Hhhhhmmmmm. Whatever path is chosen, I’m not going anywhere. My Orbus experience has been the best possible one: I joined with a great wave of players in the best possible timezone. I’ve watched countless new players sprinkle in, especially outside the biggest population timezones, and end up falling by the wayside because they were always alone and didn’t want to be. Ideally all timezones would have ample players across various levels, but we don’t yet. Hopefully we’ll get there sooner than later with VR becoming more affordable and mainstream, but in the meantime, this newer player isolation is stunting our growth.
So reflecting on everything, here’s my two cents of a possible idea.
I do really like an overarching storyline to follow from beginning to end and progress in strength/ knowledge along the way, where level and assistance does matter to cross certain milestones. I know some people had issues following it or get stuck due to not having available help to progress, but I think it itself could be worth keeping as the backbone of the game (or at least “tree trunk”) as long as there’s plenty of “fluff” (deviating branches) and community resources (discord, Orbus Free Press, etc). I really like the idea of daily/weekly quests with its structure being much more nebulous, but I do want that in addition if possible instead of as a complete replacement. I’ve been able to meet and have fun with newer players with scaled Defend the Realm and the scaled dungeons. So while the lower level players can’t raid with me yet (and I don’t want anyone to rush to endgame), I’ve enjoyed escorting lower level friends I’ve made to Frosted Spit so that we could still fish at Bay of Two Souls together (considering any level of fisher can fish anything anywhere, just gotta have the lure and a way to get there). Plus this could be a practical function of the airship - lower levels can take the airship from “safe town to safe town” and hang out with activities that don’t require a level / are scaled, but can’t necessarily just walk to anywhere (and gather resources along the way, explore, reach certain “out there” areas worth visiting) but still have the opportunity to meet and hang out with higher levels so it isn’t we’re “helping random lowbies” but helping friends we’ve had the opportunity to make (although probably still need a ‘reward system’ for certain things). I like the idea of certain things and places being level scaled, pockets of overworld and some instances, but not everything only minus endgame. I think Kamina is on to something with his idea. I would also appreciate certain pockets of instanced areas always being a certain level regardless of the player’s actual level (this instance is always level 1, that instance is always level 5, the other one always 10, etc). Aside from farming for dram/reagents, solo farming (or in small groups with established friends) is a very “zen” activity for many. They like the instanced areas so that it isn’t a matter of taking those mobs from anyone else, and sometimes it’s nice to be alone if you don’t feel like being social at the moment, and other times yea group stuff is great.
I also really, really like the idea of hitting max level but that leveling bar still rolling and getting cosmetic rewards, resources, dram, etc. Sure, dungeon stuff always stronger and whatnot, but that is a nice plus I’m looking forward to.
Speaking of the power aspect, I loved that difficult pocket of Narrow Orchard Almas Sprites (
the pilgrim is a ghost trying to get us killed, I swear) so I enjoyed the difficulty and the horror of realizing YOU WEREN’T EVEN SAFE IN TOWN, THEY FOLLOWED YOU, YOU STILL DIED (not that I want all towns to be unsafe, but Narrow Orchard is haunted with vengeful ghosts!) and coming back as a level 20 to just watch them fall with a single arcane missile that’s just fun
Part of me wants to keep elaborating if I wasn’t clear, and another is worried about an unnecessarily long post repeating itself and beating a dead horse, so… I’ll try to end like this.
maintain current structure of overarching questline and the extent to which levels matter. Return instanced areas that always maintain its level regardless of player level. I think there is benefit to a sense of progression, a sense of satisfaction, and also “zen activities.” Maybe not consider every instance a dungeon, but a themed farming ground.
each area also have ample pockets of scaled mobs (see Kamina’s idea), also scaled dungeons, and a reason we want to go to scaled areas and do scaled things (resources, rewards, whatever to make them enticing enough and easily accessible)
continue expounding upon social activities that do not require level to participate even if level may be required to reach (like escorting lowbies to Bay of Two Souls to fish)
-endgame how it’s been, no scaling there