Author Topic: Customs - thoughts?  (Read 1692 times)

Chalgyr

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Customs - thoughts?
« on: 02/27/13, 10:21 »
Nice general topic name, right?

When we first created customs, we did so a) with me trying to code them - so they were a bit flaky on the back end to say the least, but b) we thought it would be a great way to give players something to quest toward and eventually put their own sort of personal touches on.

However, along the way they became not this rare thing only a handful of people strove for, but it began to feel like they were required to progress. Mobs were tough to balance becausee the power spread between a custom and request or quest gear was so significant, creatures were either stuck being made too hard for non-custom players or too easy for those decked out.

At the heart of this though, I feel there are several more questions that come to mind:

- Were customs a good idea? Why or why not?

- Would a profession system, like what you see in MMO's like WoW or Guild Wars have made more sense?

- What is reasonable power vs time investment? If KotL was too quick and easy, do players hit max level and get bored? or do they get bored if they have to sit around questing?

- Is there a place for auto questing? If so, what, how frequently? What would you do differently?

Questing was set up as a way to give players something 'extra' to do, and I get the feeling some peopel are just fine and dandy doing lots of questing. I also try to make sure we have giveaways and bonuses to help those who don't care for the questing grind to get tokens here and there because I know some people absolutely hate questing. What are your general thoughts on the topic of customs and auto questing?
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Elendil

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Re: Customs - thoughts?
« Reply #1 on: 02/27/13, 13:32 »
Hi all,

Perhaps what I have got to say is either going to be a "minority report" or voicing a universally agreed upon point of view, but here it goes :
[/b]

- Were customs a good idea? Why or why not?
I think the idea of each person being able to create gear and weapons that would be unique to their chars to be a great idea, as opposed to the "cookie cutter" feel that you get with most games, with every char appeasring more or less as though they were all hatched from the same giant egg.  As a matter of fact, I think this would be a great "hook" or selling point for anyone caring to post a review about the game.  The best part about the customs is that you can code them to protect your char from their inherent weaknesses and the custom weapons can be coded to harmonise with the brands they shall recieve in the future.

- Would a profession system, like what you see in MMO's like WoW or Guild Wars have made more sense?
Not at all, I would say the current system in place is working just fine....at least to me anyway.

- What is reasonable power vs time investment? If KotL was too quick and easy, do players hit max level and get bored? or do they get bored if they have to sit around questing?
I think the way it has been set up is perfect,  those whom are dedicated to playing the game the right way will reap the fruits of their labours.  I think if it were not as challenging, people will weary of it and go elsewhere, the ones that I have noticed complaining and at times leaving are those that wish for instant gratification...in other words, they wish to get everything done quickly.  And one can do more than just sit around idle questing, there are people here more than willing to have a good IC natter with your char or just a natter between two people about ooc stuff.

- Is there a place for auto questing? If so, what, how frequently? What would you do differently?
I find the current system as it stands to not really need any tweaking nor revamping.....apart from the timer of course ;-).

On the whole, I do like the way everything had been set up with regards to the customs and questing.  All that is really needed is patience and time as well as dedication.  Just my tuppence thrown into the hat.

Daklore

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Re: Customs - thoughts?
« Reply #2 on: 02/27/13, 18:11 »
Were customs a good idea? Yes and no. Part of the problem with customs is that they outclass -everything- in the game, to the point where there's no reason to -not- have customs.

Unfortunately, to some degree, it seems like the game got balanced around people having customs, rather than considering customs as a nice plus. Obviously, some people *coughenthorcough* will disagree. Customs reach a point that they even make quest gear obsolete, and there's only one reason to get quest gear... okay two. The first is as an intermediary stepping stone toward customs. Usually a weapon for that burst of damage compared to anything else you get low level.

The second is you're playing a character with a self-imposed no custom challenge.

Having customs -is- good, because it allows us to fill in less common armour types that we can't readily get at multiple levels--ignoring the fact that customs outright outpower these with ease.

The next problem ties into resistances, and by extension healshield. Pre-wipe, resistances weren't that big of a deal, they helped. But it was to a point where you could run around with a mix of runic, quest, and maybe a custom here or there and you could reach 180 fine(we were all around the 180-190 range when the pwipe happened). And you could do this any way you wanted. In fact, dual-wielding vampiric weapons was a very effective method of sustain.

Post-wipe, if you don't have resistances, you're nothing more than a glass cannon. Either you burst them in three rounds, or they burst you in three. Adding in brands/opens that were required to make mobiles a threat for customed characters, means that it's stupidly difficult at higher levels to survive without customs. And even with customs, you need healshield on top of that--which makes having a priest around rather redundant(on top of priest's rather lacklustre offensive capability, which is another problem altogether).

So with customs you've pretty much turned them into a need--again, some people will disagree. It -is-- entirely possible to reach level 200 without customs, but you're going to have a lot harder time doing it--rather than a bonus. Factoring in the necessity for resists and healshield just to survive... something changed post-wipe that seemed to focus on how strong customed people were pre-wipe. And you know, fuzzbutt, the reason for the pwipe was partially to re-balance the game because of how strong customs were.

Mage spells are ridiculously powerful without resistances, fighter classes(and augmenting upwards of 10th attack for anyone else) pretty much dominate higher level capability because mana is a finite resource not easily replenished--and has a 20K cap--and because everyone is either resistant to everything, you're either an all-in-burster mage with the ability to destroy one resist and abuse the hell out of it... or you're a defensive tank that can hit one or two resists slightly and then just whittle you down.

Which pretty much makes the "in-betweens" unable to compete in PK. Not that it matters to me, PK is lame.

tl;dr: Customs are far too powerful in compare to standard gear, damage is way too high from mobiles requiring resistances and healshield to survive, mage damage output is stupidly ridiculous, spells are only effective GM'd(seperate issue, sure), giving fighters and those who augment attacks ridiculous staying and offensive power(also, stun completely destroys mages, which means if you augment attacks and barrel, you're practically invincible to spellcasters(and priests just become a non-factor since spellcasting is our defense, we don't have an offense).
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Tylon

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Re: Customs - thoughts?
« Reply #3 on: 02/27/13, 23:29 »
I'll take a swing at this from the beginners level rather than endgame. I am fairly unfamiliar with high end dynamics at this time.

Customs were a good idea in the sense of customization and roleplay potential. Its a very unique feature of this mud and honestly I enjoy the process. In terms of gear quality, I'm on the fence for whether or not someone should even be allowed at such a low level to even acquire something that will last their character's lifetime.

In my experience, implementing crafting systems are a huge time sink and pain. Really the only way to make such a system truly emersive is a lot of profession interlinking but that would require probably 40+ player averages to pull off. I really liked the crafting engine behind Ultima Online by the way.

I think there's a pretty fair power vs. time ratio in KotL. Older players seem to definitely have the benefits they ought to have, and newer players can level quickly if desired and get into the middle of things.

Autoquesting is really a ROM thing, highly adapted for KotL in a very unique way. I've always found auto-questing to be enjoyable, but I do feel pretty strongly that in this mud its a requirement to do well. Folks can field arguments contrary to this til their face turns blue, but I guarantee they will be staging said argument sitting behind at least a custom with sanctuary on it.

I do feel its a mistake to allow new players the opportunity to sit at level 50 and build a complete set of gear from that stage. Not too long ago I was questing alongside about 6 other level 50s... its a silly thought. Character progression needs some sort of coded forward momentum to counteract this. It could take the form of level-based custom number limits, diminishing returns on questing when you're capped on 50/100/150, etc.

This would also help at least moderately level the playing field - from a pk perspective you really don't know if you're attacking someone with 900 hp or 7000 hp at level 50.

Another benefit is it would make it easier to balance zones for intended maximum player power... I mean honestly from the perspective of a builder does it make you feel warm and fuzzy that most players will hit your level 80 zone and one shot every... single... thing in it?

Chalgyr

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Re: Customs - thoughts?
« Reply #4 on: 03/01/13, 15:10 »
I thought I would share some of the other feedback I have gotten via emails and notes. I'll keep the person unknown but this way we can still converse about the ideas.

I would offer both.. honestly.   It depends on how fast you want to level and how much fun you want to test where you are.

It's like any game.. noone wants to get stuck and frusterated, they put that game down or try to cheat.
Why not offer a toggle for 'elite mobs' that offer more xp, rewards but also are deadly.  Someone could go into 'elite mode' and everything is x times stronger.  (wouldn't work on legendaries they are already elite you could say).
 
I would say.. you should make two versions of quest gear... and scrap the quest items.   Make a custom like you have it, then make quest, so quest item create.

Have it cost half the amount, but be half as strong.. only -25 res instead of -50.   Only half the stats..
People could then buff themselves up, and then refund and get stronger (if needed)

It would add some fun aspects to the game.. and then just have a list of quest create 'bag' 'mend' whatever.  (so you could get a bottomless bag etc)

I would also add quest create gold "to change quest tokens for gold" make a ratio,  create quest token, 'creates a random silver or gold token'.
 
What you need is an economy that doesn't crash when people have lives, and would still be fun, but would be even MORE fun with active people.
 
I would then take an idea of making two professions, maybe.. Armor working, and Weapon working.   And you can only do one, but with that you can 'buff your item' by collecting materials throughout the land (have better materials in each higher area so you
can constantly improve)

having a certain skill level can be based on level, tier, maybe even have to buy the level via questing then get capped at certain levels?  Or maybe even not? let it keep going.
 
Someone could add minimul stuff to thier items.. ARmor working could be like 'ac' 'random resistance' 'hp'  (you ask but then what about sockets, its just something to add to make the game easier for peopel who get stuck and give them something to improve.
 
weapon working could have 'damroll', 'damtype', 'affect'  (have special weapon working only damtypes that can be added,  like for instance... bloodrealm highest level area would drop Shadowrocks, that you could use to add otherworld damtype that 'adds a
small damroll of that damtype to your weapon'

You could make it so you have to unaugment your item before you put a new one on, so you can't keep stacking..
 
The idea is.. keep people busy without making it suck.. they can go through the work of improving an item if they have time, and not break the game.

(people like me biggest factor is character improvement, when that stops then.. you can RP but what if people aren't on? or aren't active? or Bot Quest?)
 
I would have the items you need for professions drop off mobs.  I think we should have more random mob drops,  Bloodplanes is fun becuase you can get tokens, if we could add more items into the game for people who grind and level they would have more fun
doing it.

(what about people who dont' like to level?)

lol.. yeah and they won't want to get to 275 ever?  Why not make it fun for them.

If it is more fun, people will do the grind.
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Chalgyr

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Re: Customs - thoughts?
« Reply #5 on: 03/01/13, 15:11 »
And another secret addition from a different player:

questing and or difficulty does not impact whether i stay here longer
i would rather say i have ulterior motives for disappearing for months
on end. that said i enjoy questing because leveling endlessly gets
tiring for me when it gets up to 200+. but that isn't to say i won't
level at those levels. I personally think once a person hits fully
decked out in customs, moxes, and added in all their stats/resists
to their customs that kills their desire to play said toon. that is my
thoughts on the questing subject.
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Chalgyr

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Re: Customs - thoughts?
« Reply #6 on: 03/01/13, 15:12 »
And another bit of feedback I had gotten:

ok i love the customs it gives me a goal and i love that the problem is that we have to wait so long just to quest and that when quest you only get 30-50 tokens and only once every 10 minutes

i have brought about 5 new players to the mud in the last 6 months all of wich quit playing because they leveled and tiered and leveld and got caught needing customs just to kill anything or to even quest, i myself have run into that more than once and had to recreate, almost everyone ive talked to on the issue wouldnt mind the fact that there so damn expensive if they didnt have to wait so long just to quest i myself play when i can and quest as im able and ive only got but 1 custom but with my time to play and such it takes me weeks just to get one custom leaving me stuck at level 50 for that much longer i know some people would come back if either the custom costs got lowered or you didnt have to wait so long just to quest again
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Chalgyr

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Re: Customs - thoughts?
« Reply #7 on: 03/01/13, 15:13 »
And one last one:

I enjoy questing. I figure it's a matter of where you want to spend your time. I quest. Others level. Others RP. Some... well, bot and cheat. But the point is that's how I want to spend my time.

That said, I think customs are perhaps too strong. Almost anything not a mox found on a mob is trash for selling or sacrificing. They serve no purpose. Customs make the game LOOK like there is a lot of eq variety, when in truth because they are so powerful, almost everything advanced players use is customer gear with a new name strung on it
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Daklore

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Re: Customs - thoughts?
« Reply #8 on: 03/01/13, 15:44 »
I think Sye's route is going all about it wrong, but he enjoys the grind(and maybe assumes everyone else does too >P). But he does raise some points. And his is the long one you kept "anonymous" which really wasn't, cause he posted it in-game.

I like the cost of customs, as an overpowered item, but like I've said before, the distinction between custom and non-custom is so great to the point that the custom is required. This will turn people off, and obviously has been doing so.

The grind past 180 and onwards to 275 is painful, but more voluntary than anything... but(for me) grinding can be tedious and dull anyway, it's hard to make it less dull. Hard mode doesn't really add anything to the game(toggled "elite" mode). It added nothing to Guild Wars, aside from a need for highly gimicky team builds to clear areas and not lose. I've played Hard mode in Guild Wars. I didn't really find it fun, even when I've got an OP team comp that rolls over hard mode.

The borderline for normal gear needs to come up as a whole, to make them more comparable to customs, or the borderline base damage for mobiles needs to go down.

If you could do both, and alter resistances from a flat percentage, to a diminishing conversion rate.... then maybe you'd have something. Say, as an example, 100 fire resistance(towards immunity, i can never remember if we still use negative for resistance, or positive) didn't actually give you 100% resistance(and therefor immunity) to fire... but instead, gave an 83% reduction to fire damage.

Whereas 50 fire resistance might give you 63% reduction to fire damage. So lower amounts are worth more, and the higher it goes the less it becomes worth, to the point where it's worthless to gain more.
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