Author Topic: Restoring some of the variety to the game.  (Read 11901 times)

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Brafu

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Restoring some of the variety to the game.
« on: August 20, 2014, 11:33:02 PM »
Ok, so overall I'm a big fan of most of the changes that's been done over the past 5 or so years, but there are a few things that I think just diminishes the game and a lot of it's more interesting aspects.

I have touched on this before in various threads, but I have never actually discussed it too much. So, I'll do so now.

My main gripe is with the world merchant and the addition of fly pots to every major magic shop in the game.

While I do enjoy the world merchant and the ability to easily snag some useful (and sometimes rather nice) items, I feel that it just takes away from one of the more interesting aspects of the game. Namely the various weapon and armor shops around the game.

It might not seem like a big deal, but I think it really detracts from the game, not to mention reduces the diversity of it. Sure, the shops themselves normally just sell generic items, but I remember the days when you would check each shop in a town as you passed through, hoping you might find something nice that someone got rid of. Maybe it's just me, but I liked that aspect and I feel like the world merchant just makes the game feel.... simplistic and caters to the lazy.

I feel much the same about the fly pots being sold in the shops.

I remember renting in gulfport a lot back long before strongholds because the shop sold fly pots, and that was a rather big deal. There were no ranks, and auto fly items were considered pretty damn useful items, so people didn't normally ditch them often. Same goes for putrids and how just learning where they were sold was something that made me feel rather good, even if they were pretty low level refresh's and costed a fairly hefty price.

Maybe it's just the nostalgia talking, but I miss the days when fly and refresh pots weren't everywhere and running from one end of the mud to the other was more than just a mild annoyance. Not to mention I hate the fact that a lot of the cool little shops around the mud have been made pointless because of SH shops and the world merchant.

I think the biggest reason I miss the days before these changes is because they made the game feel less like an actual world. and more like something WoW like. I'm reminded of Skyrim in this regard since I will travel to various towns just to sell my goods and to see what new items they have that I might find useful. The mud lost that aspect, IMO, and I think the game is poorer for it.

gulca

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Re: Restoring some of the variety to the game.
« Reply #1 on: August 21, 2014, 09:49:41 AM »
On behalf of newbies, we disagree. The world merchant and the fly pots are great for new players and solo players. I have benefited using them all the time, ie from lvl 1 to legend.

Flight pots:
Good if you have to CR and you don't have fly/wb rank and no friendly fliers around.
Not good if you need to go underwater. Hint make a trip (after buying a flight pot) to one of your little shops in GP to solve this problem.

World merchants:
Good if you are looking for stuff that others think it is not worthy to rent on their 5th multi.
Or even to requip after a DT or decay etc.
Every single time I log on, I'll take a peek at world merchant. And every coin worthy eq I find, I sell them first to world merchant.

Just because you are an elite player, doesn't mean the mud has to adjust up (on the low end) so you feel challenged.

SArT

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Re: Restoring some of the variety to the game.
« Reply #2 on: August 21, 2014, 04:43:12 PM »
I think I was recently flamed for saying I would love to play the version of the game from 20 years ago... but since I already said it I would leave it at that.

I will say, as someone who knows Gulca very well, I originally thought he was the OP on this.. and as I read it I could totally imagine him writing it.  Odd he completely disagreed with you.  But we are such casual players compared to the rest of you I understand his point.

SArT

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Re: Restoring some of the variety to the game.
« Reply #3 on: August 21, 2014, 04:49:27 PM »
@Gulca

We were all newbies once.. the game pulls you in because of the difficulty not the ease.. we dont need to cater.

My first friend on this game in 1994 was Wayre.  I was a mage and he helped me go around the world and find my spells and would fly me.  Now adays a new person doesnt even need to make a friend to play... not the right direction.

muddeer

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Re: Restoring some of the variety to the game.
« Reply #4 on: August 21, 2014, 05:05:22 PM »
I would've agreed with the OP several years ago.  But now with so few players on who can help you out with a fly or refresh and sell stuff to merchants in each town, I think the changes are warranted.

corey

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Re: Restoring some of the variety to the game.
« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2014, 05:09:11 PM »
@Gulca

We were all newbies once.. the game pulls you in because of the difficulty not the ease.. we dont need to cater.


I can't really agree with you. Arctic has never been a difficult game, but one that made you thirst for knowledge. It's an item finding game where you have to fight for what you want. Take what you want etc.

"Hard", in your mind I imagine, is just not knowing where things are / keywords.

You want hard? Go now and try to beat Contra for NES. I used to be able to blast through that game, now I can't even beat level 2.

Arctic? It's a cakewalk.

SArT

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Re: Restoring some of the variety to the game.
« Reply #6 on: August 21, 2014, 05:45:52 PM »
Corey I play DH HC... maybe not hard, but beyond frustrating.  I moved on to Hearthstone now.

My Bliz name is LagDeath.. look me up sometime.

Arctic is not hard either.. but it was more dependant on others for help before the changes.  I know you remember the feeling of standing at the town square and finally getting someone to fly you.

Sartoran shouts, 'Looking for a fly at [].. will pay!'

corey

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Re: Restoring some of the variety to the game.
« Reply #7 on: August 21, 2014, 05:47:52 PM »
Corey I play DH HC... maybe not hard, but beyond frustrating.  I moved on to Hearthstone now.

My Bliz name is LagDeath.. look me up sometime.

Arctic is not hard either.. but it was more dependant on others for help before the changes.  I know you remember the feeling of standing at the town square and finally getting someone to fly you.

Sartoran shouts, 'Looking for a fly at [].. will pay!'

rottenpotato #1357
Waiting on patch for seasons.

Also on Hearthstone as we speak.

muddeer

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Re: Restoring some of the variety to the game.
« Reply #8 on: August 21, 2014, 08:53:20 PM »
Arctic used to be so much harder.  You usually lost hps permanently after death/deleveling (there are no more real trash characters anymore).  Had to wait hours after a death before you can level to avoid hp gain penalty.  No stat lore until 6th level (rolling was real fun then).  Had to walk 2 miles in snow to get to school everyday....  Etc., etc..

edit:  Oh, forget those damn edrains.  Used to last 4 game hours i think.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2014, 08:54:51 PM by muddeer »

Brafu

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Re: Restoring some of the variety to the game.
« Reply #9 on: August 22, 2014, 03:34:35 PM »
Me? Elite? Hardly. I have just been around so long that I have gained experience and knowledge that allows me to play this game without struggling with all of the basic stuff. I'm fodder, pure and simple. Many of my friends know a lot more than I do, are better skilled, and just all around are at least a few levels above me in most respects. But they help me, and I help them. It's the way of Arctic.

But the key point is that I gained that experience and I had a more fun, and rewarding, gaming experience for it.

I know it's a cliche, but I really had nothing handed to me as I learned this game. I had support from friends I had made, but I had to learn where to load basic items that I needed and where useful potions/wands were sold. Arctic is a game of exploration, battle, and survival.

There's a fine line between making a game newbie friendly and accessible, and dumbing down the game across the board on a basic level (in terms of what a new player needs to learn in order to just play the game effectively). I, personally, think that making pretty decent-nice items readily available to everyone by way of the world merchant (and to a lesser extent, fly pots) only caters to the lazy and those who don't want to bother to try and learn how to load that decent blade or head +wis (hell, even +dam is sold to the merchant on a regular basis).

I seriously doubt that if new players had to learn how to load decent eq, and where to snag a fly pot (or hell, use a damn horse and boat!) that we would see a huge decrease in whatever numbers of new players we have. You don't play a game like Arctic because you can jump right in and start slaughtering things or your enemies, this isn't Call of Duty, or even WoW, this is far more akin to Skyrim.

Mud's attract a certain kind of player, and the ones who come are probably expecting a fairly decent learning curve on most levels of play. And those who don't... well, people try games all the time and then decide it's not for them. The game doesn't need to be altered just so they will play, it just means you can't cater to everyone and still expect to have a good game.

Also, I think Solace does a freaking superb job of helping introduce newbies to this game, so there's no reason to have the rest of the game continue to cater to those who can't, or don't want to, figure things out for themselves.

snax

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Re: Restoring some of the variety to the game.
« Reply #10 on: August 24, 2014, 11:43:17 PM »
My wife, of 12 years can beat contra in solo play in 2 lives most of the time. Sometimes she needs to use one of the 3 continues if she's trying to cook or doing wifely duties.

That's why I'm a manbitch.  (sorry for logging in, just bored tonight)

@Gulca

We were all newbies once.. the game pulls you in because of the difficulty not the ease.. we dont need to cater.


I can't really agree with you. Arctic has never been a difficult game, but one that made you thirst for knowledge. It's an item finding game where you have to fight for what you want. Take what you want etc.

"Hard", in your mind I imagine, is just not knowing where things are / keywords.

You want hard? Go now and try to beat Contra for NES. I used to be able to blast through that game, now I can't even beat level 2.

Arctic? It's a cakewalk.

Alecto

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Re: Restoring some of the variety to the game.
« Reply #11 on: August 25, 2014, 05:06:18 PM »
Glad to see you back in any capacity, Randy.  Hope things are going well.

Also, even with the konami code I suck at contra.

Also, also, do we really feel like the problem with arctic is fly potions and crappy gear being equally available in all cities?  I guess you are right, forget multi-playing, character sharing, shady Russian IPs, walk-through's available for all but the highest game content...the problem is clearly that a level 9 warrior can now get from solace to palanthas in 7 tics instead of 15...

SArT

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Re: Restoring some of the variety to the game.
« Reply #12 on: August 26, 2014, 09:46:47 AM »
the problem with arctic is fly potions and crappy gear being equally available in all cities

Alecto really hates fly pots..

Brafu

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Re: Restoring some of the variety to the game.
« Reply #13 on: August 26, 2014, 10:59:04 AM »
@Alecto

Just because there might be more pressing issues doesn't mean it's still not worthy of debate. They are in the middle of a huge amount of changes, so I think throwing out something that's been bugging me for years can't hurt, and might get thrown in if they agree.

@gulca

"Just because you are an elite player, doesn't mean the mud has to adjust up (on the low end) so you feel challenged."

It's not about feeling challenged (at least for someone who already has the knowledge). It's about keeping part of the game that, IMO, was what made Arctic so fun and different than most of the other games I had played. It's about not dumbing down the game in hopes of attracting a few more players while losing yet more of the Arctic that drew a lot of us to it.

They already shortened the road system and did away with a lot of other aspects of the game that made it challenging (and very annoying in a few select cases), so I don't think asking if we shouldn't ditch the world merchant and fly pots in every single major town is all that extreme.

If the overriding mission is to attract as many players as possible, then dumbing things down and making the game more action oriented is the right call. But, if the goal is to attract more players, who can appreciate the game and have fun, without changing some things that make the world, IMO, feel more unique and "alive".. then my questions/suggestions have merit (if even only for discussion).

Now, I know that at least some people see LUBE in much the same way I see the world merchant and such, but I understand some major changes are needed, I also know that sometimes the old way is the best.

Alecto

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Re: Restoring some of the variety to the game.
« Reply #14 on: August 26, 2014, 08:23:15 PM »
@Brafu

They shortened the road system?  I still have a map from 1993 of the path from Solace to Tarsis.  There are 13 rooms of roads. 

Admittedly, most of the road additions in the game have been entirely the fault of Bertil (maybe a little Noryl), but the number of rooms to make a lap from Solace to Tarsis to Bali4 to Kalaman through the tollhouse and back to Solace is probably over 500 (this is 100% a guess and I'm not about to count rooms).  If you don't have teleport or a refresher or a marcher or a low-V mount, if you are an unaged minotaur or goblin, this could take over 2 hours of game play just to make that lap.  At least with a creamy you can cut that down to one hour.  Crimson castle and the branchala porter have helped some, but there's still a lot of room to travel, and creamy potions don't last very long - normally just enough to get from one town to the other.

I guess I just don't see why the creamy potions are a problem...
Is the issue that it makes to game too easy at low levels? 
Is it too easy to get a fly and run back to your corpse for a cr?
Does sitting on the road trying desperately to make it to Newport to buy a horse at 12 vs per room while hungry really add anything to the game?

I learned about movement in arctic the hard way.  I've been the guy in the last example.  If I want to spend 20 minutes watching the cursor blink I'll just learn Unix...

The world merchant, on the other hand, is just a place for me to dump gear.  After the 2nd week of the wipe I know I won't find anything I need there anyway.  I have run from town to town looking for a merchant with enough cash to buy the "diamond tiara of treasure" and I don't mind doing it again.