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raeshlavik

ACE Development Partners
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Posts posted by raeshlavik


  1. Crowfall should require both tactical and mechanical skill, one or the other isn't enough.

     

    I agree completely, but the way it generally works out in PvP is that mechanical muscle-memory is the easier path to victory. Hence the profusion of aim trainers...

     

    It's the primary function of a combat simulation to subtract numbers from numbers, and it does this with no real tactical input because tactics are almost impossible to quantify as a number. So PvP will generally be a game of who manages to subtract first (element of surprise) and has the better subtraction algorithm (high alpha build).

     

    This is why during combat testing most comments will be all about the responsiveness of combat and not the actual combat abilities themselves - unless the combat ability has a completely broken subtraction algorithm. This is because the player-now-tester isn't getting past the tactics of hit first, hit harder that comprise nearly all PvP.

     

    Often in game design the only option to increase 'tactics' is to break the mechanical advantage, which is why highly tactical games have turns or the combat system is slower and offers a lot of challenge/response mechanisms. This is to force players out of the button mash mindset.

     

    The only reason I bring this up is in the hopes that some of the 'reaction' complaints in this thread are being driven by ACE trying to add some tactics to the gameplay. I've not done any real play-testing myself,as invariably the test will be while I'm at work, on a plane, in a meeting, or otherwise engaged in 'making a buck' - so I'm relying on you guys. :)


  2. The guild I run bought one, because Crowfall is actually a Tycoon game and we are playing to crush...

     

     

     

     

    The real reason is we plan to offer some 'meta' PvP with it, based on the current EK assumptions of the owner being able to essentially build a semi-persistent quasi-MMO setting however they see fit. That and it helps fund the game...

     

    We're this odd mix of a hardcore military-themed PvP guild and a long-term RP guild, and we want to have some structured GvG at a pretty big scale. So any guild wanting to play along can work out terms (numbers and levels, and a reward amount of materials that we will match), and then they can have a go at assassinating our "king" over an agreed period of time. There is a House Guard, a Palace Guard, and a general city militia to contend with though - so it's not exactly a cakewalk.

     

    If they're successful, they get the material reward and I retire the 'king' character and replace him with someone else of the hereditary line - perhaps sparking some internal 'political conflicts' for us to deal with along the way.

     

    For us this is groovy on two fronts; one it's GvG, so we can build some cool relations with the folks we share Crowfall with. And two; we have this RP 'empire' we've been running for a long time (think of it as a lore guild from Shadowbane) and this is a chance to really play with some of the history and stories, and to add depth and some persistence to inter-guild relations outside of the campaign worlds.

     

    Might be fun, might suck eggs - either way we decided to spring for the palace. If all we do is have massive keggers in it and wreck the place every week, that's good enough too. :)


  3. Also it may be a nightmare for the programmers to make it possible to just walk from one kingdom to the other so maybe put in a jump gate system like that of guild wars or something.

     

    It was mentioned somewhere in there (motions to the wider forum) by a dev that the linkage between guild member's EKs could possibly be some sort of gateway to walk through. This would, of course, result in a load screen as it takes time to transfer character assets from server to server, but I get the impression moving from EK to EK is pretty trivial - it's all in how they elect to show the transition point in-world.

     

    The other issue is, as Ryse pointed out, just keeping track of it all. If every player gets an EK, that could be (conceivably) a million or more EKs.

     

    I like the visibility by size... But this will result in cries of "pay to win" if I, having bought a Palace, am guaranteed better market visibility - because all of the persistent economy appears to run out of the EK at this juncture.

     

    I could also see a monetization angle of offering a central searchable system of EKs, and allowing people to offer an image, a brief write-up, and 5-6 keywords. Then selling placement for a fee. If you plan to host some kind of EK event, drop $15 for a day of 'featured' on the system. :)


  4. Been attempting to play Albion Online (Zzzzzz) and watching some streamers and it's pretty hilarious to see them gank someone 5v1 or some random undergeared individual 1v1 (aka they didn't know what was happening) and talk trash and then run into 7-10+ and run away or cry zerg!

     

    I get it's win at all costs in some of these games, but at least have a tiny bit of  humility when it's clear what is happening.

     

    Unfortunately I believe this is why structured "fair" PVP games (MOBA,FPS,RTS,etc) will continue to dominate and all these upcoming hardcore! projects won't have strong populations. Huge variance in gamers and the wolves like to run in packs for the easy slaughter.

     

    It's been my observation over the last two decades that most hardcore MMO PvPers use the element of surprise and ultra-high alpha-damage as their play style, and the discovery of the best alpha-damage build and the best lower-skill player choke point are the primary skills used to perform competitively.

     

    The Art of the Gank, if you will.

     

    Ultra-high alpha damage tends to involve a series of split-second ability cues to front-load a single attack with as much bonus as possible. This usually has to happen during a 3-5 second positioning phase as well; which is about all the time they have to get to the target and unload before the target realizes they are there and can mount a defense.

     

    The setup and positioning for this sort of play style is critical, and leads to a heightened perception of UI and positional timing within the client/server exchange that drives a lot of commentary on game forums about the state of the game's combat. It also leads to FOTM builds when someone finds a better class/skill/weapon combination that generates a bigger initial spike of damage. This in-turn drives 'nerfs' to try and normalize damage output with the remaining percentage of players.

     

    This play style also leads to a lot of the 'zerg' talk, as you mentioned... Any numerically superior force is quickly labeled as a 'zerg' to discount any skill advantage working in a structured group may have over this surprise ultra-high alpha burst solo/duo play style.

     

    Ultimately, I agree; MOBA/FPS/RTS systems will continue to be the king of PvP, because the narrow scope of the format ensures that the entire playerbase is somewhat playing the same game. MMOs, by design, have an immense scope (PvE and PvP are just the polarized tips of the iceberg) and trying to filter out what the majority of the playerbase really wants though the vocal minorities of the various tribes is hellish.

     

    For me? I'm hopeful that the pace of combat in Crowfall is such as to greatly diminish the Art of the Gank. Where even if you have the jump on someone, you have to pause and make a tactical evaluation of your chances versus just knowing if you twitch first you'll deal 80% of their health.

     

    But, full disclosure, I'm more of a tactical wargamer than a jumping around like a ninny noscope headshot FPS player - which totally makes my point. :)


  5. My theory is that JamesGoblin is actually a fully functioning superhero operating from a satellite base on the far side of the moon... When he's not on any of the MMO forums for a time, it's because he's been called to some distant world to save them from a galactic calamity.

     

    Seriously!

     

    Ever notice how his absences always coincide with NASA showing off pictures of distant supernova? I don't think it's a coincidence at all...


  6. Although, I am still thinking about picking it up.  If i end up with 6 hours played before being bored to death I got my moneys worth. I mean, I think we will be hard pressed to find a game that comes out in the next while, or ever, that has as much landmass as NMS.  18 quintillion planets, that's fecking impressive.  Who knows. There may only be 15 quintillion planets.  Imagine the uproar when someone finds out. 

     

    Then you'd better hurry before all of the good planets are taken...


  7. I'm not really a fan of this. I've never been the guy who enjoys piecing things together, just because it always ends up looking like trash. I have a small castle/medium castle that I'll be getting these pieces for, right? If that's the case is there any way for us backers to actually keep the pre-built land parcel? Because if not the biggest draw of buying these bundles is basically a complete waste for me at this point.

     

    I don't mind the module design being there, I like Dwarven Forge tabletop terrain as much as anybody, but I don't really want to build a castle like that.

     

    I have some passing experience with castle building, and will offer my services as chief architect and mason - for a small fee of course, nothing outrageous mind you... You see, I am in need of some specific materials from the Dregs in decent quantity.

     

    The agreement is simple; you procure them for me, and I shall build you a kingdom to rival even the gods. ;)


  8. Any/All: You guys have collectively built some of the best MMOs ever made - and thank you for that, by the way.

     

    But, given your rather unique viewpoint, where do you see the MMO genera heading over the next 5-10 years? Will VR be a thing? Will we continue to see systems dumbing down? Will the LoL-style preference for 'pre-made' characters become more prevalent?

     

    I guess that's several questions... Feel free to consider the additional ones as prompts. :)


  9. I love this.

     

    Given the wide selection of 5 test food items one would not be blamed for thinking that eating will be onerous... But if we look further down the road to crafting, and the potential for players to make things that can dramatically offset this, or even add perks and bonuses - I'm super happy to see it. :)


  10. For me it wasn't any sort of SSO thing for the forums or anything to do with moderation; it was simply that the game had moved from 'victoria's secret honeymoon' where everyone was wide-eyed about their fantasy of what Crowfall would be, to 'scratching butt in boxers' as the real work of hammering out a game started.

     

    Like Doc, I've been down this street so many times I've laid some of the pavers in it... I've done game dev as a career for like two decades now, and really have no desire to eat someone else's dog food for 'fun' - so once ArtCraft dropped the design doc on us I reviewed it, noted that I was happy with it, and went on about my life.

     

    In my humble-yet-very-well-educated-opinion, what really slowed down the forum here is the availability of information in other mediums. I don't really log in here very often, because all I need to know I pick up from streams of game testing or emails from ArtCraft. I don't really need to bathe in everyone's opinions here - so I don't.

     

    And I'd put money on that being a similar story for a lot of people on this forum...


  11. I got into two quick sessions with a Legionnaire last night before the jetlag from spending the day in various airports killed me for the evening.

     

    Notes:

    • Zero graphical issues, which was pretty amazing (Running a titanX, which can be its own worst enemy on occasion)
    • I can't really say how protracted combat 'feels' yet as the two sessions I saw resulted in missing a lot and then getting CC'd into a shallow grave. :D
    • I'll second (or third, or whatever) the piloting a boat feel. When the client was in sync with the server it was okay, but as soon as things needed to start predicting movement it felt very disconnected.

    With that last point it made melee all but impossible - for me at any rate. When I thought I was facing someone to attack and hammering the button to do so (being a non-target lock system which is awesome), the character model was apparently actually pointing in some other direction in the simulation as soon as the 'rubber band' went off and things sync'd again. I was able to hit other players with the AOE conditional though, so I got to see a few damage numbers!

     

    This means that range and/or AOE will be king, given that range decreases the arc of error in facing and AOE couldn't care less what the facing is. And given the profusion of flame effects I saw while waiting for CC to drop, I’m guessing others have figured this out. ;)

     

    I'll try out a Confessor in future playtests to see how that changes the feel of things.

     

    That said, the game is looking great and I had a ton of fun for the 52 combined seconds I was mobile. ;)


  12. I understand what they're doing, but I still think the target audience is way too small.

     

    They're posting with a Bloodstone account, trying to look as legitimate as possible, linking their service with another game and so on.

    It just feels like a wasted effort with very bad market research on their part.

     

    I've never heard of them before, but you kinda made it sound like they're a big deal, hehe

    Guess I must've missed something. ;)

     

    A big deal in certain circles. I'm guessing they are active in anything that has acquirable 'land' with any sort of salable value to it... Hence SotA and here. I would not be surprised if they were in ArcheAge early on as well being as land was totally RMT in the first month or two.

     

    Buy it all up, wait for market pressue to peak, then sell off fast enough you are done before the market reacts. :)

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