Raid Paradigm Changes (a celebration)

Tarutao

Staff Emeritus
As Shards of Dalaya approaches it's 10th birthday, it's an interesting exercise to look back and appreciate the changes that the game has gone through as far as design, capacity, community, structure, and much more.

The Staff has recognized this and evolved with the game as well. Design vision, rule, and policy changes reflect this recognition and evolution, and the Ikisith Phase 1 expansion and removal of the ban on all references to Chuck Norris are semi-recent examples.

Over the last year or so, the raiding paradigm of the SoD community has evolved increasingly fast. This is a remarkable result of a number of unrelated factors including the 2011 Account Drive and increased use of the [The Vah] quest tree, and it has required the staff to respond in ways not seen since Fall 2006 when the raid game moved from 36 character raids to 18 character raids. The most successful of the staff responses was the Raid MOTD and related policy, introduced to protect pickup raid members and leaders from predatory loot distribution challenges.

Even at the time of the Raid MOTD introduction, the staff recognized that this was a solution to only one part of a much larger needed change: the removal of guilds as the primary raid entities. Years ago, guilds could be considered as entities unto themselves with reasonable concreteness, and this concreteness lent itself to raid policy that recognized a significance in the completion of raid content "by a guild". However, as time has progressed, many older guilds consist of members that aren't the same as when the guild was young, many players have characters in multiple guilds, and many players enjoy inter-guild activity like joint guild raids, pickup raids, and even participating in guild raids using one of their characters outside of that guild.

Today's raid rule/policy changes reflect the beginning of the awaited large adjustment of the Staff's response to meet this most recent change in the needs of the evolving SoD game and community. Without further ado, I present the changes to the raid rules:

Pick-Up Raid Loot Distribution

(The first 4 paragraphs remain unchanged, the following 5th paragraph is entirely new.)

As the title suggests, this policy does not apply to guild raids. It also does not apply to joint guild raids consisting entirely of 2 guilds; you can call it a joint guild raid (it would be wise to note this in the Raid MOTD), and the leadership of the two guilds will be expected to handle loot without staff in the same way a guild raid would. If there's 3 guilds or unguilded characters, a Raid MOTD is required as though it is a pickup raid.


Raid Content with Prerequisite Content

The concept of raid-based prerequisite content, like a guild having to do Plane of Valor before Stronghold of Enthann, is now defunct (as is that unpuggable zone rule, yay). In its stead, a character-specific design based paradigm for raid content with prerequisite content now exists. As such, when clear barricades to raid content exist for characters who have not completed the prerequisite content, circumventing these barricades constitutes content skipping and will be treated as such. To be clear, this means that if you can get into a zone without using an obviously unintended means, then you can raid there.

Now, let's notice what these changes mean. First, the concept of a raid having done prerequisite content or a pickup raid having 2/3 flags has been abandoned. The "unpuggable zone" concept has also been abandoned (as was always the intention once these changes were ready). These concepts have historical significance and were appropriate for their times, but those times have passed. The concept of "prerequisite content" is now one that is handled in content design and primarily on a per-character basis. The burning spirits in Tower of Tarhyl and the 1-1 keying into Outer Sanctum in Prison of Amyrrza are just the first testaments to this.

Second, the concept of a "Joint Guild Raid" is now formally recognized for the purposes of loot distribution. The need for Joint Guild Raids for prerequisite content no longer exists, but for the purposes of having a raid that is treated as a guild raid (and thus, a GM Team "we don't interfere with guild loot issues" protection), this is now an option. We're open to discussion of changing the specifics of this rule, but the concern of Pick-Up Raids branding themselves as Joint Guild Raids to circumvent the intended protections of the Raid MOTD loot claiming system is a concern that any changes must address.

Third, the social aspect of being able to raid with your friends is achieved as much as possible and with as few unintended roadblocks as possible without the removal of specific instances of intended "do this in order" raid content.

These changes have not come without a lot of forethought and collaboration amongst the Staff. Please take the time to consider these new rule and policy changes fully. We are excited about these changes, and we expect that the vast majority of the SoD playerbase will be excited about them as well. So... Happy 2012 and Happy Raiding!
 

booster

Dalayan Master
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burt6

Dalayan Elder
I may be missinterpretting this but does this mean that for "joint guild" raids the guilds themselves must be flagged for the content but for pick up groups every individual member must be flagged for the content?

specifically this :"As such, when clear barricades to raid content exist for characters who have not completed the prerequisite content, circumventing these barricades constitutes content skipping and will be treated as such."

with the 2/3rds rule defunct I am reading this as all characters must be flagged for the content. Is this what you intend to convey?
 

booster

Dalayan Master
I may be missinterpretting this but does this mean that for "joint guild" raids the guilds themselves must be flagged for the content but for pick up groups every individual member must be flagged for the content?

specifically this :"As such, when clear barricades to raid content exist for characters who have not completed the prerequisite content, circumventing these barricades constitutes content skipping and will be treated as such."

with the 2/3rds rule defunct I am reading this as all characters must be flagged for the content. Is this what you intend to convey?

this sounds to me exactly what they are conveying.

if you can quest/grind yourself up to a point where you can raid a zone then you can raid it with like-minded people in a pug.

or if you wish to be a slackass then find a guild that will carry your slackass thru keyed/flagged content



correct me if im wrong.
 

fuwok

Developer
Staff member
It seemed to say if you're not doing anything shady to get in you're allowed to do it.

As such, when clear barricades to raid content exist for characters who have not completed the prerequisite content, circumventing these barricades constitutes content skipping and will be treated as such. To be clear, this means that if you can get into a zone without using an obviously unintended means, then you can raid there.

I'm happy with these changes.
 

oozu1234

Dalayan Adventurer
I think sometime in the near future there will be npc's or some such that will do say: Hail mr. NPC. and it will go: " you can enter spires because you killed prime enchanter. or it will say " you cannot do this" but idk. thats what it sounded like in IRC last night.
 

Tesselajnen

Dalayan Adventurer
I think, but I need to re read it since Im not native english speaking, that I like this =D

(Though, Im not that bad at english so yeah, I like it!)

Thanks staff! :)
 

burt6

Dalayan Elder
So how will things like zones that are currently keyed, where 1 key will port in a group or even a raid be handled? IE valorb or sanctum? For instance Fidel has done the nexus of the ward but did not get the key since only 1 is given out. I would be able to go with my guild or on a joint raid with goons but not pug the zone because I couldn't myself enter on my own? Or would the fact that 1 person in the raid has the key mean that the whole pug would be able to enter because they are not circumventing a barricade.

Further if guild a were to do progression content as a joint raid with guild b, would guild a get "flagged" to do the content as a whole or just the members of guild a that were on the raid?

I am not trying to be contrary or obtuse I think that these changes are what everyone wants but the devil is in the details.
 

Waldoff

Administrator
Staff member
I think everyone is overthinking this. This means that if you can get into a place you can raid there. If a buddy has a key and the key is designed to let an entire group in then you are good to go.

The only caveat is that a few zones may be getting keys that only let in the person who has the key. This, when implemented, will be joined with a way for guilds to key all their members at once (or near so) for the encounters in question. This is the compromise the Dev team is making between the new zeitgeist in game of PUGs and joint raids and our want to make some content linearly progressive.
 

fuwok

Developer
Staff member
I think everyone is overthinking this. This means that if you can get into a place you can raid there. If a buddy has a key and the key is designed to let an entire group in then you are good to go.

The only caveat is that a few zones may be getting keys that only let in the person who has the key. This, when implemented, will be joined with a way for guilds to key all their members at once (or near so) for the encounters in question. This is the compromise the Dev team is making between the new zeitgeist in game of PUGs and joint raids and our want to make some content linearly progressive.

Word up!
 

Tarutao

Staff Emeritus
Driizz, no such list exists at this time, but I'd say the outdated "unpuggable zone" list is a reasonable guess.

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A clarification, there are NO recognitions for "your guild has done the prerequisite content". The recognition of Guild Raids and Joint Guild Raids exists only under the "staff does not intervene with guild raid loot issues".

If someone ninja loots an item during a <Novus Ordinatum> Guild Raid, for example, the GM Team would expect the guild leadership to handle it themselves. We expect guilds to handle guild issues as a policy that is widely preferred. We are now extending that "handle it within your guild" policy to specific Joint Guild Raids for which 2 guilds are represented.

There are no "Guild A is flagged for this encounter" things anymore. The guild <Fair-Weather Friends>, for example, is NOT flagged for Yclist, and neither is any other guild. Such a distinction simply does not exist for guilds anymore.
 
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