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The many lessons of Agnarr

Let me start by saying I'm about as hardcore an EQ Classic fan as it gets. I played EQ from classic to PoP, played on p99 for 4+ years and widely view early EQ as the pinnacle of MMO gaming. So I decided to go full retard on the new Agnarr server, which is EQ live progression, eventaully locking at the ldon expansion. Being a 50 enchanter, plowing through all the classic content has changed my mind on many issues related to Pantheon.


1. For starters a completely open world becomes too cancerous, too fast. On Agnarr it's open world but when a zone fills up you can type /pick and join another copy of that zone. Playing on this server you quickly realize how essential this is. Every zone that matters is swarmed with multiboxers and bedpan poopsockers. If it wasn't for these /picks, the game would be literally unplayable. much to my surprise, I never once wished the /pick system didn't exist. Not because of convenience but because it allows you to actually play the game. And the better Pantheon is, the more essential a system like this becomes. I can assure you, 90% of my groups would end before they even began due to lack of hunting options, if it wasn't for the pick system. That said, the Agnarr pick system is far too easy to abuse so that needs to be considered as well.

2. My stance on travel time has also changed. There needs to be some healthy balance between 30 min boat rides and insta teleports everywhere. When it takes 2 hours to run somewhere you're giving the classes that can port way too much power over the world. It should never be a question of 2 hours versus 5 minutes. 20min versus 5min is much more reasonable. Even from an immersion standpoint, at least 1 city on every continent would have some sort of limited teleport system in a high fantasy world. This goes back to the map argument where purist's try to pretend like cartography wasn't a thing in medieval times.

3. Boxing is going to be a huge issue and really needs to be addressed in Pantheon. I know they're saying how complicated gameplay is but lets be real. Would you rather your warrior get spam healed or not get spam healed? If you turn healing into some dance dance revolution mini game it becomes too cheesy. Boxing will never be so hard that it's not worth doing and it's currently ruining the Agnarr server. Allowing boxing is not a financially beneficial decision because at least 2 people quit for every 1 boxer you allow. At the moment we have boxers permacamped on nearly every cash camp on the server, and that's with the ability to /pick. I can't even imagine the chaos without this command. This means when you aren't boxing you're at huge disadvantage.  A full group of mains all have different goals, playtimes, opinions and styles. Boxing always benefits you alone, which brings me to my next point.

4. The loot system is something that's so impactful yet so easy to fail at. Somehow I managed to get an efreeti camp with my guild for a good 6 hours. We plowed away and got 2 boots to drop, which I lost. No big deal you can't win them all. The next day the guild passed me the same camp, which I started doing solo. Guess who is the proud owner of 3 pairs of boots after 4 hours? I think you get the point. While this can be circumvented by making the content harder, it would have been the same result if I was a multiboxer. Loot wise there is not enough incentive to group over solo/box. VR needs to think hard here because often loot is the reason many people don't group or even play the game. I know social aspects play a big part but that only goes so far when you're never filling gear slots and every tank passes you by. At the very least there should be a perception bonus to loot, the more people that are in the group.

5. Leveling is another issue in classic EQ. I enjoy the journey as much as the next guy but it is quickly overshadowed by the giant advantage of being max level. I was one of the early 50's on the server and with that I had free reign to sell jboot MQ's, haste belts and whatever else my heart desired. Granted everyone caught up and now I have to fight for camps but what remains is my gigantic advantage. The vast majority of Pantheon players are not going to care about the journey nearly as much as being more powerful than the other guy. I worry they aren't putting nearly enough development toward max level gameplay, which is ultimately where most new games fail. EQ only had the illusion of never ending because leveling took way too long and so did gearing, due to lack of camps.

6. Quality of life makes EQ more fun. Agnarr is far from the Classic EQ experience but that's honestly a good thing from what i've seen. Items stack higher, the map works, travel isn't absurdly long, faster levels, UI shows things your character would know anyways, more forgiving targeting, better keybinds, etc. Agnarr made me realize how much content was replaced with level grinding in classic EQ. Luckily the early expansions add nearly double the zones but the point is content should never be replaced with "the grind." Agnarr also has the perfect death system. You lose xp and/or a level when you die but there's no corpse runs, durability or mercenaries to rez you. To me that's the best compromise. It's enough to make you cautious but not enough to make you log off.

7. Raiding without instances is an absolute nightmare. Again Agnarr has the /pick system and it's STILL very unenjoyable, let alone if there was only 1 zone!  If you aren't in the absolute best guild on the server, you only get the raid mobs they allow you to get, which I can assure you will be exactly zero on Pantheon. I realize people want competition but when you have to camp an alt in every raid zone just so you can pull everything 5 min after it spawns, it becomes more of a loot pinata than an epic encounter. Keep in mind when I say instances I don't mean WoW autodungeons, I mean multiple open world versions of the same zone.


In conclusion, classic EQ inspired is defiantly the way to go but there needs to be some very careful design decisions to avoid wide spread abuses. Abuses which become extremely evident on the Agnarr server and would be even more so on a fully classic server.


AmatheMendelDistopiaTheelyMMOExposed
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Comments

  • NanfoodleNanfoodle Member LegendaryPosts: 10,642
    There is always people that rush to end game. There is always people who only care about being the richest, most powerful or just first. I have never let them bother me. I have plodded along and done my thing and had a great time. I'm sure it will be no different in Pantheon. Like always I will find like minded people and just play the game. 
    Anthurkedowaynejr2[Deleted User]
  • vtravivtravi Member UncommonPosts: 398
    I agree with some of the OP. Instanced raids and dungeons is a must. I don't want to have to pray that the dungeons isn't cleared with 3 other groups waiting for respawns. In a PvE game I have no idea why people would want non instanced raids.  Muti Boxers would cause me to quit if it was rampant. I would like to see most loot be crafted with drops being just crafting materials. I dont expect this to happen but would make for a great economy
  • ThebeastttThebeasttt Member RarePosts: 1,130
    And that's fine but the design should not revolve around those that plod along anymore than the max levels. There should be a healthy amount for both but that never sounded like the case in any of the podcasts or interviews. I always got the impression they're wishfully hoping everyone will just enjoy the journey when I believe those type of players are the minority or at best 50/50.
  • Mandalorian2KMandalorian2K Member UncommonPosts: 6
    While I do agree to an extent with some of your points, there is one very important part of this you are leaving out. EQ has been around for nearly 20 years. Most everyone playing on those servers knows the most optimal way to level, what all the good cash camps are, all the steps to all the quests, etc. This in turn does lead to a huge rush fest and camping issues.

    Now I'm not saying some players won't rush to end game in Pantheon, because they will. The difference is this is a brand new world where all of the things I listed above will be unknown to the player base. It will take time to discover the good camps and the named that drop certain items. It will take time to figure out all of the steps needed for quests. It will take time to figure out the ways to spawn specific mobs. There will be a large unknown quantity in general that is absent from a server like Agnarr or any other vanilla EQ emulation server.
  • ThebeastttThebeasttt Member RarePosts: 1,130
    While I do agree to an extent with some of your points, there is one very important part of this you are leaving out. EQ has been around for nearly 20 years. Most everyone playing on those servers knows the most optimal way to level, what all the good cash camps are, all the steps to all the quests, etc. This in turn does lead to a huge rush fest and camping issues.

    Now I'm not saying some players won't rush to end game in Pantheon, because they will. The difference is this is a brand new world where all of the things I listed above will be unknown to the player base. It will take time to discover the good camps and the named that drop certain items. It will take time to figure out all of the steps needed for quests. It will take time to figure out the ways to spawn specific mobs. There will be a large unknown quantity in general that is absent from a server like Agnarr or any other vanilla EQ emulation server.
    Good point.

    Though another thing to consider is players were much worse at online gaming in general 18 years ago. People no longer need a year to learn all the best camps/strategies. These will mostly be figured out in a month and if it isn't handled correctly an otherwise great MMO can be squandered if many open world abuses aren't accounted for.
  • VorthanionVorthanion Member RarePosts: 2,749
    Thanks to their decisions to make yet another evercamp style game, with no alternate methods of advancement to complement the sheer boredom that is camping and casters having to sit on their asses all the time, I've lost all interest in this game.  I'm done with one trick ponies and time wasting mechanics.  On top of that, Brad seems to be utterly obsessed with open world camp contention.  Turns what should be a cooperative game into a frustrating camp locking and kill steal fest.  I'm all about Ashes of Creation now.
    LucienReneTheely

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  • DullahanDullahan Member EpicPosts: 4,536
    edited June 2017
    I disagree with almost everything you said aside from your remarks on boxing, and I'm confident Pantheon will utterly fail should they follow your advice. Why? Because it's exactly why mmos have been failing for over a decade. In a word, convenience and everything that entails, has trivialized your achievements.

    1. No, they do not need instances. You cannot even compare classic EQ or Pantheon to the abomination that is Agnarr. They have upwards of 20k characters (not players) crammed on a single server designed for roughly 2,000, permitted they are spread across all level ranges. More like 1,000 if everyone is around the same level (hence the reason why all content is so heavily contested with only 1k people online on p99).

    Pantheon, like all new MMOs, will be filled with all kinds of players. It will not be primarily hardcores. Those players historically make up a tiny fraction of less than 10% according to figures cited by SOE, Blizzard and other developers I've seen comment on the topic. This will be the case in Pantheon as well.

    Should Pantheon have adequate servers with a proper player to content balance, this will not be an issue. It will mean carefully designing each area with access to the necessary content to progress and itemization that encourages spreading out the population, but it can be done.

    2. Travel in EQ already allowed for almost instantaneous travel. It just didn't allow it organically in the early levels. One had to have access to other characters or an existing relationship with other players to access ports at will. Down the line, that was almost eliminated entirely, and today on EQ you can "dial-a-port" at almost any time of day. That should not be.

    If anything, Pantheon needs to back off on fast travel from EQ. The world must matter. If players are to have a unique experience on each character playing throughout the world, you must encourage them to utilize all the content, especially that which is convenient. Otherwise, you will end up with everyone following a similar path and crowding common areas. It's critical for the very reason discussed in point one (overcrowding/combating the need for instancing).

    Let's get down to brass tacks. Time was your greatest opponent and the factor that made all things feel worthwhile in EQ. Without the time factor, it would not have been EverCrack. Everything was a battle to maximize your gains and minimize time wasted. You had to strive for efficiency if you were to achieve greatness. Otherwise, EQ would have been Rift, WoW, TERA, DDO, Guild Wars, LOTRO, SWTOR and the rest of the games that were played and disposed of shortly thereafter by the vast majority of the people who played them (even if they return every expansion).

    You must respect the time factor.

    Beyond that, the world shrinks significantly when you can go anywhere on a whim. It's just the nature of the beast. From a realism or immersion perspective, every area must matter. To establish "the feel", players need to be, once again, given a reason to go off the beaten path.

    Lastly, boat rides were hardly that extreme. Yes, if you wanted to travel all the way from one side of the map to the other on foot and by boats, it took upwards of an hour - and so it should. Each time you log on, you should be faced with decisions like this. It's all about efficiency and learning to play smart.

    You're in a virtual world (Our World Now!), not a video game where you will always be instantly gratified. In such a place, it's partly up to the player to choose wisely to progress. That means planning. It means communication and coordination with others. Those are the things that made online games gratifying. Otherwise, your achievements are hollow and ultimately feel unimportant. No, that isn't just my opinion! It's bolstered by all the evidence from games that made concessions regarding those aspects of their design.

    3. I do think what we saw in the last stream made boxing look problematic to the point of almost worthless without third party programs. That said, it should be discouraged further. Allowing it as it existed in EQ will be a serious detriment to community health and the quality of interaction in Pantheon.

    Agnarr and virtually all other mmos today are cancerous for a reason. Lets think of the things which led to positive interaction and created an environment where reputation mattered.

    I. Players absolutely needed each other.
    The world was dangerous and punishing. If you died, you lost your body, your experience, and ultimately your time. To retrieve your items and experience, you often needed other people. Darting into a dungeon naked to recover your body was a death wish. You would end up compounding your loss without help.

    There was no boxing to save you in classic EQ. You could not even alt+tab. A tiny subset of players had the capability of multiboxing, let alone the additional computers and internet connection (the days of dial-up) to facilitate it.

    This meant people actually had to rely on each other. A player that offered to lend a helping hand meant the world, because without them you could lose your entire night of playtime. That is exactly how drastic it should be in Pantheon if we want that level of positive interaction and appreciation to exist between fellow players.

    4. The loot system in EQ was perfect in risk (time) versus reward. It should not even be touched. This goes back to time. Reduce the necessary time, you reduce the necessary reward, you reduce playtime, you ultimately reduce the longevity of your game.

    See comments under point 2. See the following threads:
    Discussion 1
    Discussion 2

    5. Again, Agnarr cannot be compared to Pantheon. The players on Agnarr make up a tiny fraction of the population on your average MMO server. As someone who was 50 on EQ live and most other mmos I've played before 95% of the people who played these games, I can tell you that this is not an issue.

    Beyond that, Agnarr is probably about 5% as hard as EQ. That is about how long it takes compared to how long it took during the classic era on live. Put aside the fact that player knowledge is 5000% higher. There is almost no contested content as it existed in EQ, the exp rate is dramatically higher, and the penalties reduced to almost nothing.

    As such, all of these factors funnel everyone into the same spots, looking for the same items and stuck in the same level ranges. The normal curve that would exist on a normal server, especially in a new game, would be entirely different.

    6. Agnarr is an abomination for all of the reasons stated in 6, and it's the antithesis of the design tenets of EQ, and everything that made it glorious. See above references to time and the danger of convenience above.

    7. Instancing is cancer. Placing 10x the capacity of a server into one server is not at all representative of how things existed in EQ live, nor how it would work in Pantheon.

    Furthermore, there are many, many viable solutions to counter the problems that exist both on Agnarr, as well as EQ historically. I would copy paste everything here, but this post is already running long.

    Exhibit A.
    Exhibit B.

    Instancing is lazy.

    [Deleted User]KyleranGdemamiDistopiadeniter[Deleted User]WellspringHawkaya399Scummholdenfiveand 3 others.


  • DullahanDullahan Member EpicPosts: 4,536
    The only thing to be learned from Agnarr is how much better EQ was in it's original state.
    [Deleted User]Gdemamiwaynejr2


  • ThebeastttThebeasttt Member RarePosts: 1,130
    I explicitly said Agnarr is far from classic EQ so have no idea what you're ranting about, unless you only read 1 paragraph. You countered your own point anyways, as p99 is on the downturn and every decent drop is still permacamped on there. Imagine a game that's actual popular. If you think Unity developed Pantheon is going to launch with 10+ servers that can accommodate 10k players each you're dreaming.

    10% of players being "hardcore" is believably if it's a very strict definition. If hardcore means people that rush to level cap then no, far more than 10% will be doing that. Those statistics also track paying accounts, not active accounts. So an account that pays but never logs on gets thrown into the casual pool. Alternatively an account that only logs on once a week but grinds 10 hours straight every time is still considered casual. If extreme outliers were thrown out, the stats would be much more accurate.

    Travel in EQ classic was horrendously slow and everyone still congregated to the best areas. If you think it should be even slower in Pantheon you're on a lonely road on that one. The point is not annoyance for the sake of annoyance, it's immersion. That's like forcing players to manually row a boat for 2 hours even though ships exist all around you. A world full of magic would take full advantage of teleports. Just don't overdo it.

    As far as time consumption being the reason EQ was great, umm no. The vast majority of asian MMO's are designed to do nothing but waste time and they are all terrible. My post has nothing to do with instant gratification. Open world instances have to do with actually playing the game. You can have all the communication and coordination you want but when you make a group and travel an hour to get to a dungeon that's completely packed, your group is now over. That has nothing to do with convenience or themepark gameplay, it's just archaic design.

    If we're talking pure immersion, destroying every corner of a dungeon for a week straight should result in liberation but that would be bad mmo design because hardcores could essentially deactivate dungeons at will. Many are living under the illusion that open world dungeons are fine because Vanguard dungeons were empty. That's simply because the game was terrible and no one played it. Watch what happens to those same dungeons with a healthy population + tradeable gear.

    Again if your whole argument is how unlike EQ Agnarr is, I fully agree with you; however, I played original EQ and p99 extensively. My post was based on my experience with all 3.
    Theely
  • KyleranKyleran Member LegendaryPosts: 43,669
    Interesting observations and I'd have to agree, sounds like multiboxing needs to be forbidden as it appears to be at the center of many issues.

    I play on a classic DAOC freeshard atm that forbids it and regularly perma bans people who break this rule.

    Trick though is in a commercial game its hard to ban people who are paying customers.

    Someone said 2 players quit for every multiboxer.  I'd have to question where that statistic came from, sounds like an opinion but even if true, one multi boxer might be paying for 3 to 6 accounts so finacially allowing multiboxing would be the way to go.

    Perhaps with mega server tech this can be mitigated some, but then everyone is split off into their own instances which pretty much destroys the open virtual world concept.

    Might as well have a GW1 Hub style game in that case.
    LucienReneGdemami

    "True friends stab you in the front." | Oscar Wilde 

    "I need to finish" - Christian Wolff: The Accountant

    Just trying to live long enough to play a new, released MMORPG, playing New Worlds atm

    Fools find no pleasure in understanding but delight in airing their own opinions. Pvbs 18:2, NIV

    Don't just play games, inhabit virtual worlds™

    "This is the most intelligent, well qualified and articulate response to a post I have ever seen on these forums. It's a shame most people here won't have the attention span to read past the second line." - Anon






  • kjempffkjempff Member RarePosts: 1,759
    edited June 2017
    Let me start by saying I'm about as hardcore an EQ Classic fan as it gets. I played EQ from classic to PoP, played on p99 for 4+ years and widely view early EQ as the pinnacle of MMO gaming. So I decided to go full retard on the new Agnarr server, which is EQ live progression, eventaully locking at the ldon expansion. Being a 50 enchanter, plowing through all the classic content has changed my mind on many issues related to Pantheon.
    First, lets not forget Pantheon is not Eq. Some things and mechanics are similar but it is a new game and (though it is still uncertain if they will) they can fix some of those eq issues. That is the big unknown with Pantheon, it could "fail" because they repeat the same mistakes of early eq, or they could modernize while staying true to what truly made eq great (which is not all those unimportant details the purity crowd keep holding on to).

    An example of a modernized feature that is in the eq spirit would be the perception system. There are other things in Pantheon that are way too retrogressive, but it is my hope as Pantheon matures there will be more systems like perception system that are in the spirit of eq, not a copy of eq mechanics.


    Thebeasttt said:
    EQ only had the illusion of never ending because leveling took way too long and so did gearing, due to lack of camps.
    Can't agree on this one, the introduction of AA was what made the illusion of never ending. Before that there were no illusion of never ending, unless you count making endless amount of twink alts. AA is the single most important invention in mmorpg history, it is what makes people play eq for years and why all other mmorpgs can't hold on to their players - Gear progression at max level is just not cutting it on the long haul. Notice AA is if you analyze it a kind of skill progression system so that would work too.. the important thing here is "endless" progression outside of gear progression to make the player feel they keep building their character and not just their "wealth" (gear).

    [Deleted User]
  • cheyanecheyane Member LegendaryPosts: 9,168
    Multiboxing is a curse and must at all cost be prevented in a new game.
    AeliousMendel[Deleted User][Deleted User]ThebeastttKiori001
    Garrus Signature
  • EldrachEldrach Member RarePosts: 425
    edited June 2017
    Multiboxers aint that much of a problem on Agnarr, i don't respect a 6 man boxed setup as a valid claim on a camp, so i have no issues making life miserable for them :P by just training them to pieces 

    And most people do feel this way aswell. I've seen groups just move into the room a multiboxer has claimed and just tagged faster than the multiboxer could until he left
    KyleranThebeasttt
  • Nightbringe1Nightbringe1 Member UncommonPosts: 1,335

    1. Something should be done to restrict multi-boxing. I just goes against everything the game should be.

    2. I don't mind long travel times. Heck, I made the run from Halas to Feydark at 5th level a few weeks ago. Travel time, with limited ports, is important for maintaining the illusion of a large world. I also gives impact to the decision to run to a new location. It is an investment, in time expended.

    3. The current death penalty on Agnarr seems mostly appropriate. While corpse runs were fun back in the day, I don't see anywhere near a many people willing to help others in today's society, in-game or out-of-game.

    4. Guilds are hitting games pre-formed these days. They are already organized, have game plans, and are actively racing to the end while feeding their crafters with near unlimited materials. In this sense, the old days of EQ are dead, and nothing is going to bring them back. My wife, who is a very casual player, has been looking for a family type guild for two weeks now. No luck, most guilds were either pre-existing and only invite people they already know, or are much higher level and plan on raiding.

    5. Despite all this, I am still having a lot of fun on Agnarr. Sure, I only get to play 1-2 hours a night after I get home from work. Sure, I'm still low level. Sure, there are 200 other people in the zone killing everything that moves. But, I am having more fun than I've had in quite a while.

    Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain and most fools do.
    Benjamin Franklin

  • DullahanDullahan Member EpicPosts: 4,536
    edited June 2017
    kjempff said:
    Thebeasttt said:
    EQ only had the illusion of never ending because leveling took way too long and so did gearing, due to lack of camps.
    Can't agree on this one, the introduction of AA was what made the illusion of never ending. Before that there were no illusion of never ending, unless you count making endless amount of twink alts. AA is the single most important invention in mmorpg history, it is what makes people play eq for years and why all other mmorpgs can't hold on to their players - Gear progression at max level is just not cutting it on the long haul. Notice AA is if you analyze it a kind of skill progression system so that would work too.. the important thing here is "endless" progression outside of gear progression to make the player feel they keep building their character and not just their "wealth" (gear).

    EQ already had the illusion of never ending. A small portion of people even hit max level during the first 5 years of the game. Those that did, did so in Velious when the did not raise the level cap.

    It wasn't even necessarily about levels though. It was about equipment. The difference in power between a fresh 60 and top group geared 60, and a fully raid geared 60 were all huge leaps. That same "illusion" (not a real illusion, but reality), can be achieved by simply offering further progression by way of new spells, abilities and other items. As long as new expansions continue to come out offering that progression, it does indeed never end.
    Post edited by Dullahan on


  • kjempffkjempff Member RarePosts: 1,759
    Dullahan said:
    kjempff said:
    Thebeasttt said:
    EQ only had the illusion of never ending because leveling took way too long and so did gearing, due to lack of camps.
    Can't agree on this one, the introduction of AA was what made the illusion of never ending. Before that there were no illusion of never ending, unless you count making endless amount of twink alts. AA is the single most important invention in mmorpg history, it is what makes people play eq for years and why all other mmorpgs can't hold on to their players - Gear progression at max level is just not cutting it on the long haul. Notice AA is if you analyze it a kind of skill progression system so that would work too.. the important thing here is "endless" progression outside of gear progression to make the player feel they keep building their character and not just their "wealth" (gear).

    EQ already had the illusion of never ending. A small portion of people even hit max level during the first 5 years of the game. Those that did, did so in Velious when the did not raise the level cap.

    It wasn't even necessarily about levels though. It was about equipment. The difference in power between a fresh 60 and top group geared 60, and a fully raid geared 60 were all huge leaps. That same "illusion" (not a real illusion, but reality), can be achieved by simply offering further progression by way of new spells, abilities and other items.
    I know you are a purist and can not accept that good things happened post Velious, so you must dismiss AA. I will keep my opinion that progression based only on gear is one sided. AA opened up character progression beyond max level xp and completely revived eq - There is a huge difference between how it feels to progress your character (like going through levels does) and hanging better stuff on your avatar. Some kind of "endless" character progression is what I have been missing in ALL mmorpgs since eq, it is hard for me to go back once I tasted the sweetness of "endless" character progression.
    [Deleted User]
  • DullahanDullahan Member EpicPosts: 4,536
    edited June 2017
    I explicitly said Agnarr is far from classic EQ so have no idea what you're ranting about, unless you only read 1 paragraph. You countered your own point anyways, as p99 is on the downturn and every decent drop is still permacamped on there. Imagine a game that's actual popular. If you think Unity developed Pantheon is going to launch with 10+ servers that can accommodate 10k players each you're dreaming.
    I'm "ranting" about the bastardization of what was once a great game, that you just championed as somehow improved, and then recommended be emulated in Pantheon. It should not for all of the reasons stated, which were pretty thoroughly explained.

    Every decent drop is supposed to be camped. That is the nature of the beast. It's a coop game with contested content. Part of the challenge of EQ was beyond mechanical, it was social. Nothing was owed to the player. It was up to them to communicate and get into a camp.

    Obviously P99 is still not the ideal situation, nor was it representative of live due to there being a very high concentration of higher levels. That happens when you're stuck in the same expansion for 5 years, rather than 5 months.

    Like I said, there will need to be steps taken to balance the player to content ratio, but the issues seen on Agnarr and P99 are largely irrelevant to what will occur on a new game with a good mix of casual and hardcore players spread across many different servers. 

    10% of players being "hardcore" is believably if it's a very strict definition. If hardcore means people that rush to level cap then no, far more than 10% will be doing that. Those statistics also track paying accounts, not active accounts. So an account that pays but never logs on gets thrown into the casual pool. Alternatively an account that only logs on once a week but grinds 10 hours straight every time is still considered casual. If extreme outliers were thrown out, the stats would be much more accurate.
    If "rushing to cap" defines hardcore, 90% of the people who play mmos are hardcore. It's entirely about level of time devotion, which always varies. Even the people who can play only 2 hours a day are trying their hardest to get to cap.

    If leveling in Pantheon is slow again, unlike Agnarr, it will be very different. With unexplored new content, harder mechanics, death penalties and everything else they have planned, people will not be hitting cap in a few weeks, let alone a few days. It will be a much, much longer process, which will spread out the playerbase.
    Travel in EQ classic was horrendously slow and everyone still congregated to the best areas. If you think it should be even slower in Pantheon you're on a lonely road on that one. The point is not annoyance for the sake of annoyance, it's immersion. That's like forcing players to manually row a boat for 2 hours even though ships exist all around you. A world full of magic would take full advantage of teleports. Just don't overdo it.
    Travel was never about annoyance. It was about all the things that I said above. It was about simulating a real world, which means places separated by distances that take time to travel between. It was about making the entire world meaningful. It was about spreading the population out and providing a varied, non-linear experience with replayability.
    As far as time consumption being the reason EQ was great, umm no. The vast majority of asian MMO's are designed to do nothing but waste time and they are all terrible. My post has nothing to do with instant gratification. Open world instances have to do with actually playing the game. You can have all the communication and coordination you want but when you make a group and travel an hour to get to a dungeon that's completely packed, your group is now over. That has nothing to do with convenience or themepark gameplay, it's just archaic design.
    The time consumption factor in Asian games was far different than time consumption in EverQuest. EQ required your time in all facets, because they created a simulation of a world. Asian grinders require your time because they want you to kill a billion mobs and artificially inflate advancement.

    If you travel an hour to a dungeon (an exaggerated timeframe), you should already have an idea who is there. It's a world occupied by other people, often who want to do the same thing you do. It's up to the player to figure out what is going on. It's also up to the developers to create enough hotspots to accommodate the population. Still, nothing is owed to you and it's up to you to communicate and learn how to maximize efficiency. That may mean talking with someone already in the dungeon.
    If we're talking pure immersion, destroying every corner of a dungeon for a week straight should result in liberation but that would be bad mmo design because hardcores could essentially deactivate dungeons at will. Many are living under the illusion that open world dungeons are fine because Vanguard dungeons were empty. That's simply because the game was terrible and no one played it. Watch what happens to those same dungeons with a healthy population + tradeable gear.
    I find it hilarious that you bash Vanguard so hard, and then champion the very things that made it so unpopular. Way beyond the bugs and instability, it was the convenience that did irreparable damage to Vanguard. 
    Again if your whole argument is how unlike EQ Agnarr is, I fully agree with you; however, I played original EQ and p99 extensively. My post was based on my experience with all 3.
    My post was based on the same experience.
    Post edited by Dullahan on
    Gdemami


  • ZindaihasZindaihas Member UncommonPosts: 3,662

    I've been out of the loop on MMOs for awhile so I had a little trouble understanding some of the lingo on this thread (like multi-boxing).  However, I found the subject matter interesting enough to comment on and a quick Google search solved my confusion on the terms.  I won't address multi-boxing other than to say that I never did it because I like to focus on one character and if you develop good relationships with others in the game, it's really not necessary.


    On the other stuff, I find myself largely in agreement with Dullahan.  He nailed what made EQ1 great and what makes MMOs as a whole great; and what, sadly, devs have distanced themselves from which has led to the downfall of MMOs.  Ever since EQ in its original form (I would say through Velious) I spent a lot of time thinking about how improve the genre (or take it to the next level as I phrased it here).  And ironically, the games which followed seemed to go in the opposite direction.  The explanation, I think, is because they were going for the "quick fix" which actually ruins the immersion experience.  For example, travel time.  Many people complain about travel time because they simply view it as wasted time.  So devs think the solution is simple, we'll just eliminate travel time and let you go wherever you want instantaneously.


    The short-sightedness of this "solution" is the cause and effect factor.  You make travel instantaneous and you lose the feeling that you're living in a massive persistent world.  EQ started ruining this with PoP.  All you had to do is go to a crystal, click on it and "poof", you were there.  I felt like I was a fish inside a fish tank.


    The answer, of course, is to do it the way EQ did it from the start.  You improve travel time as your character become more powerful.  Make the world massive, make the wonderful spots in far away places so that getting there feels like an adventure.  And if you're a low-level character, you aspire to...someday.  If you try it as a newbie, it'll take you forever, or kill you in the process.  But when you become more powerful, you acquire the tools to get there in short-order.  And again, not everyone will be capable, even at higher levels because it will require a powerful spell or item.  But again, that's where teamwork comes in.  A high-level warrior's not going to be able to port to a far away place because he's not a magic-user, but he'll have no trouble getting a ride because what kind of mage is going to want to port to a dangerous location without a hardy tank?


    Instancing is another thing I'm not a fan of.  I understand the rationale behind it, but I think there should be other solutions to the problem.  It also destroys the immersion experience.  There were always issues with crowds in EQ, but people found ways to work around it without too much trouble.  What you lose with instancing far outweighs the one thing you gain.  The difference between EQ1 and EQ2 illustrates this very well.  It was supposed to be an evolution of the genre, I saw it as a devolution.  EQ2 was my first experience with instancing and it became annoying really fast.


    I'm not sure if the subject of dying has been brought up on this thread or not, but that is certainly another point of debate in MMOs.  Dying in EQ could be one of the most frustrating things that could happen to you.  You know what that meant?  It meant that the last thing you wanted to do is die (which is as it should be).  Again, I think devs thought they were doing players a favor by reducing the cost of dying, but they were really doing them a disservice.  In "easy" death games, you could get to highly coveted locations by simply bulldozing your way there and not caring whether or not you died along the way because it wasn't that serious.


    I know these things which contribute to realism are complaints for the casual player, but that's the trade-off you get for the immersion experience.  I'm not sure you can cater to both types of players, so devs have to decide which route they want to go.  I for one, want immersion.  Personally, I find it a bigger waste of time to play a game that doesn't provide it than one that does.

    ste2000DullahanGdemami

  • DullahanDullahan Member EpicPosts: 4,536
    edited June 2017
    kjempff said:

    I know you are a purist and can not accept that good things happened post Velious, so you must dismiss AA. I will keep my opinion that progression based only on gear is one sided. AA opened up character progression beyond max level xp and completely revived eq - There is a huge difference between how it feels to progress your character (like going through levels does) and hanging better stuff on your avatar. Some kind of "endless" character progression is what I have been missing in ALL mmorpgs since eq, it is hard for me to go back once I tasted the sweetness of "endless" character progression.
    I'm actually not against AAs in concept, I just didn't like SOEs execution of them. I think there should be ways progression beyond just levels, but I'd rather not it translate into points which are spent in a UI window. I'd rather it be via drops, training with npcs, quests, learned skills and so forth.

    I also don't like the idea of learning innate abilities that trivialize aspects of the game like reducing the need to eat/drink, or magically increases your base stats and resistances. I also didn't like that there were no choices or specialization involved. Just a laundry list of abilities to spend points on. It was a crude system, if not effective.

    Otherwise, that kind of thing should totally exist, and it's already something Visionary realms is planning from the start. Just not in the same form.


  • DullahanDullahan Member EpicPosts: 4,536
    Xodic said:
    This post is no longer needed.
    Shame. It was a really good post. We may have a similar opinion, but you expressed it differently.


  • DistopiaDistopia Member EpicPosts: 21,183
    Dullahan said:


    1. No, they do not need instances. You cannot even compare classic EQ or Pantheon to the abomination that is Agnarr. They have upwards of 20k characters (not players) crammed on a single server designed for roughly 2,000, permitted they are spread across all level ranges. More like 1,000 if everyone is around the same level (hence the reason why all content is so heavily contested with only 1k people online on p99).

    7. Instancing is cancer. Placing 10x the capacity of a server into one server is not at all representative of how things existed in EQ live, nor how it would work in Pantheon.

    Snip....

    This really depends on a lot of factors, like how instancing is handled, why it's implemented being most important. If it's to preserve the integrity of content, it is beneficial, not cancerous. It also greatly depends on how much actual content is available, the size of zones, as well as how many players are actively playing. 

    A good example of this is the Corvette in SWG, it was the only real challenging place to experience in SWG (at it's peak), because it was the only "dungeon" that wasn't open. Everything else was typically over run, so those places offered little in the way of challenge. The Corvette's existence didn't ruin anything in the open world either, it didn't hurt socialization, it didn't remove too many players from the world. 

    This is using instancing smartly, to preserve the integrity of the dungeon's challenges. 

    Your argument is also why a lot of people bring up the nostalgia word. Because most of it is centered around how EQ was at a time when MMORPGs were in their infancy, there was little progress in the way of trial and error at that point. So you're judging how players approached something before they experienced other ways, in some cases better ways.

    There's also the problem of taking a snapshot of a game at a certain point and saying it was best because of "this", when it could have been a number of other variables that had nothing to do with that. Like there not being many other options, so people dealt with the way things were then...

    The contested content idea can be very problematic for a number of reasons. Chief among them being keeping !everyone! entertained. Not just those in large active guilds or the top damage dealers. Ever played a game on the first day of open beta? Not so fun usually is it? Why? Because every where you go everything is dead. That's the ugly side of contested content in a nutshell.. 













    dcutbi001

    For every minute you are angry , you lose 60 seconds of happiness."-Emerson


  • DullahanDullahan Member EpicPosts: 4,536
    Distopia said:
    Dullahan said:


    1. No, they do not need instances. You cannot even compare classic EQ or Pantheon to the abomination that is Agnarr. They have upwards of 20k characters (not players) crammed on a single server designed for roughly 2,000, permitted they are spread across all level ranges. More like 1,000 if everyone is around the same level (hence the reason why all content is so heavily contested with only 1k people online on p99).

    7. Instancing is cancer. Placing 10x the capacity of a server into one server is not at all representative of how things existed in EQ live, nor how it would work in Pantheon.

    Snip....

    This really depends on a lot of factors, like how instancing is handled, why it's implemented being most important. If it's to preserve the integrity of content, it is beneficial, not cancerous. It also greatly depends on how much actual content is available, the size of zones, as well as how many players are actively playing. 

    A good example of this is the Corvette in SWG, it was the only real challenging place to experience in SWG (at it's peak), because it was the only "dungeon" that wasn't open. Everything else was typically over run, so those places offered little in the way of challenge. The Corvette's existence didn't ruin anything in the open world either, it didn't hurt socialization, it didn't remove too many players from the world. 

    This is using instancing smartly, to preserve the integrity of the dungeon's challenges. 
    There are other ways to achieve that goal without splintering the population of the world. You have to weigh in the balance whether the goal is ultimately cooperative play, socialization, and the integrity of the virtual world/immersion, rather than the integrity of challenge. If challenge is more important, which in some games it obviously is, there are ways to address that long before instancing. I don't think this is the case with Pantheon, however.

    The player to content balance is something that should be address during design, and while managing server populations post-launch. Beyond that, if a single event or mob is that important, they can simply utilize encounter locking mechanics so it cannot be trivialized. If a single zone is too crowded, there should be alternatives or perhaps the alternatives need to be improved, ideally before launch.

    Distopia said:

    Your argument is also why a lot of people bring up the nostalgia word. Because most of it is centered around how EQ was at a time when MMORPGs were in their infancy, there was little progress in the way of trial and error at that point. So you're judging how players approached something before they experienced other ways, in some cases better ways.There's also the problem of taking a snapshot of a game at a certain point and saying it was best because of "this", when it could have been a number of other variables that had nothing to do with that. Like there not being many other options, so people dealt with the way things were then...

    The contested content idea can be very problematic for a number of reasons. Chief among them being keeping !everyone! entertained. Not just those in large active guilds or the top damage dealers. Ever played a game on the first day of open beta? Not so fun usually is it? Why? Because every where you go everything is dead. That's the ugly side of contested content in a nutshell.. 
    Nostalgia is the argument of the feeble-minded when someone likes something they do not. None of the things I've posted have anything to do with when games were made. I've played the new, and I've played the old. Games revolving around accommodating the player and making the experience convenient have all, outside of one outlier, been poor performers that people mostly abandon after a few months.

    People simply have to get over the fact that not everything in open world mmorpg is going to be accessible at all times. That instant gratification mindset has got to go. There should be plenty of viable alternatives for players to enjoy themselves and continue their progression, but in a virtual world, you should have no expectation of being able to do exactly what you want, exactly when you want. Otherwise it's just a game, and not a virtual world.

    Maybe I'm mistaken, but I believe Pantheon is supposed to be the latter.
    ste2000GdemamiDistopiakjempffholdenfive


  • TheocritusTheocritus Member LegendaryPosts: 9,807
    Last time I played EQ1 players were complaining they were only able to grind out 30 or so AAs per hour...When your game hits that point, its a joke of a system.
  • DistopiaDistopia Member EpicPosts: 21,183
    edited June 2017
    Dullahan said:
    Nostalgia is the argument of the feeble-minded when someone likes something they do not. None of the things I've posted have anything to do with when games were made. I've played the new, and I've played the old. Games revolving around accommodating the player and making the experience convenient have all, outside of one outlier, been poor performers that people mostly abandon after a few months.

    People simply have to get over the fact that not everything in open world mmorpg is going to be accessible at all times. That instant gratification mindset has got to go. There should be plenty of viable alternatives for players to enjoy themselves and continue their progression, but in a virtual world, you should have no expectation of being able to do exactly what you want, exactly when you want. Otherwise it's just a game, and not a virtual world.

    Maybe I'm mistaken, but I believe Pantheon is supposed to be the latter.
    So now having something interesting to do is convenience or instant gratification? That's a flimsy retort to what I was pointing out you realize that right? Limiting people's options by design isn't exactly sound in my eyes. Not at a time when the genre is overrun with free options. 
    MendelMrMelGibson

    For every minute you are angry , you lose 60 seconds of happiness."-Emerson


  • DullahanDullahan Member EpicPosts: 4,536
    Distopia said:
    Dullahan said:
    Nostalgia is the argument of the feeble-minded when someone likes something they do not. None of the things I've posted have anything to do with when games were made. I've played the new, and I've played the old. Games revolving around accommodating the player and making the experience convenient have all, outside of one outlier, been poor performers that people mostly abandon after a few months.

    People simply have to get over the fact that not everything in open world mmorpg is going to be accessible at all times. That instant gratification mindset has got to go. There should be plenty of viable alternatives for players to enjoy themselves and continue their progression, but in a virtual world, you should have no expectation of being able to do exactly what you want, exactly when you want. Otherwise it's just a game, and not a virtual world.

    Maybe I'm mistaken, but I believe Pantheon is supposed to be the latter.
    So now having something interesting to do is convenience or instant gratification? That's a flimsy retort to what I was pointing out you realize that right? Limiting people's options by design isn't exactly sound in my eyes. Not at a time when the genre is overrun with free options. 
    And that's a flagrant misrepresentation of what I said. Notice the part about "there should always been viable alteratives for players to enjoy themselves and continue their progression". The difference is that in one game, it's your way right away. In the other, you may have to choose another "interesting" alternative other than the interesting thing you had in mind.
    Gdemami


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