Monthly Archives: January 2014

They’re trying, lets see where this goes

I confess. I’m not currently playing DDO. I login now and then (mostly for free gold roll) but I don’t play. The very idea nauseates me. It’s like a severe allergic reaction to what have become a trademark of DDO; either grind mindlessly or circumvent it using shards or gold. This will not improve in the next update. Sure, I do look forward to 2 more raids – dependent on how they’re done and how long they take to complete. But in order to ‘re-balance’ the whole grind they’re adding more XP to the terribad xpack quests and cutting XP in half for VON3 perhaps the ONLY good quest to run if you’re doing off destiny leveling or off karma leveling.

Turbine just don’t get it – the problem isn’t VON3 – it’s a reaction to when you create idiotic systems that are counterintuitive to the idea of increased power through leveling. Off destiny and karma leveling represents that. You’re basically taking 5 steps back for a incremental half a step forward through the nauseating product of hammer your head against a wall of content with little or no practical purpose other than leveling something you don’t even care for. Not to reiterate why this should change, but rather reflect on Turbine once more reacting by making their sucky content drop more XP and the less sucky stuff less, you have not even touch the main problem with the experience. Sure, there are still people who idiotically compare off destiny leveling with heroic TRing, forgetting that no one will ever have to play a none synergetic enhancement while level a class. On the other hand doing the same in a off destiny will always be counterproductive. Sure – there are those that yammer about ‘how you can learn about the destiny’ but the reality is that it’s still counter intuitive. You’re activly regressing your power in order to unlock fate points – a ‘currency’ that should’ve never been tied to destinies in the first place.

So Turbines reaction is to make the worse content give more and the less worse give less. Making the journey and the trip more dreadful, at a slower pace for running higher end sucky content to unlock destinies. It’s not a fix; it’s a regression. And it makes me want to play even less.

What would make me play more would be to address of destiny and karma leveling. Fix the problem. Then any changes to XP matters less. By changing XP the way they did, without a broader fix they simply cemented just how terrible the current way of doing it and the only way of getting good XP is to EN xpack content one hammer to the head after another.
Yes – I am bitter. While Turbine is trying by adding a player council and alpha play on lam (two excellent ways of getting early player feedback) they’re stubborn about continuing to destroy fun for players. And I refuse to reward them by buying their circumventions. I simply can’t reward shitty functions with more money. Maybe it’ll hurt enough going forward for them to take a long good look at how they created the very reason why people run VON3, rusted and Midlers farm over and over and fix that, instead of nerfing the reaction to their sucky system. Because as it shows people are leaving. They’re leaving because they see the hamster wheel and they’re not interested of ‘working’ more hours per day after long days at a real job. I certainly don’t. I play DDO for fun. And I pay for a quality experience.

I’m in a hold pattern for now. We’ll see what these new things will add and if the latest content can woe me back. If not I’ll move on. Each month makes the option that much easier. I don’t want too, but I didn’t change – Turbine did. And it’s their choice to see if they want me back or not.

A new year and new hopes

It’s clear that I’m not happy about the direction Turbine took, but I’m cautiously optimistic of how they’re trying to fix things. In many ways 2014 will be the year where they either get back on track or lose many for good. Will I be one of those? I don’t know – perhaps I need another extended break but it seems like I slowly lose my focus and when that happens I tend to just drift away.

I certainly don’t want too. I’ve played DDO since 2009 and I feel it’s been a blast. Except since the xpack. But there are lots of things yet to come. Like 2 raids. My hope is that they don’t create 2 more raids like the Cannith ones. It feels like they’re going to make that mistake and that would be the worst thing they could do in my book. Sure; guild runs can always coordinate the chaos of trying to get everyone through 1 or 2 wilderness while coordinating to get into a raid – but most PUGS are bad at that. In fact one of the reason you see so few Cannith raids is that you not only have to coordinate the first raid area towards starting but also the second before the raid itself. It’s stupid and it takes too long. Ideally a raid should be come together and start, last no longer then 45 minutes when people understand how everything works and ideally about 30 minutes when things runs smoothly.

That’s PUGs for you. It’s hard enough to put together 12 players at all hours, but if you first have to plow through wilderness and such (and some groups are just way to impatient to wait around for everyone) and then wait at the doors to a raid while more people join it’ll be a fiasco.

So while I am somewhat optimistic with more end stuff to do coming, I’m afraid that they’ll make the mistake and embed these raids in layers of wilderness that you always have to run first. And that’s bad. Unless you do a TOD thing; that you first discovered the entrance and can unlock a tunnel between the public area and another public gathering place. You’ll the get occasional guy that need to make the ‘run’ (like Shroud and ToD) but for most part you can coordinate people and you don’t waste peoples time. There’s nothing wrong with that. The multiple wilderness stuff is a time sink and stupid. It gets old pretty quickly. Then you always have the DQ way – where you always flag the raid by having to run through a wilderness to the flagging quest then do the raid. And the worst part – the wilderness is for groups – not raid groups – so you have to split the 12 people up – run 2 flagging quests then coordinate to come back together to run the actual raid. It’s not as bad as the Cannith stuff but it’s annoying and if it wasn’t for the fact that most People run the Epic quest and run through a level 12 wilderness most people would just ignore it all together.

A lot of things are riding on this; a good raid kind of like Shroud will retain people for a long time. Ideally a similar system to greensteel. It sets a goal. People gather material towards that goal. And keep running it. It can be simple without tons of new material. Citw works good – one material lots needed to unlock each layer. That way you start out with the basic items then add new tiers of features. Except it’s not flexible. You only unlock the same set of features on any given item. Unlock greensteel where the player decide what they want the 3 tiers should be.

A simple and similar system like that would have players run the raids like crazy. Cut down on the different materials needed but keep the diversity of choices. And give them a broad choice of things to create – everything from items to armor to weapons. And eventually Epic ToD with new rings and stuff to take advantage of the new enhancements.

Here’s me hoping.