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culexus

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  1. Doc, I notice you can't even be slightly magnanimous when someone attempts to admit their less than perfect adherence to your supposedly logical rules. This is not a trait of a superior person. What it shows is that you're quite a bit more interested in being right, than discussing a game as a fan of the genre and that is quite sad. I'd like to point out that I'm not guessing about anything when it comes to how Shadowbane articulated damage numbers. Its quite logical really. Their percentage based skill system that was influenced by character stats had numerous instances of double dipping and was overly affected by Int which created exceedingly stupid builds like late game Templars. More to the point, you failed to actually discuss the issue I was discussing, but your own single sample tests of the effectiveness of Disciplines, which isn't what was being addressed. When it comes to system designs we have different opinions. And yes, opinions. The late Colin Chapman is quoted as saying, "Simplify then add lightness." While he's talking about sports cars, I personally feel that he has a valid point. Automobile dynamics and the physics that govern them are complex enough, there is no need to bulk up any system and make it more complex than it needs to be. I do not feel that complex quadratic equations add anything other than an unnecessary power curve to late game progression and that it fundamentally changes the feel of a character as it progresses. Not only that, the more nobs you have to dial and turn to tune character performance the more difficult it is to balance well. Also, Occam's Razor has nothing to do with this discussion. As for this discussion it is over. You've proven here and in other posts that you obviously have no interest in doing anything other than dissecting statements in an obtuse manner that isn't conducive to anything besides your own vain enjoyment. I applaud you on your trolling.
  2. Alright Doc, I did say they're impossible to balance and I'll give you that(more on that later). I would however contend that being completely dismissive of an individuals opinion due to your overly used phrase "fallacious postulate" is without merit. Especially, when you cannot counter their statement with anything other than claiming that the aforementioned statement is wrong. But to your points: It may not be impossible to balance classes with Disciplines. This is true, it may be possible. But, given what we know of the systems the dev's intend to use it could end up with many of the same problems that plagued Shadowbane, namely unforeseen multiplicative factors affecting damage, movement speed, and defenses all based around stats that inflated these numbers. So, while not impossible to balance, we'll go with exceedingly difficult to balance within Shadowbane due to confounding elements. Seeing that the team has chosen to use another skill based system, it is not unfair to expect that Disciplines will add more nobs to turn and levers to pull when it comes to accomplishing class balance. Secondly, You only made your statement a singular time in this post. If you've made a similar argument somewhere else, good for you. Link to it if you want it to be part of this discussion rather than be patronizing. Next, I didn't intend to "palm an Ace." Apologies extended. My intent is to say, from a systems perspective, that class adjustments should to be easy and not detrimental to game play. The math behind skills needs to be simplistic, the math behind damage, healing and defense need to be simplistic. Turning these class balance nobs needs to be able to be done in small increments so as not to leave players out in the cold on their chosen class. Finally, if you wish to partake in what is an attempt at a logical discussion of a game and class mechanic, being arbitrary with your input is still not conducive to discussion. Now that you've mostly derailed this post entirely through an obtuse adherence to simple symbolic logic rather than discuss other points in the post, let us get back on track: How should disciplines, balance destroying or otherwise, be acquired in game? Drops? Dungeons? Vendors? Crafted?
  3. Doc, work with me here. Instead of flat out decrying anything I say as fallacious, how about some useful feed back. Also, disagreeing with something doesn't make it fallacious, it means that you don't share another person's opinion. And finally, nothing in your post details in anyway how a single thing I've put forth is fallacious. Your entire post is counter to healthy discussion and makes no valid points. You may have valid points and I want to hear them. So please detail how, from a game play mechanics perspective a Discipline system as is postulated by the devs and using Shadowbane as a model, makes for an easily balanced class and combat system. If you don't want to take the time to do that, nothing you say is valid as your not participating in a logical discussion of currently presented facts.
  4. Yeah, its a long post covering a number of aspects to the Discipline issue, sorry if it isn't entirely clear in intent. Introducing mines and logging and hell, even farmland would keep the zones populated and part of a larger conflict that relied on small skirmishes being fought over them. Not enough rice? Welp, looks like you don't have the resources to open a portal to travel to another world, try again next week! But my biggest issue is class balance on a small scale. Even GW2 keeps their balance very clean(not perfect, but easily tuned) for WvWvW because they know that enough high power Rangers stacked on one side can spike down a Keep's defenders.
  5. I'll agree with you that no discipline ever affected the outcome of a siege, but they did effect the outcome of numerous skirmishes. And you didn't Bane a Tree every day you played, but you most likely had a skirmish over a resource everyday. As for the PvP over disciplines, while that was a key aspect of Shadowbane's play, I feel it is a very outdated model for character progression and that doing away with it would make the game more enjoyable and far more balanced.
  6. Normally, I don't post any questions directly to dev's as: A) I'm not designing this game the vision for this game is theirs, not mine and as such I chose to play the game or not, making my voice heard with my money. However, this is a PvP game and class balance is exceedingly important to how a player feels as they play their class against another. As anyone who played Shadowbane while it was live can attest, outside of Banes the vast majority of combat was small skirmishes, where class imbalance could be easily seen. This can leave a player feeling dissatisfied even if they're victorious in that particular encounter. Now, a caveat for anyone who is about to it is too early to discuss class balance issues. You're right. However now is the time to class class balance mechanics and game systems. Frankly I love the rune system and the Discipline system from a character design perspective. But, to be perfectly frank, the Discipline system makes it impossible to balance classes in a game, and that is a completely untenable situation for a PvP game. Disciplines add new, unintended mechanics to classes and races, or allow mechanics that were intended to have negative costs for the player, to be easily added(I'm looking at you, dual-wielding Half-Giant Barbarian Chainsaws, and Bladeweaver Priests) with little negative cost. New and more powerful class/Discipline combinations become mandatory in PvP game as us PvP'ers are min/max'ers. Every last ounce of performance must be ripped from the still beating heart of a new game when it is launched in order to ensure that other players do not win. These combinations are numerous and most likely untestable without a large scale environment to test them in. This is the problem that Shadowbane had, it was up to the community to break the game and deal with the consequences. Yes there are ways to mitigate the situation and Shadowbane did those: Rarity: the Discipline runes must be dropped from random locations and random mobs and must not be exceedingly common to make their effect on the balance environment minimized. The problem here is quite simply that when a better way to build any class is available, it must be available to the entire community to make PvP balanced. This will alternatively lead to data mined information being turned into a wiki and those drop locations and mobs will be farmed and camped and the largest guilds with the most dedicated leveling groups will control those environments, subsequently cornering the market on game play mechanics. This is simply unacceptable as it removes elements of the game from the hands of other players. Limitations: The Discipline runes must be limited to class, race, specialization, stat minimum values and even gender in order to keep some classes from taking the "obvious" choice. Classes must also be limited to the number of Disciplines they can apply. This is all well and good and it has some effect on keeping the classes from becoming too out of hand. However the player community, through collective intelligence, is far better than any development team at finding and exploiting unintended loopholes in a balance schema. This leads to a defective class balance at launch and a nerf/buff cycle of development that gaming communities despise. It also leads directly to the next issue... Power differential: Not all Disciplines are created equal. Not all Disciplines will have any notable value to certain classes. This eliminates the excitement of finding a Discipline rune, and will eat up RNG in the loot drop table.The real kicker though, is that it is only mitigation of the detrimental effects that altering some of the core game play of a class has on game balance. I understand, it isn't my game to develop and this community doesn't have all of the answers to all of the pertinent questions. Indeed, the development team may not have all of the relevant questions even figured out yet. But given that one of the, in my opinion, largest weaknesses in the games core balance will be Discipline system now is the time to bring up concerns and potential solutions. All character options must be available to all players in a PvP game as options are power. To achieve that, here are some ideas. Dungeon or Faction Locked: Make Disciplines easily accessible by locking them behind some form of farm-able reputation or in a repeatable dungeon environment. Want to be a Bounty Hunter? Go kill 3000 players who aren't part of your faction. Want to be a Bladeweaver? Prove your worth by undergoing the "training", a single player dungeon that the player must complete that rewards the Discipline Rune at the end. Make them Common world drops: Make them so common that they have almost no value within the player economy to avoid hoarding and price gouging, either though high drop rates or though their ability to be purchased at a vendor with a low cost. Any more ideas are absolutely welcome, as I think the developers need to seriously consider the potential imbalance of Discipline system and ways to mitigate it.
  7. Again, rampant speculation here as it always is in the early days of a game. Shadowbane's full inventory loot system functioned rather well to keep gear rotating out of the economy. I remember always keep 2-3 extra pieces of gear in my inventory(early game) just for the sake of replacing anything that broke while I was out and about. Very rarely, if ever, did I ever think, "Welp. I've got my awesome sword of awesome, I'll never have to replace that!" There was always the threat of every piece of gear being broke and unable to be repaired. In UO I was never without gear to level with because there were always player vendors in or near town as well as NPC vendors to buy basic gear from. I'd be willing to be that there will be death damage, use wear and low durability in general on gear, if not full loot in this game.
  8. So what I think they're looking at, server technology wise, is similar to what is happening with GuildWars 2. Its quite easy for any character to move to another world that is hosted on a different server with their system. Sure GW2 has an instanced area system on each server, but character data is easily transferable from server to server. So the proposal is quite simply, to go to the portal to the world you want to travel to or to choose that location from a drop down menu and poof, the data for your character is transmitted to the new server and you instanced in. Sure it is all dependent on their actual technology, but the tech to do it is available. As for my opinion on this, I'm stupidly excited if they can get this off the ground. One of the things that killed Shadowbane was the ability of one group to physically control an entire server. I was with DHL when we basically took over our server within a few months of launch. Sure, we did it before people really knew the game and we did it through mostly political/monetary means(someone no doubt duped gold/items), but we did it and our server basically died. The game became boring and people stopped playing because they didn't want to roll toons on another server. Imagine this same scenario with cross server warfare and trade. Controlling an entire server will be difficult if not impossible, and if it does occur, people can transfer to another server group with another guild and attack the guild that controls the server.
  9. Soulein, if I came across as condescending in my post, my sincere apologies. I was writing for a larger audience that may be new to not just this game but ShadowBane, Wolfpack and SBG in total, so that they may understand some of the history that this team has to work with and may draw from for a new game. Personally I like the idea of yet another 3 faction system. I'm a VERY social gamer and look forward not to just new content, but to new people and personalities and new levels of player skill for the sake of competition and camaraderie. I guess I perceive it as normal: when a group of English bowmen were led to France, the chance that they even lived in the same village as the guy nocking an arrow next to them was quite low, and in MMO's where it could be any number of millions of people I expect the same. I really do think the Valkyn would be at the top of some sort of top seat. Ozzie Mozzie brings up a brilliant point, the central line of crests apart from the rat and the Valkyn could be easily perceived as crafting related. I don't know that I agree entirely as the rat, the antlers and the tree could also be related to numerous other things as well, but it is still a very insightful perspective for further discussion.
  10. Soulein that is a very good observation, but sadly, I'm not sure that is entirely what is going on. Heres my two cents: The heraldry here is all very reminiscent of the faction holds in Shadowbane. Shadowbane itself had a very complex and long lore that all begins with the Age of Kings. More on this later. Now, I'm going kind of off the rails... One of the biggest problems with SB was the class balance. It was nearly non-existent in the earliest days of the game and the stats percentage system, combined with the racial stats system, multiplied by intelligence stacking and then further multiplied by the discipline system left the game nearly impossible to balance even in the long run. Int based Templars, anyone? Blade Weaver Priests? Throwing Wererat Thieves? Sure they were FoTM, but their strength usually stuck around even if the numbers playing them dropped. Furthermore, having full open world PvP was awesome, but it is also the best way to kill a perfectly successful game(SB and Darkfall come to mind). The best way to alleviate this issue is a faction system, particularly a three part system as seen in DAoC, an exceedingly successful game chock full of PvP, that also allowed players to have their PvE if they wanted it as well. These are elements that are necessary to subscriber numbers/cash shop sales(read as: Popularity), and in the long run financial success of an MMO. Which, lets be honest, while I have complete faith that this team truly wants to make a great game, financial success is mandatory to its longevity. Back to speculation: My rampant speculation is that this is a three faction pvp chart showing the base specs of 4 classes, built around the royal houses of the Age of Kings prior to the beginning of Shadowbane. These three factions are vying for a top spot, represented by the Valkyn. The faction with the most reputation/success/valor(etc) at a particular time will have an element of political control over the server becoming the "Valkyn." They could also take another page out of DAoC's book and have it open up a specific PvE zone for those in control. I'm probably just as wrong as everyone else, but speculation is its own reward.
  11. To add to agelmar's statements, the SB team historically had no problems with making required adjustments. The beta iterations and post-release changes came in quickly and at that time there was very little discussion about the changes. If it broke an intended gameplay mechanic it was fixed. I personally didn't participate in the later stages, the more democratic development process, but it seems as though it was quite effective from talking with friends who stuck with SB.
  12. I shouldn't, but I couldn't resit. Here goes: Gaius and Hithere have the right of it. This is a class system associated with gods split between 3 factions with some of the representations possibly indicating direct class/archetype counters. There are 3 lines of crests each with 4 crests in each. The two on the far ends are aligned with either a sun or a moon and the icons represented tend towards polar opposites or traditional rivalries. The squid vs a parched and withered tree, eagle vs snake, griffin(Tuetonic) vs Wolf(Norse). The central column are representatives of things that may be opposites or counters to those same things. The eagle vs the rat vs the snake, griffin vs time vs wolf(a traditional Ozymandian reference: ie time will destroy all kingdoms), etc. There's also a fun one in the unicorn vs tree vs spider. Traditionally unicorns are associate with French lore(Arthurian), the home of the Celts(the world tree itself) and Mordred(Arthurs son) is sometimes considered a were-spider or associated with spiders. The whole representation is full of minor references to various historic lore mythology and name choices(Cybelle, Kane, Orion, Arkyn, etc) that may or may not have been chosen to indicate what the class associated may or may not do. Anyway, I'm sure I'll be back later to speculate on this, because HOLY $* SHADOWBANE.
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