn't consider it if a sincere proposal was put on the table and real deliverables offered. A grilled cheese sandwich did raise unreal funding, so crazier things have happened. I want to be clear I'm not asking to cannibalize the existing operational or content budget, because this isn't an either/or thing. DDO needs to be able to do execute on all three as to not execute on all three is to sow the seeds of eventual death. Perhaps any MMO death is inevitable, but I am not convinced of that (for an interesting sidebar, read up on the actual mechanics of cellular death and you'll be fascinated how little the layman's ideas about death map to the scientific reality), and certainly I stand unconvinced when so many options have not been executed on.

    Humans still play chess after all, and I can't for the life of me figure out why.

  2. #2
    Community Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    179

    Default

    The game isn't gonna change in significant ways at this point. You're gonna get content, and you're gonna get some mechanics updates like changes to classes, new class/race and things like ED pass. Don't expect more and things will be fine.

    Do you like to play the game as is? It's not perfect, there's lots I'd like to be different, but this sector of the market is in decline and I'd rather have more content than have production stop totally.

  3. #3
    Community Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2019
    Posts
    416

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Tist View Post
    The game isn't gonna change in significant ways at this point. You're gonna get content, and you're gonna get some mechanics updates like changes to classes, new class/race and things like ED pass. Don't expect more and things will be fine.
    This.

    I'm just gobbling up DDO points with the hope that keeps the lights on for a few more years.

  4. #4
    Community Member janave's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Posts
    4,077

    Default

    My only "big impact" request would be a little flexibility on handling the powergap at the same level between characters. Reaper and Racial TRs, and the many TRs before made a colossal chasm between say the same level *10 Fighter Build* in game.

    The suggestions for this were generally positive from player side, and completely unlikely to be any legal issue to say swap Racial PL feat T1 with T3. On a similar note modifiying the TR exp curve in favor of new/casual players were mostly positive here.

    They dont seem to be large overhauls either, yet significantly improve "fun to grind ratio".

  5. #5
    Community Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    1,166

    Default

    The strongest strategic thing they could do is get a business person in a corporate decision making position. Have a look at SSG on Linkedin, its just developers and artists

    Given their knowledge set, they are convinced they know what the right thing to do is. There is no point giving details about how they should change, because they believe something completely different

    If they dont change their beliefs, they will never change their actions



    Also: https://steamcharts.com/app/206480#All
    Last edited by goldgolem; 11-01-2019 at 07:11 AM.

  6. #6
    Community Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    730

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by myliftkk_v2 View Post
    Normally I don't tell companies/artist I interact with what they need to do,
    ...and yet here we are.

  7. #7
    Community Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Posts
    54

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by myliftkk_v2 View Post
    Normally I don't tell companies/artist I interact with what they need to do, but rather encourage them think creatively about how to achieve strategic goals rather than get bogged down in tactics. This generally has, in my experience, allowed me to separate interactions from people who are good at following orders, from those that are good at their own internal growth. But, since a lot of people adhere to the thought that without providing a tactical plan you're not actually being helpful then I'll provide an example of a tactical approach to aiming for and hitting strategic targets beyond the content growth of DDO.

    A few strategic targets immediately come to mind when considering DDO and the technical challenges it's faces as a root level (I'm sure others can contribute to this list, but I'll leave mine at 3):

    1. Environmental immersion gap, aka, aging graphical infrastructure
    2. AI challenge gap, aka, static AI experience in light of repetitive quest experience
    3. Broken major physical mechanics eliminating swaths of gameplay considered core to a traditional D&D experience: stealth, charm, etc

    The current solutions, or lack thereof, to 1-3 have been less than ideal, and yet, that's not made solving any of the above less pressing if DDO wants an extended lifespan. As we're really in nascent stage in determining how long MMO style games can exist for on balance, there's an open question in my mind as to whether or not you can execute a game for decades on end (although LoL appears to make a strong case that you can even on a F2P model). I've little doubt any of the above 3 can be solved given time + money. But without money, enough time may not be able to be purchased and eventually time does runs out. For the sake of this thread, I'm going to assume the current budget for DDO is dedicated to operational and content costs with little room for strategic gains, because by any outside observer measure, it behaves that way.

    The important thing isn't the technical details on 1-3, it's whether you can construct a financial model for paying for them (beyond the current debatable choices) in a timely manner. I think you can, if one isn't closed minded about how one finances foundation improvements. Technicians prefer to think the technical details are most important, but in truth that's missing the financial forest for the coding trees (an outstanding software architect I mentored under early in my life used to wave smile and say, "that's implementation details" and in truth pretty much everything devs got bogged down in was). So a second assumption is that adequate financial funding pays for the needed expertise used to address 1-3. That leaves us with considering the remaining forest, and how we can approach that we have a variety of options:

    1. Increasing VIP subscription costs commensurate with funding strategic improvements in solving long term game challenges. I for one would sign onto a sizable increase in VIP costs if said increases were earmarked for strategic goals execution and not operational budgetary costs, and saw resolute movement on those goals in a reasonable time frame. Considering monthly VIP costs run me less than single fast food trip here in L.A., my immediate reaction to lack of funding for meeting strategic goals is to point out the day to day product is severely under-priced.

    2. Executing a defined fundraising campaign for strategic goal execution. I, as I've mentioned in the past, would also kick into funding campaigns to address some of the cross-content issues that sit at the root of DDO. I backed Wasteland 2 at a high level and my nostalgic connection to that game was far less then to DDO.

    3. Offering potential ownership stakes in DDO similarly, but perhaps not exactly, akin to the Green Bay Packers. To the best of my knowledge there is no true public ownership of an MMO at least not down at the game level. You can interpret this in a lot of different ways, but I am not suggesting player ownership of SSG, only of DDO within it (which can in fact be legally constructed) by offering a limited minority, but still voting stake in the interest of raising funds for the above. You'd have to jump through some finance hoops to get there, but if Green Bay can raise something like $64M for a new field, I think a committed player base could raise a decent sum earmarked in response to this.

    As I've raised funds and pitched VCs in various capacities, I'm aware that the above is just a tiny subset of what can be creatively accomplished to solve the money+time issue. I am additionally interested in either what players would pony up for commitments to major strategic improvements/advances, or creative ideas to gain financial commitments in addition to these.

    I've no problem putting, as my friend would often say, one's money where one's mouth is. Although I don't know whether others would, I can't imagine serious players wouldn't consider it if a sincere proposal was put on the table and real deliverables offered. A grilled cheese sandwich did raise unreal funding, so crazier things have happened. I want to be clear I'm not asking to cannibalize the existing operational or content budget, because this isn't an either/or thing. DDO needs to be able to do execute on all three as to not execute on all three is to sow the seeds of eventual death. Perhaps any MMO death is inevitable, but I am not convinced of that (for an interesting sidebar, read up on the actual mechanics of cellular death and you'll be fascinated how little the layman's ideas about death map to the scientific reality), and certainly I stand unconvinced when so many options have not been executed on.

    Humans still play chess after all, and I can't for the life of me figure out why.
    I agree with you, but the current consumption power of users is very low, the most talked about topic in the guild is how to save money, followed by talking about other games. Many things in DDO stay in the "old times", it can't even determine the weekly shutdown time, so DDO needs to keep up with the technology as soon as possible, otherwise there is no way to attract high-quality customers, let's talk about vip plus service.

  8. #8
    The Hatchery GeneralDiomedes's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Calgary, AB
    Posts
    5,360

    Default

    They can do good looking graphics when they have the budget - parts of MOTU still look as good as anything in Neverwinter.

  9. #9
    Community Member Kinerd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    4,840

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Tist View Post
    Do you like to play the game as is? It's not perfect, there's lots I'd like to be different, but this sector of the market is in decline and I'd rather have more content than have production stop totally.
    The explicit statement in the OP is that content growth would NOT stop.

  10. #10
    Community Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    179

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Kinerd View Post
    The explicit statement in the OP is that content growth would NOT stop.
    I cut back my reply, so I can see it might not be totally clear, I was referring to DDO being shut down, or development continuing with a new company (SSG) who will develop content but aren't going to write DDO2 and release it as some sort of update for DDO.

  11. #11
    Community Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    1,166

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Tist View Post
    write DDO2 and release it as some sort of update for DDO.
    You only make sequels for things that succeed

  12. #12
    Staggering LightBear's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Letters of Lingo
    Posts
    3,703

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by goldgolem View Post
    You only make sequels for things that succeed
    That is a bit too selective of a quote, totally neglecting the "aren't".

  13. #13
    Founder & Hero cdbd3rd's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    Escaping Mizzery in the Tavern Attic.
    Posts
    27,016

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by myliftkk_v2 View Post
    ....
    Humans still play chess after all, and I can't for the life of me figure out why.
    I read through the OP and even as I read it I realized the aim was WAY above what can be expected from the guys behind the curtain. However, that^ last line made the whole read worthwhile.
    CEO - Cupcake's Muskateers, Thelanis
    DDO Freebies

  14. #14
    Community Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    1,166

    Default

    Chess is a PVP game, so its scalable based on your competition, not the game content

    PVE is scalable based on the game content, which is why you need new content for PVE games

    Although hardcore mode is PVP, you just play against yourself, so thats in interesting way of making PVE game content scalable
    Last edited by goldgolem; 11-04-2019 at 07:53 AM.

  15. #15
    Community Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2019
    Posts
    146

    Default

    Complaining about the graphics is pointless.

    If you wrote a DnD video game with a faithful translation of the build systems, fun encounters, and worthwhile loot options, you could give it ASCII graphics and it would succeed.

    Graphics increases haven't increased quality of games since the PS2 era. More particles and post processing don't equal a better game.

  16. #16
    Community Member Eryhn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    1,290

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by myliftkk_v2 View Post

    A few strategic targets immediately come to mind when considering DDO and the technical challenges it's faces as a root level (I'm sure others can contribute to this list, but I'll leave mine at 3):

    1. Environmental immersion gap, aka, aging graphical infrastructure
    2. AI challenge gap, aka, static AI experience in light of repetitive quest experience
    3. Broken major physical mechanics eliminating swaths of gameplay considered core to a traditional D&D experience: stealth, charm, etc
    nice idea that sadly never will happen


    if it were to though; I'd say you got the order wrong:


    1. AI & server stability
    2. broken or unsupported gameplay mechanics and styles


    3. immersion & gfx



    you want the car to be able to drive before you wax it ...

  17. #17
    Community Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    122

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by goldgolem View Post
    The strongest strategic thing they could do is get a business person in a corporate decision making position. Have a look at SSG on Linkedin, its just developers and artists

    Given their knowledge set, they are convinced they know what the right thing to do is. There is no point giving details about how they should change, because they believe something completely different

    If they dont change their beliefs, they will never change their actions



    Also: https://steamcharts.com/app/206480#All
    Steamcharts are useless as the vast majority of players I know installed the client from their website and run it directly. DDO isn't even in my Steam menu.

    I know right, people who aren't using a content platform to game and share "achievements", truly shocking.

  18. #18
    Master Assassin nokowi's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    6,144

    Default

    Focusing on #3...

    If we take a look at the basic structure of DDO:

    1. Add new content to sell
    2. Add new tree to sell
    3. Copy and paste existing abilities from DDO to new class/tree
    4. Copy and paste what they are doing in Lotro over to DDO

    There has been little effort to think about why people play DDO, or how to provide a good play experience. While we can't see what happens behind the scenes, the lack of interest in publicly gathering such information, or discussing anything related to play experience, intentionally avoiding such discussion, and the lack of designing anything around a better play experience is a strong indicator that play experience is just not a priority for SSG.


    I would be looking for SSG to publicly state they are interested in creating a better play experience before considering how to fund such an endeavour. I just don't think play experience is part of their core values - because it is simply not present in their design considerations. Wild swings in ranged vs melee, the latest thing they are selling, etc, demonstrate an inability to think or plan beyond the current update.

    Their current strategy could be implemented consistent with long term improvements, but too often we see their strategy at the expense of future game play improvements. Making assassins into chickens actually prevents them from ever supporting a stealth option that truly captures the flavor of D&D, both because of the lack of need to hide, and because the implementation dramatically reduce the importance of hiding. They should not be painting themselves in the corner with their design choices.

    If one is going to ask for ways to fund changes, I think most people would need to see a design team capable of planning and executing such changes. While recognizing the good things they do and in no way bashing SSG for their decisions, a company that kills off game play experience without comment is not going to attract significant funding to improve game play.

    The population believes SSG has to do what they are doing to keep the lights on, because SSG shows no indication of planning beyond keeping the lights on. In such an environment, funding for major changes is not going to be supported by voluntary methods. SSG needs to show the vision for long term success, and until those indications begin to appear, you would all be best served by keeping your expectations consistent with what they have shown.

    There will be more content, more classes, more past lives, but little will be done to create better play experience. You have the option to support/enjoy this current process, but change is unlikely.
    Last edited by nokowi; 11-04-2019 at 12:01 PM.
    - inactive player -

  19. #19
    Community Member Chai's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    Wisconsin, birthplace of D&D
    Posts
    26,867

    Default

    Resolution to long standing game breaking issues needs to be on the list, and I'd put it at the top.

    Probably the best example of this is the now ~10 year old bug where anything added to the character disappears during a reincarnation. This is not limited to inventory items or cache items, but also tomes and actual PLs. We've seen players go months without these getting fixed.

    Cross server grouping platform also needs to be explored. This is a single item that could probably have its own crowd funding / crowd sourcing, etc.
    Quote Originally Posted by Thrudh View Post
    120% is equal to 100%.

  20. #20
    Community Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Posts
    541

    Default

    i think the core engine is the root cause of most of the issues. Bad AI is likely a byproduct of a limited scripting engine (hirelings in older games perform MUCH better). Broken mechanics (stealth, charm, etc) are a result of how the game handles agro and pathing, and is made worse by the AI issues. Lag and restarts (which you didn't mention) are byproducts of how items are modeled and stored. There's no reason why having 200 items in your reincarnation cache should cause withdrawing a single item take multiple times longer than if you have 50 items in your reincarnation cache, if things were modeled efficiently.

    Fixing this stuff is fighting architecture and design that has likely been in the game for a decade or more.

    About the only thing I'm holding out any hope for at all is:

    1. A revamp of banking an inventory UI.
    2. Layering in either a waypoint system for the mini-map or a teleport system for the adventurer compendium and the LFG panel to allow new people to find quests they've never been to before.

    I'd pay money for either one of those.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

This form's session has expired. You need to reload the page.

Reload