Critical Analysis of SoD

Lleoc

Dalayan Master
I'm actually known for being an asshole and don't let people play my characters.

edit: I also don't let others play their characters
 

Tevinter

Dalayan Pious Diety
There is no confusion you want new people to play your chars for you. got it.
You could give somebody the opportunity to play/box a useful toon in the raid, then reward them with loot on their character under different circumstances(easier fight, not 3 of that class already etc). Or they can play their character, die to the first AE, or run oom/contribute essentially nothing and spend the entire raid sitting at bind (not fun). Or you can just not play with underprogressed people at all(which would be bad).
 

Eustace

Dalayan Adventurer
I think gear is much less of a problem than raid slots/class restrictions. If someone wanted to raid with me and were competent/willing to learn/play other characters for the time being, they are already more desirable than the majority of geared people.
Yep. Most times I've gotten into a good raiding guild, it's because I always showed up for raids and I sat there until someone didn't show up to prove my reliability.
 

donfolstar3

Dalayan Master
The ability to shroud/downlevel (which I'm pretty sure is a possibility with 2.5) would fix so many problems with the leveling, adepts, and keeping new people interested long enough to get to the raid game. If server population picks up maybe raid respawn timers could be looked at since "finding something up or not picked over by leets" is probably the worst raiding prerequisite ever in any game. Then again, if things were up more people would just play the game more...

The mudflation is pretty gross but I doubt anyone would be willing to fix it, or even attempt to fix it, at this point. T1, T5, T9, and T13 are on different planets but bigger numbers to fight the bigger numbers make people feel big I guess. Reappropriating low tier (1-5ish) 18 man content into some alternative 6/12 man content, improving drops to be worth it for anyone (compared to BoE), and moving the 18 scale so old 5-14 is new 1-10 would kill many birds but would be a load of work.

Plat sink charms and tomes are ugly solutions. Is it really a plat sink when all it does is encourages people to farm plat and be even greedier? Charms create a scarcity which leads to real dirtbag behavior like not splitting cash drops in groups/raid or being unwilling to send a newbie some gears to get going because hey, that gear is worth 1/984th of my charm upgrade! Tomes could be reworked into the expanded AAs under 2.5 and no one would shed tears except maybe tears of joy from people looking at the gross mountain of xp they have to climb to be good enough to play their own characters. It is an unfortunate design flaw when there is a serious discussion in this thread about earning the right to play your own characters- absolutely ridiculous in a mmorpg and that people can't see that or refuse to acknowledge that it is a necessary evil from bad design is sad.
 

Otcho

Dalayan Pious Diety
I think with the currently awful population it would be better to have more effort put into 6 or 12 man things at any tier.


Also to revert any dumb exp nerfs(citadel). In fact just make exp easier than ever. I seriously think some of the staff have never talked to new players or tried to convince people to play this game. The amount of effort to play is daunting. I remember when SOD toted having a better exp rate than live, hell I cannot even fathom what year it must have been comparing it too. Having ran down the check lists to make a character "good" made p99 look accessible.


Also in regards to charms I always thought it was a cool idea to have raid zone clears or first boss kills give you cash dollar credits but a lot of people took offense to that for some reason.

Shrouding would be cool too.
 

Lleoc

Dalayan Master
. It is an unfortunate design flaw when there is a serious discussion in this thread about earning the right to play your own characters- absolutely ridiculous in a mmorpg and that people can't see that or refuse to acknowledge that it is a necessary evil from bad design is sad.
I acknowledged it as a problem in the first few words i said. Would you rather just be shunned away completely without second thought because your character is not able to do the content that is being raided? Or a chance to experience the content and work on your character as well even if you are not a main raid character the second you get lvl 65? There is plenty of stuff to do that isn't just jump into the high end of the game and get sad each week that your 1 item or 1 book you want didn't drop off of the 5-7 day spawn monster. Just not the people to do it with.
 

Thade

DINOSAUR THADE
I have always felt like the biggest barrier to entry problem on current SoD is the fact that the only way to gear up a fresh character these days is buying items.

When I first started playing in 2008 there was a vibrant community based around doing Tmaps and low 60's dungeons. As the population shrunk it became harder and harder to get groups for these things. To top it off the when ikisith was released the droppables were so much better than anything else that the best way to gear up became just farming plat by yourself rather than actually engaging with other people. This kills the game for anyone looking for the social aspect they expect from Everquest.

I feel like rebalancing all of the pre dhk/storms eye stuff into 6 mans, and rebalancing the loot as well as rebalancing the tmap loot would go a huge distance in making the game more accessible. Sure it's a lot of work but it would help new players a ton.

Also holy shit move the storm king to the end of storms eye where he belongs.
 

Marza

*Unfortunately a Developer*
I think gear is much less of a problem than raid slots/class restrictions. If someone wanted to raid with me and were competent/willing to learn/play other characters for the time being, they are already more desirable than the majority of geared people.
Most people don't start playing a game wanting to play other peoples characters to get anywhere raiding wise. You pretty much admitted it to being a gearing problem (although charms and tomes also come in to play here) to an extent, by saying it is okay as long as they play someones geared toon. If it was easier to become a "geared" player, then people would not have to play someone elses toon. Although this is something people might not mind, I think most players would rather play their own character. And this is coming from someone who pretty much exclusively played other peoples toons when I raided.

Unfortunately having an optimal raid setup is a universal problem when it comes to raiding in MMOs. Thankfully most of the time it isn't necessary to min max to that extent, and that is true here as well. But it is kind of a separate issue. We are talking about making relevant raiding accessible to newer players in a smooth manner, and having you box someones toon until yours finally gets geared enough is not what I would call smooth.
 

Lleoc

Dalayan Master
Having an optimal raid only really comes into play towards the end of the game anymore. But even getting the 4th monk into the raid when the other 3 are all mains means you might as well not invite the 4th monk to the guild in the first place. I've turned down many more people due to their class than the fact they were not geared enough to do my guilds current top content. I completely agree that current new guys have no way to play catch up other than relying completely on other people. Whether that is playing other peoples toons to have a chance at loot later or relying on those people to carry you through the content.

So here is my suggestion. New characters gain a reward currency based on how far they are progressing their character. The currency can be used to buy old thaz class armor and old weapons around that tier.

100 currency for getting 65
100 for first 50 aa
100 for 100 aa
100 for 200 aa
100 for 300
100 for 400
100 for max class AAs
100 for a 38k charm
100 for 100k charm
100 for completing mq to high seeker
100 for murk shield completed
100 for mq to 5th seeker
100 for murk spell or melee codex from refugee
50 per tome completed until you cap out your currency needed to buy a complete set of gear

Something like that would mean people get a chance to progress their character outside of relying completely on the hospitality of others.

edit: items would cost 100 in this sample so 1 step of progress = 1 item
 

Eustace

Dalayan Adventurer
I have always felt like the biggest barrier to entry problem on current SoD is the fact that the only way to gear up a fresh character these days is buying items.

When I first started playing in 2008 there was a vibrant community based around doing Tmaps and low 60's dungeons. As the population shrunk it became harder and harder to get groups for these things. To top it off the when ikisith was released the droppables were so much better than anything else that the best way to gear up became just farming plat by yourself rather than actually engaging with other people. This kills the game for anyone looking for the social aspect they expect from Everquest.

I feel like rebalancing all of the pre dhk/storms eye stuff into 6 mans, and rebalancing the loot as well as rebalancing the tmap loot would go a huge distance in making the game more accessible. Sure it's a lot of work but it would help new players a ton.

Also holy shit move the storm king to the end of storms eye where he belongs.
Right, Thade. I tried to get you into as much stuff as I could when you started because I was done with tomes, had no desire to farm 1mil for a charm, and I was in a position to help people out like that.
I think with the currently awful population it would be better to have more effort put into 6 or 12 man things at any tier.


Also to revert any dumb exp nerfs(citadel). In fact just make exp easier than ever. I seriously think some of the staff have never talked to new players or tried to convince people to play this game. The amount of effort to play is daunting. I remember when SOD toted having a better exp rate than live, hell I cannot even fathom what year it must have been comparing it too. Having ran down the check lists to make a character "good" made p99 look accessible.


Also in regards to charms I always thought it was a cool idea to have raid zone clears or first boss kills give you cash dollar credits but a lot of people took offense to that for some reason.

Shrouding would be cool too.
Otcho, as always, is a major influence in my views of anti-fun code. When I first started off, it was Eyate and I running around doing all the quests until our eyeballs were microwaved out of our heads by the old-school vacuum tube monitors. I literally had to wear sunglasses while I played because of the quest-marathons.

Most people don't start playing a game wanting to play other peoples characters to get anywhere raiding wise. You pretty much admitted it to being a gearing problem (although charms and tomes also come in to play here) to an extent, by saying it is okay as long as they play someones geared toon. If it was easier to become a "geared" player, then people would not have to play someone elses toon. Although this is something people might not mind, I think most players would rather play their own character. And this is coming from someone who pretty much exclusively played other peoples toons when I raided.

Unfortunately having an optimal raid setup is a universal problem when it comes to raiding in MMOs. Thankfully most of the time it isn't necessary to min max to that extent, and that is true here as well. But it is kind of a separate issue. We are talking about making relevant raiding accessible to newer players in a smooth manner, and having you box someones toon until yours finally gets geared enough is not what I would call smooth.
Marza, an option for this would be to make the old Thaz class gear accessible via 6-man or 12-man content. It would also be direly beneficial to make the next tier of raid loots based off of Combine upgrades, and make something more than just the BP worth a damn. Having older players go back and farm areas for relevant t-15 loot would open up spots for newer players to go in and get something better than BOE items. A lot of the BOE items I've seen are T7-ish; it's pretty crazy when you can sell an item with 180hp/mana and +15AR (slight but not-so-slight exaggeration) while Vizerilla still drops some rather clunky pieces.

TL:DR;


Six-man areas with access to tomes/Thaz class gear and making an upgrade from Combine to T-15 in addition to revising treant nerfs, xp nerfs, AOE limitations, riposte nerfs, etc., et al, would increase the fun factor and long-term playability. Also, you have insane people like Otcho and myself to help you extend lore and upgrade RP-ability.
 

Eustace

Dalayan Adventurer
Having an optimal raid only really comes into play towards the end of the game anymore. But even getting the 4th monk into the raid when the other 3 are all mains means you might as well not invite the 4th monk to the guild in the first place. I've turned down many more people due to their class than the fact they were not geared enough to do my guilds current top content. I completely agree that current new guys have no way to play catch up other than relying completely on other people. Whether that is playing other peoples toons to have a chance at loot later or relying on those people to carry you through the content.

So here is my suggestion. New characters gain a reward currency based on how far they are progressing their character. The currency can be used to buy old thaz class armor and old weapons around that tier.

100 currency for getting 65
100 for first 50 aa
100 for 100 aa
100 for 200 aa
100 for 300
100 for 400
100 for max class AAs
100 for a 38k charm
100 for 100k charm
100 for completing mq to high seeker
100 for murk shield completed
100 for mq to 5th seeker
100 for murk spell or melee codex from refugee
50 per tome completed until you cap out your currency needed to buy a complete set of gear

Something like that would mean people get a chance to progress their character outside of relying completely on the hospitality of others.

edit: items would cost 100 in this sample so 1 step of progress = 1 item
I'd have liked that thrice if possible.
 

Ryst

Dalayan Elder
Having an optimal raid only really comes into play towards the end of the game anymore. But even getting the 4th monk into the raid when the other 3 are all mains means you might as well not invite the 4th monk to the guild in the first place. I've turned down many more people due to their class than the fact they were not geared enough to do my guilds current top content. I completely agree that current new guys have no way to play catch up other than relying completely on other people. Whether that is playing other peoples toons to have a chance at loot later or relying on those people to carry you through the content.

So here is my suggestion. New characters gain a reward currency based on how far they are progressing their character. The currency can be used to buy old thaz class armor and old weapons around that tier.

100 currency for getting 65
100 for first 50 aa
100 for 100 aa
100 for 200 aa
100 for 300
100 for 400
100 for max class AAs
100 for a 38k charm
100 for 100k charm
100 for completing mq to high seeker
100 for murk shield completed
100 for mq to 5th seeker
100 for murk spell or melee codex from refugee
50 per tome completed until you cap out your currency needed to buy a complete set of gear

Something like that would mean people get a chance to progress their character outside of relying completely on the hospitality of others.

edit: items would cost 100 in this sample so 1 step of progress = 1 item
I "liked" this post, but wanted to state that further. I like the idea of allowing people to progress in other ways than raiding/6-mans. Very nice suggested and worth some consideration imho.
 

DodoBot

Dalayan Elder
Reappropriating low tier (1-5ish) 18 man content into some alternative 6/12 man content
I don't know about the rest of the post, but this is something I've liked the idea of doing for ages, specifically with regards to adding higher level adepts (from a post by @Fulgrin in May of 2015)...
YES! In my mind, it isn't that there is a lack of stuff to at that low levels, it's that there is a lack of incentive to do what is there! Many loots from Lv55-T4 are worse than BOEs. The adept loot seems to be the exception, but instead of designing a bunch of new adepts (WAY too many man-hours), why not take a few of the lower tier raid mobs (gnok, lavascale, warp, etc) and convert them from raid targets into higher level adepts (59, 61, 63)? This way, you pay tribute to old content without re-inventing the wheel. Many of these mobs are ONLY sniped for ancients, and IMO one could easily leave ancients to drop on prospective lv 61 or 63 adepts. Tuning these encounters down to that level shouldn't be too bad because they are mostly simple strategies. It would ultimately come down to just re-doing the loot, a bit of scaling, and not a whole lot else. This helps to fill in the gear-gap before raiding, gives more 12 man targets that are killed by the people they were designed for (and not a two box of ringers with their buddy who needs an ancient) - and it provides a means to kill fun world mobs within the existing adept paradigm.
You could turn some of the T1-4 raid zone end-bosses into adepts (I'm thinking 12-mannable?) with fresh loot tables that are somewhere in between BOEs and T5. The adepts could either be capped as I proposed above, or you could try to code in something that would let in 65's but lock them out if they had more than a certain number of AAs... Either way, you don't throw away existing content, you bridge the gap into the raid game, and you incentivize doing this stuff on tier and not just ringering the whole thing for your alts.

Also, consider boosting some of the loot in the lower level six mans...
 

Enderi

Dalayan Adventurer
Until there is a progression path for newer players besides scumming in on T11 raids, playing other toons, or being carried across content this game will never return to its former level of popularity.

Old low tier raids tuned as 6 man, upgraded loot. Bounties, dailies, something. If a new player cannot 60% catch up to a veteran toon in 6 months, nothing will change.



New client, same game.
 

donfolstar3

Dalayan Master
Until there is a progression path for newer players besides scumming in on T11 raids, playing other toons, or being carried across content this game will never return to its former level of popularity.

Old low tier raids tuned as 6 man, upgraded loot. Bounties, dailies, something. If a new player cannot 60% catch up to a veteran toon in 6 months, nothing will change.
I hadn't thought of things in the same context as that last line, but you make one hell of a point. There are people who did all three of those awful things you listed + played all day every day and surpassed 60% in 6 months, but eww girl, ewww.

Lleoc's idea of making Old Thaz class armor accessible is pretty kickass. Though, instead of making access based on individual achievements (since this is an mmo) and completely nullifying any non-vah reason to do <t8 content, what if there were Rank 4 Bounties that targeted low tier raid targets? There would have to be *mob that you hailed to engage for the bounty, but trash clears and whatnot would be a good way for new and old players to interact. I'm 97.3% certain that Rank4s would become a nightly pug that a handful of people could do, but have no reason whatsoever not to invite new/other players. IIRC there are 7 pieces of Old Thaz class armor [wiki confirmed] per class so if pieces cost 4 to 6 tokens per piece and aug 1 or 2 tokens then a fresh faced 65 could be respectably geared (old thaz + seed + bounty belt/wep + misc) in under two months all while exploring content they normally would skip plus learning raid mechanics.

To recap:
- Makes old and often forgotten content appealing instead of being completely skipped even harder
- Gives a legitimate path for newbs/alts to get geared up to usefulness in the current raid game
- Creates a lasting, natural place for veterans and newbs to interact in game
- Would likely segue to more use of the existing bounty system which does ^,^, and ^
- Would be significantly less dev work that reappropriating entire tiers of content or (probably) implementing a novel automated character tracking system- adding to the bounty system, using Thurg quest npcs as vendors, and changing the bounty promotions (r2 takes too long, 2-4 bounties per rank for promotion) are all merely adding content
- EDIT: also, since this would require making *raidmobs for bounties how about doing the same for some of the more terrible vah targets in one fell swoop?
 
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burt6

Dalayan Elder
Having an optimal raid only really comes into play towards the end of the game anymore. But even getting the 4th monk into the raid when the other 3 are all mains means you might as well not invite the 4th monk to the guild in the first place. I've turned down many more people due to their class than the fact they were not geared enough to do my guilds current top content. I completely agree that current new guys have no way to play catch up other than relying completely on other people. Whether that is playing other peoples toons to have a chance at loot later or relying on those people to carry you through the content.

So here is my suggestion. New characters gain a reward currency based on how far they are progressing their character. The currency can be used to buy old thaz class armor and old weapons around that tier.

100 currency for getting 65
100 for first 50 aa
100 for 100 aa
100 for 200 aa
100 for 300
100 for 400
100 for max class AAs
100 for a 38k charm
100 for 100k charm
100 for completing mq to high seeker
100 for murk shield completed
100 for mq to 5th seeker
100 for murk spell or melee codex from refugee
50 per tome completed until you cap out your currency needed to buy a complete set of gear

Something like that would mean people get a chance to progress their character outside of relying completely on the hospitality of others.

edit: items would cost 100 in this sample so 1 step of progress = 1 item
I hate agreeing with lleoc so much.
This is a really good idea, you might have to play with the numbers a little bit because you want this to be more of a way to fill holes in gear than getting a complete set. I think maybe you want to all in be able to purchase 5 or 6 pieces total that you can pair with your cmal and tmap or w/e teir 6 gear you scummed your way into so as not to make this literally completely replace all content before tier 9. it should just make that content a little more doable. and provide a little bit more balanced path to teir 10.
 

Pecannius

Dalayan Elder
Having an optimal raid only really comes into play towards the end of the game anymore. But even getting the 4th monk into the raid when the other 3 are all mains means you might as well not invite the 4th monk to the guild in the first place. I've turned down many more people due to their class than the fact they were not geared enough to do my guilds current top content. I completely agree that current new guys have no way to play catch up other than relying completely on other people. Whether that is playing other peoples toons to have a chance at loot later or relying on those people to carry you through the content.

So here is my suggestion. New characters gain a reward currency based on how far they are progressing their character. The currency can be used to buy old thaz class armor and old weapons around that tier.

100 currency for getting 65
100 for first 50 aa
100 for 100 aa
100 for 200 aa
100 for 300
100 for 400
100 for max class AAs
100 for a 38k charm
100 for 100k charm
100 for completing mq to high seeker
100 for murk shield completed
100 for mq to 5th seeker
100 for murk spell or melee codex from refugee
50 per tome completed until you cap out your currency needed to buy a complete set of gear

Something like that would mean people get a chance to progress their character outside of relying completely on the hospitality of others.

edit: items would cost 100 in this sample so 1 step of progress = 1 item
The problem is clearly stated in this post and I have to admit that something like this seems like a really good idea, albeit, a lot of work. Going to play devil's advocate and say wouldn't this trivialize nearly all lower level content?
 

Yusuke

Dalayan Adventurer
I am in favor of the 4+ rank bounties employing the lower tier content up to t6ish. However, none of this had better touch vah quest related targets...please /eye roll. The reward being something both low tier and end game tier folks want, can use, or enjoy.
 

Enderi

Dalayan Adventurer
I made a few suggestions in the past RE: The bounty system. I personally loved it, so much so that I geared my alt in the available pieces, and got the augs for it. And the gear looks really good.

Additionally, in the ..3 weeks or so it took. I remember finding 10 or so people also doing it, and grouped with 2-4 people from that list of 10 every other day to complete them. My thought was just add more gear slots for purchase, with the same template as the belt.

I still like my idea...but I really like yours too. T1 through 6 as bounty content, if there was something like that...and the shiny new client..I wouldn't be embarrassed to bring my play group over to this server during downtime on other games.
 
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