Monday, April 28, 2014

The State of Character Creation

Naming: The name random function works. Unfortunately it only works in it's own ecosystem: if you try to use the name by creating it via the regular means, an imm can (and will) still reject the name. What we need is a better system of seeing what has been rejected before, what will be accepted (without continually rolling name random)

My "solutions" that would improve the current naming situation. 
a) name fixes: Theres a list of pre-accepted names in name random; match the first 3 letters of the existing denied name and show the closest 3 matches to the existing name. 
b) a bigger name suggest list: give 10 names to choose from instead of assigning a random one. Especially since the random list repeats names you rejected less than 5 minutes ago.

Basically naming shouldn't be a yes/no. It's frustrating enough that you have no idea what is already authed and what Imms will deny. The system needs to give players more feedback as to what IS possible. 

Stats and rerolling: This is definitely the bigger issue. The biggest reason why this is an issue: it requires new players to have a large prerequisite of knowledge or suffer heavy penalties much further down the road without any chance of "fixing" huge character flaws (like rolling 9 str) having the wrong stats on a character makes it suboptimal and forces wearing equipment for more stats than you would otherwise need which can and often does hamper the quality of equipment you can wear later on. It also devalues their time and effort spent when they realize their character can't handle the sudden difficulty spike after leveling and starting to look for avatar level equipment. Worst of all, even if they find out early (and start rerolling a character before they hit avatar), some race/class/stat combinations take forever to roll. It's the equivalent of buying a new game, then being told you will start handicapped unless you wait days if not weeks before playing. Most people just move on at that point and I think that's a big reason why there are so few new players. You can choose your name.. but you might not be able to use it and you will need to wait for someone to say so. If you dont choose your name you get stuck with a random name or spend time cycling through a list of names. Then even after you get a name you have to spend hours, days or even weeks to get the stats you want... if you know what you need and if you don't know.. well you can repeat the process again to start again from scratch or submit to a handicap later in the game when it really matters. Sorry but no amount of promoting vote ROD will help when people start despairing before they even start playing which is a certain way to kill the game's new player population before they even start. 

Possibly solutions: 
Repeatable quests that "cycle" stats. This will guarantee no avatar is permanently stuck at their stats: simply how long it will take to refocus the stats into those you want. Eg. Str->dex->int->cha-> wis->lck->con-> str. Each stat will have it's own quest (or quests) associated with it. Completing the quest converts that stat into the next one giving no increase in stat, but allows for slow redistribution to "reoptimize" your character. Lower level versions of the quest e.g. level 10, 20, 30, 40 could also be used as sources of "quest xp" while the avatar level version would be more of a gold/time/equipment sink designed for the solo avatar to complete. 

Stat lock: You can lock a single stat to a single value while rolling (e.g. rolling a h-ogre vamp I lock dex to 18 then it will roll all the stats except dex) with each lock conferring a random negative but temporary effect with the severity based on the race and stat set as well as the value. So it would be "cheap" to lock an ogre's cha to 9, but expensive to lock dex to 18 because of the racial modifiers.
Multiple locks can be used, and each lock applies a cumulative effect. Some possible negative effects: -x% xp for Y levels (takes longer to level). -Z xp (flat) per Y levels (has to fight harder mobs to level at the same speed). x% increased potion drop rate for Y levels. -X random stats for Y rounds after a death. Basically allowing players to choose a penalty for speeding up the process. 

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Just saw this on auction

Auction: A new item is being auctioned: a satchel of dark demon flesh, level 46 at 75,000,000 gold.
Current bid on this item is 75,000,000 gold.
Object 'a satchel of dark demon flesh'...
It is a level 46 container, weight 1 (all: 110).
Locations it can be worn:  hold
Special properties:  hum dark evil
This container has a gold value of 0.
A satchel of dark demon flesh appears to be of a medium to large capacity.
cream-colored harem pants (52)
(Glowing) Immortal Light (57)

This is why there needs to be some sort of standardized outlet for items. It really doesn't matter how hard the mob is... if it can be farmed like this, people will do it, and the eq will lose all value entirely. thats 102 items being auctioned for 75m gold. Or about 735k per item. And guess what? No bids at all. Why? Cause the eq is very very specific in it's use. Immortal light is augurer only (evil and devout no less... for a class that BARELY gets any eq... is it really necessary to make it even more restricted?). The cream colored harem pants are 100mp (and nothing else practically) basically two markets that saturate extremely quickly. 

Low prices are great for new players aren't they? cheap equipment for everyone!


It also give new players ZERO incentive to actually play the game. Instead they end up farming gold (and boring themselves to death until they eventually quit) and when they DO finally work up the courage to run, they find themselves facing mobs that have been upped (since they have been farmed so much.. the difficulty gets increased... examples: icingdeath, shade the dark, captian faragut... etc etc... the list continues) and yet... the equipment is practically worthless. Basically it devalues new player's time and effort to a point where they can barely make any progress which can only lead to players giving up (and killing what tiny new player base there is)

Make yourself heard! Post a comment here or on the archives on how you think the economy should be fixed. 

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

A new Tier system for Items

Lets face it: the av equipment as it is needs a revamp. There is very little correlation between the cost/difficulty of the piece. First let me explain the two terms
Cost being average market price
Difficulty of the mob with everything included - People required, repop length, length of kill, eq damage per average kill to tank, largest burst (max amount of damage the mob can deal within 2 consecutive rounds), potions per kill, number and difficulty of puzzles in front of the mob, other mobs that must be killed before the mob, transfer programs (everything from: can you reconnect during the fight if you spam commands accidentally, can you quit before the mob).
Yes.. there's ALOT that goes into how I determine the difficulty of a mob.

Anyhow, I'd like to compare these 3 rings.

I'll make them more generic and leave out names to illustrate my problem with the current difficulty/cost levels.

Usable by 2 aligns (no class restrictions)
50hp, 25mana
2 stats


Usable by 1 align(wearable by 5 classes)
50hp, 45 mana
2 stats
3hr, 4dr


Usable by 1 align (wearable by 1 class)
15 ac
50hp, 60 mana
3 stats
0hr, 3dr
-1 save

What do I see here when comparing these rings?
Ring 1 vs 2 vs 3
Restrictions: none +2 aligns vs 5 class +1 align vs 1+1 align.
AC: 1=2=3+3ac.  Thats.. barely an improvement for so many restrictions.
HP: 1=2=3. One of the biggest factors in determining if a ring is usable .. and NO changes.
Mana: 1 =2-20mp. 2=3-15mp. very slight upgrades in the mana department.
Stats: 1=2. 3= 1+1 stat. a significant improvement between 2 and 3.
HR/DR: 1 vs 2: loss of 1hr (significant). 2v3 loss of all hr AND 1dr.

Lets look at the glory values for the rings individually (the glory cost if the rings were originally blank and only had align/class restrictions.

Ring 1:
12ac = 1200 glory

50hp, 25mana = 50x10, 25x5 = 500+125= 625glory
2 stats = 75x2 =150 glory
4hr/dr = 4x100+4x150 = 1000 glory
Total: 2975

Usable by 1 align(wearable by 5 classes)
12ac = 1200 glory
50hp, 45 mana = 50x10+45x5=725
2 stats = 75x2 = 150
3hr, 4dr = 3x100+4x150 = 900
Total: 1200+725+150+900=3475

Usable by 1 align (wearable by 1 class)
15 ac = 1500 glory
50hp, 60 mana  = 50x10+60x5 = 800 glory
3 stats = 75x3=225glory
0hr, 3dr = 3x150 = 450 glory
-1 save  = 100 glory
Total: 1500+800+225+450+100=3075

So lets compare the actual rings themselves now after we have had a "feel" for the "value" and the weight immortals have placed on each stat in terms of glory.

Frequent readers will quickly have noticed: Ring 1  is Set's ring of power from Set, Lord of Darkness one of the easiest newbie runs in the game.
Ring 2 is ring of the ancient gods: aka danny ring from one of the harder mobs in the game with some of the highest burst damage in the game, LOTS of mobs in front of him, as well as two mazes and two transes.
Ring 3 is Origin: the top- end game devout cleric ring. (barring race restricted rings)

Set ring costs all of 10m (if that), Danny rings run 70-80m, Origin is pretty stable at 300m.
The prices certainly reflect the difficulty of the runs and how hard it is to attain. What it doesn't explain is why  the glory totals are no where near reflective of this. Not to mention the restrictiveness of the rings 2+3 are so much tighter than 1. If gold value was used to reflect the ring's stats rather than difficulty in obtaining, if you used danny ring's values as a baseline: 3500 (rounded) for 75m, Set's ring of power SHOULD be worth 64m and Origin should be worth 66m. A FAR cry from what the actual costs are. As you can see, statwise, they are VERY similar but difficulty-wise, they are worlds apart.

This is my proposed Tiering system for avatar level items:

Tier 1: No restrictions at ALL. No class restrictions. No race restrictions. No align restrictions. NOTHING.
Base item: usable by all, slight upgrade from closest usable ring that does not involve a puzzle or difficult fight.
Current examples: Ring of the King's Navy

Tier 2: An item usable by each genre or multiple genres that at completion, there are enough tier 2 items that encompass EVERY genre. But no align restrictions. So we have basic rings eg. mage+cleric ring, warrior ring, druid ring, thief/vamp ring.  The current ones we have: Shade ring, ring of wizardry.
Base item: Tier 1 item + 100-300 glory value in additional stats. eg. 5 hp, 1dr, 1stat, 10 mana more than Tier 1 item.

Tier 3: Class + race +align restrictions.
Base item: Tier 2 item + 300-500 glory value in additional stats. +200 glory per align restriction, + 100 glory per class restricted +50 glory per race not usable by.

Of course, the actual numbers need to be tweaked for actual usage but I think it would give alot more balance to existing items and fairly new items which are VERY under-statted for all the restrictions that have been put in.

Of course, mob and puzzle difficulties would have to be reworked as well to compensate for the new system. But realistically, builders and immortals really need to work on balancing things out. It's very frustrating when you spend loads of time and effort to figure out new stuff, only to get some barely decent item that's only wearable by some weird race, class, align combination which no one really uses but the difficulty is through the roof.

A minor edit to included 2 items requested

Object 'dark ring of the Hunter and the Hunted' is infused with your magic...
It is a level 50 armor, weight 5.
Locations it can be worn:  finger
Special properties:  dark evil
Classes allowed:  Ranger
Alignments allowed:  evil
This armor has a gold value of 1546711.
Armor class is 13 of 13.
Affects damage roll by 4.
Affects track by -50.
Affects hp by 65.
Affects armor class by 10.
Affects resistant:acid by 10%.
Affects strength by 1. 

Total: 2050
Way worse than a Set ring.

Object 'band of the Behemoth' is infused with your magic...
It is a level 50 armor, weight 2.
Locations it can be worn:  finger
Special properties:  glow magic
Classes allowed:  Fathomer
Genres allowed:  fighter shaman
Alignments allowed:  evil neutral
This armor has a gold value of 750000.
Armor class is 14 of 14.
Affects damage roll by 4.
Affects hp by 60.
Affects mana by 20.
Affects save vs poison by -2.
Affects resistant:acid by 1%. 

Total: 2940
Slightly worse than a set ring.

Kinda insulting huh?

Realms Of Despair Leveling

I've decided to post a general leveling guide for new players who are struggling to find "good" places for exp.   This list is meant ONLY to help you get through those rough patches.  If your only goal is to minimize the effort of leveling, then this will work for you. This is by no means an exhaustive list, nor is it a list of the fastest places to level; simply the easiest ones which are accessible to all.

Please please PLEASE do not simply follow this guide and skip exploring as the Realms are HUGE and filled with awesome side quests, puzzles etc. Endless medieval enjoyment doesn't come from starting at 50. Its the journey that makes the game fun: not the destination.

Academy, Warehouse, Shattered refuge (aka gnomes)

Shattered refuge

Coral depths (eels&lampreys)

Coral depths (crab guards, young mermen, young mermaids)

Spectrum (DISARM heavily suggested), Coral depths (kiael, triton, syrinx)

Tree of life (amazons(30-35), Lightning dragon,death,famine,pestilence,eris (38-50)

DAG (Storm giant (arena painting), Aram-dol(loss painting)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Ideas that would change the Realms of Despair

1. A shop system that actually works FOR players.
I've talked about it many times in the past. IMO it would still be THE best change to realms since... well forever.
It would a) cut down on bots spamming traffic b) give players a steady and constant supply (particularly important for allowing NEW players to progress) c) allow players to RUN and not worry about selling stuff (cause most runs are IP checked and thus you cant run with your sellbot still online) d) allow all players to be equally competitive in the market (casual players tend a) not to script their own bots which leads to b) them being unable to sell anything because they maybe log 2-3 hours a week leading to c) them being unable to sell anything consistently d) forcing them to spend their time golding e) boredom f) quitting.
I) It needs to be unified replacing the sellbot system by being easy to use, setup, and partially replacing the auction system.
II) Accessible anywhere in Darkhaven, auction rooms, barb hometown, etc.
III) Each character starts with 1 slots every 5 levels so a level 50 character would have 10 slots. With additional slots costing 1 million gold cumulative. 1st slot costing 1m, 2nd 2m (total 3m) etc.
IV) Each item you sell takes a slot. Containers must be empty of wearable equipment so you can sell pills/potions/scrolls/staves/wands
V) 2 Sell modes: Auction/Sale. Auction <itemname> <starting bid> <minimum increment> <duration *up to 5 days*>. Sell <itemname> <price> <decrement amount> <min price>
With decrement amount being how much the price is reduced by per day until it reaches the min price. Though by default decrement is 0 and min price = price.
VI) While on sale, the item is locked in the seller's inventory (without taking up inventory space but still taking up the weight) cannot be dropped, worn, given, or taken.

2. Quest splits.
The game should be clear if and when you reach a dead end because of your race/align/class.
a. Looking at the mob with the wrong align you should see fear/horror (stronger) disdain (equal) disgust (weaker)
b. If it is class/race based you should see hatred(race)/distrust (class).
c. Most preferable would be if they shouted or mumbled at you about <name> being a mob with the "other" side of the mini quest.
Example: if a thief walks to the start of the cleric eq set quest.
look Drevelen: Father Drevlen looks upon you with disdain and distrust. 

3. Mob resistances/Immunities - The learn/memory skills
Each time you are hit by a class/race/align based prog from a mob there is a  % chance you will "learn" the prog based on int. Each time you step into the adjacent rooms you will trigger the memory based on wis. 
E.g. a thief steps into the Sands Of Time maze and Rez, Lord of the fate banshees is in the next room. 
Memories stream back as you recall Rez's howl as you circled him. 
e.g. A mage steps next to Bahamut's room 
The wisdom of past experiences reminds you that your magics will be useless against Bahamut. 
Gives player characters some history and reactions with mobs. Similarly could be implemented for items that have been searched/dug up or items given to mobs. For example remembering that the last time you visit roovin you gave him a piece of ore. Especially useful for more casual players to "remember" things they knew at one point.

4. Locate/Identify/Item lore. 
Similarly, players should be able to better interact with items. Identifying an item could do anything from bring back memories of the mob you looted it from, or if it wasn't yours at any point, the area/geo depending on the item. Like divination's most recent change to show as a % when it "feels" like the item is from the area. Wiser and more intelligent characters should be able to remember where they saw the item from down to the mob if they saw it in the corpse or the area it is from. For items unknown a general indicator of where it could be from as a "guess" I feel would inspire players to spend more time exploring. It also wouldn't hurt for there to be "Lore" about legendary items. This could be in the form of songs, books, clues from npcs like bards, gossips, thieves, mercenaries similar to how the race/genre sets work now but for individual items. For example the warriors in moria could speak of the tarrasque and its legendary hide. The blacksmith in camelot about Excalibur. 

5. IP check, ghosting. 
I hate IP checks, I hate it even more when it ghosts. There should be a command players can use to check how many connections the server THINKS they have. It should also kill all ghosts. Worst part is if you are in the middle of running around IP8 in a dangerous area, you get dced and ghost. The game still thinks you are IP8 for the next 5 minutes while you are completely unable to log on at all leaving your whole team vulnerable and helpless. 

6. Improved areas and deities commands. 
The area levels suggestions and requirements are.. dated. Not to mention all the 0-60 areas typically have nothing in them. The best represented areas are areas that have the tightest level ranges. Instead of basing it off the mob levels, level ranges for areas should be based on wearable equipment (aka not food/drink/container/treasures) from that area and would give a MUCH better representation of the area's actual intended range. 

Similarly, deities could use a little change hi-lighting deities that have a favorable reaction to you in blue/green while deities that hate your race/align and would not even consider accepting you as a follower in red. It would give players a better idea at a glance of what deities they should consider before doing research specifically. 

7. Buyable maps similar to help map. 
For inhabited and "friendly" areas like darkhaven it sure wouldnt hurt for there to exist maps which are buyable that people could look at in game while they are walking around that would indicate where they are. Additionally also would be interesting to allow player markings on those maps to mark spots of interest. 

8. Buildable equipment. 
Instead of static equipment that can be forged, like breastplate of the ravager, buildable equipment made of  pieces from various different mobs. X pieces of a main material gives the item its base stats" Armor/hp/mana values. Then rarer and harder to find pieces could let a player slowly add and customize it for the character. Any major piece of armor can be created but once created, only that armor slot can be created. For example If I chose about, I could bring back the piece and continue to have it customized, but I could no longer generate a piece for any other wear location. However if scrapped/dted/lost, it can be restarted. If you feel like you made a huge mistake in which wear location you chose, then you can scrap it for a significant amount of money but it also requires you to turn in your existing item (if you lost/scrapped it you will need to make a new one to turn in). Also to start building the item it will require one or more items for that wear location of various amounts of difficulty to begin. It also has to be a major wear location (not light, finger, wrist, ears,eyes,back, face, ankle). Turning in better equipment will raise the maximum quality of the item. Steps would be as follows
a) Complete "task" to help the smithy resupply. 
b) Specify which wear location you want armor crafted for.
c) Bring basic item of that wear location to armorer.
d) Unlock basic material types as random drops off mobs. (From this point on mobs will drop pieces of basic materials randomly.)
e) Bring money and other items along with materials to armorer. 
f) Basic item is forged. 
g) More advanced (existing) item requested
h) Unlock advanced materials which also can now drop off mobs.
i) Bring more money and materials.
j) Further upgrades unlocked. Armorer will continue to ask you for how you want to improve your item. After each choice steps g+i are repeated. 

This would be a fun, dynamic way of generating demand for existing items, while increasing value of mobs by adding random materials as pops. It also introduces materials as a new source of currency for players to trade in and reduces demand on gold. It would also help fix equipment slots that are weak for certain classes by introducing an item to fill the slot and be dynamically generated such that it fills the character's need for stats. It would also act as an item/money drain for existing items and cash to help balance supply and demand. 

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The (CHEAP) Neut Augurer

As with all other neut characters, there are things you need to remember to avoid.
a) Stuff that spawns. Guardian vampires in particular will make you dev very fast.
b) group. Dont group if you don't need to. Being grouped will change your align for every single kb that anyone in the group makes. Especially since you have spiral, you typically will never need to group even if the tank is rescuing you.
c) watch your align. particularly before you start battle and just before the mob dies. If you can't realign and zapping is inevitable, empty out your container of heals/manas to make sure your equipment does not get left on the ground where a mob might take it or a reboot/crash wipes it. Of course, dont forget to save.

Devout-> Neut
Sigil (20/20/1 stat of choice)-> Sigil (no change)
Ring of the universe (30/10/0) X2 -> Set's ring of power +20 hp X2 = +40hp
String of dragon's teeth (75/100/0) X2 -> No change
Adamantium Plate Armor (120/0/0) -> No change
Shade Helm (100/0/0) -> No change
Eltor hide leggings (30/0/1str 2dex) -> No change
Snug winter boots (20/0/2dex) -> Boots of Delphium (2dex->2str)
The Golden Gauntlet (25/0/0) (Templar gauntlets for +3 ogre) -> gauntlet of red dragonhide (+5hp +dex +con)
Immortal light (55/55/2 wis) -> Mark of the beast (-5hp/mana -2wis)
Mindflayer's robe (100/0/1 int) -> Tattered robes of intolerance (+0hp +1wis -int)
Skin of the gods (45/0/0)-> cream colored sash (-10hp)
Lion crested bracers (0/0/2 str) X2 (cause you need the str probably)
Doomgivers (100/50/0) X2 (just any old cheap 100hp weapon. you cant dual anything with maul of stone unless its reweighted though the alternative would be to wield maul, and have hold/shield be over 50hp total to reach the same amount)-> Elfbane/Shieldbreaker X2 or + Oak shield + Matrix (Same dual, -hp 15hp to maul150/millenium45/valk shield30) 
Maddening voices (25/0/-1wis) -> earring of Glasswalker bone (+5hp)
Shades (0/0/0) (for the detects)-> no change

Overall changes: 35hp if dual wield. 20 if wield/hold/shield. Of course it gets vastly better when you put money into it but definitely more expensive in just the matrix. 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Top 10 things I would change about Realms.

1. Rolling new characters. Its beneficial for no one, and generally causes newbies grief to no end when they auth a character then find out after they av that their new avatar is weak and pathetic and cant wear the best equipment because they didnt know the right stats to make. Older players hate it because it means needing to run triggers for days or weeks or months on end to get the stats you want. Why do the imms care so much to keep this even after its proven to be nothing but annoying to players?

2. Supply and demand. There is no market for equipment (or other stuff). If the only person with that item logs off the whole game's supply is gone. More and more you see sellbots on traffic. Why? Because it means they can supply a reasonable amount of stuff and make profit while they are offline. There is no downside to running a sellbot other than the fact you can't do it while killing something with an IP check. You gain customers by being able to sell to people while you would normally be offline, and because you are the supplier, you dictate prices and can demand a little more.

3. The difficulty curve. Most of the leveling process isn't remotely difficult unless playing a class not designed for fighting (18 dex classes primarily) as long as you are aware which mobs in the area can kill you (then you die quickly) Fights until you av are generally either a pushover or a suicide mission. Then once you av, everything you want is on mobs you cant kill, cant kill on this class, or cant kill because you dont have enough damage or cant kill because you dont have enough hp.

4. Risk vs reward. All things lead back to this. Some mobs are too easy, some mobs are too hard, and frankly alot of the "newer" equipment is plain straight out crap for the effort involved. Not to mention pop rates and puzzles. This is in my opinion one of the WORST things about the game. How much is a 4 dr 50hp ring worth? 7-10mil if you are evil or neut and 70-90 if you are a devout fighter/druid. 300 if you are a cleric. oh and here's a dr discount for you too.

5. Mud wide IP checks. I can see the reasoning behind a 8 ip limit. I can see the reasoning in IP checking a mob. What I can't understand is why a mob should be harder (or outright impossible) if I have a character that isn't even in the same room or even area. I forgot to log off my storage character in DH so I got slain along with the rest of my team and ruined the rest of the run? Seems a bit harsh when that character has absolutely no bearing on the outcome of the fight. I really wish they would turn IP checks to area only so I can  leave stuff running in the background *cough* STAT ROLLER *cough* when I'm running. Or at the VERY least not count stuff inside DH or preauth? IP checks are totally unfun when someone (though often times .. me) manages to ruin a kill (or at least seriously set it back) because they happened to have a second or third character online.

6. Auction! going once, going twice, new bid received! Up the min bids after a certain point please. Or heck.. up the minimum bid. Period. Waiting till after going twice then bidding 10k isn't bidding. It's annoying and juvenile.

7. Class restricted runs. IMO you should be able to go into a fight with whatever you want. Just have limited effectiveness. Slay on circle? Immune magic? ugh. Can we use proper counter-progs? Heals? Damage? In significant amounts where it would dissuade players not to use that class but NOT force them? It really sucks for new players exploring. Sure some of us older players have armies enough that we have at least one of every class and for some classes several aligns to cherry pick which is best to do the job but telling new players you can't kill this mob because you don't have the right av is just plain lame. Give them incentive to make thier own lives easier but don't force them.

8. Equipment. Quality, Slots and Jumps. The game simply lacks variety. Particularly for the newer classes (though there have been improvements slowly coming in). For example Dev thieves get two substantial nonmagic short blades. Lord Kahl's "Thievesblade" and Ret dagger. Huge price and quality jump. Between the class restrictions on mobs and things like this, it becomes pretty much impossible to play JUST one character and be able to go everywhere, see everything.
Anyhow back to the point, some classes with specific level and wear locations are just simply lacking or empty or just are a humongous jump and some wearlocs it isn't even a class/align issue. For example the about slot has 45 items with DR on it. The problem is it goes 1-4, then jumps to 7-10. And really you start at 2dr (rug of wraatha), nothing significant till you hit the first 3dr cloak in the mid 30s. then 4dr in the 40s.
Probably just as bad? Arms. 2dr from bands of power since level 9. 3dr from haven arms at 35, 4dr in the mid 40s if you are evil/neut and dont manage to die fighting your way to the top of the tower in cursed lands (HIGHLY unlikely as the difficulty is closer to av level mobs than it is to leveling) Then once you hit av you get 6-8dr on just about every single usable piece and for practically all classes there's only one or two decent pieces per class. You either have it or you don't for a 3+ dr difference.
In short leveling eq could use alot of gaps being filled and so could the Av stuff. I'd even like choices if that's so hard to imagine. Like neckwear has a decent variety. Generally everyone (other than barbs) have access to 4dr neck (with less hp) or 2dr neck with 50hp (scalesof a&o) obsid cloaks for 3dr +hp median for dev/neuts and evils get df talismans. But really... necks are the only slot with that kind of serious flexibility.

9. Account management. Due to 7/8. Everyone needs more than one character. At least if they want to seriously play realms (instead of just RPing or sitting in avchat and treating the game as a glorified chatroom) It really wouldn't hurt to help players by building in some character management tools. For instance being able to give and take stuff from characters that aren't logged in. Sure. logging 7 storages at a time then c locate "whatever you are looking for" works. but isn't exactly the most efficient. And since the game isn't requiring us to brew our own heals anymore AND there is "standardized" pricing for heals could we not just get a healing potion "tab" like at a bar? It would be nice if it were ip wide but I wouldn't mind a character potion tab where I can just say or indicate how many heals I want and get them deducted from my tab. Or here's an idea... make the bank our tab instead of making us walk with our pockets full of money from 4e s w all the way to 2s 2w n with thieves lining the road? Can't we pretend we gave zelah an IOU from the bank for however much we owe her? Not that thieves stealing your money is the real issue. I'm just sure there are more efficient ways to do things. Maybe a refill function? Instead of buying up to 50 potions at a time, I tell zelah how many potions I want to have in my pouch/basket/case/empty head and she sells me exactly how many I need? And preferably let me do it so I can refill offline characters I own at the same time :p

10. Unified item market aka trading post.
Most people probably don't even know this exists. Because no one talks about it. As of time of writing, there are 5 posts (one of which just says lol) It could replace the auction system AND all the sellbots at once if done right. Instead we have a noteboard of people posting things they want without any real indication of what they are offering for it. Done right it would even fix the issue of trust in trading. As is we have a "give and hope they are telling the truth" system. It generally does work but some less ethical players have stolen expensive stuff in the past. Here's how I would have it done.
a) Sales. Put up item for sale, acts like auction house. You lose the item, you get an item "Certificate of ownership of item # - Itemname" Once it's listed you get it back by taking the certificate in. If it gets bought before you do so, money gets put into the bank. You can also pay extra for an "auction it" deal where it stays on sale for X hours after which the highest bidder takes it. Everyone else can just check itemnumber blah to see the stats or to buy it.
b) Buys - offers. Person buying puts up price and the name of the base item. Players can then offer up the item in question like a sale. Once the buyer checks the item, they can buy it, or reject it. Multiple people can offer the same item but all of them are returned once one of them has been bought though one item should also be offered to multiple buyers at the same time. A nice tidbit of code that could be added for this function would be to have base items shown to the buyer so when offers come in from sellers, it would compare to the base item and highlight irregularities (etch, neph/druid/cleric enchant, glory) and of course.. player tagged item's aren't allowed.
c) Trading Lots. Good old barter system without the possible complications of someone running off with your stuff without paying or giving you what was agreed on. Open trade <player> screen shows items and gold in the lot. Both players can add and remove from their side. Both players have to confirm before the trade goes through. If an item is removed, the other player is "unconfirmed" to prevent people doing sneaky things.

If you wish things were different: post a comment here, or on the RoD archives and let me know what you think!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Bridging the Gap -bottom tier vs top tier characters.

For a long time I've had this idea. Mainly due to alot of my old mains being totally unusable and worthless. It would be nice if that first character you ever authed, and aved without knowing you should max con, has crappy base stats and would be deemed worthless other than for 500 weight of storage (or 999).

The idea is this:
A lonnnnnng quest chain. Containing everything from search and retrieve to mkill (mob kill). That would boost your base stats and hp up to "below average" levels (meaning it wouldn't do as much for "perfectly" stated chars as it does for the newbie. It would give PERMANENT stat and hp bonuses to help the "trash" character be at least usable.
Limitations: If there were no limitations it would be abused and imm's would never let it enter in the first place.
a) it ONLY helps the character's PRIMARY stat AND only up to 16.
The example I talked with Versetch about yesterday was an H-Orc thief. you could auth it with 18str, 18 lck, 18con, and 9 dex. With the quests you would be able to add a few extra points of dex to it. (In my opinion... up to 3 max which would still penalize a player pretty heavily for a bad choice, but still help make the character useful to them). In this case you would have a base of 12 dex instead. Of course the "most" logical way to abuse this would be to auth it at 13, then let the quest boost it to 16 for 3 free stat points. However it still leaves the character slightly below average in terms of stats meaning even with the 3 extra permanent stats, it would still never be gamebreaking.
b) It will help the character gain max hp up to -20 ish 30 hp off average.
Taking the thief as the example again, whats considered average for a thief is 730hp. So the quest would allow a permanent hp gain of up to a total of 700 base hp. Again great for first chars, still wont help the perfectionist looking for an 18/18/18 750hp thief.
c) the quest chain will be balanced also to help characters learn to use some of the basic skills offered to the class and once the hp/stat bonus gains are over, all the prizes are converted to items/gold. That way the quests will still "exist" for every single player but will have the most impact on helping newer players acclimate to the huge difficulty curve of the post leveling game... assuming they get there.
d) the quests are Av only and non repeatable. Done in the fashion of miniquests like Haven of Everlasting Light or Temple of the Moon with each segment completed rewarding a prize (perm stat gain/hp gain/item/gold)  and all this would help fill out class deficiencies, and hopefully open up more eq options for some classes with still fairly bad wear loc combinations.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A cheap augurer (dev)

Ever since coming back I've been trying to figure out.. what would be the best setup? Dev/Neut? (forget evil. protect makes evils not even worth using and the only way to figure out if the mob has it is put on detect magic, then spam dispel magic on them enough times till you either see protect, or are satisfied it isn't there)

Back when I started, Dev was for cheapskate new players cause all the great easy to get items were Dev. Evil and Neut were for people who had money or knew how to run seth but with so much new eq, things have changed a lot.

Anyhow, here are my choices for T0/T1 setups. if you have no idea what I mean by T0/T1.. read this
Since all augs care about really are stats and HP. The former to do stuff, latter to spiral. DR is ignored. YES. IGNORED.

Sigil (20/20/1 stat of choice)
Ring of the universe (30/10/0) X2
Cloak of Solitude (50/0/0) X2
Adamantium Plate Armor (120/0/0)
Shade Helm (100/0/0)
Eltor hide leggings (30/0/1str 2dex)
Snug winter boots (20/0/2dex)
The Golden Gauntlet (25/0/0) (Templar gauntlets for +3 ogre)
Immortal light (55/55/2 wis)
Mindflayer's robe (100/0/1 int)
Skin of the gods (45/0/0)
Lion crested bracers (0/0/2 str) X2 (cause you need the str probably)
Doomgivers (100/50/0) X2 (just any old cheap 100hp weapon. you cant dual anything with maul of stone unless its reweighted though the alternative would be to wield maul, and have hold/shield be over 50hp total to reach the same amount)
Maddening voices (25/0/-1wis)
Shades (0/0/0) (for the detects)
This setup will give you crap for stats as you can see.. but you will still have half respectable spirals.
900hp from eq, 5 str + 3 from ogre, 4 dex (switch to mocassins if you need 1 more point to max dex but you need max dex), only 2 points of int and 1 wis (which is fairly unimportant as far as I can tell) but its 4int 3 wis if you bother to get dragon wit/sagacity. Still gives dev auggies a decent sized wrecking ball to spiral with. If your priorities are int/wis... get ring of wizardry.

I'll cover the neut variant in another post later.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Pally setups.

End game

<used as light>      (Flaming White) (Magical) Crusade
<worn on finger>     (Flaming White) the ring of the ancient gods
<worn on finger>     (Flaming White) the ring of the ancient gods
<worn around neck>   (Smouldering Grey-White) (Magical) the Medal of Clan Freedom
<worn around neck>   (Flaming White) (Magical) (Glowing) (Humming) scales of alpha & omega
<worn on body>       blood soaked bandages
<worn on body>       a black dragonscale hauberk
<worn on body>       studded leather keshka hide
<worn on body>       White Gryphon Keep Tabard
<worn on body>       (Magical) the runecape
<worn on body>       (Flaming White) (Glowing) the Lily Covered Tabard of the Knight Protector
<worn on head>       (Flaming White) Crown of the Ravenells
<worn on legs>       (Red Aura) (Smouldering Red-White) godskull shinguards
<worn on feet>       (Flaming White) (Magical) moccasins
<worn on hands>      (Flaming White) (Magical) (Glowing) Blessed gauntlets of the Templar
<worn on arms>       (Flaming White) (Magical) (Glowing) the Sun, Moon and Stars
<worn as shield>     (Flaming White) (Glowing) the ivory colored tower shield of the Lily
<worn about body>    (Magical) (Humming) the cloak of Death
<worn about body>    (Flaming White) the essence of kundalini
<worn about waist>   (Glowing) the Ice Girth
<worn around wrist>  (Smouldering Grey-White) (Magical) an obsidian bracer
<worn around wrist>  (Smouldering Grey-White) (Magical) an obsidian bracer
<wielded>            (Flaming White) (Glowing) (Humming) Justice
<held>               (Magical) a mahogany staff named 'Divine Solemnity'
<worn on ears>       (Flaming White) the Relic of the Infinite
<worn on eyes>       Eye of the Raven

<used as light>      (Flaming White) (Magical) Crusade
<worn on finger>     Ring Of Kings
<worn on finger>     Ring Of Kings
<worn around neck>   Obsidian cloak
<worn around neck>   Obsidian cloak
<worn on body>       blood soaked bandages
<worn on body>       a black dragonscale hauberk
<worn on body>       studded leather keshka hide
<worn on body>       White Gryphon Keep Tabard
<worn on body>       the runecape
<worn on body>       the Lily Covered Tabard of the Knight Protector
<worn on head>       Crown of the Ravenells
<worn on legs>       godskull shinguards
<worn on feet>       moccasins
<worn on hands>     Blessed gauntlets of the Templar
<worn on arms>      dragonscale armguards
<worn as shield>      a dragonscale shield
<worn about body>    cloak of light
<worn about waist>   the Ice Girth
<worn around wrist>   an obsidian bracer
<worn around wrist>   an obsidian bracer
<wielded>            A black hilted sword named 'Doomgiver'
<held>               Storm
<worn on ears>       Maddening voices
<worn on eyes>       the Crystal Lens

As a newbietar set, most of the items are T0/T1 and are under 2m each other than the hauberk, tabards (the tabards are fully optional you can always grab a few tabard of roses which would leave you 1dr/hr short. Lily tabards don't run over 10m and gives you access to a reusable +7hr bless. Crusade is a must for any paladin but if you are really that poor a sigil works nearly as well. The biggest hp drop is no doubt the danny rings while most other pieces give a minor drop in hp. A T0/T1 set you should be able to easily get up to 1500hp  (I should think). The highest priced pieces in T0/T1 set are Storm, Crusade, Hauberk, Gryphon tabard, crown, Lily tabard, godskulls (in that order) everything else you should be able to obtain yourself or get for a few mil.