Do endgame bashing zones need a rebalance?

TetchtaTetchta Member Posts: 647 ✭✭✭✭
edited July 21 in Idea Box
Hi! So! There's a lot more endgame bashing areas these days. Three, right? Four, depending on how you count. And this is cool, it's a response to player requests and also is an attempt to balance the Knife Economy. The thing is, these areas...okay, the charitable, chill way of putting it is "are extremely frustrating."

I'm an endgame basher, a whale, and have a really decent bashing setup. I've minmaxed several of my bashing classes, and boy these areas are...to put it simply, inviable for endgame bashing. I died in the Welto Trench just trying to explore the area. I've heard Eftehl** and Den of Shadow sare nearly unbashable for folk. Dramedo Warrens is just on the cusp of an area I'd call bashable, but you can still get totally boned due to RNG. No skill, no manual bashing, just bad RNG and mob stacking and you're dead there.

The main issues are, as I see it, from my perspective, skills/debuffs that totally remove player reactionability. In my case, it's all the grapples/impales. You can get writhelocked in a ton of areas just because of RNG, which makes bashing there an unattractive prospect, because you just end up losing XP for pretty much no increased reward.

I've not played in the other areas, but I've heard some complaints as well. If this is an attempt to curb or complicate autobashing, I get the intention, but it's not actually the solution. There's no coding around writhe locks. If you get locked in tens of seconds of writhing, it's over, period. Is there any possibility this can get looked into at some point? 'cause as it is right now, the new areas aren't actually expanding the available bashing zones for most people by much, if at all.

**edit: I'm hearing a mix of reviews for this area so YMMV
"We're taught Lord Acton's axiom: all power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. I believed that when I started these books, but I don't believe it's always true any more. Power doesn't always corrupt. What I believe is always true about power is that power always reveals. When you have enough power to do what you always wanted to do, then you see what the guy always wanted to do."
-Robert Caro
XavinAeryxValorie

Comments

  • XavinXavin Member Posts: 1,581 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I'm of the opinion that if you have omni transed your skills and heavily invested in defensive, stat, and hunting artifacts, then there's not a lot of reasons why an endgame area should be so dang hard. A lot of these areas just hit absurdly hard or with combinations of afflictions that are incredibly frustrating. And not like...one or two boss type NPCs or special quest end 'kill this' NPCs, but from the rank and file creatures that populate the areas. I honestly feel like the vast majority of areas on the list that are marked as endgame bashing areas need to be rebalanced to be more reasonable. Examples like the volcano, the feral caves, dovan hollow, and apparently the den of shadows and now the welto trench are pretty rough.

    And I'm not saying this to be mean, I appreciate the thought that goes into areas. But let's scale it back a little, huh? For example - the volcano. Every mob there hits absurdly hard, some in exotic damage types that are difficult to resist, to the point where it's absurd. And then there's aggressive mobs that just make it harder for no good reason. I get the difficulty of the elder lava daemon, even if I feel he's overtuned because of some of the mechanics of that fight but...the rest of the area needs a touch up. And I think the same goes for a lot of endgame areas.

    TetchtaAeryx
  • AeryxAeryx Member Posts: 156 ✭✭✭
    I agree with both above posts. Maybe not about the difficulty of say, Dramedo Warrens, but yeah. Den of Shadows is unbashable other than the snakes. Not even gonna try it again.

    The thing that bugs me about it all is like, is there supposed to be a point of contact about feedback for this stuff? If so is it @Tedrunai since they posted about it while I was not playing? Is it someone else, is it nobody? No idea.

    Also I think the intent behind each area would be nice to know. Is it supposed to be for group bashing? Solo? Is that why certain things are in place? Who knows.

    Like most things in Aetolia, the documentation and information are low and we're left to just make assumptions and choices about the stuff based on what's just in front of us. And what's in front of us are areas that are ramped up a lot of the time to 1 million difficulty.
    Carry me on the wings of a storm, show me the power of the universe. Give me the strength of wing to soar, show me the power of the universe.
    Xavin
  • XavinXavin Member Posts: 1,581 ✭✭✭✭✭
    The thing about group bashing, though, is that it will be nearly impossible to balance because mobs tend to hit the last person that hit them. So if a class has a long bashing attack and their bashing buddy has a short one, who is gonna get hit? If the damage is too high it's going to end up nuking both of them anyway regardless, etc. There isn't a good way to do it in this game short of active mechanics. As it is, bashing difficulty amounts to how much damage mobs deal, what affs they throw alongside the damage, how hard they hinder, and how quickly they act. As well as how many and how dangerous the agros there are.

    Aeryx
  • TetchtaTetchta Member Posts: 647 ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 21
    XP in group bashing is also quite terrible, so it'd need to be inflated quite a bit to justify the BS required to gather a party and the effort needed. A zone would also have to explicitly known to be a group zone up front so there's no confusion if that's the intention.
    "We're taught Lord Acton's axiom: all power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. I believed that when I started these books, but I don't believe it's always true any more. Power doesn't always corrupt. What I believe is always true about power is that power always reveals. When you have enough power to do what you always wanted to do, then you see what the guy always wanted to do."
    -Robert Caro
  • EleneElene Member Posts: 295 ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 22
    I have to be honest. I have noticed that all these new areas, Eftehl Island, the Den of Shadows, and Welto Trench seem designed to mess with balance and lean in heavily upon bleeding mechanisms. If the mob does not knock you off balance, then they will hit you with dazed that prevents normal recovery of balance until you recoup, or a writhe_* affliction that knocks you off-balance until you successfully writhe out. If this doesn't kill you, then the crap ton of bleeding the mob induces or wandering aggressive mobs will. It does make exploration quite a pain in the hindquarters.

    I did attempt to bash the Welto Trench a little yesterday, a few hours after its release, and my initial impression was that it's a death trap, with aggressive harpies in the air and aggressive sharks in the sea. If you hit sharks with harpies in the air, they'll land and kick your unicorns with the sharks, and if you fly and try to escape they can follow everywhere. All of them have balance knocks or some form of writhe affliction. Let's not mention the aggro sharks underwater (you can get up to 8 of them aggro and chasing you), or the tarvoks that randomly pop up to ambush you one or two in a row. I've probably died to these mobs a few times yesterday, because they're just impossible to run away from, they give you hidden afflictions, knocks you off balance for 1 second, gives you squelched, and gives you a writhe_gunk affliction that further knocks you off balance until you writhe free. With how fast they hit, you can practically be 90% assured you'll die before you make it out.

    At the same time, though, of all these new areas, I can handle the Den of Shadows and Eftehl Island if I bash semi-manually. It does mean my bashing speed will be reduced by a bit, but I tend to survive a bit more. Keep in mind that I am bashing in Archivist though, but I don't have a hunting damage artifact, nor do I have crit_hit. I am fully transed in my miniskills, with an artie shield, L3 enhancement, L2 health sip bonus, L2 con+, L2 magic_potence, and  red/white ylem amulets.

    While I agree that the new areas are possibly to provide more bashing ground options and some challenge equal to Tcanna (maybe?) to those trying to bash to level 200, I feel that it might possibly benefit from being tuned down a little. I went back to Welto Trench to bash a little after all my deaths from exploration, and I found out that killing the harpies before attempting to kill the sharks in the seas outdoors makes for a better life. I still GTFO when a tarvok ambushes me though, don't need those in my life.
    TetchtaHaelraValorieXavin
  • GavramelGavramel Member Posts: 42
    I avoid areas with multiple roaming aggros, crazy damage or OTT mechanics as par for the course.
    On that, I don't use a hunting system beyond targetting and the rest is manual keybinds.
  • SryaenSryaen Member Posts: 96 ✭✭✭
    I primarily stick to Spiral, Xaanhal, Nal'jin, Tiyen and the Squal when I do decide to go out and bash. Any of these other areas are just sort of silly in terms of risk vs reward. I explored Eftehl twice, once in Templar and very nearly died to a bad stack of mobs + the frozen_feet affliction making it unable to leave the room to shield or run away. I then came back as Syssin and finished exploring and once I hit 99% (I know I have 1 room left, but w/e), I haven't been back there.

    The only real 'defensive' artifact I have is level 2 enhance. I shouldn't need to beef up with sip rings or +stats to bash an area, so while some of the more decked out whales may love the new bashing zones because they're relatively empty of other players, I think that's fairly telling as to the difficulty level. I also bashed a bit in Den of Shadows and it seems like the mobs there are un-crittable? With some of the lower-armored classes, they basically rely on critical hits with vigour elixir to help keep them alive. If there was more emphasis on group bashing zones, I think I'd be down for doing these areas, but to maximize my exp means to do it by myself.


    Tell me how I'm doing!
    (Web): Mileta says, "Okay... Sry is an edgelord..."

    (Web): Dreww says, "Sryaen just wants to be the best Dhar boi and slaughter everyone."
    Jaamir
  • TetchtaTetchta Member Posts: 647 ✭✭✭✭
    I don't understand the point of having uncritable mobs. It takes away vigor procs, for one, and is basically tossing sand in the gears of every class ever. Given that most PVE is about killing things before they get you...makes it really rough to bash any of those areas, and almost never worth the time even if it's doable.
    "We're taught Lord Acton's axiom: all power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. I believed that when I started these books, but I don't believe it's always true any more. Power doesn't always corrupt. What I believe is always true about power is that power always reveals. When you have enough power to do what you always wanted to do, then you see what the guy always wanted to do."
    -Robert Caro
    Valorie
  • TeaniTeani Shadow Mistress SwedenMember Posts: 2,208 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I think the scale could do with an overhaul, too, and not just say 99+. Perhaps use some form of rating with letters for bashing areas or even add some kind of poll system, where adventurers can report to an adventurer's guild to change the rating. 

    A = Low threat (Newbie-ranked area)
    B = Moderate threat (below 50)
    C = Medium threat (below 80)
    D = Normal threat (below 90)
    E = Normal threat, Skill
    F = Normal threat, Tacticle gear
    G = Strong threat (90-99)
    H = Strong threat, Skill
    I = Strong threat, Tactical gear
    J = High threat (above 99)
    K = High threat, Skill
    L = High threat, Tacticle gear
    M = Max threat, Multiple aggressors

    These are just examples and can definitely be changed. The guild sets a generic area rank, let's say J for Ayhesa, and then adventurers who bash that place can report on their experiences to the guild, saying that it is possible to manage with less experience so long as you wear proper tactical gear (artifacts, buffs) or simple if you have all the necessary skills (omnitrans), and HUNT RATE AYHESA H.

    This way players have a way to provide feedback to Admin. If there are records kept in some abbreviated fashion in game, others can also go check the reports to see if they can manage a place or not. For example: 

    HUNT REPORT <AYHESA>
    Rated: J
    Additional reports:
    Class                  circle       rating
    Sciomancer       92            H
    Templar              89            F

    If enough reports come in from players, the general rating can be changed by Admin. 



    EleneAeryxRhine
  • IllidanIllidan Pray AreaMember Posts: 1,155 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Just my 2 cents, here are the biggest turnoffs for me when it comes to bashing:

    Uncrittable mobs
    High concentrations of aggro mobs, especially ones that roam
    Mobs that call for help.

    Arbothia is a great example of number 2, but it's doable. The volcano is has these too, but as they are much deadlier with their CC and absurd damage it makes for an unattractive choice.

    Clawhook has mobs that call for help and they can prove to be deadly, but at least the mobs are crittable.

    Areas that combine these are going to be automatic nopes from me, because I can just go to Tcanna, crit everything there and still get super high experience returns. I feel like if it is insistent that these areas have such levels of difficulty, their experience margins should be significantly higher.
    They didn't listen when I said Shamans were strong in groups. 
    Aetolia Buzzwords: Bad actors, disingenuous, disingenuous bad actors, and bad actors being disingenuous. 


                                                                                                   
              
    ValorieTetchtaXavinIesid
  • TetchtaTetchta Member Posts: 647 ✭✭✭✭
    Uncritable endgame bashing area mobs seems like an idea someone who's never bashed before would come up with. I know that sounds kinda harsh, but that's definitely how it feels haha
    "We're taught Lord Acton's axiom: all power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. I believed that when I started these books, but I don't believe it's always true any more. Power doesn't always corrupt. What I believe is always true about power is that power always reveals. When you have enough power to do what you always wanted to do, then you see what the guy always wanted to do."
    -Robert Caro
    XavinSryaen
  • XavinXavin Member Posts: 1,581 ✭✭✭✭✭
    My hot take: Uncritable is a modifier that should be used for small numbers of mobs, if not an area boss type mob. It's not something that is fun to deal with in endgame content, especially when you consider how expensive crit increasing artifacts are and the fact that there are multiple auction only crit artifacts that increase those effects further. Nothing says 'this is great' like negating an artifact that costs, what, 1600cr or so for the level three version?

    TetchtaValorieGavramel
  • IesidIesid Member Posts: 182 ✭✭✭
    edited July 22
    No_crit is not a fun flag for mobs. Bashing is not fun (a 0 rating), but no_crit manages to dig the hole further into -1 and on.

    I think Eftehl is mostly fine; I can coast through it via an autobasher so long as the stars do not align and conspire to kill me via a patrol mob. The real annoying part is the frozen_feet preventing me from retreating when I catch it.

    As Illidan put it - why go there when I can breeze through any number of other areas that are safer and have around the same level of returns?

    I have not gone through Welto, but all impressions I've been given would indicate that I should have little interest. I think I understand the intent of designing areas this way - namely that the builder in question didn't want it to be an autobasher's wet dream - but I can't help but feel that this aim unintentionally falls along the same lines as putting focus on everything that the average player dislikes about bashing. By and large, it's not that interactive or thrilling of a process and most people only do it to hit the 100 or 200 goodies. Forcing me to pay more attention to it than I do now is asking me to pay more attention to a process that I automate because it isn't fun.

    Are there other ways admin could 'proof' things against full automation without making it a deathtrap?

    Or perhaps we should ask how to make bashing more fun or engaging so people don't want to automate it? This one is a toughie, I don't necessarily expect any answers or else IRE might have already acted on them.
    TetchtaXavin
  • TetchtaTetchta Member Posts: 647 ✭✭✭✭
    edited July 22
    My hot take is that automated bashing is fun and there's no reason why it should be thwarted; I can't tell you how much of a hoot it was for me to (mostly) perfect my autobasher and optimize my wayfarer bashing. At present I can't autobash the...uh...slaver...area-- the one with the huge bleeding, but I could eventually get around to it. I think trying to code around automation is a battle that was lost over a decade ago. The game is explicitly pro-automation (which imo is good!), and MUDs are a lot easier to automate than, say, graphical games. I don't think that means areas have to be intentionally designed to be automation-friendly (see above bleeding ticks), but designing them specifically to make an aspect of the game unenjoyable as a "gotcha, tricked you!" just doesn't seem like a slam dunk to me.

    I do think it's possible to make areas require more clever thinking (see: Tcanna, weird bleeding ticks) without making them an unenjoyable slog (stacked writhes, weird balance knocks that bypass first aid, uncrittable mobs). What's more, if the area requires more work, it should give quite a bit better rewards. These days it seems the carrot:stick ratio is off, at least with the newer areas.
    "We're taught Lord Acton's axiom: all power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely. I believed that when I started these books, but I don't believe it's always true any more. Power doesn't always corrupt. What I believe is always true about power is that power always reveals. When you have enough power to do what you always wanted to do, then you see what the guy always wanted to do."
    -Robert Caro
    ValorieXavinSryaenIllidan
  • TahmTahm Member Posts: 4
    In my humble opinion (which is humble) - I think the things people are complaining about in this thread (while valid) are cool mechanics. Unfortunately, as these new areas open up and these new mobs get cool new mechanics, players (and correct me if I'm wrong) still only have one mechanic: bash thing with skill until dead. If you're facing down uncrittable mob X, heavy bleeding mob Y, and recoup/writhespam mob Z, and your only option is bash thing with skill until dead, where other areas offer your bashing thing with skill versus the mob bashing you with skill....

    I know this would be a heavy code investment, but giving players the ability to status effect mobs, even in limited capacity, for endgame bashing areas would provide endless opportunity for strategy and engaging gameplay/coding opportunities. Maybe you're squishy and you don't want the bleeder hitting you for a bit. Stun or weaken him, focus on the writhespam mob, burst it down, and turn your focus. Or maybe spend a balance to extend a mob's attack balance, giving you a respite from the writhe spam.

    Again, I could be wrong, and my opinion is humble. Could be as easy as removing the no-crit flag on mobs.
    Jaamir
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