jetah

Catch Up Mechanic?

12 posts in this topic

Some background. I played Eve Online for a few years, off and on over 10-12 years. I remember how many skills it had at that time and was overwhelmed. Now they have even more and I can only imagine how a new perspective player must feel. A few years ago, CCP (developers of EO) removed learning skills, which made other skills quicker to complete, and enabled new accounts (under a certain skill point threshold) train quicker. This was their catch up mechanic.  I know the current CF is in Pre-alpha and skill times can change.

I'm looking at CFs skills and I'm blown away. It would be like getting into eve online right now but with more skills and much longer training duration. Then I'm thinking about CF in ten years and wondering how a catch up mechanic would work. I was expecting a 10-25% difference between a new account and a veteran account out but I'm looking at the current (I know it can change) number and it seems it'll be a 50%-100% difference between a veteran and new. I'm referring to a veteran account as someone with 10 years training.

 

Some assumptions

  • I believe Tyrant mentioned they had 18 years of skill training plus more coming.
  • Skill durations won't change (even though I know they might).

How will someone in six months, one, three or ten years from now catch up? Eve Online has increased the skill training speed to help new players catch up or a person could purchase a trained character, which can't happen in CF without buying the account (ToS, I'm sure).

If I have two years trained in one of the existing archetypes and a new Naga archetype is released, why would I want to stop training to swap? Will the skill duration be adjusted on new archetypes to compensate. IE if the Duelist has 300 skills would the Naga have 150?

 

An Observation

We currently have, what I would call, a skill bloat at the beginning of the game. Eve Online had far fewer skills when I started playing over ten years ago and they've expanded as the game progressed.

Will skills be merged to help speed up training? Let's say after 10 years.

 

I guess no one realistically knows but at some point new players won't be trying the game because of the difference in perceived power between veterans and initiates.

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I hope there's some catch up mechanism or way to speed up training by playing.  Part of the problem is that so many skills are raw combat numbers increases.  So, a player starting even 6 months behind is at a huge disadvantage to someone who started at launch, and they will never catch up since skills are time based.  They are playing with a permanent handicap since they will always have smaller numbers.

Some ideas I've thrown around:

  • Skill trees are only for utility and unlocking new abilities.  No raw combat increases.  Training times may need to be longer since there's less fluff
  • Skill trees are per campaign and function more like research in an RTS game.  This would allow for the extreme specialization that the devs seem to like, but still allow all players to experience all of the game.  Might have to have a separate, permanent skill tree for EKs (thralls, shops, etc)
  • Drop archetype specific skill trees and tie them to vessels somehow
  • Give each training node some sort of bonus action that can be performed to speed of the time.  For example, if you are training copper ore mining, every copper node that you mine could shave 10 seconds or so.
  • Make the difference between fully trained and untrained (non-specialist and new players) small enough that the untrained players can still enjoy the game and have a shot at combat
  • Make the early/basic skill trees very easy to train ( .5 - 2 days per node)  and encourage new players to train broadly instead of deeply.  By the time you've trained the basics, you should be able to hold your own in combat, craft basic quality weapons, and gather basic quality mats in a reasonable amount of time.

These are just thoughts.  I'm sure ACE has something in the works for this, because the current skill implementation goes against their Uncle Bob principle.  I joined about a month ago, and I feel like I'm joining a game of Risk already in progress specifically because of the skill training.

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I am pretty sure this question came up in the development partner forum last year and i think i remember that Todd's answer has (at least partially) been given in one of the monthly Q&A videos, too. Couldn't find it on a quick search, though. But i could swear....

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I remember it came up as well, iirc the short answer is yes, there will be something in game that allows for late comers to not be completely gimped when facing a veteran.

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Maybe create campaigns that only allows for new players to join. Something like a FPS game (PointBlank) i used to play, there recruits (noobs) didnt didnt need to play with commanders (veterans). They could fight in higher lvl servers but you could just lvl slowly fighting with people of similar patent.

I am not a fan of catch up mechanics, i dont think it is fair for me to waste years in game if later down the line someone can come and compete with me training under 6 months.

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The biggest point to consider here is that training from level 4 to level 5 in EVE Online takes a huge amount of time to hit, but you are only gaining 1/5th of the skills benefit to doing so. In theory, Crowfall won't force you to train all 5 levels to move on, though this is still in limbo as right now in tests it requires it on EVERY ability.

The catch-up mechanic the devs cited in previous quotes is the above system.

A newbie player could easily train up to level 4 on multiple skills before the vet could finish a single level 5 training. In its own way, this allows newbies to quickly gain the advantages of level 4 skills across the board (or level 3 even faster) and only be minorly set back from veterans. 

Of course, if a newbie simply focuses on getting level 5 skills, they will set themselves back even further.

The point, however, is that someone who starts at launch will always be ahead. That gap will always exist. There is no reason to cater to people who join 2 years later versus those who've been loyal customers for the entirety of the 2 years up to that point. Some people will cite that this puts new players at a disadvantage, in perpetuity, and they wouldn't be wrong. The real argument, however, is the degree of that disadvantage. Basically, people are quibbling about just how far behind new players should be compared to veterans.

Finally, the last major answer is they haven't come up with a solution for this gap. That's simply because it's not important right now when weighed against the needs of creating a functioning game with their limited resources. As they say; it's a "future Todd and future Blair problem" because it's just that; a problem for when the game succeeds (like EVE did) and the need to address it becomes a valid complaint against their new player experience.

So in summary, if you are able to read this, this problem doesn't really impact you right now. 

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9 hours ago, scree said:

The biggest point to consider here is that training from level 4 to level 5 in EVE Online takes a huge amount of time to hit, but you are only gaining 1/5th of the skills benefit to doing so. In theory, Crowfall won't force you to train all 5 levels to move on, though this is still in limbo as right now in tests it requires it on EVERY ability.

The catch-up mechanic the devs cited in previous quotes is the above system.

A newbie player could easily train up to level 4 on multiple skills before the vet could finish a single level 5 training. In its own way, this allows newbies to quickly gain the advantages of level 4 skills across the board (or level 3 even faster) and only be minorly set back from veterans. 

Of course, if a newbie simply focuses on getting level 5 skills, they will set themselves back even further.

The point, however, is that someone who starts at launch will always be ahead. That gap will always exist. There is no reason to cater to people who join 2 years later versus those who've been loyal customers for the entirety of the 2 years up to that point. Some people will cite that this puts new players at a disadvantage, in perpetuity, and they wouldn't be wrong. The real argument, however, is the degree of that disadvantage. Basically, people are quibbling about just how far behind new players should be compared to veterans.

Finally, the last major answer is they haven't come up with a solution for this gap. That's simply because it's not important right now when weighed against the needs of creating a functioning game with their limited resources. As they say; it's a "future Todd and future Blair problem" because it's just that; a problem for when the game succeeds (like EVE did) and the need to address it becomes a valid complaint against their new player experience.

So in summary, if you are able to read this, this problem doesn't really impact you right now. 

Problem I see is the quantity of skills. I can't see a new player catching up when the basic group of skills takes 50% of the skills to be complete. I'll say the veteran will already have those skills and has moved on to better, more specific, set of skills.

MMO's need new blood (or players or accounts). I wouldn't play Eve Online right now because I know I'd never catch any vertain with over 200m skill points but I could at least buy a character with 100m, affordability of course, so that I wouldn't feel that far behind. CF will need some mechanic that would allow a new player to feel useful to a group of veterans.

I wasn't asking for a 500 page document detailing how a catch up mechanic would exist. I was just wonder if ACE thought that far ahead and was curious if they had a system on paper that was being refined.

I'm not really worried about myself. I'm concerned about the game getting new players, buying new accounts, in the years to come. I'd hate to be in campaigns and see the same names from past and other current campaigns.

 

9 hours ago, BarriaKarl said:

Maybe create campaigns that only allows for new players to join. Something like a FPS game (PointBlank) i used to play, there recruits (noobs) didnt didnt need to play with commanders (veterans). They could fight in higher lvl servers but you could just lvl slowly fighting with people of similar patent.

I am not a fan of catch up mechanics, i dont think it is fair for me to waste years in game if later down the line someone can come and compete with me training under 6 months.

It's quite possible for ACE to set this up. I know they've said they could do balance between the campaigns, well they did says that.

Catch up happens in RL too. We have Tutors, Mentors, Personal Trainers that act as a catch up system.

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7 hours ago, jetah said:

Problem I see is the quantity of skills. I can't see a new player catching up when the basic group of skills takes 50% of the skills to be complete. I'll say the veteran will already have those skills and has moved on to better, more specific, set of skills.

MMO's need new blood (or players or accounts). I wouldn't play Eve Online right now because I know I'd never catch any vertain with over 200m skill points but I could at least buy a character with 100m, affordability of course, so that I wouldn't feel that far behind. CF will need some mechanic that would allow a new player to feel useful to a group of veterans.

I wasn't asking for a 500 page document detailing how a catch up mechanic would exist. I was just wonder if ACE thought that far ahead and was curious if they had a system on paper that was being refined.

I'm not really worried about myself. I'm concerned about the game getting new players, buying new accounts, in the years to come. I'd hate to be in campaigns and see the same names from past and other current campaigns.

 

It's quite possible for ACE to set this up. I know they've said they could do balance between the campaigns, well they did says that.

Catch up happens in RL too. We have Tutors, Mentors, Personal Trainers that act as a catch up system.

ACE has mentioned it.  It's in the FAQ, item #29 here:  https://crowfall.com/en/faq/crowsandvessels/#28

It's also been a topic of conversation more than once...I know just a couple weeks ago one thread or another turned into a back and forth about catch-up mechanic ideas...we have a ...passionate...community here.

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In EVE is was also a common method that a new player could be transporter / scrammer / sentinel .. so on, in a guild, which takes up only a few days / weeks of training. This way they could still be a useful part of the guild early on. It was also good for learning the basics of combat / fleet cooperation in a ship which could be bought for a price of a cup of rice. Years worth of skill points was only necessary for very specialized ships which were so expensive, that they were used only in the really important battles.

Maybe in CF there will be a skill point limit on the common vessels (not so expensive), which could be reached with 3-4 months of training. Guilds could make a decision to use better vessels (more expensive, higher skill point limit) but with the risk of loosing a lot of currency in case in a hot battle or in an ambush the vessels got destroyed.

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On 2017-05-16 at 9:33 AM, jetah said:

Problem I see is the quantity of skills. I can't see a new player catching up when the basic group of skills takes 50% of the skills to be complete. I'll say the veteran will already have those skills and has moved on to better, more specific, set of skills.

MMO's need new blood (or players or accounts). I wouldn't play Eve Online right now because I know I'd never catch any vertain with over 200m skill points but I could at least buy a character with 100m, affordability of course, so that I wouldn't feel that far behind. CF will need some mechanic that would allow a new player to feel useful to a group of veterans.

I wasn't asking for a 500 page document detailing how a catch up mechanic would exist. I was just wonder if ACE thought that far ahead and was curious if they had a system on paper that was being refined.

I'm not really worried about myself. I'm concerned about the game getting new players, buying new accounts, in the years to come. I'd hate to be in campaigns and see the same names from past and other current campaigns.

 

It's quite possible for ACE to set this up. I know they've said they could do balance between the campaigns, well they did says that.

Catch up happens in RL too. We have Tutors, Mentors, Personal Trainers that act as a catch up system.

this made me think of something like a mentoring system, rather than in injectable like eve you could have someoen who has say 50% of the tree completed can speed your training that tree by 50% simulating a tutor

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41 minutes ago, Necroe said:

this made me think of something like a mentoring system, rather than in injectable like eve you could have someoen who has say 50% of the tree completed can speed your training that tree by 50% simulating a tutor

that sounds interesting. it could be done in a way that you'd want to find someone that's skilled in skills you aren't.

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