Sequel to SoD - Input Requested

Discussion in 'Games and Media' started by Taryth, Aug 12, 2016.

  1. cornelweezy

    cornelweezy Dalayan Elder

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    Things I really like/d about SoD:
    - the lore was well developed
    - the exp-debt style penalty for dying
    - fun quest accessibility throughout the levelling process, because killing the same few camps over and over again for exp is painful and unfulfilling
    - treasure maps (these are truly *amazing* until all the loot is useless)
    - the holy trinity was well respected almost to a fault
    - the devs are committed to protecting the game's economy and have been largely successful

    Things I really don't like about SoD:
    - the buff system (coupled with boxing and class imbalance, this is a disaster)
    - some classes have no clear role, being either overly static or convoluted, poorly impacting class balance gamewide
    - questing at 65 generally doesn't have the incremental bonus feeling that questing sub 65 did, with few exceptions
    - the "cash sinks" aka charms are inhibitive of server health as they burden completionists to farm plat at any cost necessary
    - end game progression aka tomes/opuses is less a measure of ability to strategize to defeat content and more a discouraging timewall. You would think these things are the same (and if they were, that would be much better) but here they are not

    I want to see better class balance, but mainly to do away with the "long duration buff" system. Buffs are really boring because they're the most passive way to improve a character. Buffs are also problematic because some of the most valuable ones are attached to poorly balanced classes. They need to be more dynamic and they need to come at a higher opportunity cost.

    There should not be a single buff in the game that lasts longer than 5 minutes. Most buffs and debuffs should be refined and reformatted into a series of offensive, defensive, and niche short duration powerups (I'm thinking 12-60 seconds generally) that are activated and then not resuable until a brief/intermediate duration cooldown time has passed. Most of these should be spells. The most powerful ones depending on class and progression should be AAs. These powerups should provide everything current buffs do and more, in a way that's dynamic and unique to each class. Things that can't be balanced around short durations should instead be made to link between the user who activates it and the single target recipient or the group, and the link breaks if the user zones or dies.

    edit: reading through this thread, I really agree that virtually all races should be all classes and such. I don't think any race should be pigeonholed into a certain class but I think, naked at lvl1, there should be balanced benefits for choosing one race over others. These benefits should be more or less totally marginalized by progression.
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2016
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  2. cornelweezy

    cornelweezy Dalayan Elder

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    may i add zaela as one of the guys who played on your server three or four years ago now, i really liked your design of putting on armor and gaining abilities. maybe that can be tweaked somehow to fit into the everquest-esque mainstream on a SoD sequel
     
  3. Taryth

    Taryth Administrator Staff Member

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    Yeah absolutely keeping the death/corpse thing as in SoD. Without the stupid res thing - you should be able to be clicked until it works, dammit.
     
  4. Xoranath

    Xoranath Administrator Staff Member

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    Ideas are forming, wheels are spinning........someone quiet down the hamster so i can think........
     
  5. darksabbath

    darksabbath Dalayan Master

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    Thinks I like about SoD as is:
    The game lore and story.
    Adepts
    Bounties
    treasure maps.. until the gear lost value
    Lack of corpse run, xp loss
    Some of the quests, fun and lore providing ones (many newbie quests, most of the main quest)
    Xp-able items

    Things I dislike:
    Charms as plat sinks
    Buff system
    The rest of the quests, the long grind ones that were generally resulted in unrewarding small increments.. especially mq/ikisith factions and vah
    The heavy class imbalance
    Tomes
    How "top-heavy" the game is.

    Buffs
    I would prefer an aura system to the majority of the buffs we have. As you level your toon, the aura gains incremental power, maybe requiring some quests at certain stages to improve it. AA's that previously affected buffs (duration, soulbound for example), could instead be made to boost the aura slightly. This way, if you want a class buff, you bring that class. No more leaving a toon logged in a spot to log in and buff you/your group. And while each class' aura would provide a benefit, it should be relatively small, so no class becomes "required" for the aura they give.
    All other buffs would be short duration boosts that should last a few fights max. Think buffs like Fleeting fury, Yaulp, enchanter combat illusions, and Savagery for examples of this.
    Charms
    Instead of being plat sinks, every toon should start with one, and they should be you first xpable item. Quests, perhaps a branch of a main quest for the new game, could offer additional stats to the charm. Complete charm tier 1, for example, and you get a choice menu, where you can add a main stat of your choice. Tier 2 would provide a choice of hp/mana, tier 3 hp or mana regen, tier 4 an aura of some sort, etc. Defeating raid bosses should provide a one time xp boost to the charm. Completing major quest chains coul provide one-time extra boosts also. Alternatively, you could earn a short to moderate duration buff to your charm xp for these various steps.
    Tomes
    As a concept, these were a good work around to the AA limitation of the old client. But their implementation was poor. Some classes still haven't received all their class tomes iirc, and the tomes that are in game are not even close to created equal. Your class tomes should be something you want to do, but some or so poor, they are only worth doing as a last resort. And being forced to pray to RNGesus to get the tomes you want/need only compounds that issue. With the new client, my understanding is the AA limitations go away, so tomes should go the way of the dinosaurs.
    Instancing
    Yes, please. I enjoyed the LDON expansion more than almost any other. Why? Because it meant I always had something I could go do. If the mobs I needed to kill for quests were already being camped, I could go do some LDON dungeons to gain points to buy cool augs for my gear. And if I couldn't get a group, I could always choose an easier mission and solo it. These could easily be tied into the bounty system, too. "Jack the Rogue has stolen my family heirlooms, and fled into a cave in butcherblock, please go into the cave and get them back." Enter the instance entrance for the cave in butcherblock, and fight to the end, kick Jack's butt, and bounty is earned.


    Other New Ideas...
    Dynamic Mob Level
    Now, I am not sure this is do-able or not, but I'll suggest it anyway. Is there a way to implement a dynamic level for most mobs? Raid mobs would be unaffected, it would remain for the top levels of the game. But the rest of the xp zones of the game would have mobs that scale for the level of the person fighting them. Likely, this would mean damage would apply as a percentage to the mob, even though it would show you a damage number. Now, before you ask wtf Ranseur, why? I'll explain. In a dynamic combat system, zones wouldn't be set to a certain level band, all zones can be for all levels. No more zones that go unused because the majority of your population is max level. Also, people new to the game should be able to find groups easier, as they can group with the max level person, and both gain xp for their level. The item drops would have to be tailored to level ranges (and therefore have a level req that coincides with it), but now that same boss can have items usable to anyone in the group that killed it. For example: The level 5 might get a Wand of Awesome tier 1, while the level 65 get a Wand of Awesome tier 8.
    Or, if you don't want to clog the database with multiple items, make the special name drops all be exp-able items, and those gained by higher levels come with X number of levels already gained. Then, if you level 5 never sees another Wand of Awesome drop, it won't matter, because he could have leveled his up to the same as the one he would have gained later.
    Class epic quest chains
    Not the epics from live, but a long series of quests the would provide gear, aura upgrades, and perhaps charm upgrades. Some classes have some quest chains already (sk, rogue, barb bst, etc), they just need some fleshing out, and the gear they provide should be xp-able. Later steps could provide extra stats to gear pieces, similar to my charm idea above. Above all, the quests need to be worth doing. The problem with many of the quest chains in game, is that by the time you are of level to complete the final stages, the gear has long since been unworth using it, as other drops you have acquired, or gear you have bought, out-classes it.

    I had some other ideas, but I'll have to add them later, as they slipped my mind as I typed all this out.
     
  6. Grinkles

    Grinkles Developer

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    The thought of a new game taking place in Dalaya is thrilling. It would feel so nice to shrug off the burdensome baggage of SoD and jump into a new take on the world we've all come to love.

    However, as exciting as the prospect of a new server may be, I would like to say that I'd much rather see this kind of staff enthusiasm and effort redirected toward repairing Shards of Dalaya. The coming of 2.5 promised so many things and fell short in almost every way.

    Being able to see groupmates on the map is so handy it almost feels like cheating, but...
    ...realizing midway through a high-stakes fight that your Cleric is group bugged and her GHeals won't land on anyone but herself is discouraging.
    Having an automatically updating tracking window is a godsend, but...
    ...coping with 60-second load times even when you're simply entering a low-res, pre-Kunark zone from 1999 is maddening.
    Being able to directly control the game's FPS from within the advanced options in-game is wonderful, but...
    ...having to tell that eager newcomer that his level 5 Shadowknight's signature Harm Touch ability is broken and has been broken for ~9 months (leading him to abandon the class, if not the server too) is downright demoralizing.​

    Why must the solution be to start a new game rather than to take a critical look at the existing game and brainstorm for ways that you can put your creative juices to work in an effort to save our server from the brink of extinction?

    Taryth, you've gone on record as a staff member in this thread now saying things like this:
    And this:
    If you recognize that there are fundamental flaws with the game in its current form, why not petition any remaining Powers That Be to allow you to enact some more "radical" changes in an earnest effort to revitalize the server? Reworking the tome system would no doubt be a Herculean undertaking, but I would be willing to bet that altering the awful one-chance rez system of SoD would be child's play with your coding capabilities. What defense could even the stuffiest admin have against streamlining that?

    Or take the issue of class and race that many of us have brought up in the thread. I can give a pretty good argument for enabling certain new class/race combinations, but I bet you can do even better than I can on that front. Is this crusty, ailing server of ours so married to its own status quo that adding a few new lore-friendly race/class combinations would be beyond discussion even with a veteran dev like yourself championing the cause?

    Maybe you're burned out entirely on Shards of Dalaya. Maybe you feel you've pushed yourself as hard and as far as you can under the clunky, frustrating limitations of the client. Maybe there are staff politics at play that we players are blissfully unaware of. Or maybe the list of client bugs on the to-do list is so out of hand and daunting that it has crippled your will to return to the game. But along with those salty words of yours that I quoted above, you also went on record saying this in the same thread:

    It sounds as though you have at least a little remaining fondness for the game. And I may be naive here, but I still believe SoD is not beyond salvage -- especially if we had someone like you at the helm. So rather than opt for the "fresh start" approach with a sequel, why not dig in once again, dare to propose some radical changes, and be the hero we've waited for since this all-too-quiet year began?

    And to speak to someone's unhelpful comment above about nobody offering help, I would be happy to help in any way I can as someone without any knowledge of code. I realize that doesn't amount to much, but if there's anything I can do, you need only ask. I know I'm not alone in saying that either.
     
  7. tinkaa

    tinkaa *fake Tinkerbell*

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    + community
    + lore, quests tied to it, war events
    + bounties (or almost anything done by Zaela), love the option to customize gear
    + exp-able items, adepts
    + bonuses if you follow a deity/"roleplay" to be good/lawful..
    + ressurection

    - "RNG hates me" - Zaela's idea about raid mobs dropping components looks like an interesting idea, but on the other hand it doesn't seem to be used much by players in current game
    - class imbalance (rogues, and I don't even play one; a bunch of classes that would be great if their abilities/spells actually worked - read the buglist)
    - along with imbalance goes the too few interesting spells/too many spells-not enough spellgems/can't re-mem spell during combat because I'm being damaged
    - absolutely must-have items that are dropped by raid/6man mobs (see RNG hates me) - there should still be variance in drops, but maybe also an alternative (quested?) way to obtain things
    - limitation of 3 of same class per raid (see class balance)

    With that said, I don't think there's an entirely new game needed. I'm sure some of these things can also be implemented to current SoD.
    Call me boring, but I would definitely not start anew. I like my characters and it's the only game I play and I wouldn't start another myself. If the current 49284 bugs were fixed, classes balanced and the Kaezul storyline expanded/quests continued, it would be great. Too bad so much effort was put in 2.5 and this idea only came afterwards.
     
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  8. Snake

    Snake Dalayan Elder

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    Agree.

    As much as I generally hate saying "No, don't want new stuff", I love SoD so much I play it way to much, despite bugs ect., it scares me greatly, that this game might be at an end.

    Would it change anything if more started to donate? :p
     
  9. Pecannius

    Pecannius Dalayan Elder

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    Personally, I like tomes. I like grinding toward something big vs having some constant minor incremental thing to gain exp from.
    Think of Diablo 2 vs 3.
    When you were high level in D2, getting a level didn't happen that often, but when you got it, it was a huge boost in character power. It was exciting (similar to completing a tome in SoD).
    When you were high level in D3, you get mindless small incremental advantages, aka paragon levels (which would be similar to grinding stat AAs in SoD). Getting paragon levels in D3 was mindlessly boring.

    I think in the end game at least, having a slow grind towards a slightly noticeable difference is better than a constant slow grind of minuscule differences.
     
  10. Taryth

    Taryth Administrator Staff Member

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    We just aren't able to do some of these things in its current incarnation. There are limitations we have that just realistically cannot be unwound, hence looking at a new game.

    As for SoD, that is a totally separate discussion that quite honestly frustrates and irritates me. For the purposes of this discussion, I'd like to leave out the discussion of "why not the current game." I absolutely understand why people ask the question, but it's rather a sore point for me.
     
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  11. Nebi

    Nebi Dalayan Pious Diety

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    If this is the case then this thread is sticky in the wrong forum. This forum is for shards of dalaya chat only and it serves only to confuse the player base.

    Surprisingly enough the king of forum trolling posts into the correct board did not mention anything in here.

    I believe this should go

    "Games and Media
    Discuss any games, music and media that is NOT Shards of Dalaya here."
     
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  12. Taryth

    Taryth Administrator Staff Member

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    Fair enough, moving.
     
  13. MarleVVLL

    MarleVVLL Dalayan Beginner

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    This looks potentially exciting!
     
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  14. daenar_sod

    daenar_sod Dalayan Elder

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    Taryth, I love you boo. You know I do. But I'm going to have to agree with Grinkles and make another point.

    This is very similar to that one troll account that recently plagued the forums trying to talk about a server wipe or new server. Lots of people already posted that the idea of a new server would cause them to just quit SoD altogether as having spent years and years working on their toons to have the SoD game abandoned would leave them with a bad taste in their mouth that wouldn't come out. It has already felt that way a bit with 2.5. Shortly after its release, communication with the dev team ceased entirely. Minor things got fixed sure, but the elephants in the room remained and nary a word from anyone on the other side of the server as to when or even IF they would get fixed. This caused a lot of people to quit (shit, a t13 guild of some of the poopsock-iest people formed essentially overnight to play in 2.5 and were assaulted with so many bugs that made playing so unenjoyable to them that the guild lastest a total of 3 raids, 2 unofficial and 1 official, before it disbanded and they quit). Some even speculated that the 2.5 release was intentional to cause enough to quit to put "dropping SoD entirely" on to the table so efforts could be focused elsewhere.

    The ideas on this thread are all fantastic, they really are. And I've seen your ability to whip up some pretty awesome stuff on the spot so I know you can do it. But I'm afraid, and I know others are too, that this project verifies discussions that 2.5 will never get fixed, the multiple years promise of 3.0 will never come to pass, ikky 2.0 will never get released, and that SoD is basically branded as a dead horse so it's best to just accept its fate and move on.
     
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  15. Taryth

    Taryth Administrator Staff Member

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    If you want to talk 2.5, start a new thread please.

    Suffice it to say, I took an oath of sorts not to discuss internal dev matters externally, and I will not do so. I would be very happy if work on SoD continued! I would prefer to expend most of my efforts elsewhere for a variety of reasons. I might be able to fix some of the 2.5 bugs (I don't even have a current list), but having given it thought this is the direction I want to head. If it ends up that there's no drive for it or some such so be it, but thus far it seems like a good number of folks are seriously interested.

    Like I said, I want to focus on any potential new game here. Let's not mix that up with 2.5, please.
     
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  16. Xeras

    Xeras Dalayan Adventurer

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    I absolutely love the new server idea. I like the idea of classes being relatively interchangeable. I did really like the idea of there being no "levels" as that would allow zones to remain relevant. But I guess you could do that with scaling areas or max level versions. Although if areas scaled I don't know that the sense of power gain would be adequately expressed to the player but whatever. I would also love to see expable items expanded. If alignment is a part of the new game I would like for it to be at least somewhat more transparent, though. And some options for at least race change.
     
  17. Nebi

    Nebi Dalayan Pious Diety

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    anyone who can code will have the ability to fix bugs /make improvements to the game. That being said people are less likely to play a boring game. People didn't play shards of dalaya in its hay day due to it being "bug free". people played on it because it was a fun game with fun content w/ cool nerds.

    I have been away from the game for a very long time and i may be off here but what content have you created? Is there anything that you have done that people are killing themselves to do? I'm not saying to not start your baby project but before your waste your time in a server that nobody will play on why not create some content on sod? At the very least you will have a group of nerds that will test the content and see if its good or not. If you get some good feed back then use that steam and push your server forward.
     
  18. ynnear

    ynnear Dalayan Elder

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    to create content here and to maintain support for it, the community and the way it acts would need to change for the better.
     
  19. Nebi

    Nebi Dalayan Pious Diety

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    2.5 has shown the server population that you really don't have to maintain anything.
     
  20. Grinkles

    Grinkles Developer

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    This may be a minor thing, but at least it's on topic:
    For your new server, please consider a much looser naming policy than SoD was burdened with all these years. The enforcement of SoD's naming policy was capricious at best and draconian at worst. The policy itself was unnecessarily convoluted.

    I was disappointed every time some bright-eyed, eager newcomer from, say, P99 would give our out-of-the-way server a chance and dive into OOC for the first time only to be told straight away that s/he better pick a new name soon because a Troll Shadowknight named Sirskellypants or a High Elf Wizard called Snowflayke should surely expect a visit from the nerf bat in the near future. There have even been instances of new players noping out of Shards of Dalaya altogether after the Secret Name Police found them.

    If people choose to invest their time in a character with an embarrassing, goofy, or otherwise unusual name, then let the ostensibly "bad" name stand on its own merit and let that player have the chance to prove his or her worth in Dalaya through actions, personality, skills, leadership, etc. in spite of said name. Our server already had more than its fair share of obstacles in acquiring and especially retaining new players even during its heyday; I hope that this SoD sequel will be mature enough to realize that a potion vendor named Poshenz isn't ruining anyone's immersion.
     
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