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  1. Crowfall is at the tipping point

    @APE Think forest vs trees. Think typical game deficiencies and solid internal documents vs anything about ACE personnel or player PR. Think extracting value from the measured opinions of others, rather than debasing their words = vacuous, points = none, standards = excessive, game fit = poor, expectations = high, etc without cause. It's bordering on hypocrisy. And I'm interested in *you* extracting value from Crowfall. Reread the forums. You simply cannot defend much in Crowfall as more than "ok" by 2017 gaming standards, so I won't ask you to. (The product, APE, not developer efficiency using limited resources. Key exceptions: a few interfaces, the vision and functions for player-designed EKs, and the crow animation.) Likewise, asking me for details of what's a problem is pointless - the list is long and you're sitting right in front of the player database. You must see dangerous flaws in PvP, passives, class designs, VIP, roles and resources and how they haven't been addressed. You must see the game's tricky reliance on future EKs, Disciplines, Guilds and Campaign rules. You can guesstimate development priorities and capabilities, observing the value of what's done vs what's questionable and/or pending. You can answer your own questions about why someone would donate $300 happily, while simultaneously recommending further consideration on $12M+. You can determine for yourself where were are, approximately, in the release schedule and whether we're anywhere near a point where sunk implementation starts to impact future mods. Yes, it's a judgement call. I'm glad your hunger is sated, but I'm looking for at least an above average, simple meal, and it's seriously questionable. The original post and the TL;DR from my last is the message. Plus maybe reread the forums, critically. @Frykka Thanks for the tempered response. My original post wasn't prompted by any recent hiccups or bugs. No frustration here with unfinished products - I've raised more money for and managed worse. Just calling it as I see it. Glad you have found religion. They're good guys & gals and certainly not peddling Kool-aid. Help get it fixed.
  2. Crowfall is at the tipping point

    I can tell from your response that you didn't understand the original post. A real business case is a justification which goes far beyond the usual Kickstarter details, beyond advertising and PR, and beyond the documents provided for the recent Indiegogo. Please tell me you've seen a real one before asking me to go on. Then please tell me you understand that I'm asking for one, rather than hiding one from you in my back pocket. Understanding first, then rebuttal or questions. "Manager speak" is yet another trope, hijacked from brilliant mockery (ref: Dilbert) to everything that non-managers either don't grasp or intuitively abhor. I'm not using any big words here. Swap in any words you like and move on. TL;DR: the "game" currently available is chock full of incompatible components and mediocre rehashings; it suggests flaws in both execution and vision; the "game" promised is not sufficiently detailed nor cautiously discerning in order to evaluate the offering; time to re-evaluate the development and vision and see what can be done. I care not what they offer to this forum or the general public, only that they get their ducks in a row. p.s. anyone that's read my earlier postings knows that I don't lack in details. intentional, because it's unnecessary. the whole is flawed. p.p.s. @untuin thx for the valid rebuttals. I agree they've scoped properly; the problem is what they've scoped isn't good enough nor consistent.
  3. Crowfall is at the tipping point

    Thanks, and respect, for all those who took the time to respond. Quick agreements: My post was not detailed, so is somewhat indefensible. Agreed. As with the game, IMO there's enough known to work with, including uncertainty. Stepping away helps gain perspective. Agreed. This is why I also suggest the developers do the same. Developers don't have the manpower to reinvent the wheel. Agreed. This is why I'm suggesting they rethink it and work with what they have. The game isn't for everyone. Agreed. Of course, a bad hammer isn't for anyone, unless you're desperate. Negativity isn't helpful, particularly if dressed up in manager speak. Agreed. I'm calling for constructive professionalism, incl destruction & risk assessment. Combat is fine for what it is. Agreed. That's why I stated Crowfall is not bad.... it's just not good. Quick rebuttals: They can't fix anything before it's all online. No. That's one development methodology, but usually a bad one. Of course if more elements were available, drawing conclusions would be easier. I'm not even arguing that ACE doesn't have (hidden) working methodology for getting these mediocre systems integrated within a reasonable time and budget. I'm arguing that there's no game here to even know, and no Business Case to even evaluate. And that the systems won't integrate themselves and that iterations are finite. Implementing performance improvements and stretch goals will enable a good game. Possibly. If the ATs are completed and there is zero lag / performance issues, some might be satisfied with combat. I certainly would not, but then again the game is unfinished. Most of the stretch goals are cosmetic or ancillary to the core game. (E.g. VR, pets/animals, genders, relics.) Crowfall is the opposite of MMO tropes. No. There are dozens of discussions of what makes Crowfall unique, and all are either implemented haphazardly (passives, VIP, "predictable" combat) or unimplemented. What *is* implemented is exactly what we've seen before.... with the possible exception of large scale, personal EKs. Whether EKs matter beyond Farmville in 3D is TBD, but I do believe they'll pull it off.
  4. Crowfall needs a new Business Case, including more specific game design. After spending a few years, ACE needs to take a break and reconsider. Don't get me wrong - Crowfall isn't bad, not at all. It's incomplete. But there's enough to lay bets that the game won't be half as interesting or successful as it could be unless significant changes are considered. Now is the perfect time to think and constructively rebuild! What we have is a great start for any small scale MMO. The test servers have significant functionality. The player base is enthusiastic. Support is epic. The problem is at the higher level, where the game design (as indicated by all sources, including FAQ and PR videos) is full of ideas with minimal rigor or coherence. The game is currently communicated by Manifesto rather than Business Case. One can be clearly evaluated, the other cannot. More specifically, development appears to be unduly influenced by both old school MMOs and recent handheld games / apps. Crowfall repeats too much of the heavy MMO development tropes, while simultaneously gunning for handheld and app-level simplicity in critical areas. Some might call this a unique recipe for success. No. It's accidentally adding gristle while overcooking something unknown, somewhere between a hotdog and a 5 course meal. Everything that made those game genres successful -- unique role playing, entertaining grouping, fluid combat, dynamic populations, low barriers to entry, etc -- is promised, but supplied in questionable, incompatible doses. Real world success is not usually done with numerous, lucky assumptions and infinite iterations. That's precisely what a Business Case identifies. It's all fixable. Everything -- passive training, VIP, combat, EKs, etc. But everything should be on the chopping block when ACE starts focusing on the next step of what makes Crowfall unique. Crowfall needs high quality combat, strong role interactions, and wickedly intelligent Campaign Worlds. I'm sure some will argue that's exactly where they're going. They'll say that progress to date has been excellent with a small team. Those with experience making tough decisions under uncertainty know how to evaluate the "status quo" after a couple of years of development and make steering corrections. IMO Crowfall is due. They need to do it now before trying to half-*ss it under duress later. Good luck with the game, peeps. Inb4 "don't let the door hit you on your way out". Exactly! Better things to do ATM, yet still hoping Crowfall is the best game ever developed...
  5. Despite some players' wishes, Crowfall is not really an RPG. Nor a 4X game. I don't know where all that is coming from, other than marketing hype and pipe dreams. Like Crowfall is going to be old-school Traveller plus EVE plus Star Citizen plus Tera plus Everquest Next all rolled into one. Prioritize and communicate, ACE. IMO roles should be tertiary. First a core of group MOBA, second a twist of voxel survival big world CW, and third a dash of RPG. Don't be afraid to rein in the "role" people, if necessary. I won't be offended if you have to reassign the Combat Tree into the ATs, because you can't really make all the roles equal combat with the resources you have - harvester, crafter, builder, scout, trader, cook, EK king, etc. p.s. Going to look up Fortnite. Sounds fun!
  6. Overall, I would say the progress seems excellent coding of archetypes, passive training, combat, crafting, landscapes and buildings mixed game-limiting MMO performance, artwork poor game-defining features: group combat, skill trees, AT abilities, EK integration, Campaign Worlds, POIs It's also possibly excessive? questionable-ROI fantasy features. e.g. crafting, spawning, inventory juggling unknown? AT build variety via Disciplines TL/DR: grats on major work on the building blocks!! now for the tough game part...
  7. How do you plan on playing this game?

    Too early to tell whether I'll play it at all.
  8. [pulling out Excerpts, numbered] 1. Not only do I agree, but 1) someone pointed out that just diminishing returns everywhere can still lead to "exponential" advantages, due to multiplicative effects, 2) no offense to ACE, but I frankly don't trust them to carefully implement strictly diminishing returns everywhere and keep them that way over time. It's not a trivial problem. They would be far better off just giving nodes a cost weight, removing all the pre-reqs unless they obviously made sense, and doing something like Vectious suggested. 2. You've overstated Krakken's point, IMO. We want them to love their started role... we don't need them too. Too see it just look at any survival game, or any game where players are willing to grind out 100 levels for the privilege of playing the end-game. It's not pretty, but it's extremely common. And honestly we can't predict players' willingness to grind out early Crowfall because we don't even have a game loop or real CWs. 3. Agree with the recipe point, somewhat agree with the crafting crap point. On the former, I've posted about moving the Recipes up front or just deciding how partial training of these nodes will be implemented. Perhaps they could just move the nodes and let us select the specific recipes we learn after X number of points in those nodes. Regarding crafting crap with just grey/white resources and no experimentation, this is the same issue as #2 - it's OK if you think of early Crowfall as a survival game. There are many suggestions out there for speeding up training in Campaign Worlds, while not necessarily speeding up account-based passive training for subsequent Campaign Worlds. No traction so far... 4. Couldn't agree more. That announcement got a solid groan from me. Then another one, when I saw how many forum posts supported it. We seem to have a lot of players that want to either retain their edge from Beta, or obtain it quickly on soft-release.
  9. QUICK SUMMARY of catch-up ideas so far. Hopefully other players will chime in. (Please PM me for corrections to player attributions. Accuracy matters; ego shouldn't; many ideas here are found in other threads) ------- No change needed, and/or table this for later. [Bramble] Scrap the passive system. [Various] Pay. Various ideas as to how, possibly via VIP, never beyond existing players. [Yoink / Anthrage] Automatic, to lowest-common passive % [Ringhloth] Automatic, based on time since release, fixed increment. [Yumx] Automatic, to fixed % of highest player. [Tark?] Automatic, to a reasonable level to play a role. [KrakkenSmacken] Crafted items. [SirGeorge] Just fix the trees for strict diminishing returns. Incl. Fibonacci series progression. [Frykka & Destrin] Only a subset of trained nodes are active. [Vectious] Diablo3-like seasons (reset plus overall accelerated training). [VikingNail] Campaign World training resets, but each CW completed increases the training rate. [Srathor] Training acceleration, gated by actively playing the game. [Yoink] #9, #10, and #13 combined. [Gromschlog] Automatic, based on time since release, increasing increment, UT only. (Plus 9 & tree mods.) [Mivius.] #6, and the same is available to current players as a reduced training "reset". [Izalea] ------- @Ringhloth, any ideas for a Cosmic Encounter-inspired catch-up system? Perhaps not, which is why you switched to Seafall...
  10. Share your favorite memory-

    That list was worth more than a Like. Thanks, lol.
  11. 1. Somewhat agree. ACE claimed they wanted gear to be relatively throw-away, but lately we're getting away from that. Meanwhile, the Crafter Union is growing... demanding significant rewards for their risk/grind/inventory. Gifting gear is so easy it could throw all other true skill measures out the window. I believe they can have both if they channel crafters into siege warfare (or EKs) instead of personal gear with 400% bonuses. Soon. 2. Completely agree. They should stick to those goals fervently unless they develop a game where it's clear they can relax them. The "roles" people are clamoring for should nothing more than the sum of controlled, reasonable advantages executed in fun, unique ways. Raw power is not such a role. 3. Completely agree. Players seem to be OK with that, as am I, as long as the gear & training power is kept in check. Unlike #1 & #2, this is acceptable "Game of Thrones". (#2 is Marvel Comics. They can design in Heroes, but only with careful effort.) Other players are pointing out we don't want battles to just be Eve's spreadsheets & N+1 win; I don't think they apply. 4. Somewhat agree. There are some creative ideas out there on CWs that could pan out. Crowfall is already an arena-ish game, despite others throwing "MOBA" around like an epithet. It's also a survival game. We just have somewhat relaxed starting conditions & bigger maps and let you blow crap up. I'm in favor of limited starter / testing campaigns and/or resets, but realize there's a zone-like feel if you take it too far and resets aren't popular. Their best designs for CWs will be around good implementations for creative competitions - e.g. Faction & God Wars - not power-restricted campaigns, like the billions of wasted, power-leveled Zones available elsewhere.
  12. Some players, in a twisted sort of logic, point to those same nodes as evidence of clear AT roles and easy catch-up. "There's no problem because everyone can quickly earn all that power." ACE simply messed up those curves and front-loaded some trees, e.g. Champion's +100 AP and Confessor crits. Give ACE credit for trying different power *profiles*; e.g. high crit in one AT vs. high AP or final damage in another. That's fine. Also, for generally having AT returns diminish with high Tier costs for large rewards -- also good. I'm not sure how the catch-up issue is solved by stretching the AT Tree to be like Combat. First, Combat provides far more overall power, so would be expected to take longer to earn. (It's actually a better example for addressing catch-up.) Second, the AT Tree is less complete at the moment since it lacks Promotions. (Completing it could make the trees comparable and wouldn't solve either the power curve or catch-up issues.) Third, the Combat tree has equally bizarre gating and disorderly diminishing returns. I'm tempted to think that the whole thing is just first pass, trial stuff. I like the core idea, but we would need to consider at least two counter viewpoints: No, hardcore PvP players will expend absurd energy to obtain small 5-10% advantages. What they won't do is get excited about 5-10% gained over years, and they won't care if larger bonuses are available elsewhere in the game, e.g. Vessels or Gear. Corollary: nerf the passives, you might want to nerf the Marketing of an innovative passive system. They don't need to have a strong effect if the sum total of such benefits are perceived as strong.
  13. I'm glad to be able to comment early on this, because I don't have a strong opinion but hope players think hard before answering. ACE is a small shop and will probably need to push the release out earlier than a AAA developer would. If so, the catch-up players will be the majority, not the minority. We want them to play. We may need to accept an aggressive catch-up mechanisms than otherwise seems "fair" until we have a stable, playable release to compete with other games.
  14. So it's been almost a year

    I don't think there's any question combat has improved or that the release pace has increased. It's pure opinion, however, whether the combat skeleton is good enough for the game itself. I'm personally convinced that they could still take combat in many directions that could accidentally tank the game. They don't seem to have anything really figured out yet. E.g. root vs split-body, good combo mechanics, the right duration for animations, the right CD for skills, what makes each class skill set truly unique, how i-frames vs evasions will work, what to do on CC escapes & skill breaks, how defenses will mitigate offenses, whether rage & essence & stamina are all good ideas, etc. Short story: they have a long way to go and certainly aren't screwed yet, but mostly because they haven't committed.
  15. I think the Dregs are going to be tougher than anyone expects, simply because the devs will be cautious about the markets. Guilds will sprint to where the money is, in the Infected & the Shadow. Hopefully it won't just be zergs and N+1, but so far the devs have been silent. God's Reach has the potential to have the best competition, but the low rewards and spoiler Balance might have the opposite effect and drive away participation. If Viking gets his way and the power curves aren't flattened, Dregs will wind up the "end game" and be ruled mostly by power curves, numbers, time, and grinders. With, of course, some skill and strategy, but not as much as he claims is relevant. Viking himself will still play if something is added that promotes a high skill ceiling. If not, he won't play; I don't agree with others he's here just to stroke his ego. If the power curve is flattened and gear is throw-away, as promised, there will be enormous pressure on the Discipline system and grouping functions to make the game fun to play. Again, Viking is right that boredom will set in. The trees, combat, and everything else is just not interesting enough to maintain interest more than 3-6 months. I agree that the key counterparts to power curves are the import / export rules, resource availability, and Attributes. ACE is not getting my respect yet, in designing systems pro-actively that lock down rules such that other areas can be tweaked. They're doing the opposite - holding their cards close and setting up everything to be tweakable. I'm pretty positive even the basics on the CW page at are completely wrong. They'll have to do something far, far more complicated with CWs if they allow persistent trees and gear, including considering normalizing the CW rewards or tying rewards to CW durations. The details of why are complicated. Keep a close eye on Attributes, and how they'll be implemented such that CWs aren't just the standard "level-restricted zones" in disguise. With low payouts and locked in durations. Ouch.