toril 2.0, exp, and the value of characters.

Discussion concerning the upcoming Toril 2.0 update as well as general 3.5 edition D&D discussion
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toril 2.0, exp, and the value of characters.

Postby kiryan » Fri Jul 28, 2006 8:29 pm

With Toril 2.0 I firmly believe we need to focus on things that make the mud more attractive to new players and I believe that begins with re-examining leveling.

I read the other thread going on exp where a lot of you guys are advocating things that will make leveling easier. I think if we are advocating faster leveling then we are going in the wrong direction. Leveling needs to get harder and more engaging, ESPECIALLY pleveling.

The problem with leveling faster is that your diluting the value of a "character". If you think about it, a character is all the newbie really has when he starts. Would you want to start a game where everyone else has a 2x,5x,10x advantage over you in leveling and you can't find anyone to hang out with? Its bad enough you have a knowledge advantage in where to go what to kill when to flee in leveling up alts.

A lot of people have cited that since they already leveled 1-50 once why shouldn't they be able to do it the second time faster. Besides the point of above and the simple question "so what, why should you be able to level a second char faster". Characters should have value and they dont which is why people think grinding another 50 is stupid. why put in hours and hours of work into something thats really not valuable?

Another reason is that you aren't engaged with the rest of the pbase since exp is best solo or small group. Leveling alts essentialy REMOVES you from the game for all intensive purposes since its usually a solo activity. Your supposed to be preparing to play your class in groups, so why is all lowbie exp done solo? Isn't this where the "GRIND" comes into play?

Its only a grind because your not having any fun. Your just putting in xyz time for your next level 50 character, its boring and repetitive. Why can't we have "fun" doing lowbie exp, groups and zones? Don't we hear all the time about the "challenge"? Is challenge exclusive to high level characters and high level zones? Or is that just a bunch of bullshit to make yourself sound elite because in actuality, people arent interested in challenge, they are interested in more and better EQ. Truthfully that makes sense, only EQ has value today because a level 50 chars is just 100 hours of grinding exp by yourself or with a buddy. Wouldn't it be better for the game if characters had value, if you could do a challenging lowbie zone/exp and get "value" in getting new characters levels?

Now beyond all that, think about how many more person to person interactions would be created if we all actually spent time leveling our chars together and especially with real newbies? If all lowbie exp wasn't solo. Think back, where did you make your toril friends? Was it while exping? I've made quite a few friends while exping. You found a dedicated xyz class that you could hang out with daily and race up to 50 with... are new players getting this opportunity? Also, think about how much pressure could be taken off the high end game if there were actually entertaining alternatives to farming the next tier 1 zone?

I realize that slowing the character leveling process way way down would be quite a windfall to existing characters. If we can agree that this is what we should do, we can come up with a solution to the wealth of existing chars. Lets try to stay focused on whether or not its a good idea to slow leveling down and whether its a good idea to reinvent the value of a character.
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Postby kiryan » Fri Jul 28, 2006 8:54 pm

http://www.torilmud.org/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=18607

a discussion on pleveling methods and possible anti-pleveling changes.
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Postby Lilira » Fri Jul 28, 2006 9:42 pm

I think something that might help would be level restricts on eq and zones. If you're over a certain level you get absolutely nothing out of a zone, and that includes eq. It just won't drop if you have someone in the group that is too high level. Also create a level difference problem.. if you're a level 50, and a level 20 is in the group, then the level 20 doesn't benefit at all. Not even XP-wise.

That would require a char of the appropriate level to actually go in somewhere and get the eq, and encourage like levels to group together. It would also discourage people from dressing their level one chars in level 50 gear. :-) The added benefit would be people learning their classes as they come up instead of learning it all from the top after being pleveled.

Wouldn't that also solve the nice neat problem of zones that just aren't done anymore cus the eq isn't the best? It could also breathe life back into the economics of the game.
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Postby kiryan » Fri Jul 28, 2006 10:36 pm

Todrael put together a great post on level restricts once... it went something like this.

i like my lich. why force me to make a new character to enjoy new content?

---

Everquest put together something called "trivial fight" code. Basically if a level 50 killed a level 1 mob, the level 1 mob wouldn't drop anything and be worth 0 exp. It was employed in I believe only one lowbie zone and never made it into mainstream.

The problem with something like this, much along todrael's sentiment, is that your artifically preventing people from enjoying the content with their high level chars. Let them enjoy the content, but make the "rewards" useless to them.

another thing to think about, i forgot who said this but its in the same thread, is why is there anything in a level 30's zone that a level 50 can solo that he would actually want?

Another thing from the same thread was something about when the lowbies group of 30s is having a hard time or gets spanked, why can't a high leveler come in and give them some help? Do you want to destroy this kind of interaction?

--

the toril economy has several problems... In a single formula time = money = equipment.

Unfortunately the formula breaks down for several reasons. One being the glut of eq makes eq worthless, two there isnt enough plat sinks to make platinum valuable, and three there is no parity between time in the rate of gaining eq value and platinum value. But again a different subject entirely.
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Postby Masrick » Fri Jul 28, 2006 10:45 pm

The mud has a dying population and yet you want to make it harder for newbies to feel at home?!?!

I can tell you this, I've had many many years of fun playing this mud but the brutal leveling requirements from 6+ years ago made me really think hard before even seeking out to see if this mud was still alive. And even today, I'm still hesitant to fully commit to returning because I remember the effort I had to put towards leveling. How you feel about your character once you've spent 1000+ hours leveling is personal. Some people hate the grind, others find it memorable, but just remember you stand a chance of alienating those that are not so interested in the grind and are more for the end game content.
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Postby kiryan » Fri Jul 28, 2006 10:51 pm

It wouldnt be such a grind if there was a game to play between 1 and 50, not just starting at 50.
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Postby Masrick » Fri Jul 28, 2006 11:09 pm

Consider this.

For the products out there attacting a massive amount of people, what are the average play times?

My best playtimes in Dark Age of Camelot(DAOC) to go from 0-50 was 17 days plays. World of warcraft(WoW) 0-60, 15 days played. The fastest to 60 in WoW is something like 10 days played maybe less these days, and that was set like the first month the game went live.

In DAOC after 2 years of complaints, they finally implemented a system that allowed you to create a level 20 of any class if you had a level 50 on your account. And since the game had 3 opposing realms, for the realm that had the lowest population, I think anyone could create a free level 30 character(I can't remember the exact requirements if you needed a level 50 on atleast any server but it was pretty close to that).

In WoW, the journey from 1-20 could be had in less than 20 hours. I think the record for level 1-10 is like 2 hours(no uber gear nothing, just ghetto lowbie gear)

Speaking of value, the played time of my mage(my main character) was 19 days to 60, I quit with 90 days played in just over 1 year. The value of my character didn't come from the time I spent leveling because at level 60, I was just another mage. I knew alot but not only that, because I was in a great guild on our server I had access to people that would have an answer to anything I was perplexed about. That is what made me value my character, it was the people I knew and interactions we had. As far as leveling, I had one friend in the guild that we had leveled together. Everyone else became a passing memory because at 60, there was so much to experience and so little time to waste trying to maintain those friendships.
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Postby Drache » Fri Jul 28, 2006 11:14 pm

The game would be more fun if there were 31 levels instead of 50. Every three levels you gain a circle for spell power. I think Lilira erroneously said when she hits level 25 that she's half way there. While numerically it may be true, statistically level 25 is probably the cumulative experience of maybe 25% of the xp needed just to go from level 49 to level 50. It's that kind of drudging and mindnumbing outlook that makes me fear leveling a new character.
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Postby Lilira » Fri Jul 28, 2006 11:21 pm

kiryan wrote:Everquest put together something called "trivial fight" code. Basically if a level 50 killed a level 1 mob, the level 1 mob wouldn't drop anything and be worth 0 exp. It was employed in I believe only one lowbie zone and never made it into mainstream.


Actually Kiryan, it is in mainstream. In EQ2. If you are grayed out to a mob you get 0 eq and 0 xp from killing the mob. If you have a level 50 in the group.. the whole group grays out unless the level 50 "mentors" down to the best viable player. The "mentoring" feature is what allows the high levels to help the babies.. it also grants an XP bonus to the one who is being mentored. The one mentoring has penalties applied to the skills/spells they can cast at their actual level, and drops them down to the level of the person they mentored.

While I'd love to see it, I don't see mentoring as a viable option on the mud without hours and hours of coding, and it sounds to me as if the coders have enough on their plates.
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Postby kiryan » Sat Jul 29, 2006 12:05 am

oh i hadnt played eq2, thought trivial code died with warrens in eq1
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Postby Arcelian » Sat Jul 29, 2006 2:13 am

While I respect you as a veteran player and an inexperienced nooblet like myself is probably out of line openly disagreeing, disagree I must.

With the pbase in its diminished state, I'm all for the lovely plevel staying. Finding people your level to group with is all but impossible for the casual player, and difficult still for the hardcore player....

It seems like the ones who want to make exp harder or more challenging are the ones who have already used and abused the current system and have an alt for every occasion. Of course they would want it more difficult, it makes what they've accomplished more valuable.

If there were a pwipe I'd be all for it, otherwise we're further widening the gap between current players and new players.
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Postby teflor the ranger » Sat Jul 29, 2006 2:50 am

Arcelian wrote:It seems like the ones who want to make exp harder or more challenging are the ones who have already used and abused the current system and have an alt for every occasion.


*first good laugh in a few weeks*
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Postby kiryan » Sat Jul 29, 2006 3:11 am

i'd be willing to delete each and every one of my characters if that was what it took to get this implemented. I think it would be great for the game.
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Postby Ashiwi » Sat Jul 29, 2006 2:04 pm

Arcelian wrote:It seems like the ones who want to make exp harder or more challenging are the ones who have already used and abused the current system and have an alt for every occasion.


Not so. Some of us who feel that way (me!) can barely stand doing exp, and only have real interest in playing one character.
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Postby Lilira » Sat Jul 29, 2006 4:29 pm

Arcelian wrote:With the pbase in its diminished state, I'm all for the lovely plevel staying. Finding people your level to group with is all but impossible for the casual player, and difficult still for the hardcore player....


Actually by requiring players to play to their level instead of level 1 characters running around with Tia gear (some of which I do know has a level restrict, just not sure which) and hitting level 50 in a week, you'd be MORE likely to find that group. Being required to get gear to play your level would more likely nab you the early zones with people who already know them so you could learn them yourself.

I'm guilty of doing this myself. Why? Cus I end up hollering over LFGC for 20 minutes to no response and soloing, so instead of trying to painfully solo-equip my necro, I strip Eya and hand over the clothes. If I couldn't do this... if other people of similar level couldn't do this, then its safe to say it would be easier to find groups.

The good side to me slowly soloing/two-manning up my classes? Guess what.. the chances are that while I'm not PERFECT at the class.. I can play it reasonably well, even if its just alone. You won't have the level 50 rogue who leveled to 50 in a week yet can't sneak/hide or pick a lock to save his life due to lack of skills prac.

That is what Pleveling brings to the mud.

Sure you can have an enchanter who is level 50 and fully quested (though I see more and more that aren't.. mind blank is a lovely spell guys). If they got the levels by being pleveled and the quest items handed to them they're not gonna be a great enchanter.

The point I'm trying to make, and I did make it the few times I have zoned my enchanter with groups who I'm sure would never want to invite me back for the experience *rofl*, is pleveling in the end is bad for the mud. I'm just as guilty on occasion as some.
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Postby Arcelian » Sun Jul 30, 2006 3:22 am

Lilira wrote:
Arcelian wrote:With the pbase in its diminished state, I'm all for the lovely plevel staying. Finding people your level to group with is all but impossible for the casual player, and difficult still for the hardcore player....


Actually by requiring players to play to their level instead of level 1 characters running around with Tia gear (some of which I do know has a level restrict, just not sure which) and hitting level 50 in a week, you'd be MORE likely to find that group.

Theoretically that sounds good, but I don't trust it. You'll still have a pbase that is 95% 46+, and I don't see a massive influx of newbies to form level-coordinated exp groups coming any time soon.

I'd like to wait and see what Shev is cooking up, then base a discussion on that....
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Postby Arcelian » Sun Jul 30, 2006 3:25 am

Ashiwi wrote:
Arcelian wrote:It seems like the ones who want to make exp harder or more challenging are the ones who have already used and abused the current system and have an alt for every occasion.


Not so. Some of us who feel that way (me!) can barely stand doing exp, and only have real interest in playing one character.


Well if you are only interested in playing one character, and that character is already level 46+, this change affects you just as little as it affects the one with a million alts :P
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Postby kiryan » Sun Jul 30, 2006 6:26 am

I would guess that....

25% of the pbase has an alt they are leveling actively in the past 1 week

60% have actively leveled an alt in the past 2 months.

90% have leveled an alt in the past year.

35% have leveled more than 1 alt in the past year.
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Postby Tasan » Sun Jul 30, 2006 7:42 am

There's not going to be a pwipe, why the hell are you discussing this.
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Postby kiryan » Sun Jul 30, 2006 8:15 am

who said anything about a pwipe?

You don't have to pwipe to change the game. If you wanted to put people on a more level playing field, you could figure out a way to encourage people to remake their chars or spend equivalent time "upgrading" their characters as releveling.

The real question is it the right direction or not? Not how are you going to imp it.
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Postby Tasan » Mon Jul 31, 2006 6:38 am

Remake their characters... I was under the impression from Shev's posts that that wouldn't be necessary. What's the point in releveling?
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Postby kiryan » Tue Aug 01, 2006 12:39 am

well... this is a bit off topic, and I have no idea what shev is going to do. When I say remake thier char, im talking about the generalizations that seem to say you will be able to customize your char, and probably advance them in a way more significant than our current 1-50. We will all probably need to "remake" our chars to some degree, some sort of player ability to "reroll" or stat fixing has been indicated and that would be remaking in some degree.

Again a pwipe in technicallity does not mean that all of our existing chars have to retain the same value they did pre 2.0.

If I was shev, I could say no pwipe, then in 2.0 make leveling from 1-50 take 10 hours and create say 100 play days worth of "alternate advancement" that takes place after level 50.

Or I could make a new stat like prestige give all existing 50's 0 in that stat and cost it out so that a "new" char would get xyz in this stat at level 50 but an existing level 50 would have to spend the same amount of time as leveling from 1-50 to have that same value.

But anyways, not really the point of this thread. I haven't said anything about needing a pwipe, I am saying that we need to give characters more intrinsic value and slow down leveling so there is opporunity for a game to exist between 1 and 50.
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Postby Latreg » Tue Aug 01, 2006 6:28 pm

As usual I agree with Kiryan, currently equipment makes you powerful, not skills or stats. If 2.0 can refocus the "power" to stats/skills and feats and equipment is designed to only enhance your skills this will go a long way to give characters value.
Consider this, until you max your level you are "in training" but how many times have you heard once I get to level 50 then i'll work on skills. You should need a certain level in your primary skills before graduating to the next level.
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Postby Lilira » Tue Aug 01, 2006 9:11 pm

Latreg wrote:You should need a certain level in your primary skills before graduating to the next level.


I like this idea, but I don't see it happening if 2.0 is close to th d20 systems for leveling.
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Postby Botef » Wed Aug 02, 2006 3:42 pm

I think ultimately what needs to happen is people who play one main character alot need to have applicable signifigance over a person who plays many characters sparsly. Right now the only real defining factor beyond a players knowledge and personal skill is Equipment, XP Buffer and Maxed Skills. With no pwipe coming, Equipment has become less and less a defining factor of a superb player and a newer player. XP Buffer really doesn't come into play much except in the highest end zones. And maxed skills, at least the important ones, is also nothing to get too excited about.

These three things are the final defining factors of a character to character comparison, personal skill aside. As a result, after gathering a high end equipment set for a particular class type your probably more or less maxed in your important skills and have xp buffer...So nothing else in your characters future will make you more desirable than another beyond your knowledge of the class/game and your equipment. This leaves little incentive to play ONE class, and promotes playing many.

What needs to occur is a player who devotes significant amounts of game time (particularly zoning time) need to have a real edge over one who doesn't. A few rogues come to mind who while having a few alts devote almost 90% of their zone time, if not more, to one character. These people should have more to offer than someone who power leveled their efhr and don't really play but on occasion. EQ shouldn't be the ONLY defining factor here, and while player class/game knowledge does make a difference its become less and less so with our pbase being mostly comprised of long time players with extensive experience.

It would appear Shev is well aware of this, and hopefully the skill/feat system will promote dedication to one or two classes rather than a mixed playing of a bunch of classes without it being a monotanous time sink. The prestige in being GREAT at your one or two classes has deteriorated rapidly in recent years in favor of being GOOD at a lot of classes - and it makes sense why given the limited form of Character progression (EQ) beyond Level 50 and the ease in which that level is aquired with high end equipment most everyone has.

By favoring players who play one or two classes rather exclusivly with better skills/feats over one who plays many classes sporadicly we promote character signifigance, reduce the desire/need to level alts and increase the value of characters.

To be honest, from all that I've read thus far I'm not too worried about it. It would seem Shev is well aware of the this dilemma and has plans in place to restore character signifigance/value ingame so that dedicating your play time to one or two characters produces better characters than playing 5 or 6.
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Postby daggaz » Thu Oct 26, 2006 12:55 am

I think that when 2.0 comes in, ALL characters should restart at level one and be forced to re-up themselves under the new system.

Kinda like a Pwipe, but you get to keep your name and eq... hmm and maybe keep some hard to max skills as well, like assassinate and -laugh- bandage.
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Postby Tasan » Thu Oct 26, 2006 1:07 am

daggaz wrote:I think that when 2.0 comes in, ALL characters should restart at level one and be forced to re-up themselves under the new system.

Kinda like a Pwipe, but you get to keep your name and eq... hmm and maybe keep some hard to max skills as well, like assassinate and -laugh- bandage.


A) In all likelihood both bandage and assassinate will not be skills as they currently are anyhow.

B) If you are going to pseudo-pwipe, then just do a real pwipe. The only thing a psuedo-wipe does is cause frustration for people that can't be around as much.
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Postby Cirath » Thu Oct 26, 2006 1:49 am

daggaz wrote:hmm and maybe keep some hard to max skills as well, like assassinate and -laugh- bandage.


Tasan wrote:A) In all likelihood both bandage and assassinate will not be skills as they currently are anyhow.


Not to mention that "hard to max skills" will be a thing of the past. Skills will be bought with a pool of points at every level, not improved through use.
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Postby Auril » Thu Oct 26, 2006 4:58 am

One thing to consider is the player's interaction. Level ones type assist tank when getting powerleveled, sometimes. Sometimes they set up a trigger to assist tank and then just fuzz out. I consider that a real danger.

The other danger I consider is the lack of understanding of their skills. It's great to have the best ones maxed out, it's great to mindlessly practice the other skills to get the numbers right - but often enough, the best players know how to make use of their other skills, the ones called upon to get your fat out of the fire. Without having actually used the skills as they're gained, learning their abilities, you lose that edge - and your character is a one-trick or 3-skill pony.

You could hand out a high level character, and skip the first. And you can make things easy enough that nobody has to worry about the second. I'm not sure that would be a pleasant game, however.
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Postby moritheil » Thu Oct 26, 2006 2:07 pm

kiryan wrote:It wouldnt be such a grind if there was a game to play between 1 and 50, not just starting at 50.


That's a bit of an exaggeration, but you're right. The game itself doesn't really start up till mid-30s. Currently, that restriction could be even higher, because most people aren't willing to take midlevels to zones.
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Postby daggaz » Fri Oct 27, 2006 1:42 am

Yeah ok i wasnt thinking about skill changes when I mentioned assassinate, but I fail to see how, if you get to keep your 50th level character (and all the applicable skill points etc) that would stop a player from being a 'one trick pony' or whatever.

Case in point: 'T' claims repeatedly on the bbs that he/she has somewhere around ten lvl 50 chars, fully quested, and with high skills (do mostly to botting, according to T's own posts on the bbs.) Besides the fact that 'T' got those skills high by the use of spambots, it is also noted (in posts and in the game itself) that 'T' doesn't really even play that much and those characters were, for the most part, power leveled and then left to rot.

After 2.0, 'T' gets all those same characters, as well as all the applicable skill points. In other words, a bunch of high level characters and yet, the same damn inexperience/simplicity of a total n00b. Just like before.

Herein lies the purpose of a level wipe. If you earned your eq by whatever means, (character defining, as we all know it to be) then fine. May it serve you well in your climb back to the top. But as for the levels and forthcoming skills, if you are truly skilled then I am sure you will be back on top with the best of them before too long, especially if they reduce the xp grind. (Hey, it could actually be FUN learning the new system). Otherwise, have fun learning how to play your character along with everyone else.

In all fairness to newer players, you could even give the option to either retain levels, or retain eq. A fair trade, I think. I know I would keep the eq (if I still had any), but for people who have kicked and clawed to get to 35th and are still wearing lower/mid tier junk, it might not be such a bad option.

Seriously, thats my two cents after a long time thinking about it, and Im stickin to it.

As far as where the game starts, if its a pwipe situation then I gotta say the first 20 or 30 levels were quite fun, at least for an evil. (tho there were a few serious issues, especially regarding rewards vs effort). If its non pwipe then well, sorry, but its all about grinding till you are zoneable, unless you are forcing yourself onto the early game like we did.
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Postby Cirath » Fri Oct 27, 2006 3:43 am

daggaz wrote:Herein lies the purpose of a level wipe. If you earned your eq by whatever means, (character defining, as we all know it to be) then fine. May it serve you well in your climb back to the top. But as for the levels and forthcoming skills, if you are truly skilled then I am sure you will be back on top with the best of them before too long, especially if they reduce the xp grind. (Hey, it could actually be FUN learning the new system). Otherwise, have fun learning how to play your character along with everyone else.


This has actually been brought up at least once, maybe twice in other 2.0 threads. The problem with your idea is that it assumes that no one will ever even consider starting a new character if they have an existing character, but will look at the new system, fiddle with it for a day or two, say "well, I'm still 50, so I might as well not play," and leave again.

The option to start over from scratch is always there, but to force everyone to do so after all the hard work some have put in (and may not want to go through again just to regain what they already have) is a bit unfair.

daggaz wrote:As far as where the game starts, if its a pwipe situation then I gotta say the first 20 or 30 levels were quite fun, at least for an evil. (tho there were a few serious issues, especially regarding rewards vs effort). If its non pwipe then well, sorry, but its all about grinding till you are zoneable, unless you are forcing yourself onto the early game like we did.


In the very first 2.0 post by Shevy, in great big red letters it says "There will be no pwipe," so I guess that answers that question.
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Postby flib » Tue Oct 31, 2006 10:18 am

truthfully for me, alot of the best most memorable times ive had have been somewhere between like 26-45 or so.. ive met alot of good ppl doin ship/buffalos/old school tower xp.. I still dont see making xp harder a good idea though.. I dont think most people totally hate the mid levels. it can be quite fun sometimes. but i think extending it.. could really turn alot of ppl off..
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Postby moritheil » Tue Oct 31, 2006 2:27 pm

We don't have the "crack factor" of EQ, so I can't see any wisdom in making XP harder.
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Postby Mirlantharn » Fri Dec 22, 2006 9:43 am

First off, I myself don't want a wipe: It took me close to 8 years to get level 50. I do want to enjoy some of the high level zones that I was never privy to because "Well, we're looking for someone a higher level, with a full spell-list".
Moritheil is utterly and 100% correct: Just how many of you leaders have had at _least_ 2 or 3 "newbies" (not "noobs") with you on a lvl 40 to 50 oriented zone/quest? Granted, _no one_ enjoys dying too much nor spanks, but there the best aspect of this game is the challenge. "Hey, everyone nearly bit it that fight, but I am so stoked that I did something to pull us out of the fire and back into the frying pan!" That's the excitement this mud needs to regain, and it'll regain it's player base.
Now we had a lot of interest by new players even before Homeland merged with us, but we lost them all and even the then-current players. Why? Because we didn't group with them enough, we didn't pull them along, we didn't give them the same excitement and sense of acomplishment that we had 8+ years ago! It took me nearly a year to get to lvl 41 on Sojourn 1, but I had a lot of fun doing it. I was taken on groups while being a full 15 to 20 lvls lower than the lowest person in the group. Sure, I died. But I used to stay in the room with the tank until the rest of the group was out, so as to land that stoneskin (dscales weren't back then) so that the tank could at least live and be able to rescue the group while the cleric landed the heal that was being memed while I died.... Again, accomplishment!

Lilira, you also are right: we've ALL have got to make a commitment so as to not help out our own alts, or the alts of buddies, if we want to be able to share the companionship of other lower level players, old and new alike. And handing out quest items isn't helping either: It's robbing people of finding the item for themselves when they're trying to do the quest nearly honestly. (For the record, I've only accepted 2 quest items for Mirl, from the _multitude_ attempted to be given to me. ALL the others were personally gotten by a group of which I was within. How many of you can say that?)

Both Auril and Daggaz also hit something right on the nose: This is entirely the reason I'm a little frustrated with the current notion that our current skill values will be having no effect with the Toril2.0 conversion, and only our levels wil be considered. I've worked my tail off to make my character proficient in what I'm able (read this as "what the mud code forces my character to only be able") to do.
Ok, I might have idled and chatted a bit, but I also took the time to attempt to max my skills. I didn't plevel until I had heard the (misinformation) concerning a certain RPQ event with riding dragons and its lvl 50 requirement. I made it to the first occurance of that event, and with a buffer to assure that I would still be 50 after a few deaths. Even with all of that, my core skills were maxed within the first 2% into lvl 50 without my even trying, and my spellcast enchantment _was_ maxed when I had leveled.

Why must I be in the same classification as someone that plvled to 50 just the day prior to the change to Toril2.0, and be given the _exact_ same number of skill points to distribute for my converted character?
"Well, the result of their plvling will come out when they attempt to play" Really? How? They now are _exactly_ equal to my character with the exact same points, and can place those same points in the same way as my character will be. And there's no way for my character to advance in the skills higher to show the distinction that I had cared about my character's skills moreso than just leveling up with haphazard interest in the character.
How about the conversion also take into consideration the value of my skills, perhaps (slightly) dependent upon my playing time (Idlers, beware!), in determining my skill points? The reason I mention to incorporate playing time is so that someone that plvled and had (barely) the forethought to max their skills also doesn't get the same classification.


kiryan, you are right and you are wrong. The solution isn't that it should be harder to level. It's difficult enough, else you wouldn't see people spending mind numbing hours upon hours in "exp zones". However you are correct in the fact that the game shouldn't be about getting to level 50 the fastest, so that you can zone.

Getting to lvl 50 by the longest route is the challenge, with the accomplishments being that you just pulled a group out of the fire by some action of your character.

Rather, the solution to all of this is simple. Rather, it is simply complex. Let me attempt to explain.
The trophy system is broke. We _all_ know that. The fact is that the system itself isn't what is broke about it. The trophy system was put into place to keep us players from doing mind-numbing exp, because we _were_ doing mind-numbing exp. And we weren't doing it far from towns, we were doing it _IN_ towns, without venturing forth into the lands and exploring. This brings us into my next point, one that _has never been addressed_.
The _exp system is broke_.
It's the combination of these two systems inwhich comes our current dissatisfaction. What would be much more satisfying, both in terms of exp gain and overall gameplay, would be if both of these systems were fixed. Simultaneously.

We need a "downgrade" of kill exp. That is NOT an endorsement for any reduction in kill exp, but merely the reliance upon it. We need to be able to gain exp from both zoning (and not totally the surgical precision zoning that is the current preference, but avoiding killing should be an option!) and from questing. And we shouldn't be farming quest exp either.
We also need a better calculation/algorithm for the trophy system. That's the only change it needs. (Yes, I'm tired of having 1.5 pages of names that don't _ever_ come off my list!)
This also means that we need more quests and more zones.


Trying to point out the solutions,
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Postby Tasan » Fri Dec 22, 2006 11:24 am

Mirlantharn wrote:I do want to enjoy some of the high level zones that I was never privy to because "Well, we're looking for someone a higher level, with a full spell-list".


If you don't want to put in the time/work involved to play at the high level of the game then accept that there will be things you don't get to do. The experience is less rewarding for those who work hardest to pave the way for the ones behind when the less skilled/motivated players still become equals given enough time.

Mirlantharn wrote:Moritheil is utterly and 100% correct: Just how many of you leaders have had at _least_ 2 or 3 "newbies" (not "noobs") with you on a lvl 40 to 50 oriented zone/quest? Granted, _no one_ enjoys dying too much nor spanks, but there the best aspect of this game is the challenge. "Hey, everyone nearly bit it that fight, but I am so stoked that I did something to pull us out of the fire and back into the frying pan!" That's the excitement this mud needs to regain, and it'll regain it's player base.


I used to take anyone that wanted to come with whatever alt we could work around. I tried not to force people to play certain characters and I believe I had a lot of success in making whatever we were doing fun. For the most part people didn't "not want to bring newbies" but instead chose to bring friends/established people that could be counted on. No one enjoys dying because a powerleveled twink doesn't know not to flee in a particular fight. Because the playerbase became more hardcore at the higher levels there was a dichotomy among the active players; Those that had accomplished much and were very successful and who generally did things together nightly and those that were casual people that weren't around enough to create solid bonds with people. I don't see that as a problem inherent in the game itself but more with how you interact with others and where that places you.

Mirlantharn wrote:Because we didn't group with them enough, we didn't pull them along, we didn't give them the same excitement and sense of acomplishment that we had 8+ years ago!


8+ years ago there were roughly 300 people playing at peak times. During the merger period we would have been lucky to have 1/3rd of that population. We also had been progressing along the wipe farther than previous incarnations so the game was becoming stagnant. Also I believe the way the merger was handled drove many of those people away.

Mirlantharn wrote:How many of you can say that?


Spellquests for my enchanter were all done while I was playing him and I didn't recieve any handouts. I was the one to lead spore. I got my own skymetal chunk weeks after I had the other components etc. The fact is most of the players who've been here a long time DID do the quest the first time around themselves or with a bit of help. Granted the idea of quest knowledge being secret went the way of the dodo a long time ago when guild BBS's sprang up and everyone had access to what everyone else was working on.

Mirlantharn wrote:current skill values will be having no effect with the Toril2.0 conversion, and only our levels wil be considered. I've worked my tail off to make my character proficient in what I'm able (read this as "what the mud code forces my character to only be able") to do.


So what? So has everyone else. We are all beginning "anew" on some level. So it will be like playing a fresh new game you aren't bored of, but still has remnants of things you remember/liked(i.e. moving from Halo to Halo 2). Many people have put in many thousands of hours and there is 0 and I mean 0 way to negotiate a fair system of reimbursement for everyone.

Mirlantharn wrote:Even with all of that, my core skills were maxed within the first 2% into lvl 50 without my even trying, and my spellcast enchantment _was_ maxed when I had leveled.


I would hope that EVERY skill(including summon totem) should be able to be maxed within 8 years. There are plenty of us who maxed out skills as we leveled along. I fail to see why you are special.

Mirlantharn wrote:They now are _exactly_ equal to my character with the exact same points, and can place those same points in the same way as my character will be. And there's no way for my character to advance in the skills higher to show the distinction that I had cared about my character's skills moreso than just leveling up with haphazard interest in the character.


Which is where customization comes into play. You will have the same basic starting set to work with and then build from there. This system should represent a huge leap in the ability to get the "most" out of _your_ character. The distinction you get for having done all that is knowledge of the world you play in and of the concepts which you will be playing in. You bring other knowledge other than just skills with you when the conversion happens.

Mirlantharn wrote:kiryan, you are right and you are wrong. The solution isn't that it should be harder to level. It's difficult enough, else you wouldn't see people spending mind numbing hours upon hours in "exp zones".


That quote is just hilarious. Difficult and "exp zones" are polar opposites.

Mirlantharn wrote:Getting to lvl 50 by the longest route is the challenge, with the accomplishments being that you just pulled a group out of the fire by some action of your character.


In tabletop perhaps, but here we are talking real-time action and that isn't dependant so much on the character as the person behind the keyboard. My "character" isn't going to do crap without my personal knowledge that there is a potion in my bag capable of giving me a bit of healing so I can survive another round or two. I understand the want for a certain amount of expertise based upon how much time you have spent upon skills, but I fail to see how your "character" will be able to pull some mystical feat no one else can because you spent 3-4x as long gaining experience.

Besides, you'd be shafting those of us who maxed our skills 5 years ago and kept playing with a cap all this time :p

Mirlantharn wrote:The _exp system is broke_.
It's the combination of these two systems inwhich comes our current dissatisfaction. What would be much more satisfying, both in terms of exp gain and overall gameplay, would be if both of these systems were fixed. Simultaneously.


Have you read any of the threads on 2.0? Seriously... this is one hell of a moot argument.

Mirlantharn wrote:We need a "downgrade" of kill exp. That is NOT an endorsement for any reduction in kill exp, but merely the reliance upon it. We need to be able to gain exp from both zoning (and not totally the surgical precision zoning that is the current preference, but avoiding killing should be an option!) and from questing. And we shouldn't be farming quest exp either.
We also need a better calculation/algorithm for the trophy system. That's the only change it needs. (Yes, I'm tired of having 1.5 pages of names that don't _ever_ come off my list!)
This also means that we need more quests and more zones.


Questing in current form should never equate to experience. Questing is done for the reward of the items obtained. If specific experience quests were introduced they would need to be well thought-out and extremely random to prevent people from abusing the system. Kill experience is fine except the "rewards" for certain flags need to be adjusted. Ragorn's suggestion for upping the amount of experience a mob is worth has merits, but I can think of ways that can be abused as well. Trophy... meh, there isn't a need for trophy unless you can't make it more interesting to move around. Just make the experience rewards equal to difficulty across the world instead of across the bitvectors. By level 31 you shouldn't be thinking about "leveling up" but just have it happen as you normally play the game.

Whatever is done about grouping and experience will be better than what we had at any rate. Rewriting age old mechanics does wonders for fixing kludges and other crap that only end up wasting valuable coding time.

Btw, not trying to take anything away from your experience/trials/tribulations, but everyone has gone through rough times playing here and I should think we want to lessen the gap between the decade+ players and the ones we want to bring in fresh.

Yay for being bored at work.
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Postby Gormal » Fri Dec 22, 2006 11:49 am

Now I see why you stopped posting for a while there... christ almighty.

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