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ACE Investor & Tester
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Everything posted by Durenthal

  1. Nice work Tinnis. We really appreciate the efforts you're making. I have many of the same questions you do (and so many more). I believe they'll fix the advancement system so that you don't need to max out all the skills feeding into one before being able to advance it (they'd better!). So many of the skills feel like placeholders right now - they're either in the wrong place, or don't make sense in their local context, etc. I would really like to see the devs dig deep into an explanation of the skills system once they get it closer to being viable.
  2. As a corollary - a "You were killed by <name>" popup would be useful too...
  3. The big pillars of light with who killed who at the top are cool from a distance but useless up close. It'd be nice to get a little pop-up when you get the kill on someone: "You killed <name>!" Just a small quality of life thing.
  4. If this is what you're working on for the next iteration, I think it will be time very well spent. Get combat to this point, and build on that, and I imagine a whole lot of the repetitive whining will go away. It may be unfair to say the game needs to be optimized in pre-alpha, that it's too soon for that. But the design choice made to build up from combat means that combat has to feel right before we can continue, and that means optimizing early. If you're able to fix everything listed above, you'll have an excellent base to build on moving forward. Really looking forward to it.
  5. Yeah, the subset of the archetypes would need to be more than is present now. But they could probably get away with only one or two tank classes, one or two ranged dps, one or two melee dps, and one or two support. I would think that access to the test server post-release would be a good VIP perk. The app for changing skills currently being trained offline, too.
  6. A soft release is fine, as long as the game is both playable and fun when you decide "no more wipes, this is retail." Persistence for alpha testing makes sense. Wipes are likely only needed when you make changes to character systems (skills in particular), so really, you can soft launch when you've got skills set to the point where you're not going to have to change parts that people have already spent on (since you have no way of refunding time spent raising those skills). The CW's already reset. EK's can be rebuilt as necessary. Really, what you need for soft launch is: character persistence (skill persistence, really - that's all a crow is, is a set of skills that gets applied to a vessel) perma-banks that we can import into a CW from, and export from a CW to (doesn't even need to be a full EK to start with, but if you can do a CW you can do EKs) crafting system and resources working in CWs guild structures Combat working well for a good subset of the archetypes. VIP membership perks to encourage us to pay monthly so you can afford to finish Disciplines, additional archetypes, promotion classes, funky rulesets.. all these things can be added after the initial release. That said, the game needs to be fun and playable without issues at whatever point you say to the public, "ok you can pay and play now."
  7. My top 3, in the order I played them: Asheron's Call, Shadowbane, WoW. AC was my first MMO, and the skill system was great. SB was hugely fun in beta, but sucked in retail. WoW was beautifully polished and had amazing content.
  8. Sugoi's DPSers frequently go 15-0 in SP, so I'm well aware of the benefits of skilled play. However, that's against disorganized foes. Skill can only make up for so much, and an extreme numbers deficit can't be overcome. I used the "level" of the character only as an example. If a character with maxed out skills is expected to be at risk of dying to 4 chars with half-maxed skills, then a skilled team is still going get stomped by a significantly larger force of lesser skilled folks. I already mentioned that in my original post. That was pretty much my original point. Small guilds aren't going to be self-sufficient in the inner bands.
  9. I don't know if there should be anti-zerg efforts on ACE's part, to be honest. Being able to manage and support a mega guild is a hugely challenging process, and folks that are able to do that should get their just rewards. The problem with the solution you've proposed above is that small guilds can band together to take on a large guild with the tactics you mention, and that may well hamper a large guild's ability to grow stronger. But it doesn't help you, as a small guild, get anything out of an inner-band campaign. In a winner-take-all environment, I don't see any way for a small guild to be that winner. And that's probably how it should be. Nation-building with small guilds all subbing to a single guild (even if that single guild is just a figurehead for the nation) - and with negotiations determining who gets what out of the export in the event that the nation wins - is probably going to have to be the way things work.
  10. Durenthal

    Pascal is here

    I put a 970 in my current gaming machine, but the model I got is ridiculously loud, so I will be looking for a 1080 before Crowfall goes retail. I will just need to look for a water cooled version or something equally quiet. The performance on the 1080 is staggeringly good.
  11. I've been doing some thinking about the size requirements for a guild to be self-sufficient in Crowfall. I asked the question in the AMA and got an answer about supporting a large EK, which matters pretty much not at all to anyone able to read this. When it comes to self-sufficiency and competitiveness in the campaign worlds, it really is going to be a numbers game. Solo players and small guilds will have two options: 1 - play in a band where you're assigned teammates. Either the 3-faction band, or the 12-faction pick-a-god band. 2 - bend the knee to a large guild to play as a sub-guild in one of the higher risk / higher reward bands. There is simply no way a 40 person guild is going to drop into a dregs campaign and have any hope of building and defending a keep, let alone winning the overall campaign. Allow me to be very clear on this: Because crowfall has such a shallow "leveling" curve (The example Blair provided was that 4 mid-level dudes should be able to take a max-level dude), there will be no way for a small group to hold out against a much larger force. It doesn't matter if you think your guild is full of hardcore elite master PvPers. A zerg guild will overrun you. There are a few things ACE can do to tip the balance against Zergs, but they won't tip it far enough for a small guild to prevail. ACE can decree no summoning of players anywhere, so that when you kill someone it takes them a long time to get back in the fight. They can increase the time component of the death penalty, with the same effect. Both of those things hurt you as well as them (it hurts them a little more, but they can afford to lose 3 people to kill one of yours). ACE can apply a warmth penalty on larger strongholds (saying it takes 1 food ration / day / person in a small fortress and 3 food rations / day / person in a large fortress to simulate the additional thralls it supports). That just means they will have to come after your food. En masse. There are only two things ACE can do that will serve as real zerg-busters, and they are unlikely to do either: 1 - they can limit the number of people in a given faction (meaning guild + subguilds/guilds who have kneeled in the inner bands) to a pretty low level (like 150). I can see this being one of the knobs they apply to campaign worlds as an experiment. Even there, a mega guild can split into multiple factions that band together without the help of faction game mechanics to wipe out foes. 2 - they could provide a power buff to smaller groups making them much more powerful individually (they did this in Hunger dome for the smaller teams). At a scale required for zerg-busting, this completely unbalances combat in anything but everyone vs everyone situations. So what will happen is that success in the inner bands will depend on the number of folks a guild can bring to bear. If everyone shows up with 40 people, then it'll be the fair fight that you envision. But the first guild to show up with 200 members will dominate the CW they play in unless another equal-sized guild shows up. If a couple of the mega-guilds we hear about on the forums show up, the battle for dominance in the inner bands will be between them. Everyone else will be crushed or absorbed. I really hope I'm wrong - Sugoi is a small guild (edit: in terms of shadowbane guilds, where 500 wasn't uncommon), and I want to play in the inner bands.
  12. If you find it, please post the link. I have fallen back to posting on twitter and hashtagging my shorter questions there. Found it! https://www.reddit.com/r/Games/comments/4i09af/crowfallartcraft_ama_with_ace_founders_coleman/
  13. The shadowbane experience is very instructive in this case. During beta, the frequent wipes meant that no side was obliterated with no hope of rebuilding. During retail, oodles of people quit the game entirely because mega-alliances dominated whole servers. That is the catalyst that lead to the dying worlds, eternal characters concept of Crowfall. The question is going to be pacing... does a CW end after a given length of time, or after specific victory conditions have been met? It would be problematic to be locked into a 6 month CW, and have one alliance dominate the server after two months. Losers would stop playing, winners would be bored to tears for 4 months. I would like to see a requirement for specific victory requirements, with a time cap (hit the time cap, the side / guild closest to victory conditions gets the win). As to having multiple crows per account.. I think it would add unnecessary complexity.
  14. I've already written up a bunch of questions to ask tomorrow, but I've never participated in an AMA. Created a reddit account yesterday so I could post. Is it just a forum topic where ACE replies to posted questions in realtime as they see fit?
  15. The comments on the Massively story are less critical, but there's not a lot of them. I think it looks fine. But I thought Shadowbane looked fine too, at the time. It looks way better than camelot unchained in the gameplay footage I've seen there. What Crowfall really needs is an information dump with details on archetypes, skill trees, powers, the state of the back end (EK, account persistence etc), disciplines, and so on. Don't show us the engine un-optimized. Show us the things that will affect gameplay.
  16. That champion animation is really quite good in that regard, I agree. The animations don't seem to play out that way in a fight though. Perhaps what's missing is a little knockback so you can continue to advance. Or a flinch reaction to being hit. Stepping offline would be nice to see as well. My knight looks like he's on figure skates when swinging. His feet rotate forward and back with no actual movement. Left foot carves a half-circle forward while right foot carves a half circle back. Spinning attacks are the worst for this, but the basic attack does it too. In any case, something is a little off with the fluidity of combat. If I'm chasing someone and hit an attack, the running animation should flow into the attack animation and back to running. It would be wise to add a lunge type animation for some attacks - let them happen during movement, and root spinning attacks (except for the movement involved in the attack itself). It makes sense that archers need to stop to shoot (though they should have at least one instant) and the same with casters. One or two instants, the rest root for attacks. Just to improve the flow of the fight. This discussion is getting away from the "info for my newbie friends" concept but it's an interesting segue.
  17. Ah LT... we rocked beta and early retail so hard. And then we faded into fond memories. I don't know how all you SB alumni remember the game so much. I played 13 months of beta and 3 months of retail, and I barely remember anyone. So many games and so many guilds since then...
  18. Created this for a group of friends who are thinking about coming to Crowfall. I'd like suggestions for additions to it. The state of the game Stage: Pre-alpha 2.0 Combat · In place, working, enjoyable, not nearly at release quality · Not fluid enough, too rooted. In a real fight (realism is not necessarily a good metric for a fantasy game, but in this case it is), weapon swings are timed to footfalls. You step into an attack and the weapon hits the target at the same time the foot hits the ground. There is no other way to generate enough power for an effective strike. Fighting looks wrong because we instinctively understand this, and the game doesn’t match it. They need to either allow attacks to happen on the move, or add steps and momentum to attacks. Or both. · TTL (time to live) is in a good place. Healing is messing with this, but that’s a balance issue, easily fixed at a later date. · There is no death penalty other than a respawn/re-equip time cost, so we don’t know how impactful death will be later on in development. Account back-end · Totally absent at present. Each server maintains characters locally. No persistence at an account level between servers, no vessel system in place. No Eternal Kingdom stuff at all. And no word on when any of this might appear, or what stage of development the account side of things is at. No guild structures in place. Skills · In place, working as proof of concept. By that I mean, you can train increased attack power and it has an effect on numbers in-game. · Skill trees are rudimentary at best, and include character-breaking features. If a Knight trains up 2-handed weapons, the character becomes unplayable entirely (crashes) because knights are not yet allowed to use 2-handed weapons in game. · There’s been no publication of proposed skill trees at this stage of development Disciplines · Not implemented yet. Some mention of disciplines carried over from Shadowbane, but nothing concrete. Classes · 6 archetypes in game so far (Knight, Legionnaire, Champion, Ranger, Confessor, Druid (not yet playable)) · No promotion classes present at all. Most haven’t even been announced, or have only been named and not defined. Crafting · Not in game yet at all · We’ve been given a high level overview of the crafting system, and a few crafting professions have been named. · Items decay, suffering durability loss through use and character death. Repairing items reduces max durability, ensuring high turnover of items and a constant need for new crafted items. Environment · We’ve gone from greyboxes to a fully realized environment with some destructible buildings. · No water present at all yet. · Hills don’t seem to prevent characters from climbing them, but do prevent catapults from doing so. Walls work as walls Siege Mechanics · In place, functioning well from a mechanics viewpoint. · Catapults exist and can damage and destroy fortifications. · Siege victory conditions in place and working. · No world persistence yet, so no way to start a siege… in testing, the match starts at the beginning of a siege. Economy · Non-existent · We know there will be no independent NPC vendors · There will be a currency system using coins. Coins can be crafted from raw precious metals · Players will be able to place NPC vendors in their own buildings to sell their goods, much like Shadowbane.
  19. I have multiple computers within reach at my desk. I already have two accounts purchased (one for my wife, ostensibly), and I will almost certainly have a dedicated crafting account. My main account will have some gathering skills and eventually will get a military craft of some sort, but a dedicated crafter account looks like it'll be necessary due to the skill system. One non-archetype skill trained at a time? My main's gotta be able to fight, so no crafting skills in the first 6 months, for sure.
  20. That last video is the first thing I've seen of this game and it was enough to make me go sign up at their website to track the game. Thanks!
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