To SSG; The endgame and the mountain we climb

Shear-buckler

Well-known member
Lol vets dont leave and my reference is that the people arguing here are vets and want to see the hard/elite lockout removed so that but doesnt become burdensome to their fremiuim accounts or so that they could unsubscribe to fremium.

People who have been turned away from the game are not going to be on the forums.

We have to be able to look past our biases and take the perspective of the players who are not here to post.
 

rabidfox

The People's Champion
Did a little brainstorming while eating lunch. Things they could do to make the n/h/e lockout better:
1) Remove it entirely
2) Remove it from quests below X level so people can get a taste of any difficulty they want initially
3) Have a month long event that temporarily removes the lockout (ideally at the same time as the coupon)
4) Let brand new accounts have a 30 (or 60) day trial period where they don't have the lockout
5) Have a 1 time coupon code that's redeemable on a single character that permanently removes the lockout on that character (not redeemable on HC)

And that's just what bounced into my head while eating; I'm sure there's a ton of ways SSG could implement changes that fit their sales model while also covering that issue.
 

Weaponalpha

Active member
The question was not "what would be the negative effects of grind reduction today" but "what was the negative effects of the mentioned grind reductions that already happened". I am still waiting for an answer.
The answer is there were no negative effects from the previous reductions because it is now exactly where it needs to be. if they make further reductions it will be too much. So, before reductions grind was too much. If further, too little. As is, just right. It is known as the Goldilock's Method or GM as we in the business call it. You really need to do some research.
 

Lazuli

Well-known member
When it comes to "newbies", the stuff I see come up time and again in discord typically has nothing to do with past lives. The things that drive them off happen long before caring about the TR treadmill ever comes up.

Confusing LFM panel where to you have to go to who tab to load data before going to the grouping panel was a big issue (people would get confused and annoyed by blank LFM page). Thankfully after starting a forum thread about that, it's being fixed by Tonquin with u66 .

Many paths aren't good so people get stuck on setups that they later regret.

A lot of posted builds, even those for "1st lifers", are for 32-point builds (when newbies are 28 point setups), use universal trees, tomes, etc. that a new player just doesn't have and they don't know how to pair down those builds. So going with a non-path custom build can be overwhelming.

Lag, lag, lag, I've seen several people use the coupon codes and then quit because the lag just was too much.

Normal difficulty is too easy for many and they're forced to either do N>H, N>H>E on every quest to feel any kind of challenge or they need an opener that actually wants to do their difficulty without just carrying them; they quickly find this annoying to do. And going VIP isn't something they're prepared to do on a game that they haven't even decided they want to commit to yet.

Costs to buy expansions, quests packs, etc. is a massive commitment. This becomes a huge deal any time the coupon and 99point stuff isn't going. (Still a big deal to some even with the coupon / 99p stuff)

So many things that can drive people off before they even hit cap for the 1st time.
I have brought many new ones to this game. Just newcomers, their first problems come with the game's paywall and only being able to open normal. Their first impression is that they have to pay for everything: VIP for the quests, the xpacks (which are a lot) separately, and all at full price). Everything puts a wall in front of them: they arrive and do not have a shared bank (that feels terrible to them), they see that they cannot attempt difficulties greater than normal (as soon as they overcome the first days and want to increase the difficulty that causes problems for them), they see no only quests and xpacks are locked, but races, enhancement trees and many other things. From Korthos they are bombarded with messages of pay, pay, pay.

When they see that by purchasing VIP they do not have access to any expansion, not even the oldest ones, they really tend to leave the game. Their comments are always the same, too much money, there is no plan for a new one, it seems that there is no organization at all, these theoretically FTP models are the worst. Normally at this point they have also seen the tomes in the store, come to conclusions that sooner or later they will have to buy them, and they leave.

If they pass this phase, they spend some time playing, but after comes the second problem point of retaining new players. This is when they really realize the power difference with the veterans players and how long it will take them to catch up. Many cannot believe the mountain of grind that awaits them and that there are no catch up methods. This is where many who have managed to overcome the first phase leave. A few players realize this before, along with the paywall that awaits them (generally they are D&D third edition or pathfinder 1ed players of a certain age accustomed to crunchies and doing min maxed builds in pnp, they are usually people who look for powerful builds in advance to start with) , but most don't realize it until later. In any case, they are still new players although not always just newcomers.

This is my experience and because I'm in organized roleplaying groups, I've brought many new ones into the game. At the time of Turbine it was easier for them to stay than now, partly because back then VIP covered the needs of new players well (and there were only two xpacks, both with useful extras for newbies when they wanted to pick them up), and partly because the difference in power did not scare powergamers.. Whether SSG wants to see if there is a problem or not is another story.
 
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Lazuli

Well-known member
Did a little brainstorming while eating lunch. Things they could do to make the n/h/e lockout better:
1) Remove it entirely
2) Remove it from quests below X level so people can get a taste of any difficulty they want initially
3) Have a month long event that temporarily removes the lockout (ideally at the same time as the coupon)
4) Let brand new accounts have a 30 (or 60) day trial period where they don't have the lockout
5) Have a 1 time coupon code that's redeemable on a single character that permanently removes the lockout on that character (not redeemable on HC)

And that's just what bounced into my head while eating; I'm sure there's a ton of ways SSG could implement changes that fit their sales model while also covering that issue.
I have given many times my suggestions in this regard. To help new ones I would do:

-Coupon as permanent, or at least 75% of it.

-No more elite opening blocked after VIP.

-Basic shared bank given with the premium account. Come on, SSG, all games nowadays give this. And the new ones will want to buy tomes, more bank, xpack, iconics, jeweler’s toolkits... don't be greedy.

-Newbies start with 32 points. Starting with 28 when all the veterans are 36 and with PLs is very punitive.

-Convert the Expeditious Retreat spell by 30%, as it is in pnp, and with it the item clickies.

-Bring back the menace and shadowfell xpacs. Those were useful because they gave 2000 or 1000 points, some iconic ones and xp tomes. It is a tempting investment for a new player. SSG gains money, new ones get useful things win-win.

-Create new starter packs, with useful things for newbies, at reasonable prices (aka cheap!). The idea is not that people don't pay, but that the entrance to the game is reasonable! The initial paywall is now stupidly high. Old xpacks to reduced prices or included in VIP (menace, shadowfell, RL, Sharn at least – the 99 offer will not last for long). Some starter packs might sell things like permanent hirelings (Elieri) and a mount. Some starter packs might sell a small number of PLs, or come with bta Otto’s. Because an account can only purchase a pack once, it could not be abused, so it doesn't matter if a veteran buys it for his weak alt or a new one for his first character. Giving a little push when there are so many past lives to do is not a bad thing. This is not necessary for someone just starting out, but it is adequate to keep them in the game when they see the power difference they have with veterans. Do not underestimate the suggestive power of seeing tangible progress in a short time.

-Improve first time server rewards. For example, 1000 now gives 32 build points, but given this they would have it as a base, adding something more useful for a new one. Even if it's a coupon to buy something at a discount. Or include access to old xpacks, etc. here. Since it is only achieved once, it cannot be abused.

-Remove sunny korthos, leave only one Korthos, the separation is unnecessary.

-Better tutorials.

Personally, I would also leave the second life xp progression for everyone (including new ones) and put in some catch up mechanism, at least changing the order of the racial PLs, but probably also something more ambitious. Oh well. The first thing is to solve the first bad impression. This would be to solve the second bad impression as well as to calm players who are unhappy with the state of the alts.

I don't think SSG does anything at all though lol
 
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The Narc

Well-known member
Did a little brainstorming while eating lunch. Things they could do to make the n/h/e lockout better:
1) Remove it entirely
2) Remove it from quests below X level so people can get a taste of any difficulty they want initially
3) Have a month long event that temporarily removes the lockout (ideally at the same time as the coupon)
4) Let brand new accounts have a 30 (or 60) day trial period where they don't have the lockout
5) Have a 1 time coupon code that's redeemable on a single character that permanently removes the lockout on that character (not redeemable on HC)

And that's just what bounced into my head while eating; I'm sure there's a ton of ways SSG could implement changes that fit their sales model while also covering that issue.
Good thoughts!!

I think 3,4 and 5 are a help to new players without devalueing the subscription option.

Well written and truly constructive.
 

Weaponalpha

Active member
And there is the answer.
Number of times i said the previous reductions to grind are negative - 0. The grind reduction itself was not the issue it was the act of implementing it You are failing to understand the well known IYGAMACT or at the least misinterpreting it. I am only against further grind reduction which was clearly posed in my GM approach. The porridge is just right as my colleagues would say.
 

Griglok (Karatemack)

Leader- The Casual Obsession (Khyber)
When it comes to "newbies", the stuff I see come up time and again in discord typically has nothing to do with past lives. The things that drive them off happen long before caring about the TR treadmill ever comes up.

Confusing LFM panel where to you have to go to who tab to load data before going to the grouping panel was a big issue (people would get confused and annoyed by blank LFM page). Thankfully after starting a forum thread about that, it's being fixed by Tonquin with u66 .

Many paths aren't good so people get stuck on setups that they later regret.

A lot of posted builds, even those for "1st lifers", are for 32-point builds (when newbies are 28 point setups), use universal trees, tomes, etc. that a new player just doesn't have and they don't know how to pair down those builds. So going with a non-path custom build can be overwhelming.

Lag, lag, lag, I've seen several people use the coupon codes and then quit because the lag just was too much.

Normal difficulty is too easy for many and they're forced to either do N>H, N>H>E on every quest to feel any kind of challenge or they need an opener that actually wants to do their difficulty without just carrying them; they quickly find this annoying to do. And going VIP isn't something they're prepared to do on a game that they haven't even decided they want to commit to yet.

Costs to buy expansions, quests packs, etc. is a massive commitment. This becomes a huge deal any time the coupon and 99point stuff isn't going. (Still a big deal to some even with the coupon / 99p stuff)

So many things that can drive people off before they even hit cap for the 1st time.
There's a lot of good feedback in here. On reflection, I don't know why 36-point builds have to be gated behind TRs. While it seems like low-hanging fruit to veteran players, I still remember my first life in DDO taking the longest to level.

I think I'm ok with hard and elite being "gated" behind VIP. With that said, I'm not oppossed to any of the proposals you listed here:
Did a little brainstorming while eating lunch. Things they could do to make the n/h/e lockout better:
1) Remove it entirely
2) Remove it from quests below X level so people can get a taste of any difficulty they want initially
3) Have a month long event that temporarily removes the lockout (ideally at the same time as the coupon)
4) Let brand new accounts have a 30 (or 60) day trial period where they don't have the lockout
5) Have a 1 time coupon code that's redeemable on a single character that permanently removes the lockout on that character (not redeemable on HC)

And that's just what bounced into my head while eating; I'm sure there's a ton of ways SSG could implement changes that fit their sales model while also covering that issue.
I absolutely agree about the expansions. IMO... the highest level purchase of any new expansion (IE: the $129 bundle) would better serve the DDO community if it included all previous expansions.
 

Coffey

Well-known member
The answer is there were no negative effects from the previous reductions because it is now exactly where it needs to be. if they make further reductions it will be too much. So, before reductions grind was too much. If further, too little. As is, just right. It is known as the Goldilock's Method or GM as we in the business call it. You really need to do some research.
It is the manipulation that was built into the game that repulses most people from staying in the first place whether they are aware of it or not.
 

Shear-buckler

Well-known member
Number of times i said the previous reductions to grind are negative - 0. The grind reduction itself was not the issue it was the act of implementing it You are failing to understand the well known IYGAMACT or at the least misinterpreting it. I am only against further grind reduction which was clearly posed in my GM approach. The porridge is just right as my colleagues would say.
I see no reason to differentiate the grind reduction itself from the act of implementing it when evaluating the consequences. You have not been able to provide negative consequences of either. I understand IYGMACT and it's completely irrelevant. At best a slippery slope fallacy.

Further, if you think the "porridge was just right" 10 years ago how do you justify it being still just right after massive amount of grind has been added and so much time have passed for the gap between new and established players to grow even more?
 
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Jummby

Well-known member
I see no reason to differentiate the grind reduction itself from the act of implementing it. You have not been able to provide negative consequences of either. I understand IYGMACT and it's completely irrelevant. At best a slippery slope fallacy.

Further, if you think the "porridge was made right" 10 years ago how do you justify it being still just right after massive amount of grind has been added and so much time have passed for the gap between new and established players to grow even more?
The reason should be staring every longtime.player, every SSG employee, every owner of SSG like Daybreak games in the face.

There is no way a newer player, a casual player or a returning player can ever catch up to play with existing players.

Remember the latest poll regarding would you recommend DDO to friends?

The developers should stop looking at character levels as the barometer as where players are at. Past Lives are a barrier to entry in DDO as well as being able to spend several hundred dollars on a 20 year old game.

Why deal.with that as a new person? 20 bucks usually gets you an amazing game in steam no?
 
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Jummby

Well-known member
I am.not trying to be the enemy of DDO or the community of players on what I post. I am just seeing that the barrier to entry to try and get new players into this game is near impossible and the Devs should take a look at it.
 

warlock player

Well-known member
So recently we had this nerf for xp, the alert system change, a purple alert system, etc...

To what end? What was the point? First it was: we need it to fix lag, than as the community rebelled it was stated simply: People level too fast.

Does anyone consider the endgame aspect at SSG. Alot of us, especially established guilds, have organized raids several times a week. People like to build toons for these raids to make them stronger by adding past lives to them. The goal is usually just to be more effective for the group in many cases. To be clear, of course people start with rose colored glasses just saying: I will get all the lives, till they see how steep that mountain really is.

Mountain was a steep climb before, now, it is steeper. Newer players, returning and players that can not devote the time go get 100 plus lives feel left out to me. I see it myself as people aren't necessarily trying to get every life, but get enough lives where they need it for thier build to be more effective.

Now me, personally I am fine. I am playing the game forever and have several raid toons and they have plenty of past lives under thier belt. What about other people who are either returning to the game or trying out ddo?

What about established players who want to make more alts? I have 4 alts and I will never make another one. The grind has been made so bad, that there is no fun it.

Where's the fun in that at this point?

I understand the free to play very clearly (pay for power, conveniences, perks, etc...). DDO is reaching a point though that to be effective, you need to:

A. Pay up and drop a few 1000s on Ottos Boxes.

B. Play DDO full time (putting in free overtime)

C. Look in the blackmarkets on other forums to but illegal boxes and risk getting caught.

Maybe it's time.to reevaluate the grind. Not saying I have an answer, just saying it's time for a reevaluation.

The bottom line: We have server migrations to find more people to play with, people who only play hard core with the game the way it is and amoung other things, a choke hold on the endgame aspect of DDO and overall less people playing the game.
Build a toon that you enjoy playing and git gud.

My caster alt has yes, well class completionist, but ony 3 racial lives, and some iconics and few epic past lives(it's a 15 year old toon) whilst main has all except razorclaw/trailblazer and 2 arcane epic lives (melee, often barb/pally).

We've been experiencing this, but since the Sharn expansion really past lives seemed to mean little. Okay for melee it does matter, for saves and HP. But as it always has been these differences can be overcome via good knowledge of quests and simply enjoying the game.

I do get however the grind is severe. I have these toons with so many past lives and then have another tank/heal alt with past lives. I've had my share of grinding. But if you enjoy your build, I think that's what matters.

Legend build, +8tomes, endgame gear, few/handful of epic past lives, you're more than enough for any raids.

If you are melee you want to make friends with skilled healer players.
If you are caster you want to focus on dc
If you are ranged, well, I hate ranged but it's the way to go in high reaper )). Just jump around like a chicken and hope things work!
 

YeeboF

Well-known member
I have brought many new ones to this game. Just newcomers, their first problems come with the game's paywall and only being able to open normal. Their first impression is that they have to pay for everything: VIP for the quests, the xpacks (which are a lot) separately, and all at full price). Everything puts a wall in front of them: they arrive and do not have a shared bank (that feels terrible to them), they see that they cannot attempt difficulties greater than normal (as soon as they overcome the first days and want to increase the difficulty that causes problems for them), they see no only quests and xpacks are locked, but races, enhancement trees and many other things. From Korthos they are bombarded with messages of pay, pay, pay.

When they see that by purchasing VIP they do not have access to any expansion, not even the oldest ones, they really tend to leave the game. Their comments are always the same, too much money, there is no plan for a new one, it seems that there is no organization at all, these theoretically FTP models are the worst. Normally at this point they have also seen the tomes in the store, come to conclusions that sooner or later they will have to buy them, and they leave.

If they pass this phase, they spend some time playing, but after comes the second problem point of retaining new players. This is when they really realize the power difference with the veterans players and how long it will take them to catch up. Many cannot believe the mountain of grind that awaits them and that there are no catch up methods. This is where many who have managed to overcome the first phase leave. A few players realize this before, along with the paywall that awaits them (generally they are D&D third edition or pathfinder 1ed players of a certain age accustomed to crunchies and doing min maxed builds in pnp, they are usually people who look for powerful builds in advance to start with) , but most don't realize it until later. In any case, they are still new players although not always just newcomers.

This is my experience and because I'm in organized roleplaying groups, I've brought many new ones into the game. At the time of Turbine it was easier for them to stay than now, partly because back then VIP covered the needs of new players well (and there were only two xpacks, both with useful extras for newbies when they wanted to pick them up), and partly because the difference in power did not scare powergamers.. Whether SSG wants to see if there is a problem or not is another story.
This tracks very closely with my experience with the dozen or so players I have brought in over the years. The biggest batch was a bunch of Guildies from LoTRO, and that was pretty much exactly how it went with them.

Ironically, they all really dug Korthos Island, which vets all tend to complain about. They dug the puzzles in the quests, they dug the storyline, and they were all wowed by that scene where the dragon is running under the ice in the final quest in the intro chain. IMO, the folks that hang out on this board by and large are very detached from what new players experience and have trouble even imagining what the game looks like if you aren't a jaded vet that can knock out a life in six hours played.
 

Sophie The Cat Burglar

Exotic Items Recovery Specialist
One can basically go from 17 to 20 right now off Sharn & cogs as 3rd+ lifer. At 1st lifer rates one would go from 15 to 20 off that same XP. We skip a ton of content already with current XP rates and can already level fairly quickly. At some point, one is barely playing the game and just skipping most content. You could put a lever in the harbor that awarded XP each time it was pulled and there'd be some people that would pull it over and over if it leveled them at a speed they wanted. But getting from A to Z fast isn't necessarily healthy for the game if means people are missing out on most of the game in the process.

I just ran the first Sharn Saga with a brand new Level 15 Paladin. It did not get me even one level. Just sayin.
 

PraetorPlato

Well-known member
I just ran the first Sharn Saga with a brand new Level 15 Paladin. It did not get me even one level. Just sayin.
What difficulty?

Full sharn main saga (masterminds) is 57k base XP, r1 is a ~4x (a little more actually) multiplier over base for first time, so without pots, +5% for voice and 5% for guild makes 250k, which should be 1.5 levels for a first life level 15 char. Adding on saga gets you to two full levels.
 

rabidfox

The People's Champion
I just ran the first Sharn Saga with a brand new Level 15 Paladin. It did not get me even one level. Just sayin.

What difficulty?
^ what difficulty? Tome of learning? XP pot? Master's gift and ship XP buff? Sure, a brand new player (or alt) isn't going to have a bunch of those, but when people say they want the long term XP curve to match 1st lifer XP curve then one needs to be running all the XP buffs one normally runs for comparisons.
 
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