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Author Topic: Keeping level 20 immigrants outside of the outskirts; building the wall  (Read 2348 times)

LivingWasteland

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Re: Keeping level 20 immigrants outside of the outskirts; building the wall
« Reply #25 on: October 18, 2018, 10:57:00 AM »
Equally outlanders have also saved the city from doom countless times, killed menacing monsters, found and rescued missing people and fought against foreign invasions.


A point I was going to make. Just as many have done good by the Barovians as have done evil. After a decade of that, it's unlikely there'd be a blanket 'all outlanders are terrorists' mentality.


TheGrinningHound

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Re: Keeping level 20 immigrants outside of the outskirts; building the wall
« Reply #26 on: October 18, 2018, 11:29:07 AM »
In my opinion, much of the server was designed to cater toward a player peak of around 13-14. In the last 2 years or so, there has been a noticeable increase in higher level players. It's simply a product of an aging community, and I don't know that there's any substantial fix to it. Unless we want to address radical changes that will undoubtedly upset some of these players, I think we should just change the way we approach horror.

It's not a viable solution to separate players from other players. Even if they destroy a mechanical fear, asking a higher level player to avoid interaction or purposefully handicap themselves ends up subjecting that player to numerous OOC loops. Like, now they have to justify not swinging their sword as hard as they could when their friend is in imminent danger, or they have to somehow find fun in isolation (Which is exactly the opposite of what this game is intended to do. It's a social interaction game, end stop).

My best suggestion would be to concede the outskirts. Just because that's where the people are, doesn't mean that's where we need to throw the most horror. Create plots that draw interested people away. Tailor these plots so that they begin by being naturally uninteresting to higher level PC's. For instance, maybe some low level characters grinding in the Skeleton Tower find some sort of clue that urges them to explore another hideaway, and there they find some Big Bad, or some damsel in distress, etc etc.

Playing adjacently to a hub has its own hurdles. Some players will lose interest, or activity, or stories will progress far slower. But at least you have the ability to craft a story that doesn't end with you getting horrendously ganked mid-conversation in the outskirts. It just takes more patience, more set up, more legwork.
~~~~

And my other opinion is that anyone who's made it to level 17+ deserves their own personal nemesis. They've played a character for literally ages. They've played for so long that the only way they would ever willingly closure their characters is to have an ending that respects the amount of time they've put into developing the character (It becomes a catch 22 of potential stagnancy). It's a tall order, to be honest. But I would highly suggest that high level players and DM's be receptive to personalizing story conclusions. And hell, it might make it so that higher level players are less willing to get involved in more trouble because they're already being pursued by some vindictive plotline, and they're already looking over their shoulder.

It could end up being a nice thing too, for players who reach that point. They would get the promise of a more personalized plot that would try to encompass their story, and give them a meaningful climax to their character arc. There's just no reason, imo, that a character should remain level 20 for a year or more. The DM's and the Player himself should expect that there should be a climatic end, and the DM's should be willing and able to help meaningfully deliver that. Hell, you could even have an OOC sit down with a high level player and a DM to talk about the character's story, driving motivations, and get an idea for what might make for a compelling climax.

And if that became a norm, too, you might even see less players rush into peak levels. They might take their time Rping and exploring their stories in the upper mid levels. Food for thought!

« Last Edit: October 18, 2018, 11:32:11 AM by TheGrinningHound »

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Re: Keeping level 20 immigrants outside of the outskirts; building the wall
« Reply #27 on: October 18, 2018, 11:39:31 AM »
Equally outlanders have also saved the city from doom countless times, killed menacing monsters, found and rescued missing people and fought against foreign invasions.
But I just like to think that foreign trade is the lifeblood of the town and that's why outlanders are tolerated.

This is getting off topic however.

Very very limited in their tolerance, and almost 0 tolerance for other races than humans due to the barovian belief in magic twisting and deforming humans into monsters, which has happened often enough that they rightfully fear it.

Iridni Ren

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Re: Keeping level 20 immigrants outside of the outskirts; building the wall
« Reply #28 on: October 18, 2018, 11:58:41 AM »
And my other opinion is that anyone who's made it to level 17+ deserves their own personal nemesis. They've played a character for literally ages. They've played for so long that the only way they would ever willingly closure their characters is to have an ending that respects the amount of time they've put into developing the character (It becomes a catch 22 of potential stagnancy). It's a tall order, to be honest. But I would highly suggest that high level players and DM's be receptive to personalizing story conclusions. And hell, it might make it so that higher level players are less willing to get involved in more trouble because they're already being pursued by some vindictive plotline, and they're already looking over their shoulder.

It could end up being a nice thing too, for players who reach that point. They would get the promise of a more personalized plot that would try to encompass their story, and give them a meaningful climax to their character arc. There's just no reason, imo, that a character should remain level 20 for a year or more. The DM's and the Player himself should expect that there should be a climatic end, and the DM's should be willing and able to help meaningfully deliver that. Hell, you could even have an OOC sit down with a high level player and a DM to talk about the character's story, driving motivations, and get an idea for what might make for a compelling climax.

And if that became a norm, too, you might even see less players rush into peak levels. They might take their time Rping and exploring their stories in the upper mid levels. Food for thought!

+1

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Salty Tears

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Re: Keeping level 20 immigrants outside of the outskirts; building the wall
« Reply #29 on: October 18, 2018, 01:30:21 PM »
I like the concept of moving higher levels out of vallaki. And here's why:

1. Vallaki/barovia is probably the least interesting part of the grey mists.
2. Dms are driven to host plots there because /all/ players hang out in the starting area of Barovia. As a new player, I have found myself absolutely starved for roleplay if I am not in a faction, do not have ooc friends to hang out with, or leave Barovia.
3. I feel other parts of the server need some love.
4. The reason the 'horror' aspect of the game is being complained about is because you do not feel afraid when you have higher levels hanging around to protect you. I found the server to be just fine and still scary with higher levels.
5. The garda are not scary when they are all low level characters. I have seen two level 20s completely gank an entire hoard of 20 npc guards spawned by a dm plus 2 pc garda who were mid range level. Somehow, I don't feel like that would be something to happen just blatantly in the outskirts for this setting.

Barovia has become an rp hub BECAUSE of all the dm supported factions and all the dm plots that encircle the city. If you want to change that, then either give player made factions support (like player controlled guild halls, storage etc etc) - which is healthy for any server- or move those plots to other parts of the server. Or- make more supported factions in other parts of the server.

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Re: Keeping level 20 immigrants outside of the outskirts; building the wall
« Reply #30 on: October 18, 2018, 01:31:25 PM »
I am very much against separating the characters on the server based on level. The more the characters mingle, the better for all.
That's entirely subjective. I'd say the presence of higher level characters in the outskirts has ruined the immersive feel of gothic horror because I know I am eternally safe under their vigil.

Sure its subjective. But I have seen both ways and I truly believe that one is noticeably better for the stories it generates. I get that the presence of level 20s in the outskirts would be disruptive, I really do. Where I would assign cause and effect there is not the presence of said characters but instead the lack of wisdom on the part of the players behind the screen to not know when to find a reason to not involve their character in anything but an auxiliary role of morale or advisory type role. Essentially, as a higher level player among more lower level characters you need to be cognizant of what goods your character can bring to the experiences of others and which ways your presence can be a detriment and emphasize the good aspects while minimizing the bad aspects. High level pcs can be a real asset to the feel of the server, just as in the classic heroes journey tale there is always a "mentor" person in the tale. In ways both mechanical and OOC experience and knowledge of the setting and the server, high level pcs and the players behind them can empower others to more involvement in the server as a whole, but perhaps equally and even more so, the mentoring can breathe new life into a character and take them in unforeseen directions.

Even if it causes DMs, MPCs and AMPCs to move their hunting grounds away from the city its still better that most player-characters will at some point cross paths with most other player-characters. Ever since the roleplay xp system was implemented, the server feels very fractured. There are generations of characters now that I have never crossed paths with, I am sure that is true of others as well. Prior to this system you were able to enjoy much of the servers plots and stories through a voyeuristic way because you would know someone who knew someone who was involved. Now, its a barrier to the cast of characters being linked to such a degree. You have to put in much more effort and receive not as much links to others.  Such links to each other just do not flow the same way when you create essentially two casts of characters. The one cast needs much (employment, faction membership or just a sense of belonging, gold to earn, a sense of direction, or simply just allies, and links to the lore of the server's past lore and happenings) and the other is surrounded by characters that have either long ago found the role they enjoy or their place and they have no new generation of characters to interact with which for reason both IC and OOC can lead to a sense of a stale cast to interact with and a sense of stagnation. By definition a character of 12+ is mostly shaped in outlook and role than a new one, so the dynamics of such a cast are much less chaotic and nuanced.  New characters are the lifeblood of the server's dynamics, its always a new generation to try to influence the story of for good or ill and this is why DMs and Players alike enjoy interacting with them so much.

The same complaints about the outskirts occurred in 2007, I know and remember it well. It did not stop much of the memorable plots from occurring. So if we are still fighting this battle even with the rp xp system then perhaps its time to accept it as chaotic mingling place that serves its primary purpose of intermingling and think of ways to emphasize the server dynamics as the primary criteria for our thought-processes on making changes. Player to player interaction represents the vast majority of why all of us play here after all.


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Zero Darkon Thirty

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Re: Keeping level 20 immigrants outside of the outskirts; building the wall
« Reply #31 on: October 18, 2018, 02:16:55 PM »
Another idea: These spawns could drop crafting components, eliminating another reason high levels return to Western Barovia.
I like this idea a lot.

Spoiler: show
 
In my opinion, much of the server was designed to cater toward a player peak of around 13-14. In the last 2 years or so, there has been a noticeable increase in higher level players. It's simply a product of an aging community, and I don't know that there's any substantial fix to it. Unless we want to address radical changes that will undoubtedly upset some of these players, I think we should just change the way we approach horror.

It's not a viable solution to separate players from other players. Even if they destroy a mechanical fear, asking a higher level player to avoid interaction or purposefully handicap themselves ends up subjecting that player to numerous OOC loops. Like, now they have to justify not swinging their sword as hard as they could when their friend is in imminent danger, or they have to somehow find fun in isolation (Which is exactly the opposite of what this game is intended to do. It's a social interaction game, end stop).

My best suggestion would be to concede the outskirts. Just because that's where the people are, doesn't mean that's where we need to throw the most horror. Create plots that draw interested people away. Tailor these plots so that they begin by being naturally uninteresting to higher level PC's. For instance, maybe some low level characters grinding in the Skeleton Tower find some sort of clue that urges them to explore another hideaway, and there they find some Big Bad, or some damsel in distress, etc etc.

Playing adjacently to a hub has its own hurdles. Some players will lose interest, or activity, or stories will progress far slower. But at least you have the ability to craft a story that doesn't end with you getting horrendously ganked mid-conversation in the outskirts. It just takes more patience, more set up, more legwork.
~~~~

And my other opinion is that anyone who's made it to level 17+ deserves their own personal nemesis. They've played a character for literally ages. They've played for so long that the only way they would ever willingly closure their characters is to have an ending that respects the amount of time they've put into developing the character (It becomes a catch 22 of potential stagnancy). It's a tall order, to be honest. But I would highly suggest that high level players and DM's be receptive to personalizing story conclusions. And hell, it might make it so that higher level players are less willing to get involved in more trouble because they're already being pursued by some vindictive plotline, and they're already looking over their shoulder.

It could end up being a nice thing too, for players who reach that point. They would get the promise of a more personalized plot that would try to encompass their story, and give them a meaningful climax to their character arc. There's just no reason, imo, that a character should remain level 20 for a year or more. The DM's and the Player himself should expect that there should be a climatic end, and the DM's should be willing and able to help meaningfully deliver that. Hell, you could even have an OOC sit down with a high level player and a DM to talk about the character's story, driving motivations, and get an idea for what might make for a compelling climax.

And if that became a norm, too, you might even see less players rush into peak levels. They might take their time Rping and exploring their stories in the upper mid levels. Food for thought!

Yeah, I'm in agreement with basically all of these points to be fair. One of the main reasons I enjoy the NCE's is because I see what the server could be in the most optimal of circumstances- everyone is around the same level, DMs are super active, and even players run unique antagonist groups because they won't immediately be stomped out. 

PERSONALLY, and I'm fully aware this will never happen- I'd like to see a cap around level 15, although I do like having the level 20, years of progression character's around in some regard, so maybe an application process to progress futher. The game is just a lot different past level 15. Some of these suggestions would likely see a boom in player activity, and I feel this one potentially could. Obviously it may upset some, but it's on the staff if they want to try and change things up or keep them going the way they have. I've found most my joy in the NCE's. They provide a nice balanced environment for antagonists of all forms to create engaging RP, and when players are doing things themselves, a great weight is lifted off of the DM team's shoulders. They can't be active 24/7, no one can, but at the moment I think there needs to be some real change because there are very few player antagonists around, and the ones that are tend to be borderline antagonist. The main reason I suggested removing the XP cap up until level 10-12 is for that reason. If you could get to 12 within 2 week's time, I GUARANTEE we would see antagonism by players, no matter how basic, like bandits on the road.

The nemesis idea is great, and I agree, DMS should be try and be a bit more receptive to those level 20ish players pushing plot lines, and work with them to make something they like. I considered putting it in my post, but by the time you're reaching level 20, I whole-hardheartedly believe you should be considering closure within the next year. Level 20 in this setting, and with how long it takes, is VERY strong, and you're just a powerhouse. It's why I don't ever level past 10ish.

The idea of moving horror away from Vallaki is a good idea as well. If I ever think of a potential concept that may draw a few players toward it, I wouldn't mind trying to RP in the wilderness, AWAY from the outskirts. Using carpentry to build makeshift defenses when the night comes. Opens plenty of opportunity for a bored DM or AMPC to interact, even antagonistic PCs. Obviously, there's a lot of danger with being the only one logged in, so I imagine that would be taken into consideration when if that lone player is being messed with.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2018, 02:41:06 PM by Zero Darkon Thirty »

zDark Shadowz

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Re: Keeping level 20 immigrants outside of the outskirts; building the wall
« Reply #32 on: October 18, 2018, 06:30:34 PM »
Spoiler: show
I personally find it difficult to keep the fearful atmosphere of the western outskirts alive, especially at night, when there are higher levels present to easily defeat any challenges I throw towards the newer, lower level players. Likewise, if I brought in challenges to defeat the high levels, they would unfairly demolish the lower levels in the crossfire.

^ This. Completely understandable. Creative solutions are required.

*Mist away composite groups of high levels to a challenge more acceptable, dungeons run on auto so the DM can focus on their lower level event. Check up every now and then, offer a better reward if they finish clearing the dungeon.

*Create an adversary & situation
 that will only fight that high level PC, with lower levels as onlookers, perhaps through Hold Person magicks if required.

*Give any higher level PCs in the area a task of import relevant to the PC, but elsewhere, prior to the event starting. They're a high level so the DMs should generally know about the PC by now.

*Keep high level plots away from low level areas. Giant bats and AMPCs are fine if they lair close to the Outskirts. Actually entering the outskirts is just asking for players to realise 'We can't beat this, let's stay IC and recruit people that can.' You end up with high levels being drawn to the high level challenge. Don't light the lantern if you don't want the moths.

*Towns or small settlements that 'require' defending each night with a higher RP cap, so that higher levels with morals will stay away from the Outskirts and defend the village when they're able. I believe Kyros is currently doing this, killing the werewolves around the villages to the west of Vallaki. It's a great idea in my opinion if it could be expanded on.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2018, 06:35:50 PM by zDark Shadowz »
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Re: Keeping level 20 immigrants outside of the outskirts; building the wall
« Reply #33 on: October 18, 2018, 07:02:38 PM »
On the other hand, responsibility for keeping high levels away from Vallaki cannot and should not be placed on the DM Team, except to say that they should run events in other parts of the server, which they do. Requiring DMs to police and reward high-levels present in the Outskirts is a symptom, not a solution.
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Re: Keeping level 20 immigrants outside of the outskirts; building the wall
« Reply #34 on: October 18, 2018, 08:28:15 PM »
All the incentive's placed at high-level play. You get the best crafted and enchanted gear, all the lingering crafting exp you put in that never goes away, all the gear - grandfathered or otherwise, you're also able to stand up to most players unless they've also invested considerable time. But again, if they've done that as well they're also prone to not wanting to mess with equally powerful characters.

You close your character and you lose everything you've ever worked towards to. Very rarely you see the impact your character had beyond the references between characters that you have to all over again pretend you don't know and to make it worse, the leveling's slow, everything kicks you in the groin, and you're doing the level 2- 3 grind as a UPS deliveryman.

You won't see level 20s leave the Outskirts anytime soon because rolling your character is an incredibly brave thing to do the longer you go on. Extra kudos if they've managed to go on after rolling their 20. It doesn't have to be like that but I don't see anything changing that'd help incentive this process that's fitting for this particular server's culture.

People are prone to keep their characters, both hubs aren't always booming, so naturally you typically go where the RP is.  Now also bear in mind Port-a-Lucine's atmosphere isn't for everyone's character or indeed, for the person in front of the computer. Barovia and Dementlieu are vastly different places but one's the low level hub and the other is the high level hub.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2018, 08:36:23 PM by Booksarefun666 »

Iridni Ren

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Re: Keeping level 20 immigrants outside of the outskirts; building the wall
« Reply #35 on: October 18, 2018, 09:20:39 PM »
Welp, I disagree that all the incentive is at high level. So much of what passes for wisdom in these debates is from an "afar" perspective. We think we know what it's like to be that other player/PC.

To me, at lower levels the leveling itself is a pretty big incentive. It's much more incremental and achievable quickly. Every piece of gear except her enchanted boots that Iridni has and uses with regularity she had by the time she was around 10th. So for the last year, her equipment has been almost entirely static.

I had loads of fun with her in the old days. You say high levels "are also prone to not wanting to mess with equally powerful characters" and imply we're fearful of losing our PCs. Is that fun? Going around not being able to level very much and so invested in a character we've spent years on that we're terrified of closure? Doesn't much sound like fun or an incentive to be high level to me.

Going to the Outskirts where we're where told time and again this is an inappropriate place for us to be but we can't find other opportunities or challenges commensurate with our powers?

Iridni isn't 20th and may never reach it. But I absolutely believe that when she is I will want to shelve her soon after and would love to have the opportunity to send her out on a memorable note such as TGH described. (Because I am rather fond of her, I'd like for it to not be too awfully--or at least unavoidably--terrible either, regardless of the setting, but leaving that aside....)

A few weeks' ago Iridni ran into an AMPC in the mountains near Krofburg because I had an IC reason to go there. This was an AMPC who was just starting to develop her story, and I had no idea how powerful she might be, but she was of a kind Iridni is built to handle, and I happened to be fully buffed. In any event, we RP'd a scene that started some things moving and we never hostiled one another. It wasn't anything big, but not resorting to the Red is Dead mentality (because I knew I was op'd for the area) let that story develop and enrich the server.

With great power comes great responsibility. Presumably high levels *know* a thing or two about the server, and their quality as players should reflect the quality of their PC's achievements. Being as proud of your accomplishments in furthering story as you are in racking up XP and gear is a cultural change we can all strive for without the Devs doing a thing.

« Last Edit: October 18, 2018, 09:23:37 PM by Iridni Ren »

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Zero Darkon Thirty

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Re: Keeping level 20 immigrants outside of the outskirts; building the wall
« Reply #36 on: October 18, 2018, 09:34:37 PM »
I don't fully agree that all the incentive is at high level. I've never had a level 20, enchanted gear, and I can almost guarantee I never will. In the time it takes for me to get to level 12, my character's concepts have usually changed for better or worse. Months of playing them usually wears done on me, considering most of the time I'm not fortunate enough to get into plot lines. I was fortunate on my paladin, who's level 10, to be targeted by an AMPC and got extensive RP with them, and it's something I looked forward to everytime I got on. In fact, I used to stay outside against my better judgement for the sole purpose of encountering them. That's only happened on one PC though, and thus I get bored and shelf them. Would just prefer to instead have a usable build within a week's time, and run the concept I had planned and see where it goes, knowing that I won't be completely useless in encountering an AMPC, but I won't be extremely strong either. Maybe I could hold my own against a character in the 12-15 range, if I had played my cards right and had some items. I'll always be an advocate for quicker leveling because it promotes less attachment. Less attachment, in most cases, is good.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2018, 09:37:10 PM by Zero Darkon Thirty »

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Re: Keeping level 20 immigrants outside of the outskirts; building the wall
« Reply #37 on: October 18, 2018, 09:41:44 PM »
The downside of less attachment is the NCE mentality.  In this instance, characters act less and less realistically and as actual people because consequences lose relevancy.  NCE people do frankly insane stuff because they know it doesnt matter and they are just playing a video game.  Sure, more stuff happens, but the ridiculous mayhem of NCE doesnt support the long term.  Not just that, but NCE requires more DM intervention and oversight and management more than any other time.  Inviting this to be *all the time* is just an unreasonable expectation of DM time.  NCE's are infrequent for this very reason, amongst others.

Zero Darkon Thirty

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Re: Keeping level 20 immigrants outside of the outskirts; building the wall
« Reply #38 on: October 18, 2018, 11:59:42 PM »
Debatable, seeing as plenty of NWN servers in the past have done no leveling systems and been fine; haven't experienced them myself, but I've been told by some older members of POTM's community they played them, and actually preferred them. Things went fine on the WoW RP servers I've played on as well, but I imagine that's not fully comparable due to a different community.

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Re: Keeping level 20 immigrants outside of the outskirts; building the wall
« Reply #39 on: October 19, 2018, 09:14:25 AM »
Debatable, seeing as plenty of NWN servers in the past have done no leveling systems and been fine; haven't experienced them myself, but I've been told by some older members of POTM's community they played them, and actually preferred them.

I think that there is something very important to keep in mind when thinking in this way. Just because it worked someplace else it would fit here. This place is alive and thriving, and the philosophy and direction provided by the admin team is working. It is supporting a vision that they have for a server that is 10+ years in the making. When we talk about big sweeping changes we often don't understand, can't understand, how those effects ripple especially like changes that would be effective at drawing high level chars from low level RP zones. Looking at big systems, which is what this community is, picking and poking slowly to make things better is really important. The success of this server is due to the philosophies in running this place. Foremost of which is their commitment to good change, but also being the final judge of what good is. At this point we have to trust them that they have the holistic view well in hand as they make decisions.

That's not to say that I agree with every bit, but overall I like this place and they are responsible for that. I keep that in mind. And, it's also not to say that you shouldn't voice concerns, they have made a open communication easy and are quite active in responding. Looking back at forums and additions and change logs you can see they have a long history of making incremental changes that are in line with their vision.

I guess my main frustration reading through all of these is that the admin opinion is clear, they do have the final say, and we aught to trust them. They've done a pretty good job of it so far.

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Re: Keeping level 20 immigrants outside of the outskirts; building the wall
« Reply #40 on: October 19, 2018, 10:32:01 AM »


There aren't perfect solutions, just decisions with pros and cons here, but I will share my own personal choices with my higher level outcasts characters as it pertains to the Low-Mid level Hub. The mist-camp hub just isn't that interesting to me. It functions excellently for its obvious purpose of travelling or potentially meeting others to adventure out, but the lower-mid level hub of Vallaki has so much more to offer in terms of role play and setting potential.  I also don't notice much dm interests in using the Mist Camp setting, and so the area pretty much feels reduced to its very practical purposes of being a staging area for high level adventures.

My tanarukk, despite receiving no rp xp, has spent the last month in the Drain. For outcast types, the Drain might be the more appropriate setting for characters, regardless of their level, with the outskirts being just a few short transitions away. I've had fun, here and there, having Swertha at the Mist Camp, but when you compare a setting like the Mist Camp to the Drain, they don't compare. Swertha has never found an adventuring party from the Drain, but the role play that happens in the Drain makes for such better story development.

 When I place a greater value on character/role play/story development over xp-gain, that leads me to place Swertha in the Drain, while the script is designed to offer no xp incentive at all due to her level, which is ironic, as clearly, my only purpose with having Swertha in the Drain is for role playing, which traditionally, as been a core value of Potm's.

  Dungeoning is a fun part of the game, though, and so I will continue to use the mist-camp, but as I've said, it just isn't the most exciting atmosphere, when compared to such places as the Drain.

 I have been impressed lately by what the Port's Black Market Underworld has to offer for high level outcasts types, and it's the first time that I've noticed enough traffic there to make it possible to use the area as a hub for outcasts, so my high level caliban is now planted there, and it is just a few short transitions away from the Mist Camp, for adventure opportunities, and so that is a nice setup with potential.

But for a boisterous, in your face tanarukk like Swertha, I suspect the Drain will always be the closest thing to a 'home' that a miscreant like her will ever know in the Demiplane, regardless of the fact that only low to mid level characters are offered role playing xp/incentives for being there.

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Re: Keeping level 20 immigrants outside of the outskirts; building the wall
« Reply #41 on: October 19, 2018, 10:36:35 AM »


There aren't perfect solutions, just decisions with pros and cons here, but I will share my own personal choices with my higher level outcasts characters as it pertains to the Low-Mid level Hub. The mist-camp hub just isn't that interesting to me. It functions excellently for its obvious purpose of travelling or potentially meeting others to adventure out, but the lower-mid level hub of Vallaki has so much more to offer in terms of role play and setting potential.  I also don't notice much dm interests in using the Mist Camp setting, and so the area pretty much feels reduced to its very practical purposes of being a staging area for high level adventures.

My tanarukk, despite receiving no rp xp, has spent the last month in the Drain. For outcast types, the Drain might be the more appropriate setting for characters, regardless of their level, with the outskirts being just a few short transitions away. I've had fun, here and there, having Swertha at the Mist Camp, but when you compare a setting like the Mist Camp to the Drain, they don't compare. Swertha has never found an adventuring party from the Drain, but the role play that happens in the Drain makes for such better story development.

 When I place a greater value on character/role play/story development over xp-gain, that leads me to place Swertha in the Drain, while the script is designed to offer no xp incentive at all due to her level, which is ironic, as clearly, my only purpose with having Swertha in the Drain is for role playing, which traditionally, as been a core value of Potm's.

  Dungeoning is a fun part of the game, though, and so I will continue to use the mist-camp, but as I've said, it just isn't the most exciting atmosphere, when compared to such places as the Drain.

 I have been impressed lately by what the Port's Black Market Underworld has to offer for high level outcasts types, and it's the first time that I've noticed enough traffic there to make it possible to use the area as a hub for outcasts, so my high level caliban is now planted there, and it is just a few short transitions away from the Mist Camp, for adventure opportunities, and so that is a nice setup with potential.

But for a boisterous, in your face tanarukk like Swertha, I suspect the Drain will always be the closest thing to a 'home' that a miscreant like her will ever know in the Demiplane, regardless of the fact that only low to mid level characters are offered role playing xp/incentives for being there.

This is exactly what I mean by the Admins need to decide what message they are sending to players, are we a PVE server first, or a RP server first? If we are a PVE server, then yes, returning to hack and slash ideals is great, return monster XP and lets just get down to killing for XP, if were are RP server first, please stop slitting the throats of higher level players for being in areas RPing. This is a delicate balance I agree, but the priority must be set one way or another, at this point, the server sounds more PVE then RP, but the ideal says RP over PVE, so which is it?

Spartan

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Re: Keeping level 20 immigrants outside of the outskirts; building the wall
« Reply #42 on: October 19, 2018, 11:04:13 AM »
I am new here but wanted to offer my two cents based on other servers I have played on.

First, let me be clear that I think POTM is an awesome server and I am really enjoying my time here.

Second, a lot of the other servers I played on took a little bit of a different take than POTM. They typically had one major settlement / area that everyone gathered in and then ventured away from to conduct raids / quests / etc. This was great from a server and RP standpoint in my view. It encouraged characters interacting with a wide range of power levels and factions. It brought the server to life.

Your a brand new character but great at killing low level NPCs? No, your not the best and badass around. Look right over there, see that guy? He can take you down in two swings if he has to. Etc.

Yes it does come with a couple of things to think through carefully. First, as was mentioned it does make one specific area of the server much safer for new characters. This is not always a bad thing, it encourages new players who are trying to figure things out to stick with it. As a DM mentioned, if they are going to run an invasion of that area then the spawns are likely going to be very difficult for the new players (so the higher levels have a challenge). This is not a bad thing either as long as its not all the time, it forces the younger characters to accept they cant always be the hero who dives straight in without serious consequences.

As for the monster PCs. Gear them for the server over all and then trust the player to use them responsible. They have to be approved anyway right? Part of the approval process can be a simple 'do we trust this player to use this character to make things fun as opposed to being a jerk'.

On the plus side, as mentioned above it brings the server to life in regards to power levels and factions. It encourages factions to seek out brand new characters and recruit them then for what they could become. It ensures there is plenty of interactions to help drive plots, both personal / dm / faction.

I am a huge fan of creating central areas that actively encourage all ranges of characters to gather and then interact with each other. Just my two cents.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2018, 11:06:24 AM by Spartan »

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Re: Keeping level 20 immigrants outside of the outskirts; building the wall
« Reply #43 on: October 19, 2018, 12:31:16 PM »
I can only echo Iconoclast's sentiments, almost exactly. I tried to express myself in a big picture way but his anecdotal experience is my thoughts exactly.


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Re: Keeping level 20 immigrants outside of the outskirts; building the wall
« Reply #44 on: October 19, 2018, 12:51:35 PM »
We cannot just remove high levels from the outskirts. They be just as much right there as others.

I myself have a 17 rogue that spends time in the outskirts, she is wary of the night since a pack of lycans can easily kill her. She doesn't go out to save people either, best case she goes out to drag a body to the temple.

Even if my tiefling became level 18 he would be there also since he wouldn't lift a finger without being hired and watch people fight, die, or kill werewolves. Bye that is because he is a merc.


That said what we as high level players should try better to do is not step on the toes of low levels. Our characters could be veterans to Barovia and what they've faced might seem to make the night less scary, but then we ruin the fun fir low levels, and though some I'm sure we'll disagree, but us as high levels wouldn't seek the action especially if it involves dm plot, it spoils the mood when a high level lingers around because they're is a threat of a demon (merely using that as a current example.) We're strong, we don't have to prove it, let the low levels figure it out, or let them have the action and you tell them to get you ONLY IF they truely need you and you can determine IC if you would help them.

It's odd that people are often so willing to help people they hardly know so easily

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noah25

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Re: Keeping level 20 immigrants outside of the outskirts; building the wall
« Reply #45 on: October 20, 2018, 01:14:22 PM »
The conundrum I see is the following:

1) Having high level crafters and the RVT near the new players and low level players in valiki is a good thing.

Problems:

A) Crafting level often(not always) is correlated with character level.
B) This means all high level characters flood in to the outskirts for special events.

Solution: There needs to be a greater crafting and selling presence in the other domains. The port RVT is there but typically if the port RVT is strong, the valiki one is weak, so port RVT just trade in valiki. I would love to see valiki RVT trade in quantity and port RVT trade in quality personally or a new player made faction feel in the gaps here.


2) Most of the really nice factions are based in valiki.

Problems:

A) Having high level characters is the outskirts is horrible for immersion.
B) This leaves very little faction play for higher level characters outside of barovia

Solution: I think like I suggested for the RVT, factions need to scale more. Valiki could serve as a recruitment hub for major factions, while their high level is done elsewhere. For example, I would love to see a larger caliban and ezrite presence in port, but faction motivations largely drag these players to valiki. When I was in the ezrite church everyone 2nd-20th all were in the same church and when we dungeoned, trying to do it all together. This was.... not the best.



In general I see this as a player problem that needs a player solution. I think the dev team made the right call with the xp rp caps. This created some not great consequences, however, I think most of these can be fixed by reconsidering how we structure factions and how we construct RP motivations for certain players to be in certain areas.








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Re: Keeping level 20 immigrants outside of the outskirts; building the wall
« Reply #46 on: October 21, 2018, 01:47:35 AM »
The conundrum I see is the following:

1) Having high level crafters and the RVT near the new players and low level players in valiki is a good thing.

Problems:

A) Crafting level often(not always) is correlated with character level.
B) This means all high level characters flood in to the outskirts for special events.

I am perhaps an isolated example but my current main is under tenth level and has a herbalism score of rank 29, plus a not insignificant amount from his stats. I frequently tote out seemingly high power potions for folks to buy in the Outskirts by design; I've found I have a much quicker turnover in the Mist Camp and people could probably also pay more than I currently ask for my wares but I choose to sell in Vallaki so as to offer lower levels the chance to get these potions.

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Re: Keeping level 20 immigrants outside of the outskirts; building the wall
« Reply #47 on: October 21, 2018, 04:02:06 AM »
I donít quite agree with the idea of separating the server because of a difference in level.
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Alverin

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Re: Keeping level 20 immigrants outside of the outskirts; building the wall
« Reply #48 on: October 21, 2018, 07:03:27 AM »
Is there any particular reason /why/ Vallaki is the starting area? Besides of course that Barovia in the books is like the "beginning" and tabled for levels 1-10? If not, I don't see a problem with randomly dropping players in different area's, as long as they're able to get a different intro, and also making all of these area's accessible to both high and low levels.

Keep the XP system in place where you get less xp for higher levels hanging around. This is that stops them from just carrying lower leveled PC's everywhere, unless it's for raw information, which is okay.

When delivering a threat, figure out how exactly you want to deliver it. Vampires can be as strong as PC's, there are Vampires, or rather wonders, just as strong as any other PC in the game, this can be a "Crippling Horror". Say a red mist or whatever saunters through and destroys anything it touches. It's also unkillable, this checks even High Levels. If you're focusing on delivering something to low levels, just follow them around for a while and give them a plot to tangle with. Don't make it so that they think it'll be hard or impossible to do.

Make them THINK it will be easy, then flip them on their head when they least expect it, in a place far from high levels, and make it a challenging experience without killing them. If a high level interfere's, just ramp it up on the high-level, and depending on how they're interfering, perhaps just outright kill them.

There are so many plots that even the playing field, even take simple ones from the first Ravenloft books. You can't kill Strahd without that magical sword right? Well you could just make that idea extreme, what's stopping you from running an adventure that makes it so that a certain scroll has to be acquired to make a vampire or Witch vulnerable?(mages) Or a certain sword? (fighters) or a certain holy symbol? (clerics) or a certain pair of keys?(Thieves) You can make everyone feel special and important, and this is something /EVERYONE/ can particpate in, regardless of level, because even your level 20 Cleric of Torm can't take on my Level 13 Vampire, because of whatever favor he's gained from the Dark Powers. The answer is one that can be answered by anybody, any group.

In this way, we can intermingle these groups.

I totally agree it's not the DM's "responsibility" to remedy these problems, and the fix for making people feel like they're not always protected is one that requires a DM present in the first place. However the situation that exists is usually presented by a DM anyways. I see people complaining about how DM's can't scare the players because high levels are always around. Well, the DM's already causing that problem in the first place, so they also have the ability to fix it.

As far as wandering at night, the developers have done an astonishing job of making Werewolves fast, deadly, and smart. I think this combination usually leaves low levels feeling pretty scared, even if they're traveling with a couple level 12's or whatever at night. Furthermore, a single swipe from some creatures is enough to bring down level 5's and such, depending on the creature, so they still have fear components.

In short, I don't see why we have to separate level 20's from level 2's.
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Zero Darkon Thirty

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Re: Keeping level 20 immigrants outside of the outskirts; building the wall
« Reply #49 on: October 21, 2018, 02:24:52 PM »
Spoiler: show
 
Is there any particular reason /why/ Vallaki is the starting area? Besides of course that Barovia in the books is like the "beginning" and tabled for levels 1-10? If not, I don't see a problem with randomly dropping players in different area's, as long as they're able to get a different intro, and also making all of these area's accessible to both high and low levels.

Keep the XP system in place where you get less xp for higher levels hanging around. This is that stops them from just carrying lower leveled PC's everywhere, unless it's for raw information, which is okay.

When delivering a threat, figure out how exactly you want to deliver it. Vampires can be as strong as PC's, there are Vampires, or rather wonders, just as strong as any other PC in the game, this can be a "Crippling Horror". Say a red mist or whatever saunters through and destroys anything it touches. It's also unkillable, this checks even High Levels. If you're focusing on delivering something to low levels, just follow them around for a while and give them a plot to tangle with. Don't make it so that they think it'll be hard or impossible to do.

Make them THINK it will be easy, then flip them on their head when they least expect it, in a place far from high levels, and make it a challenging experience without killing them. If a high level interfere's, just ramp it up on the high-level, and depending on how they're interfering, perhaps just outright kill them.

There are so many plots that even the playing field, even take simple ones from the first Ravenloft books. You can't kill Strahd without that magical sword right? Well you could just make that idea extreme, what's stopping you from running an adventure that makes it so that a certain scroll has to be acquired to make a vampire or Witch vulnerable?(mages) Or a certain sword? (fighters) or a certain holy symbol? (clerics) or a certain pair of keys?(Thieves) You can make everyone feel special and important, and this is something /EVERYONE/ can particpate in, regardless of level, because even your level 20 Cleric of Torm can't take on my Level 13 Vampire, because of whatever favor he's gained from the Dark Powers. The answer is one that can be answered by anybody, any group.

In this way, we can intermingle these groups.

I totally agree it's not the DM's "responsibility" to remedy these problems, and the fix for making people feel like they're not always protected is one that requires a DM present in the first place. However the situation that exists is usually presented by a DM anyways. I see people complaining about how DM's can't scare the players because high levels are always around. Well, the DM's already causing that problem in the first place, so they also have the ability to fix it.

As far as wandering at night, the developers have done an astonishing job of making Werewolves fast, deadly, and smart. I think this combination usually leaves low levels feeling pretty scared, even if they're traveling with a couple level 12's or whatever at night. Furthermore, a single swipe from some creatures is enough to bring down level 5's and such, depending on the creature, so they still have fear components.

In short, I don't see why we have to separate level 20's from level 2's.

I like these suggestions- mini plots that last a day, if that. Get this scroll & it will let you kill this. It gives players and DM's interactions, which is how it should be in D&D, and makes the world feel alive. Big fan of the "red mists" as well. If there's an abundance of players outside, of varying level, and a DM decides to mess with them, just spawn a red mist or something down the road, and do a DM shout about how red mists are coming toward the outskirts, birds seen flying in drop dead. That should be plenty enough to send people running inside, in legit fear that they could just get killed with no check.

I don't particularly have an issue with level high leveled or level 20 characters. Zachary Dalensbane was a level 20 paladin, and he was played pretty tastefully. I never saw him in the outskirts at night, and really that's the only time a level 20 could potentially be an issue in that area. You could have a level 20 fully focused in the Vallaki/Barovia region and it wouldn't bother me, assuming you didn't purposely sit around and potentially kill the atmosphere.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2018, 02:37:22 PM by Zero Darkon Thirty »