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Fly on the Wall: Harvesting - Official discussion thread

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Excellent point and I think they might eventually use the seasons to balance out the usefulness of certain alloys over others. Critical alloys might be more in demand in the summer when base mana regen stats are higher, while mana regen alloys are more useful in the dead of winter when base mana regen is at a crawl. But it will just depend on how the seasons affect stats.

 

Here is to hoping since Mana regin in almost any other game is a stat people don't care about. If your mana decays a lot more during say winter and either forces you to bring extra mana pots or equipment weapons/armor will passives that counter the mana decay it would be a good thing IMO

Edited by YouTubejasonwivart

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There's a huge pitfall here I don't hear anyone discussing.  It's great that alloys give different stats, but the demand will inevitably be imbalanced between desirable stats.  Everyone will care about Crit.  Nobody will care about Mana Regen.  There will be a huge variety of alloy bonuses and only a small handful that anyone cares about.  The materials used for useless alloys will also become useless.

That is a great point.

 

I can see this happening in the development room in almost every game "Hey lets make a stat for mana regen appear on items, lets make a stat for stamina regen appear on items, lets make a stat for everything that can appear on ALL ITEMS". So then you have 99% of items that are completely useless so you grind out for that 1% that has a stat you care about, then you grind out the 1% that stat that is a large amount. Thus we have dungeon crawler item drops.

 

How do you make mana regen or stamina regen or 'rage' resource regen important? Or even health for that matter!

 

Like pick any MMORPG, like rift, vanila WoW( i say vanilla because i am not familiar with the newer expansions). Max health/max mana and the regeneration of these were almost completely useless out of a per-encounter basis. Even pvp once the 'pvp' skill was introduced you almost exclusively focused on that to make all other skills useless. They even introduced a 'PVE' skill that you needed on tanks. Like you would focus on MAYBE 2 attribute stats and then a non-attribute stat, like spell power or attack power or crit/crit amount. All others were useless. Who cared about a mana pool.

 

Anyone remember how deathly important stamina was in shadowbane? Even MOVING drained stamina, if you wanted to move a army a large distance you had to not only take short breaks where everyone just sat down to regain stamina but you needed those stamina regen buffs. Like, there were character alts that their sole purpose was to assist in the movement of a group via training of these buffs. Of course group transportation spells sort of countered the need for this, but also the enemy would have scouts ready to kill these people so they couldn't bring in a large amount of people like this.

 

But lets not get carried away, back to topic. You have to make this stuff matter. If you focus ALL your gear, ALL your training in to crit/damage(to a point you hit a 'theory max' of diminishing returns) you may be able to kill a person in 3-4 combo hits(maybe even less). But then you should be able to do nothing further beside try and out run his friend.

 

I think honestly that should be doable, if you focus all skills, all runes, all gear stats in to doing something like killing a single person quick you should be able to do it. BUT. If you MISS, if you kill the person and their buddy is standing right there you should be in dire straights. You should have zero  rage resources/stamina left. And it should be a long way in coming, you have to manage your gear/skills to find a balance in regeneration to damage. But hey, maybe you want to be a glass cannon. But buddy, that is literally what you will be.

 

I am hoping the reason why current resources regenerate so quickly and the cooldowns on abilities are so low right now is because skills and stats from gear are not in place. And they will adjust the base way down when they are put in place.

 

Stats on gear and skills  that effect resources(this includes health)  has to not only increase a EXTREMELY slow base regeneration but to increase a LOW max-base pool. You have to make it worth investing by making the base of everything lousy. If you dont increase the max mana pool or regeneration or both then you should basically run around able to do nothing after few moments of actions. 

 

Like if i were to look at the skill paths from another games point of view i can see 95% of the games population completely ignoring at lest half the skill routes, mainly the ones that follow regen/stat increase.

 

TLDR;

 

I would see it as this; your base sucks so much you NEED to skill up or find items to increase the max and/or regen. Then you reach a tipping point that extra max mana/rage or regen is not needed then you naturally build in to damage and find a balance so you can still do damage but dont run out of resources too quickly. I think in this aiming system this should be how they target it. First you start off naked with no skills trained only able to fire off 5 skills before depleted, the most efficient use of skills would be to first train max and regen to be able to fire off 15-25 before you try and make each of those more damaging because if you miss 40%, more is better then how hard you hit.

Edited by Vectious

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It's nice to see that they're going through the potential problem areas (overabundance of low tier and low quality resources, will harvesting be too boring).  They can iterate on the system during testing to alleviate issues we find.

 

I think it's very hard for the existing playerbase to know how appealing the crafting / harvesting side of things is going to be.  Current pre-alpha testing is combat all the time.  So only people whose focus is combat are testing and speaking up.

 

Harvesting is going to be mostly boring for me.  But the fights involved with protecting harvesters and disrupting other guilds' harvesters will be excellent.   And having the resources to equip my character and provide spare equipment when mine breaks / drops on death is important enough to me that I'll be out there with our harvest group regularly.

 

Getting the system into CW testing along with crafting is pretty critical at this point.  Let us beat on the system, see what breaks, fix it.  

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I don't think they intend for it to be an alternative playstyle as much as they acknowledge that for some people it will be. They are not asking people to decide between being a harvester/crafter or a PvPer. They are saying "if you want to focus on one of those things, that should at least be possible."

and by making it a group activity it makes it those who do focus more on harvesting/crafting then combat won't feel gimped or like second class citizens because the combat focused players will have a vested interest in protecting them. Not just from needing those resources to make gear but also as a source of content for their more combat focused playstyle. Seems like a pretty mutually beneficial system.

Edited by pang

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1) When alloying a metal or combining another resources types, are the quality levels of the product an average or do they take on the higher of the two. This is an important factor in balancing the surplus of low tier resources as well. If you average them (like in SWG), players will intentionally NOT combine them because they will lose value. I can understand the low tier resources having a built in sink with things like walls needing thousands of stone etc but, that doesn't necessarily apply to different stone types unless all stone types are equally easy to acquire. Also, if each resources type effects an item in a different way, players will min/max the outcome over using what they have available. Any crafter worth a damn isn't going to just randomly slot metals and try to sell an un-optimized weapon on the market.

 

2) My problem with the system so far is 2-fold.

    -The first problem is that you're deciding ahead of time what makes the game interesting for people. The idea of forcing groups for harvesters by creating a gating mechanic (nodes that are impossible to harvest alone) or designing an entire skill tree around requiring a group (leadership) limits the potential interactions that you will have over the course of playing the game. It is the crafting equivalent of requiring players to run an instanced dungeon to find a particular kind of resource. Yes, instanced dungeons can be fun if you have an easy way to find group members and everybody has the same goal but, now you're forcing people who don't care about dungeons to put up with them because there's something that they need inside. In the harvesting info drop, they noted that even in the highest difficulty band, you have a 0% chance of getting a legendary quality resource unless you're in a group with a person who has leadership buffs. What that means, is that the people who care about reaching the pinnacle of harvesting are required to either train leadership themselves or find another person who has it who is willing to let them take the rare drops. You're basically saying that, in order to reach the top tier of this activity, you must be socially extroverted and have the ability to make people like you.

    - The second issue I have with the system is something McTan touched on above. Players that enjoy harvesting do not necessarily enjoy pvp. The pvp aspect of this type of activity has always been from emergent gameplay. In Ultima Online, you would venture outside of the town guard area to get to the mining area and because it was an area of high value for PK'ers you had to be careful when you went out BUT, it wasn't a part of the game system, it was a players choice. It's one thing to have a random chance of encounter and another to force it with mechanics like "Motherload" nodes that become beacons to surrounding players. This feels more like a way to drive pvp encounters than a way to spice up the harvesting system. It feels different than the idea of POI's which spawn dynamically but, are permanent for the duration of the world. What about instead of making the nodes beacons, you make it a tracking skill to find those kinds of nodes? This is an active choice instead of a forced mechanic.

 

3) I'm a huge fan of the concept of a player driven economy and I think that player interdependence is an important feature for the strength of a community but, as stated above, I'm not a fan of creating hard dependencies in a sandbox environment. Sure, you need a group of people if you want to siege a castle because that makes sense but, it seems silly that you'd need a group of people to chop down a tree. Will this system spill over into other crafting like skills such as farming? Am I going to have to get a buddy to help me pull a carrot out of the ground if it happens to be a VERY difficult carrot? I sense a meme incoming "Very Difficult Carrot" TM

 

I'd like to apologize if any of that came off unintentionally rude, harvesting and crafting is obviously the system that I care most about. In general, I think the system in it's current form will be very successful but, I'm just playing devil's advocate here. I'd like to see a full design break-down at some point.

Edited by IdeaMatrix

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1) When alloying a metal or combining another resources types, are the quality levels of the product an average or do they take on the higher of the two. This is an important factor in balancing the surplus of low tier resources as well. If you average them (like in SWG), players will intentionally NOT combine them because they will lose value. I can understand the low tier resources having a build in sink with things like walls needing thousands of stone etc but, that doesn't necessarily apply to different stone types unless all stone types are equally easy to acquire. Also, if each resources type effects an item in a different way, players will min/max the outcome over using what they have available. Any crafter worth a damn isn't going to just randomly slot metals and try to sell an un-optimized weapon on the market.

 

2) My problem with the system so far is 2-fold.

    -The first problem is that you're deciding ahead of time what makes the game interesting for people. The idea of forcing groups for harvesters by creating a gating mechanic (nodes that are impossible to harvest alone) or designing an entire skill tree around requiring a group (leadership) limits the potential interactions that you will have over the course of playing the game. It is the crafting equivalent of requiring players to run an instanced dungeon to find a particular kind of resource. Yes, instanced dungeons can be fun if you have an easy way to find group members and everybody has the same goal but, now you're forcing people who don't care about dungeons to put up with them because there's something that they need inside. In the harvesting info drop, they even noted that even in the highest difficulty band, you have a 0% chance of getting a legendary quality resource unless you're in a group with a person who has leadership buffs. What that means, is that the people who care about reaching the pinnacle of harvesting are required to either train leadership themselves or find another person who has it who is willing to let them take the rare drops. You're basically saying that, in order to reach the top tier of this activity, you must be socially extroverted and have the ability to make people like you.

    - The second issue I have with the system is something McTan touched on above. Players that enjoy harvesting do not necessarily enjoy pvp. The pvp aspect of this type of activity has always been from emergent gameplay. In Ultima Online, you would venture outside of the town guard area to get to the mining area and because it was an area of high value for PK'ers you had to be careful when you went out BUT, it wasn't a part of the game system, it was a players choice. It's one thing to have a random chance of encounter and another to force it with mechanics like "Motherload" nodes that become beacons to surrounding players. This feels more like a way to drive pvp encounters than a way to spice up the harvesting system. It feels different than the idea of POI's which spawn dynamically but, are permanent for the duration of the world.

 

3) I'm a huge fan of the concept of a player driven economy and I think that player interdependence is an important feature for the strength of a community but, as stated above, I'm not a fan of creating hard dependencies in a sandbox environment. Sure, you need a group of people if you want to siege a castle because that makes sense but, it seems silly that you'd need a group of people to chop down a tree. Will this system spill over into other crafting like skills such as farming? Am I going to have to get a buddy to help me pull a carrot out of the ground if it happens to be a VERY difficult carrot? I sense a meme incoming "Very Difficult Carrot" TM

 

I'd like to apologize if any of that came off unintentionally rude, harvesting and crafting is obviously the system that I care most about. In general, I think the system in it's current form will be very successful but, I'm just playing devils advocate here. I'd like to see a full design break-down at some point.

This is one of my worries. The way that development is "forcing" people into a group for the sake of having a body near by.

 

I think it should be an advantage to team up. But NOT a requirement. They used slot machine as an example but its a flawed example, in their loot table only a level 5 has even a CHANCE to get a legendary drop. And it was stated to get to level 5 you HAVE to have a leader there.

 

But overall the system looks really great, at lest alot better then other games.


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Until the crafting is 'rolled out' it is difficult to judge how effective, enjoyable or complex the harvesting system will be.  The two game systems 'harvesting' and 'crafting' are different but they are very inter-dependent.

 

The only concern I have, at this stage, is how 'in practice' the low quality resource types will be used - will they just be used to dump into castle walls etc. or will they be more usefully used in high quality recipes.

 

I agree the system may be geared around the group effort but depending on how the resource nodes are distributed in the CW I think will make a difference to how they are gathered. Indeed different CW may have different distribution models.

Edited by Count_Dirkoff

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-The first problem is that you're deciding ahead of time what makes the game interesting for people. The idea of forcing groups for harvesters by creating a gating mechanic (nodes that are impossible to harvest alone) or designing an entire skill tree around requiring a group (leadership) limits the potential interactions that you will have over the course of playing the game. It is the crafting equivalent of requiring players to run an instanced dungeon to find a particular kind of resource. Yes, instanced dungeons can be fun if you have an easy way to find group members and everybody has the same goal but, now you're forcing people who don't care about dungeons to put up with them because there's something that they need inside. In the harvesting info drop, they noted that even in the highest difficulty band, you have a 0% chance of getting a legendary quality resource unless you're in a group with a person who has leadership buffs. What that means, is that the people who care about reaching the pinnacle of harvesting are required to either train leadership themselves or find another person who has it who is willing to let them take the rare drops. You're basically saying that, in order to reach the top tier of this activity, you must be socially extroverted and have the ability to make people like you.

 

In my opinion, nobody "needs" a Legendary drop. Sure, you may want one, but that is different.

 

If you really want Legendary Unobtanium, and it only drops from motherlodes that require groups to harvest, then you always have the option of buying the stuff from other players. Or kill someone and loot it from them.

 

I don't think ACE should try to design their systems so everything can be done by a solo player. In fact, I think catering to that mentality is one of the problems in today's MMOs.


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This is silly, MMORPGs are supposed to be interesting because of the social elements.  A solo player should never expect to see 100% of the content if they don't want to participate in the social aspects of the game. 

 

The whole point of crowfall is to make sure that you have some sort of reliance on other people to experience a lot of the game.  Can't take a castle by yourself. 


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I don't think ACE should try to design their systems so everything can be done by a solo player. In fact, I think catering to that mentality is one of the problems in today's MMOs.

 

I agree, this is one of the main principles of CF: "you are not supposed to be able to do everything". If you can do everything then there is no interaction between players - you become self-sufficient.


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What's on that whiteboard hue hue hue >:3

 

One thing I'm questioning is that: Why bring pack animals when you have friends? If you bring enough people, eventually, the number of people will have an equal amount, or more, than a pack animal. Of course those other peoples could bring pack animals themselves and increase the payload evermore.

 

But this brings me to my other point of contention: it is never wise to put all your stuff in the same place. Just because the pack pig can carry 100 items doesn't mean much if you can split it between 2 other friends. If the pack pig dies, all 100 items are lost, but if one of your friends die, you just lost 1/3 of your payload, but not all of it.

 

On the subject of useless alloys: All mats will have a place, IMO. Since I'm planning on playing Ranger, that Rose Gold could come in handy when I'm in tight spaces. I trust ACE will design well enough that all stats have a place somewhere. Just because you don't need Mana Regen doesn't mean it won't be used. I bet Durenthal would love some Mana Regen :D 


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One thing I'm questioning is that: Why bring pack animals when you have friends? If you bring enough people, eventually, the number of people will have an equal amount, or more, than a pack animal. Of course those other peoples could bring pack animals themselves and increase the payload evermore.

 

I think this comes back to breaking down materials (lossy vs. lossless).  You may have to drag huge chunks home to break them down in an efficient way - chunks too big to fit in a player's inventory.

 

At least I hope that idea is still on the table!


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I'm not saying that harvesting should be done alone necessarily but, let's look at it from the opposite perspective. Everybody expects Crowfall to be a group game and pvp will be done in groups of multiple players. Solo players have a major disadvantage because they just don't bring the same overall stats to a battle against more than 1 person BUT, if a highly skilled player is alone and runs into a group of two people, even though he is at a major disadvantage...he can still choose to try and outplay those people. Now let's assume that they design an archetype that has SO MUCH REGEN that a solo player cannot kill it (*cough* minotaur) but, instead of having that regen on a skill cooldown, they just have it permanently. You're a pvper with the best gear and vessel that's possible in the game and you run into this archetype that no matter how amazing of a player you are, the game is designed in a way which prevents you from killing them...EVER. They can just stand there, AFK and you will never be able to kill them. Sounds like cheating right? You'd be mad right? Why would you design an archetype that was impossible to kill? That seems like poor game design right?

 

That archetype that can't ever die, is a top tier resource node. You can find it in the world, you can engage it in combat and damage it but, no matter how much training, gear or skill you have the game is designed to prevent you from harvesting it. Then you say "but, what's the difference between that and killing a boss mob?" and you're right, it's the same style mechanic but, I thought this was supposed to be a pvp based sandbox. I can understand maybe like a combination node that required you to have a minimum skill in multiple ore types, like you can't harvest it because you have master iron harvesting but, you suck at gold harvesting. That makes sense to me because it's a level of progress that you can achieve at some point and for the first year of the game, you'll need your friends to help you harvest it because you simply don't have the training. Even in a game like EVE which this system seems to be based on, you can still solo harvest the hardest nodes and transport them yourself, players just created mining teams to make the process safer and more efficient. Now imagine if you just spent a fortune on the best mining ship imaginable and you had the best mining skill in the game and you flew up to a random node and the game was like SORRY, BUDDY SYSTEM ONLY NODE.

 

I'm definitely over-reacting to this but, it seems like the threat of being killed and looted should be what keeps you from soloing and not the game itself.

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Finally something about why I want to play in your game with spinning combat move.

 

In swg a low level crafter couldn't build the best low level widget. I hope we could craft the best nails without been master builder. So that master architect could buy from low level the best nails so that he can concentrate on bigger things.

 

I hope you will add some kind of eye hand coordination in the crafting system.Like a less extreme version of surgeon simulator 2013.

 

Maybe if you go hunt for skin, it is better to kill with 3 critical then 50 low damages.

 

Anyway. That was by 2 coppers.

Edited by neutrinoide

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Maybe if you go hunt for skin, it is better to kill with 3 critical then 50 low damages.

 

I was thinking about a similar thing when Raph and Thomas were talking about harvesting itself not being a really hard decision.  You'd always want any node, and the only choices to be made were basically bag space choices.

 

I was wondering if they started brainstorming at all about harvesting choice.  If it works like damage, maybe there are cost/benefits to dealing a ton of damage rapidly (harvesting quickly but crudely) or dealing slow, focused damage (harvesting slowly but precisely).  I dunno.  Maybe you'd benefit from people harvesting the same node as a group, because their skills have symbiotic relationships, too.

Edited by mctan

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I was thinking about a similar thing when Raph and Thomas were talking about harvesting itself not being a really hard decision.  You'd always want any node, and the only choices to be made were basically bag space choices.

 

I was wondering if they started brainstorming at all about harvesting choice.  If it works like damage, maybe there are cost/benefits to dealing a ton of damage rapidly (harvesting quickly but crudely) or dealing slow, focused damage (harvesting slowly but precisely).  I dunno.  Maybe you'd benefit from people harvesting the same node as a group, because their skills have symbiotic relationships, too.

I'm actually curious about the different kinds of harvesting in general. They talk a lot about metal as a resource but, they haven't mentioned wood, leather etc systems. It doesn't seem like wood and leather would be thing that you could combine to get an "alloy." Also, it seems like the danger involved with killing a high tier animal for the higher quality skin would be significantly higher than harvesting a metal node or chopping a tree. I wonder if there is a balancing mechanic between different harvesting types or if leather will just be a more difficult profession. Small details like that are far reaching when it comes to the style of gameplay people employ. For instance, I would say a majority of people in the tests currently prefer leather armor but, if leather is harder to get than plate, it may promote a tanky game meta with longer fights due to the lower damage and slower movement speeds.

 

Tweaking a balance knob very slightly can have big effects, I can't wait to see the full system.

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Random thoughts, 

 

When it is more profitable to harvest the harvesters than to harvest for yourself, expect small scale harvesting as a play style to cap out.

 

If a clever gatherer can mitigate his losses, he will accept those losses, as long as there is profit left over. An emotionally invested person cannot do this and may ragequit the game without ever looking for solutions.

 

Can Crowfall provide alternative solutions for solo harvesters and stay within it's core philosophy. Here are some of my terrible ideas.

 

  1. Crafted Pack Pig Padded Boots, make your pack pig 60% quieter,
  2. Crafted upgraded bag, one locked inventory slot per bag
  3. Skill 'Silent Harvesting', makes harvesting 30% 40% 50% 60% quieter
  4. Skill 'Hidden Node', find nodes others can't see
  5. I liked the idea of camo pack pigs too

 I'm sure ArtCraft can come up with better ideas that cost less.

Edited by corvax

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