CB's unpopular series of critical balance changes. Part 2: The Consumable bloat

  • Or more specifically: Dm part in it.

    For the first time, since i returned, i had to actually BUY my healing. It didn't drop by the dozens or even hundreds from quests. It was great. But the bloat is real, very real. It even came up in the XP cost to scrolls and derailed it a little bit, so i am going to add this one in earlier than planned to avoid that.

    DMs contribute HUGELY to this bloat when rewards are given out on plot event or one time events. A DM event that is there to further a plot should not be awarding consumables by the hundreds AND thousands of gold. Not only should advancing a plot be its own reward, but even if it's not seen that way, giving out BOTH consumables that sometimes see people even coming out in profit from that alone, on top of gold AND loot is overkill.

    You're pampering us into a slow death. Not THAT long ago, quests were seen as a way of supplying and events as the spenders. Nothing costs anymore and even if they did, GOOD, sometimes you should be spending shit to further your own plots or to play a key role in a server wide plot.

    Plot advancement should be its own reward. And even when it isn't, giving out the entire unholy trinity in terms of rewards is terrible and is most likely THE largest contributor to the consumable bloat ATM. (Unholy trinity is loot, consumable and gold).

    Choose 1 of them as the reward method, 2 is overkill, 3 is just silly at this point.

  • And again, I have to agree. I was never short on potions on Grange and always had the gold to restock if they didn't get restocked from quests or events.

  • I've not logged in for ages but -

    In the past, there was some sentiment from community members about making sure DM events weren't a drain, so I suspect that's where this has come from.

  • I remember that. But when loot, gold and consumables keep pouring in from every source, there's no real spenders. Also, the bloat was no such a massive thing back then 😉

  • I hate to agree. There are too many potions.
    I'd vastly prefer a server where quests weren't balanced with potions in mind.
    This would, however, require vastly reduced availability.

  • This kind of thing goes back and forth a lot. I remember both sides of this discussion multiple times, as I'm sure do many others.

  • Admin [DM]

    The DM team is resolved to build quests with an 'unbuffed' party in mind. Just....it's a lot of work. 🙂

  • The quests can be rebalanced a bit but something too radical would waste DMs time.

    For DM events, and storytelling plots, I would like to see DM loot being thematic loot drops. More of it, but random stuff. Killing a member of the Argent Brotherhood should drop Argent Brotherhood gear. Killing a Minotaur, standard barb/mino stuff, etc.

    I understand it is to stop certain players benefiting from certain items, thieving can become a pain, and it is very frustrating for a PC to become a shop, walking around with a load of loot, and impossible for certain classes. I do think plot items and 1 use/day items are very handy and can be shared out more easily.

    I dont think DMs realise that flavourful loot, sometimes with no apparent function, is sometimes the best loot. The crumbling tower did this very well. But other thing's I recall was a broken dwarven clock Spiffy put down, which I thought was a great item. These types of things involve players and allow them to make a reputation without having to solve megaplots, which are usually resolved by one or two big players that already have a reputation. Small loot drops like that go much further than just spamming potions. A crate of broken halfling relics, even if most of them have no function to the DMs, or very little function, would give the hin council hours of plot stuff to do.

    Failing all that, gold is better than potions.

  • I think it was @Lannister who did something really cool during a DM event, there was some kind of anti-magic field in certain areas of the quest, so potion didn't work (we had healer's kit though). It forced us to plan ahead, be cautious and actually work as a team instead of buff-buff-buff-rush.

    I really liked that idea. You can switch that up and down to balance the event.

    But during normal quests, I think consumables should be easy and free to use until we have enough players to be able to constantly quest with 3+.

  • Buffless quests are a seperete issue, please don't derail the thread with that 😕

  • One of the reasons there has been an outcry about DM events needing better rewards in the past was that they were happening every day, sometimes multiple times per day.

    It gets very draining for those of us who haven't figured out the secret to stockpiling massive amounts of consumables. A balance is probably better than just leaning entirely one way or another, in my opinion.

  • Yes, balance being choosing 1 method of rewarding, not all 3.

  • Admin [DM]

    We worked out a script to ensure we could exactly see what players consumed and compensate, however this approach was not liked cause the players felt they were just losing out even if the DM explained that they had made sure to compensate for the items used.

    Following this, the players prefered to go to the DMs who gave the best reward. So obviously, all DMs adapted the "best reward" approach cause they didn't want to be viewed as the tight one.

    Still, I fully agree there is a unbalance and I'm certain the other DMs feel the same way. But it isn't very easy to change balance until the overall player and DM attitude towards rewards also change with the balance.

  • I agree, but you guys set the line, it can be moved. Even if you move it little by little and see how it affects people. It's a shame about the tool indeed, it was great.

  • Storyteller [DM]

    I'm slightly guilty of this, but it's mostly because I was doing one-off events that didn't really further a plot so I wanted to make sure it was worth it to the PCs involved.

  • Okay, I can't wait any longer for an american to post this.

    You, DMs, have awesome potential to make this game fun for everyone.
    We don't go on DM events to make a profit on every single occasion. We go to have fun. You don't need to worry about sometimes causing a loss.
    You have to provide fun, something unique, and you lot most of the time live up to these expectations. End of story.

    Okay... if people can't come on evenets because daily events make them poor, it is sort of a problem, something you can fix when it occures. This is not the case now, I dare to say.
    If people complain that you make a tool and give rewards based on consumption, and some people come out with a loss and complain, tell them to hand out rewards based on usefulness. Better yet, tell them in advance. I'd love to see that tool in work though so I can develop a more educated opinion. 😃

  • Admin [DM]

    A shitty message you can get as a DM is "I'm going to DM X event instead, cause their events are much more rewarding"
    Obviously, the DM team sets the bar etc.. But we're only human and in the end we want players to enjoy our events.
    Hence why it is very hard to regulate rewards. 🙂 Gotta get some backbone and stick to your guns obviously, buuuut.. it is hard!

  • Builders Guild

    I think hellzyeah made a decent point about the events. I agree that it's a balancing act like CB says, and that you can't just reap all rewards from every single DM event.

    But personally, I rarely am equipped with enough supplies to last one whole event. Between my last 3 characters I've spent most of my time with about 60 gold on me. I understand I'm doing something wrong, I know there is a way to generate money, I simply haven't figured it out yet and I doubt I'm alone in that.

    I bring this up because of how often (this is a good thing!) DM events occur. I think depending on the difficulty and effort put in by PC's, and depending on the day (weekends=more events) MORE rewards should be acceptable.

    Now I know players should do some self monitoring here. It's not exactly wise if you're broke, potionless, and naked to charge off and fight the orcish hordes, but after awhile of being broke and potionless, I kinda just want to play the game still and join the class defending Arabel or whatever.

    Therefore, I think more important than "too much rewards" is "participation." If after this many years I can't figure out how to keep the right potions and coin for an event , I doubt new players can. And that is super important.

    Tldr: too many rewards is better than not enough. Otherwise people won't do things because they can't afford it or worse don't want to be a liability/die a hundred times.

  • Admin [DM]

    Very good points there @SadGruffman

  • Storyteller [DM]

    tbh at the start of any dm event the guy gatehring people together for it ought to say something along the lines of "are you all prepared, do you have enough supplies etc?" and then cos it is typically a higher level character give some of their consumables ot the guy that is a lowbie even if al it is is a couple of healing wands with the words.. " try to make sure no one dies" (ie you!)

    tl@dr if you are gathering for a quest look after your minions