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ACE Development Partners
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Posts posted by raeshlavik

  1. Graphical content opinions are always a fascinating thing to watch because graphics, like art, is purely subjective. But there are a few things you can learn from the topic...

    Hardcore PvPers rarely care about the graphics as it's all about the gameplay... The game could just be various multicolored cubes, but if the combat loop is phenomenal they'll play it religiously and theory-craft about it for hours and hours. If the game has decent graphics, and there's a hot pink thong that is best in slot - they'll wear it without a second thought because it's all about the win and the graphics are just the information conveyance needed to reach that win.

    The more casual the player, the more they tend to grouse about graphical definition because they're more invested in the time between the game loops. They spend more time 'in the world' as it were because the game, for them, is more of an interactive media source and 3D chat room than a series of win conditions.

    The thing is - it's a game. Historically, graphically amazing games aren't successful because too much effort is put into the number of nose sliders versus the depth of the game elements... WoW vs. EQ2 is a great example; EQ2 is still quite pretty to look at, but WoW is arguably the better 'game' when you look at all of the functional loops in it - and WoW still runs respectably on millions of low-end computers, which is money in the bank.

    I personally think Crowfall is right on the mark graphically; it's visually distinctive enough that you can recognize it from a youtube thumbnail, but isn't totally style over substance like a BDO or Revelation Online. Also ACE's focus is on the gameplay elements over having a building full of artists creating assets, and this is refreshing; you don't see that too often anymore because developers know screen shots sell games... No one plays said game for more than 60-90 days, but they still bought it - and that's good enough for the end-of-year bonuses.

  2. Me personally, I'm up for just about anything; wipe it all, wipe nothing - I'll adapt and overcome.

    The discussion does bring up an interesting design element though... I was under the belief that Crowfall's 'mechanical' skill limitations were going to be super shallow to allow for the player's skill (or lack thereof) to be the prominent decider in a fight. But what I'm hearing is that it's really all about getting a blue+ vessel and a couple of months in the skill trees as that's an insurmountable mechanical advantage given the numerical disparity they grant.

    At least, that's what it looks like based on this discussion.

    If that's the case, I'm going to vote for wiping everything early and often to promote the player over the system.

  3. As with any PvP game, I just browse the fight videos to stay on top of the meta... Hard to find a recent Crowfall PvP video that isn't a translucent blue winged dude skulking about and roflstomping 2-3 people at once. Over and over. For ten-ish minutes at a time.

    Not that it's impacted me any; my PvP deaths tend to be delivered by running into a roving band of 5-10 enemies - as it should be. :)

  4. Just now, kalannar said:

    So in order for me to craft runestone havesting items I need a discipline?  Because I unlocked the skill that grants the recipes but can't find the recipe when at a crafting station in the fort.

    I believe so. The crafting stuff is in transition from skills to disciplines and it's a bit weird while it's in flux.

  5. One of my favorite things to do in Shadowbane was fly over the walls (aracoix were the fae of yesteryear), stealth tailgate into the bank building behind the bank alt when the walls and guards were due, wait for them to turn away from the banker signifying they were loaded, and kill them for profit...

    You had to do your research to be successful at this; knowing who was responsible for paying the walls/guards, what their alts were, what times they played, what times were least populated, flee routes, etc... One didn't simply walk into an enemy city and kill someone, there was challenge and skill to it.

    So my only caveat to killing people in a keep is that it should be a challenge. If the enemy is just bopping in, avoiding the guards, shanking someone, and strolling out - that needs to be fixed.

  6. 2 minutes ago, KrakkenSmacken said:

    Might be worth a feedback post to ask for the arrow recipes to be part of the ranger class by default, or an unlock in the ranger talent tree.

    There is no reason I can think of why they wouldn't provide access to those kinds of recipes in two different places.

    I'll let the question hang out for a while and see if anyone else has input, then post it up as feedback... I try to make sure the perceived issue is not just me being dumb before suggesting a fix.

  7. 10 minutes ago, KrakkenSmacken said:

    They didn't clean up the training trees when they did the talent redesign.  I would not expect recipes to stay where they are.

    You won't need a second account to do it by yourself, you can do that with a vessel that you take to level 16 and slot the disciplines.

    Also, you have not yet discovered the joys of a crafted quiver, which has unlimited ammo of a specific type.  

    For the record, that is the design of the game.  Independence is hard, interdependence in other players and a thriving player economy where you can just go buy the whatevers you need is the goal. 

    This is an older graphic, but visually show just how interdependent everything is.

    Yeah, I get that the goal is to drive interdependence and I'm all for it - the only reason I brought it up is arrows specifically... Imagine if a dagger user had to purchase 3-400 daggers per hour due to interdependence. :) 

    I saw the quivers in the crafting list and that's a goal; I just need to find someone selling them as it takes three crafting disciplines to make them. And quivers apparently decay just like weapons, so I should probably buy a couple of them.

    Or I just go back to confessor; one weapon that decays and no ammo requirement.

  8. I've noticed that the crafting recipes now seem to be contained in the various crafting disciplines versus unlocked by gaining skill in the associated skill tree - even though the various skills in the trees mention the recipes they unlock.

    Is this intended?

    I ask because I've been running a Ranger, which by design burns through arrows like there's no tomorrow - but I cannot inherently make anything but basic trash arrows (which are actually worse than the arrows you get from the noob equipment vendor) because to get access to the arrow recipe requires slotting the woodcraft rune, and to make arrow heads to complete the recipe requires slotting the blacksmith rune... This means to make decent ammo that the class requires to function, requires not using any major class runes.

    The workaround currently is to simply make crafting runes to make ammo, and then make combat runes for combat - destroying each in the process - but I'm guessing runes will be hard to find/make someday so it's not a long-term solution.

    I suppose I could fire up a second account and have a backpack hamster I log into just to make ammo for my ranger every 2-3 hours - but that seems silly.

    So, at least as far as a class that has a consumable goes, locking said consumable behind disciplines is kinda clunky - and I figured I'd bring it up just in case it's an oversight.

  9. In game development the things people like are usually drowned out by the gripes and complaints - but both are valuable; a team also needs to know what the good stuff is so that they can make more of it.

    So this is a 'good stuff' thread.

    For me, who hasn't really played any pre-alpha content since HungerDome, it looks a bit like this:

    1. The sacrifice system is fantastic. There needs to be voluntary economy sinks, and this is a good one. It handily turns crafting failures into some sort of return on the materials, which is a nice 'feel good' for the 'feel bad' of a failure.
    2. Which ties into crafting... I've not really delved the nuts and bolts specifics of it like some other folks, but what I've seen so far is really fun. I especially enjoy how much input I can have on the process - from materials to choices in experimentation. It's infinitely better than the fare you get in some other MMOs where crafting is that button you press ten thousand times to get to that one thing you really want to make.
    3. Gathering is nicely varied and I can go for an hour or two without triggering my allergy to repetition. I especially like the fireflies and lighting on harvestables as it makes them easier to find in the massive world... It also makes gatherers easier to find, which adds complications when I'm gathering, but that's part of the game. :)
    4. The world is gorgeous, and the procedural assembly is really great. I can recognize the individual land 'module' once I'm in it, but the random assembly of modules adds a ton of replay value as it feels like a new place to explore with each world.
    5. The scale of the game world is amazing. By this I'm referring to the structures like the faction temples, keeps, forts, etc. But the landmass versus travel speed is really nice too... I was worried that the mounts would break the massive feel, but I'm happy to report that even at epic mount speed the worlds are still adequately huge - without being so big you never see anyone else.
    6. The character model customizations are coming along nicely. I'm really grateful for the inclusion of some non-standard races as it really sets the IP apart from the hordes of MMOs where character choice is short, tall, thin, fat, or oddly colored human.
    7. The combat, for me, has been really great - in my limited exposure. The pacing is good as it lends toward a tactical feel versus pounce and gib where the victim has no real say in the process. And it's easy enough to figure out how to do it, but I can see that mastering a class / sub-class will take some work and this is a good thing... It really reminds me of Shadowbane (natch) in that the 'meta' was always whatever a really good player did with whatever crazy thing they came up with, then everyone would do whatever that player did - poorly - until the next great player with a crazy idea... The secret sauce was always the player more than the specific race, point, or discipline allocations.
  10. 6 minutes ago, kajidourden said:

    Sounds like poorly made socksty design.  You shouldn't be required to join one of two mega-guilds in order to play the game.  

    I think this is what the fealty trees are for...

    Back in ye olden Shadowbane if you were a smaller group and wanted to play the city game, you had no real choice but to get in with a bigger group to have the muscle to defend it. And that made for some amazing game play when xXBr0F0rceXx decided to roll some 10-man city and in turn got erased by the continent's superpower. :)

  11. 1 hour ago, Arkade said:

    Yes, they said there wouldn't be leveling, but this isn't even close to what other games had, and it is something the game needed for the reasons I outlined. Leveling in Shadowbane was a much longer process.

    So no, this isn't a bait and switch, as Kaji suggested. Going back to the kickstarter, they had mentioned that there would be both active and passive progression. Sometimes the needs of the game require design changes. Vessels weren't even a thing in the kickstarter. Adding them had ripple effects that required other changes.

    I didn't see it as dedicated leveling as the levels were a byproduct of gathering stuff to make things with... I didn't pointlessly farm spiders; I killed enough to figure out the ranges, play with some of the abilities, and get enough hide to make a set of leather armor. Then I discovered that making food is the key to early success as it's easy to 'press F' on every mushroom you see while you're gathering stuff you actually need, you make way more food than you can use even with basic skill, and Malekai seems to really dig leftovers.

    So in the process of Learn2Play I made level 15 on a templar, decided I didn't like running up and whacking things, and started over. But in getting to 15 on character #1 I made enough stuff to get character #2 to level 10 in about 5 minutes at Malekai's recycling center.

    Then I heard over chat that I should have a mount; cue the great pig slaughter of 2018... I think I spent two hours just rinse-repeating pigs, but in doing this I made about 3000 gold and that financed character #3 to like level 20 as I wanted to try my hand at a healer...

    20 to 29 has been purely through staying alive and learning the in's and out's of crafting. Malekai is easily my favorite mechanic in Crowfall, and I literally end each play session by finding ways to combine nonflammable stuff into flammable for fun and exp before logging out.

    During all of this I think I've killed a hundred pigs, two dozen spiders, 5-6 R3/R4 things in the world, and exactly two R5 cats. All of my levels have come from simply playing the game versus specific "leveling".


  12. I've not really played pre-alpha content since hungerdome - just to set the tone...

    I leveled three classes in the last four days - almost entirely solo and in 2-3 hour sprints with the holidays and family here... Templar to 15, confessor to 25, and cleric to 28 - not been ganked once, not run into any issues getting mats to try my hand at making things (other than needing to ask if wells were actually in the game as I'd never seen one), fought in two sieges, taken countless outposts, had a few world-pvp encounters that were a hoot...

    I guess from where I'm standing I just don't see the issue(s)?

  13. Bug: Putting training points into blacksmithing basics in the crafting basics tree switches the skill icon and tool tip to mass production basics.


    Steps: Starting with zero points in blacksmithing basics, add training points to reach one pip of skill. Icon and tool tip changes to mass production.

    Work around: restarting the game client resets the icon and tool tip to expected results.


  14. Only had time to do the basic new arrival routine (get starter gear, punch trees, make basic gathering tools, make some rune tools) but everything felt pretty good. Especially appreciate being able to trigger powers within the flow of hitting something (using gathering abilities while hitting the node is very fluid now).

    Used the crafting tables for runecrafting and woodworking, both worked as expected. Was able to click-add materials to the crafting UI (also a nice addition).

    Hit the recall (8 button) to see how it worked, ended up in the nearest fort on top of a banner. On the second use after cooldown, ended up in the same place - so I'm guessing the recall power is tied to this banner in some fashion?


    Doobers can still end up unreachable on occasion if they intersect nearby rocks when they stop moving. Also had a few instances of the doober falling through the ground plane if its initial drop is right at the base of the tree.

    The only other things I noticed in my quick run-though were two missing textures:


    The armor rack Coolster mentioned.


    One of the houses in the beachhead (bottom of the hill in the corner, opposite side from the shrine).


  15. 2 hours ago, deiphoboz said:

    I completely agree with VN here! And I see most of those who are even for the passive training even say they dislike leveling. And since the obvious argument here is, well there is only a 10% increase then it hardly matters at all. A more fun system would be as VN proposed, where everything starts fresh every campaign, they can even take more daring choices with the passive system and add in things that might feel a bit more rewarding than the current stat increase as well. It would still work the same you would just reset every campaign.

    In my eyes it will add more fun and more mixing and fiddling around with potential "skill trees", will also prevent anyone from being everything after how many years in. 

    The really big advantage I see to a passive level system over an active one is it equalizes things between people like me, who tend to log 50+ hours a week at work, have families and responsibilities - and the folks with pretty much unlimited free time. I can progress just as fast and not be left behind because of needing to adult. :D

    One option I was thinking of was making trained skills part of the vessel, and therefore part of the import/export rules. This allows people who stick with a plan skill-wise over time to get some return on that, but with the cost of limitations on the sorts of campaigns they can join... For example, a campaign could allow only vessels under 100 hours of skill time to enter,  or 100-200 hours, or whatever - which ensures all of the vessels in that campaign are in the same relative skill bracket.

    This could also allow the skill trees to get considerably wilder with talents and abilities, because nothing would be an insurmountable advantage for the people in that campaign given the gating.

    Potential problems with this are the additional database requirements to hold skill data for however many vessels are in the game at the same time.

  16. 11 minutes ago, deiphoboz said:

    Right I get it, I just dont see the reason why people hack on the idea, it seems VN really really wants FF to happen. And the game was also advertised as one; "if there is a ruleset out there you(meaning us players) would like to try, we can do it". Thats what I got from one of their first videos when they mentioned all the worlds they would have and different rulesets. I didnt mean to get sucked into VNs vortex :( But he did argument good both here and in the passive training thread

    Some of it is presentation. VN can be an insufferable font of buzzword-laden 'leet gamer as he talks down to the unskilled plebes of the forum - though I don't think anyone has convinced him to put his talk to the test in-game yet. :)

    I'm another one who generally keeps him muted, but again he made some good posts recently, so it was time for the yearly sampling.

    And yeah, I think ACE will try just about anything as a ruleset if people ask for it, but given that friendly fire has been shot down for a few reasons, (least of all the lack of melee mitigations that no one ever mentions) - this was, as Kraken mentioned, an argument vortex.

  17. 1 minute ago, KrakkenSmacken said:

    I've been asked by Todd to not quote directly from that forum, mostly because they like to state things to us in there with plain language that if public should be taken out of context for a spin ride by the media.

    As someone who follows both, I can tell you that we have probably less than 10% more detail on things than those outside.  I also ask and pull out topics that I think are big enough to be of interest to whatever the fight of the day is out here. 

    I can't recall a time I was turned down where I didn't agree with the reason given. Either they didn't have the final answer (most of the time),  or they were still working on enough details for it to go public.


    Ahh. Yeah, I can see that.

    In general though, of all the developers/publishers I've interacted with over the years, ACE is hands-down the most open with their fans and players. It's pretty amazing really.

  18. 1 hour ago, BarriaKarl said:

    Tsk. This is probably related to the exclusive backer forum and its NDA.

    To be fair i dont really like that. I understand you guys supported the game and all that but sometimes i get the feeling that there is too much information being withholded. Couple this with the not so informative updates we get most of the time and it becomes hard to ignore that there exist information but it just isnt shared.

    Take VN quote above, it implies multiple situations but i cant even begin to guess what the hell he is talking about. Are we even talking about the same game? How different can the information available be? It is not the first time this happens either.

    Again, i understand the preferential treatment for people who put their money in and arent all talk like me but perhaps the gap is too big? The fact that things are only shared when they are ready is probably the reason. You guys might consider sharing some of those ideas after letting them roll in the exclusive forum for a while.

    I need to check, but I'm pretty sure there's no NDA on the backer forum. There is a standing 'please don't record on the test server because stuff be broken, yo', but I've never seen an NDA.

    Let me go look, and I'll report back. :)

    Yeah. Just a note from Tyrant stating the reason for the backer forum is to allow a more direct Q&A is all there is. They even make a video monthly with a lot of the Q&A that goes on in there.

  19. 43 minutes ago, VIKINGNAIL said:

    The problem is it sounds like you are a bit inexperienced with other genres.  You are seeing a lot of hybrid types of games where mmorpg, fps, moba all have games that vastly differ from one another and are often similar to ones you might find in other genres.  Smite for example is action combat, completely different from LoL and in this case very close to Crowfall a game that is considered an MMORPG.

    Actually, the problem is that your ability to miss a point is the very fabric of legend around here. When you can wrap your head around there being more to the game than the combat mechanics, we might actually have a discussion about PvP on our hands...

    44 minutes ago, VIKINGNAIL said:

    You have your preferences, but they actually don't seem to match with crowfall, they seem more suited for a game like Eve.  You seem to like things slow, CF is an action combat game.  I mean things you bemoan, like jumping, and circle strafing, and I imagine dashy abilities all exist in CF.

    Ahh, yes - the "throne war simulator" with it's reliance on player made everything, market dynamics, sociopolitical maneuvering, supply chain management, and many-month long campaign coordination is totally not within the spectrum of game I enjoy. Thank you for taking the time to tell me my preferences. Much appreciated. :)

    See, this is the point you valiantly avoid; contrary to your extremely narrow focus on "my dude hits your dude" there are many kinds of PvP and Crowfall contains several varieties... Which is the point you continually miss when folks try to talk to you about this.

    Your constant many-year quest to make mano-e-mano deathmatching the focus of Crowfall does nothing but illustrate that you don't really get the bigger picture of the game, which is why people mock you in these threads. The sum-total of Crowfall is not, and never has been (at least in everything I've seen - up to and including the investor documents) any sort of solo-artist one-on-one e-sport like you seem to think it should be.

    This is not to say there cannot be a rule-set where everyone shows up naked and the last person standing is the winner; but this rule-set won't do diddly for the overall game if nothing from that rule-set feeds back into the other systems such as the aforementioned player made everything, market dynamics, sociopolitical maneuvering, supply chain management, and many-month long campaign coordination.

    Leaderboard combat for the sake of leaderboard combat simply won't run the rest of the game - and that's the point a lot of people keep trying to impress upon you.

    57 minutes ago, VIKINGNAIL said:

    This game is built upon flexibility with many different rules to choose from.  There can be rules for softer players and rules for more competitive pvpers, and just because competitive pvpers want a place to play in too has nothing to do with "gosh darn twitchy people" and you definitely aren't entitled to having more of a game to play than they are.  Especially cause your natural tastes seem to conflict with the direction CF is headed combat wise.

    Again, your personal bias not only blinds you to the reality of what is going on around you, but makes you a bit of a jerk in the process. As I illustrated above (which you will probably valiantly avoid again), my 'natural tastes' are more in-line with the overall design of Crowfall than I think you like to admit, because there is way more to the game than simply bashing each other over the head for internet points.

    Yes, there can be lots of different rule-sets, but a rule-set cannot be what the game is not. "Competitive" combat can happen, sure, but it will (more than likely) never be the sole focus because the game is designed for factions/guilds interacting with a lot of systems to be successful as a group. "Competitive PvP" will (more than likely) be entire guilds fighting over things, "Leaderboards" will be successes measured in months.

    If this doesn't sound like fun for you, you might be in the wrong place.

    1 hour ago, VIKINGNAIL said:

    Honestly to me it's been pretty funny seeing people over the years try to prevent CF from having truly hardcore rulesets when it's so easy to implement and there is such a high demand for that type of pvp experience right now.  It's like people are cool with the game giving you options you enjoy, but you seem terrified of giving hardcore pvpers the options they would enjoy?

    Oddly, the initial rule-band offering for the kickstarter was "the dregs"; for those who don't know this is low to zero import, no-faction, everyone is naked, FFA Crowfall... About as hardcore as Crowfall gets. If people are so afraid of this, why then did the Kickstarter bring in double what ACE was looking for?

    I don't think anyone is "terrified of giving hardcore PvPers options"... I mean, have you played against any of the people on this forum? I can name ten, right now, who will drive you like a tent peg in straight up combat.

    I think what it is, is you can't see beyond the immediate 'leet skill ceiling' momentary fight to the bigger picture where "hardcore PvPer options" must include conditions that support the other two thirds of the game. Insanity-Mode Crowfall simply has to include gathering, crafting, sieging, etc - because that's most of the game.

  20. 12 minutes ago, VIKINGNAIL said:

    How ironic.

    I do not think that word means what you think it means.

    12 minutes ago, VIKINGNAIL said:

    To me this mentality is shortsighted.  PvP is PvP

    This is irony...

    In that mentality, chess is the same as D&D is the same as PUBG is the same as poker; all are players versus other players, right?

    The problem is, they are totally different things that appeal to different people. Twitchy shooter people may not like Crowfall's PvP - this is fine, they are not the same thing. MOBA warriors who bank on playing pre-gen characters may not like having to actually create a character in D&D - which is also fine, they are not the same thing.

    Where the problem comes in is when a fan of (A) decides that there needs to be more (A) in (B) because (insert generalization about market, players, or [current year] here).

    20 minutes ago, VIKINGNAIL said:

    PvPers like good PvP

    I'm a huge fan of 4x games (which are PvP) because I'm a tactician and I crush people with supply chains, market manipulation, and diplomatic agreements. But I also despise shooters (also PvP) because I don't enjoy jumping around, circle strafing everything, and they have entirely too much rinse and repeat.

    The difference is I don't head over to The Shooter Forum and complain that there's not enough 4X in it...

    So your generalization is false. PvPers like good PvP that interests them.

    And unfortunately I need to head to work. So that's about all I have time to refute. :)

  21. 37 minutes ago, VIKINGNAIL said:

    What's your view on things like hardware bans?  Is it an effective method to deterring cheaters?

    Not really. There's no real hardware ID that can't be easily spoofed.

    The best option is to not allow cheating in the first place with proper design and code. For an example of how to do everything wrong with regard to cheating an MMO, read up on "The Division". :D

  22. Is it only me that completely and totally disregards someone as soon as they use the term 'carebear'?

    Anyway, defining PvP by the games that contain it is like defining art by the medium in use - sure it's art, but what kind of art?

    Most of the PvP games touted here are either MOBAs or scenario shooters, which don't apply to Crowfall's design... if you actually isolate the PvP mode (not the general game loop, but the specific PvP modality) in an actual MMORPG, you'll find it to be very comparable to Crowfall's intent.

    Crowfall does mix things up a bit by adding emphasis to the duration of the PvP and the involvement of the team/guild though. Most MMO-based PvP is very short attention-span and very lone-wolf; the win-condition is attained very quickly (open-world or arena (1v1, 3v3, 5v5) conflicts are over in minutes, MOBA-style "battleground" matches are generally over in under an hour, longer RvR scenarios run maybe a week before the static reset, etc.) and the only time you need to rely on someone else is if the win-condition requires people to stand somewhere for a time to achieve it.

    Crowfall wants to run PvP engagements over months, utilizing ever-changing environments, and the game design demands group participation because the win-condition requires building/destroying things over the duration.

    The one PvP game I've not seen anyone mention by way of comparison is Eve Online, which is funny because it's the closest to Crowfall's design... Which as a 'hardcore PvP MMO' has been ticking along nicely since 2003 - and the biggest complaint it has is the universe needs periodic resets to dethrone BoB (who dethroned themselves, but that's a tale for another time)... Which, oddly enough, Crowfall does.

    So, sure, dream up new rule-sets that you think people will like, but try to refrain from the hyperbole that the mythical everyone stands with your singular opinion.

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