Suggestion to Stop Level 15's from clearing 50+ Dungeons

Problem you’re trying to solve
Last update did a good job to slow down the amount of low level groups farming 50+ Dungeons for end game gear and pocket watches. Increasing the stat item requirements on the items helped, but the base stats from T6+ Pocket Watches they farm and jewelry help them overcome this pretty easily. I love all the things that were done to slow it down, so much was fixed, it for sure is much harder now, excellent work dev team, you are on the right track!

How you currently feel about this in-game and how you think you should feel
I think the vast majority of players know this is a problem because we don’t want people to skip content and have T6-7 Pocket Watches and equipment in the first few days. Some people enjoy “exploiting” these high level dungeons and keeping it a secret so they can flex the fact they have high end gear so soon, and I totally get that. Reality is, this is early access and we should all be helping to fix these things so we can move through the development process faster and into the space update, and public beta where we can actually play and earn and enjoy all the content as it was intended. I think most people understand that if the game is broken, and people can skip all the content, that’s not good for the game and not good for anyone.

Any ideas you have on how things could be improved, fixed, or add more fun to the experience
I think we have to do a couple things here. First, assume players will always be able to get a mob stuck. It’s almost impossible to find all these little spots where people can bug a mob and make it stuck.

Second, remember that people can always “kite” a mob, meaning they can get aggro and run it around while the others burn it down with skills. Even if the aggro is flipping to the damage dealers, the person with aggro can always run around and kite the mobs. This is a trick old as time that can’t really be prevented unless the mob is much faster than the player or if the mob summons them if they try to kite them (more for boss mobs).

So with that said, devs should place a level 50+ mob in the middle of the room and don’t let him move. Then a group of level 10-15’s can try to kill it. I think you will find right now that they are pretty easy to kill because your skills and damage is still landing for a pretty good amount.

First Fix
I see that Turrets and other skills now miss higher level mobs quite a bit, but when they do land, they do significant damage. Level 15 player has no business fighting a level 50+ mob, and even when they do land a skill or an attack, it should do insignificant damage, maybe 5-10 damage at most. This should apply for all skills and weapon attacks that deal damage. I think this could be done on a global scale where if the mob is more than 10 levels than you, for each 1 level higher it reduces the damage dealt by a flat % until it hits a minimum of 5. So let’s call it a 5% reduction in damage for every level above 10. This means if you try to damage a level 50 mob at level 15, it would do 35x5 = 175% less damage, which means it would do minimum damage and you would hit for 5-10 max damage no matter what skill or attack you used.

Now that we have players doing minimum damage to mobs that are too high above their level, the other thing that was done in Everquest and worked like a charm, is to make mobs have natural regeneration for health and shields. I was surprised to see this is not being one currently and this is a big reason kiting works so well. Higher level mobs or all mobs for that matter, should have some level of natural regeneration, so if you are not actively doing damage on them, their health/shield goes up over time. This is the way to prevent kiting because you can run them around, but if the damage you are doing is not much better than the natural regeneration, the effort takes too long or does not work at all depending on how high level they are above you. I don’t have specific numbers for what this natural regeneration should be per level for mobs, but I could work on it. it should not be noticeable when you are doing damage, but when you stop damaging it, you should see the health/shield slowly ticking back up.

Last thing I will mention is giving mobs a slight increased damage modifier for players too many levels below them. This may or not be needed once the other things are in place.

Doing these things would ensure that no matter what exploits players use, getting mobs stuck or kiting, low level players would not be able to clear high level dungeons and skip content.

An important part of this update is to be sure people have dungeons around their level to join so they aren’t forced into higher level content and complain things are too hard. Like exactly what is happening between level 8-15 right now and is explained here in this post: https://forum.bigtime.gg/t/dusky-forest-to-level-10-20-dungeons-to-fill-leveling-gap

Props to the dev team who are doing a fantastic job hearing our feedback and working to fix this. It’s in everyone’s best interest that level 15 players can’t clear level 50+ dungeons. Thank you!

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Great stuff!

Lets expand a little on the above.

Firstly please (as an avid QF enjoyer) understand the above video is not a display of the turrets being broken as ‘any’ ranged ability or weapon could easily replace the turret in this situation.

Now lets get into some of the goods.

The first question i think the development need to ask is this.

“What is it about the lower level content that isnt rewarding the player enough through natural progression, that they feel they have to seek out this higher level content?”.

Currently the the combat mechanics of the enemies are quite simple. (no offense devs im sure they will evolve over time)

I think I agree with blazo, that in essence the ‘end game’ combat should have far more mechanical depth than the intro - mid progression. We have seen the devs amazing level design evolve ( I can’t wait to see more of this!). Expanding on his points;

Regeneration: we already have healer bots. Maybe allow a couple of those to exist in packs to heal the big high value targets to force the player with a inital layer of problem solving. This is something similar to a ‘dps’ check as if you can’t kill them quicker enough you will get tired and walk away.

Kiting:
Summoner pirates: add more targets like these that add high danger targets that the team have to prioritize killing asap. This will quickly shape the fight and seperate the prepared vs the unprepared. The added thing about this is in void the scary adrenaline moments were when portals where summoned behind the team to flank them. I loved this mechanic and no way a lower level player will be able to over come this without exploiting an untouchable perch or stairway.

Now to answer my own question of why above?

Its the pocket watch. Its the gear. More importantly the pocket watch though. The player wants a high value pocket that they can focus on from the start. The ‘answer’ is in finding a way to make the pocket watch progression rewarding in the early game and not feel wasted. (This is its own forum post in its self so i’ll leave it here).

The early content kind of doesn’t matter at all if any player at any level can wear any item given they meet the stat requirements and currently have gear items like a lvl 23 ring with 20str,20vit,20 agility only require 8 dex to wear.

Whether its through story or through game mechanics make the early content more engaging and this end game won’t be touched until they naturally need to. (Easier said than done i know)

The key though is the pocket watch, that is what this game is centered on and that is what will make this game great.

Continue to produce great work, this game has something really special in it and lets keep that momentum.

–Morkai

Great points! That video was very helpful. Clearly explained your post!

Even though they are adding Rank Requirements for Items and Pocket Watches, I still think these should be implemented on some level:

-Decrease player attack and skill effectiveness by x% per level over 10 levels.
-Increase mob attack damage to players by x% per level under 10 levels.
-Add natural regeneration to mobs based on level of the mob.

This doesn’t make the game harder for new players, if you are fighting mobs within 10 levels of you, there is no penalty. It simply makes fighting higher level mobs harder and harder until you reach minimum effectiveness and the time it takes to kill the mobs is not worth it (time would be better spent leveling up at that point).

@Blazo So first things first i think we are all in agreement that there needs to be something besides just rank requirement. Rank requirements is just a time cap. Rank expresses more or less time spent in the game. So a Rank requirement is just saying you need to spend roughly X amount of hours grinding. I am not a huge fan of this. In my opinion it is lazy development. Instead of creating real balance between players and mobs so that you can lock content behind skill etc it is locked behind a time grind.

Now understanding that the dev team has already decided to go this way it is what it is but i wanted to just take a moment to express that this rank requirement is not needed and rather correct tuning of mobs vs players would have done just this while allowing for expression of skill etc to have an advantage. Going the route of rank requirements completely removes the ability for having any meaningful item in the game to be because of you the player it is all based on the game and luck. Kind of a bummer

Moving forward @Blazo I also believe you are incorrect of regeneration. If you damage a blue shield mob and their yellow shield pops up if you wait the blue shield pops back on. I do believe there is auto regen of shield in game. Not sure about the health however. With that said i do believe like you that tuning this up would be helpful.

I think my experience with Big Time influences my opinion of this new update in a direction that is different from others. I played the starter pocket watch from 0-18 all dungeons as close to our levels as it made sense. Then swapped to a T3 pocket watch 0-8 and realised how broken the devs had made pocket watches with these monster stats. and started running high level content. Point being, i didnt exploit anything. I played the game as the devs built it. Following the progression they had built into the game. It was built incorrectly and balanced incorrectly for sure which I have stated since day 2 of the patch.

From my seat this is how I summarize what has happened. The devs tried to fix an issue of players not interacting with the wrong level of content. To do this they made armor require higher stats. Also at the same time for an unknown reason they created pocketwatches that only have s-tier and above stat rolls. And now in order to fix this issue they are adding in rank requirements.

I see this new update as not only the wrong fix but a complete close eyes and look the other way on the real problem which will come up later in development.

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@Kingperrin1 Any feedback on players attacks/skills being less effective to higher level mobs for every level over a certain range? You seemed to like this concept in the stream, “mobs scaling in a punishing way.” Was this what you had in mind?

I think it is a way and it is better than doing nothing. The issue I might have with implementing this is, there is currently no scaling in the game at all. A correctly built SB or CM can i shot pretty much any mob in existence. That is obviously not correct, so without having a legitimetly built MOB level scaling and player damage scaling system in place hard to say what would be good or best.

At this point my ask of the team is stop building new things and fix the numbers behind leveling, gear, PW in a way that makes sense. Once that is done you can figure out balance between players and mobs. Once that is figured out you can figure out the balance between level 10 and level 50.

So much changes when the first couple of things it is near impossible from where i sit to say yes damage reduction via percentage is the way to go
I hope that makes sense

Makes a ton of sense. After our call, we both agree that the stats from low level/tier items/pocketwatches are making us too strong too fast and throwing the balance of all the content off. I am making a forum post detailing this out soon and I will tag you.

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