Sequel to SoD - Input Requested

Taryth

Administrator
Staff member
Greetings Programs, it has been awhile.

Life has released its relentless grasp somewhat, and I'm at the stage now where I can begin to have a sort-of life again. As that has happened, of course my thoughts turn to SoD.

What I realized is what many of us know - the game is old and hampered by some old decisions and technology. That sucks. But the story of Dalaya, IMO, is incredibly compelling and enjoyable.

For awhile, I've contemplated building a sequel to the game. Same platform (EQEmu with some modifications), but one that tracks to the EQEmu master code so our game can adapt as EQEmu does. The old hodgepodge of ours-and-theirs sucks, for us AND them. Imagine a working task system. Instancing of dungeons (!). Not to mention a chance to start over on classes and races. I just think it's a neat idea.

I am in the early stages of planning. I have a rough story (it takes place a few hundred years after the current SoD). It is a greenfield game, meaning nothing will carry over beyond some story elements, lineages and other things. Everyone will start over, though I'm open to ideas about BALANCED ways of rewarding people for being SoD players.

So here's what I want to do. Tell me what you like about SoD. Tell me what you don't like. Within the limits of the "EQ system," what are things that would be really cool to have?

This is not a democracy. *IF* I do this (and it's possible I won't, though I'm enjoying this phase of things), I still get to decide what it looks like. :) Some things that players want, frankly, just aren't feasible or realistic in terms of long-term survival of a game. That said, over the years I have heard some great suggestions over the years, many of which just can't be done because of balance, technical infeasibility or other reasons. We have a chance to re-examine those with a new game.

If this happens, it will take a lot of work. When we get to that point, I'd love to enlist some help from folks - think about how many new NPCs, quests, items, etc. need to be created, not to mention actually adminning the game. Then there are costs. It's daunting, but I think doable, too. Give it some thought, PM me here or reply to the thread. If you're an asshole, I will just delete your comments, so don't waste both our time, ok?

A few things to consider:

- What level limit?
- How can we make the game more fun for non-raiders? How do we accommodate different play styles better?
- Progression - what methods are most fun and how do they scale?
- Substories. There is one major overarching theme to the game (like Kaezul was in SoD), but other things will be long gone or forgotten. Vah quest won't be a thing anymore. Silver Crown and the like have long disbanded. Relationships built around the Kaezul struggle are largely a thing of the past. With all this - what else makes the world go round? What makes it interesting? One concept being floated at present is that it is the good guys who are the outcasts - various forms of evil-aligned groups run most things, and there's a lot of blending-in that needs to happen to get anything done if you are good-aligned. A significant thought in the game is allowing good to begin to retake some ground, through one-time quests, GM events, etc., but what else can we do here?
- Races and classes. IMO, one of the more uninteresting parts of SoD right now. I'm looking at a complete revamp - what are some of your ideas?

Good to see you all again, I'll probably pop in game at some point to talk more about ideas.

--t
 

AngryCow

Dalayan Elder
It is good to see you again Taryth.

Here are some personal thoughts on things to consider:

- What level limit? --- I've always liked round numbers, 100 seems pretty good to me.

- How can we make the game more fun for non-raiders? How do we accommodate different play styles better? --- I think that SoD addressees this fairly well. I like the adepts and I think a tradeskill environment that evolves more organically and isn't outclassed by expansion BoE's would cover most of the bases here. Also 'equalizer' zones like Nadox are really cool for this.

- Substories. --- Try revisiting the deities. They already have rich stories and pre-made factions. You could have them take an interest in Dalaya again, perhaps the omens of a second Great War causes the 'good' players to try and ease the situation to prevent the catastrophe. All players of every background could band together to fight the fanaticism taking over Dalaya and causing strife. Also, plot-twist (and semi-spoiler warning) The players didn't defeat {{redacted mob}} in Sod 1 (current Dalaya) and a certain killed deity is back, with an agenda for vengeance, and with The Four not cooperating this deity could cause some problems.

- Races and classes. IMO, one of the more uninteresting parts of SoD right now. I'm looking at a complete revamp - what are some of your ideas? --- Ask Grinkles, he had some stuff on this. Personally I don't see a problem with allowing almost every combination but a few.
 

Draeos

Dalayan Elder
Utilize xp'able items much more, maybe even as far as every item can be xp'd a little bit, some more than others, things from solo/group/duo content could take longer to get as good as stuff from raid content items. They could almost get you to raid level gear but not quite but enough to make sure you'd still be a good add to a raid if/when you decided to join one. Just an alternate path of progression. I'm a big fan of multiple paths of progression that makes your character useful to the others if not the best if your play style will be more casual. Make a path for the min/maxers but at the same time make a path the casual player can follow that will let them join there min/max buddys and still be a useful assist for them.

Give every class some utility with a good amount of cross over, some classes should be the best at certain things but shouldn't be the only class that can do said things. Pulling, CC, Tanking, DPS, Traps?, ect ect ect. No more wizzies with there only utility being ports, no more rogues with there only real utility being rez runs.

What about AA's and what to do with XP once AA's are finished? Has there been any thought into that? A tome system like we have already? Not to fond of this because as we have seen it creates a huge power gap after awhile that takes forever to jump over. Or maybe something like what EZ server has with RoA,EotBA,XP Mask? Or a combination of both? Make tomes a thing again but make the AA requirement to fill them much smaller and make them much less powerful or keep the same power and just be ok with higher numbers?
Maybe a way to tie XP into things you can buy? Create X instance with Y amount of XP that can be pooled by a guild/group/raid/single payer system? Raid instances costing the most and almost required a guilds worth of people to pay for it. Groups/soloable/duoable scaling down from there. Or even being able to buy QoL items with XP items, Run speed clickie? CotH clickie? Rez clickie? Who knows make them expendable? Lots of XP for reusable but high recast time?

Some zones that scale. There is a few servers I've seen that will check a groups average HP/Mana/Stats/Gear/XP and scale the zone difficulty accordingly. I'd also make it check your inventory for certain key items so that it's not as exploitable. But then if the drops scale as well the players wouldn't even want to exploit that system and would be more inclined to use items with inflated stats for that particular zone for more difficulty/better drops. Hell even a NPC where you could be like hey we are super badasses crank up the difficulty a "tier", or yeah we suck make it easy. Just have the drops/xp scale as well. That'd be real neat.


-I gota go right now i have lots more idea's i'll either edit in here or make another post
 

Taryth

Administrator
Staff member
Fuck tomes. Seriously.

The AA system is basically infinitely expandable, so that will always be an option. Expendable AAs, to me, are another excellent exp sink and are supported by the emu. We could possibly allow for skill-ups and other limited variations via such a system as well.

You are absolutely correct, there must be a reason to want to exp at the high game. This can't go on forever, certainly, but here again, one of the limitations we have with the current game are that everything was balanced around a few hard-coded concepts (like tomes) and it has really put us at a disadvantage.

Right now, I'm working on tables of things, from races to classes to exp to AAs to whatever. I want to lay out, precisely, where things head as the game progresses. I like the SoD concept of tiers, I'd like to maybe make that a more firm boundary (not from a player perspective, really; I hate the idea of "must complete t3 before t4"), but having certain things tied to tiers, along with expectations for "this is what we want max STR/whatever" to be at that tier is important. When the game was originally designed, again, I'm not sure Wiz or anyone else thought it would live this long, and the bolt-on fashion just got unwieldy.

I'm making it sound like I hate SoD. I absolutely do not! I do, however, recognize its challenges.
 

Taryth

Administrator
Staff member
Oh about zones...

Instancing. Yes. We WILL have instancing. For real instancing.

This raises some interesting things, too. Does each guild get an instance of XYZ dungeon say once per week? What happens if one of its members want to help another guild? Things to think about! What I do love the idea of is "unique, cool solo quest in an instanced dungeon" that pits you against a specific challenge. We can scale and modify said instance based on all sorts of things. Oh, and 4 people are waiting to do it? Great, go ahead. We'll have to cap instances based on resource availability, but that will be our only holdup AFAIK.
 

Taryth

Administrator
Staff member
While I think about exp sinks, what do folks think about exp as currency? Being able to have an alt currency based on exp is absolutely doable; you might have to acquire 50M exp to get a specific coin or some such, with which you can buy various things. Think bounty vendors on steroids. Also, bounties are a must-have.

This is how my brain free-wheels. :)
 

Ezie3205

Dalayan Elder
I am physically aroused Taryth...

I have actually been thinking about this from a lore standpoint for awhile now. I would like to see the effects of the second war on a post SoD1 world but I also want to see the War.

Kaezul is a bit of a mystery to me. He finds this magic/mist, brings the world to the brink of destruction and then he leaves. He sends raiding parties occasionally for slaves and maybe supplies but never pressed or secured his advantage when he had brought all but Erude and the frozen wastes to its knees. Sure, in the 50 years since then we have seen a rebellion start (though SPOILERS, they are barely hanging on by the time you get there) and the Orcs organize against Kaezul (but we end up fighting them too).

The citizens of Dalaya seem no more concerned of Kaezul's return than they are about the rats in their cellar. From a lore stand point it already feels hundreds of years later, as if the turmoil and tragedy brought on by the first war was just one of hundreds, a foot note in the history books. 50 years after the great war and the petty squabbles of its survivors are still paramount to the fear that it could happen again. We send super soldiers to spy instead of preparing armies. We join factions (that amount to the current armies/fighting forces of the mainland) and gain prestige among them to... never talk to them again. They don't even play a significant role in the parts of the lore they are mentioned in except to show Shaina that we are willing to gather power without questioning her. Allowing her to spy on our every move because of her lack of trust, but gleefully going along with her unknown plan and unnamed allies of significant power.

What I am trying to say is there are a lot of loose ends. I know the difficulties in continuing a story of this magnitude/time frame. I have been running a D&D world for over 15 years now in various time frames (called "ages") and the difficulty of allowing the players to have a shaping experience on the world while also maintaining a coherent story line with consequences and rewards is daunting. I have tried moving them forward in time, backward in time and rebooting all intertwined with new editions and old editions.

The real question is how set are you on time frame and how much of the over all story (that which is not known to players) do you have access to?

Over all I think this is an amazing idea and I have a lot more to contribute in both lore and mechanics but I got to run now.
 

Taryth

Administrator
Staff member
Kaezul is a bit of a mystery to me. He finds this magic/mist, brings the world to the brink of destruction and then he leaves. He sends raiding parties occasionally for slaves and maybe supplies but never pressed or secured his advantage when he had brought all but Erude and the frozen wastes to its knees. Sure, in the 50 years since then we have seen a rebellion start (though SPOILERS, they are barely hanging on by the time you get there) and the Orcs organize against Kaezul (but we end up fighting them too).
Agreed. And honestly, to do it justice, I'm not sure we have a good platform for it. He definitely hasn't left, though. ;) I'd almost like to handle it as flashbacks, or storytelling, but I dunno. I want to work with Woldaff more on this (yes, by the way, he is engaged on this project)

What I am trying to say is there are a lot of loose ends. I know the difficulties in continuing a story of this magnitude/time frame. I have been running a D&D world for over 15 years now in various time frames (called "ages") and the difficulty of allowing the players to have a shaping experience on the world while also maintaining a coherent story line with consequences and rewards is daunting. I have tried moving them forward in time, backward in time and rebooting all intertwined with new editions and old editions.
Also agreed. I'd like to have the players feel like they are making a difference, even if it's just periodically. This really is like creating a massive D&D campaign, and I'm basically building it the same way.

The real question is how set are you on time frame and how much of the over all story (that which is not known to players) do you have access to?
All of it. I also have permission to share some lore information with people working on the next game IF I trust them. The only people I am working with right now I would trust with my life, and are far more creative than me. Woldaff is also helping to get this rolling - like me, he's a super busy guy nowadays, but I know this intrigues him. He also knows a LOT of shit and has some really good ideas. I haven't had the heart to tell him that the MoP will be going away. ;)

That said, there are some people who know the lroe subtleties way better than me (like Nwaij) that I would like to bring in as the story gets fleshed out. Even with access to literally everything, I still lack some of the historical context, since I started in like 2012 or something.
 

Tevinter

Dalayan Pious Diety
Good to see you taryth. I didn't read your post super hard, but as for rewards for current/past SoD players: should keep it to cosmetic only type stuff. Something like the ability to illusion to any playable race of your choice, perhaps an SoD related mount, a generic title, or if you are feeling bold, custom titles.

Level limit: this is mostly a personal thing but levels past 70 have always bothered me in WoW/EQ for some reason so ideally 50/60/65/70 as a cap.

Races: Personally I've always been a big proponent of the idea that race choice should be a purely cosmetic thing, and if racial abilities do exist, they shouldn't give power in a min max sense. Feeling pigeonholed or gimped by playing a certain race because of racial abilities is no fun, and then the possibility of said racials being changed/nerfed to make you regret your choice is an awful feeling.

Classes: the current buff system in SoD sucks. perhaps have certain buff "archetypes" like haste/atk/HP/AC/Manaregen/Spelldmg for example, and every class brings at least 1 or 2 buffs, so for example rogues could bring haste/atk buff, beastlords could bring spell damage/atk buff, something like that. This would make it relatively easy to have all the buffs within a 6 man group and raid if you brought a balanced group and would punish stacking classes for small group content. Basically how buffs were in MoP/WoD era of WoW. could also remove long duration buffs entirely in favor of auras or short duration (less than 1 min) class specific buffs with a longish cooldown
 

Taryth

Administrator
Staff member
Buffs are also a good point. A lot (and I mean a LOT) of pain in the current game is caused by buffs, and lots of shitty player stuff, too. Agreed we need to think about this, I like the aura-style idea. I don't play many modern MMO-type games (fuck WoW), so the more input here the better.

As for races, I'd like them to be more about available quest lines/factions/etc. than anything. I always thought it foolish that EVERYONE basically chose erudite wizards because INT bonus or whatever. That said, I'm not too sure about making it 100% arbitrary either; I think there should be SOME kind of reason to pick one race over another personally, but maybe I'm in the minority there.
 

Stonewalljack

Dalayan Adventurer
Level limit: the more MMOs I play the more I question levels in general. In SoD it is an extended tutorial, during which many classes don't even play as they do at max level. Due to limitations on which mobs give exp, it segregates long time players from new, as there is no character progressing reason to group. Especially in SoD, where character progression can take years, low level dungeons might as well not exist. My ideal would be no limit or one of like 10, with class defining mechanics gained at every level.

Edit: spelling
 

Taryth

Administrator
Staff member
Thinking about buffs, what do folks think of this...

What if we borrowed an idea from D&D: the sequencer. Basically, a sequencing spell "holds" other spells of a specific type. So for example, a shaman might have a buff sequencer, and in that sequencer you could load a certain number of spells, based on the level of the sequence spell. So for example, maybe an L20 sequencer lets you load 2, L40 loads 3, L60 loads 4, etc. For certain types of spells we designate as "buffs", you load them up and, once done, clicking the Sequencer spell casts all those spells instantaneously, all at once. We then shorten the buff duration to say 5 minutes or something, so while in combat, you would run the sequence, engage, and re-cast that one spell as needed during the fight.

Same would apply for debuffs, really, anything that's designed to provide a benefit or long-term non-damage type detrimental effect. It keeps players engaged, eliminates the concept of buff bots, provides a growth path (as sequencers get more powerful) and eliminates a lot of goofy shit buffs/debuffs do right now, while maximizing spell gem availability for more fun shit.

Thoughts?
 

Thade

DINOSAUR THADE
- What level limit?

The number doesn't matter as much as the time it takes to get to max level and the time per level. Leveling feels best when the end isn't forever away and each level has substance but its not a 12 hours of grinding of rats to get to level 5.


- How can we make the game more fun for non-raiders? How do we accommodate different play styles better?

More high end single group content a la cmal that isn’t so time/competition gated, maybe instanced would be a huge plus. More soloable zones that actually reward loot people can use or cash they can trade for loot that matters. Treasure maps that give actually decent rewards (tmaps were great when they first came out but became useless very quickly)


- Progression - what methods are most fun and how do they scale?

Single group content was hands down always the most fun part of sod. The problems they had usually stemmed from the fact you had 18+ people in your guild and could only take 6 of them to a 6 man and some classes just weren’t good.. Ideally instancing/smaller raid size could help alleviate this.

On that subject I feel like smaller raid sizes in general would be great. Raidings fun but having to fill an 18 man raid on a server which never had more than 700 people more than half of whom weren’t raiders was actually difficult at many points even as the #1 guild on the server. Reducing the raids to 12 mans not only alleviates this but hopefully also increases competition.

On the note of competition having some non instanced content is very important. The drive to compete and be better than people is a huge driving force in games like SoD and that needs to be remembered. Sure all the raid content doesn’t need to be uninstanced but certainly a portion of it does.


- Substories.


I don’t have much to add in this regard, but I will say the Prison of Admyrrza storyline was probably the best in the game and I hope that somehow you will incorporate it.



- Races and classes. IMO, one of the more uninteresting parts of SoD right now. I'm looking at a complete revamp - what are some of your ideas?


The most important thing to any mmo is class balance. SoD has never even pretended to have class balance and it got quite frustrating. Having to constantly tell people the classes they wanted to play sucked, telling people playing a tank without being carried is nearly impossible sucked, etc. Six mans were a nightmare basically requiring a cleric. Please for love of all things holy please make classes as close to balanced as possible.


On the topic of class balance I feel like bst/enchanter/bard need better defined rules in where they need to fall on the class hierarchy. They also need to be more interchangeable. The fact bards were just the de facto best of these classes for 90% of sod’s existence was legitimately an unfun thing.
 

Taryth

Administrator
Staff member
Prison of Admyrrza storyline was probably the best in the game and I hope that somehow you will incorporate it
Agreed. Aside from Vah, I'd say it's my favorite. Concept-wise, yes, it is part of the story, as are some other well-know stories and mobs.

On the topic of class balance I feel like bst/enchanter/bard need better defined rules in where they need to fall on the class hierarchy
I feel this way about shamans, too. Class balance is indeed out of whack imo, but it's very hard to get that right and still have enough diversity to choose one class over another.
 

Thade

DINOSAUR THADE
Agreed. Aside from Vah, I'd say it's my favorite. Concept-wise, yes, it is part of the story, as are some other well-know stories and mobs.


I feel this way about shamans, too. Class balance is indeed out of whack imo, but it's very hard to get that right and still have enough diversity to choose one class over another.
Shamans always felt like they were supposed to be a healer with utility where as druids were supposed to be the healer that did decent damage. Except shaman utility sucked and they lacked the most important thing for healers, a group heal.
 

Masuriya

Dalayan Elder
I always liked the 6 man content the most and considering how ancient Everquest is (much less an emulated server) 6/12 man content would be great considering the lower nubmers. Some box friendly content would be nice too, I always liked bounties and the fact they encouraged you to go places you normally wouldn't go.

Really the most annoying thing is how out of whack class balance is. I always thought it was hilarious that clerics got the nuke/heal line when that was a druid ability on Live and druids badly could've used it. I'm sure you'd get a lot of whining about normalizing healers but I was always firm in my belief healers should be interchangeable in groups with some minor flavor differences. Live had a good idea in making them heal about the same with some minor differences in utility barring the cleric stun skin buff which is kind of stupidly strong compared to others in group content. Druids could nuke pretty decently, clerics could go melee crunch mode and shaman had great dots and slow was kinda sorta useful even with any mobs worth a shit past level 70ish mitigating it.

I can't comment much on DPS balance but as Thade said the support-ish classes could use a look too. Beastlords were pretty much the redheaded stepchild for the longest time, bards are damn near irreplaceable in raids/6 mans and enchanters are just a mess of a class and I feel bad for anyone taking a poke at them. They're just one of those classes that are boring as shit on the surface (easy to box on raids I guess???) but can do some really wacky stuff if you have the ability to abuse them.

Everyone's got their ideas but what I'd mainly like to see is small group content and class balance. Either way, good luck in whatever you decide to do. I just think it's going to be a long road no matter what.
 

Dresdal

Dalayan Adventurer
Neat project ideas.

- What level limit?

60 or 65

- How can we make the game more fun for non-raiders? How do we accommodate different play styles better?

Solo instances, shorter dungeons or shorter clears to dungeon bosses so you don't need to dedicate hours to get to them (then wipe to them and either have to clear all the way back), quicker buffing (like where the aura discussion is going earlier in the thread), easier recovery on wipes I suppose it part of all of that.

- Progression - what methods are most fun and how do they scale?

I personally liked the smaller group content where a person's contribution was weighed a lot more heavy compared to the 18 man content where there was one or two people handling mechanics and everybody else was just doing their thing.

XPable items are a good method of progression. There have also been threads made in the past that outlined aug progression, which I think could be a very interesting route to progress. Maybe have armour be just an AC with aug slots and then let people slot them with augs that they have built, looted, quested, etc for? I think there's lots of potential there.

One thing about advancing through tiers, there are lots of item in SoD that transcend tiers that I think bear consideration like the small brittle stone. Would like to see a bunch of these as contested targets if all the other stuff is going to be instanced.

- Substories.

I liked the story in CMal and thought it was cool how it culminated into the 4.3 fight. I think most would agree that cmal has a lot of good examples of things to draw from.

In terms of world building just remember that there should always be a motivation for the specific groups. SoD is devoid of a lot of these beyond them just being there, so there should be interesting story/quest opportunities that people write for them.

- Races and classes.

Wouldn't mind having the racial bonuses being undone and all the classes being available to all races, not sure how feasible that is with the client.
 

Haenir

Dalayan Master
It's funny, probably 90% of the time when I post a suggestion on the forums I'm thinking in the back of my head "I wish we could just build a new game with SoD's lore".

Ideas to keep from current SoD

  • Lore - it would be great to see these storylines in some way, whether that's flashbacks or later consequences of events: Ikisith, The Great War, Dragon/Giant Conflict, Founding of Erudin, Fall of Freeport, Recovery of Athica Destruction of the Lands of Magic, Admyrrza, and I'm sure there are other lore things worth keeping, those are just the big storylines that come to mind.
  • Bounty Hunting - this system is great for directing players to new and interesting places (and giving an out-of-raid progression opportunity)
  • Treasure maps
  • Adepts
Almost everything else I could see being let go.

- What level limit?
1, 50, 65, 100 -- level limit doesn't matter so much as level scaling -- i.e., what is the power difference between a fresh character and a max level character. Personally I'd rather see no level system at all and experience used to develop skills which are subject to decay -- e.g., you put 10,000 experience into hand to hand and gain 1 skill, but every 2 days your skill drops by a random 1-3 points. Baseline character power difference is then determined more by what skills your character has developed and less on absolute experience points gained.

- Races and classes. IMO, one of the more uninteresting parts of SoD right now. I'm looking at a complete revamp - what are some of your ideas?
Continuing with the skill idea above -- I'd do away with classes altogether and have all characters have access to a set of basic skills covering all archetypes with the following limitations:
  • you can only max a certain number of skills - so depending on what skills you choose to invest in you essentially build your class -- I realize this is potentially a balancing nightmare, but it does have a certain flexibility which may actually make it naturally balancing to a point.
  • you can switch between skill sets over time - by letting certain skills decay you'd free up skill points to redirect elsewhere
  • "sub-class" abilities which go beyond the basic skills players are automatically given -- you need to go find them (via quests, research, hunting down teachers, etc.), they're also subject to limitations in terms of how many you can be proficient in at a given time, etc.
As for races, I'd absolutely do away with racial bonuses, would love to have lore-specific questlines based on race and race relations, and for the love of elael have a single starting city.

- How can we make the game more fun for non-raiders? How do we accommodate different play styles better?
Focus development on content that is aimed at 6-man with a class/level system that is balanced and scaled less vertically. Better tradeskilling. More bounties. Things like a coliseum where you could have pvp or triggered fights that are tied to some kind of rewards.

- Progression - what methods are most fun and how do they scale?
One thing I loved when I first started my rogue here was that I was able to progress him from lvl 10 to 40 almost exclusively from breaking into places and stealing things --- so more things like this, where killing mobs isn't the only option for progression. Things like the riddles and puzzles in the scrap heap are pretty damn neat and more things like that used to open up character progression would be amazing.

Figuring out strats is my favorite part of raiding/6-man stuff -- even wiping for like a month straight learning 4.3 was fun because as you learned the strat you could actually tell how far you'd come. Tank and spank fights have their place I suppose, but there's just so much content in current SoD that is frankly boring to do either because gear inflation made strat-use irrelevant or because the fights themselves never had more than rudimentary mechanics to them.

- Substories. There is one major overarching theme to the game (like Kaezul was in SoD), but other things will be long gone or forgotten. Vah quest won't be a thing anymore. Silver Crown and the like have long disbanded. Relationships built around the Kaezul struggle are largely a thing of the past. With all this - what else makes the world go round? What makes it interesting? One concept being floated at present is that it is the good guys who are the outcasts - various forms of evil-aligned groups run most things, and there's a lot of blending-in that needs to happen to get anything done if you are good-aligned. A significant thought in the game is allowing good to begin to retake some ground, through one-time quests, GM events, etc., but what else can we do here?
Personally, I think there should be more choices than just "good-aligned" for players. One of the frustrating things about SoD lore is that you as a player have limited ways of getting the other side of the story from Kaezul's followers, and no matter what you're forced into fighting him (even if you're a blackscale tarhyl-worshiping evil bastard that would sooner join Kaezul's army than fight the good fight). E.g., if the world is run by the bad guys and you want to be a bad guy, maybe you can become a lackey for scumbag leader XYZ and work your way up to becoming Overlord of New Newport. Or maybe your thing is arcane research and you don't care about politics, and sell your services to whomever as long as it gets you the knowledge you want. Basically, real roleplay options would be neat.
 

Haenir

Dalayan Master
Just to clarify -- would SoD 2 be replacing SoD entirely or would they be running side by side?
 

Shalashaska

Dalayan Beginner
Disclaimer: All of this is from the perspective of someone who quit just before the release of Ikisith, but just after that super difficult six-man lava-place (can't remember what it's called anymore) and the release of the Vah.

- What level limit?
Personally I think that 60-65 is fine. I think that the more you expand the range, the more difficult it may be to balance.

- How can we make the game more fun for non-raiders? How do we accommodate different play styles better?

One of my favorite non-raid concepts in SoD was the Treasure Maps. Having to travel out to remote locations and survive hordes of enemies was frantic and fun. I've heard people mention bounties, which were not live when I was still playing, but they sound fun as well.
I'm a pretty big fan of the playstyle separation described in Bartle's Taxonomy Player Types, which essentially separates your average MMO players into 4 categories: Achievers, Explorers, Socializers, and Killers (read more: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bartle_taxonomy_of_player_types). It's not a perfect model, not that any model is perfect. But thinking about how to appeal and reward each type of player could do a lot for guiding the design of the world

- Progression - what methods are most fun and how do they scale?
Like many people have stated above, focusing a bit more on 6-man content would be nice. Many have cited the cmal 4.3 fight, which was always one of my more favorite events in the game. I'm a big fan of raiding, and didn't really think the raiding had all that many problems. I love coordinating with a large group to overcome an even larger challenge. I have always found that some of my favorite parts of MMOs are experiencing the climate of the world in question through quests of increasing stakes. One of the nice things about WoW was that they fairly heavily rewarded you for questing. Thus, even if the quest itself required some heavy grinding, the payoff upon handing in the quest normally made it worth it. This allows you to essentially tie necessary progression into lore
tldr; questing

- Substories
One of my most favorite questlines in SoD was Sadri Malath gate quest with the Sane Froglok. That quest left behind as many questions as it answered... not really sure how it resolved if at all in Ikisith.
Additionally, I may be biased because of my relationship to Cyzaine, but each of the deity quests were extremely fun, full of personality, and hinted at huge things happening behind the scenes and above the heads of even the gods themselves. I'd love to see more on it.

- Races and classes. IMO, one of the more uninteresting parts of SoD right now. I'm looking at a complete revamp - what are some of your ideas?
I like some of the ideas above, but I don't think we should get rid of classes as a concept. I think it is a good thing to have something of a distinct separation in terms of abilities available to a single character. However, I think my favorite way I've seen classes handled is in the style of Diablo II, where each class had sort of a distinct sub-class within -an acceptable style of play within the class, if you will- like a necromancer who has a super strong pet, or extremely high levels of stackable DOTs, or something a bit more bursty, etc. But not necessarily being able to be all three of those things at once. You don't necessarily need to be locked into it, but some way to specialize into a certain playstyle of a class would be kinda neat I think, and would really expand dual-box versatility.

As for races, if it is possible within the constraints of the code... having every race be able to play every class I think would be perfectly fine, afterall, every race will have oughta have its heretics as much as it has its heroes.

Wow that came out a bit longer than expected... sorry about that!


Also...Sup everyone?! Been awhile! =D
-Odyn Firestar (Revelation)
 
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