Max level for ECL races

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Re: Max level for ECL races

Post by Garrahk » Thu Nov 02, 2017 7:35 am

ECL is indeed an awful way to balance things, especially when you consider the RP restrictions, quest restrictions, alignment restrictions, and area restrictions. The entire point of powerful races is to be powerful. People fear the Orc hoards for a reason. The Drow are hated and feared for a reason. Aasimar are legends waiting to happen.

Lift the ECL. Let your Orcs and Drow become the scary bad guys they were meant to be. Lets populate those spheres of play and give the heroes people to strive against. Orcs and Drow will never be as popular as Aasimar or humans, not even at a flat 0 ECL across the board. But this way you might give the bad races a healthy sphere to play with.

I'm not going to make the same arguments as above, because I feel they were already presented intelligently. But I will say, if you pull up the census for most RP oriented fantasy mushes or mucks, you will see an overwhelming tendency for people to play Humans, followed by Aasimar and Elves or Half Elves, followed by Dwarves and Halflings, with Half Orc right around there. People want to be the beautiful princess, the chiseled warrior. Many fewer have the desire or patience to be the bad guys for those princesses and warriors. Giving the people that will make that effort obstacles to jump over is just stifling potential RP.

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Re: Max level for ECL races

Post by Alitar » Thu Nov 02, 2017 11:08 am

I like the ECL, and I think if it were lifted then we wouldn't see many play the common (weaker) races except new players who will all but feel they've been handicapped by being forced to pick them simply because they didn't have the kismet to pick something else. Orc hordes are powerful because they're a horde, not because they're level XX. Drow strike fear because they're sinister, not because they're level XX. Just my two cents.
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Re: Max level for ECL races

Post by Vaemar » Thu Nov 02, 2017 2:38 pm

What you say is false, Alitar, because it simply does not match the evidence in game.

The strongest ECL races, aasimar and tiefling, as well as drow, offer comparable mechanical benefits to a shield dwarf for most character builds. Yet we see way more elves, humans and other "weaker" races than shield dwarves among the playerbase. If what you say were true we would see many more shield dwarves playing basically every class except for bard. We don't see anything like this, on the other hand, shield dwarves are moderately uncommon. Hence there must be other factors at play here and what makes most of the playerbase choose which race to play is definitely not kismet cost or mechanical power of the race in question.

So the idea that ECL keeps low the numbers of these races falls apart. Moreover the idea that numbers of these races need to be kept low is also wrong. We could actually use more orcs, deep gnomes and drow, and it is currently pretty bad that these races are played so little. So your argument is actually a very good reason why ECL should be removed, rather than kept.
Garrahk wrote:ECL is indeed an awful way to balance things, especially when you consider the RP restrictions, quest restrictions, alignment restrictions, and area restrictions. The entire point of powerful races is to be powerful.
First things first: ECL is broken and unbalanced. In every single one of its incarnations. Its FK incarnation even more so. The evidence out there to support this is more than abundant and I linked several sources for it in my previous posts in this thread. But more than evidence here we have a simple mathematical truth, as the level cap make these races mathematically underpowered.

In general, anyway, what you say is true, powerful races are meant to be powerful. Right now what ECL realizes is making you struggle much more in order to still remain behind, which makes, obviously, no sense. It is simply extremely poor design.

This out of the way, it must also be reminded that the currently playable ECL races actually are not that powerful to begin with. We are not talking about wemics and centaurs with crazy attribute bonuses. We are talking about races that offer essentially the same benefits of a shield dwarf. And in some cases there are even feat taxes, like daylight adaptation or the wing feats, which for classes that can cast fly or air walk are just a tax on rp, rather than an advantage.

As for spell resistance, whoever has played a drow or a deep gnome knows full well that with its advantages come also very big issues, especially when one is in group, as the lower command lasts very little and has lag during combat. And resisting a healing spell can often be fatal in more than one situation. I would lower spell resistance by 10 points personally, regardless of ECL, just to increase the survival rate of my UD toons. :P

In general the way ECL is implemented here is harming the game and our community immensely. I don't know of any other game that penalyzes the "bad guy" races in the punishing way FK does. This is in fact heavily reflected in game by the fact evil roleplay, especially related to these races, is heavily underrepresented. And this, in practical terms, equates to a very big loss in userbase. Why? Because of what I call the restaurant phenomenon.

If you have a restaurant and offer rice and pasta, but stop to offer the latter because you want your customers to eat the former, you will not actually sell much more rice. You will simply lose customers because they will go to eat pasta elsewhere! In other words we see few orcs or drow, not because their players are playing humans instead, but because they are actually playing orcs and drow somewhere else (like another MUD or a NWN server for example), where they are not punished for simply choosing to play something different.

In other words by keeping ECL we are shooting ourselves in the foot. Because playing humans, elves and dwarves is something that can be done in virtually any fantasy multiplayer game, so we will hardly stand out for that, even if we are a stellar community. On the other hand, the places where one can roleplay a "dark race" are not so many out there, and we could really have the potential to support such roleplay, but not until ECL is there of course. There are countless games with the shining elven city, but the only place where one can play a drow in Menzoberranzan is Forgotten Kingdoms. And it's a real shame that due to an extremely poorly designed mechanic as ECL the place is a ghost town.

So, to sum up, I see these solutions:

Complete removal: as the words imply, simply eliminate the whole ECL system entirely, at least for the currently playable races. They do not have these great advantages all things considered (stats, feat taxes, isolation, alignment, etc.) and encouraging grinding for races which have a very difficult roleplay is not exactly what selects good players for them.

Level cap removal: keep the ECL, but make so that the maximum level is 50 for everybody. ECL races will simply need much more experience to achieve the max level than normal races. This is in my opinion the most balanced way to fix the issue, the solution I proposed in the first post of this thread and the one I stand by now. ECL races are hurt more by the lack of a community than by the mere xp grind, and the community is killed by ECL, which is real gameplay-induced genocide. The positive side is that this keeps some balance with non-ECL races, as an ECL race will require more experience to advance, so what they gain of more powerful is balanced by the fact they take more to get it. This is the same logic for which somebody who grinds a spell to grandmaster is, rightly, more effective with that spell than someone who keeps it at apprentice, and it is also the way ECL is meant to work in tabletop and other videogames.

Review the current ECL: simply readjust the ecl races so that they are less harshly punished. This means, remove ECL for orcs and genasi, since they don't have any advantage to begin with, and lower it to 2 for drow and deep gnomes since they are isolated and 5 is really too high to even be truly playable. This is not a good solution, since the problems and the unbalance will remain, but at least it will be more bearable. A half-fix is better than no fix.

I thank Elerian for bumping the thread, I had this post in mind from a while now, as I wanted to make a summary of where we had arrived so far and what were the general considerations. I am glad to see more people speaking out against this extremely harmful mechanic and I hope this will help one day to see it dealt with appropriately. :)

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Re: Max level for ECL races

Post by Harroghty » Thu Nov 02, 2017 3:55 pm

You have a lot of assumptions here that undermine your case.
So the idea that ECL keeps low the numbers of these races falls apart. Moreover the idea that numbers of these races need to be kept low is also wrong. We could actually use more orcs, deep gnomes and drow, and it is currently pretty bad that these races are played so little. So your argument is actually a very good reason why ECL should be removed, rather than kept.
This is a subjective statement.
In other words we see few orcs or drow, not because their players are playing humans instead, but because they are actually playing orcs and drow somewhere else (like another MUD or a NWN server for example), where they are not punished for simply choosing to play something different.
This is unverifiable.

The fact is that some handicap is intentional in order to structure and balance the game. If you feel that the handicap is somehow unduly onerous, then the best way to address that is to focus on specific ways to make it less onerous. (Which I think you've done to some degree.) Spurious statements like those above just distract from your core argument.
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Re: Max level for ECL races

Post by Vaemar » Thu Nov 02, 2017 5:03 pm

Harroghty wrote:You have a lot of assumptions here that undermine your case.
So the idea that ECL keeps low the numbers of these races falls apart. Moreover the idea that numbers of these races need to be kept low is also wrong. We could actually use more orcs, deep gnomes and drow, and it is currently pretty bad that these races are played so little. So your argument is actually a very good reason why ECL should be removed, rather than kept.
This is a subjective statement.
Harroghty, please, do explain why this is subjective. The only way in which having higher numbers of "dark" races would be bad is for these numbers to be intentionally kept low. Which in turn means intentionally lowering the richness and diversity of the roleplay in the game. Otherwise I don't see why this statement should not be objectively true.

ECL is not the only factor that contributes to keeping those numbers low, of course, but together with isolation, kismet and other issues it makes for a deadly cocktail that keeps these races as rainy day roleplay alts, instead of mechanically viable choices.

In other words we see few orcs or drow, not because their players are playing humans instead, but because they are actually playing orcs and drow somewhere else (like another MUD or a NWN server for example), where they are not punished for simply choosing to play something different.
This is unverifiable.
This is the racial breakdown of the player data from the biggest NWN server right now. Their Underdark is pretty active, as I checked myself last time I logged on there. They do not have differential level cap but they have ecl. Some bonuses of the races have been toned down, for example drow spell resistance is present but nerfed. Humans and halforcs can also play in the Underdark. Dragons and planetouched races are either exclusive or not playable (anymore), this explains their low numbers in the data.

How would you explain the fact they have such a lively Underdark while we don't?

This is a community very similar to ours, they play in the same setting, Forgotten Realms, and use the same system, D&d 3.X. It is completely free, once one owns the basic NWN game, and caters mostly to retrogamers. Looking at what the competition does is a good way to improve, sometimes, and/or a way to remain on the market. When I saw what they had there I studied their model and analyzed the differences. And one of the main differences I found was, in fact, that they have no differential level caps for UD races.
The fact is that some handicap is intentional in order to structure and balance the game. If you feel that the handicap is somehow unduly onerous, then the best way to address that is to focus on specific ways to make it less onerous. (Which I think you've done to some degree.) Spurious statements like those above just distract from your core argument.
The core argument is that, for certain races (not aasimar for example), the penalty is bad enough that it negatively impacts their numbers, in that it dissuades people from playing them at all. Balance between the races is fair, but, case in point, balance. It is clear that orcs are not balanced with halforcs, and the plight of ECL 5 races is there for everybody to see. So I would say that if there is something ECL achieves it is definitely not balance, otherwise you would see these races more represented, since they do have a roleplay appeal, at least for some players.

Why would one play an orc on FK instead of a halforc?

A halforc costs only 50 kismet to create, against the 200 of an orc, has no ECL, does not need to spend a feat for daylight adaptation, can access Waterdeep and most civilized places and at the end of the day they can roleplay almost identically. And they also can be of any alignment, to boot, which means you can roleplay your halforc as a giant fluffy Shrek too, if that's what you want.

It's hard to call this situation balanced in my book.

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Re: Max level for ECL races

Post by Harroghty » Thu Nov 02, 2017 6:37 pm

Harroghty, please, do explain why this is subjective. The only way in which having higher numbers of "dark" races would be bad is for these numbers to be intentionally kept low. Which in turn means intentionally lowering the richness and diversity of the roleplay in the game. Otherwise I don't see why this statement should not be objectively true.
How would you explain the fact they have such a lively Underdark while we don't?
There are lots of factors for both of these. The core differences between Forgotten Kingdoms and most of the other games are either setting, platform, and/or role-playing enforcement. There are only two really prominent MUDs with the Forgotten Realms setting and the other doesn't even have an Underdark. NWN is a totally different game and not a good comparison because most online gamers play MMORPGS and very few play MUDs. There are other role-playing MUDs with tons more players with only one race offered. We could go at this all day.

Really if you want to make a point about the invisible hand of the market, I would say that the drow are more numerous since the introduction of most of their features and the harsher ECL then they were before. Certainly there are general more halforcs today than there ever have been before and the number of orcs is fairly constant at around one or two. Combine that with the fact that no one has another top 10 MUD with an Underdark and I'd say that there was not a great outcry for it.

I do understand that things could be tweaked for the denizens of the UD and some other ECL races, but my point is that your suggestion should be centered around a way to improve the lot of ECL races while still maintaining game balance. This other stuff is noise.
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Re: Max level for ECL races

Post by Vaemar » Thu Nov 02, 2017 7:32 pm

Harroghty wrote:NWN is a totally different game and not a good comparison because most online gamers play MMORPGS and very few play MUDs.
This is a subjective statement. :P

Actually I studied that community for a while, and even if not so similar to MUDs in general, it is pretty close, in many respects, to the type of game we have got here. Not only that, but many players of NWN, especially the first game, do know and play MUDs. In fact the idea to create a Discord dedicated in general to MUDs came after a guy from the NWN community had created another discord dedicated in general to NWN, MUDs, tabletop D&d and some other games. At the same time, I recall people talking lenghtily in said MUD discord about NWN servers. So there is some degree of compenetration between the two communities, and, therefore, also of competition.

Actually, I was even pretty surprised that in roleplay guilds on some MMORPGs I found people who know very well about MUDs, but they don't play them anymore for various reasons. Therefore this obviously does not apply.
Really if you want to make a point about the invisible hand of the market, I would say that the drow are more numerous since the introduction of most of their features and the harsher ECL then they were before.

This is a strawman argument, as what I pointed out is a different thing. First these races are definitely not numerous or represented in our community right now. The fact that drow are more numerous than before does not mean that they are numerous in general, they are not, in fact, and does not imply that ECL doesn't impact on their numbers negatively. It does, as I have seen myself first hand, it is simply not the only factor, a thing I had recognized already in my previous post, as well as a while before.
I do understand that things could be tweaked for the denizens of the UD and some other ECL races, but my point is that your suggestion should be centered around a way to improve the lot of ECL races while still maintaining game balance. This other stuff is noise.
This is another subjective statement, and a mistaken one on top of that. Forgive the digression, but I want to make clear that the competition we have out there is real, fierce and not to be underestimated. TMC is becoming increasingly less relevant as a reference site for mudders, and on top mud sites we don't seem to be able even to make it to the first page. I have seen repeatedly new users quitting the game when they realized evil roleplay is not very represented here, and while not strictly related to this discussion, the fact that ECL penalyzes in particular "dark" races plays a part in all this, as it reduces, indirectly, the possibilities for interaction for who wants such kind of roleplay.

How much ECL impacts player numbers is up for debate, and difficult to ascertain, I will give you that, but it is hard to make a case for it not being a negative factor.

If you want to find a roleplay MUD where to play an orc, do you think we are up to the competition out there? I wish we were, but the evidence is that we are not in such position. Not only because of ECL, sure, but certainly this feature plays a big role in it. Personally, I would rather see this changed and improved, instead of seeing valid and sincere concerns being dismissed as noise.

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Re: Max level for ECL races

Post by Harroghty » Thu Nov 02, 2017 7:45 pm

You missed the point entirely.
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Re: Max level for ECL races

Post by Gwain » Thu Nov 02, 2017 8:03 pm

I can state with certainty that there are more drow and half drow now on the mud than before the ecl change was implimented. Ecl was as Harroghty said put in place to balance out too powerful races that were unbalancing. The benefit of this was the deliberate freedom of the drow from the underdark without Imm intervention. Drow could go to the surface so they needed to be managed to a degree to avoid hugely one-sided pvp issues. Most everything in the mud has a cause and effect that is usually created to address issues that could be damaging to the whole community.

My suggestion for a soft code solution for drow level grinding woes would be to come up with some new low level training areas in Menzo or other drow and deep races areas to combat ecl grinding fatigue.
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Re: Max level for ECL races

Post by Harroghty » Thu Nov 02, 2017 8:12 pm

The point, to expand upon my exasperation above, is that you would do better to give a substantive, practical solution without the additional and very debatable theories about the game's overall direction. That's a different conversation than ECL and you muddy the waters of your current purpose by expanding the conversation in that direction.
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Re: Max level for ECL races

Post by Vaemar » Thu Nov 02, 2017 8:14 pm

Harroghty wrote:The point, to expand upon my exasperation above, is that you would do better to give a substantive, practical solution without the additional and very debatable theories about the game's overall direction. That's a different conversation than ECL and you muddy the waters of your current purpose by expanding the conversation in that direction.
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Fair point, agreed.
Gwain wrote:The benefit of this was the deliberate freedom of the drow from the underdark without Imm intervention. Drow could go to the surface so they needed to be managed to a degree to avoid hugely one-sided pvp issues.
Now this is again a bit off-topic, but in my experience "drow going to the surface" has not been so positive. Sure, imm intervention was perhaps excessive, but in general drow are meant to stay below. I sincerely dislike seeing drow on the surface and I dislike being practically forced to go to the surface with my drow in order to learn some skills or spells. I would personally not go to the surface except for very special situations with my drow. The same applies to my deep gnome.

After all, if I wanted to play on the surface I would not have created a drow character, would I?
My suggestion for a soft code solution for drow level grinding woes would be to come up with some new low level training areas in Menzo or other drow and deep races areas to combat ecl grinding fatigue.
Drow leveling experience could be improved but right now it is not that bad or unbearable. What is more penalyzing is the lack of other drow characters to interact with. One of the issues is that the pits where new drow start provide really no experience, and not all those who create a new drow realize they need to go training elsewhere to make any kind of progress. To an extent, anyway, that life in the Underdark is harsher is not something wrong, it is a harsh environment and that is fair. But we digress.

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Re: Max level for ECL races

Post by Gwain » Thu Nov 02, 2017 8:56 pm

Do you think you can convince players to create drow to play with you? I generally don’t make new characters myself but if you could organize a like minded group of players with similar time availability to play drow with you, you could probably solve the issue of population.
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Re: Max level for ECL races

Post by Vaemar » Thu Nov 02, 2017 9:25 pm

I have focused so far on the mechanical gripes, some of which are apparent and pretty objective, see orc vs. halforc from above, but this doesn't mean there are not other issues. It is a very complex issue and while I feel ECL, either by itself or because it is higher than what would be fair (take tieflings and aasimars, for instance, they do pretty well even with their 2 ECL), plays a role in this, the absence of groups playing these races is not less important.

For example when there was a great interest in deep gnomes we had some rp going. Then we met some of the issues and some people had stuff that made them not play anymore so much that only Rordan and Zariah are left, with Brondo coming out from time to time. We were in fact pretty moved when somebody brought the Halloween souvenirs in front of Blingdenstone the other day.

The issues we faced were:
- ECL: because it killed some development for the character (feats for instance are not only a mean to optimize a character, but also way to characterize yourself better with roleplay, i.e. taking an exotic weapon proficiency, etc.) This is not to mean ECL is absolutely unplayable, but we really felt deep gnome ECL was too high, to the point of hurting the enjoyment of playing the character.
- Isolation: back then there was no caravan to Skullport from Blingdenstone, and this meant even for the dumbest thing we had to go to the surface, which was fine, if the matter was of relevance, but bad, and frankly depressing, when it was for stuff like learning the likes of spellcraft, magic missile or just receiving a letter at the post. This has now greatly improved.
- Deep gnome tutorial is brutal: seriously who got the brilliant idea to put purple worms in the deep gnome tutorial? :P Joking aside, the tutorial for deep gnomes is truly brutal, and many gnomes didn't make it. As I said, it is fair that the environment is harsh down below, but I kid you not, that tutorial is really one of the deadliest areas of the whole game! I applied to build an area to fix that, but, since whining on the forums is easier than actually building, it is a little stalled. There are also rl issues that impact my free time, so, yeah. When I manage to go through with that, I think this aspect will likely improve.
- Interaction: we really had little interaction with other characters. Also the nature of the race is such that deep gnomes do not seek external interaction unless they have a good reason to do so, and this means we mostly stick to ourselves. This is not to mean deep gnomes are meant to stay always alone, in fact you cannot roleplay that much their dour demeanor when you are with other deep gnomes, but surely there could be some work with reasons for other races to seek deep gnomes and vice versa.
- UD needs more races: another issue, albeit minor, was that the Underdark is not so lively, because many of its core races are simply not playing there (goblins, halfdrow) or not playable to begin with (duergar, orog, deep imaskari, kobold, etc.). We really felt the lack of a more dynamic environment. This could really improve even with multiracial settlementes where these races could meet (eh Skullport?). But I feel this part is really too far from the aim of this thread so no need to digress further. I just wanted to mention it, though.

Now I replied talking about deep gnomes, instead of drow, because I want to stress that it's not the "problem of the drow". Drow actually may have a better situation than other races, all things considered. It's a more complicated issue than it may seem at first. The issues I raised for deep gnomes are not too different from what I faced on my orc and drow, however, even if they were milder for them.

Also in these months there is the issue of the Underdark crashes, so personally I have felt discouraged from playing an UD toon, due to the fact that I would not like to cause the game to crash. It seems it affects mostly cave system rooms (the big C's on the wilderness map) so it is still possible to play there a bit, but perhaps it is better to wait for this to be fixed right now.

(TL; DR)But back to your point, yes, a playing group can increase the popularity of these races. It is just not always so simple to realize and keep going, as we saw with the deep gnome experience.

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Re: Max level for ECL races

Post by Rordan » Thu Nov 02, 2017 9:54 pm

Entering the conversation a bit late, but as someone who's had a couple drow and a high level Svirf, I do have a few issues with the current ECL setup.

I understand that ECL exists as a way to balance races, but as it stands I believe it does act as a way to limit people who wish to try one of the underdark races. It's not so much the later levels that are the problem, as much as people not wanting to deal with the hardship of attempting to level above 10 on any underdark race.

While Drow and Svirfs can go above, PvP should not be the consideration in whether ECL stays or goes. If Drow and Svirfs going above to PvP too often or to cause trouble becomes a concern, then close off their ability to leave the Underdark. But the lowbie areas are not designed to be friendly to any sort of reasonable time with leveling. I recall having almost 100 hours into Rordan before he hit level 15, and by that time most players are already past their 30's.

The Underdark also plays host to some of the most terrifying creatures I have ever saw on this game, the Astral Titan being one of those, that having five levels missing really puts a harsh penalty on being able to kill such things. (This creature is not a solo-able mob by any means, but the point stands that the UD races fend off some of the craziest things while being stunted below your average character who deals with a great deal less).

I believe kismet costs are already enough of a penalty when creating these races, because if you act like an idiot with them then they can be punished. So, given that the underdark can be marked to not let them leave and that you can have your character penalized, what do we really gain by keeping the ecl?

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Re: Max level for ECL races

Post by Yemin » Fri Nov 03, 2017 4:13 pm

Speaking specifically to Gwain and Harroghty and giving my subjective two cents. I think that ECL is not a very good measure to actually balance out the power levels of the affected races.

I'm unsure what the situation or environment was like in the past. But I have no way of overstating my lack of understanding as to why A flat penalty to all these different races, with different abilities and capabilities, disadvantages and bonuses can be solved by one mechanic.

Its been stated above, but as Harroghty mentioned and I partially agree the discussion has woffled too much onto other things. I think this is a measure that had good intent but doesn't actually achieve what it set out to do. For me personally, ECL was and is the one reason I don't create any new characters of the affected races. I'm not a fan of grinding to begin with, whether for xp or skills and in the past, amusingly, I've had a cool character concept that I've gone ahead and paid kismet for with some excitement, only to type score and see the even +2 ECL and just delete the char because of a generally negative experience I had when I did create a drow and play him for some time.

I can, also state that my levle 48 Aasimar, even with ECL is still probably my strongest character in terms of killing MOBs and survivability. So again, whatever the intent was, ECL hasn't address the issue. that is, if having some races stronger than others is even an issue

At the end of the day, I think ECL was a little too wide spectrum to actually work. If Some races are more powerful than what is comfortable for an RP mud, perhaps remove whatever thing that makes them overpowered Or tone it down. Currently, I don't know for sure, but no race currently available comes to mind as particularly that amazing. Some may have an extra few bonuses to stats here and ther emaking their end build at level 50 slightly higher across the score page.

Correct me if i'm wrong of course, but I am yet to see a hard fight won because so and so is an orc rather than a half orc. or a drow rather than a half drow. And certainly, again in my experience, I have never seen a racial ability do more than effectively make a pretty light.

I think the most game changing racial ability is probably dark vision, and you can look above in the thread for Vaemar's more detailed break down but strength of race is certainly not seemingly considered where some ECL races are concerned.
I trained up double-edged bananas because the uber-plantain of doom I scored from the beehive quest was the best weapon in the game. Now it's being treated like a bug and they have gimped its damage! That's not fair! My character is ruined!

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Re: Max level for ECL races

Post by Althasizor » Sat Nov 04, 2017 12:37 am

Everyone knows who wins if two optimized fighters duel, but one is a human and the other a drow. Our ECL is harsh even by tabletop standards because it prevents them from ever reaching max level, and due to the hard stat cap, the benefits these races receive are much less powerful than they are in tabletop as well. It just doesn't make much sense from a "balance" perspective.
What are you talking about? What, that guy?
That was like that when I got here.

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Re: Max level for ECL races

Post by Kaaurk » Sat Nov 04, 2017 10:08 am

I'm not a huge fan of the ECL on all races but I do like the suggestion of leaving it on but removing the level cap!

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Re: Max level for ECL races

Post by Solaghar » Sun Dec 17, 2017 6:40 am

I built much of the Underdark and I can at least say when I built the Svirfneblin tutorial purple worms had an override for the purple worm race, they were set as race_snake because they were newly hatched, so if they're now race_purple_worm then that is a big problem!

In any case, I always wanted to have a more interconnected Underdark, for those of you who remember when it was nothing but Menzoberranzan with a few attached side-areas, and the idea of meeting a Drow in Skullport was unbelievable. Pretty much anyone could go to the Underdark now if they so choose, and for those who learn their way around it shouldn't even be that much of a challenge apart from the intensity of difficulty traveling. It was made such that having a ranger lead the way would be smart, and was always meant for parties. I dunno, I don't play the game anymore, if you want to adjust the ECL but I have done D&D since 2nd edition and the understanding was always that humans were better than everyone else and that by playing anything but a human you were to some degree crippling yourself. When I built up the Underdark, Dalvyn at the time considered it a waste of time and thought it would only detract from other areas in the game. I obviously disagreed and to his credit, he didn't stop me. But no one was ever under the impression that the Underdark was going to be a social gathering place...

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Re: Max level for ECL races

Post by Atraos » Sun Dec 17, 2017 10:24 pm

Just in response to Solaghars post...I do remember when it was only Menzoberranzan, and hardly any Drow players. What we have now is awesome and has obviously taken a monumental piece of work by all involved.
Slightly side tracking from the thread around ECL I know, but I think its important to point out that the Underdark is very impressive to what was around a few years back. I have Svirf and Drow PC's and yes its been very hard to get them started but I think thats the point!

In regards to ECL overall...I don't like it, but not enough to make it a big deal. I think the missing few feats make a massive difference in PVP fighter combat....But magical resistance makes us pretty tough for wizzies!

Anyway...just my little bit of input

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Re: Max level for ECL races

Post by Aysa » Tue Jan 23, 2018 7:07 pm

I'm going to give my two cents in regards to the Drow.

The biggest issue I have is the lack of people playing down there. It is a dangerous area, and traversing the UD alone is challenging by itself. It's much different than say... going from Waterdeep to the Friendly Arms Inn, and then a quick jaunt over to Howling Peaks, and then hey... there's a quest up in Longsaddle I want to do. As long as you know that the Trolls are located here, Hill Giants are located there... you can do this by yourself. However, even on the surface, there are times when lag gets you and you're dead. Due to the number of people online and on the surface, being recovered isn't that much of a wait. If you die down in the Underdark, well... you might as well play your surface character until you notice a Drow online and then hope they can rescue you.

So it's a logistics issue for me. I say that because the UD /should/ be crazy to travel. I love the Drow. I own the sourcebook (and I know all y'all think I was crazy for opening the doors to the Menzo for a one time event... but that's actually in the FR sourcebook). If there were a group of Drow that were regular and consistant, I'd be more inclined to play another Drow. But a group starts out 'young', but over time... that group deteriorates. At least for me. So again, you end up by yourself in a super dangerous environment. You either become a min-maxer who likes to ROLL play, or you go to where the ROLE play is.

As for the ECL of the Drow... if the Drow keep to the UD, then the ECL penalties to all Drow. So to me that's not that big of an issue.

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