Open Letter to the Devs (Part 2)

CerynCeryn Japan
edited August 14 in General Discussion
Seeing as there are quite a few posts that are calling for improvements to the game I would like to once again comment on what I think would make the game better over all. I wrote the first open letter back in April when the mounted combat changes and low population caused people to claim the sky is falling and the game will never even be released to steam. The original post is here: https://forums.legendsofaria.com/discussion/10594/open-letter-to-the-devs

The original post touched not only on game balance, mechanics, and monetization (which I would like to touch on again). It was well received by Reds and Blues alike. Some of the ideas proposed within the original post would have required much more development time than CS likely

While some of the recent changes have disappointed me as a player, I understand that CS has to market their game to the largest possible audience or the game will fail. I hope the ideas below can help promote a happy medium which both PvE and PvP players can enjoy.

There are 3 main things that I think would help out the game given the state that it is currently in.

Refinements to the Professions system.

Although this was a useful system to get rid of the RNG elements associated with Skill book drops and help players have a better experience when building characters there are also some problems. There are also easy solutions that go along with them.

The professions force players to have cookie cutter builds and discourages creatively mixing elements from more than one profession tree. This can be prevented by allowing players to reach Journeyman or Master levels by "number of skill points invested" rather than reaching a certain level in each skill available to the profession. The idea being that a fighter could reach Journeyman by having 200 points Fighter profession. Reach Master by having 300 points in the Fighter profession. Grandmaster could be obtained by having 400 total points in the profession.

Additional skills could then be categorized as part of the Fighter profession such as Blocking or new skills in the future. This is beneficial since it allows players to still be a Journeyman or Master Fighter without taking a full 400 points. It lets players build a unique "sandbox" character such as a Bashing / Vigor / Martial Prowess / Blocking / Manifest / Channeling character that is thematically a Paladin without giving up 100% of the profession skills. Such a character would have access to all 3 Tiers of the Fighter profession but also Tier 1 of the Mage profession.

A second quality of life improvement would be allowing the 3 ability slots allow a their Tier or lower. Meaning you could have one skill of each Tier or lower. For example you might want to take three Tier 1 skills or two Tier 2 skills and one Tier 1. There doesn't seem to be a reason why that should be prohibited.

Address POI issues

The game was designed around the idea of funneling players into Point of Interest locations. This was designed to allow players to run into each other and clash with Red players. This model is now outdated. If the current system is to stay and new lands will be designed to expand content for the majority of players (i.e. consent PvP areas) than the world should have more random spawns and "intermediate" farming spawns that are designed for solo / small groups of players. The world feels empty and it should more rewarding to go to places other than dungeons.

Adding things like Orc Forts, Small Caves populated with Goblins, and other interesting features to the world would help make the world feel more populated.

A small percentage chance for mission dispatcher spawns (with loot drops) or low tier treasure chest encounters would also make it possible to encounter something interesting in the world while out exploring. This makes the world feel alive and interesting.

Re-evaluate the Free PvP Area

The current Barren lands implementation seems like a significantly worse version of the Trammel / Felucca. The barren lands is a tiny area with not enough reward to encourage players to actually focus on farming the zone regularly. Eventually one side or the other Red/Blue is going to take over the area and then get the "rewards" needed for professions / crafting. It simply can't be maintained as a desirable area without constant content development. It is much better for everyone involved if development efforts benefit all parties at once.

I would propose the following. Make Aria's version of a Felucca. A server on its own that players from any Aria server can enter. There is no character creation on this server. It can only be accessed by the Death Gate. (which would have a convenience moongate placed near it which you can access from the current moongate network)

You can take items and gold into the "Mirror" World but not out. When you die you return to your "home" server. Since the only way to leave is by dying there is no significant impact to the economy of any other server since only blessed items could ever be taken in and back out again. This is the ultimate gold sink since it removes items from the main servers and takes them to server where they will be lost due to PvP which could be given a larger impact on durability. This encourages demand on the "home" server since items disappear off of the market into an abyss from which they cannot return and be resold.

Cities could be captured by factions. Crafter's in those factions could place vendors "in town" these vendors could be made to send a very small amount of the profit to the home server in the form of rare crafting materials. The idea being like the "spice" from Dune. If you play the economy game in the special server you can earn rewards that help you make neat stuff on your "home" server. Since its not "gold" it doesn't disrupt the economy of any server. (the price will float based on the value of gold on the home server)

This game may not have the population on any single server to support a large PvP Area but the combined PvP populations of all 3 servers could certainly create an interesting world full of conflict and adventure. As more zones are added to the world of Celedor they are simultaneously added to the PvP zone so no special development is required. Everyone wins.

Since this is not a "New Server" or a merged server you could allow player housing but the taxes would be at the "high rate" which was used on the original pre-steam levels. This is an expensive upkeep cost that could only be farmed on a high-risk server. Players who enjoy the PvP server will certainly consider a subscription to get free taxes.

Comments

  • VyrilVyril US
    edited August 14
    I'll piggyback off your sections, because you bring up some good points, and I would like to add to this convo.

    Refinements to the Professions system.

    While I agree with funneling of professions isn't the greatest move towards a sandbox game, your suggestions are a good foundation for alternative approach on professions, hybrids, and sandbox play.

    Address POI issues

    Yes! The world needs POI all throughout the lands. I can imagine they can look at all the servers and find the land spots where nobody has placed houses to build these areas to apply in a patch.

    Regardless of the land mass coming with some PvE content, new players should feel like exploring is fun, and at times maybe surprised. One of my favorite things in UO, and SWG was being out in the wilderness and coming across camps or large spawn of enemies that I spent my time engaging and defeating. Really made me feel like I was part of the world surviving.

    Random named enemies. Spawn anywhere in the world, loot is fair enough to be rare. There is just something about rare named monsters that bring out intrigue of adventuring.

    Re-evaluate the Free PvP Area

    I don't care for the idea of having anyone actually leave the server in any form.

    The real problem is that Supreme hinted on stream of the real PvP zone coming soon in the Outlands. Which will make the Barren Lands a middle ground of PvE/PvP on your way to the Outlands. So commenting on the current version of Barren Lands should be put on hold til they release info on Outlands.

    Faction Wars needs love big time. This and guild wars are only way to fight in ALL of Celador. So we need way better incentives to play faction characters.

    I love the idea of being able to control cities, with Valus always being neutral since it doesn't have a god associated with it.
  • edited August 14
    Creating a single hardcore server that every single other server can visit is probably the single most genius solution I've heard so far. It would solve a ton of problems in a single implementation.

    Having 4 servers feed into a single felucca gives the wolves plenty of sheep to kill.

    The only issue I have is with the lack of loot transfer between worlds. The whole point of incentivizing sheep to go is to allow them to farm. As it is a world that all servers can visit becomes an integration into each discrete economy. It's like all countries can visit Japan and purchase goods there. If it's really bad maths can be implemented to balance coins the same way that you are taxed at the airport.

    Blessed items could not be traded at all in felucca so this prevents people from transferring founders items, etc between servers.

    The rule that I would add is that no one can live in felucca. There are no houses, you can not build there. You can only build in your home world. Felucca is strictly for farming and fighting.


  • CerynCeryn Japan
    edited August 15
    Vyril said:

    I don't care for the idea of having anyone actually leave the server in any form.

    The real problem is that Supreme hinted on stream of the real PvP zone coming soon in the Outlands. Which will make the Barren Lands a middle ground of PvE/PvP on your way to the Outlands. So commenting on the current version of Barren Lands should be put on hold til they release info on Outlands

    Thanks for the comments. I agree with most of what you said regarding POIs and agree professions is still up for debate regarding the "best" implementation.

    I did want to comment that I think a just wait and see Outlands is a bad idea. Even if Outlands solves the problems of PvP on one server it still leaves behind 2 problems
    1) It only works if there is enough population on your server.
    2) It wastes development time on making one area. Which will become boring at some point. Why not just develop the map as a whole but allow a mirror with the PvP ruleset they are considering for Outlands. This way as the map grows everyone benefits. Even the Outlands becomes PvE content on the "home" servers. Everyone wins.
    Death said:


    The only issue I have is with the lack of loot transfer between worlds. The whole point of incentivizing sheep to go is to allow them to farm. As it is a world that all servers can visit becomes an integration into each discrete economy. It's like all countries can visit Japan and purchase goods there. If it's really bad maths can be implemented to balance coins the same way that you are taxed at the airport.

    I should have been clear about the vendor idea above. You can buy things on these vendors that gets sent to your "home" server. It would be sellable "goods" and gold but not purchased with gold would instead use a "Mirror" world currency for purchases. Basically the idea is that someone from AS/VE can't just carry 100P to the new lands and transfer it to AM.

    Basically gold doesn't work in the new world. Maybe monsters drop bone chips instead for example. Then you spend those chips at the vendor buying different care packages to your home server.

    Those packages contain gold or rare crafting materials. (like "spice") In that way farming on the Mirror area can convert back to wealth on the home server but only at the value the gold / crafting mats are worth locally. Basically the idea is to avoid disrupt into the local economy of one server by preventing straight gold transfers from one server to another.

    Just a note players who play on more than one server could still do their bone chip turn ins with an AM character if they want the crafting materials / gold there.

    As for housing, I think the map is pretty empty without it. Maybe just allow "vendor" houses. The doors wouldn't be lockable and no secure chests. People could still fight in or around houses but there would be no way to lock down items near the door to block access.


  • I like the Idea of having one Felucca for all Servers. But why reinventing the Wheel? Double resources there, create a single optional Resource only there (Power Scrolls?!?) and allow transfer via Moongate or Runes. You can only go back to your Home Server. All Fine for everyone - worked in UO this Way, why should it not work here?
    And by just mirroring the Landscape, Programmers can spend their Time implementing the cool Stuff.
  • @bardioc agreed, cross server felucca is a really smart idea. It doesn’t need that much more to it.

    Just needs some kind of preventions for people trying to migrate, example: player liquidates all of their AS assets and hands it to the VE char. Rules could be implemented that prevented the amount of things players could bring to Felucca.

    Allowing everyone to farm in xserver felucca and bring their spoils back is good. I don’t think that a bone chip system would make the effects on the economy any more or less.

    The same way that books affected the economy so too would the items that were converted from bone chips on the home servers.

    But really isn’t that the point? To provide sufficient incentives in the form in wealth to players who adventure there? Why prevent that?
  • CerynCeryn Japan
    edited August 16
    The logic behind “bone chips” as an example was that they are only ever generated in Felucca so it means that it’s much more difficult to do a conversation of gold from one shard to another.

    You could still do it indirectly by bringing armor and weapons from your own shard and selling them for bone chips to send to another shard but it means that the value of the “bone chip” is based on the number of people farming in Felluca since the currency will not be liquid if at least some people are not farming the monsters to get chips to drop.

    Sorry if that was worded in a way that was confusing.
  • With the announcement today that the dead gate will connect VE and AS, they hinted that it will be full loot transfers. Supreem also mentioned that they are working on the ability to port between servers as well.

    I can’t imagine opening xserver felucca in this scheme that would add an additional currency like bone chips.

    My reluctance with bone chips is that it aims to “fix” a perceived problem with little thought to actual ‘fun’. It if were implemented with fun in mind then sure.
  • BJC289BJC289 Monterey Bay, California
    I really like the professions idea.

    Also the random named mobs idea seems legit too.
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