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bearmans

Testers
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  1. Watching the video now and I have a lot of concerns being raised. Blair is placing peculiar emphasis on the whole "I guess I won't make a blueprint of that" thing. And that worries me. If high quality items are the only thing you want, there are no interesting decisions to be made, and interesting decisions are what drive good gameplay. Maybe this is stating the obvious, but it seems to me like: 1. Mediocre items should always be desirable for large scale combat 2. Average items should always be desirable for everyday use 3. Exceptional items should be desirable but generally prohibitively expensive for anything but the most important uses and wealthy characters More specific thoughts: Make sure there is a system in place so that exceptional items cannot be mass produced, otherwise there is no economy. Crafting should be about making decisions, not rolling dice until you get something perfect that you can then make a lot of. Perfect mass production in general is dangerous, because if you can mass produce exceptional items at all it ensures that new crafters never have any niche. In the same line of thinking, my suggestion is to change the system to be less about "risk" and more about "tradeoffs". When you're refining an item, don't give a specific amount of points to bonus up the item, but instead to specialize it. For every time you increase damage, say, you reduce crit rate and durability. This should be net positive with diminishing penalties for skilled crafters (with an element of dicerolling, sure, but not as cut and dry), with harsher penalties the more times you refine. Essentially: mediocre crafters could make average items, decent crafters could make desirable items by refining a specific stat at modest cost to others, and exceptional crafters could make either items exceptionally strong in one way but below average in others or slightly above average overall with a lot of refinement. And time and efficiency costs always need to be a factor, even if you have perfect skills- at no point can you allow the higher skilled crafter to produce a product that is objectively, in every possible way, better than the decent crafters' when used for mass production. If I'm understanding how it works right now, exceptional crafters just get better dice rolls for improvement upon the base item, which means no decision making. Couple that with carbon-copy mass production and mediocre and average items soon stop having a market at all, which also pushes out anyone without maxed crafting skills. From what it looks like right now, you would never want to give your resources to anyone except your best crafter. EDIT: One more thought: maybe tie resource quality into the process so that refinement of low quality resources is easier than high quality ones. This creates a good separate-niches thing for crafters in an organization. anyway, that's my 2c
  2. Oh, FINALLY! Everyone pack it up, we're done here. No need to discuss squat, we finally found someone who's played a ton of MMOs. Whew! And here I thought we would never find an absolute authority on game design!
  3. For my part, what I find controversial is not the druid itself. It's a fine way to have a healer, the essence mechanic is smart, and if this was a different game, I might even be pleased with the class ideas. But it's not, and I'm not. Let me vent one fairly petty thing first: I'm a bit cross that the attitude towards the community when they announced a healing class was not, "sorry guys, we changed our minds", but rather, "nah, guys, we totally never said we weren't going to do this, your fault for thinking otherwise, lol". If you really think the majority of people totally expected healers after the FAQs you put out or especially after watching these forums for months, you're being pretty callous. It screams "head in dark places", and I don't mean a cave. With that out of the way, though, the real reason that the druid bothers me now that the red has cleared from my vision is that it seems to signal a choice in the game design that I was hoping would be going in very different directions. Obviously, it's not my call, and obviously, it's not like there are any broken promises here, because nobody is obligated to some fantasy vision I build in my head, no matter what provoked it. But if there is a good reason to have a combat healing class, that already elicits a sigh of resignation because it almost certainly means that the core gameplay isn't going to look like what I had hoped: fast paced with a lot of death. In general it diminishes my hope that the game might actually end up breaking from the formula of mediocrity in MMO games- the hope which was and remains that this game ends up not feeling at all like playing a classical MMO. Every time it looks like we're drifting closer to the norm I get more skeptical; I don't want to play anything that even resembles world of warcraft- not in combat, not in social mechanics, not in crafting, not in aesthetic, even. Involving healing in a big way is not a step in that direction. Pretty much all of this is personal opinion. I'm sure many people don't agree with me or find the druid distasteful for other reasons, but it's been a while since I wrote much of anything here and kinda felt like it. ty
  4. Guys, they NEVER said that there would be friendly fire. They NEVER said that. They said "the fire will affect friendlies", which is completely different, obviously. Your fault for interpreting it wrong. Duh.
  5. isn't option 1 'basically inevitable'? Even in other games without quick-vessel-swapping, the people who really give a damn about winning will always grind up and form 'optimal' compositions. If you're a die-hard try-hard, you will always find a way to put in that extra mileage to squeeze out any advantage, no matter how small. This isn't new or all that important, and for what it's worth, I think it's more interesting if we have a 'metagame' of certain group-composition based strategies anyway. With that said what I do think is all that important is that the game be set up in such a way that there is never a "winner take all" scenario. If that's the case, then even if the super gung-ho types win (well, that or the zerg, but one or the other always will), the people who were putting in a good effort but still having fun and maybe had time for other things in their lives don't walk away empty handed. Then there's not as much pressure to play the 'right way' at all times, and it doesn't really matter unless you really care about winning for winning's sake.
  6. You're making a lot of assumptions in that bit of text above where you allude to the 'cost of defeat' as if that's a bygone conclusion when it's not. It's like someone- I don't quite recall who- said early on, referencing the 'large number of game design dials that can be tweaked'. Now, whether or not you agree with that statement is your own business, but taken with the other statements regarding healing that have already been quoted in the thread, I would say it sets expectations in a certain place. I did not interpret that place as "I guess we'll start with a 'combat support' (who heals) and then our next support will... uh, I guess he'll heal, too". If I were personally to start this thread on the same topic, I can say that my rhetoric would be considerably harsher than was the OP's. I might say something about how making claims of exploratory design and then rolling out your support classes as no better than the firehose healers you decried at the outset is at best lazy, and at worst... well! It's not my thread. I get that there are arguments to be made in favor of healing, and I'm pretty sure I've heard every one of them ten times before. I get that healing is not in and of itself bad design. But the argument that "healing is necessary, there's no getting around it, it's an MMO, it's just the way it is" is not one that I buy. Given that at the outset the designers didn't seem to buy into that either, I had hopes that I would at least get to play the game pre-release in a state where healing wasn't super fundamental to the combat. The fact that we have six pages of people combing the rhetoric of every single FAQ and interview just to try and prove that they aren't backpedaling is pretty telling in itself. I personally don't think it's nearly as vague an issue. I don't plan on getting too worked up until I've actually played the game, but it's hard. "No major healing" is probably among the top three design choices that interested me in this game, and it doesn't seem to be getting even a second thought as development moves forward.
  7. This makes me fairly unhappy. While I'm not surprised that 'support class' degenerated directly into 'healer', I was hoping they might at least give some pretense of trying something else.
  8. Emotionally? Enough to follow it and make a few posts for fun. Financially? About 35$, and that's as far as I'm going until I play the game and like it. Unfortunately I do not have so many dollars that I would want to put forward a "serious investment" quantity for a project I feel is likely to let me down. Don't get me wrong, I hope it doesn't, but I've now watched the development of 4 different hyped MMOs with excitement and all 4 managed to disappoint more than I thought possible, even after the first 2 of those made me re-evaluate my expectations. I figure the best course is to have none. I figured this thread could use a cooler~
  9. I'm just gonna say a few words and hopefully not get too entrapped in this whole discussion, (because, frankly, I don't actually find it very interesting) but here goes in very broad and general terms, predictability is the enemy of intrigue. This concept can be reflected in many different areas of a given game. If there is always a single optimal option, that's what people are going to do. This concept also applies to the sorta similar discussion regarding player skill- if skill matters absolutely, the best player always wins. These things are cancerous to a game. On paper, they sound straightforward and reasonable- Yeah, the best player should always win! Yeah, the best strategy should always give you an edge! Yeah, the best piece of equipment should be what everyone always uses!- but if you ever actually create a game based around those principles, the game usually dies a slow (or sometimes quick) death. Even the winners pretty quickly get bored of doing the same thing they always have, and by that point the non-winners have long since left. Now, to be clear, this doesn't necessarily mean that you need RNG to have an interesting game. RNG is just one of a few possible ways to keep things from getting predictable- for instance, you can have an absolutely huge quantity of "build options" (like EVE) and that allows enough room for players themselves to be the unpredictable element (and also leads to a "metagame", which is almost always a good thing). But if you're trying to keep things "lean" and simple from a design standpoint, you need to be very aware of how easy it is to accidentally create something horribly bland. And you don't just need to avoid this in the "core gameplay loop", either- even individual system blandness can be really off-putting if it's bad enough. Being averse to using RNG where it might otherwise make things dynamic is a mistake. Anyway, that's my 2c, thanks
  10. ~again, not in the playtest~ what all this sounds like to me is just a failure to make actiony-enough combat. If "focus fire" is "too effective" what that screams to me is that hits must be too easy to land or avoiding hits isn't an effective strategy. Maybe what they aught to do is shake up the fundamentals and change combat to make movement faster and/or attacks more damaging and harder to land so that things are more dynamic just a thought
  11. ~speaking as someone who isn't in the playtest~: I don't doubt that in its current state a lack of healing is making gameplay more dull however I personally would sooner attribute that to the state of combat in general moreso than a fundamental impossibility of having interesting combat without heals. Plenty of games outside the MMO genre have excellent multiplayer gameplay and don't have in-combat healing. I wouldn't contest that almost no MMOs that I've played do, but I would also add that the gameplay of 95% of the MMOs I've played- the core, moment to moment, game-play, that is- is already boring. You add all that sophistication on top that ultimately centers around a healer because your combat system would be completely dull without it and the alternative design choice is much more difficult to pull off. The commitment to that design choice is about half the whole reason I was interested in this game in the first place, though, so you can guess where I stand here~
  12. The things that make the game playable at all come first to me, so a good combat system, a well balanced economy, and game performance, in that order. I can deal with performance problems in the short term, the other two would kill the game pretty fast for me. I could settle for just the first, though, if it came down to it.
  13. I originally didn't like the concept of catch-up training, because it sounds grindy and I'd hate people to feel obligated to do it (plus, in an ideal system, skills shouldn't be the be-all end-all by any means) however your idea sounds really pretty cool, mentorship as a mechanic really tickles my fancy
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