Jan 202017
 

No I do not want fries with that.

And I most definitely do not want another great big helping of new systems work.

I feel like the proverbial desiccated man wandering the desert, dehydrated, wanting only water, just water, but seeing nothing but cacti and mirages.

New crafting? Cool but not content. A mirage. A shiny mirage, but a mirage nonetheless.

New Reaper mode? Cool, but not content. A cactus. Probably a truly gnarly cactus, a Saguaro, needles and awesomeness everywhere. But still, a cactus.

Where is the content?

Is it just me? Am I the only one wandering, parched, vultures circling overhead as I convulse with the pangs of having to run the same old same old, again? Again?

But perhaps I am being too anecdotal. I am the data guy, where is the data?

Back in 2014 I charted and graphed all of the DDO content ever released. Sadly, it seems I did not save any of that data, and I am damn sure not researching it again and reconstructing the spreadsheet. But I can show you the charts I made.

This one showed the content of every release, ever, through January 2014:

 

Every release, ever, through January 2014
This one showed annual sums of content, by type, for every year from 2006:

Content by Year, 2006-2014

Actually that second chart included estimates for 2014 rather than hard numbers, based on that year’s annual Producer Letter.*

* Back in days of old, the Producer would write out a plan for an entire year and share it with us. Every year! Can you believe it?

But anyway. It would be most useful to re-open those charts and update them through today so we can really see the trends and pace of new content. But that is not an option due to my stunning lack of foresight. Instead, here are the same basic charts but for the last three years:

 

Every release, 2014-2016

The number and frequency of updates has not slacked, but there is less content in each release.

 

That is a grim picture. If you look back up at the original version of this chart, 2014 would be tied for the least amount of new content ever. 2015 represented a new, bad, record for the least content. And 2016 was half of that.

Notice that I am awarding full credit for every tiny drip of content they release – even festivals, and even modified festivals that have only undergone minor changes. Every single new thing is treated as if it were the Haunted Halls of Eveningstar.

But even so, 2016 was just the worst. Ever. By far.

I wonder why? As far as we are allowed to know, the dev team in 2015 was about the same as the dev team in 2016, but managed to put out twice as many things. Literally, twice as much. Maybe there were personnel changes that were never made public.

Or maybe the development team has decided that everyone left playing this game is totally cool with running the same quests endlessly, especially if they can do so on a new race or a slightly more balanced character or in a new difficulty level.

Stop. Please. Stop with the systems and give us a year of new content. New quests. New raids. Every release. All year.

Apparently there is hope, at least according to this. A “content pack” in the summer, and Ravenloft in the fall.

But really we need them all to be “content packs”. All of them. Lots and lots of content.

Please.

We’re dying out here in the desert.

πŸ™‚ πŸ˜€ πŸ™‚

  10 Responses to “I’d Like an Order of New Content Please, With a Side of More Quests”

Comments (10)
  1. Seconded, thirded and quite possibly fourth fifth and sixted. More quests at all levels so its not just down the same old quests agin each TR. Well said Geoff.

  2. aka Willibold of Tyrs Paladium on Ghallanda

  3. I think they should slow the release rate down and buff them up instead. Enough zerging out releases; donless with more. With lots of tricks they can sell it slowly and use build-up well beforehand to get us excited.

  4. One thing to keep in mind: somewhere around mid 2016, LotRO lost several people, including their old community manager and executive producer, and the DDO counterparts were thrust into those roles (i.e. Severlin is now EP of both DDO and LotRO, and Cordovan is CM of both DDO and LotRO). So – it is possible that some DDO content devs are also now LotRO content devs (though i cannot say for a certainty that this is the case).

    Also – the negotiations for handing over DDO and LotRO from Turbine to SSG was all being done during 2016, so that could have had a big impact as well. (While I was not around for the big “F2P” shift and the acquisition of DDO [and LotRO] by WB, it is my understanding that during this transition/negotiations, content was way down, as well.)

    Thus, I think we should look to 2017 to see if the short-term ‘trend’ of 2016 is going to be a long-term trend, or just one of those anomalous years due to extenuating circumstances.
    πŸ˜‰

    • I am not accusing the devs of slacking off. They are doing plenty. We have new systems work every update, tons of it, and it is higher quality than it was in the past.

      Or so it seems, I encounter less defects.

      I just want them to redirect their efforts into content for awhile. Last year was ridiculous.

  5. While I fully agree that new quests are necessary and haven’t been coming fast enough, I think I’m looking at it like a sports team. We all love to see our team spend money in free agency on quarterbacks, and wide receivers, or even a big pass rusher or shut down corner back. But there comes a time when you just need to focus on the core of the team and get a new offensive line or spend some money on some special teams guys. Just look at our beloved Broncos. What could they have done if they actually had a running game this year, or an offensive line that could block for a runner like say the Steelers have?

    The fact of the matter is that DDO is old. In MMO’s its ancient, and old things take maintenance, and often need to have parts retooled, or even wrecking balled in order to make way for other new things. So the natural progression is for the content to peak and then start declining as time and resources need to be shifted to maintenance and groundwork for new concepts. No one likes rebuilding years, but in the end if it leads to another 5 or 10 year run of greatness then fans can look forward to it and hope for the best.

    Personally I sometimes wonder if it wouldn’t be better for them to work on a DDO 2.0 or something behind the scenes where they task 2 or 3 top devs to build it up from scratch using the newest database features and coding, and building in more flexibility and optimization. Of course this would mean less resources for updates and the current game, but if in 2 years a brand new game that takes advantage of new technology which would eliminate lag, close loopholes in security and possibly allow for a broader / deeper experience, then would you put up with the current game with only 1 or 2 updates with minimal new content a year? I think it might be worth it…Just my opinion.

    Aging stinks. Whether you watch pets, games or people grow old, no one likes it, but alas its part of the world we live in.

    • I would love this to happen

    • Not arguing against DDO 2.0, just find it really an unlikely idea. If Hasbro wanted that, would they contract SSG to do the work?

      Actually I think they did want that and no they did not hire Turbine/SSG. But instead of DDO 2 they called it Neverwinter Nights.

      Anyway. Old or not, it needs content. Lots of content, they have a lot of catching up to do.

      • Oh i agree fully that 2.0 probably won’t happen, but in reality DDO can only last so long with the programming language and systems it has as its foundation. You can patch things and make them limp along, but eventually there will be things you want/need to take advantage of in order to keep up with other games and entertainment options, and without a better newer foundation they won’t be possible. Just look at handwraps and the problems that has caused over the years…

        And yes content and then content, and maybe some more content with a side of content and some content for dessert πŸ™‚

  6. “Stop. Please. Stop with the systems and give us a year of new content. New quests. New raids. Every release. All year.” 2017 will be that year in DDO.

What do you think?

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