Master Mob Lead (Way beyond 30 days) #SetThemFREE

... sit down, kick back and relax, and talk about anything that doesn't belong on one of the other forums.
Spyder
Posts: 195
Joined: Wed Mar 25, 2015 5:51 am
Location: Australia

Re: Master Mob Lead (Way beyond 30 days) #SetThemFREE

Postby Spyder » Sun Jun 24, 2018 2:37 am

Rark wrote:To the australians, leave your huge spider infested country if you want to mud, your country sucks and won't advance in the world cup!


Too bad soccer is a 3rd tier sport in this country, game full of fucking divers. Ruled by a bunch of rich cunts who pay to buy all the left over tickets to fund their obscene teams (see Manchester City crowds vs ticket sales). GO THE PEOPLE KICKING THE ROUND BALL YEY

Isabel wrote:Sorry, I didn't mean the parts where he is talking about you, but the parts where some of you bring this kind of LS-bashy anger in:


You yourself told me you don't play darkside so what would you actually know about fighting humans from the other side of it? This single side point of view some of you form is naive at best . Play both sides for an extended period of time and see how it impacts what you think you "know". Rig plays extensively on both sides of the game, the kid is probably in the top 4/5 active pkers on BOTH sides of the equation. Despite his age and the fact hes a raging neckbeard he makes valid points that I have seen from both sides myself.

More importantly I think people forget that because of the small community here people build a reputation amongst others which can of course lead to shitty things happening. You know exactly who you are. Players who show exceeding greed or will pull lame shit on other then cry when it happens to them.

I myself am guilty of creating a reputation where people view me as unfriendly and I sure as shit bet I get labelled as some kind of disrespectful jerkoff. Whoop de-fucking-do! Frankly I've never really cared for other peoples opinions and if I get killed afk or LD i walk away and take a break and accept that those things happen because we play a fairly rules relaxed game. What I don't go and do is log in to the forums and post a log shitting on other people for being opportunistic hoping for the general whiteknight dogpilling that goes on in these "afk" threads.

Lykan wrote:The game used to be great because of the inequality and because everyone was playing different stuff and there were a lot of variables in every pk session and fun and exciting shit happened. The game is also designed around power levels varying between characters and races. Making everyone equal does noone any favors; all it does is remove yet more variables to pk which in turn reduces risks.


Hammer meet nail.

When i started this game if you died because you weren't at the screen when *Dorgo* came in then you died and got the fuck over it, got yourself some more leathers and learned a fucking lesson from it. It was one of the things that made the game actually scary/exciting to play. This mentality of "balance everything" is frankly stupid. It should be paper scissors rock and we are turning it into a game where it has become increasily easy to survive with so much less of an incentive to push for kills for anything other than the rush of killing someone. Now all I have to do on LS is the quests and I'm rank 5, wait for a new month worth of council quests ans do some heralds each day and I'll be master inside 3 months without ever actually earning diddly squat of it.

Sorry to derail the thread.


Isabel wrote:Was mostly tongue-in-cheek but what about asking for reduction in alting time to like 2 mins per char, regardless of side. We don't really have the playerbase to abuse whatever was abusable in quick altings. What was "opportunistic" 10 years ago would just be "can we get pk" today.


Short answer, no. People will abuse the fuck out of this. Have you not met the people who play this game and the petty kind of vindictive behaviour they engage in? I know for a fact about 10 players including myself who would abuse this. If i see a player who really, really want dead by any means then if I only have 2 minutes to wait to log on my murdering MC/stabber then you can bet your ass i'm going to go for that cheap shot. Stop relying on peoples good natures to see a quality level of sportsmanship when there are no repercussions for doing the opposite... It's like hoping the free market will see everyone looked after.

Return mob lead to the way it was. Remove the ability to have a mob bash and nuke down the types of mobs remorts can lead to ramshorned/wolfish or beaked. This leaves many opportunites for helping with the outnumber pk dynamic without meaning I could go and stack every single mob in the blight at ALL S orch ent. If you want to really make a negatives to having a mob, make it give a grief sort of penalty upon its death or when it dies it immediately decays losing any eq it had on it.. It might slow down the Byrg/Orino types from playing with mobs and super glued hips and full kits.

Better yet, once a mob is engaged on a target short of fleeing there should be 0 available commands. No weapon swapping. No remove all ; drop all.

Razhak
Posts: 672
Joined: Sun Mar 22, 2015 7:43 am

Re: Master Mob Lead (Way beyond 30 days) #SetThemFREE

Postby Razhak » Sun Jun 24, 2018 2:44 am

isabel wrote:..and we - players who are in Australia/India/this side of the world could set some group pk times - and have a lot of fun on this game.


This remark makes it clear to me, that you have this idea all backwards.. The mud used to be such a fun and exciting place, that people used to log on in enough numbers that this thing happened by itself. One didnt need to arrange times for group pk, so people know when to log on.

The past days I have been thinking alot about what caused the mud to lose so many players (down from a consistent 100+, up to 200 in de mid-2000, down to current player amounts). Offcourse alot of things are beyond our control (people growing up, less people starting the mud then that are quitting, other online games, RL, work, etc..).

One of the things I myself think is a main cause, is the consistent drive for regression to the mean on this mud over the past decade.

The mud in the 2000's was so much fun, because it was alot more dangerous: the unbalancedness actually made it exciting, dangerous and very thrilling to play and achieve. Taking down a fade in the early 2000's (back when we had group fade, attack with blades, etc etc etc) was an achievement, and it gave you the PK-shakes. Bash charge was rediculous, also disengaged stab, sleepstabbers roamed the north, MCs roamed the south (Red Circle anyone?), there were actual known DFs that were out to kill you, etc etc...

Now everyone is clamoring for things to be "fair" and "balanced", but I wonder if the mud wouldnt get a huge upsurge in fun and player numbers if we just reloaded the 2004 code-variant :P

Razhak
Posts: 672
Joined: Sun Mar 22, 2015 7:43 am

Re: Master Mob Lead (Way beyond 30 days) #SetThemFREE

Postby Razhak » Sun Jun 24, 2018 2:46 am

... Seems Spyder and me were thinking mostly the same thing

Treach
Posts: 187
Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2017 10:23 am

Re: Master Mob Lead (Way beyond 30 days) #SetThemFREE

Postby Treach » Sun Jun 24, 2018 3:21 am

Well I disagree.This game is not rock paper, scissors. Currently the new players are the scissors and all the established players are the rocks.

The game shouldn't be balanced around master mobs. People saying they want to quit the game because their master mob got downed should consider the minority of players and all the new players that aren't masters. They have even less opportunities, why wouldn't they want to quit the game aswell?

If you think 2vs5 should be possible then make it possible for everyone, not just the masters with mobs.

Hell I can't even 1vs1 against a master unless I sit at mobs and shave off their hps. Even then 1vs1 a master will keep their mob in reserve in case more show up or they think it will secure the kill. But new players don't get that luxury. If more show up they have to sit at a super patty or go inside.

I am all for masters having some pk bonuses. But at the end of the day the discrepancy between some characters is ridiculous. You see logs of masters with 300 defense and 70% abs with their inherent bonus dmg, and they can bring a master mob any where they want. How is any new player gonna have any hope of winning in PK?

"So much for a cutthroat mud, fucking Smufs more like it."

I really can't figure out who is the smurf? Am I a smurf for playing an unbonused character up north and wanting some semblance of an even playing field? Or is the smurf the masters who want perks so that they can smob solo and fight against double the numbers?

Is the smurf the people that want to smob and get qps, or the player that wants to keep the smobbers who are bad at pk with the least pk bonuses so they are even easier to kill?

And for the inequality argument and it being popular back in the day or "fades used to be even more op". That is cool and all but there is a huge difference between having 200 players on and only a few fades, to having 7 players on and even 1 fade or gaidin.

Imo as numbers die down the inequality will make even more people leave and alienate new players. To me the solution is to close zones and reduce the size of the mud to force pk and also to even the playing field and remove or turn down bonuses.

isabel
Posts: 485
Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2016 5:19 am

Re: Master Mob Lead (Way beyond 30 days) #SetThemFREE

Postby isabel » Sun Jun 24, 2018 4:41 am

You yourself told me you don't play darkside so what would you actually know about fighting humans from the other side of it?


My comment was about LS bashing - not some darkside game mechanics. An LS player would know why their group went in better than the DS group. Similarly, the DS group would know better than LS why DS went in.

When i started this game if you died because you weren't at the screen when *Dorgo* came in then you died and got the fuck over it, got yourself some more leathers and learned a fucking lesson from it.


What is this lesson? Don't look away from your computer? Take an extra few seconds to log off even if the phone is ringing, or your doorbell rang, or someone called you? Rent a basement where you can play wotmud uninterrupted and away from real human beings?

If you see the logs, people actually enjoy dying unexpectedly and appreciate the patience/timing - if a channeler dismounted to refresh her horse, and the stabber tracking her knew she would stop in THAT room and stabbed her - the winner feels that thrill of winning, but the player who died Also feels a rush of having been outplayed. That's why games are fun - because win or lose, you feel challenged and have fun. Sometimes it is more fun to lose than win. I'd rather lose outnumbered on LS than sit in a DS group spamming k xxx. You would perhaps rather run stabs or weaves outnumbered than sit in an LS group waiting for opponent numbers to thin. Why? Because it's fun to lose when you managed to do a few things right under pressure, when you ran 2 more zones vs a power group, when you d/lined past a blocker instead of spamming into him, when you got a stab off and survived in a room with a power group.

Compare that with someone narrates they're afk or low and you jumped on them to one-shot kill. Where's the thrill in that? Razhak's logic seems to be that this makes the game fun and dangerous - yet he complains about a channeler porting on him etc. You guys know your minds best, but think whether your larger vision of this game is fun for everyone.

Spyder
Posts: 195
Joined: Wed Mar 25, 2015 5:51 am
Location: Australia

Re: Master Mob Lead (Way beyond 30 days) #SetThemFREE

Postby Spyder » Sun Jun 24, 2018 8:05 am

Treach wrote: "So much for a cutthroat mud, fucking Smufs more like it."

I really can't figure out who is the smurf? Am I a smurf for playing an unbonused character up north and wanting some semblance of an even playing field? Or is the smurf the masters who want perks so that they can smob solo and fight against double the numbers?

Is the smurf the people that want to smob and get qps, or the player that wants to keep the smobbers who are bad at pk with the least pk bonuses so they are even easier to kill?


Weren't we all once the people being killed over and over by better players????? Hell I am consistently killed by better players on many of my characters because being honest I am not a good pker. Though I seem to be able to cope with the dynamic that the game is not fair and nor should it be. I try to learn from my deaths and become a better, wiser player because of it even if it is a slow road.

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.
B. Willingly bet on the bordem of the other side.
C. Fully understand the position they hold within the pk risk vs reward ratio and choose not to hit.

Has lead to some awfully shitty stalemate pk. Particularly in places like camp. Darkside cannot afford to leave pot but humans dont wish to cross the threshold into camp because they are not comfortable with the nearby doors and the 50/50 flees out. With a master mob un eqed it will often allow DS to push at ent and at least give chance for a kill for both sides instead of everyone wasting their time while no one makes a move.

Mobs have always provided a way to break deadlocks or stalemates within pk. By removing them the dynamic was adjusted and while for the better in some cases such as stacking a whole zone worth of mobs in 1-2 rooms or using mobs to bash people while dispensing hilarious damage with attack enabled weapons. I don't think overall it was a wise change. I am yet to see one of these new "mobs" make anything other than a corpse as soon as pk begins.

When i refer to Smurfs I am pointing at people who want everything to be fair, for a lone human hunter to be able to engage toe to toe with a Myrddraal as an example. It shouldn't work like that. It doesn't mean you cannot win said fight but it is not a even contest. That's where I am coming from. People who want places like Ragan to be no hide, lockable clan rooms, removal of channeling mobs both places like RK and TV, more nohides than you can poke a stick at (Vampa/Co. love you for taking at least some of these away).

Death will always teach you more about the game and how to become a well rounded player. Never risking a death means never learning anything.

There are a whole swath of players with top end bonuses running around now who can't hold their own in pk, yet can come and totally destroy the dynamic of ongoing pk due to their bonuses and their presence. I cannot help but feel that if you have any kind of bonus that gives you Offensive or Defensive buffs then you should have to earn a portion of those through player versus player. I will stand by that forever. I hope that if that was a thing we would find many more people would be at least willing to defend themselves or kick the ass of the guy who's trying to murder them rather than running into the nearest no hide uber patty they can find.

There was once a level of thrill associated with playing this game, that perhaps because of the dwindling populace is gone? I think though it is more to do with the consistently slow imperceptible change in this going from a no safe places mud to a social mud.

When I talk about what it's like to play from a timeslot that no one plays on this is what I mean.

o HP:Healthy MV:Full > who
Players
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Torag the Master Bandit [Ko'bal Master]

1 players displayed.

o HP:Healthy MV:Full > time
It is 2 o'clock am, on the 21st day of the month of Amadaine, year 1231.
According to legend and prophecy, this is the Zunth Turn of the Wheel.
The official forums are now at 'http://www.wotmod.org' enjoy!

(Server: Sun Jun 24 07:10:21 2018 EST, up for 7 hours, 5 minutes)

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

o HP:Healthy MV:Fresh > who
Players
-------
Torag the Master Bandit [Ko'bal Master]

1 players displayed.
time

o HP:Healthy MV:Fresh > It is 11 o'clock pm, on the 22nd day of the month of Amadaine, year 1231.
According to legend and prophecy, this is the Zunth Turn of the Wheel.
The official forums are now at 'http://www.wotmod.org' enjoy!

(Server: Sun Jun 24 07:57:52 2018 EST, up for 7 hours, 52 minutes)


This is a lovely example of what I am refering to, this is the general scene I log into many nights of the week. So I just don't play. There aren't any kind of incentives to play the side at this point. I've been online for the last 50+ minutes and not a single other player has been online. There is not a great deal to really "do" on darkside as a solo player short of raid south. While that is a viable option I don't always have the 1-2 hours required for it.

I am also in the minority group who really can do a bit more because I have a master rogue and a dreadlord. Both of those classes excel at smobbing solo though much less so with the removal of mobs. What does a master hunter do when he logs in and sees this same scene, his options are limited. Even more so now with the nuking. He goes and kills DO, looks for pk and if there is none he rents because there's nothing to fucking do.

Isabel wrote:What is this lesson? Don't look away from your computer? Take an extra few seconds to log off even if the phone is ringing, or your doorbell rang, or someone called you? Rent a basement where you can play wotmud uninterrupted and away from real human beings?


The lesson is that this game isn't a safe place and that you will be killed by people who can and will kill you. Who gives a shit if you die while you were AFK if someone rang you. Last i checked real life takes precedence and this is still just a video game with no real life meaning. IF you put the game down to do something more important then do that and accept the fact you did it. Don't rely anyone else to play fair or give a shit about your real life issues whatever they may be because quite often they don't.

If they don't murder your ass thank them and move on. If they do then note it and try to kill them back. Make it a revenge goal instead of crying about it in an open forum where all the little knights can ride their white stallions in to wave their little moral superiority banners.

With the addition of bonus rewards for pk scalps (1,3,5 to 3/5/7), Herald qps, Smob qps, Quest qps, Clan issued quest qps there has never been a point where is has been easier to obtain bonuses/master status. Yet here we are complaining that it's "too hard" and everyone else should be "downed".

What happened to us?

Zarth
Posts: 146
Joined: Wed Jul 15, 2015 8:04 pm

Re: Master Mob Lead (Way beyond 30 days) #SetThemFREE

Postby Zarth » Sun Jun 24, 2018 8:33 am

Return mob lead to the mighty Ghar'ghael, do not return mob lead to Fades or the cowardly Dha'vol.

Treach
Posts: 187
Joined: Mon Feb 27, 2017 10:23 am

Re: Master Mob Lead (Way beyond 30 days) #SetThemFREE

Postby Treach » Sun Jun 24, 2018 9:45 am

Spyder wrote:Weren't we all once the people being killed over and over by better players?????

Yea but you had other targets to kill. You weren't solely fighting better players that were also playing overpowered characters.

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.

Eh why cant zones be adjusted for this or a mobol solution? Why should only masters have the ability?

Spyder wrote:When i refer to Smurfs I am pointing at people who want everything to be fair, for a lone human hunter to be able to engage toe to toe with a Myrddraal as an example. It shouldn't work like that. It doesn't mean you cannot win said fight but it is not a even contest.

It goes beyond not being able to stand toe to toe. It is possible to give masters advantages without making them so overbearing that it ruins all enjoyment of the game. It is not fun versing and even winning if you knew that the other person was handicapping them self just to get you to attempt to kill them..

Death will always teach you more about the game and how to become a well rounded player. Never risking a death means never learning anything.

I am not complaining about dying. I am just pointing out that the most bonused characters in the game are saying they need mob lead when others especially new players are already struggling to enjoy pk against them.

I am also in the minority group who really can do a bit more because I have a master rogue and a dreadlord. Both of those classes excel at smobbing solo though much less so with the removal of mobs. What does a master hunter do when he logs in and sees this same scene, his options are limited. Even more so now with the nuking. He goes and kills DO, looks for pk and if there is none he rents because there's nothing to fucking do.

Womp womp. If ther is a problem it shouldn't be fixed only for the elite because you alienate any new players.

With the addition of bonus rewards for pk scalps (1,3,5 to 3/5/7), Herald qps, Smob qps, Quest qps, Clan issued quest qps there has never been a point where is has been easier to obtain bonuses/master status. Yet here we are complaining that it's "too hard" and everyone else should be "downed".

What happened to us?

You were complaining that you logged on for an hour and you were the only person... So imo that makes it impossible to get smob qps, and if you go hit scout and noone comes it also makes it extremely difficult to get pk qps... Also the clan qps are a fixed quantity and some are honestly harder than getting pk scalps..

isabel
Posts: 485
Joined: Wed Aug 31, 2016 5:19 am

Re: Master Mob Lead (Way beyond 30 days) #SetThemFREE

Postby isabel » Sun Jun 24, 2018 10:06 am

Do you hit scout when you log on DS?

Raeza
Posts: 191
Joined: Sun Apr 09, 2017 11:21 am

Re: Master Mob Lead (Way beyond 30 days) #SetThemFREE

Postby Raeza » Sun Jun 24, 2018 10:59 am

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.

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?

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.

I suppose that one reaction to the declining numbers in the game is to hold as tightly as possible to the small group of hardcore experienced players that are currently left, and then when those last people leave, let the game die. Perhaps that is the mentality in this thread when people say it is the loss of these bonuses that are killing the game. Another approach would be to try to bring new blood into the game and (crucially) to retain these new people so that they continue to play and move into PK. If you think the latter is impossible, then I guess I can understand somewhat the focus on the former.

But, there ARE regularly new players who start playing this game. I see them all the time. My impression is that they often play for a while, level up a character (or two or three) to 51, explore a bit, do some smobbing, maybe join a clan. But, when it comes to PK, the learning curve is too high and they often get discouraged and/or lose interest. PK is obviously the main endgame activity in the mud, and (sadly) people regularly comment on how if you are not participating in PK most of the time, you are basically useless as a player. If you want to have more people PKing, might I suggest thinking of ways to encourage people who are not PK experts to get involved? I don't think a PK of 5 fades vs. 5 master gaidin is what you have in mind in terms of 'quality' PK, so I am not sure that losing mob lead is really the culprit here if we are talking about encouraging 'quality' PK. It seems more like a bandage than a real solution -- have a larger mass of people who jump into PK at least sometimes.

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.

-- 98% of people that you encounter in the game today are extremely experienced, having played the game for years and years.
-- Basically every other player has so much more knowledge and skill than you do, especially when it comes to zone knowledge, etc.
-- When the other side gets a whiff that you are a newer/less skilled player, you often become high on the target list and get picked off quickly (a logical tactical decision, but it still makes it even more difficult to stay alive).
-- 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.
-- 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.
-- The best way to improve is to practice, but as a newbie what tends to happen is that you go PK and die within a few minutes, then you are out for a while because you don't have the gear to jump back in. It makes it difficult to get the repetitions necessary to really get better at it.
-- 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.

The most common advice I hear w.r.t. PK for newbies is something along the lines of "just go do it and you will get better." Strictly speaking, this is obviously true -- you need to practice to get better -- but this more difficult today than it may have been years and years ago. I think a lot of experienced players remember back to their newbie days when there were hundreds of people playing, and a much greater proportion of the people you would encounter in PK were relatively inexperienced (compared to today) and non-master/non-bonused. I was not really playing then, of course, but my guess would be that you could sort of start having some success (staying alive longer, getting kills) even if you weren't so good yet. In today's world, I have been playing quite actively for a year and a half and I just now feel like I am starting to get the hang of it and having some success (and I think it is probably not an accident that this coincides with me now having a bonused character -- bonded Aes Sedai though not mastered). That is a long time to wait for a pay-off, and I don't think that I am a particularly incompetent person. Not too long ago, I died on virtually every PK outing that I ever attempted, on any character. (And yes, I know that channelers are hard characters to play, and I have spent time PKing as abs bashers as well to help me learn).

When people make the argument that having master mobs adds options and lets PK continue for longer, I can't help but interpret that as: master mobs allows fades/masters (i.e. those who are already highly experienced, highly skilled, highly bonused) to survive for longer and pick off weaker (non-master) characters while having less risk for themselves. This may make PK longer and more fun for those players (I guess), but the weaker players are still just fodder. This point-of-view may have made sense when there were few masters and most people were plain non-masters. But now, many, if not most, players have masters so being the fodder is often just not that fun.

Personally, I feel like the logic of giving masters major PK benefits is flawed, especially in terms of maintaining a healthy player base. Giving the most skilled, most experienced players in the game even more benefits to make them even harder to kill than they already are (by virtue of being really good at the game!) does not promote a game that is accessible and fun for new players, especially when we reach the point we have now where so many are masters. Maybe it made more sense when player numbers were huge and masters were few, but that is no longer the case. In hindsight, I think the master bonuses would have been better designed to be largely unrelated to PK directly -- things like making it easier to move around quickly (personal coaches), free storage space, more inn options, etc. Things that make your life easier, but not benefits that make you harder to kill directly. But I think that ship has sailed, so I digress.

The other thing that bugs me is when people suggest that everyone who plays the game should be essentially forced into PKing all the time, or else they are just wasting space. It is clear that this is a "PK mud" in the sense that PK is really the main endgame activity. But personally, I play the game because I like the combination of things that I can do while being immersed in a fantasy world that I like. Sometimes I like to PK, sometimes I like to RP, sometimes I like to have a relaxing smob trip, sometimes I like to go out and explore areas I have not been to before, sometimes I like to just sit in my chambers and chat with friends over tells. If a just wanted to do PvP and nothing else, there are other games that I would play instead. I would bet that no new players start playing this mud because they think "Wow, this game seems to be a one-of-a-kind PvP experience." Rather, people start because they love the Wheel of Time and want to try out a game that lets them experience the world.

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?

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.

Sorry -- this turned into a much longer post than I intended, and I realise it is only tangentially related to master mob lead.

I guess what I am trying to say (tl;dr) is: if you think that losing master mob lead has made your character so boring to play that you have nothing to do, and if you are truly committed to improving numbers in PK and improving the quality of PK, consider taking steps to help encourage other people to get into PK and to get better at it. Offer to lead someone through PK areas and show them points of interest, regroup points, doors. Offer to spar with someone, or offer to give constructive feedback on a PK log that they send you. If you notice someone in PK who seems new-ish, offer them some constructive feedback on what they did well, and what they could have done better. (CONSTRUCTIVE feedback -- saying things like "WTF were you doing, I said hit and you got me killed!!!" is not helpful.)

I think I have gotten over the mid-game 'hump' in the game to the point where I am in for the long haul: I feel like I can at least hold my own in PK and contribute, I feel like I am steadily improving, I have a some friends now that makes equipping and the social aspects of the game more manageable. Some people have been really amazing in helping me improve my skills and knowledge along the way (and to them I am very grateful!), and this has been crucial. But there were definitely times where it seemed hopeless, where it seemed improvement was stalling, and where I was very close to just saying it was too much work to be worth it, tempted to move on to other activities with a more reasonable timescale for it to be worthwhile. If you really want to increase numbers in PK over time, I think we need to get more people over the mid-game hump. Some experienced players have left and will continue to leave for reasons mostly unrelated to the mud (they get older, have families, have other responsibilities, move on to other activities). These people are most likely not coming back, regardless of how many bonuses they have. So, the only option (short of letting the mud just die) is to find ways to get new people involved (and involved in PK specifically to improve PK).

Debating the merits of having master mob lead or not is fine, but having more master bonuses is not the be-all-end-all of PK. Calling people smurfs for suggesting that a more even playing field would be beneficial is not helpful. I can tell you that PK zones/fades are still scary places for new players, and that new players still get pk shakes, even without master mob lead, or any weapon attack, or whatever other bonuses people could have. I am not sure that making the elite players more elite (in the form of more bonuses) is what is really going to encourage more players to stick around, except for maybe those elite players. But is that really the PK you want? It just turns into a majority of powerhouses vs. a small minority of weaklings.

Disparaging players who like to do other activities (smobbing, RPing, or even just sitting in the square hanging out) is also not helpful.


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