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This was going to be an event report...

Discussion in 'UO Lake Austin' started by Basara, Feb 15, 2009.

  1. Basara

    Basara UO Forum Moderator
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    ...but due to my missing most of the event due to poor design parameters, I have nothing to report on the event content past a certain point.

    The event started out well. Essentially, it was a scavenger hunt, and wasn't too difficult for most of the items. The story was that the succubus had decided to sabotage a marriage by stealing the still-beating hearts of a groom and his 4 attendants. We had to get the five items, to give to her, to "get the keys of the boxes with the hearts). 5 of the keys were real, the rest were fakes, that were supposed to be keepable as souveneirs.

    The first item was a bola ball. Easy enough - go kill orcs till you get one.
    The second item was a daemon bone - any creature in doom has them.
    The third item was a fragment of a map - a little harder, as one has to kill Priests of Mondain until you get one, but many of us still do the Minotaur quest for the reward boxes. Most people didn't make it past this one.
    The fourth item was a power crystal - problem. Since golems aren't that useful anymore, and wrong was reset to the spawn it had before the Controller invasion, that meant Ilshenar, and there were limited places to get a crystal, if you didn't have one (and most people that DID have them at home before, traded them in for collection points last year).
    I never found out what item #5 was (which leads to another issue).

    Now, it turns out that getting the 5 items was NOT really the object. This is where the first issues with the event start.

    Major Problem 1. It turns out, despite descriptions that led you to believe otherwise, and the fact that the quest would tell you each item after you turned in the previous, only ONE person actually had to complete the 5 items. This was not communicated to players, and most of us were still getting items 3 & 4 when the event ended. This was because, even if you were the 50th person to turn in item 1, instead of being told the quest was now on item 4, you'd be told to go get item 2.

    Major Problem 2. the scavenger hunt was NOT for the keys, but to open a gate to a place where the creatures that had the keys as loot. This gate was LONG GONE (though a marker saying to "go through the gate" was left in the tower) by the time most of us got back with a map fragment or power crystal - as was the NPC Succubus we were supposed to drop the items on - this led to much confusion.

    Once through the gate, there were creatures to kill for the keys. Here's where Problem 3 comes in.

    Major Problem 3. There were only 50 creatures, and most of those who were present for the gate's short existance were ones that DIDN'T actually do the requested scavenger hunt - they just sat around, waited for the gate, and went through. The fight was over in seconds, and anyone who missed the gate's opening by even a few seconds was unlikely to make it back before the 50 creatures were dead and the gate gone. Plus, there was no indication what to do if the gate wasn't there - which it wasn't for the most of us.

    After the creatures were dead, the people in the hunt area (again, I have no idea what was hunted, or where), went back to the councillor's guild. There, it was discovered that only 4 people had proper keys (someone either left, didn't loot a key, or there were people with multiple keys who won one of the prizes already, as it was 1 prize per account). So, the EM decided to ask a question to give out the 5th one.

    Major Problem 4. The keys were mentioned as being something people could keep as a memento - this meant that people who had no intent of actually trying a box probably ran off with what they thought was a collectable - when you could probably make infinite copies of the ordinary keys.

    Major Problem 5. The question asked to decide the winner of the 5th item was one that likely UNANSWERABLE by nearly all of those that actually PARTICIPATED in the full event - what the 5th item the succubus required was. Remember, most people were still getting the 3rd or 4th item when the gate opened, AND closed (and the NPC/EM PC disappeared). In other words, it was almost certain that the people who could answer the question, were those that had just sat and waited for the gate.



    The event was an interesting idea, but had several weak points as described as above. It would have gone MUCH better, though, had things been handled differently.

    First of all, at the last Valentine event, to be eligible for the prizes, one had to turn in all the requested items personally. While that event had its own flaws (the first contestants back were the winners), requiring the items from each person insured that only those actually attempting the initial quest/hunt would be eligible for the prize. Requiring this, then having a threshhold of number of completed hunts as the trigger for the gate, would have worked better. The fact that this did not occur, meant that the question for the awarding of the unclaimed prize was the WORST possible question to ask, to determine who got it.

    Second, the NPC/EM PC needed to be static, to let those that arrive late turn in their item, and give the message that the hunt-part was over. Similarly, the gate needed to be permanent, or at least a helper there to change the message from "Go through the gate" to "you were too late; go on back to the meeting point".

    Third, the message for HOW one would get the keys was misleading (people thought they would be from the ITEMS, not a hunt that opened a gate to the items), and the belief that the keys would be collectable (As opposed to being easily counterfeitable) led to key hoarders.

    Fourth, the number of event monsters (whatever they were) was too low for the size of the crowd. This meant that a much smaller number of people would actually get majority of the keys. The keys THEMSELVES should have come from the completion of the scavenger hunt, but only being activated by participation in the creature hunt - insuring that a much greater number of people are potentially eligible to win, as opposed to a select few holding most of the keys. This also reduces the chance that someone would hold 2 or more winning keys.


    I came to the event with no real intent to actually WIN anything; just participate, and write a description of what was going on, since our shard reporters were not present. I figured I'd at least get a key that I could lock down by the valentines bag from the previous year. Instead, most of us were left hanging (and I only got a key, after the event was over, from one of the people who got multiples).


    I give the event a B+ for concept, a D- for execution, and an F for communication of how things were supposed to work.
     
  2. Aia

    Aia Guest

    Sorry Basara, I'm going to have to disagree with this comment. Only those who partcipated in the entire event would have been able to answer the question of, "what was the fifth item?" As you said in your post, "...even if you were the 50th person to turn in item 1, instead of being told the quest was now on item 4, you'd be told to go get item 2." Only someone who turned in four items would know what the fifth item was. That person also had to have a key so had to participate in the battle.

    The guild I'm in worked as a team. Fortunately one of our members is a pack rat. He passed out some of the harder items (i.e. the crystal), I tinkered bolas and gears for those in the guild who needed them, and we passed information (and gates) to each other as to where and what was going on. We even passed out keys to those in the guild who did not get one.

    So when the EM asked the question about the fifth item, the answer was a no brainer for me because I had participated in the entire event.
     
  3. Paul Harvey

    Paul Harvey Journeyman
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    I am sorry I wasn't there to report and participate in the event. I posted on the staff forums that I would not be able to attend Saturdays event and would quite possibly not be able to attend Sundays event. I was hoping that one of our roaming reporters would attend and report.

    On another note, remember this is the first event for our new EM's . We should be gentle with them as this must be a huge learning curve.
    At least we have EM's that are excited and jazzed about doing events. We have been so long without any kind of real event and story line, I think they are awesome people and will learn from their experiences :) and I appreciate that they are here.
     
  4. Basara

    Basara UO Forum Moderator
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    Aia, I DID participate, as best I could.

    You apparently had the point I was making go screaming over your head....

    Most of us who weren't packrats, were never given the opportunity to FIND OUT the 5th item.

    By the time we got a map fragment or a power crystal, the Succubus was GONE. And so was the gate, leaving us trying to figure out what gate we were supposed to go through.

    Last year's event, even though the first 10 were the only ones to get a reward, the EM (was it Mesanna doing it for all shards?) waited for most of us to return with all 5 items requested, before going to the next step (even if it was just the reward step).

    All it took was ONE person this year to turn in the gear, from my understanding, then all clues to what was going on were GONE from the tower, other than a message to go through a gate that was no longer there. Only those that happened to be present in that 30-second or so window, knew what was going on, unless by some accident a guild or alliance member was there during that period, and it was almost certain that there would be no way to get back in time to go further even in that case.

    The fact that only one person needed to turn in the gear, encouraged people to not do the quest at all, and they, more than the people collecting items, were more likely to be able to go through the gate, and get the keys.

    It would have been better had it been done more in the style of the Dark Knight quest in ol' haven, where those that completed all 5 steps got a rune to the next step (or could use the rune), with the creatures not spawning until a significant number of people got all 5 - and none of the "hangers on" that didn't collect items being present.
     
  5. Aia

    Aia Guest

    Ah! Gotcha - now I understand. Sorry about that.

    Sunday night the EM's had another challenge for us and most of the problems above were corrected. Even though many collected a number of death robes, it seemed like the majority of the crowd had a good time.
     
  6. S.W.A.T

    S.W.A.T Guest

    I was real bummed when I found out it was a shard effort, I completly thought we all had to get the items indiviually, to recieve a key, by the time I got all the items and turned them in, event was already over! I give the EM's an F for this event! I know a lot of people missed out, who were actually searching, while half just sat around. However! I give the community of Lake Austin an A! I attended the EM event on most shards, and the group here, were so laid back, wern't spamming while the EM's were talking etc, like most shards were! Aia said, they held the event again, which I didn't know they did, so I didn't get to go, but I hope a lot of people that missed out on Saturday were able to join in on Sunday =]
     
  7. Sorry i missed the event. I went to log in on the 14th and learned that my accounts were off.

    My accounts will be back on this coming week. I spent all my spare money on V-day and a Ring for my girlfriend.

    So yes Beccanator and I are engaged in real life now :)

    Once again i am sorry i missed this.

    ~Blade