Arctic Mud

ArcticMUD => Game Ideas => Topic started by: Brafu on August 20, 2014, 11:33:02 PM

Title: Restoring some of the variety to the game.
Post by: Brafu 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.
Title: Re: Restoring some of the variety to the game.
Post by: gulca 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.
Title: Re: Restoring some of the variety to the game.
Post by: SArT 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.
Title: Re: Restoring some of the variety to the game.
Post by: SArT 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.
Title: Re: Restoring some of the variety to the game.
Post by: muddeer 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.
Title: Re: Restoring some of the variety to the game.
Post by: corey 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.
Title: Re: Restoring some of the variety to the game.
Post by: SArT 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!'
Title: Re: Restoring some of the variety to the game.
Post by: corey 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.
Title: Re: Restoring some of the variety to the game.
Post by: muddeer 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.
Title: Re: Restoring some of the variety to the game.
Post by: Brafu 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.
Title: Re: Restoring some of the variety to the game.
Post by: snax 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.
Title: Re: Restoring some of the variety to the game.
Post by: Alecto 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...
Title: Re: Restoring some of the variety to the game.
Post by: SArT 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..
Title: Re: Restoring some of the variety to the game.
Post by: Brafu 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.
Title: Re: Restoring some of the variety to the game.
Post by: Alecto 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.
Title: Re: Restoring some of the variety to the game.
Post by: Brafu on August 27, 2014, 10:35:46 AM
@Alecto

I can't really say if your path info is correct or not, but I know they dramatically shortened a lot of the roads and distances some years ago. I can't remember for sure, but I want to say they cut the run from kal to pal by half (among other changes in other area's).

Also, if someone is trying to run from sol to kal, without bothering to figure out about mounts, boats, fly items (or get a fly from a caster), then they deserve to be sitting on the road forever. There are so many recup rooms around that, at most, it should take 2-3 tic (with a normal mount) to get from sol to kal. There are at least 3 recup rooms on the road between sol and kal, and each will easily let you regain enough v to get to the next one (or a bit further).

That is exactly why I dislike fly pots everywhere, It simplifies the game and requires players, especially new players, to think less about the fundamentals of the game, and instead just gloss over them.

But, again, maybe I'm just being nostalgic and the things I have mentioned are just an annoyance factor that should be done away with. All I know is that I enjoy challenging and complex games, and I hate it when a game I love starts to shift away from those things.
Title: Re: Restoring some of the variety to the game.
Post by: SArT on August 27, 2014, 02:15:27 PM
I bet Gulca could do the loop Alecto describes in under 1 tic.  Any takers?  He still has gulief I believe.
Title: Re: Restoring some of the variety to the game.
Post by: Alecto on August 28, 2014, 05:32:25 PM
In the late 90's it used to be a prerequisite for any KoS squire to make a lap around Krynn and buy a ham, a herring, a pork chop and turkey leg and, of course, Otik's spice potatoes.  They had to do it in under an hour.

I'm pretty sure a legend thief who has their fade lined up with the number pad could make it in 3 tics...it would take someone with Gulca's skill and tenacity and patience to get it to within 1...
Title: Re: Restoring some of the variety to the game.
Post by: SArT on September 03, 2014, 10:27:51 AM
In the late 90's it used to be a prerequisite for any KoS squire to make a lap around Krynn and buy a ham, a herring, a pork chop and turkey leg and, of course, Otik's spice potatoes.  They had to do it in under an hour.

I think I joined with Gambit around that time.. I remember Dan giving me a lot harder challenges than that.. maybe it was a couple years after that.
Title: Re: Restoring some of the variety to the game.
Post by: Zozen on September 03, 2014, 01:11:06 PM
All solo around L25 as a druid.. '97 maybe?
retrieve the Bloodstone of Fistandantilus
learn/kill the Riddler
something else

Hum... good times.

edit: and as a side note, what I loved about the game was the difficulty of learning how to do things. How I spent months and months initially just around Solace puttering around from L1-20 and getting in high level groups occasionally as a 16-22 thief/druid/paladin/ranger/whatever and just lying about what level I was (it wasn't so noticeable because of how large the groups were and how shitty everyone hit anyways.) It took me a very long time to get over 25 that first year because I wanted to play so many different classes.
Title: Re: Restoring some of the variety to the game.
Post by: Alecto on September 03, 2014, 08:35:55 PM
There were so many great KoS quests...
solo Khisanth (sounds easy, but i failed with a level 25 paladin 2x before i figured out i could use TWO heal potions)
Learn/make staff of the elements in N. Ergoth
Lead bandit swamp on 3 and complete quest
Learn "wings of sorrow" quest
Find and kill the komodo dragon solo (could only be done solo back then...)

That is really something a lot of clans don't do anymore...set a goal for a new player, give them nudges towards the right answer, but never just tell them outright.  That's how I learned what little I know about foghaven vale and it is why I still get frustrated with the Archimedes multi-zone quest (seriously, is the crytic owl quest still active or not?)
Title: Re: Noryl and his KOS quests.
Post by: snax on September 03, 2014, 09:06:38 PM
I know crytic/corak was the hard thing he'ld give casters to do.

But I was a bigger asshat then (denial + 0 meds + wearing a rat suit at chuck e cheeses for like 5-6 bucks an hour or maybe it was sears back then? eh i forgot) and I remember once asking him for a quest to join KOS.  I think it involved me escaping the abyss without an imm letting me out?  Or maybe it was to solo cyan using training gear or something really really ludicrous...there were multiple tiers to his assignment...anyways it was patently a joke to say 'hellzn0 mate' but yeah I did ask for one back in the day.  I never finished the first step of the way.

Maaaan I've been an asshat by true definition worse than most of the asshats who have been deleted, there must be an endearing quality to humoring a crazyass person like me.  Something like an immortal guy is thinking 'well it will keep him off the streets and away from social situations where he could do more damage''

(a bit self depricative, but reflecting on the ''good ol' days'')
Title: Re: Restoring some of the variety to the game.
Post by: lurker on September 04, 2014, 05:33:36 PM
I remember when noryl was just a warrior I used to group with.
Title: Re: Restoring some of the variety to the game.
Post by: Anthony on September 04, 2014, 11:39:07 PM
Title: Re: Restoring some of the variety to the game.
Post by: Jorquin on September 05, 2014, 12:44:22 AM
on the topic of "adding some variety to the game" i actually think standalone quests / events would be really cool.

like a once a month scenario/event where say palanthas falls under siege by the dragonarmies of takhisis, or a contingent of crazy evil necromancers take over garnet and start raising an undead army to assault vingaard, or an ancient black dragon comes and nests in bandit swamp for a week, etc.

unfortunately i'm not sure how feasible it would be from an implementation side
Title: Re: Restoring some of the variety to the game.
Post by: SArT on September 08, 2014, 01:41:41 AM
Okay, back on topic as well (and atypically dropping my normal sardonic nature):

I have suggested this before.  It would be really cool to see solo (or 2 man) instances, like done for mages in Wayreth or the cleric quest, around the world.  Not class specific as has been mentioned several places before... but hard instances with high risk and high reward.  Obviously you couldn't enter flagged.. but sure you could log and run there to avoid pk from warring clans.  But then, would you rather people just not be able to play?  It adds some mystery back to who is on and killable.

I disagree with Jorquin's idea above but just because that would involve the governing clan raping everything including other characters trying to participate... but take that idea and make it a controlled instance that everyone can enjoy and you have GOLD.
Title: Re: Restoring some of the variety to the game.
Post by: Jorquin on September 08, 2014, 05:22:26 AM
it would be difficult to control entry to any one-time quest / seasonal zone area, barring some staff member physically distributing a certain amount of one use rentable zone item that is absolutely required to open the area - but this would leave the door open for a range of other issues such as playing favorites, players crying wolf about "cheating", bullying others for their "entrance items", etc.


having an instanced area wouldn't help greatly either, since 99% of items that are halfway decent are limited, so it can still be repeatedly farmed by the "governing clan" as you put it. you could auction "entrances" to the area, but that still leans towards the groups with more people / muscle that can accumulate coins at a faster pace. using saveable timers on characters wouldn't really work either, since large playing groups could strategically cycle through their "unsaved" alternate characters to spam the area several times.


realistically if something like this was to be done, you'd have to take one of two stances - both of which are in some way flawed.

option 1)      just implement said temporary quest area / seasonal zone area and leave it open to the players to run it as per a standard zone - this leaves the door open for the ass-hat death shield and bullying behavior that we are all unfortunately familiar with, or general "locust" mentality of large clans that swarm over a new area like a plague and strip it clean of anything greater than a 1 dex belt as fast as possible to keep in their chests or rent on their 4th alt (ruining the fun for others)

option 2)      have entrance to said area controlled by either a coin fee for your group to enter or item required to enter method - either of which would likely have to be controlled by some high level staff member (whether by physically distributing some item, loading it in a random location and advertising some clue for said item's whereabouts to players or whatever). this would inevitably lead to altercations with players, tantrums, people feeling like they're getting screwed, whining that favorites are being played and other pleasant interactions which would make whoever running the operation wonder why they are wasting their time. furthermore anyone that would be high enough level to do such a job likely does not have the time to do it anyway.


if any clever cookie could think of another way to operate stand alone quests / seasonal zone areas that safeguard against BOTH large clans being ass-hats / totally ruining the fun for others AND causing players to cry about how unfair the whole system is and that wild immortals stole their fish whapper, i'm all ears.               
Title: Re: Restoring some of the variety to the game.
Post by: Brad on September 08, 2014, 06:07:43 AM
As far as the entrance item for a said quest. Let it be known the whereabouts of the quest entrance(portal) but don't give any hints as to the key load locations (that open the portal)around the world.

Is there any way to detect characters that enter the portal? If there is, limit it to one token for group size... and only allow the characters to enter once.

The trick here is to make it to where if you had been in the special zone before you can no longer carry the key. So you cannot carry the key...or enter the zone. You get one shot. If you die you can get a summon in....based on the names the portal just let inside.

There will always be a way to abuse any system. Maybe those are a few ideas you can weigh that might solve some of the problems.

The more I write about this the more i realize how big a project this would be to code. It is a great idea but maybe its not very realistic.

A few ideas to toss around anywho.
Title: Re: Restoring some of the variety to the game.
Post by: Alecto on September 08, 2014, 05:52:25 PM
If we are talking about making a 2 person version of heal or rose quest:

Just make the entrance a 2-players-only ordered room that's tagged "peace" so that pk flagged folks can't get it and have entrance disappear after 2 players are in zonelet.  Kind of like greenen backdoor and evil side uth wistan entrance combined.  Tag all zonelet rooms no_summon and no_relocate.  When someone dies or leaves zone it procs the entrance back (or when it repops).

Could it become a hiding place for a non-flagged hunted person - definitely - but that would be part of the fun.

Really, to make it super-risky could make zonelet no_recall as well.  Win or die.

Of course you could always just load the zone item on a random kender in game and have a staff member shout that its on a kender.  Make the item no_locate and watch the glorious kender carnage begin!
Title: Re: Restoring some of the variety to the game.
Post by: SArT on September 09, 2014, 11:03:46 AM
if any clever cookie could think of another way to operate stand alone quests / seasonal zone areas that safeguard against BOTH large clans being ass-hats / totally ruining the fun for others AND causing players to cry about how unfair the whole system is and that wild immortals stole their fish whapper, i'm all ears.               

I feel these areas already exist to a point.. from class / level specific auto port instances, to ticketed 1 person entrances.  I would suggest we do not have a "key based" entry, but rather a purchased entry.

I do not know if you can auto tailor a mobs level to the level of the person entering so I am not going to go into my ideas there... so that said it would be level specific.  What if the merchant sold tickets and one could buy the ticket in any major town.. then even from peace activate the ticket to be ported into the instance?  This exists already in game as anyone who has held the mushroom hilted knows.

If it was a 2 or more person instance then they would have to be grouped but only one ticket would be used.

1. Legendary Rainbow Ticket (legendary; 2 player)     50000
2. Plain purple ticket (level 15; 1 player)                        5000
Title: Re: Restoring some of the variety to the game.
Post by: snax on September 09, 2014, 06:34:05 PM
just make a bapting minecraft mod that incorporates some arctic that would give some serious variety. =) of course choices would be a no shield warrior and a sky scout tho.  perhaps mages could sit in front of an enchant table
Title: Re: Restoring some of the variety to the game.
Post by: Gramm on September 29, 2014, 03:17:10 AM
World merchant works wonders. I think its brilliant for new players, i do miss that town to town jumping for shopping.. but at some point dont we all just learn to load our own shit anyways?
I mean who honestly would still be town to town jumping once you know how to build your own loadout? You could smash a zone in quickly instead of running from town to town to town looking for mediocre crap.
Theres a lot of things I miss too in this constantly evolving game, but the direction the game has gone into in terms of helping new players grasp what many of us had many years to grasp.. is great. Its not like people can get every single spell in the same town still at least. There is certainly diversity with where certain spells are received still.

I agree that it would make sense to remove fly potions from most the other major cities outside of solace though, since you basically need a fly to leave solace when your a noob. I liked having to get my sextant in balifor or find jiham in delphon personally..  and since solace is sort of where beginners are herded towards it would make sense you dont take any of the current priveledges away from there.

Bring back the need for horses!