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Crowfall too gear-based?


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#1 Anthrage

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 09:20 AM

A thought just occurred to me, one I haven't explored too deeply I admit, but it is a troubling one. Many MMOs and competitiveness or success in same can legitimately be described as being too heavily gear-focused. Crowfall will very likely be the most gear-dependent MMO of all time, for the single and simple fact that Vessels are gear - and Vessels determine what 'class' or Archtype you can play, and therefore what abilities you can access. Coupling this with a passive time-based skill progression system and you may have some serious problems if things haven't been designed very carefully.

 

Take Shadowbane for example, not having certain Disciplines was a significant issue, such as Commander. Considerable effort was put into both acquiring the rune and preventing others from doing so - it was a game within the game to a degree, for a time. The same was true for some of the resources, that could only be acquired through the Mines. These were chokepoints where access to certain in some cases vital features or abilities could be restricted.

 

That is not necessarily by itself a bad thing. Taken to the level of gear, if it is advantageous enough, powerful enough or imbalancing enough, it can be game-breaking in effect. There is a lot we don't know yet, but we do know that Vessels are gear, they are gateways to advanced abilities, improved stats and skills and most importantly, to character class access. To what degree this can be restricted, denied or limited will I think be one of the big, if not the biggest, factors determining if Crowfall flies freely, or if it falls flat and dies in the dirt.

 

So my question then is, not just to the devs but to all of you - how much has this particular issue been examined, explored and played out theoretically through the game cycle, with what we currently know about the system?


Edited by Anthrage, 10 January 2017 - 09:34 AM.


#2 coolwaters

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 09:34 AM

I agree.

 

It's really a product of shifting all of the character building from the Crow (skill training) to the vessel (disciplines, advantages / disadvantage). It creates impersistence and an feeling that both "power" and "choice" are fleeting, as extensions of what amounts to gear.


Edited by coolwaters, 10 January 2017 - 09:35 AM.


#3 Arkade

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 09:39 AM

Gear has to matter a lot because resources have to matter a lot. If resources aren't that important, then what are we fighting for and how do we shift the balance of power? That being said, it isn't absolutely necessary that there be a large gap between common gear and the best gear. The significant gap needs to exist between gear and no gear, so that having gear, no matter the quality, matters. If people can be effective without gear, the whole game loop falls apart.

 

In Blair's recent post, he mentioned that the bonus quality on assembly isn't really happening to the degree intended. In other words, when you assemble an item using higher quality resources, the result should be higher quality regardless of experimentation. So I do expect that the gap between common gear and epic/legendary gear will be more significant than it is now (which IMO is a good thing), but even that shouldn't be a balancing issue because most of the resources and gear will be obtained within the campaigns in which they are used.

 

If players are playing in God's Reach, they may import a set of epic gear, but that likely won't last them the entire campaign if they are fighting on a regular basis. Once that gear is gone, they will be forced to use lower quality gear because that is all that will be available to them. In the Dregs, everyone will be running around in blue and purple gear because the higher quality resources will be abundant. The import mechanism ensures that everyone will be wearing relatively the same quality gear in any given campaign, so the power gap between different qualities of gear doesn't really matter in terms of balance.



#4 blazzen

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 09:50 AM

I seem to recall one of the devs saying they wanted it to be 1/3 passive skill training, 1/3 gear and 1/3 player skill to determine the outcome of a fight.

 

I think the quote was more in reference to training combat skills over harvesting/crafting skills and how someone who had better gear but little combat skill training could compete with someone who has higher passive skills trained but not as good gear because of it. Those two things would in essence cancel each other out and player skill would prevail.

 

I do agree that armor has to be powerful enough to make the gear itself valuable so that the harvester and crafter roles are valuable. Making passive skill training and gear equal in power is a good way to keep those roles equally as important, in theory. How it works out in practice could be different entirely. 

 

I guess I'm saying that I'm okay with the vision but I'll wait and see if it actually plays out that way. 



#5 Anthrage

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 09:53 AM

I'm not talking about the typical gear - armor, weapons etc - I'm referring specifically and only to Vessels.



#6 VIKINGNAIL

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 09:56 AM

Crappy quality gear will be easy to come by, the game aims for a shallow power curve.  Not a problem.



#7 Anthrage

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 10:23 AM

I feel like Ripley in Aliens...or Chekov. Talking about the Wessels people, not 'crappy quality gear'. Vessels are more significantly impacting and functioning as gates than a high quality item like a sword or piece of armor.



#8 pang

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 10:40 AM

Well resource/asset denial like mentioned, is an even bigger, more engaging and deeper aspect in Crowfall I feel because of Vessels.  You don't want your enemies being able to make and keep supplies of quality Vessels to make and use. When a mate dies need to protect their body so it can't be looted, seek and kill resources gathering groups and caravans, protect your own etc. That's whole game loops aside the actual main objectives and loops of CWs. It also encourages smarter and more skillful play because you don't want to hand over quality gear and vessels to the enemy by senseless deaths.

 

I think overall it'll add to the Risk/Reward concept ACE has been talking about since day 1.


Edited by pang, 10 January 2017 - 10:42 AM.


#9 Arkade

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 10:41 AM

I feel like Ripley in Aliens...or Chekov. Talking about the Wessels people, not 'crappy quality gear'. Vessels are more significantly impacting and functioning as gates than a high quality item like a sword or piece of armor.

So do you believe that the availability of vessels will cause an imbalance? They will still be gated by the import system. It may be that you can import an epic or legendary vessel into a God's Reach campaign and never lose it because you keep it repaired (though we don't know the requirements for repairing them), giving you an advantage over everyone who is using common vessels. IF that is the case, there are 2 things to consider:

 

  1. The vessels themselves are a gate on power. Having an epic vessel won't make you more powerful all by itself. It may have higher attributes, but that shouldn't be a significant difference. You'll still be choosing the same advantages and disadvantages regardless of the quality of the vessel. The real difference will be in the amount of skill points you get to use, but that is dependent on you actually training your skills beyond 100. If all of your skills are trained to 100 or less, an epic vessel may be only marginally better than a common vessel.
  2. If you choose to enter a campaign that allows imports and you don't import the highest quality items you can, you have to accept that others may do so and thereby gain an advantage over you. 

Of course, it is still dependent on how repair will work. Maybe you can only repair that epic vessel by using epic resources (which would make sense). You aren't going to find epic resources in God's Reach, so if you import an epic vessel and it gets damaged, you won't be able to repair it and you may end up losing it, in which case you are then on the same playing field as everyone else.



#10 Vectious

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 10:55 AM

Gear has to matter a lot because resources have to matter a lot. 

Except you create the gear gap that JTC and Gordon have claimed wanted to be very limited.

 

Two equally skilled people with good gear vs junk gear is so polarized for the good gear its not even funny.

 

They could potentially do twice the damage and take half as much damage netting being able to finish the fight at 75% hp. (Of course this is ignoring alot of variables like damage types and such)

 

Gear has a steep, linear curve. This is the same for every other MMO, which is one of the reasons they wanted Crowfall to be different. Every item had a 'item level' and based on the quality it was allowed to have X number of stats. Item level * Quality = Stats. Linear. 

 

Right now its Quality = Stats. (Assuming a person is going for the max amazing rolls and deleting others, which would be 'white noise' in min max crafting.)

 

After uncommon there should be drastic diminishing returns so while purples do give you an advantage, it should not be a unbeatable advantage like it is now.

 

It should not be linear like it is now. 



#11 VIKINGNAIL

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 11:37 AM

I believe right now we see exaggerated numbers for the sake of testing, I honestly don't think it will be too gear based power wise, but maybe tactic wise it can be.  Carefully considering how you want to deal with mitigation or which stats you want on your gear will be important. 



#12 th3gatekeeper

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 12:46 PM

Gear has to matter a lot because resources have to matter a lot. If resources aren't that important, then what are we fighting for and how do we shift the balance of power? That being said, it isn't absolutely necessary that there be a large gap between common gear and the best gear. The significant gap needs to exist between gear and no gear, so that having gear, no matter the quality, matters. If people can be effective without gear, the whole game loop falls apart.

And this is why I have been adamant on them doing a gear "rebalance" or maybe rebalance is the wrong word, maybe redesign is... I have detailed out my thoughts in other threads like here( https://community.cr...us-armor-types/ )

I think this is critical because it DOES create a significant difference between NO armor and armor. Or as you said "Gear vs no gear".

In an IDEAL world, I think what you would have is a diminishing returns "graph" showing effectiveness of gear.

So Something like this:
Results-vs-Effort.jpg

 

 

In which the gain from say NO gear to basic or "low quality gear" is HUGE. As you progress and upgrade gear, the difference becomes smaller and smaller.


But going back to my armor suggestion. This is why they need to overall 

- REDUCE players HP by some %
- Make the armor as a "BASE" provide much more damage resistance. 

So the difference between naked and crappy quality armor, is a HUGE difference. Currently, people just run around naked or grab just a chest piece because it frankly doesnt matter as much. You get a whopping 10% or 15% more damage resistance to only certain types of damage. No big deal.

Especially when (currently) the game is more just about numbers.

If the game went "LIVE" now based on today's armor balancing I could see complete zergs just running around in nothing but Mail Chest pieces Or full leather or NAKED because # of players matters more than gear.

I would like to see more emphasis placed on gear SO THAT a player in NO armor, or even Leather armor has significantly reduced "passive damage resistance" and must rely then on their "active" damage resistance (aka - dodging and avoidance).



 



#13 Arkade

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 12:51 PM

Except you create the gear gap that JTC and Gordon have claimed wanted to be very limited.

 

Two equally skilled people with good gear vs junk gear is so polarized for the good gear its not even funny.

 

They could potentially do twice the damage and take half as much damage netting being able to finish the fight at 75% hp. (Of course this is ignoring alot of variables like damage types and such)

 

Gear has a steep, linear curve. This is the same for every other MMO, which is one of the reasons they wanted Crowfall to be different. Every item had a 'item level' and based on the quality it was allowed to have X number of stats. Item level * Quality = Stats. Linear. 

 

Right now its Quality = Stats. (Assuming a person is going for the max amazing rolls and deleting others, which would be 'white noise' in min max crafting.)

 

After uncommon there should be drastic diminishing returns so while purples do give you an advantage, it should not be a unbeatable advantage like it is now.

 

It should not be linear like it is now. 

Did you read anything else that I wrote? 



#14 Arkade

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 01:23 PM

I would like to see more emphasis placed on gear SO THAT a player in NO armor, or even Leather armor has significantly reduced "passive damage resistance" and must rely then on their "active" damage resistance (aka - dodging and avoidance).

I've stated before that I think the armors need to be re-balanced in terms of mitigation. There are two basic ways to do armor:

 

  1. Plate mitigates better than mail, but has more penalties (movement, carrying capacity, whatever). Mail mitigates better than leather, but has more penalties (less than Plate). Leather mitigates the least but has no penalties. 
  2. Each armor type provides the best mitigation against certain damage types, making each armor the best in different situations. There are no penalties for any type of armor.

The problem I have with the current scheme is that it seems like they are trying to do #2, but still including the penalties for plate and mail armor.

 

LargeTable-2.jpg

 

The damage penalties have been removed, but the movement penalties remain. Why? Going by this chart, Leather is better than both plate and mail against elemental and organic damage. Leather is better than mail against bleeds. And no matter what armor type you choose, you can train skills to improve whichever mitigation types you want. Basically, you can go for a balanced approach or focus more on one particular class of damage, regardless of what type of armor you wear, so why would anyone wear anything other than leather?

 

I don't think upping the mitigation numbers across the board is the answer. The higher you make the base numbers, the less meaningful the skills become.

 

Without a chestplate, my slashing mitigation is 10%. I have a blue chestplate that I created that is almost 16% in all physical mitigations. When I'm wearing it, my slashing mitigation is over 34%. That is significant. Armor is also currently giving +2.5% damage per piece, which is a significant amount. Both of those things encourage people to wear advanced armor. The other slots may not be as important for mitigation purposes, but who is going to pass up an extra 7.5% damage?

 

What they need to do is decide how exactly they want armor to work. Do they want tiers in terms of mitigation, along with associated penalties? Or do they want each armor to be good in different situations, without any penalties? As long as they are trying to do both, it isn't going to work.



#15 th3gatekeeper

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Posted 10 January 2017 - 02:24 PM

I've stated before that I think the armors need to be re-balanced in terms of mitigation. There are two basic ways to do armor:

 

  1. Plate mitigates better than mail, but has more penalties (movement, carrying capacity, whatever). Mail mitigates better than leather, but has more penalties (less than Plate). Leather mitigates the least but has no penalties. 
  2. Each armor type provides the best mitigation against certain damage types, making each armor the best in different situations. There are no penalties for any type of armor.

The problem I have with the current scheme is that it seems like they are trying to do #2, but still including the penalties for plate and mail armor.

 

 

What they need to do is decide how exactly they want armor to work. Do they want tiers in terms of mitigation, along with associated penalties? Or do they want each armor to be good in different situations, without any penalties? As long as they are trying to do both, it isn't going to work.

 

We are 100% on the same page. They are trying to do BOTH which frankly doesnt work.

Personally I HATE #2. I really hate having various armors being good at various things. I LIKE this approach, if ALL PVP was "scenario" or "arena" based because it provides valuable and necessary Rock/Paper/Scissors.

When you have siege based games, however, its going to be LARGE scale battles and the rock paper scissors approach is a very poor design because you might be wearing Leather, but then get absolutely SMASHED by 2-3 melee guys, or vice versa. Youll be a "tank" trying to hold a front line and just get obliterated by some Fessors who focus cast you down, knowing you are wearing plate.

In LARGE scale battles you HAVE to go with option 1: Plate>Mail>Leather across all damage types and the 'balance' or 'negative' for the better Resistance armor, comes in the form of other areas. We have already been experimenting with "-movement". The Basic armor is a perfect example of this. It offers very good protection levels but at the cost of movement speed. This has NOT been well received and is evidenced by the fact that people dont use it and even put it on players they kill as a joke (I do this). People are not wearing plate, for the SAME reason.

So I think -movement speed is not a good idea. 

If the GOAL of armor is to impact "mobility", and we cant use -movement as an option, what is left?

Well the obvious answer: Spring and Dodge stamina consumption.

This is where I think making Plate armor the MOST resistant towards all damage types, and then modifying the stamina consumption so Plate consumes somthing like 2x the stamina, seems like a fair "balance.

now players dont feel they are weighed down, unless they try to dodge or sprint, and they will feel the "bulkiness" of the armor impacting this...


This is what I feel is the best option across the board. 



#16 soulein

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 11:50 AM

It's my understanding that crafting with higher quality resources only nets you more experimentation points during the crafting process (at least currently). This isn't a trivial difference, as the experimentation points are a vital part of the crafting system and can greatly modify the results, but it hardly creates insurmountable imbalances.

 

If you want to see a game where gear prevails over all other considerations, play Black Desert for a few months. If you're grinding in that game and someone with better gear than you wants your camp, he'll kill you in one, maybe two animations. In Crowfall, gear can make a difference between two equally skilled opponents, but it is by no means the final word in a combat.



#17 KrakkenSmacken

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 12:41 PM

I feel like Ripley in Aliens...or Chekov. Talking about the Wessels people, not 'crappy quality gear'. Vessels are more significantly impacting and functioning as gates than a high quality item like a sword or piece of armor.

Shallow power curve still applies.

 

If your a harvester or a crafter, you will have your favorite vessels for that type of work, which you will covet and protect if you are smart.

 

You will have low quality vessels for when you head out into the field to do battle.  Harvesting is a bit of a mixed bag, as while harvesting you could be forced into a potentially vessel damaging fight, but you won't be deliberately out looking for trouble so those vessels should last longer if your not foolhardy.

 

I actually think after a couple of days of PvP, the real differentiation is going to be in skill, specifically team work skills, especially in fights > 4v4. I really couldn't see much of a difference between the various gear being used by my team and opponents, but I sure could tell the difference in skill.



#18 facerip

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 12:52 PM

Gear only impacts out going damage currently.  None of the mitigations appear to work or update correctly in the paper doll.  I would hold off on judging what "gear" looks like until the vessel system is implemented.



#19 LordBinz

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 01:26 PM

I actually think after a couple of days of PvP, the real differentiation is going to be in skill, specifically team work skills, especially in fights > 4v4. I really couldn't see much of a difference between the various gear being used by my team and opponents, but I sure could tell the difference in skill.

 

I hope this is true, its the healthy way for a competitive game to be. Its what its possible to get at the absolute maximum endgame of other mmos, where everyone has the same gear, but crowfall seems to be able to make it work right from the start.



#20 KrakkenSmacken

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Posted 11 January 2017 - 02:30 PM

I hope this is true, its the healthy way for a competitive game to be. Its what its possible to get at the absolute maximum endgame of other mmos, where everyone has the same gear, but crowfall seems to be able to make it work right from the start.

To be fair, I'm not that good so could seriously be suffering from the Dunning-Kruger effect.

 

I think it will take months of sessions of evenly matched teams to really see just how much of an impact gear actually has.

 

Toss in the the fact these are basically first throw placeholder values without any balancing, and I think ACE simply has to pick the actual ratio of importance and drive towards it, rather than us guessing that intent with the given numbers.






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