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Old 06-06-2013, 12:36 AM   #81
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Re: Join Dragonrealms today!

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Originally Posted by Jazuela View Post
It's like asking which is best: toast with cinnamon and sugar, or Ibanez guitars? The answer is: it depends on what you're looking for. If you're looking for something to eat, then the toast wins. If you're looking for some musical distraction, I'd go for the Ibanez.
This is an incomplete comparison. A fallacy.

If you don't want to deal with all of the complicated aspects of Dragonrealms' combat systems, there are plenty of ways to play it "dumbed down," which outside of PvP works perfectly fine. If you want to PvP you're going to need to at least be aware of the options the system presents, even if you're choosing not to utilize them yourself.

But you can certainly play the game from start to finish typing ATTACK over and over. You don't even have to utilize the combat system at all if that's not your thing. Two classes have no combat requirements at all.

If you have some aversion to typing ATTACK repeatedly, you can easily set up a macro or a script to do that for you.

As I've said, the game itself is deeply flawed. But, with apologies to Ms. Turner, the combat engine is simply the best.

This is not me trying to be "cute," nor is it "quaint" of me. You have the means with which to verify the assertion for yourselves. I simply wanted to cut off KaVir's self-aggrandizing before it could begin.
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Old 06-06-2013, 02:01 AM   #82
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Re: Join Dragonrealms today!

Heh, let's keep it civil. I can understand where Jaz is coming from. Some MUDders may not want any combat system in their "perfect idea" of a MUD.

It is true, however, that we have tried to provide tools for keeping combat simple. You can toggle the messaging for various amounts of detail and engagement is automatic when you attack something not within range. As Ardent mentioned, you can ignore the 25-something attack verbs and just use ATTACK, and the system decides what would be a reasonably-good sets of combos to use with that given weapon, and cycles through them.

The goal has been to keep the complexity that many people seem to like, yet provide enough flexibility and novice-friendly tools so it has wider appeal.
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Old 06-06-2013, 04:53 AM   #83
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Re: Join Dragonrealms today!

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It is only the "best" if you like that particular type of combat system.
Precisely, what we're seeing is a perfect example of the Dilbert "I am the world" fallacy. Sadly such a view is not that uncommon, but it does make it difficult to have a useful discussion about the actual merits of a particular system.

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I've played the type of combat where you advance and retreat - and frankly, I don't like it at all. I wouldn't like the best one, or the worst one. I don't like that system of combat, period.
I do actually like the underlying concept (although not the abstraction). However it's interesting you should mention your dislike, because I've been wondering why it is that more muds don't implement something similar. An engagement system would be pretty quick and easy to add, so it's certainly not about complexity.

I wondered if it might be historical - most muds with balance-based combat draw their inspiration directly or indirectly from Avalon, and it's not uncommon for people to reuse old designs without really considering the alternatives. But it could also be that people who like it are already playing DragonRealms, while those who don't are playing elsewhere.

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The things that I like about the CS in the game I play, don't exist in Dragonrealms combat. But the things that DR features that attracts people who play it, don't exist in the game I play. Neither is the "Best" and neither is the "worst." They're just different.
There's quite a lot of variation out there, and it's certainly interesting to compare the pros and cons of different approaches, as well as the impact of their subsystems. That reminds me actually, I keep meaning to have a look at how different muds implement fighting formations.

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The goal has been to keep the complexity that many people seem to like, yet provide enough flexibility and novice-friendly tools so it has wider appeal.
Catering to both extremes can be difficult to balance, as I've mentioned before. But it's definitely a good goal.
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Old 06-06-2013, 08:23 AM   #84
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Thanks KaVir for the input. For me, well I started out on GemStone. It didn't have an "engagement system" where you could advance/retreat, but basically - the critter would auto-attack you, over and over again - and you had to type "att critter" over and over again with each shot. Or 'prep 702; cast critter' to bloodburst it (I played a sorc, heh). Sure, you could type macros, but the point is, it was up to the player to ensure that the text went from buffer to game, over and over again, making sure not to get interrupted by the game-imposed delay between hits. You could disengage, but the critter would continue wailing on you. You could flee, but the critter would chase you in most cases.

Then I played Inferno, which did have an engagement system. You'd engage, then advance to whichever range was appropriate for your attack style. If close-range, you'd have to advance a few times, or you and the critter would each be advancing til it was fighting time. But - if the critter was designed to fight only at close range, and you were using a polearm, you'd have to retreat when it was advancing. And you could only retreat so far, until the system said you were already up against the wall and can't retreat any further. A lot of the combat consisted of getting you to the right range. And THEN you could attack. And then, it was the same system as the GS system - you have to either type att critter over and over, or create and run a script to do it for you. The responsibility was client-side on your part, and the critter had a built-in script to do it automatically. Even more difficult and frustrating - if you were already as far away as the code allowed you to be, but it wasn't far away enough to flee or disengage, you were stuck in combat until the fight was over. You could only "retreat" so many times before the code said you couldn't retreat anymore, and you couldn't disengage until you were far enough away.

Then I played Armageddon, which is a diku-based system. It's automated. You type attack critter, and at that point, you are free to emote while your character automatically attempts to kill the critter. There are special attacks, such as kick, bash, disarm, etc. etc. - but if it's just close-range melee combat, you don't have to "do" anything, and that leaves you free to type in emotes, and wishes, and yell that you're hurt, or shout to your friend to help, or order your minion to stand down while you rescue him from doom, or whatever else.

At first, I hated it. I was way too used to being in full control of my character's every movement. But eventually, I realized, that it also meant that I was -required- to be in full control of my character's every movement. It was hard to ROLEPLAY through the combat, because if I took the time to say "Hey help please!" it was one more "att critter" that didn't happen - and that was one more "critter attacks me" that I didn't attempt to parry.

Trying to actually roleplay when you were in a challenging situation, was impossible. If I tried to interrupt the script with emotes, it would auto-shutoff the script. I could set up macros so I didn't have to type everything out, but it -still- meant that I had to take that time to hit the alt-K, which meant no time to also type "say Hey help me here".

In Armageddon, because the actual "att critter" part of it was automated, I was free to emote my brains out, and could create actual "scenes" with myself and the critter and whatever crew we were with. It seemed to flow better.

But - I know, because I had done it for years, that not everyone likes that system. And that's okay. Some people just really prefer the required control over their character's movements, and some people prefer to let the game code do all the mechanics work. And there are some folks (the MUSH crowd) who prefer not to have ANY mechanics in combat, and would rather emote it all out, in turn-based situations.

I've tried a few MUSHes too, but I just don't care for the long paragraphs of emotes. I like the faster paced scenes (although the Arm combat is still too fast for me, but I can work around it as long as there's just me and a critter and not a group).
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Old 06-06-2013, 09:23 AM   #85
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Re: Join Dragonrealms today!

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Then I played Inferno, which did have an engagement system. You'd engage, then advance to whichever range was appropriate for your attack style.
Now that's interesting, because I believe Inferno was mainly inspired by Avalon. I wonder if they got the idea from DragonRealms, or if they came up with it independently?

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But - I know, because I had done it for years, that not everyone likes that system. And that's okay. Some people just really prefer the required control over their character's movements, and some people prefer to let the game code do all the mechanics work.
Personally I prefer manual control, although if your only option is typing "attack" over and over then IMO you'd actually be better off automating it. Most manual combat systems I've seen do offer various different options to choose from, however, and DragonRealms seems to have several different maneuvers for controlling your actions. They don't appear to differentiate between individual weapon types (in terms of attack options), but there are at least separate commands for unarmed combat, and I really like the idea of supporting grappling moves. Wasn't there once a design discussion about grappling?

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And there are some folks (the MUSH crowd) who prefer not to have ANY mechanics in combat, and would rather emote it all out, in turn-based situations.
Yeah, some of them can be pretty opinionated about narrated combat being better than any form of hardcoded combat. I've also seen people combine the concepts, so that you emote your action and the code performs an appropriate attack, although like any other system it has its pros and cons.
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Old 06-06-2013, 10:19 AM   #86
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I never played Avalon and I'm not familiar with it, so I can't say for sure. But I do know that it was influenced by Legends of Future Past, and Dragonrealms, and one of the owners started out playing OrbWars, which was Simutronics' first game before Gemstone was created. The game itself was written with LambdaMOO as the base, and modified with I -believe- C#. There's another member of this forum who can say for sure, the aforementioned OrbWars fan, but he'd speak for himself if he wants to wax nostalgic on the subject (I don't believe he has "outted" himself here and it's not my place to do that out of respect).
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Old 06-06-2013, 10:30 AM   #87
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This is an incomplete comparison. A fallacy...
...As I've said, the game itself is deeply flawed. But, with apologies to Ms. Turner, the combat engine is simply the best.
It's a little mind-boggling that somebody can't understand that subjective opinions might vary. I played a mud where every room had a coordinate system, and you moved around to position yourself while you fired ranged attacks, got into melee range, and fired off all kinds of specials (knockback, stun, etc.) to keep the enemy where you wanted him, while executing all kinds of special movement abilities to get where you wanted to be faster before your opponent's moves could inconvenience you. I've played countless muds where you just type "kill X" and stand there. Neither one is "better." Sure, one took longer to code and offers more options, but countless players refused to try that first mud or quit playing because they preferred a more normal-ish system.

More features and options is not necessarily better. Some people don't like and just plain don't want a mud where they have to learn all of the different combat options and strategies. Even if they don't have to use them and can play a dumbed down version, other people who take advantage of all of the mud's features will have a strong advantage over them, not just in PK, but in more efficient and effective grinding. People definitely don't want to play a mud where they'll be less effective than others.

I have yet to see a mud that requires you to manually keep track of your character's bladder and take a pee every few hours, depending on how much you drink. Some things, your character just takes care of on his own when you're not looking, and the game leaves those things to behind the scenes assumptions, and to your imagination. In a simple combat mud, it's just assumed that battling creatures jockey for position and move around a lot, but the player doesn't have to manually do all of that. The mud engine just rolls dice and handles combat, and players who don't care for an elaborate combat system are fine with that. Players who want a strategic and very detailed combat system where they can control more things and try everything hate it. More options isn't better, just different, depending on player preferences.

For example, I think it's absolutely stupid to proclaim, "There's nowhere convenient and close by for high level characters to go kill high reward mobs. They have to travel to the far reaches of the world to get those higher rewards, and that makes the game harder and less convenient! The mud administration is stupid for not moving the mobs everyone likes to kill from an established area to a close by, more convenient area so everyone can have an easy time advancing while staying in the same place." I'd strongly prefer a mud where you absolutely have to explore and go to the edges of the world to get good rewards, and where it's hard to max out your level, get piles of money, and get the best gear. It sounds stupid to me to transplant mobs randomly from place A to place B just to make grinding easier. But that's my preference, while some players prefer a mud where advancement is much more convenient. Is a huge world where you have to travel and explore to advance effectively "better" just because there are more features and things to try? Some people prefer a more simple area and advancement system.
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Old 06-06-2013, 10:40 AM   #88
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Re: Join Dragonrealms today!

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Now that's interesting, because I believe Inferno was mainly inspired by Avalon. I wonder if they got the idea from DragonRealms, or if they came up with it independently?
I don't know about the original creators but the guy who ran Inferno had previously worked on DragonRealms. It looks like Malifax is still active so maybe he will pop in and shed some light on it.
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Old 06-06-2013, 11:06 AM   #89
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Re: Join Dragonrealms today!

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I don't know about the original creators but the guy who ran Inferno had previously worked on DragonRealms. It looks like Malifax is still active so maybe he will pop in and shed some light on it.
Interesting, thanks! It came up when I was fleshing out mud trees on the MUD Wiki, but it's rather difficult to find reliable information about many of the earlier games.
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Old 06-06-2013, 11:35 AM   #90
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Re: Join Dragonrealms today!

>>For example, I think it's absolutely stupid to proclaim, "There's nowhere convenient and close by for high level characters to go kill high reward mobs.

>>The mud administration is stupid for

Let's not get confused here. DR has hundreds of hunting areas close to the starter cities. The problem is these areas did not get updated as quickly as the "new" areas (which also happen to be further away) to contain high level content. In 2009 the experience model changed, resulting in players advancing to the higher levels quicker - and the hunting options did not change quickly enough to accommodate this.

Even worse - Combat prevented higher level hunting mobs from working correctly, which scared people off from developing them.

Before 3.0, the combat system broke down past circle 150 due to integer overflows (remember, this was designed back in 1996... and the highest circle was 30, now it is 200). Now with 3.0 everything scales above and beyond circle 200 just fine and we've been focusing on updating these areas.

So whatever bad decisions made in the past are being remedied. Then again, I doubt anyone starting off in DR today would even run into this problem in the next few years! No, you'd actually have more hunting options than probably makes sense

>> Engagement

Back in the 90s, a good engagement system was damn hard to write. Memory and CPU speeds being what they were... I'm always amazed at what was done with so little 15 years ago!
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Old 06-06-2013, 01:23 PM   #91
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Re: Join Dragonrealms today!

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I've seen people proudly claim exactly the same thing about dozens of other muds over the years, adamant that their particular mud is the "best". It's rather quaint to see people still doing it, but I'm afraid such claims are very unlikely to be taken seriously. I think it would be more constructive (and interesting) to discuss the actual features that the mud offers.
I agree.

If you have no interest in paying for a MUD, and never will, I think that position makes complete sense. If what I am about to describe doesn't comport with your experience or what you want, that is also reasonable. But I will describe why paying for DR is worthwhile to me.

What I enjoy most about Dragonrealms is the depth of the game and the freedom players have to engage - or disengage - with it. For example, among the libraries and towers of the game are books (written by the staff and players) that detail the rich history of the peoples and the cultures of the world. Most of these are consolidated on the dragonrealms wiki: Elanthipedia Some guilds, like Moon Mages, go so far as to allow (but not require) players to identify with specific sects that have their own ideology, receive (largely cosmetic) boons, and access specialized merchants/tools. Players have become game-recognized officials of the provinces. Renowned crafters are memorialized in their halls while higher-level traders operate stores in the major cities. Politics and intrigue exist. and players may choose to incur the wrath of provincial leaders (played by the staff). These players may defiantly raise Cain or seek shelter in another territory, or both. And aside from in-game structure, players constantly fashion their own stories using the established lore and goods as a foundation.

I also like that I do not have to do any of that. I love to roleplay, but probably spend a good part of my time solo-hunting and training skills. I can strive to min-max (the weapon and armorsmiths, with their custom mixes of metals, know all about this) and I love the skill system: the more my characters do something, the better they are at it. With few exceptions (some guilds do not use magic and some skills are guild-only abilities), my characters CAN learn and do anything, although it's easier for a Barbarian to become a weaponmaster than a trader. Will I ever catch up to the person who's played for a decade longer? Probably not. But relatively shortly I can start hunting creatures who drop elusive treasure maps that lead to unique treasure. I can create goods and provide services that ARE marketable without being the best in the game.

14.95 a month is not a trivial amount and Dragonrealms does not have a monopoly on what I described, but I personally haven't found an alternative. I never felt like I was able to customize my experience as I much as I do in Dragonrealms. So I encourage folks to try out the free trial and see if they like it. There are numerous mentoring and social events a week and as evidenced by the release of new crafting systems, creatures, and events the world is dynamic.
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Old 06-06-2013, 05:16 PM   #92
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It's a little mind-boggling that somebody can't understand that subjective opinions might vary.
I am quite capable of understanding other people can have opinions based on their particular perspectives.

I am just as capable of dismissing them as objectively wrong based upon the criterion inherent to a "best" assertion; do you want the most options possible? Then Dragonrealms is the best. Do you want the lowest learning curve possible? Then Dragonrealms is the best. Do you want the highest learning curve possible? Then, paradoxically, Dragonrealms is also the best. Do you not want to engage in combat at all but for some reason desire that there be a combat system? Then Dragonrealms is the best. Do you want a system that handles melee weapons, polearms, and ranged weapons with enough granularity that choice(s) between them matter? Then Dragonrealms is the best. Do you want a game that forces you to learn an entirely new "combat style" to utilize different kinds of weapons? Then Dragonrealms is the best.

Anecdotes about what one person does or does not like are about as useful to an objective standard as shoes are to a someone without feet.

Pick something you would consider to be an objective standard for constituting a good combat system. Get four people to agree with you that it is a good, objective standard. It is true of Dragonrealms' combat system.

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I played a mud where every room had a coordinate system, and you moved around to position yourself while you fired ranged attacks, got into melee range, and fired off all kinds of specials (knockback, stun, etc.) to keep the enemy where you wanted him, while executing all kinds of special movement abilities to get where you wanted to be faster before your opponent's moves could inconvenience you. I've played countless muds where you just type "kill X" and stand there. Neither one is "better." Sure, one took longer to code and offers more options, but countless players refused to try that first mud or quit playing because they preferred a more normal-ish system.
By the objective standards of a better combat system -- perhaps excluding enjoyability -- those Dragonball MUDs have good combat systems. But I would agree that they're not at all fun to play. You'll note I don't make any claim as to whether Dragonrealms as an entire construct is fun to play. But the combat engine is certainly among the most fun parts of the game, particularly for a new player.

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People definitely don't want to play a mud where they'll be less effective than others.
This is the fundamental hiccup I hit upon in Shadows of the Empire. Once there was an element of player skill involved in combat -- both on the ground and in vehicles -- I got complaints about the unfairness of it.

At the time I was a teenager and dismissed this as whatever, but as an adult I can recognize the inherent distrust of any system that has advantages set aside for players with particular skills: reflexes, knowledge, lack of mores, so forth.

If fairness is important to you, then Dragonrealms is certainly not the MUD for you. There is nothing fair or equitable about the way things are done with the possible exception of how poorly you will be treated for making suggestions on how to improve fairness and equability. Players who have been playing for years will be objectively better at just about everything than you are and will have characters that literally demonstrate that in textual form.

I think Simutronics erred grievously by not capping the game at 150th and 1000 ranks but they're trying to be everything for everyone. The recent churn amongst experienced players is certainly demonstrative of the impact a simple staff misjudgment of player desires can be, and actually asking directly what players want is a trick the staff has only learned in the last few years, and only engages in in fits and starts.

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For example, I think it's absolutely stupid to proclaim, "There's nowhere convenient and close by for high level characters to go kill high reward mobs. They have to travel to the far reaches of the world to get those higher rewards, and that makes the game harder and less convenient! The mud administration is stupid for not moving the mobs everyone likes to kill from an established area to a close by, more convenient area so everyone can have an easy time advancing while staying in the same place."
It is if you understand the social dynamics of the game, wherein role-playing is clustered around areas you might recognize as having a facade similar to quest hubs in graphical MMOs. None of which was within reasonable proximity of high level hunting until about 2009, and even then it is still not really solved.

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I'd strongly prefer a mud where you absolutely have to explore and go to the edges of the world to get good rewards, and where it's hard to max out your level, get piles of money, and get the best gear. It sounds stupid to me to transplant mobs randomly from place A to place B just to make grinding easier.
Which is fine. You're also not one of Simutronics' paying customers, so your opinion is worth exactly nothing. What's problematic is that as a paying customer of Simutronics, your opinion would also be worth exactly nothing.

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But that's my preference, while some players prefer a mud where advancement is much more convenient. Is a huge world where you have to travel and explore to advance effectively "better" just because there are more features and things to try? Some people prefer a more simple area and advancement system.
If you define standards to which you objectively rank game designs, "forcing players to choose between role-playing or numerical character progression" would rank somewhere between "force players to eat and drink and undertake textual bowel movements" and "make logging on successfully a RNG call with less than 20% chance of success" on the "good ideas" list.
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Old 06-06-2013, 05:25 PM   #93
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If you define standards to which you objectively rank game designs, "forcing players to choose between role-playing or numerical character progression" would rank somewhere between "force players to eat and drink and undertake textual bowel movements" and "make logging on successfully a RNG call with less than 20% chance of success" on the "good ideas" list.
In the muds I play/played, you take your friends with you when you set off to the edge of the world, and roleplay with them the whole time you're out there, then hike home to tell the story to everyone else. Exploring, advancing, grinding, etc. can be roleplayed to some degree, and roleplaying shouldn't be limited to the central hub room. It sounds to me like the problem with Dragonrealms is more of a player culture issue than a design issue. Lots of mudders actually want getting to the rich mob with the good drop rate and good exp rate and the good gear to be hard and time consuming. They don't want that mob 30 rooms from the central hub just to encourage the entire playerbase to camp out at the hub between runs.

"Hi. I've heard of you. You're that awesomely powerful warrior. It's great seeing you at this central gathering area!"

<checks watch> "Uh...yeah. That monster I need to kill every 6 minutes is probably back now. I need to go. Before someone else gets there first."
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Old 06-06-2013, 06:49 PM   #94
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Re: Join Dragonrealms today!

I currently do not play Dragon Realms but I have played it on and off for the past 17-18 years. I recently have been considering going back again. It is the ONLY mud that I would consider paying money for. The game mechanics are far superior to most all other muds that I have played and I have played dozens over the years. Your paid subscription allows for the game to continue to put out a product that is a higher quality than most any other mud on the market.

Unless things have changed since I last played the issue I have is the comment about RP. There is not a strong RP presence in DR. I personally prefer RP and I have to seek out small pockets of players that actually do RP consistently in DR.

With that being said, I will someday no doubt log back in and play DR once again because it truly is a fantastic game. If paying for a mud is not your cup of tea then I can understand but it truly does make it higher quality than your typical mud. I challenge you to give me an unbiased list of muds that are just as good that I can play for free. I think if you're honest with yourself you'll be hard pressed to do so.

Edit to add: The learning curve in DR can be steep and that may be a turn off to some people. I was fortunate to have a friend help me along when I first started.
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Old 06-06-2013, 08:42 PM   #95
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>>Which is fine. You're also not one of Simutronics' paying customers, so your opinion is worth exactly nothing. What's problematic is that as a paying customer of Simutronics, your opinion would also be worth exactly nothing.

Well that really hurts We wouldn't be here discussing the game with such fervor and taking feedback if we didn't care... The whole 3.0 conversion was in response to player feedback regarding how unbalanced certain areas of the game are. Things aren't perfect yet, but it is a goal we are striving for.

>>Uh...yeah. That monster I need to kill every 6 minutes is probably back now. I need to go. Before someone else gets there first."

Unique mobs with rare drops that spawn on timers and are fought over by players in the most unrealistic ways - do not exist in DR.
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Old 06-06-2013, 10:27 PM   #96
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Well that really hurts We wouldn't be here discussing the game with such fervor and taking feedback if we didn't care... The whole 3.0 conversion was in response to player feedback regarding how unbalanced certain areas of the game are. Things aren't perfect yet, but it is a goal we are striving for.
It is not intended to be a personal insult. As I've said, learning to listen is a new trick the staff has learned and hasn't yet mastered.

But even with that understanding there are long-standing and -- from my perspective reasonable -- requests that simply get ignored. Whether that is inertia or intentional is difficult to gauge because it is never addressed. I am not referring to coding-intensive tasks here as I completely understand that there are half as many coders as would ideally be on staff right now.

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Unique mobs with rare drops that spawn on timers and are fought over by players in the most unrealistic ways - do not exist in DR.
This is important, because it speaks to why we are so perplexed and distressed by the refusal to simply figure out a way to import the best solution. For years the staff answered inconsistently and nonsensically, particularly for the folks who had seen the code. The limitations they spoke of weren't actually there, or in the case of a lateral move of statistics and mechanics from one spawn location to another wouldn't change perceptibly for players. We came to understand after a while that the product manager actually wanted this situation -- this situation that was driving players away from the game year after year in a way the "lure" of World of Warcraft could not. This was rendered somewhat comical when we discovered that this product manager spends much of his time playing World of Warcraft.

But the issue was actually spoken to directly by the staff member who owns the problem (and not even a day ago) and while I recognize her frustration ("it feels like developing new creatures is a waste of time") I have to shrug and admit that, from a player perspective, that is true. Probably painful to be told -- and thus unacceptable discussion material for the Simutronics forum -- but incredibly relevant to how development time and effort is expended.

Particularly when you are trying to develop for a skill range that is already well-served and already has choices that cover the entire spectrum. It was particularly egregious and roundly booed when yet another hunting hub for 100-250 ranks was developed and released. In Diku-alike terms, this is another quest hub for 20-30th level characters. When there are already about a dozen and you are expected to be 100th in a week.

To put this in perspective, the game is -- in theory -- built to support a 50/50 time split between training for experience and role-playing. My experience is more 75/25 and when I did not have means of simplifying the trip back from the far reaches of the realms about 99/1 and the 1 was more "accidentally ran into someone who got lost trying to get to somewhere they role-play and had to be in character while going to the bank to deposit these 60000000000 coins I don't give a crap about" than any intentional seeking-out of role-playing.

When your characters can still train in and around the populated areas that 50/50 split is less "fond memory/pipedream" and more truthful and accurate.

There was a period of time -- when the only place to train for virtually everyone was on the far fringes of the game -- that there were large populations that supported that kind of time split even at the far fringes. But the game world has grown significantly since then, the player population has declined significantly since then, and it seems a statistical impossibility these days, even with half of the population 140th and above. A lot of this has to do with how Simutronics staff half-asses solutions to problems. Those original problems -- the relative distance of good hunting from the main town (there was only one back then) -- were addressed pretty rapidly when the population de-camped from the main town. But once the exodus fell to a trickle and then reversed flow they washed their hands of the "problem" and declared everything hunky-dory. Literally cutting the player population in half for all intents and purposes was deemed the best solution.

In this Simutronics design philosophy, accountability, and follow-through reads somewhat like "Here, hold my beer and watch this" mashed up with "There, did I fix it?" writ into game development, with the occasional accidental toe-shattering shotgun discharge to make the stereotype come to life. The sort of thing that in non-commercial MUD development you laugh off as monkeyshines but seems wholly unacceptable from a company you're paying for a product. Their customer service -- not counting the folks who answer the phones at their main office -- is particularly, spectacularly awful. As is their mentorship program. This is defended as staff being charged with maintaining the environment for all players (so being a complete dick to a paying customer is acceptable behavior) and that their mentorship program is all-volunteer and player run. (It is volunteered for and run by players who, as a whole, have not actually played the game in about five years and routinely deliver bad information to new, impressionable players or recent returnees who are trying to figure out the whole actually playing thing again.)

The bottom line is if I were not invested, I would not be paying. In this, I am part of the largest demographic they have left.

Last edited by ardent : 06-06-2013 at 10:37 PM.
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Old 06-06-2013, 10:30 PM   #97
buuwl
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>>Which is fine. You're also not one of Simutronics' paying customers, so your opinion is worth exactly nothing. What's problematic is that as a paying customer of Simutronics, your opinion would also be worth exactly nothing.>>>

I don't think that's a fair statement, as a whole I think simu has been doing a pretty solid job listening and trying to make changes in various aspects of the game. I think the old "simu doesn't care mentality" has been thoroughly debunked in the past two years.
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Old 06-06-2013, 10:56 PM   #98
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Originally Posted by buuwl View Post
I don't think that's a fair statement, as a whole I think simu has been doing a pretty solid job listening and trying to make changes in various aspects of the game. I think the old "simu doesn't care mentality" has been thoroughly debunked in the past two years.
Yes, I hope nobody misunderstands me here. The current staff has shown great improvement in their willingness and ability to listen to players regarding development and event direction. They haven't mastered it, yet, and sometimes good suggestions and questions go unacknowledged. They may actually get there, too, unless the older staff members' bad habits rub off on them.

But that still doesn't excuse a decade of ill behavior.
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Old 06-07-2013, 12:13 AM   #99
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I don't want to get into yet another conflict :sigh: hate walls o' text. But you are taking staff replies a little out of context and failing to acknowledge the fact you have 3 GMs responding and working towards a resolution to these issues (Raesh, Melete and myself here).

As I've said before, the high level critter ladder is something we are working to improve and will not be a problem for anyone starting off in the game for at least a year, maybe 2. The staff today can only work to do the best they can do and hope the sins of those past don't haunt us forever...

>>Player circles

Well, as of right now with 310 people logged in only 50 are circle 150+ and 90 are below circle 50. This certainly changes as hundreds of players swap in and out over the course of the week, but the player base is more than just a bunch of capped charater high-five-ing each other :P
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Old 06-07-2013, 12:56 AM   #100
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Juason View Post
>>Player circles

Well, as of right now with 310 people logged in only 50 are circle 150+ and 90 are below circle 50. This certainly changes as hundreds of players swap in and out over the course of the week, but the player base is more than just a bunch of capped charater high-five-ing each other :P
I am not in the business of lying, so I will allow that it was exactly 42% of players that were 141st circle or higher at the time of the last snapshot that was published.

Nor are "capped" characters even really in the discussion. There are what? Six characters past 180th? A few of which recently quit (or "took breaks")? This is endemic of the Simu situation, where the people who press the upper echelon get moved goalposts and platitudes, developmental delays and virtually anything but what they're asking for because there is an abject fear at Simu that when people achieve their goals -- hit skillcaps -- they will quit. For good reason: it already happened to the instance that allowed AFK botting. But this is never admitted to. Failure is never admitted to. It happened with the whole F2P/P2W discussion. No admission that it was impossible because the company would be bankrupt in a weekend. Just silence. Deafening, telling silence.

This isn't on you, nor is it on Raesh, Melete, or even Armifer. All of the current crop of developers are great. This is on the company and the parasites that have squandered the potential.

Someone asked why they're looking for new players. The ugly truth is that without new suckers they will slowly become insolvent as people cancel credit cards that are paying for accounts they forgot about.
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