Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Death to the newb!!!!

Blackguard States :
Many of you have expressed your concerns with the changes we've made to the death mechanic in Live Update #17. We understand and appreciate your concerns, and would like to let you know what lead us to this decision.What started out as a response to a valid Customer Service concern evolved into more. We called into question the kinds of things that death in EQII really needs to mean and what its purpose it is. We do understand and realize that players want to maintain the feeling of challenge in EverQuest II and are wary of any changes that they perceive make the game easier.We work hard to balance the goals of reducing the barriers for new players while not trivializing the game for experienced ones. With that in mind, a death penalty do a few things.It must be strong enough to communicate that you...... have failed at your current task.... must stop what you're doing for a couple minutes.... must pay some amount of penance to make up for this, but not an unreasonable one since not all deaths are your fault.However, it should not be so trivial as to make you...... use it as transportation.... take unreasonable risks because you feel there is no penalty at all.Our focus is to make the fundamentals of the game easy to understand and experience while keeping the challenge in the deeper portions of the game. With that and the above points in mind, we felt that repair and experience debt alone are likely enough to accomplish our purposes, without the additional complication or potential tedium and frustration wrought from the existence of spirit shards.The unfortunate truth about spirit shards is that death was already without much sting for players who know what they are doing. These same players are smart enough to know that death is, at least, inefficient and is something to be avoided. However, the recovery of spirit shards for an experienced or skilled player was relatively trivial. For less experienced players, however, it is a different story. Players new to the genre or game were often susceptible to frustration when attempting to recover their spirit shards, and would sometimes log out when facing such failures. As you can see, that doesn't seem quite right.From here, we will take a look at how this change plays out and will be tweaking things like the amount of experience debt or durability loss accrued when you die until we have something we feel meets the above goals. Thank you for expressing your concerns in a constructive manner, and I hope you see that in spite of changes like this that simplify certain aspects of the game, we are committed to maintaining a deep and satisfying experience for our dedicated players.

More on this tommorow while I collect my thoughts.


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