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Doradur

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About Doradur

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  1. This is an obvious issue, but to notice is only one step in the dialectical process of refining an idea. The solution is obvious as well: Captured points of interests (camps, watchtowers, forts, keeps) need investment to install and keep operating (resources, money, but most preferably crafted items). That way a bigger empire will need much more resources than a small one. You could even tweak it that it scales exponentially. Et violá, you've got a self-balancing system.
  2. It's a big mistake to treat Crowfall like an old-school MMORPG, which mostly centers around PvE. Crowfall has more in common with a MOBA and where it does not, it shows to have very negative effects on the gameplay. This is a fundamental issue and was obvious from the beginning. While I am very happy with the technical advances of this game, I am still puzzled by the bad state of fundamental core concepts of the game as a game. The victory condition system right now feels like a placeholder. Introducing new knobs to tune the counting system is like adjusting the speed of a ski lift that only leads to a dangerous area, where each step sets off an avalanche of snowballing. The main problem of Crowfall is the massive exponential power curve of multiple sub-systems reenforcing each other. As mentioned by others, the first step is already the pure knowledge. This leads to faster leveling, faster harvesting, better items, better harvesting, better gear and so on, because I don't even know exactly where it stops. And all that even at a fresh start after a wipe – it'll be much worse after some months of passive training. You have to focus on this core problem and shouldn't be afraid of looking at how MOBAs tackle the problem of the slippery slope. League of Legends is very good at giving a reward for killing opponents, while at the same time giving the weaker side the chance for a come-back. No to turn Crowfall into a MOBA, but to see the key of their success! Just to mention some concepts quickly: 1) different power curves, 2) map design which favors the defending side, 3) power cap (full item build after 40-50 minutes). I want to give a probably extreme example of how to find a solution for the slippery slope: Capping of all combat stats that gradually grows during the campaign So in short I propose to make a global capping of the relevant combat stats for all players. For example on day 1 the max level could be 5, you could only use basic or intermediate gear and there would be caps on stats that limit the effect of passive training. (I know, level 5 is probably too low, but the number doesn't matter.) The caps will increase each day, and at some point in the winter be lifted totally. The goals are to make the playfield even to encourage PvP on day 1 to limit the effect of game time invested to make the game experience generally more diverse, because the available powers vary drastically in each phase to introduce a power curve differentiation to protect beginner and casual players without punishing veterans: win-win Point 5 is especially important to consider: Each class could have a different power curve. That would mean that the faction, which was very weak at the start, could turn out to be superior in the end and conquer back the map. Limit and distribute the population to the factions by sophisticated rules that take into consideration the different actual power levels of each Crowfall account. For example a veteran crow could count as two or even more beginner crows. This way you could have a scenario where a guild of veterans is the core of a faction, which is totally outnumbered and very weak in the beginning, but at the end of the campaign will be much more powerful than a faction with only noobs and lack of epic gear. Beyond this capping, there are other ways to deal with a massively dominant hegemony of one side. In a 3 faction war an obvious solution is that the weaker factions work together to fight the winning one. The game could give incentives for that or even an in-game hard coded alliance (f.e. no friendly fire) of the losing factions, which will have the opportunity to win the campaign, albeit with a reduced reward. As said, one major problem is the current abstract victory condition system. It is so detached from actual gameplay that it's very hard to balance it right, or even to make it appealing to play. It would be much more effective and satisfying, if the victory were tied to some actual in game event, like winning a decisive battle or achieving some concrete goal (to own a certain number of keeps, to destroy a huge hunger crystal, to defeat the avatar of Malekai, whatever, it's your job to come up with a better idea than a victory point system that would be even too boring for a board game). There are many good suggestions on these forums to make the control of the map more meaningful. Giving vision of enemy movements, access to better resources, granting buffs or making them conditions to conquer neighboring camps / outposts / forts / keeps. There are lots of opportunities. One thing is sure: The current iteration doesn't work well for newcomers. They expect a PvP game and are forced to grind for hours without having any chance to find a fair and decent PvP situation.
  3. Greetings! In this post I want to make some very general observations about the game. I found it interesting, how negativity plays an important role in key aspects of the game, on different levels and in different ways and meanings: 1. in an abstract way, 2. in the sense of loss and 3. in terms of inter-player relations. Negativity itself is fundamental for logic and ontology. Everything, that is real, must have a negative aspect to be real. So negativity is not something bad per se; the problem is, if the focus is only on negativity. Without going too deep into non-formal logic I just want to explain some meanings of this term. Negativity in a negative assertion: "The sun is not the moon." The conrete thing is concrete (or simpler put: is a thing), because it is not something else, it's different from the other. But this definition alone is abstract: The other (second) thing is defined in the same way: It's is not the other (first) thing. So under this abstract aspect they are no longer different. Their difference is only claimed, but hollow. Negativity in abstraction: The abstraction abstracts from the differences of the real entities and is therefore partly empty and indeterminate (indefinite). It lacks the details of the actual multitude. Negativity in emptiness, absence or loss Negativity in change: Things which change are in a negative relation to themselves. Life is change, alteration, exchange. Negativity in death: If something doesn't change at all, it's static and without life: It's dead. Negativity in social relations: When a participant of social exchange is focusing only on the aspect of taking. Actual logic must reflect the processuality of reality. In this sense I will examine Crowfall as an evolving entity, that means I will also mention past iterations. This is important to note, because the game has made tremendous progress in dealing with the problems that arose in the early stages. 1. Abstract game design Abstract game design is a formulaic approach, that paints in broad strokes while neglecting the details, which can lead to severe problems later on. I think I saw many examples of this happening in Crowfall. The most obvious one are some nodes in the passive skill tree, which are not different from each other, except for the position in the tree (+3% critical chance, +3% critical chance, +3% critical chance), in some cases even with the exact same costs. The passive leveling itself is a very abstract "design" in itself, it's just pure passage of time that determines progress, therefore it's an absence of "game". In the crafting sphere we see different ways of this sort of negativity overlapping each other: There was a potential loss of the item in earlier iterations. The "crafting process" itself was a simple timer: absence of gameplay. The length of the crafting timer is determined by a passive training skill. The crafted items only have quantitative differences in a rather limited way that prevents building sets with distinct synergies. In the end there was only a series of gameplay elements, which where defined by absence of gameplay: Waiting to get the passive skill to reduce the waiting for the end of the crafting process while being bound to the crafting station during latter. I am confused by this game design. Maybe someone thought the thrill of the potential of being ganked is the desired "content". But that's in contradiction to the "gameplay" which encourages switching focus onto other things, like chatting or watching TV. The win conditions of the test campaigns are also an example of abstract game design, where quantitative accumulation of abstract "victory points" defines the outcome. 2. Loss and punishment As mentioned, in earlier versions of the game there was a potential total loss of the crafted item and all the materials used during the crafting process. This is a general theme of Crowfall: items decay and get lost sooner or later. That's not a problem per se, but obviously has serious ramifications: Some elements like losing items because of a "failed" RNG roll or getting ganked feel like a punishment. It's sometimes detrimental to the PvP aspect of the game. The game can be very greedy when giving out rewards. Of course artificial scarcity is a legitimate way to increase virtual value, but I think Crowfall lost track of where it makes sense to limit the ways to access valuable items and when and how hard to punish players (which begs the question why a game must punish players in the first place). The problem is that the economy almost totally relies on gathering and that PvP in itself doesn't give any economic profit from a macro-economic (!) perspective. That means that PvP fights are win-loss in best and loss-loss in worst case: Because the game doesn't give awards for the PvP fight itself and because of the item decay, there is a net loss when considering both sides. While this may be "realistic", in the end the best strategy is to avoid PvP as much as possible. The game seems to assume, that punishment is an interesting element of game design, and sometimes it seems to think, that there can only be winners, if there are losers. 3. Toxic climate This may attract players, who are less interested in a fair, balanced PvP fight, but who can only get satisfied by punishing the fellow players. When a game centers around inflicting losses to the competitors, it should be expected that it attracts toxic elements and thus the climate of the social interactions could end in a vicious cycle of self-reenforcing toxicity. This is especially true in a game, where there is a very high time investment in terms of actual spending time in-game (grinding). It may be another example of abstract game design, if we think of EVE Online as a blueprint, because EVE is not centered around PvP. You can play it without experiencing PvP at all. Crowfall is fundamentally different in this regard and therefore I think, that some elements don't add up and must be tweaked heavily, before the game works as a whole. So long, that's enough from me for this year. I hope to get more concrete soon, when talking about the three problematic Gs of Crowfall: Grind, Gank and Grief. Happy New Year, Duradon.
  4. I just wanted to point out, that giving this method a fancy name doesn't make it a "rule". This is the worst possible way of "fine-tuning" stuff – brainless trial and error. It's not only wasting time by forcing lots of pointless iterations, but actually may not work at all, if the underlying mechanics are too complex or, in worst case, show a chaotic-deterministic behaviour (that means slow variations in the input variables result in extreme and unpredictable changes in the output). If we are not able to make a mathematical model of the system, then at least we have to consider how variables interact with each other, and if they do so in a linear or exponential way. If we lower crit damage by 50% and crit chance by 50% (relatively), we'll end up nerfing crit boni to a 1/4. We could apply this wrong "rule" endlessly without finding the right spot, without proper understanding of the underlying mathematics. But with the right understanding, it just takes a simple equation to do it right on the first try. Bottom line: It's part of the job of game design to not just randomly apply such approaches that only makes sense, if you don't actually understand what you want to create.
  5. This article of Blair begs the question, if RNG can serve as a substantial part of the player experience. Blair seems to completely misunderstand, why most gamers say: "RNG sucks". It's not because they've got a bad result, but because randomness can be a horrible game design element! I don't know what is worse: That Blair is applying Skinner's scientifically out-dated behaviourism onto game design, or that he even feels being smart about it. To me (as a psychologically sane player in the sense, that I am not affected by pathological gambling behaviour), the RNG takes the game away from me. Therefore it doesn't add anything to the game, but to the contrary it takes away from my game. If the game offers the wrong choice between: a) get 1 item with 100% probability, or b) get 2 chances of 50% to get 1 item, then I see, that both cases are mathematically equivalent and therefore there is actually no real choice, and to me it's just a time wasting procedure to click through these options. That's why Crowfall crafting was such a horrible experience and actually one of the worst gaming experiences I can remember. Playing a game is not comparable to being trapped in a Skinner box. And if I would find myself emotionally attached to such a gambling environment, I would know that my case would be classified as ICD-10 F63.0 = "pathological gambling".
  6. I actually do know – but it's confidential. But you can draw the conclusion yourself, that their push for the race / class split means, that they were successful to acquire a significant amount of additional funding. Obviously the more funding they get, the more time they can spend developing the game, or in other words: delay the launch.
  7. I think a refresh / respec at the start of every campaign is the obvious optimal solution that serves the interest of all players except the whales.¹ I deem it possible, that the very confusing and clumsey design decisions of ACE are not a sign of incompetence, but that they are betting, that the tiny minority of the whales will bring much greater profit than to actually make a game which is fun to the big majority of the player base. In my eyes it's not only a risky bet, but even a lunatic bet, since the hard empiric facts show that the most successful games ("League of Legends", "PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds") go a completely different route (addictive fun for a massive playerbase and capitalizing on that through microtransactions for cosmetic items). I don't see whales investing much money into Crowfall like they do in "Entropia Universe", because it's too indie and looks too cheap. ¹ The respec at the beginning of a campaign would include a limit, or unlock another skill point to spend after a set interval of time (like a day).
  8. In Europe it's called democracy, when money should not be able to buy power. If someone does buy power with money, then it's called corruption, a criminal offence.
  9. You misunderstood me. VikingNail thinks the "pre-alpha" client we have access to is some sort of professional test bed, and that we were meant to treat it as such. But of course that's wrong. We players want to play. The devs want to see how the specific game elements work in the hand of the end user. They don't expect a professional quality assurance attitude. I thought it was necessary to point out this problem of "free labor" approach, because it would necessarily lead to massive disrespect of the player base. The prime example is "Landmark", a massive failure on many different levels. One of those was that the devs treated their "alpha testers" like free laborers. The "Landmark" forums had no choice but to become a rude place; for the simple reason that the responsible people there didn't deserve respect. And that's the connection to the topic in case it was lost to someone.
  10. I am sorry, this makes no sense. You are caught in a circular loop of flawed logic and wrong assumptions. It even contradicts what you said about user feedback having influence on the combat revamp. Honestly I think that your contributions are the least worthy on these forums. The devs are professional enough to ignore some rudeness. But constant derailing of topics and belittling of constructive feedback, to the point that noone wants to join the discussion, isn't healthy for a discussion board.
  11. It was not meant to say that this is only an user acceptance test. But it definitely is neither an unit, integration nor system test in a professional sense. For that we would need access to unlimited in-game resources, dev powers and so on. I am not debating the rudeness. I don't follow these forums much anymore and don't know what this is about. But I am pretty sure that the climate would be much better, if there were less wipes, item loss, less grind and more actual alpha testing tools like said unlimited resources.
  12. You only speak about yourself. You don't understand the nature of the tests. You ignore what this test is about. I have never seen anyone share your opinion that playing the current alpha (or "pre-alpha") client amounts to doing unpaid free labor. And definitely not any of the devs. I'll try it again: ACE wants feedback from the end user, from his specific point of view. They are smart enough to know, that the end user will not have insight in the whole context, and can filter out the irrelevant feedback.
  13. I find it funny that you act as if you knew how things work. Yet you are unable to even understand the point of my and other user's rather simple posts. Noone is getting mad here. Noone talked about the testing procedure of ACE. I talked about your lack of understanding of how the current alpha client serves as an user acceptance test for them. They want feedback from the end user, they need feedback from the end user. In one instance, in a YouTube video, Blair even complained about the lack of criticism: He said that while he is happy that many users gave positive feedback about the combat, it was not good enough for them and they decided to revamp it. I am pointing out your patronizing style that belittles people who give legitimate feedback. You are alone with that stance. It's not in the interest of ACE, the game and definitely not of the players.
  14. I remember you. I think your issue is to think that peoply who play the current alpha client are something like unpaid testers doing professional unit / integration / system testing work. You should look up the term "user acceptance testing". https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User_acceptance_testing
  15. Die Subkultursprache ist leider Schrott und findet zu Recht keinen Eingang in Übersetzungen mit einem gewissen Anspruch. Ich habe "Gothic", "Dragon Age", "The Witcher" gespielt und wenn da auch nur einmal ein Wort wie "Tank" fiele, wäre die ganze Atmosphäre ruiniert. Genau die Spieler, die nur in "tank", "dps" und "xp" denken, drehen auch die Grafikeffekte und Büsche ab, nur damit sie irgendeinen spielerischen Vorteil gewinnen. Dass solche ein großer Teil des Zielpublikums sind, ist natürlich unbestritten, allerdings ist genau dies mit ein Grund, wieso Spiele selten als eigene Kunstform respektiert werden. Natürlich kann man auch auf jeglichen künstlerischen Anspruch pfeifen. Ich finds jedenfalls nicht sonderlich rebellisch, statt "Tank" "Krieger", "Kämpfer", "Beschützer" zu verwenden. Ich meinte, dass "Tank" und "DPS" aus der Rolle fallen, weil die anderen Übersetzungen eigentlich sehr stimmig sind und zur Atmosphäre passen. Nicht zuletzt wollte ich auch anmerken, dass die meisten "MMO-Pros" das Spiel auf Englisch spielen werden (ganz im Sinne der Leistungsoptimierung). Wer es auf Deutsch spielt, wird tendenziell auch eher weniger Freude am Gamerslang haben.
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