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Hemmel's Achievements

  1. Yeah, I've contacted support and they explained that digital game copies will be giftable post launch. The problem now is that I'm missing quite a few digital game copies and probably the other stuff that was in those packages, and it's likely that anyone else who had multiple identical packages unbundled by the process suffered a similar loss of stuff. I converted various bits of my original amber package into store credit when it was possible to do so and turned it into 6x 2015 contributer bundles. One I sent to a friend immediately, the other I accidentally consumed, thinking little of it because I would likely be able to send the copy after launch (which turns out to be true.) This leaves me at 4 packages and 2 game copies. On july 2nd, the remaining 4 contributer packages were consumed by the automated process, but my digital game copies increased from 2 to 3 instead of 2 to 6. It seems that duplicate packages were lost in the automatic unbundling process. Since I'm not special, this probably happened to everyone else with duplicate packages - that's why I'm bringing it up here in addition to making my ticket, so anyone else who had duplicate packages can check if they've gotten screwed.
  2. I had four or five contributer level 2015 packages saved up that I was going to send to my friends post launch. Not only did they all just get auto consumed so that I can't do this anymore, the 4-5 (still not sure which) copies I had were compressed into one when they were auto consumed, the others are gone. Interesting. Stuff.
  3. 100% this. The two best PVP games I've played (Guild Wars 1 and Darkfall) both featured minimal (GW1) or zero (DFO) hard CC. Excessive hard CC isn't really fun to be hit by or hit people with. In CF it seems like they implemented the WoW/traditional MMO model of insane CC bloat, realized it stopped being fun 10 years ago, and then slapped retaliation on top and called it a day.
  4. This wouldn't work either, people would just trade with the one player who can bank and collect stuff later. The correct answer is that "Summon Bank" shouldn't be in the game.
  5. I think this statement is wrong, at least as far as DFO is concerned. While having less people in DFO doesn't automatically mean you are better, it was the norm. It actually was not the case that the casual/large clans had as many good players as the smaller clans; it was common for them to have maybe one or two players maximum as good as the top elitist clans - and they would often leave and go join the smaller elitist clans instead, eventually. Having a bunch of excellent players and poorly made socksties in the same clan was a highly unstable environment in DFO especially as having even a few terrible players on the field could be detrimental. If you have a bunch of potatos who just blow up to back damage instantly and throw your force into a rout, most better groups slowly learned that it just wasn't worth having these players. You would think that truly intelligent groups would identify their poorly made socksties and just stick them on another group/flank and use them as fodder, and I do remember a few guilds doing something like this, but it was extraordinarily rare. Excellent players in DFO also tended to be extremely toxic, with little tolerance for incompetence. It was also hard to watch piles of amazing gear (that you may have helped farm or craft) be fed to your enemies by idiots (that you could be looting!) As such, and for many other reasons, groups tended to split along player skill lines fairly often in DFO, creating small elite clans and large potato clans. Of course there were mixed groups, and the ones that survived tended to be the most successful, but they were the exception. It's a bit different in CF where fights seem pretty blobby with a lot of aoe healing. It's hard to imagine how having more people could be a detriment in a large CF fight. This is very, very, different from how a DF battle played out. I don't know, I've barely played CF at all in years, just what I've seen in various siege videos, and so I could be completely off about CF. But I definitely have been around the block in DF enough to know you're wrong about this particular point.
  6. I wrote a post about this last year that I think is somewhat relevant
  7. I think even better would be to only make a news post when there's actually something interesting to be said without committing to a weekly schedule, or any specific timeframe really. I've completely tuned out all CF news for a long time now. I'm sure there were a couple interesting things buried in there that I ended up missing in the slew of garbage, but the period as a whole has converted me to a mindset of "I'm just going to stop paying attention to this game and I assume they'll send me an email when it's done." I don't recall what chain of mindless clicking led me to see this post and log in today, but it's anomalous. Scarcity is pretty good stuff, man. I know it's been easy to criticize past developers for lack of communication and whatnot, but it really does have its upsides. The DF devs were perhaps the worst and most incompetent communicators in the biz, and yet when they did actually post an update, it was carefully dissected for any nuggets of information that could be milked out of Tasos' strange, vaporwarey greek writings. I can't help but see a parallel with the testing strategy. By committing to running a live service before actually launching the game, you supersaturate the players with "spam" playtime, just as was done with "spam" news. I'm skeptical that it has value to anyone, at all, that couldn't be better produced with brief periods of focused testing of specific systems or milestones. ACE could stop paying through the nose to host a live service for a tiny number of players, and those players would benefit by not burning themselves out before the game even launches, instead eagerly anticipating brief testing periods.
  8. The factions gametype is going to fail. I'm fairly confident that it can be iterated into a decent mode, it's halfway there already - but that isn't going to be good enough. I believe most of the other modes or worldbands proposed in the kickstarter save Dregs have been abandoned or indefinitely delayed, and that's good, because that was a poorly thought out idea. To this day, there was never a clear definition of what "the shadow" was or how it was any different, in practice, than "the dregs", and that was merely the worst offender among many insubstantial ideas. So the way I've come to think about Crowfall now is as three game modes: ETERNAL KINGDOMS, FACTIONS, and DREGS. I would bet almost anything that this is all we'll have on launch. And currently, surprisingly not the EKS, but "FACTIONS" is not going to be able to justify its existence. It will fail for a few reasons: The first reason is competition - and not even competition from other games. Competition from the same game. I'd wager that 90%+ of the current playerbase will never touch factions again as soon as the Dregs is released. This is because factions is just a worse version of Shadowbane. When you give players a choice, in-client, between 'worse-shadowbane' and 'shadowbane', they will make the obvious decision. Now it's a fair argument that the factions gamemode isn't designed for the current playerbase (testerbase?) of Crowfall, and thus it's working as intended if barely any of the current players are interested (relative to the Dregs). But I think it isn't a compelling option for those mythical future players, either. This brings us to our second reason: Level of organization. If a new player signs up for a Dregs campaign, the advice to them will rightly be: join a guild or you are doomed. If a new player signs up for a Factions campaign, the advice to them will be: join a guild or you are doomed. And that is a huge problem. Until that advice, in the real world, is not true for factions campaigns, they serve very little purpose. They'll merely be a stomping ground for the very few guilds too chickenpoorly made socks to play the Dregs. That is not a good enough reason for a ruleset to exist. The third reason: no unique draw. Factions is Dregs, but lesser. As a thought experiment, imagine that the worldbands concept never existed. Crowfall releases 1.0 as the Dregs, and later on, the developers release a controversial update called "Factions", crowfall 2.0. What would the patch notes read? - Building has been disabled. Instead, the map is generated with prebuilt holdings. - Alliances and guild autonomy have been removed. Instead, you will be routinely forced to ally with guilds that you despise, and war against guilds that you like. You will then be locked into these alliances until the end of the campaign no matter what. - Because guilds on the same faction may work at odds, we've had to greatly limit the possible activities in game. As such, you will now capture meaningless flags in holdings you hold no authority over and little outposts you don't give a crap about to make a score value go up. My point is: Factions when viewed in the full context of the Dregs is a boring series of limitations and removals with no upside. It attempts to add nothing. It isn't some kind of new soft drink, it's just watered-down coke. It's true that these removals could create something of value, but it isn't nearly there yet. Here's my prediction: Crowfall will release, and factions will garner at best a relatively small amount of players and interest compared to the Dregs. This number will fall off a cliff, and quite swiftly, it will become clear that there isn't even a point to spinning up another Factions campaign. Much lamenting will be done over the lost time in alpha that could have been spent improving the dregs, the 'real game', that was instead spent pointlessly iterating upon this dead-end. If only our brave developer heroes could see this future, go back to the past, and just do something else. Something Else I don't think rescuing factions from its future obsolesence will be easy. I think it'll take a lot of time and development resources to do a proper job of it, and thus it should be postponed relatively soon in order to begin working on the Dregs. I know the entire argument for working on Factions now instead of the Dregs is that it will be easier to make the dregs, and difficult to make factions, and that is certainly true. But it's also true that any problems suffered by the "real game," the Dregs, as problems there certainly will be, are going to be viewed through the lens of this alpha inattention much to ACE's disfavour. Not unjustifiably. I believe it's more important for Crowfall to launch with one really good gamemode than two okay ones, and the Dregs has an insanely higher chance of being that mode. Back on to fixing this thing: 1. From "FACTIONS" to "NATIONS". (I would go with "KINGDOMS", but EKs have taken the name, and Eternal Kingdoms VS. Kingdoms isn't great.) As far as I can tell, the reason why the factions are order, balance, and chaos is because of some lore stuff with the god categorizations and also because UO. This is a really poor reason to do something so uninspired. I'm also thinking about the dedicated factions player, who will hopefully play many many campaigns over their Crowfall lifetime. How will they distinguish Order Campaign #32 from Chaos Campaign #7 in their minds? It's all just going to blur together. One of Crowfall's flagship features is the procedural generation of worlds. I believe this exact same principle should be harnessed for the generation of "Nations", which will replace Order/Balance/Chaos. The name, emblem, and many other attributes can be generated with every new campaign. So campaign 1 may be a contest between Toddbabwe, Blairtopia and Melissland. The next campaign may involve Gordaniya, Grecosberg, and Dogetton. Rather than the same old colours, every nation would have its own generated colour scheme and emblem, using the existing guild emblem toolset or an expanded version. All gear should be dyed with the national colours, and could be exported as a memento. The victorious nation could earn the ability to dye future crafted gear in the EK and Dregs with their winning colours. If you roll a cool colour scheme and then win the campaign, this could be a really great reward. By moving away from the 3 hard coded factions into generated nations, the possibility for campaigns with more or less sides opens up, without the need of fragmenting into more worldbands or dipping into gods. If you want to do something weird and run a campaign with 5 sides, just generate 5. The nations can also be imbued with various gameplay effects. Buffs/debuffs to various crafting or gathering skills, affinities for certain classes, racial restrictions, stronger/weaker at night/day, etc. Crowfall has always flirted with the idea of these tweaked rules, and I think this is an appropriate level to explore those changes on. This may sound like a mostly superficial proposal on paper, but I think it's important to enhance faction identity. 2. Remove as much player agency as possible from choice of team. So, for right now, it's actually pretty important to allow players to choose their faction. That's because guilds want to play together, and currently 'factions' is the only way to play Crowfall, so it must be this way. But in the future, the Dregs will exist for guild play... and I believe at this point, faction choice needs to go completely. This is the final answer to all the inevitable team balance problems. The temporary nature of campaigns does CF a big favour here. In a game like WoW, you obviously can't force players onto Alliance or Horde wily nily, as this is a huge decision, with possible lore implications, race locks, a transfer cost, and it will effect them for their entire time playing the game in many ways. But in CF, it's really not that big of a deal to get assigned to a faction for a couple weeks or 2 months or however long the average campaign ends up lasting, especially if the system allows you to 'queue up' with some friends. And that's exactly what I propose. "NATIONS" campaigns will have an XXhr sign-up period before they go live. Players will be able to sign up together in 'parties', which should be relatively small, but large enough for a group of friends to play together. I don't know what the optimal queue party size limit will be, it's going to be very dependent on how many players a campaign can hold. At this point, a matchmaking algorithm will attempt to create as balanced teams as possible, taking into account as many variables as is prudent. It may be that (Number of players) and (Average playtime) are the only variables that need be considered. Version 1.0 of the algorithm might be as simple as only considering player numbers, nothing else. Hell, that might be good enough for a long time. It may also be that even going as far as trying to put enough specialized crafters/gatherers on each team improves match quality. Past campaign performance rendered as MMR somehow, total account skill training, etc. The applicability of such measures will only be learned through experience and testing, I think. Similarly, any players joining a campaign in progress will find themselves corraled into queue-groups and balanced out much the same way, except the matchmaker can now take into account the current standings of the campaign, if it's so desired. The matchmaker could take the current status of the campaign less and less into account over time. For example, if Toddbabwe is absolutely dominating 2 days into the campaign, perhaps the matchmaker will respond by giving the lion's share of the best signups to Melissland for a while so they can hopefully fight back more effectively. But much later on into the campaign, the matchmaker will be less responsive to information such as this - allowing Toddbabwe to take their deserved victory and end the campaign without reinforcing Melissland further. In this way, the flow of players into a campaign can be used as a balancing device. And yes, there are obvious ways this can go horribly wrong, so it should be approached very cautiously if utilized at all. 3. Remove any references to guild membership in Nations campaigns. The goal is for the Nation to become a sort of temporary uber-guild, and guild allegiances serve no purpose towards this end. Again, this is what the Dregs are for, and is what 90%+ of the guilded players reading this will play regardless. This may sound a little silly now, as the community is so small that you all know lots of guild allegiances by player name anyway. But in a Crowfall-is-successful world, many guilds are going to get quite big, and every member won't know every other member. Turn off guild chat, logos, guild names, all of it - whenever your character is in a factions campaign. The only functionality that should be preserved is guild inviting because you might meet players in Nations that you want to join your guild for the dregs. Of course it won't totally prevent guild coordination in this mode, it won't even get close - it will inevitably happen. Guilds WILL work together, and may even attempt to cause trouble across factional lines if they get bored. But frankly, most guilds are going to be attempting to work together in the Dregs, not here, so I think the problem will turn out to be much less than expected - and there's not much they can currently do to cooperate across faction lines anyway due to the current cautious design. The goal is to remove guild identity wherever possible and replace it with our enhanced National identity, which has been made more interesting by procedual generation. Ideally, this will lower the barrier to entry to unguilded and more casual or just bad players, who should be the intended audience of this mode. Although changing rulesets have been proposed, I believe a starting point of (Nations = inventory only loot) and (Dregs = Full loot) is a good default starting point. A non full loot dregs campaign should be the weird exception and vice-versa. Durability can go down faster in Nations to compensate somewhat. The other side of downplaying guilds is providing different tools for coordination between players on the same team. There many ways to do this that could be very interesting, but for this post I'll just give an example of a very simple one. Allow players to mark themselves as a 'leader', giving them an open group that other players can join in order to work together. When the players leave the group, maybe ask them to rate their experience with that leader on a 1-5 star scale, and prioritize them accordingly, or disallow low rated players from marking themselves 'leader' in the future. I have much crazier and more interesting ideas for the ruleset that better answer my third objection (No unique draw), but I want to end here as I'd prefer not to dilute my simpler points with my more off the wall ones, and it's possible that even these changes would be enough create a succesful gamemode. I may post my weirder proposals at a later date.
  9. 1. Has anyone on the team played the MMO "Darkfall Online", which was a spiritual successor to Shadowbane by a Greek indie dev released in 2009, and what are your thoughts on it and its short life and failings? If you are unaware of it, It's been revived semi-unsuccessfully several times by fans, and may be worth having someone try it out to learn what you can from it (both good and bad), as it was also a free-aim PVP conquest sandboxish game. 2. Are you aware of the degree to which the WoW rogue class has been copied into Crowfall? see: https://malekai.org/powers/inconceivable VS. https://www.wowdb.com/spells/193316-roll-the-bones as a quick example. Either way, who on the team is the rogue fanboy? Since I've caught you, you have to steal shadow priest next! 3. What is, in each of your opinions, the biggest misstep that's been made so far in the development of Crowfall?
  10. Wowesque stealth mechanics seem to either dominate an entire pvp system or are completely worthless, with pretty much nothing in between. Once all the anti-stealth mechanics are finished it will probably flip the switch to worthless, which I'm fine with
  11. Whoever's done the most work on optimization should print this post out and frame it
  12. I like the line of Krakken's thinking about expanding the Crow functionality. Traveling faster directionally towards the body is an idea I like a lot, some kind of "flap" or other flavourful speedboost (perhaps doubling as a height increase) also seems like a winner. It's a shame I can't read any of the (I imagine) interesting discussions that happen in the partner forum. It seems more than a little ridiculous at this point considering the tiny size of the playerbase. I wonder if the people with that entitlement wouldn't almost unanimously agree that it's counterproductive to gatekeep discussion when the community is in a state of severe inactivity due to pre-alpha. Anyway, since it's technically what we're playing as, making the crow more interactive can really help sell the whole "crows & vessels" thing and Crowfall as a universe more generally. Few quick thoughts on the crow: 1) In the inevitable final form of the NPE, the first time a player spawns into the world should be as a crow, as tempting as it might be to put them right into a more "traditional" vessel experience right away - maybe a nearby dead body that they're directed to fly towards and then possess after a brief period of introduction as a crow. Hell, maybe "their own" dead body from before they became a crow. Familiarizes them with the corpse retrieval process right away, and good lore flavour. 2) This one's actually already a thing, which is the crow spirit flying up and out of the body as part of the death animation, but I was thinking about how neat this one would be ages ago. Good job. 3) A power that renders you briefly corporeal as a living but still semi-spirity looking crow, and visible to players. This to me would the equivalent of pressing "TAB" in UO to show yourself as a ghost and troll people by going "OOooOoOOoO". Except instead of OOOing at them, your text would be rendered as a bunch of cawing noises (and text). A companion to this would of course be an exploration node that lets you understand the cawing, for those of us who eagerly screenshot precious rage tells and hackusations. It would actually be hilarious to have a flavour discipline (or node?) that allows you to briefly manifest as this corporeal crow after being killed, before being sent to the temple as normal, so you can rage caw at the people that just killed you - and maybe have 30s of being able to shot call for any living friends? Or just watch your friends get rolled, which can also be pretty fun. 3b) As a logical extension of this one, it could be interesting to have the landscape littered with Crowfall's version of "Weirwoodesque" (game of thrones/asoiaf) trees that crows could land on to be able to see and speak to (caw at) players. They could double as the tree motherlodes, actually. You might want to cut down the ones around your keeps to avoid spying. And noise. Impractical because spying will be done by embedded players, if at all - but embracing the fantasy/lore in this way is important to making a game feel like a world, I think, developer resources notwithstanding. 4) This one is absolutely idiotic, but it's too funny not to suggest - allowing crows to possess mounts. Pop into your friend's horse and gain a power tray to boost him out of danger or maybe super-jump, or pop into an enemy's mount and try to screw him over somehow - maybe he has to mash a button to dislodge you from his horse's mind, and it's slowed until then or you can turn in ways he doesn't want you to. Could get really silly, and really, really bad if it actually incentivizes a person in your group to go around as a crow to screw over enemy's mounts, which nobody would ever want to be forced to do - I think people might actually prefer to play as a character, not as a living movespeed malus. The "buff friend's mount" thing is a lot safer, much harder to lead to unhealthy gameplay. EDIT - wait, no it isn't, because everyone would then need an alt to permanently possess their own mounts to get around faster! I knew this was a stupid idea. No regrets! Mount possession forever!
  13. I think the problem with this system is that the frequency and rapidity of change makes a very cool event quickly lose all novelty and become boring. I would suggest a slight tweak on the system: To make "Hunger Night" seem much more special, rather than the mobs/hunger shards/other night effects occuring literally every ingame night, make it a probability tied to the seasonal progression and tied to some kind of easily visible celestial anomaly, ala Zelda: BOTW blood moon (Image), coupled with some special ominous music, and maybe increase the probability of a "Hunger Night" every time it doesn't happen. So in early spring, there may be a base 5% chance of the world proccing this night event. Every night it doesn't happen, increase the probability by 40% (7%, 10%, etc) until it does happen, and then reset. The base probability would increase with time by season, until maybe in winter you'd want it every night and the nights to last longer (that part of the system seems fine).
  14. Alliances will always be a thing, even if there's no official support for them. Much of what you ask is undecided or up in the air. People want to win, and zerging is a good way to do that - zerging is boring as hell, even for the people doing it, most of the time, but the desire to win often trumps our desire for fun. Ultimately it's the devs responsibility to disincentivize zerging as much as they see fit. In my mind, a few of the ways to do this are to make whatever "campaign reward" is decided upon actually desirable, but also not scale with player count (so a victorious clan of 100 players will receive, proportionally, much more than a winning clan of 1000) and also, perhaps counterintuitively, have no hard-coded distribution mechanism (for the winner's lion's share of whatever the reward actually is) beyond "Give Winning Guild Reward". Let me explain. People will ally up bigtime, but I think the unit of achieving victory should always be a Guild, not an Alliance. If an alliance wins a campaign, it should be the responsibility of the dominant guild of that alliance to distribute whatever exactly the spoils of winning end up being in this game to their allies and vassals. The distrust, mismanagement, and reluctance to give away whatever campaign rewards end up being will create useful friction that will discourage some amount of zerg behaviour. The negative of course is that the lack of a programmed third party to distribute rewards fairly can be countered by merging into a single mega zerg guild instead. However, in my experience, such things work out much better in theory than in practice, and such guilds are super unstable and even more prone to total collapse.
  15. The glossy, embossed circular "skill buttons" seem more out of place to me every time the rest of the skill UI gets updated. There seems to be an attempt at colour coding going on like there is with abilities, but I'm not sure it's necessary to colour code on a skills screen that will be studied at length rather than giving information at a glance like an ability bar. I have no idea what I would do instead of the buttons, to be fair. As to the meat of the update, seems fine to me, keep it up, etc. Though durenthal's critique is worth thinking about.
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