areas/game design, group sizes

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areas/game design, group sizes

Postby kiryan » Fri Nov 18, 2005 5:42 pm

I think we could take a lesson from the hoarde of MMORPGS that have been released in the last few years... The lesson im specifically talking about is group size. non-raid/high end encounters are virtually all designed for 6 man groups. Raids are then comprised of multiple 6 man groups.

Low and mid level zones and even a couple of high level zones should be designed for 6ish man groups... taking a noobie and throwing them into a 12-15 man zone group doesn't teach them much, they'll have no idea whats going on and at the end of they day, i doubt they will have felt important whether it was a 30's group or a 50s. Reduce that group down to a 6 man group and you get a lot more interaction and everybody knows that they contributed in a significant way even if it was only to their group in a 60 man raid.

I don't need to hear that you can take 6 people and do a zone done with 15. Its not about what you can do, its about how things are designed. Its about presenting a path. There needs to be something that can be considered a challenge and have rewards commensurate with the "challenge" (vs the reigning system of rewarding only for "time" * number of group members).

I think we need to have areas and skills specifically designed for smaller groups to promote growth and to hedge against a future where you may not be able to get 15 man groups.

What will the mud do when you can't actually get 15 people for a group... die? change over night? become a solo/artifact mud?
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Postby kiryan » Fri Nov 18, 2005 5:53 pm

some of the things that would need to be addressed to foster smaller groups...

clerics can not be the only possible healers... a formula from everquest: 2 secondary healers = 1 primary healer.

ench defensive magic must be toned down or spell combos between secondary defensive casters must gain significant strength.

zones need to consider that groups will have only 1 maybe 2 rescuer/bashers and a quite diminished damage output as a larger percentage of group slots will be spent on core functions. 10 mob fights would be silly, although interestingly enough all mobs track in mmorpgs.
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Postby Areandon » Fri Nov 18, 2005 6:01 pm

I think Kiryan is spot on. The mud is already dead at off-peak hours because there simply aren't enough people on to do something fun apart from xp. It would really help if there would be zones for smaller groups.

I would suggest adapting the older zones that aren't done often anymore for this, eg TF, CC, SF etc etc.

This would make the mud a lot more lively and therefore be much more interesting for newbies. I'd imagine that newbies get into groups much easier that way, while at the same time providing a place to practice for aspiring group leaders.
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Postby Vigis » Fri Nov 18, 2005 6:55 pm

Interesting ideas. I could probably bring myself to lead some zones again if I didn't have to worry about 14 people. Cut it down to only have 5 or 6 people who know in their heart of hearts that I am going to kill them and it lessens the hassle :p

Right now, the only thing tailored for small groups is exp, and we all know how lovely that reward is.
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Postby Tasan » Fri Nov 18, 2005 7:33 pm

Or just fix the problems that have plagued everyone for so long that most people left in the first place, suddenly you have plenty of people available to play...

Actually, no I take it back, please change it so the same 6 people can zone w/o anyone else any time they want. YAY CLIQUES!!!</sarcasm>

Seriously, this isn't a pay-to-play mud, it doesn't need redesign, it just needs some of the long standing issues fixed.
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Postby daggaz » Fri Nov 18, 2005 7:44 pm

My favorite zones are the ones that can be done by 5-6 people, and I am hoping some more go in. Wouldn't mind writing a few either, just dont have the time for it unless we get some kind of working editor/OLC.

Personally, there is nothing I like doing less (other than mindless pship xp) than sittin in some horrible zone for 6+ hours doing nothing but smite smite smite until somebody spanks or till we finally clear the eq. Its nearly as mindless...
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Postby kiryan » Fri Nov 18, 2005 8:03 pm

sure there would be cliques.... they would just be smaller cliques...

there already is a pool of about 25 players who are the in clique for all zones... with smaller groups you'd have more groups running around doing shit.

also, consider the hurdle for a new leader... learn a zone, then find 10-14 people willing to follow you. If there were lots of low end zones with good exp designed around 6 players with some loot, zone leaders could get their start early... if it was exp laden, people would lead "exp" zones. If there were level 50 zones for 6 people, new leaders could cut thier teeth leading 5 people not 15.

and I think the high end, large group dynamic is good... its what toril has striven for and developed over 10 years. its the small group dynamic, the new player experience, the early leveling, the low and mid end zones where we haven't really developed.... seriously, why would you want to play a game where you have to invest 15 days of ptime (fair guess for a new player to get to 50) before you can start to play the game?

Also consider how this might help competition... currently we have 1.5 teams or 1 big clique of people who get to play and people who are noobs. Everyone is competing in the same arena, the 15 man high end zone group.
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Postby Dalar » Fri Nov 18, 2005 8:08 pm

It's about scaling the zones to the amount of 6 person groups. That's what WoW has done, but 5 man instead of 6. There's 5 man instances, 10 man instances, 15 man instances, and 40 man instances. You could cater the MUD to this too if you wanted.

But the MUD's problem is character progression. You hit 50 and you use the same ol' eq set you've had for the past 5 years and you're done.
It will be fixed in Toril 2.0.
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Postby Ragorn » Fri Nov 18, 2005 8:25 pm

And Toril would suffer from the same problem that WoW suffers from. Every group would need a Warrior/Paladin tank, of course. And you can't do without a Cleric for healing. And you need an Enchanter for scales. Better bring a Rogue or Illusionist, in case you wipe. And you need an Invoker for area damage.

So you've got one slot left. That's where your Rangers, Bards, Elementalists, Necromancers, Shamans, Druids, Dire Raiders, and Psionicists fit in.

Toril would have to be rebuilt from the ground up in order to accommodate 6 man groups. The roles of tank, main healer, and main buffer would have to be fillable by multiple classes. You'd have to give Druids and/or Shamans the ability to heal as well as a Cleric, while giving Elementalists the ability to keep a tank alive like an Enchanter. Rangers would need Invoker damage. In short, you'd have to do away with all the crappy hybrid classes that get invited only because they can well/gheal/lure. And then all the zones would have to be rewritten to accommodate 6 man groups.

In short, it's a nice idea, but hell will freeze before Toril sees this kind of implementation.
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Postby Dalar » Fri Nov 18, 2005 8:44 pm

Ragorn wrote:And Toril would suffer from the same problem that WoW suffers from. Every group would need a Warrior/Paladin tank, of course. And you can't do without a Cleric for healing. And you need an Enchanter for scales. Better bring a Rogue or Illusionist, in case you wipe. And you need an Invoker for area damage.

So you've got one slot left. That's where your Rangers, Bards, Elementalists, Necromancers, Shamans, Druids, Dire Raiders, and Psionicists fit in.


In WoW, you need a warrior yes, but they're a dime a dozen. From there, you need 1 or 2 healers, which come in the form of priests, druids, shamans (Nightmare mode), and paladins (Easy mode).

For Toril, all you need for a 5 man group is a Tank to rescue (AP/Paladin/Warrior), basically a cleric since shamans/druids suck at single target healing, a stoner (elementalist/enchanter), and damage (rogue/ranger/invoker/dire raider/psi/blahblahblah). You basically have the 3 (Tank/Healer/Damage mitigation) then 2 damage classes.

Ragorn wrote:Toril would have to be rebuilt from the ground up in order to accommodate 6 man groups. The roles of tank, main healer, and main buffer would have to be fillable by multiple classes. You'd have to give Druids and/or Shamans the ability to heal as well as a Cleric, while giving Elementalists the ability to keep a tank alive like an Enchanter. Rangers would need Invoker damage. In short, you'd have to do away with all the crappy hybrid classes that get invited only because they can well/gheal/lure. And then all the zones would have to be rewritten to accommodate 6 man groups.

In short, it's a nice idea, but hell will freeze before Toril sees this kind of implementation.


Not all zones would have to be re-written. It's VERY easy. All you have to do is go back into the .zon file and reduce some mob loads and tweak a couple of mobs. It literally takes 30 minutes to do. You're making it sound like this is a huge task that the area staff would waste so much time on. It wouldn't because any area god should be able to do it in 30 minutes. Make zones in this game is just boring as hell. Fixing zones and tweaking them is 10x easier.

How hard is it to convert TF into a 6 man zone? Reduce some mob loads and reduce the difficulty of Jabberwock. Make the entry portal 6 uses only and make the whole zone section !teleport. Make code to prevent twinky things like people dragging in pcorpses and ressing them all. Need code to manage the situation "one person died but we don't have a cleric!". Make it more rewarding too if you want.
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Postby kiryan » Fri Nov 18, 2005 8:54 pm

I disagree ragorn.

it wouldn't take a redesign because this element of the game does not exist. It should be able to be added in such a way as to not alter the high end 15 man raid game that we have spent 10 years perfecting.

However you are right, some highly specialized areas would need to be looked at to allow combinations of other classes to produce similar effects. healing and defensive magic are there. again formula of 2x secondary = 1 primary is a good guideline.

But, I mostly disagree with your assessment of small group makeup. It would not be dominated by core; I think that hybrids would really show their strengths in smaller groups because with a limited # of slots and people, you have more opportunity to showcase your diverse set of skills.

For instance, warriors who balanced hit/dam with ac/hps/saves would have a place or 2handed. Antis and Paladins high actually use some of their spells some of the time. Rangers might actually be called upon to bash occasionally or even rescue/tank occasionally. Elementalists might spend some time stoning instead of just nuking. Druids and shaman might actually stop to heal people instead of just ghealing/dooming/sunraying... Necros might need spectres to help tank, or ghouls to help bash, or a spectre and a ghost to help tank/heal....

and then there might be some instances that require precision and core instead of a well rounded hybrid group. There are lots of ways to approach lots of fights, but with a 15 man group, highly specialized roles dominates.
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Postby kiryan » Fri Nov 18, 2005 9:12 pm

I disagree ragorn.

it wouldn't take a redesign because this element of the game does not exist. It should be able to be added in such a way as to not alter the high end 15 man raid game that we have spent 10 years perfecting.

However you are right, some highly specialized areas would need to be looked at to allow combinations of other classes to produce similar effects. healing and defensive magic are there. again formula of 2x secondary = 1 primary is a good guideline.

But, I mostly disagree with your assessment of small group makeup. It would not be dominated by core; I think that hybrids would really show their strengths in smaller groups because with a limited # of slots and people, you have more opportunity to showcase your diverse set of skills.

For instance, warriors who balanced hit/dam with ac/hps/saves would have a place or 2handed. Antis and Paladins high actually use some of their spells some of the time. Rangers might actually be called upon to bash occasionally or even rescue/tank occasionally. Elementalists might spend some time stoning instead of just nuking. Druids and shaman might actually stop to heal people instead of just ghealing/dooming/sunraying... Necros might need spectres to help tank, or ghouls to help bash, or a spectre and a ghost to help tank/heal....

and then there might be some instances that require precision and core instead of a well rounded hybrid group. There are lots of ways to approach lots of fights, but with a 15 man group, highly specialized roles dominates.
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Postby Lathander » Fri Nov 18, 2005 9:48 pm

We did this on Homeland. We designed it for smaller groups and smallers groups is what we got. Small groups mean that fewer, not more people do zones. Also, knowledge of a zone is not something you are born with; it is something you learn by watching a leader lead the zone. A mud designed for fewer people will yield a smaller playerbase. Once you have a truly small pbase, it becomes much easier to lose what remains if some change goes in that a leader doesn't like. Then you're left with a ghost town. Been there and done that.

Personally, I think the biggest factor is you don't have new leaders being created. One of the biggest causes I believe is rogues. Back when I led, people learned from walkng through the zone and seeing how to do things. Today, leaders sit the group down and the rogues go and lure things to the group. Also, rogues just walk through the zone and then the group wells or shadows over to the rogue. The younger players don't have knowledge of the whole zone because they never walk it.

The best way to maximize new players' exposure is to create a role for them in the group and to have available space for them by creating a need for a big group.

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Postby Corth » Fri Nov 18, 2005 10:44 pm

Lat:

Don't you know that when you become a god your supposed to stop having substantive conversations with the players concerning gameplay and balance? Get with the program! Here, practice with me. Say.. "Tiamat will be in... soon" Not too difficult, right? :)

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Postby Dalar » Fri Nov 18, 2005 11:41 pm

Or, you could just make a ton of zones !tele
It will be fixed in Toril 2.0.

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Postby Lathander » Sat Nov 19, 2005 1:17 am

Heh, I love you guys. Come here and give me a hug...

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Postby Shevarash » Sat Nov 19, 2005 1:32 am

Hey Corth - Tiamat will be in soon.

I got $5 says you can't lead her. :)
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Postby Dalar » Sat Nov 19, 2005 1:55 am

Shevarash wrote:Hey Corth - Tiamat will be in soon.

I got $5 says you can't lead her. :)


$50 bucks, lvl 39 before he gives up
It will be fixed in Toril 2.0.

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Postby Mirlantharn » Sat Nov 19, 2005 9:17 am

Actually, Ragorn and Lathander both are correct.
I know an Everquest retiree that got tired of playing the game, and griped about having to always play his cleric. He'd have to play his cleric because the group REQUIRED the cleric, yet couldn't always play his paladin due to the fact cleric's heals were SO much better than paladin's lay hands on Everquest. The other gripe he had was that with Everquest's multiple required half dozen member teams, many times his team was pivotal in "breaking" the zone but ended up getting little experience because the other teams would always get the kill. One time, after 8 hours of not getting a single kill, his group left the others. I myself wouldn't call this "teamwork", and don't see how Toril at all could benefit from a hardcoded 6 member group limit.
Having zones not always require a full contingent of the standard characters would be a difficult and delicate matter. With a lessened requirement, the zones would become a walk thru the park for those groups with a full contingency. This wouldn't be balanced at all.
I think Lathander really hit the nail on the head with two points.
The first, groups have come to rely on rogues and a few other select people playing other classes to lure tracking npcs to the awaiting group. In a different situation recently, a cleric and my enchanter were almost exclusively the only two players that were allowed to assist in a run in, cast, and get back out process aiding two tanks. I'm sure the rest of the group was bored out of their minds for that hour. Should rogues be downgraded? I don't think that's a good thing either. Personally, I think a small change in mob AI might help this, but I'm not going to divulge at the moment.
The second, the practice of twinking a zone has gone from a small select few people finding a way into the local area within a zone for a mob, to entire groups being transported around. If done only occassionally, I doubt this would be the problem it is today, but this is being done avidly and almost daily in some zones. Downgrade the classes that provide these group transportable spells? Again, I don't think that's a viable solution, but sadly I don't have any thoughts at the moment for an alternative.

So, a plea to those group leaders: Please limit these two quick and dirty methods of gaining items and getting to mobs. On the way out of a zone, maybe I can see it being used, but then again that's almost akin to having Bilbo Baggins in The Hobbit taking the item from Smaug's horde and just going back home.

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Postby Lahgen » Sat Nov 19, 2005 11:24 am

The problem is not that players are too smart, but that mobs are too dumb.

Granted, we don't want every zone to have illithid monks like in CM, but they didn't get to where they are by being easy prey to every halfassed zoning group that comes a-knockin'.
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Postby Ruagh » Sat Nov 19, 2005 6:10 pm

Ok my 2c:

Dalar: $50 bucks, lvl 39 before he gives up

Yep absolutely agree. Well, dragons should be feared, theyre dragons after all. But with the recent dragon changes... Heck Im afraid to even imagine what Tiamat will look like nowadays. But since we will not be able to gather even the 15-man group by the time it will finally come in - who cares?

So, back to the topic:
1. So-called "smaller groups" were, in fact, implemented before the "eq rehauling". With the knowledge of zones and eq - you could gather a small group, go there and get something decent, even if its only 1 piece for 10-man group (thats how evils used to survive). Now all zones are like "5-hr bulldoze with 5-vokers at the wandering dragon-filled grid". So it were the eq changes which have ruined alot. Because now to get decent stuff you have to go into those 10-hr zones. And also - I dislike the new quest system very much, because it is broken now. Nobody quests, it is easier to go into a zone, spend there all day and get a much spankier item. Who cares for all that running around and stuff. And heck, earlier you could go there and with some knowledge, luck, skills and time get something really decent. But it was considered "inapproproate" and thus every quest now ates high-end eq, even if it is not requiring 15-man multispank and a sack of Sight amulets to complete. There you go, Golden Serpents (yup I am still proud to wear those, although they are nothing more than junk now), or Kirin horns. Stormcloud armor havent been junkified into another "+1hit item" by some imm's mistake, I bet.

2. Evils (R.I.P.) Of course, nobody mentions the evilrace players who loved their chars, invested alot of time and energy into them - just to see that theyre fountain-sitters of the present days. Not all of them are ready to roll a goodie just in order to zone and supply their evilrace chars with eq/necessary stuff like quest spell components etc. For example - how many chanters have got dscale spell without the help from goodies? How many shamans got their ashield? Do you know how much prime I have on my troll? Or on my drow dscaler? etc. Removing the dumb Racewars code (HL-like) would probably help to put those abandoned evilraces back on the road. Still, nobody cares for the Dark Side, which is dead as a rock now. Lets wipe the evil races and evil-only items, since theyre useless?

3. Dragons. Well, I still remember the 21 pcorpse (screen-high pile) from DK Shadow dragon fight. And if not the god-given wand, we would give up after most of the 46+ have died several times in that 10+ group. And we were hearing goodie suggestions "Dragons? Oh dragons... Bah, 5 double-khanjari rogues will solve the problem". Still, dragons are doable only during the peak times, because they will spank full groups with ease. Thus - people who need dragons dead but play in non-peak hours are S.O.L. (shit outta luck). Downgrade the dragons not the eq!
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Postby Botef » Sat Nov 19, 2005 6:27 pm

Ruagh wrote:
3. Dragons. Well, I still remember the 21 pcorpse (screen-high pile) from DK Shadow dragon fight. And if not the god-given wand, we would give up after most of the 46+ have died several times in that 10+ group. And we were hearing goodie suggestions "Dragons? Oh dragons... Bah, 5 double-khanjari rogues will solve the problem". Still, dragons are doable only during the peak times, because they will spank full groups with ease. Thus - people who need dragons dead but play in non-peak hours are S.O.L. (shit outta luck). Downgrade the dragons not the eq!


Yea its a pity...DK Vault used to be a great thing for a smaller group of evils to do that was easy to include newer players into...its just not even worth the deaths now for a 1 in 4 shot of getting a evilrace only staff, and without being able to bring humans along good luck getting a large enough group.
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Postby daggaz » Sat Nov 19, 2005 6:46 pm

small groups...

Lead a lot of them lately, cuz its all we can scrape together these days on the evil side of things.. Erm... Always go for core classes myself, they are way too necessary to make trades... bard for a cleric anyone? Probably not in a five man group... Whats this 2x secondary = 1 primary nonsense, too? In a small group, you dont have the room for that. That kinda thinking is something you could do in a ten man group, not five. I got one slot for healing, one for defense, one for tank, one for rogueing and one for anybody else i can hopefully find, preferably a voker.

Anyhow, considering the way the pbase is going, I think it would be very wise to add in some more zones like brass/gith that can be done by small skilled groups, in the interest of the hardcore gamers who stick in with things no matter what, especially in the interests of evils. THere are plenty of monster giant zones, and there will be plenty more. Adding a few smallgroup orientated zones isnt going to cause the pbase to dwindle further.

I have a ton of ideas for this... especially for the UD, any news at all about OLC or a new editor? hello gods plz? I have made two seperate posts about this now, months ago you were all saying that it was a major priority, would very much appreciate a headsup.
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Postby daggaz » Sat Nov 19, 2005 6:52 pm

Oh yeah, and WTF happened with most of the quests in this game? I SO SO SO agree with Ruagh, the point system for eq barely works for normal eq, and its TOTALLY broken for most quests. Sure, some quests were way too easy, but others are quite tough and deserve a LOT of love. Why do we need some mindless formula to balance this stuff? I would think a human mind/concerned and dedicated area god would be a much better option.

Case in Point: golden serpent armbands vs nighthunter greaves.
Armbands are insanely hard to get, quest is long and confusing, very few people have even finished it. Armbands suck.

Greaves on the other hand are incredibly easy, win one semi-rare item (which we six-manned the other day) and the rest can be done within a boot or two. Hell, the main mob isnt even rare and doesnt even poof, so if you already have the easy-to-get other items, well... and greaves are INSANELY overstatted.
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Postby Dalar » Sat Nov 19, 2005 8:34 pm

The other month I died to a dragon in 1 round with almost 800 hp as my grey elf bard. That's a bit overkill if you expect a group to kill a dragon that can instant kill a group member that's fully decked in the best gear. There's no gear that could have saved my bard other than another +300 hp and that's not going to happen with the current changes.

So are dragons suppose to be luck fights now? Get a para off and win? I never knew that ancients were that freakin fast. I always figured ancient dragons were big and fat and just breath'd and swiped you. I would think drakes would be able to fly through your group and send them flying.
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Postby Lilira » Sat Nov 19, 2005 11:59 pm

I haven't seen a para go off in a dragon fight since the last changes went in.

The last dragon I fought, we sent 60 plus fell frosts into the bugger, and nothing.
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Postby Ragorn » Sun Nov 20, 2005 5:38 pm

Dalar wrote:For Toril, all you need for a 5 man group is a Tank to rescue (AP/Paladin/Warrior), basically a cleric since shamans/druids suck at single target healing, a stoner (elementalist/enchanter), and damage (rogue/ranger/invoker/dire raider/psi/blahblahblah). You basically have the 3 (Tank/Healer/Damage mitigation) then 2 damage classes.


That's more or less what I said. I'd also assign some level of importance to having a Rogue/Illusionist, but tweaking the zones can greatly reduce the need for that.

Still, you're trying to cram 10 different classes into only 2 group slots. One of the reasons I never leveled a WoW Rogue is because DPS is expendable and interchangeble. You very rarely see groups in Org spamming "LF1M Rogue"... usually only if they're doing Tribute or another zone that requires the stealth aspect. It's hard enough to find a pickup group as a Shaman, as a class that can't perform as a main healer unless you're doing LBRS in +300 heal gear.

I can't imagine how hard it would be to find a group as a Ranger if you reduce the max group size to 5.

But, I mostly disagree with your assessment of small group makeup. It would not be dominated by core; I think that hybrids would really show their strengths in smaller groups because with a limited # of slots and people, you have more opportunity to showcase your diverse set of skills.


Problem is, Toril's hybrid classes aren't built to be primary healers. You can't bring a Druid or Shaman as your group's only healer, because Clerics are the only class in this game that can ress!! You're opening a can of worms, because promoting hybrids into the role of primary healer means they HAVE to have some way of recovering the group from a bad fight. Likewise, Elementalists can't perform as primary stoners unless they get scales. If scales exists and Elementalists don't have it, then either Elementalists will not be usable as primary buffers, or zones will become so easy that HAVING scales makes you invincible.
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Postby Dalar » Sun Nov 20, 2005 6:53 pm

Lilira wrote:I haven't seen a para go off in a dragon fight since the last changes went in.

The last dragon I fought, we sent 60 plus fell frosts into the bugger, and nothing.

gythka
It will be fixed in Toril 2.0.

Aremat group-says 'tanks i highly suggest investing 20 silver in training weapons from cm to cut down on the losing scales to shield'
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Postby teflor the ranger » Sun Nov 20, 2005 8:10 pm

Smaller group sizes will necessitate a convergence of classes and a reduction of variety among classes.

It's not pretty.
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Postby Gormal » Sun Nov 20, 2005 10:12 pm

gythka can't para dragons since dorac did it on soj3 has it?
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Postby Eilistraee » Sun Nov 20, 2005 10:21 pm

Gythka could para wyrms however, until I went and updated the proc not too long ago. :)
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Postby Dalar » Mon Nov 21, 2005 1:10 am

this was a few months back and the dragon in question was chloracrida
It will be fixed in Toril 2.0.

Aremat group-says 'tanks i highly suggest investing 20 silver in training weapons from cm to cut down on the losing scales to shield'
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Postby Eilistraee » Mon Nov 21, 2005 1:25 am

Yep, fought just outside the northern gates of Waterdeep if I recall. :)
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Postby Tasan » Mon Nov 21, 2005 3:27 am

I para'd Chlora in GC 2 days after the changes w/ Gythka :(
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Postby Dalar » Mon Nov 21, 2005 3:35 am

Eilistraee wrote:Yep, fought just outside the northern gates of Waterdeep if I recall. :)
i'm talking about when we did it in GC
It will be fixed in Toril 2.0.

Aremat group-says 'tanks i highly suggest investing 20 silver in training weapons from cm to cut down on the losing scales to shield'
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Postby Eilistraee » Mon Nov 21, 2005 3:58 am

Ok, somebody fought her just outside Waterdeep and I happened to catch dragonspam and have a look.

Oh well, all better now.
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Postby Yarash » Mon Nov 21, 2005 1:59 pm

I like small zones, but they don't seem very popular with other players. There are plenty of small zones/areas people can go, but late at night a lot of people are sitting around afk, or exping.

Places small groups generally don't go late at night, but could:
A'Quarthus Velg'Larn ("AV")
Brass
Citadel
Darkhold
Demi
Drulak
Moon Temple
Roots
Scornubel (some of the lesser fights)
Spiderhaunt
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Postby Sarell » Tue Nov 22, 2005 12:48 am

I've been to all those places in the last month except moon temple and darkhold. Nightime smiting is cool. I really like zones like roots, where you put one good item, short zone, hard for a small group. It is kinda the same number of people time equation to a full group doing a larger fast zone like TTF.
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Postby kiryan » Thu Nov 24, 2005 8:24 am

The idea of 2 secondary healers = 1 primary healer means that 2 secondary healers (like a druid or shaman) can keep up with the healing rate of a cleric (realize damage prevention is roughly equal to healing depending on how it is implemented) in most situations (not all). So when your taking a lot of damage both are healing, when your not taking much damage they spend more time doing damage. The group is more flexible and efficient except when the required healing rate consistently requires both chars to heal. If shaman/druid had spec on their heals they could heal for most light to medium groups if they focused on healing. If we added a 10th circle full heal to druids they could heal for all but the most intense groups and would give up the majority of their offense to do so.

I'm not suggesting we do those specific things, but if we wanted to make smaller groups composition more varied, we would need to do something to allow other classes to step into the roles of cleric and enchanter specifically in small group situations (we would want their capability solo or in large zone groups to not receive the enhancements).

I'm really not suggesting we do anything to the high end game, zone groups of 15, composition or otherwise... I'm not suggesting that we limit groups to 6 and make zone groups 3, 6 man groups. Rather I am suggesting that we design more low, medium and some limited high level content for groups of 6 people. whether its portal locked, instanced dungeons, per zone group size limits enforced by gods, some magical "new" type of group or whatever, I think we could see benefit by doing it.

I think the key to the low level game and creating leaders is small groups that are able to earn profit (equipment or exp).


IN early everquest you spent all day looking for enchanters or clerics so you could exp, mini zone or whatever; that changed but maybe your friend quit first. Early everquest had significant grouping problems early on that remind me of our core class requirements zoning problems. Only 1 class could really heal (clerics), only 1 class could really "crowd control" (keep mobs parad so the group only fights 1 mob at a time). After a couple years they did a great job of allowing hybrids or other classes to fill certain group niches that were previously solely dominated by 1 specific class. Paladins and Antis became great tanks, necros gained crowd control abilities, druids and shaman gained a lot of healing ability ect ect ect...
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Postby Ruagh » Fri Nov 25, 2005 11:04 pm

Paladins and Antis became great tanks

Id prefer if they became great warriors, personally... And rangers worth something... Dream on. The very principles of Toril will be touched. But I DO AGREE that spells should be downgraded, and melee upgraded, and I should be able to live more than 2 rounds without spells.

Even the really easy to fix things havent been fixed:
1. Allow knights (paladorks/antis) to enter portals mounted (useful when there is an aggro beyond the portal, otherwise... youve got the point)
2. Allow remounting when engaged (okay, make it mount skill-based, but we need it badly)
3. Add a shieldblock skill to knights (heck are they doomed to use 2h? Dont tell me a knight is lacking skills/brains to use 1h AND a shield)

It is pretty easy to fix... Still, it is there, making knights !welcome in zones due to poor tanking skills. And I dont even mention rangers and rogue's ranged weapons.
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