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Revisiting the Quest XP nerfFollow

#1 Feb 19 2018 at 2:34 PM Rating: Excellent
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Posting this here first, as I think we can drill down to the heart of it clearer than the official boards.

I'll put out some semi-connected thoughts, and hope our community chimes in and illuminates (me at least):

My opinion is that abuse of some quests resulted in a sledgehammer solution of nuking all quest XP on progression servers (live too?).

Fire Beetle Eyes in Freeport

Crushbone Belts

Bone Chips such as in Kaladim

were meant as newbie quests to get you a bit of coin/xp/armor and/or minor spell reward and faction. I don't have a problem with someone feeding 2000 of something to a quest NPC to get faction. The problem on progression was people permafarming newbie areas like Paineel to get stacks of fire beetle eyes to get XP. And yes. some of the people doing this farming appeared to be cheating to do it (so punish them with bans instead of taking all quest XP away).

Some quests aimed at level 1's were giving XP into the 20s and even reported into the 40s. Many of these things have been adjusted on a case-by-case basis over the years (spend an afternoon reading level 1-30 quests pre GoD). Red Wine in Neriak, Muffins to Pandos and such come to mind too.

I have no issue with a person taking the time to feed a quest to get to level 4 (with a level 1 quest item to obtain quest... I don't even care if this pushes someone to teen levels, 20+ is getting a bit extreme though). They have to be able to dial this in, as Crushbone shoulderpads were always worth more XP than belts, and both quests were better XP than bone chips or fire beetle eyes.

So to me, they should have just dialed back the XP on the specific quests. Fire beetle eyes in Freeport is faction and newbie spell... make it no xp. Add a quest turn in with a nodrop lore item from the newbie yard that gives nice XP @ level 4 if you really want to fix it to do all the original intentions of the quests.

Crushbone belts giving quest XP into the teens is not unbalancing, but cap the xp gain at level 10 if that is the new correct. The fact that I see Crushbone belts rotting says this was turned back too far.

Being able to hammer big stacks in the faction giving quests is the only thing that makes EQ faction (so archaic in design) less awful. And we know faction wasn't the issue because you can still do that in the current minimal quest xp settings. Quests were being obviously abused (causing zone disruption) for XP.

I would like harder quests that used to give a nod to XP for the time involved to do so again. If this means all big-stack quests get turned into no XP after level 5 so be it. That would be better than all quest XP being flattened.

My preference is all quests go back to the XP they were, but the specific abuse-tempting quests be modified to curb that abuse (like my fire beetle example where you do the big stacks for faction, the single lore drop for the XP at intended level).

Thoughts? What am I missing?
#2 Feb 19 2018 at 9:52 PM Rating: Excellent
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I don't have a horse in the TLP game but I do have a couple thoughts.

Auto looting makes afk farming anything trivial if you can leave a computer on. This turns the collection of non-lore items into something akin to bitcoin mining. If you can set it up and do it, and they don't care, why stop? So collection of anything like CB pads becomes trivial when it was not. I am not a fan of afk looting.

Quest exp in this game was always terrible to the point it was a joke. If you had to hand in 4 unstacked bone chips 1000 times manually you probably would just go back to killing stuff. Now you can hand in ... is it 4000 bone chips in one hand in? Changes like that completely skewed the expected reasonable reward from quests like that.

Finally, EQ always seems to react with an unconsidered, knee-jerk reaction to anything they didn't expect. I'm certain you put more thought into your post than they did with the HA adjustment of 2018. But I totally agree with you that with careful consideration, time, and effort, they could return reasonable reward to quests.
#3 Feb 20 2018 at 4:11 PM Rating: Excellent
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Taninger wrote:

Auto looting makes afk farming anything trivial if you can leave a computer on. This turns the collection of non-lore items into something akin to bitcoin mining. If you can set it up and do it, and they don't care, why stop? So collection of anything like CB pads becomes trivial when it was not. I am not a fan of afk looting.

Quest exp in this game was always terrible to the point it was a joke. If you had to hand in 4 unstacked bone chips 1000 times manually you probably would just go back to killing stuff. Now you can hand in ... is it 4000 bone chips in one hand in? Changes like that completely skewed the expected reasonable reward from quests like that.


Yeah, I'm not in favour of afk activity either. XP smashed down from quests does seem to have stopped that in respects to things like fire beetle eyes. I have seen spiderling silks being rather fishily farmed still, but that is a tradeskill not quest caused situation.


Quest XP was occasionally quite good if you could do a quest that was over your head. Crushbone belts are a great example of this as you aren't supposed to be able to solo the NPC that drop them at level 1. I don't really have an issue with this (since they don't stack) and half the issue there is letting us have 40 slot weight reduction bags in classic (back in the day you weren't likely able to carry 300 Crushbone belts at once). As long as CB belts stop giving decent XP somewhere in the range of when the NPC that drop them grey out I think it is balanced (even with big bags).

So conceding the giant-stack quests will likely never get their XP back, are there any that this harms the intent of the quest? What I mean is quests like Muffins for Pandos are all about the faction. It is fine that the XP is gone. I can't think of any myself.

I feel that CB belts was meant to actually give you some XP for the bother of collecting them and running them over. It's a specific quest I think should be tuned back up. So maybe that is the better thing to ask for: Which quests were clearly intended to XP reward you and should be given a boost so that purpose is meaningful on progression? [live servers aren't hurt by CB belts having boosted xp]

Or, is this just a "meh" situation that people don't really care about? I can concede that point if that's in line with the community view.

#4 Feb 24 2018 at 3:23 PM Rating: Excellent
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Personally I'm getting more and more sick and tired of the obvious automated afk xping and pharming which I'm seeing more and more in zones of more than one level range. I don't play on TLP but I definitely can believe that people are levelling alts by auto-pharming crushbone belts and bone chips, thus denying quest items to "real" players who are just trying to honestly level their toons. It's treating the symptom rather than the disease for DBG to then nerf the xp yielded by these noobie quests. This crap is hurting the game now and could ruin it if it isn't deal with. My only fear is DBG will take the oversized hammer approach and instead of suspending or banning the obvious automated afk groups they'll institute "checks" which hammer down on legitimate boxers and others who play efficiently but don't cheat.

Crushbone belts and lego pads are great quests which provide decent XP and rewards only at the levels which could honestly use them. It's a long run from Crushbone to Kaladim and IF the quests aren't done in automated manner their use is self-controlling because the XP declines at a pace which makes it not efficient once a toon gets high enough that pharming the drops becomes trivial.

When I used to trash my Kaladim faction by quadding guards, I'd fix it by turning in belts. But rather than pharming them myself I'd pay low level players as much as 4pp per belt/pad to pharm them for me. I always remember this dark elf shadowknight who went to town doing this bringing me multiple 8-slot backpacks full of the items. This was win-win all around and I felt within the spirit of the game since entrepreneurship of this sort has always been consistent with fair play in EQ.



Edited, Feb 28th 2018 11:27am by Sippin
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#5 Feb 28 2018 at 11:15 AM Rating: Excellent
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Sippin wrote:
Personally I'm getting more and more sick and tired of the obvious automated afk xping and pharming which I'm seeing more and more in zones of more than one level range.

I often see people justifying "how does their game play effect you?" - well, when the same "group" is in a spot I am interested in trying for days on end (24 hours a day) it effects me.

I've never intentionally trained anyone, but what appear to be bot groups tempt me greatly.
#6 Feb 28 2018 at 8:55 PM Rating: Excellent
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Agreed. Autobot players affect us all negatively, as do those who perma-camp named mobs to pharm their drops. It's ludicrous that an average player could never see certain Old World nameds because there are players camping their spawn spots and using automation to alert them when the named spawns. I can't swear this is the case for every named on every server but because these mobs drop tradeable loot which is still in big demand it's apparent that they're always going to be fertile camps for making big plats.

I always liked trivial loot code for this reason. Does any server still have trivial loot code? (Means nobody in your group can loot a drop from a mob whose death didn't provide XP to everyone in the group getting credit for the kill.)
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#7 Feb 28 2018 at 10:02 PM Rating: Excellent
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Sippin wrote:
Agreed. Autobot players affect us all negatively, as do those who perma-camp named mobs to pharm their drops. It's ludicrous that an average player could never see certain Old World nameds because there are players camping their spawn spots and using automation to alert them when the named spawns. I can't swear this is the case for every named on every server but because these mobs drop tradeable loot which is still in big demand it's apparent that they're always going to be fertile camps for making big plats.

I always liked trivial loot code for this reason. Does any server still have trivial loot code? (Means nobody in your group can loot a drop from a mob whose death didn't provide XP to everyone in the group getting credit for the kill.)



trivial loot code was problematic with quest completion such as epics is my understanding, and I think FV was the only server to ever have it.

problem drops could have just been added to alternative higher npc might have been a solution.

ironically, the orphaned monster shroud mechanic could actually work with trivial loot code in theory, but some would find ways to abuse that too...
#8 Mar 01 2018 at 8:04 AM Rating: Good
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snailish wrote:


problem drops could have just been added to alternative higher npc might have been a solution.



Nah, this isn't a solution. You want level-appropriate toons to be able to experience what it meant to raid those mobs and acquire legendary loot. Sure. I suppose pharmers could maintain a roster of lower level twinked-out alts for this purpose but they'd still have to organize a raid force and that's a lot harder to automate than one group. And infinitely easier to detect. If I was DBG in such a situation I'd set up GM alerts every time a raid-level mob of this type is engaged by a raid force and send a GM out to monitor. It would take about 30 seconds to determine that an entire raid was automated.

One solution, which I'm marginally in favor of, is make those Old World bosses only available for their raid loot in an instance. Just like they do with most such mobs in the modern game. I'd leave them continue to spawn in-game, for those who enjoy the old time experience of raiding Nagafen or Phinny in a regular zone. But nerf their loot.

They could also flag all this loot as no-drop. That's an easy solution and I doubt it would take much effort. Even make it heirloom if u want to permit players to pharm something with their main and transfer it to an alt they're twinking. I hate making such deep changes to the original game, however... and what do you with the examples already in the world? There would be drop and no-drop versions of all these items. Seems to me this has happened before but I can't recall an example atm.

Okay, one more idea, a synthesis of the above! Leave the bosses in-game but make their loot no-drop. Add instance versions for the same mob and make their loot tradeable!

And then I want peace on earth and a puppy for every child!

Edited, Mar 1st 2018 9:10am by Sippin
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#9 Mar 01 2018 at 7:27 PM Rating: Excellent
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Sippin wrote:
snailish wrote:


problem drops could have just been added to alternative higher npc might have been a solution.



Nah, this isn't a solution. You want level-appropriate toons to be able to experience what it meant to raid those mobs and acquire legendary loot. Sure. I suppose pharmers could maintain a roster of lower level twinked-out alts for this purpose but they'd still have to organize a raid force and that's a lot harder to automate than one group. And infinitely easier to detect. If I was DBG in such a situation I'd set up GM alerts every time a raid-level mob of this type is engaged by a raid force and send a GM out to monitor. It would take about 30 seconds to determine that an entire raid was automated.

One solution, which I'm marginally in favor of, is make those Old World bosses only available for their raid loot in an instance. Just like they do with most such mobs in the modern game. I'd leave them continue to spawn in-game, for those who enjoy the old time experience of raiding Nagafen or Phinny in a regular zone. But nerf their loot.

They could also flag all this loot as no-drop. That's an easy solution and I doubt it would take much effort. Even make it heirloom if u want to permit players to pharm something with their main and transfer it to an alt they're twinking. I hate making such deep changes to the original game, however... and what do you with the examples already in the world? There would be drop and no-drop versions of all these items. Seems to me this has happened before but I can't recall an example atm.

Okay, one more idea, a synthesis of the above! Leave the bosses in-game but make their loot no-drop. Add instance versions for the same mob and make their loot tradeable!

And then I want peace on earth and a puppy for every child!

Edited, Mar 1st 2018 9:10am by Sippin


My suggestion was meant for a reinstated trivial loot code, something I don't think we will see. But if we did, the higher level player would need a way to get the quest drop. [You can argue monster shrouds give that, but if you to talk a group of players to shroud to 20 to spend a week to get you a quest drop...]

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The old way of changing things is the circlet of shadow vs. circlet of shadows method. Slight change in name, significant change in the item. Progression would likely be improved by the raid loots of original to Velious that aren't already nodrop being made no drop. Even some group level named. Plane of Fear alone would have benefited from this years ago --can't sell amulet of necropotence (and other drops) equals less reason for the zone to be permafarmed.

This way you leave all the currently in game versions around, but moving forward there is no more supply of the tradable ones. Sure, some camps will be permafarmed but the # that it makes sense to sell loot rights at is far less (and harder to hold monopoly on). They could just use the same adjective for all the new items (i.e., dull flowing black silk sash, dull black alloy medallion, dull golden efreeti boots). Note that on progression, some "old" versions drop for a brief period of time [pre-nerf dark elf illusion mask is a notable example] and this would allow more playing with that idea.

Loot acquisition is actually way too easy (don't get me started on out of era pottery idols --I will use them, but they shouldn't be there) and reduces the challenge of progression and flatlines the player tradeskill economy. I say this as a long time casual type player. It's boggling that items from Dalnir (Kunark era dungeon that is one of the only sources of decent monk gear if you are poor) are no drop and much better gear from much higher level things is not.

I would also make tradeskilled gear attunable... the good stuff in its era especially, things like Haze Panther

Granted I also believe some items like Flowing Black Silk Sash should have similar versions in other dungeons, nodrop of course.

The last few progression servers have had agents of change for the raids... you can get Vox instances as a level 65 raid (removes the banish mechanic). This lets the more casual guilds do their own thing independent of the farmers or hardcore guilds.
#10 Mar 02 2018 at 9:38 AM Rating: Excellent
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snailish wrote:

My suggestion was meant for a reinstated trivial loot code, something I don't think we will see. But if we did, the higher level player would need a way to get the quest drop. [You can argue monster shrouds give that, but if you to talk a group of players to shroud to 20 to spend a week to get you a quest drop...]




Something I'd MUCH rather see is quest items only dropping if you have the quest. Then, you don't have to worry about trivial loot code. And you wouldn't have to worry about bags filling up with crap which must be destroyed because they can't be pre-looted.
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#11 Mar 02 2018 at 9:58 AM Rating: Excellent
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Generally, I'd agree with the just above post except sometimes it's intriguing to see a quest-related item drop and it leads me to research the item. I've discovered quests I didn't know about this way. In terms of game realism it makes more sense for quest drops to always drop.
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#12 Mar 02 2018 at 6:37 PM Rating: Excellent
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Sippin wrote:
Generally, I'd agree with the just above post except sometimes it's intriguing to see a quest-related item drop and it leads me to research the item. I've discovered quests I didn't know about this way. In terms of game realism it makes more sense for quest drops to always drop.


There's the practical consideration of they are not going to convert the pre-task system quests to be on the system (and really that is what the no-loot-wihout-quest idea would have to be built from).



They could always put pre-LDoN era quest items onto the LDoN vendors. Still have to work for those points (in theory) rather than everything else since that was currency based.
#13 Mar 02 2018 at 10:24 PM Rating: Excellent
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Sippin wrote:
Generally, I'd agree with the just above post except sometimes it's intriguing to see a quest-related item drop and it leads me to research the item. I've discovered quests I didn't know about this way. In terms of game realism it makes more sense for quest drops to always drop.


Then, in that case, I wish everything was pre-lootable. Nothing worse than having to destroy bags-full of quest items, only to have to get them again later. Especially when there's no rhyme or reason to which quest items are pre-lootable, and which aren't.
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#14 Mar 03 2018 at 8:00 AM Rating: Good
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There isn't much logic to how they handle the "pre-lootability" of quest drops. Even in the current xpacs there are quests whose drops may be looted without the quest. The one I ran into recently related to the Yeti skins in Lceania, or whatever it's spelled.
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#15 Mar 03 2018 at 10:39 AM Rating: Excellent
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If I was designing EQ today, quest items would be done more like achievements: you got the item, the box is checked off. No need to bank or carry it around it goes into an "invisible inventory".


But designing EQ today is a huge can of worms topic and no one would agree. Some would want death penalties, some no feign death, no charming, etc...
#16 Mar 05 2018 at 12:15 AM Rating: Excellent
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You can pry FD from my ... insert slogan. Honestly it was the wacky mechanics of original EQ that gave so much flavor. Torpor soloing shaman, FD, naked corpse runs, charming encs that made you want to roll - then you tried it. Yikes.

Questing should have been simply a flagging process. You did X, you get credit. Multiquesting was, even 20 years ago, ridiculous.
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