I'm Pail, here's my feedback on a game that should be great but is heading the wrong direction.

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Disclaimer: Feel free to disagree with things I write, but I'm going to cover as much as I possibly can so posting about a small error or something you marginally disagree with does not add to the discussion. Try to view this post as a whole, and don't pick on small pieces, thank you.

I'll open by telling a story from a long time ago. When The Wrath was the best weapon in the game, it also came with a reputation for being bugged. The weapon did not give you an extra attack, despite it's description clearly stating it did. This is the Realm Online in a nutshell, because The Wrath wasn't actually bugged, however 99% of the playerbase and even the staff were happy to state that it was bugged and not giving the extra attack. The problem was that The Wrath simply had the same effect Amulets of Combat did, so much like having two poison resist enchantments only one took effect, they didn't stack nor were they meant to. Using a Wrath let you freely use an AoDMP or AoFW and maintain that extra attack, which was a very nice boost for PvP players that understood the mechanic properly. This is the Realm Online in a nutshell, an incredibly deep and generally well made game that has a playerbase with little understanding of those mechanics and a development team is also in the dark when it comes to them. This leads to huge changes to the game to fix things, that aren't broken just misunderstood. With that short story over, lets dive into the game.

1) The Classes
Toons are either Hitters, Throwers or Casters. The actual class they pick shouldn't reflect that at all, I've never understood this concept that just because Warriors hit and Wizards cast in other games, they have to do that here too. Race/Class should just be a toons base stats, and nothing else. The only thing locking abilities behind prestige for classes does is lock away builds, not increase variety. Just so that adventurers feel special, Giant Thieves, Giant Wizards, Elf Wizards that throw etc become much, much worse despite their base stats being really good still? There's still some fantastic adventurer stats out there, like 17/7/7/17 Giants and all intel Elf adv they're just not super obvious. The prestige system is a huge problem when I'm thinking of new stats for a toon that might be fun to play, at least for me.

1a) Warriors/Hitters
Hitters right now are brutally misunderstood and can honestly be very powerful. I cleared a 6man (140%) DP with 6 hitters without mass heal, or EB fairly easily using bare bones gear, enchanted mythril, boc's, roe's etc at level 550. The idea that they don't have much damage is laughable, the problem isn't damage it's staying alive and dungeon design (more on that later.) The other problem is that everybody makes asgw/asow etc and completely ignores endurance. The rise in popularity of the asgw only happened because of NG's introduction of the BC, removal of dex +attacks and their general NPC enemy design/balance preventing other toons from performing well. The dex +attack removal crushed humans and elves damage and the BC meant you needed to be an asgw to have an encumbrance below 40% (roughly where defense penalties start) The BC is now much lighter than it originally was, but the dex issue is still there. To further explain why the encumbrance is so important any non asgw using a bonecrusher would take much, much, much more incoming damage than an asgw would simply because of the encumbrance penalties AND have less/worse attacks. So by default asgw's became both the best damage from hitters and they took the least damage, despite a lower health pool than even 20/7/2/19 toons. Obviously things like aegt/aegw with dauch thorn/sot/shield were much more tanky, but they also had very little damage output relative to asgw's. The aegt was more of a DP specialist than anything else (dp targets Wizard, Thief, Adv War in that order so an aegt and 2 asgw's were fantastic there.)

The primary issue hitters have right now, aside from the dex not giving bonus attacks anymore (want elf hitters back, add this back in.) is the general encounter design as well as self stunning, especially in dungeons. The easiest way to see this in action is to take any hitter and guard first round vs. any kind of snake, the snake will move the entire screen and stop moving effectively ending it's turn. The hitter will then not miss any attacks, crit more often AND get more max damage rolls. This means as much as 2 or 3 times more damage is able to be dealt to the snake in that first round. This is exactly what's happening to hitters in most caves, and what absolutely cripples solo players. As soon as a toon runs out of attacks they self stun, stop dodging and get crushed in return. Caves need to be designed with this mechanic in mind, keeping the NPC's that can or will melee/throw attack to a max of 2 per expected hitter in a cave. Their ai also needs to be predictable and not random, so that the weaker hitters don't just get slapped down in a single round which is all too common in caves now (hc springs to mind.) You can have 2 attack the group leader, the next 2 hit the 2nd in the group etc just don't have them all bang one hitter into dust please.

Finally, replace Charge with attacking the same way throwers find their target. Playing hitters, clicking attack then click something to hit is way more annoying than hitting guard or casting cold snap. Some situations you'll want to manually pick your target, but that applies to Wizards as well. This is the quality of life improvement that would take hitters from REALLY annoying to play to being very enjoyable toons again.

Suggested fixes: Revert HoZ's back to their old status (Soloers need that, straight up). Buff plate armor's damage reduction to 50% from 40%, check and make sure high end armor is plate and not chain (especially chests/legs/wrists.) Scrap cleave (it's simply not needed and too difficult to make work on the Realm's engine without some very funny side effects.) Allow dex to increase +Attacks once again to bring some more variety to hitter classes. Allow infinite blocks/dodges in a round and try to remove the self stunning effect OR design all encounters around this specific mechanic. REMOVE scaling MDM by level to make things much more transparent to the player.

1b) Wizards/Casters
Shift and magic resist make Wizards incredibly tanky in PvE content. Way back in the day before NG took over, Wizards were something you wanted 1 or maybe 2 of in your group for utility like healing/buffing and myst. Their damage was actually very lackluster, which was honestly totally okay. The problem we have now is it feels like 70% of the toons in the game are AiEW (I have 5 2k ones myself) because they do the most damage without the drawback of having low hp being much of an issue thanks to the gear we have now. I'd be very open to seeing more of a throwback here, and focusing the AiEW almost entirely on enchanting, but making them a bit more lackluster at PvE. You can do this by scaling back how much damage base SDM gives and increasing the power of the bonus SDM, encouraging more variety. The other part is a lot of the MR on items needs to be toned down big time, especially on shields to encourage more human Wizards or Wizards that have more HP in their build rather than pure intel.

Shift needs to go, straight up. By making ai more predictable in caves, the meta of 4 wizards blasting through things would be gone straight away if shift was also removed. Any world that still has shift isn't a good one. Nobody enjoys having shift dispelled and getting their face torn off because of it, and yes the game would require some very serious tuning to balance out it's removal but shift is not a positive ability. Losing Shift from dispel, or a bad ping pong getting you killed is incredibly frustrating and the flip side of it is shift is what makes Wizards gods right now. The only argument that's in shifts favour is that it allows all intel toons to be very hard to kill while it's up, but good balance, better designed fights, better tuning etc can all overcome this.

Suggested fixes: Flatten base sdm damage a bit. Remove shift. Offer all players a chance to reroll their Wizards stats, possibly even race. Make myst more reliable to increase Wizards utility. Crush MR on shields, and lower it on other items. Combine the wizard gear into just mage gear, only complicates things to have 3 different sets (and the gap at expert level between them isn't huge either, but everybody hates finding thaum stuff instead of elem gear.)

1c) Thieves/Throwers
The main selling point of a thrower is you put it on a 5 second guard timer as a 5th/6th account. That's pretty weak game design, and should be a huge red flag. I'm fine with leaving them as they are now, more as pvp specialists and toons that can cast important spells quickly. They've never really had a great place in the realm from a game design perspective, other than being absolute specialists.

2) Dungeons
Hero Dungeons and ones that spawn randomly are lazy and garbage design, especially for the realm. FD is awful to run for a variety of reasons, but one of them is you can get 1 low level cow or a pile of arch lich's that ruin your day. This happens with all of them, and it's something that needs to go. Encounters need to be carefully thought out and balanced/play tested, very few dungeons right now are both fun and rewarding. The random spawn system/loot distribution involved with it (and the devs attitude about it) are a huge part of why I quit.

Get rid of group size scaling, it doesn't help. Some dungeons should be good to solo, some should be good for groups and thats fine. Grouping up should be something that allows you to do higher level content, but cripples things like exp gains in more solo geared dungeons like it used to. Right now grouping up with people that have worse gear than you (hint for me, that's everybody) only serves to make the dungeon VERY hard/not enjoyable at all, especially for those coming along. Running something with a friend for me only results in them getting killed over and over/making the cave far harder than it would be otherwise. There is already a penalty for running more than one account, it's called having to get the gear for the extra toons. Somebody with one toon vs. somebody with four toons that all have the same gear shouldn't be running the same content for the same reward. Even if you DO manage to get that to work, I'll just run four instances of the cave solo and the effect will be the same. IT DOES NOT WORK on the Realm.

Anvil B+> Please get rid of the alignment restrictions, this was fine when anvil was the only good endgame cave but now that it's not it just means people don't run it at all when they otherwise would. Overall though, though anvils a fairly solid cave. It does need a much, much tougher fight at the start so people don't get to the halfway point before they realize how hard the cave actually is though. It's a great cave for exp/trash loot, with some very nice helms potentially at the end. Absolutely needs removal of fumble, dispel and mass myst spells from the monsters though. Single target myst would be fine, but mass shouldn't be there with the current systems in place.

Barracks A+> Remove the Paladins from the cave, they don't need to be there. Same with the Elementals (they were only added there to test them in the first place, they intentionally put them way out of the way.) Getting rid of the seraph fights would also be a step in the right direction, but overall it's a cave that offers some nice loot and very good experience with a good power ramp and overall layout.

Church of Damnation F> It has bats and Daemon Kings in it, needs a complete rework because it's complete trash atm.

Daemon Home FFFFF> 2 good fights, giant maze, absolute trash (hdh is baller exp though.) The wing concept is great, but just flatten each wing out a lot for the love of god. There's a reason I pay 50k for HDH keys, and there's a reason I still can't get them for that.

Dragon Pit A> Probably the cave with the best overall design honestly. Incredibly challenging to beat, without leaning on unfair tactics. The green dragons myst needs to go though, or at least be turned single target only with the current systems in place. Even with F12 still requires a decent chunk of time to complete. The one thing that would be nice to see here is a heavy increase in death penalties in the cave, because far too many people are suicide running it. If I can do it with Wizards or Hitters without deaths, you can too and the rewards in the cave should reflect that better.

End's Safe Haven D> Garbage, light dart blasts low levels so the only reason to run it is for claymores (which is why there aren't any for sale usually.)

Faery Caverns F> What?

Fenris Cave D-> Crap exp, couple of decent fights. Way too mazelike for a newbie cave, would be much better off as a mostly straight line newbie type cave with progressively harder fights for the HH at the end. Needs a rework, but the concept is fine.

FHP S+ Classic> There's a million problems with this cave but…. it's a classic. Just leave it alone, other than maybe buffing the exp a bit. It's not a good cave for 2018 standards, but it's an absolute classic so it gets a free pass from me.

Forgotten Dungeon C> Would be fine if cellblock A and C were removed and the random spawn logic removed. The loot also needs to be increased here BIG time, it barely drops even if you run it 50 times. Has lots of potential as a cave if reworked properly. The concept of walking into jailcells is fine, but the practice of unlocking them and going in for a single fight is super annoying. Removing the extra cell blocks might kill the theme a bit, but increase the quality experience of running the damn thing. Could potentially be a fantastic stepping stone from the Barracks (also cut the bosses health down, it's too high for solo players.)

Fuloran's Abode S+ Classic> Same as FHP honestly, could be cleaned up a bit but it's a Realm classic. Absolutely should stay the way it is imo.

Greater Hive D-> Remove the death buttons, get rid of all the confusing sitting on stumps to get to the different area's. Tune the fights properly, so there's less healer wasps killing your entire group with a WoG crit or light darting your tank into dust. Remove summons from the fire wasps, remove healing from them as well. All around honestly, make the Queen not heal and the Healers meanies or something, those fights completely ruin the cave for solo players for what could otherwise be a very solid cave. Cleaned and straightened up, this could be a great entry cave to the endgame for players, in it's current state though only the true pain lovers farm it.

Holy Caves F> If it didn't drop the best loot in the game, I wouldn't run this pile of trash. Parm needs to go, his weapon shouldn't have eb that just makes no sense at all. The caves frustrating because Parm doesn't really do any damage or present any threat once you've killed his friends, even to wizards with no shift or invul up. So you're just sat there dving him / holding / crush bolder (and ABSOLUTELY not hitting him with a warrior) hoping he wont shrug and heal, fun right? I'll be convinced the spawn logic doesn't influence loot when I can't manipulate it by wearing different items, ie. baldies, rings, swords etc. This cave is why I quit, I can't find mage sigs for my toons and it just spits out soldier's brooch's and pro bands for me. I've heard of 11 EB's dropping for different people while I'm in the game, but never seen one drop myself (bought my own.) Call me salty over this one, because I very much am.

Imp City F> Old maze design, needs a full rework

Imp Haven D> Needs more fights that are actually enjoyable, but has potential as a cave. There is a reason though that boots are in shortage right now.

Lab ?> Just leave it, it's got Marvin and I'd hate to see it go or get changed.

Lesser Hive B> Newbie cave, it's fine for the most part.

Naktos Morgue D-> Good thing nobody wants a Vulcan Edge, or this cave would be a major problem for low level toons looking for one. Has some potential, but needs a lot of reworking in terms of the fights in it. Just make Naktos drop a key as well, the double lever hit doesn't make sense anymore.

Ogre Caverns D-> Another mazelike cave that requires unlock or lockpicks, could have some real potential as a lower level cave if straighten out with smooth fight progression though.

Snake Pit C> Stuff this thing with big snake fights and it'll be great. Right now though, you have 3 or 4 good fights and 30 crap ones. Just groups of hellsnakes and wyms in here and you'll have a really, really nice leveling cave on your hands. As it stands right now, feels like a huge waste of time to really put the effort in to clear.

Targoth's Tomb F> It's in the game, it's confusing, it's got lot of bats and zombies then CRYPT KEEPER HAHAHA, why?

Test of the Soul ENID> If you read this far, congrats, now you know where Enids baldric drops ;)

The Underground B> The loot table here needs a big improvement. It's a catch 22, the only reason you run this is to get an Aegis because that's the only good loot there (or if you're a prest leveling toon for a bit.) Aegis are incredibly expensive because nobody runs this cave for any other reason than a personal Aegis, so just add in more variety of loot. Yes that'll make Aegis come down in price, buuuuut it'll also mean you can actually buy one as people are running it on a more regular basis.

The Foundry F> This cave blows. You have random protector's in the middle of it that smash anybody not neutral. The fights are all too small to be worth much exp for AoE wizards, and no hitter with a brain cell alive is going to run a cave that starts with 3 fury based fights. The end boss is a pain to kill, even for 4 2k Wizards so who is supposed to run this trash? Either fix the boss or get rid of the fury fights at the start if you want people to actually go here. Fatten the fights up with more mobs as well, and remember variety (looking at you elemental, harl and prot) isn't always a good thing. Fix those things and it'll be a decent mid level cave.

The Dark Gauntlet ?> POISON HAIR

Thieve's Hole A> Great cave for people just starting out their realm adventures, no real complaints other than maybe up the BoC and stringer drop rates. Maybe put some already identified cure poison potions strategically on the ground before the boss fights to help the new players out though.

Tor's Crypt C> Doesn't really need to exist tbh, although if it is going to just straighten it out so a new player in that area can see the cave and enter it/finish it without getting really, really confused. Fine otherwise though.

Troll's Haven F> Just throw it away, pretend the Troll's moved in with the Ogre's when you redo Ogre Caverns. Fun piece of trivia too, this used to be a high level cave as an alternative to fhp/fufu for finding wraths.

Troll Hideaway F> We've got this particular level of cave covered already boys, toss it.

Tulor's Caverns B> Get rid of tulor's myst for the love of god if you want people to solo this thing. Take the fury's and throw them outside so hitters can come here too and we've got ourselves another realm CLASSIC on our hands. Oh and just have the chests unlocked from the start, thanks from the people answering how to open them on channel 4 all day.

Undead Stronghold B-> People might disagree with me, but I think clipping off the top right side loop, and middle sections would be a huge improvement to this cave. The first 3/4's with the devil fights is fine, but then it becomes a huge slog trying to finish. The fury's also need to be thrown out as well, if you want hitters to do this cave. Finally the monster weapons should absolutely NOT cast dispel as a proc, get that garbage out of there. Nobody enjoys that as a mechanic, it's either be way too buff and smash the cave into dust or get rng killed a few times, not fun.

Warriors Abode C+> Some good fights there, just Paladins probably are a bit of place for a newbie cave. Just saying.

That's all I have time to write for now, I might add a second part sometime but fix what's broken first before you worry about the prestige systems/crafting (which shouldn't be there, it kills the economy even more that's already dead from binding.) We don't need world bosses, we need solo content that's fun/rewarding and the dungeons need to be retooled to be enjoyable for people or you're going to see more and more people quit like they have been. It's not enjoyable to tune dungeons encounter by encounter and properly test them, but it's a lot more important than the stuff being worked on now. Tune what's already here, the Realm's an amazing game it just needs a bit of a touch up not an overhaul. If I wanted class based skills and crafting, I'd play a different game.

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Redbeard (Staff)

Disclaimer: I read all of your game mechanic insights, but not your dungeon suggestions. I don’t design those encounters but I’m sure the others will read them.

 
I like a lot of what you’ve said, but some of it is not accurate. Below is my feedback to your post:

  • Attacks do stack, it’s not a 1:1 l, not sure when this changed but I’ve tested it with the prestige abilities.
  • Blocks and dodges are not capped directly, but are indirectly based on stats. Is there room to add more +Dodge items?
  • I’ll verify the dex role in the number of attacks, I know I added that in to the code base at one point and time. Not sure if it’s in this code base but I’ll be happy to add it back in. On this note, I’ve incorporated endurance into movement rate and found it to be useful as well but have yet to add it to this build.
  • Youre correct about the end game armor sets needing to be verified that they have the right armor type. I remember when we designed it wizard was meant to be cloth / leather, strength plate, and dex chain.
  • Crafting as an end game solution: I get that it’s not your play style and a subset of the communities. I believe the plan is to have drop only options as well. The crafting portion was a guaranteed way to get the item.
  • You’re correct to say that prestige is incomplete; because it is. We’ve done a poor job rolling it out, and once we complete the final roll-our of prestige 1 you can count on prestige 2 will be completely polished before release. We were just feeling the pressure from the community to put something out there, and so we did.

 
To close I would say that informative dialog like this is a good way to message your concerns with the game. I’ll certainly be looking into modifying number of attacks to include dex, movement rate to include endurance.

You’ve touched on it slightly, but I’ll elaborate a bit more. Mysticism and shrugging needs a PvE revamp, so much of what I’ve been prototyping on my end is a revamp of that system. I’ve been largely silent about it because anytime we’re testing something it becomes belief that it’s going in. It’s a contributor do the pausing of the prestige 1 polish.

In short, for PvE what I’m finding feels right is to remove the stat based shrugging completely. Have the static rounds that get reduced by resist with a maximum of 75% MR and keep free will as our mechanism to keep a player from Myst locking a mob.

I’m open to ideas there as well, but this is easiest most straight forward modification for it.

Looking forward to more discussion.

  • Red
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Zewpi

Firstly - I thoroughly enjoyed the read, despite the initial daunting size of the post I advise anyone else checking this post out to give it a full read as it’s very constructive and valuable feedback.

-Classes
I agree in large part with everything to do with classes, outside of prestige - I personally enjoy specialising more as I advance, rather than being able to choose any prestige skill with classes being an irrelevance. I understand the view of desiring more freestyle when choosing your archetype - however it still needs structure. If someone picks a warrior they should naturally have a proficiency toward giving people a beat down, likewise wizards should be better than other classes at casting in general. This should also be reflected in future specialisation (prestige ability costs) as it is now.

-Wiz
I most agree with (as I make very obvious on discord) the wizard section - they’re the only class with any meaningful utility - they shouldn’t also be masters of clear speed/exp grind/loot grind too. Though I’ve gone in to that many times before so I’ll refrain from elaborating any more.

-War
I agree hitters can be very powerful and have gone in to details regarding this multiple times on discord, however to me the problem with hitters is that they don’t always achieve their potential - they may do 10k per round to a single target, but when you’re swinging at 2-3k hp targets 70-80% of your damage that round is wasted unless you’re counter attacking. Whereas wiz and thrower will always achieve full round potential. Ideally warriors should move to the next available target (using guard priority) using whatever movement squares they have left to help out with this issue. I don’t believe old HoZ is required at all however; firstly - it’s a botters dream, secondly it encourages even more afk play than is already available. There have been many solo warriors who excelled in MW (mechanically identical to current more or less) most notably Flesson who did 6k or 7k as a solo warr and was very wealthy to boot.

-Thief
I agree that most people use thief as an afk party filler, which is sad as personally it’s my favourite archetype (thief/rogue/outlaw). I just don’t really see a way around that in the current client. I’m sure once bleed comes out we’ll see more hitter thieves at least, but would be great to see more love for this class.

-Dungeons

Agree with 90%, I personally like the random spawns in FD as it helps keep it a little bit interesting just seeing an odd rare spawn that you know can drop something decent, but I agree sometimes it feels like you can have a cake walk clear followed by a rough clear which is odd when you’ve not changed anything and the dungeon is still the same dungeon. Regarding all the ratings though they’re pretty much spot on, a large chunk of dungeons are irrelevant and there for flavour, it’d be nice to have a few more options.

But again, all of this is in an ideal world where the devs have an infinite amount of time to keep revisiting “old” content as opposed to create new content and/or the new client. I love everything the devs have done for the game and ultimately don’t agree it’s heading in the wrong direction (as per post title). There is definite flaws, but a large part of your post is referring to things that were already in place when the team took over, mechanics may have changed some interactions within that content, sure, but I believe whole heartedly the dev team is doing everything they can to bring the community and the game toward a much more successful iteration of the realm.

Ps - thank you for the well thought out post I’m sure it’ll stir some good conversations in the right circles.

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Khego

Good post. Appreciate the thought out feedback, has become pretty rare. And I agree with many of your points.

Shift:
Full disclosure, I often play Realm for that mindless grind, and shift outside of combat has been pretty sweet for that. That being said, I agree, it's OP and it limits design space. Although not totally opposed to outright removal, maybe there's a happy medium?
*Reduce duration significantly. Remains an evasive tool but can't just cast it once per dungeon.
*Reduce effectiveness. Shift only on critical strikes? Or don't shift on critical strikes? The latter boosts effectiveness of dex hitters?
*Completely change spell to boost dodges for X rounds, or boost phasing (not even sure what phasing does really)
*Change spell to a level 6 or 7 skill level and increase mana cost significantly.
*Limit usage: Must be under X% encumbered. Or casting shift also halves your armor rating. Or you cannot combine shift with invulnerability. Etc, etc.

Melee
Yeah, it's all about the time and clicks for me (and the shuffling and counter attacking).
*Really like the 'Charge' is attack previous target or even, attack closest target kind of thing. And I like the idea of wasted movement and attacks being used.
*As far as HoZ… I agree with Zewpi more here, it's too auto/AFK/boring in it's old form. As far as PvE is concerned, same argument as shift, IMO. What about berserker gear or bloodthirsty prestige skill that gives you bonus movement/attacks after a killing blow. Obviously this revolves around; "Can the wasted movement thing be used/coded? And could this be coded?"

Dungeons
*I've posted multiple times to your main point. There's several "newb" dungeons with like ONE mob that's too hard for newbs. On the flip side once you're high enough to beat that one mob, the dungeon is no longer fun and the XP/loot stinks. And newb dungeons should be pretty straight forward, short, sweet and high drop rates. "First ones free"
*And I agree with most of your grades. I do like some the random spawn aspects though. Example that I like is rare spawns in FD. Like Zewps said, it breaks the monotony of a grinder game up a bit. Random spawns that I don't like are the ones that completely change the dungeon, i.e. getting 3 High Priestess with a HC boss. I think RNG is good in games but I think the actual range of outcomes being smaller is better.
*Greater Hive… I actually like this dungeon but think the XP should be higher. I like that a dungeon exists that some people just say "Oh hell naw, too confusing/hard/long/etc"

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Mino

First of all let me say I am loving the direction of the game as it is today. I am also a big fan of the new UI. Overall, the game checks the boxes needed for me to continue to play. The main reason I play the game is because of its forgiving nature. There is no need to be paying attention all the time. It is also nice that with regular gear can reach 1k. It is not a "must" to have expert gear but a nice to have. After you "win" and reach 1k or prestige. Then the game just becomes a place to log online and "townie" or spend some time with friends online (waiting for the next prestige to come in or grinding the caves to fine tune one's gear).

Having said so, many good points have been mentioned in this post. Let me add my voice to the ones I like.

Low Level Dungeons:

  • Should become much more linear in order to not scare away the newcomers.
  • Should not have oddball high level critters (say like Warrior's Abode)
  • Should have drop rates increased to give the newcomers that jiggly type of feeling of finding a "treasure"

Hitter Mechanics:

  • Change charge to be "attack lowest hp enemy"
  • Improve on the counter-attack idea is great. Might even add it as a skill that needs to be learnt. Similar to the idea of acrobatics (dodge).

Wiz Mechanics:

  • Should keep shift as is. I started the game initially as a solo wizard. If I didn't have shift, there is no way I would have survived the initial grind. The first levels are not easy (especially when you have no gear and no advice). However, after re-learning the game, it got me even more excited and ended up subbing many many accounts.

Thief Mechanics:

  • Add aoe dmg to thieves might make them more wanted. Maybe a thrower split spell or ability that helps throw the weapon at multiple targets.

Items:

  • I agree with Zewpi/Khego, the HoZ is not really a big problem
  • I agree with Pail, it is not fair to thieves to have WA shield to drop at a cave that is incredibly long and only accessed via prestige. The item should be available in non-prestige areas. Maybe add it to GH.
  • I am a bit concerned with crafting, but I cannot judge it until I see it. It would be problematic if the recipes are very specific. I think a general approach might make the most sense especially since regardless of the drop rates, have specific gear is too specific. (pro fragment, fam fragment, exp fragment vs. pro wl fragment, fam ww fragment, exp elem fragment). A lighter approach of breaking boe unused items is going to be nice regardless of class (wl,ww,elem/thaum/necro). Also the potential for the craftable items to drop at say a prestige lvl 2 island is ok with me.
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Picaro

These posts are well done and thank everyone for their thoughtful contributions – I hope mine may lend a different perspective. My response is really in regards to the thief, shift and wiz portions of Pail’s original post. Finally, I will comment on the hitter class.

I play a thief. I’m not grinding away with a 3-5 man group – in fact, for the first 1000 levels I primarily did this solo until around 800 and then grouped up with a friend in Anvil/HC when they were available. I would submit that a thief is more then just an afk, 5-second timer character and in fact, it WAS an excellent character for a solo approach to the game. I get some excitement from taking on dungeons solo and slowly taking out bosses with the chance to find something of value. In order to accomplish this, I use a throwing dagger and shift.

Point #1: The thief is not worthless and not just an afk grinder, but a great option for someone who wants to “unibox”

My soloing career slowed after I prestiged really because of the introduction of dispel procs/casts and heal nerf. I started to duo with a another throwing a hybrid – an all dex human adv (probably one of the coolest characters in terms of adapting to different roles). The beauty of this character was his ability to stay alive (higher endu), contribute to damage (all dex) and support through heals/holds/zerks/invuls (HoI, MC, baseline int). In fact, we’ve completed all heroic/non-heroic caves except for HC – usually we stop shortly after Enids Handmaiden.

Point #2: There are different types of characters that can be made and shift is valuable for multiple classes. I am against removing shift as it will destroy thieves/throwers completely.

For wizards, I think everyone agrees they are the go to multi-box path. Create five AIEWs and just Hold/Cold Snap/Fury every dungeon. Its effective and you can get to the loot faster than other groups – outside of Warrs in DP as pointed out by Pail. The argument is that the AIEW make up 70% of characters and they are too strong is likely correct. I actually don’t have a problem with this and I don’t have a single 1k/2k AIEW currently.

But what is too strong? And what is the ideal percentage of chars/classes? There will always be a better class/char archetype. The bigger concern is the unintended consequences of changing abilities and nerfing one class to make another class rise. What’s the difference between a group of casters and maybe a single hitter or a group of hitters with a single warrior?

Point #3: We need to be careful with these changes especially if you are trying to weaken one class to strengthen another – it can be a huge swing and really hurt character creation in an unintended way - 70% of chars are now ADEWarrs, etc.

Finally, I completely agree that warriors have difficulty surviving dungeons. They can put out damage but cant survive for a variety of reasons that Pail eloquently stated - they aren’t dodging/blocking and can get knocked down pretty quick when surrounded by 2-5 creatures each with 7-8 hits/+dispel. As a thief I hunted with a couple of warrior/wiz pairs and attempted a different approach. I would invis the warrior/wiz and my thief would be visible. In lower dungeons, enemies would focus on my shifting thief while the hitter would smack the crap out of them. Pail, Redbeard have a much a better understanding of the game mechanics then I do – I’m just a simple thower :)

Point #4: A different approach in the current meta may actually improve a perceived weakness. However, I agree with Pail that perhaps a melee damage reduction attribute be added to warriors armor.

Thank you for reading – not a scientific as the previous posters – but wanted to support the current thief/shifting community.

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Malevolent

Great post and I love to see the well-articulated and thoughtful feedback. After carefully considering everyone’s input, I have only one question: “wen sord?”

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SmurfKing

This is an awesome post for feedbacks, I strongly agree with Picaro's 2nd Point, but most of you probably figured that by how outspoken I was when the "(Dispellable=Yes) tag" was added to Shift at the end of September, I think I am more interested in making a comment on another portion of his 2nd point, and that is his speaking on the AIEW ratio vs other classes….

 

Of course this is going to be the case, and I dont think Wizards should be adjusted for it, they are the sole class capable of chanting gear(to the degree Trade demands the value for such), and this is such a vital portion of gearing a toon, Every time I have started playing this game, in whatever incarnation…I have always started an AIEW first, not because of PvE, or spell damage…as they have not always been outright OP….(I think of spell power ammies and other cases when I mention this) but for the fact, that I know I will create other characters, I wanted to have a caster to be able to enchant for my others when the time came, without having to rely on others…I'm certain i'm not the only one with this mentality, those without rely on guys like Hatesauce for chanter services ( Love you, buddy )

 

I think the above statements shouldnt also be a reason to execute changes that will shift the entire field of play in this fashion (no pun intended…), lets focus on the Evergreen Post for now… I mean, everyone has a wizzie for chanting, because wizzies chant…right?

-RR

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Fear

Great post and responses all around here.

I definitely agree with most of the posters responses re: shift and hitters, but lean more towards keeping shift as it is in-game, perhaps with some slight tweaks because currently, like Picaro and others have said without this, throwers and wizzies would just be dead or at the very least not viable in almost every endgame PvE scenario.

Putting less emphasis on Strength for the ASGW type hitter build is a great idea. Making DEX account for +attacks/round and END result in better movement and maybe scale with Regen so that at the end of the round higher END toons heal for more (not sure if it already does this?) and perhaps it could act as kind of a Constitution type of attribute, i.e. higher END results in lower damage taken from poison build-up, poison duration maybe even a bit of a natural resistance to fire/cold/poison/acid/lightning, etc? I don't know if that would be too broken to include that as a base advantage gained just from base stats, but just as an idea; for every 1 point in END over 15 could equate to 0.5%-1% resistance from magic type damages (END gained from RoEs and AoEs notwithstanding as it would have to be as a result as a base stat investment)?
– Personally the "All insert stat here G/E/H/O W/W/T/A" type builds to me seem outdated, but they do hold a certain nostalgia for the game. It just would be nice to be able to create a toon with a random allotment of stats and have them be viable, but not necessarily good at any one thing, though I understand this might not be realistic from a dev standpoint, currently.

A few people mentioned the combination of Wiz gear into one universal set and I personally think that's a great idea, at first I really liked the idea of splitting them into the different schools of magic, and I have seen some people take advantage of that and hopefully they like it, but now whenever I find non-elem gear I just sigh and it just sits on the floor or I give it to a new player, unless it's Expert and to me that takes away from the grind reward of finding Prof Wiz gear for me personally.
– As far as Wiz as contributors to PvE content, I'm incredibly happy with them at the moment. It always frustrated me back in old-school TRO where AIEWs were good for nothing other than healing ASGWs and some myst abilities. They are viable damage dealers now and yes they are probably a bit overpowered with shift in it's current state, but they can also be punished severely if the player makes a mental mistake and I enjoy having to, at times, think out decisions I need to make in a turn, but I 2 box, so I can certainly see how that could be annoying for people who do 3+ boxes.

Last thought.

Some of my favorite items in RPGs are endgame (legendary) weapons/armors/trinkets that have incredibly overpowered benefits that may seem broken, but are counteracted by an inherent balance. For instance, there is an armor in Pillars of Eternity that has the effect of causing the wearer to take less and less damage for each subsequent hit which scales with the higher the amount of missing total HP. So while the character takes regular damage initially, if they get critted 5 times in the first round and are down 50% of their total health, the next round their damage threshold from normal hits scales downward significantly to help with survivability and allow them to continue to absorb the hits and not have to immediately react. At the same time, this armor is very heavy and causes the wearer to attack far less often in a round and their move speed is all but crippled.
– I'm not sure how a lot of people would react to items like that in TRO because MMOs are so different than single player RPGs, but I have to admit finding those endgame, ridiculously overpowered items in a game and reading the first few lines of text and the giddyness of wanting to equip it only to read the last line and having it tempered and the internal debate of, "damn, now I get this insane ability, but I have to account for that tradeoff," to me that's some of my favorite moments in any RPG experience.

I tried to lay these out in TRO terms because PoE isn't turn-based, but you get the general idea. Also, I definitely could see how players who multibox could find something like having to account for the reactionary tradeoffs like this for an overpowered item might just be a nuisance, but since a lot of the discussion on here has been about balancing, especially with regards to AIEWs and shift, I thought it maybe reasonable to at least mention this if nothing else than to receive criticism.

Lastly, I understand that there are some elements that meet this specifically laid out criteria in the game currently (Invul aura, armor type, etc) I don't mean to harp on the specific interactions of the armor I mentioned, just the fact that endgame items that can have overpowered rewards, but can be inherently balanced with a tradeoff that factors into and shapes play style naturally.

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Mike Gilmore

This isin't something that will probably come across as "Well reasoned", but having read though the comments here and having only recently returned to the game and finding that Wizards are far more competitive that I remember, I just have to add this 2¢ to the discussion. Not everyone multi-box's. Why in the world should a class be changed due to perceived overpowering classes based on multi-boxing results? I could easily see a circumstance in which wizards have shift or some other spell nerfed because when in a mass group it becomes overpowering only to leave that solo wizard barely able to compete. Just some food for thought.