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heard about pub81 from elsewhere...my POV

Discussion in 'UHall' started by Raptor85, Feb 7, 2013.

  1. Raptor85

    Raptor85 Certifiable
    Stratics Veteran

    Jul 23, 2007
    Likes Received:
    Warning, extremely long post ahead!

    Many of you (particularly on siege) probably remember me (only really been 100% gone for 6 months or so, lol) and know where I went, and I happened to hear about pub81 there. After a nice long facepalm I decided to swing by and offer my analysis of this patch. Now you may ask "why do I care if i don't play here on EA shards anymore!?!?" and the answer is simple....I have a lot of history in this game, and even if I don't like the game as it currently exists I still care enough about it to not want to see it utterly destroyed by a poorly thought through attempt at actually fixing things (that ARE very much broken...so it's a good overall goal)

    I'll start by saying I see a lot of discussion on what is broken, but I see some things about this patch that haven't been discussed. First off, and most imporantly, I'll discuss the armor changes.

    Now...fixing the armor system is long overdue, and something DOES need to be done to make things other than just "leather" to be usable. The patch as is though completely misses the point, and I believe it stems from the development team having very little experience in how the game actually plays, and how the armor system got seriously broken. What seems to be missed most is the fact that post-aos warriors having more stam at the loss of mana is not a good tradeoff. Under a normal RPG system or pre-AOS this would make sense as warriors and casters work quite differently. What's missed though is that with AOS now to do any realistic damage in pvp (and high end pvm) you are CONSTANTLY burning mana using abilities and specials, and the most important stats on weapons are the weapon speed and it's specials, post AOS warriors are just as much spellcasters as any mage. Besides the last thing the game needs is even MORE hidden properties on items that you'd never know about unless told.

    What should be done about armor? It needs to be made SIMPLER not more complicated....there are so many properties now and it's so complicated building a suit it's pretty much impossible to get yourself set up for pvp without months of pvm (or buying gold) to finance it and a full set of spreadsheets to figure it out. Most people I know who left EA shards, including myself, stems back to this in one way or another. SLOWLY start merging properties and simplifying effects first, it shouldn't break existing suits and over time, the properties system will become sane to the point where you can actually look at armor and understand if it'll be good for your character or not without having to plug it into your spreadsheet. For example there's a lot of newer mods that are very similar and all in the end have the effect of limiting the lifespan of an item, though they do it in different ways....get rid of all of them and just merge them into changing the hard cap on durability on that item..yeah it will "buff" some of hte items like the cannot be repaired ones but they're not that much stronger anyways, and you've gotten rid of about 4 properties and just merged them into the durability. First thing to go though I'd say is mage armor, mage armor was a bandaid solution for a problem that no longer exists, the idea of it came from the time of when platemail was SIGNIFICANTLY stronger than leather and there was no mana penalty....thus mages wore it for the extra protection. But now with the skill changes and weapon specials it no longer makes any sense, and plate has no real benefit over leather, as let's face it, anyone in high end pvp or pvm you're wearing a full resist suit anyways, with imbue and enhance there's no reason anymore for any armor to not be 70-75 in every category. Yes, it would be nice if later there was made reasons to like plate over leather, leather over plate, or bone,etc...but for now at least make plate work the same and worry about giving them properties after you fix what's already here! (And this fix, if done right, should simplify crafting, looting,etc..yet change NOTHING about the effects of existing gear)

    Stage 2 of fixing the armor, would be to change the ridiculous resist system in place now. The dev that implemented it had a serious Diablo fetish...and it never did and still does not make much sense in UO, all it does is unnecessarily complicate things. While I did prefer AR myself though with the other changes in the game since then, unfortunately, there's no way to go back to being that simple without absolutely breaking the game....my proposal personally would be to, much like for the properites...simply merge the damage types. As stated before when you get to the high end, everyone's in full 70's anyways (well, nearly everyone) and even when not your resists are going to be pretty similar across the board. So my proposal is to merge all the elemental resists into a single "magic" resist, with all existing armor pieces or resists on creatures new "magic" resist simply being a weighted average of the current. Again, the end result from this would be nothing changes as far as the power of the suit, but the wall of text shrinks again, and it becomes, again, easier to work out what to wear/loot/craft.

    stage 3 of fixing armor, at this point though the text and properties are simplified the armor should still act identically, NOW is where you re-diversify the armor types....but this has to be done in a way to not 100% nullify the hundreds of millions people invested into their armor! This also needs to be done in a way that players will understand...as without new blood UO will forever be a ever smaller, decaying community. In an RPG the expectation is that lighter armor is for characters more meant to evade, or casters , and heavier armor provides defensive bonuses and such.

    (Here is my personal thought on an easy way to diversify armor that nerfs NOBODY and opens up more possibilities on gear/skill combos)

    Well, instead of creating something new on the armor...reuse something that already exists! Armor pieces have weight associated with them...if these are brought in line so that armor of each "class" each piece has the same weight range (for instance, right now some lighter armor weighs more than heavier...those would need to be fixed first). Say, for a quick matter of discussion, leather pieces are made to weigh on average 2 stones making a full suit weigh 12 stones, and plate on average weighing 8 stones makign the full suit weigh 48 stones. Now there is a simple, single number that can be used to tell how "heavy" of armor is being worn. Now, create the "diversifying" factor for armor..but do it in a way that allows players to still choose what they want to wear. since armor weight essentially goes form 0 - 50 the easiest way to do this is to have two inherent effects that will always show on the status bar (and they should show, so players know it's there)...starting strongest at 0 and getting weaker until it no longer exists at 50 is 5% mana regen/stam regen buff, and starting strongest at 50 getting weaker until 12 a 5% damage reduction/reduction of negative effect buff. This allows ALL current armor to not be any weaker (and actually quite a bit stronger) but now give reasons to want to use heavier armors as well, without removing reasons to want to use lighter or midrage armors. For instance a suit of bone armor would be mid weight making it ideal for someone like a necromancer who will often be fighting melee so could use the defense bonus but still benefits from greater stam/mana regen....whereas a mage will be fighting ranged so would probably benefit more from the extra regen. Just my .02 though, more "invisible" properties sucks...we have plenty of existing properties that can diversify armor and weight seems like an obviously exploitable one that the devs could use to give armor buffs without having to add to the wall of text on the armor itself, or try to hardcode the ability to change the player's armor cap based on what they're wearing.

    Now on to the weapons....

    Same DPS on all weapons at a glance MIGHT seem to someone not 100% familiar with the game the easiest way to balance them.....the reality however is this brings no balance at all. As mentioned earlier post-AOS speed and specials is key on weapons, DPS doesn't matter much when a smaller, faster weapon can hit for guaranteed 35 on AI and keep you in mortal and your heavier weapon has specials that don't do squat. PVP or PVM you want your weapon to have good specials and max swing speed..."base damage" is a secondary consideration after that....so to not 100% break the game in trying to fix it, this will have to be done very carefully.

    First off..much like with armor....combine properties that are similar to reduce the over complexity! weapons aren't AS BAD as armor but they're still bad.

    Secondly,any weapon over 4.25 second swing....bring it down to 4.25...just cap it there, with the RNG deciding whether you hit or not even 4.25 means you die if you miss once vs most people/monsters, but at least you can negate that with SSI at this point.

    NOW, after both of those are done...bring the dps and damage ranges in line with their current speeds....but remember not all weapons SHOULD have the same DPS as there's major differences...for instance melee weapons have to be within one tile, which is a huge disadvantage over ranged weapons and thous should do more damage, so all melee weapons should be brought up about 10-20% in dps compared to ranged. For two handed weapons, they should all have their DPS raised another 10-20% as well, as losing the shield slot and ability to use potions is kinda a big thing.

    This is still not enogh though, this still leaves a huge problem with this "fix"....STILL nobody will use most weapons due to the specials. In pvp all you'll really see are weapons that use bleed/mortal/AI, and in pvm you'll mostly see AI/feint/whirlwind and such moves. TBH....the only real fix for this i see, as there's really no gonig back to the weapons not having specials or the specials going off randomly like before, is to remove the specials from being bound to the weapons entirely and making it a "mastery" book much like with barding, except allowing you to choose up to 4 and letting you swap them in any safe logout place not in combat. This is STILL not enough though, as it still leaves another hanging issue...the most used specials are still better off on faster weapons that hit more often...so to fix that the duration of hit effects or damage scale (for stuff like AI)....should actually scale with the weapon damage. For instance, a dagger doing AI should cap at, say, 15-20...where a hally doing AI should cap at about 40, or a dagger doing bleed would bleed for 2s and a hally doing bleed would bleed for 5s...and so on. Yes a change like this would be big but it wouldn't keep people from using their existing weapons (they'd pretty much be just as strong) but it would give reason for the bigger, slower melee weapons and bring archery back in line with throwing. And yeah, you might make the argument that then we'd end up with people using weapon skills on weapons that dont make sense, like using "bash" on a skinning knife....and to that i'd say 1. "who uses bash anyways" and 2. well...the skills on the weapons don't make a whole lot of sense NOW....we'd just gotten used to them.

    As for the other points in 81...i can't really say much more than anyone else already has.

    I don't really expect anything to come of this post of course, just wanted to voice my insight into what's going on as a long time UO player (long enough to remember how and when a lot of this stuff got broken) and professional software developer...I think it gives me a decent perspective for seeing the core issues that are driving players away.

    ....speaking of being a software developer, thanks to budget cuts I'm looking for a job right now and have applied for the opening at Origin.....not holding my breath or anything but can't help but point out...yout know...10 years software experience + I know UO inside and out...just sayin :p

    o...i dont check stratics often but i'll check this thread for a few days....i still check uothief for good stories though, so to everyone on siege...long live barter town and hope ya'll got some nice lootz when my castle fell :p
  2. KLOMP

    KLOMP Sage

    Oct 27, 2012
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    Rumpy likes this.
  3. redman2k

    redman2k Journeyman
    Stratics Veteran Stratics Legend

    Jun 16, 2003
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    Hello Raptor85,

    I would like to make some constructive comments about your post. I'll agree with you that adding stamina loss as a hidden stat is not a good idea. If their idea pans out, I think each piece of armor would need to have some rating associated with it, most likely a hard coded value that cannot change, so new players at least know it exists and they need to consider it when wearing armor.

    You are also right mentioning the similarities between caster and melee classes. Melee classes are now glorified casters but require more stats than a pure caster. A pure mage build can still get away with having barely any stamina. But melee oriented skills; weapon moves, chivalry, bushido, ninjitsu, all require a decent sized pool of mana to use. There is a difference though, when a mage runs out of mana their dps effectively stops but a melee character can still swing their weapon. I'm not advocating that we need to change this mechanism but it is "food for thought".

    I am probably the only one who thinks it, but existing armor builds can and SHOULD be broken. Armor needs a revamp badly, to sit back and say I don't want my suit to be effected by this change is selfish. When AOS first came out, all existing armor and weapons became useless. It was a huge blow for anyone who farmed up vanquishing and invunerability items. I, for one, never used my powerful magic items because I was always afraid of losing them. So I never even got to enjoy them, but you know what, I got over it and it gave me something new to farm for. If we truly want the armor revamp to be effective, we are all going to have to say good bye to our precious suits once again.

    So while we say goodbye to our existing end game suits, we need to easy say hello to decent suits. Before AOS, a blacksmith and tailor could craft GM weapons and armor and it was mid tier gear .Not the most powerful items in the game but not the weakest magical items either, but you would see people wearing GM armor ALL the time. Couple that with no item insurance and repair causing substantial wear overtime, crafters could be played as a full time career. I think crafters need some love returned to them. Right now the only way a blacksmith or tailor can create any kind of decent piece of armor over magic loot is through a runic tool. Normal crafted gm items need to be revisited and brought back to a level of usefulness. Runic tools were made, "easier" to get by being able to turn in BODs and getting a new one. But its still a tedious mini-game every crafter is FORCED to play if they want to make any kind of armor that's useful. I am going to ignore the whole imbuing skill. I hate that it was added to the game and took even more utility away from smiths and tailors. Not to mention its just a rehash of enchanting from wow. But that is my personal bias.

  4. Picus at the office

    Picus at the office Certifiable
    Stratics Veteran Supporter

    Nov 24, 2009
    Likes Received:
    I hate to see postings by people whom I use to follow to some degree yet I failed to see they stopped playing. Well thought out post with some good points.

    The days of 100 str, 100 dex/int and 25 int/dex were a good easy fun time.
    Lord Frodo likes this.
  5. Lyconis

    Lyconis Sage
    Stratics Veteran

    May 20, 2008
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    Simpler and logical, agreed.