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TOPIC: In depth feedback, as requested by in game GMs

Re: In depth feedback, as requested by in game GMs 4 years 5 months ago #25

Thanks for the feedback, OP. Part of me thinks this is a problem with any game at GenCon (e.g. a random board game): you either show up with a full group or you get stuck with whatever character is left. I do understand it is a bigger deal when it costs $52 rather than $2. I do think the rules for character selection should be better defined, I always thought it was first-come, first-served, unless you were a higher-level player.

I wish I could think of more solutions that TD could implement, but ultimately when you pay $52 to play a 2-hour game with random people you are taking a chance. That is why most of us pre-arrange our groups, but I understand that isn't for everybody.
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Re: In depth feedback, as requested by in game GMs 4 years 5 months ago #26

Incognito wrote:

The BIGGEST issue myself and my girlfriend have had, and the number one reason we are only doing one session, and maybe/likely none at all next year? The absolutely horrific way that groups and classes are assigned. In other words: utterly random, unless you have 7+ other friends both going to Gen Con and willing to drop $50 each on the event.

Ideally, everyone should be using the TD forums to find each other, and then figuring out classes well ahead of time.

Unfortunately, way too many people are too lazy to do that.


No, I completely disagree. I don't believe it has anything to do with lazy, and 100% to do with "I don't even know it exists, and it's really in my best interest to use it to find a group."

Not everyone out there is a forumite. Heck, I have accounts on about 35 forums, this is my 3rd year at TD, and made my first post/read my first forum post just today.

If this is the place to get your group to ensure you don't have a bad time - it seriously needs to be in a major headline somewhere in a TD email. Again: Playing for 3 years. First time I've ever used the forums. (For anyone not following past posts, I am NoOneElsesName - finally figured out how to fix my main account)

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Re: In depth feedback, as requested by in game GMs 4 years 5 months ago #27

LordDamax, you would also be welcome to join Team Yeti on any of our runs. While we are a group, we have had others join us on multiple occasions. New players have said they enjoyed running with us (and two of those have now become Yetis), and your opinions will be heard (although, as in another thread, the rail idea was a tough idea to work out. Also, there were only 3 tries before failure).

Although Team Yeti has grown such that we are larger than 10 in number, our sealed runs typically have 2-3 open spots. These tend to be later in the convention, and tend to be more relaxed, but are still challenging, since you have only the sealed packs to work with on the first run, which typically is a puzzle run.

As another word of advice, avoiding Thursday PUG runs is a good idea. Even experienced True Dungeoneers will be more relaxed after their first runs have been done, which, as long as you're with a good group of people, will make it more enjoyable.
I used to be indecisive, but now, I'm not so sure. ;)

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Last edit: by quip.

Re: In depth feedback, as requested by in game GMs 4 years 5 months ago #28

Forar wrote: I don't think it's necessarily them being lazy at all, many of them might not even know the forums exist.

Uh, in that particular case, everyone had a registered forum name (and had previously posted on the forum). I directed them to the thread and to each other, but they didn't bother contacting each other.

In other cases, some people who followed the instructions, e-mailed me. I did end up directing them to the TD Forums, and suggested they post, but they never did.

Last year, I had some friends play TD. Afterwards, I sent them explicit step-by-step instructions on how to enter their XP, if they were interested in it. They never bothered to do it. That was their choice. But the only way I could have made it easier for them was if I had done it for them myself!

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Re: In depth feedback, as requested by in game GMs 4 years 5 months ago #29

LordDamax wrote:

Incognito wrote:

The BIGGEST issue myself and my girlfriend have had, and the number one reason we are only doing one session, and maybe/likely none at all next year? The absolutely horrific way that groups and classes are assigned. In other words: utterly random, unless you have 7+ other friends both going to Gen Con and willing to drop $50 each on the event.

Ideally, everyone should be using the TD forums to find each other, and then figuring out classes well ahead of time.

Unfortunately, way too many people are too lazy to do that.


No, I completely disagree. I don't believe it has anything to do with lazy, and 100% to do with "I don't even know it exists, and it's really in my best interest to use it to find a group."

Not everyone out there is a forumite. Heck, I have accounts on about 35 forums, this is my 3rd year at TD, and made my first post/read my first forum post just today.

If this is the place to get your group to ensure you don't have a bad time - it seriously needs to be in a major headline somewhere in a TD email. Again: Playing for 3 years. First time I've ever used the forums. (For anyone not following past posts, I am NoOneElsesName - finally figured out how to fix my main account)

I do think that TD could be a bit more explicit about the forum (and not just the website) but I am still skeptical people will even read the message.

For example, this year, the automated GenCon message for TD adventures was:

The event organizer wanted to send you the following message. If you have any questions specifically about this game, please contact the event organizer directly, if they listed their contact information.
IMPORTANT: Please arrive ten minutes before your ticket's start time. If you do not arrive by the time on your ticket, your place may be given to someone else. You can find out much more about the True Dungeon event at our website - including buying Treasure Tokens.


It does plug the website, though it could emphasize using the forums.

This was the message for True Grind:

Please write Eric at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to receive prep material needed to be ready to play. Preparation for this event is essential.


Only half a dozen people actually bothered to do this, this year. In past years it was typically about a dozen.

Players are getting very clear directions but are not doing recommended things that would improve their experience.

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Re: In depth feedback, as requested by in game GMs 4 years 5 months ago #30

Incognito wrote: I do think that TD could be a bit more explicit about the forum (and not just the website) but I am still skeptical people will even read the message.

For example, this year, the automated GenCon message for TD adventures was:

The event organizer wanted to send you the following message. If you have any questions specifically about this game, please contact the event organizer directly, if they listed their contact information.
IMPORTANT: Please arrive ten minutes before your ticket's start time. If you do not arrive by the time on your ticket, your place may be given to someone else. You can find out much more about the True Dungeon event at our website - including buying Treasure Tokens.


It does plug the website, though it could emphasize using the forums.

This was the message for True Grind:

Please write Eric at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to receive prep material needed to be ready to play. Preparation for this event is essential.


Only half a dozen people actually bothered to do this, this year. In past years it was typically about a dozen.

Players are getting very clear directions but are not doing recommended things that would improve their experience.


Yeah, my takeaway with that first automated message is "Here is where I can go to buy stuff." Since I just spent quite a bit of money buying the ticket, I'm not necessarily looking to spend more right away.

I can see no excuse for the people who didn't respond to the second message. The best I could see is that they didn't read it.

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Re: In depth feedback, as requested by in game GMs 4 years 5 months ago #31

My solutions:

Smaller groups. Having 10 people in a group dramatically increases the possibility there will be assholes, and/or dramatically increases the possibility that normal people will become assholes. It also makes the game generally harder to play (due to cooperation), and makes each player's role seem much less significant.

Scale back the equipment slots and tokens. No matter how carefully one attempts to balance such things, the current system is fundamentally unable to ensure balance. Even a single player with mostly reds can ruin a game for a group otherwise made up of those with just a single starter pouch.

What's that you say? TD can't cut back on player slots or tokens without dramatically increasing the ticket prices? Then scale back the production values.

Seriously. The TD environment is awesome, always blows me away, and everyone involved deserves some powerful kudos. But just because it's cool doesn't automatically mean it's worth it. If we have to stuff rooms full of players and push tokens so hard that the game is breaking, then are anamatronics and smoke machines really worth it? This is a matter of personal opinion of course, but should the vocal majority really dictate what kind of experience True Dungeon "should" be for everyone.

Excuse me as I sip more vodka and get more philosophical... :D

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Last edit: by Garrison.

Re: In depth feedback, as requested by in game GMs 4 years 5 months ago #32

Incognito wrote:

Forar wrote: I don't think it's necessarily them being lazy at all, many of them might not even know the forums exist.

Uh, in that particular case, everyone had a registered forum name (and had previously posted on the forum). I directed them to the thread and to each other, but they didn't bother contacting each other.

In other cases, some people who followed the instructions, e-mailed me. I did end up directing them to the TD Forums, and suggested they post, but they never did.

Last year, I had some friends play TD. Afterwards, I sent them explicit step-by-step instructions on how to enter their XP, if they were interested in it. They never bothered to do it. That was their choice. But the only way I could have made it easier for them was if I had done it for them myself!


As per the rest of my comment that got snipped, I'm referring to users in general.

Some of it is laziness, sure. Some will be ignorance that it's even an option, some aren't interested in forum communities (or more of them; my participation on several has ebbed, flowed, or ended outright over the years). I've been part of one for around 11 or 12 years now, have tens of thousands of posts. 'Starting over' with a new community isn't something everyone does easily.

It isn't a realistic expectation to have more than a fraction of the user base here. I'd be shocked if it even broke half, which is still a LOT of people in the dark.

I think promoting the TD101 style primers is helpful, I know mine was. I think there are ways to remove some barriers to entry.

Expecting people to form groups on the forums and stating that it's laziness not to is to speak as someone who has apparently been a part of the community for a long time. I vaguely knew the forums existed, but didn't really feel the need to join and begin digging until I'd actually participated in an event, at which point it's essentially too late. Luckily community members like Raven and a pair of awesome vets in my run helped make it fun and interesting, even if we missed out on getting more than the participation treasure token at the end.

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Re: In depth feedback, as requested by in game GMs 4 years 5 months ago #33

Garrison wrote: My solutions:


Thank you for suggesting solutions, rather than just grumbling. We need people to put forward ideas, so we can consider real solutions to the problem. That said, the suggestions need to be carefully evaluated for repercussions, so please forgive me as I provide feedback about your proposed solutions.
This isn't meant to shout you down, but to identify problem areas so the solutions don't cause more problems.

Smaller groups. Having 10 people in a group dramatically increases the possibility there will be assholes, and/or dramatically increases the possibility that normal people will become assholes. It also makes the game generally harder to play (due to cooperation), and makes each player's role seem much less significant.


I agree. Smaller groups are more manageable, and more able to hear each other and value each member's contribution. But there's 2 main problems with decreasing party size:

1) People will complain about not enough tickets being available. Every year TD sells out, and every year people complain that there needs to be a way to let more people go through. That's why the party size was increased in the first place.

2) Costs. Cutting back party size by 80% would necessitate a ~20% increase in ticket price, to still cover the expenses of ballroom rental, prop transportation, wall building, etc.

Interestingly, the "fix" suggested to address the above problems, is to let parties run with less than 10 players while still paying for all 10 wristbands. That way they get smaller parties while not increasing the cost for everyone else. And look what happens: People get upset that experienced players are "wasting" slots, or "blocking newbies" from getting tix.

Scale back the equipment slots and tokens. No matter how carefully one attempts to balance such things, the current system is fundamentally unable to ensure balance. Even a single player with mostly reds can ruin a game for a group otherwise made up of those with just a single starter pouch.


I am 100% in agreement that the current system is unable to ensure balance. But would scaling back the available tokens actually improve balance? Several people pointed out that experienced players don't *just* have more tokens, they also unbalance things by having more experience on the sliding table, more knowledge of the spells/beads/leaves, a greater understanding of tactics, in addition to possibly having solved the puzzles before.
Limiting tokens will only address a very small portion of this inequality, while substantially impacting token sales, and angering players who have invested heavily in tokens already.

What's that you say? TD can't cut back on player slots or tokens without dramatically increasing the ticket prices? Then scale back the production values.


I will take it as a nod to TD's excellent set dressing that you feel production values can be scaled back. I remember a few years ago, the main complaint on the forums was "How dare TD charge so much for such a bare-bones experience?" People complained that rooms were bare, that monster boards were boring and actors or animatronics were essential to let people feel like it was a "truly immersive environment."

TD listened to those complaints, and really kicked the game up a few notches (I totally love those costumed NPCs and physical representations of every monster we fight!) It's interesting to see it swing the other way, now.

Excuse me as I sip more vodka and get more philosophical... :D


I bet you're not the only one sipping hard liquor and trying to figure out how to please everyone. Many interesting ideas have come out of such brainstorming... but things often aren't as simple as they seem.
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Re: In depth feedback, as requested by in game GMs 4 years 5 months ago #34

Incognito wrote: It does plug the website, though it could emphasize using the forums.

The email I received is listed below:

You have registered for TDA1579297 Into the Underdark (combat-oriented).

The event organizer wanted to send you the following message. If you have any questions specifically about this game, please contact the event organizer directly, if they listed their contact information.

IMPORTANT: Please arrive ten minutes before your ticket's start time. If you do not arrive by the time on your ticket, your place may be given to someone else. You can find out much more about the True Dungeon event at our website - including buying Treasure Tokens.

It does NOT have a link to the TrueDungeon website nor how to contact them, it doesn't even have the True Dungeon name in the email. There should be a link for new players.

Let's fix these glaring holes!

Ed
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Last edit: by MasterED.

Re: In depth feedback, as requested by in game GMs 4 years 5 months ago #35

Garrison wrote: My solutions:

Smaller groups.

Scale back the equipment slots and tokens.

Then scale back the production values.


Interesting ideas, however I would NOT like to see the production values or slots scaled back. That is a big part of the draw for me.

Ultimately it is a problem of organizing and finding the right groups who line up on experience, equipment, preferred difficulty, etc. I feel like this can be solved in less drastic ways. Some of the challenge is the GenCon ticketing system and the fact that players expect to be done at a certain time.
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We buy, sell, and trade True Dungeon tokens. We also have a convenient consignment program where you can sell your own tokens.

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Re: In depth feedback, as requested by in game GMs 4 years 5 months ago #36

If we are offering suggestions then I do not see why we could not open up and allow two of any given class in a party. We already essentially do with Fighter and Wizard and I have never seen it create a balance issue.

While allowing two of any given class would not eliminate all class selection problems it would cover a very large percentage.

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