Shark's suggestions of what should be changed
sharkinajar last edited by
I'll tack on my view as well, as someone who has been on CoA a decent bit off and on, as well as someone a part of the team, have been a part of other DM teams on servers, and is a DM on a current, popular server (when it's not on hiatus that is). Making a new post, because I don't want it to get buried, and it's a bit different from the other transparency topic.
City of Arabel has... issues. Many stated above. I'll reiterate some in offering my viewpoint on what I think isn't working on this server. Some of these are already being worked on, at least partially!
The mod is... boring. Horribly boring. The server is way, way too large, with too many empty areas that need to be trimmed and cut down, or stuffed with things to make it interesting. This is already being worked on. However.... I think the biggest offender aside the travel time is that the quests are just... really bland, awful, and not really all that thematic. 90% of the quests do not really feel as if they are a part of anything. Just tacked on to give people something to do, except it's boring, grindy, and feels like awful busywork, especially with how much you end up dying on some classes because of HP issues. Seriously. Hop on some other servers, play for an hour or so to see how they have their quests and their gameplay loop.
HP- It's something many have brought up. And something I think needs to be changed. The comment that there would be a lot of balancing being needed to be redone is just frankly, NOT true. If you simply just bumped hp without tweaking any mobs, the game would just be more fun, and people would die less on the bad quests, so there would be less focus on crunching boring-ass quests and more on actually trying to drive RP. It's frustrating to grind up to six or seven by doing the lowbies, die to a random crit, then have to do it all over again. And you can't say that simply play with others, as that random crits will always find a way. I don't know if returning FULL MAX hp is necessary. But at the very least, for some of the classes HP per level needs to be bumped.
Loot: one of the current ragey discussions. Probably don't really need to say much here. Right now everything is just faction loot. Crafting loot is slowly being improved, which is nice. Some changes that have been needed since the start of the server version are being finally added. However, for the people that can't stand the crafting system (like myself), as a whole there needs to be better options outside of the factions. Quest loot does not have to be as good. It shouldn't be. But you should be able to get stuff that is at least close. People have been talking about harder dungeons and stuff for people to explore? Add some really nice loot into it! That will also drive trade and stuff...
Loot, continued: STATS. Right. So, here's a hangup that I don't get. There's a restriction on +AC gear and +AB gear. +AB gear I kind of get because you guys want to have a reason for people to use magic weapon- the only two classes without it now are monk and barbarian, though I'm sure that will be fixed soon? The AC part I don't get. People have been suffering for quite a while of unable to get enough gold to afford supplies but when you're set up you are just flooded with them. This stems from the lack of decent protections without buffs. Which cycles back into some of the previous mentioned changes- the team has stated that you shouldn't need buffs really on quests, but honestly you can't really survive without them. Having done the 4-6 quests on multiple different classes, whether martial or spellcaster, many of them you can't do without a blur, without endurance. A single crit and you're dead. Not enough AC and you just get shredded, and can't survive because you have 30 hp... Yet you cannot get +deflection or +natural AC gear. The reason I'm just so confused here is that IT DOES NOT STACK WITH THE BUFFS. In any semi-tough situation, a person is just going to bark or use a shield. Which means that a +1 ac amulet and cloak have the benefit of helping reduce some of the gold consumption on the lower end. THIS DOES NOT IMBALANCE HOW MUCH PEOPLE SPEND. It just adds some survivability when ROAMING and the like so you can go about and wander the server and not die every 5 seconds to a bear without having to spend 3000g worth of supplies. Seriously. Fix this.
Backend stuff: As someone who was a builder, and quit the builder team, the restrictions placed on the builders and storytellers are kind of like having someone who is offering their free time to help move things along in a chokehold. It's not fun, it's not enjoyable. Lighten up some of the restrictions on builders (not saying give them free reign. Just ease up slightly). Add in an avenue for a better role as well- it's dumb that as a storyteller you can't build at all, and a builder can't do any sort of storytelling. Create a third role that if you do one of them long enough and want to do more, have the option of doing both. That's not an admin role, that's just a regular actual DM role instead of the weird things we have now.
More team members: server needs more admins, more storytellers, and waaaay more builders. Look, I get that people have lives. And it feels like you don't get that as well- if you're busy IRL, that means you can't put time into the server. Which means you need someone else to do it, instead of simply just having things go quiet. Prof dropped the team sorta and is super busy with irl, Zool is inactive. Puffy and echo are busy with their jobs and it's draining them. Which means that there's.... not really any admins actually about? This shouldn't really matter as admins are supposed to just be administrators, but they cover so many roles on the server because- we have a single builder, who I don't know if he really does any building. There are two active storytellers. I don't consider someone who logs in once every 1-2 weeks as active (sorry spiffy). Which means that there are... exactly... around three people on the team actually active right now! Look at aaaany other server. They have usually around 10-15. Love you guys, and love the work you've put in, but it's clear there needs to be a LOT more, and you need the manpower for that.
Class balancing: Many classes have been fixed, but some still suffer and need a boost. Bards and rogues are just too squishy and need an HP boost. Rogues need access to better gear, which can be done by adding some better loot for them and other sneaky types here and there in quests. Monks need a pureclass store (I've made one for you guys, and have it on ready. Just ask, seriously. I spent time making sure it was well balanced).
Actually adding a faster travel way to tilverton, or a donation box to Arabel for the Ravens: Just simply posting it's being added eventually doesn't really help. This is something that should take like 5 minutes to add into the mod, and should really, really just be added within the day.
For anything else that I may think of, I'll toss in here as well later on down below.
+1, as mentioned before a lot of this is just common sentiments held by a lot of active and no longer active players. At this point, I think the content drought is the biggest thing, especially quests. Updating the crafting system can probably sit on the backburner until this is dealt with because the crafting system as-is works perfectly fine, even if some of the items are somewhat lackluster.
- Actually adding a faster travel way to tilverton, or a donation box to Arabel for the Ravens: Just simply posting it's being added eventually doesn't really help. This is something that should take like 5 minutes to add into the mod, and should really, really just be added within the day.
Yeah sure, if it was just press button, arrive at other end of server, it would take a few minutes to place down a transition.
We don't want that direct of a kind of "fast travel" though.
We could discuss putting a Ravens prestige chest, maybe in the murdered manticore or something, it doesn't pose any technical limitations and I PERSONALLY don't see an issue with doing so.
The problems not just prestige though, but it would solve that one issue.
sharkinajar last edited by
@Zool Should be pretty quick to set up an ox-pulled cart that takes people back and forth for 50g or something, no?
+1, I pretty much agree with everything Shark has written down.
I have a few additions too.
As for the fast travel:
I would suggest making an item like "Caravan Ticket" that can be purchased from a Ravens prestige store. (with a small appearance of 1x1, maybe like the alchemy recipe cards)
A store should be available both in Tilverton and somewhere in Arabel (Murdered Manticore is perfectly fine). I would suggest a price of 15 prestige points / item.
I would place down a caravan right after you arrive in the Desert from the Moonsea Ride (some nice placeables) where you can talk to the Caravan Master or some other NPC and you can ask them to get you to somewhere near Tilverton. The destination should be somewhere in the middle of the last area before Tilverton so you still have a chance to meet with some bandits, but it's not a murderous travel anymore.
At the other end, there is a nice caravan texture too, and the Caravan Master NPC that can take you back.
The dialog options can be pretty simple, and the option where the Caravan Master agrees to take you consumes one of your Caravan Tickets and ports you to the other waypoint. Should be a really simple thing to do.
EDIT: of course the dialog can be extended and tweaked to give players a challenge. Maybe a small "quest" like you can bring them bandit heads and be awarded a ticket. Bandits could drop heads when killed and you can take them to the Caravan Master and they reward you with a ticket for 5 heads and they thank you because you helped them clear the route and made their journey safer
As for class balancing:
Before I made Zenrin, I actually wanted to roll a monk. Tried a human monk, messed around here and there, but frankly it was unplayable. I almost died on every starter quest, I had to continuously chug potions. Healing was fine, because the Rat quest (and only that) gave me lots of healing potions, but others were a mess. I always walked around with less than 100 gold, because I simply couldn't survive without the ridiculously expensive potions compared to quest rewards.
Monks (dunno if pure only, I'd say 80%-ish monk) really need a WAY cheaper store for themselves to be able to survive. They need HP too, +1/lvl, monks really have to divide their abilities, at least they don't have to invest that much in CON.
TLDR: monks are pretty much unplayable, they need immediate fix.
Having been playing a rogue, its very squishy and being alone is a death sentence. Rogues work really well in groups, but for me (in EU) it's not always an option. If player counts are low, we need to let players to explore and do stuff alone. Most classes are able to do that just fine, but rogue sucks with that. I have no real damage output if it's not sneak attack. I have to chug crazy amounts of potions to just survive some exploring or quests and still most of the server is cut off. (Some potions can be crafted easily so that's a help)
Yes, rogues should stealth through everything, and that's perfectly fine, but then we need good rogue gear that gives a good amount of bonuses to stealth (hide, move silently). Make some OUB Rogue items that give something decent to that. Since I don't know what the mobs' listen and spot bonuses are I leave that to the team to come up with a reasonable number. Otherwise if you fail a roll or a mob rolls better, you are simply dead. Period. And you need just one failed roll...
That's it for now, I may have some more thoughts later.
Cadiz last edited by Cadiz
this caravan thing could actually be expanded into a quest - traverse a single map (rather than 2 large ones) after speaking to the npc (just outside tilverton or at the strrt of the moonsea ride where the last npcs are) so that you still have to walk some of the distance but it is a level appropriate encounter - but a guaranteed one.
this ought to help lowbies to move, but would probably be detrimental to higher levels as a level appropriate encounter is worse than the normal spawns on the road (or could be deliberately made that way anyway!)
O-louth last edited by
Makes sense. Caravan city equals caravan quests.
@Zool Should be pretty quick to set up an ox-pulled cart that takes people back and forth for 50g or something, no?
Yes... but like I said, that's not what we want.
Travel between Arabel and Tilverton
We are painfully aware of the vast amount of travel between Arabel and Tilverton, and as those two areas are a lot more focused now due to the Tilverton Ravens and other things, we want to address this, as the team see's it as a design issue.
We do not want to remove any areas.
We do not want the distance to be unrepresented in game entirely.
We do not want to remove the chance for player/player banditry between these two places. (no portals or other instant travel methods then)
So, with the above in our minds, we're currently working on a way to resolve the design issue.
We have a couple of ideas and we're still deciding on the final implementation.
The two main ideas we are considering are:
Being able to get a "caravan" from the area just outside the outskirts, which takes you to the area in the middle between Tilverton and Arabel. You can then continue on foot, and get a separate caravan after traversing the rest of the area.
This would mean you have to travel 2 areas on foot (which bandits have access to), and utilises assets already in place - it does mean we'd have to consider various things in those areas however, and couldn't add anything "unique" as such, to the travel.
Being able to take the trade route (hitch on a caravan) - You would arrive in one of two new areas (which bandits could also enter) after having gotten off the caravan. You must then traverse those areas, and at the end come out close to your final destination. This allows unique things to be done in these trade route areas. Does not interfere with current areas, but does require creating new assets.
Both ideas should work, and would allow the choice of a player to either take the long road, and go adventuring in the areas between the two locations, or, take the fast route to simply travel between the two.
Zool last edited by Zool
It just doesn't get done instantly.
Again though, for the sake of transparency, I'll be 100% honest.
This system is fucking boring to make and while it really should have been the first thing I did after release (and was meant to be done before) -it's boring as fuck to make-
I don't enjoy making boring things.
I have interesting things in my life.
That's why it's not done yet, because it was way more interesting to the make the Precept Mental suppressants, or the Greywatch bone breakers.
Given the overbearing workload as-is, I'm more in favor of option 1 rather than 2, especially if the caravan drops you off somewhere in Griffon Hill (makes sense as there's a small outpost there anyway).
I think reusing existing assets in a way that makes sense is always a plus.
Suggestions and feedback reviewed, with changes implemented.