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4/12/2021 15:50:47   
PD
Member

Hollow's Announcement about adding more character slots

It looks like Hollow didnít make a corresponding discussion thread so I thought Iíd make it.

I do wonder though, would it be possible to give us an upgrade that would allow us to have every new account to be a guardian? Itís going to be an additional $40 just to add another 4 guardians, and much more if you havenít filled all the slots.

Other thoughts:
1. If someone actually invests the proper resources wars might end much faster now due to the fact 4 new estates can be made to help contribute to wars.
2. Gold donation contests are going to be that much more intense now because the amount of daily gold to be farmed is going to be that much higher now.
3. This might be a good time to re evaluate the early game experience. Iím personally definitely going to go a lot slower this time around because I want each of my characters to be more or less fully equipped. Iíll be taking some notes on this as well as I progress.
4. Somewhat positive news for those of us whom donít have enough inventory slots on our existing characters and can safely offload our equipment to these new characters.

There are probably other things that will have to be looked at now that we have more slots, but I do think this is actually going to affect game balance in some important ways

< Message edited by PD -- 4/12/2021 19:53:10 >
AQ MQ  Post #: 1
4/12/2021 16:37:37   
  The Hollow
AQ Lead


quote:

This might be a good time to re evaluate the early game experience. Iím personally definitely going to go a lot slower this time around because I want each of my characters to be more or less fully equipped. Iíll be taking some notes on this as well as I progress.

That would actually be super nice to get that kind of feedback on the early game experience!
AQ  Post #: 2
4/12/2021 19:13:25   
PD
Member

Warrior Tutorial:

Okay, so I might update this post as I go on, but here's the first thing I noticed about playing as a new warrior. The first battle is against a Death Knight whose Earth resistance is 40%. Your first item is a no-drop earth sword. Now understandably 60% more damage is not that much at level 1, but allowing us to equip a light weapon amongst other elements would better allow us to understand how resistances work. Before the battle Artix tells you how resistances work, but you're not given a choice from the tutorial to equip an element that's better off against the Death Knight. As as a result your first battle is a relatively long one as you're forced to attack against one of the Death Knight's better resistances. And this is all despite Artix telling you about how resistance work and how the Death Knight is weak against light attacks. Yet in the battle immediately after, you can finally pick a light weapon against Drakath.

BUT I COULD HAVE USED THAT LIGHT WEAPON AND DAMAGE THAT I USED AGAINST DRAKATH AGAINST THE DEATH KNIGHT! Instead I'm left attacking a guy for a lot of turns with a weapon that he resists well. Against Drakath, I was hitting 8-15 damage (I got a special off!) and killed Drakath in a mere 3 turns, yet against the Death Knight I was barely ever hitting above 5 damage, and the battle took well over 10 turns. Not only was he rather tanky, but he even dodged alot. First impressions are everything. If the death knight is the first battle you face and you're just spamming the attack button, a lot of people get turned off. It would be nice if playing through the tutorial you also explained how the battle menu works and what all the options do.




Mage Tutorial:

So this time, I started a new Mage character. Everything the same with the dialogue, and then the fight with the Death Knight again. Again, I have an earth staff for a no-drop. Yet as a mage I have an ENERGY SPELL TO START OFF WITH?! Spell costs are very efficient at the lower levels so you have quite a lot of casts. So I'm there, blasting the Death Knight with an energy spell, and doing a LOT of damage. Not only because it's a spell, but also because the Death Knight has 60% to Energy compared to 40% to Earth. So I killed the Death Knight rather quickly thanks to the fact that I had an Energy starting spell that did quite a lot of damage. Yet even so with all of this, there was no explanation of how the battle menu worked, so if I hadn't had my quick cast icons enabled, and I didn't know how the menu worked, I would have never known and would have had the same old boring battle that I did have as a warrior. From this impression alone I'm already convinced that if I wanted to have a good time in AQ, I should start as a Mage. The battle was so much faster because I could just cast spells which did a lot of damage relatively speaking and quite a lot because spell costs are quite low at that level compared to the maximum MP that you start with.

And all of this is rather frustrated by the fact that Artix uses your SP to start with, so you're never knowing what SP is because Artix just uses it up. Warriors don't have any sort of access to a burst attack that mages instantly have. But if you had an enhanced tutorial for warriors and rogues, and explained to them what these menu options are, and actually allowed the hero to regen SP so they could have access to a damaging skill, it would give you a much better impression about starting as a warrior or a rogue. Instead the start for Mages is off to the races and Warriors and Rogues are left in the dust with a bad taste in their mouths.




Rogue Tutorial:

So like the Warrior, you don't have access to spells, but you do get a crossbow. However against the Death Knight it's really bad because not only is it an Earth Crossbrow, but The Deathknight has 30 Ranged Defense compared to the Short Sword that you're given. It gets blocked quite frequently and you might as well not use it at all. I had the same dreadful experience as a warrior as a rogue. Except it's even worse because your ranged stat is worse against both Death Knight and Drakath. So you just pick the Melee weapon.

< Message edited by PD -- 4/12/2021 19:38:20 >
AQ MQ  Post #: 3
4/12/2021 19:26:29   
  Digital X

Beep Beep! ArchKnight AQ / ED


This sort of feedback is very valuable.

So, regarding the tutorial where you get thrown into battle, would it be helpful, if for example, tool tips where displayed? Like some games have popups with arrows saying "These are your spells" and "This is your attack button" etc? or something to that effect?
AQ DF MQ AQW Epic  Post #: 4
4/12/2021 19:34:10   
PD
Member

Definitely. I would have liked an explanation about these things. I actually didn't even know the Rogue had access to the crossbow until I checked out the rest of the menu. But it's really bad against the first enemies you fight so it might as well not be there. In the early game, a lot of monsters have higher ranged defense than they do melee defense, so rogues aren't even encouraged to pick ranged weapons in that regard. I was mostly picking melee on ranged.

Perhaps as an aside, regarding the fact that warrior and rogue fights in the early game are as slow as they are, I suggest that new characters be given a SP based attack based on your stats (maybe like an Elemental Spirit Bomb attack? Uses your SP for cost, and then stats for damage), along with Artix (just as a special case) have 0 SP cost so you have the opportunity to access a source of burst damage that only mages seem to have access to in the early game. It would tighten up the pace of the game quite a lot for non-mages and give you something to look forward to, and giving you a first hint of strategized gameplay instead of just brainlessly attacking the enemy with the attack button until they die.

Other things: When you level up, you should get a reminder to upgrade your stats, and there should be reminders when you hit certain levels in general so you're aware of things you can do (such as quests becoming available to you) These reminders would allow you to start understanding those things that Artix tells you about. In general the tutorial doesn't give you a lot of heads up about things. AQ to me is a game that's both hard to play and hard to master in that regard. Truthfully if this were my first impression of AQ I probably would have quit after the tutorial. Maybe a small checkup of things like once you hit levels 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, etc with of course, the option to skip these reminders if you don't need them. Although AQ doesn't have a centralized quest line like what you see with DF, it would be nice to have some kind of menu to tell you what things become available when and a recommended order of quests you should be doing if you're interested in story or if you want to know when certain gear starts becoming available and what is available. Like with MC sets for example, which could give you a reminder of telling you you're able to quest for the new tier of that set.

A lot of games often notify you along the way when you start getting higher leveled or complete certain quests or reach certain checkpoints as way to gradually introduce the mechanics of a game. Yet after completing the tutorial in AQ, as long as I keep playing, I'll never get reminded to do these things or even get informed about how the game works. I've been playing this game for well over 10 years now and there's *still* things I do not understand about how the game works. Imagine what kind of black box that actually new players face in that regard.

EDIT:

There's no generic way to dismiss a guest in the early game. I actually want access to the SP meter but Artix stays with me even after I say after the tutorial that I'll go alone. If you want to pick a guest though, I noticed that there's no description of what these guests do. It would be nice to have basic descriptions about what these various guests do. Along with the ability to just dismiss guests from the menu without needing to do another summon. The going alone button in the post-turorial should also dismiss Artix. Also, I keep encountering a bug where the background is clickable, and it keeps telling me I need to be level 10 to go to the rip in the sky. Also there's an in-game timer telling me I have 72 hours to redeem the Guardian Bonus, but when you finish the quest immediately after, it's already at 60 minutes. I'm guessing the in-game descriptions are off, or that the timer starts at account creation so that you don't actually have as much time as you thought you had.

EDIT 2:

Interestingly enough, if you had another character with a vault, you have access to this immediately as long as you have an scaled weapon and it's not locked behind Guardian. It's almost cheating how much advantage and head start you can get. A level 1 bloodmage and bloodzerker absolutely rips through the early game in a way that is unmatched by everything else at the start of the game. Perhaps this is extra incentive to get Guardians and vaults but perhaps for this, it's *too* much of an advantage to have that early on?

EDIT 3: You might want to reverse the columns. It's very confusing but I would have normally expected slots 1-5 to have been the left, and then 6-10 on the right. Yet opening the menu, my primary character #1 was on the top right instead of the top left. I would normally expect an orientation like a western-style book. That being top left to the bottom left, and then top right to bottom right. But the current orientation seems to be top right to bottom right, and then top left to bottom left. It's confusing for my existing characters.

< Message edited by PD -- 4/12/2021 20:42:00 >
AQ MQ  Post #: 5
4/12/2021 19:47:32   
  Digital X

Beep Beep! ArchKnight AQ / ED


I'll do a mockup in paint.net and see if we're on the same path. It will be rough but the general idea will be there.

OK, so the original plan didn't work showing it on the game screen. But here's a mockup of what I think would be nice to have. Possibly with arrows pointing from their respective scroll to menu category. Maybe with "next" and "back" buttons incase you missed something?


https://i.imgur.com/g2ytCwo.jpg



Edit: I'm with PD on the list of characters. In my opinion it should start on the top left, go down 5 places for example, and then being at number 6 at the place along to the right of the last list.

< Message edited by Digital X -- 4/12/2021 21:03:07 >
AQ DF MQ AQW Epic  Post #: 6
4/12/2021 22:44:25   
Black_Crystal
Member

With Extra character slots, could the staff add what DragonFable did: the ability to buy guardianship for all characters in the account from the moment of their creation and apply the 72 hours of character creation bonuses to the characters too?

Maybe improve the 72 hours of character creation bonuses package if possible

I personally have 5 guardians, with 1 x-guardian in my account. To speed up the tutorial, I suggest making the death knight 100% for all element modifier and maybe lower the MRM to 20 - 25?

There might be a need to lower the number of individual kills for war rewards or increase the amount of war waves to complete the war due to the amount of characters and house resources being generated. Personally prefer lower the number of individual kills as I usually only use 2 characters to war and I'm pretty casual

With 10 character slots for an account, I think all character builds are now possible? This is really exciting! After this war, I might look into playing a beast mage or a werepyre

< Message edited by Black_Crystal -- 4/12/2021 23:10:19 >
AQ DF MQ  Post #: 7
4/13/2021 1:21:38   
PD
Member

More feedback regarding the new extra characters. The feel of the UI is on the right of the screen, yet when you login, the view becomes centered. Selecting a character again, the focus then goes back to the right again. This is actually somewhat dis-orienting, especially when you are trying to navigate this all. Along with the fact that your first 5 characters are on the right. But if this were like the orientation that I suggested, on the sequence of the login it would go right, left, right, center as you finally log into the game. I would suggest if possible, to either compress the character selectors so that you could fit them all into 1 row, or make the entire focus and feel of the UI centered. Right now it just feels all over the place.

Also @above, I think it would be a good idea if the first enemy had all 100% mods and even MRM so that every character can start off equally. @AQ Team, Would it be difficult to use a level 1 Frogzard or a more neutral monster in place of the Death Knight?

Also ,regarding what the DF and MQ teams did with 1 upgrade for all accounts, I believe at some point AQ tried to do this, but unfortunately there's a lot of work to be done around that due to the age and architecture of the game and it will involve the Captain getting involved, whom these days is infamously busy with things and isn't as available as he used to be for AQ.




So after playing a warrior for the first 10 levels, I have to say the battles do feel extremely slow without some access to armor/weapon skills that normally close the gap with higher level warriors vs. mages. In fact the early game warrior and rogues felt slow enough that I resorted to importing the scaled items from my other characters so that the battles felt less slow because the normal equipment you have access to at that point of the game, while adequete, takes much longer to finish battles in general.

No comment is needed of course of the use of bloodmage/bloodzerker in the early game. If you thought it was ridiculous to use them in general, try at the beginning of the game where you completely wipe the floor with everything that exists in your level range.

After more playing I'm going to double down on my observations on what I think warriors and rogues need for the early game:

1. More uses for their SP. Currently the only thing you use SP for in the early game is for PR/Konami Code (if people are even aware of this at that point of the game) aside from guests, although many early game guests due to not being updated do not have SP costs. I've suggested this earlier but warriors and rogues should have access to a spell that uses SP and your stats for damage. Maybe have the no-drop armors contain this as a built-in SPell and/or have the no-drop armors have a weapon-based skill that uses the weapon's element and type.

I can't stress enough how slow it feels to play warriors and rogues compared to mages in the early game. There's not enough access to easy damage sources and monsters still dodge at a relatively frequent rate because of the lack of DEX. At least with mages, while spells too get blocked, when they hit there's far more compensation to each hit as spells just tend to do more damage in general. As long as you hit 1 spell you've done a great deal of damage. But with regular attacks being dodged and some monsters in the early game having MRM's as high as 35, it's quite a pain to deal with.

2. Stat Trainers need to be nerfed. For a low-leveled player these guys are actually extremely hard to beat. Grimweld is a perfect fusion of tankiness and damage, while Neberon can do a huge amount of damage early. Sir Lancer is the only real option to train and even he gets capped relatively early as you can max out a stat as early as level 15. Costs should be looked at again as stat costs in the early game easily outpace the gold you get. With the Ballywhoo nerfs it's much harder to get to gold early, and therefore much harder to get stats to beat enemies early on as a warrior/rogue.

3. More in-game information that tells you about pets. At least in the early game pets do equal if not more damage than the players' own weapon attack. Letting players know about pets early on would be nice.

I think in general, it would be a good idea if there were a complete overhaul of the tutorial. Have it be broken up into several parts that lets the player gradually understand how the combat system works. AQ is a game where unfortunately is the bad combination of hard to play and harder to master. But doing this all, the player should be rewarded for completing the tutorial, maybe with an in-game bonus amount of gold or Z-tokens, or a special weapon that is very good for the early part of the game.




Perhaps for the progression of the game point that I had earlier, it would be nice if Twilly's "rumors" could point players to quests with really strong gear. This could be a lead-in to informing players about Mastercraft Quests and other questlines which have the best gear available. While Warlic is a nexus, I think it's more intuitive that players be guided to this via "rumors of powerful items" like what Twilly has for the seedspitter quests. Even with Warlic's menu, people likely don't understand the concept of Mastercraft. Items that aren't part of these quest lines can be mastercrafted, and there exists other sets outside of the Warlic Mastercraft Menu that are also Epic "Mastercraft Quests" (Golden, Reign, Shadow, Kindred, Morningstar, Talados, etc). While we do want players to explore everything, there's just no in-game guideance of telling people there things are and what they could be going after.

Fujin is both on the map AND on Warlic's menu. Mecha Knight and the Underworld set are buried under a lot of menu's in the Mt. Thrall with Hollow's in-game dialogue UI. All the MC quests should all be accessible in 1 convenient place.




@Digi: I'm liking where that's going so far. You could have scrolls that give you detailed information with arrow pointers about the relevant parts it is talking about. AQ already has the capability to disable parts of the menu, so it would be nice to have it so that a specially guided tutorial could be created only around certain aspects of battle.




I understand for the AQ Team at least this is a lot to digest, and will probably be extremely difficult to implement relative to the amount of reward it may give. Yet with the opening of slots people will inevitably play AQ and discover that even with advanced knowledge it's not really easy to navigate, so it would even serve existing players by streamlining a lot of what's out there already.

< Message edited by PD -- 4/13/2021 2:42:11 >
AQ MQ  Post #: 8
4/13/2021 7:30:55   
Ashmander
Member
 

I'm not gonna make my 6th-10th characters guardian or x guardian yet. I also wanna wait until faces and titles can be put in my vault.

Plus it'll allow me to do a challenge.

Also I learned that the highest level your character can be before they cannot be deleted is level 49 (if they are a adventurer)

plus the extra characters really do make for some needed extra storage
Post #: 9
4/13/2021 9:50:24   
Mike Dragonblade
Member

Since you guys are talking about the early game experience, I think I will chip in and comment on the one thing thar have caused the most frustration to players making new characters (this I have gathered through helping people in reddit):

Is not being able to finish quests and keep losing, and the reason that happens is because they misunderstand the STATS or lack guidance on equipment, and more importantly they dont know which quests to take.

- Misunderstanding on stats, this can be solved by revising the TEXT information given in the Trainer's Tent in order to reflect better how the game works currently.
The biggest issue is DEX, as the current description leads player to believe that DEX is the main source of extra dmg for Range weapons (which is not, DEX is secondary, while STR is the main stat on ranged weapons). The result is players have a frustrating experience, and not being able to kill most enemies because of their abysmal dmg capacity with a ranged weapon and only dex, (around lvl +20).

- Lack of guidance for equipment: This probably would need major work for a true solution. But maybe there are options that are less dev-intensive:

1) a forums guide which focused in how and what to buy in your first lvling experience (The ultimate X guides are great but their main focus seems to be lvl +70 as a lvl 10 character shouldn't have to think about the mastercrafed sets and such; on the other hand community wikis focus on lvl 150 equipment so it is not useful for lvl 10-60).
The consequence of lacking this: Player's get both overwhelmed by too much choice and the lack of meaningful choice, as the info on the equipment is not in game. (While the guide would not be in game, at least it could be easily linkable to them, and would not require Dev time).

2) A tutorial on inventory management: We lack a centralized system for this (needing to use the inventory tab in shops, and go to options to set items between fights, and go the account manager to upgrade/downgrade and easy ordering) so a tutorial would be great, maybe a video tutorial that is officially supported by the team, could mitigate this issue (as it will be easily linked to new player or ooooold returning ones). Even better if this is linked in game somehow (similar to how you link to the forums at the end of the tutorial).
Consequence on lacking this: players get frustrated by the lack of quality of life systems (that actually exist but they dont know it) and not being able to do simple inventory management.

- Not knowing what quests to do:

The issue is that the two first "main" storyline arent available at lvl 1 (where the tutorial leaves you): The Devourer Saga really needs you to be lvl +30 to finish the first part; The Carnax Saga is way too disorganized to be doable by new people; even the class quests are Ůvl 10 locked at tier 1 (subraces armor are also lvl 10 even if the quests arent).

So that leaves a big gap between lvl 1 and +30 in which you dont really have any direction, sure you can just to randoms battles (but the feedback I have gotten is that doing so its boring because it doesn't feel like playing the game) the other option is to just pick any quest and explore (which would be optimal) BUT!! a big thing on early quests is that the monster pool usually have 1 or 2 monsters that are stronger than the rest, usually the last monster, and this really Gate keep them from finishing quests (for example any old drakel quests end with a lvl 30 mini boss which isnt beatable by a lvl 10-20 character). So their experience tend to be really frustrating as they cant finish the quests they do try.

So far the best solution I have come up so far is Strongly Suggesting new players that they do the "Eternal Dragon of Time", the 10th aniversary event. I have done several runs of it at lvl 1 (just doing the tutorial beforehand) and its a great experience that will get you to lvl 17 (tested), is really easy and it really set the tone of the game with its puns while giving the player a much needed exposure to the setting and main game events and storylines, even doing the 6 head challenge run at lvl 16 is easy. (The only hard enemy is the Hizzard at the third head, the drakonnan one, and that could gate lock you if not prepared or lucky because of his low % resistances, but every other enemy is easy. Solution: change one of his resis % to 100 and this quest would be the perfect lvl 1-17 experience).
Also (but this IS in the community wiki):
(At lvl 15 you can power lvl to lvl 35 by killing 6 sizzlers at the Geocastelum intro quest, this is not ideal but its the best way to jump start to a lvl in which you can truly do the Devourer saga part 1 in a cohesive way).

< Message edited by Mike Dragonblade -- 4/13/2021 10:26:55 >
AQ DF  Post #: 10
4/13/2021 14:31:53   
Sir Cloud
Member

quote:

4. Somewhat positive news for those of us whom donít have enough inventory slots on our existing characters and can safely offload our equipment to these new characters.

Agree. This was so needed since I'm mostly full on my main Account of original 6 characters. Plus we get up to 412 new storage slots with the addition of 4 new characters. Thanks Hollow + Cap'n! :)

BTW, lovin' the new Character Landing Page with the 2 bookend Dragons showcasing our Account
AQ  Post #: 11
4/13/2021 19:14:02   
PD
Member

quote:


1) a forums guide which focused in how and what to buy in your first lvling experience (The ultimate X guides are great but their main focus seems to be lvl +70 as a lvl 10 character shouldn't have to think about the mastercrafed sets and such; on the other hand community wikis focus on lvl 150 equipment so it is not useful for lvl 10-60).
The consequence of lacking this: Player's get both overwhelmed by too much choice and the lack of meaningful choice, as the info on the equipment is not in game. (While the guide would not be in game, at least it could be easily linkable to them, and would not require Dev time).


We do have these. The Forum Guides sub-forum still exists, but the Training Academies Guides which are still around (but extremely outdated) used to serve this purpose. There's also a New Player tab on the much used AdventureQuestWiki. But even that doesn't tell you to start doing things like training classes or fulfilling certain quests or even getting a head start on finishing that Blade of Awe. I'm well aware that this place isn't really that good anymore for communication and collaboration but it's the most official place at least. I loathe using social media like Reddit, Twitter, Discord and such even though that's there the majority of the players communicate these days (which is the reason that I have since stopped using those platforms). While those mediums do have better UI and better collaborative power, they're not very good at facilitating these kinds of long-style technical discussions that are necessary to have from time to time. Those other places do also have search functions, but they're very bad at archiving and centralizing important information in a centralized manner that forums still do a better job at.

Though that being said the forums have lost quite a lot of features lately. I can no longer get notifications when people have read my PM's, and I (and everyone else) no longer can get notified of messages anymore. I would rather avoid social media that people are increasingly moving towards for official communication both for my own mental health and because those places are very bad at hosting very complex discussions in an organized way.
AQ MQ  Post #: 12
4/13/2021 20:11:57   
Mike Dragonblade
Member

@PD While I agree on most of your points about others social media, I do use them as I, personally, find them fun enough. But everyone have their tea of choice in life, I just mentioned reddit since that where I happened to gather the info through questions from people.


quote:

Training Academies Guides which are still around (but extremely outdated) used to serve this purpose.


Indeed, those are still great when it comes to give direction and teach players. The main issue I see in them isnt that they are outdated, but that the equipment sections (and the guide in general) gives advice that is more useful for player that in middle of the lvling process, I mean, not in the 1 to 50 first lvls.

This is because I think it is a bit overwhelming to a lvl 1, 10 or 20 to have to go for a Mastercraft quest for each element to start and yet the ultimate academy guide for mages would have you go for the taladosian armor for all FO mages. This is great advice for a lvl +70 who is looking to replace their elemental wizard robes but ealier it isnt.

My suggestion is to make something focused in the early 1-50 experience, maybe even just the 1-30 aa thats where most the game truly opens up.

quote:

New Player tab on the much used AdventureQuestWiki.


The community wiki is an amazing site too for knowledge about the game, and the new player tab is great, however it doesnt adress most of what I said (they do explain the item upgrader though). That being said most of these issues could be solved by merely expanding the wiki new players tab.

As of right now the wiki new player tab links to their buyers guide for equipment, and that very same buyer's guide says that they focus on LVL 150 and LVL 135 players and directs players of lowwrs lvl to the reddit equipment guide (which in my opinion is also great, but is focused on lvl +100 characters).

The lvling guide for the adventurequestwiki is great, so if a players wants to lvl up quick or reach a certain lvl, that is easily linkable.

Finalmente, I dont really expect anyone to just come by and fix this issues but I thought I should mentioned before I forget them as the forum is practically eternal. (maybe with time I will make all of this little guides that I believe would be useful).

< Message edited by Mike Dragonblade -- 4/13/2021 20:22:11 >
AQ DF  Post #: 13
4/14/2021 0:22:22   
Korriban Gaming
Member

I can't believe I created an account just for this lol. It's nice to see that the staff cares enough to look into new player experiences even for a game as old as AQ.

As someone who has played the game for many years and also having recently done a Let's Play on my channel from 2020-2021 as a 100% F2P player, I echo the thoughts of whatever has been said. To add on,

1. The travel map is something very overwhelming to look at, even as an old player. Though I like the art and how it has always been a nostalgic staple to the game, I would like to see it simplified/easier to find certain places by grouping them up in a continent etc. On top of that, something to point players in the direction of the main story would be nice. It's so hard to tell what is a "main story" and what is a side quest. Even if you could differentiate between the 2, there's no way to tell in game what's the right sequence to do them. A chronological progression list for the main storylines/sagas in the game would be nice. I would suggest taking a leaf out of DF's book from their new timeline.

2. Scaling at lower levels is a complete nightmare. There are some monsters at lower levels which are extremely difficult to beat even if you're at the same level as them with the same level gear. On top of that, many of the older quests don't scale properly so alot of times for lower levelled players you would just get randomly destroyed by quests that don't scale every 5 levels unless you're checking the forum subs for the quests everytime before you do them. I don't mind it that much for side quests but for stuff like class quests or the main storyline, this is a big no from me. This means that there's really not much you can do at lower levels apart from grinding to higher levels before continuing. Half of the fun in RPGs is the story (other half being grinding but imo that should really be for endgame and not early game), I don't agree with locking story related stuff behind levels. Everyone should be able to enjoy most of the story if not all of it at all levels. I know it's a big job to overhaul all of the older quests or the scaling system but a quick bandaid solution imo is to just lock some stuff behind a level requirement (so players don't get frustrated by getting destroyed all the time) or add some sort of notice stating the recommended level for this particular quest.

3. To add on to the previous point, levelling is also extremely tedious if you don't know the right farming spots from looking at community guides. Lower levelled monsters give so little xp and gold that it takes forever to level up by battling random monsters or by doing the very few quests that you can beat at lower levels. I can see this being a huge turn off for the casual player who is just starting out since like I said in my point above, there is nothing much you can do before you level up.
AQ DF MQ AQW  Post #: 14
4/14/2021 2:18:42   
PD
Member

@Mike Dragonblade: I've been brainstorming things about a more concrete way to organize the first 50 levels of the game. I do agree in that sense that it's at least somewhere between levels 50-100 where the "feel" of the game starts becoming like that of the endgame. That being said for the "Early Game" I've been doing some brainstorming about how to make it more navigate-able.

1. Tell players about certain "unlockable quests" that they can do.

2. When training classes, there could be more in-game information about how certain classes lead into others. While there are entrance restrictions about how you can't train some classes until you start training the dependent ones, I don't think this is sufficient in that regard in giving players a sense of progression. I've been working on mapping out all the base classes (Fighter, Mage, Rogue, etc) and their progressions (Assassin, Paladin, etc) into a more visual format to help players understand what progressions lead to where. This is also applicable to subraces as well as there's certain "soft" requirements that I'm not sure a lot of people are aware of, such as the fact that you need to be level 20 before you can even enter Darkovia Forest (which is necessary to gain a subrace in the first place).

3. Making a list of all the quest level and guardianship requirements so that people can better see when they're allowed to start going after certain quests and gear. This is kind of related to my earlier point about Twilly possibly telling you in-game about quests that gradually become available to you as you level up.




@Korriban: If anything quests are actually much easier at the earlier parts of the game than at the latter parts. Monsters generally do way more damage relative to your defenses later in the game than earlier, and spells/skills are far more efficient in the early game than latter so you cast them far more. In fact I think a lot of players make the mistake of rushing out the early levels as they don't realize these changes. They rush the early part thinking that the good stuff is only to be had at level 150, and then go back to finish the "unlockable" quests (Class Quests, Potions, 10th Anniversary, Quests that give you MC'd items that are upgradeable like "Diamonds and Destruction", etc) only to find out they probably would have had a far easier time had they slowed down and finished them at an earlier point.

But you are right that early game battles when the pool doesn't properly scale like how the Aria Pet Rescues and Potion Quests all of a sudden start throwing at you monsters that are way above your level. But when you do fight monsters that are at or near your level it's typically much easier earlier in the game than later, but they still have a feeling of repetitiveness. That is due to the fact that a lot of mechanics aren't easily available to you at that point of the game so you more or less play the game the way that the Balance Standards would normally have you play (equip matching defense and spellcast/attack constantly until they die).

I did watch your video about the early game, which was nice. However I did think it was missing out (which is not your fault) some advice to tell people to go after "unlockables" earlier than not because they only get harder as you level up. I would have even told people explicitly not farm for the first 100 levels because you want to prolong the difficulty advantages (easier battles and quests, etc) you have playing early.

That aside I do agree that leveling at least is pretty tedious if you know what you're doing. Perhaps Twilly in-game as part of his "rumors" could point to you places where you can farm gold/tokens/EXP quickly once you've had your fill of the early game.

< Message edited by PD -- 4/14/2021 2:21:25 >
AQ MQ  Post #: 15
4/14/2021 5:23:15   
Korriban Gaming
Member

@PD
Hmm I think you're referring to mid game here, not so much early game.

Agreed, it's pretty repetitive before you reach max level since you don't have access to more mechanics till you reach endgame (or at the very least, it's not worth to be buying/trying lots of mechanically different stuff till you reach endgame)

Fair enough, this didn't cross ny mind when making the video. More often than not I was usually frustrated by the poor scaling especially early on. Maybe I'm just unlucky to be doing all of the poor scaling quests lol, but imagine if new players who knew nothing at all were doing the same.

Yes, I second the Twilly suggestion
AQ DF MQ AQW  Post #: 16
4/14/2021 14:11:44   
Mike Dragonblade
Member

All great ideas, that being said, as far I have been told, the dev team doesn't lack of ideas of how to improve the feeling of the early game, but the implementation is hard to do, since the work to do so is no easy feat. So, anything that the community can do outside the game to help is going to be more feasible than anything in game.

quote:

such as the fact that you need to be level 20 before you can even enter Darkovia Forest (which is necessary to gain a subrace in the first place).


Just so you know you can access Darkovia at lvl 1 nowadays, amd b3come a vampire/werewolf right away, evem do the subrace quests, but the subrace armor are lvl 10 at its lowest. Also you can do the dracopyre legacy at lvl 10 (though you shouldnt as Narrative speaking it comes after the Devourer saga, with the exception of the first quests, which is in fact the third amd last quest of the original Nightbane Chronicles, sadly the first and second quests are gated at lvl 59 in the Devourer saga (so you cant play them till them, hopefully rhis gets changed once the Devourer saga revamp gets to stranges Whispers).

I suggest you take the opportunity of new character to explore the game as a lvl 1, lvl 10 or lvl 20 character. The world and whats accesible and whats not is quite interesting.

AQ DF  Post #: 17
4/14/2021 19:13:45   
PD
Member

^^ So I created another character, and it seems I was mistaken earlier. I think I mis-clicked Willow Creek which has that level 20 requirement as it's right next to Darkovia, although Darkovia itself still has a level 5 requirement on the map at least. If there's a way to enter at level 1, it's not exactly straightforward and intuitive. Either way it's still important these soft reqs get noted as part of the new player progression.

That being said, I'm still working on those things (class directed graph and a list of quests/unlockables that have level requirements or unscaled pools for the things essential to a new player) I mentioned earlier. I have actually have started 4 new characters (2 mages, 1 warrior, 1 rogue), and at least from my experience of playing the random battles, base class quests, along with the 10th anniversary and parts of the potion quest, they have been much easier earlier on than later on than later. I've got a private doc noting about how some unlockable quests have monster pools that seem to be unscaled or are scaled for a much higher level encounter than you are meant to access them on.
AQ MQ  Post #: 18
4/14/2021 21:22:09   
Mike Dragonblade
Member

@Pd I was wrong, the level requirement for Darkovia is 5.

I will check everything said by you, korriban and everyone as soon as I can.

Regarding the lvl experience, I feel getting to lvl 30 is the main objective so you can do the Devourer Saga Part 1 properly. In that I suggest killing sizzlers at lvl 15.
AQ DF  Post #: 19
4/15/2021 7:18:36   
Bu Kek Siansu
Member


10/6/2016 16:41:09 http://forums2.battleon.com/f/fb.asp?m=22179055
quote:

I am working on the 'transfer character to another game account' right now.
Rules that I have so far:
- Game accounts must be linked to a single Artix account
- Links must have been in place for 90+ days
- After a char has been moved, it can not be moved again for at least 365 days (perhaps longer, if community thinks it should be longer)
- Moving guardian char to a non-guardian account will be possible, but likely not a good idea. Best to move chars the other way.


10/6/2016 18:38:41 http://forums2.battleon.com/f/fb.asp?m=22179081
quote:

The 90 day delay is to help prevent scamming or stealing characters.

And... I think we'll charge 1000 Artix Points ($5.00) for each character transfer.
That will also slow down any crazy activity, and offset the extra time the AQ help team is going to need to deal with "OMG! WHERE IS MY CHARACTER" issues.

If we have a $cost for transfers.... perhaps the link delay time could be shorter... 30 days maybe?

Worst case, is someone hacks your Artix Account (that has leftover points) steals your AQ characters, moves items around to their characters, joy rides on your rare stuff, then leaves a big mess behind for AQ help team to deal with.


http://forums2.battleon.com/f/fb.asp?m=22179098
quote:

I agree with the $5 cost. If someone actually does get hacked, the $5 charge and link delay will definitely inconvenient the hacker and give time for the real owner to recover their account, but I think 30 days is a bit long. Honestly I don't think there will be an outbreak in hackers or anything, but it's better to be safe than sorry.

How about a 4 digit passcode to access your vault? Great security if it can be implemented.


10/7/2016 4:25:08 http://forums2.battleon.com/f/fb.asp?m=22179189
quote:

Using the waybackmachine sounds useful.
Especially before you make any major char or inventory changes.


11/23/2016 21:02:49 http://forums2.battleon.com/f/fb.asp?m=22192689
quote:

The merging process is going to be designed to allow moving your stray characters on 'alt' accounts to one 'main' account that has your main characters and vault storage.


http://forums2.battleon.com/f/fb.asp?m=22321736
quote:

There were mentions of an alt transfer system being implemented in the near future but it's been a while since we've heard anything about it.


http://forums2.battleon.com/f/fb.asp?m=22391018
quote:

We have added even more character slots so now players can have up to 10 characters per account!



So, how about the "alt transfer system" that you can transfer a character between AQ game accounts?

Post #: 20
4/16/2021 0:50:30   
PD
Member

So I've played my New F2P Warrior to level 35 as of this post, and here's a few things I've noted along the way...

One of the biggest problems I have encountered at the lowest levels is the lack of recovery and means to SP between battles. The only good way early seems to be getting through Triple Challenge for potions. But there's very few ways to generate SP if at all. Nith's Fang is still broken so I cannot use that to regenerate SP. And that is important to fix because it's the only non MC quested, non premium item out there that lets you regenerate SP on attacks. Dragonlord quest exists but that needs repeated questing to get through.

Scaling on the other hand, Korriban was actually correct about this. Early on, when the monsters are at your level, it's usually easy. However quests have been rather inconsistent with the scaling due to a combination of quests not being updated, or them being scaled so all the monsters are above your level. I've been playing a lot of the more recent quests (Umazen, Burning Solstice, etc), and the general way the battles went was that I was barely scraping by. Normally I would not be struggling that much if I had access to timely recovery options and misc items that generally aided me, but this is not available early in the game. The result is that you can die in the middle of a long quest without a chance to checkpoint back, which is made worse by inconsistent scaling as you start going up the levels. Alongside this, the flee cost is capped at 150, which feels inappropriate given that is a huge amount of SP early on, not to mention that you don't have easy access to refill your SP. So fleeing is not an option a lot of the times.

At one point along the way to try to train Paladin, I was told to be a level 10 Fighter, Mage and Knight. Getting the basic classes (Fighter/Mage/Rogue) was easy enough at level 30-35. However, the more advanced and newer classes have been extremely difficult to say the least. Sometimes, the monsters are nearly 20 levels above your own, and because you don't have access to good defenses because updated items are only there every 10-20 levels that you actually get worn down pretty easily even if you do win. Knight and Subrace Training were examples of this where much of the time the monsters were scaled above you so that you actually would struggle. Not to mention that the Squire armor is at level 40, when the Paladin level requirement is level 35. Being forced to play in the Squire armor while fighting enemies that are much higher leveled than you is a recipe for disaster because you can't even equip armors that can defend well against the enemies you fight. And again with the lack of intuitive recovery options makes the more advanced classes extremely difficult if not outright impossible to train early on despite the fact that you can start playing them that early. If they were meant to be played at a higher or just at a certain level, it's not intuitive to the player to know that these kinds of class tiers exist.

So just to summarize:

1. I've faced inconsistent scaling which can make quests very hard because the enemies hit very hard relative to the defenses that I have available at that point of the game. Monsters feel like they generally dodge a lot AND hit much harder than you due to this phenomena.
2. The lack of intuitive, easy recovery options compounds the above issue because every fight is a difficult one.
3. Many Misc items (especially defensive ones) are generally not that useful early because of a combination of relatively high maintenance costs and the fact that at that point they do not provide much value to the player. They should exist, at least for defensive items, to help players withstand the damage from monsters during quests but they generally are unhelpful.

Keep in mind, I'm also doing this with a combination of F2P and items that I offloaded from my other characters, so I'm playing with gear way stronger than what I'd usually be playing with, yet I am still struggling massively completing quests and objectives which are essential to complete for a full experience. I can only imagine how difficult it is with the standard available equipment available.
AQ MQ  Post #: 21
4/20/2021 22:35:11   
Mike Dragonblade
Member

I had this whole big response written for each one of everyone's comments, but there was and error on the internet and it failed tl be posted. Ooops.

So instead I will say, that I hope all of this early game experience feedback turns up to be useful for the Devs consideration in a future. At the very least, now I got a clearer picture about the tirals and tribulations of a new character.
AQ DF  Post #: 22
4/24/2021 10:33:17   
ruleandrew
Member
 

Adding level 10 and level 25 version of items (weapon, spell, armour, shield and pet) will make early game more fair.
AQ  Post #: 23
4/25/2021 12:50:12   
Ashmander
Member
 

Atleast I can not worry as much as about storage. But I'd like to be able to store my faces and titles.
Post #: 24
4/26/2021 15:32:32   
The Wizard
Member

As far as the first fight goes against the death knight, it may actually be better to have tutorials that are more interactive videos instead so there will be something that comes up with information and then highlights the options to perform the action it suggested and disables all other actions for the time. This allows you to control the length of that fight and at the same time teach each character about their specific mechanics.

I'd also recommend a stat guide early on. Maybe as part of the tutorial. Something like, you level up in the tutorial and then it forces you to go to the stat trainers (teaches players where it is) and explains each stat in depth.
AQ  Post #: 25
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