Poll

Would you rather see new content or old content revamped into 'new' zones?

Revamps
5 (13.9%)
New Content
31 (86.1%)

Total Members Voted: 36

Author Topic: Revamps Vs. New Zones  (Read 2215 times)

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Kadaj

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Revamps Vs. New Zones
« on: April 04, 2019, 04:33:10 PM »
Would you rather explore new zones or old zones revamped, just a simple question I want to get answered.

blackmagus

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Re: Revamps Vs. New Zones
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2019, 09:17:16 PM »
Are you planning on goading staff into making new zones on the strength of your poll results?

Kadaj

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Re: Revamps Vs. New Zones
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2019, 05:46:01 AM »
Who knows?

Gnua

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Re: Revamps Vs. New Zones
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2019, 08:02:13 AM »
Are you planning on goading staff into making new zones on the strength of your poll results?

or maybe he's trying to say that he doesnt want to lose the old zones if/when new ones come in.  old qualinesti quekul shadows thorbardin feel like old favorites to some.

Terk

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Re: Revamps Vs. New Zones
« Reply #4 on: April 08, 2019, 01:16:26 PM »
This seems to be an oversimplification. I think there are a lot of factors that go into deciding on revamp vs. new zones.

1. Creator interest and passion
 Surprising as it may be, it is a whole heck of a lot harder to come up with a zone story and design from scratch. It's much easier to have that story and then make rooms around that story. As an example, it took me a long time to make Deep Mine [1.5 years]. On the flipside, Loopley and I hammered out Falstaff Manor and the Blighted Farm in about 6 weeks. Now, granted, I was a faster creator by this point, but the inspiration was easier to draw from.  It was easy to make stories around a noble manor and rundown old farm on the outskirts of Palanthas rather than a brand new place in an area of the game nobody ever went to. In making those stories, however, it wouldn't have made a lot of sense to leave Matthias as a much poorer neighbor or a run down old farm next to one rife with intrigue and murder.

 On top of that, creators want to take on projects they want to take on. Creation is a lot of work. Unless you are really passionate about making the next Castle Uth Wistan (~8 year project), you won't get it to the finish line. If you want new zones, you may have to take revamps if that is the only thing the Creators want to do.

2. Changing times making old high zones way too easy for the gear they produce, but nobody wants all their favorite items to be removed.
 It makes no sense to be able to solo for gear that was meant to be done with a full group in the past. The gazer's eye is a good example. For a long time this was one of the absolute best items in the game. If you don't revamp the zone what you get is a world class nerfing on beloved equipment. Nobody likes this. [disclaimer: I know nothing about the new Qualinesti at all]. Like Brama, we all love shinies. This is a big part of the thinking behind the Sanction revamp. Sanction had quickly become 1-2 mannable but was still loading some of the very best weapons in the game. With a small revamp, we could keep those items strong and even add some new strong ones in. On the more extreme scale, both HCT and Graknar loaded way too much good stuff in what had become soloable zones; this created a need for a HCT revamp and CoT [a zone I like, but that certainly has its flaws]. As you may note, a lot of the classic items [dragon orb, suit of dragon power, etc.] from HCT and Graknar still exist today and many new items were added to boot.

3. There are many examples of well loved revamps that are more popular than new zones.
In my mind Dragonarmy Training Ground is one of the best zones in the game. I'm quite partial to Falstaff manor and the Blighted farm. I certainly like the new Dargonesti and Sahuagin, as the old ones were always a bit lacking. Solace tree (and I think Solace in general) is now a beautiful zone, and you can still jump off it! Neraka couldn't be more exciting. Hell, I'm sure someone out there just loves the new Dargaard or High Clerist Tower.

4. The more popular a zone is the harder it is to revamp.
Refuge (Nyte's), HCT, Qualinesti, Shadow were all main stays of the game going back to the "glory years". The reception for revamps is inherently going to be lukewarm. This is more a warning for future creators. It's really hard to revamp a favorite and get a positive response. While the work may feel important, it is better to make a revamp of a zone with flagging popularity than one of the most popular zones in the game. I for one would love to see a Largus revamp. Blacken, Icen, and Greenen could use some love. Hell you can even add in a real Redden!

Final thought. If old Thorbardin is one of your favorite zones (an empty colossus with no interesting fights and lame secret passageways), I think your zone calibrator is way off track. 

Terk out.
« Last Edit: April 08, 2019, 01:25:31 PM by Terk »

Iadus

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Re: Revamps Vs. New Zones
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2019, 08:04:38 PM »
While Terk is making some excellent points, the focus of the game is just so much more casual now than it was before. It has become a place nostalgia for the people who lived and breathed it in the past. A good portion of the usual heavy wipe-long hitters have left this time around because of the decay timers. It's just so disheartening to only be able to log on a couple times a week and see that a good portion of your equipment decayed while you were gone. We simply do not have the time to dedicate to play the way we used to love to. We're all big kids now, and most of us have little kids of our own that dominate our free time schedules. Without the ability to load these strong items ourselves, we're weaker, and the nostalgia loses luster. That being said, I am a fairly new creator who is going back to school to learn programming, and I would much rather create a new zone than revamp an old one, mostly because a new zone doesn't come with any expectations for me to have to live up to. I want to start fresh so that I can learn as I go without feeling the need to live up to what someone who was likely more experienced than me did however long ago. I don't know how learning to create was in the hay-day of the game, but, right now, it's mostly me teaching myself with some help from anyone who is around for me to latch onto when I see them. I've received many offers of help, and am grateful for any/all assistance I've been able to get, but, I'm usually on by myself.

mikey

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Re: Revamps Vs. New Zones
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2019, 10:15:42 PM »
Terk does make some excellent points and gives me some new perspective on creation, but his point #2 really concerns me.

This idea of zone design around the few(?) players/clans that have the skill/knowledge to duo and solo these zones seems wrong.
Most these places I couldn’t have come close to beating with a full group and now they are buffed? Sadness.

If all the areas are made to give the best players a challenge what will be left for me and other not-so-great players?

For example, things like the dragon changes seemed absolutely awesome (I agree dragons should be super scary!), but in reality, this just caused my group of friends to give up on every zone with a dragon.

I guess that I'm worried that the development team only takes into account these better players while the less skilled players are actually losing content with each change and revamp.
Please don't forget about the little guy!

Despite my whine (I know I know, git gud right?), thank you all for working hard to keep Arctic going!  And thank you for the two-character system!

Kam

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Re: Revamps Vs. New Zones
« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2019, 12:33:13 PM »
The choice to do a revamp or to create an entirely new zone is often driven mostly by the quality of the zone and the quality of the items therein.

Part of the issue of managing the overall balance of the game is that adding new zones means adding new items.
As we continue to add new items we must either remove or debuff older items to avoid the power creep issue.
Without removing or at least significantly debuffing older top tier items we end up in a place where the power of player-characters makes the game at large less challenging and less difficult and thereby easier to get higher tier items and thereby making the game easier, etc, etc, etc.

Issues that we aren't really able to address are that this power creep has been happening for years and has been heavily exacerbated by what has seemed like a more or less lack of oversight in the realm of new zone creation. The first steps we've taken to address this have been met with quite a lot of resistance and admittedly were not perfect, but we can discuss that in another thread which I'll get to another day.

Revamps that we've done are Isle of Shadows, Que Kul, Merchant Caravan. Only three, so what's all the fuss?

Isle of Shadow was a pretty complete tear-down. It's a whole new zone with some familiar elements. The old zone was boring and pretty linear with poor description work and some really great items. Most of it you could solo with a thief, pretty much all of it could be done with a two-four man group by just about anyone. The new zone is the most dynamic zone in the history of the game and it has still some surprises yet to be discovered. We're very proud and can't say much more because we don't want to give away the secrets!

Que Kul is very much the same zone it once was, just improved. It's also very dynamic and if you don't like the changes the core of the zone is still there and ready for boring step-kill xp if that's what you are into. I think there are still a few secrets in here as well, but I'd have to double check with Kholos.

Merchant Caravan was built by Ilya. So, like, yeah, but also the old Merchant Caravan was just a no value bend in the road and as long as the post is still there to lean on what complaints can anyone really have here?

Zones we have added/expanded: Village of Rigitt, Sandy Cove, Balifor Underbelly, Kalaman Dockyards (and Solamnic Ship).

We have two more new zones ready to go into the game called Trade and Farholm which should be in sometime this weekend.


If the idea is that you want to judge the current staff's efforts for the revamps of the past then I can't help you with the motivation there save to say that almost all the zones that were revamped/replaced were pretty much crap in their original format.

Thorbardin for instance was built in 16 hours by Cale. Overnight so that he could get a promotion to 35 because that was how they did things back then.



It's important to remember the history of creation on Arctic. When the game started they just needed content and so the standards for creation were pretty low. What mattered was that the game "feel big" because most other MUDs at the time which we were competing with for players still also had very little content. In the heyday of MUDs being an immortal on a creation port was way less fun than being a mortal and killing your friends and enemies.
As a result of all this "manifest destiny" style creation we've been left with a lot of stuff that is kind of crappy and that is the stuff that we want to replace.

So rather than post a poll about whether or not your prefer revamps or new zones, let's try one listing some of the crappiest zones in the game and tell me which ones you'd like to see revamped the most. Or, send me an email with your great zone idea that you have and come build it, or, if that's just not for you, send us your ideas anyway and maybe we can bring it to life for you.

Tell us about what you like and we can do more of that, tell us all the things you hate and we don't really get much traction from that.


Let's try to keep this thread directly related to zone creation be it revamps or new zones. I'm happy to continue hearing your thoughts and questions.

Kadaj

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Re: Revamps Vs. New Zones
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2019, 01:42:05 PM »
Everything that has been posted on this thread has been great. It's nice to hear the thoughts of other immortals on this issue. What I think the majority of players don't like seeing, is their old favorite zones being removed and replaced with something else. I 100% agree, the new zones that were revamped are amazing, above and beyond what their old versions were. My biggest thing with revamps is that after that is all said and done, we are still left with the same amount of zones.

If the power creep is real, adjusting the current items in these poorly designed zones to reflect how easy it is to get is totally fine by me. Replace the old 'good' items with other items suitable to their difficulty.  Like Iadus stated, as a new created, I would feel an immense pressure to recreate something that has been within Arctic for a long time. Having the freedom to create new zones without the pressure and having an actual passion for would help the creation process quite a bit. Being asked to recreate a shit zone into a non shit zone that you don't care about can really slow down the creation process.

jwhite

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Re: Revamps Vs. New Zones
« Reply #9 on: April 12, 2019, 07:24:34 AM »
i feel like the plight of the newbie is being completely ignored here.

what i am hearing from kam and terk is that to match the power creep of items and spells i never see, there must be a difficulty creep.  it seems like every zone that gets revamped comes back 2x as tough.

fun stuff i used to be able to sometimes beat has to be scratched off my list every time there is a revamp.  and as others have said any fight with a dragon seems certain death now.  hell i cant even beat the que kul motherworm anymore!

it seems like there must be some way to create new challenges for the clans without destroying the game for the newbies.  does anyone care?

Terk

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Re: Revamps Vs. New Zones
« Reply #10 on: April 12, 2019, 10:34:15 AM »
re: "Newbie content"

In the grand scheme of the history of the game, there is more mid-high/high 1-3 man doable "newbieish" content than has ever existed in the game (losing 1-3 zones to upgrades, which may not actually be the case if you explore them, seems like a small price). To me it seems like a bit of an albatross to see these concerns. Tons of the zones added to the game in the last 20 years are easily explorable as 1-3 man regardless of skill levels.

The game, at its peak popularity, for newbieish players was basically that you leveled on Palanthas or Kalaman city guards until you were barely high enough to be able to do Que Kul, Solamnic Outpost, Vry-kith, Gulfport, and Dargonesti and then you did those zones almost non stop for the rest of your characters life. You'd be thrilled to get taken to Shayd's, but there was high risk of death (lots of high level mages had like 120 hp). You could be added as the 20th member to a group going after Walcanar for stoneskin, but you'd invariably die to Aegis' prisms and the horrible healing.

If you were good aligned, you did sort of the same thing, except there were no guards to level on, so you had to spend a lot of time in Goblin Camp, Ogre Camp, Slaith Swamp, Xak, Gargath Keep (Kyst on the loose used to put the fear of god into half the mud), Faerie Kingdom, Blacken/Icen--greenen was way too hard, Lemish and Galazor were the apex of newbie zoning. Drac tower was near guaranteed death with those damn sivak's one stabbing half the group.

Today, with current character sturdiness, there are so many more leveling options and so many added zones the outcry about these "newbie" friendly zones seems comical. Most newbie teams could explore the majority of high zones in the game, but the sheer diversity of easy mid-high content that can be soloed is amazing. My advice is to just type help area and pick something you don't know.

I do kind of agree that one thing I loved as a newbie was killing dragons: the ancient red in the Plains of Solamnia was one of the "fun" things I got to when enough friends logged on. Maybe not all dragons should be developed with 5 legendary chars in mind, but I'll leave that to the people who actually work on the game now!
« Last Edit: April 12, 2019, 10:36:40 AM by Terk »

Gnua

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Re: Revamps Vs. New Zones
« Reply #11 on: April 22, 2019, 08:08:05 AM »
re: "Newbie content"

The game, at its peak popularity, for newbieish players was basically that you leveled on Palanthas or Kalaman city guards until you were barely high enough to be able to do Que Kul, Solamnic Outpost, Vry-kith, Gulfport, and Dargonesti and then you did those zones almost non stop for the rest of your characters life. You'd be thrilled to get taken to Shayd's, but there was high risk of death (lots of high level mages had like 120 hp). You could be added as the 20th member to a group going after Walcanar for stoneskin, but you'd invariably die to Aegis' prisms and the horrible healing.

If you were good aligned, you did sort of the same thing, except there were no guards to level on, so you had to spend a lot of time in Goblin Camp, Ogre Camp, Slaith Swamp, Xak, Gargath Keep (Kyst on the loose used to put the fear of god into half the mud), Faerie Kingdom, Blacken/Icen--greenen was way too hard, Lemish and Galazor were the apex of newbie zoning. Drac tower was near guaranteed death with those damn sivak's one stabbing half the group.


Your description is making me nostalgic for the old days. Kyst tracking a fleeing newb (or was is an experienced zoner with a sense of humor?) to neraka, half the mud dying over the next hour.  a party levelling a druid to 8, begging to find a leader who could get to haven or neraka, praying that the druid didnt fail fly.  4 level 30's suffering frag of their elite 4d4 prime because they are bringing a level 22 cleric to xak in hopes of loading a plain wooden staff.  people renting in kalaman inn, dying, and then dying again when they log in because someone left a hymelian sentinel in the reception.  and then dark knights arrived and once they turned out the lights, caster mobs couldnt area or target them with spells.  if my cleric learned cure serious i could "lead" a group of 4 tanks who instantly responded to my shouts to do cityguards and get 8k per kill. if i failed cure serious, i was stuck getting less than 1k because i couldnt get into a group and had no idea where to go.

Kholos

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Re: Revamps Vs. New Zones
« Reply #12 on: May 01, 2019, 05:11:46 PM »

Zones we have added/expanded: Village of Rigitt, Sandy Cove, Balifor Underbelly, Kalaman Dockyards (and Solamnic Ship).

We have two more new zones ready to go into the game called Trade and Farholm which should be in sometime this weekend.

You forgot Ancient Labyrinth, and the Blue/black/green Dragonarmy camps.

Kam

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Re: Revamps Vs. New Zones
« Reply #13 on: May 02, 2019, 01:04:28 PM »
Sorry, we just added so much new content at once.
More than in the last couple decades, I think, actually.

Kadaj

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Re: Revamps Vs. New Zones
« Reply #14 on: May 03, 2019, 06:38:41 AM »
You know, I really wish, Kam, that you would provide some meaningful information about the current state of the game, instead of logging on and making some snarky ass comment that you think is super cool or witty. Act like someone who leads this game, instead of taking all the credit for the hard work everyone else does.
« Last Edit: May 03, 2019, 06:43:33 AM by Kadaj »