The newbie experince

Yesterday I spent a good amount of time investigating the difficulty of the dungeons designed for the low tier mid-high level zones, the places where a lot of people are struggling recently. Often when newer players are struggling in these areas many including myself just tell them that this game is hard, its how it is, however, after a lot of time looking into why a lot of these players are having a hard time, I have found the underlying problem they are having. Its not the drop rates as some players suggested, nor is it the fault of the players or even their gear!!!

The true problem with these zones lies in the evolution of the server and how advice is passed on from player to player. When these zones were designed the “norm” was that you leveled up and put stats into CON and WIS until they were both 25, then you de-leveled. When you re-leveled you had a lot more hp and mp allowing you to survive the challenges that places like Ivory Tower and Imperial Tombs offer.

This no longer is the “norm” as most players recommend pushing to reaper (or some even level 115) instead of de-leveling, as this saves you the time of having to re-level an extra time. The problem with this is, a lot of the players receiving this advice goto these dungeons that they think they should be able to handle, as they are for their level/gear range, then struggle way more than expected. This leads to them feeling there is no place for them to hunt and makes them feel like they have to donate or “pay2win” to progress further into the game.

To make matters worse, many players discourage these players further by either insulting them or telling them to “just go donate”. This is not how I want players to donate… I do not want to make people feel they must donate to make a normal progression like going reaper. While I welcome the donations for players who would rather spend the money to speed up the process, I do not like for players to discourage players who are struggling, by telling them they must spend cash to hunt in places they should be able to hunt in.

Because of these evolutionary changes to the way people progress and level up I’ll be making some changes to the hunting zones for this range of maps. The first of these maps that will be hit with changes is the Ivory Tower Basement.

Changes to the Basement
The spawns have been greatly decreased
Map changed to No AOE
Rift Guardian moved to B2
Monsters on this floor are tier W3 -T 1 (W = weak or negative tier higher numbers means weaker)
New item Refined Ore Dropped by souls
Monsters return to their spawn spot if player runs too far
Monsters spawn off screen of player
Demon no longer summons monsters (due to aoe change)

New Ivory Tower B2 Floor
This map was copied from the basement before these changes.
Map allows AOE
Rift Guardian Located here
New item Refined Ore Dropped by souls
Monsters return to their spawn spot if player runs too far
Monsters can spawn ON screen of player
Spawns are high like they were before this release

These changes to the basement make the first floor a lot more hunt-able for players who skipped de-leveling, as they should be able to handle the monsters at the rate they spawn without being over whelmed. It also prevents a high tier mage from coming through and interrupting their spawns or killing all of their mobs. As these higher tier players would prefer the 2nd basement floor which allows aoe and has the spawn rates to support it.

So… What is this Refined Soul Ore stuff?
To fill in a gap of equipment between the S grade gear and the X grade gear, most people rely on event related items. This works for the most part because of the abundance of events we have and that most people are willing to chip in a few dollars here and there to support the server. I skipped s80 armors a long time ago due to the fact that this class of armor was not something many people seemed interested in. They were mostly levels 100+ and many had these event gears, which by design are better than normal gears, so for me to create armors that nearly everyone would consider junk seemed to be a waste of my time. But now with multiple tiers and reapering and all of this other stuff, players spend a lot more time in this gear gap, using cobbled together event items or even A grade gears, as often S grade is too hard to hunt for those who skip de-leveling. So this means its time to add in S80 armor sets.
The refined soul ore will be used as a primary mat for crafting most of the s80 craft-able sets. These sets will be added when I am able, but I wanted to put in at least one of the main drops for it so players can start preparing for it. This will also be one of the materials used to craft the s80 pole arm trishula.

There will be some changes in place soon for other zones for this level/tier range, so stay hopeful for those who are struggling, I’m working hard to bring the difficulty to where it should be (not TOO hard, but not easy either).

Good Luck,
Have Fun!