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-   -   State of the Server (9/24/15) (http://www.sundren.org/forum/showthread.php?t=24426)

Lotus 09-24-2015 03:01 PM

State of the Server (9/24/15)
 
Hello, everyone.

Over the last few months, I've seen a lot of forum communication and received several PMs asking about what shape Sundren and its staff are in, whether players can expect a renewed commitment from the development and DM teams, and so on. We've met as a team, discussed the interest we've seen expressed from players and what level of work we'd need to accomplish to feel energized about the server again, and decided that yes, we do has what it takes, we do has the five bucks to get this place going again.

In order to do this, we will be moving the timeline forward (amount of years TBD) to justify purging the character vaults. Some of you will be bummed to lose your PCs, and we'll be offering a number of retirement options to soften the blow (TBA when finalized). We're doing this for a few reasons:

1. We're moving the level cap back. Current projection is a soft 15 (monsters, RP XP) and a hard 20 (advancement quests, DM XP). Rather than delevel existing PCs, it's much easier to start with new.

2. We're untangling snarled story threads. Moving the timeline and clearing out old PCs lets us start fresh and gives more PCs an opportunity to get involved in what's going on.

3. We're redoing item balance. A new cap means new item standards, and this will get rid of all of the old items we don't want running around anymore.

So what are we doing that you can look forward to?

1. Finished crafting. All recipes will be functional, all materials will be accessible through drops, nodes, and stores. Crafting will be a reliable way to keep your character competitively equipped.

2. Class improvements. Look for further boosts to Rogues, Barbarians, and a host of prestige classes.

3. Faction reorganization. Factions will be based around the four major cities (Sundren City, Port Avanthyr, Aquor, Sestra).

4. Competitive faction control points. We're developing a system that will allow factions to dynamically compete for control of certain areas. Capturing these areas will be a means to increase faction reputation and will provide access to special stores, crafting resource nodes, and even dungeons.

5. Deeper dungeons. You thought killing the Goblin Chief was the end of it? Think again.

When's all of this going to be ready?
January 2016 is our target to have crafting ready to go, the factions reorganized, and our new storyboard in place. When all of that is "go," we'll announce our glorious victory, cleanse the vault, and hit the ground running. The other development points will be ongoing and may already be partially or entirely in place prior to the vault cleanse.

What can I do to help?
Do you code? Do you build? We would love extra hands to help us with development tasks and potential area building projects.

We're grateful for your comments, concerns, and general feedback, and we're excited to bring this place back to life for everyone to enjoy!

[DM] Grinning Death 09-24-2015 03:43 PM

I like this post. Wait, no.

http://i.imgur.com/jLZTk9I.jpg

Kasso 09-24-2015 04:25 PM

Yaaaaass

http://lovemeow.com/wp-content/uploa...63lo2_1280.jpg

Jhickey 09-24-2015 06:01 PM

Yay!!!

Sparkie 09-24-2015 06:46 PM

Wooooo!!!!

ManUtd4Ever 09-24-2015 08:15 PM

Sounds great!

arctic_cold 09-24-2015 11:05 PM

Oh yeah! :)

jarlexel 09-25-2015 01:55 AM

Sounds pretty neat :)

Farmboy2003 09-26-2015 01:30 PM

Hah! and here I thought I had finally gotten out of the cycle of addiction that is Sundren. Better brush off my install discs this christmas!

Memnoch1962 09-26-2015 10:18 PM

Hell yeah!

thaelis 09-28-2015 08:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lotus (Post 174528)
1. Finished crafting. All recipes will be functional, all materials will be accessible through drops, nodes, and stores. Crafting will be a reliable way to keep your character competitively equipped.

Implement this alone and I would find time to play again :D

The soft level cap of 15 would be pretty awesome too. The retardation of leveling was one of the things that originally attracted me to Sundren.

As for suggestions, I think everyone here knows my stance on re-balancing of magic heh heh.

Torgar 09-28-2015 09:11 PM

Magic isn't unbalanced, unless you mean it's more useful in NWN2 then in traditional DnD, in which case it is a little unbalanced, in favor of the magic users. I've played three clerics, two spirit shamans, a druid, a sorceror, and a wizard all to at least 16 if not up to 20, and can say without a doubt, magic is pretty ok right where it is. To be honest, I don't see anything that NEEDS to be done with any of the caster classes in any real way, they are already fairly balanced. In fact, except for a few changes to help finish out balancing up the non-casters, class balance in general is probably the best on our server over any other server.

I, personally, am excited to see the crafting system be implemented along with the new faction system. I think a lot of interesting RP will be had with a host of new characters with fresh city-based factions to help push new storylines and get away from this "Good vs. evil, but only one side is ever strong at a time because 90% of people are playing neutral fence sitters." City vs. city will let us see good guys and bad guys working together to fight OTHER good guys and bad guys, because they want their city to win, more than they hate one another.

thaelis 09-29-2015 05:35 AM

There are indeed a few caster archetypes that are quite powerful. Buffing and Shapechanging into a Horned Devil, buffed Eldritch Knight, summoning a Death Knight and buffing, Maximised Missile Storms and Hand of Mundus class.

Claiming that spells themselves are more powerful than in D&D or Pathfinder is patently false. Spell durations for many spells are <10% of what they are in PnP. Likewise, damaging spells are about 50-60% as effective as PnP given that everything has almost double HP. It's the "Buff and forget" builds that are more powerful due to engine limitations, stacking bonuses etc

Doubtful 09-29-2015 08:46 AM

At the risk of veering utterly off-topic...

Personally I'm of the opinion that most of the defensive and buff based magic is balanced, offensive stuff (aside from the save v death stuff) is weak as hell.

Double or even triple the damage output of spells and let the fun times roll. Maybe combine with less HP on dungeon monsters.

Lotus 09-29-2015 10:09 AM

Is magic OP? Is it UP?

Only Lotus knows for sure.

jarlexel 09-29-2015 10:18 AM

Guys should beef up bards, their kinda weak here.

Kitsunestume 09-29-2015 12:20 PM

How feasible would it be for using the pathfinder feat progression, instead of the 3.5 progression?

Basically feat every odd, instead of feat every third.

I may well be wrong, but I'd see that it would allow for increased character breadth with a diminished power creep.

Requiem 09-29-2015 12:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jarlexel (Post 174561)
Guys should beef up bards, their kinda weak here.

http://www.giantitp.com/comics/oots0128.html

"...being a bard is pretty silly. You walk into dungeons and SING at people. Who could take that seriously?"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Ohk5Swy-04

All they really are good for is dying so important party members don't have to.

Fuzziebunny 09-29-2015 01:51 PM

I played a caster for some time. I would say that most spells are fairly balanced. My caster is a Heartwarder/Sorcerer and she can solo almost any dungon without any sort of faction gear, next to no armor and zero ability to melee. The only places she has an issue PVE wise, are places where the mobs are immune to mind effecting spells. And even in these places, I have managed a few work arounds that keep my toon from being totally useless.

The only time I would say that offensive magic is weak is PvP. Fighting other players will hurt your feelings if you are pure caster class. For the most part, faction gear and the ease of gaining scrolls and potions effectively make a DC Mage generally useless in PvP. That being said, this is an RP server and there are lots of ways to get your character's way without PVP.

jarlexel 09-29-2015 10:37 PM

LOL Requiem

Kitsunestume 09-30-2015 01:20 PM

With all due respect, Fuzzy, the spells to which Thealis is reffering is combat damage spells. As I understood it, Chime mostly used enchantment spells, which are unaffected by total HP.

Since all creatures use maximum HD, they have usually 40-50% more HP than they would in P&P, where each hit-die is rolled, usually resulting in 'average HP' for each monster being half of the die-size times the number of die, instead of the maximum die-roll times the number of die.

Since offensive damage spells (blast-casts) were not modified to suit, they still deal half their damage on average. Where in P&P a fireball worth 10d6 (average 33, max 60) damage has a reasonable chance of killing a level 10 rogue (10 d6 HD: average 33, max 60 + con) who failed save, it never will one-shot in NWN2 (rogue has 60+con HP).

Such is what is meant by spells in NWN2 being less effective.

Power-Words are also significantly nerved, for similar reasons (level 20 fighter laughs at your feeble 100 HP requirement for PW: Kill and PW: Petrify, even after two IGMS to the face) . Any spell not reliant on direct HP for effect, however, is generally unaffacted.

jarlexel 09-30-2015 06:24 PM

Really looking forward to this going live, I miss real RP, plots and story.

Torgar 09-30-2015 09:43 PM

A level 10 rogue with only 33 hp was made wrong. Means a 10 con, which is pretty much purposefully making a low HP character weaker on purpose. With an average con of 14 with gear, he'd have (33+2/lvl[20]=53) HP, which is enough to survive almost any fireball thrown at him on the low chance he fails that save. I actually don't see the downside to someone being unable to murder large mobs with low level magic. To be honest, most of the monsters on the server we all fight average around 140-200 hp per mob at the level 20 area, excluding anything in IWD content. Which, as anyone who has played level 15+ DND will tell you, is not super high HP. A caster specializing in artillery magic shouldn't be able to one shot the field with one spell. What he DOES is score a huge chunk off the enemy to start before they close the gap, thus massively shortening the fight and still overall doing more damage in the fight then the fighter does, since he's cleaning up what the caster left. There is a reason almost every spell does either 1d4/lvl or 1d6/lvl of damage, and it's specifically so that monsters and players are likely to SURVIVE being hit by one at full HP.

All I am saying is that the damaging magic is fine where it is. Creature HP isn't really that far outside of our capability for them to contribute a LOT to the fight. Enchanters and illusionists are save for nothing, so are necromancers too for the most part. Transmuters too. Basically every other school of magic is save for nothing, or save for a minimal effect. No other school of magic goes "My spell is save for half, which can still be a solid number of damage points" or even "You get no save, you take damage period." Only evokers and the conjurers, the two schools specializing in damage numbers, do this. They are doing just fine with damage.

As for the level 20 fighter being safe from a PW after two IGMS's....good. If a fighter can not soak, with gear and not even that great a CON score, an average of 150 damage and still have over 100 hp left, then he's a paper-mache of a fighter. And I mean that in PNP DND, not just on the server. Most fighters should be around upper 260's or near 300 hp as a PNP character with gear, since PNP gear is FAR superior to NWN2 gear.

But, don't fret, because with the LVL cap going back to a soft 15, power word spells will still be useful against them after a good solid nuke to the face. But I don't think spells need to be reworked so that artillery mage's can solo the content with one spell per group. Our content should encourage grouping to survive it, and I believe it does so with the HD being maximized for mobs and players.

Kasso 09-30-2015 10:15 PM

Something that could be done to help evokers and conjurer's out without seeing a gigantic power creep (By like, doubling the damage they do) would be giving a buff to the Spell Focus feats to give +2 DC each instead of +1. This wouldn't offer a buff to hard no-save damage spells like IGMS, but it would offer 10% more consistent numbers for fireballs and a number of the lesser-used evocation spells.

In PvP every class / build has some means of mitigating evokers anyways, be it improved evasion, energy immunity, or just a burly mountain of HP, or some combination of two or even three of the aforementioned.

I do feel like the damage school in terms of /reflex save spells is a little on the weak side right now, but I can also see how over buffing it could turn into a new series of 'win button' scenario's for casters in PvP.

I'm less concerned about how good they are at grinding mobs, there are certainly better classes to contribute to/solo a dungeon run at high levels then a wizard/sorcerer focused around evocation, even with DC or dice buffs.

Redjack 09-30-2015 11:36 PM

I'm guessing Clive is/was the most powerful divine caster ever on the server.
Offensive spells were never a worry for him, he feared swords wielded by paladin's and in turn killed with a sword most of the time.
Offensive magic isn't a threat, debuffing was the most dangerous magic. But a wizard can't debuff enough before he dies under a sword.
Magic isn't over powered. Sure if you stand around and let a character buff up or cast spell after spell again you then you will die. A good adamantine weapon is the answer to any battle.

Elusa 10-01-2015 12:50 AM

My point by point comments. I apologize in advance if I'm blunt at any point, I'm just giving my honest opinion:

1. We're moving the level cap back. Current projection is a soft 15 (monsters, RP XP) and a hard 20 (advancement quests, DM XP). Rather than delevel existing PCs, it's much easier to start with new. I feel this is fine. I'm old enough to remember when there was a hard cap at 15, and there were no issues. I will say, I'd like for 20 to be obtainable for non-power builds. Before/currently, 23 is tempting but basically unobtainable without being able to consistently grind the high level repeatable quest. There's DM exp, but I never once got enough exp from a DM to realistically reach higher than 21.

2. We're untangling snarled story threads. Moving the timeline and clearing out old PCs lets us start fresh and gives more PCs an opportunity to get involved in what's going on. Yeah, it's probably about time for this. I would hope/presume this means no re-creating old characters. I'd like to see a truly fresh start.

3. We're redoing item balance. A new cap means new item standards, and this will get rid of all of the old items we don't want running around anymore. Please remember to remove all the junk items from the loot tables. Those chain gloves.

1. Finished crafting. All recipes will be functional, all materials will be accessible through drops, nodes, and stores. Crafting will be a reliable way to keep your character competitively equipped. Nothing needs to be said, except that I hope this finally includes skills such as cooking. Really looking forward to this.

2. Class improvements. Look for further boosts to Rogues, Barbarians, and a host of prestige classes. I'll personally be keeping an eye on MoMF. It's one of the few PrCs unique to Sundren and I really, really enjoy the RP chances it gives, but it suffers in combat, especially if you lower the level cap.

3. Faction reorganization. Factions will be based around the four major cities (Sundren City, Port Avanthyr, Aquor, Sestra). Again biased by previous characters I've made, but I'm hoping druids and rangers still have a faction and ideally a store.

4. Competitive faction control points. We're developing a system that will allow factions to dynamically compete for control of certain areas. Capturing these areas will be a means to increase faction reputation and will provide access to special stores, crafting resource nodes, and even dungeons. I'm mostly hoping this doesn't create excessive PvP, but I consider this a really delicate change, because players shouldn't be discouraged from joining underplayed factions or feel forced to join a particular faction for the opposite reason.

5. Deeper dungeons. You thought killing the Goblin Chief was the end of it? Think again. Nothing needs to be said here, more content is always praise-worthy.

thaelis 10-01-2015 01:50 AM

Re: Magic debate, I think Torgar and me/Kit are arguing from very different perspectives. I don't engage in PvP very often. I find that in PvP whoever gets in the first shot generally wins, whether it's the Wizard with a Bigby's or the Fighter with an attack bonus that greatly exceeds the AC of a buffed Sor/Wiz.

My gripe with magic is that it isn't very useful in a party except for buffing then following along invisibly.

Evocation spells do not in any way shape or form do "solid damage". A meteor swarm does about 84 damage, 42 if they save. If you cast three of them you can kill most of the enemies in an average spawn in Whurest. Don't believe me? Go and test it yourself. Meanwhile, you damage your own party, unless of course you prepared five Energy Immunity spells.

Magic is already fine for soloing, albeit using cheesy spells bugged to give 20 AC higher than they should. Wouldn't removing the cheese from Shapeshift alone more than balance out a small boost to offensive spells?

EDIT: Sorry for derailing!! OP is awesome and of course in all respects praiseworthy! This is my final post, promise :D

Kitsunestume 10-01-2015 12:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by thaelis (Post 174587)
My gripe with magic is that it isn't very useful in a party except for buffing then following along invisibly.

Or buffing everyone and taking a non-spell-caster role. GMW and IMA contribute much more to a delve than any blast spell I have observed (short of maximized IGMS in very particular scenarios), due to the matter of duration and reliability.


On the matter at hand, will Faction Control Points have a hook into GBX' Faction Wealth system? I remember that being implemented with the intent that it could fluctuate depending on politics, but I never saw that happen.

Fuzziebunny 10-01-2015 02:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kitsunestume (Post 174589)
Or buffing everyone and taking a non-spell-caster role. GMW and IMA contribute much more to a delve than any blast spell I have observed (short of maximized IGMS in very particular scenarios), due to the matter of duration and reliability.
.

You don't need a fireball to the face to help a party. There is sleep, hold monster, slophsism, illusionary wall, that one spell that lets you move party members, flesh to stone. These are just the ones right off the top of my head too. The sky is the limit with mages. There are tons of other things mages can do other than buff.


But, you are correct about being on topic. I'm sorry! I am pretty excited about the new faction set up. I and interested to see if there will be alignment associated with cities or how all that will play out.

I am really excited to see item rebalancing too. Does this mean Sundren will be a low magic server or is that yet to be determined?

jarlexel 10-01-2015 04:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Elusa (Post 174585)
4. Competitive faction control points. We're developing a system that will allow factions to dynamically compete for control of certain areas. Capturing these areas will be a means to increase faction reputation and will provide access to special stores, crafting resource nodes, and even dungeons. I'm mostly hoping this doesn't create excessive PvP, but I consider this a really delicate change, because players shouldn't be discouraged from joining underplayed factions or feel forced to join a particular faction for the opposite reason.

I been meeting some old old Sundren players throughout all the active servers that are around. They wear the faction armor and get Pvped and more so after they are outed. I really like the Competitive faction control system, that sounds like lots of fun, but it would be really really cool if the Pvp can be kept on the battlefield even if it's a little bit cheesy having public places that are not open pvp.

Pickpocket: please get rid of that, met a person who played here six years ago and only for a day due to some jerk stealing her weapons and she could not afford new ones.

This is a really nice server, the amount of work that was put into it is just nuts, was talking to a mapper for Dalelands and she said she could never make things as beautiful they are here. My Bottom line is: lets do things that will bring people back and keep them from leaving.

Lotus 10-01-2015 06:00 PM

Quote:

Yeah, it's probably about time for this. I would hope/presume this means no re-creating old characters. I'd like to see a truly fresh start.
There will be no re-creating of old characters, no descendants of old characters.
Quote:

Please remember to remove all the junk items from the loot tables. Those chain gloves.
Yeah, loot tables are being changed to get rid of junk items.
Quote:

I'll personally be keeping an eye on MoMF. It's one of the few PrCs unique to Sundren and I really, really enjoy the RP chances it gives, but it suffers in combat, especially if you lower the level cap.
Yes, this class will be getting some love, probably in the form of our evaluating its forms and buffing as necessary.
Quote:

I'm mostly hoping this doesn't create excessive PvP, but I consider this a really delicate change, because players shouldn't be discouraged from joining underplayed factions or feel forced to join a particular faction for the opposite reason.
It's to be determined, but many points will probably be held on a timer and won't be assailable when held by a PC faction. After so much time goes by, the outpost will revert to NPC hostile control to be conquered by a different faction.
Quote:

Again biased by previous characters I've made, but I'm hoping druids and rangers still have a faction and ideally a store.
Still under discussion. The "natural" types don't lend themselves well to a faction in the context of server plot and DM resources. However, we're looking at retaining the organization of nature PCs as an RP device with incentives (RP hub, themed store).

I much prefer the idea of druids and rangers filtering into the various other factions as each PC tries to discern which entity best suits his or her interests.

Quote:

On the matter at hand, will Faction Control Points have a hook into GBX' Faction Wealth system?
Not likely. It's hard to retain that data from reset to reset. We'll probably disable that system unless something more interesting than "You are in a faction. Here are GPs" manifests.

Quote:

Does this mean Sundren will be a low magic server or is that yet to be determined?
"Low magic" is such a misleading term. The magic level of a server, truly, is whatever level of spells the magic users can cast. Gear for a level 15 PC will be in the +2/+3 range. A PC at level 20 can expect to be using mostly +3/+4 equipment, which will be attainable through crafting.

Redjack 10-01-2015 06:48 PM

Curious to the fate of Vampires? Will Colibrus and his family be purged from the server?

Kasso 10-01-2015 06:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Redjack (Post 174595)
Curious to the fate of Vampires? Will Colibrus and his family be purged from the server?

Would be nice to see vampires return in some form or another, it is a flavor that is unique to Sundren among servers. Though they don't lend themselves immediately well to a city-based faction systems, unless they exist as a sort of cult between cities post-wipe?

Torgar 10-01-2015 08:35 PM

As an owner of one of the last vampires around, I think it's fine if they are gone. Especially if the cap gets moved back, a level 15 vampire against level 15 people is just too powerful from a PVP standpoint, and unfortunately it has been proven many a time to be extremely difficult to get RP other than a fight from those not in the same faction. I personally prefer the idea of the vampires being scary NPC's that the players face, not 1-3 players who together could wipe the server if they wanted too. But, that's just my opinion on it.

ManUtd4Ever 10-01-2015 08:39 PM

I remember being in game and seeing the likes of Clive or Ruby log into and getting excited about the impending conflict. The fear on the server was thick. Back when Clive would hunt near 2nd Wind... Characters traveled in groups for fear of meeting a vampire alone on a dark road. Ruby would confront groups at a time and most would recoil in fear. IMO, this made the server special and exciting. I too would like to see them return in some form.

Lotus 10-01-2015 08:40 PM

We won't have vampire PCs again for the forseeable future. They'll exist as an NPC influence.

ManUtd4Ever 10-01-2015 08:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Torgar (Post 174597)
As an owner of one of the last vampires around...

Magnus and Allan were the last two active Vamps that I remember.

ManUtd4Ever 10-01-2015 08:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Lotus (Post 174599)
We won't have vampire PCs again for the forseeable future. They'll exist as an NPC influence.

NPC influence? Intriguing.

Sparkie 10-01-2015 10:26 PM

Actually, Manu, Torgar is one of the last vampire players, with Iskaroth. While on the topic of vampire pc's, I think it's best to do away with them. They are insanely powerful, not just in terms of stats, but abilities. I mean, just a look at their wiki entry reveals how strong they are. And it's due to this sheer strength that I think they should be done away with. They'd work best in an npc position, if for no other reason than it keeps one player or group of players from becoming a bit too powerful in an non-roleplay specific way. And when one team's got all the cards or powerful players, people will start flocking to that team, which destroys any conflict and makes things boring.

And actually, as a bit of a personal rant: Yeah, sure vampire PC's make for an interesting rp environment where people are grouping together to travel the roads at night because a powerful big bad vamp just logged in, but to be honest? That should've been happening regardless, since the threats in Sundren are many, with some prime examples being bandits, goblins, gnolls, and run-of-the-mill orcs. And while there are some pretty powerful people wandering the valley, let's not forget that there's also soem very powerful threats in the Valley as well. Enter lycanthropes, the Bloodmaim, and yes, Vampires. Really, travelling in the Forgotten Realms is dangerous, even more so at night when certain things can come out, not to mention your visibility's considerable lower, and lighting up a torch to see can also make you a target. *turns off waffle iron on this particular topic*

In any case, I really do look forward to seeing the changes that get made, and seeing this server really up and going again.

Memnoch1962 10-03-2015 08:03 PM

I'm wondering.... what will happen to all the Characters that we all played recently. I don't mean the Vault Characters, I mean the people that we played that were a part of Sundren. Will they just fade away and be forgotten or will Sundren History have some sort of record of them?


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