View Full Forums : Dain 3 Nerfed

03-23-2006, 01:37 AM
The entire thread is here:

For those that don't want to read the entire thing, here is a summary of Nodyin-Dev of Sony and my replies (yes, I'm doing this because I like to see my own posts being read by lots of people:):

I understand your frustration but I think you miss the point of the mission, or at least the intended challenge level.

In Beta and on Live those that played through the mission by moving the armies around and making tactical decisions about placement, movement, attack and retreat often found they had to attempt the mission 2, 3 or even 4 or more times before they beat it the first time. That level of challenge was built into the reward mechanism for the Arc - there's a reason that 65% of the Augment's power is granted from that mission. Additionally there is a sizable increase in the experience gain for this mission compared to Dain 1 and Dain 2. Finally just like the other 2 missions there are 2 loot items that drop instead of the normal 1 item for most Monster Missions.

I feel that the Risk is justified by the Reward.

I would like to underscore that the only changes that were made to the mission involved reducing the combat effectiveness of the Dwarves at Basecamp. When fighting through the mission normally (moving the armies around the field) you shouldn't notice any changes.

- Nodyin
Sorry but they are weaker now. I listened to the dwarf general and made sure that the dwarves didn't fight at base camp. We worked to coordinate the troops. Still lost.

Problems are:

Only one squad per spot. So you can send one squad to position one but that is it. You should be able to send at least two if not all squads to the same spot.

Next, trying to change orders doesn't work well. "unit a to position one", but wait, I want to send unit b. But the general seems to have trouble changing that.

It is a problem is that you can't rearrange the units. If you could, like be a raid leader so you can move dwarves between units would work out.

It all sounds like a good idea but rather than be strategy, it was a struggle to get the orders out. I wound up making hot keys but those didn't help with changing orders mid way.

The person who plays the Dain must stand next to the General. So they can't see what is going on.

In medieval battles, leaders did not stay out of sight. They found a big hill nearby or stood on the wall or from a tower and watched from up there. Then they had messengers relay orders, or used horns, flags, etc.

The dwarfs don't attack together. Now, if the unit actually acted like a unit and every dwarf in a unit attacked at once, then it might work. Sorry but dwarves are well known for their strong training and skill in mass combat. Like the Roman Empire, troops drill and train to attack together. They don't have the guys in front attacking while the guys in the rear have fallen behind and only arrive after the first guys are dead. They attack as a team.

Examine how many wins vs. losses on mission three and then tell me if it is tuned. People should have a chance. Not fight with the interface to see how fast they can type and then find out the they can't change their orders.

Oh, forgot to mention the most important thing.

If the corpse dropped six seals, then you can justify making it hard. But only dropping one is an insult. It means that you have to do this mission six times to get everyone in the group.

That is six very, very tough missions, not one slightly hard mission.

This mission was designed, from day one, to be HARD. Really hard. During Beta I had to hold a contest to see who could beat the mission the first time because after a few weeks of Beta no one had completed the mission. I was able to secure an augment reward as powerful as I was only because the challenge level of the mission is (intended to be) so high. The power of the Augment is also the reason for the reward mechanic - 3 hours (under optimal conditions groups could easily beat all 3 in one 3 hour play session) is simply not enough to justify 6 players gaining an Augment of this power.

Think about the power level of the reward - it ranks with the BiC about halfway through the progression of that Augment. All that for a Monster Mission series? It better be hard, then! That relationship between the mission and the reward makes it imperitive that if it ever becomes trivial to complete the mission then an adjustment must be made. The advantage I have here is that it's a Monster Mission - I can control everything in the environment: player power AND the strength of the enemies is under my control. So we have a real shot of getting the mission to the perfectly balanced state that a traditional mission, that must deal with mudflation, can never hope to achieve.

It is my hope we have now reached that point.

Going forward I would love to hear that groups of skilled players have distilled the mission to its essence and can reliably beat the mission every time in 45 minutes or so. If you practice something enough you should become an expert. I simply don't find it acceptable for a group of first-timers to enter the mission, excecute a simple strategy, and complete the mission.

To briefly address the timing of the change: a spell change was supposed to be implemented with the Anniversary patch that I hoped would resolve the issues with the mission. An unfortunate typo in the spell dashed my hopes and I had to turn to a scripted solution. I nearly had it ready to go on Monday but decided to delay an extra day and allow QA more time to test various functionality and use-cases so I could (hopefully) avoid making any further changes.

I don't expect these changes to effect very many players, frankly. Those I talked to in game and out were typically moving the armies around the field and the changes at Basecamp wouldn't have any effect on thier strategies.

- Nodyin
I understand the frustration - on my play character I've done 6 missions or so. I have 2 loot items from Dain 1 but I've lost each roll on the Seal so far. It can be frustrating but for the power of the Augment I'm not comfortable with more than 1 per mission, I'm sorry.

- Nodyin
I thought about that. The thing is anyway you slice it that ends up increasing the total number of augments enter the game. If you think it through it's not hard for a guild or group of dedicated players to cycle through people and in worse case scenarios radically inflate the number of augments entering the world. The only way to mitigate this would be to require so very many attempts without an augment that it wouldn't really be worth it. Would it help if I told you if you did the mission 30 times without getting the augment I would give it to you? Probably not. Odds are you already have it by that point, or have given up.

The risk versus reward seems good on this mission and I don't see any compelling reason to increase the droprates.

- Nodyin
From what Nodyin is saying, I can see that this mission will never be changed again, unless someone finds a way to make it easier.

So those of us not lucky enough to have played it and won the random roll before the nerf have two choices:

1.) First play the mission as many times as it takes to find the winning strategy. I've now lost on that mission two times and frankly thought we had figured it out until the last wave killed the dwarves and then with around 12 giants left, proceeded to kill us over and over. I can see that it might take me five or more times to "figure" it out. Then, once having figured out the winning strategy, one must get together a group that is able to follow the instructions to win. Of course, you also have to get lucky because there is always a random element involved in a win. Now that you have managed to win, you now have to win six times with the same group. Since people have a life, getting together the same six people for six missions isn't easy. So, more likely, you are now dealing with a group that is changing members each time. So either you have to set up some kind of rotation, which means that some people will have to do the mission seven, eight, twenty times. Or you can just /random it. Which means you are at the mercy of the random number generator. Anyone who knows random numbers knows that you are at the mercy of the gods or whatever decides this thing. A 1 in 6 chance just means over a large number of times, it works out about that ratio. A small sample (under thousands) is never consistent and means that someone could do fifty of these and lose every time.

Now, with different people moving in and out, you aren't going to win every time.

2.) After playing the same mission over and over and over, no matter how nice the idea of using your ability to order dwarves around (I already pointed out the limits of that and how it isn't really a good test of strategy, just a test of how to "game the system" rather than use military strategy) you just get so bored and frustrated you give up.

Sorry but it started out as a nice idea of a way to have some fun. A new type of mission. It has now been turned into a grind of hard work and boring repeating over and over. A nice change of pace has been turned into a chore.

Is there someone at Sony who demands that all fun be removed and replaced with grinding out AAs and camping mobs forever?


03-23-2006, 05:07 AM
sounds like the strat i posted should be totally unaffected by this change

03-23-2006, 12:45 PM
Hopefully, the last post I will make on Sony's board on this subject:

Jyve wrote:

But isn't this what used to happen when PoP first came out with PoJ trials?


No, it isn't. PoJ trials are different. First, the entire group gets the reward. Yes, people rotated toons in and out, but that was because you needed the correct classes / levels to win.

Second, just because something has been done before, doesn't make it a good thing.

The most important point I want to make, something that is overlooked in the "you guys want everything easy" comments, is the following:

The developers always talk about "risk vs. reward". The problem is that EQ often ISN'T RvR. It is far more often (as in this case) Boredom vs. Reward or Grind vs. Reward or P.I.T.A. vs. Reward. Anything that is fun, no matter how difficult or challenging, is considered off limits to nice loot.

Again, it is one thing to make a tough fun mission and say, "Yes, it is tough but there is a good reward" and quite another to say, "Yes, we make you do it over and over past the point of boredom and annoyance before you can get the reward." Because only by camping that mob for 27 hour straight or doing the mission 27 times do you deserve the reward.

Sorry, but good game design means FUN!!! Fun is why we want to play. Fun is wolf form that isn't KOS everywhere. Fun is NOT grinding out the same camp over and over. Fun is NOT taking a new fun idea and turning it into forcing people to do it 12 or 20 times before they get the reward.


03-23-2006, 02:10 PM
3 boxed it a couple days ago... any recent changes in the last 2-3 day? Its still pretty easy.. there was a small learning curve (lost about 5 missions before i figured it out).

Basic Strat.. leave dain at general, send war/cleric out. Pull giants to outside thur, have the dain move the troops forward. Pull giants to the dwarves. You only need to make sure enough dwarves survive to win the last wave. If the warrior dies at any time, send in the cleric to abosrb some of the hits. After the inital losses, am 6/6 on wins, and 6 freaking masks..