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Why is everyone on Arelith?

JhaerikJhaerik Member Posts: 17
Is it because they actually enjoy that sort of play... or that it was just the first one to get everything working so got a leg up on population.. so everyone else flocked there? Most of the people I talk to in tells on there just tell me they are playing there because "everyone else is" and just go through the required motions of RP.

Curious because that's mostly why I rolled a character on there. Just feel like I'm going through a bunch of "Hail" "Greetings!" "Well met." "Perhaps would you have interest in ridding the sewers of the bandit threat?" When I really just want to ask people... "Yo wanna go kill some bandits? Need a tank.. like level 4-6, you can have loot."

Many class/race choices are basically locked behind a "be a friend of a DM" barrier. Want to make a shifter/Assassin/evil race? Give a DM a handy. Lol.

Also walking everywhere for the sake of "realism" in a game where you shoot fire out of your fingers, and summon dragons out of your arse seems rather redic. If every "travel" session in a tabletop campaign was realtime I don't think D&D would have ever caught on. "Your passage along the Sword Coast to Amn will take well over a month." Soooo next game session in Feb k guys?

Anywho we need a good non RP server to kill some shit on.

dTdGM_ODABelgarathMTH

Comments

  • FreshLemonBunFreshLemonBun Member Posts: 616
    I've never seen theories of player population distribution based on rational decision making ever have any kind of explanatory power or predictive power. Population itself is often the biggest factor along with social groups. People will often play where others play even if it doesn't meet their stated feature requirements. Usually people will only leave after passing a threshold, but if one of the people that leaves bridges a connection between different social groups then it's possible a whole chunk of players falls away too. In the past when we've seen high pop servers become low pop servers that's usually what happened, with people usually leaving because their friends left not because the features changed. However their friend might have originally left because the feature changed or they got fed up. Those people then usually migrate between other servers. If their previous server didn't completely implode it's likely if their new server similarly becomes low pop they might go back to one of their previous high pop servers.

    So it helped that Arelith was already the second largest server before NWN EE and people associated with them started working with Beamdog before NWN EE was even announced. Beamdog then continued showcasing them many times in various ways, while they had already started with a fairly high population coming from Diamond Edition.

    Almost nobody sat down, looked at all the features and compared all the servers, then finally said that's the one for me, that's the style I love the most.

    The same goes to a much lesser extent for the other fairly large servers from Diamond Edition that moved to NWN EE such as Ravenloft and EFU. The two main largest servers remaining on Diamond Edition are Sinfar (an 18+ sandbox with action/rp/pvp elements) and Higher Grounds (a primarily action server with legendary levels). I believe they're still on Diamond Edition because of technical reasons and needing engine features Beamdog hasn't made yet.

    Of all the old high population NWN Diamond servers that have transferred Arelith was the only ones that was fairly barebones and didn't require any extra setup or haks for players to play. This was also the case when NWN EE launched. So combining the following factors it's reasonable to conclude that they should have a higher population than others:
    1. Existing high population
    2. Low entry bar to play
    3. Developer showcasing the server
    4. Less choice of servers
    5. Population surge due to winter sales
    6. High population = more population (usually)

    As for action servers there are some which are more accepting of that style of play. However there were some that were dedicated to action but they're now currently low pop or have 0 players. Which begs the question why don't you or others play there, well maybe this post helps explains why not. If you want to revive one of those dead action servers on the list you might need a group of friends to help attract more people to it by actively playing there but YMMV.

    Mirandel
  • JhaerikJhaerik Member Posts: 17
    edited January 2
    Sadly my old NWN running crew consisted of my now Ex-Wife, her boyfriend before we hooked up, and his friends. :P Tried talking some EQ buddies into giving NWN a shot, but no dice.

    Used to play on WoI/Eternal Armageddon/The Three Towns mostly. WoI has like 5 people online, EA is dead (damn that actually feels good to say for some reason), and 3T is running on NWN-FF instead NWNX and no longer have the people with both the time and the knowledge to convert over to NWNX:EE.

  • GM_ODAGM_ODA Member Posts: 142
    edited January 2
    If you picked your dining source the same way people pick Arelith (because the place looks full), then you would dine exclusively at McDonalds.

    I strongly recommend players shop around for the right server for them (the choices are many and the variations are staggering).

    It is the OPPOSITE OF HELPFUL that Beamdog puts so much effort into promoting Arelith over the rest of the community. We all bought your game, you should treat us equally and fairly.

  • JhaerikJhaerik Member Posts: 17
    edited January 2
    Actually I think I might just roll up on World on Iniquity again. Who knows maybe a few more folks will start showing up if they see people online. Was a pretty good server back in the day for screwing around on/building.

    And yeh it really is kind of bad that Arelith gets so much promotion. I really think it's scared off a lot of the potential player base NWN:EE would have had online. A lot of folks see that server is pretty much one of 3 RP servers with a population (and Arelith is hitting 250+ prime time when no action server is breaking 30 at any time) and just don't want to put up with the BS RP servers bring. Personally I can't stand their setup, but if I want to play online with other folks... not a lot of options. They are just sooooo damn controlling... and building just doesn't exist. Their settings are so restrictive that there are basically 8 or so viable builds unless you kiss some DM's ass and spend hours per day talking out your ass in a bar about some RP stuff that isn't truely RP... it's more people just telling stories that didn't happen abotu their characters younger years. NWN just doesn't support RP very well on a persistent world. It's like trying to play tabletop DND with no DM.

    GM_ODA
  • BelgarathMTHBelgarathMTH Member Posts: 4,807
    edited January 2
    @Jhaerik , I've recently been playing World of Warcraft on the Moonguard server, and I tried joining some rp groups there. I found the same, identical problems that you discuss in your posts with the players I met there. I was winding up spending hours of my gaming time just standing there waiting for other people to type a lot of crap, when I really just wanted to work on my character and my quests and achievements - you know, play the game I was there to play.

    I really hear you about the "controlling" thing. There's a very specific rp culture on Moonguard, and you have to learn the ropes quickly, or you get a bad reputation and they'll start shunning you. And a lot of them seem to delight in criticizing and shaming others for trying to create and play their character in any way that doesn't match up perfectly with their own ideas about how to rp their own character. I've never met a group of people so full of themselves. It makes me want to say "Lighten up, people! We're playing a game. This is ridiculous."

    I went to an event where the "dungeon master" had us walk - *walk* - across a whole continent while people put their avatars into automatic follow mode and typed inane conversation about their characters. That was an hour of my life I'll never get back. I mean, I was trying to get into the spirit of it and be a good sport and a good player, and the "dungeon master" was doing a good job creating an event and doing what was expected of him, but the whole thing got old, really fast.

    I also started to really hate what are called "edgelords". There are a lot of nearly identical characters running around - dark elf, practices dark magic or works with assassination and poisons, tragic backstory, every decent citizen thinks they're evil but they're really just misunderstood. Sort of like all the edgelords want to be like Batman or Drizzt, and want to play whatever the newest, edgiest character class might be. And they make me roll my eyes and shake my head, chuckling softly to myself every time I see one of them.

    So, it sounds like there are a lot of striking similarities to your experiences on Arelith. Apparently, there's a kind of rigid culture of online rp that goes across game platforms and franchises.

    At least with World of Warcraft, Moonguard is such a high population server that it's easy to leave a group that doesn't suit you and find other people who are playing the game the way you want. The rp'ers hang out in a few specific areas in Stormwind, and everybody knows where they are. You have to be careful how you talk to them, if you decide to talk to them. They're a touchy bunch. But if you choose, it's easy to ignore them, and there are plenty of regular "OOC" players to be found in the other areas of the game.

    GM_ODA
  • JhaerikJhaerik Member Posts: 17
    edited January 2
    You know what the worse part of are of it really was though? Even though they are super crazy/restrictive about their RP rules... the character building rules are worse.

    For example all splashes must come with a minimum of 3 levels. Most pure classes get some sort of bonus at level 28. Weapons are mostly limited to +3 with the except of a very few racially restricted +4 weapons. Weapon buff spells only work one at a time and don't stack. They also don't function on any weapon other than the base non magic variety. Fighters get +1 EB at 23 25 and 28.

    Soooo what ends up happening is half the server ends up being 23 fighter Elves using a +4 elven racial weapon for they can get though prem. Or 23 Fighter non elves with a 3 bard/rogue splash for UMD + 4 levels of something else power-gamey. Generally Paladin/BG for saves + Divine Might/Shield.

    Wizards/Sorc casters have to use 1/2/3 spell components to cast level 7/8/9 spells which cost a few hundred gold per... so no one ever uses them outside of pvp. Every caster build just uses Silenced/Empowered/Maximized IGMS generally. Also every Greater spell focus gives you an "inficast" spells you can use endlessly. So every Wiz/Sorc is exactly the same. Not that many people use them other than enchanters.

    Speaking of enchanting... all decent gear is basically player made. Permanent stores are limited (generally owned by staff and their friends) so other than temp stores which time out after an hour pretty much everyone ends up just crafting their own stuff. Those than don't farm the same few mobs over and over to to spam 5% success change enchants until they finally roll a 20 and get their 4th enchant.

    Resting is limited by a system that tracks how "tired" your character is... so everyone is an alcoholic so they can become tired faster by drinking booze so they can rest more often.

    So generally the server itself creates a situation where creating a build for RP reasons doesn't work, because to get anywhere you have to follow one of 8 or so viable builds... doing the exact same thing as every other person... while creating some BS RP about how your 27 spellblade 3 bard, or 23 fighter/4paladin/3 rogue(or bard) is entirely different than the 800 others using the exact same Discord provided build. Figuratively speaking you have to jump through so many damn hoops and system restrictions to have a viable character that it's damn hard to justify any RP as to WHY you took those levels.. other than Arelith told me to.

    It pretty damn silly really.

    P.S. Forgot the best one of all. If your class has an alignment restriction... and you break that alignment... you only have TWO choices. Delevel your character and remove ALL of those levels (which you don't get the xp back for.. even if it took you months to level)... or delete it. So I guess RP doesn't mean a damn thing if you want to RP a fallen paladin, or a BG that had a change of heart, or a Monk that took up drinking/gambling is his later years. Seeing as you can't even be an EX-Class I really wonder if any of these folks every played tabletop, or hell read any FR source material. "Sorry guys I'd love to RP how my Paladin fell into darkness and finally redeemed himself after a loved one was taken from him.... BUT... I have to take -lose xp 2300000 cause a DM told me to.No worries I'll randomly rejoin you 20 levels lower for no damn good RP reason tomorrow." (So we can go grind undead somewhere because someone told me about phat lootz in a /t)

    ALSO while they pretend you can RP as a merchant/trader/craft/ect guess what? EVERY single material resource in the game is guarded by monsters. So no every character ALSO has to be an adventurer. Even to make a damn bronze helmet.

    Flashburn
  • jonesr65jonesr65 Member Posts: 22
    A lot of this kind stuff is why I have never gotten into PW's. There are so many mod's for single player I don't want the hassle. This is why I hope they open up Full Party Control for single players.

  • FreshLemonBunFreshLemonBun Member Posts: 616
    @GM_ODA I wouldn't say it's like food since it's an inherently social experience, so it's more like a dance club. Nobody wants to awkwardly dance in a dimly lit room by themselves, no matter how good the equipment or the music is. If the Diamond servers moved to EE as well then the average stable population would probably increase playerbase traffic between servers and the likelihood of retaining players from a sales boom too.

    Since the population rises with sales like the current 70% off one on Steam it would make sense if small servers like yours more aggressively advertised on places like the Steam NWN board during this time. It might not make a big difference but the more you can raise your base player count the more you can raise your player count on popularity alone.

    @Jhaerik A lot of older servers had strange "rp" rules like that. Typically the rules have a counter productive effect, because the mechanics work differently (1 level dips usually aren't optimized) but these "rp" rules stuck like a meme.

    You are also right about the paladin thing, if they take BG levels they should convert their paladin levels for bonus BG powers, going by rules as written. Most servers don't do this because it's work. Also simply falling should also be fixed by an atonement quest-spell.

    As for reviving action servers for NWN EE I believe that Bad Lands and Salvation had a revival when NWN EE first launched, but they had trouble keeping their player base. This was probably because they didn't have much of a player base already heavily invested in their server, so it's more vulnerable to losing players when the novelty dies down. They're still there but kinda dead now.

    It's a difficult problem but what you need is a dedicated group that wont leave when numbers normalize again after the sales boom in population. Older servers like Arelith and Ravenloft already had that before NWN EE so their survival was more or less guaranteed.

    Drakon
  • ArtosArtos Member Posts: 11
    @Jhaerik I actually started out 15 years ago playing Three Towns too! I had a lot of fun while I was there, but over time I realized that it was unfulfilling to me as a player and I wanted to move on. I had the opportunity to be a dev on the ground floor of Arelith when it was started, and we made a server that we wanted to be players in, simple as that. All of the things you dislike about it were things we liked about it, and others did too. It's perfectly fine to not want to play in there, in fact Arelith isn't my style of gaming either these days. Tastes change and people do too.

    I like roleplay, but PW roleplay seems to me to amount to hours of listening to someone's backstory one night, only never to see them again afterwards. When you play for 30 hours a week, it's great fun, but when you're a casual, not so much. I think if I really got back into NWN again, it would be in a small group/DM'd campaign.

    Anywho, I'll touch on one other reason that I think Arelith still attracts players more than any other place: The Staff (I'm not aggrandizing here, I haven't worked there in years) These guys have and had some top shelf talent working on it. If you're running a serious PW, you're going to need scripters, designers, DMs and forum/feedback moderators before you even get to the players part. You'll need someone savvy with the hosting too. My point is, I think the talent pool for these positions has shrunk over the years. I think I last read that Arelith has something like 20+ contributors these days working on it. That's the potential staff of several major PWs.

    So anyways, it's not just that players flock to the places with other players. Dev staff also gravitate to places where their work will be used, and thus also lead to shortages on the smaller servers, and feed the cycle again.

    Players also go to places that have lots of updates. It shows them the place is lively and maintained with fresh content, and that they might have some agency in shaping the place in the future. Go take a look at Arelith's update page and these guys knock out content consistently, with nary a gap. I'm sure that's a slice in the pie chart of why the population there is so high.

    @Jhaerik again: There's dozens of Action servers out there without people, or a low player count. Get in there! Tear it up! Populations start by forming a regular party. After awhile, more parties show up and you have factions and other fun stuff. It's all very molecular and mesmerizing, but it starts with you finding the server that fits your mechanical requirements (char building and such) and logging in. As cheesy as it sounds, you've gotta get the ball rolling yourself.

    Random ending: What would be grand is if there were more "template" servers available, to take the talent requirement down a notch for those who want to host or make their own world. I know that years ago Arelith released its engine on the vault for anyone who wanted to build their own worlds with it (and some folks did) but it was notoriously undocumented and so still required a skill level to figure out. I'd like it if Beamdog spent more time trying to make the TOOLS that people need to make the game, instead of trying every platform to release NWN on (smart refrigerators next?) but then again, I've got a tenuous grasp of capitalism, at best. That's a different topic entirely.

    Mirandel
  • FreshLemonBunFreshLemonBun Member Posts: 616
    Certainly no server has a monopoly on talent, while it's our instinct to champion success as a product of community and staff, and as an indication of superiority, it often isn't that simple. More over when we do so we also imply that other groups don't have good staff or communities, and we don't really address that in any sizeable community there is always a significant portion of unsatisfied players. Many small servers do have very talented ("top shelf") and dedicated staff while their servers remain low population regardless of this.

    The sale finished several days ago and when the numbers go back down (barring any unforeseen sales) it also wont be because of a change in staff nor will it reflect the loss of talent. Certainly servers like Knights of Noromath, Isandor, Star Wars, Sigil, or Argentium Regio have talented staff that invest a considerable amount of time in their projects. It doesn't really help them much because even if we compare them to (let's not just focus on Arelith or old servers) lets say Bleach, it seems reasonable to conclude that their staff and talent pool are every bit as good as each other.

    It's true that talent does help but only so far as they're talented enough not to be incompetent and break the server or have non functional features i.e. "special class weapons" but half of them don't even work. Servers like that don't really last very long, while a reasonable amount of incompetency is able to persist on large servers without bringing things down.

    I'm speaking with experience in both NWN and NWN2 when I say these things, having witnessed multiple servers grow to become very popular and then later some of them lose it all. They've all had "the best community" and "very talented staff" as well as "the best features" and after a while you really have to wonder about these sorts of claims. Then you go to less popular servers and their servers are sometimes far better designed and more technically advanced with active dms and updates, but their player total makes them a ghost town for 20 hours of the day.

    We simply cannot explain player population using old assumptions without coming up with explanation that have ridiculous implications. Especially when nothing that we've said is important changes but the player numbers do.

  • ArtosArtos Member Posts: 11
    I agree with most of what you're saying, and I think you have some good insight on the topic. I didn't mean to imply that staff talent was the only thing moving the needle, just that it was one aspect that I didn't think was already covered in the previous posts. Really, it's all of it put together with a measure of mystery!

    @Jhaerik There seems to be a fella whippin' up a world called Ashen Realm that should be a contender in your search:

    https://forums.beamdog.com/discussion/73151/ashen-realm-2019#latest

  • JhaerikJhaerik Member Posts: 17
    edited January 7
    @Artos That's really going to depend on how this line they posted plays out.

    "resting to replenish spells and hit points must be used strategically as resting is limited to towns and campsite kits carried by the player"

    Generally speaking I'm not a fan of limited rest servers. Which the thought behind it is great... what really happens is people just end up playing builds that rarely have to rest and everyone ends up being the same few builds. No ones plays wizards. No one plays CoT's. No one plays Paladins. You end up with a bunch of Fighter/WM's, Druid/Monk/X, Druid/Monk/Shifter, SD bow sneakers, SD dual Kama Monk sneakers, Wizard/PM/DD, and Bard/RDD/PM builds.

    I mean if "campsite kits carried by the player" are cheap and easy to get + aren't on a timer. Then it's not an issues. Then again... in that case why bother with it to begin with? Are they going to weigh like 50 lbs and screw over all low str builds? I think it's just a case of adding complication that adds limitations.

  • KeppKepp Member Posts: 31
    edited January 8
    While they do have damage spells, mages aren't meant to be primary damage dealers. Their damage spells are for burst damage when needed to turn the tide of a difficult fight. However, where they really shine is their crowd control abilities.

    If players are allowed to rest after every fight, mages can just keep enemies immobilized while summons and/or the rest of the group chop away all the enemies with ease. Rest, rinse, repeat.

    There's a reason why both action and rp servers limit resting. However, it has to be done right, and balancing NWN isn't easy for devs- especially since 3E is not a balanced rule-set to begin with.

    When I first played NWN, I hated it because of the unlimited resting. I then met Archaegeo Neosophy when he was still developing HCR, helped him test, and it made me fall in love with NWN.

  • HimmelweissHimmelweiss Member Posts: 61
    edited January 8
    I am not on Arelith, mainly because i seriously can't stand the enforced RP rules.
    Also some other rules are just not really my thing, like the 24 hours limit stuff and so on.

    I prefer servers without such rules. More action oriented, no enforced RP, no DMs that tell you how you have to play your toon.
    The type of server i am looking for seem to be extremly rare, atleast when it comes to an finished persistent world.

    Somehow all PWs on NWN:EE that sound interesting at first do have some serious annoying rules.

    But that's just me, good for all thoose people who enjoy it.

    Post edited by Himmelweiss on
  • FreshLemonBunFreshLemonBun Member Posts: 616
    @Artos I agree that many things contribute and I'm sorry if it seemed like I was saying only one factor does. What I'm getting at more than anything is that we should really look at it more in terms of Social Network Analysis when we consider player population behavior. We have a network of individuals and while various things influence them, on a broader scale it is their social connections that grow and maintain the entire network. I believe what it comes down to is how servers specifically nurture certain types of players, but once it has reached a certain point the draw of population takes over.

    @Kepp I believe there is just a difference in philosophies of how the game is played. For some a mage must function as if their limit is the duration of the encounter, for others the limit is the length of a day as in D&D or the time between rest. Weapons exist for mages to use instead of spells but that's more suited for the second style while the first style assumes a mage shouldn't have to use weapons ever. It's largely up to preference but each have their own unique problems, in the first style it's dps (dps = hp if cc/death spell) of mage vs martial, in the second it's survival during downtime.

  • KeppKepp Member Posts: 31
    @FreshLemonBun Correct: I was basing my philosophy on my PnP experiences and my own expectations of a video game based on that. I prefer mages not to function in an ARPG style; others do. Nothing wrong with either style.

    I think a lot of players take for granted how difficult it is to balance a game that even the original creators were unable to do.

  • FreshLemonBunFreshLemonBun Member Posts: 616
    @Kepps I agree and I prefer mages much closer to pnp too along with elements of cost to do amazing things. But I can certainly see the appeal of an ARPG approach to servers.

    Personally I'm not interested in balance, magic is magic, it's not a sword that looks like a vfx effect. I'm quite influenced by Gygax's article on the D&D Magic System where he explains the four cardinal approaches to magic, and why he chose the approach he did. It has limits but doesn't take days to prep in ritual casting, and it has a big impact for a price rather than being ineffectual for free.

  • JhaerikJhaerik Member Posts: 17
    edited January 9
    @FreshLemonBun My issues with limited rest to any extreme is that simply put it just becomes boring to play a spell caster. Melee builds worth their salt have to roll a 1 to fail any saves and generally have enough AC that anything short of some very custom uber boss needs to roll 20's to hit them. On top of being just a crap ton tougher than casters those same melee builds are chunking away for like 1d6+23+9 positive +4 positive +4 magic 12-20 x2 a swing 1-5 times a round. So you just create a situation that anything hard enough to require CC is likely immune to it, and anything weaker is no threat to said melee. So said arcane caster either follows said melee around keeping him buffed then dumps IGM's/Silenced IGMS/Empowered IGMS/Max IGMS into the boss.... Which isn't very fun. Or he ran out of spells 30 minutes before they'd be needed.

    Also unless the server has a crazy good pop the odds of having anyone to group with in your level range during your play hours is pretty damn small to begin with. So casters will just tend to get bored of clearing 1-2 areas and running back to town invis to rest and either quit or roll up another bard/rdd/bg, bard/rdd/pm, Pally/sorc/rdd, bard/rdd/cot, or maybe for some flavor a Druid/Monk/Shifter, Druid/Shifter/DD Wizard/PM/DD, Fighter/WM/Rogue, Fighter/WM/Monk, ect. Or depending on the rules make a HIPS sneaker.

    Post edited by Jhaerik on
  • KeppKepp Member Posts: 31
    You can't multi-class on my server: pure base classes only. However, that will most likely turn you off even more. >:)

  • JhaerikJhaerik Member Posts: 17
    edited January 9
    @Kepp

    Ahhhhh... yeh.... no. Lol.

    I couldn't even stand Arelith limiting splashes to a minimum of 3 levels. Still waiting on a server that doesn't hate its players quite so much, and lets people actually "build" ya know? Until then I guess I'll be on WoI with it's 0-3 pop.. lol. I just really hate this trend of current NWN servers to limit player choice so blasted much.

    I mean if I wanna make an alignment swap Pally/Sorc/PM, or a 37 Sorc/2 Pally/1 Monk, or Heck just play a damn Shifter I want the ability to do so. Back in the day when I played you could do this on almost every server. Now it seems like people only want to play on servers where the DMs tell them what to play. I guess it's just a change in the times. Not really sure but it boggles my mind all the same.

    I mean right now I'm leveling an 8 Druid/10 Shifter/22 DD Risen Lord build on World of Iniquity. Also have plans to make an Epic Drow form Shifter at some point, and couple Arcane Archers... ect. For me most of the game is just playing though a server with different... slightly off key... builds. I usually solo but every now and again grouping would be nice heh.

  • KeppKepp Member Posts: 31
    When developers change vanilla NWN, it has nothing to do with hating players.

    I really doubt that the Arelith staff is having meetings on how to screw over a player base that they "hate." Most people who create a PW, do so because they think vanilla NWN sucks. And then they put in the time and effort to create a world that they will enjoy playing in. I'm sure the Arelith developers are passionate about building a fun world.

    You, yourself complain about people rolling the same builds on Arelith. But if they removed their restrictions, it would even be worse: If you balance your world to counter the best builds, you screw everyone else over, and if you don't, then those builds will dominate the content. Vanilla NWN is a munchkin-fest.

    My solution: disable multiclassing and focus balance on the 11 base classes. This allows me to put out content instead of constantly trying to balance/nerf the munchkin-fest of vanilla NWN.

    You actually think I spend hours in the toolset thinking of ways to make players hate my PW?

    Also, I've tried Arelith, and while it's not my cup of tea, I think it's a great server. Personally, I think a lot of your complaints about Arelith are emotionally-charged hyperbole. However, I could be wrong.

    Fun is subjective, and I hope you find what you're looking for in a PW. Good luck in your search.

  • DrakonDrakon Member Posts: 32
    edited January 9

    I prefer servers without such rules. More action oriented, no enforced RP, no DMs that tell you how you have to play your toon.

    @Himmelweiss Blackstone Keep is the most active action server with no RP requirements. Bastion of War is a classic PVP one, but seems to only be active in scheduled sessions and is empty otherwise. There are others without any RP rules (as long as you respect players who choose to RP), but with lower player counts. Worth trying them all and looking up each server's name on the server list (https://nwn.beamdog.net/) to see what their rules are.

  • KeppKepp Member Posts: 31
    For the sake of accuracy, I should have said no prestige classes, not multiclassing. You can multiclass, but no prestige classes on Ashen Realm.

  • JhaerikJhaerik Member Posts: 17
    edited January 9
    Well I mean if you both restrict things to base classes AND limit resting....

    • Wizards are off the table. They are only viable on a server that allows reasonble resting. Why bother playing a class whose only strength is swapping spells to suit the encounter... when you can't rest?
    • Archers are limited to Rogue based corner sneakers probably with with some monk levels for run speed.
    • Melee Clerics (Cleric/Fighter/Rogue STR build or Cleric/Fighter/Monk Dex build.)
    • Fighter/Rogue KD spammers
    • Paladins that mostly play like fighters due to having limited spell slots and Divine Might/Shield being pretty useless without the ability to rest
    • Monk/Rogue melee corner sneakers
    • Druid/Monk's (Which will probably dominate all other options with elemental and later Dragon Shape.)
    • Sorc/2Pally/1monk will eventually be pretty strong. (If you can get through 15 or so levels of hell.)

    • No one is going to want to play a party support bard.
    • Barbarian's in a vanilla setting just aren't very good.
    • Rangers light get used for 9 levels in some sneaker builds.


    It just sounds really limiting to me.

  • KeppKepp Member Posts: 31
    edited January 9
    The things is, none of the things you listed were ever problems on my past server. I think you might be projecting your own play style.

  • ArtosArtos Member Posts: 11
    I just thought of one more thing to throw in the mix. Arelith also did a lot of advertising outside of NWN forums.

    • We'd reach out to gaming magazines to do articles on us (since most publications are understaffed, they generally love the email interview format)

    • We'd make fliers (yes, paper!) to hang on the walls of gaming stores and even university bulletin boards. Players would print them out and distribute them locally.

    • We had facebook pages, but more importantly we interacted with other established traditional D&D groups that already had thousands of members, instead of just posting content to our own players on our own page.

    • There was a discord channel to ask realtime questions.

    • There was outreach to general gaming forums (pen and paper) and really anything we could think of outside the normal NWN forums.

    I highly encourage folks running other servers to try similar things! I think it helped.

    @FreshLemonBun you do have a great overall point about social networks, and how they grow and establish critical mass, etc. It's entirely applicable. I used to use the comparison of a house party myself, but the dance club metaphor works just the same. All the other things we're talking about are just ways to have a better house party/dance club!

    @Jhaerik most of the discussion here seems to be centered around rules and systems, which are really hard to take bit by bit. I think you have to just try a server and get in there. If you like 75% of what you read about a place, give it a try. There are likely reasons for things like the "3 level dip" or a particular resting system that are dependent on other systems. I think in the end, you just have to make a short list of the things you NEED in a server, and everything else you might just have to take with it. I can't think of many games that I own that I am 100% on board with everything the developers decided to do, but it doesn't get in my way of enjoying them at all. Good luck in your search for a server home!

    typo_tillyDrakon
  • FreshLemonBunFreshLemonBun Member Posts: 616
    @Jhaerik I think you should understand that much of it has to do with module design. D&D wasn't really designed with fast paced action in mind and multiple waves of encounters repeated over several hours. There's something to be said for D&D as a system for a slow paced game that rewards careful planning. I agree that the way many modules are designed it does favor the consistent and faster paced play of a buffed martial character if a mage runs out of gas and can't easily rest.

    @Kepp @Jhaerik For builds I think the best solution would be to have all thousand or so classes and the four thousand odd feats, and then have all the third party stuff too. A total creative free for all and more than anyone could seriously number crunch. I'd settle for a good few hundred too, but I don't really like the PRC's selection or design decisions and as far as I'm aware we're still limited to only 255 class slots or so. But hey that's just me and my personal preference, I think everyone has their own.

    @Artos House party is another good analogy and I definitely think it's good to discuss and share our insights. What I hope is that eventually everyone will get on board with NWN EE, and hopefully the rate of retaining players during a spike from sales will increase. To the point that the population as a whole reaches the kind of critical mass to support 10 or 20 large servers to choose from. I suspect that when players feel like they only have a handful of viable choices I think it impedes the community growth in the long term.

  • GM_ODAGM_ODA Member Posts: 142
    edited January 15
    @FreshLemonBun

    It is a non-starter to suggest I need to promote the server more or somewhere. I do quite a lot of that the fact is - players (esp new ones) tend to click on the full server first without ever looking around, thus they never discover other servers - any of which may offer features they would enjoy. I agree that building to a certain 'critical mass' is essential. I do what I can to tastefully accomplish the promotions with what time I have available. As a server admin, builder, DM, forum moderator/admin, and well I have a choice of hats that you would not believe, I have limited time to devote to any aspect of server management and balance it best as I can.

    When the staff is minimal, the workload has to be managed and only some things get done. Servers rife with players who actively promote the server do better than servers with only a small staff and players who do little to 'get the word out'.

    I maintain that Beamdog's continued focus on Arelith is to the detriment of the rest of the servers out there.

    Be well. Game ON!

    GM_ODA

    Post edited by GM_ODA on
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