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ACE Investor & Tester
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Everything posted by Durenthal

  1. Nice changes for the lobby. Now if you could get rid of that awful list of buffs/debuffs in the top right, give us better indications of when our buffs are active / ending (the cc-immune shader is about the only thing you do well in that regard), and put the enemy buff/debuff info over the enemy's head, you'd be getting somewhere. I'm not asking for WoW-level UI modification options, but something better than what we were using in 2003 would be nice.
  2. I posted this format a couple of months ago and I still like it. Each Wartribe grand general has a cart containing an artifact. Let's assume there are 7 wartribes. The carts act as pets and move at the pace of 100% runspeed (so a normal human out of combat with no buffs). Each artifact gives a buff to every member of its owner's faction within 100m. The goal is to assemble all 7 artifact carts in the same place under the control of the same faction. The carts do not log out when their owners do - they drop owner tags at that point. If their owner dies, they drop their owner tag. If the owner moves more than 100m from the cart, it drops owner tags. So one day faction/guild A gains control of a cart. It follows one of their members around until he dies or logs off or gets too far from it at which point someone else has to pick it up. Or they park it in their keep / fort (with no owner tag). Or they park it (with no owner tag) in a corner of the map where they hope no one will look. The CW ends when all 7 carts are together all under the control of the same faction (when one person has all 7 buffs, his faction wins). There is no indication on the world map or whatever as to who owns which cart. That's for scouts/spies to figure out. In order for the seasons to progress, I guess we need a set time limit, and whichever faction/guild has the most carts at the end of the CW wins if the CW isn't ended by a single faction gaining all 7 and bringing them together beforehand.
  3. It would take a pretty dramatic turnabout on some design decisions to bring most of my guild back. The vast majority of us have written Crowfall off and moved on completely. However, here's a list off the top of my head of what I think it'd take to get us back: Reduce the grinds to a level where a guild can focus primarily on PvP. Replace the godawful RNG-gated discipline-finding system (it's terrible in 5.92 still) with a proper crafting system for them Improve performance in large fights Remove the target cap on area-effect damage to let us bust stacks of players. The blob vs blob fights are custard terrible. Reduce out-of-party area-effect healing and shift the healing focus to self-sustain and party-only / targeted heals (more stack busting). Give better telegraphs so that we can get some player-skill based combat going with counterplays. Improve the combat UI or give us hooks so we can write our own (WoW was so good at this)
  4. You have to buy it from a fort or keep. It's a recently added gold sink annoyance.
  5. The lack of motivation is due to the tedium of generating points. Outpost capturing is awful. You're essentially watching paint dry for 20 mins to solo capture an outpost. Forts are the best experience when a small group of attackers faces a small group of defenders. In the current environment though, you either find a fort undefended (in which case you sit in the circle and watch the flies buzz around the throne) or there's an overwhelming force from the dominant faction speed-capping it, in which case you get run over. Keeps are weird right now. Ideally a keep fight should have at least 50 people on each side, and there should be a struggle to destroy siege engines before they breach the wall, and a fight inside the wall to prevent access to the keep building, and a fight in the keep building to prevent access to the tree room, and a last ditch defense at the tree room. But what generally happens is one side has overwhelming force and either wipes out the attackers at the trebs and bane trees (if defending) or smashes a hole in the wall and rushes the tree with overwhelming force (if attacking). There are also problems with attackers being able to plant ballistas, and ballistas being able to fire into the throne room instead of only outside the walls. The imbalanced sides part is very much an issue with low population and an uneven distribution of the best geared/organized players. I hope that things would be different in a dregs environment with a high population of players who actually want to defend their land. But again, note that it's about defending land, not about generating points. Points generation may dictate the victory, but the gameplay reasons are all about land control. Points as an indicator of land control are fine. But I'd be happier in a CW that lasts N months or until one faction controls every major stronghold. At the end of N months, the faction with the most strongholds wins. What happens before is just jockeying for position and attrition. I'd also like to see other win conditions for the sides that don't involve points at all. I've posted about that before.
  6. The main difference is the security of the inhabitants, based on frequency of siege vulnerability, quality of guards, and buffs to the inhabitants. If Castles are more secure than Keeps, they're more valuable. If they're just bigger, it's just different artwork and there's no strategic difference. We don't actually differ much at all. We agree that points are a crappy reason to hold a keep. We take specific keeps based on the resources they give us access to, and their location. A keep with a pile of R10 motherlodes not too far from the portal to your temple is absolute gold. A keep with R8 resources a 15 min run from anything of interest is generally not fought over (until population rises way up and there are more than 3 factions). I would like to see the same sort of thing Ussiah wants - Keeps and forts built next to valuable resources - but not everything. A fort with R10 ore nodes is very valuable, even if it has no high rank trees, for example. A fort with R10 trees and no high rank ore or stone would be far less valuable because wood isn't used nearly as much in crafting as ore. Right now keeps have R8-10 everything (and everything the same rank) at a pretty good density. It'd be nice if one stronghold had R10 iron and tin, but only R8 copper and silver, and R6 aurelium. Do the same with the resources from the other resource types. And vary the density of various resources. That way, the strongholds have value, but none are a one-stop shop - players are still encouraged to get out into adventure areas. As a corollary, adventure areas need much better stuff than they have right now. Zombie canyons are useful for leveling alts or low level guildmates, but that's it. If those canyons were the best density of R10 motherlodes (ore or stone) they'd be much more valuable to everyone. The current 3 faction environment means that most of the forts/keeps aren't really contested because as long as your faction has 1, you can craft etc in world. In the dregs, ownership will be much more important. The 3 faction ruleset is a plague on Crowfall, frankly.
  7. The idea was to provide safer harvesting on territory you own. Access to good resources is the best reason to own a contested point. With the low population, people can farm outside each other's keeps right now, but that will change if the population ever hits critical mass. That said, I would rather have high rank resources outside forts, and lower (not going below R6 in a CW, because R1-5 should be reserved for God's Reach) rank resources at keeps. Keeps should be very safe for the owners in a populated map, and risk vs reward dictates the resources there shouldn't be top notch. It makes sense for forts to be built at high value locations to establish control over them. In game terms, that means adding high value resources to fort parcels rather than spawning forts near clusters of high-value resources.
  8. Mostly negative. Wartribe mobs have no cooldown on their powers, so they use them back to back to back. It feels like a bug. Challenging group and "raid" bosses would be fun, but they should be challenging because of neat mechanics, not because they are constantly spamming their class powers.
  9. Templar wartribe bosses are a pain in the ass because of the frequency they drop their healing circle and the amount of healing they get from it. In reference to your "splitting the capture mechanic into trigger and capture" - killing all the guards would be a better trigger than standing in the circle. It would let you make outpost guards less pathetic, too.
  10. With the multitude of items needed for crafting, removing local banks is going to really endear you to the crafters. So all the mats and components sit in inventory, and if the fort/keep you hold is taken, your next login is near a random runegate. You're asking for runegate camping to become a thing, especially the day after a keep changes hands. Can't use the spirit bank to store mats. Can't use local banks to store mats, can't craft in an EK due to import / export restrictions. I support the embargo system and crafting in-world. In heavily populated campaigns where folks can defend their home keep, it will probably work very well. In the test environment... yeah.
  11. Since the 5.8.6 wipe I have done nothing but level replacement vessels for my crafters and harvesters, and re-gear my legion of toons. Yesterday was the first day I participated in a siege in months. I poured a pile of money into Crowfall based on my enjoyment of the greybox hungerdome days, and the more content that's added, the farther the game gets from that PvP joy I experienced back in the day. There are maybe 8 players in my guild still playing Crowfall (we still have over a hundred people with testing access, but the rest have all written off their investment and moved on). As a result, I've turned a bunch of my accounts into crafters (and I don't like crafting to begin with), and had to increase harvesting efforts in order to gear those crafters. Crowfall has taken a sharp left turn into PvE grinding, and that grind is magnified if you're not in a large active guild with multiple active crafters. The interdependence required in the crafting system may work well with thousands of players on a server and dozens of 100+ member guilds. But in the testing environment, it feels terrible. It takes 7 worker drone accounts to support my PvP account, and by the time I've done all the harvesting and crafting, I'm too sick of Crowfall to go out and PvP.
  12. @jtoddcoleman You guys really need to go back and look at your mission statement presented to us for the kickstarter. That's the game we backed. That's the game we want to play. If I wanted to PvE, I'd go back to WoW. They do it 10x better than you guys. What you do well is small group PvP. Build your game around PvP. Yes, we need stuff to do when not fighting each other, but that shouldn't be the focus of the game. Since the wipe at the start of 5.8.6 I have done no PvP. None. I've been grinding my crafting vessels to get ready to PvP. I've been grinding mats to make disposable gear to grind those crafting vessels. My entire guild has moved on because you deviated so far from your promises. The tattered remnant that remains can't compete because everything required to succeed in the game requires a large group of people and a willingness to suffer through a long period of doing chores before getting to the part of the game that's enjoyable. I've invested thousands of dollars in Crowfall, and three years of testing time, and I'm on the verge of walking away too.
  13. While I hope this reduces some of the "new player logs in, gets smashed repeatedly, logs out forever" behavior, I don't think it addresses the core problems in the pre-alpha environment. You need to be testing entirely different sets of win conditions. Lots of them. One of Crowfall's biggest problems is that losing isn't nearly as much fun as winning. Only a small portion of the population is going to be on the winning side (especially once we move from 3-faction to 12-faction and guild-v-guild rulesets). Losing has to be almost as much fun as winning, or your user base will dwindle fast. In a buy-once, play-forever business model, maybe that's good for you, to a point. People buy the game, play for a couple of months, and move on... you get their money and they don't use your server or bandwidth resources for long. But I give it a year after a strong launch for the population to become unsustainably small if the current environment persists. You're adding a lot of good stuff. The new character controller sounds promising, warbands are a nice addition, moving disciplines out into the world is a good start (provided minors drop like rain or can also be crafted by runecrafters), the armor changes sound like you're paying attention to some of our concerns. But for many of us, the game still isn't fun. There are moments of great fun, but they're overwhelmed by a)tedium and b)craptastic large scale battles. I continue to test, because there are flashes of real promise (small group combat is where you excel), but almost all my friends and guildmates have moved on, and their absence makes the game even less fun for the few of us who remain. Please do what you can to work on player retention - it's good for the test now, and it'll be good for the game in release.
  14. Keep in mind that unless you're unusually clever in your implementation this will just result in people autorunning into a corner in order to appear active.
  15. The current win condition - Points accumulation through capturing and holding keeps, forts, and outposts - is a good proof of concept for win conditions. Let's help the devs come up with some others. Here's my first suggestion: Warband Artifacts CW Each Warband grand general has a cart containing an artifact. Let's assume there are 7 warbands. The carts act as pets and move at the pace of 100% runspeed (so a normal human out of combat with no buffs). Each artifact gives a buff to every member of its owner's faction within 100m. The goal is to assemble all 7 artifact carts in the same place under the control of the same faction. The carts do not log out when their owners do - they drop owner tags at that point. If their owner dies, they drop their owner tag. If the owner moves more than 100m from the cart, it drops owner tags. So one day faction A gains control of a cart. It follows one of their members around until he dies or logs off or gets too far from it at which point someone else has to pick it up. Or they park it in their keep / fort (with no owner tag). Or they park it (with no owner tag) in a corner of the map where they hope no one will look. The CW ends when all 7 carts are within 50m of each other all under the control of the same faction. There is no indication on the world map or whatever as to who owns which cart. That's for scouts/spies to figure out. This win condition works for 3-faction, works for 12-faction, works for dregs/shadows.
  16. There's no import or export limit on EKs, so why not just automatically dump everything into the spirit bank (overflow if necessary) when a character with stuff equipped/in inventory is moved from an EK to a CW, ACE? Failing that, a warning that "This character has items equipped and/or in inventory that will be lost if you continue" would suffice. Also, please show us that our character is geared on the character select screen.
  17. This is a learning experience for ACE, as it should be... it's the whole point of pre-alpha testing. First, faction systems are bunk. But they can't stuff that genie back in the lamp, so they'll have to come up with something to encourage people (and guilds) to choose the sides with smaller population. On another front, getting to the guild vs guild ruleset as quickly as possible is going to be key - we identify far more closely with our guild than we do with a faction, and there's a lot more pride at stake in a guild vs guild campaign. There will still be alliances made, but since those will have to involve guilds bending the knee to another guild, there's no illusion of parity. One guild is top dog. Note: You need to find a way to prevent figurehead guilds being created for alliances to all bend the knee to - maybe say you can't bend the knee to a guild smaller than half your size. Part of the problem is the tiny testing population. As long as two guilds with 50ish people each can ally and dominate the server in terms of population, you'll have a problem. Where are the big EVE guilds (and big guilds in general)? A bunch of the guilds who were active early in CF testing have left, dissolved, or gone into hibernation until you can provide a compelling game experience. My own guild has gone from being dominant in Hunger Dome, Siege Perilous, and early Big World, to being almost non-existent. I honestly don't know if it's too late to bring back the people who left because the game took too long to cook. Performance in 5.8.3 is a step up from 5.8.2, which is a great start. Balance is still utter crap, and the devs have given us absolutely no evidence that they will be capable of providing a relatively balanced experience. That's really worrisome. Having one class be OP doesn't affect army vs army balance since every side can stack the OP class. But it really bothers players on a personal level to play a class that is really weak relative to the OP classes. It will make players leave if you don't make every class viable and valuable. Give us better performance, a more even playing field for all classes, and a reason to be the underdog. Stop adding crappy grinds, and add thralls, resource POIs to fight over, and warbands. Fix boring outpost capture. Give us rulesets down the road (but tell us about them now) that don't rely on point accumulation through holding capture points. Make holding territory more meaningful. Right now, an enemy keep is just a guaranteed place to find enemy harvesters.
  18. No one cares about the outcomes of the campaigns in these non-sanctioned CWs. We're going through the motions to give you data points, but mostly these CWs are for recovering from the character and item wipe in preparation for the sanctioned CWs. So by all means, make all the changes you need to mid-CW. Many of us are waiting for the dregs ruleset before we start worrying about meeting the win conditions. Faction play is less compelling.
  19. As a followup to my previous post, I worry that the elimination of the weapon mastery slot will have an adverse effect on knights, too. Restoration strike is my hardest hitting power, and it restores energy. Without it, I'm going to do even less damage and have to worry more about energy starvation. Blair has said some of the weapon mastery powers will be moved into the talent tree, which may alleviate my concern, but if they add more stuff there without increasing the talent points we get, we'll be weakened by whatever we're unable to take. Additionally, the talent trees all end with a passive power. Knights already have too many passives for their available slots, and adding a required passive at the end of each talent line exacerbates the problem. Demon's Pact was already a required discipline before this change. Our passive choices are too restricted. Edited to add: Swordsman dmg revolves around the mighty surge buff. It'd be really nice if there were a visual indication of when I have the buff so I'm not constantly having to look at the top right of my screen to see if it has appeared in my list of buffs.
  20. I'd been meaning to post a state of the knight 5.8 post, but it was too depressing. Still, since you've started it, I may as well chip in. I have played all three knight promotion classes pretty extensively in 5.8. Swordsman - had good damage at the start of 5.8, but it got triple nerfed (Mercy reduced from 9% to 3%, mighty surge bonus reduced from 125% to 50%, and uptime on swordsmanship buff crippled so that only one native knight power can trigger it, and then only some of the time) early and is back to doing less damage than other melee dps classes. The reduced cooldown on charge is nice for battlefield mobility. Lack of self-sustain makes it weaker than the melee classes with self-sustain. As Arkade pointed out, self-healing is much stronger than armor as actual damage mitigation. And the barriers a knight gets are utterly pathetic. They should be a percentage of maximum health, not a little 500-pt invitation for shieldbreaker. Sentinel - CC-focused promotions feel weak in an environment where everyone's running around with two retaliates available. Sentinel has all the problems the other knight promotion classes have - they can't take damage or dish it out well. The additional PCM in the tree helps with using heavy weapons, but as long as the PCM cap is at 25%, heavy weapons don't feel good. Final PCM has a cap of 100% but the only thing that contributes to it is capped at 25%. Secutor - different playstyle than the other two promotion classes. Everything revolves around shield bash. Feels like the math on shield bash is wrong - if we were doing tooltip dmg (including all the multipliers from the talent tree) with it, it'd be utterly useless. But there's an extra multiplier in there somewhere that makes shield bash crits very strong, and that makes the class viable (as far as knights go, that is). Strangely, you can squeeze out more dps on Secutor than on Swordsman if you get your bashes in all the time. We all know that champion (especially pitfighter) is overpowered. Pitfighter is so strong because it has good mobility, a ranged attack that slows on a low cooldown, the most health of any class in the game, the best self-sustain of any class in the game by a large margin, good damage, and decent cc. It's hard to get away from them, it's hard to stop them getting away from you, it's hard to do enough damage to make them sweat given their self-healing. I don't understand how the same devs who made secutor knight could make pitfighter champion and think "these are both tanky melee promotions that are roughly equivalent." Knight is essentially a one-trick pony. Chain pull is a very cool trick, but it's all the knight has, and it's not enough. Knights are weak 1v1. Knights are weak in small group play. Knights are weak guarding the ToL or attacking the ToL. There's nowhere the knight shines. Chainpulling targets into your zerg in large fights isn't a role to be proud of. We're still playing knights. They're not so crappy that they're unplayable. A good knight is an asset to a group. But an equally skilled pitfighter or tank confessor or myrmidon brings more.
  21. Having your marketing person dictate which questions get answered is bad optics. Having her do so so that we can't even hear the questions you're answering is even worse. Zybak will at least ask some of the important questions, I guess. And thanks Todd for giving us some good information up front.
  22. I am getting sick and tired of starting over as an untrained character. I play a class that sucks early game and comes into its own with end-game training. I think that's poor design on your part, but as long as it's in place, it'd be nice to play with some training. If you must wipe skills again, set training to 30x instead of 3x, please. I don't care about having imports or not. You need to make common materials easily accessible so we can get to the throne war aspect of the game and not hang out in the crappy harvesting grind for days on end. The changes to the point system look good, although I'm hoping the point system is just a placeholder victory condition, and that you'll come up with lots of others. Having forts and keeps start with hostile-to-every-faction owners would be a really good idea, as has been said repeatedly for months now.
  23. No imports... that's a bold step. I like that for CWs down the line when we have training and the CW lasts 3 months. I dislike it in CWs where we have next to no training and they only last 2 days. Resource rebalance sounds good for now at least. Point system needs to be less easily manipulated by 2 dudes in the middle of the night capping all the forts while everyone else sleeps. FFS, make forts harder to capture. It should be a challenge for a 5 man group even without active defenders.
  24. If we have 2FA turned on, we're clearly not robots as we can't authenticate without entering a time-sensitive code. So why do you layer that silly "I'm not a robot" check on top of it? If 2FA is enabled, the "I'm not a robot" check should be disabled. The check is time consuming and can take longer than the 2FA code lasts in some cases.
  25. I dislike having to level characters in order to become marginally effective. Starting off with no powers is foolish in a game that promised us no leveling grind. Todd says "You can level a white vessel to 30 in a couple of days and a legendary one in a few weeks" as if that's supposed to be fast. I can level a WoW toon from 1-120 in less than a week, easily. So Crowfall's "no grind" selling point is out the door. The concept of the talent trees is good. It's the implementation that sucks. No disciplines until lvl 7ish. You don't finish a build until lvl 30. The fast leveling from sacrificing arrows has been nerfed (arrow stacks of 100 are now worth 10 instead of 100, which would have been fine in 5.7 when lvl 1 characters were actually playable and competitive). Promotion classes and OR gates in the talent trees are great. Moving all the basic powers and disciplines into the talent tree is not. Edit: As a die-hard knight, I'm also concerned that none of the knight builds has any self-sustain. Secutor is harder to kill but brings no value or threat to a fight. Classic case of "kill that guy last - he's no threat to us, but takes time to drop."
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