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 Post subject: Wanted feedback on scheduled item purges
PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2018 7:04 am 
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Well, since the MOTD asked us to supply feedback, I thought I'd give it a shot. Keep in mind this is my opinion and would like a civil discussion on it.

I see that magic containers got changed and you want to do scheduled purges of equipment in order to cycle unused equipment back into the game.

While it is a start, I mostly see it as dealing with the symptoms instead of the root of the issues. Especially if people can hold two containers, one in each hand and even more if they have wearable equpment that can hold additional items (cloak of holding, belt of many pockets, knapsack, just to name a few).

But the question is, why would people want to hold that many items they never use? I think the answer consists of several parts.

First reason: They can. They worked for it, they found the load. Got it and claim it as their own. Fair game. I see no issue with this part, personally.

Second reason: It is a rare and limited ressource. They hold on to it, because it is limited in quantity, powerful and has value in possible trades. And this is where I see the issue.

To elaborate on that let us take Amhearst's gear as an example. People in the high ranks will likely agree that gear from him is among the best in the entire game.

His axe. Decapitator, is highly sought after but unique, and his other items, like the battle scarred armbands or bone monocles are extremely powerful, but also limited in quantity due to the "item maxing system". This goes for several other extremely powerful in the game that also come with a certain kind of prestige.

Now if we have an extremely small player base, around 10-12 active people, there are no issues, since everyone can have mostly everything, except the unique items. However, since it has been stated that it is in the games best interest to have a bigger and more active player base, I do see an issue with this system.

This game is a grind and the grind is for experience a.k.a. player levels and gear. Everyone can grind experience, while the efficiency of that process is dictated by gear and partly player class. From my experience, most people tie the fun they have in the game to loading items and accumulating more. However, the previously mentioned "item max" limits the progress all people can make.

Most of the most powerful items are held by very few of the people in the player base, and those that missed out, have no chance of getting them ever again. I personally think that is a major issue, especially for new people, when they realise that they will never be able to get as powerful as those who are already up there.

While one now may argue that there are other sources of fun in the game, other goals, I would definitely like to agree. There is /should be RP, hanging out with buddies and having a good time playing the game. From my experience however, it is mostly sitting around alone, hoping for the item to pop so that you can claim it as your own. Judging from what people have in their bags and houses, I can only assume that is true for mostly everybody. And since you are now thinking about item purges in order to cycle more gear back into the game, I can only assume you (the staff) see it as an issue as well.

I would propose a different solution. You guessed it, remove the "item max" restrictions. Most items have a horribly low load rate anyway (looking at you here, majestic unicorn) and take weeks to load. Now add to it, that those items would need to be shared among others, you will see that most people prefer to do it alone. At least from what I can see and most avatars running around alone, camping mindlessly to gain that little bit of extra power.

Removing "item max" would remove that issue, in my opinion anyway. So you missed an item when playing with your friends, who cares, youll just get the next one. No more need to hold on to an abundance of extra equipment. If you lose yours, you can just get it again and you can share with people freely, never having to "worry" about handing out something you might not be able to replace later. Leave the load rates low as they are, just enable everyone to get the items. Now if you want to be "unique", we could still encourage restrings, people creating extra items via RPs, empowering them with their stories or new mechanics ingame (?).

As I said earlier, of course there should be other sources of fun in the game than mundane item camping. Myself, I am a huge fan of Roleplaying, but as most of you -might- agree, there hardly ever is any RP. And if it is, it is, well, limited to killing stuff or each other, or just talking. Of course it is up to the players themselves to flesh out their RP, most don't bother or even dislike it.

As I stated earlier, this post is based on my experience and opinions and I would love to hear feedback or even some number crunching from Nezmar on that. I have nothing but anecdotal reference and no empiric proof, so maybe I am rambling about something that got changed some time ago and I just didnt notice.

However, since there seems to be the need to cycle gear with the current system, I assume the issue is on-going. Why not erase the need to hold on to extra equipment in this manner, and not just treat the symptoms?

Please discuss, I am curious what others have to say on it.


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 Post subject: Re: Wanted feedback on scheduled item purges
PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2018 11:55 am 
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I would have to agree with the idea of removing maxx on items as it was a few years ago. It creates an atmosphere where people want to play alone cause they want that super unique item. But what if everyone could get it? There would be no reason to hoard anything. I also agree load rates as a whole are pretty low, and it can get discouraging farming things over countless hours for no reward. Right now we have a group experience bonus which is very nice, and we should think of further ways to facilitate group play. I think it would be worth a look at the requirement of being half of someones level in order to group with them, perhaps 1/3 of their level or no restriction at all.

Looking forward to whatever changes are coming , thanks for all the hard work Nez


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 Post subject: Re: Wanted feedback on scheduled item purges
PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2018 9:12 pm 
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I would argue that the items and the load rates aren't the real problem. The real problem, if there is one, are the players. The item max has been here over various iterations and largely isn't even a problem anymore. Back when there weren't nearly as many items as there are now and way more players, sure. It was harder for new players to get up into the higher tiers (but not impossible). I mean, what's out there (that isn't unique) that can't be loaded by someone that can actually use it?

I'm cool with making containers hold less, etc. The only reason I really see to hold on to that much stuff is a) to have different sets of gear for different purposes (like for regen, or support, or what have you) or b) waiting for stuff to kick in due to level requirements and the like. It made me realize how much junk I've been holding on to with the intent of giving it away. So instead I just consigned it all. Win/win.

:)


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 Post subject: Re: Wanted feedback on scheduled item purges
PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 8:49 pm 
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Several years ago we made an attempt to address the issue you've brought up. In the end, we tried to compromise... we have what we have called "soft limits". Item limits are based upon the total number of player characters. If we had more players, we'd have more "unique" items. This may need some adjustment (though I tend to believe we just need more players), but I think the concept is sound. The adjustments can be made item by item. If everyone gets their friends to play, there will be more items available to everyone. Any additional thoughts?

Kindest regards,

--Nezmar


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 Post subject: Re: Wanted feedback on scheduled item purges
PostPosted: Wed Jun 20, 2018 10:44 pm 
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Nezmar wrote:
Several years ago we made an attempt to address the issue you've brought up. In the end, we tried to compromise... we have what we have called "soft limits". Item limits are based upon the total number of player characters. If we had more players, we'd have more "unique" items. This may need some adjustment (though I tend to believe we just need more players), but I think the concept is sound. The adjustments can be made item by item. If everyone gets their friends to play, there will be more items available to everyone. Any additional thoughts?

Kindest regards,

--Nezmar


I understand your point, but MUDs had their heyday in the 90's and have dwindled in popularity ever since. If you look at Distant Land's player base starting from the year 2000 to now, which way has the number gone? It's gone down. DL is unable to compete with games like the Battlefield series, Witcher, Fallout, Overwatch, and all the other thousands of multiplayer games including tabletop games. Now people reading this, including myself, may think to themselves, "Well, I prefer DL to those other games," and that's fine, but we are the minority. Heck, I would even go so far as to say we are the minority of the minority as even mobile gaming is more popular than MUDs.

The point is, DL isn't going to have a surge of new players any time soon. In fact, the inverse is more likely to occur. Does this mean DL is a bad game? No, it just means that the interest isn't there and is unlikely to ever be anything like what it was 18+ years ago. With that said, I think it's wrong to place the onus on us to bring in new players when it's not something we can directly control. There are too many competing interests and a number of annoyances that make DL an unattractive option for people. A constructive dialogue on a number of game changes can be had, but boiling the solution down to "invite your friends" isn't realistic and is extremely unproductive.


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 Post subject: Re: Wanted feedback on scheduled item purges
PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2018 12:05 am 
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I feel like an item purge will only serve as a temporary solution and, in time, the same issues will arise again. The most sensible solution that I've heard so far has been to remove the item limits. Keep the low load rates on unique items, but don't limit how many times they can load. Otherwise we're left with a situation where a few players have a disproportionate percentage of the best items. Purging items that players have worked hard for seems unfair, but it will seem pointless when others load them again only for the cycle to repeat itself.

Just my two cents.


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 Post subject: Re: Wanted feedback on scheduled item purges
PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2018 5:32 pm 
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When Nezmar asked me what I thought about taking the limits off of items I was shocked and asked WHY? He told me that a few had posted here that they thought that would fix the problem. I have read all the posts so far and I would like to include my thoughts.

First as a builder and really at this point the main builder...often times an items has had a limit put on it because that is what the builders intent was for whatever reason. I will use the sword "Decapitator" as an example.. It is a named sword .. should there be more than 1? When the builder of that area made it he/she thought not.

Many limited items are limited because they are more powerful whether that is because of a spell it casts or extra on the affects it was given. So my personal opinion as a player and a builder those items should remain limited.

There are hundreds if not thousands of items that are nearly as powerful as the limited ones.

Currently there are very very few items that are maxed.

I am all for an item and house purge the reason:
Many potions do have limits there are players that may have most of one kind of potion and yet they do not play the game.. they log in religiously once a month to make sure they don't lose the items they have acquired, yet they don't play, why do they need 20 of a single potion?

There are people that have so much stuff honestly I don't think they even realize that they may be holding 5 of a certain item.. they have it in a bag in a bag in a hole in a hole in a tube.. how often do they take the hole out of the tube and then then hole out of the hole and the bag out of the hole and the bag out of the bag and really sort through all the stuff they have.. likely not often.

As a player I was given a lot of items that I was too small for level wise. I held on to it.. as i was able to wear it I passed on the items I removed. I do not keep a separate set of regen EQ, but I understand those that do.

I think that the soft limit is a reasonable solution to the max of items.

I think that there are pluses to having limits personally:
Everyone doesn't look the EXACT same with their EQ
The builders intent (and as a builder I find this one really important... even though many of the areas that have limited items the builders are no longer active in the game)
It increases the value of the items that have limits.

I know that I as a builder would have less incentive to build. If the limits are lifted any building I were to do IF I continued to build would be totally standardized to the level of the mob it loads on. I would place no bonuses, or perks on anything.

Respectfully,
Amaessara


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 Post subject: Re: Wanted feedback on scheduled item purges
PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2018 8:02 pm 
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Decapitator is a 2handed battle axe :P.


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 Post subject: Re: Wanted feedback on scheduled item purges
PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2018 8:51 pm 
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As a former builder, I can say that when I would design an item, I tried to keep the strength of the item in proportion with the rarity of the item. Uncapping those items would make them completely overpowered. If we remove the cap on things we'll need to go through and dumb down almost everything in the game (I'm tempted to think that this might need to be done anyways, but I haven't been higher than Hero for probably 5+ years so I really have no legs to stand on here).

I've played games where there's no limitation on the amount an item can load. I don't think I played any of them more than several months because I reached the pinnacle and then became bored.

Distant Lands has kept me coming back off and on for 18 years or so. It must be doing something right, eh?


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 Post subject: Re: Wanted feedback on scheduled item purges
PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2018 10:32 pm 
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Amaessara wrote:
When Nezmar asked me what I thought about taking the limits off of items I was shocked and asked WHY? He told me that a few had posted here that they thought that would fix the problem. I have read all the posts so far and I would like to include my thoughts.

First as a builder and really at this point the main builder...often times an items has had a limit put on it because that is what the builders intent was for whatever reason. I will use the sword "Decapitator" as an example.. It is a named sword .. should there be more than 1? When the builder of that area made it he/she thought not.

Many limited items are limited because they are more powerful whether that is because of a spell it casts or extra on the affects it was given. So my personal opinion as a player and a builder those items should remain limited.

There are hundreds if not thousands of items that are nearly as powerful as the limited ones.

Currently there are very very few items that are maxed.

I am all for an item and house purge the reason:
Many potions do have limits there are players that may have most of one kind of potion and yet they do not play the game.. they log in religiously once a month to make sure they don't lose the items they have acquired, yet they don't play, why do they need 20 of a single potion?

There are people that have so much stuff honestly I don't think they even realize that they may be holding 5 of a certain item.. they have it in a bag in a bag in a hole in a hole in a tube.. how often do they take the hole out of the tube and then then hole out of the hole and the bag out of the hole and the bag out of the bag and really sort through all the stuff they have.. likely not often.

As a player I was given a lot of items that I was too small for level wise. I held on to it.. as i was able to wear it I passed on the items I removed. I do not keep a separate set of regen EQ, but I understand those that do.

I think that the soft limit is a reasonable solution to the max of items.

I think that there are pluses to having limits personally:
Everyone doesn't look the EXACT same with their EQ
The builders intent (and as a builder I find this one really important... even though many of the areas that have limited items the builders are no longer active in the game)
It increases the value of the items that have limits.

I know that I as a builder would have less incentive to build. If the limits are lifted any building I were to do IF I continued to build would be totally standardized to the level of the mob it loads on. I would place no bonuses, or perks on anything.

Respectfully,
Amaessara


My original post probably wasn’t very clear. Personally, I’m not advocating one way or another for how items are handled I was purely replying to Nezmar’s comments about how us inviting our friends is going to magically solve our problems. It came off very dismissive. The reality of the situation is that this isn’t 1995 or 2000 anymore and the people who play MUDs will continue to dwindle. The game’s mechanics should undergo changes to reflect that.

That said, there are pros and cons to hard limits and no limits to equipment load rates, but is there a proposed alternatively to discourage hoarding? If the inventory and house purge occurs, what’s to stop players from going out and doing the exact same thing once the items get recirculated into the game? It doesn’t really solve the problem as, in my opinion, you’re just kicking the can further down the road.

Dagroth wrote:
As a former builder, I can say that when I would design an item, I tried to keep the strength of the item in proportion with the rarity of the item. Uncapping those items would make them completely overpowered. If we remove the cap on things we'll need to go through and dumb down almost everything in the game (I'm tempted to think that this might need to be done anyways, but I haven't been higher than Hero for probably 5+ years so I really have no legs to stand on here).

I've played games where there's no limitation on the amount an item can load. I don't think I played any of them more than several months because I reached the pinnacle and then became bored.

Distant Lands has kept me coming back off and on for 18 years or so. It must be doing something right, eh?


I’m a little confused by your post, Dagroth. On one hand you say games with no limitations on gear loads don’t hold your attention, yet at the same time Distant Lands hasn’t held enough of your attention to get beyond Hero status – and it does have equipment limitations. Your post seems a little contradictory.


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 Post subject: Re: Wanted feedback on scheduled item purges
PostPosted: Thu Jun 21, 2018 10:42 pm 
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I didn't say I've never been above hero status. ;)

Frankly, I just got busy with life. Wife, kids, career, et cetera. I haven't had time to play games much. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Wanted feedback on scheduled item purges
PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2018 1:12 pm 
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Old player chiming in :)

I haven't been active in quite a while, life is busy. I've also dedicated most of my time to tabletop gaming these days as I run a tabletop cafe so it's work related and fun :P Product knowledge is important plus I enjoy it, but I definitely miss DL and do check in to see how things are going from time to time! I also like to post my 2 cents on positive and negative changes :P

I personally think restricting how much a person can carry is a great way to combat hoarding. No more bags in bags in holes.
I also think a great way to combat hoarding would be to make each extra dimensional item one per person.
That means each person can only have 1 bag of holding, 1 bronze tube, 1 portable hole etc...etc...

I do also like the idea of periodic purges where they're made in advance so you can have a chance to stuff your things in bags, hold said bags, and everything that you're not wearing is purged.
Although if containers were only 1 per character, I don't think this would really be much of an issue.

Most high level avatars are carrying more than they need. Cutting it down a bit sounds like a good idea.

One of a kind items: I always felt items loadable in game should always be loadable. I do understand where "named" swords/weapons should be one of a kind, but one of a kind items with generic names? (The Aura of Ultimate Life) etc... it was just a race for the first person to load it. Then they have it forever. Anybody that joins later can never get it? That did put me off a bit sometimes. I feel as though the BEST items that are beyond anything else and are one of a kind should be roleplayed for, I've always been an advocate that more awesome, powerful items should be given out plentifully during roleplaying. Loading is tedious and less rewarding than items roleplayed for. Although that does create a 2 way work force where staff needs to put in a lot of time to roleplay with the player base.

Roleplayed items could also be done over multiple sessions where the character needs to gather certain materials and needs to put in some real work to see a customized item made for them. That way each avatar isn't a cookie cutter build. Would be super neat if ALL the high level avatars had a unique item or two that set them apart.

Questing - For me, this has always been the biggest drawback of playing regularly. I can't progress unless the staff has the time to run a quest and there's enough players ready to also embark on the quest. I absolutely do love the new system where you can continue to level, but questing allows for multi-classing which is too hard to give up so wait for a quest you must.

I think quests should be automated up to Greater Lord. (Task based premade quests that are unique for each class) That allow you to multi class and get avatar levels. From Lesser Avatar and up, waiting on a staff run quest makes complete sense. Group based task premade quests would also be fantastic, again, only allowed you to progress till Greater Lord using the automated system.

The task system for level 1-99 is AMAZING and I absolutely love it. I wish level 100-199 had an equally rewarding, and adventurous amount of tasks. If I had the time these days, it's something I'd love to build/develop and help work on.

My 2 cents :) DL has astonished me to see the level of growth, continued dedicated of staff and players, and positive changes and new implemented ideas over the years.

Mortius / Alysandir


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 Post subject: Re: Wanted feedback on scheduled item purges
PostPosted: Sat Jun 23, 2018 5:33 am 
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As an individual who plays with less frequency these last several years my insight comes from the broader perspective of the whole 15 years that I have known and played.

Over the years I have sat on both sides of the fence of the haves and have-nots. I've borne witness to people with bags in bags, etc and seen things pulled out of containers that made me scratch my head. You can regularly see me use the emote in game when I hop on for my albeit quick play sessions. I've been one to enjoy a simple amount of containers, with two being a nice round number because it fits the role of how much junk I want to be toting around. Now I also understand why individuals might be laden to the gills with an exorbitant amount of items. There's been plenty of times where the best activity I've found myself is what I like to call "level loading". To get that experience for the next set of levels I will go about killing the mobs that could give me the next big thing, or possibly something I could sell, trade, or give to another. If I've loaded that item I would like to savor it because that is one of the few pleasures I get from my playing of this game. Its that dopamine rush of finally after x amount of attempts that garners success.

Now with the idea of purging inventory and houses that raises a question to my mind. If you want to try to slim down the items someone may have on their person with fair warning I don't have an objection with. Yet if you wish to purge the households of the mountains of items that have accumulated from those people a better question would be: Why do we even have the capability to purchase houses? If they're available they will just be used as a dumping ground again and I have seen some houses that look almost like landfills over the years with things on the floor and a multitude of containers stacked up. A better solution to that would be to just maybe condemning the houses until a better function for them to serve could be found.

Then there's the topic of inviting new players to enjoy DL. When I first started playing I dropped the word and showed a few people the fun and excitement I was having with a game that was purely all text. Those people got excited and spread the word to a few more, then a few more and so on. Over the years those people moved onto other things and when asked they had officially closed the chapter on their days with DL. Since then I have brought this up to people in passing and have never been successful in bringing in more players from friends or acquaintances. Even now 15 years later whenever I have brought it up I received at best a dismissive response and at worse they looked at me like I was crazy. I have a hard time trying to find people who even read books let alone play a game where all they do is read and type, heh. I would love to be able to spread the good word, bring in some new blood and freshen up the atmosphere. Doing so would probably get me to come back as more a full time venture than my sporadic visits. Currently its either Dagroth telling me to log on or vice versa.

tl;dr is the inventory purge may help. Get rid of houses or they will get items dumped into them again. I've tried to get more people to play over the last 15 years and nobody in this area is remotely interested in playing a text based game.

Well those are my rambling thoughts on a Saturday morning and only one cup of coffee in my system.

Thank you,
Seraqin and the multitude of other aliases I've had over the years

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Hey dewd, don't be afraid.
You were made to play DL better.
The minute you're in your character's skin.
Then you begin to roleplay better.


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