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.