[Sticky] Monthly Poll Question
I asked this question in the OOC channel, and it was suggested that I not only bring it out to the forums, but make it a monthly thing. I think that's a great idea!
So let's start August with the following two-sided question:
Which is your favorite hunting ground, and why?
Which is your least favorite hunting ground, and why?
Favorite Hunting Grounds
Undertown - Having to kill mini bosses to unlock the main boss and requires a group of people to achieve the objective. Lots of secret stuff to find. Loot is what let's this dungeon down. Various levels of difficulty.
Ravanite Tunnels - For obvious reasons. I know it's alot bigger than we currently have and the original concept was exciting. It's just a shame it never got released. It has a nice level of danger that one person can handle but with a group you can be swarmed fairly quickly. Limited by the fact that it's all the same difficulty level and rewards are poor.
Least Favorite Hunting Ground
Sands and Ravines - Boring.
IMO what makes a good hunting ground is a place where all levels of difficulty can hunt, have fun and receive something rewarding. Offers all types of skillsets the opportunity to join in the party. There needs to be a mix of training hunting grounds and objective hunting grounds. One for SP, one for the phat loot after you kill the big boss.
Favorite Hunting Ground:
New Sea Caves Beaches/Shipwreck - Good loot, local to the city so its very easy to pop in and hunt lucratively alone OR get a group going there. 2 different difficulty areas so you can pick how tough a fight you want. And the SG interaction there is always on point and makes it feel rewarding and fun. I love how it just developed over time into a myriad of different little storylines. Good place to hunt alone, great place to hunt with others, promotes RP and character interaction in the gameworld. Can't say enough good about this place and the SGs who interact there. It has added a LOT of good to the game.
BHC - Best loot in the game and the Rep system is nice since Franilus is gone.
Least Favorite Hunting Grounds:
Grey Sands - The combat and area are neat to explore once in awhile, but it is too far away for minimal profit off the mobs. The time investment to get there, hunt, haul it back to town and sell isn't worth it. There there are much closer areas to town with enemies who are just as difficult but worth more coin.
Ravines - Agree with Syden. Same as Grey Sands. Rep in Monlon might make this area more attractive to folks since it is just so far away. But for time investment to get there, fight, and drag everything back for sale, just not worth the effort.
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Favorite Undertown/BHC both have the same set up, mobs--mini bosses--decent loot
Traevant woods for lore
least favorite -- Traevant complex - 3 people to get 3, stupid traps, spears through walls- no rewards worthwhile
Grey sands/ravines- to far away for little profit
worm temple - get rid of the ravinites.
Seacaves - convenient, with the occasional challenge.
Any place that REQUIRES a team to do, as I'm thus unlikely to ever do it.
Giving this some thought, I guess I'd personally rate hunting grounds based on the following aspects...
Distance (Time to reach) - How much time does it typically take to get there (& to bring loot back) from the "city center" aka places to sleep, rest, sell, get rooms, food, fuel, etc.
Opponent Difficulty - How tough are the opponents here? Do they stance jump? Auto-5s? Swarm you? Can it be easily botted/abused?
Risk vs Reward - Based on the opponent difficulty, does the reward (profit/SP gain) balance with the risk?
Crit Rate (including humanoid vs animal) - Everyone loves crits. More so if they're humanoid crits. More so if they're crit-kills.
Layout - Is the area easy to navigate? Is it deep and takes lots of time getting back? Are there traps? Are there hidden passages?
Favorite Hunting Ground
Distance - Super easy & quick to get to from the Harbor. WAIT commands mean you don't even need to pay much attention getting there. And if you only need fuel or something, it's all 1 minute away. If you only have 30-60 minutes to play, it's feasible to make a quick trip.
Opponent Difficulty - All levels, which is/was great. The most difficult levels (docks) were tough, but not TOO tough. NPC AI (and even the occasional GMNPCs) made things interesting and gave the need to stay on your toes. I'm sure some people probably scripted it, but I've also heard of common scripters getting broken bones due to lack of attention?
Risk vs Reward - Overall, I found the benefit for the amount of risk pretty balanced. Profit from the loot. Increased SP gain. Access to unique items, reforging, etc. The profit could maybe be toned down a bit, but compared to other hunting ground (BHC), I feel like it's aligned.
Crit Rate - Excellent crit rate. Nice to see crit-kills become a common thing again and not like once a month.
Layout - Easy to navigate. You can get in and out pretty quick.
Lease Favorite Hunting Ground
Distance - Suuuuuper far to get to. Can't just walk-to it. Need to pay attention most of the way. If you only have 30-60 minutes to play, there's no way you're going to waste it walking all the way there. Let alone getting everything back. If you run out of fuel on the way there you're in for a long walk back.
Opponent Difficulty - Mid-level. Not too bad actually. A bit slow to start, but it typically spawn rate does pick up.
Risk vs Reward - TERRIBLE. Unbalanced. The spear wielders are the toughest ones and have absolute garbage in terms of reward. Iron tridents are too few and far between to make up for it. Compared with distance and opponent difficulty, it's just not balanced.
Crit Rate - Average. Nothing special. Nice that it's all humanoids.
Layout - I do like the layout. Complicated enough to make things interesting, but not too deep or anything.
Sea Caves - I find that it's the most balanced risk vs reward for appropriately-ranked characters, it has loot options for both skinning and non-skinning, and the enemy variety keeps things interesting. The occasional tough mariner or giant crab makes for a fun grudge match, as well. Location is a big factor as well, I'm not a fan of hunting grounds that require at 1.5 hour time investment just to travel to and back. It's also one of the rare hunting grounds that rewards you for actively moving around and finding stuff to kill, rather than sitting at a key intersection and just waiting for stuff to come to you. I don't know what it is, but I just really really like hunting the sea caves over pretty much any other hunting ground.
RV Dumps - Admittedly, there's still a bunch of newer or higher end hunting grounds I have either not been to or have not been to in over a decade, but the RV Dumps is absolutely terrible in my opinion. The risk vs reward is horribly skewed (I remember one of Jageris' events last year where we had a big crew hunting there, and the payout for like 500 kills was only a few talents), the risk is extremely high due to enemies like wolverines, and the fact that every spawn is a big group of critters just makes it a complete slog. It feels like the kind of hunting ground that you would want to go to with a small group due to the group spawning mechanic, but it also seems to scale the number of groups that spawn by the number of players present, so it just becomes an infinitely scaling nightmare.
I miss trillets, hoplites, and hysapists.
As an aside, I really want to see more hunting grounds with less focus on mass-spawning enemies and more focus on tactical encounters. The best two examples of this in the game are the burnt villa wasps and the turtles removed link The wasps constantly change their stance and give an echo to show what they've changed to, encouraging appropriately-ranked characters to change their own stance to adapt to it, which is awesome. And the bees/turtles have their own strategic approach you have to take (not posting for obvious spoilers). I really enjoy a limited number of difficult enemies versus just waves and waves of NPC's, especially because I don't use a weapon that has a full 5-move rotation that can be used at long range, so keeping up with what I'm engaged with it just a complete hassle in places like the BHC.