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PopeUrban

ACE Development Partners
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PopeUrban last won the day on August 27

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About PopeUrban

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    Flames of Exile
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  1. You may want to review how many imports you have now. You can wait until fall and farm all the dust you want in GR, but you're going to have a tough time choosing to import a stack of dust when you only have enough imports to bring in your gear. Even with alt accounts imports are really tight to prevent exactly this, and filters are being developed that would specifically prevent you from importing raw materials like dust at all. They want you to craft your starter gear in EKs, but the plan has always been that your replacement gear (and you'll need replacement gear in a 3 month campaign) is crafted in the campaign, by crafters in the campaigns, from materials in the campaign. The entire point of late seasons is that they're supposed to suck for people without trained harvesters. That's why you train harvesters.
  2. They had a whole crafting projects UI designed that they put on the backburnder because QoL isn't as important as getting the rest of the core features in. It had a whole clickable flowchart for the item. So they know this kind of stuff should be in the game, and its in the plan, its just low priority.
  3. Yes. People will constantly complain that it isn't flat ENOUGH but in the current state of the game the dropped gear is VERY competitive. I'd bet on CF's best players in dropped greens against a same sized group of total noobs in specced out purples in a group fight any day of the week.
  4. Rotate the pvp stuff in the new Infected to always have a window open. That's Crowfall's casual PvP space. We should put the casual PvP there right? We don't need some que or whatever to provide quick drop-in pvp when we have a map that is now dedicated to casual pvp.
  5. The thing is they're not competing with that paradigm. They're attempting to emulate a slightly more casual version of the the EVE paradigm, where industry is crucial to the success of individuals as well as large alliances of players. That's a very different kind of game. They made a deliberate choice as far back as the kickstarter to say "we're making a game where wealth matters, pvp matters, organization matters" They're not competing with the instant gratification style of PvP you get in a game like ESO or GW2. They're building a game in which players are *required* to interact to succeed on an economic as well as a field combat basis. They've said multiple times they know they're going to lose some eyeballs with the more work intensive and gear focused design but in their eyes it is crucial to the game they want to build, and that game is a PvP game where harvesting, crafting, and loot are not simply nice to have but necessary to victory. At this point I believe they've pared back the grind as much as they feel like they can without essentially throwing away that design. They've equipped new players with excellent drops to limit the necessity for people to engage with harvesting and crafting when brand new. New players have a powerful incentive to do a thing older players don't want to: farm mobs. Older players don't want to farm mobs. They want to hit nodes, build things, and sell them to you, who farmed gold off of mobs. That's the intended model. It is hampered right now because they've built a crafting system for scale and cooperation but we're still missing two elements crucial to enabling scale and cooperation: Factories and guild banks. it isn't that people don't have the resources to sell you stuff most of the time. Its that they can't be bothered to click through that many menus to craft enough items to fill a vendor because the system isn't really supposed to require them to do that. Its supposed to ask them to do that once, and then make a blueprint that makes 20 of that item so they can just feed materials to a factory while they go do something else. It does have some growing pains as a result of its rapid tweaking, and like most of the game its in a pretty unpolished proof of concept state and hasn't completely been redesigned around the newbie focused changes of recipies not being unlocked by training, or dropped gear existing. Could there be a bit moregraduated progression in crafting trains? Absolutely. Dropped gear really sandbagged low level crafters and they need some of that back. You could do stuff like lower the base values of certain crafts so that they're easier to output at lower levels. For instance what if assembling a helmet was significantly easier than assembling a chestpiece, or what if assembling a recurve bow was significantly easier than assembling the more esoteric options etc. We've never really had a balance pass for that stuff because until recently it was simply a function of training to unlock the ability to craft the items at all. Could we use some kind of super - intermediate tool? I honestly don't think we need to. Tools are one of the few things in the economy that actually have a good combination of market velocity and competition. Runemakers make pretty much all of their money selling tools. We don't need to give people an easier way to opt out of that market than they already have. In stead I'd be all for increasing the damage coefficients on intermediate tools based on rarity. This would allow you, if you so choose, to make a poor value crafting decision by sinking higher tier materials in to a higher damage intermediate for another +5 damage per rank. That might be good in a pinch, but you're not going to want to constantly be eating your blue resources to make +20 tools for long and you're going to want those crafted rune tools. Like dropped gear this would remove the barrier to play, but it would retain your desire to seek out a skilled crafter to provide you things. In a larger sense it would also help the market for raw materials since tools use so few per craft. It would be much easier to sell someone a handful of blues that nobody wants to buy right now because they need a large stack to make anything. Newbie harvesters might happily buy that handful of blues if it means getting another pick they can use to help them afford some real tools from a local vendor.
  6. Sure but I think there's a difference between "hard" and "necessary" and when I see a question like this I generally assume people are asking about the game in the long rather than short term. I can't see a version of crowfall in the long term where you're not gradually pushed to more interdependence (or yeah, waiting years for training or buying a poorly made socksload of alt accounts) to continue to progress that power curve for whatever it is you're trying to do ya know? I can see one where that curve is more gradual though.
  7. What you think and what players actually do in practice appear to be two different things. That's all I'm saying.
  8. There are two ways to go about this kind of thing. Either you use a "lock in" system where a commander calls the formation and other players automatically leash to their positions, or you use a "target zone" position where a commander calls a formation and players have to take position and maintain it. We had a lock in system in shadowbane. It didn't grant any buffs, but it definitely could have. The advantage to the lock in system is that it is practical to use in moving combat. The disadvantage is that it creates an easy and wide open door for botting. You'd have been hard pressed to find a shadowbane group that didn't have a formation with a macro'd heal priest in it. These kinds of formations are brittle and not terribly useful to melee characters as being effective in melee also requires constant adjustments to positioning to stay on target. The target zone design is one I haven't seen employed as such, but I can see the major disadvantage being that its a pain in the ass to use for mobile combat. Imagine a line extending to either side from a commander that you're expected to stand in. What happens when the commander turns? what happens when he starts, stops, and changes direction or speed in combat? The advantage here is that you retain the autonamy of your group members, but its only really practicaly usable in a stationary position. In which case we already have the tech for that. It's basically just a ground buff that only has effects if a certain number of characters with a certain flag are standing in it. That could be really interesting. Here's a possible design. Imagine a discipline that allows you to place a flag that just determines a line or box or whatever formation with a bounding area. This area is basically inert until the proper number of characters with the proper flags enter it (to assemble the formation) At this point all of those characters receive a buff, and the area refreshes that buff every 10 seconds, but only if a required (but lesser) number of characters is still in the bounding box. If the proper number of characters are NOT in the box, the formation breaks, and the banner falls over. For example: Commander Bob, an archer, perches on a high vantage point and casts "Shield Wall Formation" and a banner appears. Commander Bob and all allies who have a shield equipped see a beam of light emanating from the banner and a glowing line on the ground describing the shield wall bob has called for. Those who look at the banner see the number 0/10 above the banner. 8 knights and two clerics enter the area, and a warhorn sounds. Those players within the formation are given the "shield formation" buff, and a custom border effect on their UI to tip them off they're in an active formation. This border comes with a counter somewhere on their ui that states (SHIELD FORMATION: 10/8) One of the clerics is chain pulled out of formation by an enemy knight, but because an active formation requires only 8 members rather than the original ten to remain active, the other members of the formation stay put while Commander Bob suppresses the enemies to allow the cleric to return. While the cleric is out of place, the UI counter reads 9/8 for bob and everyone in the formation. The pulled cleric retains his buff during this period, as he receives it every ten seconds from the ground aoe and it hasn't worn out. The bonus mitigation and Commnder Bob's help are instrumental to his survival and safe return. A group of enemy confessors moves up and successfully tornados the formation, Throwing the clerics and several knights behind a bulwark leaving only half in place. The counter displays 5/8. The two clerics die to missile fire in the next ten seconds, but two Knights from nearby battle move in. The two new knights manage to enter the formation as one of the original knights returns and they stabilize the formation at 8/8 just before the next tick. Disaster Strikes! An enemy druid, unnoticed in the scrum detonates a trap! Our brave shieldwall knights have a momentary lapse of judgement, dodge out of formation to avoid the bomb, and three of them attempt to chase down the druid. The remaining knights move back in to position, but alas 5/8 knights is not enough to maintain it. The next buff tick rolls over, and the formation is broken. The banner clatters to the ground, Everyone loses the Shield Formation buff, and the three headstrong knights, now without their bonus blocking stats and resists quickly fall to enemy forces. Their chokepoint is overrun, and Commander Bob is net pulled and dies unceremoniously to an elbow in the face. If only they had held the line. Other modifications for this design: What if being part of an active formation modified your ultimate to grant a stacking "formation ultimate" designed to be used together? These ultimates would have a charging bar, and once all members of the formation are charging the skill, it would activate for all of them. For example a blanket fire formation ult for an archery line, a charge for a cavalry formation (the cav formation built specifically to charge this ability) or an aoe heal or enemy CC for the shield wall formation. Members in formation would know the group ult was ready to go when their ult lights up, as even if full of spirit energy it would be greyed out otherwise. You could even flip the commander's skill from "call for formation" to "call for ultimate" once the formation is established to allow the formation's commander to specifically call for or even target these abilities. What if formations had secondary zones? For instance what if a shield wall formation actually had a secondary box behind it that granted a mitigation buff to any allies in that area? What if an archery line had an area in front of it that slowed any enemies hit by their attacks? What if an ambush formation had an area surrounding it that also stealthed allies? What about racial tactics? Maybe only halfgiants can use the "primal scream" formation to be in a constant state of super bigness. Maybe High elves only can enter the "War Circle" formation to charge up devastating multi-caster siege fireball ultimates. Maybe humans alone can enter the "To the Death" formation, gaining superior resistance and damage, but killing them the moment they leave or the formation breaks. Leadership training synergies? What if leadership training had nodes to extend the size, lengthen the buff tick time, or allow formations to be called from the mounted state to create a more "guy on a horse running around" style of mass combat command for mobile characters taking multiple commnder discs. Commander orders? What if there was a secondary set of minors that allowed commanders to yell buffs to people in formations they created? Imagine commander bob could see the druid bomb and had the 'hold fast" minor equipped. Could he have screamed HOLD FAST to display that message on the formation's UI and given them special resist versus AOE for 10 seconds and saved the day? Filtered voice lines? What if we had race/gender appropriate voicework for commanders that you could only hear if it was relevant to you? Imagine the bellow of a centaur commander calling PREPARE TO CHARGE as he drops the formation, actually giving your myrmidon or champion a place to stand, and then CHARGE to command to use the ult which catapuls the entire formation at high speed forward to crash in to enemy forces. Dramatic and useful! What if you could hear irrelevant voicework but it was in fantasy gibberish? You know that elf is up to something, but you have no idea what it is. Its in elvish! That command must be for someone else! Footman minors? What if minors existed specifically to grant buffs or skill alterations while in formation? Your Brigand might have cool traps by himself, but with the "Ambush Specialist" minor, what if those traps exposed targets they hit while you're in an Ambush formation? Your Knight might be an imposing hunk of metal, but what if he was also immune to knockback while in formation with the "Linebacker" minor?
  9. You can accomplish a lot of goals solo, but you will never be able to provide crafted equipment for everything you need solo.The training and harvesting systems are deliberately deigned to prevent it. You're going to need either a guild or strong trading partners just to keep upgrading your equipment, and your access to high end crafting buffs depends on your access to keeps, and it is highly unlikely you're going to attack or defend a keep alone. That said don't think this means you're stuck if you aren't constantly playing with a group. I've got members of my guild that are almost always playing alone due to time schedule requirements, but they're integrated in to the crafting workflow is such a way that they can get everything they need. You won't necessarily need boots-on-the-ground allies to have a good time in Crowfall, but you will most certainly need to either, join, recruit, or pay a support system of other players to accomplish whatever your personal goals are.
  10. The sandbox PvP genre of MMOs has never and will never be built around fair fights. It is deliberately built around encouraging players to create unfair fights through communal effort, strategy, politics, or just straight up grind. Crowfall is not built to make sure everyone has a fair fight. It's built to make sure that when people win those wins don't create an unwinnable condition for a competent challenger. I have been around for a while and I recall a time when a completely different set of guilds and factions were the so-called "unbeatable" element. The fact is that crowfall doesn't have the slippery slope that typifies the kind of stagnation you're worried about. The only thing preventing you from overturning the current balance of power is your ability to play the game as well as they do. They're not stacking up some kind of insurmountable economic or territory advantage in crowfall. You can be in the same equipment, with the same abilities, same buffs, and same vessels within a week. Punishing people for being good at the game is not the same thing as preventing an unwinnable scenario. Crowfall has never ever been an unwinnable scenario for anyone. Mechanically or socially there is nothing preventing you from upsetting the current power balance any more than W/HoA upset the previous power balance, or when UDL upset the power balance of my guild owning a campaign full of nothing but newbies because everyone else was on vacation. It has simply lacked enough people willing to compete. That is not a design problem. The design is structured specifically to ensure you always have a chance, and to ensure you can get every single tool the people you're trying to beat have in a few days. Not weeks. Not months. Days. The problem is those not willing to do what they did and actually get those tools, build those tight group specs, recruit and train people to use them, and drill those specs to their point of competency. I've played games where "too big to fail" is a real thing. EVE is like that, SOTNW was like that, Archeage was like that. At a certain tipping point in those games the winners could arrest total control of vital mechanisms for further advancement and completely halt the grown of future challengers. Crowfall is not like that. The people winning don't have the ability to stop you from becoming exactly as powerful as they are. People being beaten by players that are better than you. That's it. That's the point of the game. There is no magic game design switch that suddenly makes people care more about winning. If as many people cared as much about winning on the other factions as they do on balance, and put in the same amount of work, you'd see more competitive campaigns. The reason this is not happening is that winning is unrewarding. There's no point to winning, it isn't rewarding, and thus a large number of players don't care very much. You can get the "grand prize" of a gold badge more easily on a losing faction. Winning costs tons in gear decay and replaces none of that wealth, and doesn't even earn you anything, not even a cosmetic trophy, that you couldn't get with less work on a losing team. That's the design flaw. Winning is quite literally pointless in the current state of the game, so only a very specific type of player cares about winning. Currently balance holds crowfall's hardest working guilds, chaos holds the largest number of players. Chaos has developed a pattern over ten campaigns of having strong potential early and becoming demoralized after a few defeats and basically giving up. Order has moved from being a pseudocompetitive team with chaos to either joining chaos in order to counter balance's dominant position, or joining balance to more efficiently beat up the people they hate in chaos. CSC moving to chaos may be the shot in the arm they need in the short term, but in truth when you let people pick their team in a game with only three teams you're always going to experience the scaling effect of bandwagoning in a way you don't experience when you automatically assign those teams, or you let the players determine how many teams there are themselves.
  11. They tried this already. The funny think is that faction campaigns are full of people who are there specifically to avoid the responsibility and additional upkeep costs that they'd have to have in dregs. Adding responsibility and additional upkeep costs didn't really work last time they tried it and it's going to work even less when the people who care enough about such things that they DID farm for that stuff move to dregs. This is simply an idea that is incompatible with faction play as nobody wants to invest personal wealth in to communal property in an environment specifically designed to remove the requirement of caring about your community. Factions are not guilds or alliances. They're barely teams. Expecting anything resembling a high degree of long term cooperation on a faction server will leave you disappointed. Faction servers in the long term will be full of people who don't play well with others, don't want to play well with others, or don't have time to be valuable to others. These are people who don't view their faction as their responsibility. They view their guild as their responsibility. They're not going to sacrifice loot to a building they will never own that they can just retake next week if that loot can in stead equip a guildmate. This being crowfall, stuff breaks and there will ALWAYS be a guildmate in need of some equipping. These are not the people you should expect to be generous to the faction with their loot when they can just pass the buck. I should know. I run a guild full of these people. You're asking people to pay to renovate the bathroom in an apartment they rent. It's not going to happen.
  12. You can already track specific crafted unique items. All crafted items for which there are multiple outputs (so anything which has experimentation variables) also has a unique serial number, as well as the name of the crafter displayed on the item. This does not include nonunique items which don't have variable stats and are designed to stack. Those items may be names at the time of crafting but the name on those items can change depending on the conditions of whether they merge or stack. For example, I could have a crafter named "Odin" craft a hammer named "Mjolnir" and because this is a hammer, and thus has unique stats based upon its materials and crafting rolls, you would always be able to recognize this hammer. If "Odin" never makes another Mjolnir, this will be the only Mjolnir made by Odin anywhere in any world. I could not name cooked meat "The magical meat" and track it however as it is a nonunique item, and the moment it is added to a stack of other meat it would take on the characteristics of that stack. Your other suggestions are interesting but I question the utility of such a system. Firstly the "everlasting" aspect breaks the core economy of the game. Everything in crowfall is explicitly designed to fall apart and be replaced eventually, and this decay is what creates a constant economic imperative to gather new resources and craft new things. If an item were allowed to simply exist forever, its weilder would have no practical reason to replace nor transfer it. We could substitute that with your "lost item" logic, and simply replace a drop in the world with its unique ID, but in doing so we aould also need to scrub its unique properties, in which case what was the point of crafting such a unique item in the first place? Finally, such a system has no utility, and as such is a poor investment for the crafter from an economic standpoint. Spending that much time and effort on a purely roleplaying focused system that is easily emulated with existing tools is a questionable use of developer time when so many other things with greater holistic value are still pushed back to "later" A better version of this with actual use for the player would be a kind of risk/reward scenario that encourages player interaction by creating unique items of power. Imagine as a player you had the option to attune an item to your crow in order to grant it specific buffs, perhaps based on drops, resources, or even training. These attuned items would be more powerful due to this investment, but come at an additional cost.The down side to this interaction could be that due to their unstable magical nature these items obey a different set of banking and drop rules. You may only attune one item at a time, and only one item attuned to you may exist (to prevent an "attunement meta" that makes non-attuned items pointless) Only you may destroy your attuned item, and attuned items only decay when in your possession. Attuned items do not suffer decay upon death, only use. Attuned items are removed from your inventory or equipment slots upon death and added to the loot drop pool of a specific random war tribe camp in the current campaign until found again. (Additional risk, as in a practical sense these items are effectively lost on death) What tier of enemy may drop attuned items is assigned based upon the rarity tier and overall crafting value of the item. Your attuned item is marked on your compass and campaign map at all times if not in your possession if in the hands of a player. Your attuned item is marked above the war camp icon from which you can farm it again if in the hands of NPCs. You may not equip, bank, or use an attuned item that is not you own. You may discard it, at which point it is placed back in the drop pool. You may not trade an attuned item to anyone but its rightful owner. (This is engineered to remain in the world by being an inventory nuisance, or returned to the drop pool.) Attuned items are returned to the world bank of their rightful owners at the end of a campaign, no matter where they are. (This prevents players from locking one another out of their attuned items long term by simply keeping them, but allows them to hold such items hostage for the duration of a campaign to make demands if they are willing to keep the holder in the temple for the entire campaign.) This setup creates an interesting risk/reward wrinkle that allows players to 'soft soulbind' their most prized posessions, but at the cost of needing to track them down again after death. This makes this system unattractive to employ for common items, but far more attractive for items that are already very powerful as they will last longer when held due to a lack of death decay, which is in stead replaced by the 'adventure decay' of having to track them down at a mob camp or swindle/murder/transact with another player for their return. This system creates value across the board for veterans who have another stat buff to top out their gear stats, and a way to stretch out the lifespan of their most powerful items. This system creates value for new players, who now have a chance to luck in loot which may result in valuable new allies, interesting new rivals, and unique social opportunities to become a larger part of the community they're in. Finally, this system creates value for roleplayers, who can purposely manipulate this system to create the desired fetch quest outcomes by deliberate naming and creatively exploiting the loss conditions.
  13. **Permit me to Ramble in place of having a definite answer to your question, as I know a bit about the field but not the specific subject.** Chances are they're still using the same server backend for everything that isn't the simulation (e.g. account systems, banking, etc.) and using networking calls from Unity to interface with it. I did this on a project where we had to interface with a GIS framework and dynamically fill a city map with data from that data base. The actual database back end that held that data was a separate system (which we had read-only access to), while the navigation, GUI, etc. was all unity. I never touched the actual database code but I had to write a Unity interface so I could talk to it. What the network back end would be responsible for in terms of lag in an MMO if its built like most MMOS would be stuff like how long it takes to load the proper appearance, name, guild, etc. of a new player, or how long things like looting or banking take. This is because the sim simply says "hey Client #149982 is in sight range of client#568879, so I need to know who client#568879 is so we can send the right instructions to #149982 to have his PC build the correct name string and load the right models and (maybe) cache the right power effects" So the sim, the thing in charge of making sure your movement and hotkeys and jumping and so on feel good is basically just configuresd to send a simple command while the database backend software does the heavy lifting of keeping track of who these clients are, what characters they're playing, what their inventory is, what accounts they're logged in as, and in some cases (for instance crafting or generating mob loot) doing math that isn't critical to the pace of combat or movement. This prevents all that heavy lifting from impacting things like movement lag, ability timing lag, and anything happening in the world as that's going to be done on the simulation server so the sim can focus on making sure everyone isn't suffering 9000ms lag and displays and animated in the right place, with some help in prediction/movement smoothing from the client. So your Crowfall Architecture MIGHT look like: Unity Client<>Unity Sim Server (Tornado I/O plugin)<>Tornado DB handler (Administrates SQL or its own DB format) I'm banking on Unity as the sim server based on what we've seen of their dev process, as there's otherwise very little need to do stuff like build a visual AI decision tree IN unity (as you could build that in whatever UI you wanted to if your sim was running on proprietary code) Your DB handler and sim are built hand in hand, and Unity is a popular free tool for indie devs so it is a sensible platform if you're just building this kind of tech in your spare time, as it seems dreadflame did. It wouldn't surprise me if that stuff is still in operation as the basic architecture of most MMO needs tend to stem from very similar basic concepts (account, character, inventory, stat points) which is where you're seeing a lot of time saving. No need to reinvent your database handlers for stuff like "account is logged in, keep track of this hash and use it for further lookups" or "what's an inventory" when you've already got them built. Otherwise you'd have to build them from scratch and make sure the whole thing is efficiently queing the hundreds or thousands of requests it gets every second. Interestingly enough, if this is the case it would also be the backend tech barrier that needed updating to support things like the new decentralized banks. If dreadflame's previous indie dev use didn't need non-character inventories, it makes sense he wouldn't have developed them in the back end.
  14. Anticrit is a stupid stat anyway. It does literally the same thing as armor from a buildcraft sense. Since 'critical hit' is not a damage type, and because literally EVERYONE you fight will deal critical hits, the only correct move is to stack as much as possible. Just... like armor...
  15. Children. Teachers. People that like to bank their vacation days. Vampires?
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