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  1. #1
    Community Member Cetus's Avatar
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    Default Devs, what plans currently exist to grow this game and entice new players?

    So I have recently tried a few other MMO's, a small list which includes Elder Scrolls Online and WoW, and I couldn't last longer than a few days in either of them. Although I don't have any data to analyze for DDO, I think it's reasonable to say that the populations in those games dwarfs our busiest time zones.

    What plans currently exist to grow this game? How come I have never seen a DDO advertisement or commercial in the years I've been playing (this is not the same as saying they don't exist, I just don't know of any)? Why do people rattle off ESO, WoW, GW2, Diablo III, Blade and Soul, etc. when you ask them to mention some MMO's - but DDO is never mentioned? People don't seem to know about this product at all.

    The beginning of this game is extremely unfriendly to new players. The text in the character creation is OUTDATED. It's awfully written, the attributes that are relevant to each class are not always straightforward. Asking new players to read for hours on the wiki isn't inviting.

    In my opinion, throwing people who don't know how to play into korthos, without any hand holding or direction, drives players away. Nothing out there grabs them, makes it fun from the beginning, or gives the feel of a good dungeon crawl. For the first few levels, new folks should have their hand held. Then once they are a bit more familiar and comfortable, can they go off on their own.

    Also, the enhancement trees look really complicated to the untrained eye, I think it can scare people away.

  2. #2
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    Good points.

    I played DDO back when it first came out and quit within a month or two- cannot even remember why but I didnt like it- I honestly had forgotten it existed until I saw it on my Steam page.

    I have been MMO hopping for some time now and I'm the type who usually plays for years- But everything lately has been shallow...I think what happened is that MMO's were once the domain of nerds who enjoyed depth, complexity and difficulty in their games and now that the mainstream has essentially 'taken over' the gaming landscape- Everything is being made to cater to the ADHD masses- Bite size chunks, simplicity and shallow.

    Ive found a few decent MMOs, but nothing to really stick with thats been released in the last several years- Just games to kill a couple months with- However, ive found that there are some phenomenal 'non-mmorpg' games with depth (like Empyrion and 7d2d) which is where ive been spending most of my game time. Ive found many like minded people in those games.

    I dont know what they can do- Having Steam sales is good because it promotes the game. Having some 'refer a friend' program could help but this is such a niche game I would imagine we've already tried to get our friends to play and they either enjoyed it and are playing or not. Having a "come back to DDO" event for old players who left could be good.

    Youre also right about the new player experience- Its not good. I know that if there ever is some big push to get a bunch of new players in during a certain weekend or something I will be rolling a new guy and trying to get some of them to group with me so that I can allow them to experience what this game offers without having to solo or join a group thats running for speed and efficiency. I would love to have other noobs to play with but right now theyre few and far between.

  3. #3
    Community Member Loromir's Avatar
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    These are all good points.

    It would be fair to note...that once you get past the initial learning curve, DDO is a fantastic MMO (Even considering the plethora of bugs and power creep). I've dabbled in other MMO's over the past few years and nothing is remotely similar to DDO.

    I think some creative revamp of the starter area along with a moderate advertising campaign would go along way to rebuilding the population of DDO.
    Leader of Legion of Eberron on Cannith.

    Characters: Loromir & Baldomir....among others.

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    Community Member Hobgoblin's Avatar
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  5. #5
    Community Member Cetus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Loromir View Post
    I think some creative revamp of the starter area along with a moderate advertising campaign would go along way to rebuilding the population of DDO.
    This is essentially the salient point of this thread. I agree, this would be tremendous in my opinion. The complexity of multiclassing, multiple enhancement trees, action points, feats, stat distributions - these should all be explained in a polished hand-holding manner for new players.

  6. #6
    Community Member airbornerangers's Avatar
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    Default sillly i know

    but i really liked the original korthos training quests when i first started, showed you how to be stealthy,trap, and even how to drink a pot! all before your could really even group, heck low road was fun to run to get to upper harbor
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cetus View Post
    This is essentially the salient point of this thread. I agree, this would be tremendous in my opinion. The complexity of multiclassing, multiple enhancement trees, action points, feats, stat distributions - these should all be explained in a polished hand-holding manner for new players.
    How? To fully explain, or to even scratch the surface of fully explaining the MC system would take a month. I personally know people that have been playing for years that still don't understand it. While the tutorial section could be better, nobody's going to sit around reading 2 hours worth of documentation when they just want to try to get a feel for the game.

  8. #8
    Community Member Chai's Avatar
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    It never ceases to surprise me when I meet 30+ year D&D players who also play other MMOs and ask them about DDO and they say they never heard of it.

    For instance: Guild Wars 2 has a healthy community of long time D&D players, who have never heard of DDO.
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    We are no more d000m'd then we were a week ago. Note - This was posted in 10/2013 (when concurrency was ~4x what it is today)

  9. #9
    Community Member Ralmeth's Avatar
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    I've recommended this before, and I'll recommend it again.
    1) Create a new starter area, "Keep on the Borderlands" - Entice the old school D&D players, and have nice tutorials
    2) Revamp the paths for the FTP classes and races - Make it easy for someone to start up a character
    3) Advertise - Need to let people know about DDO
    The best part of the 10th Anniversary of DDO...the description on the Oatmeal Raisin Kookie,
    "From a distance you thought this was a chocolate chip kookie. Now you're sad."

  10. #10
    Community Member TitusOvid's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ralmeth View Post
    I've recommended this before, and I'll recommend it again.
    1) Create a new starter area, "Keep on the Borderlands" - Entice the old school D&D players, and have nice tutorials
    2) Revamp the paths for the FTP classes and races - Make it easy for someone to start up a character
    3) Advertise - Need to let people know about DDO
    I would love to see a revamp of the Korthos area. Or just some friendlier handling of the first steps. BUT - and I hate to tell you this -
    I don't think the ressources and money spend in a revamp would be worthwhile for the company. This game is old in most aspects of the game world. and i don't know if a new starter area and f2p revamp alone would attract more people.
    Maybe new hints with little introduction videos could be implemented (like in evil genius). And there should definetely be a hint to the forum and the wiki. without the wiki this game would habe been gone a long time ago.
    But I agree on the advertising campaign. A little bit more press relation work would go a long way. Be proud of the fact that this is an old game with a character system that can compete with much more younger games.

    Some players on orien help out newbies with greeters in korthos and harbor. I myself are sending around numerous ingame mails every day to supposedly new players with a little gift inside as a welcome to the server. and we advertise the titan channel where most folks are patient and help out a lot. But this is just a small part of the package.

    SSG should consider trying to step out of the shadows of more populated games.
    Last edited by TitusOvid; 05-02-2017 at 03:55 PM.
    Playing since 2010 | Don't do the fun wrong | New to Orien? Join the ingame Titan Channel | Soko Irrlicht freut sich immer über neue Mitglieder | Deutscher DDO Discord | Orien Raiding Discord | Toons: Titus Ovid , Bruder, Upload, Zzed, (Rubbel)

  11. #11
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    upping visibility is a definite must. The best way to do this would be gamers magazines and gaming websites. I don't see why this is impossible, It cannot be that expensive. Even an ad in a good gaming magazine for two months in a row would help get the presence known.

    Im not so into the idea of a new starter area, but revamping it with a better tutorial would make some sense, though I doubt that would be inexpensive. The aim of advertising would be to get new people here, but without something that could grab them to stick it out, Im not sure it would matter.

    Probably the best thing I could think of is a more friendly manner in which to get people to invest here. I think offering a group of packs as an alternative to individual purchase would help. Offering a group of five like-level packs for a discounted price would encourage people to buy DDO points initially. Getting them to invest in the game early gives them a goal, a sense of ownership, captures their attention early and should entice them to stay with it. If I like a f2p game my initial impulse would be to invest in it. VIP is a good way of doing this but if I see that I can f2p and grind out favor and slowly purchase small packs with no money down, I might try to do that instead. Eventually this process would probably bore me and Id get stuck with monotony of repeating the same content and leave. If they could purchase a group of packs at a discount they would see the immediate benefit of spending real money, it would keep them entertained, and it would start them using the store. I honestly think this is the best way to go. And one more thing, the DDO Market isnt the best way to entice people because honestly after years of playing I never even knew it existed. This has to happen in the in-game store.

  12. #12
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    A new starter area, with quests from 1 to 4 or 5 would be wonderful. It would revitalize the TR process for existing players and it would allow the devs the opportunity to really craft an area to explain the game to new players.

    I'd be very happy with Keep on the Borderlands or Against the Giants or any number of low-level chains to play and use to introduce new players to the game.

  13. #13
    Community Member Cetus's Avatar
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    I had a very close friend of mine try DDO. He's a long time WoW player, league of legends, guild wars, and something else.

    I got him started and he made it to level 13 before leaving. He told me that he had no idea what to do when he first started, didn't understand his abilities, the character creation screen was useless in their descriptions, and it was hard to find someone to group with.

    Starting LFM's was a pain, he said "why can't I just search out the quest I'm advertising for instead of looking through a long list of every quest in my level range". He had a point.

    Additionally, he said that the items in chests and end reward lists had so many attributes, he had no idea what was "good" and what was "bad" for his character. It was overwhelming to him, and drove him away.

    Another complaint was: "Why am I allowed to drink an SP potion if my mana bar is full? It should not allow me to drink it, and give me a message saying that mana is full". I think he had a point there too.

    Just little things like that peeved him. But, in conclusion this is just one anecdote of why a new player who is well-versed in the MMORPG world couldn't get reeled in. I don't necessarily have solutions off the top of my head to some of these, but that's what it was.

  14. #14
    Community Member PermaBanned's Avatar
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    Default And some Funions, man! Yeah!

    They probably have the same marketting plan they've stuck with for most of the games life:

    "Like, we'll make a great & totally awesome game and... like... everyone will tell everyone about it! Like... yeah, man! It'll be great!"
    I would still like to see... Something that tests character versatility and player adaptability rather than character focus strength and quest knowledge.
    I play the quests for the content of the quests not just as an XP/min merry-go-round.
    Actual play experience is worth infinitely more than theorycrafting...

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ralmeth View Post
    I've recommended this before, and I'll recommend it again.
    1) Create a new starter area, "Keep on the Borderlands" - Entice the old school D&D players, and have nice tutorials
    2) Revamp the paths for the FTP classes and races - Make it easy for someone to start up a character
    3) Advertise - Need to let people know about DDO
    +1000 signed

  16. #16
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    The plan is create annoying mechanics to make money of it and call this challenge.

  17. #17
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    A better tutorial and revamp free class/race paths would go a long way. I think the new player introduction has to be improved before bothering to advertise. This game has a steep learning curve for a DnD player with MMO experience, without any knowledge it is totally unplayable unless you have a friend leading you.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cetus View Post
    Additionally, he said that the items in chests and end reward lists had so many attributes, he had no idea what was "good" and what was "bad" for his character. It was overwhelming to him, and drove him away.

    Effect stacking in this game is the most confusing thing I've seen in any game ever, I take it for granted at this point, but it is terrible. Even an interface to compare equipping an item would be a huge leap in new player viability. Just when you hover on an item have a check box to show what each effect on it will add and what you lose off of the swap, bonus points if it tells you that an equipped item is adding nothing. Even just green for this will take effect and red for something you have equipped already does this or better would be amazing, better if the green has a number for how much better it is. I know it is some coding, but it's displayed in effects log if you make the equipment change so it shouldn't be impossible. Checkbox so it doesn't slow you down if you don't need it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cetus View Post
    Starting LFM's was a pain, he said "why can't I just search out the quest I'm advertising for instead of looking through a long list of every quest in my level range". He had a point.
    People have been asking for some improvement to adventure compendium for a long time:
    Sort by epic level for dual listed
    Highlight quests you have access to (with store links for others)
    show quests that require multiple players
    link to make an LFM from here
    many improvements could be made
    Last edited by Cantor; 05-03-2017 at 07:32 AM.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by airbornerangers View Post
    but i really liked the original korthos training quests when i first started, showed you how to be stealthy,trap, and even how to drink a pot! all before your could really even group, heck low road was fun to run to get to upper harbor
    Upon character creation, an entrance option should exist called 'schooling' in which one can choose a variety of skills, spells, etc to practice in a virtual training area. Spellcasters have the permanent spell selection icon that you get post-shrine/taverns and no material components necessary (but you get a warning that you will need them & where to get them).

    The schooling would be an academy with different rooms--mario skills, spell selections, weapon masters, trapfinding, hosting LFMs, quest knowledge, etc. Advanced stuff is not necessary. My understanding is that this existed in the early days of the game but in different form.

    When done, you wake up on Korthos.

    Melicat is working on a new player dashboard for the wiki.
    Wiki dashboard with some useful stealthplay links
    Proud Knight Templar of the Silver Legion, Cannith: Saekee (main; epic completionist); Parked Toons: Katwoemyn (10), Sabertooth~1 (4), others


  19. #19
    Community Member math92's Avatar
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    well, definitely not by making group lvl requierments tighter

  20. #20
    Community Member zehnvhex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cetus View Post
    I had a very close friend of mine try DDO
    75% of the issues in the game can be boiled down to them being UI based. Difficult/impossible to use information, character creation, LFM panel, etc..etc...DDO is honestly a -chore- to play.

    The most questionable gameplay design as well is the free to play vs. premium quest model This is a very early 2010's F2P model that has, for better or worse, mostly failed. There's so much saturation in the market that when hit with a giant paywall to continue playing, most people would rather just pick up another game.

    I'd say if you want to grow the game have a "DDO re-release" in a year or two and do the following:

    1) Advertise the re-release. This doesn't have to be terribly expensive. Take out a loan and hire some mid/high range twitch streamers to show off the game for a good solid week or two. Bundle it with a charity event for extra karma.

    2) Rework the 'path' system so that players can create, download and import full builds into the game on their own. Show the top 4 rated builds per class (using a psuedo MMR rating system so that good builds do stay on top but builds that no longer work will fade away). Can have a "SSG recommends" top pick that you change every few weeks. This would need to be somewhat flexible since some builds are race/tr specific.

    3) All quests are now free to play from 1 to 30. Classes/races reduced to about ~400 tp to unlock. XP, Slayers, etc...potions all removed from the store and are now more frequent drops in game. Tomes removed from the store and drop rate increased significantly in chests and end reward selections. All TR hearts removed from store and can be purchased in game for platinum. All characters given a free LR+5 heart every TR (unique so can't stockpile) because screwups are often and inevitable.

    4) Quests are now normalized by area. Korthos is 1-3, Harbor 3-5, market + catacombs 5-7, House D 8-9, house K 10-11, P + tangleroot 11-13, J + Delara's 10-12, Necro 13-14 Gianthold 16-16, Vale 17-18, Dreaming/Madness 19-20. All quests are normalized to those levels and turned into saga's that reward tomes, xp pots or a random 'common' cosmetic as a reward. All quests in other areas (3BC, Refuge, Twelve, etc...) are switched over to 'challenge' system so that players can do them at at any level range if they tend to have difficulty with certain quest areas or need a break from them. Don't feel like doing Necro4? Just hit up 3BC and do all the quests there on CR 14.

    5) Introduce a level 1 quest that grants you a gold seal hireling that levels up with you. You can initiate dialog with the NPC and it will tell you what quest you should do next and how to get there. Yes, I know that 'p' is a thing. Trust me, this will be better.

    6) And here's the most important part: Go absolutely nuts with cosmetics. I want cosmetic UI interfaces for ~250 tp, unique to class/race cosmetics up the wazoo at 100~400 tp per, cosmetic spell effects so my firewall gets frosted tips or my dimension door portal looks like a stargate when I open it up. Cosmetic 'walking effects' like my character leaves a tiny sparkling dust trail or something. Custom emotes and character voice lines.

    ---

    Won't be done of course. They're completely content to ride on the handful of whales they have left playing the game until we slowly give up on giving them money. I know I've stopped. I used to buy every pack, every class, everything on day 1. The 2 new quests and raid are not worth a dime. There hasn't been a new decent cosmetic item in the store since...I dunno...glamoured elemental victories? I've stopped telling my friends about the game and trying to get new people to play. I mean 3~4 years ago I could talk about how awesome the quests are and how they totally make up for how dated/ugly the game is but SSG just keeps missing the mark. Tower of Frost is a prime example. It has so much potential but they killed it by making the xp **** and the loot suck.
    https://www.reddit.com/r/ddo
    Building a Better DDO

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