How to Incentivize Grouping or Accelerate Solo Catch-ups?

Discussion in 'The Veterans' Lounge' started by Nobildus, May 19, 2021.

  1. FrozenWater Elder

    If there is a vibrant group game at lower levels, I don't think the idea of "below the levels, AAs, gear and knowledge to effectively participate" exists. How could you define "below" if you are able to log in and effectively play at any level?
  2. Nobildus Journeyman

    I think the goal should be for a very large majority of the players to experience all of the group content when the expansion is current. What else is it there for if not be experienced? Certainly not glossed over via tank merc, paid power-leveling, or guild leveling Everyone should be able to jump into raiding if they choose, not necessarily succeed, but it should be available. I also think that if people were able to get on par with the auto-grant tier it would be a much different story. If auto-grant is two expansions behind then I would say that keeping the players no more than two expansions behind is the goal, it keeps EVERYONE relevant.

    I'd also like to say that I don't think it should be expected or encouraged to have to box to complete content. I think doing so is a band-aid to the problem.
  3. Skuz I am become Wrath, the Destroyer of Worlds.

    This^

    The shroud system was EQ's clumsy attempt at allowing players to scale down to help lower level buddies but not being able to play the character you spent years of time & lots of money to develop was a huge disincentive, add on that playing a shroud had so few benefits for the player doing it that it was just way less pain to power-level your buddy just the same as always.

    Side-kicking (which up-scaled the lower level player to an average of the rest of the group), and other de-scale techniques have been employed successfully by other games, City of Heroes/Villains and RIFT are notable examples and they managed it while making the game stay rewarding for ALL the players involved.

    ESO did something different by making every mob in the game the same level and autoscaling players to that level - it has good aspects and bad ones.

    EQ's dated engine/back end are a bit of a roadblock to some of these exotic ideas though probably, and its infrastructure probably prevents the game being able to do things like cross-server group finder where you can sign up to do a dungeon and you get put in a queue & matched up with other players of your level range to go to an instanced mission for an hour or so.

    Personally I think the "side kicking" style of CoH/CoV that averaged the lower level player with the rest of the group is the better option for EQ, veteran players I think would prefer to drag along a lowbie in the content they are playing now or new content than go back over stuff they may have played to death already several times over - but a choice of doing that or player de-scaling would be the ideal.
    Jumbur likes this.
  4. Nobildus Journeyman

    Could something like this work in conjunction with the heroic character function?

    Maybe one purchases a heroic character and it enables a checkbox by the auto-grant feature. This new function works for the paid heroic character and allows the character to auto-level up to two expansions behind, based on the current expansion? Gives the player the agency to decide if they want that for their character or not and keeps the service relevant?

    This is essentially just upgrading the heroic character for every expansion but imparts a little more emphasis on the "heroic" part of it. Kind of like WoW's "hero" classes that start at higher levels.
    jiri_ likes this.
  5. Skuz I am become Wrath, the Destroyer of Worlds.

    Feasibly it could be done that way, but that would require a vastly larger number of player templates (at least if it was enabled for TLP).

    And you don't want to make it "too easy" to stop playing and return at any point either so a limited number of "catch up points" makes sense.
  6. jiri_ Augur

    Sure, but is it possible to actually do that? Should that be the goal?

    I agree it would be in a perfect world, but the TLPs exist, and they generally have the same pattern: big boom at launch, high population into Kunark, some bleed through PoP with a bit of a spike at Luclin, then a cliff after PoP and slow bleed as they move forward towards current content. How much demand is there for content that's not exactly nostalgic but also not current, actually? I don't know if there's a critical mass of players out there that really want to play through DoN, TDS or CotF again, even if it is fast.

    And if they do, there's already an official-ish place to have that experience. And are DPG going to be interested in spending resources revamping the shroud system to provide what's essentially a competitor to their TLPs? Or are they gonna anticipate the complaints about how the fastest thing for AAs at 115 is shrouding down to 35 and sitting in Lower Guk and decide, eh, we've ultimately nerfed every other easy catchup mission after people complained, it's just not worth it.?
  7. Jumbur Improved Familiar

    Im not sure "templates" are needed for those level-ranges, if you are thinking of various versions of "heroic gear".
    A sufficient amount of currency, for already existing group-vendors should do the trick, no extra itemization is needed. that goes for the level 75-105 range.
    And there are already 2 gear-templates for the level 50 players, I think Combine(the original progression server had a 51/50 "heroic") and the other "classic-flavored" gear-template could be what the OMM-"shrouds" are wearing.
  8. FrozenWater Elder

    I'm definitely not arguing for that. I think shrouds are a joke. My arguments population based: maximise the level appropriate populations by merging servers.
  9. jiri_ Augur

    Got it. And my theory is that, even if every Live server were merged together, there would be essentially no change in the number of experience groups happening outside current content. There just aren't enough players.
  10. Nobildus Journeyman

    I think one thing that should be taken into account is that the original EQ (1-50 If I remember right), and maybe RoK (50-60), were essentially just expansion packs are but their focus was different. The whole goal of original EQ/RoK was to experience the leveling from 1-50/60. There were of course things to do at the end of leveling but for the majority of the player base, you leveled, that was the goal.
  11. strongbus Augur

    This has been said many times before that they don't have the time to make new heroics. But it makes no sense at all. They have beta setup so you can beta buff a toon to what ever level you want(in 5 level steps). just copy the files for each class from there. bam instance new heroic toons. very little work needed.
  12. Yinla Ye Ol' Dragon

    Anyone starting a new char on live servers need to research guilds there, there are several casual guilds with players at various levels to group with.

    For anyone returning the main thing you need is to connect with people willing to share knowledge.

    Cotf has lots of vendors with augs on them many expansions have gear on group vendors purchased with group currencies I'd like to see more of these currencies available on the loyalty vendors.

    To the person stuck in cotf at level 104, I'd suggest trying tds then moving on to eok. At level 106 look for conflagrat gear in the bazaar. From there go to gnome mountain. Then move to Tov.

    I'd skip RoS and TBL they were a bit rough on AEs and dots. TBMs HAs are still overturned.
    Skuz likes this.
  13. Skuz I am become Wrath, the Destroyer of Worlds.

    While group-currencies started with LDoN there are some big gaps (plenty of expansions without any group-gear currency system) maybe filling those gaps with some currencies & currency gear for group missions would be worth doing as a precursor to having a currency based way to gear up a wider array of level upgrades.
    Plenty of the later expansions have raid currency gear but group currency only allows you to buy type 5 augments after TBM.

    Quarm was 51/50 too as I recall and had a set of gear.
  14. Chorus Augur

    Tank merc + healer merc is garbage, and has been for a very long time. Don't use that combo. For you, pet tank and use a dps merc with a cleric merc. On tougher fights, maybe use 2 cleric mercs, but definitely do not use a tank merc/healer merc combo unless you're fighting stuff that is an expansion older than the level range of the tank merc. They suck in anything current compared to their level range.

    Move the bard to AA until the bst catches up I suppose.
  15. Nobildus Journeyman

    Isn't this the trap that burns people out though? AA'ing until you feel strong enough to take on something else when you could be putting that experience into leveling and getting all sorts of free AA's when you ding? All the while making you 1 more level above the mobs you're fighitng?
  16. SleezerGeezer Elder

    Cross Server Dungeon Finder for Dailies would be nice.
    bortage likes this.
  17. Tatanka Augur

    I find it slightly ironic that a thread on "catching up" doesn't mention Overseer.

    I know there are various opinions on what catching up means, but as far as making XP to get to 115, Overseer is a very good option for those who don't have guilds or regular groups.
  18. Vumad Augur

    This problem has a very, very simple solution which has been brought up many, many times.

    Ladder servers.

    It's a very simple concept. You start a character on the newest TLP. Once you reach max level, you transfer for free to any server the is further in expansions. Once you hit the cap on that server, you can transfer to the next further along server.

    Then if I can convince a friend to start playing EQ, instead of a PL or heroic to skip content, we can just play together with a bunch of other people, then jump servers, moving up to my live server eventually.

    All we need is them to allow free transfers up the servers. I realize server transfers may not be simple. Invest in automating it.
  19. Jennre Band Leader

    They should just make all Group currency tradable
  20. Bardy McFly Augur

    Mentoring in EQ2 was one of the best additions. Even if you don't like EQ2, that one system made the game much more open to newcomers and kept more of the lower level world populated. Also great for bringing up additional boxes to have pocket usable classes when there is a shortage of a needed class.

    Honestly, I think mentoring would be one of the best additions they could make to EQ1 at this point.