Merchant-less Caravan

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Merchant-less Caravan

Postby Fayne » Mon Jan 19, 2015 11:59 pm

So, this is something I've wanted to adress for a while now, but never have gotten around to it: What happened to the infested merchants in the caravan, and can we have them back? I don't know if there is an IC explanation as to why the merchants aren't there anymore but suddenly we have carriers, but I haven't really bought it nor liked it since I returned. I liked it better when we had merchants, and it gave us a newbie area that you could reasonably work your combat skills up in without having to spend a fortune on healing because of that durn acid. It also makes it feel a bit less copy/paste-like, since now we have, what, three areas with the exact same enemies? I dunno, maybe it's just me, but I felt like the caravan had more character when they infested there were merchants, and really showed how fast the Resen could work and how dangerous it really is.

Thoughts?
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Re: Merchant-less Caravan

Postby jilliana » Tue Jan 20, 2015 12:03 am

I am all over this idea.
If not merchants, something that would be unique to the caravan and drops loot/has riln.
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Re: Merchant-less Caravan

Postby Makkah » Tue Jan 20, 2015 12:13 am

This sounds very semantic to me. This hunting area was created over 2 years ago. It doesn't seem like an area where "merchants" would inhabit anymore, considering they've been slaughtered for years. Honestly, "noobs" shouldn't be given crazy high riln areas. That is just the nature of the game. Overhunted, aka "easy", creatures will not be given lots of yields in terms of riln. That's the awesomeness of a pressure-based treasure system.

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Re: Merchant-less Caravan

Postby Fayne » Tue Jan 20, 2015 12:18 am

Well, we have plenty of other areas that have been pounded for tears and still have the same enemies. And I'm not asking for higher riln output, I'm asking for a unique and slightly easier enemy that doesn't send you to the infirmary after a couple of hits.

Also, I've tried getting and IC explanation on why the merchants were gone and carriers replaced them, and the best I hot was pretty much a shrug and an "Oh well"
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Re: Merchant-less Caravan

Postby Makkah » Tue Jan 20, 2015 12:28 am

I think "merchant" draws interest in them being "rich". No noob creatures should be rich.

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Re: Merchant-less Caravan

Postby Rias » Tue Jan 20, 2015 7:59 am

IC explanation: The merchants were all killed off, and other infested moved in.

In most cases we can assume critters repopulate somehow, whether that be because there are others unseen elsewhere in the area that come to the front, or more are "trained", more come from to the area from a different area, etc. It requires a little suspension of disbelief, but it works well enough. In the specific case of "infested merchants" they had a very specific class and look, which made it stretch the imagination a little more than usual. A place becoming repopulated with more "carriers" is easier to accept because they're a bit more vague - they could have come from anywhere, they could have been any class of citizen, their past life isn't important now and they're now a carrier of the resen infestation. It's human, and it's infested - the rest is left to speculation. Even the case with, say, infested laborers, brigands, and so forth, it could be assumed that even if they weren't these types of people before infestation, it's the role they fell to after the infestation.

With "merchants" it didn't quite work out as well; The infested don't really have need of a slew of shambling merchants who in their current state aren't capable of merchant-ing anyway, so they weren't getting their "merchant" role post-infestation. It wasn't particularly believable that they were all merchants from that area pre-infestation anymore, since people had been slaughtering them there for years. So, they've been replaced by other infested whom have moved into the area and taken over. These more recent infested are much less specific in nature and could be speculated to have come from virtually anywhere, and players can thus come up with their own theories and rationales as to where they keep coming from.

The bloated carriers have riln drops comparable to what the infested merchants did. If they're not dropping any riln or treasure boxes, it's because they've been over-hunted.

The acid attack does a whopping 25 damage maximum (avg 13). If that's proving troublesome, consider picking up some armor to lessen the impact.
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Re: Merchant-less Caravan

Postby jilliana » Tue Jan 20, 2015 3:17 pm

Rias wrote:The acid attack does a whopping 25 damage maximum (avg 13). If that's proving troublesome, consider picking up some armor to lessen the impact.


I hate to be the sour grape in this basket but this particular point always irks me. Some guilds don't really benefit by wearing armor. This is due for a variety of reasons, including but limited to or by character preferences.
This is the main reason why I would like to see an area where something like acid doesn't exist.
Sure, one could say to work on dodge, but I think Fayne and I are mainly thinking of new characters skills/riln/abilities to avoid something like acid and then run and wait for the barge to take them to Mistral or some other area.

Just my thoughts! :)
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Re: Merchant-less Caravan

Postby Rias » Tue Jan 20, 2015 3:59 pm

Jilliana wrote:Some guilds don't really benefit by wearing armor. This is due for a variety of reasons, including but limited to or by character preferences.
Personal preference doesn't necessarily mean we need all enemies to have pitifully weak attacks in order to accommodate. People are free to play how they wish and find a balance that works for them. When it comes to "not taking damage" we would prefer people consider wearing protective gear over requesting that enemies be weakened.

Jilliana wrote:I would like to see an area where something like acid doesn't exist.

0-skill hunting areas currently available:

- Abandoned Caravan: bloated carriers. Lootable, close to town, occasional weak acid attacks
- Shadgard Graveyard: rats, squirrels, and ravens. Critters die easily, do very little damage, no loot
- Infested River Village (west of Haiban): infested river dwellers. Lootable, can do decent damage with their spears
- Coastal Cliffs: cliff crawlers. Do very little damage, highly skinnable for food/profit/training, far from towns (Brawler's Retreat and Ashdell aren't too far off)
- Whispering Forest: lost souls. Do little damage but drain energy, no loot, noncorporeal nethrim, dangerous if you wander too far in
- Dusklamp Surface: bloated carriers. Lootable, occasional weak acid attacks, critters huddle together indoors during cold season
- Tarueka: infested carriers. Lootable and do very little damage, depopulates during cold season
- Kildr Dale: infested squirrels. Skinnable (bad quality pelts but still grants skillgain and practice material) and do very little damage, die easily, depopulates during cold season

I think we've got a nice little variety, and I would hate every single newbie area to be exactly the same, without their own little quirks and pros/cons. If that acid is a show-stopper for you, try out one of the other six (four during the cold season) places!

P.S. We are conscious of the "take damage too quickly and have to cut hunts super short" complaint. The several sub-areas of the Coastal Cliffs were designed to be populated with low-damage critters, and several areas are being updated so that the weapons and other gear the critters use are damaged due to being either old or scavenged gear (redleaf and Tarueka were both recently updated to have their inhabitants have cruddy gear).
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Re: Merchant-less Caravan

Postby Enepttastic » Tue Jan 20, 2015 9:07 pm

Rias wrote:- Shadgard Graveyard: rats, squirrels, and ravens. Critters die easily, do very little damage, no loot

Just wanted to mention that I've not seen a raven out there since they got moved to the forest trail.
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Re: Merchant-less Caravan

Postby Dakhal » Wed Jan 21, 2015 4:44 am

I'm really curious as to what happened to the bears and wolves in that area! I want to get my feet chewed off.

Note: I mean to say the Shadgard graveyard, not the caravans.
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Re: Merchant-less Caravan

Postby Enepttastic » Thu Jan 22, 2015 4:44 am

Rias wrote:I think we've got a nice little variety, and I would hate every single newbie area to be exactly the same, without their own little quirks and pros/cons.


After thinking about it(and re-writing a lengthy post several times) I gotta say that I really think you may want to reexamine what you consider a "0-Skill" area because, when looking at what you say about the places, mixed in with my own experiences in some, I'm of the opinion that the majority of that list either aren't "0-Skill" areas, or aren't balanced pro/con-wise.

Graveyard Critters: Damned near textbook example of a newbie training ground. Quickly respawning mobs with weak attacks and low energy/health means there's little risk for the character as they get their feet wet(barring an utter failure to realize they should probably rest/bandage/get warm). Perception gain from the squirrels is nice and the only real downsides is the complete lack of loot and the fact that it's easily crowded(especially if someone's training dodge and keeping several critters on them).

Infested Squirrels: The Dale could potentially rival the graveyard for the #1 spot due to the ability to get pelts to sell to help offset food/bandage/repair costs if it weren't for the temp issues.

Every other place falls either far behind due to the cons(forest, cliffs) or really should be considered the next tier of hunting grounds(Infested humanoids). That said, I'll go into detail:

Forest: So, low damaging mobs without loot but the added downside of draining energy thus requiring more rest. What incentive does a character have to go here to train?

Cliffs: Could be good but it's apparently away from any civilization which is a massive negative when considering a character inexperienced in combat. Not only is it a bad idea for an inexperienced combatant to travel excessively far from assistance, but for a completely new character, they'll have to stock up on even more supplies to make the trek to/from. Sounds like the place is better served as a hunting spot for aspiring skinners/leatherworkers who bring a cart/wagon with them more than somewhere to send a fledgling combatant to start their training.

Caravan: Carriers drop some riln and potential loot. However, that's offset by not only being stronger than the critters but they also have significantly more health and energy. Those last two facts means that you spend much more time on each mob which increases cumulative damage taken per mob as well as the risk another will show up in the room to make things even more difficult. This place is better served as the place you go when you feel you've trained enough from the critters else you're probably going to spend more time/money healing than you would at the graveyard, even accounting for the drops.

Tarueka: If we consider the Caravan the tier 2 graveyard, Tarueka seems to be the tier 2 Dale, except it lacks the perk the Dale had over the GY. Unless of course you count the lack of bloated carriers enough of a perk.

River Village: Hadn't run across this place yet but going by what Rias said, it sounds like it's closer to being a step up from the Caravan instead of being equivalent to it.

Point I'm trying to make is that most of those areas aren't really appropriate 0-skill zones and perhaps some work could be done to actually have some viable options to give people when they ask, "Where should I go to learn how to fight?" because there isn't a good reason to point em anywhere but the graveyard trail or the dale(weather permitting).


----
Rias wrote:Personal preference doesn't necessarily mean we need all enemies to have pitifully weak attacks in order to accommodate. People are free to play how they wish and find a balance that works for them. When it comes to "not taking damage" we would prefer people consider wearing protective gear over requesting that enemies be weakened.


Problem is, at least for me as far as I've gotten a character in combat, between the weight, penalties, worrying about repairs/replacements/spare pieces, armor just doesn't seem to be worth wearing. By the time it might be, I'd almost bet that I'd be more willing to spend the time/riln training dodge to be higher. Actually, I think I'm make a character(because it wouldn't be IC for who I have at the moment to do this) just to muck around with it and see...
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Re: Merchant-less Caravan

Postby Kunren » Thu Jan 22, 2015 6:03 am

I agree with some of this, but you are thinking of clok as too much like a traditional RPGs I think in other things(more kills equals better). I think that you aren't taking into account that longer fights are better, because they give more skill gains. A newbie might be able to survive and kill easily at the graveyard, but that means there are less skill gains. Squirrels, rats, and Ravens or the like can be easily one shot if I remember right. The slightly more dangerous aspect of the caravan is a benefit. Some things I do agree with in your post are infested river village being a step up in difficulty(too much damage), whispering forest having too few pros compared to its cons, and the cliffs being a bit far from towns.
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Re: Merchant-less Caravan

Postby Acarin » Thu Jan 22, 2015 8:23 am

I disagree with most of this. I think the 0-skill areas are more than adequate. If you want something with no danger, you probably shouldn't be hunting in the first place.

You'll get hit a lot in the beginning. You should. You'll get passed that eventually.

I think there's more of an issue of lack of moderate skill hunting areas, particularly when it's cold outside. There's a huge gap, for example, between 500 and 800 combat skill right now with several areas off limits for rp reasons (Stone canyon) and because of weather (Caulders). Three mounds is always an option but that's a mixed skill bag. If you're suggesting that hunting areas for new players get re-evaluated when there are so many options available, I'd suggest that mid to upper level hunting areas get re-evaluated instead since there are far less and the chance of one-hit kills (not getting a moderate wound) is fairly high.

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Re: Merchant-less Caravan

Postby Rias » Thu Jan 22, 2015 9:15 am

When I say 0-skill hunting areas, I mean hunting areas where the critters (or "mobs") have 0 skill. Some are more dangerous or less convenient than others, and that's okay.

Keep in mind that the idea isn't to make every area equally ideal all-around. I've seen people consistently hunt every one save for the Whispering Forest, which sees little use (and I think that's okay). If you think the Shadgard Graveyard is the best option, then by all means, hunt there! If you think the Coastal Cliffs are best, hunt there. You have the power to choose which one fits your desires best.

The lack of options (or outright gaps) in the mid-high range is something we're also aware of, so we'll try to fill those out as well.

If armor isn't desirable to you, that's fine. Several people hunt with it, several people hunt without it. If you think armor is too inconvenient or the cons outweigh the pros, then you're free to take the pros/cons that come with not using any. I still think regularly engaging in combat yet never use any protective gear is a bit odd, but some people stick to that and do well enough. If you really want to not use any armor at all, you might consider stealth combat or ranged weapons (or both!) to lessen your frequency of taking hits. You also might want to consider keeping a set on hand for intense training sessions. If you're going out specifically to train dodge you're going to need to be putting yourself in harm's way in order to practice it. Consider wearing some protective gear for "binge dodge training" so you last longer. You don't need to wear that protective gear 24/7 if it seriously conflicts with your character concept or style; keep it stashed and only break it out for those intense training sessions. Just consider it "training gear" that you only use occasionally.

If you choose to opt out of all of that, that's your choice, and it's doable, albeit tougher.
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Re: Merchant-less Caravan

Postby merin » Thu Jan 22, 2015 9:26 am

I disagree aobut the ranged option -- at least until you get good at it.

The disadvantage to range is you've got to get away from an enemy, and you've got no defense exept for straight up dodge. A problem with this is your dodge roll might be twice or even three times something else's roll but you still take the hit.

If you truly want to be good without armor, go range/stealth or something that parries awesome.

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Re: Merchant-less Caravan

Postby Jaster » Thu Jan 22, 2015 10:54 am

I dont think I've ever had a newbie character that trained on anything other than infested carriers. Cool story, right?

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Re: Merchant-less Caravan

Postby Avedri » Thu Jan 22, 2015 11:38 am

Jaster wrote:I dont think I've ever had a newbie character that trained on anything other than infested carriers. Cool story, right?


Oh you sweet summer child.

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Re: Merchant-less Caravan

Postby Enepttastic » Thu Jan 22, 2015 9:38 pm

Rias wrote:When I say 0-skill hunting areas, I mean hunting areas where the critters (or "mobs") have 0 skill. Some are more dangerous or less convenient than others, and that's okay.

Keep in mind that the idea isn't to make every area equally ideal all-around. I've seen people consistently hunt every one save for the Whispering Forest, which sees little use (and I think that's okay). If you think the Shadgard Graveyard is the best option, then by all means, hunt there! If you think the Coastal Cliffs are best, hunt there. You have the power to choose which one fits your desires best.


Alrighty, do like the clarification as to what you mean by "0-Skill," I'll also admit that I apparently forgot to put back my emphasis that I'm not trying to suggest that these areas become completely equal. Part of what I was trying to get across was that when you get right down to it, there isn't really a good combat-based reason to suggest most of those other areas for a character who's starting in combat with no prior skill. It can be rehashed in various ways IC but it boils down to, "If ya don't care what you're hitting, graveyard's the place to get your feet wet."

That said, I've no problem with that being something that eventually happens. Just something to ponder while world-building.

Rias wrote:The lack of options (or outright gaps) in the mid-high range is something we're also aware of, so we'll try to fill those out as well.

Is something that'd totally be more important to do first for instance.

As for armor, whelp after some mucking about with it, I've a bit to say on the "Armor Use" skill but I've made another thread about that.

That said, if Clok was like the real world medically, I'd completely understand your point of view about thinking more people probably should wear armor but that's not the case. Compared to the middle ages, getting hurt in the Lost Lands just isn't anywhere near as threatening, not only does the world of Clok have Monks with their magical healing, but also mundane methods that, while slower, can still take someone beaten to an inch of their life and get them back up and good as new within hours. That will, understandably, reduce the reliance upon armor for many dangerous situations where injury is anticipated but not outright death. Seriously, can we get those herbs in RL please?
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Re: Merchant-less Caravan

Postby criticalfault » Fri Jan 23, 2015 4:01 am

Both of my characters don't use armor. One because he can't channel through it and the other because its not stylish enough for him. Odd choices, but in general I can go just about any where with them. Yes being hit is awful, but thems the breaks. I've started both of them on carriers bloated or otherwise and not had any real trouble. My only issues come from later places in the game where things carry -serious- weapons. A failed roll to acid or a brawl attack isn't a big deal. A failed roll to a halberd or great sword is a major often fatal deal.

For Cigano, he can parry and dodge like a beast. I decided to make that his primary defense and it hasn't really ever let me down. Yes tumble is nice, but the ability to parry with a weapon that is GOOD at it makes a MAJOR difference. Also remember you can go into a defense tactic when your starting out too if your having specific trouble.

Jhordon is another case altogether. He can't even wear leathers without the chance (though it is sort of low) of losing a channel. When weaving or needing to rely on channels being there when you cast, its just not worth the risk. How I long for casting leathers! In any case, i pick up a useless and unique set of defenses (Which I've noticed most other elemancers have all started now) and have been sallying forth ever since. I did screw myself a bit by always hiring body guards to train next too, but I'm also a bit of a glass cannon character, which i can totally deal with. Being the cannon is fun, the glass makes it more interesting some times. It sure didn't stop me from destroying nearly 3/4s of an army when i was faced in a group for storyline stuff.

All of that being said. Each and every one of these characters started in those areas without trouble and none ever planned on wearing armor (or ever more than a single piece of armor). Just food for thought!
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