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!