Raeza wrote:I have only been playing this game actively for about a year and a half. (I also played for about a couple of months about 10 years ago, but not in the interim). I have no master characters. So, I am not going to comment on the nuances of PK balance.
But, Treach (and Mhaliah earlier) noted some points that resonate with me. As a newer player, there are two aspects of this conversation that sadden me a bit: (1) the suggestion that not having master bonuses makes the game boring and causes the reduction in the player base, and (2) the suggestion that PK is the only worthwhile activity in this mud.
(1) It's not the lack of master bonuses that make the game boring, it's the result.
(2) As someone who does everything on this game (smob, RP, explore, craft...you name it, I've done it.) - I can tell you that this game is still a PK mud and the very lifeblood of it is PK. Without PK the rest dies. Even RP these days - I've been spending all my playtime lately wandering around trying to find someone to RP with - you're literally the only person who has bothered to respond to more than a few sentences.
Raeza wrote:For one, it really boggles me when people argue that losing master mob lead (or making experienced player bonuses weaker more generally) is what is leading to the loss of player numbers. It seems so out of touch to me. Basically, it comes down to saying if you don't have these bonuses, the game is not worth playing. If you can't be motived to play your master with all of the bonuses they still have, what motivation do those of us who have no masters have to play at all?
Again, mobs do add a dynamic that I very much enjoy, but it goes beyond being bored. As you say, this game has a very steep learning curve.
Spyder wrote:Please don't get me wrong i think there should be some adjustments to the way master mobs work,especially in terms of them being able to bash and wear a full abs kit etc. However as it stands, not being able to push back outnumbered vs opponents who.
A. Do not understand they hold the ascedancy in pk, so they play cautiously when they do not need to.
This explains it perfectly - often you're sitting in a position where your opponent has an overwhelming upper hand and when you hit you're literally guaranteeing that yourself or someone that you're leading is going to die, 100%. Risk is good, and makes pk fun, but risk that has absolutely no reward is pointless. Experienced pkers (masters) can use mobs to keep this type of stalemate pk flowing.
Raeza wrote:I do understand the argument that mob lead allows you to do something when you log on and there is literally no one else -- to play solo. But, it seems to me that this just speaks even more to the need to bring in and maintain new players.
It's not that they allow you to play solo. I can play solo all day long and get everything I need without a mob. It's that they allow you to form a small group. It's hard to maintain new players if they're playing a game where nothing is happening.
Raeza wrote:As a newer player compared to most, I can tell you from recent experience that the learning curve in this game is ENORMOUS! I think the imms and the player base has done a good job of making the game more newbie-friendly in the earlier components of the game: learning the game mechanics, levelling, getting equipment, etc. There are quests and more information is available. People are very helpful over chats and such. (The wiki has helped so much with this as well.) But, the endgame aspect of the game -- mainly PK -- is still VERY newbie unfriendly.
You're right, it is enormous. It's difficult to be friendly in PK when the point of it is killing someone, which is why we recommend the practice which is so difficult to obtain at the present moment. Most new pkers start on LS which leads to the stalemate situations explained above which can be alleviated by the presence of master mobs. DS is and always has been a PK oriented side and if it's active, the leaders there are pretty good about making sure that the people who die have more eq - provided they have the numbers to even do so.
Raeza wrote:-- When other people die, they pull one of their many stored sets out of rent, take some of their massive stores of gold to h/h their weapon and buy a warhorse, and keep going. When you are a newbie, you have nothing and losing your set means you cannot PK again until you can gather up another halfway decent set, which could take hours.
While this may be true for some people, for many it isn't. There are lots of guides around on the forums that you can read to tell you where you can get eq. You don't need a top end perfect set to jump headfirst in PK, especially as a beginner where you are just trying to learn. Every death brings understanding. I had days where I would die 8 times and run back out in the first thing I could find - then I would look at logs and try to identify mistakes. Even better, we're human, which means we can do this thing called learning vicariously. There are hundreds of logs to read through.
Yes, there are assholes. No, it isn't easy. Challenge is what makes this game fun.
Raeza wrote:-- When other people need equipment, they ask their friends to go smobbing (or they go solo smobbing if they are uber enough). When you are a newbie, you know no one. If you are lucky enough to get brought along smobbing (because you are not as quick as others at knowing what to do), then some people tend to give you basic pieces and keep the better pieces for themselves. As a newbie, it is difficult to know the norms of gear distribution, or to work up the nerve to ask for something because you are happy to just be able to come along.
See my previous comment about master mobs and forming smob groups.
Raeza wrote:-- Even when you do start getting a bit better, a majority of people that you face are masters with tons of bonuses. So, the most experienced players in the game also have a slew of bonuses (extra damage, extra ob/pb, amazing stats due to years of rerolls, previously mob lead, not to mention fade/gaidin bonuses). So, even when you feel that your skills are starting to improve a bit, you still die...all...the...time.
Usually they don't like to make a big deal about dying, but if you watch narrates you'll see that all the bonused characters still die...all...the...time. That's the point of PK - if players weren't dying it wouldn't be fun.
Raeza wrote:What does it matter if people get some qps from smobbing, or any other activity? If people get master that way, then fine. It seems that most everyone already has a master anyway. We live in a mud where masters are the norm, not the exception. If someone is not much of a PKer, then they aren't going to use their new master bonuses to kill you anyway, so what is the problem? Is it just pride? Exclusiveness? If that helps a newer player get a master more quickly to even the odds, then so what?
Wotmud has a lot of things to do, like you mentioned; but the entire balance of the game was built around PK, which is why the rewards from it need to remain the main incentive.
Exploration: Sure this is fun, the first time you do it. Once you've seen everything, the only things left to explore are things brought in by imms, who kindly volunteer their time, so they can't treat this as a full time job.
Smobbing: Most people smob for a reason - to eq naked alts. Sure, there are the grinders, who get satisfaction from completing the same monotonous task over and over, but that isn't the majority of people. Yeah, smobbing can be a fun way to socialize - but all day every day? PK provides variety.
RP: While this isn't directly tied to PK, it's not everyone's cup of tea (in fact, very few). It makes the game immersive and awesome, but it doesn't keep the numbers up.
Crafting: Again, what's the point of making stuff if you don't need to?
Questing: Also fun - until the quest is completed.
Mercantile: Can't sell things if you don't have naked people to buy them.
Raeza wrote:It is difficult for newer players to just PK constantly due to reasons mentioned above. Personally, I still find PK do be somewhat stressful because it is not second nature to me yet, and I feel like I really have to be mentally tuned-in to do a good job. Maybe this changes if you play so long that PK just becomes second nature, but I cannot just PK all day nonstop. I have to have some down time, and I could either just log off, or I could do some other things on the mud like RP and smob. Attacking the other activities on the mud that people like to do, or making it such that there is zero incentive to do them, does not make PK better. It will just drive people away who might want to PK sometimes, but not all the time.
It's normal to want downtime from failure, but don't let it get you down. Even the most experienced players make errors in judgement. This is what makes PK fun - outmaneuvering your opponent. It's just hard to do when you're still learning the nuances. It isn't that most PKers hate the other activities on the mud - they understand that they're part of what makes this game unique. It's just that they can see the various ways in which PK is being damaged and that makes them lash out. Not an excuse!
tl;dr - Experienced players understand the nuances of pk - master mobs aren't the be all end all but they can be used to be the straw that makes impossible stalemates possible without having to rewrite every zone.