Some Artifacts are way too rare for how build defining they are.

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Aetrion, Aug 24, 2019.

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  1. Aetrion

    Aetrion Avatar

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    I've started to really think about upping the intelligence on my character, because simply raising train intelligence is just not cutting it. The XP cost quickly becomes astronomical, and the relative contribution isn't all that high. I spoke to some experienced mages to figure out their tricks of the trade and wound up hearing about some artifacts they like to use to get more intelligence.

    The Sage's Sash came up, offering a +20 bonus to intelligence at the cost of 15 dexterity and strength. Heureka! This is exactly what I've been looking for, a way to give your character a lot of intelligence at the cost of other stats. The XP system in the game makes it so that there is basically no benefit to trying to raise one single stat extremely high while neglecting the others, By the time you're 20 points ahead it's much cheaper to pull the other stats up than to raise the one you have even further. Actually getting 35 points ahead in one stat on the training skills would be absurd. With this item however you can do it while actually keeping all the stats the same to avoid the absurd XP costs of pushing one of them 70 points higher than the others.

    I quickly realized however that there was a problem: 1. Shopping in shroud is a nightmare because there are hundreds of vendors and nowhere to see what they have for sale except visiting every single one. 2. The item is rare and expensive, with people asking as much as 200k in gold for it, even though the people who advised me to get one told me about 20k is a reasonable price for it. 3. Apparently there is some kind of artifact combination system pending that has caused the richest players in the game to buy up all of the most popular artifacts. 4. Given that even the combined artifacts will degrade their price will never recover from dozens of them getting crunched to make epic versions.

    This is exactly the kind of thing that completely turns me off from the gear system in this game. An item that is so essential to defining a character shouldn't be so rare that it's difficult to even find one, let alone afford one if you're not absurdly wealthy in the game. The benefits of wearing a robe as a mage are dubious at best, but this one artifact makes it actually possible to focus on intelligence without requiring insane amounts of XP.

    The same is true of all sorts of other artifacts. Every single time someone talks about some brilliant 200 attunement build they have there are at least one or two artifacts involved, and everyone acts like they are a reasonable measuring stick for how to play this game, when in reality for the vast majority of players it's completely ridiculous to be tossed into a game where exceedingly rare items are required to make builds, a large number of those items can be combined to make slightly more powerful versions by ultra-wealthy players, and any item degrades and has to be periodically replaced.

    This is just not a reasonable way to do itemization. I have no problem with people who put in the effort having more powerful items, but if you can't really make a build at all unless you have the rarest items in the game, and then they are made even rarer through a fusion system and a durability system you're basically talking about an absurd barrier of entry into properly equipping characters. Where skills work on a basis of diminishing returns, getting harder and harder to develop, items seem to work the opposite way around, reserving the most vital bonuses for only the rarest equipment, while the things you can readily source as an average player rarely contain bonuses that have a drastic impact on your character.
     
  2. Lesni

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    I know this will get some flaming but I'm going to say it anyway
    :D

    200,000 igg is under $8.00 if you don't farm it but buy it in the market place. If I want a special artifact I'm willing to invest two cups of coffee to give my avatar a boost.

    I know many people hate using real $$ in game and if that is you, then farm for igg for a few hours to improve your avatar instead of using cash.

    In my case, the caffeine I need can be put off to upgrade my avatar one day at a time. :cool:
     
  3. Bedawyn

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    The way I read this, the OP isn't complaining about "special artifacts" being expensive. The problem is that basic choices we ought to be able to make at character creation -- this person is is very smart but not very strong -- have instead been tied to special artifacts that are only achievable long after you start playing, long past the point where your character should have been able to build a unique identity. Instead, not only are we given cookie-cutter identical characters at start -- now even the choice of melee/archer/mage paths has been taken away from us, so that everyone starts as an archer -- but the means to un-cookie-cutter them are reserved for only the elite. (And, yes, anyone who can farm 200K gold in only a couple hours, I consider elite or well on the way to it.)

    And, no, I'm not a fan of the combining artifacts system. For all the concern the devs have expressed about "ruining the (nonexistent) economy" if they fixed crafting, you'd think they would have thought a little more carefully about the ripple effects of combining artifacts, and of using artifacts to achieve things that should have been solved in more sustainable ways.
     
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2019
  4. Aetrion

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    Thank you, you hit the essence of my complaint on the head and expressed it ramble free! :D

    I'm all for super rare items for super dedicated players, but those kinds of items shouldn't gate your ability to make a well defined character.
     
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  5. Vladamir Begemot

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    It does seem like Shroud is a game of godlike avatars, not weak but super smart mages. The expectation is that you will level everything.

    Adding resistance skills was the only move I've seen that counters it.

    I wonder if it wouldn't be better to level a stat skill and delegate it to str, Int, Dex , as you see fit than basically leveling all three independently.
     
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  6. Aetrion

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    That would be a big win to people being able to define their characters. The exponential XP costs the way they are really do conspire to not let characters define themselves by their skills alone. Pushing a skill from 100 to 120 for example is so expensive that keeping another skill at 80 or even 0 doesn't offset the cost to any meaningful degree.

    More skills like the resistance skills that let you trade off characteristics of your character would be an interesting option as well. For example if there was a skill like "Bookworm" that lowered strength and dex by 0.5 (Or 0.25?) per level but raised int by 0.5 per level. (With equivalent skills for the other stats as well)

    Another thing that would let people define their characters better might be to give people three specializations, but make it so that one of them has to be in one of the strategy trees, and you can only have one strategy specialization. That would allow everyone to define their basic archetype as a fighter/mage/rogue/tamer.

    A really big thing would be to just make gear choices more meaningful for spellcasters without having to dip into artifacts and high end enchanted / mastercrafted gear to see the stats that really matter. There are a lot of fizzle chance bonuses to be had, but if you want to actually do more damage it takes high end gear before you see a payoff.
     
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  7. Jason_M

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    I don't quite understand the complaint here. Everyone starts the game super weak, super clumsy, and super dumb. It's not like D&D where you roll for your stats - everyone starts at an equivalent of 8 and you grow up from there.

    If you want to be weaker, you could untrain Train Strength and Train Dexterity. If you want to be smarter, then you either have to pay the piper, earn the belt yourself, or stop trying to keep up with the Joneses.

    Of course I don't mean to discourage people from trying to be the best avatar possible, and I don't think that there should be such super artifacts in the first place (aren't you tired of everyone wearing a damn cultists hood yet?), but my opinion is that you should play and enjoy the game without min/maxing - or submit yourself to the grind machine.
     
  8. Superbitsandbob

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    I was listening to an interesting conversation in game about the fact that many players seem to dislike traders. It was part of a different discussion but I think the problem with a game like SOTA is that certain players treat it like a real life business (which it maybe is to some degree for them). There is an urge to just be the richest in game and there doesn't seem to be a limit to the time and real life money they spend or even exploiting exploits when they arise to achieve that. A few weeks ago someone pointed out in Unichat that a well known crafting town owner had a not especially rare artifact up for something like 200k while in the same town another vendor had it for 30k. That's the sort of market we are dealing with.

    SOTA more so than other games is the dream for people with either lots of spare money or lots of time (or both). This has led to probably the worst market I have seen in an MMO. A game called Project Gorgon partly solves this issue by having bots that allow you to search which vendors are selling a particular item, making it much easier to shop. Not sure how viable this would be with the amount of vendors each town has but it would create competition and mean traders would need to be more honest with their pricing.

    I disagree that you need these artifacts to have a viable build though. If I remove my sash from my mage it has little effect. What you need is attunement through XP into the tree and Train Intelligence and armour/wands with attunment. Much of the mage armour will come with intelligence as well. The sash, while nice to have, does not have the impact you suggest.
     
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  9. OzzyOsbourne

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    first off, qq pew pew

    2nd off, ive been playing this game for a very long time and I have not once gotten a bacchanel belt. You cry about needing a sage sash..... mah please. You dont need no belt to make a build, that is absurd. Get some friends, stop being lazy and go kill some ancient dragons,
     
  10. kaeshiva

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    I think the issue is, particularly with intelligence stat, the best in slot artifacts are leaps and bounds beyond the next viable alternative or anything you could craft (regardless of crafting level)- and they make a pretty significant difference. Its frustrating if you want to "play a mage" and you must acquire at least 3 rare, costly artifacts (dolus hood, warlock chain, sage's sash) which are so much better than anything else you can put on those slots that there simply isn't another option. This means they are expensive.

    The good news, is you can fight the rarity by using the economy. I have got to be the unluckiest person alive in terms of drops. I've come to accept this. The way that artifact drops are set up in sota (low low chances, and some of them don't even have designated places they come from, just "random world drop good luck") - it often makes a lot more sense to just spend your time grinding out gold and buying what you need from players who are luckier than you or who have more patience for tedious bossfarming/scene-resetting. 200k is a lot for a sage's sash, but I can earn 10k gold an hour doing just about anything. Do I think if I farm bosses/high lvl mobs for 20 hours I'll get a drop of what I want? Nope! Most likely not. Most likely not in 200 hours. The drop rates are that bad and my luck is even worse.

    It comes down to your personal satisfaction, really. I find it extremely unsatisfying to farm bosses and open the corpse and get disappointed over and over again. Its tedious and disillusioning and if that's all I did I would have ragequit long ago. So I don't do it. I leave that to people who are more patient than me, who can kill bosses more efficiently,etc. I know I can achieve what I need through incremental gains using the gold currency as a unit of measure. Once in a blue moon, I might actually get a useful drop, but if I do, its a nice surprise, because I've set my expectations pretty darn low.

    So, yes the drop rates suck, and yet is doubly sucks that best-in-slot build-defining artifacts that eclipse even the best crafted gear are a thing. Fortunately, there are alternative ways to get said items. Because of the recent change allowing artifact combine-ability, the prices are a lot higher right now. Just as they were when the artifacts were first introduced. This will get better over time. It may take longer, since getting a legendary will likely take some people quite a while, but I'm pretty sure that even with sage's sash merging not even being implemented until next week there's already folks who have enough of them ready to go.
     
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  11. Aetrion

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    I don't really mind that the game allows people who enjoy playing it like a tycoon game to have their fun here, but it happens at the expense of people who don't care about any of that because all the demand in the game is artificially created by simply destroying everyone's gear all the time. They literally have a system in place where the nicer your gear is the faster it breaks. It's just total anathema to anyone who plays for the adventure. The real question is how to get people who want to play SOTA as an economics/tycoon game to buy stuff from each other instead of having to create all the demand from people who just want to fight some monsters with their friends.


    Sorry, but I'm getting really tired of always hearing "I have 200 intelligence and 200 attunement" when I ask someone how they cast spells with tripple digit damage and "Oh, none of that actually matters" when I point out how absurdly difficult it is to obtain stats like that for people who don't live in this game.

    What I know for sure is that this game does not let you create a well defined character with strengths and weaknesses on the skills alone, because the exponential XP costs on every individual skill makes it so passing up advancement in one place is no real help to advancing in another. Getting Train Intelligence to 120 costs more than twice as much XP as getting Train Dexterity and Train Strength combined to 100. As a result there is simply no way to reasonably create a character with high intelligence, low strength/dexterity out of the skills alone. Passing up one stat doesn't help you raise another. Only the Sage's Sash does that.


    Being able to make a character that has a high intelligence at the cost of high strength isn't some kind of crazy minmax scheme, it's RPG 101. But in SOTA if you want your intelligence to be just 20 points higher than your strength and dexterity the costs are astronomically high. As in, it costs a combined 24 million XP to raise Strength and Dexterity to 100, but it costs 549 million XP to raise Intelligence to 140, which only gives you a +20 boost over the other stats. If you wanted 30 more Intelligence than than the other stats and tried to raise the training skill to 160 it would cost you a pants on head insane 3.7 billion XP.
     
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2019
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  12. Vladamir Begemot

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    Since everyone missed the point of the post, and OP keeps making it too long and multi topic for people to understand , let me try ;)

    It only makes sense to level everything, you can't do one at the expense of another in a normal, functional non gear related way.

    Thus in the game we all look the same at the Stat level unless we get a very specific piece of gear.

    This fails the fundamental game design principle of "interesting choices" because there is no choice. Just level all three.

    A piece of gear or choice to choose one stat at the EXPENSE of another is a foundational, tested, fun tool for interactivity. The experience of character building suffers from it not being in existence from the start.

    Epilogue: it's not about the price of gear, it's about the missing cornerstone piece of character building.
     
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  13. Vladamir Begemot

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    Addendum: which means if gear is the way it is done, there should be low level gear that has the same function.

    We should have gear masterworks and enchants that reduce one and raise another (this should be there anyway! BS that there are artifact only effects).

    Finally, it should probably be a percentage transfer rather than a set number.
     
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  14. Mishikal

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    This game was sold as being classless (although specializations ruined that...), so I generally expect things to be cookie cutter. Supposedly for my build, I need a sash of swiftness or something like that as the belt, but I'm doing just fine without it. Also the same deal for some cabalist hood I supposedly should have. I also shouldn't be wearing bronze bone armor either, apparently. So maybe I don't XP to the ultimate level I could, I still get by just fine. I.e., getting stats to 200 isn't "mandatory" to play the game.
     
  15. Echondas

    Echondas Bug Hunter Bug Moderator

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    One thing I liked (I think) about FFXI was the artifact - esque items came from the exact same spot / monster .. so you knew where to concentrate/focus your time. It would be nice in SOTA if certain bosses had a proclivity to drop certain items -- I know the Troll Encounter Room was set up this way w/ mansmasher having a higher chance but Torc Dawl also having a slight chance. I think readjusting loot in SOTA this way would be beneficial and give devs another tool to help encourage players towards certain scenes or areas.
     
  16. Barugon

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    I personally feel that the game is focused too much on gear and not enough on skills.
     
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  17. Mishikal

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    Which is interesting, because I've never stressed heavily on gear and done fine. For example, my wife won a set of gear at an event @Lace did a few months after persistence, which she wore and slow upgraded and which I ended up wearing for something like 1.5 years. I have much different gear now, but anytime I discuss it with "hardcore" players, I find I'm wearing all the wrong stuff. And quite frankly, again, I do fine. Have I ever attentuated? no, but I'm not trying to kill myself XPing. I have well over 70 GMs (5 something in the last week), several skills above 100, etc. You can do fine w/o having the "top" of the line gear, etc.
     
  18. Bedawyn

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    That's the problem -- a classless system shouldn't be cookie cutter. A class-based system is cookie-cutter; it may have lots of cookies, but they're still all pre-defined. A classless system should allow you to choose your own diversifications with infinite freedom; your choices, not the presets, should define your character. Choices in gear, in skill, in playstyle, and in traits or stats. Something like strength or intelligence is an innate character trait. Gear might provide a bonus, but that bonus shouldn't be the main factor in defining your stats.

    A classless system should offer a buffet of choices from which we can all design the build we like, where almost no one ends up with similar builds because we're all different people. And it shouldn't punish people who would rather have a distinctive character with strengths and weaknesses.
     
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  19. Aetrion

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    Yea, I have no idea where people get this idea that classless means everyone can learn everything and everyone ends up roughly the same. Classless systems simply mean that you don't pick your path at character creation, but let it slowly unfold as you play. It doesn't mean in any way that that path never has any forks in the road. I mean hey, I don't mind if people want to hybridize their character and have options open, but it definitely shouldn't punish people who want to play an archetypal character, or gate the ability to define a character like that behind the rarest gear in the game.
     
  20. OzzyOsbourne

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    You mean spider silk belt.... 1,3million igg.... makes the sage's sash price look like a joke.
     
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