Cazic Thul is requesting a server merge

Discussion in 'The Veterans' Lounge' started by Emperior, May 5, 2019.

  1. Maedhros High King

    Cazic is by no means a low population server and we have very robust raiding here. We have two top 10 guilds and 3 or 4 alliance or open raiding teams.
    That is a whole lot of people that are raiding on this server.
    I think it is long passed time for some of the open raiders and alliance players to join forces if you want to finally see some progression and better results.
    If I could wave a magic wand and put all the casual raiders, open raiders and alliance raiders from this server together into one guild, you would have 150 people and be split raiding content.
    The population number is not the problem at all, it is the politics.
    Salinae, mystic37, Allayna and 6 others like this.
  2. Tutunka Journeyman

    It seems leaders of the various guilds an raid alliances place their own egos of personal in game leadership tags above that of the betterment of the guilds they profess love for.

    That is the only reason they would not ever want to relinquish their officer and leader tags to merge with and actually HAVE a raid force..

    What's that saying ?? Better to rule in he 'll then to serve in heaven?

    That saying has never been more apt ..
    mystic37 likes this.
  3. Sirene_Fippy Okayest Bard

    Freelance isn't a typical raiding guild; they don't look for the best players, they will take anyone and nurture people who don't always play well, have fast reflexes or know their class inside out. They fill a special and (imo) very important role in the health of a server; taking casual / grouping players and introducing them to the raiding game, no matter the class or play schedule. Regardless of what other high end guilds are recruiting, there should always be a place like this available to new and returning players who aren't cutting-edge players, and there should be at least some raid content accessible to them.

    I have to disagree that you think FL is incompetent - they are anything but. The detail put into strategy posts and event information is second to none. That it is visible to the public is very generous. There are also detailed parses and spell breakdowns posted for all classes for every single raid. Furro's setup of GINA packages for each raid and the way he gives instructions for each event is impressively organized. He also has a unique set of GINA triggers to notify players to specific assignments during raids. I really don't think he could be doing a better job. In many ways, FL has a higher level of raiding mastery than other guilds.

    You probably already know that SR and RotE are built heavily off of former FL members. When FL beat Arx 1 before SR it was a huge amount of drama for the guild. When RotE formed, after they didn't immediately recruit the majority of SR, they recruited from FL instead. Ever since then FL has struggled to accomplish as much current expansion raid progression.

    Furro doesn't accept information from players who are in a higher end guild, not because they are god-given geniuses of EverQuest (like many high end raiders think of themselves), but because he believes FL can figure out their own strategies and because their members deserve to have a chance to mess around with and figure out raid mechanics, too (not just have them handed to them, or passed around amongst the guilds who raided on beta). I remember this being somewhat frustrating, after repeated wipes, but I do understand why he does it. In fact FL has had raid strategies that were better than other guilds (in my case, SR), and in other ways executes certain types of raid strategies better (i.e. balance events).

    It's funny to me that many players seem to think the best guilds are the ones who beat the most content the fastest and that makes them the best players, but it's not so cut and dry. Many guilds and raid teams (like CTA and FL, both of which have old guard EQ players I see posting here who were, at one time, in very high end raid guilds) struggle simply because of not having a large enough percentage of high performing players. IMO the higher you go in raid guild rankings, the higher the percentage of good players there are. As much as I enjoy challenging raid content, I do really think it should be more accessible to more of the EQ community - it is more healthy for EQ's future.
    Perplexed, Elyssanda, Xeladom and 2 others like this.
  4. Sancus Augur

    I don't think server merges are the correct solution to this issue, but that's not a conversation I'm particularly interested in. The accessibility (or lack thereof) of content is a more interesting and pressing problem.

    Modern expansions only have 8-10 raids, and those raids need to serve a diverse pool of guilds ranging from relatively casual to relatively hardcore. The only way to accomplish that is to create some sort of difficulty curve across an expansion's raids, and I think that's been an issue over the past few expansions. I think it's been especially problematic for the combination of RoS and TBL because of the position of Vault in RoS progression and the relative difficulty of TBL T1 raids.

    To illustrate this point, I wanted to show the completion rates of each raid in TBM, EoK, and RoS as a percentage of the number of guilds to complete at least one raid in the expansion. I only counted wins during the expansion's life cycle (i.e. I excluded wins after the next expansion launched). It's worth noting that some portions of some expansions are non-linear, especially TBM, so the technical order of progression is not necessarily the order in which they're displayed on the following graphs. It's also worth noting that 40, 39, and 38 guilds completed at least one raid in the aforementioned expansions during their life cycle, respectively. As such, I feel fairly confident in saying all three had at least one relatively accessible raid. All that said, here they are:



    TBM's graph actually looks really reasonable. There's a pretty steady decline from the first raid to the last. As I mentioned, this is largely the case because its progression was relatively non-linear. It had the least strict keying requirements of any of these expansions, and you could, for example, complete Emollious before Damsel. This graph would look very different if Damsel were required to move onto TBM T2 raids. It's also worth noting that Hate and Fear provided 7 additional events and 5 additional chests of loot for struggling guilds, and the completion rates for those aren't recorded. That likely helped those struggling with TDS/TBM T1, as they could obtain some gear early on to improve their chances of success.

    In TBM I raided in two guilds, RoI and Infinite Elysium (31st to beat V&V, 26th to beat Enslaver). From the perspective of raiding in RoI, I really didn't enjoy this expansion. We one-shot every raid on live with the exception of Damsel, and that was only because it was bugged (it still went down in one night). There was very little challenge. On the other hand, in IE, TBM was a relief after a lot of struggles in TDS. IE spent a lot of time working on Hate/Fear early on, after which they progressed through Vim and Vigor/Wither and Decay, got flagged for T2, and continued to beat a new raid every month or so. They didn't beat Damsel or Enslaver prior to EoK launch, but there was a strong sense of progression.

    In hindsight I think TBM did a lot right, especially its non-linearity and accessibility. I think T3 should've been significantly harder than it was, Damsel should've been significantly easier, and perhaps one or two T2 raids should've been harder given Hate/Fear were available/relatively easy. That said, I think having a large body of relatively accessible content kept guilds progressing.



    EoK had fewer raids than TBM, and the difficulty curve was a bit odd. Droga, Lceanium, and Prince were very easy, but then difficulty scaled very quickly from Queen through Kar`Zok. T3 had the blocker mechanic that made the last two raids progressively easier as a guild farmed Kar`Zok, and Atrebe was trivial to begin with.

    I think this created a situation where a number of guilds breezed through the first three raids, and then got stuck on Queen, Vault, or Kar`Zok. It's not necessarily an issue with having a raid as difficult as Kar`Zok, but rather that the expansion's difficulty peaked at the sixth raid of eight. If a raid with difficulty similar to Kar`Zok was the final raid, and the difficulty tapered relatively linearly from Prince to that raid, I think there would have been a more reasonable progression path for lower tier guilds.

    This is also where avoiding linear progression can help. Atrebe was likely just after Prince in difficulty, but it was locked behind the rest of T3. I can appreciate wanting the ultimate event/boss to be last one guilds complete. That said, given development resources, it seems the reality that raid tuning is not always done in an ideal way. Avoiding linearity helps mitigate that by giving guilds more flexibility in how they progress. As a guild that got down the first three raids, for example, having the option to choose between the five remaining raids (in reality mainly an option between Queen and Atrebe, as those are the easiest) gives a greater likelihood of success.



    RoS is where things really got bad, in my opinion. Requesting T2 is locked behind T1 completion, including End of Empires, which I think was a mistake. It seems likely to me that Crypt Robbers may play to some guilds' strengths better than End of Empire (not having to coordinate shield clicks is a big bonus). I think the shield mechanic was also somewhat out of place in a T1 raid, although the completion rate for EoE is not particularly egregious.

    The main issue with the above graph is the difficulty of the expansion peaked five raids in, at Vault. Of the 21 guilds that beat Vault during RoS, 20 beat the entire expansion. That doesn't necessarily mean the following raids are easy (with the exception of Talendor, they aren't), but it does appear to mean that Vault was at least as difficult as the remaining raids.

    I loved Vault; it's my second favorite EQ raid (Mearatas being my favorite). That said, it's misplaced as the fifth raid, and the relative linearity of RoS makes it a roadblocker for many guilds. It's also not a raid where additional gear or AAs or what have you really makes a material difference; it's very mechanic heavy. As a final raid it would have been far more deserving than Talendor, but the result of its position is a number of guilds haven't progressed past Crypt Robbers. An ideal difficulty curve would see Vault at the end and a linear degradation from Crypt Robbers to Vault.


    TBL didn't help the above situation. It's too early to make a graph like those above, but notably fewer guilds have completed at least one T1 raid relative to the number that completed at least one during the same time in RoS (27 have beat one, versus 34 in RoS). My experience in TBL supports this; my impression is the T1 raids are less accessible than the equivalents in RoS, EoK, and TBM. It also seems to me that Smoke, TBL T2, GMM 1/2, and Aalishai are all of relatively comparable difficulty. Fire, GMM 3, and to a lesser extent Stratos, are a bit easier. Overall, though, it feels like the curve in difficulty is notably flatter going from raid #1 to raid #7 (Mearatas excluded). Perhaps Aalishai could've been slightly harder, but the issue primarily seems to be that T1 is not accessible enough, which doesn't allow for proper increases in difficulty event to event. TBL is more non-linear than EoK/RoS, but the flagging requirements are more severe and I don't think there's a higher tier raid that is materially easier than the raids preceding it.

    I know that was a ton, sorry about that. The basic points of the post are 1) there should be some relatively accessible raid content; 2) creating a proper difficulty curve is one of the best ways to ensure that guilds aren't stalling out; 3) in the absence of more resources for tuning, relaxing restrictions on the order in which raids are completed can help give guilds more flexibility and prevent roadblocks; 4) the hardest event should be at the end of the expansion; 5) more specifically, the combination of RoS + TBL left a lot of lower tier guilds without a viable path for progression.
    niente, Elyssanda, snailish and 8 others like this.
  5. Kiras Augur

    Nice analysis there Sancus. The only thing I really take issue with is the difficulty curve's shape going downwards, when there's a pretty good argument that the true difficulty curve is parabolic or reversed. That is, later events being easier than middle events. The data somewhat conceals the true curve where it appears to plateau. Obviously not the case with Mearatas, but Hoshkar is undeniably easier than Vault.

    I think point 5 is spot on, though I think there's one huge design decision that also feeds into it: The old group vs raid gear debate. Long ago before group gear had near parity with expansion-1 raid gear, raiding in old content was useful. Essentially, it meant that there was more raiding content for mid tiers. Switching over to near parity was okay for years, because there was a sufficient variety of content and difficulty levels. Now though, TBL is obviously good raid content, but it's a difficulty spike over previous expansions. ROS is viable, but there isn't a lot of it and some of it is fairly demanding. EOK is not really viable as a raid target because nearly everything would rot.

    In 8ish months, if there isn't some easy content put out with the next expansion, the already dying off mid-tier raiding game is going to hit a brick wall. ROS will become worthless due to group gear inflation. Most of TBL will be too hard even with the group gear inflation. The raids weren't designed for forces with 16 tanks and no bards. GMM got a lot of good will for the group game, and I actually see people grouping there (as opposed to every zone in TBL combined having roughly the same population as GMM... and it's mostly just people in raiding guilds). GMM raids, on the other hand, have a reverse difficulty slope and a you must have X DPS to ride sign.

    The remake of NTOV was a great idea. Useful loot, but poor loot per time invested compared to the other raids. They should really do something like that for Sleeper's Tomb, Ssra, VT, something along those lines if they're not going to put a better difficulty curve in for the mainline raids.
    Sancus likes this.
  6. Cronar Lorekeeper

    Unpopular opinion andy here, but the solution is to see everquest get rid of raiding, period.
    The game is old, the majority of people don't have time to sink into a mode that turns a game into a job.
    There are plenty of people on all the servers, most just don't want to get caught up in a mode that never belonged in the game to begin with.

    Have a nice day.
  7. Cicelee Augur

    You get rid of raiding, you lose hundreds (maybe thousands) of accounts, and the game truly will die due to lack of income...
    Ssdar, Allayna, Sancus and 1 other person like this.
  8. BlueberryWerewolf Augur

    To be fair, if you don't want to raid you can just, like, not raid.

    Like, you literally don't ever have to raid if you don't want to.
    Allayna, Avory, Sancus and 3 others like this.
  9. Scila Augur

    The no raiding is a yes and no ... depends on your play style. I haven't raided in almost 5 years. I have gotten alot fine with RK II spells, going so far with progression and gear, and doing ts. That's my happy place. There is such a variety ingame raiding is another component to a gamers happy place if they like that. A friend and I made it to the end of TBL with our brains and persistance minus some trials but it was a brain working like raid brain to do it. Not sitting watching tv, wfh, or putting on a movie and thinking you can breeze thru content. There are things to do without raiding but raiding is another part of the game and satisfies the raid brain that some have and need. It's what the game is.
  10. BlueberryWerewolf Augur

    I do tend to be one to think games are too often tuned toward the hardest of hardcore players to the detriment of the group/casual game

    But that being said I think I'm okay with the group game being challenging enough that you actually have to pay full attention to the game in order to succeed at the higher end.
  11. Arboriun New Member

    Furro is great and all, but that doesn't excuse the team of it's median quality of player or it's rule system. The pacing is slow, the restrictions are prohibitive. Competency is purely based on results and they (Along with every other open/alliance raid team on CT) haven't been getting the results. Half the time when they "Figure" something out its one of the players who are supposed to be muzzled deftly dropping hints (or like in Atrebe, just Leeroying the critical mechanics), most of the really good players (yourself included) that made FL competitive several expansions back have moved on, why is this? Part of it, to me, was lack of input the everyman is allowed, a large part is also the inclusion of anyone that meets min requirements, how long are the great players willing to carry a few dozen corpses on their backs? Ya, FL serves a great purpose, but they need SR/RoTE alts to get anywhere, and this has been the case since RoTE formed. FL has a higher level of hand holding certainly, but that's because the average FL player can't be trusted to learn and react to mechanics and assignments as readily. They also have a very generous backend of players who contribute to their forum guides (basically all of whom are big pieces in higher end raiding guilds, that are basically there out of charity mind you). They serve their purpose in being an entryway to raiding, but nobody good is going to stick around in the reception area very long.

    I've raided with these "old guard" players, the game was SO simple back then that anyone with a pulse and high playtimes could get in any guild, 90% of these people wouldnt survive an application process in any competitive guild, Ive watched them play, seen their poor reactivity and class knowledge. My dog could've been in TMO, it's not that impressive in todays context where the gap between bad-okay-good-elite is very illustrative. The first step is internal improvement if these teams want to stay relevant, barring that, appealing to good players to come and assist them. If CTA wants to keep progressing the simplest solution is to tailor their schedule to appeal to Maedhros and Lisard to rally some troops for their raid nights, 5-10 SR/RoTE alts could drag them alot further than 20 more also-rans. SR has finished the expansion so likely isn't raiding as much now, there's your lifeline
    Maedhros likes this.
  12. Fintank Augur

    Anyone else get all tingly when Sancus posts graphs? Wru eggplant emoji!

    I think the only thing he missed that also tends to be limiting for guilds is the more aggressive use of enrage timers than we've seen in the past. Mearatas is a prime example of an event that is a masterpiece without an enrage timer and yet still has one. If a raid can do this event for 30+ minutes and grind out a win more power to them. However the strict enrage timers for a lot of guilds make events astronomically harder or even out of their reach from the get go. I'm not 100% sure since we haven't hit the enrage timer yet but I believe hitting the timer in Mearatas does a full reset? That's an awful lot of work to be just completely lost with no hope once you hit the event timer that seems out of place to begin with. If enrage timers have to be used it would be much better imo to be scaling of power instead of a total reset or bombardment of raid destroying emotes. Another option would be a hybrid that still extends your time, like Plane of War was. Plane of War as I recall is a 20 minute enrage with a 30 minute reset timer, so bosses start to scale in power every minute or so but you don't hit a reset for another 10 additional minutes. I personally think enrage timers are great for pushing people to do better, however that is very limiting for guilds and people who aren't raid eccentric.

    Perhaps another thing, or half of a thing? Emotes that can/do wipe raids are pretty much in every raid nowadays. I think these should be eliminated or at least limited to the final raids (to follow Sancus' linear philosophy, <3 Sancus). If 1 person fails an emote, that shouldn't be a raid wipe or be something so severe it's extremely hard to bounce back from. Especially when some of the emotes/mechanics in raids fail due to server side lag that we can't control (Conflagration Generals). If there has to be a penalty to the whole raid I'd recommend it being a lesser effect of the actual emote, 50-75% of the strength or thereabouts. At least with that in most cases you're only looking at the person who failed eating a death instead of a bunch of innocent people. However with a lot of mechanics nowadays that would probably be a challenge if even possible to do. However, The Rise of Smoke raid is a good example of this especially since it's a T1 raid. Any of those 3 emotes being failed increases the chance of a raid wipe immensely, even though it's most likely only going to affect 1/4th of your raid. In a raid with already pretty heavy resource requirements, having raid wiping emotes already makes things harder but 3 of them OOF.
    Ssdar and Xeladom like this.
  13. Avory Augur

    I have to ask. If all it takes is every player on one server buying a token and then suddenly going anywhere they want or even all going to one server... How is a "server merge" an issue when you simply do it for everyone for free, then "forced" for accounts that are inactive/casual players.

    Is it because renaming a server hard?

    It's kind of an honest question because I was once told Ranger Archery Damage can't possibly be made their main source of DPS, but in reality it always was possible... This was after it's nerf from Luclin/PoP ear DPS.

    While there might be a real reason a server merger can't be done I fail to understand that prospective considering as I sated above everyone could just *buy* a token and all go to another (the same) server. I suppose without trying to sound like I'm wearing a tin foil hat that it feels like Daybreak would rather players pay them money to transfer rather than keep servers healthy.
  14. Tolzol Augur

    Yea i would quit immediately if there was no raiding, its literally the only reason i play EQ. This would likely sunset the game almost over night lol
    Drogba, Spellfire, Allayna and 2 others like this.
  15. Cragzop Cranky Wizard

    Pre-nerf, the Mearatas enrage timer just boosted UEE's regen through the roof (think GMM dragon with all the mechanics under him). We hit it at least twice pre-nerf.

    Post-nerf, I don't know of anyone hitting it...or at least they haven't reported it.

    Pre-nerf, it would have been the one thing I would have changed most about the raid (removing time limit). Post-nerf...I don't think it's going to make that much difference. It's still all about the 25 percent transition.

    I'd agree with the general premise of removing or scaling the enrage timer. And the making emotes more compartmentalized...

    As to Sancus's point about raids and pretty graphs, we are still missing the most important part of the information - what do the Devs THINK the curve should be. If the expansion curves are where the devs want them to be, that's one discussion (the one above). If the curve is not where the devs want, then that's another discussion. Similar, but fundamentally different (especially if the results are not what the devs expected).
  16. Scornfire The Nimbus Prince

    We did hit enrage post nerf, it was still just the crazy impossible to counter regen. I could've understood more/faster mephits/sentinals/rocks, but it's a pure fail timer with him regenning like 4-6% a tic if you don't finish him off IMMEDIATELY after enrage
    Cailen likes this.
  17. Avory Augur

    YellowBelly said:
    “Why do you raiders feel the need to constantly insult casuals? The only thing needed to raid these days in a discord channel and GINA telling you what to do. Whoop-de-do. Real raiding ended a long time ago.”

    I know I'll get heat for this but he's not right and he's not wrong.

    Most the talent in a guild is in the work from officers. Recruiting, raid set up, strats, discipline and so on. Past that the game mostly comes down to GINA telling you what to do near word for word while you hold down 1 key to do most your DPS or whatever. Yes, there is a little more, yes there is some timing but EQ is very easy.

    I know a few don't want to admit it, but EQ is actually a very easy game... If it were hard you couldn't run 2-6 toons at a time. I understand that playing a bot army means no character will be at max potential but once a player sets their keys up, gears themselves and has understanding of the game it's pretty simple stuff. A decent amount of work (time) to get there but not as hard as some might want it to sound.

    In Triton (recently found out I'm not in it) all our Rangers parse relatively close to the same given our group setup is similar. I find it hard to believe that others are doing more or even less than I am to max out our role on a raid. Yes, sometimes our role can have abnormal demands placed on us given a particular raid but quickly it becomes quite easy. TBL boss fight I will credit for being much more intense on individuals than the vast majority of raids in EQ. We are one of the few guilds that have beat it and even after it's "nerf" I'd wager those that beat it don't simply glide their way through, that raid is an acceptation to the rule, even for officers.

    This is just my thoughts on it, maybe you or others find the game incredibly hard; I simply can't know that for you.
  18. Sancus Augur

    This is a good point, enrage timers hurt. And I think it's also worth examining what mechanics contribute to guilds taking as long as they do. Obviously lower DPS = longer fights, but there are some mechanics that really elongate raids if your DPS is below a certain level. GMM 1's mechanics come to mind. If you don't have enough DPS to kill the event before luring becomes prohibitive, you're looking at 40+ minutes for a number of guilds. I don't think the solution to that was to slap a 30 minute enrage on the event; instead it was to make the mechanic mechanic (lol) more reasonable for a variety of guilds.

    Mearatas is a whole different ball game and outside of the scope of this thread, and no one is going to convince me its enrage was anything other than brilliant (but definitely should be nerfed now).
  19. Avory Augur

    That's a good post.

    I would guess that TBL unless nerfed will keep with the trend of less guilds even making it to the end.

    It would be nice to see higher tiers give better gear like EQ was in the past. Create some separation even in raiders on gear but make content much harder in the end end end game to fit that reality. Maybe it's "common" aug drops in t3 raids that make gear better while all visible is the same no matter what tier. Maybe it's similar to luclin where Ssra was about farming weapons and VT was about the armor.

    This way that noticeably better raider through gear is justified. At this point from what I understand many end game guilds don;t even push Mearatas as it is causes mass burn out for their roster.

    Shrunk your post so it's not a massive quote.
  20. Tolzol Augur

    I’ll agree EQ is pretty easy to me at least, but i find the fast majority of people that say this have no idea how to maximize their classes and they claim eq is easy because they get carried by people that do. If everyone knew how to play to full potential we would not have threads like this and all raid guilds would be thriving imo. Strats/triggers tell you what to do for the event to not kill everyone that’s it, it doesn’t tell you how to play better. Yes paying attention is a part of being a good player but it’s not the only part by no means as you can pay attention and not kill everyone but still be terrible at your class.
    Ssdar, Cailen, Mintalie and 2 others like this.