To begin, I joined this server primarily because of the bullet points on the main page: "Solo everything! Solo all the way to Quarm!"
I do not 2box, I play 1 single character, typically a Bard. This feedback comes from a purely solo character experience, and may not be applicable to 2boxers. I do not enjoy 2boxing, hence why this server was so attractive.
At the moment my main character is a Bard with approx 550AA (all offensive/defensive, missing a lot of utility not really needed on a solo server), in mostly PoTime and custom boss loot. I am not max geared or anything but am sitting comfortably at about 13k buffed HP, 2250 AC, attack capped, and with buffed resists (no song) all at or within 20pts of 500 cap.
I also play a Mage, approx 500AA, mostly PoTime loot, not as well geared. Approx 10k buffed HP, 1900 AC, 400ish resists. Very close to stun immune from smokey augs (more on this later).
I have 2 suggestions at this point:
1. Custom Boss HP is excessive.
This does not apply to most content. I have fought most bosses in Vanilla, Kunark, Velious, Luclin, and PoP. Most bosses I have fought feel right on target (great job, and thank you!). This only applies to the custom bosses I have faced, and a few outliers (Kerafyrm comes to mind).
Ultimately this comes down to personal preference, but I'd still like you to understand where I'm coming from if possible.
Put simply, spending half an hour (sometimes an hour) fighting the same boss is not fun or enjoyable at all.
I realize I do not have the best dps as a Bard, but it is not that horrible either. I have somewhat shorter, but still similarly unpleasant fight durations on my Mage for example. These fights seem to be balanced around having 2 or more people, but often have mechanics that prevent the use of more than 1 person. That means extraordinarily long fights.
I did play Everquest during the PoP and GoD era. I do recognize that some fights could be very long. However the difference was you were usually surrounded by 50 people you knew and were working with in a tense situation the entire time, which made the time fly by and the victory very satisfying. Doing the same thing solo is a completely different experience. I believe that if you can prove you can fight a given boss for 5 minutes, there should be no need to make a person continue fighting said boss for another 30 just to drag it out. It is not a positive experience.
I have spoken with others on the server, and one of the comments I got was "Yea, that's one of the main reasons I don't play on this server very often, the fights are super boring."
My proposal is as following: Reduce custom boss HP (and any other high end outliers) by 50-70% to reduce fight duration down to a length that is enjoyable by players, which is more inline with most of the content on server.
2. Stun resist for melee is nearly nonexistent, yet is absolutely required for a a handful of progression fights.
A bit of background here: Casters have 5 stun resist added to their smokey augments, melee do not have this benefit. This results in reasonably geared casters being stun immune while melee may have 5-15% if they're lucky (and remember stun resist applies to chance, not duration, this is a binary equation, either you resist or you don't). This design may be intentional but I'd like to explain why I feel this is a bad strategy for a solo server.
A short list of these fights is Grieg (Grieg's End), High Priest of Ssraeshza, Vallon Zek, and Rallos Zek. I was able to power through the Grieg and Vallon Zek fights between stuns because their dps was so low I could simply out-wait the stuns, and let damage shield do it's work, but it was a long and miserable experience for the supposed difficulty of the fight. As an example, every other boss in PoTime besides Rallos Zek and Quarm took 5-10 minutes, Vallon Zek took close to an hour, as I was spending so much of the time stunned I couldn't even maintain anything but spell based damage shield.
High Priest of Ssraeshza I have not fought, but have fought Arch Lich, who has the same melee proc. Arch Lich keeps me permastunned until his melee pushes me out of melee range (he is perma-rooted), where it will wear off and I can get caught up. Given High Priest of Ssraeshza has 10 second stuns tied to both his melee and periodic aoe, and is not rooted, I would not be surprised if he could keep a player stun-locked permanently.
Rallos Zek in particular is the game stopper for my Bard. He regularly casts a 20 second stun. If I were 2 boxing, I could simply heal myself through it, or if I were playing a caster class, I would simply be immune to it, but as melee I am standing there for 20 seconds. Rallos Zek does enough dps to have no problem killing me during any of his stuns. I usually do not survive past the first one. Additionally, Rallos Zek is resistant enough I usually do not have time to successfully land an attack slow before he stuns.
My proposal for this is as following: Add stun resist to melee smokey augments, or reduce stun length for bosses with this type of mechanic to allow solo play.
That's all I have for the moment. I hope you understand that this feedback is aimed primarily at providing a better experience for your players. I have, as a whole, thoroughly enjoyed my time playing here. Thank you for your time, sorry for the long read.
Ideas, dreams, and feedback.
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