One lesson learned, another ignored.

Mabar had a raid made up by the unruly mob. There’s a reason why people are somewhat selective in raids. We don’t want so called DPS to show up with candle sticks and costing a completion or a whole party wipe.  I know, it’s just time, but time that could have been better spent with people who have a clue and don’t think Epic is best done in shorts and 200 HP.

Gone is the raid format and it’s now a group event; to be done with hirelings, solo or any size group.  So that’s good. The question is of course how it scales and if going from one level to the next does anything other than scale both rewards, XP and critter HP and damage. It’s good that Turbine is offering so many reviews so we can better help them balance the effect. Except for the fact that the biggest problem with Mabar have not changed.

Have you ever run slayer? For XP? Like kill 3000 something and get a nice bunch of XP? That’s a grind isn’t it? You toil sweat and torment and eventually have it. Mabar is about getting fingerbones and such. In the first version it dropped like cup cakes. You didn’t really have to get that thing that made it drop motes, but it was a way of reduce some grind. This event have map pieces. Turn in 20k and unlock pirate cove, the real reason you run the event (just as the dragon raid was the reason you ran Mabar). Crystal cove is 10 times better. More fun, more controlled and random enough to make tactics only 80 percent fool proof.

But you still have to grind.

Given the fact that you have to pull 1700 shards to fully upgrade a item and tons more to fully upgrade hat and trinket and whatnot, map pieces is just one of those things that pours a big bucket of hot grease ontop of everything.

I get it. In Epic you have to find scroll, seal and shard. But trust me – I can probably get whatever I like Epic wise quicker than a fully upgraded item. Because I can run a epic once a day, trade scrolls for other items and even roll on seals and shards. Put it like this; you’re doing good if you pull about 100-150 shards in one crystal cove. Want to do that 10-15 times more to upgrade one single item (provided you never fail and always get that average) and meanwhile want to wait 2-4 hours for the event to unlock in between?

That’s the lesson ignored. Grind is one thing. It’s part of life and DDO. But 10+ hours mindless grinding for one item, that’s not fun. Some people say that you would appreciate the item better in that case but do you really feel you appreciate a green steel item you made after you had sh!tty luck pulling the right mats? Personally I feel more appreciative of anything if it really felt like I had accomplished something. Running shroud for 3-4 weeks is not a journey, It’s running through the motions.

Completing a hard fought Epic quest and pull that looked after seal is. Soloing a high end quest with many close calls and getting skunked is even more motivating that, clonk, heal and repeat.

So how do you make it feel like you’re working towards a goal? That’s the balance here. Just remove one single item of grind. If people want dabloons and gems they can run the public area for pirates, but remove the map pieces. Make it once every 1 or 2 hours. The grind is in getting enough crystals anyways, not in slicing pirates over and over. That should be a side event, not a must. Better yet – remove any dabloon or gem drop from the crystal cove and add it to public area. So you’re forced to spend some time there to get those items. Furthermore, add so that the maps you get from the public area (treasure) only shows up in this cave. In other words, you do the treasure hunt inside the crystal cove cave, giving you a reason to run the public area and making it rewarding to explore the cave. And finally add a way to extend the timer with up to another 10 minutes. Be it via drops, or sacrifice of crystals or something. Maybe killing a red named and getting a random time drop. Randomness adds flavor and avoid staleness. Just as we run shroud because we might get the material we need, not because we like to beat up a pit fiend.

Make it fun and make us forget the grind.

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