Level and stat caps.

Discussion in 'The Veterans' Lounge' started by Evertrek, Aug 11, 2021.

  1. NameAlreadyInUse #CactusGate

    I'm going to stop speaking for Rauven, I shouldn't have done that ;) I was just restating what I meant.

    Difficulty is an overloaded term in our context:
    • Is it "difficult" to start or return to the game and play with your friends today? Yes.
    • Is it "difficult" to start or return to the game and play in the latest (advertised) content? Yes.
    • Is it "difficult" to find a group before level 85 on a Live server? Yes.
    • Is it "difficult" to play with other players as a "free" player? Yes.
    Would changing the answer to any of those questions help to bring more new and returning players (and $) to the game? I think so.
    • Is it "difficult" to manage a vast amount of abilities and spells and options at any given moment, for any given scenario? Yes! *see below
    • Is it "difficult" to organize with 5 (or 50) other players to defeat content that you can't complete by yourself? Yes!
    • Is it "difficult" to organize multiple accounts to defeat that same content that is designed for 5 or 50 players, all by yourself? Yes!
    • Is it "difficult" to dedicate the time to make your way through all of the quest lines the game has to offer? Yes!
    These make EQ unique and fun - I want to keep this stuff!
    • Is it "difficult" to manage a vast amount of abilities and equipment, 99% of which are redundant chafe? Yes, but it's not fun.
    • Is it "difficult" to regain 5 levels every couple of years and partake in an incremental and predictable stat creep. No, and it's not fun AND it's off-putting to new and returning players.
    There's a lot to the discussion, and I don't think there's a silver bullet that will solve everything. But it does seem like we could at least start to address the actively bleeding wounds.
  2. Elyssanda Bardbrain

    Actually I group a LOT. 3-6 days a week. I just also solo currently quite a bit because I quit doing home care in May and haven't gotten a new job yet. But I also know that doing SOMETHING to work on myself is better than doing nothing but sitting and whining. I am a bard, I do not box, So Except for some clickies I have, I go unbuffed, or with healer merc buff. and yet, I get stuff done. Not only am I doing Kata's catch up progression, I am also marking every groundspawn on my maps as I go, just in case it helps someone else later.
    Just today, I went and helped a group of non-raiders do some hunter stuff in Dragon Necropolis, and when that ended I helped someone else do TBM progression, even though I am completely done with it on both of my bards. Tonight my fellowship will find something to do, depends on who needs what, we shall see.
    Oh and I'm not a he. never have been never will be.. =)
  3. NameAlreadyInUse #CactusGate

    For me, once a boxer always a boxer. There is no way I could come back and enjoy EQ with a single account unless I was only raiding and always guaranteed a full group in between raids. So that adds to the expense of any return venture (it's also the reason truebox is a non-starter for me), but maybe that's just me!

    In the more general context of new and returning players, EQ is competing in the same gaming retail space as everybody else. So for EQ to compete for those players, you have to convince those players that they would rather buy a month of EQ - just to even taste it - as opposed to say, spending $15 for this:


    Or just playing any of the thousands of other "free" games out there.

    EDIT: Actually, I think most of this conversation has been about making it easier for new and returning players to experience the wonderful things about EQ that make it so great. Kind of ironic that what makes EQ great might also be what eventually ensures it's demise (it's vastness and learning curve). EDIT EDIT: HAHA - that's not a doom and gloom prediction, I know it's doing fine now ;)
    Metanis likes this.
  4. Rauven Augur


    The reason there is no evidence of people leaving is because they already did lol. If Corwyhn wants evidence, he can login to a FFXIV or ESO server and ask people why they're not playing EQ.

    But regardless, he already made the point of discussion very clear:

    1-84 is irrelevant content. Couldn't have said it better myself.
  5. Skrab East Cabilis #1 Realtor

    Stat squish wouldn’t change anything, you’d have to do level scaling the way FF14 does with its instanced content. For example, your maxed out character can do dungeons with a new player and your scaled down to that level and character power. This type of feature would never happen though, obviously.

    This type of scaling addresses Live’s biggest issue, which is the barren community. Live has so many issues in its current form, but the most glaring is just the absolute wasteland that is the social scene.
  6. Yinla Ye Ol' Dragon

    I don't know how you can say that, guilds are very, very social, we did open raids last night with 46 spred across the 3 top guilds on the server and a few randoms. The social side of things is still there. There just aren't that many players around at a lower level, but there are some.

    I've been leveling up a char with my daughter (24) we just hit level 52, she is enjoying it and we have met a few players along the way. We are currently in Goru Mesa doing the quests although she didn't want to leave Stone Hive! I want to do epics she wants to carry on where we are, really enjoying the quests and the stories, so I'm losing this argument. I'm avoiding hot zones as they aren't the best zones and very much prefer the TSS route. :rolleyes: We are trying to level slow but it is hard! We are spending longer in zones killing greens and greys as we want to finish all the quests, heros journey is complete upto this point. Current plan is to level to 85 then go heroic so we don't have to grind out DoN missions for the AAs and she won't miss much if we only do them the once.

    Players are around at all levels they are just few and far between, Crescent Reach always seems to have someone killing stuff, but after there I'm not sure where they all go!
    Metanis likes this.
  7. Rauven Augur

    I'd have to agree. Stat squish would do nothing. Stat consolidation however should happen. Do we seriously need three stats for accuracy? For example you have Dexterity which adds to weapon hit chance (at an abysmal rate), you have attack, and then accuracy itself.

    Heroic stats and pretty much everything on the right hand side of the stat page could be rolled into the basic stats.

    And for the love of God, improve what some stats do so they actually have a purpose. There should be tangible benefits for increasing stats.

    But I can't agree more with your statement about the barren community. The social aspect of EQ is its gameplay lends well to social activity. But there's so much stuff that gets in the way of that.

    A 22 year old game is extremely top heavy with its playerbase. Levels 1-20 you may run into peeps, like in Crescent Reach. But between there and when you hit right around House of Thule content, maybe a bit further depending on server, is barren. Utterly barren.

    People in this thread are saying this is when you need to learn the game. You need to slug through the content with your merc or boxes. You need to spend your time reading forums, reading guides. All by yourself. No one to talk to. No one to get to know. No one to build any sort of friendly relationship.

    And why does it have to be like that? TLP's aren't like that. At least not for a few expansions. I can login on Mischief right now, go to Velketor's Labrynth, Tower of Frozen Shadow, City of Mist, Estate of Unrest, and even North Desert of Ro and find people grouping and playing the game together.

    I don't need a merc to level, I don't need to box. Hell I can login DPS classes like Wizard or Ranger or even Rogue, type in /lfg on and wait. Within 10 minutes (sometimes longer in off hours of the night/morning) I get a tell from someone asking if I want to join the group. Then its off to several hours of getting exp, getting loot, and meeting new people.

    Why not have that experience on live too? Many other MMORPGs do that. Why be so bitter over the barrens you have experienced on live for the last 15 years that you have to enshrine it. So that everyone has to cut their teeth on this depressing state of a game? They have to wait to play the real game. Wait to play with others. Wait to see the real content. All because the grognards want them to suffer through it, because of reasons.

    There's no reason for that. There's no reason why TLP has to be the only source of gameplay for a social player right off the bat. Because here's the issue with TLP. They succumb to the muck that live has always been eventually. A fix to live would also fix TLP. A fix to live in this manner would even make TLP irrelevant.

    As Skrab said. In FFXIV right this moment on even the oldest 1.0 servers. There is players doing the original 24-man raid content of Crystal Tower. Max level, max geared characters are in there right now. And its not even overly trivial. Its easy, because there's been several years of routine clearing. And even if they are in there for their literal 100th time. They are getting something for it.

    The downside is the gameplay of that game isn't social. While it has a great system for making past content relevant so that players can always get a group at any level. The basic system of combat doesn't lend itself to being social. There's just too much going on unfortunately.

    But there is no reason why we cannot have our cake and eat it too. Allow all content to be relevant. Allow players to group with each other sooner. And be social at the same time. If they made that happen. We'd have a truly great game again.
    Coagagin likes this.
  8. Captain Video Augur

    Sorry, I play FFXIV and this is simply wrong. First off, there are no 1.0 servers; all of the 1.0 content is retired, and every live server has the exact same content. The servers marked as "Legacy" contain imported character DBs from the original 1.0 servers, and converted characters have special titles. That's the only difference.

    Crystal Tower wasn't in 1.0. That zone and those raids were part of the initial 2.0 release. (The original Crystal Tower was in FF III.) The zone was revamped in the Shadowbringers expansion, and completion of those 24-man raids is now mandatory for progression, whereas they were optional before. That's why you see them being run so often now.

    Most Live servers have casual-friendly guilds. Within said guilds there is a fair amount of grouping to level. Players are going back to a lot of the older zones on these servers to get hunter achievements, and in many cases levelling new toons in the process. The game is so large, and has so many zones, it may appear to be barren if you're running around as a solo and blindly expecting to LFG. To group lower-level content with humans on a Live server, you either have to play with Real Life family or friends, or else join a casual guild. This has been a fact of life for Live server play for a number of years now. and the veteran players on these servers will keep giving you that advice until you either get it or give up.

    Stats in EQ are more heavily modelled after classic pencil-and-paper RPGs than more modern MMORPGs attempt to do. Try reading a D&D Dungeonmaster's Guide sometime and see if you can follow all the twists and turns of how it explains its stat system and all the various overlapping effects. If you want simpler stats, if you want to measure your DPS in your head without ever running a parse, you're playing the wrong game.

    Base stats are coded as single-byte integers, so they're all capped at 255. Heroic stats were the workaround for that. Combining the two would require a complete rewrite of the game engine, and that isn't going to happen. RHI that devs have other plans for stat changes, but I am not informed on any of that. Ask Skuz.

    TLPs have a different purpose. They assume all players there want to do the progression as it originally happened. So, the fact that you find the vast majority of a given server's players in that server's current content is by design. If that's not the kind of game you want to play, perfectly OK. Just don't slander the guilds on these servers, by calling them muck, just because you don't want to do the progression steps they've already done to get to where they are right now. Every TLP that has gone past PoP has had both raiding and casual group-content guilds, so everything I've said above about how to find socials applies equally to any TLP from, say, GoD onward.
  9. Skuz I am become Wrath, the Destroyer of Worlds.

    You want players to be able to get into a current era group as a relative noob?

    You are asking for a social experience but ignoring a lot of the caveats required for it as if they are irrelevant, but they aren't.

    I don't think most players are saying to you that you need to solo or box from 85 to 115 either, what is important is joining a guild, socialising outside of an active guild is almost non-existent, on TLP it only lasts as late as Omens of War on a very highly populated server, on most it will have died before then.

    This actually mirrors what took place on most live servers, a lot of Pick-Up-Grouping was around on Live to around Omens too then it started to dry up, Depths of Darkhollow was where I saw it start to really take a hit because of the way the expansion was built and the way the progression worked you either had to have a solid and stable preset group or you spent a lot of time doing tasks you no longer needed in the hope they got to the 1 or 2 you missed on that arc, if you did them out of order you would not get credit later, something that thankfully was changed with SoD and the advent of the achivement system to track that.

    The game on a TLP is so glaringly different to the game at 115, the amount of skills, spells, AA, are incomparable and the playstyle itself is a lot different in many ways, sure it's still "EverQuest" and you could easily say the game evolves with every expansion but by the time you have 20 levels of difference that evolution amounts to a drastically different feel to the game in my opinion.

    For examples:

    Level 50 v 70 - a drastically different feel to the game already - raid complexity is vastly different.

    Level 70 v 90 - an enormous change has taken place between these levels - quantity of player abilities have increased a huge amount here.

    Level 90 v 110 - a significant change - not quite as drastic as at the earlier two stages perhaps but here mob complexity has increased a lot at the group level of the game.

    Level 110 v 130 - well a drastic change took place between 110 & 115 already, particularly as regards XP gain so undoubtedly this stage will feel like a drastic overall change in the game took place.

    Still I do think some of what you are saying is totally valid, EQ and other games have tried the "scale a player down" approach - it doesn't work very well.

    Scaling the lowbie up to the rest of the group is what EQ needs, but that will not mean any random noob can get a group whenever, they will still need to do some social-engineering by joining a guild, making friends, helping others where they can in order to make themselves an asset to the guild that they want to help in return.

    The thing that holds EQ together, the real "social glue" though is "consistency" and by that I mean predictably playing.

    If you play random days and nobody knows when you will next show up or even IF you will then you will not do well in EQ, this is not a game you can turn up willy-nilly whenever it suits you, a player who only plays 1 day a week and that day is always Monday will do much better than a player who plays 2 or 3 entirely random days a week.
    A player who plays only 2 days a week every week will be more reliable than a player who plays 24/7 for 1-3 months then takes a few months off.
  10. Iven Antonius Bayle

    They just switch to another (high level) character, restart with a new toon or retire. Because of the global events in 2020 there was a big bunch of new players but basically its rare to meet newbies.
  11. Captain Video Augur

    If we exclude the cases of PL'ing alts, this is where I see most of the players doing straight levelling from 1, in rough order of frequency:

    1) Following the Hero's Journey questline.
    2) Franklin Teek missions (hotzones).
    3) Whatever quests are needed for an Epic 2.0.
    4) DoN missions.
    5) SoF/SoD progression.

    These steps, in whatever combination you prefer, will get any toon to 85. It can even be done F2P for any class, but you'll end up very short on AAs until you sub for a month and get your first auto-grant.

    Also, the vast majority start in the tutorial, which will get you to at least 11-12 if you complete the questline. If anyone wants to start social networking with newbies, just camp a low-level alt in that zone and check in there from time to time, and chat with whomever you see. There will always be someone.
    Dre., code-zero and Yinla like this.
  12. Rauven Augur

    You do realize that FFXIV has had a 'few' patches since 1.0 right? Come on now, you went on a long tangent over nothing. Try again.

    I disagree, I think EQ2 and FFXIV handled it well enough. I actually prefer how EQ2 handled it. As FFXIV locks out abilities and makes things awkward. But FFXIV handled the scaling better as it wasn't as trivial.

    EQ2 has problems, but its mentoring system is one thing they did right. And people I've played with have even stated on many occasions that other MMORPGs should copy that system.
  13. Skrab East Cabilis #1 Realtor

    On the flip side, the end game of FF14 are social RP activities like in-game night clubs, fan conventions, concerts using in-game instruments, dance performances, etc.

    You just provided the reason. Let's be real, EQ1 isn't very social with most people boxing their own groups. Plus, every game has raid guilds that socialize with each other, but EQ doesn't have a social community. There is no RP community at all.

    Simple answer, they just quit.
  14. Barraind Grumpy Old Bastage

    Level squishing, probably, but stat squishing is probably going to need to happen at some point.

    Look at the differences in gear from the start of the 115 era and the end. It doesnt take more than 1 or maybe 2 more sets of jumps at that level for things to reach maximum absurdity in terms of displayed numbers. Its been trending that way since 105.

    The difference between a fresh / alt 115 and a higher end 115 character is in the hundreds of thousands of hp at this point. Item stats have about tripled from 4years ago, and real numbers more than doubled.

    Without throwing krono at it?

    Many, many months to years, in any guild of note.

    Max relevant AA's, most heroic stat achievement doodads, relevant top end group gear in every slot (since we arent raiding) or prestige level-cap wide drops, the weird ancillary stuff (I am on YEAR 3 of not seeing a Frosty Gem of Enhanced Protection for my new 3 years ago SK, and dont even start with Tears of alaris...), relevant progression through the last few expansions to unlock everything? Thats a gigantic amount of stuff, and have fun if you're new and not setting up your own bot army to do some of it, you just wont get there before you walk away.

    We can debate how mandatory some of that is, but I tend to find "you just instantly die when ae'd with snowbound gear and 'this should be ok, right" aa's'" is generally ungood.
  15. Elyssanda Bardbrain

    I quit playing just as HOT came out. I came back just as TDS started.. So I was a level 85 bard (so heroic level although Ely had always been my main). I left the server I had always been on, went to server select, picked Luclin, and moved there.

    I knew no one. I realized my muscle memory was shot and barding would be.. rough til I got used to the game again. So I made a shaman and played her for 3 months just to get used to the game again. I went to the lobby, looked at the recruitment boards, saw family guild, and joined it. Then about 2 months later I went back to playing Ely full time.
    <snipping about 4 paragraphs of my own work here, I really do talk a LOT>
    Within a year I was raiding with the alliance raid on the server every Saturday night, 6 months later I was guest raiding with Infinite Elysium, 3 months later I joined them, but grouping on off raid nights was much harder. I was used to the family guild of grouping every night.

    So how long? 21 months? from level 85 to , at that time current content of TBM. and I did not level fast. I drove my friends NUTS because I refused to level first then get AA. I would level, max what I thought were necessary AA for my level, then move up again. So ALL Class and Archtype AA were always done per level.
    And I did my progression as I went. I was lucky to have come back when COTF was current content since that is where the Heroes Fortitude/Vitality/Resolution AA kick in.

    Now, for a beginning player, I would suggest it would take Probably 2 years+.. Honestly, most of that would be, pick a server with big family guilds on it, high density guilds have better options for grouping. Lions of the Heart on Xegony, Black Dragon Legion on Luclin, or something on Firiona Vie.
    Knock out those heroes F/V/R AA, they help immensely.
    When I made my second bard to do off night raiding, I did the new get-to-115-then-AA without doing those F/V/R AA.. I could tell a massive difference in how Kata and Ely functioned. Kata is not as robust. I'm still working her AA because she is an alt, and I treat her as an alt. Ely is always first, then when done I swap to Kata and work on her, I'm lucky my GL lets me raid with her at all. She was NOT ready for raiding to MY personal standards when I started doing alliance raids and Oraids with her.

    Make friends, group, talk to other people in your class in those big guilds.Talk to people outside your class to see what they expect from your class.
    Talk to the people of your class in whatever raid guilds are on that server.
    Talk to people of your class on other servers.
    Talk in the Class areas here on the forums, ask questions.
    Find out what the state of your class is and how to utilize it in the NOW. Bards changed DRASTICALLY while I was gone. That took me a bit to come to terms with.
    Alliance/open raid.
    Guest raid.
    Figure out what level of playing/raiding you are comfortable with. You may never like raiding. or you may. if you do:
    Join a full raid guild when you meet their requirements. Go to the recruitment forums here, all of the raid guilds have recruitment threads with their guild sites. Talk to people in those guilds. ask them what it is like on the inside, find out who the people of your class are in those raid guilds, talk to them.

    yes this really is the shortened, truncated version, anyone who knows me.. knows.
  16. Rauven Augur

    Meanwhile if you play on Mischief. You could be raiding by the end of the week. Not even exaggerating. Made a new character and literally by day 5, I was in a raiding guild doing raids and earning DKP.

    And get this... they sent me a tell asking me to join.

    So on live 6-21 months of grinding and leveling. Then you have to bend over backwards reading and pouring over stuff. And then you have to prove yourself to guilds as an 'exceptional' player for them to even consider you.

    But on TLP its cut to literal days. The guilds come to you. And they teach you things along the way as is needed.

    That's just the endgame raiding scene. Not everyone is into that. If you're looking for simple groups. You can go literal days trying to find a group at certain level ranges on Live. Many times they'll tell you just so solo it with your merc. Hell if you say you're LFG in general that's the response you'll usually get. 'There's no groups at that level, just use your merc.'

    But on TLP you can literally type /lfg on, at level 1, or any level really. And you'll get a message within minutes (during busier hours obviously, odd hours is a little longer).

    Daybreak should take measures to try to get that social experience on live. But many are fighting here are fighting against it. All because they've spent over a decade in a depressive state and want to ensure others go through that too. Why? Because reasons.
    Skrab likes this.
  17. NameAlreadyInUse #CactusGate

    TLP servers have their own drawbacks, like:
    • True Box. An absolute show-stopper for many of us. Doesn't stop boxing, it just makes the cost and inconvenience of playing the game much, much higher.
    • Never seeing new content. TLPs advertise and annually celebrate the idea that EQ hasn't changed or gotten any better since PoP.
    • TLPs suffer the exact same "power creep" and recycled gear/ability issues as Live servers, it just starts after PoP.
    So TLP is only an option if you want to restart once a year, play only one account, and only want to see the first 3-4 years worth of content.

    TLP isn't really relevant to this discussion, and it is not a reasonable alternative for the OP's request.
    code-zero and Elyssanda like this.
  18. NameAlreadyInUse #CactusGate

    That whole concept of "I suffered as a child, so you need to also" is really pathetic, but it sure is prevalent in the EQ community. Maybe just prevalent among bitter old people in general :D

    EDIT: So is the idea that, "It took me a long time and was really hard, so you should expect it to take you a long time also". Just...why?
  19. Rauven Augur

    You're not wrong. Which is why I don't tell people to go from Live to TLP. It just slows the inevitable. But we do get a glimpse on what live could be (which is the intent behind showing what TLP currently offers). And as TLP eventually succumbs to the issues of live, any fix would apply to them as well. It would be a literal win-win situation.
    NameAlreadyInUse likes this.
  20. Elyssanda Bardbrain

    TLP raiding is nothing like Live until it hits 90+.. and at 100+ you will feel all that you are missing if you are not dedicated to working on your character all of the time.
    Metanis, Yinla, Skuz and 1 other person like this.