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  1. #1

    Default Nerfing content into the ground.

    Hey folks,

    We have been looking at interesting data about player deaths in the hardcore server. There are a few quests that spike above and beyond the difficulty curve at their intended level. By way of example, Stopping the Sahuagin is one of the deadliest quests in the game, and is being nerfed as we speak. A whole lot of people died to the ice trap in the end, and I should know, because I made it, and also died while explaining how it works to my wife and friends. On a rogue. While jumping up and down in front of it.

    To disambiguate, "nerfing" in this case means making the quest easier, not harder.

    While we are addressing obvious concerns and I personally take the nerf bat to some of these, we may overlook some of the least popular quests due to their data being less obvious (not a lot of people play them > not a big spike in deaths).

    Please use this thread to point out problematic quests and areas within them, that are more difficult/annoying than the rest of similar quests in the same level range. I will personally appreciate any screenshots and /loc strings of problematic areas, which makes it a lot easier to deliver swift nerf justice to the offenders.

    The point here is not to make the game a cakewalk, but to smooth out the difficulty curve from quest to quest. I'm not touching most quests, just the outliers, the ones who go out of their way to kill or annoy you.

    Bring out your pet peeves!

  2. #2
    Community Member Phoenicis's Avatar
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    My pet peeve?

    Nerfing quests into the ground.

    Seriously, SO many quests are trivial that when I first started were absolutely brutal. Yes, 28 pt characters and dungeon scaling have a lot to do with that.

    I distinctly remember in Dead Girl's quest, the ambush where the door closes. Getting absolutely swarmed with ghouls, wights and skeletons. Now? Two mobs.

    Probably NOT a popular opinion, but hey, you asked for pet peeves.

    (Swiped Signet caused a fair number of my deaths, primarily due to sleet storming casters causing blindness and lack of movement control. Please don't nerf that one too...)

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    The Top Side GoldyGopher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlimsyFirewood View Post
    The point here is not to make the game a cakewalk, but to smooth out the difficulty curve from quest to quest. I'm not touching most quests, just the outliers, the ones who go out of their way to kill or annoy you.

    Bring out your pet peeves!
    In older content (pre-motu) there are many traps that a multi-life 36 point, at appropriate level rogue that is properly equipped will fail, simply because they standard in the original game was they were supposed to fail. The one fire trap in Redfang the Unruled, The underwater trap in part 1 of STK, that stupid trap in Tangleroot (forget which part) and many others we have learned to ignore. I don't mind these traps and don't think they should be removed, however a properly equipped multi-live dex built rogue shouldn't auto-fail.

    There is also the problem that several encounters built before Dungeon Scaling create either low level Dungeon Alert and more importantly lag situations which are troublesome. Think the first Kobold fight past the ambush secret door in Walk the Butcher's Path. When that encounter is poorly done the additional Kobolds from down the hall are also activated and lag deaths to the Kobold Shamans Lighnting can be impressive.

    I will also mention Low Level Carnage Reapers, I am sorry but at level 5 when they not only one shot my character but smack me for four times my HP amount when I am properly equipped it is a pain in the bottom.

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  4. #4
    Community Member voxson5's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FlimsyFirewood View Post
    Hey folks,

    We have been looking at interesting data about player deaths in the hardcore server. There are a few quests that spike above and beyond the difficulty curve at their intended level. By way of example, Stopping the Sahuagin is one of the deadliest quests in the game, and is being nerfed as we speak. A whole lot of people died to the ice trap in the end, and I should know, because I made it, and also died while explaining how it works to my wife and friends. On a rogue. While jumping up and down in front of it.

    To disambiguate, "nerfing" in this case means making the quest easier, not harder.

    IDK if nerfing that trap is the right way to go, but maybe give alternative ways to get around it to further teach mechanics?

    Shootable lever which stops the front shooting jets for a short time?
    Secret passage leading up to the side?
    Breakable stalegtites which cause rubble to block off one side of the ice jets?

  5. #5
    The Hatchery GeneralDiomedes's Avatar
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    1 quest most people wouldn’t touch - ToEE part 2. But then you saw an LFM up and were like ‘whoa that dude is crazy!

    I dunno part of DDOs charm is that it is not homogenized. If people aren’t leaving over it just leave it alone!

    Ok .. one trap that is kind of unfair is the first poison trap in Missing in Action that has to be timed .. but you can always take the other path.
    Last edited by GeneralDiomedes; 11-18-2019 at 02:42 PM.

  6. #6
    Community Member aoeusnth's Avatar
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    Hmm, this should be a pretty fun thread. Fun as in, bringing up traumatic quest experiences

    Honestly there's probably not a whole lot that necessarily needs to be nerfed, but I bet touch ups here and there would make sense.

    Let me look through the quest list and see if anything sticks out...

    I definitely understand Stopping the Sahuagin's ice trap at the end, it's a pretty crazy trap for that level.

    -The Cannith Crystal: (at least on Elite) This one is so unnecessarily hard and stressful for a beginner area quest. There's a part where 3 or 4 minions run straight past you to make a bee line for the crystal, and you have to try to kill or intimidate them as quickly as physically possible or the crystal you're protecting will break in about 3 or 4 hits. Most of the other mobs in this quest (like the casters) initially aggro on the crystal but very easily switch to players just by the players being in line of sight. So I'd suggest lowering the aggro of the crystal or make the bee-lining minions behave a little more like the casters.

    -Repossession: I think this is pretty similar to Stopping the Sahuagin's ice trap, the end traps are brutal. The traps pretty much necessitate having a rogue, otherwise you have to pray that you can manage a stat check to find the correct item. At a level where many people will still be wandering around soloing things and may not have maxed out stats, I think it's a bit much.

    -Proof is in the Poison: Famously hard for its level, but I'd really only suggest adding another shrine or two.

    -Guard Duty: Remove failure condition, 'nough said. (Pirates could go unconscious like the NPCs in The Captives or something like that.)

    -Heroic ToEE part 2: I haven't done this much in heroics, but the end fight stacking spore damage seemed way too high relative to the amount of HP you have at that level. The Epic version of the fight feels much easier.

    -Tethyamar quests: While doing some racial lives I would breeze through quests on R1 solo. I did these on R1 solo one time and it felt closer to doing R3 or R4 solo. I've seen other people comment on the balancing of these quests, too. They maybe could just use some slight stat numbers adjustments for enemies. (I'm not sure if the epic versions have the same problem.)

    -Acute Delirium: This quest isn't hard at all. But please for the love of the Sovereign Host do something about the 'assemble the airship' mechanic.

    I think that's pretty much it for me. I remember one of the devs mentioning that Terminal Delirium has by far the highest deaths for a quest, but I think that's part of the charm of that quest lol. There might be a few things like Dungeon Alerts that could still be adjusted here and there, like in Smash and Burn, Inferno of the Damned (yes, still, after many tries), and Thrill of the Hunt.
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    Community Member TitusOvid's Avatar
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    While you could have gotten a lot of data in just searching the forum, Flimsy, I think it is good that you open a thread for this. I presume this will be a very popular one for weeks. And I hope that you stay engaged since you opened it. This could turn out to be a really good thing. Because I doubt the data you pull from hardcore is a good basis to make changes.
    I have my doubts about the title of the thread, though.

    I can't contribute more at this time. I like the challenge in ddo. I would rather have them more difficult than easier. Not more difficult because of bad game design though.

    Good luck.

    Cheers,
    Titus.
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  8. #8
    The Hatchery Enoach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GeneralDiomedes View Post
    ...

    Ok .. one trap that is kind of unfair is the first poison trap in Missing in Action that has to be timed .. but you can always take the other path.
    Both directions have poison traps. I agree, you can time them, but that is not a guarantee. I also, died twice here, not outright, but bled out while the party looked on all making some kind of comment that they didn't have any ability to heal (several classes with options no one prepared) or how I should just pike the quest and let the WF/BF run the quest .

    My recollection is that when this quest came out poison did attribute damage but didn't do "Hit point" damage, keep in mind that 0 con did equal death, now it is just a stun. I think this was changed with MOTU for the Drow along with the change to how Poison was changed.

    So my recommendation would be to look at quests with Poison traps that are not able to be disabled and review how they damage a PC.

  9. #9
    Community Member Graskitch's Avatar
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    wow this is an interesting thread.

    thanks for giving us an opportunity for feedback on the challenge of specific quests in relation to others, but I do not think all quests need to have the same amount of challenge in relation to survivability, and especially not based on hardcore league data. if there were a lot of deaths in stopping the sahaugin on hardcore, it may be more a result of people being careless/reckless when they started out. I do not think it should be changed - I like that there is an element/risk of death if you are not careful with the timing.

    It is the same thing with the poison traps at the beginning of the marketplace quest "The Sunken Sewer" - I can imagine a lot of non-warforged characters may have died there on hardcore league, but I do not think it should be changed. Players need to learn a little about the timing on traps.





    .. if you were going to change/"nerf" any quests, then I think you should take a look at the mirror room of Terminal Delirium and the end fight of Temple of Elemental Evil part 2. but the challenges of those 2 rooms are learnable, and we need to give kudos to the people that survived and learned how to run them.

    I do not think you should go backwards to "nerf" quests based on hardcore league data, because it sort of trivializes the piviels tha died in the path to becoming #1.

  10. #10
    The Hatchery GeneralDiomedes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enoach View Post
    Both directions have poison traps. I agree, you can time them, but that is not a guarantee. I also, died twice here, not outright, but bled out while the party looked on all making some kind of comment that they didn't have any ability to heal (several classes with options no one prepared) or how I should just pike the quest and let the WF/BF run the quest .

    My recollection is that when this quest came out poison did attribute damage but didn't do "Hit point" damage, keep in mind that 0 con did equal death, now it is just a stun. I think this was changed with MOTU for the Drow along with the change to how Poison was changed.

    So my recommendation would be to look at quests with Poison traps that are not able to be disabled and review how they damage a PC.
    I think step 1 should be to make this trap disarmable. Step 2 should look at poison resistance similar to elemental resistance that reduces damage by X rather than just boosting saves.

    EDIT: it is supposed to do this, but apparently it is bugged.

  11. #11
    Community Member Graskitch's Avatar
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    actually, maybe you should be looking at quest content auditing in the other direction - you should look at the quests where there were the least amount of deaths, and you should add more random traps and pitfalls for the second season of hardcore league.

    for example, that starter quest where cellimas casts protection from death... what if she only casts on you if you speak to her in a respectful dialogue option?

    and in that room with the key at the bottom of the pool, maybe you can have a few temporary swimming slipper options right near the pool (which drop upon leaving quest) where one of them acts like the stone boots with sink like a brick, one of them gives you the fly spell, and the last one gives you underwater action.

  12. #12
    Community Member Visty's Avatar
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    several quests have fail conditions which, looking at the dwindling server population, makes it hard to complete them for players that have to solo or duo those quests. imo those fail conditions have to be done with. its no fun failing a quest for reasons you have no influence over
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  13. #13

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    Imma keep an eye on this, while going down the list of usual suspects. You can evaluate my "engagement" in a few months from now or whenever the next patch hits the live servers.
    Last edited by FlimsyFirewood; 11-18-2019 at 03:13 PM.

  14. #14
    Community Member ProdigyThirteen's Avatar
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    Only quest that immediately springs to mind is Proof is in the Poison. The density of casters slinging magic missiles (champ casters still terrify me) combined with the short duration of buffs (I.E: Shield, Nightshield and respective clickies) at that level and the single shrine for the entire duration of the quest makes it a pretty deadly quest, even on a completionist.
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    Community Member Dreppo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Graskitch View Post
    actually, maybe you should be looking at quest content auditing in the other direction - you should look at the quests where there were the least amount of deaths, and you should add more random traps and pitfalls
    This.

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    heroic toee 2 end fight is just wrong. there are a couple methods how to make it easier
    1) make it optional, award completion and loot before it.
    2) nerf the dot, to like 1/10
    3) add a portal to end fight to make reentries easier
    4) nerf the nuke: at the very least ensure it does not kill players outside of the barrier.
    5) plant lady should be inactive while spawns are up. Hezrous and Goristro make for a challenging fight even without that.

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    "Trust in the Shroud."

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    Tower of Frost on EE+ difficulty.

  19. #19
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    Default A Study in Sable

    soloing on a lvl 26 fire sorc - the end fight of A Study in Sable - the vampire Lord Sable - soloing on my sorc Epic Elite - with all three pillars broken and sunlight streaming in I could not hurt him - he saved vs all my spells, took barely any damage even in the sunlight and I could not stand close enough to him to melee because his force attack hit me through my shield spell for 600 a whack - me with 1000 hitpoints, he'd kill me in 2 hits - my hirelings insta-died.

    I ran in circles for about an 20 minutes until I just let him kill me to stop wasting my time and resources. I had no spell that worked on him and could not melee him. Perhaps I could have tried my spectral throwing dagger and spent 2 more hours running in a circle backwards throwing a dagger at him on a sorc. Just seems that with all that sunlight hitting him and etc I should be able to hurt him - I tried sunburst - which you think would hurt a vampire but he made his save and took 0 dmg.

    I left that quest very frustrated because I greatly enjoyed it up to that part - and I also used 20 store bought superior mana potions in that quest prior to because I figured I could just meteor swarm the boss down but he saved vs that and took barely any dmg from that too.

    All in all I loved the story but won't do it again because that end fight is absurdly hard for a solo caster.
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  20. #20
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    I'm generally of the opinion that the game needs more challenge and not less. But I agree with your stated sentiment that the game would be improved by smoothing out some of the levels of challenge. To that end:

    Swiped Signet.
    The openings on the bottom of the doors allow enemies to agro through the doors and cast their AOE spells (sleet storm) through them. This can easily lead to a party being overwhelmed. I'd like to see these doors made solid to prevent this.

    ToEE 2.
    Yes, the end fight can be learned. But even with proper tactics the spores still do way more damage than other attacks at the intended level range of this quest. Perhaps adjusting how the stacking works or some such could still reward smart play while making it less likely that three seconds of inattention = certain death.

    Missing in Action.
    I love the poison trap and the fact that we have to time it to get through. But I found that opinion challenged when a friend with a slightly laggy connection walked into the trap and died instantly. Even the tiniest bit of latency can lead to misjudging the timing for a trap like this. Rather than make it able to be disabled I'd like to see the damage changed so that it's not instant death for most non-warforged. Changing it to acid or making poison resistance actually work would fix that.

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