RoR is harder for casuals/returning players than VoV, some fixes

Discussion in 'General Gameplay Discussion' started by Tyrval, Jan 6, 2023.

  1. Tyrval Active Member

    I really enjoy the mechanical depth of EQ2. I love the amount of stats it has, and how much you can discover by poking at it, and the incredible differences you can see by min-maxing. But I think everyone here knows that in the current content, as for some time, it is unbelievably easy for someone to miss something and just not be effective at all. I've been having a blast with heroic content myself in RoR, but as I've started helping way more casual friends and returning players, I've been taken aback by how some of the simple design decisions in RoR have made it much more difficult for them compared to VoV. And as a lot of these people hit a wall, I really worry that player retention in RoR will be significantly worse than VoV without a few simple fixes.

    The change in potency/resolve scaling. I saw this, and I thought 'okay cool, they are trying to rein in how much stat inflation we're having, to make an easier scale and people to catch up'. I kind of figure that's what the devs thought too, but in practice, it is actually having the opposite effect, and let me talk about why because it is not at all obvious and it's especially counterintuitive to anyone that's not a stat cruncher.

    So combat mit in RoR for potency stayed largely static, and the gains in potency are a much softer scale than VoV, while fervor/crit bonus have been heavily changed, and the combat mit requirements for them are steeper. In VoV, what happened was casual players that don't do the million other things of researching all the buffs to min max fervor and cb would have a really low entry point into H1, struggle to do any damage at all, but as they gained items and their base potency from gear increased, they start to slowly outpace it in content. In fact I think one of the selling points of eq2 was that people saw exponential gains from gearing, and gearing felt *really good*, because you'd go from struggling with a mob to absolutely stomping it with just some gearing jumps and the associated gains in potency.

    RoR doesn't work like that.

    Since the gains in potency are so modest, and combat mit is less focused on potency, *and* the potency of refined/experimented mastercrafted is so high, people's potency is pretty static and only changing a very little as they gain, and their performance stays pretty much the same, but what really effects their performance is the things casuals and returning players are the least familiar with- all the buffs and millions of things that *aren't* gear, so they absolutely cannot just gear past any frustration points, since it's all tied to fervor, fervor overcap, effectiveness stats, crit bonus and crit bonus overcap. They are stuck, and pretty much helpless until someone comes along and explains to them in great detail what they are doing wrong with their stats.

    Crit Bonus Overcap changes are the #1 biggest culprit. And I hate saying this because one of my big frustrations in VoV was that Crit Bonus Overcap was essentially a newb-trap in that you could never cap it as all mainslots + familiar gave you more than you could ever use. And I have enjoyed tinkering with exactly the right mix of cbo and cb items, but I cannot even begin to say how casual unfriendly this is. Before in VoV, you had this conversation with a casual:

    "Yeah any resolve upgrade is just an upgrade, except maybe making sure you keep your ability doublecast high enough, and make sure you aren't dropping below 100 cast speed/reuse."

    But since those sub stats got snipped, and cbo is now random rares, and the potency scaling is different and based on making resolve rather than getting over combat mit set in potency, the conversation looks like this:

    "Okay so it is probably an upgrade for resolve and you'll struggle to make the 8910 for h1, and definitely can't make the 9210 for h2 with refined mastercrafted, but that's still far and away the best in potency and will be for most of the expansion. However you really need to have about 3 cbo items past main/sec/ranged in order to be truly combat effective and you are going to be hard stuck without any, so you can sacrifice some resolve for at least a couple and I'd probably look for the 5-10 point resolve downgrade hits where you can as they are the ones you most get away with dealing with. Now ideally as you gain some 425s from weeklies you can swap back to the mastercrafted items, but you really need to chase the h1 collects for the 415 cbo ear/ring and you'll swap down from the 420s you just got for those. I know you've run Takish arena like two dozen times in hoping for a neck but keep at it, because you just won't be effective until you do. Also here's 5 reuse adorns that you didn't know existed because they are level 100, put them on both charms, secondary, ranged, and waist."

    Like I love eq2's complexity but these dudes should not be getting smashed in h1 wondering why they are parsing 30b while they join me and my friends who are all parsing in the mid trillions on the same fight with similar resolve.

    So simple (relative) changes to save these guys: Just streamline cbo/cb. Either have gear just have both cb/cbo (like the old white adorns did), or pick 3 armor slots (helm, legs, bp?) and have them consistently offer cbo. Then we won't have as many posts from players forgetting to cast their familiar and wondering why solo overland mobs refuse to die that didn't happen in VoV because all the armor slots had cbo.

    Secondly, the fervor requirements are super high and I don't think any serious mechanical player realizes just how big the gap is unless they group with casuals and are wondering why they are doing 1% of their damage. I really think merc batallion buff should start at level 1 and not require an unlock. This isn't an optional thing for people coming along in heroic content, if they don't have merc/mount/familiar, they cannot do damage. They just can't.

    Would greatly increase the rewards on solo collection and the RoR signature quest. People used that 325 charm in VoV from the end of the sig for a long while, and you got critical thinking which everyone still uses. There's not an equivalent in RoR, and that hits the casuals pretty hard. It's honestly kind of depressing how much a 425 reuse charm with crit bonus overcap would like solve a lot of these guys' problems.

    But mostly, players have to be able to gear past their frustration points. You just can't make people enjoy number crunching and delving into stats, and trying to design RoR to be more friendly to players like me just makes it way too frustrating to players that aren't. So resolve upgrades have to be strong, and the whole system of, 'yeah that's an upgrade IF <X>' is just super challenging for anyone that's not the subset of players that know all the game mechanics down cold.
  2. Chath Well-Known Member

    Very well stated post of the issues that are plaguing more casual players at the moment. Some other things that might help:

    - Flawless Vetrovia should be in the tishan box for RoR or be obtained from solo achievements. If someone doesn't know about this because they started playing this expansion and don't have a group of friends who's willing to help them out by going back to the previous one, the fervor buff will hold them back in a major way.

    - Put a copy of the shadowed ethereal merchant from Savage Weald in Raj'Dur plateaus. I met a returning player who had *no* idea what the shadowed ethereal trackers meant and hadn't bought any of the AA upgrades. Those are essentially mandatory to perform in any adequate manner.

    - Make the familiar infusion no longer require a level 10 familiar. It's too crucial, and while I have enough potions banked to max a half-dozen celestial familiars, there's a lot of players who don't even know how to level one, much less can get even a treasured one to 10. (Incidentally, the familiar infusion is still bugged and requires recasting to work).

    - Put recipe books on the researchers for crafting some of the different runes - Withering and Tainted Blade in particular.

    - Make dropped temporary adorns more meaningful, like fervor/fervor oc and cb/cbo temp adorns, or large potency adorns on unusual slots like the ones we got from the big infuser trade-in when those were sunsetted.

    - Make dropped permanent adorns include cast speed and reuse adorns. Add a few fervor, fervor overcap, or crit bonus overcap or something to them if you want. They don't really have to be better, it's mostly just an issue that a lot of players won't know the old ones exist and having 0 reuse is another thing that will kill the performance of casual players.
    Carynn, zzmax929, Aethos and 3 others like this.
  3. Dead Alt Account Well-Known Member

    All you need to do is run VoV heroics for the flawless buff that gives nearly 80 fervor. It should be easy with the RoR box gear.
  4. Sigrdrifa EQ2 Wiki Author

    AND a group of people willing to go do old content with you.
    JanEQ, Aethos, Juraiya and 1 other person like this.
  5. Dead Alt Account Well-Known Member

    Maybe 2 or 3 more to help since you now have much better gear. A few expansions ago you had to run old raid content to get the blue fervor runes, now they give them to you in the box. All you have to do now is run the old heroics once for the flawless buff which is pretty easy. I see groups forming to do the old heroics nearly every day. The game is not hard.
  6. Ejiju Member

    I'd argue that RoR and VoV were some of the easiest expansions for a new player to catch up and run end game content. That's not to suggest that it is easy and quick, but it is at least possible. Prior expacs, if you missed the summer ethereal event, you spent an entire year incapable of reaching your full class potential, because you couldn't obtain those items after the event was over. The lower combat mit in RoR is actually more forgiving than in VoV, because you can actually contribute something without every available potency upgrade. In VoV, even veteran players were struggling to surpass the combat mit in zones.

    That said, the amount of effort required to catch up is still massive. Weeks and months of grinding overseers for mount/familiar/merc leveling potions, Ethereal Trackers, back-tracking into VoV for H1/H2s for Flawless buff, unlocking Prestige AA all present a huge barrier of entry for a new player joining to play with established players. Some of those steps requiring a group of people to carry them through content.

    The pre-order pet is a big issue though, the potency on that alone represents 2 1/2 full tiers of equipment upgrades. That is not obtainable by a new player starting now and will ensure they can't compete at the same level as those that pre-ordered with no way to overcome it.

    For a new player who just wants to join and experience 18 years of content, there's plenty to do, but for a player joining who wants to join friends in heroics or raiding, there needs to be a way to catch up and play with friends. A post-order pet that gives a slightly lesser buff, Ethereal Tracker rewards in high volume from RoR solos, accelerated prestige AA awards, baubles that level initial mercs/familiars/mounts that give lesser stats than the ones leveled naturally. Without a way to combat attrition, there's only one direction for the game to go.
  7. Dockter Well-Known Member

    In my opinion, RoR has been an unmitigated disaster for casual players. The fact that the developers went on vacation for a month after dropping the expansion without a single update since is my proof for them appearing to go on vacation for a month.

    I've been playing RoR since beta. I do not like that T1 raids have a 9350 resolve, that's T3 heroic level. I've done zones every day since the release and we're able to kill 3 named in T2's, my resolve is 9158 and its been stuck there for over 2 weeks. Ultimately this high resolve check for beginner raids makes no sense and from what I can recall has never been that high for beginner raids.

    If DarkPaw's goal was to kill off the causal raid their doing a pretty damn good job. This will be the first time our guild has not been able to raid on day 1 of a zone release since we started.
  8. AvenElonis Well-Known Member

    We are in the same boat as a casual raid guild - we are up to 5 names in H2 we can kill, thinking it will a while before we worry about Tier 1 raids. Waiting to see what if any changes to h1/2s there will be in the updates. Pretty certain a lot of chrol's changes got reset by the server reset.

    Also Caith sets Resolve as far as I know, not Chol/Kander (zones) or Gninja (raids).
  9. Obano Well-Known Member

    The game just simply asks too much of players these days. This isn't just about causal and returning players that are struggling. What I am seeing is even people who have been around for years are having a rough time. Talking about people with nearly unlimited time and money are falling behind and not being able to do things.

    In order to break into H2 requires pulling some ridiculous shenanigans. Such as running multiple alts through the H1 weekly in order to get 425r gear and passing extra weekly rewards to their mains. Mid range players and casuals don't have the time for that nonsense and thus were not able to successfully break into H2 in a timely manner. For those who are running H2 regularly the climb into H3 territory is even steeper. Maybe if the H2 timer was only 90 minutes progress could be made but as it stands people aren't able to farm enough gear to be raid ready. Time is basically up at this point.

    I expect a lot of guilds to simply implode because they are not going to be able to field effective raid forces and they will lose whatever remaining players they have when they understand they won't be raiding. The Devs don't realize they are playing with fire here. The real kicker is the damage has already been done.
    Manafizzle, Svenone, Aethos and 7 others like this.
  10. vlada Active Member

  11. Priority Well-Known Member

    Another well thought out posting with excellent context. Thanks for sharing your insights.
    BaldNinja, Pathetica, Aethos and 4 others like this.
  12. Bigstomp Member

    I will say from a sig line perspective I am messing with an alt and with the middle xpack, the gear from the starter crate AND all of the current panda quests adorns, it does not seem totally awful.

    That said, it's a mystic and without ascensions.... Some of the ttks would be awful lol.
  13. vlada Active Member

    i cannot call out obano without violating forum rules. that said, guilds are not imploding. there arent any shenanigans, this is a customary solution. raid resolve is high but i refuse to feel bad because elite players cant raid the first, i respectfully disagree. and btw my guild only has 1 of 4 groups with 9350R+. no one is crying or quitting over it.
    Priority likes this.
  14. Shidoshua New Member

    I don't think raid resolve is a challenge. I'm about there while wearing lower resolve CB OC items. But certainly the gap between H1 and H2 is pretty steep. Not a problem for raid teams but for more casual players, it may be a while.
  15. Bhayar Well-Known Member

    I think part of the problem we've been experiencing is that zones lack any consistency when you're in them. This sounds crazy, I know, but hear me out. We've been in the same zone a couple of different times and it reacts completely differently between the same six people running it. One time, it's easy, the next time we have to ask ourselves--did we just jump into an H2? Another problem is see is the the loot drops are ridiculously low for H1s. One loot item per boss seems to be the standard. And you want people to gear up for H2s, H3s exactly how? 7 armor slots, 9 jewelry slots (cloak and waist included), 3 weapon types. So, if my math is correct, that's roughly 19 different slots per person, and with a group of 6 people that means roughly 114 items needed by the group. So let's do the math on how many times you need to run an instances to gear up a group when the loot drops are so low. Loot itemization is a major joke at the moment. If there was a reason that stats are removed from items, I'm love to hear the reason for it. And there's no replacements. Let's see, casting and reuse seem to drop off items, but let's replace them with adornments from 5 xpacs ago, because we don't have current adorns with stats comparable to the xpac we're in. And I've said it before, but I'll repeat it again, mages don't need block on items. I also don't get the notion of why TSers only get recipes to make one of the jewelry items just to get you started to be able to run some instances. I'm not at all impressed with the thought process used (if there was even one involved) to justify some of the decisions showing up in this xpac. I love the beauty and other components of the zones, but honestly, some of the things we see day in and day out looks like the 3 Stooges were cut loose on this xpac. They defy any attempt at analysis or even understanding the logic used to get there.
    Aethos and Juraiya like this.
  16. Sigrdrifa EQ2 Wiki Author

    My friends have been finding the jump from Solo to H1 "a little steep". And it's maddening. Small changes in group composition result in wildly different outcomes on H1s. I have started So. Very. Many H1s with my pals, and we fail.. I suspect some of this is the lack of "Tier II" belt adorns, and it's so incredibly frustrating. Note that we regularly kill everything in Blood and Sand H1 and Sultan's Dagger H1, and we somehow we managed Eye of the Storm H1 without too much trouble! But then there are the other zones with problem bosses.
    • Migral Strongfeet in Kigathor's Glade H1, because the constant porting and blinking and stun or stifle or whatever it is eventually ends up killing the healer and by the time we get the healer back up we have too many adds and die. Also, even with good DPS, its a challenge to kill the adds fast enough. We're all at or over Resolve, we prioritize killing the adds. Tank being ported into the inside of the cliff during the fight! What's that even all about? Shortening the blink distance isn't enough, reduce the number of dang things interrupting us!

    • Florafang in Overgrowth H1 sometimes kills us because we are again overwhelmed by the frog adds porting and interrupting the heck out of the healer. Same sort of thing with Tawerek, the constant interrupts and the stifle without the necessary Tier II belt rune are killing us.

    • The Haunting of Tualanan in Terrene Threshold H1... This is another fight in which the group composition oddly makes it easy sometimes and impossible other times. The times it has been easy, we had a Fearless Crusader tanking. But the Warrior tanks struggle because they and the healers get feared into the pit. Also, some of the floor "path patterns" are much harder than others. When The Haunting ports, sometimes you can almost make a beeline to it, then there are those other times when the path takes the longest possible twisting turning path and she annihilates us before we can get close enough to control it and dispel.
    This is nuts! The Tier II belt runes just have to be made more easily available. Increase the drop rate. Give us 3-charge recipes to make them. SOMETHING!!!

    Not only are we not raid ready, we aren't going to even have a raid group if we can't get through the flipping H1s.
    Carynn, Obano, FuRiouSOne and 2 others like this.
  17. Athenia Well-Known Member

    This has been really frustrating for sure. I expected to have some difficulty, but the level of difficult has been both surprising and frustrating. It killed me to hear how demoralized my friends sounded after H1s kicked their butts.

    These are people who have been in the game a long time and who know their stuff - I'm actually the most "green" having come back to the game in the fall. We're not fully casual either - we're at resolve or above, and we take the time to spec and gear ourselves accordingly. We want to progress, but due to how the game is set up right now with these H1s we're finding it incredibly difficult.

    Like Sigrdrifa I'm also going to call out the ridiculousness of both Florafang and Tawerek in Overgrowth. Especially with no belt runes. The only way I got through this zone was with PUGs who already had well-geared toons. Good for me, but I should at least be able to go back and be able to beat these mobs with friends who aren't as well-geared (again, at resolve or above). With difficulty of course, but we shouldn't be unable to complete the zone period.

    We don't want these things handed to us, after all challenges are what make us better players, but we shouldn't feel so brutalized by stuff that's supposed to be more entry-level content.
    Aethos, FuRiouSOne, Notnasty and 3 others like this.
  18. Tyrval Active Member

    One thing that might help to emphasize is that using a full suit of refined/experimented mastercrafted and getting people CBO is basically a cheat code for h1s, so for the really hardcore players that are trying to help out their friends that struggle constantly, you can do that. It's hours and hours of work to experiment it all up and give it to them, but it gives such a high potency baseline that you can probably help them get over the hump. It's just incredibly awkward to then explain to them that no, every single 420 that drops in there is not an upgrade, except for that weird 415 collect with CBO, or the odd 425 rare drop with cbo. But if you're dealing with casual friends that are very demoralized, it can help.

    The honest truth is refined/experimented is almost certainly going to be best in slot for any non-raider currently this expansion, with them demolishing the scaling of stats you get from gaining resolve on items. Just compare how much potency you gained from a lower resolve item in VoV to a higher one, and contrast that with how much you gain from a lower resolve to a higher resolve item in RoR. It's a huge difference, and refined and experimented mastercraft is lightyears beyond.
    Chath likes this.
  19. Athenia Well-Known Member

    Coming back to expand on this more since I was about to make a whole other post on this same subject.

    I'm firmly agreeing now that RoR and the game as a whole is too punishing for returning players.

    I just had a whole discussion in discord about why my necro was parsing embarrassingly low. OP touched on this here, but a lack of fervor is my main issue. I'm 200 off from where I need to be. The problem is I am using everything I have available to me right now. I came back a couple months before RoR release, so I lack almost everything obtained in VoV save for the Flawless buff (thank you to Maj'dul server for running pickups for that).

    As for as RoR goes, I could not afford the top-tier expansion, nor will I ever be able to so I lack the mount, familiar, and merc. What I do have is time. In theory I have up to 6-7 hours a day to play this game.

    So I do solos. I harvest for rares. I craft gear and consumables. I study others AA specs. All my spells are expert or better.

    All of that, and my tank still struggles with aggro and my necro is nothing but a body just for H1s. Mainly because, as it seems, I am way under the fervor required for them. Again, for H1s. Like I voluntarily bowed out of my H1 group so they could get DPS to be able to kill the last named, I felt so bad for them.

    There is a HUGE problem when I can potentially devote that amount of time to the game daily and still come up that short for entry-level heroic content.

    I'm no stranger to the grind. I started playing in 2008. I remember camping for nameds for HQs and running zones for coveted gear drops. I'm running solos now the same way I did back then.

    The thing is, back then all my time spent in-game actually paid off. I was able to catch up to my end-game peers, got myself up to raiding content, and later went on to join the #1 WW raid guild.

    I approached coming back to the game now like I did back then. The only difference now is the game has such steep entry requirements I am getting nowhere. I'm not sure what to do right now, but this isn't fun anymore.

    We should see something for all of our efforts if we're going to put this much time and work into the game. It's a game after all, not a second job.
    Mypnodroga, Pathetica, Aethos and 4 others like this.
  20. Bhayar Well-Known Member

    Athenia, you and Sig have eloquently and accurately summed up the major issues we're seeing and experiencing in the game.
    Marina Mawr, Sigrdrifa and Athenia like this.