Letter to Brad

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Letter to Brad

Post  dhavin on Fri Aug 06, 2010 10:16 pm

I've had the luxury of seeing this game from both sides; the upper echelon and a re-experience of the low to mid-game with my friends here in Slayers. I'd like to share a letter that I wrote to Brad with you guys and I'd like to hear your honest opinions on whether or not I'm off base. Thanks! I wanted to add a little bit about lower level parties being forced to give up ground to the monsters by backing off on the use of their most deadly talents, like multi-strike due to the new proximity rules. I'll send that along now.

--------------------------
Hey Brad,

<constructive criticism>
To begin, you should know that I'm writing this quite selfishly.

You said it yourself, you do not play your game. As a software developer of 18 years, I can understand why; if you know who the man standing behind the curtain is, it's just not anywhere near as entertaining. As an AD&D, 2nd, 3rd and 4th edition DM of 25 years I also understand wanting to balance the game, you want to curtail any loopholes that can cause a large power-shift. I downright applaud you for doing something after so long a time.

Not many people have posted to the forums to debate these changes, but I'd argue that probably less than 10% of active users have ever read the forums, let alone have the urge to write there. This may create the illusion that it is the minority who are complaining about the rule changes. As a player, I can tell you this is not the case; I would say in the realm of 20% of the players I speak with are ambivalent, 30% are for the changes and about half of them not so quietly gripe in lobby and in mIrc rooms. I'm not talking about the ones who have closed their account(s) and thrown temper tantrums in the lobby, I'm talking about the players who love the game and want to soldier on, like me. They find it stressful and frustrating and here's why:

In places like forges or in cobrahn pillars, or in sdc caves if you're hit by lightning and bounced into a room or jostled by the crowd of monsters, trying to jump on the hex with the 12 other party members, (now commonly trying desperately to remain within sight of each other) out of sight around a corner, one is denied experience and skill. I can tell you, that losing out is frustrating and stressful and sometimes it's a constant struggle to minimize that "losing out". At risk of overusing anecdotes, it's like getting a teaspoon of sugar on your frosted flakes every day for a month, and then someone switches that over to vinegar. Is the game still sweet? Yes, but there's this sour taste every time you get bumped out of line-of-sight.

I propose that you could relax the line of sight rule slightly to reduce frustration while still maintaining the game balance we're all after: allow experience and skill gains if you saw the monster(s) within ___ rounds of them dying. Feel free to fill in that blank. This is often enough time to get back into the fray to enjoy the battle and would increase player happiness. This could, in theory, also take care of the range issues complained about by many when runners are killed by PSI or range weapons since they're often killed quite quickly, but just off of the screen.
</cc>

So, if you've read this far, thank you. Selfish? You bet I am, but it's only because I hate seeing so many of my friends frustrated and upset. I would very much like them to stick around a while and soldier on.

Chris




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Follow up

Post  dhavin on Fri Aug 06, 2010 10:27 pm

Brad,

I'd forgotten to include the other side of my experience, I don't want you to think that I'm focused on the high-end-upper-echelon player base or trying to be overly negative. I'd like to think that this bit of stress is the good kind, as I'm part of a lower level guild that focuses on role play and avoids any sort of power leveling. We have gone back through many of the Nork and Alerian quests and picked up a little following along the way.

Well, the point I'm trying to hammer out is that as a party of twenty-somethings (level, though sometimes I wish it were age), I can tell you that we've had to quite significantly modify our fighting style as a group, giving an edge to the zoo we're hacking away at. Due to the new rules, proximity is key and the possibility of friendly fire due to multi-strike or AoEs is ever-present, so we're forced to hold back on our most deadly skills unless it's apparent that we're all going to die anyway.

Chris

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Brad's Reply

Post  dhavin on Sat Aug 07, 2010 12:13 pm

To 'Chris Hully'
From: Brad Lineberger (bil@drakkarzone.com)
Sent: August 7, 2010 12:05:29 AM
To: 'Chris Hully' (chris_hully@hotmail.com)

Chris, I’m still tuning the party code.



The last round of changes made it pretty easy to still get credit for the entire party, all you need to do is stay a couple hexes away from the killer, and everyone should get exp.



I’m continuing to refine it, so keep suggesting!

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