Thursday, May 6, 2010

"Final Days" transcript

It’s time. It saddens me that we have to come to this point. That.. I had hope for you, I truly did. I gave you some of the reasons why you were in this situation to start off with. But now, I figure I’ll let you know how to get out of this problem.

Lets start with…

“The Basics”

All games, no matter what genre create some core game play elements, that are the foundation of the games design. The bread and butter. The things that holds the whole game together.

These are the core simple elements of the game that allow the player to easily understand what they have to do,and why they have to do it in order to succeed. Tic – Tac- Toe, Rock Paper Scissors, Box, S.O.S. You do A B C, and the end result is X Y Z.

MMO’s tend to have many different ways in how they handle these things. They dress them up in all sorts of different ways. One of the main core designs of any and nearly all Massively multiplayer online game is the multiplayer aspect of it. The idea that you are not playing this game alone. The fact that, you are an individual. playing side by side and with other people from around the world.

This right here, is where we find your first major flaw in your design. What MMO’s are all about, is what you fail at the most. Playing a game WITH other players, but more to the point, promoting group play as a positive and still rewarding play style on the same level of reward as solo play.

If we look back to the beta and early weeks of release, mythic had a system that was quickly and easily abused by the players. It rewarded xp rate to increase the faster and the more you kill mobs, each mob you killed without a set time frame with reward an extra percentage of XP.

While they had the right idea to promote grouping, it was just implemented poorly, and instead of trying to fix it, it was removed from the game as a whole. This might have been the turning point of where things at mythic started to look bleak. Instead of trying to fix the problem, they remove it all together. We see this happening many times later in the games development (forts).

The fix for this overall issue is simple really, just reduce the xp hit % of when someone joins a group by 5% for each player in the party.

Mob “Manbearpig” and it’s worth 100xp

When killed solo, the mob will reward the solo player 100xp.

If in a group of 2, the mob will reward each player 95xp

If in a group of 3, the mob will reward each player 90xp

If in a group of 4, the mob will reward each player 85xp

If in a group of 5, the mob will reward each player 80xp

If in a group of 6, the mob will reward each player 75xp

Is it a big change? No, is it one that helps players want to group more, then being solo? Yes.

“Public Quest”

How can such an innovated idea have gone so wrong? Why do players avoid these public quest like the plaque?

Well public quest have a few things working against them.

First, as stated before, the xp reward for grouping is such a hard hit, players don’t want to dedicate themselves to finishing a PQ, knowing that the XP reward for being group to actually finish a PQ is not worth the effort.

Second, the gear/item rewards for the PQs lack the value needed to make it worth finishing.

Third, the lack of guaranteed gold bags really act as a deterrent for players to not want to take part in this content

And last but not list. It is a FLIPPING GRIND! I went around and traveled some of the level 16 PQs.. just to see why else people aren’t touching these things. What did I find? That each of these PQs have such a heavy farm requirement. 150 kills, 100 kills? 40 kills? IS that what determines the challenge of these PQs? The amount of mobs a player needs to grind away at? Is that truly what mythic sees as the challenge? A challenge of will? The will to overcome to hate of grinding the same mobs over and over and over again for an hour just to finish stage1? Being that no one is grouping, no one is going to be grinding these things out alone.

What are you thinking mythic? Are you not gamers? Clearly it seems you are not playing this game. I fully encourage you to rethink these PQs and how you implemented them. And begin the process of improving them.

The story of each PQ are on point, the way the stages work with each other are great. So the core of these public quest wont need to be adjusted at all! That’s the glory of it. It’s not much coding work. It’s simple changes, you can even call it polish.

It comes down to just making the XP reward for finishing each stage that much more. And placing a multiplayer buff on the players that go from stage, to stage, to stage and finish the PQ. Making it so that for each stage you are present at the PQ when it finishes, you will be rewarded bonus extra XP when the next stage ends, etc etc etc. This same reward doesn’t just need to be for XP, but also the gold con rate as well. Reward the players for taking part, and finishing your games content.

Now I know I been beating on you pretty bad about grouping. And while yes grouping is important in any MMO in order to help build a healthy community.

The solo casual play is also very important, as is the feeling of exploration. While you currently do make solo play your primary focus, you still don’t tie in the feeling of exploration. And the true feeling of solo play, being that nearly all public quest do require a group.

This was an old idea back from early beta, that I proposed to you back then, and resurfacing it now in order to truly tell you, where you need help.


How many times have we as players wondered around your world, seeing what appears to be a castle, towering over the treeline. Making their way in closer and closer, fighting random mobs that are trying to cut off the path, and finally reaching the tower to discover, welll, nothing. Even if the tower does rarely have an entrance, and you climb your way all the way to the top in hopes of discovering something epic and just. All we find is some stupid hunchback with a green bubble above his head.

Is this what you want to explore? A tome unlock? A new title? What is the point of this tower if it offers no true content?

This is why I want to bring my idea of small scale PQs back to the table. So that any of those random towers, random buildings in the distance, those unholy tombs, those underground caves, that currently offer absolutely nothing to the game. Would now offer a small scale PQ, which is easy enough for a single player to handle alone., yield enough reward to make it worth for a player to take the far trip to this unknown location, but yet, not something in which a player would stay their all day and farm over and over again.

This PQ would not offer a large xp bonus multiplier for reaching the next stage. All the mobs minus the final boss mob would all be “normal”. And your kill task limit would be simple.


Stage 1: Kill the 4 Guards patrolling the outer perimeter

Stage 2: Bash down the door OR use the key looted from one of the guards

Stage 3: Search the tower for hidden treasure

Stage 4: You have found the chest but it’s being guarded by the Dark mage Nimbus!

You kill nimbus, you loot his body, you loot the chest, you get some gold(yes gold.. not 2 silver, but like 10gold!), and weapon, or armor, or a stroke tali, or accessory etc etc.

But you see what happens? It’s a fun small scale PQ that pulls the player deeper into the world. Heck you can even do what DDO does, with voice over dialog giving you a feeling of what the air is like or the sounds you hear.

“Reward RvR for RvR”

When you first told us about yourself, it was pretty clear what kind of game you claimed to be, a Game with strong focus on RvR, and a game with strong focus on PvE. That hybrid of the 2 is a good mix. PvE players have their rewards for taking part of the PvE content of the game, Hunters Vale, Gunband, Basiton, Lost Vale, Tomb of the Vulture lord. All dungeons with gear sets both weapon and armor that are provided for doing PvE content.

A player can go into lost vales PvE content and earn both Epic Armor and Weapons for their class while there.

Why is does RvR have to be different? Why does player vrs player content offer different rewards based on the location of the RvR content that is happening? When players should actually just be rewarded Equally for RvR as a whole. No matter if it’s taking place in the RvR lacks, in Land of the dead, in the City Siege, or even in Scenaros. RvR should be Rewarded for RvR.

The current system added for SC RvR reward weapons was a huge mistake. This is another one of those situations that instead of fixing the problem, you just created a new one. The problem was already that there were to many currencies in the game. You yourself said this many times. So why add another one? Why not readjust what works? We look back to patch 1.1A and the introduction to open RvR influence Rewards. While a good idea, yet again poorly implemented. We need to turn influence points into currency, and and it rewarded for all RvR activities. Not only would it allow you to not have to add new content in order to give players better rewards, but instead, you can just make some items cost insane amounts of influence points in order for someone to earn it.

RvR should reward for RvR. No matter what form of RvR in comes in. Kill a player? Influence points. Take a defended keep? A lot of influence points. Win a scenarion? Your teams end score x2 for your influence points. It’s really that simple.

So what do we do with all the current gear and weapons and different currencies in the game used purchase the RvR weapons? Well, the weapons and armor all get their cost adjusted to influence points value. The insignias stop dropping in the game as a whole, and can be sold to the npc merchant and traded for influence at a value of 100inf per.

The Crest would be the only crest reward that still drops in the game, and act as bonus inf points for the players that gain them. Allowing each one to be traded in for bonus inf!, Officer crest being worth 100inf, conq 500 inf, invader 2500 inf, warlord 12500 inf, and royal 62500 inf.

So that earning royals or killing the players that drops those high end influence crest, still yield high reward reward.

The end result is players being rewarded for not only taking part in the RvR content of the game, but also for killing players.

Being that we are on the RvR topic, lets brings things to another hot topic with you.

“FORTS” and well, the “CAMPAIGN”

We already discussed the borked victory point system that needs to be improved (insert video of victory point system speaking in high speed motion) which is the core design that runs the campaign. But now you need a reason for the players to engage on the campaign. Now this isn’t just the campaign that drives the t4 end game campaign, but something that rewards players of the entire realm, no matter what level.

We take a look at what you have done for the City Siege Redesign in 1.3.5. Now while it has it’s issues, it’s still pretty enjoyable mix of PvE and PvP to create a balanced RvR encounter.

But unless we see the frequency of city sieges placed under proper control, it will suffer the same fate as any other content in you force us to play constantly. Fail.

What can we do? Sure I have an idea, but I’m not even 100% certain that what I’m proposing will solve it.

Now things might get a bit complex. A lot of the ideas here adapted from the city siege.

First, all Forts have a Relic of power within it. Each pairing offering a different bonus to the realm. Dwarf/Green screen pairing will offer Melee Damage increase, Elf pairing will offer Magic/range Damage, Empire Pairing will offer Healing enhancement. %5 in each fort.

Now that we have that settled, lets figure out how to make the fort battle something that is driven by both realms. Keep in mind that many of the concepts from when I had you locked in my fridge are still applied here.

Forts wont truly need many redesign changes, just lowering the placement fort lord, which at death will drop the forts “Relic”.

The other issue with the forts were the timers in which the other realm were able to attack or avoid the fort as a whole, and the 60 min time sink required to defend it.

What do we do to push the fight, but also, push the players to defend without placing a 60 min inactive timesink on the game? Ready for this?

When the campaign is finally pushed to the Fort, there is a 15 min window in which the attacking realm has to take down one of the outer fort doors. For each door taken down, it rewards the attacking realm 20 mins to take the fort. Total of 4 doors for a total of 80 mins.

For each door taken, it also acts as a respawn point for the attacking players that die at the fort.

On the other side of the spectrum. The defenders can retake the fort doors, by repairing them, and in turn removing 20 mins from the timer, and removing the spawn point for the attackers.

Defenders when they die and release, they respawn just outside the city gates(yes outside the unfinished cities gates aswell).

With that basic understanding of the fort, when then proceed to the Fort lords death, and the relic dropping. And the encounter follows thereafter.

Transporting the relic event

After successfully activating the relic, it will begin to move out of the fort, across each pairing, all the way to the fort on the other side of the zone. The relic will only move when the surrounding players of the controlling realm are besides it. If they are all defeated during transport, the relic will remain stationary until a player for either realm reactivate it, and sends it along on it’s path either to or from the opposing realms Fort.

The relic itself will offer a aura providing the bonus that it offers as well as a movement speed bonus to equal 40% movement (in combat) for all players of the control realm around it. As long as a member of the controlling realm is besides the relic. It will continue to move forward.

Few rules and guidelines.

-Only ONE relic may be “in play” in a single pairing at a time.

-When a Relic Is in play The City Siege will not start. All relics must be in the resting place in order for the campaign to continue.

With the relic system in effect, we will now also need to readjust the underdog system. Which will no longer be tied to how many times a city is engaged, but instead how many relics a realm has in their possession. A realm will not start to suffer the strain of power from the relics if they are holding 4 or less relics of power. Once they have 5 relics. Or even 6 relics, they will notice a big hit in trying to keep these relics. Being that these relics radiate such devastating power over it realm. It creates a flux in the resources used to defend them.

All keeps under the realms control with the most relic suffer. By having weaker doors, and less guards. At 5 relics, each keep door will be 25% weaker, with 25% less guards. At 6 relics, each keep door will be 50% weaker, and have 50% less guards.

Thus a proper underdog system is created.

Aside from the fort adjustment, another adjustment would be to counter the “freenowning” that takes place once a zone/pairing unlocks/locks. Remember we are currently using these ideas based on a FIXED and WORKING victory point generation system.

So with that, when a zone is locked or opened/reset.. All the Battlefield objectives are flagged as neutral. But not neutral as they currently are designed which allows solo player to run up and fondle the flag around a bit, but now they are protected by Enemy monsters NPCs. Skavens have taken these battlefield objectives under their control.

Now no, I’m not saying that PvE NPCs will be coming out into the lakes that retaking the BOs that you worked very hard for. No. They will only be in place of the current system that has freshly unlocked zones with BOS that don’t require proper engagement to capture. But also for zones that already have been previously recaptured to act as a VP reset. So that a realm isn’t automatically nearing recapture by doing nothing.


This is a quicky. Land of the dead will no longer be controlled by whoever can farm the most resources. But instead from which ever realm controls the most keeps in the contested t4 lakes. Pretty simple.. nothing to really explain here.


Dungeons need to have an option for it’s player bases playstyle. Offer different levels of difficulty. And reward players for the challenge. Your not very friendly to people that your asking money from.

Lets take Hunters vale as the base on how different challenges of the same dungeon can be designed. Hunters Vale once offered a t1, t2, t3 and t4 design. 4 different modes of the same dungeon for a different challenge.

Why can’t the same be applied to the current games dungeons? But instead of offering a level range on the dungeon, offer a challenge range. So Lost Vale for example would have 3 modes. Easy, normal, hard, Easy would reward only a 25% chance that a weapon or armor would drop. Normal would offer a 60% chance that an armor or weapon will drop, and hard will offer a 100% chance that weapon or armor will drop.

Pretty simple, and rewards players for the challenge they put themselves through.

“Reward RvR for RvR

1 comment:

  1. Try and break up your posts with a lot of information, into smaller bits. Maybe do part 1, do something else, then do part 2, linking back to part 1.

    That way you make it easier on yourself and your readers. This post was HUGE !!!