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Azlanti Stones

Rynnik
Just try and post at least a sentence or two that has SOMETHING to do with the subject of the thread. Common forum courtesy.
Not a member, representative, or supporter of Brighthaven Alliance.
Caldeathe Baequiannia
Rynnik
Just try and post at least a sentence or two that has SOMETHING to do with the subject of the thread. Common forum courtesy.
This is the thread I was addressing, because this is the thread that was (and may still be) getting quoted and or taken out of context on mmorpg.com. When I see people making statements that look like facts when they aren't, that I think are detrimental to the game's progress, I'm likely to respond. I could have collated the specific statements that I was addressing, but in my opinion that tends to make people defensive and feel as if they are targeted, when it is not any specific statement, but the underlying issue I'm concerned with. People are making assumptions about the Azlanti stones (today it's the Azlanti stones, tomorrow it will be something else) without sufficient information, and some of those assumptions are stated in ways that when they are quoted without the accompanying material make them look like they are facts. That is being used by people who have a serious issue with games that charge for an incomplete state to paint PFO in as unfavourable a light as they can. That's what people do, they boost their own position in preference over those of others, and may not even be aware they are being manipulative. There are people who are on a crusade when it comes to causing all such games to fail, and they will manipulate other people's words into weapons every opportunity they are given.

I would like to see more crowdfordging around the Azlanti Stones. I think they represent a way to add value to the game though colour and tie-in to lore and systems. I think they have to be cool, but not unbalancing, and not restricted to those who have "earned" them. They should be either lootable or have durability. The account-age gateway should not be a difficult hurdle, or, if they are lootable, then people who can't use them should be able to do something else with them that makes them as valuable in a different way. Perhaps as high tier, or wildcard components, or an additional component on top of others that allows a boost to the output level. Perhaps embeddable in crafted goods in some other way. I think concerns about the potential for them to push away new players are valid, but only if they aren't implemented right. I think that complaining about whether they used dev time well is a textbook example of trying to close the barn door after the horse is gone. They are a commitment, whether people think they should be or not, so I'm going to devote my efforts toward ensuring they are a positive thing for the game.
To reach me, email d20rpg@gmail.com
Rynnik
Well this thread is fucked.

Generally there is a momentum and sorta 'conversation' that happens on forums. Often people respect the op's intent at least a little in trying to stay on track as to what that conversation should be in that particular thread.

It would have been really nice if you maybe started your own thread with that concern and linked to this one and broke-off the conversation that way to what you seem to think is a key point. What you did is just rude imo.

Oh-well. Maybe we will get back on topic here at a later time or in another thread on here.
Not a member, representative, or supporter of Brighthaven Alliance.
Caldeathe Baequiannia
I honestly don't understand your frustration, Rynnik. Every post I made up to and including the one you quoted from where you thought I was criticizing you, I talked about the stones. The only post I made that didn't discuss the stones was when you asked if I was addressing you and I replied no and explained myself. I'm still just as interested in discussing them as anyone.
To reach me, email d20rpg@gmail.com
Kitsune
Getting back on subject, I'm not sure if someone touched on this yet or not:

Different Devs can work on only so many different things. The Art guys are not going to be able to fix speed boosts, and the Programmers are not going to design the models for new classes/races.

Likewise, and getting down to my point now, when Bob spends time working on limited-time-escalations and similar, there's likely not too many other things (at this moment) that his time could be better spent on… that we are aware of. Bob is the escalation and PvE guy, and I'm 90% sure that it's almost exclusively his time working on these new escalations.

As for the other stuff, I still agree, the Developer time/resources could be better spent elsewhere, unless we've got more Bob-like situations.

And, I do want to express my complete agreement that veteran rewards (in general, and specifically these) that provide mechanical benefits are only going to hurt - making the power curve even steeper.
Duffy Swiftshadow
So I originally heard about these from someone at Paizocon and shrugged my shoulders with the thought of 'neat but not particular exciting' development. Now that the blog is out and I've seen some opinions I've revised my view a bit.

I'm not concerned about 'wasted' dev time for Azlanti Stones. They are pretty trivial sounding (simple stat boosts with no real moving parts) and I trust that they are not going to waste significant amounts of someone's time if it can be put to better use with a bigger feature. However, the escalation thing might be an issue, but it depends what they have in mind and why. If they are doing more than spending a few hours recombining what they already have, I'm curious as to why? Are they doing it because PvE is the predominant activity? Are they assuming we want more PvE? If so I personally feel there are some possibly incorrect assumptions driving that view. PvE is the common activity cause it's necessary, easy, and consequence free (for the most part). PvP is restricted, difficult, incredibly penalizing if not done with feuds (which are broken right now), and honestly not necessary. Therefore PvP is uncommon.

I am of the opinion that we don't need more of the same exact things we already have, we need more breadth of things to do, even if they are 'different' versions of existing systems. Gushers, dungeons found via some sort of exploration system, banditry, raiding, assassinations, more holding options, bounty hunting, etc…. things like this will create day to day variety (and yes some of these are crazy complex I doubt any of them would appear quickly) and generate interest. Another type of escalation? Don't get me wrong, nice to have some variety, but still just another escalation, doing the same stuff.

If they are actually going to produce significant non-reusable artwork I feel like that could be a serious miscalculation and waste of effort. I would be reallllllly surprised if they were doing this but will include it for completion's sake in case they were thinking along those lines.

As for Azlanti Stones, I get the intent, I like the intent. Reward your backers with a little something for helping you out, that's fine, thanks, we love you (despite our incessant whining sometimes). But the specific implementation of the stones? At best they are a trivial requirement and at worst they are significant advantage depending on the strength of their bonuses.

If they are trivial they are similar to say Gem slotting or Enchanting in a game like WoW: something everyone does that really doesn't have much driving it besides the boost itself. You equip the best one for you and always make sure you have it, maybe have a few for swapping for specific things. Not particularly interesting and it creates arbitrary stat bloat which starts to cause balance issues.

If they are strong they are required and the power difference is noticeable, this amplifies the stat bloat problem and also gives veterans a significant advantage. Veterans already have an advantage in breadth of options and from passive feats, we don't need arbitrary stat boosts that will only unbalance things further. Even if these things weren't gated by months subscribed and limited injections into the game I would still not care for them, they don't add anything really interesting to the game. They are a stat stick and I am of the belief that when you add arbitrary stat sticks you have made a mistake.

Itemization should be based around options and distinctions, right now the itemization is pretty good. Weapons are fairly different, armor is too, and certain armors are tied to specific role dynamics. Progressions are there to give us a power curve but they are steady and consistent, that's all really good. However, in my opinion, adding random number injections into that system are only going to cause issues. If you have a choice between two slightly different numbers on the same item it's usually not really a choice. Avoid this type of scenario, think rock-paper-scissors over picking +10 HP or +5 Resist when it comes to itemization.

I'll quickly add that I think there is a problem with the Cold Iron and Silvered weapons in this regard, there is no reason to not equip one. Perhaps the thought was a significant cost difference, but as we've seen they are often cheaper to make than the 'baseline' versions. I think something needs to be done with stuff like that to actually make it a choice, but currently not a huge deal cause nothing capitalizes on that special keyword.

To any GW devs who happen to read this, I'm not hating with these rants I occasionally have. I just want to make sure an opinion and some information that could change the inherent facts of an idea or another point of view gets out there. In my professional life we heavily depend on the ability of our co-workers to poke holes in our ideas or implementations without being a 'dick' while doing it, which is far easier when having a back and forth conversation than an asynchronous forum chat with a hundred voices chiming in too (not to say those voices might not be saying good stuff, just need to find it all). I hope I have carried that tradition here and no one interprets me as an angry customer, I most certainly am not.
AlexanderDamocles
Tinkerton
Building a thematically appropriate mechanical set for new roles is also a lot more than just changing a bunch of numbers. Roles should be evocative, and that takes design time.

That was actually my point. I was attempting to point out that by reducing escalations to something simple (just make numbers and art!), that you can do the same thing with classes (just make numbers and art!). Coding is more complex, and designing is just as complex.

Anyhoo.

Azlanti stones. Not seeing a need, a benefit, or a demand for them. Definitely seeing drawbacks.
Lee Hammock
Some things to add to the discussion:

1) The new escalations will get recycled in some form. We'll pull the rewards out an rebrand them, use the events in other escalations after changing out some names or such, etc. It won't be wasted work; we don't have time for wasted work. People seem to complain a lot about the escalations being grindy so getting in a faster cycle for their deployment will help us test out new ideas and mechanics.
2) The Azlanti stones are small art and programming time commitments. Also on the programming side they are helping us get some other needed systems online. The system is designed such that you have a basic set of stones that give pretty commonly useful bonuses (Hit Points, Power, etc), but you can combine them to give more specific bonuses that may be more useful and combine them to be more powerful. The idea is to provide players with a number of attractive options as to what to slot, some of which require more work to get than others, and to create an interesting trading economy that, unlike most other structures in the game, has a very finite limit on resources that cannot be increased by actions in game.
Tink says Stab
While you are answering, what kind of items did you have in mind when you say "Unique Item Rewards"? Because I am having trouble thinking of any unique item drops from monsters that make sense.
Tink quivers in sheer euphoria as the dank memes course through his fedora
Lee Hammock
So say we did a unique duergar escalation event. That could reward a unique model hammer (making a new hammer model is relatively simple since we already have all the animations necessary, but making a crossbow is a pain since we don't have the animations) that functions as a fairly standard low-end T2 hammer but is unique in terms of appearance. It would have durability like everything else so over time they would be come rarer as they go out of circulation. Even easier would be doing something like a ring or brooch once we have the passive item bonuses up and running as that only needs an icon art wise. The items are being designed such that they are useful for a starting to low-mid character and more of an appearance/vanity item for higher level characters.
 
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