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Micromanagement, frustration, and player engagement/enjoyment

beckylunaticbeckylunatic Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 14,231 Arc User
I may not even successfully micromanage all the examples of micromanagement that are currently having a negative impact on my Neverwinter experience, but I am going to give it a shot.

Invoking - Takes 4 hours to finish the daily cycle and get the second celestial coin. More celestial coins equals more chance at wards, and... oh hey, I need those, but will not buy coalescent wards at current Zen store prices. Too expensive for a one-time-use consumable item, even for a player who is otherwise willing to spend money on the game. Got sidetracked, either outside the game or because you were actually doing something fun in NW, and didn't hit that invoke cooldown exactly on time? Choose between missing out or going to bed late. If you are a person whose gaming time starts close to NW's reset time, you are basically hooped. For me, the time when NW wants to be most demanding of repeated actions is while the sun is still out, while supper should be prepared, while it should be home-from-work family-facetime. System not designed to be human-friendly or life-friendly. This doesn't just "reward people who play more", it rewards people who are willing to play to the exception of all else.

Not being late with your invokes is exacerbated by....

Experience earned at bonus rate - You get this from invoking, but you also overwrite this by invoking if you don't use it. On a level 70 character, to use up "10k experience earned at a bonus rate of 25%", you need to obtain ~40k experience in between every other invoke, from professions or quest turn-ins or killin' stuff (approximate because the flat XP bonus from invoking will consume some of it, and because XP from other bonuses doesn't seem to fully count). This isn't difficult to do with one character. It is very difficult to do on multiple characters in fifteen minutes, or even in the 1.25 hour window between invoke #2 and #4. 10k experience isn't a huge amount compared to the amount needed for overflow rewards, BUT every bit of XP you don't earn and could have, is a little less progress towards that next overflow reward, and every overflow reward has the potential to be significant (because I like bonus power points, but going and buying them in Sharandar isn't on my agenda).

And there's another issue created by invoking, namely....

AD bonus - Caps at 100k. I finally rolled this over on a few characters without noticing, because of the aforementioned tendecy to play in small increments on multiple characters. I can either waste it, or buy rings to salvage. I don't really want to buy rings, but I also don't have time or inclination for 20+ speedruns of dungeons a day, and the weekly quests on all my nominally active characters don't use their bonus faster than it collects. I do play the game a lot, but since my activity is mostly not things that Cryptic considers being permissible to make AD at, I don't get to use my bonus AD unless I buy rings from players who can get more by selling than salvaging.

Wasting resources makes me really unhappy. It makes me unhappy in real life. I'm the person who seethes about not noticing the printer was set to single-sided and not double, and gets upset if leftovers spoil before they're eaten. I don't want to have to deal with this in an escapist hobby. "Let that go" is really easy to advise if you're a person this doesn't bother in the first place. But resource management is integral to game progress. And that's fine on the level of making choices like which campaign to do first, or which dungeon to run, or playing a campaign on an old character vs. levelling a new one. It's fine on a level of deciding that you're going to dump all your refinement resources into one character or spread them around. It's even fine when it comes to making a decision to ignore specific parts of the game like not PvPing or not trying to get into Fangbreaker. Campaign A is probably not going to disappear if you decide to focus on campaign B first. Barring catastrophic reworks like we had in Mod 6, the dungeon you've never run will probably still be there if you decide to try it in three months time, and you can always work on gearing up a different alt later.

It is not ok when the game is forcing you to make a choice to either make use of a bonus or have it destroyed. That isn't really a "bonus" (something given freely), and feels more like a shackle. It's a continual source of stress and irritation. It isn't fun to mouse over and check numbers before invoking to make sure I'm not wasting stuff.

And then we have....

Professions - Are you relying on rare profession tasks for anything? Got to remember to check those when you log in as well. Forgot some? Double back and log those missed characters in again to open the profession UI. Do you even remember what you were trying to do at this point? Are you having fun?

Caps on campaign currency and seals - You ran some content or turned in a quest and went over the cap (which was probably undisclosed). Hooray! Less stuff for you, or your stronghold.

Expiring trowels - Off you go to do some SKT dailies. You're halfway through the wilderness and find a relic. Do you still have a trowel? Well darn. Back to town to get one or blow it off?

Voninblod - Ugh... I can't even get into this because my lunch break is nearly over and I have a meeting.

I think player "engagement" is measured by how much people are doing a thing. But... do they like it, or are they simmering bags of resentment just waiting to boil over? NW is making me feel like some kind of zombie or automaton, not particularly heroic or adventurous.
Guild Leader - The Lords of Light

Neverwinter Census 2017

All posts pending disapproval by Cecilia
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Comments

  • silverkeltsilverkelt Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 4,235 Arc User
    The issue boils down to.. we are doing way to much "non -playing" in the game, because its the only way to advance certain things.

    Vblood is by far the most frustrating to me though.. as you literally ride around doing nothing for hours to get enough to advance through he campaign.

    It maybe the WORST example of non playing they have done.

    Playing isnt riding around by yourself to accumulate stupid little trinkets for hours and hours on end. Its very extremely frustrating and it has many of us on the edge of just calling it quits again..

  • thefabricantthefabricant Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 5,248 Arc User
    I have had more fun this mod then in any other mod, but it is not because of the systems added (which I hate) but because of the people I am playing with and the stuff I am choosing to do. I am choosing to ignore farming voninblood, I am choosing to not empower the gear, I am choosing not to invoke. Its not efficient, but makes the game more fun for me. I also choose to do silly things, that waste a lot of time, but are super fun. At the end of the day, this mod boils down to choosing between playing efficiently and hating it, or not playing efficiently and having a ton of fun.
  • thefabricantthefabricant Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 5,248 Arc User

    At the end of the day, this mod boils down to choosing between playing efficiently and hating it, or not playing efficiently and having a ton of fun.

    That pretty much sums it up. Which is why I told the hamsters to go eat this mod (and probably the next one as well) and make a new character. I learned that DCs are not only very useful (I already knew that as someone who mainly plays DPS classes), but surprisingly fun to play as well. Depending on what mod 10.5 brings, I might add a GF to my roster for lack of something else interesting to do.

    Efficient? Probably not. But I rather have fun with a new character helping new alliance members get their upgrades than bore myself to death grinding mod10 without any rewards worth the work. I can find no flaw with the OP.
    At the end of the day, it is the people in NW that are this games best asset. I have a lot of fun, because of how enjoyable some people can make it.
  • wylonuswylonus Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 2,376 Arc User
    i agreed, this game had gone so bad that it made me take a nap, man, sleeping do make me feel better.
    remember, they are nerf bullies and inventory bag bullies. there nothing really fun, just another frustrations and seeing massive wall of progression blocker. barely any character improvements.

    we have lost Gateway to earn companion gears and not able to get lightfoot thief. devs are making groups of haves and havenots,
  • silverkeltsilverkelt Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 4,235 Arc User
    Ive mostly enjoyed the campaigns, even though I think they have run their course(we have enough). The two times i didnt was Mod 4 because it was a waste of time in terms of sitting around waiting for dragons to pop and mod 10, because riding around doing nothing for hours and hours is really stinking boring.

    For mod 10, the only real reason they put it in was to steer you into a zen purchase, however, one of the rules I have for myself is not to reward companies to skip boring content. Thats just mean honestly, it may work on some, but its not going to be working on me.

    Their unresponsive attitude doesnt help much either, neither is the constant shoving the need for bag space, even with the toons I have maxed out bags with.. I never have enough room. Mod 10 takes the cake as now I need to have 5-6 slots available to swap HAMSTER gear in and out of as well.

    Just man.. they seem to not even want us to log in some days.

    Mod 11 may force me out, as it appears they will continue with this mostly garbage going forward.

    How many of those 12 million (snicker, snicker) accounts will be actual active ones, when they get through this garbage and relize how un -fun it has been for us.

    Sigh.. just super frustrating.
  • arcticblitzarcticblitz Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 126 Arc User
    All well said Becky! I feel your frustrations too!
    Blitzy : PVE only Barbarian
    Martin ConDion PVE only Ranger

    Guild Founder: -HunterS-
  • nameexpirednameexpired Member Posts: 1,282 Arc User
    So very true, Becky!
    I don't understand why we still hang around, though.
    It feels as if they try to find the breaking point of their costomers.
    "I bet we will loose one 500 players if we disable the gateway"
    "I bet we loose no players and get 20 threads dealing with the broken promise of giving them a companion to soften the blow"

    We are transparent lab rats, they know what we do, they see how we react to changes. They see everything.
    We don't. They know that out of 100 "I quit" forum posts only 3 (i guess) really quit.
    Imaginary Friends are the best friends you can have!
  • silence1xsilence1x Member Posts: 1,503 Arc User
    Becky, as usual, you've hit the nail on the head. I share all of the concerns you've listed. Because of the way the game is currently setup, I rarely invoke now. I also don't log on to each of my 15 alts. Some days, I may invoke once on half of them, other days, not at all. Today, I may play my HR, tomorrow, my CW, Sunday, my GF.

    I gave up trying to be efficient in this game somewhere around Mod 3 or 4. Alt-ing used to be fun; now, it's a job. The entire game, as you stated, seems to want me to eat/sleep Neverwinter to progress ON ONE CHARACTER if I want to be BiS. Since Neverwinter isn't paying me to play, it's not going to be my full-time occupation. I used to play 6-8 hours an evening back in Mod 2; good times. That time has slowly decreased to the point where I usually play 2-3 hours every other day and a bit longer on the weekends (unless I have some RL stuff to do).

    If we're to be rewarded by playing, then stop nickel-and-diming us to death. Give us rewards, not excuses nor constant nerfs in the name of combatting bots.
    I aim to misbehave
  • wylonuswylonus Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 2,376 Arc User
    devs really make this NWO "forever beta" testing, seem that game never seem got launched, except for endless nerfs.

    then Neverwinter still isnt ready.
  • throsbithrosbi Member Posts: 291 Arc User
    I agree and feel the pain. I used to play all day everyday. Because it was either that or watch tv. I would rather watch paint dry or grass grow than tv. I could add a lot more to what you say especially the AD reward for playing. I do understand why obtaining AD had to be corrected, before all the changes it rained from the sky especially if you had an army to craft/invoke with. However now its almost impossible to obtain a large enough quantity to make a reasonable purchase. And you can forget about converting AD to Zen, been 5 days and counting for my request......

    O well I guess someone somewhere likes playing jenga/tetris with bags. I guess this is what we get when they base the zen/game income on bag sales.
  • mrvincent1959mrvincent1959 Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 740 Arc User
    The only thing that keeps me going on these new campaigns are the boons because there seems to be a strong chance that they actually do what they say since they are newly developed. Once I have my boons, I kinda just wait around hoping they come out with a mod called "Death to HEs, and Rise of the Skirmishes and Dungeons"
    twitch.tv/kaligold
  • iandarkswordiandarksword Member Posts: 978 Arc User
    I'm finding more time to work on some Foundry ideas I've been putting off. The grind for SKT currencies is too steep for me to stress over. You'd think they could require 3 quests per area, per day, but even so it's still a massive amount of time for a single character. I don't find the gear very appealing, it seems pigeon holed and the amount of investment to maintain it seems to be more work than it's worth. So I'll be spending a good part of this mod creating alongside gathering boons, albeit slowly.
    "I don't know, I'm making it up as I go..."
    Featured Foundry Quest: Whispers of an Ancient Evil [v3] - NW-DQ4WKW6ZG
    Foundry Quest: Harper Chronicles: Blacklake - NW-DCPA4W2Q5
  • ironzerg79ironzerg79 Member, Neverwinter Moderator, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 4,942 Arc User
    @beckylunatic

    image

    Neverwinter is no different. Stop trying to tape sandwiches to your body.
    "Meanwhile in the moderator's lounge..."
    i7TZDZK.gif?1
  • two30two30 Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 1,168 Arc User

    @beckylunatic
    Neverwinter is no different. Stop trying to tape sandwiches to your body.

    This is an incredibly condescending way of mischaracterizing the complaint in the OP.
    Neverwinter Tools for evaluating boons, mounts, dyes, etc.
  • greyhawk#1973 greyhawk Member Posts: 236 Arc User
    @two30 I agree. And, I completely agree with becklunatics post. The devs should really take her feedback to heart. Driving dedicated players away can't possibly be their plan, but it sure seems to be.

    Tsk tsk ironzerg.
  • vida44vida44 Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 667 Arc User
    @greyhawk#1973 Her feedback is not well documented and explained to be read by the devs.

    @beckylunatic you think we have it hard now? Wait till the new "module" hits so you can use all of your hardly earned gear and enchants to fish.
  • silverkeltsilverkelt Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 4,235 Arc User
    I have nothing keeping me going..

    They have admitted they are encouraged now that they think they can pretty much do whatever they want. They already lost most of the people they were going to lose, so meh ..




  • asterotgasterotg Member Posts: 1,742 Arc User
    Last week a former guild mate logged in and visited us on TS, donating his enchants etc. to newer players, bc he stopped playing.

    A few weeks ago I talked to another former player, who switched back to WOW and is a friend to a guild mate, who suddenly disappeared. He told me, that the other guy could not be bothered to log in again, bc of the grind.

    Sure, ppl who played for years leave left and right, but the Mod is great.
    Chars: CW, DC, GF, GWF, HR and TR.
  • jaysun1977jaysun1977 Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 177 Arc User
    edited October 2016
    @beckylunatic
    I feel your pain. I agree with your OP completely but for me personally it's not event the extend of it. Sure, the grind is obnoxious but I can let it go, other than some people. It doesn't male me happy to let it go., but it's better than the alternative.
    And that's a shame. I really like FBI. I think it's a great dungeon design and it's tons of fun for me. At least until I get to the reward chest and get drowned in resentment thanks to the ridiclous rng and forced key expenditure.
    But even that is not my main issue. The worst part for me is Cryptic itself as well as the Community Moderation on these forums:

    1. They treat us like children:
    Policing "bad words"? Really? Can you get any more inane than that? Do they think we are ten? Do they think we are HAMSTER?

    2. They dismiss us:
    The community has concerns? Who cares? They don't know what they are talking about! We know better what they want then they do. We don't make any mistakes! We are Cryptic, after all!

    3. They give us the mushroom treatment:
    Their communication policy is atrocious! Important changes get announced post facto, if at all. There is no expectation management. There is no trust. They keep us in the dark and feed us HAMSTER! Especially the latter part annoys me to no end. Their PR HAMSTER speak: "Gateway tied ressources we'd rather use for developing new content" Nonsense! You don't use web designers and or Infrastructure specialists to design game content. It was an outright lie! And it wasn't the first time, either. They repeatedly keep lying to us over and over!
    And when they are not lying, they feed us empty buzzwords. They tell us about "plans" or "ideas" for new content, but no actual concepts, no specific ideas, just window dressing, to keep us blindly hopping along. They think we are idiots!

    4. They see us as nothing but stupid cash cows:
    And they keep milking us! Adding more and more unstackable items that clutter up the obnoxiously restricted inventory space. "Character bound", "account bound", "unbound"... And the fishing quest takes the cake in that regard: five differnet fish, plus a shoe plus a fishing rod? Are you HAMSTER kididng me? And what for? Just to sell more heavily overpriced inventory slots!

    I could live with most of that, if I had the feeling that I was considered a valued customer, but the impression I get is that I, as a customer, am considered an annoying little maggot every minute I don't spend money on the game and the HAMSTER little ingrate that I am should feel lucky to be able to shell over money to his glorious Cryptic overlords!

    I still like the game and there are plenty of good things in Mod10 that I enjoy, but I am fed up with both companys. With PWE for the orwellian forum moderation, with their forum mind police and the swift persecution of wrongthink or any negative opinion about their chinese overlords and fed up with Cryptic for treating us like idiots, fit for nothing but serving as cash bags and not worthy of even the slightest consideration.

    For that reason I say a hearty HAMSTER you, Cryptic and HAMSTER you PWE, and HAMSTER you Kreatyve, in particular! Two finger salute to the whole of you so we finally share the same opinion of each other!
  • silverkeltsilverkelt Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 4,235 Arc User
    I could live alot of this HAMSTER, if the game actually had dungeons to run.. you know dungeons.

    NEW ones.. lots of them, not gated behind stupid HAMSTER either.

    Mother hamsters.
  • torontodavetorontodave Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 992 Arc User
    edited October 2016
    Everyone is asking for a return to old dungeons where 1 piece of BOE loot dropped, and everyone rolled on it? Is that what this thread is?

    I guess that's when NW was at its "most liked" ?

    People could farm it fast + sell to others, or people could get the 'gambling' feeling when running a dungeon and not even knowing if the piece at the end would be yours.

    That's all this thread tells the devs.

    Myself I login once a week on Mondays and do the weeklies in SKT. That's the only way I'll advance that storyline. I look forward to the new 10(b) part of the module.

    I still wish they would dig up the Holy Grail. The long forgotten buried artifact that might herald salvation, the Foundry. *shrug*
    NW-DSQ39N5SJ - 'To Infinity, and BEYOND!' - Spelljammer Quest. Skyships, Indiana Jones moments
    NW-DC9R4J5EH - 'The Black Pearl' - Spelljammer! Phlo Riders and Space Orcs
    Thanks for all the fish.
  • crizpynutzcrizpynutz Member Posts: 349 Arc User
    I agree completely with @beckylunatic and the reply regarding sandwiches is not only condescending but completely misses the mark. That is very disappointing to say the least. I agree with @thefabricant about the fact that my guild mates are the only reason I'm still playing this game.

    Some real introspection on behalf of the DEVs of this game is needed. The balance of challenging, fun and entertaining content vs boring, grindy and frustrating activities is swaying too far to the latter.

    I hope things improve, interesting raids, skirmishes and dungeons with more to them than pure DPS checks are introduced. Strategy, puzzles, teamwork etc would be welcome additions.
  • beckylunaticbeckylunatic Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 14,231 Arc User

    Is that what this thread is?

    Not when I started it. I wasn't so much pondering loot or even specifically grind, as much as not feeling like I can go adventuring before I check on 10-20 different stupid niggly things that all make me feel irritated if I forget about any of them and "mess up".

    In another thread that I think was more specifically about voninblod, Zerg even agreed with me about the feeling of being exhausted. That's what being continually and repeatedly irritated in small ways does to me. It wears me down. It makes me tired and fed up and just not want to engage with any of it.

    And yeah, there's a lot in the older design that didn't do that, but it's not about clinging to a rose-tinted nostalgic view of the past. It's about overall frustration with the developer decisions to implement so many microsystems that each requires a separate series of actions and engagements. The cumulative effect is overwhelming.
    Guild Leader - The Lords of Light

    Neverwinter Census 2017

    All posts pending disapproval by Cecilia
  • jaysun1977jaysun1977 Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 177 Arc User

    Everyone is asking for a return to old dungeons where 1 piece of BOE loot dropped, and everyone rolled on it? Is that what this thread is?

    Not at all. But even that is superior to the current model of FBI:

    You HAVE to spend a Campaing/Zen key to get a loot box.
    You then open the boy to MAYBE get a random item (low drop rate)
    You then MAY be able to use it.
    You are NOT able to trade it.

    So, even if you get your fifth glove, you still can't sell it and you're still not a single step closer to the chest plate, you are missing. Yes, the original "everyone roll on one item" is FAR superior to this system.
  • jaysun1977jaysun1977 Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 177 Arc User

    Is that what this thread is?

    Not when I started it. I wasn't so much pondering loot or even specifically grind, as much as not feeling like I can go adventuring before I check on 10-20 different stupid niggly things that all make me feel irritated if I forget about any of them and "mess up".

    In another thread that I think was more specifically about voninblod, Zerg even agreed with me about the feeling of being exhausted. That's what being continually and repeatedly irritated in small ways does to me. It wears me down. It makes me tired and fed up and just not want to engage with any of it.

    And yeah, there's a lot in the older design that didn't do that, but it's not about clinging to a rose-tinted nostalgic view of the past. It's about overall frustration with the developer decisions to implement so many microsystems that each requires a separate series of actions and engagements. The cumulative effect is overwhelming.
    The developer thozught process on this one is fairly obvious:

    keep them "engaged" until the next module is ready. Keep them spending money until the next module is ready.
    That's why there is voninblood. That's why the drop rates for lanolin and relic gear are so atrocious. And that's why there are so many new items clogging your inventory (everyfrost entry requirement for FBI, anyone?).
    Technically these "solutions" serve their purpose, they just completely ignore one tiny facet: whether or not they are fun for the player. Cryptic doesn't give a rat's HAMSTER about the latter, it seems.

    Sadly, it seems that even the addition of Thomas Foss won't change that . He seems not to have evolved since "Army Men: Searge's War", at all.
  • tripsofthrymrtripsofthrymr Member, Neverwinter Moderator, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 1,624 Community Moderator
    edited October 2016


    Expiring trowels - Off you go to do some SKT dailies. You're halfway through the wilderness and find a relic. Do you still have a trowel? Well darn. Back to town to get one or blow it off?

    Voninblod - Ugh... I can't even get into this because my lunch break is nearly over and I have a meeting.

    I finally brought myself to unlock FBI on one toon. Glad I did. It's the first content in a long time that makes me feel like skill (rather than just stats) matters at all.

    If you buy yourself a green trowel, at least the tooltip tells you how many charges it has left. Multiple purchases stack uses in a single inventory slot. If the purple Zen store trowel were an account-wide unlock, I would probably buy it and unlock FBI for all my active toons. Alas, it is not.


    I think player "engagement" is measured by how much people are doing a thing. But... do they like it, or are they simmering bags of resentment just waiting to boil over? NW is making me feel like some kind of zombie or automaton, not particularly heroic or adventurous.

    The theme changes, the monsters change (or sometimes, they don't), but the basic pattern is the same... show up each day for a month or so and repeat the same set of missions. I really do enjoy the Mod 10 setting but when you have killed that pesky Orc for the 10th time or so, well, you wonder why he can't just stay dead.

    The development team has limited bandwidth. Here's my suggestion to get Developers for Noth'in and Content for Free.

    Caritas Guild Founder (Greycloak Alliance)

    Sci-fi author: The Gods We Make, The Gods We Seek, and Ji-min
  • silverkeltsilverkelt Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 4,235 Arc User
    I think we ALL get they have limited time and tools, here is what we dont get.. WITH that limited time and tools, why do they feel the need to add X # of whatever days to gating, that is simply not needed, or not at all wanted by the playerbase.

    I would rather see one ok zone, and 1 skirm and 1 dungeon every expansion.. then 3 really filled out zones, a whole system of things we didnt want.. tons of daily grinding things in hes and relic grinding.. that again, we really dont want.

    You know other games, have storylines, then you do dungeons and raids and skirms. Most of the majority of your playberbase is quite OK with that simple focus.

    No need to get super fancy and make us feel bored to effing death grinding vblood and lanalins.. that the majority again.. DO not like. Relic Hunting and He's do not win you fans.. GET that through your heads.. We have told you no more HES since IWD.. they do nothing for your game.. empty filler HAMSTER. If you didnt OVERUSE them all the time, maybe sneaking one in with a actual purpose WOULD be fun, but alas, whatever enjoyment we couldve gotten out of them, is simply gone , by your stubborn reuse of the mechanic. Oh boy, another he =(, let me turn on netflix, might as well catch up on more jessica jones while I press one button over and over.. Oh look I died who cares.. success or failure means not much here, someone will raise me.. press my one button over and over. Its really sickening.

    IF they come back on here and dare to hint that the majority like it again.. I just can't... shakes head..

  • jaysun1977jaysun1977 Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 177 Arc User

    IF they come back on here and dare to hint that the majority like it again.. I just can't... shakes head..

    It's quite simple, really: they confuse "participate in" with "like it". They can't fathom that players would particpate in something they don't enjoy.
  • ironzerg79ironzerg79 Member, Neverwinter Moderator, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 4,942 Arc User
    Sorry the joke fell a little flat. As @beckylunatic pointed out, I agree with her on a lot of this stuff. A large portion of Neverwinter's gamplay has become exhausting. And as I've said in other places, there's just stuff I've "opted out" of.

    And that's what I mean by the George Carlin joke. Accumulating wealth and gear in this game has gotten so ridiculous to the point where it's like trying to feed yourself by taping sandwiches to your body. I thought it was so absurdly stupid, it made me think of some of the stuff we do in this game to try to get ahead.

    Logging in on 20 different toons to hit a button, then log out...and repeat for 4 hours to get the invocation "rewards" is dumb. And it's dumb that players feel like they need to drag themselves through tedium like this to "play" the game. The idea of storing up experience rewards or "bonus" salvage is dumb.

    Ugh, don't get me start on the whole Voninblood grind, either. I've sort of made peace with myself that I'll maybe get all that together before the spring thaw. And this is coming from a guy who grinded out all the Linu's favors for the ToD boons (heck, at least Tiamat was fun, drop decent loot for the time being, and there was an end in sight).

    If I had any advice for @mimicking#6533, it wouldn't be to worry too much about playing the first 10-20 levels of each class (honestly, you won't learn much as the game is so much more fun and rewarding at lower levels and then completely flips at level 70). It would be to click on @beckylunatic 's name and read her greatest hits.

    And heck, while I'm on another tirade, and maybe I have your attention...

    Imagine you're at your table, DMing a game. You're not really super prepared for this weeks session, so you have about an hour of actual content, but the game usually goes 5-6. So you pack a lot of fluff and filler into the game. And it works, once. Maybe twice. Your players still enjoy D&D, so initially your players don't mind. But then you start to say, "Wow! I can get away with shoveling 6 hours of D&D at my players while only preparing 1hour of actual gameplay, that's awesome." So you start burying your players in empty fluff, and silly grind, with slim to no rewards, and tasks that require them to do so much menial garbage, that they start to get frustrated and exhausted.

    But, for some strange reason, they keep coming back to the table, hoping that this week's session is going to be "like the good ol' days" where the adventures were packed with action, stories, and loot. But of course, you start to kick off the game and you can see their shoulders slump and the light in their eyes dim just a bit...that's where we're at right now.

    Exhausted is a good word for the game right now. We need a high level wizard to come in and start casting some great restoration spells, or just like getting caught out on the tundra during an Icewind Dale blizzard, we're just going to start slowing succumbing to the exhaustion, and fade away.
    "Meanwhile in the moderator's lounge..."
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