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Everything posted by Lephys

  1. I know the article/breakdown touched on it, but adding a random factor to your game/system isn't at all bad. Giving it too much weight is what's bad. A blatant example is a coin toss: heads results in you get 200 million gold, tails results in your account being deleted and you have to buy another copy/license of the game to play again. In this, the existence of a coin toss isn't bad. The the degree to which the sheer outcome of a random coin toss is affecting my experience, is. If the coin toss was to determine whether or not a given goblin in a group of 10 tries to flank me or tries to distract/engage me, that's much less ridiculous. That's actually a useful random thing. Why? Because I don't want to see a goblin with a purple hat, and go "Oh, all purple hat goblins try to flank me... I know exactly how to deal with this goblin, and it's exactly the same as the way I deal with every purple-hatted goblin in existence." So, when I don't want something to be the same, but I don't want the developers to just have to determine what's what up front, a random factor is excellent! As a general rule in games, the best use of randomness is to make the player deal with a variety of circumstances in an interesting/"mysterious" capacity. This moment of the day there's a strong wind in this area. Another time there isn't. That affects the way in which you, the player, interact with and make choices about combat. Maybe you forego ranged attacks because the wind's hard to deal with? Maybe you get upwind and cast fire spells, letting the wind gusts spread the fire across the part of your battlefield that your foes occupy? Who knows. But the numbers aren't determining what your character is doing. They're determining what you're confronted with. That being said, sometimes it's not so bad to have a sprinkling of little bonuses here and there that are just sort of jackpotish, direct random bonuses. But they should be rather small. Like... Critical hits get pretty out of hand in games. A critical hit, as another example, is way better as something that affects the factors of combat, rather than something that just grants you +X damage when it happens. If it, for example, rends armor (grants you +20% damage for the next 5 Piercing hits or something), that's a guarantee of more damage than you would've had, but it's more of a factor change. How exactly you manage that bonus from here on out is up to you. You can just attack 5 times, or hit with dots, or hit with super big attacks, etc. The random roll didn't determine what actively happens. It only determined a shift in circumstances.
  2. Looking good! Definitely keep up the good work, though. Don't get complacent with it. Now it's at least an engaging system. I honestly still think the whole quarter thresholds system could be made more intuitive, or replaced with something that's more intuitive. Actively juggling combos and timings of buffs and such to maximize efficiency doesn't group together very well with "but make sure X things are in effect whenever the node hits Y health, exactly!". I'm not saying it's impossible to do or too hard. It's more that it just doesn't flow together very well. I honestly believe that stuff like the weak spots, and other direct rewards to your active engagement with the system is what should be focused upon. Maybe I'm crazy, though. *shrug*. I still say the idea of "you get bonus harvesting time because the node didn't break yet!" would be a great idea. Or, rather, before I was describing a system in which maybe people were trying to do as little damage as possible to the node, then award doobers either per-whack (based on chance), or per-critical-whack, etc. This made sense to me, but wasn't quite as intuitive to others. Well, I realize now that the purest idea there was simply to prolong the harvesting window to increase the quantity of opportunities. So, what if, instead of trying to do as little damage as possible to the node, you had a system of effects that contributed to the node's chance of not-breaking? Think of old side-scroller beat'em ups, when you'd get to the boss, and he'd have like 2 health bars or something at the top of the screen. You'd take him down, and you'd get a little "cut-scene" of him seemingly being defeated. But he'd go "GRRRGH!", angrily rip his shades off his face and crush them in his hand, wipe the blood off his mouth, throw his coat to the ground, then "grow" another health bar and keep fighting you. Well, in that instance, you were upset, because it was just more fighting you had to survive. However, with a resource node, it would be a "Yay! I get a chance at further doobers!" So, instead of the 1/4, 1/2, etc. thresholds, you could just give the nodes stacking health bars. Then, either give some kind of chance to add a health bar in the middle of the harvesting process, OR have some kind of chance on the last hit that the node won't die, but will rather just degrade and proc another health bar. *shrug*. It's a very general idea. I couldn't say exactly when and under what circumstances to do this. Maybe only do something like this for Motherlodes? But, if you're going to have active "action" harvesting, then the thought process for maximizing doober gains needs to be an active one as well. It doesn't need to be a cold, calculated "Okay, so, 23 whacks from now, what state do we want things to be in when we deliver the doober-granting whack?" while you're getting into an action rhythm of in-the-moment effect juggling. I very highly recommend making the doober gains and bonuses of effects shift towards rewards for best-exploiting these short-term active bonuses and effects. The easiest system that comes to mind is a cumulative gains system. As in "for these 10 seconds, you used a bunch of effects really well so that 3 of your hits earned you 2 bonus doobers of +1 quality level." If you want to pay out the doobers at each 1/4 of node health, that's fine. Just make the payout points very visually clear. OR, wait 'til the node breaks and make it doober-pinata. Either way. I think the earning of doobers during the active process works better than worrying about which effects will be in-place during a break-point event. Just my eleventeen cents. To re-iterate, THIS IS LODES BETTER THAN THE SYSTEM FROM ONLY A COUPLE OF MONTHS AGO, so good on you guys, and keep up the good work! Definitely headed down a much better path for this stuff!
  3. I'm gonna second (or third, or fifth, or whatever I'm at here) the whole "Thanks for this message, and I encourage you to be more transparent in the future" idea. Honestly, you're screwed if you do and you're screwed if you don't, as in people are going to misconstrue and complain no matter what you do. Just, if you don't tell anyone about stuff, they're going to do it with NO truthful info, rather than with at least some. I know that sucks. Humans are crappy at times/in ways. But, we'd much rather hear your ideas on your designs and goals, etc., than just sit around waiting, then hear what's been implemented. We'd love to hear how your week went. You don't have to go into extreme detail, but go into as much as you want, honestly. We just won't want to know "Ehh this thing is supposed to be done/implemented by the end of the month. It's supposed to be cool. Yay. Maybe it'll hit that date, maybe it won't? We'll see." for an entire month. We'd like to know at least what you're working on, why you're working on it, and how you came to decide on a particular design, etc. We got a lot of this earlier on, and it does seem like the last 6 months or so have kind of petered out. I don't know if it's because you're trying to control the complainers and misconstruers or what, but it's only effectively hurting the people who still actually care about this and who have your backs. No one expects you to do everything perfectly in one go. But the perfect approach can be had by designing, editing, and iterating in the proper manner. The right path is the one that keeps checking to make sure you're going in the right direction, not necessarily the one that has you never going in the wrong direction. We know it's tough, and you guys are working your butts off, and we appreciate that, really and truly. If I could move into your HQ and open a soda fountain and serve beverages and milkshakes to everyone at ACE whilst delivering stress-relieving puns, I'd do so, just to help you guys out. But, alas, all I can do is type words into this forum. But... we've got your back! We just want to help however we can, and we want to achieve the best Crowfall we can.
  4. The abilities feel a bit lackluster. Don't get me wrong... they look amazing, and the general idea is good, but I feel like they're just trying to meet the minimum criteria of a role in a class-based RPG. They're all just circles that heal or deal damage. The "tether" heal one is the most interesting. The rest seem hard to make feel distinct from any other damage/root/healing abilities, other than "the circle is a different size" or "the healing value is different," etc. Perhaps the intent of the current state of the class is simply to cover the basics of the role, and you're going to do more complex stuff later and/or want to leave room for disciplines to provide lots of cool customization. If that's the case, then okay, I suppose? I'm really not trying to be negative. The class is really polished in terms of VFX and aesthetic ability design. It just seems like the abilities could go a bit further into cool-tactical-option territory. The Druid (I think) little healy orbs that can be picked up for heals OR detonated by the Druid, come to mind. That's much more interesting than "If you're standing here, you get healed. Also, I can heal you a couple of other ways. Or I can hit people for damage. Also I can stun you maybe, and root you if you're standing here."
  5. I understood you. I was merely illustrating that exaggeration can go the opposite direction just as easily. You actually have a valid point, but it's almost impossible to tell that when you ignore the simple fact that knowing when a specific thing is going to be done in their development process is actually quite difficult. I do agree that some kind of addressment (I'm not sure that's a "real" word, but I think it works), at least, of their current idea of the timeframe. At the same time, there are perfectly legitimate situations in which they have no accurate assessment of when a particular thing is going to make it into production. Your valid point shines light when there are far too many things that are pegged for release in roughly-less-than-a-year, but are all still giant question marks. I couldn't really say "5 is too many, but 4 is okay," or "It's unacceptable to not know about mounts, but acceptable to not know about Thing X," however. So, again. Good point, sort of, but I don't know what kind of responses you expect if you roll in like you're sure of exactly what they should and should not be on top of right now. Until the game releases and everything's not in it (or at least really close... stuff happens), I don't think any of us can reasonably say "Yes, you guys aren't handling things like mounts properly." By all means, raise a concern for the sake of constructive illustration and discussion, but mic-drop conclusions and judgments are somewhat missing the mark.
  6. I don't recall saying anything about "just as hard." But... *shrug*. I'll take your word for it. If you can always tell everyone the exact day on which each system will be implemented and operational, by all means, be in charge of all development projects.
  7. Those are usually pretty relevant questions, as they deal with the inter-workings of mechanics and intended design. If stuff's doing something crazy and they didn't intend for that, it probably needs to be discussed. Also, "when will mounts be in" isn't a very good question. That's like asking "when will Thomas Blair die, do you think?". They could say "Well, I dunno... I mean he's pretty healthy, so probably another 40 years or so. But, really, I mean, a bus could hit him tomorrow. So... *shrug*" Would you like to waste your life with "an hour" of "Well, we're working on this, but it's not really ready to talk about yet, as we still don't even have it all figured out, nor do we have the tech ready to power an implementation of it" answers? Then be glad they don't answer those questions.
  8. Just be careful with the amount of eye candy you provide, or we might get... ... EYE-a-betes!
  9. Honestly, the names for Plentiful Harvest and Beneficial Harvest seem backwards. Intuitively, "Plentiful Harvest" makes me think it's going to increase the quantity of my harvest (or, at the very least, doesn't sound like I'm going to get better quality things by any stretch of the word), whilst "Beneficial Harvest" sounds more like the harvest quality is going to "benefit." I know it's minor, but this was honestly very confusing to me for a while now, as I have yet to get to actually download the new client and sit down and test the game's harvesting.
  10. Danger and people protecting gatherers is not a part of gathering. It's a part of how combat and gathering relate to one another. The danger and conflict of resource acquisition is there regardless of whether or not anyone's standing around "actively" gathering the resources or not. Gathering, itself, needs to be fun. It doesn't have to be so fun that everyone in the universe decides to drop combat for gathering. But, if you approach it with the attitude that "it's just a boring thing to do no matter what... let's just let combat make it exciting," combat's never going to make it exciting. All that becomes is a convoluted loot system, and combatants protecting gatherers is only fun because they're actually getting to partake in enjoyable combat (with the protection of gatherers simply becoming a specific objective within "kill all enemies" combat), and because they know they'll acquire cool stuff once it's all over. It's negligibly different from simply protecting something for X minutes, then having the game say "Yay, you did it!" and stuffing rewards into your inventory. If you already had a system in which that were the case -- in which EVERYONE was a combatant, and there was no gathering role for players, and you simply protected a big Extractor machine at a POI, then every so often it spat resources out at you -- then who in their right mind would say "Hey, you know what? Let's require about half of those combatants to instead stand around BEING that extractor. Then let's say it'll be fun because COMBAT and DANGER! 8D!"? It's all about approach. If the approach isn't "let's make sure the gathering, itself, is fun, and the danger aspect is just sprinkles on that cake," then there's really no point in depriving those gatherers of combat (an actual fun, active activity) during resource acquisition. Simply put, if getting the resources isn't a fun thing, then you might as well get them in the simplest way possible.
  11. While we're in agreement on the flaws of hunger for hunger's sake, I must clarify that realism isn't invalidated by imagination. You still want to draw from how fire actually works, or what deficits a minotaur would face. So, just because things aren't real doesn't mean realism becomes moot. It's more that you don't want to copy something from reality without STILL asking the question "how does this help me in the game?" There are a lot of abilities and such going into Crowfall that stem from combat abilities in real life, not because Crowfall is trying to present virtual real life, but because of the interesting options those combat abilities offer. It's cool to block with your shield in realistic ways because of all the things that lets you do within the context of combat in the game, not because real-life shield blocking just inherently equals fun or something. It's more of a coincidence, if that makes sense. Reality makes an excellent foundation upon which we can build sturdy imaginings.
  12. It's not the same in a video game. SOMEone in the world wants to do ANY given thing, so you could just say nothing's a chore, in which case we could justify every tiny thing being simulated. Having to guide your character into the woods to relieve himself is SOMEone's jam. Doesn't have any bearing on whether or not it should be in this game. The "eat or die" implementation of hunger/food is functionally no different from "You have to juggle 3 marbles with one hand like the Goblin King from Labyrinth the entire time you're logged into Crowfall or it'll log you out." It's just something you have to do because you have to. Hunger CAN be cool, and the sheer fact that it's being simulated is cool for about 17 seconds. But, if it's not contributing to the existing idea of the game, then it's a useless chore. That doesn't mean that cool cooking-crafting and such can't be in. Depending on how it's implemented, of course. But, just having hunger as a thing that you have to stave off by doing something as easy as right-clicking apples in your inventory is silly. Let's put in a blinking mechanic, too, to simulate that your character's eyes would dry out if he didn't blink. No, he's going to blink on his own. That in no way justifies something to simulate. The only value to something like hunger in a game like Crowfall is resource management/control. At the very least, food/rations should just be something that have like an "ammo" slot in your inventory, and your person should just eat them automatically whenever he's hungry. Ideally, that'd just be like once/day, and the lack of food would just keep you at 0 bonus, while different foods could give you very interesting bonuses. Or however you want to do it. But, the ACT of eating: A) isn't actually simulated, and B ) has no value in being simulated. Unless it's just a humorous game built around impractical simulation, like Surgeon Simulator 2013.
  13. Hmm... what if instead of individual, manually-tackled hunger, it was more of a resource? What if another resource was actually like... "townsfolk" or something? Or thralls? There are already thralls, which is why I mention this. Basically, NPCs as a resource. So that, you have some little fort, and maybe you can do fine without any NPCs, building on it and upgrading/repairing it, etc. But, you get a big fortress, and it's just not feasible for your player group to fix it up without extra manpower. So, you manage to acquire 200 townsfolk to help out with it. Well, your personal character is fine without food. Or rather, it's just understood that you eat trail rations all the time if nothing else, and any other food is just buff/bonuses. But, the TOWNSFOLK need food. They're not immortal crows, and to sustain them, they need food. They are like a big, flexibily-sized forge, and they need fuel to burn and get work done. So, you have to stockpile food in your outposts/forts in this hypothetical, and it gets used by them whenever they do stuff (I know... not 1:1 realistic simulation, as they'd eat food even when just sitting around, but I don't think simulation for simulation's sake is very useful). With this system, you could still have hunger sieges, but it's an ACTUAL effect. Like "Hey, we ran out of food, so our townsfolk/laborers can't mass produce weapons and help us repair our walls." Players could still do these things, but that takes them away from active combat, and just makes the process slower-going, and/or the quantity of work they can tackle becomes smaller. Meh? Terrible idea? Decentish idea? Splendid idea? 'Cause yeah, I love to draw from simulation for cool ideas, but simulating things just to simulate things is always only cool when it's novel. Well, unless the game is just built around that simulation. Even then, though... only people who just happen to be enthusiasts for that kind of simulation are getting a thrill out of it. 7 days in, you're not really getting anything out of sheer simulation anymore. You toy with it, figure it out, then, in the context of the game, just do it the best way possible. Or consistently fail to do it the best way possible, and it's just now a chore. Like food. With food, you're not even simulating a process. It would be like putting in diseases that your characters just randomly contract, then die from. "Yay! We're simulating diseases!" But it's not meaningful simulation. The character cannot make choices regarding the simulation. Just like with sheer hunger. Your choice is "keep gathering and eating food, or be penalized." Being penalized is, by definition, bad, so your only choice is to always do the same thing: try to keep food on hand and avoid penalty.
  14. Apologies, as my brain's stream-of-consciousness often gets ahead of my text. I will definitely amp up my focus on distinguishing between these. My biggest point, which kind of touches on all three of these (though Production the least, I suppose), is to emphasize the necessity of active, engaging interaction within these activities. The resource chests is a great example, for Harvesting. If you're just going to take that and make everyone actively gather the resources sheerly for the sake of saying "Yay, people are gathering now instead of resources just coming out of chests," then there's literally no reason not to have them just come out of chests. Basically, as long as you have a POI that draws opposing factions toward the same goal location, and there's some amount of time factor beyond instantaneous (there'd still be some conflict, I suppose, but FAR less chance of it), there's going to be resource-"gathering" conflict. Simply put, if there's no reason, design-wise, for gathering to be an activity, then don't make gathering, itself, an activity. Just make "resource-acquisition" an activity. It's the same as the difference between finding all your equipment via loot drops, or getting some through a crafting system. In some games, for example, the crafting system is unjustifiable, as it's simply an obstacle within the loot-drop system. "Once I get loot drops A, B, and C, I have to bring up another interface and click a button to get loot X that I want." Even though, within that system, they could have just had loot X be acquirable within the loot drop system, and tuned things accordingly. If the only reason anyone's ever crafting things is to achieve loot X, and not because they enjoy the crafting system, then there's not much point in the crafting system existing. Everyone could've just done the enjoyable activity (combat) and acquired all the equipment via that means. Then maybe just customized stuff after that, quickly and instantly. So, I see your swinging pendulum, and I too would like to see a middle ground. But I still don't just want to see a fully passive middle ground, in which you train crafting for 6 months, so now you ultimately get +25% chance at the dice gods giving you better crafted goods. I would love to see that training partially increasing raw numbers, sure, but also increasing the array of choices at your disposal in the active process of crafting a good. And the options between individual crafting and mass production should be a spectrum of quality (individual) versus quantity (production). As you said, nobody was a better chest opener than anyone else. That problem is not solved by giving one person +60 to chest opening, and the other person +0 (for example... I'm not saying stick with the chest system), just as combat does not give one person +100 to killing skill, and another only +30, then call it a day. This has come up since the Kickstarter campaign even mentioned the existence of crafting and it's proposed design, but... if there's not a way for a player's actual skill (that doesn't necessarily mean twitch-based skill, but it still has to be active, interactive choices) to contribute to the outcome in any given instance of an activity, then the players are not being provided with an entire facet of meaningful differentiation. Looking back at combat, Player A and Player B with the exact same skills and builds can still vary in how well they use their skills. And, unlike in something like crafting experimentation, Player A can't just spend 10 hours optimizing his playstyle with static choices, then employing the same formula over and over again to achieve better success. Player B would eventually just figure out the same formula, even if he could, and do just as well as him. As much as they want to do away with the cons of active skill training (that divide of "this guy plays 5 hours per night, so he's 7 times better than I am at Skill X"), the method of acquisition of character progression points in no way does away with that divide. So, if that divide is the only thing differentiating Player A's quality of produced goods from Player B's, then Player B can never hope to do as well as Player A. Basically, active effort has to count for something, or psychologically we, as humans, do not take very well to it. I'm looking for a middle ground, as well, between active efforts in an ongoing, dynamic activity (be it crafting or harvesting, despite the fact that they will still have differences), and passive training choices / recipe experimentation figurings. All things in moderation.
  15. My reasoning is: If all your hard work and effort is to work towards automation, why not just start with automation, and have all your hard work and effort be training towards the optimization of the automation? As literally as I can possibly mean this, why does the player character have to be the one doing the harvesting/crafting? I'm sorry if it came across some other way, but I have every interest in harvesting and crafting, in-and-of-themselves. So, as long as they don't make it a begrudging task, I'll do it. I understand that the role of harvesting is expeditions of danger. I get that. And that's fantastic that that's a thing. However, you still need solid gathering gameplay in place as a foundation. The sheer fact that it's dangerous and/or a team activity does not make it fun/engaging/interesting. Throwing a handful of seasoning on an uncooked meal doesn't make it any better. That doesn't mean the seasoning is bad. It just only does so much. Rather, the role of the danger is to make the gathering of resources more meaningful. Not to simply make it meaningful in the first place. I understand that. I'm commenting on both the harvesting role and the crafting role simultaneously. Basically all the non-combat roles. Scouting is in there, if it's at all going to be a thing. Anything that isn't combat, really. If the game's design allows for a dedicated role, then that role needs to be just as engaging as any other dedicated role. Heck, the fact that you're probably going to JUST be crafting or JUST be harvesting, as a main role, is even MORE reason to make sure each of those processes, individually, is engaging and meaningful. The game has to have a clear goal in this. Is it just "Oh, don't worry, you're just supposed to increase the number of doobers in your team's resource pool by X%, then increase your productivity by Y%", or is it like combat, in which the goal is for you to affect things on a real-time tactical level? Why not just leave combat as "okay, everyone's just a big aggregate mass of passive build stats"? You're not supposed to go out and fight everyone by yourself. You're supposed to rove in big groups and do strategic things. So why is combat so tuned to individual engagement? What you're actively getting to do is very interesting in combat, and depending on where you aim, what ability you use, etc., drastically different effects can be seen. Build optimization is simply a cherry on top of that. On the last bits, I mostly agree. I only disagree on that it's ONLY the pacing of the activity/rate of resource acquisition that's the problem (although, in all fairness, you did say "necessarily"). I believe that the method of acquisition needs to be more fun. You should make something fun to do from the get-go. The way to keep it fun is to have all the cool team-effort danger conflict stuff. That doesn't make it fun, though. A grind can be a grind because of two reasons: 1)The thing you're doing isn't enjoyable 2)The goal of the thing you're doing isn't enjoyable. If everyone went around completely filling in white canvases in Microsoft Paint using the tiniest paintbrush tool imaginable in order to get resources, it wouldn't matter how group-oriented it was, or how great it was to get a bunch of resources for your faction, or what the pacing or rate of acquisition was. Obviously actively swinging a tool at stuff is a bit more fun than filling in Microsoft Paint canvases. And obviously NOW they are trying to go further with that, so we'll have to see what they do. However, to believe that only adjusting the rate of something will make it no longer unpleasant is folly. Torture can be made to last a millisecond, and it's still torture. It's just less bad. You haven't even breached the realm of good yet.
  16. Sure, but why not then just make white materials a "mass-produced" thing? If the only functional difference we're going to see is "You're higher-trained, so now it takes you less time and effort to harvest more materials" vs "your skills are lower so it's going to take you longer to get the same quantity of materials"? Why does the player need to directly "DO" the harvesting? Especially if you're going to do all that "one time" (per design), then make it into a blueprint and mass produce it? And what's the relationship between mass production and individual crafting, if not an MMO mount movement speed versus MMO walking? This is why I've hated passive training as the only major build factor from the get-go, but that's a whole 'nother topic. It's roughly the same as an RPG whose combat has you merely take less damage/gain more HP and deal more damage with every level up, only you can't even actively level up. You just... kill stuff with fewer swings as you go. To what end? Either there's a reason to be doing the swinging, or there isn't. And, in this system, "to get better at the swinging" isn't even a thing, since you could just make a character, set your training path, then not log in for 3 months, then finally log in one day and be good at harvesting. What they've got right now is a slot machine. It used to have an auto-pull lever, and now it has an active-pull lever (for harvesting). The crafting one is just an electronic slot machine with a bunch of buttons instead of a lever. If there's not a foundation of actual enjoyment in the process of interacting with the machine, then 99% of people are only ever going to be doing it because it's the only way to get the rewards. It's like if you put basic groceries and fuel behind a slot machine. People would use it, and complain about it the whole time because it's a horrible way to get what they need. As we're always going to compare back to combat... you could tweak the ways in which to affect loot chances from defeating opponents in combat to kingdom come and STILL have a piddly combat system with one attack ability and basic health/damage math at play, and everyone would combat all day every day to get the loot they wanted, as there would be no alternative. Save for a different game...
  17. ^ I agree. Additionally, they seem to have latched onto that very specific idea of "Ohhhh, man, it's gonna be SO worth it after you spend 37 millenia optimizing JUST the right combination of factors in crafting Item X, then spend the rest of your life mass producing it." Except... apparently the equipment is, by design, not game-changing. basically, as long as one big group of 50 people has at least decent equipment, they can feasibly take on an opposing group of 50 with better equipment. So, the gear is actually LESS important, other than that someone keep making SOMEthing for people to wear, yet the system's design's emphasis on oodles of time and effort collecting resources and pouring them into the optimization game is somehow INcreased? That's just a weird design on paper, much less in-game. There are so many conditional things that are simply true: IF you want something to take a ton of time and effort, it needs to be worthwhile. IF you want equipment quality to be of generally less importance, then there should be less emphasis placed on the intricacies of the crafting system in producing marginally-better equipment. Honestly, I just think the baseline priority should be "make everything enjoyable," then go from there. For example... combat's looking like it's pretty fun, considering it's being enjoyed even when hardly any other systems were in the game (Hunger Dome, etc.), as just a standalone chunk of gameplay. Make Harvesting something enjoyable to do, regardless of how it fits into a giant throne war, THEN has it out to specifically fit into a giant throne war (optimization and all that jazz). It's kind of shooting yourself in the foot to get a bunch of Fantasy-Football-level spreadsheet gaming ironed out FIRST, then try to maybe make something fun be a part of it if there's time. You can ALWAYS expand the number of different resources, and the complexity of alloys, etc. What you cannot ALWAYS do is actually produce a mechanic that is engaging and makes a process that you already know is going to be repeated a billion times, enjoyable. I've never quite understood that... how so often the argument comes up that since harvesting and crafting are so repeated, no effort should be "wasted" on making them not-tedious. When, logically, the more times you're going to have to do something, the greater the impact that even a tiny sprinkle of dynamicism/enjoyment is going to have. You're going to attack a foe billions of times in the game. Wouldn't you love to have just the one, single attack ability? Yeah. I mean, it's gonna get tedious no matter what. You're just doing the same thing over and over. Oh wait, except you're not, because there's actual depth to the combat process.
  18. The game IS in pre-alpha, but the problem thus far has been the attitude of ACE towards the conceptual design of harvesting and crafting. Despite the "find the fun" slogan they've been rolling with (which has worked pretty well with combat and ability designs and progression), they were super cool with a "you can just stand around and waitingly harvest and craft, since the logistics and optimization are the only thing that are important there, aside from socializing with peeps whilst harvesting for 17 hours a day" approach, even though it's not fun. Optimization can be fun, but it's not very fun to very many people by itself. Socializing with peeps can be fun, but you can already do that in anything else in the game, so pretending it's somehow a COMPONENT of harvesting is silly. So, they've wised up a bit, it would seem, but just imagine what a "let's figure out how to make this enjoyable for dedicated harvesters/crafters" attitude could have done from the get-go. I think we're all (all of us who actually WANT to craft/harvest, that is, and not all of us who simply want resources and see any amount of time or effort spent on the process of obtaining them to be pointless, which honestly kind of renders their opinions moot in this context) just hoping they continue on by applying the "find the fun" policy to the harvesting and crafting systems. It is in pre-alpha, so we'll have to see. Just know that people are mostly disgruntled with the design of the systems so far, and not the completeness of implementation. With Combat, they COULD have just thrown some incomplete systems at us and crunched the numbers we generated from testing. Instead, they designed the Hunger Dome. The thinking was "We want you to actually have a cohesive chunk of gameplay to play so that you can enjoy what you're doing a goodly bit whilst we gather testing data." But with crafting and harvesting, it's somehow less important (in a game whose foundation is essentially decaying equipment and the implementation of crafted goods in large-scale warfare) and we should simply use the spreadsheets that have been put into the game and be happy that there are different outcomes for our button clicks and hours of effort not actually DOING anything. It would be the equivalent of just damage numbers and stats and builds being in for Combat, but no actual combat. You just put your build up against the enemy's, then read the results. Then tweak, and repeat. That should be super fun. That's the heart and soul of combat, right? Not actually COMBATTING your opponent. The optimization is just sprinkles on the cupcake. It's great and all, but it's not the base of the cake mix. I'm still really curious to find out what the relationship will be between mass production and individual crafting. I realize mass production has a place in the game economy, as you would not necessarily want to individually craft 100 people's weapons and armor. However, if you don't lose something valuable when switching over to mass production, then there's almost no point in having to manually optimize things, as it just becomes another obstacle in the end-game goal of mass-producing everything. Might as well just have a "Mass Production" skill at that point, and let the passive training and skill values determine everything. And I mean that literally. At a certain point, if the design isn't for human interaction and active brain usage to determine outcomes for something that's such a core component of the overall throne warfare of the game (item economy, that is).
  19. I really wish people would be more open-minded about things. The second people see "PvE," they go a bit crazy with "OH NO! THIS IS A GAME THAT ISN'T ABOUT PvE!" We get that, but... PvE is an EXTREMELY broad term. Heck... finding a node in the woods and harvesting stuff is PvE. The woods are your environment. That node was neither created by, nor is it directly affiliated with any other player. You could harvest that whole node and never see an enemy. But guess what... it exists within a huge, over-arching PvP campaign. So, yeah, it works. Crafting isn't PvP. But it facilitates PvP combat. So, I think it's pretty easy to establish that PvE content is not bad, so long as its not trying to steal the spotlight from PvP. No one wants dungeon raids and the like, but, you honestly couldn't even have those in Crowfall even if you tried, because there's no active advancement to your character, in terms of level and skills, etc. So, you could go defeat all the legendary dragons you wanted, and the only thing you'd accomplish would be the acquisition of dragon resources, maybe, by well-trained Hunters/Skinners or whatever. So, PvE has a huge use here, as the OP has described it. Sure, this game's all about players fighting players, but on a grand scale. That's why Call of Duty and other "arena combat" games have small levels... because they know there's nothing else to fill that space with. So, if you have this MASSIVE expanse of a map to "explore," but all there is to find on it is stuff to gather, or people to fight, that makes scouting pretty boring, overall. Sure, it can be fun. I'm not saying like... "REMOVE THAT WHOLE ASPECT OF HAVING TO SCOUT FOR PEEPS AND RESOURCES!" But... The environment can present us with so many more variables. Put in a dynamic event, and guess what? You've scouted out something useful, but it's a lot more complex than "the enemy... KILL THEM!" or "Stuff... GATHER IT!". Maybe there's a whole camp of goblins setting up at a POI? Maybe a merchant caravan is making its way through the "zone"? That's not turning the game into WoW. That's a freaking MOBILE POI. That's simply a POI that's even more interesting. Whoever scouts the best finds it first. Whoever finds it second can try to take it from the faction who finds it first. Maybe the people who find it first wait and set up an ambush because their scouts noticed that the enemy saw the caravan as well and is making a move. Scouting each other is great, but the more there is for you to be doing, the more interesting the scouting of each other becomes. If there are reasons for players to be populating the map in various activities, then there's that much more meat-and-potatoes to scouting and the entire Macro PvP idea. This is a Throne WAR simulator, not a Throne BATTLE simulator. You've gotta think on a grander scale,
  20. Honestly, if they're going to go the "just pass the time while you gather" route, then simply having big harvester devices that do the harvesting for you would be more ideal than having your character stand there occupied with passive waiting. In other words, if you're going to make it so that you're free to just chat the whole time you're harvesting, then you might as well be able to go do other stuff as well. There's no reason to be tethered to harvesting if it's just going to be passive anyway. It's a waste of your character's time. I do agree that you should be able to chat during the process, either way. And autorun is always nice, or some other alternative. Paragon (a MOBA) actually has pretty decent "quick comms" or "callouts" that are useful (such as "Attack the left lane now!" or "Be careful near the river!" that you can do whilst jogging about and playing, and that's a pretty full-plate of action combat in that game. Anything that facilitates good communication in the thick of battle is excellent.
  21. While that's interesting, my concern would be that that would be too much passive effect. What I mean is, you're now the most awesome, maxed-at-255-skill Harvesting Leader there is, so the entirety of Harvesting is just your summoning up an abundance of boosted nodes, then everyone tediously chipping them all down into doobers. EDIT: That is not to say scrap the idea. Merely... I would want to make sure the balance was shifted more towards collaborative, in-the-moment effort, so that you could celebrate having actively affected the outcome of doober-looting to a significant extent DURING the harvesting, rather than passive training being responsible for 90+% of the outcome, if that makes sense. The Fortnite thing mentioned by Quorumof4 is cool, although simplistic. But, I will say... there's a similar mechanic in Evolve, with the sniper-medic's sniper rifle. Where you shoot the creature puts a small weak spot on its hide, allowing others who shoot it right there to deal 2x damage. Now, that's more of a collaborative offensive use of the mechanic, but the effect of just that one simple thing is amazing on the "just shoot it 'til its health is gone" foundation of gameplay. The general idea is definitely to make sure that HOW you're killing a node actually engages your mind. Again, falling back on the core idea that if it takes time and effort, make sure there's a reason for players to want to spend that time and effort (and not just in rewards, but in the actual enjoyment of the task at hand). Sure, people might get sick of a "hit it in the right spot" mechanic, but all the more reason to brainstorm until we find an even better idea that makes it harder to get sick of. Certain people are just going to subjectively get sick of it, which... there's not really much to do about that. Still, doing something engaging that you could get sick of after X amount of time is leagues better than the "watch your character and a bunch of passive numbers do all the stuff while you just literally wait on results but still spend time doing so" design.
  22. I see the problem with simply changing the node tier, as it changes a lot more than just "durability." Also, your idea of "the fewer swings, the better" is a pretty good one. The general gameplay there is puzzley, but you could have time-sensitive stuff (not like "MILLISECONDS LEFT TO CLICK THIS!", but more... "you can't just take all day, as once you start hitting this node, every 10 seconds that passes, the roll chance count drops" or something), and/or just lots of room for collaborative combos, such that it's actually interesting and dynamic to use teamwork to break the nodes faster. And you get those really satistfying "YES! We just got 8 loot rolls on the first section instead of the usual 4 or so! That was AWESOME!". I definitely want it to be something you're actively do-ing as a team, rather than just "well, we all stand around thwacking this thing, but we get to click now, and a bunch of passive numbers change because of who's thwacking it and with what tool, and that's it. We just wait for the loots." Indeed! Just... the idea that this stuff's out there in the ground, and both your trained skills and active efforts are producing better results for you and others nearby is great. Plus, it simplifies the currently-convoluted "whose bonus does what?" dilemma. If the best person involved in a given node, for example, is trained to Harvesting Power 6, then it's a Power 6 node. This is kind of where I was going with the whole "different kind of damage/effectiveness bar" component of my previous idea. What if you had this clear indicator of your loot chances (relative to whatever baseline you want on a given node... I guess there's no reason a mega-awesome harvester should just get to run around mining Immaculate Dragonite out of every pebble he finds) that could be directly improved, as a part of the whole efficient node-breaking idea? Whether it's purely fewest swings, or a couple of factors, a higher-trained harvester would always contribute, in a clear proportional way, to improving those loot chances (filling that bar, if the points-buildup subsystem fits in anywhere) of that node at each stage of destruction. I feel that there has to be some mix of the inherent limits of a node, and the limits of what kind of bonuses your character can produce. I keep mentioning the possibility of some kind of progress bar, though, for a bonus, because then EVERYONE can see what the current status of the harvesting bonus is on that node, and contribute accordingly. In the event some kind of buff can only be used once every 3 minutes or something (or anything else that was limited in use that would contribute to harvesting bonus), one could simply look at the bar and say "Oh, we're about to hit the maximum bonus for this section of node. I don't need to boost everyone's node damage right now." That sort of thing. And it's just a clear goal for collaborative effort. I would love for everyone to be able to jump into harvesting and say "Here's how it works, here's what I can contribute to a given node, and now I have to do something engaging to try to maximize my bonus from this node." Then, just have it naturally stack the more people there are. Maybe even have different size nodes, instead of just "regular" and "motherlode"? Anywho... I tend to get logistical "on-paper" ideas much more easily than "Okay here's exactly how it would be designed in Crowfall" ideas, so please bear with me on the "what if it worked like THIS? Or maybe THIS?" stuff.
  23. Apologies. I clearly misunderstood. I understand, and I respect that you don't really like that idea. One more thing (and I promise this is the last thing) that I'll say regarding it -- a comparison that for some reason I couldn't think of before -- is that the idea I had going into it was that of durability on weapons. You essentially have two things you're dealing with: 1) The health of your enemy (you want to maximize damage) 2) The health of your weapon (you want to minimize damage) Those get paired pretty easily in the context of combat, so my brain was just pairing them in the context of harvesting. I guess really it's the same idea as a harvesting tool has while you're harvesting, so I realize that could be seen as redundant. In general, I just thought having abilities that could essentially boost the durability of the node, and/or otherwise affect the actual lifespan of the node, would expand the possibilities within the harvesting mechanic, rather than simply doing maximum damage. Kind of like in combat, you have damage, and you have healing. I was also trying to think of ways in which to support action harvesting "attacks." If you're going to be clicking to do things to a node, then it'd be advantageous to focus on the effects of each swing (again, much like combat, in the sense of the significance of your individual decisions). For example, you wouldn't want combat in which you simply have buffs, auto attack, and maybe stances. You want to move around (placement is a factor), and make different kinds of attacks that do different things (rather than purely dish out damage), etc. So, yeah... thinking "action harvesting" in lieu of the new system, but trying to figure out what works with harvesting as opposed to combat (until they announce moving golems that try to kill you whilst you try to mine their backs, which honestly sounds kind of fun, but... *shrug*) and what does not. I guess I'm just hoping for responses that can correct my ideas, rather than discard them. I.e. "that would be more intuitive if you did X." Granted, I'm not saying you, personally, should have responses that correct my ideas. Hence the "hoping for" rather than "expecting." I appreciate your responses and apologize for any misunderstanding, lack of clarity, or longwindedness on my part (especially the longwindedness.)
  24. Hey... I can appreciate your perspective on this. My way is not the only way to view it. And I appreciate your efforts to make sure I understand the possibility of my ideas being unrealistic in the scope of the game's current state. I do. I'm merely trying to collaborate on the brainstorm. I know I have a weird brain, and a very particular way of seeing things, and I know I have only a novice's understanding of programming at the moment, and not even that of game programming/engineering. The only thing I can say is, I can at least understand from updates that ACE has presented, that, when a system like Ammo for example gets implemented, it functions a certain way to gather, store, track, and re-use data in relation to other systems. So, for example, if you have Ammo in the game already, then, in crafting, you could feasibly utilize the Ammo system you've already coding to set up some kind of fuel system for crafting stations. The fact that ammo works with a weapon and fuel works with a device is fairly insignificant, since "weapon" and "device" are simply constructs that we use to identify things with our human brains. The computer doesn't care that much that it's actually a weapon or not, so it's not too hard to repurpose such a system for a secondary use. They've even pointed out examples of this with many of the subsystems as they've come online. "Now we can do THIS and THIS and THIS, all based on this one subsystem we've made." So, in my mind, it's not completely ridiculous to think that, since the systems for damage and abilities and buffs (regarding damage) and healing and such are already in the game, they could simply repurpose things to build something akin to the system I described. Hypothetically. And when I say "simply," I mean that it would take work, but not "Oh crap, guys, we have to build a system that would track damage on a node and allow people to be buffed in order to deal different damages to the node in certain circumstances, etc." levels of work. It's like a resource. Once you've built class resources, you can make a new class, and a new resource. Is it Stamina? Or Mana? Well, they both function essentially the same way, but with different math. Maybe one regens and one doesn't. Maybe one only goes up when you attack. They aren't two completely different systems. They're variants of the same system. So, that is my understanding... merely that it probably isn't impossible or insane to think to utilize existing systems in the way that I've described (or a similar way, at least). Again, maybe it's not the best idea, but that isn't for me to decide or worry about, even. I only present ideas I believe have some kind of merit in the grand scheme of things. It's not like you've got to use 100% of my idea, or none at all. Maybe 5% of my idea is helpful in overcoming some shortcoming or problem the current system encounters. Who knows. It's a collaborative effort, not a competition. *sigh*... I've been over this same thing before, but "mini game" is far too broad a term. The system I described is LITERALLY just combat in its function, only I think an exact replica of combat against an inanimate object would be, understandably, somewhat less interesting or engaging than combat against things that are reciprocating the combat. Thus, I tried to make something different. The main point of my entire idea is that there be actually an interesting/dynamic goal to ANYTHING that's going to take a while to do. Basically, if you're not going to just instantaneously go out and gather lots of stuff, or just set up machines that collect stuff while you're not actively spending time collecting it, then you want that to be interesting. That's basically gameplay 101. Do you know the definition of "grind" within gaming? It's an activity in which you must engage as part of the core goals of the game, but that is wholly uninteresting or engaging. Something that requires time and effort you have no desire to put into it is a grind. Well, I guess objectively that statistically "no one" wants to put into it. "You" could have no desire to do it, but that doesn't make it a grind. I don't want to play Fighting games, but that doesn't mean they're "a grind" and shouldn't be produced. If I want resources, but have no interest in collecting resources, then the game provides me with ways to acquire them from other people who did the harvesting for me, so it really can't be considered "a grind" unless even the people who love harvesting have trouble finding a reason to actually DO the harvesting. The current system has all the statistical logistics of a good resources system, but barely any substance to make it a good harvesting system. And I know it's still a young system, but the goal from the get-go should be how to make it engaging. The sheer fact that we now actionly "attack" nodes is not really, in-and-of-itself, a positive thing. It allows for people to actively engage nodes, rather than standing around watching their characters harvest, but it still doesn't really give them a reason to actively engage then nodes. It's the same as a difference between a system in which things have health bars and you have attacks that deal damage, and combat. This is why even combat systems can become grinds, when the amount of combat one needs to complete in order to continue character progression or to acquire certain materials only found through drops EXCEEDS the engagement or interestingness of that combat. i.e. "go kill 73 wild boars, which present no challenge whatsoever, so you can get these boar hides or complete this quest." I don't expect something to NEVER become boring. If you do something for a long enough consecutive number of hours, you're going to burn out on it. But, tomorrow, or 3 days from now, you should want to do it again if the system is designed correctly. The goal is to make sure it doesn't lend itself to become quickly boring, or worse, boring from the get-go. What I'm after is not a mini game. It's a mega game.
  25. *Sigh*... I understand where this is coming from, as you're "detecting" a pattern based on many previous experiences you've had with other humans online. I truly do. However, I am not those people, and you are arbitrarily applying a tone and meaning to my text that simply is not there. It COULD be there, potentially, if I were the right person trying to say it the right way, but text only states what text states, which is one of the reasons I use as much of it as I do. I cannot tonally describe to you what my words mean, exactly, so I have to syntax out the meaning to the best of my ability, just like code. "EVERYONE knows that. Okay, wait, no, not everyone, but a large number of people. I didn't literally mean all of the people." I realize that it might be a great deal of work. I even said that. I feel as though you might have missed that part, or perhaps I did not convey it as well as I could have, and I'm simply "remembering" having stated it more clearly without actually going back and reading it. Let me be clear: I am in no way demanding that something be changed to a certain system, or inherently EXPECTING it of the dev team, much less for the reason that I am somehow assuming it will be super easy to do and simply should be done. I don't know how to make that any clearer, so please waste not your words on trying to convince me of how little I know of game development and how difficult changing the harvesting is. For what it's worth, you know no more than I do about the exact difficulty of making a given change to Crowfall's system, specifically, because you're not handling the code. Even if I was a master programmer, I would still have no idea how they've programmed it, exactly, as I don't work on the team. Annnywho... Well, I'm sorry that it isn't intuitive to you. Again, I'm not arguing that it should be. Honestly, without polling the general populous with both models, I have no idea how much of the player base finds my notions intuitive, and how many don't. So... *shrug*. They're free to check out this thread and let us know. I can't really go forcibly collect that info, and I can't in any way tell you what you should and should not find easy to process. I can't even fathom the thoughts that went through Mozart's head when he composed music, but he probably wouldn't be able to follow certain things my brain does, because brains are like a billion different manufacturers of CPUs with no industry standard. But, let me make one more example, to see if perhaps I'm just coming across as describing something more complex than it actually is: When you play Mario (if you've played Mario... many people have, but not all), and you see a ? block, do you inherently think "I'd better figure out the optimal way in which to deal the most jump damage to that block as possible, as obviously that will give me the best stuff out of that block!", or is it extremely easy for your brain to figure out "Hey, those give me stuff. There's an indefinite amount of stuff in them, hence the '?' symbol on the block. I'd better jump and hit it, and see how many times I can hit it to get a coin out!" The latter makes sense, does it not? If it does, then simply take that idea, and add in the ability for Mario to affect whatever determines when the block dies. You want to hit the block. At some point it will die and it cannot give you any more stuff. After X amount of hits. What is X? Dunno. Hit the block. Oh, okay. It's health went down by like a tenth. So, something like 10 hits. Oh look... I have a buff that makes me only take its health down by 5 instead of 10 per hit, for 5 seconds. Okay, I'll use that, then hit it as much as I can. Yay, now I get more hits because I didn't kill it as hard, and hits = chances for stuff. The more hits, the more stuff. The less death, the more hits. Without doing any math whatsoever, you can have an exact idea of the impact of your decisions upon hitting the block. Does that not at all seem intuitive to you? Not even a little bit? Not even in a way? Again, please do not read some kind of hostile/mocking tone into this. Imagine I am an android. I am literally trying to ensure that I have presented my case as clearly as possible, and gather information on exactly what is unclear or unintuitive to you, and what is not. If ANY of it is intuitive in any way, please let me know, as that helps me better understand what ideas are worthwhile to others in this community, and I can better craft them in the future. Lastly, to re-iterate, they could do something COMPLETELY different from this system I have described, in the way that it actually works. However, it was a huge example on how the system could overcome its current problem, which I've seen a LOT of people describe, which is the convolution in how to effectively collaborate on nodes. You can literally produce a negative amount of effectiveness in a group if you don't team up on a node properly. That should not be possible. Even if it's relatively easy to avoid, it should be infinitely easy to avoid. It is unnecessary. Also, I don't find it unreasonable to posit potential, hypothetical changes to a system that is still in its adolescence, if not infancy (it's... toddling?), in a game that is still heavily undergoing development. It would be blatantly unreasonable for me to posit big changes to a fully-developed harvesting and crafting system, a month after the game has released. "Hey, just rewrite this real quick." It isn't insane for them to make large changes to the harvesting system as it currently stands. Even if they are difficult changes to make, if the system ends up gaining enough from it (which is for a LOT of people other than myself to decide), then it's much better to quit while they're ahead and re-do 30% of a system than 90% of one later on when they're almost finished. They've already abandoned/changed like 17 things in this game, many of them not at the behest of us forum-goers, but simply because they found problems and said "Hey, we'd better rework this to get a better foundation now than waste more time on it and wind up with a problematic system." Just food for thought. Also, I honestly cannot tell you the current system, off the top of my head. Like, there are 3 people, each with the same tool, and a node. I'm a newbie and have never played a video game before. Explain to me, please, in a simplistic fashion, how harvesting currently works, and what I want to do to maximize my gains, in the current system. I want to see if it can be done. The only reason I even thought of my idea is because it's extremely easy to explain. Hit nodes, get stuff. The longer a node lives, the more hits you get. Boom. It can always get more elaborate from there. The current system is only simple(ish) until you add in multiple people. At which point it becomes Engineering 101 homework. To me at least. Maybe I'm weird... well, I'm DEFINITELY weird. But... well,
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