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Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Sweet Sixteen

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Alright, I'm back at it with more Live Update 16 commentary.

We will be getting some new content in the form of the "Reclaiming the Wilderness" quest. It refers to helping griffon tamers in Nek and TS. Now, a longtime complaint of MMO players is that they feel their actions do not affect the world in a dynamic fashion. No matter how many monsters they slay, nothing really changes in the static game world. Well, this would seemingly be a chance to change Norrath through your participation in a quest. In fact, it's billed in the update notes as a "chance to make your mark on the world and help reclaim the Shattered Lands!"

But let's be honest. This is what I call faux-dynamic content. Whether 50,000 or 5 people do this event/quest, those griffon towers are getting built. It's simply relating a quest/event to a change SOE is making in the game, in this case making travel through Nek and TS quicker. Your actions will, in reality, still have no actual effect. But that doesn't mean it's not a good idea. It works from a roleplay standpoint and true world-changing dynamic content is very hard to pull off. So why not add some fun and lore to a zone change? It's much better than just logging on one day and suddenly finding griffon towers in TS and Nek.

But what about those griffon towers? This goes back to the difficulty issue. Some like instant travel, some enjoy the old EQ style travel. Your opinion on the addition of the griffon towers in these zones will vary depending on your opinions on this issue. And we saw a lot of different opinions in the comments section of yesterday's post.

I'm happy to see that mages (and crusaders and priests) can now make use of the ranged item slot. It always bothered me to see that slot empty and I'm all for further customization of my character.

I've often found swapping potions, horse whistles and dolls in and out of my activation slots to be rather annoying. It now appears that potions can be used directly from the inventory. On the negative side, the food and drink slots seem like they will make things more time consuming for me, only because I prefer to eat and drink one item at a time rather than use the "eat or drink when hungry or thirsty" option. But I'm probably not the norm. The food slots will free up inventory space.

The famous Harclave quest is now limited to once a level.

The reason Harclave was great was because it was innovative from start to finish. From the unusual way you received the quest to the feeling of surprise and power you felt when you first got the buff, it is easily one of the most memorable quests in game. But why would you want to do it repeatedly?

Probably because players get used to comfortable things and also tend to gravitate towards the easiest and fastest way to obtain levels and items.

I agree with Gallenite's quote, "The problem is that if it's possible for that 'by-myself-in-the-same-cave-for-25-levels' experience of a never-ending grind to occur, people will continue down that path...then get bored because EQ2 (in their experience) is a big, ugly, foreboding grind they have to do alone just to get to the 'good stuff'."

I also feel that this more general statement is an important one: "When people think 'I want to get some good gear' in an adventure game, ideally, the environment we create should be one that makes them then think, 'well...I'd better go undertake some dangerous adventure to get it," as opposed to, 'I'd better go farm so I can afford to hit the mall.'"

So, I definitely think SOE is right on the Harclave issue.

Now, please excuse me while I log on to repeatedly farm Tear Grifter's quests in Maj...


Blogger Anskiere said...

"I prefer to eat and drink one item at a time rather than use the "eat or drink when hungry or thirsty" option. But I'm probably not the norm."

Then I'm not the norm either :P .. in fact, I hardly ever carry food or drink.I like to rely on drink for mana regen only if I really need it, playing without it teaches you to conserve mana, something every heavy nuker should know. Plus when you are drinking, it's like whoa..

12:22 AM  
Blogger cyan said...

Now, please excuse me while I log on to repeatedly farm Tear Grifter's quests in Maj...

Now easier and with waypoint!!

(please note sarcasm)

I understand Harclave. I understand when they nerf Tear Grifters. There are certian quests that they might not forsee being grindable (from here on out we shall call it the 'harclave syndrome'.) I honestly don't this is in the design, but it ends up being a byproduct of the design. We have talked about it many many times on the podcast as being a place to grind. In looking at it before you login to do it, it is a great quest, but ask the adventurer who is 1 hour into it for the 47th time and you will get a different reaction. What was done by SOE was needed, and will be needed for any quests in the future with Harclave Syndrome.

I think I am gonna go write a song about Harclave Syndorome.

Nice Write up,
EQ2-Daily.com Podcast

12:50 AM  
Blogger warm_machine said...

Aggro, you're not alone with just eating/drinking one at a time.

As for the Tear Grifter quests, I'm a fan too. I don't think that the quests are too out of balance seeing as how there is a timer before you can ask for another quest. They also don't give a huge amount of coin or XP. Their greatest crime is just being convenient, which is related to part two of the "sweet sixteen" posts.

I just think of them as the sequel to Harclave and just like the original, they are fun and you can kind of grind them if you are patient (or bored) enough.

However, nothing will compare to the first time in original Harclave! =P

1:14 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

honestly i hardly ever use food or drinks. i went to lvl50 with self summoned stuff (and it was usually the other healer or the tank we had to make power breas for) and from 50 to 60 its the tank and the dps being lop all the time unless u have a chanter/bard (actually serious grinding is impossible in dof without crack imho).

the only use in drink/food is that extra bit of sta u can get on ur MT with it... but then again thats the perspective of the hardcore raider.


8:36 AM  
Blogger Quylein said...

I have 2 stacks each of food and water. One that is lowbie and one that is the stuff I buy in Qeynos harbor. (being a lvl 43 Cook erks me that I made one but there will always be min maxers)

I constanly have eat when hungry/thirsty on the low lvl stuff. When I'm in a heavy fight it wont matter about regen anyhow. But, when I'm in a XP group it's the good stuff.. sometime's I'll use my superior. But overall yeah I'm a eat and drink one at a time if I'm not in need of drink or food.

As far as the Harclave, I watched my wife do it and the only good thing I seen from my chair I liked was some of the mobs. Over all it just looked easily boring. Sadly XP seems to be the only thing anyone really is chasing.. Don't get me wrong I like the ring of the level ding and the new spells but seriously lvling isnt why I play.

Dont belive me? That's ok I loged out 5% till 50 last night and it didnt even gnaw at me.. That's just how I feel. Adventure and challeng is why I keep coming back.

10:19 AM  
Anonymous Mike said...

RE: Making the content dynamic.

What I hope happens in the future of these games is when they develop the cities and lands, they have more foresight on possible changes that might occur over the course of the game (in one year, new griffin towers, in two years, a new castle is built, in five years, Qeynos builds another bank). I understand the worlds are static. I just don't see why changes to the world can't be programmed into the game to occur automatically based on either a real world or in-game timer. I know it would require more time, but would make games far more realistic.

I'm just waiting on someone to pick up one of the knocked over chairs in one of the inns.

1:44 PM  
Anonymous Scott Adams said...

I have not seen the patch yet but the devs said on the boards you should be able to place items in the food slots, right click and shut off auto eat/drink. Then you can drag to hotbar and select when you want to eat/drink one item.

They posted it a day or two ago on a long thread.

3:51 PM  
Anonymous Tock Antonia Bayle said...

right, we're definitely not forced to auto-consume. no worries.

- You can toggle whether you want nourishment in your food and drink slots to be consumed automatically when you get hungry or thirsty. Right click on each slot and set Auto-Consume on or off.

7:49 PM  
Anonymous Brett said...

Looks like the towers are dynamic - I saw a couple in Nek forest, before and after they were finished. If nobody put any effort into them...yeah, maybe they'd just stick them up eventually. But I like how they did this. Are you a crafter? We have stuff for you to do. Do you like harvesting? Got that covered. Just like beating down mobs? Go for it!

And the suggestion to take a break after doing a few tasks is brilliant. Allows more people to participate, instead of allowing a small group to grind right through a tower quickly.

8:38 AM  
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