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courant101

Design changes: possible impacts on "skill based, no grind"

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Many measures have been proposed by ACE to ensure that Crowfall becomes a skill based game with minimal grind.

 

No quest, shallow power curve, low focus on monsters, cosmetics cash shop, world reset, import rules, etc.

 

It was pretty great news for me because I like games with no grind and strong emphasis on player's skill.

 

Over the time of development, it seems to me that several safeguards were abandoned or modified.

 

Currency: from the initial barter-like system, it evolved into a standard currency that facilitate an easy flow of "value" between players. Coins drop from monsters and can be be exchanged for cash shop items, setting a floor value to coins.

 

Monsters: the purpose of those NPCs seems to have shifted from "increasing level of danger" to "may drop reagents", then "rarely drops coins", and now what I think is closer to "purchase parcels, install mob spawners in EK and collect safely resources". 

 

Bots: when bots go in campaigns to farm resources, players can PK their characters or prevent them from using factories. With the mob spawners in EK, I guess that bots can now do it safely in the comfort of their kingdom.

 

Stance on RMT: they have no plan to stop players from trading virtual items through third part commercial services

 

1 guild=1 account: those who want to play in multiple guilds or perform espionage may need to purchase more than one account

 

1 general training=1 account: those who want to play a great crafter while being competitive in PvP may need to purchase more accounts

 

Passive training: before the change, we were hinted that only 1 character could be used per campaign, so even with VIP passive training on 3 characters, it wasn't so much a gameplay advantage imo. Now if I'm correct our 3 archetypes with VIP training can be used in the same campaign. The advantage on gameplay is more noticeable. If we compare this to a MOBA (bad example, but you'll probably get my point), it would share similarities with a player who, during a match, would switch from Support to DPS to Tank, depending on the situation.

 

VIP tickets: can not be looted by other players on death, can be exchanged easily for in-game resources. Import restrictions help in some ways, but there are flaws. For example Players A and B are in a campaign with no import allowed. Player A gives 1,000 silver stacks to Player B, Players A & B move to EK, Player B gives a VIP token to Player A, he activates it and both return to CW. That's just one of the way to bypass restrictions I guess.

 

Vessels: before the change we had to repair our weapons when they decayed or quickly regear after getting some equipment looted. Basic gears would still allow players to be somewhat useful in PvP and wouldn't have taken time to find. Now with the vessels, it's another thing to take care about, on top of all the runes stuff we'll put in them. It adds grind time I guess, since we'll have to find the money to purchase the vessels. Or we'll have to rely on default vessels, but who wants to have crappy character stats.

 

So if I go back at what was proposed a year ago :

 

SeWRLfJ.png?1

 

I think we're far from that. Now it seems to me that not only SKILL determines if I win or lose, but how long I farm mobs to pay for my epic vessel, or how much money I put on VIP tickets to trade for in-game resources. And the grind, custard grind.

Edited by courant101

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When we got that combat update not so long ago about some of the changes they'll be making they definitely took a big step towards making player skill matter more... but in the end it will come down to the gritty details... will combat be fast-paced enough for skill to matter?  How will it flow? etc...

 

A lot of concern is always given to vertical progression and how it impacts pvp and how horizontal progression is the way to go... but the reality of it is those progression elements don't matter in the end, because competitive pvpers all know how to get past whatever progression system a game offers and will generally get on equal footing gearwise in the endgame pvp anyway...


Skeggold, Skalmold, Skildir ro Klofnir

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When we got that combat update not so long ago about some of the changes they'll be making they definitely took a big step towards making player skill matter more... but in the end it will come down to the gritty details... will combat be fast-paced enough for skill to matter?  How will it flow? etc...

 

A lot of concern is always given to vertical progression and how it impacts pvp and how horizontal progression is the way to go... but the reality of it is those progression elements don't matter in the end, because competitive pvpers all know how to get past whatever progression system a game offers and will generally get on equal footing gearwise in the endgame pvp anyway...

 

I agree that the rework of the combat may help to make players' skills matter more. I think it's not really related to what I wrote though, the OP being more about how money / grind seem to have a significantly bigger impact on gameplay now than before the changes (coin of the realm, December reveal, January EK FAQ update, account locked to one guild and general skill tree, etc.). Vertical progression isn't really an issue for me if the difference of power between two players don't become unreasonably big. My concern is about competitive advantages acquired with real money and PvE grind.

 

All I'm going to say is that I think you're making an awful lot of assumptions here, and I'd be willing to bet that a lot of them are wrong.

 

I think it's worth it to quote one of those assumptions you believe are wrong.

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I agree that the rework of the combat may help to make players' skills matter more. I think it's not really related to what I wrote though, the OP being more about how money / grind seem to have a significantly bigger impact on gameplay now than before the changes (coin of the realm, December reveal, January EK FAQ update, account locked to one guild and general skill tree, etc.). Vertical progression isn't really an issue for me if the difference of power between two players don't become unreasonably big. My concern is about competitive advantages acquired with real money and PvE grind.

 

 

I think it's worth it to quote one of those assumptions you believe are wrong.

But that's kinda the point i'm touching on with vertical progression... pve grinds are ultimately just vertical progression when you boil it down... people often like looking at progression based on power and gear and levels and such... but it's ultimately just time invested results in an advantage of what degree? 

 

The RMT stuff is a different can of worms... that particular one i haven't seen ACE address well so far.


Skeggold, Skalmold, Skildir ro Klofnir

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I think it's worth it to quote one of those assumptions you believe are wrong.

 

 

 

Currency: from the initial barter-like system, it evolved into a standard currency that facilitate an easy flow of "value" between players. Coins drop from monsters and can be be exchanged for cash shop items, setting a floor value to coins.

 

You can start by pointing out where it was said that coins would drop from mobs.

 

 

 

Monsters: the purpose of those NPCs seems to have shifted from "increasing level of danger" to "may drop reagents", then "rarely drops coins", and now what I think is closer to "purchase parcels, install mob spawners in EK and collect safely resources".
 
Bots: when bots go in campaigns to farm resources, players can PK their characters or prevent them from using factories. With the mob spawners in EK, I guess that bots can now do it safely in the comfort of their kingdom.

 

You're assuming that the amount of resources that can be farmed in an EK will be significant enough that players will want/need to farm them. For all we know, the amount you can farm will be just enough to pay your taxes, which will support the small percentage of players who only want to play in the EK. 

 

You're also assuming that bots will be an efficient way to farm mobs. Combat requires aiming and mobs aren't pushovers. What will the bot do if it agros 2 or 3 mobs? What will the bot do if it dies? How does it retrieve its vessel?

Edited by Arkade

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But that's kinda the point i'm touching on with vertical progression... pve grinds are ultimately just vertical progression when you boil it down... people often like looking at progression based on power and gear and levels and such... but it's ultimately just time invested results in an advantage of what degree? 

 

The RMT stuff is a different can of worms... that particular one i haven't seen ACE address well so far.

 

They may all be vertical progressions, but they're still very different. Active training, passive training, CW exports for winners, disciplines, promotions, etc. are some of the options I think are great to progress. While VIP tokens traded for resources, PvE grinding, vessel quality, safe EK resources gathering... aren't so great imo in a PvP oriented MMO.

 

Different can of worms for the RMT I agree. Since they have no intention to stop certain commercial services to trade virtual goods, it's a bit depressing. 

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Different can of worms for the RMT I agree. Since they have no intention to stop certain commercial services to trade virtual goods, it's a bit depressing.

 

Disappointing, yes, but I feel the reality is it's not an easy thing to fight. Personally I saw Blizzard's switch from boycotting it in WoW to allowing it built into Diablo 3 shows that even a large company has trouble trying to fight it. Unfortunately, imho, as a smaller studio has to balance the man-power and monetary resources they have vs real money economies. If we see it become a large problem I wouldn't doubt that their stance may change, but as of now, I just think it's not going to be easy to divert resources towards RMT.


"Through the travail of ages, midst the pomp and toils of war, have I fought and strove and perished, countless times among the stars.
As if through a glass and darkly, the age old strife I see, when I fought in many guises and many names, but always me."

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You can start by pointing out where it was said that coins would drop from mobs.

 

Coins in monsters: http://crowfall.com/en/news/coin-of-the-realm/

Details on coins: http://community.crowfall.com/index.php?/topic/6760-cc-weekly-discussionpoll-coins/?p=177123

 

 

You're assuming that the amount of resources that can be farmed in an EK will be significant enough that players will want/need to farm them. For all we know, the amount you can farm will be just enough to pay your taxes, which will support the small percentage of players who only want to play in the EK.

 

A few hints about what is planned for PvE farming:

 

"NPC spawners will also have some additional default rules based on the power of the NPC it spawns. For example: a spawner that spawns an “elite” version of the NPC might have a very long respawn time."

 

"Beyond the fact that it’s cool, it’s also a way to generate resources."

 

"No, but a game economy isn’t just driven by the top-end items. Big ticket items get all the press, but the pulse of a player-run economy is really in the high traffic flow of goods. Since everything in the game decays (nothing lasts forever!) we expect continual demand across all tiers of crafted goods."

 

"Spawners will also generate a radius of “no build” around them so a player couldn’t build parcels with a straight line of spawners. There will also be a global parcel limit to the amount of NPC/resource spawners that can be placed within a given parcel. (Even though there may be room for 50 spawners on a given parcel, the cap might be set to 10.)"

 

"Couldn't I just buy more parcels to get around the cap? Sure, if you are willing to buy them, acquire the spawners, place them, do all the legwork of running back and forth to harvest by hand and pay the taxes; otherwise the parcel becomes inactive, meaning the spawners will turn off."

 

http://crowfall.com/en/faq/parcelbuilder/

 

I expect the taxes to not really be a problem for someone who either purchase cash shop tax-free parcels, farm a lot, trade or do other activities that generate coins.

 

 

You're also assuming that bots will be an efficient way to farm mobs. Combat requires aiming and mobs aren't pushovers. What will the bot do if it agros 2 or 3 mobs? What will the bot do if it dies? How does it retrieve its vessel?

 

It all depends on how the combat works, the technical limitations of bots, the difficulty to loot items from dead mobs, etc. It doesn't seem unreasonable to me that some people achieve to create farm bots efficient enough that it's worth using them. Not much to lose anyway, if it works they'll probably be able to do that in their private kingdoms, without players even able to report them.

Edited by courant101

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When we got that combat update not so long ago about some of the changes they'll be making they definitely took a big step towards making player skill matter more... but in the end it will come down to the gritty details... will combat be fast-paced enough for skill to matter?  How will it flow? etc...

...

 

I think it is worth pointing out that "skill" should not be limited to combat and that skill should always be trumped by functional, enjoyable gameplay.  You can create the most difficult, competitive game in the world to master, but if it is not fun for the majority of the audience, it will fail.  Even those who are dedicated to PvP may enjoy doing something else from time to time (though they would hardly admit it on these boards).  An additional level of complexity that results from a bit more grindy gameplay, as long as it is kept in check so as not to become the primary way to play the game, will simply allow for variety and extend the game's appeal to a larger audience.     


The Artist Formerly Known as Regulus

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Disappointing, yes, but I feel the reality is it's not an easy thing to fight. Personally I saw Blizzard's switch from boycotting it in WoW to allowing it built into Diablo 3 shows that even a large company has trouble trying to fight it. Unfortunately, imho, as a smaller studio has to balance the man-power and monetary resources they have vs real money economies. If we see it become a large problem I wouldn't doubt that their stance may change, but as of now, I just think it's not going to be easy to divert resources towards RMT.

 

I agree that it's not an easy fight. I'm not aware of any MMO game that completely solve the issue, without taking extreme measures like disabling completely the player to player trading (Black Desert). There are certainly less draconian ways a game can be designed to prevent a big part of the RMT (both legal via Cash Shop / 3rd party and illegal) but the restrictions may become as problematic as the RMT itself. Closing the eyes completely on the issue, or working hand by hand with 3rd party RMT I think is not the right way to do it. There are companies which actively fight any kind of exploits and, even though it requires more resources, I think it's what should still be done.

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It all depends on how the combat works, the technical limitations of bots, the difficulty to loot items from dead mobs, etc. It doesn't seem unreasonable to me that some people achieve to create farm bots efficient enough that it's worth using them. Not much to lose anyway, if it works they'll probably be able to do that in their private kingdoms, without players even able to report them.

 

You don't think that the game might be able to monitor player activity to spot botters? 

 

Again, until we see how much can be gained from farming EKs, it's all just conjecture.

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You don't think that the game might be able to monitor player activity to spot botters? 

 

Again, until we see how much can be gained from farming EKs, it's all just conjecture.

 

If ACE spends enough time and resources to fight this kind of exploit and if their expertise/technology allows it, yes.

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RMT is practically non-existent in Tera, know why?  You can't bot that game.  Best they can do is bot resource gathering because the AI required with aim-based combat and to react correctly to enemy attacks would be far from worth it.  Tack on how the game's gearing works and it's not worth it.  Crowfall has plenty of opportunity to achieve the same deterrents.  The resources available in EKs are limited to, at best, a common and rather standard level of material for gear, a way to keep things stocked so people have the essentials they need before they go into a campaign world for the "real" resources to take back for another campaign.  I don't think players would appreciate high import campaigns that much if you have nothing you can import, or if you can't reasonably quickly recover from a bad loss to a standard functionality.

 

I think you're overly worried over a lot of stuff that is relying heavily on assumption rather than substance.

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RMT is practically non-existent in Tera, know why?  You can't bot that game.  Best they can do is bot resource gathering because the AI required with aim-based combat and to react correctly to enemy attacks would be far from worth it.  Tack on how the game's gearing works and it's not worth it.  Crowfall has plenty of opportunity to achieve the same deterrents.  The resources available in EKs are limited to, at best, a common and rather standard level of material for gear, a way to keep things stocked so people have the essentials they need before they go into a campaign world for the "real" resources to take back for another campaign.  I don't think players would appreciate high import campaigns that much if you have nothing you can import, or if you can't reasonably quickly recover from a bad loss to a standard functionality.

 

TERA combat is different than what we've in Crowfall though, and the budget of development too. TERA combat is a lot more mobile and the reflexes of the players are required to react to attacks, from what I've seen. I doubt the deterrents that exist in this game could be used in CF.

 

giphy.gif   giphy.gif

 

 

I think you're overly worried over a lot of stuff that is relying heavily on assumption rather than substance.

 

I'm curious to know which concerns I've mentioned seem to be lacking substance.

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There's a cap on the quality of resource you can get from the EK. So no grinding safely in your EK won't get you very far. Acquiring "epic" lvl vessels and gear while still require playing in the CWs.

 

Also, you're using comparison of finished games to CF which is still in Alpha. As with that last topic you did that with its not a fair or logical argument.

Edited by pang

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There's a cap on the quality of resource you can get from the EK. So no grinding safely in your EK won't get you very far. Acquiring "epic" lvl vessels and gear while require playing in the CWs.

 

A cap to the quality doesn't give much information on the quantity and the value that can be collected. For example, in real life, the price of a ton of copper is pretty low compared to a ton of silver or gold, but companies usually still manage to make a profit out of copper extraction.

 

As far as I know, players won't be required to visit the campaigns to acquire the best vessels, they can obtain them in the EK by trading with other players.

 

 

Also, you're using comparison of finished games to CF which is still in Alpha. As with that last topic you did that with its not a fair or logical argument.

 

If I'm correct Crowfall is still in Pre-alpha, and the comparison is based on the general direction of the combat so far in Crowfall. I'm not aware that the devs discussed making PvE mechanics anything close to TERA.

Edited by courant101

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...

 

As far as I know, players won't be required to visit the campaigns to acquire the best vessels, they can obtain them in the EK by trading with other players.

 

...

 

Yes, and as it should be.  Otherwise, there is only a single avenue for progression through the game and that in itself is problematic.  Also, who needs the best anything when you are fighting in The Dregs?  You don't need EKs, gear, resources, Vessels, etc. 


The Artist Formerly Known as Regulus

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Yes, and as it should be.  Otherwise, there is only a single avenue for progression through the game and that in itself is problematic.  Also, who needs the best anything when you are fighting in The Dregs?  You don't need EKs, gear, resources, Vessels, etc. 

 

I agree, the more player to player interactions there are in-game, including trading, the better it is imo. 

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