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Deioth

Testers
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  1. Like
    Deioth got a reaction from ACE_FancyHats in 5.100 LIVE Bug Reports for 9/4/2019   
    Long Live the Fighter passive from the Knife Grinder discipline is overwritten by the active skill Blood Strike from the Blade Master discipline.  Is this intentional?
    Blood Strike also has a delay in damage application compared to the animation.  It's very easy to break the final attack early and not apply the bleed at all, at least on an Elkin Templar.
     
    Speaking to Templar specifically, Certain Skills such as Holy Warrior prevent queueing up a parry, while most others queue the parry correctly.  It tends to be longer animation skills near as I can tell that cause this, or perhaps buff skills in general.  It can make Parry very clunky at times.  Spamming Parry and its combo also seems to cut out those attack sounds completely which happens most commonly/reliably in PVE.
    Censure is remarkably unreliable.  It will go only a couple feet going up hills and often will miss when ending when the enemy in as close as a 2m range and reticle over them, failing to damage or stun.
     
    Another unreliable skill is Throw Hurlbat for Champions.  It throws based off of the direction your character is looking, not where the camera aims, making it unreliable if you're strafing or kiting.
  2. Like
    Deioth got a reaction from APE in The New Guild Experience - The Passive and Crafting Problem   
    Indeed, with so much yet to be properly implemented, and a proper balance patch being rather overdue given the static nature of the meta (feels like W, HoA, and Clams is about 95% Crusader, Earthkeeper, Archer/Brigand, Inquisitor/Fanatic, and Alpha Warrior) it's an obvious waiting game.  Since we're pending Frostweaver, Dregs, and guild bank as the big three next major pieces it's unlikely they can focus much on a tweak to crafting and other systems again for some time.  All we can hope is that we've given them the feedback they need, especially considering the Dev reply giving me a serious "S-senpai... uwu" moment to reference a meme.
    Indeed, the passive systems feel like they deserve more in-depth attention on the whole.  That is why some of the ideas in the original post included consideration of tier restricting as well as specialized crafting trees for components, weapons, armor, and more.  It definitely feels like a vertical progression right now, like a lit fuse leading to a bottle rocket and suddenly you shoot straight up before another leveling out.  It just takes a few months for the fuse to hit the powder.
    I'm really liking intent and creativity behind your ideas of tier focus and cost reduction and stat spread and restricting stats to tier maximums.  Some of these maybe won't work in practice as offered, but others would go a long way to keeping things horizontal while further expanding how deep this already excellent the core crafting system is.  Like, maybe you wouldn't necessarily be a great green boot maker, you'd just be a great leather armor smith while your guildie might be a great leather component crafter.  Tier focused crafters seems novel but I'm not sure how well that could be implemented without getting convoluted, so simply requiring a certain amount of or point in the passive tree for a particular craft would simply unlock use of that rarity may be a decent compromise.  Alternatively, the specialization craft trees could give special bonuses for rarity a bit similar to harvest specializations, or maybe material type would be the better choice there?  Not only are you a master leather armor smith, you're a legend with soft hide in particular, perhaps?  Regardless of their chosen route, they definitely need to play around with how to front load experimentation points, how points used adjust stats, how risk and experimentation improves stats, how to spread out available stats to craft (because another meta issue seems to be there are only a couple of "good" stats; for example, it's only worth getting crit resist on armor apparently?) and in ensuring new and intermediate crafters can still make things of value.  If ~4 weeks ago (as we've been playing ~2 months) we all could have at least made greens comparable to decent world blue drops with a couple notches higher for the base stat (weapon damage, armor amount) then our new player retention and our experience would be markedly improved since we'd at least feel like we're achieving a sense of progression, even if we'd only be minimally competitive at that point rather than just about now finally approaching the top of the cliff.
    Personally, I think a good place to start tweaking and testing would be to heavily front load experimentation points and then require assembly and experimentation success chance for rarer mats and for experimentation risk.  Points themselves would be more additive while high risk would be multiplicative.  Risk and rarity would determine how many points can be applied to a single stat and increase the caps each stat can hit with a roll.  Properly implemented, master crafters would be able to create gear with great focused stats and decent secondary stats given how the caps would work and the multiplicative nature of risky rolls.  This way, newer crafters can make good one stat focused gear with some secondary bonuses while master crafters can make excellent focused gear and great multi-stat gear.
    I think they'll manage.  With proper marketing and a solid core system, this game will fill a niche for PvPers that wanted more immediate substance, action, and direction than EVE and that doesn't involve looking at a cosmic void with a spaceship in it 99% of the time.
    Maybe not new, but the extensive and substantive nature of the feedback being far more than the typical "Passive training is something about socks" I most certainly hope is appreciated and will go a long way to giving them a much fuller picture.  Half the reason we went Order wasn't just for hardcore mode or to introduce Player Three to the clearly growing stale dynamics of HAX and co getting a good win sometimes, it was also to try and experience this game in as much of a from-the-ground-up perspective as possible.  We're experiencing a lot of what brand new players post launch risk experiencing and hopefully the feedback goes a long way to significant improvements as resources become available for them.
  3. Like
    Deioth got a reaction from ACE_FancyHats in 5.100 LIVE Bug Reports for 9/4/2019   
    Found me a hole in the geometry around this spot.
     
     
  4. Like
    Deioth got a reaction from Audin in The New Guild Experience - The Passive and Crafting Problem   
    Maybe.  Every time we get into a fight with a couple people it turns into a like 4v15 with the next encounter.  Makes it even harder to learn anything when 90% of the fights we're grossly outnumbered 🤷‍♂️ The call goes out that there's PVP and we're effectively zerged lol
  5. Like
    Deioth got a reaction from Uta in The New Guild Experience - The Passive and Crafting Problem   
    Eldritch has come into 5.100 in a very unique position. All of us are effectively brand new players (despite some having dabbled in previous versions, our passive trees still had very little in them). This gives us a perspective the veteran players and guilds simply don't have and that, we believe, ACE lacks serious data on. As fun as it has been, despite all the trouble and issues (and pushing Order because come at us bro get rekt), we've been privvy to an experience that absolutely MUST be addressed and quickly (i.e., before Beta at latest).
     
    It's certainly one thing that we're new. We have a lot to learn. We don't know the best way to build specs or the best disciplines, but we're learning. We don't have the best comps, but that's just how it goes being this new and small. We don't know every in and out of crafting and harvesting, but we're learning. There are a lot of balance issues in general and since we lack any possibility of useful crafted gear any time soon it's also quite telling how all of this together can reveal just how lopsided fights are against well geared guilds and well built players. All of this is something we expected and something we are content to tolerate. What we did not expect and cannot tolerate is what the passive training tree and crafting system generally has resulted in. Granted, in pre-alpha we can't expect an economy (especially on a faction where we've become half the population of as a guild of, what, not even 12 active players?), and maybe on release it won't be quite so bad. However, that does not change the fact that our experience as a new guild has revealed some serious flaws with Crowfall's current design.
     
    There are some real problems with how the crafting system currently works in general. There's a pointlessness to crafting anything but blue and better gear. There's also a pointlessness to crafting anything without being near or at max crafting skill and experimentation points. This means we can't feasibly create any kind of intermediate gear to help us compare to those already kitted out in blues and better. But, that isn't the worst of it. The worst of it is the passive training tree itself. This tree alone has already pushed away three or four recruits from even bothering playing the game. One in particular dove in expecting to be able to become a great crafter, right up until she discovered the passive tree and how it works. She hasn't logged in since, neither Crowfall or our guild Discord. Another, realizing just how long it would take to catch up in any meaningful way with gear, has likewise stopped playing after about three days.  All of this, if the systems remain in place as they stand today upon release, will guaranteed push away many players and risk killing this game before it even begins.
     
    A catch-up mechanic will not fix this. The problem is inherent in the current design of the crafting system in general requiring the crafting equippables, all the additives, and thousands of Dust to kit out a single person (therefor you screw yourself by crafting without crafting maxed and at least blue mats/additives), as well as the time gating of the passive training itself. I'm sure we all know and understand the purpose and intent of the passive training system, but in its current iteration it simply does not work whatsoever. There is also the issue of veteran players simply being able to fill out everything given enough time, thus killing any real hope of specialization in roles (combat/harvest/craft).
     
    After some discussion, we've come up with a few ideas for changes that we feel need to happen.
     
    Simply Add Active Training.
     
    This will help, but only to a point. This game's very nature doesn't lend itself well to the “craft 1,000 daggers” approach like WoW or Skyrim et al. Still, an active training aspect is absolutely crucial to ensure players don't feel entirely locked behind a time gate, allowing those that play consistently to build up their crow skills. The basic idea is, so long as you're engaged in an activity related to the tree you're training in, you'll gain points faster.
     
    Add Skill Levels and Limit How Many Can Be “Mastered”
     
    This will help with the specialization, but one issue will be that if new players think they want to go one way and decide they do not like it we'll need some kind of respec mechanic. This would certainly give gold a good sink. You would have so many levels you can train, maybe you can train everything up to “Journeyman” which might be, say, level 3 of 10, which means you'd only be so far into each main tree. Meanwhile, the 10th level of “Master” maybe you can only pick two, and only pick 4 for the maybe 6th level. And yet, a lot of players may like having lots of characters for lots of builds and situations, or like harvesting and crafting a lot and what to engage with all of it. If someone wants to give it the time, they certainly shouldn't feel like they're being pigeonholed. That brings us to idea #3.
     
    Give Vessels Their Own Passive Skill Tree
     
    Nobody should feel pigeonholed. Plenty of players like having alts. Certainly, no one should be able to master everything, but mixing in the vessel itself into the equation will allow people to stretch out in a few ways, such that only those that truly focus on specializing will completely fill out certain trees. So, you might hold out on Journeyman level--to use the above example--on your Crow, but each Vessel might still be able to choose one Master of their own so long as your Crow hits a certain level of that skill. But, to truly specialize, you would need to Crow and Vessel Master on the same skill tree, or some equivalent.
     
    With these ideas together, we think we have a solid recommendation to try testing with:
     
    First, determine a maximum pool of Skill Training Points. Players will still have their passive training, but now every single action generates a usable active point. PVP, point capture, harvesting, crafting, war tribes, all of these activities provide a certain amount of actively generated points. Players then allocate as they see fit on the Crow tree or the Vessel tree. Eventually, a player will hit the maximum points on their Crow, at which point a certain amount can still be actively trained on a per vessel basis. So, lets say (for sake of example) you can gain a total of 6 million points on your crow, while a vessel can train up an additional 2 million. This will do a few things: Players can actively play and get better/stronger at whatever they want to simply by playing, players can specialize without being able to get everything, and players will have some wiggle room to split off and enjoy alts without severely pigeonholing themselves (so even a crafter heavy crow, for example, can still have a good combat character, they just won't Master any Combat skills). This could work where you can only Vessel train from however far the Crow has, and adding points to the Crow for the same nodes would free up those points from the Vessel. Players won't be able to pace through a single tree any faster than anyone else, either, with this because you would pull from a single point pool; you'd merely be choosing Crow or Vessel to allocate to. With this introduced, and having an extra however many points that can be Vessel-specific, we could see the re-introduction of the Race tree allowing players to fill out minor buffs for each race like increased stat caps and minor general craft and harvest buffs (or, at least each race group, so Human, Elf, Monster, Stoneborn, Guinecean)
     
    Second, greatly expand and refine the skill trees as they exist now. Harvesting as it exists currently feels pretty good with respect to specialization so it doesn't feel like there's much to do to enhance this. The parts that could use some expanding is Combat with a near total overhaul applied to Crafting. Combat should be split up a bit and restructured a bit, having the Weaponry and Armor branches as they stand now, but making some changes as specified further below. Crafting needs to be restructured almost entirely and have new branches added in as detailed below.
     
    For Combat, simply tweaking and fleshing out more options will be sufficient, but overall it's adequate as is. Consider introducing three new trees that require Armor and Weapons maxed to reach. These would be named along the lines something like Warrior, Specialist, and Medic. These would provide passives dedicated to benefiting DPS specs, tank/CC utility specs, and healing specs respectfully. For Weapons, consider swapping things around, you choose One Handed Combat, Two Handed Combat, Melee Mastery, or Ranged Mastery along with an additional three Mastery trees: Organic Mastery, Physical Mastery, and Elemental Mastery. I feel like this might split things a bit better but that's just a whatever. This isn't anywhere necessary we don't think, but it would be nice to see this expanded, especially if the point cap and vessel points are introduced so players can better specialize.
     
    Now, the part that needs the absolute most work of all: Crafting. The overhaul here isn't just going to be the passive tree, either. This also will need to include some real tweaks on material requirements and other costs based on the rarity tier being worked, if additives are being used or not, and to also ensure that every level of commonality (except maybe white?) is valuable to craft with for gear. First, you should need to unlock access to make items of a certain grade, requiring a certain amount of the tree unlocked to reach each level (e.g. you can't craft with Blue materials/components until you unlock that node). This will give players good milestones to reach and make sure newer crafters know their limits. Second, crafter gear (like necromancer goggles) should also require hitting a certain crafting level in that crafting tree. This will help make master crafters stand out, but with things balanced out so non-masters can still contribute useful stuff. Third, dust and ember costs need to be offloaded more towards utilizing those items so that players can make good use of lesser quality ingredients without using up nearly as much dust/ember resource so they can still make decent gear. As it is now, even if you didn't need to be a master to make great gear, you're only hurting yourself crafting greens/whites because of the amount of dust needed, or without additives because the benefits are too good. Green grade non-additive gear should still have value to make and not be too expensive for mat/dust requirements since as things stand now there is no “stepping stone” intermediate gear anywhere comparable to even master crafted blue and that makes gear disparity problems even worse. Fourth, experimentation points should be frontloaded on the tree so you get more experimentation early to help with crafting decent lower grade gear, while further mastering crafts improve your risky experimentation to max out high grade gear. Fifth, requiring hitting the final Mastery node of any appropriate craft should unlock additional specialist crafting trees: Component Mastery, Weapon Mastery, Armor Mastery, Tinkerer (experimentation and crafter gear focus), and Taskmaster (Thrall focus for when Thralls are ready to go).
     
     
    Hopefully, this assessment will be taken to heart, and a serious overhaul of these systems will be worked on. No one should feel pigeonholed, no one should require master crafting or days of dust/ember grinding to get reasonably competitive gear, and no one should be time gated from feeling useful or doing what they want to do.
  6. Like
    Deioth got a reaction from Vunak in The New Guild Experience - The Passive and Crafting Problem   
    Eldritch has come into 5.100 in a very unique position. All of us are effectively brand new players (despite some having dabbled in previous versions, our passive trees still had very little in them). This gives us a perspective the veteran players and guilds simply don't have and that, we believe, ACE lacks serious data on. As fun as it has been, despite all the trouble and issues (and pushing Order because come at us bro get rekt), we've been privvy to an experience that absolutely MUST be addressed and quickly (i.e., before Beta at latest).
     
    It's certainly one thing that we're new. We have a lot to learn. We don't know the best way to build specs or the best disciplines, but we're learning. We don't have the best comps, but that's just how it goes being this new and small. We don't know every in and out of crafting and harvesting, but we're learning. There are a lot of balance issues in general and since we lack any possibility of useful crafted gear any time soon it's also quite telling how all of this together can reveal just how lopsided fights are against well geared guilds and well built players. All of this is something we expected and something we are content to tolerate. What we did not expect and cannot tolerate is what the passive training tree and crafting system generally has resulted in. Granted, in pre-alpha we can't expect an economy (especially on a faction where we've become half the population of as a guild of, what, not even 12 active players?), and maybe on release it won't be quite so bad. However, that does not change the fact that our experience as a new guild has revealed some serious flaws with Crowfall's current design.
     
    There are some real problems with how the crafting system currently works in general. There's a pointlessness to crafting anything but blue and better gear. There's also a pointlessness to crafting anything without being near or at max crafting skill and experimentation points. This means we can't feasibly create any kind of intermediate gear to help us compare to those already kitted out in blues and better. But, that isn't the worst of it. The worst of it is the passive training tree itself. This tree alone has already pushed away three or four recruits from even bothering playing the game. One in particular dove in expecting to be able to become a great crafter, right up until she discovered the passive tree and how it works. She hasn't logged in since, neither Crowfall or our guild Discord. Another, realizing just how long it would take to catch up in any meaningful way with gear, has likewise stopped playing after about three days.  All of this, if the systems remain in place as they stand today upon release, will guaranteed push away many players and risk killing this game before it even begins.
     
    A catch-up mechanic will not fix this. The problem is inherent in the current design of the crafting system in general requiring the crafting equippables, all the additives, and thousands of Dust to kit out a single person (therefor you screw yourself by crafting without crafting maxed and at least blue mats/additives), as well as the time gating of the passive training itself. I'm sure we all know and understand the purpose and intent of the passive training system, but in its current iteration it simply does not work whatsoever. There is also the issue of veteran players simply being able to fill out everything given enough time, thus killing any real hope of specialization in roles (combat/harvest/craft).
     
    After some discussion, we've come up with a few ideas for changes that we feel need to happen.
     
    Simply Add Active Training.
     
    This will help, but only to a point. This game's very nature doesn't lend itself well to the “craft 1,000 daggers” approach like WoW or Skyrim et al. Still, an active training aspect is absolutely crucial to ensure players don't feel entirely locked behind a time gate, allowing those that play consistently to build up their crow skills. The basic idea is, so long as you're engaged in an activity related to the tree you're training in, you'll gain points faster.
     
    Add Skill Levels and Limit How Many Can Be “Mastered”
     
    This will help with the specialization, but one issue will be that if new players think they want to go one way and decide they do not like it we'll need some kind of respec mechanic. This would certainly give gold a good sink. You would have so many levels you can train, maybe you can train everything up to “Journeyman” which might be, say, level 3 of 10, which means you'd only be so far into each main tree. Meanwhile, the 10th level of “Master” maybe you can only pick two, and only pick 4 for the maybe 6th level. And yet, a lot of players may like having lots of characters for lots of builds and situations, or like harvesting and crafting a lot and what to engage with all of it. If someone wants to give it the time, they certainly shouldn't feel like they're being pigeonholed. That brings us to idea #3.
     
    Give Vessels Their Own Passive Skill Tree
     
    Nobody should feel pigeonholed. Plenty of players like having alts. Certainly, no one should be able to master everything, but mixing in the vessel itself into the equation will allow people to stretch out in a few ways, such that only those that truly focus on specializing will completely fill out certain trees. So, you might hold out on Journeyman level--to use the above example--on your Crow, but each Vessel might still be able to choose one Master of their own so long as your Crow hits a certain level of that skill. But, to truly specialize, you would need to Crow and Vessel Master on the same skill tree, or some equivalent.
     
    With these ideas together, we think we have a solid recommendation to try testing with:
     
    First, determine a maximum pool of Skill Training Points. Players will still have their passive training, but now every single action generates a usable active point. PVP, point capture, harvesting, crafting, war tribes, all of these activities provide a certain amount of actively generated points. Players then allocate as they see fit on the Crow tree or the Vessel tree. Eventually, a player will hit the maximum points on their Crow, at which point a certain amount can still be actively trained on a per vessel basis. So, lets say (for sake of example) you can gain a total of 6 million points on your crow, while a vessel can train up an additional 2 million. This will do a few things: Players can actively play and get better/stronger at whatever they want to simply by playing, players can specialize without being able to get everything, and players will have some wiggle room to split off and enjoy alts without severely pigeonholing themselves (so even a crafter heavy crow, for example, can still have a good combat character, they just won't Master any Combat skills). This could work where you can only Vessel train from however far the Crow has, and adding points to the Crow for the same nodes would free up those points from the Vessel. Players won't be able to pace through a single tree any faster than anyone else, either, with this because you would pull from a single point pool; you'd merely be choosing Crow or Vessel to allocate to. With this introduced, and having an extra however many points that can be Vessel-specific, we could see the re-introduction of the Race tree allowing players to fill out minor buffs for each race like increased stat caps and minor general craft and harvest buffs (or, at least each race group, so Human, Elf, Monster, Stoneborn, Guinecean)
     
    Second, greatly expand and refine the skill trees as they exist now. Harvesting as it exists currently feels pretty good with respect to specialization so it doesn't feel like there's much to do to enhance this. The parts that could use some expanding is Combat with a near total overhaul applied to Crafting. Combat should be split up a bit and restructured a bit, having the Weaponry and Armor branches as they stand now, but making some changes as specified further below. Crafting needs to be restructured almost entirely and have new branches added in as detailed below.
     
    For Combat, simply tweaking and fleshing out more options will be sufficient, but overall it's adequate as is. Consider introducing three new trees that require Armor and Weapons maxed to reach. These would be named along the lines something like Warrior, Specialist, and Medic. These would provide passives dedicated to benefiting DPS specs, tank/CC utility specs, and healing specs respectfully. For Weapons, consider swapping things around, you choose One Handed Combat, Two Handed Combat, Melee Mastery, or Ranged Mastery along with an additional three Mastery trees: Organic Mastery, Physical Mastery, and Elemental Mastery. I feel like this might split things a bit better but that's just a whatever. This isn't anywhere necessary we don't think, but it would be nice to see this expanded, especially if the point cap and vessel points are introduced so players can better specialize.
     
    Now, the part that needs the absolute most work of all: Crafting. The overhaul here isn't just going to be the passive tree, either. This also will need to include some real tweaks on material requirements and other costs based on the rarity tier being worked, if additives are being used or not, and to also ensure that every level of commonality (except maybe white?) is valuable to craft with for gear. First, you should need to unlock access to make items of a certain grade, requiring a certain amount of the tree unlocked to reach each level (e.g. you can't craft with Blue materials/components until you unlock that node). This will give players good milestones to reach and make sure newer crafters know their limits. Second, crafter gear (like necromancer goggles) should also require hitting a certain crafting level in that crafting tree. This will help make master crafters stand out, but with things balanced out so non-masters can still contribute useful stuff. Third, dust and ember costs need to be offloaded more towards utilizing those items so that players can make good use of lesser quality ingredients without using up nearly as much dust/ember resource so they can still make decent gear. As it is now, even if you didn't need to be a master to make great gear, you're only hurting yourself crafting greens/whites because of the amount of dust needed, or without additives because the benefits are too good. Green grade non-additive gear should still have value to make and not be too expensive for mat/dust requirements since as things stand now there is no “stepping stone” intermediate gear anywhere comparable to even master crafted blue and that makes gear disparity problems even worse. Fourth, experimentation points should be frontloaded on the tree so you get more experimentation early to help with crafting decent lower grade gear, while further mastering crafts improve your risky experimentation to max out high grade gear. Fifth, requiring hitting the final Mastery node of any appropriate craft should unlock additional specialist crafting trees: Component Mastery, Weapon Mastery, Armor Mastery, Tinkerer (experimentation and crafter gear focus), and Taskmaster (Thrall focus for when Thralls are ready to go).
     
     
    Hopefully, this assessment will be taken to heart, and a serious overhaul of these systems will be worked on. No one should feel pigeonholed, no one should require master crafting or days of dust/ember grinding to get reasonably competitive gear, and no one should be time gated from feeling useful or doing what they want to do.
  7. Like
    Deioth got a reaction from MrMugglez in The New Guild Experience - The Passive and Crafting Problem   
    Eldritch has come into 5.100 in a very unique position. All of us are effectively brand new players (despite some having dabbled in previous versions, our passive trees still had very little in them). This gives us a perspective the veteran players and guilds simply don't have and that, we believe, ACE lacks serious data on. As fun as it has been, despite all the trouble and issues (and pushing Order because come at us bro get rekt), we've been privvy to an experience that absolutely MUST be addressed and quickly (i.e., before Beta at latest).
     
    It's certainly one thing that we're new. We have a lot to learn. We don't know the best way to build specs or the best disciplines, but we're learning. We don't have the best comps, but that's just how it goes being this new and small. We don't know every in and out of crafting and harvesting, but we're learning. There are a lot of balance issues in general and since we lack any possibility of useful crafted gear any time soon it's also quite telling how all of this together can reveal just how lopsided fights are against well geared guilds and well built players. All of this is something we expected and something we are content to tolerate. What we did not expect and cannot tolerate is what the passive training tree and crafting system generally has resulted in. Granted, in pre-alpha we can't expect an economy (especially on a faction where we've become half the population of as a guild of, what, not even 12 active players?), and maybe on release it won't be quite so bad. However, that does not change the fact that our experience as a new guild has revealed some serious flaws with Crowfall's current design.
     
    There are some real problems with how the crafting system currently works in general. There's a pointlessness to crafting anything but blue and better gear. There's also a pointlessness to crafting anything without being near or at max crafting skill and experimentation points. This means we can't feasibly create any kind of intermediate gear to help us compare to those already kitted out in blues and better. But, that isn't the worst of it. The worst of it is the passive training tree itself. This tree alone has already pushed away three or four recruits from even bothering playing the game. One in particular dove in expecting to be able to become a great crafter, right up until she discovered the passive tree and how it works. She hasn't logged in since, neither Crowfall or our guild Discord. Another, realizing just how long it would take to catch up in any meaningful way with gear, has likewise stopped playing after about three days.  All of this, if the systems remain in place as they stand today upon release, will guaranteed push away many players and risk killing this game before it even begins.
     
    A catch-up mechanic will not fix this. The problem is inherent in the current design of the crafting system in general requiring the crafting equippables, all the additives, and thousands of Dust to kit out a single person (therefor you screw yourself by crafting without crafting maxed and at least blue mats/additives), as well as the time gating of the passive training itself. I'm sure we all know and understand the purpose and intent of the passive training system, but in its current iteration it simply does not work whatsoever. There is also the issue of veteran players simply being able to fill out everything given enough time, thus killing any real hope of specialization in roles (combat/harvest/craft).
     
    After some discussion, we've come up with a few ideas for changes that we feel need to happen.
     
    Simply Add Active Training.
     
    This will help, but only to a point. This game's very nature doesn't lend itself well to the “craft 1,000 daggers” approach like WoW or Skyrim et al. Still, an active training aspect is absolutely crucial to ensure players don't feel entirely locked behind a time gate, allowing those that play consistently to build up their crow skills. The basic idea is, so long as you're engaged in an activity related to the tree you're training in, you'll gain points faster.
     
    Add Skill Levels and Limit How Many Can Be “Mastered”
     
    This will help with the specialization, but one issue will be that if new players think they want to go one way and decide they do not like it we'll need some kind of respec mechanic. This would certainly give gold a good sink. You would have so many levels you can train, maybe you can train everything up to “Journeyman” which might be, say, level 3 of 10, which means you'd only be so far into each main tree. Meanwhile, the 10th level of “Master” maybe you can only pick two, and only pick 4 for the maybe 6th level. And yet, a lot of players may like having lots of characters for lots of builds and situations, or like harvesting and crafting a lot and what to engage with all of it. If someone wants to give it the time, they certainly shouldn't feel like they're being pigeonholed. That brings us to idea #3.
     
    Give Vessels Their Own Passive Skill Tree
     
    Nobody should feel pigeonholed. Plenty of players like having alts. Certainly, no one should be able to master everything, but mixing in the vessel itself into the equation will allow people to stretch out in a few ways, such that only those that truly focus on specializing will completely fill out certain trees. So, you might hold out on Journeyman level--to use the above example--on your Crow, but each Vessel might still be able to choose one Master of their own so long as your Crow hits a certain level of that skill. But, to truly specialize, you would need to Crow and Vessel Master on the same skill tree, or some equivalent.
     
    With these ideas together, we think we have a solid recommendation to try testing with:
     
    First, determine a maximum pool of Skill Training Points. Players will still have their passive training, but now every single action generates a usable active point. PVP, point capture, harvesting, crafting, war tribes, all of these activities provide a certain amount of actively generated points. Players then allocate as they see fit on the Crow tree or the Vessel tree. Eventually, a player will hit the maximum points on their Crow, at which point a certain amount can still be actively trained on a per vessel basis. So, lets say (for sake of example) you can gain a total of 6 million points on your crow, while a vessel can train up an additional 2 million. This will do a few things: Players can actively play and get better/stronger at whatever they want to simply by playing, players can specialize without being able to get everything, and players will have some wiggle room to split off and enjoy alts without severely pigeonholing themselves (so even a crafter heavy crow, for example, can still have a good combat character, they just won't Master any Combat skills). This could work where you can only Vessel train from however far the Crow has, and adding points to the Crow for the same nodes would free up those points from the Vessel. Players won't be able to pace through a single tree any faster than anyone else, either, with this because you would pull from a single point pool; you'd merely be choosing Crow or Vessel to allocate to. With this introduced, and having an extra however many points that can be Vessel-specific, we could see the re-introduction of the Race tree allowing players to fill out minor buffs for each race like increased stat caps and minor general craft and harvest buffs (or, at least each race group, so Human, Elf, Monster, Stoneborn, Guinecean)
     
    Second, greatly expand and refine the skill trees as they exist now. Harvesting as it exists currently feels pretty good with respect to specialization so it doesn't feel like there's much to do to enhance this. The parts that could use some expanding is Combat with a near total overhaul applied to Crafting. Combat should be split up a bit and restructured a bit, having the Weaponry and Armor branches as they stand now, but making some changes as specified further below. Crafting needs to be restructured almost entirely and have new branches added in as detailed below.
     
    For Combat, simply tweaking and fleshing out more options will be sufficient, but overall it's adequate as is. Consider introducing three new trees that require Armor and Weapons maxed to reach. These would be named along the lines something like Warrior, Specialist, and Medic. These would provide passives dedicated to benefiting DPS specs, tank/CC utility specs, and healing specs respectfully. For Weapons, consider swapping things around, you choose One Handed Combat, Two Handed Combat, Melee Mastery, or Ranged Mastery along with an additional three Mastery trees: Organic Mastery, Physical Mastery, and Elemental Mastery. I feel like this might split things a bit better but that's just a whatever. This isn't anywhere necessary we don't think, but it would be nice to see this expanded, especially if the point cap and vessel points are introduced so players can better specialize.
     
    Now, the part that needs the absolute most work of all: Crafting. The overhaul here isn't just going to be the passive tree, either. This also will need to include some real tweaks on material requirements and other costs based on the rarity tier being worked, if additives are being used or not, and to also ensure that every level of commonality (except maybe white?) is valuable to craft with for gear. First, you should need to unlock access to make items of a certain grade, requiring a certain amount of the tree unlocked to reach each level (e.g. you can't craft with Blue materials/components until you unlock that node). This will give players good milestones to reach and make sure newer crafters know their limits. Second, crafter gear (like necromancer goggles) should also require hitting a certain crafting level in that crafting tree. This will help make master crafters stand out, but with things balanced out so non-masters can still contribute useful stuff. Third, dust and ember costs need to be offloaded more towards utilizing those items so that players can make good use of lesser quality ingredients without using up nearly as much dust/ember resource so they can still make decent gear. As it is now, even if you didn't need to be a master to make great gear, you're only hurting yourself crafting greens/whites because of the amount of dust needed, or without additives because the benefits are too good. Green grade non-additive gear should still have value to make and not be too expensive for mat/dust requirements since as things stand now there is no “stepping stone” intermediate gear anywhere comparable to even master crafted blue and that makes gear disparity problems even worse. Fourth, experimentation points should be frontloaded on the tree so you get more experimentation early to help with crafting decent lower grade gear, while further mastering crafts improve your risky experimentation to max out high grade gear. Fifth, requiring hitting the final Mastery node of any appropriate craft should unlock additional specialist crafting trees: Component Mastery, Weapon Mastery, Armor Mastery, Tinkerer (experimentation and crafter gear focus), and Taskmaster (Thrall focus for when Thralls are ready to go).
     
     
    Hopefully, this assessment will be taken to heart, and a serious overhaul of these systems will be worked on. No one should feel pigeonholed, no one should require master crafting or days of dust/ember grinding to get reasonably competitive gear, and no one should be time gated from feeling useful or doing what they want to do.
  8. Like
    Deioth got a reaction from MrMugglez in The New Guild Experience - The Passive and Crafting Problem   
    Irrelevant.  The point is, she couldn't actively work to become one.  It's entirely time gated.  And the game's current iteration effectively punishes you for crafting without significant passive investment given resource costs.  Had she been able to work within a reasonable amount of time to become an effective crafter, she'd still be playing, but with that having been her biggest interest the game's very design pushed her away.  Imagine how much worse it will be for players like that when passive training is set to the much slower pace they intend for release?
     
    No, that is not active whatsoever.  There also is effectively no economy to speak of because the population is too small for that, and new players are flat out NOT going to be able to amass thousands of dust or dozens of embers to trade to established crafters for the good stuff (and no crafter is going to waste good mats on lesser gear to trade for gold, either).  We're fortunate we were able to find some Foreman discs for sale or we'd only just now three campaigns later maybe be gathering minerals from motherloads, and we're fortunate Spectre Legion has been sitting on Order with near maxed Necromancy to make GOOD vessels or we'd have spent a ton of mats on barely better than white vessels because three campaigns in and I'm not even 50% Necromancy.  Those facts aren't proof of the system working, those facts are proof the system is failing, because without those things we'd still have nothing and be nowhere.  The current iteration of purely passive training, requiring tons of rare mats, and needing to be maxed out in crafting to actually make proper use of said mats is simply not good design.  There are no stepping stone intermediate levels that can be feasibly or adequately reached as a new guild and as new players that would prove a clear upgrade over mob drops and allow us some potential to compete against more established players and even if there was the game lacks a means of actually getting there other than sitting on our hands for weeks on end waiting for the game decide we can.  That needs to change and quickly.
  9. Like
    Deioth got a reaction from MrMugglez in The New Guild Experience - The Passive and Crafting Problem   
    All true, but this does not compensate for not being near maxed crafting.  These also do nothing for the other inherent problems I detailed.  The passive tree has actively pushed new players away from the game.  An active system, even a mild one (that would be balanced to be only somewhat faster than passive training alone), would go a long way there.  If on retail it would take, say, 6 months to 100% Crafting Basics and one entire crafting tree, the active training would reduce it to maybe 5 months with dedicated play (a few hours per day average), meaning all active generated points are going into that craft's skill tree. 
    Your list also does nothing with regards to the issue of material costs themselves.  Perhaps part of that is a result of the pre alpha training speeds because to make anything now is a bad idea given material costs (we'd only effectively double and more on dust costs and the few blue vessels we have now were well over 700 dust each and weapons/armor are similarly expensive; that is a lot of mat grinding).  But, keeping in mind the pre alpha training speed is also the sole reason we're able to harvest at any adequate rate in the first place!
    I should be max Necromancy sans thralls by the beginning of October so that's about two months total.  That isn't terrible given the game's current state, but the passive training time gate itself is still a turn off.  No brand new player could ever hope to catch up to veterans on EVE, and if they are a craft minded player then they effectively have no reason to play the game for months at a time (it's a real problem for EVE with new player retention).  Crowfall is at great risk of experiencing this exact same problem and catch up mechanics simply won't be enough.  Eldritch, as a new guild, is a prime example of this problem happening right now.
    Again, there is no economy right now of any meaningful sort.  This certainly causes an issue and much of that is the prealpha state and the low player pop which makes it hard to accurately critique the whole experience.  However, you seem to be taking this entire post as one guy ranting about having a bad time soloing.  This has been a guild experience.  This post reflects our concerns, problems, frustrations, and feedback as a guild.  You also seem to be misrepresenting the suggestions given flat out.  We're not asking for no-life grinding.  We're asking that the time gated passive tree be supplemented so players, especially those only really interested in crafting, have something to actively work towards.  As things stand currently, there really isn't.  You already have to grind your head off for mats and for chief/king craft books and craft equipment drops.  An active training to supplement the passive tree would be a huge boon to player retention.  And then, beyond that, we strongly believe there needs to be tweaking done to mat costs and how the crafting trees line up so that green and intermediate levels of gear can be crafted that is better than camp drops without needing additives, craft equipment, (near) maxed crafting, and mountains of dust.  The lack of any meaningful, feasible, and accessible way to kit out our guild in some stop-gap gear (especially when considering import/export restrictions and durability loss) to help us be some level of competitive against established players and guilds has further contributed to our reasoning behind this post and our feedback.
  10. Like
    Deioth got a reaction from Fahennel in The New Guild Experience - The Passive and Crafting Problem   
    Eldritch has come into 5.100 in a very unique position. All of us are effectively brand new players (despite some having dabbled in previous versions, our passive trees still had very little in them). This gives us a perspective the veteran players and guilds simply don't have and that, we believe, ACE lacks serious data on. As fun as it has been, despite all the trouble and issues (and pushing Order because come at us bro get rekt), we've been privvy to an experience that absolutely MUST be addressed and quickly (i.e., before Beta at latest).
     
    It's certainly one thing that we're new. We have a lot to learn. We don't know the best way to build specs or the best disciplines, but we're learning. We don't have the best comps, but that's just how it goes being this new and small. We don't know every in and out of crafting and harvesting, but we're learning. There are a lot of balance issues in general and since we lack any possibility of useful crafted gear any time soon it's also quite telling how all of this together can reveal just how lopsided fights are against well geared guilds and well built players. All of this is something we expected and something we are content to tolerate. What we did not expect and cannot tolerate is what the passive training tree and crafting system generally has resulted in. Granted, in pre-alpha we can't expect an economy (especially on a faction where we've become half the population of as a guild of, what, not even 12 active players?), and maybe on release it won't be quite so bad. However, that does not change the fact that our experience as a new guild has revealed some serious flaws with Crowfall's current design.
     
    There are some real problems with how the crafting system currently works in general. There's a pointlessness to crafting anything but blue and better gear. There's also a pointlessness to crafting anything without being near or at max crafting skill and experimentation points. This means we can't feasibly create any kind of intermediate gear to help us compare to those already kitted out in blues and better. But, that isn't the worst of it. The worst of it is the passive training tree itself. This tree alone has already pushed away three or four recruits from even bothering playing the game. One in particular dove in expecting to be able to become a great crafter, right up until she discovered the passive tree and how it works. She hasn't logged in since, neither Crowfall or our guild Discord. Another, realizing just how long it would take to catch up in any meaningful way with gear, has likewise stopped playing after about three days.  All of this, if the systems remain in place as they stand today upon release, will guaranteed push away many players and risk killing this game before it even begins.
     
    A catch-up mechanic will not fix this. The problem is inherent in the current design of the crafting system in general requiring the crafting equippables, all the additives, and thousands of Dust to kit out a single person (therefor you screw yourself by crafting without crafting maxed and at least blue mats/additives), as well as the time gating of the passive training itself. I'm sure we all know and understand the purpose and intent of the passive training system, but in its current iteration it simply does not work whatsoever. There is also the issue of veteran players simply being able to fill out everything given enough time, thus killing any real hope of specialization in roles (combat/harvest/craft).
     
    After some discussion, we've come up with a few ideas for changes that we feel need to happen.
     
    Simply Add Active Training.
     
    This will help, but only to a point. This game's very nature doesn't lend itself well to the “craft 1,000 daggers” approach like WoW or Skyrim et al. Still, an active training aspect is absolutely crucial to ensure players don't feel entirely locked behind a time gate, allowing those that play consistently to build up their crow skills. The basic idea is, so long as you're engaged in an activity related to the tree you're training in, you'll gain points faster.
     
    Add Skill Levels and Limit How Many Can Be “Mastered”
     
    This will help with the specialization, but one issue will be that if new players think they want to go one way and decide they do not like it we'll need some kind of respec mechanic. This would certainly give gold a good sink. You would have so many levels you can train, maybe you can train everything up to “Journeyman” which might be, say, level 3 of 10, which means you'd only be so far into each main tree. Meanwhile, the 10th level of “Master” maybe you can only pick two, and only pick 4 for the maybe 6th level. And yet, a lot of players may like having lots of characters for lots of builds and situations, or like harvesting and crafting a lot and what to engage with all of it. If someone wants to give it the time, they certainly shouldn't feel like they're being pigeonholed. That brings us to idea #3.
     
    Give Vessels Their Own Passive Skill Tree
     
    Nobody should feel pigeonholed. Plenty of players like having alts. Certainly, no one should be able to master everything, but mixing in the vessel itself into the equation will allow people to stretch out in a few ways, such that only those that truly focus on specializing will completely fill out certain trees. So, you might hold out on Journeyman level--to use the above example--on your Crow, but each Vessel might still be able to choose one Master of their own so long as your Crow hits a certain level of that skill. But, to truly specialize, you would need to Crow and Vessel Master on the same skill tree, or some equivalent.
     
    With these ideas together, we think we have a solid recommendation to try testing with:
     
    First, determine a maximum pool of Skill Training Points. Players will still have their passive training, but now every single action generates a usable active point. PVP, point capture, harvesting, crafting, war tribes, all of these activities provide a certain amount of actively generated points. Players then allocate as they see fit on the Crow tree or the Vessel tree. Eventually, a player will hit the maximum points on their Crow, at which point a certain amount can still be actively trained on a per vessel basis. So, lets say (for sake of example) you can gain a total of 6 million points on your crow, while a vessel can train up an additional 2 million. This will do a few things: Players can actively play and get better/stronger at whatever they want to simply by playing, players can specialize without being able to get everything, and players will have some wiggle room to split off and enjoy alts without severely pigeonholing themselves (so even a crafter heavy crow, for example, can still have a good combat character, they just won't Master any Combat skills). This could work where you can only Vessel train from however far the Crow has, and adding points to the Crow for the same nodes would free up those points from the Vessel. Players won't be able to pace through a single tree any faster than anyone else, either, with this because you would pull from a single point pool; you'd merely be choosing Crow or Vessel to allocate to. With this introduced, and having an extra however many points that can be Vessel-specific, we could see the re-introduction of the Race tree allowing players to fill out minor buffs for each race like increased stat caps and minor general craft and harvest buffs (or, at least each race group, so Human, Elf, Monster, Stoneborn, Guinecean)
     
    Second, greatly expand and refine the skill trees as they exist now. Harvesting as it exists currently feels pretty good with respect to specialization so it doesn't feel like there's much to do to enhance this. The parts that could use some expanding is Combat with a near total overhaul applied to Crafting. Combat should be split up a bit and restructured a bit, having the Weaponry and Armor branches as they stand now, but making some changes as specified further below. Crafting needs to be restructured almost entirely and have new branches added in as detailed below.
     
    For Combat, simply tweaking and fleshing out more options will be sufficient, but overall it's adequate as is. Consider introducing three new trees that require Armor and Weapons maxed to reach. These would be named along the lines something like Warrior, Specialist, and Medic. These would provide passives dedicated to benefiting DPS specs, tank/CC utility specs, and healing specs respectfully. For Weapons, consider swapping things around, you choose One Handed Combat, Two Handed Combat, Melee Mastery, or Ranged Mastery along with an additional three Mastery trees: Organic Mastery, Physical Mastery, and Elemental Mastery. I feel like this might split things a bit better but that's just a whatever. This isn't anywhere necessary we don't think, but it would be nice to see this expanded, especially if the point cap and vessel points are introduced so players can better specialize.
     
    Now, the part that needs the absolute most work of all: Crafting. The overhaul here isn't just going to be the passive tree, either. This also will need to include some real tweaks on material requirements and other costs based on the rarity tier being worked, if additives are being used or not, and to also ensure that every level of commonality (except maybe white?) is valuable to craft with for gear. First, you should need to unlock access to make items of a certain grade, requiring a certain amount of the tree unlocked to reach each level (e.g. you can't craft with Blue materials/components until you unlock that node). This will give players good milestones to reach and make sure newer crafters know their limits. Second, crafter gear (like necromancer goggles) should also require hitting a certain crafting level in that crafting tree. This will help make master crafters stand out, but with things balanced out so non-masters can still contribute useful stuff. Third, dust and ember costs need to be offloaded more towards utilizing those items so that players can make good use of lesser quality ingredients without using up nearly as much dust/ember resource so they can still make decent gear. As it is now, even if you didn't need to be a master to make great gear, you're only hurting yourself crafting greens/whites because of the amount of dust needed, or without additives because the benefits are too good. Green grade non-additive gear should still have value to make and not be too expensive for mat/dust requirements since as things stand now there is no “stepping stone” intermediate gear anywhere comparable to even master crafted blue and that makes gear disparity problems even worse. Fourth, experimentation points should be frontloaded on the tree so you get more experimentation early to help with crafting decent lower grade gear, while further mastering crafts improve your risky experimentation to max out high grade gear. Fifth, requiring hitting the final Mastery node of any appropriate craft should unlock additional specialist crafting trees: Component Mastery, Weapon Mastery, Armor Mastery, Tinkerer (experimentation and crafter gear focus), and Taskmaster (Thrall focus for when Thralls are ready to go).
     
     
    Hopefully, this assessment will be taken to heart, and a serious overhaul of these systems will be worked on. No one should feel pigeonholed, no one should require master crafting or days of dust/ember grinding to get reasonably competitive gear, and no one should be time gated from feeling useful or doing what they want to do.
  11. Like
    Deioth got a reaction from Fahennel in The New Guild Experience - The Passive and Crafting Problem   
    Irrelevant.  The point is, she couldn't actively work to become one.  It's entirely time gated.  And the game's current iteration effectively punishes you for crafting without significant passive investment given resource costs.  Had she been able to work within a reasonable amount of time to become an effective crafter, she'd still be playing, but with that having been her biggest interest the game's very design pushed her away.  Imagine how much worse it will be for players like that when passive training is set to the much slower pace they intend for release?
     
    No, that is not active whatsoever.  There also is effectively no economy to speak of because the population is too small for that, and new players are flat out NOT going to be able to amass thousands of dust or dozens of embers to trade to established crafters for the good stuff (and no crafter is going to waste good mats on lesser gear to trade for gold, either).  We're fortunate we were able to find some Foreman discs for sale or we'd only just now three campaigns later maybe be gathering minerals from motherloads, and we're fortunate Spectre Legion has been sitting on Order with near maxed Necromancy to make GOOD vessels or we'd have spent a ton of mats on barely better than white vessels because three campaigns in and I'm not even 50% Necromancy.  Those facts aren't proof of the system working, those facts are proof the system is failing, because without those things we'd still have nothing and be nowhere.  The current iteration of purely passive training, requiring tons of rare mats, and needing to be maxed out in crafting to actually make proper use of said mats is simply not good design.  There are no stepping stone intermediate levels that can be feasibly or adequately reached as a new guild and as new players that would prove a clear upgrade over mob drops and allow us some potential to compete against more established players and even if there was the game lacks a means of actually getting there other than sitting on our hands for weeks on end waiting for the game decide we can.  That needs to change and quickly.
  12. Like
    Deioth got a reaction from ACE_FancyHats in The New Guild Experience - The Passive and Crafting Problem   
    @vkromas We sincerely hope our experiences and this post help you guys bring things better into line.  This game has a ton of potential.  We're having a lot of fun, at least, and we're nearly there for crafting skill trees (assuming there's not a wipe as soon as we get there LOL) so everyone will get to find out just how much difference there is.  We look forward to seeing how things work out and thanks for keeping tabs on us all outside the dev partners forum hah!
  13. Like
    Deioth got a reaction from vkromas in The New Guild Experience - The Passive and Crafting Problem   
    @vkromas We sincerely hope our experiences and this post help you guys bring things better into line.  This game has a ton of potential.  We're having a lot of fun, at least, and we're nearly there for crafting skill trees (assuming there's not a wipe as soon as we get there LOL) so everyone will get to find out just how much difference there is.  We look forward to seeing how things work out and thanks for keeping tabs on us all outside the dev partners forum hah!
  14. Like
    Deioth reacted to vkromas in The New Guild Experience - The Passive and Crafting Problem   
    Hello! Someone gave me a heads up about this thread and I thought it would be a good idea to pop in here and say a few things. The absolute first of which is that, even though Crowfall is currently a live product, it is in no way, shape, or form, completed. I've mentioned this before a few times, but one of the unique attributes of working on a live game is the ability to iterate after a few play cycles.  
    I'm going to use our skill trees as an actual example of this iteration cycle to hopefully paint a bigger picture of how the iteration process on a live product can work. Up until a few cycles ago our talent trees didn't exist and everything was tied to a skill tree, and those trees were really in-depth. After some observation, play testing, and brainstorming, the vessel talent trees were drafted up and added as a way to add a bit more customization without passive training. 
    We have a lot of talks internally about our current systems and how they are affected by learning curves and guild dynamics. We have a laundry list of items we'd like to adjust over time, and adjustments to the crafting system and the general economy are just some of the key items we're always discussing. While I can't say "yay" or "nay" to any suggestions mentioned here, or in other threads, what I can say is that constructive feedback is always welcome and appreciated. Threads like these are always great because it gets a dialog going between community members, and sometimes, developers.  
     
  15. Like
    Deioth got a reaction from blazzen in The New Guild Experience - The Passive and Crafting Problem   
    Eldritch has come into 5.100 in a very unique position. All of us are effectively brand new players (despite some having dabbled in previous versions, our passive trees still had very little in them). This gives us a perspective the veteran players and guilds simply don't have and that, we believe, ACE lacks serious data on. As fun as it has been, despite all the trouble and issues (and pushing Order because come at us bro get rekt), we've been privvy to an experience that absolutely MUST be addressed and quickly (i.e., before Beta at latest).
     
    It's certainly one thing that we're new. We have a lot to learn. We don't know the best way to build specs or the best disciplines, but we're learning. We don't have the best comps, but that's just how it goes being this new and small. We don't know every in and out of crafting and harvesting, but we're learning. There are a lot of balance issues in general and since we lack any possibility of useful crafted gear any time soon it's also quite telling how all of this together can reveal just how lopsided fights are against well geared guilds and well built players. All of this is something we expected and something we are content to tolerate. What we did not expect and cannot tolerate is what the passive training tree and crafting system generally has resulted in. Granted, in pre-alpha we can't expect an economy (especially on a faction where we've become half the population of as a guild of, what, not even 12 active players?), and maybe on release it won't be quite so bad. However, that does not change the fact that our experience as a new guild has revealed some serious flaws with Crowfall's current design.
     
    There are some real problems with how the crafting system currently works in general. There's a pointlessness to crafting anything but blue and better gear. There's also a pointlessness to crafting anything without being near or at max crafting skill and experimentation points. This means we can't feasibly create any kind of intermediate gear to help us compare to those already kitted out in blues and better. But, that isn't the worst of it. The worst of it is the passive training tree itself. This tree alone has already pushed away three or four recruits from even bothering playing the game. One in particular dove in expecting to be able to become a great crafter, right up until she discovered the passive tree and how it works. She hasn't logged in since, neither Crowfall or our guild Discord. Another, realizing just how long it would take to catch up in any meaningful way with gear, has likewise stopped playing after about three days.  All of this, if the systems remain in place as they stand today upon release, will guaranteed push away many players and risk killing this game before it even begins.
     
    A catch-up mechanic will not fix this. The problem is inherent in the current design of the crafting system in general requiring the crafting equippables, all the additives, and thousands of Dust to kit out a single person (therefor you screw yourself by crafting without crafting maxed and at least blue mats/additives), as well as the time gating of the passive training itself. I'm sure we all know and understand the purpose and intent of the passive training system, but in its current iteration it simply does not work whatsoever. There is also the issue of veteran players simply being able to fill out everything given enough time, thus killing any real hope of specialization in roles (combat/harvest/craft).
     
    After some discussion, we've come up with a few ideas for changes that we feel need to happen.
     
    Simply Add Active Training.
     
    This will help, but only to a point. This game's very nature doesn't lend itself well to the “craft 1,000 daggers” approach like WoW or Skyrim et al. Still, an active training aspect is absolutely crucial to ensure players don't feel entirely locked behind a time gate, allowing those that play consistently to build up their crow skills. The basic idea is, so long as you're engaged in an activity related to the tree you're training in, you'll gain points faster.
     
    Add Skill Levels and Limit How Many Can Be “Mastered”
     
    This will help with the specialization, but one issue will be that if new players think they want to go one way and decide they do not like it we'll need some kind of respec mechanic. This would certainly give gold a good sink. You would have so many levels you can train, maybe you can train everything up to “Journeyman” which might be, say, level 3 of 10, which means you'd only be so far into each main tree. Meanwhile, the 10th level of “Master” maybe you can only pick two, and only pick 4 for the maybe 6th level. And yet, a lot of players may like having lots of characters for lots of builds and situations, or like harvesting and crafting a lot and what to engage with all of it. If someone wants to give it the time, they certainly shouldn't feel like they're being pigeonholed. That brings us to idea #3.
     
    Give Vessels Their Own Passive Skill Tree
     
    Nobody should feel pigeonholed. Plenty of players like having alts. Certainly, no one should be able to master everything, but mixing in the vessel itself into the equation will allow people to stretch out in a few ways, such that only those that truly focus on specializing will completely fill out certain trees. So, you might hold out on Journeyman level--to use the above example--on your Crow, but each Vessel might still be able to choose one Master of their own so long as your Crow hits a certain level of that skill. But, to truly specialize, you would need to Crow and Vessel Master on the same skill tree, or some equivalent.
     
    With these ideas together, we think we have a solid recommendation to try testing with:
     
    First, determine a maximum pool of Skill Training Points. Players will still have their passive training, but now every single action generates a usable active point. PVP, point capture, harvesting, crafting, war tribes, all of these activities provide a certain amount of actively generated points. Players then allocate as they see fit on the Crow tree or the Vessel tree. Eventually, a player will hit the maximum points on their Crow, at which point a certain amount can still be actively trained on a per vessel basis. So, lets say (for sake of example) you can gain a total of 6 million points on your crow, while a vessel can train up an additional 2 million. This will do a few things: Players can actively play and get better/stronger at whatever they want to simply by playing, players can specialize without being able to get everything, and players will have some wiggle room to split off and enjoy alts without severely pigeonholing themselves (so even a crafter heavy crow, for example, can still have a good combat character, they just won't Master any Combat skills). This could work where you can only Vessel train from however far the Crow has, and adding points to the Crow for the same nodes would free up those points from the Vessel. Players won't be able to pace through a single tree any faster than anyone else, either, with this because you would pull from a single point pool; you'd merely be choosing Crow or Vessel to allocate to. With this introduced, and having an extra however many points that can be Vessel-specific, we could see the re-introduction of the Race tree allowing players to fill out minor buffs for each race like increased stat caps and minor general craft and harvest buffs (or, at least each race group, so Human, Elf, Monster, Stoneborn, Guinecean)
     
    Second, greatly expand and refine the skill trees as they exist now. Harvesting as it exists currently feels pretty good with respect to specialization so it doesn't feel like there's much to do to enhance this. The parts that could use some expanding is Combat with a near total overhaul applied to Crafting. Combat should be split up a bit and restructured a bit, having the Weaponry and Armor branches as they stand now, but making some changes as specified further below. Crafting needs to be restructured almost entirely and have new branches added in as detailed below.
     
    For Combat, simply tweaking and fleshing out more options will be sufficient, but overall it's adequate as is. Consider introducing three new trees that require Armor and Weapons maxed to reach. These would be named along the lines something like Warrior, Specialist, and Medic. These would provide passives dedicated to benefiting DPS specs, tank/CC utility specs, and healing specs respectfully. For Weapons, consider swapping things around, you choose One Handed Combat, Two Handed Combat, Melee Mastery, or Ranged Mastery along with an additional three Mastery trees: Organic Mastery, Physical Mastery, and Elemental Mastery. I feel like this might split things a bit better but that's just a whatever. This isn't anywhere necessary we don't think, but it would be nice to see this expanded, especially if the point cap and vessel points are introduced so players can better specialize.
     
    Now, the part that needs the absolute most work of all: Crafting. The overhaul here isn't just going to be the passive tree, either. This also will need to include some real tweaks on material requirements and other costs based on the rarity tier being worked, if additives are being used or not, and to also ensure that every level of commonality (except maybe white?) is valuable to craft with for gear. First, you should need to unlock access to make items of a certain grade, requiring a certain amount of the tree unlocked to reach each level (e.g. you can't craft with Blue materials/components until you unlock that node). This will give players good milestones to reach and make sure newer crafters know their limits. Second, crafter gear (like necromancer goggles) should also require hitting a certain crafting level in that crafting tree. This will help make master crafters stand out, but with things balanced out so non-masters can still contribute useful stuff. Third, dust and ember costs need to be offloaded more towards utilizing those items so that players can make good use of lesser quality ingredients without using up nearly as much dust/ember resource so they can still make decent gear. As it is now, even if you didn't need to be a master to make great gear, you're only hurting yourself crafting greens/whites because of the amount of dust needed, or without additives because the benefits are too good. Green grade non-additive gear should still have value to make and not be too expensive for mat/dust requirements since as things stand now there is no “stepping stone” intermediate gear anywhere comparable to even master crafted blue and that makes gear disparity problems even worse. Fourth, experimentation points should be frontloaded on the tree so you get more experimentation early to help with crafting decent lower grade gear, while further mastering crafts improve your risky experimentation to max out high grade gear. Fifth, requiring hitting the final Mastery node of any appropriate craft should unlock additional specialist crafting trees: Component Mastery, Weapon Mastery, Armor Mastery, Tinkerer (experimentation and crafter gear focus), and Taskmaster (Thrall focus for when Thralls are ready to go).
     
     
    Hopefully, this assessment will be taken to heart, and a serious overhaul of these systems will be worked on. No one should feel pigeonholed, no one should require master crafting or days of dust/ember grinding to get reasonably competitive gear, and no one should be time gated from feeling useful or doing what they want to do.
  16. Like
    Deioth got a reaction from Audin in The New Guild Experience - The Passive and Crafting Problem   
    Eldritch has come into 5.100 in a very unique position. All of us are effectively brand new players (despite some having dabbled in previous versions, our passive trees still had very little in them). This gives us a perspective the veteran players and guilds simply don't have and that, we believe, ACE lacks serious data on. As fun as it has been, despite all the trouble and issues (and pushing Order because come at us bro get rekt), we've been privvy to an experience that absolutely MUST be addressed and quickly (i.e., before Beta at latest).
     
    It's certainly one thing that we're new. We have a lot to learn. We don't know the best way to build specs or the best disciplines, but we're learning. We don't have the best comps, but that's just how it goes being this new and small. We don't know every in and out of crafting and harvesting, but we're learning. There are a lot of balance issues in general and since we lack any possibility of useful crafted gear any time soon it's also quite telling how all of this together can reveal just how lopsided fights are against well geared guilds and well built players. All of this is something we expected and something we are content to tolerate. What we did not expect and cannot tolerate is what the passive training tree and crafting system generally has resulted in. Granted, in pre-alpha we can't expect an economy (especially on a faction where we've become half the population of as a guild of, what, not even 12 active players?), and maybe on release it won't be quite so bad. However, that does not change the fact that our experience as a new guild has revealed some serious flaws with Crowfall's current design.
     
    There are some real problems with how the crafting system currently works in general. There's a pointlessness to crafting anything but blue and better gear. There's also a pointlessness to crafting anything without being near or at max crafting skill and experimentation points. This means we can't feasibly create any kind of intermediate gear to help us compare to those already kitted out in blues and better. But, that isn't the worst of it. The worst of it is the passive training tree itself. This tree alone has already pushed away three or four recruits from even bothering playing the game. One in particular dove in expecting to be able to become a great crafter, right up until she discovered the passive tree and how it works. She hasn't logged in since, neither Crowfall or our guild Discord. Another, realizing just how long it would take to catch up in any meaningful way with gear, has likewise stopped playing after about three days.  All of this, if the systems remain in place as they stand today upon release, will guaranteed push away many players and risk killing this game before it even begins.
     
    A catch-up mechanic will not fix this. The problem is inherent in the current design of the crafting system in general requiring the crafting equippables, all the additives, and thousands of Dust to kit out a single person (therefor you screw yourself by crafting without crafting maxed and at least blue mats/additives), as well as the time gating of the passive training itself. I'm sure we all know and understand the purpose and intent of the passive training system, but in its current iteration it simply does not work whatsoever. There is also the issue of veteran players simply being able to fill out everything given enough time, thus killing any real hope of specialization in roles (combat/harvest/craft).
     
    After some discussion, we've come up with a few ideas for changes that we feel need to happen.
     
    Simply Add Active Training.
     
    This will help, but only to a point. This game's very nature doesn't lend itself well to the “craft 1,000 daggers” approach like WoW or Skyrim et al. Still, an active training aspect is absolutely crucial to ensure players don't feel entirely locked behind a time gate, allowing those that play consistently to build up their crow skills. The basic idea is, so long as you're engaged in an activity related to the tree you're training in, you'll gain points faster.
     
    Add Skill Levels and Limit How Many Can Be “Mastered”
     
    This will help with the specialization, but one issue will be that if new players think they want to go one way and decide they do not like it we'll need some kind of respec mechanic. This would certainly give gold a good sink. You would have so many levels you can train, maybe you can train everything up to “Journeyman” which might be, say, level 3 of 10, which means you'd only be so far into each main tree. Meanwhile, the 10th level of “Master” maybe you can only pick two, and only pick 4 for the maybe 6th level. And yet, a lot of players may like having lots of characters for lots of builds and situations, or like harvesting and crafting a lot and what to engage with all of it. If someone wants to give it the time, they certainly shouldn't feel like they're being pigeonholed. That brings us to idea #3.
     
    Give Vessels Their Own Passive Skill Tree
     
    Nobody should feel pigeonholed. Plenty of players like having alts. Certainly, no one should be able to master everything, but mixing in the vessel itself into the equation will allow people to stretch out in a few ways, such that only those that truly focus on specializing will completely fill out certain trees. So, you might hold out on Journeyman level--to use the above example--on your Crow, but each Vessel might still be able to choose one Master of their own so long as your Crow hits a certain level of that skill. But, to truly specialize, you would need to Crow and Vessel Master on the same skill tree, or some equivalent.
     
    With these ideas together, we think we have a solid recommendation to try testing with:
     
    First, determine a maximum pool of Skill Training Points. Players will still have their passive training, but now every single action generates a usable active point. PVP, point capture, harvesting, crafting, war tribes, all of these activities provide a certain amount of actively generated points. Players then allocate as they see fit on the Crow tree or the Vessel tree. Eventually, a player will hit the maximum points on their Crow, at which point a certain amount can still be actively trained on a per vessel basis. So, lets say (for sake of example) you can gain a total of 6 million points on your crow, while a vessel can train up an additional 2 million. This will do a few things: Players can actively play and get better/stronger at whatever they want to simply by playing, players can specialize without being able to get everything, and players will have some wiggle room to split off and enjoy alts without severely pigeonholing themselves (so even a crafter heavy crow, for example, can still have a good combat character, they just won't Master any Combat skills). This could work where you can only Vessel train from however far the Crow has, and adding points to the Crow for the same nodes would free up those points from the Vessel. Players won't be able to pace through a single tree any faster than anyone else, either, with this because you would pull from a single point pool; you'd merely be choosing Crow or Vessel to allocate to. With this introduced, and having an extra however many points that can be Vessel-specific, we could see the re-introduction of the Race tree allowing players to fill out minor buffs for each race like increased stat caps and minor general craft and harvest buffs (or, at least each race group, so Human, Elf, Monster, Stoneborn, Guinecean)
     
    Second, greatly expand and refine the skill trees as they exist now. Harvesting as it exists currently feels pretty good with respect to specialization so it doesn't feel like there's much to do to enhance this. The parts that could use some expanding is Combat with a near total overhaul applied to Crafting. Combat should be split up a bit and restructured a bit, having the Weaponry and Armor branches as they stand now, but making some changes as specified further below. Crafting needs to be restructured almost entirely and have new branches added in as detailed below.
     
    For Combat, simply tweaking and fleshing out more options will be sufficient, but overall it's adequate as is. Consider introducing three new trees that require Armor and Weapons maxed to reach. These would be named along the lines something like Warrior, Specialist, and Medic. These would provide passives dedicated to benefiting DPS specs, tank/CC utility specs, and healing specs respectfully. For Weapons, consider swapping things around, you choose One Handed Combat, Two Handed Combat, Melee Mastery, or Ranged Mastery along with an additional three Mastery trees: Organic Mastery, Physical Mastery, and Elemental Mastery. I feel like this might split things a bit better but that's just a whatever. This isn't anywhere necessary we don't think, but it would be nice to see this expanded, especially if the point cap and vessel points are introduced so players can better specialize.
     
    Now, the part that needs the absolute most work of all: Crafting. The overhaul here isn't just going to be the passive tree, either. This also will need to include some real tweaks on material requirements and other costs based on the rarity tier being worked, if additives are being used or not, and to also ensure that every level of commonality (except maybe white?) is valuable to craft with for gear. First, you should need to unlock access to make items of a certain grade, requiring a certain amount of the tree unlocked to reach each level (e.g. you can't craft with Blue materials/components until you unlock that node). This will give players good milestones to reach and make sure newer crafters know their limits. Second, crafter gear (like necromancer goggles) should also require hitting a certain crafting level in that crafting tree. This will help make master crafters stand out, but with things balanced out so non-masters can still contribute useful stuff. Third, dust and ember costs need to be offloaded more towards utilizing those items so that players can make good use of lesser quality ingredients without using up nearly as much dust/ember resource so they can still make decent gear. As it is now, even if you didn't need to be a master to make great gear, you're only hurting yourself crafting greens/whites because of the amount of dust needed, or without additives because the benefits are too good. Green grade non-additive gear should still have value to make and not be too expensive for mat/dust requirements since as things stand now there is no “stepping stone” intermediate gear anywhere comparable to even master crafted blue and that makes gear disparity problems even worse. Fourth, experimentation points should be frontloaded on the tree so you get more experimentation early to help with crafting decent lower grade gear, while further mastering crafts improve your risky experimentation to max out high grade gear. Fifth, requiring hitting the final Mastery node of any appropriate craft should unlock additional specialist crafting trees: Component Mastery, Weapon Mastery, Armor Mastery, Tinkerer (experimentation and crafter gear focus), and Taskmaster (Thrall focus for when Thralls are ready to go).
     
     
    Hopefully, this assessment will be taken to heart, and a serious overhaul of these systems will be worked on. No one should feel pigeonholed, no one should require master crafting or days of dust/ember grinding to get reasonably competitive gear, and no one should be time gated from feeling useful or doing what they want to do.
  17. Like
    Deioth got a reaction from Kraahk in The New Guild Experience - The Passive and Crafting Problem   
    Eldritch has come into 5.100 in a very unique position. All of us are effectively brand new players (despite some having dabbled in previous versions, our passive trees still had very little in them). This gives us a perspective the veteran players and guilds simply don't have and that, we believe, ACE lacks serious data on. As fun as it has been, despite all the trouble and issues (and pushing Order because come at us bro get rekt), we've been privvy to an experience that absolutely MUST be addressed and quickly (i.e., before Beta at latest).
     
    It's certainly one thing that we're new. We have a lot to learn. We don't know the best way to build specs or the best disciplines, but we're learning. We don't have the best comps, but that's just how it goes being this new and small. We don't know every in and out of crafting and harvesting, but we're learning. There are a lot of balance issues in general and since we lack any possibility of useful crafted gear any time soon it's also quite telling how all of this together can reveal just how lopsided fights are against well geared guilds and well built players. All of this is something we expected and something we are content to tolerate. What we did not expect and cannot tolerate is what the passive training tree and crafting system generally has resulted in. Granted, in pre-alpha we can't expect an economy (especially on a faction where we've become half the population of as a guild of, what, not even 12 active players?), and maybe on release it won't be quite so bad. However, that does not change the fact that our experience as a new guild has revealed some serious flaws with Crowfall's current design.
     
    There are some real problems with how the crafting system currently works in general. There's a pointlessness to crafting anything but blue and better gear. There's also a pointlessness to crafting anything without being near or at max crafting skill and experimentation points. This means we can't feasibly create any kind of intermediate gear to help us compare to those already kitted out in blues and better. But, that isn't the worst of it. The worst of it is the passive training tree itself. This tree alone has already pushed away three or four recruits from even bothering playing the game. One in particular dove in expecting to be able to become a great crafter, right up until she discovered the passive tree and how it works. She hasn't logged in since, neither Crowfall or our guild Discord. Another, realizing just how long it would take to catch up in any meaningful way with gear, has likewise stopped playing after about three days.  All of this, if the systems remain in place as they stand today upon release, will guaranteed push away many players and risk killing this game before it even begins.
     
    A catch-up mechanic will not fix this. The problem is inherent in the current design of the crafting system in general requiring the crafting equippables, all the additives, and thousands of Dust to kit out a single person (therefor you screw yourself by crafting without crafting maxed and at least blue mats/additives), as well as the time gating of the passive training itself. I'm sure we all know and understand the purpose and intent of the passive training system, but in its current iteration it simply does not work whatsoever. There is also the issue of veteran players simply being able to fill out everything given enough time, thus killing any real hope of specialization in roles (combat/harvest/craft).
     
    After some discussion, we've come up with a few ideas for changes that we feel need to happen.
     
    Simply Add Active Training.
     
    This will help, but only to a point. This game's very nature doesn't lend itself well to the “craft 1,000 daggers” approach like WoW or Skyrim et al. Still, an active training aspect is absolutely crucial to ensure players don't feel entirely locked behind a time gate, allowing those that play consistently to build up their crow skills. The basic idea is, so long as you're engaged in an activity related to the tree you're training in, you'll gain points faster.
     
    Add Skill Levels and Limit How Many Can Be “Mastered”
     
    This will help with the specialization, but one issue will be that if new players think they want to go one way and decide they do not like it we'll need some kind of respec mechanic. This would certainly give gold a good sink. You would have so many levels you can train, maybe you can train everything up to “Journeyman” which might be, say, level 3 of 10, which means you'd only be so far into each main tree. Meanwhile, the 10th level of “Master” maybe you can only pick two, and only pick 4 for the maybe 6th level. And yet, a lot of players may like having lots of characters for lots of builds and situations, or like harvesting and crafting a lot and what to engage with all of it. If someone wants to give it the time, they certainly shouldn't feel like they're being pigeonholed. That brings us to idea #3.
     
    Give Vessels Their Own Passive Skill Tree
     
    Nobody should feel pigeonholed. Plenty of players like having alts. Certainly, no one should be able to master everything, but mixing in the vessel itself into the equation will allow people to stretch out in a few ways, such that only those that truly focus on specializing will completely fill out certain trees. So, you might hold out on Journeyman level--to use the above example--on your Crow, but each Vessel might still be able to choose one Master of their own so long as your Crow hits a certain level of that skill. But, to truly specialize, you would need to Crow and Vessel Master on the same skill tree, or some equivalent.
     
    With these ideas together, we think we have a solid recommendation to try testing with:
     
    First, determine a maximum pool of Skill Training Points. Players will still have their passive training, but now every single action generates a usable active point. PVP, point capture, harvesting, crafting, war tribes, all of these activities provide a certain amount of actively generated points. Players then allocate as they see fit on the Crow tree or the Vessel tree. Eventually, a player will hit the maximum points on their Crow, at which point a certain amount can still be actively trained on a per vessel basis. So, lets say (for sake of example) you can gain a total of 6 million points on your crow, while a vessel can train up an additional 2 million. This will do a few things: Players can actively play and get better/stronger at whatever they want to simply by playing, players can specialize without being able to get everything, and players will have some wiggle room to split off and enjoy alts without severely pigeonholing themselves (so even a crafter heavy crow, for example, can still have a good combat character, they just won't Master any Combat skills). This could work where you can only Vessel train from however far the Crow has, and adding points to the Crow for the same nodes would free up those points from the Vessel. Players won't be able to pace through a single tree any faster than anyone else, either, with this because you would pull from a single point pool; you'd merely be choosing Crow or Vessel to allocate to. With this introduced, and having an extra however many points that can be Vessel-specific, we could see the re-introduction of the Race tree allowing players to fill out minor buffs for each race like increased stat caps and minor general craft and harvest buffs (or, at least each race group, so Human, Elf, Monster, Stoneborn, Guinecean)
     
    Second, greatly expand and refine the skill trees as they exist now. Harvesting as it exists currently feels pretty good with respect to specialization so it doesn't feel like there's much to do to enhance this. The parts that could use some expanding is Combat with a near total overhaul applied to Crafting. Combat should be split up a bit and restructured a bit, having the Weaponry and Armor branches as they stand now, but making some changes as specified further below. Crafting needs to be restructured almost entirely and have new branches added in as detailed below.
     
    For Combat, simply tweaking and fleshing out more options will be sufficient, but overall it's adequate as is. Consider introducing three new trees that require Armor and Weapons maxed to reach. These would be named along the lines something like Warrior, Specialist, and Medic. These would provide passives dedicated to benefiting DPS specs, tank/CC utility specs, and healing specs respectfully. For Weapons, consider swapping things around, you choose One Handed Combat, Two Handed Combat, Melee Mastery, or Ranged Mastery along with an additional three Mastery trees: Organic Mastery, Physical Mastery, and Elemental Mastery. I feel like this might split things a bit better but that's just a whatever. This isn't anywhere necessary we don't think, but it would be nice to see this expanded, especially if the point cap and vessel points are introduced so players can better specialize.
     
    Now, the part that needs the absolute most work of all: Crafting. The overhaul here isn't just going to be the passive tree, either. This also will need to include some real tweaks on material requirements and other costs based on the rarity tier being worked, if additives are being used or not, and to also ensure that every level of commonality (except maybe white?) is valuable to craft with for gear. First, you should need to unlock access to make items of a certain grade, requiring a certain amount of the tree unlocked to reach each level (e.g. you can't craft with Blue materials/components until you unlock that node). This will give players good milestones to reach and make sure newer crafters know their limits. Second, crafter gear (like necromancer goggles) should also require hitting a certain crafting level in that crafting tree. This will help make master crafters stand out, but with things balanced out so non-masters can still contribute useful stuff. Third, dust and ember costs need to be offloaded more towards utilizing those items so that players can make good use of lesser quality ingredients without using up nearly as much dust/ember resource so they can still make decent gear. As it is now, even if you didn't need to be a master to make great gear, you're only hurting yourself crafting greens/whites because of the amount of dust needed, or without additives because the benefits are too good. Green grade non-additive gear should still have value to make and not be too expensive for mat/dust requirements since as things stand now there is no “stepping stone” intermediate gear anywhere comparable to even master crafted blue and that makes gear disparity problems even worse. Fourth, experimentation points should be frontloaded on the tree so you get more experimentation early to help with crafting decent lower grade gear, while further mastering crafts improve your risky experimentation to max out high grade gear. Fifth, requiring hitting the final Mastery node of any appropriate craft should unlock additional specialist crafting trees: Component Mastery, Weapon Mastery, Armor Mastery, Tinkerer (experimentation and crafter gear focus), and Taskmaster (Thrall focus for when Thralls are ready to go).
     
     
    Hopefully, this assessment will be taken to heart, and a serious overhaul of these systems will be worked on. No one should feel pigeonholed, no one should require master crafting or days of dust/ember grinding to get reasonably competitive gear, and no one should be time gated from feeling useful or doing what they want to do.
  18. Like
    Deioth got a reaction from KatzeWeiss in The New Guild Experience - The Passive and Crafting Problem   
    All true, but this does not compensate for not being near maxed crafting.  These also do nothing for the other inherent problems I detailed.  The passive tree has actively pushed new players away from the game.  An active system, even a mild one (that would be balanced to be only somewhat faster than passive training alone), would go a long way there.  If on retail it would take, say, 6 months to 100% Crafting Basics and one entire crafting tree, the active training would reduce it to maybe 5 months with dedicated play (a few hours per day average), meaning all active generated points are going into that craft's skill tree. 
    Your list also does nothing with regards to the issue of material costs themselves.  Perhaps part of that is a result of the pre alpha training speeds because to make anything now is a bad idea given material costs (we'd only effectively double and more on dust costs and the few blue vessels we have now were well over 700 dust each and weapons/armor are similarly expensive; that is a lot of mat grinding).  But, keeping in mind the pre alpha training speed is also the sole reason we're able to harvest at any adequate rate in the first place!
    I should be max Necromancy sans thralls by the beginning of October so that's about two months total.  That isn't terrible given the game's current state, but the passive training time gate itself is still a turn off.  No brand new player could ever hope to catch up to veterans on EVE, and if they are a craft minded player then they effectively have no reason to play the game for months at a time (it's a real problem for EVE with new player retention).  Crowfall is at great risk of experiencing this exact same problem and catch up mechanics simply won't be enough.  Eldritch, as a new guild, is a prime example of this problem happening right now.
    Again, there is no economy right now of any meaningful sort.  This certainly causes an issue and much of that is the prealpha state and the low player pop which makes it hard to accurately critique the whole experience.  However, you seem to be taking this entire post as one guy ranting about having a bad time soloing.  This has been a guild experience.  This post reflects our concerns, problems, frustrations, and feedback as a guild.  You also seem to be misrepresenting the suggestions given flat out.  We're not asking for no-life grinding.  We're asking that the time gated passive tree be supplemented so players, especially those only really interested in crafting, have something to actively work towards.  As things stand currently, there really isn't.  You already have to grind your head off for mats and for chief/king craft books and craft equipment drops.  An active training to supplement the passive tree would be a huge boon to player retention.  And then, beyond that, we strongly believe there needs to be tweaking done to mat costs and how the crafting trees line up so that green and intermediate levels of gear can be crafted that is better than camp drops without needing additives, craft equipment, (near) maxed crafting, and mountains of dust.  The lack of any meaningful, feasible, and accessible way to kit out our guild in some stop-gap gear (especially when considering import/export restrictions and durability loss) to help us be some level of competitive against established players and guilds has further contributed to our reasoning behind this post and our feedback.
  19. Like
    Deioth got a reaction from Bazgul in The New Guild Experience - The Passive and Crafting Problem   
    Irrelevant.  The point is, she couldn't actively work to become one.  It's entirely time gated.  And the game's current iteration effectively punishes you for crafting without significant passive investment given resource costs.  Had she been able to work within a reasonable amount of time to become an effective crafter, she'd still be playing, but with that having been her biggest interest the game's very design pushed her away.  Imagine how much worse it will be for players like that when passive training is set to the much slower pace they intend for release?
     
    No, that is not active whatsoever.  There also is effectively no economy to speak of because the population is too small for that, and new players are flat out NOT going to be able to amass thousands of dust or dozens of embers to trade to established crafters for the good stuff (and no crafter is going to waste good mats on lesser gear to trade for gold, either).  We're fortunate we were able to find some Foreman discs for sale or we'd only just now three campaigns later maybe be gathering minerals from motherloads, and we're fortunate Spectre Legion has been sitting on Order with near maxed Necromancy to make GOOD vessels or we'd have spent a ton of mats on barely better than white vessels because three campaigns in and I'm not even 50% Necromancy.  Those facts aren't proof of the system working, those facts are proof the system is failing, because without those things we'd still have nothing and be nowhere.  The current iteration of purely passive training, requiring tons of rare mats, and needing to be maxed out in crafting to actually make proper use of said mats is simply not good design.  There are no stepping stone intermediate levels that can be feasibly or adequately reached as a new guild and as new players that would prove a clear upgrade over mob drops and allow us some potential to compete against more established players and even if there was the game lacks a means of actually getting there other than sitting on our hands for weeks on end waiting for the game decide we can.  That needs to change and quickly.
  20. Like
    Deioth got a reaction from ZYBAK in The New Guild Experience - The Passive and Crafting Problem   
    Eldritch has come into 5.100 in a very unique position. All of us are effectively brand new players (despite some having dabbled in previous versions, our passive trees still had very little in them). This gives us a perspective the veteran players and guilds simply don't have and that, we believe, ACE lacks serious data on. As fun as it has been, despite all the trouble and issues (and pushing Order because come at us bro get rekt), we've been privvy to an experience that absolutely MUST be addressed and quickly (i.e., before Beta at latest).
     
    It's certainly one thing that we're new. We have a lot to learn. We don't know the best way to build specs or the best disciplines, but we're learning. We don't have the best comps, but that's just how it goes being this new and small. We don't know every in and out of crafting and harvesting, but we're learning. There are a lot of balance issues in general and since we lack any possibility of useful crafted gear any time soon it's also quite telling how all of this together can reveal just how lopsided fights are against well geared guilds and well built players. All of this is something we expected and something we are content to tolerate. What we did not expect and cannot tolerate is what the passive training tree and crafting system generally has resulted in. Granted, in pre-alpha we can't expect an economy (especially on a faction where we've become half the population of as a guild of, what, not even 12 active players?), and maybe on release it won't be quite so bad. However, that does not change the fact that our experience as a new guild has revealed some serious flaws with Crowfall's current design.
     
    There are some real problems with how the crafting system currently works in general. There's a pointlessness to crafting anything but blue and better gear. There's also a pointlessness to crafting anything without being near or at max crafting skill and experimentation points. This means we can't feasibly create any kind of intermediate gear to help us compare to those already kitted out in blues and better. But, that isn't the worst of it. The worst of it is the passive training tree itself. This tree alone has already pushed away three or four recruits from even bothering playing the game. One in particular dove in expecting to be able to become a great crafter, right up until she discovered the passive tree and how it works. She hasn't logged in since, neither Crowfall or our guild Discord. Another, realizing just how long it would take to catch up in any meaningful way with gear, has likewise stopped playing after about three days.  All of this, if the systems remain in place as they stand today upon release, will guaranteed push away many players and risk killing this game before it even begins.
     
    A catch-up mechanic will not fix this. The problem is inherent in the current design of the crafting system in general requiring the crafting equippables, all the additives, and thousands of Dust to kit out a single person (therefor you screw yourself by crafting without crafting maxed and at least blue mats/additives), as well as the time gating of the passive training itself. I'm sure we all know and understand the purpose and intent of the passive training system, but in its current iteration it simply does not work whatsoever. There is also the issue of veteran players simply being able to fill out everything given enough time, thus killing any real hope of specialization in roles (combat/harvest/craft).
     
    After some discussion, we've come up with a few ideas for changes that we feel need to happen.
     
    Simply Add Active Training.
     
    This will help, but only to a point. This game's very nature doesn't lend itself well to the “craft 1,000 daggers” approach like WoW or Skyrim et al. Still, an active training aspect is absolutely crucial to ensure players don't feel entirely locked behind a time gate, allowing those that play consistently to build up their crow skills. The basic idea is, so long as you're engaged in an activity related to the tree you're training in, you'll gain points faster.
     
    Add Skill Levels and Limit How Many Can Be “Mastered”
     
    This will help with the specialization, but one issue will be that if new players think they want to go one way and decide they do not like it we'll need some kind of respec mechanic. This would certainly give gold a good sink. You would have so many levels you can train, maybe you can train everything up to “Journeyman” which might be, say, level 3 of 10, which means you'd only be so far into each main tree. Meanwhile, the 10th level of “Master” maybe you can only pick two, and only pick 4 for the maybe 6th level. And yet, a lot of players may like having lots of characters for lots of builds and situations, or like harvesting and crafting a lot and what to engage with all of it. If someone wants to give it the time, they certainly shouldn't feel like they're being pigeonholed. That brings us to idea #3.
     
    Give Vessels Their Own Passive Skill Tree
     
    Nobody should feel pigeonholed. Plenty of players like having alts. Certainly, no one should be able to master everything, but mixing in the vessel itself into the equation will allow people to stretch out in a few ways, such that only those that truly focus on specializing will completely fill out certain trees. So, you might hold out on Journeyman level--to use the above example--on your Crow, but each Vessel might still be able to choose one Master of their own so long as your Crow hits a certain level of that skill. But, to truly specialize, you would need to Crow and Vessel Master on the same skill tree, or some equivalent.
     
    With these ideas together, we think we have a solid recommendation to try testing with:
     
    First, determine a maximum pool of Skill Training Points. Players will still have their passive training, but now every single action generates a usable active point. PVP, point capture, harvesting, crafting, war tribes, all of these activities provide a certain amount of actively generated points. Players then allocate as they see fit on the Crow tree or the Vessel tree. Eventually, a player will hit the maximum points on their Crow, at which point a certain amount can still be actively trained on a per vessel basis. So, lets say (for sake of example) you can gain a total of 6 million points on your crow, while a vessel can train up an additional 2 million. This will do a few things: Players can actively play and get better/stronger at whatever they want to simply by playing, players can specialize without being able to get everything, and players will have some wiggle room to split off and enjoy alts without severely pigeonholing themselves (so even a crafter heavy crow, for example, can still have a good combat character, they just won't Master any Combat skills). This could work where you can only Vessel train from however far the Crow has, and adding points to the Crow for the same nodes would free up those points from the Vessel. Players won't be able to pace through a single tree any faster than anyone else, either, with this because you would pull from a single point pool; you'd merely be choosing Crow or Vessel to allocate to. With this introduced, and having an extra however many points that can be Vessel-specific, we could see the re-introduction of the Race tree allowing players to fill out minor buffs for each race like increased stat caps and minor general craft and harvest buffs (or, at least each race group, so Human, Elf, Monster, Stoneborn, Guinecean)
     
    Second, greatly expand and refine the skill trees as they exist now. Harvesting as it exists currently feels pretty good with respect to specialization so it doesn't feel like there's much to do to enhance this. The parts that could use some expanding is Combat with a near total overhaul applied to Crafting. Combat should be split up a bit and restructured a bit, having the Weaponry and Armor branches as they stand now, but making some changes as specified further below. Crafting needs to be restructured almost entirely and have new branches added in as detailed below.
     
    For Combat, simply tweaking and fleshing out more options will be sufficient, but overall it's adequate as is. Consider introducing three new trees that require Armor and Weapons maxed to reach. These would be named along the lines something like Warrior, Specialist, and Medic. These would provide passives dedicated to benefiting DPS specs, tank/CC utility specs, and healing specs respectfully. For Weapons, consider swapping things around, you choose One Handed Combat, Two Handed Combat, Melee Mastery, or Ranged Mastery along with an additional three Mastery trees: Organic Mastery, Physical Mastery, and Elemental Mastery. I feel like this might split things a bit better but that's just a whatever. This isn't anywhere necessary we don't think, but it would be nice to see this expanded, especially if the point cap and vessel points are introduced so players can better specialize.
     
    Now, the part that needs the absolute most work of all: Crafting. The overhaul here isn't just going to be the passive tree, either. This also will need to include some real tweaks on material requirements and other costs based on the rarity tier being worked, if additives are being used or not, and to also ensure that every level of commonality (except maybe white?) is valuable to craft with for gear. First, you should need to unlock access to make items of a certain grade, requiring a certain amount of the tree unlocked to reach each level (e.g. you can't craft with Blue materials/components until you unlock that node). This will give players good milestones to reach and make sure newer crafters know their limits. Second, crafter gear (like necromancer goggles) should also require hitting a certain crafting level in that crafting tree. This will help make master crafters stand out, but with things balanced out so non-masters can still contribute useful stuff. Third, dust and ember costs need to be offloaded more towards utilizing those items so that players can make good use of lesser quality ingredients without using up nearly as much dust/ember resource so they can still make decent gear. As it is now, even if you didn't need to be a master to make great gear, you're only hurting yourself crafting greens/whites because of the amount of dust needed, or without additives because the benefits are too good. Green grade non-additive gear should still have value to make and not be too expensive for mat/dust requirements since as things stand now there is no “stepping stone” intermediate gear anywhere comparable to even master crafted blue and that makes gear disparity problems even worse. Fourth, experimentation points should be frontloaded on the tree so you get more experimentation early to help with crafting decent lower grade gear, while further mastering crafts improve your risky experimentation to max out high grade gear. Fifth, requiring hitting the final Mastery node of any appropriate craft should unlock additional specialist crafting trees: Component Mastery, Weapon Mastery, Armor Mastery, Tinkerer (experimentation and crafter gear focus), and Taskmaster (Thrall focus for when Thralls are ready to go).
     
     
    Hopefully, this assessment will be taken to heart, and a serious overhaul of these systems will be worked on. No one should feel pigeonholed, no one should require master crafting or days of dust/ember grinding to get reasonably competitive gear, and no one should be time gated from feeling useful or doing what they want to do.
  21. Like
    Deioth got a reaction from Fefner in The New Guild Experience - The Passive and Crafting Problem   
    Eldritch has come into 5.100 in a very unique position. All of us are effectively brand new players (despite some having dabbled in previous versions, our passive trees still had very little in them). This gives us a perspective the veteran players and guilds simply don't have and that, we believe, ACE lacks serious data on. As fun as it has been, despite all the trouble and issues (and pushing Order because come at us bro get rekt), we've been privvy to an experience that absolutely MUST be addressed and quickly (i.e., before Beta at latest).
     
    It's certainly one thing that we're new. We have a lot to learn. We don't know the best way to build specs or the best disciplines, but we're learning. We don't have the best comps, but that's just how it goes being this new and small. We don't know every in and out of crafting and harvesting, but we're learning. There are a lot of balance issues in general and since we lack any possibility of useful crafted gear any time soon it's also quite telling how all of this together can reveal just how lopsided fights are against well geared guilds and well built players. All of this is something we expected and something we are content to tolerate. What we did not expect and cannot tolerate is what the passive training tree and crafting system generally has resulted in. Granted, in pre-alpha we can't expect an economy (especially on a faction where we've become half the population of as a guild of, what, not even 12 active players?), and maybe on release it won't be quite so bad. However, that does not change the fact that our experience as a new guild has revealed some serious flaws with Crowfall's current design.
     
    There are some real problems with how the crafting system currently works in general. There's a pointlessness to crafting anything but blue and better gear. There's also a pointlessness to crafting anything without being near or at max crafting skill and experimentation points. This means we can't feasibly create any kind of intermediate gear to help us compare to those already kitted out in blues and better. But, that isn't the worst of it. The worst of it is the passive training tree itself. This tree alone has already pushed away three or four recruits from even bothering playing the game. One in particular dove in expecting to be able to become a great crafter, right up until she discovered the passive tree and how it works. She hasn't logged in since, neither Crowfall or our guild Discord. Another, realizing just how long it would take to catch up in any meaningful way with gear, has likewise stopped playing after about three days.  All of this, if the systems remain in place as they stand today upon release, will guaranteed push away many players and risk killing this game before it even begins.
     
    A catch-up mechanic will not fix this. The problem is inherent in the current design of the crafting system in general requiring the crafting equippables, all the additives, and thousands of Dust to kit out a single person (therefor you screw yourself by crafting without crafting maxed and at least blue mats/additives), as well as the time gating of the passive training itself. I'm sure we all know and understand the purpose and intent of the passive training system, but in its current iteration it simply does not work whatsoever. There is also the issue of veteran players simply being able to fill out everything given enough time, thus killing any real hope of specialization in roles (combat/harvest/craft).
     
    After some discussion, we've come up with a few ideas for changes that we feel need to happen.
     
    Simply Add Active Training.
     
    This will help, but only to a point. This game's very nature doesn't lend itself well to the “craft 1,000 daggers” approach like WoW or Skyrim et al. Still, an active training aspect is absolutely crucial to ensure players don't feel entirely locked behind a time gate, allowing those that play consistently to build up their crow skills. The basic idea is, so long as you're engaged in an activity related to the tree you're training in, you'll gain points faster.
     
    Add Skill Levels and Limit How Many Can Be “Mastered”
     
    This will help with the specialization, but one issue will be that if new players think they want to go one way and decide they do not like it we'll need some kind of respec mechanic. This would certainly give gold a good sink. You would have so many levels you can train, maybe you can train everything up to “Journeyman” which might be, say, level 3 of 10, which means you'd only be so far into each main tree. Meanwhile, the 10th level of “Master” maybe you can only pick two, and only pick 4 for the maybe 6th level. And yet, a lot of players may like having lots of characters for lots of builds and situations, or like harvesting and crafting a lot and what to engage with all of it. If someone wants to give it the time, they certainly shouldn't feel like they're being pigeonholed. That brings us to idea #3.
     
    Give Vessels Their Own Passive Skill Tree
     
    Nobody should feel pigeonholed. Plenty of players like having alts. Certainly, no one should be able to master everything, but mixing in the vessel itself into the equation will allow people to stretch out in a few ways, such that only those that truly focus on specializing will completely fill out certain trees. So, you might hold out on Journeyman level--to use the above example--on your Crow, but each Vessel might still be able to choose one Master of their own so long as your Crow hits a certain level of that skill. But, to truly specialize, you would need to Crow and Vessel Master on the same skill tree, or some equivalent.
     
    With these ideas together, we think we have a solid recommendation to try testing with:
     
    First, determine a maximum pool of Skill Training Points. Players will still have their passive training, but now every single action generates a usable active point. PVP, point capture, harvesting, crafting, war tribes, all of these activities provide a certain amount of actively generated points. Players then allocate as they see fit on the Crow tree or the Vessel tree. Eventually, a player will hit the maximum points on their Crow, at which point a certain amount can still be actively trained on a per vessel basis. So, lets say (for sake of example) you can gain a total of 6 million points on your crow, while a vessel can train up an additional 2 million. This will do a few things: Players can actively play and get better/stronger at whatever they want to simply by playing, players can specialize without being able to get everything, and players will have some wiggle room to split off and enjoy alts without severely pigeonholing themselves (so even a crafter heavy crow, for example, can still have a good combat character, they just won't Master any Combat skills). This could work where you can only Vessel train from however far the Crow has, and adding points to the Crow for the same nodes would free up those points from the Vessel. Players won't be able to pace through a single tree any faster than anyone else, either, with this because you would pull from a single point pool; you'd merely be choosing Crow or Vessel to allocate to. With this introduced, and having an extra however many points that can be Vessel-specific, we could see the re-introduction of the Race tree allowing players to fill out minor buffs for each race like increased stat caps and minor general craft and harvest buffs (or, at least each race group, so Human, Elf, Monster, Stoneborn, Guinecean)
     
    Second, greatly expand and refine the skill trees as they exist now. Harvesting as it exists currently feels pretty good with respect to specialization so it doesn't feel like there's much to do to enhance this. The parts that could use some expanding is Combat with a near total overhaul applied to Crafting. Combat should be split up a bit and restructured a bit, having the Weaponry and Armor branches as they stand now, but making some changes as specified further below. Crafting needs to be restructured almost entirely and have new branches added in as detailed below.
     
    For Combat, simply tweaking and fleshing out more options will be sufficient, but overall it's adequate as is. Consider introducing three new trees that require Armor and Weapons maxed to reach. These would be named along the lines something like Warrior, Specialist, and Medic. These would provide passives dedicated to benefiting DPS specs, tank/CC utility specs, and healing specs respectfully. For Weapons, consider swapping things around, you choose One Handed Combat, Two Handed Combat, Melee Mastery, or Ranged Mastery along with an additional three Mastery trees: Organic Mastery, Physical Mastery, and Elemental Mastery. I feel like this might split things a bit better but that's just a whatever. This isn't anywhere necessary we don't think, but it would be nice to see this expanded, especially if the point cap and vessel points are introduced so players can better specialize.
     
    Now, the part that needs the absolute most work of all: Crafting. The overhaul here isn't just going to be the passive tree, either. This also will need to include some real tweaks on material requirements and other costs based on the rarity tier being worked, if additives are being used or not, and to also ensure that every level of commonality (except maybe white?) is valuable to craft with for gear. First, you should need to unlock access to make items of a certain grade, requiring a certain amount of the tree unlocked to reach each level (e.g. you can't craft with Blue materials/components until you unlock that node). This will give players good milestones to reach and make sure newer crafters know their limits. Second, crafter gear (like necromancer goggles) should also require hitting a certain crafting level in that crafting tree. This will help make master crafters stand out, but with things balanced out so non-masters can still contribute useful stuff. Third, dust and ember costs need to be offloaded more towards utilizing those items so that players can make good use of lesser quality ingredients without using up nearly as much dust/ember resource so they can still make decent gear. As it is now, even if you didn't need to be a master to make great gear, you're only hurting yourself crafting greens/whites because of the amount of dust needed, or without additives because the benefits are too good. Green grade non-additive gear should still have value to make and not be too expensive for mat/dust requirements since as things stand now there is no “stepping stone” intermediate gear anywhere comparable to even master crafted blue and that makes gear disparity problems even worse. Fourth, experimentation points should be frontloaded on the tree so you get more experimentation early to help with crafting decent lower grade gear, while further mastering crafts improve your risky experimentation to max out high grade gear. Fifth, requiring hitting the final Mastery node of any appropriate craft should unlock additional specialist crafting trees: Component Mastery, Weapon Mastery, Armor Mastery, Tinkerer (experimentation and crafter gear focus), and Taskmaster (Thrall focus for when Thralls are ready to go).
     
     
    Hopefully, this assessment will be taken to heart, and a serious overhaul of these systems will be worked on. No one should feel pigeonholed, no one should require master crafting or days of dust/ember grinding to get reasonably competitive gear, and no one should be time gated from feeling useful or doing what they want to do.
  22. Like
    Deioth got a reaction from DravoiX in The New Guild Experience - The Passive and Crafting Problem   
    Eldritch has come into 5.100 in a very unique position. All of us are effectively brand new players (despite some having dabbled in previous versions, our passive trees still had very little in them). This gives us a perspective the veteran players and guilds simply don't have and that, we believe, ACE lacks serious data on. As fun as it has been, despite all the trouble and issues (and pushing Order because come at us bro get rekt), we've been privvy to an experience that absolutely MUST be addressed and quickly (i.e., before Beta at latest).
     
    It's certainly one thing that we're new. We have a lot to learn. We don't know the best way to build specs or the best disciplines, but we're learning. We don't have the best comps, but that's just how it goes being this new and small. We don't know every in and out of crafting and harvesting, but we're learning. There are a lot of balance issues in general and since we lack any possibility of useful crafted gear any time soon it's also quite telling how all of this together can reveal just how lopsided fights are against well geared guilds and well built players. All of this is something we expected and something we are content to tolerate. What we did not expect and cannot tolerate is what the passive training tree and crafting system generally has resulted in. Granted, in pre-alpha we can't expect an economy (especially on a faction where we've become half the population of as a guild of, what, not even 12 active players?), and maybe on release it won't be quite so bad. However, that does not change the fact that our experience as a new guild has revealed some serious flaws with Crowfall's current design.
     
    There are some real problems with how the crafting system currently works in general. There's a pointlessness to crafting anything but blue and better gear. There's also a pointlessness to crafting anything without being near or at max crafting skill and experimentation points. This means we can't feasibly create any kind of intermediate gear to help us compare to those already kitted out in blues and better. But, that isn't the worst of it. The worst of it is the passive training tree itself. This tree alone has already pushed away three or four recruits from even bothering playing the game. One in particular dove in expecting to be able to become a great crafter, right up until she discovered the passive tree and how it works. She hasn't logged in since, neither Crowfall or our guild Discord. Another, realizing just how long it would take to catch up in any meaningful way with gear, has likewise stopped playing after about three days.  All of this, if the systems remain in place as they stand today upon release, will guaranteed push away many players and risk killing this game before it even begins.
     
    A catch-up mechanic will not fix this. The problem is inherent in the current design of the crafting system in general requiring the crafting equippables, all the additives, and thousands of Dust to kit out a single person (therefor you screw yourself by crafting without crafting maxed and at least blue mats/additives), as well as the time gating of the passive training itself. I'm sure we all know and understand the purpose and intent of the passive training system, but in its current iteration it simply does not work whatsoever. There is also the issue of veteran players simply being able to fill out everything given enough time, thus killing any real hope of specialization in roles (combat/harvest/craft).
     
    After some discussion, we've come up with a few ideas for changes that we feel need to happen.
     
    Simply Add Active Training.
     
    This will help, but only to a point. This game's very nature doesn't lend itself well to the “craft 1,000 daggers” approach like WoW or Skyrim et al. Still, an active training aspect is absolutely crucial to ensure players don't feel entirely locked behind a time gate, allowing those that play consistently to build up their crow skills. The basic idea is, so long as you're engaged in an activity related to the tree you're training in, you'll gain points faster.
     
    Add Skill Levels and Limit How Many Can Be “Mastered”
     
    This will help with the specialization, but one issue will be that if new players think they want to go one way and decide they do not like it we'll need some kind of respec mechanic. This would certainly give gold a good sink. You would have so many levels you can train, maybe you can train everything up to “Journeyman” which might be, say, level 3 of 10, which means you'd only be so far into each main tree. Meanwhile, the 10th level of “Master” maybe you can only pick two, and only pick 4 for the maybe 6th level. And yet, a lot of players may like having lots of characters for lots of builds and situations, or like harvesting and crafting a lot and what to engage with all of it. If someone wants to give it the time, they certainly shouldn't feel like they're being pigeonholed. That brings us to idea #3.
     
    Give Vessels Their Own Passive Skill Tree
     
    Nobody should feel pigeonholed. Plenty of players like having alts. Certainly, no one should be able to master everything, but mixing in the vessel itself into the equation will allow people to stretch out in a few ways, such that only those that truly focus on specializing will completely fill out certain trees. So, you might hold out on Journeyman level--to use the above example--on your Crow, but each Vessel might still be able to choose one Master of their own so long as your Crow hits a certain level of that skill. But, to truly specialize, you would need to Crow and Vessel Master on the same skill tree, or some equivalent.
     
    With these ideas together, we think we have a solid recommendation to try testing with:
     
    First, determine a maximum pool of Skill Training Points. Players will still have their passive training, but now every single action generates a usable active point. PVP, point capture, harvesting, crafting, war tribes, all of these activities provide a certain amount of actively generated points. Players then allocate as they see fit on the Crow tree or the Vessel tree. Eventually, a player will hit the maximum points on their Crow, at which point a certain amount can still be actively trained on a per vessel basis. So, lets say (for sake of example) you can gain a total of 6 million points on your crow, while a vessel can train up an additional 2 million. This will do a few things: Players can actively play and get better/stronger at whatever they want to simply by playing, players can specialize without being able to get everything, and players will have some wiggle room to split off and enjoy alts without severely pigeonholing themselves (so even a crafter heavy crow, for example, can still have a good combat character, they just won't Master any Combat skills). This could work where you can only Vessel train from however far the Crow has, and adding points to the Crow for the same nodes would free up those points from the Vessel. Players won't be able to pace through a single tree any faster than anyone else, either, with this because you would pull from a single point pool; you'd merely be choosing Crow or Vessel to allocate to. With this introduced, and having an extra however many points that can be Vessel-specific, we could see the re-introduction of the Race tree allowing players to fill out minor buffs for each race like increased stat caps and minor general craft and harvest buffs (or, at least each race group, so Human, Elf, Monster, Stoneborn, Guinecean)
     
    Second, greatly expand and refine the skill trees as they exist now. Harvesting as it exists currently feels pretty good with respect to specialization so it doesn't feel like there's much to do to enhance this. The parts that could use some expanding is Combat with a near total overhaul applied to Crafting. Combat should be split up a bit and restructured a bit, having the Weaponry and Armor branches as they stand now, but making some changes as specified further below. Crafting needs to be restructured almost entirely and have new branches added in as detailed below.
     
    For Combat, simply tweaking and fleshing out more options will be sufficient, but overall it's adequate as is. Consider introducing three new trees that require Armor and Weapons maxed to reach. These would be named along the lines something like Warrior, Specialist, and Medic. These would provide passives dedicated to benefiting DPS specs, tank/CC utility specs, and healing specs respectfully. For Weapons, consider swapping things around, you choose One Handed Combat, Two Handed Combat, Melee Mastery, or Ranged Mastery along with an additional three Mastery trees: Organic Mastery, Physical Mastery, and Elemental Mastery. I feel like this might split things a bit better but that's just a whatever. This isn't anywhere necessary we don't think, but it would be nice to see this expanded, especially if the point cap and vessel points are introduced so players can better specialize.
     
    Now, the part that needs the absolute most work of all: Crafting. The overhaul here isn't just going to be the passive tree, either. This also will need to include some real tweaks on material requirements and other costs based on the rarity tier being worked, if additives are being used or not, and to also ensure that every level of commonality (except maybe white?) is valuable to craft with for gear. First, you should need to unlock access to make items of a certain grade, requiring a certain amount of the tree unlocked to reach each level (e.g. you can't craft with Blue materials/components until you unlock that node). This will give players good milestones to reach and make sure newer crafters know their limits. Second, crafter gear (like necromancer goggles) should also require hitting a certain crafting level in that crafting tree. This will help make master crafters stand out, but with things balanced out so non-masters can still contribute useful stuff. Third, dust and ember costs need to be offloaded more towards utilizing those items so that players can make good use of lesser quality ingredients without using up nearly as much dust/ember resource so they can still make decent gear. As it is now, even if you didn't need to be a master to make great gear, you're only hurting yourself crafting greens/whites because of the amount of dust needed, or without additives because the benefits are too good. Green grade non-additive gear should still have value to make and not be too expensive for mat/dust requirements since as things stand now there is no “stepping stone” intermediate gear anywhere comparable to even master crafted blue and that makes gear disparity problems even worse. Fourth, experimentation points should be frontloaded on the tree so you get more experimentation early to help with crafting decent lower grade gear, while further mastering crafts improve your risky experimentation to max out high grade gear. Fifth, requiring hitting the final Mastery node of any appropriate craft should unlock additional specialist crafting trees: Component Mastery, Weapon Mastery, Armor Mastery, Tinkerer (experimentation and crafter gear focus), and Taskmaster (Thrall focus for when Thralls are ready to go).
     
     
    Hopefully, this assessment will be taken to heart, and a serious overhaul of these systems will be worked on. No one should feel pigeonholed, no one should require master crafting or days of dust/ember grinding to get reasonably competitive gear, and no one should be time gated from feeling useful or doing what they want to do.
  23. Thanks
    Deioth got a reaction from Makuza in The New Guild Experience - The Passive and Crafting Problem   
    Eldritch has come into 5.100 in a very unique position. All of us are effectively brand new players (despite some having dabbled in previous versions, our passive trees still had very little in them). This gives us a perspective the veteran players and guilds simply don't have and that, we believe, ACE lacks serious data on. As fun as it has been, despite all the trouble and issues (and pushing Order because come at us bro get rekt), we've been privvy to an experience that absolutely MUST be addressed and quickly (i.e., before Beta at latest).
     
    It's certainly one thing that we're new. We have a lot to learn. We don't know the best way to build specs or the best disciplines, but we're learning. We don't have the best comps, but that's just how it goes being this new and small. We don't know every in and out of crafting and harvesting, but we're learning. There are a lot of balance issues in general and since we lack any possibility of useful crafted gear any time soon it's also quite telling how all of this together can reveal just how lopsided fights are against well geared guilds and well built players. All of this is something we expected and something we are content to tolerate. What we did not expect and cannot tolerate is what the passive training tree and crafting system generally has resulted in. Granted, in pre-alpha we can't expect an economy (especially on a faction where we've become half the population of as a guild of, what, not even 12 active players?), and maybe on release it won't be quite so bad. However, that does not change the fact that our experience as a new guild has revealed some serious flaws with Crowfall's current design.
     
    There are some real problems with how the crafting system currently works in general. There's a pointlessness to crafting anything but blue and better gear. There's also a pointlessness to crafting anything without being near or at max crafting skill and experimentation points. This means we can't feasibly create any kind of intermediate gear to help us compare to those already kitted out in blues and better. But, that isn't the worst of it. The worst of it is the passive training tree itself. This tree alone has already pushed away three or four recruits from even bothering playing the game. One in particular dove in expecting to be able to become a great crafter, right up until she discovered the passive tree and how it works. She hasn't logged in since, neither Crowfall or our guild Discord. Another, realizing just how long it would take to catch up in any meaningful way with gear, has likewise stopped playing after about three days.  All of this, if the systems remain in place as they stand today upon release, will guaranteed push away many players and risk killing this game before it even begins.
     
    A catch-up mechanic will not fix this. The problem is inherent in the current design of the crafting system in general requiring the crafting equippables, all the additives, and thousands of Dust to kit out a single person (therefor you screw yourself by crafting without crafting maxed and at least blue mats/additives), as well as the time gating of the passive training itself. I'm sure we all know and understand the purpose and intent of the passive training system, but in its current iteration it simply does not work whatsoever. There is also the issue of veteran players simply being able to fill out everything given enough time, thus killing any real hope of specialization in roles (combat/harvest/craft).
     
    After some discussion, we've come up with a few ideas for changes that we feel need to happen.
     
    Simply Add Active Training.
     
    This will help, but only to a point. This game's very nature doesn't lend itself well to the “craft 1,000 daggers” approach like WoW or Skyrim et al. Still, an active training aspect is absolutely crucial to ensure players don't feel entirely locked behind a time gate, allowing those that play consistently to build up their crow skills. The basic idea is, so long as you're engaged in an activity related to the tree you're training in, you'll gain points faster.
     
    Add Skill Levels and Limit How Many Can Be “Mastered”
     
    This will help with the specialization, but one issue will be that if new players think they want to go one way and decide they do not like it we'll need some kind of respec mechanic. This would certainly give gold a good sink. You would have so many levels you can train, maybe you can train everything up to “Journeyman” which might be, say, level 3 of 10, which means you'd only be so far into each main tree. Meanwhile, the 10th level of “Master” maybe you can only pick two, and only pick 4 for the maybe 6th level. And yet, a lot of players may like having lots of characters for lots of builds and situations, or like harvesting and crafting a lot and what to engage with all of it. If someone wants to give it the time, they certainly shouldn't feel like they're being pigeonholed. That brings us to idea #3.
     
    Give Vessels Their Own Passive Skill Tree
     
    Nobody should feel pigeonholed. Plenty of players like having alts. Certainly, no one should be able to master everything, but mixing in the vessel itself into the equation will allow people to stretch out in a few ways, such that only those that truly focus on specializing will completely fill out certain trees. So, you might hold out on Journeyman level--to use the above example--on your Crow, but each Vessel might still be able to choose one Master of their own so long as your Crow hits a certain level of that skill. But, to truly specialize, you would need to Crow and Vessel Master on the same skill tree, or some equivalent.
     
    With these ideas together, we think we have a solid recommendation to try testing with:
     
    First, determine a maximum pool of Skill Training Points. Players will still have their passive training, but now every single action generates a usable active point. PVP, point capture, harvesting, crafting, war tribes, all of these activities provide a certain amount of actively generated points. Players then allocate as they see fit on the Crow tree or the Vessel tree. Eventually, a player will hit the maximum points on their Crow, at which point a certain amount can still be actively trained on a per vessel basis. So, lets say (for sake of example) you can gain a total of 6 million points on your crow, while a vessel can train up an additional 2 million. This will do a few things: Players can actively play and get better/stronger at whatever they want to simply by playing, players can specialize without being able to get everything, and players will have some wiggle room to split off and enjoy alts without severely pigeonholing themselves (so even a crafter heavy crow, for example, can still have a good combat character, they just won't Master any Combat skills). This could work where you can only Vessel train from however far the Crow has, and adding points to the Crow for the same nodes would free up those points from the Vessel. Players won't be able to pace through a single tree any faster than anyone else, either, with this because you would pull from a single point pool; you'd merely be choosing Crow or Vessel to allocate to. With this introduced, and having an extra however many points that can be Vessel-specific, we could see the re-introduction of the Race tree allowing players to fill out minor buffs for each race like increased stat caps and minor general craft and harvest buffs (or, at least each race group, so Human, Elf, Monster, Stoneborn, Guinecean)
     
    Second, greatly expand and refine the skill trees as they exist now. Harvesting as it exists currently feels pretty good with respect to specialization so it doesn't feel like there's much to do to enhance this. The parts that could use some expanding is Combat with a near total overhaul applied to Crafting. Combat should be split up a bit and restructured a bit, having the Weaponry and Armor branches as they stand now, but making some changes as specified further below. Crafting needs to be restructured almost entirely and have new branches added in as detailed below.
     
    For Combat, simply tweaking and fleshing out more options will be sufficient, but overall it's adequate as is. Consider introducing three new trees that require Armor and Weapons maxed to reach. These would be named along the lines something like Warrior, Specialist, and Medic. These would provide passives dedicated to benefiting DPS specs, tank/CC utility specs, and healing specs respectfully. For Weapons, consider swapping things around, you choose One Handed Combat, Two Handed Combat, Melee Mastery, or Ranged Mastery along with an additional three Mastery trees: Organic Mastery, Physical Mastery, and Elemental Mastery. I feel like this might split things a bit better but that's just a whatever. This isn't anywhere necessary we don't think, but it would be nice to see this expanded, especially if the point cap and vessel points are introduced so players can better specialize.
     
    Now, the part that needs the absolute most work of all: Crafting. The overhaul here isn't just going to be the passive tree, either. This also will need to include some real tweaks on material requirements and other costs based on the rarity tier being worked, if additives are being used or not, and to also ensure that every level of commonality (except maybe white?) is valuable to craft with for gear. First, you should need to unlock access to make items of a certain grade, requiring a certain amount of the tree unlocked to reach each level (e.g. you can't craft with Blue materials/components until you unlock that node). This will give players good milestones to reach and make sure newer crafters know their limits. Second, crafter gear (like necromancer goggles) should also require hitting a certain crafting level in that crafting tree. This will help make master crafters stand out, but with things balanced out so non-masters can still contribute useful stuff. Third, dust and ember costs need to be offloaded more towards utilizing those items so that players can make good use of lesser quality ingredients without using up nearly as much dust/ember resource so they can still make decent gear. As it is now, even if you didn't need to be a master to make great gear, you're only hurting yourself crafting greens/whites because of the amount of dust needed, or without additives because the benefits are too good. Green grade non-additive gear should still have value to make and not be too expensive for mat/dust requirements since as things stand now there is no “stepping stone” intermediate gear anywhere comparable to even master crafted blue and that makes gear disparity problems even worse. Fourth, experimentation points should be frontloaded on the tree so you get more experimentation early to help with crafting decent lower grade gear, while further mastering crafts improve your risky experimentation to max out high grade gear. Fifth, requiring hitting the final Mastery node of any appropriate craft should unlock additional specialist crafting trees: Component Mastery, Weapon Mastery, Armor Mastery, Tinkerer (experimentation and crafter gear focus), and Taskmaster (Thrall focus for when Thralls are ready to go).
     
     
    Hopefully, this assessment will be taken to heart, and a serious overhaul of these systems will be worked on. No one should feel pigeonholed, no one should require master crafting or days of dust/ember grinding to get reasonably competitive gear, and no one should be time gated from feeling useful or doing what they want to do.
  24. Like
    Deioth got a reaction from JamesGoblin in Multi boxing is really bad lately   
    Given Crowfall is action combat, it would effectively be impossible to multibox actively, but the unfair advantage multiboxing gives in Crowfall is through the passive training system and embargo system.  You could have every possible crafting and harvesting need covered this way with one "account" as your main focusing Combat, get around Import/Export and bank restrictions, and unfairly give yourself a level of self sufficiency.  I think there are a variety of things they could implement to help track for potential multibox abuse.  It may not always be worth the resources, but I'm sure they could track IPs for example quite easily, as well as who trades with who, log in/out events, what accounts show what kind of activity (such as, do they only ever seem to be on more than a minute of passive allocation and only harvest/craft?), and so on that could together point to multiboxing versus merely multiple people on the same internet connection.  I'm sure they could find out who is doing it if they wanted to and the resources for it.
  25. Haha
    Deioth got a reaction from Tinnis in I never have any fury?   
    I feel like I am instantly out of fury.  I can't use any skills, can't even basic attack because that spends fury.  Am I missing something?  I do one combo skill, use bull rush, use pulverize, any single one of these things aaaaaand I can't use any other skills, just completely out of fury.  I'm finding it extremely clunky and frustrating, makes no sense that basic attacks at the very least don't spend fury.  If I have to rely on being damaged that doesn't fix the issue that I feel gimp if I'm not taking "enough" damage.
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