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Numos Profile
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Re: High Level Advancement


I'm personally against stratifying plot participation by level as a rule, because we're fairly low population and events usually turn out much better if people are playing interesting and motivated characters that they want to play in the first place - rather than grabbing an alt to fit an arbitrary level range.

The problem, as Lanthar points out, is that people don't from a nobody 5th level to an epic hero at 20th. They go from a nobody 5th level to an epic hero at 12th level, or sometimes a 20th level nobody. That's what needs fixing the most... bringing character power more in line with the risk they take on and story influence.

An application for post-20th advancement seems a good start, at least to bring power closer to story impact.

I'd be curious to hear people's thoughts on potentiall re-scaling the server. Maybe to a 5-12 range, with 12+ being what epic levels are now? It would be an extensive project, but I think a lot of the server could use a re-balancing. The mechanics have felt off for a while, and doing a vault wipe (and allowing current PCs to remake at 7th or 10th or something) might offer a chance to make the server more mechanically sound.

One last note:

Most threats on the server actually aren't CR 20+, but scaled to the level of whatever characters are interested in the plot. We're working on developing a more varied selection of monsters (Orcs of CR 4, 8, 12, 16, 20, an 24) so DMs can more appropriately fine-tune events to groups. It will never be perfect. But we've had many influential NPCs who are well below 15th level, and many disappointing characters who have reached 20th level with minimal development.


Last edited by Numos, 11/3/2013, 7:15 pm


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supergeddes Profile
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Re: High Level Advancement


Thought id chip in!

ITs my opinion that the server was at its best when most player were in and around lvl 10 or so. It meant that if you had a new idea for a character you could create them and then within a month or so you'd be competitive and atleast able to make a difference. Now though these young whippersnappers have all progressed up to the 20 mark apart from lazy old caldur it seems!

There is nothign wrong with being a lvl 20, fair play to you, but it does create a problem where it is, in my opinion, off putting to create a new character. you know you wont stand any kind of chance should you rock the boat, and it would take years to be able to atleast threaten or contribute meaningfully. In addition I dont think its attractive to new players coming to the server, when you see half a dozen 20s and only maybe 1 or 2 sub level 10 pcs.

So really for me restructuring like numos suggested isnt a bad idea. It'll certainly keep things more dynamic and interesting. The problem isyou dont want to be unfair to the guys up at the top, especially my boy lanthar, 9 years?! epic. However you will still come up against the problem, though to a lesser extent, what are you going to do with these top end characters? I would like to see the top players really shape things, you are basically kings among men, do something with it! take over the guards, start temples, retake castle asheland and be a real king! anything. Its almost a waste being that high up and not being atleast a minor noble... emoticon

If this happened, and with a few more minor dmships, such players could drive plots, give quests etc, would be much more enjoyable! sure you could wheel them out when times are hard but they must have earnt a few comforts by now eh? and besides, on EU time we are in desperate need of dm action, if some of the high lvls had minor dm status we could have some fun of our own! forget numos and his minions...

But seriously though, an EU dm is a must, I dont think we'd have so many high lvl eu players if there was more going on for us. Even a shared account would be great, so we could take it turns, learn the ropes, have a little fun but nothing too world changing of course

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Sabella Profile
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Re: High Level Advancement


quote:

Numos wrote:


I'd be curious to hear people's thoughts on potentiall re-scaling the server. Maybe to a 5-12 range, with 12+ being what epic levels are now? It would be an extensive project, but I think a lot of the server could use a re-balancing. The mechanics have felt off for a while, and doing a vault wipe (and allowing current PCs to remake at 7th or 10th or something) might offer a chance to make the server more mechanically sound.





Well, since you asked. emoticon I really don't like this idea.

I already am not fond of grinding XP and slow XP. The only thing worse than grinding XP for a character is doing it for the same character twice.

And it's really just delaying the inevitable. If everyone had to restart, what is left of the server population would probably be facing the same question 6 months later when they hit the new ceiling.

The ceiling is always going to be there. Rescaling won't change that. In fact, by lowering it, you're just going to have people reach the ceiling faster. Unless XP gain is made even slower. And at that point, what is really the difference from now other than level numbers on a character sheet?

Levels, to me, are OOC.

I see my character as having the abilities that she will have at level 20, but I do not use her abilities or levels as a measure of how I view her power, influence, or relative power to others. It doesn't matter to me if, in "real" DnD, level 18 characters are somewhat rare and usually quite powerful. I see her as exceptionally trained and skilled but not the one person army a DnD rulebook would imagine her to be.

But I certainly don't envision her with level 7-12 abilities as portrayed in NWN. The whole "*SWING!* *Wait wait wait...* *SWING!*" combat routine of that level melee combatant in NWN is anything but impressive.
 



Last edited by Sabella, 11/3/2013, 8:55 pm
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Re: High Level Advancement


I'm for the vault-wipe because I believe levels are integral to character development as a representative of characters learning and growing in competence through experience. I am vehemently opposed to the notion of a level ten character roleplaying as a level twenty, for instance, because for me that falls under the category of metagaming. Levels are not an out of character construct; they are, like so much of DnD, a device used to portray storytelling ideas through mathematics.

Further, I would like to state that nobody forces you to grind. My highest level character thus far is level eight because I don't have the patience or interest for grinding. I am equally able to participate in stories and events on the server: I simply need to accept the fact that I won't always win, like the big boy I am.

Last edited by theintrepidgnome, 11/3/2013, 9:13 pm


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ASlapForJoffrey Profile
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Re: High Level Advancement


I have to concur with those who say levels are a correlate to character development and influence or should be. Presently they are not. It's a long haul fixing this but I'm committed to help see it accomplished. Presently levelling is most easily accomplished grinding reoccuring spawns over and over. To me this trivialises what should be something representative of accomplishments in a story and immersion in RP otherwise.

It also makes light of the monsters out in the world so that it's really very hard as a DM to come up with anything remotely intimidating or intense for PCs who have ground out a hefty number of levels, top-tier gear and dozens of high end consumables. This certainly needs to change.

Last edited by ASlapForJoffrey, 11/3/2013, 9:17 pm


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DM: CR 40 Housecat
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Re: High Level Advancement


Numos is familiar with Escape From The Underdark 17: The Rehappening: More Versions Than Call of Duty as well as City of Arabel. While I do despise those servers with all the intense fury of some sort of menopausal deity, I have to admit that their approach to leveling and death (no, not permadeath) is fairly effective in forcing players to consider consequences of their actions. I'd suggest a system like that, with tightly controlled, once-per-reset scripted quests being the main source of XP to about level twelve. Following that, progression should require DM involvement.

But that's a ideal solution that would require a lot of work and a vault wipe.

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Sabella Profile
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Re: High Level Advancement


I can understand why some DMs want characters to be low level to make for easier DM events.

But I just don't have any desire to play on a server capped at level 12 or to restart my character from scratch.

It's just treading water and I don't have the will to do it again. Try to let us know soon what is decided so I can wrap things up if need be.


Last edited by Sabella, 11/3/2013, 10:25 pm
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Re: High Level Advancement


Or you could spend your time logged in doing something other than grinding. If levels mean that much to you, all I have to say is that Sinfar, Amia and The Shattered Realms all feature very streamlined, painless grinding that'll bring you to max level in at most a week.

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Numos Profile
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Re: High Level Advancement


We can try to build a concencus on what people are comfortable with as far as soft- and hard-caps go. If this ever happens. It will be a lot of work so it may never. Personally I feel most interesting milestones occur between 5 and 20, and trivializing that progression is really unfortunate. If we do implement something like this I'd certainly like to implement new areas and quests to explore to off-set the fact people will need to level-up from scratch.




The point of all this is:

1) Low-mid teens were supposed to be painless. A soft cap for scripted xp. Most 'minions' in quests and DMed events are designed around this level. Advancement after that was supposed to be predicated on character development and pushing agendas (minimally from scripted sources). No one has a problem with people hitting the ceiling if they build a compelling story while they do it.

2) This isn't the case. People are advancing well beyond that much faster due to hunting than story-progression. This isn't desirable. Story awards from DMs, as it stands, cannot compete with that.




Assuming we do not do a vault wipe (mind you, it won't be a story wipe). It may not undo the damage but it will stop it from happening:

1) Application required to advance into epic levels. You need to have a plan and a story to tell that involves and creates fun for the rest of the server.

2) Ideally we could just drop the soft cap and arrange so advancement after 12th level is stunted or some-such, but since we already have such a high population in the 17-20 range that seems unfair to future characters. So for now progression to 15, what scrub-monsters in events are designed to fight, will remain easy.

3) Advancement from scripted sources after 15th level will be slowed down significantly.




If we do wipe the vault:

1) We would define a new soft-cap. Maybe hitting 8 is easy, and the 11-15 range requires an application? Maybe hitting 10th is easy, but the 13th-20th range requires an application?

2) Old characters might return at a set level (6th or something?). Old epic characters can retire and become NPCs, or return at a slightly higher set level (10th?).

3) If this change did happen I would at least hope to add some higher quality, more fun, dungeons if a wipe were to occur. Even if they were less rewarding.

Last edited by Numos, 11/3/2013, 11:53 pm


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Numos: Shapeshifting wizard
Taevis Bentham: Woodsman
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Totems Profile
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Re: High Level Advancement


I'd recommend the same servers, not out of any elitism, but because they offer a different experience than what we do. On Andrune Numos chosen to make balanced level progression a priority in design. Those servers have done away with long-leveling in favor of a different sort of playing field. I'm intimately familiar with the differences- I've played on all three of those servers for no small amount of time.

I get that you feel really passionately about the dated nature of level as a Roleplay component but that just doesn't jive with what Andrune's end goal is.

I'd note Numos isn't saying 'were gonna have a vault wipe.' He asked for feedback, but lets try to cool it down and keep it to feedback and not arguments.

I'm personally hesitant to do a vault-wipe of any form, I think we can reach the goals for the server without clearing out the vault.

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Isania Jalitana- The Huntress (and Mistress Egofantastic.)
Calisto - Gryphonrider
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