Removing Mana from the game...

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Removing Mana from the game...

Postby Gorka » Fri May 06, 2022 9:51 am

I think we should just remove mana from the game at this point...

Yesterday I was trying to get some conquest points in Herbalist Isle II and kept seeing players and large groups in the area every 10 mins that were coming in to drain mana from the mobs there.

The process is simple enough, there are a number of mobs in the game with very high amounts of mana... you simply walk up to one and type "cast 'energy drain' <mob name>" if you have good saves... the spell is usually a success on these mobs, and you instantly gain what appears to be a percentage of there large mana reserves. You can drain over 1000 mana instantly with this technique, basically giving players a way to fill up with mana instantly and have far more than there max mana.

It originally started off being a thing with the dragons in dweb, but soon people found better mobs, and now days when these mobs run out, you just "raise sceptre" in the area which restores all the mobs so you can drain away again. Now we have people with permanent beacons in the area, they run mobs, drain in a few seconds to refill and then continue running. I've also noticed mages have started getting really good at the coliseum... Yeah, even the back 4 levels... I guess if you start a run with 2500 drained mana that might give you an edge...

What I find even more interesting is that some immortals are completely complicit and are actively engaging in the activity. The badly designed new proc items in most cases have created new exploits. There are 4 artifacts, not one of them I haven't cheesed to level 10 in a few days, they are so badly designed. The blinding clasp is the most OP item in the game, and the sceptre has opened up a whole new list of possible exploits. I did read recently there was a limitation added to energy drain, a "pretend" fix to make it seem like it was put under control - a legalisation of hard core drugs as it were. Is 2500 free mana still a fix? To add insult to injury, a method I found to get "free mana" using the arenas was patched out of the game... yet this exploit is being abused every 10-15mins... the level of hyprocisy at this point, numbs my mind.

To the big top imms, you're like Théoden in Lord of The Rings, you're asleep most of the day, and people like Gríma have wiggled there way into places where they shouldn't be, and overestimated their abilities. You are asleep at the wheel. Wake up!

Whats the point to this game anymore, isn't the idea of gaming reward for effort? Since "proc sloth" started - the exploits have catapulted new players past the achievements of the olders players in mere months. You have 6 people running lucifer in one run. When lucifer was first put into the game, it took a quest sized group, 3 regens and a nightmare. The game has been trashed. There used to be a culture amongst the smart players to find bugs and exploit them, and for the immortals to snoop players, find and patch them. Now days no one cares enough we can all cheat out in the open?

Oh, ok... Next post... I'll tell you all about my free drachma bug...

Oh well, it was good while it lasted... I'll remember the days when the game was actually harder, and it felt like it was worth something to get somewhere. Not saying I don't still enjoy playing sloth, doing the grind, but it's just sad now... it's for nothing.
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Re: Removing Mana from the game...

Postby Gorka » Fri May 06, 2022 10:40 am

You know before the conquest system, I was buying...

+1 Mana for 30b+ xp
+1 Mana regen for 800 drachma

For what now... For what?
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Re: Removing Mana from the game...

Postby Josiah » Sat May 07, 2022 7:24 pm

Re: free drachma

In case anyone thinks G is exaggerating -- infinite drachma exploits do exist. The challenge isn't getting the drachma; it's the fact that Slothmud's competent immortals can tell when you do it.

Re: mana

In the 1990s, having to stop your dungeon delving multiple times an hour for a 5-10 minute 'regen' break seemed pretty reasonable. It's 2022 now, and games have moved away from the 'punish the player' model of game development. The only modern games that still have energy/stamina systems requiring frequent breaks are widely detested pay-to-win mobile games.

In that context, energy drain exploits seem like an elegant solution to an antiquated game system. I have no objection to the exploits of clever, well-geared adventurers who have spent decades (real-time!) mastering their virtual world.
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Re: Removing Mana from the game...

Postby Ezekiel » Sun May 08, 2022 5:45 am

1. It does not defeat the point of mana. You would still buy mana as an avatar, because the drain cap has been set at 2.5 or 3x (one of these, can't remember which) your base mana.

2. Drain used to be uncapped (you literally could run around with 24k mana if you wanted for a short time). Just as with any widely used exploit, there seemed to be consideration by the imms that the exploit was very widely adopted and used because, like Josiah said, regens were an antiquated part of the game. You complaining about drain is like complaining that a regen tick system switched to continuous regen. It's just a part of the progress of the game and the imms saw no need to continue this sleeping for 5-10 minutes at a time, especially considering you don't get quest level size groups daily anymore. The imms then came up with a solution that drain would be capped at a suitable multiplier of max mana. Did this mean I vaulted elite regen eq that I worked lots for? Sure, but I'm not complaining. It isn't 'but this is the way things were back then' or 'when I was coming up, it was harder'. It's an acknowledgement that as the game progresses, there will be things I have to adapt to (which means parts of what I used to value, or my nostalgia about it, may no longer be relevant).

3. The drain mana minimally affects coli because at any orb that fires, it resets your mana anyway. Did you ever think that maybe the mages setting the records didn't zoom to 9x40 on rebirth like the impatient, thinking that their scores were good enough... and then those mages had maxxed everything, half their av buys with everything bought still with them on rebirth, newly implemented/statted av lights (see my current 5x40 levels and below since rebirth at each x40 I've sat at maxxing eq and runes on each tier). You can complain all you want, but as the power creep got larger, naturally any char that did coli when rebirth first started as opposed to now would be able to do less because of natural char/equipment/av buy progression and strengthening within the game. Note: Every coli record I have set, I never ran out of mana once between orbs- which means even if there was no drain mana, I would not have run out of mana. It is a product of set build and patience. Your impatience to get to end game cost you that leaderboard, nothing else. You got your end game rebirth av buys far before those that are topping the boards as a benefit, but you're completely ignoring that fact.

4. It's funny to watch someone that vigorously defended second wind when you warriors were outblasting mages or controlling undead faster than necros (which, to this day, remains largely untouched) complaining now about imms embracing a modified exploit to progress the game. Or when warriors would literally tell me they didn't want to embrace tanking for a group because they were soloing by using warcry to boost their hp and go in and out without taking damage (basically negating a need for mana at all). Where was your outcry about exploits then? Seems pretty convenient...

Just my two cents-
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Re: Removing Mana from the game...

Postby Gorka » Sun May 08, 2022 9:27 am

I agree completely with Josiah and Ezekiel that 5-10min regens were dumb. I completely disagree that draining mana is an elegant solution. You've made it sound like it was a genius solution, the reality was the discovery was mostly accidental and mob dependent. They should have boosted regen instead imho.

It's true I've defended second wind but I've also said several times second wind should be limited to skills and not compatible with spells. If you go back, you'll find the posts. Once again I will say it, second winding spells is something I usually find counterproductive as a warrior and I don't do it often.

As for the coliseum, I haven't run it in like 2 years, because it became apparent, every time monks got hand dam they were getting more powerful than warriors. Technically speaking, monk style is more simple and less laggy only involving 2 commands. Warriors don't have an opener, they have to switch weapons - it turns into a time penalty for every mob. Second wind just means you are going to run out of moves, or mana in the last mintues, casting refresh is a time penalty. The kill time per mob in the avatar coliseum is just over 7.2 seconds now which means it comes down to how many splorks you can get. I've just had my warcry nerfed, and my stab nerfed... and changes to thief position which further disadvantaged my classo. Lastly, I have 4k drachma, I don't even bother questing anymore... nothing to buy.

I was aware that the orb reset max mana after the 2 min mark. In the lower levels for smaller chars... you could run out of max mana in the first 2 minutes... not a problem for avatars. I agree.

It's completely untrue that I abused war-cry, that was completely Josiah.

Lastly, why am I against draining? It's not an elegant solution, it's more "Dragon Ball Z" than it is "Sloth." If people think it's going to be the savior of slothmud, I doubt it. I suspect all it's done is speed up the progress of players to "finish" the game quicker. Who wants to buy mana and mana regen now - realistically you probably only need 200m conquest points to get everything you'll need. Too much sugar too quickly, not enough meat... this medicine will become a poison.

By the way, I don't wish to undermine the achievements of Insomnia... clearly he's probably the smartest player I've seen play the game personally. But you can't deny his achievements have come about due to "proc sloth." I also wonder what there is in the game to do now, that he's finished it - certainly not buy mana or regen - that's for sure. Sloth has sold out it's core principals. The death of the game is going to come faster.

Two years ago I had a conversation with Breeze trying to get him to allow more mana regen for sale in vaults... he quoted me 200m coins per point... Before eventually deciding not to do it. I don't get the back flip? Are they even aware, or do they even care? Mana and regen is now for nothing... doesn't make sense. I want an explanation.
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Re: Removing Mana from the game...

Postby Gorka » Sun May 08, 2022 12:22 pm

Back again, there is a point I didn't make very well, that needs pressing...

Mana, underpins everything in the game...

Mana is moves through refresh, mana is hitpoints through healing, mana is damage through spells... Mana is the currency of sloth which undermines the entire games challenge... and now you've provided a way to basically make mana instantly renewable without challenge.

It's a mind numbing dumb decision, because in doing so, you've taken away the challenge that is a key ingredient to make a game - a game. Sloth is no longer a game... the final result of anything has already been decided before the fight even kicks off... now it's even more of an inevitability.

Sloth has been reduced to a simple grind, with predetermined outcomes. It's lost it's art, it's lost it's challenge. What kind of person thinks this is a good idea? Did you seriously play every game with god mode on, because you were crap? My mind boggles...

It's so often true what they say about leadership - Water rises to the top.
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Re: Removing Mana from the game...

Postby Ezekiel » Sun May 08, 2022 3:50 pm

To say that 'mana underpins the whole game' is a stretch. It is an essential part of it, sure, but damage and ac are two just as relevant components. Mana is one part of the game they are making easier to manage due to antiquated systems. If you disagree with the implementation and think it's 'god mode' because once facet is changed (and capped) and then decide to rage, maybe it's time to go outside and touch some grass. I've been there, taking the game too seriously before. It makes one look foolish.

As for 'proc sloth', it is convenient you have a Winterblade/artifacts and then complain about the advantages procs entitle you to. Why not be of 'Juggian' theory and not use the exploits or hyper advantages from the mud you disagree with? Must be nice running around EU using your procs, then coming on here to whine.

As for you not wanting to insult the mages at the top of the board, I hardly think you would have brought it up in your first complaint if you were only addressing the non-avatars that gained from the drain at lower colis. Your initial complaint even said 'I've also noticed mages have started getting really good at the coliseum... Yeah, even the back 4 levels...'. That doesn't sound like a complaint against lower coli chars with no av rebirth. It sounds like being salty at losing your leaderboard scores against the av rebirth casters themselves (of which I've topped 4 of the 5 colis attempted) but then grabbing at straws to blame it on the advent of drain instead of your own impatience in getting to 9x40. Those casters with no av rebirth levels have never placed top since av rebirth was integrated on any of those boards, much less the later colis, so it was clear what casters your argument was targeting. Nice bait and switch argument though.

Done with this incessant whining.

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Re: Removing Mana from the game...

Postby Gorka » Sun May 08, 2022 5:04 pm

Not gonna bother with you Ezekiel. Yes, I got a copy of your email the last time you quit... Who are you to accuse me of whining, straw man arguments and bitterness? :shock: Shall I post it on the forum? People might find it enlightening.

The irony is the last "art" left in the game, is going to be the art of cheating. It's going to be the last way a player can exactly exhibit his individuality and intelligence.

The whole game has taken this kind of "predeterministic" path. There is no challenge if you follow the path, just work to step through. It's not exciting for players - we need adventure, we need challenge. The balance between chaos and order has been taken over by order, and now we are doomed to become bored. There is nothing to fight for anymore.

It's more exciting to bet on how many times the hellwasps will kill Dingo tomorrow, than getting my next +1 stab dam. What's the point to anything anymore? For what? Can just get unlimited mana, and blast it instead. +1 Dam? Who cares, just go suck mana, heal up and kill it. It's absurd.
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Re: Removing Mana from the game...

Postby Ezekiel » Sun May 08, 2022 5:58 pm

Difference is, I've admitted when I've been irrational and unreasonable, attached to aspects of the game I was taking too seriously. I'm hoping over time, you realize the same about your own arguments, which is why I brought it up. Release whatever you like, sir. I own my mistakes of the past. Stooping to such levels to throw shade at others past mistakes they've owned up to says more about your character than mine.

So no comments on 'proc Sloth' hypocrisy eh. Figured.

It really just comes down to something that you find a detrimental, game-breaking change- the imms, as well as the rest of the mud, do not see as game-breaking, but rather progress. Your nostalgia and want for base level stagnancy of core game issues may be swaying your view to a fault. Realize it or not, I don't care. Neither does the rest of the mud. Adapt or die. I've said my piece.

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Re: Removing Mana from the game...

Postby Gorka » Sun May 08, 2022 6:48 pm

Ezekiel wrote:Difference is, I've admitted when I've been irrational and unreasonable, attached to aspects of the game I was taking too seriously. I'm hoping over time, you realize the same, which is why I brought it up. Release whatever you like, sir. I own my mistakes of the past. Stooping to such levels to throw shade at others past mistakes they've owned up to says more about your character than mine.


Hey, if you've repented, no issue from me.

I don't know what's gone on with Breeze and Neptune... I find it hard to believe they would have allowed what has happened if they were REALLY paying attention. I've always fought for incremental improvements, and Breeze has pushed back on that a few times in the past, so the fact he would knowingly allow this mana drain exploit... doesn't sit with me. Does he REALLY understand what's happened, and how was it "sold" to him. Was there some manipulation? Spider sense tingling... Gríma perhaps? I emailed him yesterday, I'm trying to cause a big scene here on the forum, but it's mostly just theater on my part. If I lose well, I tried. It doesn't make sense to continue playing anymore if all your achievements just get undermined, and I think that although games need to evolve, they need to keep there original essence.

My preferences aside, I really do truthfully think removing the challenge from Sloth is the death nail. I had 5 more stab points to buy from conquest points, but have everything else that made a fighting difference... doesn't seem any point to continue now. Just drain right, answer to everything... No thanks.
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Re: Removing Mana from the game...

Postby Insomnia » Mon May 09, 2022 2:21 pm

...By the way, I believe raising the Ancient Sceptre of Dominion doesn't restore mob mana, so you have to give mobs enough regen time in order to drain them again. But I totally agree that discovering venerable plantwraiths in Herbalist II created disbalance – all other drainable mobs I know can kill you in 2-3 rounds if you are not careful enough.
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Re: Removing Mana from the game...

Postby Gorka » Mon May 09, 2022 2:56 pm

Insomnia wrote:By the way, I believe raising the Ancient Sceptre of Dominion doesn't restore mob mana


Insomnia might be right, I haven't tested... I just noticed when I first bumped into the group in herbalist isle they raised sceptre and then recalled, and it seemed to me, there would only be one reason to do that, or maybe two... if the drain mobs were near death.

Older mobs should provide a stable point of reference for what should be the range of drain... I checked logs for mobs uttering spells and ran around a bit... can't find one that gave more than 100 mana apart from the known outliers. Sure that can be reviewed, I don't think it provides a basis for 2700 mana though.

<1847hp 488ma 565mv -10.9ac Kobold Village 333695347227xp -%>
Ok.
The kobold sage hates your guts!
You feel a sudden rush of excitement!
The kobold sage slowly fades into existence.
You drain the kobold sage of some of his energy.

<1888hp 550ma 565mv -10.9ac Kobold Village 333695347539xp 94%>
The kobold sage misses you with his hit.
You deal a massive blow to one of the kobold sage's vital organs.
You viciously massacre the kobold sage with your cleave.
The kobold sage is stunned, but will probably regain consciousness again.
You viciously massacre the kobold sage with your cleave.
The kobold sage is dead! R.I.P.

<1813hp 926ma 577mv -10.9ac Temple of the Sun 333695396245xp -%>
drain knight
Ok.
The Templar Knight of the Sun hates your guts!
The Templar Knight of the Sun slowly fades into existence.
You drain the Templar Knight of the Sun of some of his energy.

<1831hp 966ma 578mv -10.9ac Temple of the Sun 333695397043xp 97%>

<1813hp 959ma 570mv -14.9ac Kara'sa 333696079703xp -%>
drain statue
Ok.
A carved statue hates your guts!
You drain a carved statue of some of her energy.

<1831hp 1004ma 578mv -10.9ac Kara'sa 333696081425xp 99%>

<1642hp 862ma 556mv -10.9ac Plane of Fire Extension 333706064937xp 75%>
drain efreet
Ok.
You drain the efreet of some of his energy.

<1663hp 863ma 560mv -10.9ac Plane of Fire Extension 333706065387xp 75%>

<1919hp 543ma 652mv -10.9ac Gossameringue-on-the-Scuttleteau 333735629484xp -%>
drain Webmistress
Ok.
The Grand Webmistress hates your guts!
You feel a sudden rush of excitement!
You drain the Grand Webmistress of some of her energy.

<1966hp 566ma 652mv -10.9ac Gossameringue-on-the-Scuttleteau 333735630424xp 99%>
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Re: Removing Mana from the game...

Postby Gorka » Mon May 09, 2022 3:25 pm

<1855hp 574ma 616mv -10.9ac Desert of Despair 334490904410xp -%>
drain magi
Ok.
An ogre magi hates your guts!
You feel a sudden rush of excitement!
You drain an ogre magi of some of his energy.

<1899hp 682ma 615mv -10.9ac Desert of Despair 334490905022xp 99%>
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Re: Removing Mana from the game...

Postby cnl » Mon May 09, 2022 4:18 pm

I've only played since there has been drain in game, so take that into account. That said, I've had a lot of fun with drain at low/mid-levels.

It helped me master quite a few things by way of providing motivation. Navigating through (to-me) dangerous areas and learning them. The importance of spell saves and eq sets. Beacons & Clan recalls. How to use flee properly and its quirks. The value of entrench. Quite frankly, it was the excitement needed to keep me engaged. Coming new into a game filled with 9x40s it gave me something to do other than coast as a spare wheel in a large group and have some self sufficiency.

Was it way OP? sure. You could drain 32k mana if you were careful - although it took me a while to realize it. And at those levels - 32k mana didn't stop a mob killing me in a single round. But as I got more levels, eq and knowledge - sure, it trivialized the game.

I thought the fix was actually rather clever and a good compromise. I know Gorka disagrees. You can argue about what the right balance is and if certain mobs are out of alignment or too easy and if the mechanism needs further changes - but personally, spending forever doing regen is just rather boring. I'd rather do something to actively regen [than] break out a book for 10 minutes or start browsing the web or get working at something else. fundamentally it doesn't change anything. Get a nightmare and do the same thing at 1/3 of the speed and less engagement.

What I like about drain is that it's pretty transparent mechanism, it's accessible to anyone but mastering it teaches new-players skills and it requires the build-out of an eqset or 2, drachma eq to take fully advantage of it which is a nice little project. This seems like exactly the kind of thing that we want.

I don't think the issues that drain exacerbates are unique to drain - it just highlights them because it's widely used unlike other methods that people keep secret, require special scripting knowledge or botting.
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Re: Removing Mana from the game...

Postby Belrath » Mon May 09, 2022 9:47 pm

Hello all. I've played sloth few weeks and I feel Gorka's point. Years ago it took 3 months to make as much xp as its easily done nowadays in a week. But I dont care. I dont feel like I've lost something in those grinding times. I was having fun, talking to people, making friends, etc. That's what this game is about. Get online and kill in a huge group some kobolds and CF there. Oh boy.

The main reason this game is here is to have fun, atleast that's how I feel about it. It's something to get a holiday from your problems and normal life and take a pick. You know what I mean. You take a breather. It should never be considered as a problem on a serious level.

You're just taking things too seriously Gorka and want to keep value to the long grinds you have had in the past.

I'm sorry Gorka but I feel like you're creating these problems yourself, playing 16h/day, 7days/week.
You're the only one complaining too much coins etc... these things might happen if someone plays as much as you do. I feel like I play more than average person. Never had coinage problem, haha. But I also play other chars some years. Anyways, all I'm trying to say here is - let the game go the path it wants to take and we all have fun. If you're (Gorka) trying to fight against that, well - better change to another mud then perhaps?

On another point. Slothmud average players count daily has been going up up up, once Rob started to update the ystem. So I give my points to him. It's been awesome past few years. High regards to Neptune also and Toker and any other secret coder there has been involved. I'm loving it.

Sorry my bad english. I hope you can get my point outta all that gibberish.

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