So... I tried giving End of Time a second chance, since I saw Hades_Kane posting about all the new features.
1) There weren't that many new features. They did expand the class list a while back, and are working on expanding it again. While the MUD does have SOME nice features, they're mostly cosmetic, and there's very little in the way of class balance. Now, I'm not the sort that thinks mages should be able to tank, and certainly don't think that knights should be able to do as much damage as thieves.
But, that's part of the problem. Knights actually CAN do more reliable damage than thieves. In fact, thieves really don't get anything useful until level 40+, aside from backstab, which has a very high miss rate.
2) The administration here is horrible. Hades_Kane is a nice guy, but has no actual control over what happens. Rules are enforced arbitrarily by an admin who will and has admitted to having a short fuse, and holding grudges. Don't expect to be treated with anything even approaching respect, but don't dare to disagree, or you'll face dire consequences.
All in all, the MUD isn't terrible, but it's VERY unpolished, and it doesn't seem like the important things are being addressed. Furthermore, the few players that do log on spend 95%+ of their time idling. In the 2 weeks that I was there, I never grouped once, because there was never anyone in my level range online.Post a comment
Comment posted on Wed Aug 6 21:16:01 2014 by Hades_Kane / Diablos:
Might as well get comfortable for this one, because there is so much bull here to correct, this is going to be a long post. I'm going to start by correcting the various forms of misinformation and outright untruths, followed by a little bit of background as to why such a negative review was posted in the first place... so you can skip the bullet points and get right to the drama if you prefer :)
'There weren't that many new features.'
The well over 150 change notes in the year and a half between this disgruntled former player's time here would beg to differ. Among those include: -The addition of 15 new levels worth of content, including full questing and promotion for every class in the game (the scope and amount of change added to the game with this completion of content cannot be overstated) -Over a dozen new additions to just the triggers section of the OLC programs, along with countless other tweaks and additions to other aspects of the OLC. This may not seem like a big deal to many players right out, but it allows us to make even further and more immersive areas, quests, and boss battles. -The addition of 256 colors, unicode, and MSSP support -The ability to track quests and other values in an array with our OLC, again making a vast improvement under the hood on what content we can present to the players -THE ADDITION OF CHOCOBO RACING, CHOCOBO RIDING/DIGGING, AND CHOCOBO TRAINING. -The opening/addition of well over a dozen new aras -A new PK system that introduces changes such as opt-in PK looting, a 7 level PK range, and more -The ability for clans to view rosters -The complete rewrite of several aspects of combat, including the way base damage is applied (the 'attack' value in score being a far more reliable and accurate measure of damage you'd do in combat), a complete rewrite/better balancing of things like dual wielding and grip -Much of the timers in the game have been rewritten to be based on seconds instead of ticks, including regen and spell affects, making regen a much faster affair and allowing for an intense amount of versatility in spell affects, as enormously powerful, but extremely short duration affects have been added and are further possible -The addition of separate wait timers and skill cooldowns on all skills, which facilitated at least a partial if not outright rewrite of most every skill in the game. The benefit of this along with the second based regen works toward a much faster pace for the players (not faster combat, but the ability to heal faster and the ability to stay more engaged in combat, as you may 'bash' and only suffer 1 or 2 seconds of wait time, but then can attempt a disarm immediately after, and loop through various available skills until your cooldown for other skills have expired) -A ton of misc. adjustments to so many aspects of combat, magic, and skills that streamline damage calculations, makes them much easier for players to work with and predict, and all an improvement in balance -THE ADDITION OF THE FULLY PLAYABLE TRADING CARD GAME, TRIPLE TRIAD -Spell affects (buffs, specifically) can be 'charged up' rather than having to wait for them to expire -The addition of several new stats on score that also help determine and help players control their strengths. Many are summaries of other values that were previously not visible to the players, but they include a critical hit rate, cast level, casting cap, etc. -THE ADDITION OF BEING ABLE TO SETUP JOURNALS FOR QUESTS TO TRACK PROGRESS/GOALS -The complete rewrite of the defensive skills such as parry, shield block, dodge, etc. to make them work different, proc different, serve as damage reduction differently. They are not entirely NON redundant -Changed relics to always stick with a player unless the player chooses otherwise -Inventory sorting/viewing -THE ADDITION OF SEVERAL NEW CLANS AND AREAS, CLAN ALIGNMENT CHANGES, AND OTHER WORLD CHANGES TO HELP BALANCE THE POWER, ALIGNMENT, AND FAMILIARITY OF THE CLANS IN QUESTION -The addition of several new tiers of restorative potions for hp and mp
And truly so much, much more. This was just a random sampling of highlights from the changes board within that time frame.
'While the MUD does have SOME nice features, they're mostly cosmetic'
Even just the sampling of changes since in between the player's time ought to discredit this statement, but to hit some more highlights of the many things that makes EoT stand out in features that are far more than cosmetic: -A fully custom, customizable character creation, including dozens of merits and flaws that can be chosen to really tailor your character to your tastes -A stat system that has virtually no obtainable stat cap that allows you to break the mold of what may be expected out of any archetype on the game and really make your character your own -A multi-tiered class promotion system that gives a player numerous options on how to proceed with their character -A skill/stat/point system that allows a player to really make a dedication toward learning a few skills and putting the rest into stats, or take a hit on stats and really focus on being a skill master, again, allowing a player to really make their character unique from the rest of the pack -A magic system that is layered with so much depth it is simply beautiful in action... from everything on the game possessing elemental strengths and weaknesses (including mobs, players, and even rooms), to the ability to modify, combine, pause, or stack spells. -A combat system that is unlike traditional MUD combat, where your combat speed is determined by your agility, where using skills doesn't lock you out of being able to do anything else, to being able to strategically plan out the balance between your wait and cooldowns on your skills to unleash a barrage of attacks -A system that heavily encourages grouping, including the ability to stack/combine skills for powerful team attacks -A system for creating 'limit breaks' that are nearly fully customized skills that you determine (from a large list) the affect it has when used and can set custom strings, names, and even the command it takes to use them. Several can be unlocked through use and through level gain you can determine what makes your limit meter increase. -The ability to buy, train, ride, race, and gamble on chocobos -A full featured collectible card game modeled after Final Fantasy 8's Triple Triad game -Experience use through skill usage, quest completion, etc. No longer are you a slave to monster killing for leveling
And again, just a sampling of the very many, many deeply modified things and features unique to End of Time.
[continued in next reply]
Comment posted on Wed Aug 6 21:18:12 2014 by Hades_Kane / Diablos:
[...continued from 1st reply]
'and there's very little in the way of class balance.'
There is a misconception among many people that all classes should be equal in all ways. We value interesting, unique classes that serve different purposes over the flawed notion of balance = equality. Thieves vs. Knights were given as an example, and the player lamented the fact that Knights out damage Thieves as an example of poor balance. The thing is, Knights are physical/magical hybrid class of the game. Magic is extremely powerful on End of Time if cast right, and that alone puts Knights above Thieves in a DPS situation. Combine that with the fact that they also possess powerful attack skills, and Knights are clearly a class designed for damage. Thieves, on the other hand, are a utilitarian class, meant for stealth, dungeoneering, and finding ways around situations other classes don't possess. Anyone who has played a table top RPG such as D&D or Pathfinder understands that a Fighter fulfills a very specific role within the party, while a Rogue fulfills a very different role. I don't think anyone would argue that D&D has 'little in the way of class balance' because a Rogue can't traditionally jump into a pit of archfiends and hold their own while a Fighter can... but that Rogue is invaluable in even reaching that pit by bypassing traps, finding secret tunnels, activating magical knick-knacks, etc. That isn't to say our Thief class is without merit in combat... hardly so. A clever Thief (and this is the clincher here, the class is designed where a strategic, clever player is necessary to succeed in the role) will pre-plan a run through a dungeon or two, and well before 'level 40+' as the player put it, the Thief can sneak around an aggro area, laying traps to prevent the aid that invariably comes from attacking sentient mobs, stealing useful items out of their inventory to prevent their use in battle, followed by sneaking and hiding (which is near necessary for backstab to be a successful tactic) and then hitting the mob with a backstab. If the player is dual wielding, there is the chance for 2 hits, and on a successful backstab, a flee is near guaranteed as the skill when landed carries no cooldown or wait time. A flee followed by an immediate re-entry (or if the mob is the type to follow, entering the room and being hit with one of many nasty trap options) and another backstab can be landed. In two hits, with the use of a combination of skills and techniques, a single Thief can get a tough mob down to half HP. And this is just solo. This doesn't touch on the dynamics a Thief carries with them in a group with other players, or their use or aid they give to a party when going through a dungeon.
Clearly this player is grasping at straws to try to draw a negative light on the game that isn't warranted.
'The administration here is horrible.'
The 'Administration' largely consists of two individuals, myself and one other. This one other doesn't coddle players, and doesn't mince words about drawing attention to infractions or behavior that is frowned upon. This may be interpreted as rude by particularly sensitive players, but this is the internet, and we run the game with the attitude that we can all wear our big boy pants and get along like mature adults, rather than running to whine about things if someone gets their feelings hurt.
'Hades_Kane is a nice guy, but has no actual control over what happens.'
A bald, bold face lie. The thing is, anyone on my staff has been literally years into the game, and has earned both their rank, their responsibilities and capabilities, and most importantly, my trust. If a player is acting out of turn, and someone on my staff corrects them, I am not in the business of second guessing them. Besides, due to problems that has occurrred with this player in particular, I outlined a very specific and deliberate 'dispute resolution guidelines' to curb any problems that may occur in the future. The player in question, despite being plainly aware of this policy, chose to ignore this and was dealt with accordingly, and only dealt with in ways that were temporary things (such as nochanneling, freezing, etc). At the end of the day, the buck stops with me, and I put my faith and trust into someone on my staff, I take full responsibility for the decisions they make.
'Rules are enforced arbitrarily by an admin who will and has admitted to having a short fuse, and holding grudges'
Rules are enforced consistently and evenly on End of Time. The Admin in question, as previously mentioned, can be a bit rough around the edges, but if someone is prone to having their feelings hurt on the internet, End of Time may not be for you. We are far, far from the realm of places like 4chan or somethingawful, and the vast majority of people and interactions on the game are pleasant and friendly, sometimes people have a bad day, and sometimes the nuances of intent are lost in the cold realm of text based communication. Stuff happens, and if something happens you are unhappy with, you are more than welcome to refer to our dispute resolution guidelines and take the appropriate action to try to get whatever result it is that one is after. As far as the 'holding grudges' thing, the Admin in question had ZERO indication that this player was one that he had an altercation with in the past, and even had to have his memory nudged as to the specifics of who the person was even after all of this went down and he was made aware of who he played under a year and a half prior.
'Don't expect to be treated with anything even approaching respect, but don't dare to disagree, or you'll face dire consequences.'
Players argue with us all the time, and do so without fear, without issue of reprimand, and without reprisal. Agreeing with the staff is hardly a requirement of playing the game, and I personally LOATHE games with an atmosphere of a cowed playerbase fearful of a hamfisted Admin bringing the hammer down. I've spoken at length with this player about my previous experiences with that, and I can only imagine that this dig was included as a personal attempt to anger me. Much like his first message to me after circumventing the ban that was placed on his connecting to End of Time to begin with:
'Waeran tells you 'So... I never realized what a bitch you were, that
I also can't help but to chuckle that apparently a temporary nochannel is considered 'dire consequences' by the reviewer.
'All in all, the MUD isn't terrible, but it's VERY unpolished, and it doesn't seem like the important things are being addressed.'
We routinely and very frequently get quite complimented on the level of polish on the game, and we have a very stable, very well balanced game. Prior to this altercation with the Admin in question, the extent of complaints, bug reports, or typos issued by any character on this player's account has been minor typo reports and one shop not carrying arrows.
Comment posted on Wed Aug 6 21:19:18 2014 by Hades_Kane / Diablos:
[continued from reply 2]
'Furthermore, the few players that do log on spend 95%+ of their time idling.'
We do have a few players who enjoy chatting or keep their connections alive waiting for others to log in, but very recently we've been prone to having several players all on, interacting, and numerous grouping with one another. For a smaller game still trying to finish numerous 'in development' systems and who hasn't been listed for very long, I'm proud of the strides we make all the time on building a playerbase. It's cheap to take digs at a game trying to gain a playerbase for having low connections. Afterall, it's a catch 22... You need players to get players, and we are doing well for where we are in development.
As far as the 'drama' of the piece, it boils down rather simply. Quest information had been being too liberally shared on public channels over the last few days with repeated warnings by the Admin in question that this needed to cease. The player began discussing the existance of a certain quest (assuming that because he had seen me point someone toward it in the past that it gave him carte blanche to discuss it however he wished). The MUD was warned yet again by the Admin to cease discussion of the quests, to which the player gave argument toward it, continuing to not only discuss the quest in particular during the course of the arguments he was supplying, but then begins to grow increasingly belligerent, telling the Admin not to threaten him, telling the Admin if he doesn't like it, to deal with me and to get off his ass, etc. He was nochanneled as a result, then continued arguing with the Admin through private channels, threatening the Admin with me, basically. He then proceeds to post a public note to the MUD, calling the Admin a 's****y imm' and stringing together numerous other insults.
And again, the dispute resolution guidelines were specifically drafted to deal with situations like this, situations that this player seems unable to find himself avoiding. He then proceeds to do what is practically outlined what specifically NOT to do:
'We do not like to 'pull rank' with regards trying to report a staff member to another of 'higher rank'. Also, certainly do not try to threaten or otherwise intimidate a staff member with the threat of reporting them, this is one of the worst ways a situation can escalate.'
'KEEP THINGS PRIVATE!' (followed by more specifics about this)
As a result of this escalation, the character was simply frozen, which is again, a temporary and easily reversible thing. The player decides to circumvent the freeze by logging in additional characters to rant and rave on public channels and post even more PUBLIC notes, the new characters only being the ones deleted while his older characters with far more time put into them left untouched save for a nochannel and freeze (easily reversible). The player clearly had no interest in reaching me personally or the numerous ways I can be reached privately would have been used. and when he finally does reach me by circumventing the ban from connecting to the game, he opens the dialogue by profanely insulting me. The player simply had an axe to grind against an Admin he clearly holds a grudge against, and then promptly came to TMC and did everything he could to blow up the forums with this drama, with thread after thread, warning after warning, that ultimately resulted in a temporary ban from the forums after repeated and deliberation violations of forum rules and ignoring instructions/warnings from the boderation team.
For further reading on the incidents that caused this review to be posted, I encourage others to take a bit of time to view the behavior of this player displayed even here, publicly, on TMC, as he grew similarly agitated, hostile, and insulting toward the moderators here. It will be obvious and apparant to anyone taking the time to view the situation objectively that this is just an attempt at a smear by someone disgruntled over the way they chose to handle a situation (and yes, many of these are nearly spam level repeated posts trying to flame the MUD on the boards).
http://www.mudconnect.com/SMF/index.php?topic=78785.0 http://www.mudconnect.com/SMF/index.php?topic=78784.0 http://www.mudconnect.com/SMF/index.php?topic=78791.0 http://www.mudconnect.com/SMF/index.php?topic=78796.0 http://www.mudconnect.com/SMF/index.php?topic=78793.0 http://www.mudconnect.com/SMF/index.php?topic=78794.0
Comment posted on Sat Aug 9 15:46:00 2014 by Niran:
I'd just like to chime in that while I was never personally the target of any ridicule or malice from the admin who is not Hades_Kane mentioned in this review, his attitude toward various players definitely contributed to my eventual departure from this game.