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 Post subject: Epic Lament. Future of Epics, Building
PostPosted: Sun Oct 05, 2008 9:12 pm 
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As you all know DL has always been strong in technological change, and not so much in the area/theme
department. We plan to do something about it. As part of the strategy we started with the pet patch some
changes are required to make this happen.

Epics, especially endless epics, is a big blocker for several reasons:

- Motivation to level beyond e250 is very low for the casual player, due to the open-endedness. Only 100 characters ever broke e300, only 4 players broke e1000. RPGs are a game of character design and advancement, and not being able to get to the finish line is a big downer. While it is expected that they never reach the skill or power of the elite, a casual player has no hope to ever participate in end game content, to become a hero amongst heroes. If you do the math, a casual player takes about a year and a half to get to any significant epic level.
- Players level beyond supermobs or premade content, leaving them only generated dungeons to fight. Building an area is one of the most time expensive actions possible for DL. It is very time intensive, and only worth it if you have a constant stream of players that benefit from it.
- Except for some loners, MUDs are a social/competitive game. With Epics players 'drift off into space', distances between them getting bigger and bigger, no pvp, no grouping, no meaningful arena fights; competition beyond leveling simply stops. Everyone ends up with a very small set of people in their own weight group.
- It is very hard to balance a system where there is no power ceiling. People playing e800+ epics have probably noticed how broken epics become.
- You cannot build balanced areas without knowing the intended characters.

I agree there are benefits of endless epics: The true grinders enjoy it, and the potential to elevate beyond the rest of the players is alluring.

While procedurally generated areas do have a place on the mud, effective building is important. It comes down to efficiency with man hours; Only I can work on improving epics, but I can have multiple people working on areas; in the end we'll get more content done. Right now all the content is skewed: all of it is level 1-50, while most hours are spent in epics.

Casual players should at least be able to participate in the end game content; it may be hiding behind Terkal while visiting the great e5000 TerkuTothGoth super mob and still suck in DPS, but they at least deserve something to look forward to and not be single-hitted to death.

Options

We have come up with the following to make the most out of the situation. We cap epics, and provide a means to further your character in a different realm, while still keeping your character competitive in all mundane areas.

After the cap is reached, you advance in ascension levels (unlimited). These levels grow your characters skill to manipulate your plane of existence (grow mountains), perform godly miracles (restore characters, create materials out of nothing), and eventually appear as a deity others can devote to.

Ideal cap

Comes the question what the ideal cap would be. Only 1% of the players will ever reach e2000, so it seems like a good maximum to reason from. Many characters reach at least e150-e300, even without a set goal, so that seems to be a good low end to consider. I expect a fixed cap to push people more to level beyond what they level now, and we also have a lot of non-casual players, so pushing it upwards seems like a good idea.

We want as many people as possible to at least approach the weight group needed to enjoy end game content, and still be a challenge to get there. Given this the ideal cap would be somewhere around e600-e1000. We would of course provide some reimbursement for characters that passed the cap already.

Doing the math an e2000 character is about as powerful as a level 115 character (if you could continue to level after 50), so that makes an e1000 character about level 82, and an e500 about level 70. Going e2000 as a cap would preserve some characters, but it does leave a wide gap of 66 effective levels between lvl 50s and the highest chars, and would largely be unachievable.

This is required to make building post-epic possible, and I believe this will benefit the mud in many areas.

I'm looking for constructive comments, questions or concerns! please post yours, and don't burn others down please!


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 Post subject: Re: Epic Lament. Future of Epics, Building
PostPosted: Sun Oct 05, 2008 10:47 pm 
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Change, oh change, oh wonderful change! :)

Hello again folks, lovely weather we're having in Alora right now. Seems as though a downpour of frozen rain covers the land in ice and a slight breeze stirs the air. In other news, atop the peaks of the gods we hear the winds of change rustling through the intricate energies of this world. The question on everybody's mind... oh my god am I gonna be able to live through this? If this scares anyone, I want to remind the folks here that I've been playing this game now for 9 years (basically since it went public) and everytime Celeborn has made a major change in the game it was, in the long run, welcomed with wonderful support and admiration from the player base. So fear you not folks, this fella is a smart guy and he cares what we us players think, meaning he is doing this for our benefit. I also agree with Celeborn, that a change of this magnitude could bring a great positive flow into the game, and even an influx of new players for us all to enjoy competing/socializing with. This is a balancing of our world and our peoples within it, a long awaited balancing, from my standpoint :P

As for a specific cap... I would suggest we go back into the records and take a gander at some of our most greatest players. Yes, there were many great players even before the epic system, but since this is what the cap revolves around, that is how far back I will intend to look. Kalsot was, in my eyes, the greatest player of the early days, he managed to reach a staggering level well over e700. Kiasyn, a young up and comer in his prime managed to buckle his way through dragon upon dragon to reach the remarkable level of e812. Evenetine and Evelyn are both other players who pushed the limits, even beyond the two prior mentioned, managing to simmer out above the e1000 range. These are great players in the history of Alora. I think if we look at what they were able to do before they decided that levelling was out of their inerests, then we ought to base a cap around such people. I know this patch is to help the "casual" player, but I still think we need a challlenging goal to aspire to, such as our past players have once given others to aspire to. In my view an e1000 cap would be a nice ending point to begin the ascension plans. Some may say, hey that still takes ages to get to, but the speed in which it takes to get there can also be adjusted if need be.. This is just my suggestion, I would still like to hear what the rest of my friends on DL have to say. So, I'm not sure how well written this is, I kinda just logged on, read, and started to input a response off the top of my head. lol, I apologize if it's really long. In any case, I support Celeborn on this endeavour and I look forward to adapting to changes that should bring new and wonderful things to a world in need of some change.

So let's put our trust in Celeborn! :) Thank you for becoming active again by the way, it's been a long wait :P I guess I'll shut up and end this here lol...this may not be the type of response you were looking for.. lol but anyways thanks for your time, guys. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Epic Lament. Future of Epics, Building
PostPosted: Sun Oct 05, 2008 11:48 pm 
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After reading these both, I vastly agree with everything that has been said. I believe the changes will be amazing and am excited to see them. I have been playing as long as Binkly, except 1 day longer :P. So, I too am enthused, I've seen all the changes occur on this game, and none can be as positive as this. I believe, however, to decide on a level cap is beyond my capabilities, solely. As well personally, I believe it is beyond Terkal's. This should be agreed upon by the entire active mud base. If it is deemed that modifications need to be done to how quickly we attain levels, then so be it. I am saddened to be nerfed, but can't wait for the changes. Cheers, here's to DL living another 9 years. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Epic Lament. Future of Epics, Building
PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 2:39 am 
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I think this is going to be the once balancing factor that Dark-Legacy truly needed. You cannot balance to an endless scale. How affective would a scale be if no matter how much you place in it, there is endless gold being piled on to it? There would be no balance.
As someone who's hit e500-e700 several times on my 10 remakes (yeah yeah, leave me alone) it's entirely obtainable, especially if people choose to group. e1000 would be a sufficient goal to get people to the 'top'. It would give a better idea maybe on capping crafts? Since a lot of people kind of just stop and give up. What's the point of endless leveling? Who wants to waste that many hours in epics for no gain? I think e2000 would be good as well, but it also means 18 solid weeks of 2 hours non-stop epics every day, 4 levels per hour, just to obtain the e1000-e2000. Okay, said like that it's not really that bad. But no one consistently gains that many levels per hour, its between 2-4 per hour on regular, so lets safely put that at 36 weeks, which in that time those e1000-e2000 could have been put towards ascension. Making yourself better, making your lands better, etc. Alot of people who do enjoy the perks of such things like their plane of existence of being deified, would probably appreciate something around e1000 cause then they can get to the top and begin gaining the benefit. So I guess it's a toss-up between the two sides.

Personally in the way I like to play Dark-Legacy. I'd go for e1000, begin ascending, and enjoying the perks, cause by now, I'm just sick of leveling in epics. I'm sick of the mindless drone leveling. I want to see new areas with better items, better super mobs, more challenge to the game. Something that doesn't mean time, but good builds. I think people who are usually between e300-e500 kinda just say...what's the point. so e1000 is MUCH closer than e1000, it wouldn't be an unreasonable goal for them.

Wow I shouldn't ramble at nearly midnight. But there's my thought on it, Cele you know the rest of my thoughts on this topic already.

Much love guys!

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 Post subject: Re: Epic Lament. Future of Epics, Building
PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 6:59 am 
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While I've already spoken to Celeborn about my thoughts, let me share them here.
I would also like to see a cap at e1000. It is just high enough imo, to allow those who wish to go above and beyond in terms of epiccing to do so, while not being super far ahead of everyone else. The explorer and builder in me would also enjoy seeing different types of areas emerge and old ones revamped to suit our current needs. I'm cautiously optimistic about the ascension powers in terms of abuse, etc. but super enthousiastic about things like customizing your plane of existence and other things. Customization of your character and personal effects are a cornerstone of RPG's really, and it appeals to players who already have everything else so to speak.
The issue of being allowed to improve 1 character endlessly vs just having to level up all your alts to e1000, is offset by these new areas of achievement. Perhaps some extra perks/gimmicks for levelling up different types of alts would also motivate those hardcore epiccers to replay different characters.

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 Post subject: Re: Epic Lament. Future of Epics, Building
PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 11:15 am 
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Looks like e1000 is a good candidate.

Since its a big undertaking and you wont be able to benefit from ascension powers right away, I wanted to give you a rough timeline.

Relatively soon:
- The cap is further discussed and detailed.
- Negotiate some form of reimbursement for the lost levels of those e1000+, decided on a character to character basis.
- After that the cap + ability to level ascension levels (without getting abilities yet) are put in place.
- World map is replaced. (We're working on something that is screenreader friendly, less of a chore to travel through, but still enhances the crafting/treasure hunting/exploration aspects of the game.)
- Some quick tweaks to epics (fix enchanting bugs and broadening some enchanting constraints, less MR for mobs, etc).

Next few weeks:
- Finishing Ascension, Building, Theme and Epic plans.
- Building system is tested and polished. This involves bringing some latest tech (like pet talents) to mobiles as well, updating the quest code, providing manuals for builders on all the new features, etc.
- Ascension changes are coded. (this involves deity system replacement).

And if I'm not on my traditional hiatus by then:
- Epic Dungeon replacement is coded.

Over the next year.
- New Areas added following theme plans and using all building technology.


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 Post subject: Re: Epic Lament. Future of Epics, Building
PostPosted: Mon Oct 06, 2008 6:28 pm 
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E1000 would be sufficient, I think... not many have ever reached it, but most people usually stop to say "Why" before making the attempt, with an obvious cap just inches in front of some of their faces I can see it being easily and speedily attained by those left.

I was thinking, maybe we could tie in research levels with the creation of your own plane...

obviously you wouldn't be able to add things you didn't know about, so maybe a more in-depth research system could be used... one where you pick basic tiers, and from the ones you have it could branch out... enabling more things to add, or more things to do to your items or mobiles, if we can add those into the areas as well...

It would set up a system where they wouldn't be able to add something they don't have access to, and they would, thus, have to work to get things to add... its a neat idea i had, and I think it would benefit us, with more limitations, thus giving us more short term goals... It would limit abuse, and also would mean that everyone's areas are different, and more unique... depending on the person's abilities, and research tiers (maybe even race, starsign, etc) that made it...

just a thought, because as it stands research level only affects a few things that we know about, why not give them a plain, viable use...


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 Post subject: Re: Epic Lament. Future of Epics, Building
PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2008 8:49 am 
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Majutsu wrote:
Exponential mob difficulty (power/hp/def... all that juicy stuff) to match linear level with linear level bonuses. Just as an example (with no relation to current epic levels reached in the mud), e1-10 any player out of avatar will be able to do. The strength (heavily player skill/item based, not character stats from levels) e20 player would be one magnitude higher than an e10. An e25 would be one mag above e20. Then e27. Only a small % will ever reach e28. And there will be that single e30 guy that is just godly


Interesting. Calculations aside, if we keep in mind the other requirements we could mix this nicely with the epic cap, by having a few honorary levels for those that can beat the exceptionally though critters. The casual players still get to the finish line, compete with the rest, and the skilled player can prove themselves worthy of a few honorary levels surviving hardcore epics (which is unbalanced on purpose, so not a lot of work needed there ;). hmm.

Bit raw still, I would like to know what the rest thinks about this.


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 Post subject: Re: Epic Lament. Future of Epics, Building
PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2008 12:35 am 
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Hmm. Looking at the suggestion by Majutsu, I've kind of rolled it around in my mind a bit, and it does seem to be a more logical way to go. So if I understand correctly, Majutsu, you want to make it so that people are going to want to be grinding those other aspects of the game, areas, crafting, etc, in order for them to really try to make an effort to achieve that godly position you talked about? If so, all for it, if not, explain to me further, it's been a while since I've done my math and I just got home from work, my brain is dead/dying. I'm curious to know more since this is a completely new recommendation of action.

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 Post subject: Re: Epic Lament. Future of Epics, Building
PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2008 5:42 am 
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i ruled at this game. gl guys :P


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 Post subject: Re: Epic Lament. Future of Epics, Building
PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2008 11:42 am 
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I see what you mean Majustu, basically it would throw in a complexity level (difficulty) to the game that we haven't had before, and only those willing to take the challenge will get higher, leaving the more casual players to stay where they are at if they want. Good opportunity for those who do enjoy the crafting end of the game far more than the actual leveling bit. I like it.

Cele : I kinda really like this idea best. Screw my previous statement of e1000, i'd rather see the e30 impossibility level lol

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 Post subject: Re: Epic Lament. Future of Epics, Building
PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 5:33 am 
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I'm still for the e1000 idea, keeping the same sort of system as now. But you could add a few extra dungeons that take this other idea into account. Mb you link it to epic levels, mb you link it to one part of the ascension system, mb its just treasure/reward based...but each level scales up the difficulty level exponentially, and itll be geared towards e1000 players with the same goals you guys have mentioned before.

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 Post subject: Re: Epic Lament. Future of Epics, Building
PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 7:15 am 
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Edit: I think I started writing this while Majutsu was writing the post before this one :P

We are tied to at least e700, given the high number of unwilling players that would get nerfed in the process if we nuke all epic levels.

I do think it would be best if we don't make epic levels too complicated. Instead of changing the fundamentals of epic levels suddenly for the last few levels and making it impossible for casual players to reach the finish line I was talking about, how about we take the essence of Majutsu's idea (tuning your character to perfection, having something that matches your level of skill and being rewarded in stature) and apply it as follows:

Just a little background info on the epic plans to set this up. In the future, you can uncover generated dungeons (formerly epics) of your level on the map. They are not unlimited levels deep: For example, an example dungeon could be 10 levels deep with 2 boss fights and resulting treasure. When done with the dungeon you simple go find another one; there will be sufficient around to keep you busy. There's more to it but that is the general idea.

Now comes the Majutsu bit. We add a difficulty to the generated dungeon. From casual to hardcore, and some steps in between. Casual anyone awake can survive. Hardcore only if you have 'perfected your character and gameplay', whatever that is in game terms.

Practically what that would mean is we drop signs outside those dungeons that give a general idea about difficulty, duration and treasure. The reward would be a net effective boost in XP and treasure per hour, and a big set of achievements for finishing hardcore dungeons at various levels.


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 Post subject: Re: Epic Lament. Future of Epics, Building
PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 8:13 am 
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ok... So Celeborn...


I want to ... no, Terkal and I would like to make an appeal, as well as a plead to you... we would like you to look at what we are saying with vast seriousness and understanding...

Now, as you know Terk and I are the best suited to perform any task in the world of Dark-Legacy, and even Terk more so than I. Now that being said, I would like to point out that I do like the baboo system, along with the intended ideas with adding a way to modify/create a plane... It's neat and all, but really, we've just reached a level really where we're able to, with our current complexities, do the things we've been craving to do with our equipment, and that is theoretically assuming that it is with the old enchantment system.

With that in mind, we do both still like the baboo system, remember that... However, the baboos that are REQUIRED to be enchanted onto the equipment to be of ANY use, needs to be opened up. Damage Roll, Hit Roll, Willpower / Reflex, and if you're stripping that many levels from the system then as well you should consider opening up the wear locations on the complexity boost pieces too... maybe to all jewelery locations for the complexity boost baboos, and ... ALL of the wear locations for HP, Mana, Move, Damroll, Mobility, Hitroll, the main ones, the ones that everyone needs to use, and increase to ridiculous levels in order to even hit some mobs... like, as an example at e1400 Terkal could still not kill moosh, it wasnt until he became e1600 that he was able to kill him... Now, a lot of them do not need to stack, like the saves, the complexity boosts, those shouldnt stack, I agree with you. However, when it comes to things like damroll, hitroll, and the like they they have to be able to stack onto your equipment, you need at least 700 damroll in order to perform even at half efficiency with a level e100 char, and you should have at least 1.2k damroll to be worth much to any group at that level.

Now, aside from that, as mentioned as well... Unless more enchantable wearlocs on baboos get opened up, then that will limit the amount of complexities that anyone will get, I still feel that an e1000 cap is great if you want the average person to feel powerful, but don't strip away our ability to perform at the level we do (when we need it at this level realistically with specific tasks) -- It would make our level of strength more easily obtainable, but really is that asking too much anyhow? people couldnt do it all without a good knowledge of the game anyhow, and if you can modify your char in that regard then it's pro for everything. just, if you're trying to make it better for the average player, not the hardcore grinders, then i honestly think you need to know that it would seem you're just hindering them even further...

I still like the ideas, and think you should continue the coding, but at least take into account that there is a lot of nerfing going on, and if all that seems to be given to us in return is after making levelling to e1000 a hell of a lot harder, (traps, everything is a bitch starting at about e700+) and then saying ok well "go to your plane where no one will ever go, and make your plane look neat... and after making everything else harder, you've still got to fight even HARDER mobs just to progress endlessly again... -- but also, instead of just being able to grind endlessly, making leveling a non-hindering task, you now have to find the dungeons and stop intermittently to continue to find them... but hey... you can still make your plane of existence neat... "


If you want to add dungeons that's a great idea, especially if you wanna do bosses and stuff in them with achievements but don't make everything else harder, and then take away our ability to even level efficiently...


It took a lot of courage to write this, cele, im afraid it will upset you... especially where me and you are just beginning to really be on speaking terms... terk is kind of timid to mention this too, but we both decided it was important enough that we speak up... The numbers don't add up, and no offense but as a coder, and whereas you don't play it is to be expected that you not see things in the same way as we.

I also apologize for making this such a large post, but i'm really stressing how worried we are... and basically what I'm saying in a nutshell is that: Well, try thinking instead of compensation for the additions, that we try and just add to the system. I mean, the limit to power is already set via espace... if you let us use the baboos we actually have, especially on the variety of equipment we need it to be onto, then we'll even though being e1000 or so, should still be able to attain (with proper setups) the same statistics that can be attained by an e1500 or e2000 char.

because, as it stands if more gets nerfed then even we will be able to do less, I can't begin to think of how hard it's gonna make it for the average player... especially the casual player.


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 Post subject: Re: Epic Lament. Future of Epics, Building
PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 9:25 am 
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Raolas, I get the feeling we're not talking about the same thread. :P

We've been discussing fixing epics, opening up the end game experience to casual players, as well as giving experienced players some challenge.

I think you already know epics are broken beyond a point, simply because they are not tested that far up. Casters can't pierce the MR, all the mobs have insane HP, damred, and no mobility.... I realize it is a reality you and other players face and right now pre-baboo gear is required to get anywhere. But all that will change.

With epics adjusted, the space and location restrictions of baboos, combined with the wide range of abilities you can enchant now, will give you a wide range of paths to choose from, not just dr/att. It opens up a wide range of meaningful strategies that were not really choices before. It also avoids ability scores being pushed so insanely high fights become an automatic win in both PVE and PVP. (Enchanted) gear is intended to give you an edge in your chosen strategy, with the other half of victory being your skill in making the right choices during combat.

So in short, epics get fixed, and the must-have-everywhere enchantments that are absolutely required now won't need to be when the cap gets activated.

I hope that gives you some peace of mind.

On dungeons and ascension powers, well... I think it would be more constructive if you asked questions instead of just assuming we don't consider things beyond the initial idea. Dungeons actually addresses a lot of issues with the current system (like minimal XP gains, no subgoals, uncompleteable or pre-used epics, mobs that do not match your skill level) that make epics so unattractive and doable for the common player.


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 Post subject: Re: Epic Lament. Future of Epics, Building
PostPosted: Sat Oct 18, 2008 11:41 pm 
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I really love the ideas. And before I make suggestions I would like, to know will parties be implemented into these patches? Like will you gain more partying with someone than rather running at it alone. It might have been mentioned, I am truly sorry if I skipped it, but I felt as though I just read a book. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Epic Lament. Future of Epics, Building
PostPosted: Mon Jan 05, 2009 6:43 am 
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it's been a long time since i've written anything on this forum but here it goes...

e1000 is a good level to cap off. However, I do suggest we do it in a more subtle way. Instead of coding a stop code at e1000, lets make it ridiculously hard to gain e1001. How about each mob = 1xp after e1000? after epic 1010 each mob = .2 exp. whatever the math is, make it exponentially hard to level up. This will effectively encourage players to stop leveling without having to tell them to. Also, this system allows a small room for competition among hardcore grinders that just want the high level bragging right.

Besides from the coding standpoint, it is a good idea to keep things simple. Even though our aim is to fix the epic dungeon and to make it more fair for the casual gamers, I do want to remind you and everyone that a greater priority than making things fair is to keep things fun. I feel like sometimes we try so hard pumping out patches that try to make things fair and innovative but at the same time, we are adding layers of complexity that strip away the fun part of playing DL. The central point of DL should be entertaining to play. DL should not become a chore (epic/craft).

As far as our plane of existence goes. There's so much potential wasted. I am extremely pleased with the lock/pick system, construction system, and enchanting system. Because of these systems, we have hundreds of unique structures generated by players as well has thousand of equipment that are one of a kind. All this is possible because the code allows players to be creative and contribute. What we need to do is to make our plane of existence the same. We need to come up with a system that allows players to construct their own unique world. Give them the option to turn their plane of existence into a winter wonderland, a hellish dungeon, a tropical paradise, a lost city, a mind boggling maze or a temple with followers worshiping the image of the creator. Whatever the scenario, i think we all agree that Alora would be mushroomed with unique places that serve the entire mud. This system will solve several problems.
.....For one, we would never need builders again.
.....Two, Alora will be filled with endless places for players to enjoy.
.....Three, players will have something to do besides epiccing.

If the generated area is good enough after it is judged by a caretaker, the place becomes a permanent part of Alora and the creator is forever credited in the area list. Once the area is permanently accepted the player can be given another plane of existence.

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as for mob equ, I think that equ should be randomly generated IN ADDITION to the equ that are already available now. in other words, lets say there is an equal 5% chance of getting "glove of constitution" from a tarsonis guard or the gnome child. Basically, we are adopting the Diablo system. Of course, higher level monster should generate better equ compared to lower level monsters. These items should not be confused with the current equ that are already possessed by mobs. With this system, players are free to go explore Alora in search for better equ instead of having to camp in a single place. This also make certain mob equ difficult to obtain because you don't know which mob has it.


Sorry, i know this post is a bit off topic and also a bit late, but...oh well.


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