A server without Auto-Grant AA... Interest?

Discussion in 'The Veterans' Lounge' started by peminkanwan, Jun 15, 2021.

  1. peminkanwan New Member

    I recently returned to EQ, having found that a slough of modern games don't hold up. I'm not talking about realistic graphics (Minecraft, anyone?)... rather about the breadth of challenging (brutally so, in some cases... bring it on) content that is EQ, or at least my memory of it.

    After getting back into the swing of things for a couple of days, and being invited to a guild, I start seeing achievements pop up of people having many thousands of AAs, and I'm wowed. I'm invited into a group with a warrior and follow in his wake, in awe, as he and his merc healer single-handedly crush the entire zone. In confusion, and basically not doing anything since my meager abilities won't add any value to the equation, I mention AAs, and he tells me to open up the panel and check the "Auto-Grant" box... which I do not do, and rather research it to figure out what the heck it is.

    So, now I'm up to speed (to an extent) on the subject. I'm not posting to criticize Auto-Grant AA (how tempting is it to instantly be at the pinnacle of power?), but simply to comment on how utterly it changes the EQ experience, and to see if other players (who happen to see and pop into this thread) might be interested in having a server available which does not have that feature enabled.

    I should now mention that I contacted support about this, and the support person was interested in the idea and suggested that I post the idea in the forum... not sure whether I posted it in the correct area.

    In the course of researching Auto-Grant AA, I also happened upon some contentious discussion around the time of its unveiling and roll-out (2014?). Significant to me is that the feature was uniformly rolled out on all servers, leaving no exceptions(?) to my knowledge, and thus no place for players who valued the work and sense of achievement inherent in earning and having earned AAs, and/or players who valued the challenge posed by the full spectrum of the game which is, to an extent, rendered minute in the face of players who automatically possess nearly all of the power that AAs grant.

    A possible middle ground would be a scenario in which AAs are simply easier to get (require less xp for each one).

    Thanks for reading...and thanks in advance for commenting thoughtfully, if you so choose.

    As an addendum, as a separate consideration, I'm interested in thoughts about a server without mercs, since at the time they came out, which is around when i originally stopped playing, they seemed like such a game-changer, and still appear to be. I also recognize that I don't have a clear comprehension of how that would impact the game as a whole, or whether their absence would be of interest along with absence of Auto-Grant AA.
    Aenvar and Kase like this.
  2. Dythan Ban Lev in Plane of Fire guy

    Welcome back.
  3. Niskin Clockwork Arguer

    The only new servers you are going to see for the near future are Time Locked Progression Servers, which can have various rulesets. Since auto-grant doesn't happen until four expansions behind the current one, if you play on a TLP server, you are essentially getting what you asked for.

    Both Auto-Grant AA's and Merc's were added as catch up mechanics for Live servers. If you had a server without them, it probably wouldn't matter until the server hit the expansion where merc's came out, which was quite a while in. With that said, trying to catch up without these things can require a daunting amount of time. Literal time for grinding AA's, and wasted time for trying to group without the merc option.

    In general I don't think it's a good idea, it doesn't solve anything and doesn't really affect anything on a new server at the same time. People will say to leave the box unchecked and just live with it. I'll go the other route. Check the box, let the AA's rain down. Then spend all the time you would have wasted on AA's doing other things. Grinding is not fun, but it's required. When it becomes too much of a mountain to climb, they tend to throw us a bone. These are two of the most popular bones we were ever thrown, so you won't see much support for removing them, even for a single server.
    Stymie, peminkanwan and Celephane like this.
  4. Jumbur Improved Familiar

    Maybe it could be paired with disabling the unlock feature of locked zones. Meaning that people would need to quest/flag for all the locked zones, no matter how high their level is. It would certainly make maxing the journeyman compass quite an achievement(and make PoP-flagging a hard requirement for doing SoD)

    Sounds pretty hardcore actually...:eek:
    (but not more hardcore than what the true veterans did)
  5. Tatanka Augur

    My level of interest: less than zero.

    This would only appeal to people who play a LOT. For casuals, we still don't make enough AAs to keep up with the new year's expac-worth of AAs. Auto-grant is completely necessary.

    And if you don't want to take the auto-granted AAs, you don't have to. I've seen posts from people who avoid them.

    And there's really no good context for this suggestion. For a new TLP, nothing's auto-granted anyway, and even once it kicks in, it's always 4 expacs back from current. For a Live server, well, I don't see them making any new Live servers, so the whole discussion is kinda moot.

    To summarize:
    - for new TLPs, you're never that far behind, and don't have anything to auto-grant anyway
    - for Live, the biggest complaint is always how much is needed to catch up to the majority of max level characters
    - you aren't required to auto-grant if you don't want to
    Micker, Stymie, Celephane and 4 others like this.
  6. Niskin Clockwork Arguer

    I should also add that one's impressions at the start of the journey won't match their impressions at the end of the journey. This is definitely a pre-journey impression. Go level and grind out those 30-40k AA's and then come back and tell us how you feel about your own suggestion. :D
    Barraind, Stymie, Celephane and 5 others like this.
  7. Joules_Bianchi A certain gnome

    Personally, if there was a server with no autogrant <and> and it a BIG <and>,

    GMs on the server enough to perma ban anyone automating anything.

    On live servers it's pretty rampant, groups pulling overnights with AFK players and scripted automation to power up the AAs.

    The secondary issue is:

    Autogrant, XP increases and so on, mercenaries, were all introduced because of this math:

    Player A played each new expansion as it came out, played the full year(-ish) until the next expansion, through 25 expansions to get to max AA.

    Player B started at the 18th expansion.

    They have to grind AA at a MUCH higher rate divided by time spent factor, with NO groups at that level because the META (where everyone is playing. wearing, competing at a level of) is level 115 and maxed AAs. or at least a solid base.)

    I've done it, it's a VERY long, lonely haul without substantial help, like a guild, or boxes, which is where most people end up boxing, to outright buying power leveling for XP / AA. This schism is why people automate.

    I see all these threads about automated play and noone ever addresses the reality of this math.

    People feel they HAVE to to keep up with the Jones' or even approach raiding before they die of old age.

    and when people feel they HAVE to, they will., then if THEY can speed up the process outside the rules, why do I HAVE to slog it while they get away with cheating?

    If they just made the whole catch up mechanic of XP and AA easier, people would be less likely feel left behind by literal years of play time to catch the lead.

    Without autogrant, it would take a LONG time and be totally unapproachable to players who joined the server later than others.
    Stymie and peminkanwan like this.
  8. Ozon New Member

    Well honestly as a tank class even at max Auto-grant, you are still paste. Yes, gear/levels, etc etc, but those extra CA/CS/GS/PE all help out alot. So I wouldn't say you are at the peak of power, I would say you are better equipped to handle level appropriate content.

    As a server it would be pretty niche I would think, almost like a scaled down TLP server (sort of) in that you still are forced to grind AA, and assuming content was equal to live, it could be a really tough sell. Later progression could be pretty brutal.
    peminkanwan likes this.
  9. CatsPaws Devil's Advocate

    You do know that Auto grant is a choice? And only All Access accounts get that choice?

    So, in effect by having F2P/Silver accounts who cannot use Auto Grant is like having a server that does not allow it.

    Mercs are also a choice. Again F2P/Silver do not have access to the top mercs

    If someone does choose to play without Auto Grant they get a 10% AA exp bonus up the the 4000th AA for not using it.

    Its a personal choice. I used Auto Grant one time and regretted it ever since so any characters I make do not use Auto Grant until level 90 or higher. This way I earn em and learn em:D

    I don't fault others for using it so no need to flame about that comment

    So bottom line we do not need a server whose use is already covered by the player's choice.
  10. Yinla Ye Ol' Dragon

    The autogrant is 4 expansions behind the latest one. This is for those who are unable to keep up with the increases of AAs every expansion, be it on TLP or live servers.

    As already said there is the option to not use it, but more will want it than not.
    Skuz, code-zero and CatsPaws like this.
  11. peminkanwan New Member

    For what it's worth, and to be clear about 2 things:

    1) I am aware that the option exists to refuse the Auto-Grant AA option on servers. That option seems to carry with it, among other things, a sense of the ridiculous when adventuring alongside those who have many thousands of AAs, in that the power/capability difference is ridiculous.

    2) I am not suggesting that the Auto-Grant AA feature be removed from servers. Were a server without the Auto-Grant feature become available, there would remain tens of servers that do include the Auto-Grant feature for those who (in a positive sense) like Auto-Grant and its myriad benefits and for those (in a negative sense) think not having Auto-Grant is silly or a bad idea, for any reason.

    I recognize that the majority of players probably do like Auto-Grant... This is more a feeler to see, of those who see the thread, if there are a number who don't particularly like it and who would be interested in an alternative where there.

    Auto-Grant is great in a lot of ways, for what it is and for what it enables. I personally think it would be nice to have an alternative.
  12. Joules_Bianchi A certain gnome

    There are a fair number of modern game players who refuse autogrant because they don't want to have to grind the relevant ones at a lower AA XP rate as it's scaled. Especially for box buffers, but even some mains, want the "meat" AAs before they dump hundreds into things that have zero benefit.

    The concern is release time of expansions and the time it takes to keep current. Without some sort of catch up mechanic, a server with this ruleset will shed players faster than normal, as a couple weeks vacation could put you behind the curve by the same 2 weeks grinding and it becomes a full time job to re-catch it, or lose sight of it.

    They could just make eveything give more AA XP and lessen the grind for them. Other games prune things a lot more, which i find a turn off, but it is a valid solution to the time grind barrier to catching up. Just making AA easy to grind would solve a LOT of things. people BOT afk for 2 weeks straight for AAs with unmentionable software only because it IS such a shirtshow of a grind.
  13. Niskin Clockwork Arguer

    If you want to play alongside people who don't use auto-grant, then playing on a new server when it launches is your best option. No new Live servers will be launching, they tried that and it didn't work. The only new servers you will get are TLP servers, which are perfectly fine, and will allow you to do exactly what you are asking for.


    Like I said, you have one now. No, not opting out of auto-grant, but playing on a new server where it won't affect you if you stay current as the server progresses. You have basically four servers you can choose from. The two newest Mischief and Thornblade are in classic for another week. Free-Trade loot rules, with randomization of some drops. The next two newest are Aradune (truebox, max 2 toons) and Rizlona (unrestricted boxing), which I believe are in Planes of Power, early enough that you could catchup and stay current without using auto-grant.

    Basically you are asking for something that already exists. New servers don't have auto-grant until long after they launch. If you are that far behind when the option hits, that should probably be a hint that you need it anyway.
  14. brickz Augur

    a character with only 4+ year old AAs isn't at the pinnacle of anything
  15. Tucoh Augur

    A few points:
    • If you're looking for a difficult leveling experience in EQ, look to Project 1999 / p99 servers that try to recreate that.
    • On live there's a massive group desert between level 85 (heroic character level) and level 110+ where most of the playerbase has characters. If you're a new/returning player with no friends willing to carry you for weeks before you can provide any value, it's tremendously difficult to find groups. Most characters in these levels are owned by people with the ability to powerlevel themselves or can otherwise get help from people they know on their main characters. In other words, it really, really sucks to level to near-cap in EQ if you need a group to do so. Autogrant AAs, among other things, lessen this but are really just crutches on the real problem (finding a group).
    • Once you get near the level cap, the game really begins and there are a massive number of different avenues for character growth.
    If the above doesn't make that much sense, hit the level cap and get your character combat ready.
    peminkanwan likes this.
  16. Skuz I am become Wrath, the Destroyer of Worlds.

    JAEQM

    Just Another EQ Masochist

    If you don't want autogrant don't use it, the number of people who will want the same level of self inflicted boredom/pain as you is going to be too small to warrant its own server, and that's why the Autogrant is optional, if you really want that pain you can have it.

    It's like corpse runs, if you want that pain just take off all your gear to run back to the zone & either get it recovered yourself naked or ask in zone/chat for a corpse summon for a few hours until someone is available to come get you.

    Why make a whole server have to suffer the same inaninty & stupidity that you crave? You have the power to torture yourself so you cannot say you are not being given a fair crack of the whip, you can flaggelate yourself all you want.
  17. Tatanka Augur

    One thing they could do is get rid of the silly XP-penalty for being in older content.

    I assume the folks who need the most help are scrubs like me. I haven't spent much time in current-level content in a great many years, because my gear's always a bit behind the times, as well as my AAs. So, you still level, because new levels and new spells make you more powerful, but now you're fighting content that's below you, and you've cut your XP in half. Just seems dumb to me. Anybody powerful enough to abuse fighting lower content can get even better XP fighting current content.

    If nothing else, ease into it or scale it. For instance, right now, you ding 111, and now you get half XP in RoS/TBL. Seems pretty dang harsh.
    Jumbur likes this.
  18. aozs Elder

    Zero appeal here, I don't see grinding mobs for hundreds of hours to be interesting, challenging, or meaningful. And hundreds of hours might even be an understatement for how much grinding would be required to be reasonably functional at 115.

    It's already been mentioned but TLP servers are the best option if you want to experience the whole progression of leveling and acquiring AA through "normal" means.
  19. Strawberry Augur

    AA autogrants allows returning players to catch up. It is a good solution, otherwise someone who hasn't played for years would likely never be able to catch up and join a raid.

    The problem that isn't solved is the sheer number of AA. When someone is granted all those AA, it is overwhelming. AA have been simplified before, they should be simplified more, tons of innate AA could simply be tied to levels instead and disguised from the player.

    Everquest has a tendency to make every expansion about more abilities and even more AA, instead of simply focusing on the content and how players interact with the world. Plenty of developers add new and exciting content to their game without feeling forced to resort to increases in player power, and that content sells just as well.
    Stymie and peminkanwan like this.
  20. Xyroff-cazic. Director of Sarcasm

    Autogrant doesn't bring you anywhere near the pinnacle of AA count, let alone the pinnacle of power in EQ.
    It doesn't utterly change the experience at all. It simply opens doors for returning and/or new players to have a chance to catch up to modern EQ in a somewhat reasonable timeframe. There are still thousands of AA's to grind on your own, and plenty of content to catch up on.
    TLP servers are the exception, and there are several different servers you could choose from that have not yet reached autogranting expansions.
    This has already been implemented.

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