Group Size Limit: Why stop people from coming to zones?

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Group Size Limit: Why stop people from coming to zones?

Postby Sarell » Fri Jul 01, 2005 7:47 am

In one week, a major zone was changed in what seemed a pitless atempt to stop people from doing it with small numbers, and a group I led got in trouble for having 17 people in BC. It is totally unclear to me why players are forced to do zones with the 'right' number of people or why the group cap was introduced from a player perspective.

As demonstrated in musp, even power players like to do zones with the least number of effective people possible, so they can get more treasure, and gloat about their conquests. Some days, you want to take the people needed, and you also want to take your friends, or take some new people so that they can experience a zone they havn't done without being a burden, like taking a second or apprentice enchanter along. The choice you make when you bring more people is that you have to split the treasure more ways, you increase the potentional for people to mess up, and it is much harder to coordinate.
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Postby Lilen » Fri Jul 01, 2005 8:20 am

Well said. I agree
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Postby Ragorn » Fri Jul 01, 2005 8:22 am

The gods probably judge a zone's difficulty by the types of groups able to complete it. In fact, many zones are probably difficulty-adjusted in order to meet a target ideal group size. BC, for example, is likely balanced to be an adequate challenge for 15 people, so allowing you to bring 17 or 20 or 25 trivializes the zone. And loot in this game is determined by the zone's difficulty, so allowing you to circumvent the challenge by bringing multiple groups would trivialize the loot as well.

Really, if the gods want Zone X to be a challenge for 12-14 players of moderate skill, that means that 9-10 players of high skill can probably complete it, and that's ok. But if Kiryan regularly plows the zone with a group of 5, then something isn't up to scratch and you can expect changes to bring the zone more in line with its expected challenge.

You can't have fun, challenging zones AND the ability to bring as many people as you want to a raid. Unless zones are coded to scale up in difficulty the more people enter, but that's a whole nother ball of wax that Toril doesn't even touch.

Likewise, if you don't adjust zones that players figure out how to break, pretty soon everyone will learn the blitzing method, and a zone which was designed to provide loot adequate for 12 people is being done by groups of 5-7. Then you've got risk vs. reward problems, an issue that Toril has been struggling with for years. That leads to nerfed loot, and so on, and so forth.
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Postby Sarell » Fri Jul 01, 2005 1:12 pm

Ragorn wrote:You can't have fun, challenging zones AND the ability to bring as many people as you want to a raid.


Why not? I had great fun with 17 people today, even tho we did always leave 2 behind sitting because we wern't allowed to be doing the zone with over 15. People find different things fun. It's honestly not to your benefit bringing too many people if you are a power gamer. Not to mention it is quite difficult to get large sized groups functioning properly. If someone wants to take 20 people to jot, how does that effect me? If I wan't it to be super hard I'll do it with 3 people, if I want a roll in the park tight zone ill bring 10-15. If I want a high energy chaotic romp I might bring 25! All good fun. If there is no limit on the size of the group the player can set the challenge level that they want. As proven currently we will still usually do it with as least as possible, but on occasions where we wan't to bring more people along for some mudding, we can.
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Postby Ashiwi » Fri Jul 01, 2005 1:18 pm

So if you could roll a zone with the entire Scions guild on a nightly basis, exactly where is the challenge coming from, again?
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Postby Ragorn » Fri Jul 01, 2005 4:30 pm

Sarell wrote:
Ragorn wrote:You can't have fun, challenging zones AND the ability to bring as many people as you want to a raid.


Why not?


Items on Toril are given stats based upon their difficulty in obtaining. If you are allowed to circumvent the difficulty, you can expect the items to be downgraded. That's the "why not." If you don't care about items and powergaming, then take your 20-man group for a romp through podville or Ice Crag or SSC instead?
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Postby Klandal » Fri Jul 01, 2005 5:17 pm

Items on Toril are given stats based upon their difficulty in obtaining.


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Postby Ragorn » Fri Jul 01, 2005 5:36 pm

Thanks for making my point. Being able to blitz through zones with far fewer people than the gods originally intended leads to skewed risk/reward.
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Postby kiryan » Fri Jul 01, 2005 6:05 pm

I think the players were bitching that there were no hard zones because you could just bring 25 or 30 people and areas wanted a way to gauge the difficulty of a zone. Players wanted a challenge they wanted a way to keep !elite people from getting elite eq by zergling zones to death (zergling = no tactics no skill just send hordes of people in and ress the ones that die) and areas didnt want their zones blown up by 20 invokers.

So the gods decided to add "difficulty" into the eq equation by implementing group limits. So now we have this objective (read subjective) eq calcr that tries to combine "time" and quantify "difficulty" to come up with a point system for equipment.

Personally, I think "difficulty" was a great experiment that only achieved meager success. I think as a whole it caused confusion in eq systems and detracts from the game in its exclusion of people. I'd like to see us start experimenting with some new zones that have no groupsize limit with eq statted based on the "time". Most superpowered abilities already have built in limiters like feedback and out of blast radius on area and rogues/rangers being single target. Don't you want to see a fight between 100 mobs and 40 players?

However, the game will get easier (yet again) but it will probably result in more people having more fun in general... isn't that really the point? Additionally, perhaps guilds can become more active again. I hate logging in too late to join a guild zone because its full, i usually find something else to do, but I believe more than a few people have commented in the past that it makes them want to log off. I know the gods want associations to be more than chat channels, so do stuff that helps them become more than that. having to tell them they don't get to zone tonight because they were late doesn't really endear a lot of loyalty does it? Kicking someone out of the group to bring a guild member is the kind of spirit we want to support?
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Postby Ragorn » Fri Jul 01, 2005 8:30 pm

Who will want to bother writing new areas for Toril if they know that their greatest challenges will be blown apart by a 30 man group?
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Postby kiryan » Fri Jul 01, 2005 10:03 pm

because some players will enjoy blowing up a zone with 30 players and others will enjoy doing it with 10 players because its challenging.

it just really depends on what you think is fun doesn't it?

can't toril support zones that don't have group limits as well as zones that do have group limits?
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Postby Corth » Fri Jul 01, 2005 11:41 pm

I'm with Ragorn on this one.

Take choking palace for instance. Please! :)

If you could bring as many people to choking palace as you want, it would get farmed with frequency. I think its nice to have a challenge.. even if the pbase these days doesn't seem to rise to the occasion. One day someone will beat that zone and they will get all the accolades they deserve. I don't want to see the best zones on the mud get raped, and the best eq horded, by groups who use brute force over skill.

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Postby Sarell » Sat Jul 02, 2005 12:44 am

Ashiwi wrote:So if you could roll a zone with the entire Scions guild on a nightly basis, exactly where is the challenge coming from, again?


Keeping Ebgar awake.
(That's in jest, but the logistics of organising a group of 30 is ridiculous, someone is going to spank you.)

Ashiwi, it wouldn't happen, not for my guild and certainly not for any others. The number of times more than 15 people from our guild have been engaged in one group at once comes to a total of one. Just once. The problem I saw was I would rather have them up there tagging along, sitting, chatting or whatever that logging off. This isn't just an inside guild thing either, I hate having to boot people from groups to find a more suitable character, however sometimes it's the only option in order to go out and do a zone.

Now I problably wouldn't take 30 people to pods as you suggest, because that would be boring, but I might take 30 people to spob one day to see what can be done. My point is, perhaps risk/reward/etc should be more dictated by a market value type of approach, what you do with the zones offered to you is your choice and enjoy them however you can. In all honesty, I'm one of the pricks who tries to take the minimal number of people from my guild only quite often, so that our group of friends can just cruise along make fun of eachother on skype and not worry about doing anything different because we know our jobs and have a good time of it. But there is the odd occasion I would like to try steamrolling a zone just for entertainment.

I agree with Corth on choking palace, that could be done with several full groups at once rather than not being done ever as is. I don't think anyone will break it in its current state but that's just me, some think they will. If they do it will be pure fluke not skill anyhow. Magma you could have red squadron clearing like invasion of old and then team up for the Drakes I guess. Still, you would have to organise everyone and split the loot between 30. Having regularly tried to schedule groups of 15 to do things I don't really see scheduling 30 as the easy option. Most days there arn't 30 active people online. If we had a much bigger pbase, perhaps restriction could work to foster several groups at once.

There is no way in the world risk VS reward VS time VS the number of people works at the moment. Many of the BEST items in the game can be done with 2 people. Eq balance failed abismally, everyone is now just wearing a different easiest to get best set than they were before. Not to mention the skew dragon code threw into the whole thing. If you have 20 people doing a zone instead of 15, then that might be another 20 hours of peoples lives that are going into the zone. That works out perfectly if you want to treat risk VS reward as a flat non-logarithmic equation as everyone talks about it.


Ragorn wrote:Thanks for making my point. Being able to blitz through zones with far fewer people than the gods originally intended leads to skewed risk/reward.

Did you mean with far more, rather than far fewer? I guess either makes sense, only one has bearing on this thread however. At the moment the norm is certainly to do it with those small elite groups that Corth likes. The code and areas have made numerous changes to combat this in some zones, without meeting much success in many instances and success in others(blocking worked). Still, in spite of allowing 15 people to come to musp invasion, it doesn't get done like that. Why would people start bringing 30? The only reason could be for fun. Or in the case of CP to see the zone actually get done once.


Who's ever done brass or TF with more than the 10 people required to totally roll it? It's fun.

Now, can anyone think of a fun zone that was traditionally done with 30? *shrug* I'd say people would want it in!

I'd be totally for having different caps for different zones if there was a way to hardcode it. Roots is a good example. Bring 30 not needed people into spirit and see what happens!
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Postby kiryan » Sat Jul 02, 2005 1:06 am

Another item for consideration is that as group sizes go up, the # of times you have to go to a zone to get the eq you want goes up because there are more people to bid against. Group sizes will generally stay smaller to keep the eq split more favorable however larger groups will often gather to roll a bunch of zones for the pure fun of destroying in the name of fun.

Also, each extra person in a zone group is one more person PLAYING the game and not idling...
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Postby Dalar » Sun Jul 03, 2005 6:37 pm

What was the last thing they added that made you want to keep on playing? Tiamat?
It will be fixed in Toril 2.0.
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Postby Verarb » Sun Jul 03, 2005 8:02 pm

actually choking palace sounds really interesting, wish i had time.

i hear from a couple of the imms they put doomie and sphere of lightning there.
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Postby Lahgen » Sun Jul 03, 2005 10:19 pm

Nobody is opposed to challenge. What they are opposed to is arbitrary limits on groupability
rather than trying to come up with more elegant solutions.
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Rather than seeing "subpar race/class," see "challenge."
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Postby Ragorn » Sun Jul 03, 2005 11:39 pm

Sarell wrote:Did you mean with far more, rather than far fewer? I guess either makes sense, only one has bearing on this thread however.


I write a zone called The Burninated Village. It's designed to be a challenging high-level zone... not epic, but designed to challenge a nice group of 11+ people. I put 3 really good items in there, a handful of pretty decent items (5-8), and a whole pile of somewhat-useful stuff. And then there's the Glowing Greenish Cap, a head item so spectacular that every mage wants one.

For a while, groups of 12 run through the zone, and they have a good time. Mages are getting their Caps, everyone is putting on new equipment, it's a good time.

Then Corth finds a way to blast through the zone with 6 people, using a combination of rogue skills, fold, well, and AI exploits. What happened to the challenge? Though the zone was originally written to challenge a large-ish group of players, a few ingenious people found ways to circumvent the challenges without overcoming them, and now Corth is farming the Glowing Greenish Cap for his guild's alts. Obviously, this will not do, so the zone gets modified to prevent the kinds of tricks that Corth discovered... and the players start to bitch about "brute force" being the only acceptable method.

Then Sarell decides to blitzkrieg the zone with 30 people. They bulldoze every encounter, zerging the fights with so many bodies that my poor mobs don't stand a chance. Instead of the usual 3 hours, Sarell's group overcomes the zone and makes it to the vault in just 60 minutes. They pick up the equipment, roll dice, and Maxler winds up with a Glowing Greenish Cap of his very own. Only, he acquired it in a fraction of the time it normally takes, and without any deaths or challenge at all. Again, the group has circumvented the challenges present in the zone without really overcoming them, this time by sheer brute force rather than clever tricks. The result remains the same though, someone ends up with the reward without taking any of the risks. The gods impose a group cap... and the players bitch.

Simply put, the challenges in Toril should remain challenges... you shouldn't be able to stomp any zone just by throwing more bodies at the problem. If the game turns into "invite every level 50 on the list and cartwheel through formerly-difficult zones," how many people will be here 12 months from now?
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Postby Sarell » Mon Jul 04, 2005 5:48 am

Ragorn, throwing 20 scions members at a zone can hardly be described as throwing bodies. We had 4 deaths on our 15 man bel. You cannot dictate what will be an adequate challenge as some people ar far better players than others and work together more effectively. I find a 10 person group from my guild far stronger than 15 people from outside of it.

Now the math.

6 people X 4 hours = 24 hours
12 people x 2 hours = 24 hours
24 people x 1 hour = 24 hours

There is no difference in risk to any of these groups. There is no difference in the split of rewards. The is no difference in the total time people have put into it. Why try and dictate exactly how someone has to do something on a game? You can only claim in the name of fun or balance. Well if it wasn't fun people wouldn't do it (well maybe just no one likes them so they solo all the time).

There's always room for one more*! :)

*Note: this statement discludes when we are 2 manning rares/invasion/avernus/soloing/being mean in general :P
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Postby teflor the ranger » Mon Jul 04, 2005 7:34 am

Larger group sizes would guarantee the death of the evil side, and produce a whole new kind of lameness never before seen on the face of TorilMUD.

Are there really so many people that don't realize that the entire mud was designed around a max group size of 15?

Unlimited group sizes would be cool, but that's something more for the next generation of mudding.
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Postby Ragorn » Mon Jul 04, 2005 8:53 am

Sarell wrote:Now the math.

6 people X 4 hours = 24 hours
12 people x 2 hours = 24 hours
24 people x 1 hour = 24 hours

There is no difference in risk to any of these groups.


What math? Challenge is not a linear function of group size, nor is it a function of the time required to finish a zone. Doubling your group size makes a zone exponentially easier. You may not finish in half the time, because spelling up, communication, and traveling takes longer with a bigger group, but you can't argue that bringing 30 people to Jot would simply destroy any semblance of difficulty in the zone. Risk is not a function of "time spent in zone," it's a function of how difficult the challenges are to overcome. If you bring so many people that the most challenging encounters become trivial, how do you figure you've earned the reward?

Likewise, if you skip past all the challenging fights with sneak/fold, why do you feel you deserve the reward? You didn't beat second gatehouse, you knew that a rogue could walk through the room undetected and provide a transport target.
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Postby Sarell » Mon Jul 04, 2005 10:33 am

Ragorn wrote:You may not finish in half the time, because spelling up, communication, and traveling takes longer with a bigger group, but you can't argue that bringing 30 people to Jot would simply destroy any semblance of difficulty in the zone. Risk is not a function of "time spent in zone," it's a function of how difficult the challenges are to overcome.


Bringing 30 people to jot would make it easy to kill the mobs, hard to lead and form, it might be fun. It doesn't have any bearing on my argument however because the point im making is we should not have rules that restrict some peoples' fun at no expense of anyone elses. It would be someone's choice to take 30, if they don't find it challenging and fun that's their perogative. I still stand that it probably wouldn't happen but once in a blue moon.

Risk, is not a function of how difficult challenges are to overcome. It is about what you put on the line. First off, on s3, you pretty much never put your gear on the line. You put a little bit of time into it. If you have more people you risk coming out of it with nothing more than you started.

Also, challenge is most definately a mathmatical problem on this mud. Ever seen Dartan play? Oh no, you havn't zoned in 5 years nm, not going to go into game dynamics while you dictate what is fun and challenging for people. Just lok at your example of where Sarell does burninated village with 30 in the time you set and figure out how many times they will have to do it to each get glowing cap, OH remarkably close to the same number as if they did it your way, and that's with your hypothetical math from your ingenious zone.

Ragorn you are all over the place, you say it is bad to bring less, bad to bring more, bu completely overlook that when people zone, they bring who they can. That's what is fun about this game, some days you have the best team and smite a zone really well, some days a little off. You smite it in different ways big and small groups, and each and everyone one of them is fun. Sometimes you might take a group of only people who have never been off prime to jot and get slaughtered, but everyone has a blast!

Teflor most of the game was not designed around a cap of 15. Lots of zones were designed so that small groups could do them. And LOTS of the zones were designed for a completely different spell set before group limits came in.

It saddens me that I think the same people who be so cutting on this topic just for the point of arguing would no doubt be the same begrudged if I started booting them out mid zone for spots for guildies who scheduled to zone and got in late. I still stand that if group caps were removed huge groups probably wouldn't happen but once in a blue moon. And it might even challenge people to say to themselves, well how many do we need for X zone? Instead of filling to the mandatory 15 and tromping it as is the current system.
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Postby Malia » Mon Jul 04, 2005 2:37 pm

ever notice that the people that are all trying to defend it are the people that sit in wd and just whine and moan... or just have !skill in the game whatsoever.. (teflor) They dont zone anyways so dont know the diffrence really..

this thread is for the people that are out there zoning on a daily bassis, not a yearly basis.

Not saying a cap of 15 isnt a bad idea, but this pbase is just to small to force people to sit out, if ya got 17 guildies on (god forbid) they all want to zone together.
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Postby Pril » Mon Jul 04, 2005 3:34 pm

I haven't made my mind up about the cap limit yet but i think the problem is:

Sarell wrote:
Now the math.

6 people X 4 hours = 24 hours
12 people x 2 hours = 24 hours
24 people x 1 hour = 24 hours

There is no difference in risk to any of these groups.

The difference is that if a zone takes 15 people 3 hrs to do (bc for example) then 45 people could technically do the zone in 1 hr.

Technically that's still 45 "man hours". but int he same 3 rl hours that 45 man group can ravage lets say seelie, spob and bc. and when all 3 zones get done together in 3 hrs that's where i see the problem... i undersand that the loot would be diced among 45 people and not 15 at this point but still seems wrong somehow... shrug need to consider it more i guess. I'll stop ranting now.
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Postby Ragorn » Mon Jul 04, 2005 4:01 pm

Sarell wrote:Risk, is not a function of how difficult challenges are to overcome. It is about what you put on the line. First off, on s3, you pretty much never put your gear on the line. You put a little bit of time into it. If you have more people you risk coming out of it with nothing more than you started.


Well I guess that's the crux of the issue... you believe that risk is defined as "time spent." I guess it's up to the gods on that one. They've told you that the group cap is in place to preserve "risk vs. reward," and it's up to Sharshevric whether they mean actual chance of death/doom/dismemberment or simply "time from start to finish." If risk is defined as time spent, then hell... let everyone into the zones. Let the "challenge" of Toril rest not in the mobs themselves, but in the AFK warrior, the enchanter who doesn't haste rangers, the cleric who forgets his vits, the invokers who blast each other, and the laggy druid who doesn't stand.

Hell, if you're basing risk on the amount of time logged in, I think Corth deserves an artifact. He's "overcome" more "challenge" than most two other people combined :P

And why does it matter when I zoned last? The gods aren't going to change the policy for you anyway, no matter what you say or how many posts you write. If you want to argue about it, do so and be entertained. If not, stop posting. I quit this MUD because of the policies five years ago... if you're to the point where you think that the only challenge left in Toril is to log the most hours in zones, them maybe you should follow suit?
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Postby teflor the ranger » Mon Jul 04, 2005 4:33 pm

Malia wrote:or just have !skill in the game whatsoever.. (teflor)


*edit out counter flame :P lamers*
Last edited by teflor the ranger on Mon Jul 04, 2005 10:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Talona » Mon Jul 04, 2005 6:58 pm

Easy on the flames boys. You have been warned.
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Postby Ashiwi » Mon Jul 04, 2005 7:12 pm

Malia wrote:ever notice that the people that are all trying to defend it are the people that sit in wd and just whine and moan... or just have !skill in the game whatsoever.. (teflor) They dont zone anyways so dont know the diffrence really.


I totally defend it. Have fun with that statement however you want to.

What I don't seem to understand is that a small handful of some of the most accomplished players in the game don't seem to understand the risk vs. reward concept. I'm sorry, having 30 people in one of Toril's normal zones would completely toss the risk factor out the window. There's already so little risk in the game that it makes keeping the attention of players difficult... taking 30 people to a zone will so devalue the interest level of any zone that there won't be a zone left that won't have a maxed "ho-hum" stat.
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Postby moritheil » Mon Jul 04, 2005 9:03 pm

Sarell wrote:
Ashiwi wrote:So if you could roll a zone with the entire Scions guild on a nightly basis, exactly where is the challenge coming from, again?


Keeping Ebgar awake.
(That's in jest, but the logistics of organising a group of 30 is ridiculous, someone is going to spank you.)


Totally incorrect by my experience, although I don't presume to question your experiences. Back when I the group limit was not 15, I regularly had 20+ people in groups, and I wasn't even well-known then. How much easier would it be for me to form a 45 man group now?

I mean, if you WANT me to form tremendous groups full of people who don't listen to me and get slaughtered while brute-forcing zones, sure, I'll play along. Just get ready for that list of corpses at cleric path to grow by leaps and bounds.
Yotus group-says 'special quest if you type hi dragon'
Shevarash OOC: 'I feature only the finest mammary glands.'
Silena group-says 'he was so fat and juicy..couldnt resist'
teflor the ranger
Sojourner
Posts: 3923
Joined: Fri Jul 26, 2002 5:01 am
Location: Waterdeep

Postby teflor the ranger » Mon Jul 04, 2005 10:03 pm

moritheil wrote:I mean, if you WANT me to form tremendous groups full of people who don't listen to me and get slaughtered while brute-forcing zones, sure, I'll play along. Just get ready for that list of corpses at cleric path to grow by leaps and bounds.


Time to roll a cleric.

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