OH I so hated Retlon. I too went back and killed him a few times. Not for 6 hours mind you, but enough to elicit a giddy little laugh from myself. DIE RETLON, DIE!!!
I agree with your statements ENTIRELY... and I think the solution is SIMPLE:
1) Keep the "leash" in regards to allowing a mob to only follow you for a certain amount of distance. This mimics the zone line effect, and prevents players from doing really silly things like training dragons back to starter areas.
2) Do away with the idea that a leashed mob does not attain agro on players it passes. That is - bring back trains. LEASHED trains, but trains.
I think the leash lines should be pretty obvious. For example - denizens of some dungeon or other should follow you a little way out of their dungeon - and then decide that guarding their dungeon is more important than chasing you... but because they are guarding their dungeon - anyone on their way back to where they started who poses a threat to said dungeon... better be prepared to fight.
The really cool thing - is I bet a lot of us have that "re-gifting" story. I had the same thing happen to me as a young ranger, and when I asked the high level ranger what I could do to repay him - he said "just pay it forward" and so I did. For years I'd go back to Greater Faydark and find young rangers to give gear to.
In terms of stats - I still remember when I got my first Orc Fang Erring to drop... +3AC, +3STR, +15HP... I felt uber for WEEKS, maybe even MONTHS.
You hit on one very important aspect here. Gear design like this becomes yet another community builder. But the other important aspect is this: It kept the power in the player. Gear ENHANCED you, it didn't MAKE you.
OH I'm sure chanters kept stuff down to the second. No room for error there at all.
Pulling was a little different... there was an art to understanding the spawns and being able to always keeping the next mob arriving for the group just as the last one was dying...
And there was a LITTLE more leeway... If I screwed up a pull, I could just run back close enough to the group so they could recover my corpse easily without allowing the mobs to agro the group.
We've all done embarrassing things. I can't tell you how many times I switched targeting to myself to cast my piddly little ranger heal on me - saw whatever mob I was killing break root... and cast root again without re-targeting the mob.
I would point out that learning mob behavior BEFORE the pull was just as (and in some ways MORE) important as understanding mob behavior AFTER the pull... maybe not for all classes - but for those of us that played pulling classes, it was absolutely critical to understand things like:
- General respawn time. This was a "feeling" good pullers had in their mind. You didn't watch a clock, you more or less (through experience) "knew" that respawns were going to happen within a few seconds. You learned that respawn times from camp to camp may vary.
- Which mobs in a camp patrolled through the camp - and how often.
- What the relative agro ranges of different mobs in the camp were. You absolutely needed to know which mobs would come if you pulled a mob, and which ones would not... so that you knew which ones you needed to pacify / harmony / whatever and which ones you did not.
- Mob type by mob name prefix. It did you very little good to cast something on a caster so that you agro'd it and just expect it to follow you. It wouldn't - it would stand there and try to cast at you until you did something to break line of sight or range of spells. Just as important (maybe MORE important) you needed to also know things like "that mob will yell for help as soon as I pull it"... so again, understanding mob behavior by mob type before the pull... CRITICAL
- Which mobs could snare you or root you... or could increase their own speed, etc... it did you very little good to pull the ONE mob in a group that could stop you in your tracks.
Summing it up: PULLING required a different type of crowd control before the fight - but it was still crowd control... and was stripped out of MMO's even before the other, more recognized form of crowd control. Because right from the launch of games like EQ II and WoW, you mostly just had your tank pull - and then dealt with the mobs when they reached you.
Crowd control after the pull started to die and be eliminated when game developers caved in to DPS meters... where people just cared about laying down the hurt - and breaking CC everywhere. Rather than doing something to correct the behavior of those types of players - game developers just made CC not necessary.
Dyraele - I believe that the level ranges for cons shifted as you leveled in EQ... so the variance in ranges may be different at your level than they are at max level.
Been a LONG time since I looked into stuff like that though, so I may not be correct.
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