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Showing content with the highest reputation on 08/11/2018 in all areas

  1. 4 points
    I have played Crowfall since 5.3, I am a pvper/harvester and have never crafted anything for anyone. I have never played Shadowbane, I never even heard of it until I was about a month into Crowfall. I played Everquest, Everquest 2, and LOTRO for about 5 years each and I have tried SWTOR and Archage. I only mention this because if this game is to be truly commercially successful people like me are at least half of your new audience. While I am not familiar with the Shadowbane player counts my understanding is that they are not enough to be the core audience for this game. This means that a lot people like me who try the game without any prior knowledge of Shadowbane and its mechanics will make up a large portion of your first-time players. With that in mind I am going to give you some thoughts I had about the game from an outsider’s prospective. (The “It is a pre-alpha” excuse will not be applicable here as most of my critiques are around major game systems and not the balancing or lack of detail or something nitpicky like that though there will be a few of those as well. Ill be sure to label them) TIMEGATING (Major Game System) For this game to be successful it must capture a new audience and to do that it will need a create a great first time/early game for players and currently the early game is lackluster at best and pointless at worst. When 5.7 launched I was as excited as anyone I got on as it launched but about an hour in I sat there and began to wonder “Why am I doing this again?”. For the first 8.2 days (that is on 3x training too, it will be a month when it launches with the current system) you cannot make advanced armor or weapons. The vessels maybe even longer though I do not know the time to make all the different kinds of vessels. When I have nothing to work toward really there is not much reason to play and while you could say that I should be working toward stockpiling mats for gear there is not much reason to do that either as even if I got crafters good resources (green or above) they have no experimentation points to do anything with it so why waste my time when I can free farm for gold and convert it into white materials of any kind (this method of farming is far superior I alone farmed over 20k gold on day one that’s 44 stacks of whites for people who don’t want to math). All the crafting progression for the game (by which I mean recipes and experimentation points) is locked behind these time gates and there doesn’t even seem to be a real reason why it is done that way other then that’s how we have done it so far. I think that for combat the time gating system may work because I can still PVP but I will PVP better over time (the same thing goes for the harvesting) whereas for crafting I can’t craft anything of use for the first 8 days or a month at launch. This experience will drive away new players in droves because they will be told of all these cool items they can make but then realize they can’t make them for a month and just go play something else. After some discussion with my guild we thought that the best way to minimize this problem would be to remove the recipes from skill training and instead put them on the crafting disciplines when they come out. Make these crafting discs drop off of bosses in the wild, the spider queen for example though you would need to add more, and have players need to get together for some PVE and go kill a boss to get their main crafter the blacksmithing disc or so that they can make armor or weapons. It would drive PVP in those areas and make it so that a new player (or guild as we have seen many gaming groups come over as a whole to try the game) has something to work toward beyond training 6 skills and going AFK for a month. The loop would go something like Load in -> gear up (basics/intermediate) -> group up -> PVE for discs to get recipes -> harvest -> get new gear (advanced/runetools) -> maybe PVE for higher end or more specific recipes (sickle or rapier come to mind) -> use new items to harvest actual motherloads or high ranked nodes -> make high end gear. PVP would naturally occur in at most points in that structure. Under this system I still have something to work toward (gear/items) but the stuff I work toward will get better overtime with the skill training system. If you want to take the recipes you now know you just export that vessel at the end of the campaign and move it to the next one. Its not a perfect idea and has its own problems but I think it would go a long way to improving the first time/early gameplay for new players. Harvesting (Major Game System) The harvesting grind is another thing that a lot of people I know have talked about and it is something that will need to be addressed especially given the new durability changes, which are a step in good direction but may need to be toned down a little. The vendors were a great change that will help guilds get large numbers of people geared the first time around without hitting a ton of rocks, that’s good but it does not solve the problem in the late game when I need blue+ mats to be competitive from a gear stand point. People, myself included, do not want to hit rocks all day they want to get the gear they need so they can go PVP (which is why they play). I have heard about the old mine system from shadowbane and think something along those lines would fix the problem nicely as long as they generated higher end mats. If I am going to have 20 people go take and hold a mine I better get some blue+ mats from it. That system also generates PVP which is what makes gathering fun and creates a lot of great memories for the players. Telling new players, they need to go harvest for hours and hours to make a great set of gear and then it will be destroyed fairly quickly in PVP is great way to drive away players. Creating a system to help generate resources for people who do not want to hit rocks would be a step in the right direction for the game and would once again improve the new player experience after all most of the player base is there to PVP. Group Size (Game system/mechanic) The reduction of group size from 6 to 5 simply put is a mistake. In a group OF ANY SIZE I need two healers if I am going to survive. As I have been told by a number of people, other healers included, a healer is not supposed to be able to heal themselves very well. While I disagree with that principle that is fine on its own the problem is that a healer outside of group has minimal healing for you as well. I play a druid so I can only give you my end but the clerics appear to have just as many problems with this as I do. As a healer trying to heal another healer or just another player outside of my group there is not much I can really do. As a druid my left click cannot heal people outside of the group and that is most of my healing when you really think about it (more about why that is when I discuss assassin poison next). With no left click I am left with five ways to save someone, soothing winds (in advanced gear 100 point HoT, yea that’s not saving anyone), healing rain (It is a good heal but it requires the guy being focused to stand still in the puddle and I have to wait the full animation which is way to long), Will O’ Wisps (Actually a good heal finally, but with a 25 second CD), and then disc heals. Standard bearer does not stack making it minimal value add as the large group fights get larger (that 200 - 300 point heal is not saving anyone when they are plague lorded disease toxined and attacked by 6 people), Rescue is a good heal with a forever CD though that maybe actually fine for that skill specifically, other healing discs are used rarely at best and are used for filling in after we have the necessary standard bearers and pixies for the raid. So in summary a druid has one good heal, a small hot, and rescue to save a guy outside of their group plus someone’s standard bearer. There just not enough HPS from outside the group to allow a healer to be in a group with 4 other DPS. The healer NEEDS another healer in group for their druid orbs, cleric illuminate, and their Qs. But this is not a complaint about where healing is at as a whole it was strong last patch and I think it will be decent this patch. The point is simply a healer needs another healing buddy in group to have a consistent stream of healing. This means regardless of group size there will be 2 in a group from experienced players. If anything, we needed to make the groups bigger maybe 8. The way it is now 40% of my player base must be healers to be competitive. There is no game in existence where 40% of the base are support players. Its far closer to maybe 25% or lower. Many of the current healers are people who were dps but realized we are going to need more healers to be competitive. People want to play what they like so we should model the ideal group for PVP to be a fairly accurate representation of the player base demographic. A change of group size to 8 or even just back to 6 would be greatly appreciated. Assassin Toxic (Balancing, flame me because it’s a pre alpha its ok) The entire meta of 5.7 on test was based around the assassin toxin and for good reason it is really strong at all points of the game. 2500 points per assassin that STACKS INFINATELY. While I am not against this type of mechanic in the game, in fact the 5.7 fights on test with full epic gear were a lot of fun and were a prime example of why people want to play Crowfall, the toxin is simply too strong early game. It will take 8 days for the toxins to be made on live (or so I’m told again, not a crafter but I trust my guys math skills) when that happens the game will be unplayable from a healing prospective. Right now as an intermediate geared druid if I could put out 2500 healing in total from all my skills outside of Q (and even then that’s only going to help med for about ½ of a disease toxin one time) I would be surprised and then I have cooldowns where as the toxin will stack far faster than my save skills will come back. The amount it absorbs healing needs to scale with weapon damage or something because in 8 days when people get this toxin you may as well have no healers because not a single heal will get through to your guy who’s dying. On test in full epic gear we were having trouble with this and the only counter we found to this meta are defensive druid bomb heals which worked fairly well (this is the reason we need 2 healers per group you really need a druid per group to save people with these defensive druid bombs and we need clerics as well for illuminate and their Q) but that was because we actually had gear. This all stacks with plague lord/mortal strike from champions. Simply put this needs a nerf bat or there’s going to be a lot of problems. Also as a side note that mechanic is really not fun to play against especially for new players you need to add some feedback for people to know their healing got absorbed because they will be confused and think there’s a bug or they missed or something. I know, its pre-alpha but it would be nice to get in at some point. Food (Game system) Food consumption is a joke, the vendors saved players from the massive food grind but come on, I need 10 whole briskets to fill my stomach for maybe 20 minutes of PVP. There has been a lot of talk about this already but I figured I would toss it in quick. CC (Balancing) Crowd controls as a whole are really strong right now, as of live test yesterday it was taking over half of my stamina bar to retaliate just one time. And after that I was just stuck there at the mercy of endless CCs with nearly 0 diminishing return. This is something that has been a problem for several patches and as the game gets larger the problem will only grow. Most classes have a CC, a few usually, and right now there seems to be no way to escape an endless CC chain. There is escape artist but with the 5-man group size how many people can I really have running that disc before there’s a major hit to my raids DPS or healing. Also, it does not work on knockdowns I am told. There needs to be a better way to handle the endless CC because right now you can be knocked down retaliate it and then get knocked down again almost instantly, then you are stuck and will likely die. It is one of those mechanics where people feel like they really didn’t have a chance to even play the game because they were chain CCed so long. I don’t have a solution to this really, but it is something that should be addressed at some point. While there were several critiques for the game here I think its important to note that I think the game is a lot of fun and has a lot of potential but there are somethings that need to be addressed if the game is going to really gather a large player base.
  2. 3 points
    mandalore

    Passive Skill Tree is Very Alarming!

    I think you’re whinging on your soap box and trying to argue for things you think you understand and don’t. The system as we know it is far from perfect but to assume they are going to 100% scrape it and change it is just foolish. How much money and how many months of work is it worth? We don’t know how the system will change. We don’t know if it will remain as rigid. We don’t know what the new skill nodes will be in the classes or what the warmth nodes will be changed to. There’s lots of things we don’t know. I vote you keep whinging and posting posting inaccurate info so I can call another assembly of the dev partners. 1. Bruce Banner = @Gradishar 2. Hulk = Madishar 3. Captain America = @blazzen 4. Black widow = @Destrin 6. Ant-Man = @srathor 7. Thor = @MaryJane 8. Ironman = me obviously 9. Hawkeye = @Jah since neither is obviously included in their group 10. Loki = @Tark Bc he’s obviously a villain and sometimes an ally but never to be trusted
  3. 2 points
    The timegating thing is my biggest concern. Yes, you SHOULD be more powerful a year down the road than you were when you first started playing, but the real concern is locking many of the important mechanics behind weeks or months of skill training. If it takes players a month to fully experience the game, they aren't going to stick around to find out what it could have been like. This isn't a quest/dungeon progression game, there is not storyline other than the one we make, so if many of the crafting and base building recipes are locked behind weeks and months of x1 speed skill training, the tedium will win out. Gamers (and people in general) don't have the patience or time preference to "wait for the game to get good", they want a polished and engaging experience right out of the box. I think CF has a lot to offer people who like Open World PVP with elements of Real Time Strategy, but if they can't experience things like factories, thralls, and sieges within 30 days of playing the game they'll probably drop it. I'm not arguing for getting rid of timed skill progression, simply moving certain content gates away from it. Harvesting, as it is currently implemented, is a mistake. Combat, Harvesting and Crafting are currently considered to be equal spheres of gameplay. The reality is that most players are attracted to Crowfall for the political and pvp aspects, with a sizable minority who are attracted to the open ended crafting system. Almost no one is interested in Harvesting for it's own sake, and the system (as it is currently realized) is nothing but pure tedium. I've rolled up my sleeves and have spent countless hours harvesting, but it was never something I enjoyed doing. Most of the people I've tried to get interested in this game take one look at the harvesting system and feel like their time is being wasted. The reality is that they can get their PvP jollies playing some match based game like PUBG. Rather than force players to slog through something they hate doing, just automate the damn harvesting system and turn the "gatherer role" into an "explorer role". Tie exploration and territory control together, allowing prospectors, builders and merchant caravans to exploit the natural resources of the world without forcing them to hit a rocks over and over for hours on end. Problem: Population of dedicated Harvesters appears to be very small. Any harvesters who do show up will be mercilessly ganked and looted by PvP'ers. The interdependence of Combat Players (PvP'ers) and harvesters is difficult due to mismatched incentives. A Harvester spends hours harvesting only to have the experience ruined in 30 seconds. For the PvP'ers to guard the Harvester, they have to invest hours of standing around for a fight which probably won't happen now that they're on the scene. The likely response will be PvP'ers dual boxing harvesters on alternate accounts, or forcing guild members to stand around guarding them. Either way some number of players will feel forced into doing something they don't want to do in order to remain competitive. Solution: Instead of pushing players towards tedium, turn the Harvesting profession into a Prospecting/Exploring profession. Instead of hitting a node over and over repeatedly, allow trained Harvesters to "survey" the resource, determining the yield and rarity of resources they will receive (skill/node rank/tool) tie in. They can then build a [resource type] camp which will passively drain resources from the nodes, much the same way a nearby hunger crystal turns off the surrounding nodes. The Harvester then returns in some amount of time to collect the yield from a group friendly container. Players can slot thralls into the camps to increase yield, yield rarity or increase the harvesting speed. The camps should be destructible by enemy players, but not lootable. Any enemies looking to get the yield should wait for the harvester to return and try to gank them once they've broken camp. For non-static nodes (mobs), players would need to kill mobs within range of a "hunting camp" to yield leather and animal parts. The surveying process would be forgone in favor of combat in the case of skinning. To use the RTS metaphor: Many RTS games have harvesting units who build structures and collect resources, while others focus on simply holding control points as a way of generating resources. There's still an economy to manage, but the focus is on controlling the map and getting straight to the action. The latter system is probably a better way of porting over RTS elements into an MMO context. If every unit is a player in this MMO, I don't think many of those players want to be the peasant.
  4. 2 points
    You are making the assumption that what you are playing right now is a base shell of what the game will be. Take for example that graphics overhaul video we saw not to long ago, that slow steady fly through of the village full of NPC's going about their business. When this game goes live you'll log into the world, into what I imagine will be a starter town of sorts which is generally the case. You'll have your initial gold and poor gear based on the class you picked. You'll make your way out over to the fields and begin killing creatures, either for their materials for humanoids for their gold pieces and you'll trade and barter with players or buy the tat from vendors. I really think that basing perceptions of the finished product on what we have now might be jumping the gun. I do however agree with 6 person groups, perhaps event 10 man groups (I see no reason to limit it). I do feel that balance should be an ongoing process, start early, and by the time release rolls around, we'll have years of time invested in balance.
  5. 2 points
    With this tech does that mean adventure zones can have entrance caves / portals and thus be decoupled from the mainland? If that’s possible maybe we can have public dungeons, or is it the intention for adventure zones to substitute for dungeons? I know one of the bigger hurdles was “digging” into the terrain for unity and hollowing it out to create a subterranean looking biome, but maybe this could be the solution. Fighting against players for tusker / olthoi dungeons on dark tide in asherons call was some of the better experiences I had in an mmorpg
  6. 1 point
    Hopefully the way training skills works will be changed before release. Currently, you can over-train a skill, resulting in wasted points. This is really a bummer if, say, you take a vacation or don't hang around to micro-manage your skill training. At a minimum, when you reach enough points to take you to 100% trained in a skill, those extra points should be able to be rolled over to another skill.
  7. 1 point
    Meet the Clusterizer! FULL STORY
  8. 1 point
    Ceollach

    Crow Spotlight

    Have you ever wondered who’s behind the character you’re about to clash swords until only one of you remains standing on the bloody field of battle as glorious victor? FULL STORY
  9. 1 point
    Vunak

    My thoughts on some mechanics and balancing

    Skills Time based leveling is fine. You got to remember that the patches now are doing FULL wipes. Meaning your skills, time bank, spirit bank etc are all being wiped just about every time they do a major update and sometimes in between to squash bugs. There is only going to be ONE campaign where you are going to be time gated and that is going to be the very first campaign that launches as everyone's skills will carry over into successive campaigns from then on. A month is really not that long of a time, I suppose it is for todays standards where everyone wants everything now, but that isn't how Crowfall is being built. It could very easily be a case of Artcraft leaving in the 3x skill gain for the first month of release to speed up progress for the first real campaigns. I completely disagree with your assumption that stockpiling resources is not worthwhile. Simply put whoever does stockpile resources in the first days of the first campaigns are going to have a major leg up on the people who don't. Guilds and large groups of players are going to need to stockpile materials for their guild/group. Not to mention there are going to be other things to keep materials for. Keeps, walls, towns, homes, vendors etc. The RNG component of getting legendary/epic gear is there as well and wanting materials in excess to do well on experimenting to min/max as much as you can at the start. Actually. You know if you don't want to stockpile you go ahead that will just leave more room for my guild and me... Harvesting Harvesting causing PvP is already happening, but it will only get more and more as time goes on and as people start laying claim to quarries and mines and have to use Caravans to transport boulders and lumber for supplying keep walls and buildings. Also this is not a game being built around the solo player. Setting up groups of gatherers being protected by groups of PvPers is going to be a very crucial part of the game. If you go out and lose everything in the first few skirmishes you get into, while it is unfortunate, it is a part of the more hardcore aspect of Crowfall. Crowfall is also going to have different campaigns with different rulesets, so for the people that can't handle that, there will be a place for them. Group Size Completely agree with this. Groups need to be larger. 5 man groups work fine in less sophisticated games where the only rolls to fill are DPS/TANK/HEALER. In Crowfall however there are tons of rolls to fill in many different ways. The support is a very necessary roll in CF and in a 5 man group it is to small to fit. Even 6 man seems to small. I think 8-10 is a good number for a full group for a game like Crowfall. They would need to readjust AoE skills to match the higher group sizes, but I think its necessary. Crowd Control I think it is a little hard to gauge this right now. We have a ton of skill training that directly interacts with CC. It could be a case of them putting in diminishing returns more aggressively affects the later game when skills are more fleshed out. I agree however that if, when people are skilled decently, skills don't take care of the issues that it needs to be addressed. There is nothing more frustrating in a PvP game than being completely locked out of being able to do anything to defend yourself. This needs to be done very intelligently though and have a lot of thought behind it. Retaliate is a good mechanic and is how TERA handled knockdowns, but even TERA realized it wasn't enough and allowed players to obtain the Cleansing Brooch which broke any CC outside of KD on a 3minute CD. So it might not be a case of hard diminishing returns but a case of adding in more options outside of disciplines to handle CC. Food I agree very much with food. It diminishes to quickly and affects certain classes more negatively than others and should be looked into. This is more of a personal grievance. But I don't like the meat bar either. With all the very clean UI elements it looks out of place. I think a bar with a number attached to it so we can tell how much food is being applied when we use an apple or whatever would fit better. Class/Discipline/Race Balance Balance is always a heated discussion in any game. It is definitely more pronounced in a PvP game when players are directly competing with each other. That said Crowfall is a game in Pre-Alpha and while I think it is important to smash them with feedback on balance we still have to remember that they are testing tech and seeing how things can work. Increasing the range on bows could very well just be a test to see how projectiles work over much larger distances. We don't know, there could be alternative motives to changes just to test tech and how it works in a live environment. I think the main thing here is they need to get all the classes out. Without the last class being released it is hard to really give feedback on overall class balance until it is implemented. It could be a hard counter to a lot of the stronger builds out there now. Or it could be a potato, we just don't know how a large chunk missing is going to affect the game. For example imagine Crowfall now without Cleric and Druid. We just don't know how much Frostweaver is going to impact. So out of all my feedback I say that is something they really need to focus on getting out.
  10. 1 point
    Jubenei

    EU server for 7.2 live

    Its now 24 hours later, but i can`t see EU server only north america and brazil.
  11. 1 point
    It’s okay in times of great need the ace dev partners (and jah) come together to fight injustice and bad posts. Now about that foot in your mouth...pics?
  12. 1 point
    No I was just trying to find a source for my current knowledge. I apologise for posting outdated information
  13. 1 point
    Thanks for the updated information I missed that one, regardless of the the soft launch date we seem to be moving off topic here.
  14. 1 point
    I remember using those, too, until I wrote my own map system for myself (I used to play Eve a lot). In other news, the Clusterizer is done today, aside from a bug I need to track down in the next few minutes.
  15. 1 point
    There is so much running behind the scenes atm in Crowfall. Another example is the crafting where you need a spreadsheet to know what you have to combine for the desired result. Keeping things in the dark on purpose may sound "hardcore", but in fact it´s just bad design.
  16. 1 point
    +1 to everything Balathan has said here. I would like to add though that while I know balancing is an ongoing effort even post launch this feedback is less about numbers and more about Discipline viability. You have loads of very neat and effective abilities in game already but the spread of useful abilities throughout disciplines is very top heavy on the "best" few discs of each holy trinity role. A glaring example of this is Field Surgeon. As Balathan said every group nearly requires both a cleric and druid healer to have the needed sustain to survive. Not to mention the fact that they both must run Field Surgeon as one of their majors. This kind of mandatory discipline for competitive PVP gameplay is a huge pet peeve of mine. Of course there will always be a meta but I think some abilities within disciplines could be swapped to other discs to help balance this. A great example of a more balanced set of discs is Sharpshooter and Arcane Archer. While you can take both it is not advisable yet they both are incredibly useful while being similar yet offering different utility to your group.
  17. 1 point
    This is kinda what I was thinking lets say you make 6 vessels ( 2 for crafting with specialized armor and items tailored just for this and 2 for PvP with combat type gear then 2 gatherers ) 4 pieces of armor 2 rings 1 amulet 1 cloak 2 weapons thats 10 special items per character 60 items in total I was thinking how it would be nice to not have to dig through tons of stuff to find that one set of gear for your Support healer or Melee fighter or Wood gatherer. wouldn't it be nice if it was already on the vessel you left it on. Maybe have a option so you can leave it on that vessel if you want or not. It would be up to you and your play style.
  18. 1 point
    The system is still under construction. And yes, the current system is bad. It doesn't matter if we are running at x1 or x10, if you wanna complete (100%) a tree without "wasting" points into future tomes you need to be making a minute schedule to grab that remaining pip before you over produce points.
  19. 1 point
    Why not just allow a user to re-allocate those points? I don't understand why you are expected to micro-manage that carefully, it's just annoying and it doesn't account for real life being a thing
  20. 1 point
    This. Rearrange the tree. Have Control Mitigations and bonuses spin off into singular threads. Have Stats spin off into singular threads. Make it where you have to only one pip to move forward through the chain, but make it scale, say 5, 11, 18, 25, 41, bonus back for investing in the last pip. Require only a percentage (say 50%) to train the Mastery Pip. Same goes with Harvesting, why should I be forced to have to four pip dust drop or inventory? At this point one has "forced" choices... as you are forced to train things you don't want(at least initially). You always will have the ability to go back to "fill in". But right now... as slow as it is... if I am forced to train/4 pip a craft and harvesting line.. that is just piss poor design.
  21. 1 point
    Merrex

    Why Don't Items stay on your vessel ?

    I was not suggesting that the armor and weapons would move to the new Vessel I was wondering why they can't just stay on that old vessel just like Disciplines do. I can see how someone would use the Vessels as Banks if the inventory items would stay on them. I guess I have just become used to every other game out there that allows for this and I really did not think it was a big problem. But if it is a game breaker then I guess you can't have that happen. I was thinking more along the lines that it would be much more logical and enjoyable for a player to simply jump into another vessel and run out to help take a keep instead of having to search for that characters armor / weapons / jewelry / cloaks / amulets / ect .... maybe it is designed it to be a hard to transition to new vessels.
  22. 1 point
    Arcadi

    Passive Skill Tree is Very Alarming!

    Crazy thought, but maybe looking at making the skill system *more* interesting is the wrong direction? What if they got rid of the "node" choices all together and the only thing you chose were the high-level professions / races / classes? They would still gradually accumulate but take out the middle choices which people don't like for various reasons. Maybe it's this potential for choice and specialization, followed by the realization that there is very little choice involved and a lot of just clicking and watching pips grow meaninglessly, that is frustrating people. You can still have the passive progression, but admit the "choices" are underwhelming and make it automatic. You choose a category and forget about it while it automatically moves you through that category's nodes. Then you can focus on differentiating characters with gear, disciplines, vessels, and thralls. This might eliminate the perceived disconnect / cognitive dissonance that some people think the skill system is underwhelming and others say "it's supposed to be". Maybe it looks more interesting than it is and it's just the appearance (rather than the system) that needs to change...
  23. 1 point
    Adrienne

    Passive Skill Tree is Very Alarming!

    The complaints about the passive skill training have been made numerous times, but short of a complete overhaul, I don’t see how they can effectively be addressed. It makes sense to me to accept that some sort of progression is necessary in skill development in order to make it possible to learn or develop more complex skills. No one starts off knowing how to repair a car without some basic understanding of the car’s systems and some time spent learning how those systems interact as well as time spent taking them apart and putting them together. While I think players would accept the idea of progression, they appear to reject gates as impediments, and pathing as overly restrictive. One way to avoid pathing, gates and inability to specialize would be to build a system around effort rather than following a tree. In actuality, a tree structure might still exist, but it would not restrict a player’s choices as it does in the current system. As an example, instead of having Int, or Sprint Speed, or Movement Control Intensity, etc. show up in several places, why not just put all the points necessary to be spent on any one of these items to master it in one basket, and let the player commit those points by how much effort he or she is willing to devote to it? If a player wants to devote 100% of his training effort to one major area (profession, race, or class), he should be able to do that. If he wants to split it 60-20-20, that should also be possible. As an example, a new player who doesn’t know anything about the game decides that he wants to run around and learn the map, fight some pve creatures and pick up some resources as he can. Maybe do some scouting to contribute to the campaign. He may decide that he needs some basic combat skills, some improvement to his sprinting and movement and stealth to provide some survivability. Right now, he would have to start at the first bubble of Combat and work his way through three complete trees to be able to train in his chosen weapon. That seems unnecessary. He should be able to begin training with his axe, sword or staff at the same time as he is training in things like Critical Hit Damage and Attack Control Intensity. Since Combat is within Profession and he wants to devote 60% of his total effort to Combat, he could then choose to put 30% into his weapon training and 15% each into Crit Damage and Attack. Likewise, since all movement related skill have been consolidated under Race, he would devote 20% of total effort to whichever of those skills he wanted, and if stealth skills are consolidated under Class, that’s where the final 20% would get broken up. This effort distribution would remain in place until changed by the player, or until he maxed out a particular skill area. With the large number of skills found in the current trees, the choices available to the player would be myriad. It would be possible to very narrowly tailor a special purpose character who could be developed relatively quickly while a well-rounded character serving a different function or player desire would take decidedly longer. However, in both cases, the player would decide what skills were important and how quickly any given skill needed to be mastered. This kind of system accommodates, single craft crafters, harvesters, main siege tanks, solo players who want more self-sufficiency and guild players who may have more focused roles. Even with a percentage of effort system, there is still progression in that the devs could structure the training payoff so that the farther toward a skill mastery you moved, the higher the reward. Now it is basically, earn a pip, get a reward point. There has been some discussion of including an active training component, and I tend to think that would be useful without generating a grind mentality. I would provide some benefit in terms of skill advancement for using a skill currently being trained. How much or how little would be up to the devs, but “practice” ought to count for something. I can think of several ways to provide the graphical representation of the skills, and how percentage of effort is represented, but that’s the easy part. The numbers behind each skill development are all available as they were developed to put together the current trees, so much of the effort to overhaul skill training would not be new, but rather consolidating items currently distributed over several trees, deciding under which major heading they belonged and how the “rewards” for training advancement would be distributed. I would welcome further discussion and critique of this approach as I think the current system is not as flexible as it needs to be, and I’ve been trying to figure out a way to do it differently.
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