Mercenaries

Discussion in 'General Gameplay Discussion' started by ARCHIVED-eidand, Jul 12, 2011.

  1. There,
    We can discuss the mercenaries here.
    Please do not derail the forum, feedback them here, ask questions here. Again, please DO NOT derail the thread.
  2. Anyone reading about mercenaries, please continue to the next post. This isn't an attmept to derail this thread but since several people reading the last mercenary thread apparently are having PM issues, I thought I would post this here for their benefit.

    Skip ahead now.

    For those still reading, there have been a many people in the past that have had issues with the forums as you will see here and here and here. If you are having issues with the forums, I would suggest posting in the Forum Help and Discussion section rather than reaching for the tin foil to make a hat because you believe you are being censored due to your opinion. If you were being censored due to your opinion, it would make no sense to remove your PM abilities while still allowing you to post publicly.
    I'm honestly typing this in an attempt to help those that are having forum issues and not because I'm trying to derail this thread or stir up anything. The devs and the mods allow us to discuss a lot of things about this game as long as we follow their simple guidelines. The fact that some believe their PM abilities have purposely been taken away based on their opinions is a bit disturbing and I'm sure they will discover this is simply not true.
  3. Dethdlr@Butcherblock wrote:
    No way its a cookie issue when others can't send those "pm banned" PM's. The help is appreciated though, thanks.
  4. I would advise that this one stay on course and not be derailed. A discussion can be a good thing, but insults and off topic comments are not constructive to the discussion.
    As for the forum wonkiness of yesterday, there were some issues across the forums (as in more forums then this one) that I personally saw. If you ever have concerns about your forum account, you can contact the forum admin via the email listed in the forum guidelines.
    Discussion on :)
  5. Without knowing the full details it is hard to say, I am against them mostly but if it is implemented to where they are a last-resort type thing it could be ok.
    High cost per hour plus a percentage of the loot, with a chance to 'steal' some or all of the loot and they also get all body loot, coint/status and treasure items.
    -Mercenary - A person primarily concerned with material reward at the expense of ethics
    This would fit the bill.
    They also should have a chance to 'rage quit' if you are in a group that they deem to be a waste of their time which the chances increase with each wipe/death.
    This is more than reasonable HM raid mobs gain confidence making killing them much more difficult after a certain # of deaths. (And no SOE this is not a call out to nerf the HM mechanic that does this so put that wrecking ball you call a nerf bat away please)
    ONE, I repeat ONLY ONE merc for a group.
    Spells/CA's should be based on the groups overall levels of these, if it is a bunch of people that are happy with apprentice level crap then that is what they get with their mercs, fully mastered will get full mastered mercs and in between would scale accordingly. Gear and AA should be the same. i.e. if the groups average AA is 220 then the merc will be 220 and the mercs armor pieces would be the average of all primary stats and STA for the group.
    The availability of mercs is one thing but they should not be the first choice and if you have to rely on thier services then you are at thier mercy and should have to pay thier price.
  6. If we can keep the thread on topic I am more than willing to discuss them.
    The current plan (Subject to change based on feedback) is that the only way that mercenaries would be better than having an actual player in that group spot would be if the player was on auto follow.
    We need to try to focus on making these mercs more of a suplimental feature than a requirement. So please lets focus on that rather than talking about alternate additions instead of mercs or trying to convince us to not do mercs at all.
  7. Lempo@Everfrost wrote:
    Great ideas... One of my own suggestions would be if they're going to let everyone have 1 merc, they can just make the size of groups 3 max (being this is what the mercs will do anyways) and scale all the content down... Wham, solution with no mercs needed. They could also make dungeons scale to the AMOUNT of players in the group... Again, wham! NO mercs needed.
    And the most obvious and plain solution to subvert the need of a merc, ADVERTISE THE GAME.
    The boiling points of the topic simply is this: There aren't any mercs in new MMO's. And there is a harsh reason why -- it leashes the population and only appeases the population that is 'left'. This also causes other problems like lack of groups, lowered community respect to fellow groupers, and lower grouping opritunities. Lets get real, if you have 5 people in your group and are doing just fine in a zone somewhere with a merc taking the 6th slot, why take a risk and advertise the group is LFP.
    Simply put mercs are the bandaid for a bulletwound (population/groups). Being as we know mercs will most likely never be taken back out of the game, we can also conclude that this bandaid is intended to be a permenant fix whilst leaving the real problem unresolved -- typical.
  8. Mercenaries in game sounded cool at first.. but then i thought about it and it seems to me it will kill grouping all together. Its been rough last week or 2 finding a group for DoV content, adding merc's to the game may make it worse. I guess it depends on how powerful the merc's are, like can they die? Do they heal themselves? How many merc's can you have at a time? Do they hold aggro like a real tank or are they like weak pets? I can see where this will come in handy for those who cannot operate more than 1 account. I can also see how this can be abused for power lvl'ng alts and farming open dungeons/instances. I guess well have to see when its here.
  9. I doubt that mercenaries would kill grouping altogether. At the WORST, some groups will cut down to 3 members, each with a merc, and that is indeed still grouping. I am someone who really enjoys soloing, especially when I have limited time. It's really going to be fun, for multiple reasons. Tossing on appearance gear, even using them as guards in my house... it's more than just the combat aspect, (though that is surely the most significant).
  10. Gninja wrote:
    Sounds like a good plan and backs up my confidence in you guys for thinking this through before implementing the feature. Here is an idea for their implementation that *might* help reach the goal you're shooting for.

    Have them scale to the zone they are in. Set them up so that they are mediocre for whatever zone they are used in. If you use them in a Kael or Drunder zone, give them enough crit mit,crit chance, etc. to be on par with a mediocre player ready to hit those zones. But this same crit mit and crit chance might allow them to replace an average player in the ToFS zones. If they scale down while in the ToFS zones so they have just enough crit chance, crit mit, etc. to be mediocre, that could take care of that issue.

    The core of the issues I've heard against mercs has been that they will take spots away from people in groups. Make them scale and keep them mediocre for whatever zone they are in and this will be much less likely to happen. They'll still be able to help out but won't be more desirable than a pug of the same class.
  11. Gninja wrote:
    Ever see Chris Rock? All I have to say is 'Robatussen'!
    But to your post, no merc should be equivelent to a leveling player of the same level. This means if that player is wearing the LOWEST teired gear from that content (full suit) people should still be begging for a replacement for that merc like it was the healer of Kael going to bed for the night.
    All mercs should also have (like somenoe said) rage quits... In fact they should still contain most of the flaws as of a player, even deciding to space out here and there and making mistakes in heals. In EQ1 the healer mercs make no healing mistakes, ever (if they're t5) and this should never happen here. There should be a random factor, just like a factor of making a crit that the merc will have a duh moment.
    NO TIERING -- whatsoever. We go into tearing then we start talking about raiding mercs being more powerful than grouping players. Going there is a slippery slope that cannot be denied.
    Mercs should be limited to 1 per group, and likewise mercs SHOULD be allowed in raids - one per group. If you start limiting mercs out of raids, then the dev team is definatly taking a firm step on choosing a playstyle. Also, if you start allowing 3 mercs per group, then this encroaches the dangerous AFK boting, which was determined in EQ1 to be LEGIT (the act of letting a tank merc and healer merc do their thing while you were sleeping with your toons logged in).
    Regardless what Smed says (which I know this is asking for a sky hook) merc upkeep should never be buyable from SC, nor should mercs themselves be buyable. I would care less if you sold outfits, weapon/armor appearences, etc, as long as they didn't make the mercs any better (even 0.000000001% better).
    REPAIRS - If a merc dies, the PLAYER MUST AND SHOULD be required to repair the merc's armor! I can't stress this enough.
    Mercs should EAT GEAR and offest the upkeep. For istance, if you are duing, a merc should have a 50% chance to eat gear even if the player could use it. If there are 3 players in the group and 3 mercs, then the mercs should all have a 18% chance (each) to eat gear. If the player does not aquire enough gear or plat in a non-trivial zone then the merc quits and will not help the player until he/she changes zones again much like a player not finding it worthwhile to group with you.
    What is the rate to charge a merc? Well the going rate in the USA is somewhere around $7.00/hr for min wage. So to sit in a group and play someone elses character, thats most likely what I'd charge. I think most of the plat farmers are currently selling their wares anywhere between $10-20 for 200 plat, so I would say that at least 100 plat per hour should be the going rate, more if you want to beat up the plat farmers. This could be used if there is not gear eating mechanic.
    On a side note, it was said in EQ1 that mercs would never exceed the abilities and performance of a player -- this however was a bold-face lie -- soon as they came out, t5 mercs in flying colors out-performed players just dinging to level 85. This was a problem I pray does not have any seepage into EQ2.
  12. Mercs will likely help grouping at lower levels, because a merc or two will be able to fill in for some missing group members, and will have little to no impact on higher-level content, as mercs will simply not be good enough to keep up with the level of complexity found in most TSO/SF/DoV zones. (For example, would a merc healer know when to cure a curse and when not to cure a curse? Would a merc fighter know to hold snap agro abilities in reserve for a mob that memwipes, or would it use them whenever they're up?)
  13. Dasein wrote:
    The answer is most likely yes if I were to base this on the EQ1 mercs... they auto-cure, auto-heal, auto-taunt etc. The problem sometimes in EQ1 is the merc doing these things too often at lower tiers. For instance, a lower tiered merc told to assist will taunt sometimes causing the mob to turn to him -- if that was unwanted that merc could very well die.
  14. ok, so based on gninja's comment , the mercs are coming whether we like it or not.
    At this point we might as well feedback so they don't actually kill the grouping at all.
    What's the plan ? Any player can get one at any level or is it intended for them to be available at specific levels ?
  15. Lempo@Everfrost wrote:
    Disingenuous suggestions made by someone that clearly doesn't want Mercs at all.
  16. gourdon wrote:
    I don't want them at all either, but it doesn't change the fact they're coming. So stop derailing the thread and post according to the initial request please.
  17. Though I have never seen EQ1 uses of mercs .. I cannot compare.
    I am hoping that they can be used as a supplement to a group or a soloer.
    Example:
    Your 5 man wants to do a zone, but your guild is small and you really just need some extra DPS. Grab a merc to help round it out.
    You're soloing and some of your quests might be a little difficult. Grab a healer to help ya along.
    This is the way I am hoping they will be used as.
    Personally, I will always go for a living breathing player before an AI controlled one, but if done right (and not cost me a bleedin' fortune) I'd use them.
    Also heard one can collect them as dress them up (for lack of a better term ... ) and I can see this as pretty fun as well. Get yourself a small 2 room house and make it like a tavern where your mercs you collected can hang out. Like a pretty cool still life as I have a feeling they won't move heh.
    A concern though, is will they take from experience and loot? i.e. If you are soloing and the mob was supposed to gove you 300 xp and 1 gold, you only get 250 xp and 90 silver? I wouldn't mind a small amount as 'payment' for the use of the Merc (as isn't that how they would work IRL?).
    EIther way, I'm curious to see how they are implemented!
  18. Mercenaries can be a great addition if implemented correctly.
    Guild Wars would be a good example for both how to do it, and for how to not do it.
    At the start they had Henchmen. Specific classes, basic gear (comparable to solo gear), average skills (adept), and only 6 skills instead of the 8 players get. At the time they were just on something similar to autofollow out of combat, and general combat AI that monsters also have during combat. Later they gave the ability to put up a flag on the map to make them move there instead of just after the group leader.
    These henchmen were used to fill up groups if no players could be found, but almost all players would be a better option. Completing a mission with just henchmen was very challenging; almost impossible for some missions.
    Later they implemented Heroes. These had the same quality gear and skil options as players had, with almost full control possible by the players. Everyone immediately trained and equiped their healer hero, and when decently controlled they were better than the lesser skilled players. Groups soon had multiple heroes in them at all times. By now, the grouping is dead. Everyone is running around with just heroes and a couple henchmen, practically soloing everything but the elite missions.

    So please, if mercenaries have to come, do it right. Keep a mercenary weaker than the lesser skilled players. Don't go down the slippery slope by giving options to make them more powerfull than that. They should be there to help with lower level groups, or maybe as a 6th member to fill up a group for the easier instances. But anything more than that will have a negative impact on the endgame grouping.
  19. Gninja wrote:
    While that is a nice ideal, that isn't a very realistic goal unless you just don't want them to be useful at all. Realistically, some players will be inferior to mercs, though not many. The 20th percentile is pretty low.
    An idea I liked a lot was the suggestion that we use our alts as mercs. This could most definitely lead to exploits, but that could be handled to some degree by scaling stats down some. However, it would give incentive for people to develop alts more fully. It would also, for better or worse, make sure that mercs were scaled gear wise to the player hiring them.
    Another wrinkle that could be added to this is that we could hire other characters on our server. They would set their prices as they wish with a brokerage fee collected as well. Obviously, hiring would have to be limited in some way. A character could only be hired by one person at a time. They could only be hired while not being played and there would be checks each half hour or hour to see if their status is changed.
    Both of these things would add depth to the game, and in some ways the community. They would be nice even if the mercs just looked like the character and were not all that related stat-wise.
  20. Ridolain@Antonia Bayle wrote:
    Just like EQ1, they will have an upkeep cost (x amount of silver/gold/plat, depending on level) + they will take a share of XP and coin loot. There will definately be a trade-off to using a merc vs soloing or grouping with others.

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