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Founders' Update: Defining "pre-alpha" - Official discussion thread

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As someone who has worked on both sides of the customer service fence, with software development and aquisition, and as a gamer (for nearly three decades) I have been EXTREMELY impressed by your development model, its maturity, and the methods and means you all have employeed. Crowfall may not be the game I always imagined it to be, but I am very confident (and appreciative) based on how things have been handled so far, that it will be a game I thoroughly enjoy playing.

Edited by Vyke

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You can do this in the game right now, actually!  You can use the mouse wheel to zoom your camera into your avatar's head and approximates an FPS view.  

 

As soon as you can get into the game, try it.  Play a match and let me know what you think.

 

spoiler alert: it's not remotely playable.  to make it playable, we would have to fix a ton of stuff.  and "fix a ton of stuff" = time.  and time = cost.

 

this bears repeating:

 

if something seems "like common sense" to you, and yet we're not addressing it, you might want to pause and consider why that might be.  It could be that you're dramatically over-simplifying the cost (and splash damage) it would incur.  It could be that you're assuming something as 'obvious fact' that is actually just your opinion.   

 

Todd

ACE

Yeah, it makes perfect sense that artcrafts primary goal should be finishing the main game and making sure it runs well, secondary stuff such as controls, views, camera , balancing etc can always be handled later. In fact they should be handled later. I would rather have a game with bad controls rather than having an grey-arena with good controls.

And by the looks of it archetypes are already well designed and combined with very-fun-to-use spells ,including combo system and synergy.

Edited by Eren

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You can do this in the game right now, actually!  You can use the mouse wheel to zoom your camera into your avatar's head and approximates an FPS view.  

 

As soon as you can get into the game, try it.  Play a match and let me know what you think.

 

spoiler alert: it's not remotely playable.  to make it playable, we would have to fix a ton of stuff.  and "fix a ton of stuff" = time.  and time = cost.

 

this bears repeating:

 

if something seems "like common sense" to you, and yet we're not addressing it, you might want to pause and consider why that might be.  It could be that you're dramatically over-simplifying the cost (and splash damage) it would incur.  It could be that you're assuming something as 'obvious fact' that is actually just your opinion.   

 

Todd

ACE

 

Combos don't even work in "FPS" mode, the UI is half disabled or not implemented.  Also the cross hair just moves around in some weird pre-defined upside down triangle pattern before you zoom all the way in.

 

I think what people are suggesting by "common sense" is the massive amount of both "positive suggestions" and "crying" about the movement on the 1.1 testing forums.

 

ALL of the polling and probably a fair estimate of dislikes for the movement are far above 60/40, probably closer to 70/30 in favor of a bad, burden, nonsensical, wonky and redudnant (to use common words from the posts) movement/camera/animation lock system.  I understand that's a smaller segment of your current testing population represented on the forums, but there is no other way to communicate testing feedback, aside from brief interactions with Tyrant in game.  There is a total lack of represented investigation (read:participation) on the testing forums.

 

I think everyone understands that, time = money.  We give you both.

Edited by facerip

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I'm not sure I've seen anyone talk about combat being too fast that has actually tested the game in depth.  The overwhelming majority have said it's too slow, and feels like driving a semi truck.  The response between combos has also been labeled as unresponsive or too slow.


[@--(o.O)@]

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I'm not sure I've seen anyone talk about combat being too fast that has actually tested the game in depth.  The overwhelming majority have said it's too slow, and feels like driving a semi truck.  The response between combos has also been labeled as unresponsive or too slow.

 

I concur. I do have some faith that the client side controller will make things feel much better so I'm hesitant to complain too much. 

 

However literally everyone I've talked to would like the animations/game speed to be a bit faster. I really hope they made one of those "knobs" for animation speed. It'd be nice to see what the what the game would feel like if everything were 30% faster or so, maybe that's too fast or still too slow but I'd love to see it experimented with for sure. 

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All so very good.  Still, my favorite part of this thread is this gem:

 

ince I'm in college learning about game design and animation, I have been sharing Artcrafts updates and videos with my classes (we are all super pumped for Crowfall).

 

Perhaps I'm reading into this too much.  Maybe Crowfall will be 'just a game', and this is just fandom.

 

But maybe this is a portent of something more.  I think Crowfall will be a landmark.  In the future, I think academics and professionals will use Crowfall as a case study in transparency and innovation.  Heck, if I find this enthralling, I suspect many others will, too.


Nazdar

Proud member of The Hunger

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Combos don't even work in "FPS" mode, the UI is half disabled or not implemented.  Also the cross hair just moves around in some weird pre-defined upside down triangle pattern before you zoom all the way in.

 

I think what people are suggesting by "common sense" is the massive amount of both "positive suggestions" and "crying" about the movement on the 1.1 testing forums.

 

ALL of the polling and probably a fair estimate of dislikes for the movement are far above 60/40, probably closer to 70/30 in favor of a bad, burden, nonsensical, wonky and redudnant (to use common words from the posts) movement/camera/animation lock system.  I understand that's a smaller segment of your current testing population represented on the forums, but there is no other way to communicate testing feedback, aside from brief interactions with Tyrant in game.  There is a total lack of represented investigation (read:participation) on the testing forums.

 

I think everyone understands that, time = money.  We give you both.

Movement has issues but its unclear what is causing the issues.

 

It doesn't feel like mass is implemented or if it is its barely turned on. Momentum just got tuned to a much better state in the last few days. I didn't care for the movement at all but as the controls get more stable its working better and I am not as focused on movement as positioning now. Last week I couldn't make it up the ramp in the keep with speed buffs up on the legionnaire without a lot of stop and go movement so I didn't fly off of the ramp. Now I can do it in one continuous motion.

 

While they may not publically address each testing thread I have noticed things that people have provided feedback on being fixed. Its pretty clear if you are looking for changes every time the client is patched you will find something that is being changed/fixed.


 

Rage Quit

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** FWIW, the opposite of this is true as well: if you want your opinion to be ignored, the best thing you can do is use a tone that is accusatory, sarcastic and disrespectful.  There is only so much time in the day. If someone can't respect me and my team, why should I waste even a moment worrying about their opinion?

 

But I didn't say anything yet...

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This is an excellent point: "some of the suggestions are common sense and should really be taken seriously."

 

Which ones, specifically? It's not as if there is ONE voice from the players, saying "XYZ is broken."  There are dozens and dozens of voices, and they all disagree.

 

For example, there have been many people sharing their concerns about the length of the animation locks being too long and tedious along with the movement associated with animation locks causing a very jerky stop and go pace to combat.  This to many adds an element of unfun.  I also want to clarify that from my post, I was not by any means accusing ACE of anything bad, I was just trying to convey that players often react and criticize the way they do (in a very dramatic manner at times) because there have been cases where past companies forcefully implemented bad features that crippled their games while being told not to by the players the whole way. 

 

 

A few builds back, mouse sensitivity was completely off.  Totally wonky.  THAT was one voice.  Fixing it was common sense.  and so we did, immediately.

 

 

 

"animation locks are bad"

"combat is too slow"

"combat is too fast"

"you need to add strafing"

"you need FPS controls"

 

...these changes are all expensive, interconnected (meaning they will break other things, it's not as simple as just 'hacking them into the game over a weekend'.) They are also all matters of play style and opinion.  As soon as we change one of the above, one group of players will applaud us, and another group will curse us because 'the system was better before and why are we wasting our time breaking it and catering to those complainers?!'

 

Well that is why I said it may sound arrogant when I made my point about "common sense"... because as a dev I can only imagine how tough it is to sift through suggestions...  Everyone thinks their ideas have merit, some are good some are not so good...  I also understand that making changes to games aren't simple and that changing one system can often influence many others. 

 

I forget which update it was but I remember you guys talking about developing the game and needing to be able to move on from things that don't work in a timely and efficient manner.  I guess that's just one of the challenges of a developer because you have to navigate through the player criticisms with some people loving and hating each decision, you have to manage the cost and impact of changing systems or choosing not to, and you have to do it efficiently when you are on a more modest budget. 

 

Does that mean we won't look at these ideas, and potentially change the game?  Of course not.  It doesn't mean that at all.  

 

I'll remind you that in the kickstarter video, the combat included telegraphs, ala wildstart.  Tons of telegraphs.  Damn place was sick with 'em.

 

We took the pulse of the players.  Some players liked telegraphs.  Many players hated them.  In the end, we didn't really like them either, so we made a call that we thought was right for the game, and we removed them.  We did the same thing with tab targeting.  Same thing with firehose healing.  (Same thing with...)

 

My point being: if something seems "like common sense" to you, and yet we're not addressing it, you might want to pause and consider why that might be.  It could be that you're dramatically over-simplifying the cost (and splash damage) it would incur.  It could be that you're assuming something as 'obvious fact' that is actually just your opinion.   (and no, having half a dozen of your guildies agree with you doesn't make it less of an opinion.)

 

Well yes we've already seen evidence that you guys and gals are willing to make changes for the better.  It's why a lot of us aren't terribly concerned for the future of this game because we still feel like it is in good hands. 

 

You are very right, sometimes people think an opinion is very obvious and true when it isn't, and I understand that even having the majority agree with you on something doesn't make it right. 

 

...or it COULD be that we've made a bad call, and we'll figure it out eventually and come around to your way of thinking.  

 

To me this just ties back into the philosophy shared about moving quickly and efficiently past ideas that aren't working. 

 

In that case, the best thing you can do is lay out your opinons and advise in a clear, concise (!!) way and let us aborb it, chew on it, and incorporate it.**  

 

As I said in my post: we can't make everyone happy.  On the plus side, we don't have to make everyone happy to make a great game.  so we're going to spend our time worrying about the latter.

 

Regards,

 

Todd

ACE

 

 

 

 

** FWIW, the opposite of this is true as well: if you want your opinion to be ignored, the best thing you can do is use a tone that is accusatory, sarcastic and disrespectful.  There is only so much time in the day. If someone can't respect me and my team, why should I waste even a moment worrying about their opinion?

Edited by VIKINGNAIL

Skeggold, Skalmold, Skildir ro Klofnir

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From my impressions so far the vast majority is unhappy with the combat so far.

I would say that almost all people here would say that they play(ed) other MMORPG where the combat is/was significantly more enjoyable and fun.

ACE stated that they think, that combat is one of the most critical points, that will determine the success of the game. And they know that they absolutely have to get that right, so that its enjoyable.

 

So when the major audience of this game states, that there is an issue with the combat, that isnt a bug or something that will improve or get fixed, but a game design decision, that will stay, then I would be wise to listen and think about that very intensive. And if I cant get up with reasoning, arguments and explanations why this feature/design decision is a good one and has to stay, or isnt worth of productive critism or consideration, then I maybe should become aware that this is a matter the later I take care of it, the more it will cost me. If I come to realize in 2 or 6 month that I should or even have to change or reconsider this, it will be much more difficult then early. And if I cant come up with arguments why this have to be like this and not different, thats already a major hint that this is one, if not the major issue with the game.

 

The vast majority of the customers expected a dynamic action-combat like in Guildwars 2 or Wildstar, and they still expect this. Thats how it was described at the kickstarter and until some month ago. Guildwars 2 got animation locks as well, but in a good way, when they are necessary and/or meaningful.

 

One guild per account?! Ok, I can deal with this, no problem. Of course it would be possible, to point one guild to each of your single characters, because if you wanna log in into the game and do something, you have to do so by selecting one of your characters first and then do stuff with this one, so everything you do while playing this single character gets contributed 50% to your guild and 50% to your account. In other games, such things are possible as well. Of course this adds a bit complexitiy to the game, but games are just simply complex products. MMO's even being very complex projects, always ongoing and evolving, never finished. Thats just what they are, simplyfy this as a whole and we play Pong and Pac Man on C64 again.

 

But as I said, no problem with "One guild per account". Because its not relevant, its not of high importance or deal breaking. Its not a critical point.

But this type of combat design decision, which isnt what was promised to us and/or what we are expecting, and makes the combat really feeling awkward and unappealing, is a very very major critical point the vast majority of the Crowfall Community has.

Its really not convincing, that this combat design will be fun for us. And as you said, its your major concern, that the combat got to be done right, that the combat got to be something that is enjoyable, because thats what we will do most of the time in Crowfall.

 

So please dont just argument that if we change this, then the other half of the community will come around and blame us, because we changed this.

Because A, I dont think that this is true or that this will come to happen.

And B, thats not argumenting about what is the point of discussion here.

So please give us argments, explanations and reasoning, why this combat design decision is how it is, in terms of animation locks.

You are extraordinary good at this, like I was to witness here in so many cases already that its stunning. I really lift my hat.

And because you are so good at this, if there was something worth, something of great value inside the substance of this decision, it would be easy for you to identify it and tell us. But if it should be hard for you to find something and explain it to you yourself, then thats already a major indication, that something is standing on weak feet.

We really love this game project as much as you do, and we have come to take a huge liking to the people at ACE and how they are doing things, so we wish for the well-being of Crowfall and ACE from the bottom of our souls.

So please excuse me, because I got a huge promising and outstanding game to test now.


After EverQuest Next is gone, its Star Citizen for me.

 

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Perhaps I'm reading into this too much.  Maybe Crowfall will be 'just a game', and this is just fandom.

 

But maybe this is a portent of something more.

 

I've never had a post of mine considered a "gem".  :D

 

Anyways, yeah, when I share Crowfall videos and content I always look for educational material or ways to relate their work to either my own or classmates'. The meet the animators video that came out a while back is a good example. I listed all of the principles of animation they mentioned or alluded to as a talking point to show others how important it is to understand them and that professionals are using what we are learning (also tagged my animation teacher in it too). It's also a good reminder that even the greatest of games and ideas will have a period of roughness (greyboxing and current combat testing are the start of the final system. It takes time to get there even if we have the vision of the final system in our heads). Crowfall has also been a useful tool to say, "Look at their Kickstarter. What did they do right? Why were they successful? How do you share your idea to get others interested in it?" and to then say now look what they are doing now and look at how they deal with issues or criticism.

 

I think Artcraft has been superb in their actions and decisions, and has been a great learning tool for myself and for my classmates. (And I build my guild/kingdom at the same time. It's a win:win  :P ) That's not to say they are perfect (sorry). I have had issues and glitches that need to be changed, but anytime I have had an issue they have been the utmost respectful and helpful. But it's also a two way street; I try to give as much detail and constructive comments as possible if something happens, and even attempt to find solutions myself as well (should it exist outside of the game like with the patcher client).

Edited by FrostSword

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I actually like the feel of combat a lot! Lag can make it difficult but that is to be expected, I think. Maybe animation locks could be shorter, but again it's hard to comment when there is lag.

Edited by ferrydust

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@Urahara, I think you've misunderstood my point.  

 

We aren't "unwilling to change things because other people might not like the change." The point of that statement is: we aren't going to treat the feedback of any one player, or group of players, as sacrosanct.  This is not design-by-committee, we aren't going to make our decisions based on what seems most popular on the forums.  

 

We are going to take the feedback, internalize it, rationalize it against all the stuff that you guys don't know (cost and resources availablility and technical considerations) and use it to make the best decisions that we can.  

 

I think we've been pretty clear that our #1 priority right now continues to be movement and combat responsiveness.

 

Some elements of combat (like the decision to animation lock some powers) we feel strongly about.  Others (like like the fact that you can't steer while using these powers) are known issues on the 'list of stuff we haven't gotten to yet'. and some (like animation speed) we will experiment with, in due time -- after we have the new server-side movement system in place. Doing experiments like that now would be fruitless, when you have a major re-architecture coming down the pipe.  

 

Todd

ACE


J Todd Coleman

ArtCraft Entertainment, Inc.

Follow us on Twitter @CrowfallGame | Like us on Facebook

[Rules of Conduct]

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From my impressions so far the vast majority is unhappy with the combat so far.

I would say that almost all people here would say that they play(ed) other MMORPG where the combat is/was significantly more enjoyable and fun.

ACE stated that they think, that combat is one of the most critical points, that will determine the success of the game. And they know that they absolutely have to get that right, so that its enjoyable.

 

So when the major audience of this game states, that there is an issue with the combat, that isnt a bug or something that will improve or get fixed, but a game design decision, that will stay, then I would be wise to listen and think about that very intensive. And if I cant get up with reasoning, arguments and explanations why this feature/design decision is a good one and has to stay, or isnt worth of productive critism or consideration, then I maybe should become aware that this is a matter the later I take care of it, the more it will cost me. If I come to realize in 2 or 6 month that I should or even have to change or reconsider this, it will be much more difficult then early. And if I cant come up with arguments why this have to be like this and not different, thats already a major hint that this is one, if not the major issue with the game.

 

 

Don't think that statement about the vast majority not liking the combat due to design choice's is very accurate. There are clear and known issue that are preventing the combat from being better or more enjoyable than it could be. Like the movement issues people are posting about the server/client side thing plus the getting stuck and having to hit ALT or w/e to move again issues, and the poor server performance many are experiencing to name a few.

 

So actually I think Most DO enjoy the combat from what I have seen its just the current technical issues/bugs are getting in the way.

Edited by pang

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It's good to understand that you can't please everyone....

 

I think people lay on the criticism and are a very hyperbolic at times but it is also understandable because there are so many games that have been in development, where the devs said they were listening to the players (that doesn't mean they have to cater to every suggestion) but just ignored certain advice because they were so sure that some of their ideas would work.

 

There's been a lot of debate with crowfall especially about movement, animation locks, camera... it may seem arrogant but some of the suggestions are pretty common sense and should really be taken seriously.  You don't really want a game where movement and camera work and combat are unfun or tedious, especially if the trade-off isn't very obvious. 

 

If things go according to schedule they should be adding the client-side controller soon, it will be interesting to see how much this changes the feel of the game for people...

 

I don't even come around here much but every time I do I see you driving up posts and it's so obviously bait. I think it's funny how the developers still fall for it even now @jtoddcoleman. I'm not sure if I should be congratulating you or questioning Artcraft's observational skills.

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I don't even come around here much but every time I do I see you driving up posts and it's so obviously bait. I think it's funny how the developers still fall for it even now @jtoddcoleman. I'm not sure if I should be congratulating you or questioning Artcraft's observational skills.

Thanks for your opinion but it's not "bait"...


Skeggold, Skalmold, Skildir ro Klofnir

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I don't think that's an accurate statement. I see a lot of people having fun in-game. It may just be that those who are dissatisfied are the most vocal.

 

 

People are having fun together.

 

 

Now take the combat. Turn it into a two hour siege of a castle.

 

 

Are you still having fun?

 

 

Now take that slow combat animations and try to successfully gank a caravan. Me and my brother have a lot of high hopes for this game. But we find it worrisome that people are content with this. I can't even grasp it. And he has no patience for turn based games and he's rather inelegantly exclaimed how frustrating that they're so slow that it's almost turn based.

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