Casual Play



  • While many players point out that it takes a time commitment to engage in the bigger DM plotlines, what ideas would people who are more casual players (say you want to log in 1-3 hours a week) like to see implemented to ensure they can log in and enjoy those 1-3 hours?



  • More of the searches for artifacts, that kind of thing. Echo's huntamaster releasing animals to be hunted was fun.
    more random things like that that don't take months to figure out. Some of us are lousy at puzzles (raises hand)
    so like hearing things like "Holy crap, wererats are attacking old town" that may or may not be a larger dm plot.

    just my two cents.



  • I'd like to see the random dungeon thing finished so things seem fresh when you just log on and run a quest or two with whoever is on at the time.

    The only other thing is a NPC you could sell some resource to (Mythalite fragment or artifact search?) that you could find out exploring that would show your support for a faction and somehow be counted or a positive for those in that faction- more cash in their coffers, more resources, etc. Probably just lead to silly farming of areas.

    _I'm not sure if I buy my own suggestion there, but I enjoy logging in and RPing with the people around, just chatting politics or their crazy god's plans and such; seeing if they need anything or if there's some hook there I can use to get people to go out exploring for or something. The problem I have is when I do this and then realize that if I'm likely not going to log in for a week I feel really bad about wasting their time. They're pretty much giving me everything and I'm giving them nothing in return.

    When you're plotting and being a mover and shaker or whatever the current lingo for that is, it's really hard to spend time building up your minions, laying out your plans and gaining support. To spend an hour on some guy who's not going to be around for PvP or to tell others about your plot, and then doing this over and over again with other flash in the pan or casual players can leave you feeling like you're spinning your wheels. This leads to people doing all their recruitment for plots with known players outside the actual game, and the accusations of cliques and powergamers, etc. start cropping up. In a large part the casual player necessitates this behavior. Consider this was a problem when we were at 65/65 and reduce the player base and you have a real issue.

    On the flip side, it's pretty easy as a casual player to spend 98% of their time questing and reach 7th or 8th level in a ridiculously short time. You can really reach the unbalancing to events or PvP level and know 3 characters on the server.

    In conclusion, this is a problem that the NWN2 servers I was involved with had. How do things work when you have 10 players on at a time and a lot more casual players who commit less time and energy to it? Are the intrigues as deep or does everyone rush to FD PvP? Is there a real political system or do we leave that busy work to NPCs and leave it out of the players' hands? Does any character really have a reputation or we all pocketed into time zones with very little overlap making the world seem dynamic at certain times of day and completely static at others? None of the NWN2 servers ever figured it out AFAIK._

    It seems to me there is still cool stuff going on and I've enjoyed the characters I've met. I don't think the player base is any better or worse than it has been, it's just smaller. I appreciate this run at trying to find something for us casuals, but it's hard to come up with something that makes a casual feel relevant but isn't disruptive to the faction players.



  • @Nikko:

    The only other thing is a NPC you could sell some resource to (Mythalite fragment or artifact search?) that you could find out exploring that would show your support for a faction and somehow be counted or a positive for those in that faction- more cash in their coffers, more resources, etc. Probably just lead to silly farming of areas.

    Check the bounty board in the Spire, we currently have Stone Harpy Eggs, Helmland's Crystals, Guard's Eye Flower, Serapis Turbith Blossoms, White Stag Meat, and a few other items like this. More are coming!



  • I'd say maybe ATTEMPT to organize something with a DM if it is plot related and you want to get something done. I can't hurt, worst you can get is a no.



  • Maybe a neutral ground for people who cant play often. For people with limited time who want to have fun, having to hoof it through Old Town when they risk being beaten up randomly or searched and robbed can spoil there fun. Maybe an area between Old Town and the Citadel that is neutral, so the Citadel is so shut off and Old Town doesn't get to hold a choke over everyone inside. If not that, maybe more ways out of the Citadel so people who do not want to get involved in sometimes random PVP can go about their business in peace in the short amount of time they have.


  • Admin [DM]

    Maybe leaving more hints on how to exit the Citadel away from Old Town will help, there are quite a few routes but maybe they aren't that easy to discover 🙂



  • No one is unreasonable in just attacking random PCs in Old Town, they are normally pretty reasonable in what they ask of you unless you're directly involved in opposing them, in which case you SHOULD expect conflict. Meeting some minor expectations can be fun and lead to interesting RP with cool bandit type PCs.

    Example is highway man A) asks you for 10 gold and you refuse and fight him, then complain when he takes your gold.
    Often times, highway man will accept your 10 gold, then leave you with a plot hook or some valuable info. I ALWAYS give out valuable info to leave myself vulnerable playing evil PCs and so many people choose to just try and beat me down and kill me instead of RPing it and then get upset when I take gold from them or some item after they attack me.



  • I have been randomly jumped and attacked by characters i have had no interactions with at least 4 times in Old Town in the last 4-5 months, with no role play until the fight is over. It happens every now and then and sucks. A highway man asking for a small amount is fine, but its the times when you are attacked by invisible foes using everything they can throw at you before you get a chance to react. Especially if you have no idea who they are.



  • the way it is currently set up, when team evil is around team good has three choices. Pay to play, PvP, or the ever hated spiremanceing.

    An actual "safe" route for things like caravans etc makes sense. All team evil needs to do now is set up a choke point and wait. Meanwhile, if Team good wants to stop the bad guys, they have to search, and if they are lucky find them.



  • @Dedagin:

    the way it is currently set up, when team evil is around team good has three choices. Pay to play, PvP, or the ever hated spiremanceing.

    This ^

    @Dedagin:

    An actual "safe" route for things like caravans etc makes sense. All team evil needs to do now is set up a choke point and wait. Meanwhile, if Team good wants to stop the bad guys, they have to search, and if they are lucky find them.

    Or if you do find them, and start to win, they just hop into Shylocks and wait it out if they can (Not everyone, but ive seen it many, many times. Team good has also done it with jumping into the Citadel, though ive seen this less)



  • How can you say this? I have NEVER in my CoA lifespan had trouble travelling the server. I don't know any players that stalk the entrance either….



  • Check the bounty board in the Spire, we currently have Stone Harpy Eggs, Helmland's Crystals, Guard's Eye Flower, Serapis Turbith Blossoms, White Stag Meat, and a few other items like this. More are coming!

    Yea- that's good. I was thinking of something that would be useful to faction players giving you a hook into working with/for them in some way but maybe I should just adjust down my expectations of how relevant you can be as a casual to a faction. A note on relevance; as a casual player I don't want to show up at 8th level with a stockpile of my quest-gained consumables and ruin PvP for anyone, but I also want a reason to have some interaction with the factions and PCs who are doing things- as long as I'm giving them something useful in return- not just burning someone out. *

    Another idea: while some of us know our limits, you can entice players to play more by throwing the occasional DM quest for absolute nobodies (which I'm sure you do). I can see questioning why waste time on players who come and go and not the ones who are always around, but it might be worth a try. A little DM attention can breed, at least, short lasting motivation to log in.

    Another, possibly horrible idea: Maybe a casual/mercenary guild. People could sign on and say they'll pretty much do whatever whenever they're on. PCs could pick up a merc. to go exploring or quest and that merc would have to act as a member of that group without abandoning them or turning against them, or be barred from the merc guild forever. Pay would be fair share of whatever. It might give some faction players a resource they could count on not to be spy and something besides answering sending for quests for the rest of us. Maybe give them special hats or something.

    Other than the hat, there's nothing saying you can't just do that as a PC. I'm not really having much luck coming up with ways the DMs can fix an issue about how much fun I'm having. I would say for me as a casual player- make a more flexible character who can roll with whatever comes your way. Still build a reputation when you can, even if it's a neutral stance. Find something I think is fun and try to get a couple of people who will go along with it in my timezone and find out if they think it's fun too.

    About Old Town: Even if you are casual and want nothing to quest all day; I don't think any immunity to the game world should be given. You still should need to know what areas are dangerous, talk to people to find ways to get around them and you should know that you can get your ass kicked for mouthing off to the wrong guy. It's actually more exciting to know that there's a chance you'll be mugged in old town as part of some character or faction plot for me. I also have not been assassinated from invisibility by any of the groups running old town. I might find it less exciting.

    • (I also have found it hard to find people in my timezone who are super excited about heading to Helmlands to see what happens. Maybe I'm just having a hard time find others to play with that find doing that sort of thing fun. I also mostly play at a time when there are literally between 1 and 4 people on.)

    ** I really don't have much to do at work today. Sorry for the long posts and actually hitting submit.



  • @CitizenBane:

    How can you say this? I have NEVER in my CoA lifespan had trouble travelling the server. I don't know any players that stalk the entrance either….

    Must just be luck, ive seen stalking the entrance A LOT, though not for quite a while. Back in summer it happened loads, with people demanding tithes or the Gods of Old Town. Would happen a few times a day some times. But this is getting away from the point of the post. We are here to discuss how to make the server better for people who cannot commit much time.

    I had an idea, having more solo quests (Like Tyches Challenge) or smaller quicker ones with larger level ranges, allowing for people who don't have a lot of time to achieve more, as they may end up standing in the Spire hoping for someone to come to their sending and run out of time. Though they could be easily abused i suppose



  • A good idea Tharg but yes. The worry with those is always the ability for the people that play lots to avoid being inclusive until level 5-6 or so and have no real previous interaction with characters, etc. But I think it's something we could trust the community with for the most part.



  • I like the idea of 'long term' 'low intensity' 'slow boil' quests that are dm-less, but maybe overseen by a dm (a la the way hominid has been doing some of them, set something up people can do while the dm is not there, then check back in with them when they've achieved objective b or choose a new path).

    ! (If a regular group of pc's were doing this, in whatever time zone, it would be great if some of the pc's specifically wrote up a log/report of what they'd done, or some such… perhaps it could be in the form of a report to a certain npc, or perhaps they could have and ongoing IC thread... as some players have suggested happens, though, hopefully others wouldn't try to ooc metagame and 'poach' the quest etc after reading this, so, would have to see if that could work.
    ! If not public or private forms, and shared pm might work, which could be copied into the plot tracker or some such (maybe a dm could update the plot trackers of those involved with what happened/ they know after a given objective they were involved with (because some people might not be involved with all of it, all the time) and the pc's can kind of put their heads together to figure things out if they all want to continue pursuing certain goals together.)

    I used to be a really big fan of the joss whedon shows Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Angel (and yeah the hercules and xena shows, and andromeda, and firefly, etc)

    Every show in Buffy, they would pretty much have to usually do some kind of research to find out what they were facing, what it wanted, or how to defeat it (a little bit like scooby doo, strangely enough).
    Drama and character relationships were often a big part of it as well.

    So in Coa, I could see this working sort of for lore seekers and scout types, ie go somewhere and see what has happened, maybe stealthily, because you don't know what might be there, and it may be too powerful for you to fight… and or lore masters... I could see things being put in sort of regularly used areas by the rest of the server, but maybe having secret areas on temporary maps that only people with the keys they've gotten through previous steps in the seeking can get through (so people who play a lot more and can pretty much go anywhere on the server anytime they want to, don't inadvertantly solve /mess up the quest for people. Access points to the feywild, warded portals, etc, are other ways some of this stuff could work... even secret doors or other things that won't show up unless you have a certain item, cast a certain spell, take a certain action, etc.).

    So that is one kind of thing. I think some regular quests like this could be to 'scout' on certain areas, and sort of report (maybe the unknown councilor could be one person that this could be linked to) … maybe you could even queue it up so that, when someone detects a certain percentage of a certain group somewhere, on a certain map, or a certain target trigger individual, it triggers something in the quest, ie you've 'discovered' a certain information, so you know that part of the quest is done (and you don't have to try and fight /kill/ loot everything) and you can head back and report what you've seen, etc.

    (explore/ map/ plant/ harvest /craft ) I would love to see some kind of druidly/wizardly like stuff, where you are like caretaking nature, planting something, finding certain seeds or reagents someone needs, etc. Or even known places where one might be able to get certain craftable items as part of a quest or reaching a special merchant, so a player could reverse engineer the recipes, etc.

    A useful thing about 'scouting' and 'slow boil' quests, that pc's don't know by heart, is that they can kind of 'find out' about something, knowing that it is possible too dangerous to do alone, and then they need (and have time) to recruit help/ build up resources so they can strategize to reach the next objective (Rather than just kind of stockpiling the usual consumeables and calculating gain or loss after dumping however much is needed to pwn the quest then and there. When people are not uber powerful, it makes them need others, and have to develop team work, etc. When people need each other, it gives a reason for cohesion, so that 'conflict' doesn't just involve the pc's avoiding each other or engaging in violent conflict, etc)

    So I've probably spent more than two hours on the forums now today, with at least a half hour going back through this post a few times to edit, add things, etc.
    Let me know if this was useful, so I know if this is worth it for me to keep doing.
    I have played 0 hours in game today.



  • planned mini events with elements that allow people of all levels to be useful (not just powerful characters with lots of loot doing everything, and everyone else just trying to follow after them and not die).

    planned so that people can make time to be there, and that it has a known end time, so they can respect Real Life needs.

    Mini so that it doesn't overburden available dm's, overshadow other server and player plots, etc.

    Another thing i would really love to see is sort of 'social' type events, that are more 'rp' focussed, that could include going to a bar and telling stories, bards plying their trade/ kareoke, weddings or other social type events, where 'DRAMA' could happen, which might involve (preplanned?) pvp, or pvm, or just random craziness that is not too server-shattering or rumour worthy but is amusing for the players and memorable and fun, and maybe sometimes, funny. Or even dramatic, touching, sad. A wake or a funeral for people who've passed. Etc.

    I'm just throwing ideas out there right now.



  • Theme weeks/ events, ie A dwarven hold has merchants/ traders etc in town, lots of people make a dwarf and do dwarf stuff that week… some people could reprise old dwarf characters/themes, share stories from coa history or forgotten realms lore, etc.

    Rinse and repeat with all sorts of other themes.

    Other people have done this as well, and are doing it, ie halflings, half-orcs, elves, etc.

    The point being it is short term, but people already playing this stuff get to rp with more people as part of their community for a bit, and maybe people who want to try different things out get to see if they like that or something. Like one theme could be a contest for scholarships to a wizard school, so everyone who has ever wanted to make and learn how to play a wizard, could roll up a main or an alt, and like do those quests on the server, have players who know this stuff explain things to them, etc.

    The idea is to keep it short and sweet, not too intensive. Probably no longer than a month arc, unless some part of it grows into a bigger server quest, etc.



  • dm quests with a level cap;
    dm quests with a level minimum
    (every once in awhile)



  • abandons page 2 to the wall of text

    Anyway, yeah I think just something curiously different. Which is gonna be hard after so long I get it.


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