Sep 192016

There is a forum thread titled “General Player Poll: Which would you prefer for the 11th Anniversary?” in which Cordovan asks us whether we would prefer a new Kobold PC race or a new Dragonborn PC race while not actually promising either.

Which is smart, don’t want to promise that they will successfully deliver stuff that will take months of work. But I digress.

Cordovan is asking this question in the context of the next DDO anniversary, which will be the first update in 2017. There is only one more release left for 2016, so Cordovan is asking about the release-after-next. Not the one in the batter’s box right now, that would be Update 33, but the one that is on deck.

I find it amazing that we are getting new races like this. We’d spent a decade asking for Gnomes and being told that getting a new race was the single most difficult thing there is to do in all of DDO, and now we are getting them every year? I wonder what has changed? Something that was once impossible is suddenly commonplace?

Dragonborn are leading the poll by almost three to one; another surprise, people have been squawking about playable Kobolds forever and here is their chance. But no, instead they are jumping on the Dragonborn bandwagon.

I voted for “Neither”.

But wait, put down the torches and pitchforks, let me explain!

I miss new content. This may be a weird thing to say less than a week after Update 32 came out with the three Slavers quests, but it is true nonetheless. We’ve gotten exactly six new quests this year. Six! But there is one update to go, one that may be chock-full of new content, and we’d better hope so because six new quests would be … so sad.

This iteration of the DDO development team loves to do system work. And the game’s systems need (needed?) a revamp. But we can’t only have new systems. 2015 was all about new systems, and so far, 2016 has been too. Yet we cannot live on new systems alone.

  • No matter how perfectly they may balance the monk during the monk pass, I am not going to be excited about running my monk through the same, decade-old quests
  • No matter how awesome the new race may be, I am not going to be excited about running it through the same, decade-old quests
  • No matter how great the new crafting might be, I don’t need it very much when I am using it to defeat the same, decade-old quests.

I could go on, but you get the point.

I understand that content can never keep up with players. I imagine there are players who have run the Slavers so often and so thoroughly that they already have all or most of the premium named items and have made one or two Slavers construction kit items. By the end of October, well before the next update, most people will have already run the Slavers content about as much as they are going to.

That is the nature of content. Turbine cannot make it as fast as we need it.

But that does not mean we don’t need new content at all. Quite the contrary, without new content we are just using the new systems to win the same quests more quickly. The challenge becomes less and less with each update.

We’ve been content starved for most of two years! Consider this graph. I haven’t updated it since 2014 but it shows the rate of new content through the game’s history:

DDO Content By Year

As a minimum, we could anticipate 20 new pieces of content every year. Mostly, but not entirely, quests. But in 2015 that changed: 11 new quests, 1 new raid, 2 revamped raids. And that was that. The worst year for content, ever.

Until now. Until this year, when we are sitting 3/4ths of the way through the annual update cycle and have received only six quests.

Six quests.

Unless Update 33 contains at least eight quests we will be looking at the worst year for content, ever, for the second year in a row.

That can’t be sustainable.

So Turbine, new content, please. New races are nice, I like them just fine, but we are approaching a content emergency.

Content over everything. For a few updates. No systems, all content. Lots and lots of content.

Declare a six-month moratorium on new systems. Or maybe nine months.


πŸ™‚ πŸ˜€ πŸ™‚

  8 Responses to “Kobolds? Dragonborn? How About None of the Above”

Comments (8)
  1. I guess I don’t mind new races because it gives me something extra while running through the same, decade-old quests for triple completionist – I get the extra past life stuff.

    And though I’ve run the new Slave Lord quests and think they’re pretty good, the XP/length ratio (yes I’ve turned into one of *those* people) means I’m unlikely to run them very often. I’m not even sure if the craftable rings/shackles etc are worth aiming for…..

    So yes, I’d like new content but I don’t mind taking new races either

  2. “I voted neither.” He’s a witch, BUUUUUURRRRN HIM!
    “But wait, put down the torches and pitchforks, let me explain!” BUUUUURRRN HIM, ANYWAY!
    Just kidding!
    Honestly, I agree here. Personally, I don’t want Kobold OR Dragonborn (Same cannot be said for Aasimar). However, my Cannith guild and I are currently running the Inspired Quarter quests, and… we’re kind of underwhelmed.

    Can’t count how many times my guild leader said “This is a really tough battle coming up!”, only to find how easy it was to placate. I am not sure how necessary new quests are so much as a lot of the quests may just need an update. However, new quests for mid-level+ would be good, too. Can’t argue your point here, Geoff.

    Once again, very well thought out post. Keep up the good work!

  3. The dev team shot themselves in both foot with the ineptly handled data centre move (or their engineering department and lack of project management shot them in both feet would probably be more accurate), so I get that they’ve been stretched thin lately.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if they’re actually working on a new paid expansion for 2017, but I hear what you’re saying about the lack of new content. But be careful what you wish for πŸ™‚ I’ll take old quality content over new lack-lustre content any day of the week πŸ™‚

    In trying to deal with lag, they’ve dumbed down mob AI to the point that I can now stand and pick mobs off individually while their fellow henchman stand oblivious, so there is still some “system” work that I’d like to see, but I agree that it does feel like we’ve been simply reinventing the wheel of late and not really been moving forward.

    At the end of the day, I’ll take quality over quantity (while hoping the financials stack up that we can get back to having both). I’d happily settle for 2 content updates a year if they’re well done with great storylines that make us feel like we’re on an adventure and eagerly anticipating the next chapter.

  4. I want all the enhancement trees upgraded together. This includes racials. Then they can make new races, content, etc. The difference in how a gnome tree handles weapons vs an elf is absurd, so stark is the difference at the top of their respective pyramids. Interesting racial trees allow for fun builds, especially flavor builds (my preference…)

  5. I’m ok with DDO releasing new Races and Classes. I’m OK with them fixing systems (Loot, Crafting, Character Trees etc.). I ok with them creating the anniversary quest…I’m not OK with them calling that content. I mean technically, it my be defined as content…but it was temporary.

  6. KOBOLD!!!

  7. Well, hey. I see plenty of opportunity for adventure… One just has to take an airship over to good ol’ Sharn, and you have years of adventure laid out before you on the continent of Khorvaire.

    As for the races? I vote kobold. And I want to see hobgoblins before dragonborn.

What do you think?

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