Jan 102013

A full raid
So many raids, so little time

The signal-to-noise ratio of the DDO forums is famously low. I do not in any way envy those who’s job it is to try and glean through the daily muck and yuck to seek any useful trends or player input that may be buried amongst the angst.

Wait, yes I do envy that person (those people?), because that person (those people ?) would by definition be Turbine employees and that strikes me as enviable, regardless of what exactly they do on a daily basis.

But even still, the forums can be pretty icky. It would be hard to live there day after day and avoid getting any of the icky on yourself.

And yet there am I, again, fearlessly putting those very same flames and fury through a sieve of reason and hoping to find a nugget of interest within. Usually I get a couple of pages into New Posts and just give up, full of sorrow for humanity. But sometimes I emerge wiser and more knowing (or at least more know-it-all).

Today’s nugget of interest involves raids. All of them. They are too easy for level 25 players. So easy that some of the basic mechanics behind some of the raids no longer apply, while others that are never supposed to be solo-able are being solo’d, including this one which someone solo’d on their first attempt.

In case you are too lazy to follow the above links, the Hound’s Damage Resistance no longer applies to level 25 barbarians, and one exceptional player has figured out how to solo the Abbot while building a character so perfectly suited for soloing raids that he defeated the Master Artificer on his first try.

Now wait, these are level 25 characters, exceptional level 25 characters played by exceptional players. And these are not level 25 raids. Nothing is really broken here, is it? A level 25 character ought to be able to wipe the floor with level 16 raids.

Except still, we are talking Raids here, the creme of DDO adventures and the centerpieces of their quest packages. A whole lot of developer attention goes into each raid, and they are supposed to fill an appropriately over-sized amount of player attention as well.

It strikes me as wrong and perhaps even a little bad for the game that so many of the great DDO raids are now neglected, overcome by time, and offer little in the way of meaningful reward. No wonder people are soloing these raids, it is all but impossible to get a full group together to attempt them.

Here is the list of raids that have not yet gotten the Epic treatment:

  • Ascension Chamber
  • Hound of Xoriat
  • Tempest’s Spine
  • The Reaver’s Fate
  • The Shroud
  • The Titan Awakes
  • A Vision of Destruction
  • Tower of Despair

I still see LFMs for the Shroud and the Reaver, both are easily accessible and contain at least one item usable by characters approaching end game. Tempest’s Spine gets run, it provides a decent return of XP for effort. Rarely someone will attempt an Abbot. Rarely.

And that is it. Good luck filling a group for any of the others.

Strangely and unexpectedly, I especially miss Tower of Despair. In one release I went from running it every morning – yes, every single morning – trying to defeat the insane odds of getting the correct ring, to never running it at all not even once.

Meanwhile, a few raids are available in Epic difficulty:

  • The Chronoscope
  • Caught in the Web
  • The Lord of Blades
  • The Master Artificer
  • The Vault of Night
  • Zawabi’s Revenge

Caught in the Web is the latest and greatest raid and is still well-traveled. Each of the other epic raids offer at least one piece of still-sought epic loot, meaning you have a chance at filling your public group. But only a chance, and patience will be required, especially for the Chronoscope.

Does this mean that ALL of the raids need to get the Epic treatment? I say yes!

It is worth iterating that in spite of this long list of facts, nothing is really broken here, it is only natural that we will outgrow older content in favor of newer content. Even keystone content like raids. This is working as intended. But I remain hopeful. I really like some of these raids and even more, I really like raiding. A large group of people working together to solve intricate problems is one of the selling points of MMOs everywhere.

No offense meant, Caught in the Web, but you are a hackfest that is fun but mindless and require little or no group coordination beyond the acquisition of good healing. You need to be complemented by other styles of raid-level content.

You need the timing of an Epic Vision of Destruction. You need the teamwork of an Epic Hound. You need the intellect of an Epic Abbot or an Epic Titan. You need the pulse-pounding end fight of an Epic Tempest’s Spine.

You need all of them.

And I am intrigued by the thought of an Epic Chattering Ring. Or Epic Enlightened Vestments. Or Epic Maelstrom.

Think about it. Epic raids everywhere. It would be glorious.

🙂 😀 🙂

[Edit] Thank you Singular for reminding me that the two House C raids are in fact already Epic 🙂

  8 Responses to “In a Way, Every Raid is Epic. Let’s Make It Official!”

Comments (8)
  1. I think this must be somewhat dependent on what server you are on. On Thelanis I see plenty of Abbot, ToD, Shroud, and LoB pugs. On the other hand Chrono and Reaver pugs seem quite rare.

    I would like to see all of the raids given epic versions. Especially Abbot.

  2. 1, any time a dev even thinks about doing something to the Abbot it breaks for a looooong time. Don’t touch it. Except to take the puzzles, copy them and then put them in a challenge or something so people can practice with out having to do a beat down every time.

    2, The DG does “training” raids often, just did a few Abbot ones last night even. Think Abbots are back in our rotation for Weds night 6ish mountain time. Feel free to come along. /joinchannel defense

  3. I’d love all missions to have a limit of +4 levels to mission level, i.e. you wouldn’t be even be able to participate in a 15th level quest (17 at elite) if at 20th level. The same with raids of course.

    • I wouldn’t like that at all, if for no other reason than favor cleanup. I’m still running Shroud on my L22 bard and L24 ranger/rogue, simply because they’re fun (yeah, OK, and Shroud ings are good to have… but I’ve no intention of getting ’em more GS or ToD items, so shards & belts are either passed or vendored). My *only* Shroud-flagged character on Cannith is L23 – and he got flagged late. Should he not be allowed to work towards Shroud items simply because he’s over-level?

      If you don’t want to run stuff while over-level… don’t run stuff while over-level. Don’t ask for a mechanic to force the rest of us to follow.

      On Thelanis, I frequently see Shroud and VoN, fairly often see others… i don’t think i’ve seen CitW once. And unfortunately, I only ever see ToD up when I only have 20 minutes to play…but if I’m only on for a short while, it’s guaranteed that there’ll be one up.

    • @Niko – that wouldn’t work for favor farming.

  4. Uhm, you’re mistaken about Lord of Blades and the Master Artificer. Both can be run on Epic levels. The LOB has to be run on both Heroic and Epic levels if you want to complete your alchemical weapons. I seriously doubt either could be solod on Epic Elite.

  5. Oh, yes, forgot to mention – I’m on Thelanis, too, and see Shroud, Von, LOB, MA and Abbot run every day. The only raid I don’t see run often is the Titan, although even that one was run last week once. I…uh…play too much.

  6. i’ll admit that an epic tempest spine would be fun, it’s been too long since that was endgame.
    We still do guild naked runs up there for fun 🙂
    Gianthold will come out with an epic mode soon, i assume they will make the raid epic aswell.
    People gain exp to make their toon grow, that usualy means grow stronger, it gives me a kick to see my barb destroy raid trash i a few hits, it confirms the fact that he grew.

    Raids are already a grind fest as it is (83 runs for madsone boots, 84 for an sos), turning it into a “korean style MMO, hacking away on a group of mobs for 7-12 minutes at the time, wich would scare of the biggest base of the ddo gamer, the middle aged man with a job and limited game time.

    The way CitW has been created (a hackfest as you call it) is a direct responce to the many (just?) complaints about melee’s being use-impaired at higher lv content. most melee’s got a nice power boost out of the epic destinies.

    The titan raid is barely run on my server, only1-2 times a week (compaired to shroud, 3-6 times a day).
    Might that have something to do with the horrible map sytem, the boring flaging quests, needing a caster to port there fast enough? or the fact that half the raid party needs to pike on a lader during the fight?

What do you think?

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