ACE Development Partner & Investor
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  1. Purpose of the EVE skill system?

    It's theoretically true that we'll lose specialization eventually once we have time to train most of the skills, but that will probably never happen in practice. It takes many years, maybe decades to fill out all the skill trees including every crafting/gathering profession. They also have the option to patch in new skills as the years go by, if we're ever in danger of a single account training a significant fraction of them.
  2. The timeline should go something like: Pre-Alpha 5.3 -> Pre-Alpha 5.4 -> ... (possibly more 5.x patches) -> Alpha -> Beta -> Soft Launch. Each new major patch will hit the test server first, get some minor patches with bug fixes and small additions, then get moved to the live server (and probably get more bug fixing patches after that). The live server is still running 5.2.something, while 5.3 is in the 'test' phase, they'll be gradually inviting more people to try it on the test server. In a few weeks/months live will get updated to 5.3, but you may get invited to try 5.3 on the test server before then. Finally sometime after 5.3 is on live, we'll see 5.4 on test and permissions to access the test server get reset (with only the earliest pre-alpha testers getting to it at first). Soft launch comes a looong time after all that, past the alpha and beta. Soft launch is when all the major features are ready and we stop getting wipes, then the game is officially "launched." But it might be missing some secondary features, like the kickstarter stretch goals, which will get added in post-launch patches. Hence the "soft" part of soft launch.
  3. Trying to get this back on track - Skolven, I think you're basing your argument on a few incorrect assumptions/misunderstandings of the game mechanics. Not true at all. For starters, you need to play to harvest and craft to equip your character, with equipment being a much bigger deal than skills as far as stat boosts go. That's your progression-from-gameplay, if you want it. It happens, it's just not tied into the skill system. There's a reason for this: skills are passively gained, and permanent. Gear is actively gained, and temporary (lost or at least permanently damaged on death). You can get ahead by grinding 24/7, but only temporarily - it doesn't confer a long-term advantage, by design. Also: Who says this is a progression based game!? I don't think this game is meant to be about your personal progress to become the most bad-ass assassin (or whatever) on the server. You can try to achieve that, and actively playing to get gear will help, but IMO it's really not the focus on the game. It's more about guild vs. guild conflicts, control of territory and sieging, about winning. Getting better stats is just a tool to get you to winning, it's not the end goal. This is a valid complaint, and it's why they're going to add a catch-up mechanic (skill tomes). The tomes are controversial, we've had a lot of arguments about their implementation and the unintended side effects they may cause, but one thing's for sure: they will remove the problem of being stuck perpetually 1 year behind the guy that started 1 year earlier. This isn't really true, either. Theoretically you could fill in "all the skills" someday, but we're talking about an endeavor that will take decades, and they could well add more skills before then - making the "all skills trained" goal perpetually out of reach. As long as everyone has a tiny fraction of skills trained, they have to make choices about which skills they want, it creates specialization. Players will be more specialized here than in most games, where a little grinding can get you maxed out in any class/crafting spec/etc. you like. Here you have to choose where to put your limited passive training, you're not allowed to have it all (..not without multiple accounts, anyway). I feel like there's an essential, core truth about the game that hasn't been adequately explained to you: this is not a progression game. It's not a race to an arbitrary finish line - you're not trying to get "max level," all skills trained, BiS slot gear, none of that. It has progression, but that's not the goal. This is a game about player interaction and conflict, both economically and on the battlefield. It's about winning, and progression is just a tool to help you win.
  4. The problem of focus/effort/intensity

    This.. got a little off track, didn't it. @Regulus a response to your original point: the new harvesting can still be relaxed and mindless, if you want it to be. Nothing stops you from holding down left click (much like you used to hold down F) and just wait while your resources pop out. It'll be a bit slower/less efficient than using the harvesting skills and aiming for weak points, but not that much slower (at least not in the current version on the TEST server). Based on my rough first impressions, just holding down LMB gathers maybe.. 60%? as fast as optimal skill use and weak point hitting. That should provide a viable form of low intensity progression.
  5. Ditto on the harvesting problems noted by Krakken (resource stacking issues, weak point appears off of node, can't weave '1' between harvesting swings without stopping the swings entirely for a second). The weak point problem is most noticeable on the small and low-lying rock/slag deposits that barely clear the ground; the weak point is never actually on the (very small visible part of the) node. It's difficult to hit the small trees. You have to get just the right distance away and line the cursor up in exactly the right spot. More trouble than it's worth, and forget about hitting weak points without losing the node targeting. Templar parry is a bit buggy. Often I'm getting stuck on walking speed (both in and out of combat) after parrying; only fix is to parry again, wasting a pip, this returns movement to normal after you release parry. Also occasionally I'm seeing the parry counter attack trigger well after I've stopped parrying, unsure if it's related to the movement speed problem. Also sometimes I try the counterattack, and I swing but seem to do only normal damage, no knockdown. I'm not sure if this is a bug and I'm doing a normal weapon swing in place of parry counterattack, or if it's working as intended and I am triggering the counterattack but the target is immune to the knockdown? There's a distinct lack of feedback, a combat log would help here. Landing censure (templar 1) is.. weird. On the bright side, I'm reliably seeing the damage and stun hit as long as the crosshair is over an enemy when I cast it. That's good! On the dimmer side, the spot where my templar lands after the leap animation is more varied than ever. Sometimes I'll land 10m short of the target, sometimes I'll go flying over their heads and land 10m past them, or anywhere in between. Don't get me wrong - stunning the enemy then landing 10m past them is far, far better than a few months ago, when you would go flying randomly and not even land the damage/stun, so props for that. But it's still frustrating, since most of the stun duration is gone by the time you go flying to the wrong spot, re-orient and run up to your target. I found three of the undead enemies seemingly try to kill each other? At least, they were standing near each other casting in each others' direction with no players or other units nearby, but they weren't doing any damage to each other. Not sure what was going on there, so I killed them. Edit: almost forgot. I picked the red hair option in character creation (nethari female templar). Once my character was created, she had brown hair. Upon dying (thanks balance!) her corpse's hair was bright pink - but not actual pink hair, more like a missing texture. Edit redux: I gotta say, nice work. It was surprisingly playable for such a major patch, I expected more bugs. Looking forward to the rest of the testing population getting in there so we can break test the pvp more.
  6. rune droppers

    If runestones are anything like Shadowbane (I expect them to be, but we don't know much yet), then they won't be about grinding. No killing 100 boars for the 1% chance to drop a juggernaut rune. Instead you'll be exploring the map, searching for a certain rare mob that drops the runestone 100% of the time. In Shadowbane players figured out the (fixed and predictable) locations where rune-dropping mobs would occasionally spawn, which lead to pvp battles over the spawn spots of desirable runestones. We don't know yet if Crowfall will have predictable spawns leading to reliable pvp hotspots, or more dynamic/random spawns that you have to scout for. Either way though it's probably not going to be a grind, more of a scavenger hunt.
  7. Got it. That's not "double dipping" at all by my definition, hence my confusion. That's just training two independent specializations, no matter if they both happen to be harvesting specs. I thought he was implying you could train two skills simultaneously that both somehow contribute to (say) woodcutting, which hopefully is still not possible.
  8. Where do you get double dipping on harvesting from? I thought they were going to prevent that, I haven't noticed anything to the contrary. If true then.. yeah, that's disappointing, that alone means harvest alts are back on the menu.
  9. @ACE_Jackal FYI You're missing the link here in the news post: It's an article everyone should read - think of it as basic game design literacy.
  10. I think it's mostly for flavor. Most of the dodge powers aren't exactly identical, they have different names and presumably different animations. It might have some implications for actual gameplay, though: maybe they have slightly different animation times and travel distances? Obviously certain ones (dissipate, zealot rush) are very different - I mean that even the "default" dodges may vary slightly. If they don't, they really should: that seems like the chief advantage of having unique dodges per race, it gives ACE the chance to build in slight advantages/disadvantages that skilled players can take advantage of.
  11. They didn't say anything about a link between class and combat training spheres in this video. What they said is if/when they add trees that let you train a single specific class, those trees would be way at the end of the class sphere (after you train the tree for all classes, then the tree for 4 classes, then the tree for 2 classes), and it would take you about a year to get that far. So there's no hurry to add that, it would be a distant post-launch feature.
  12. I'd like to see movement speed debuffs also reduce dodge distance. Have a 50% speed debuff, get 50% distance on dodge/dash/teleport. That being said, we also need more movement speed debuffs for that to accomplish anything. We need more "soft" CC in general (slows, roots, damage debuffs, etc.), the few we have seem to be overshadowed by the ubiquitous hard CCs (stuns, knockdowns, power disables).
  13. I'd prefer dwarves to be a bit stockier and solid looking, in particular they don't need such a thin waist. I think there's a middle ground to achieve that without going to the beer-belly extreme (which I think would look strange on a race sculpted by the gods). Right now they look like body builders cutting for a competition (i.e. deliberately under-eating to remove all body fat and make their muscles visibly pop out). I'd rather they look like body builders in normal training, who have a healthy amount of fat as they bulk up. Also the arms. A little too much. That beard, though. It's amazing.
  14. Tomes P2W Model

    Yeah, it will get progressively harder for the noob to catch up the closer he gets to the veterans. How much of a problem that really is depends, I think, on how valuable the advanced training is. How does a 50% trained noob compare to the 100% vet - what does an extra 3-6 months mean, practically speaking? If he went combat, does he have a chance 1v1 against the vet? If he went crafting, can he craft anything that's valuable in a market flooded with goods from 100% crafters? It's hard to say, yet. I'm certain of one thing: alts will be very valuable in this new skill system. But that's always been the case, they were valuable in the old system too. I'm not sure if they've gotten more or less powerful. On the one hand, two profession trains makes main accounts more versatile and alts a lot less essential. On the other hand, tomes grant alts a great deal of flexibility: they can still be dedicated crafters, but now they can also churn out tomes for immediate economic gain. They can even pay for their own VIP with tomes. If ACE was planning to do something to kill alts, I don't think tomes are it.
  15. Tomes P2W Model

    Keep in mind that tomes are specific to different skill trees (notably unlike injectors in EVE). Tomes like "Combat Basics" will be easy for any day 1 alt to churn out, only needed by new characters that have no training, and likely cheap. Tomes of "Great Melee" will require a large training investment to create or use (that's the fourth tier, meaning you need to get through 3 trees just to start on it), so they'll only be needed by highly trained endgame players, and will likely be very expensive. There's room in this system for both cheap/low tier tomes you can hand out to noobs, and expensive/high tier tomes for veterans to chase after.