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The "Missing Link" of character building.

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Op: "Heal the hearts of character building enthusiasts . . ."


This is a great question, but we need to be careful it's the right idea or question to ask.  When I read some posts from folks like Helix, strictly speaking the desire spoken isn't "wrong".  E.g. Wanting more flexibility, mix and match interest.  I agree with his assessment of how it works in GW2.  It's one of the things I liked in GW2.


I'm just going to back off after this post and listen for a while.  Listen and think.

  • The cautionary thought I have is that in a whole lot of games "character building" is, structurally, a massive part of those game's game play.  This is observable and measurable:  Gear / Stat / level / ability dominant, with content and instances gated by gear scores and/or resistance attributes.  Spanning both PvE and PvP domains in those games (e.g. PvP only stats only found on necessary ground-up / earned gear and only applicable to PvP).
  • Crowfall is NOT intended to match this paradigm.  It's not meant to be a Grind-fest for dominance/ability, per se.  So we need to think carefully about what "healing character building hearts" should really mean . . . in this game.

In THOSE games "developing your character" is a massive (intended) game-play time sink players vest themselves into. Serious hours logged in Grinding for no other reason than to pack stats and gear and levels.  As a result it IS going to be a powerful carry-forward habit formation that many aren't even going to be aware is influencing them.


We do NOT want that habit carrying forward into Crowfall.  Ever.  The game is to be different, and that difference is one of the core reasons I backed the project.  That it was NOT going to be a typical grind-fest, with cellar dwellers running 24/7 to ensure progression-dominance-first, that the focus was to be centered on P)layer vs P)layer dynamics.


Having said all that, I don't think for a moment it's unreasonable to examine how THAT dynamic, "character building" . . . in CROWFALL . . . can be made "better", "more interesting", "more mix & match".  Objectively speaking no way I can disagree with that philosophy and desire.


So long as that's kept in focus, in context, for THIS game and it's vision.


Not carry-over from games who's structure very well might be at odds with Crowfall, and breeding grounds for IRL $ makers feeding off code-maintained asset that can be sold (characters, accounts, gear, etc.).  If the Asset is more human/player oriented, that fuse can never be lit.


Peace-out . . . listening mode ON.

Edited by Bramble

“Letting your customers set your standards is a dangerous game, because the race to the bottom is pretty easy to win. Setting your own standards--and living up to them--is a better way to profit. Not to mention a better way to make your day worth all the effort you put into it." - Seth Godin

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I've always been kinda interested in making the AT trees affect abilities more than flat stats, and having the AT trees reset after CW's finish. I think it'd be cool if they sped up the timers on AT nodes so every CW people could build out their AT's in a different way.


But that would make FOTM specs way more prevalent since you could just FOTM every CW rather than making lasting decisions with your AT. What do you guys think? Make AT trees the reset for character customization included with advantages/disadvantages and disciplines. Seems like it could make a lot of options and a lot of builds

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I like the basic idea of this, but even then I don't think skill trees is the way to do it.


The Embargo system is. We know relics and such in your eternal kingdoms are a thing, if some gave bonuses that could be taken into a campaign in small, specifically not game breaking numbers, while you still owned many more it would be interesting.


For example before going to a campaign world you look at how many, let's call them blessings, you can have and it's three. So you go to your temple of Gaea and pray at a statue dedicated to her death and gain some kind of bonus (Deal X damage to whoever kills you or whatnot) Then you pop over to the temple of D'Orin and pray at an Alter that gives you a tracking based power, like the falconry that was used as an example during the kickstarter, then you do a sacrifice and get from other bonus related to his theme, and you leave the temples of Kane and Arkon alone for that campaign. And those blessings only carry into the very next campaign you join, but can be retaken or changed up as you wish. Still flexible, still requires some investment for the best variety since you probably couldn't build temples that fast, and fits the overall feel of taking a small amount of resources into the campaign to help you. In this case it's not a weapon or some extra granite, it's the favor of your gods.

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Crowfalls uniqueness is that it spans several genre of games, having characteristics of many different types. It has similarities to MOBAs, standard MMORPGs, Online PvP battlegrounds and Survivalist games to name but a few.


It also therefore does not conform to those game's expected character progression. It can't, because there is an inherent contradiction (i.e. the end goals are not the same) between all these different genres. 


This is where ACE will have to weave through all these different expectations. Hopefully, it will not 'give-in' to those that are expecting a more standard character progression that can be found in the current MMORPGs but it still has to satisfy the player's need for visible progression and reward.


If ACE can pull it of Crowfall will be a great game. If not then .....


Happy New Year!


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I love the idea.


Concerning the branch unlocking, I think passive (time since campaign had been joined) and active (what have been done by the player in the campaign) could indeed be an idea.


The only issue concerns the FOTM for a campaign, where balancing will be an awful thing. Campaign rules are there to be overcome by players and guild work, rather than the choices made in a perk-map. I don't want to see players losing interest in a campaign because they did not chose the good God.


But I love the idea of giving more weight to the choice of a God, and to use them to introduce some sort of "talent tree" like in Skyrim and PoE. Even more when it is limited to campaign, because I know I will have the chance to enjoy all of them when the time comes.


However, how can you stop a guild from sending a scout in-campaign to check out the perk map, and share his findings before sending the whole guild force after choosing carefully what perks and paths were needed? This will be the FOTM, guild-wide. And this is a game killer.


The part where you talk about randomization is IMHO the way to go here. We would lose a "themed" like perk-map, based on Gods (rogue-like perks for Malakai, nature stuff for Gaia, etc), but would gain in term of overhaul balance, and getting the best out of our given hand.


Speaking of which, it could actually be the answer: the perk map is RNG, down to the player.


Now, here is my suggestion on how to articulate your great idea of perk-map, while making it way more balanced, while not forfeiting player's side in the pantheon, or in his decisions. I make a parallel with the horoscope, but you will understand why:


1 - Each player can choose whatever God they wish to fight for, or their Guild wishes, and join the campaign. It will be their "Sign God". 


2 - Then comes forward a "destiny" roulette which will give the players a random "Ascendant God", under which the player only, and all his vessels, will be "stuck" with for the duration of the campaign. So every player, even if they chose a specific God first, will be dealt with a different second one randomly.


3 - Only the "Sign" God is given a randomly generated campaign-wide perk maps. Every time a guild joins, even with the same Sign God, they could be given a completely different tree. The "Ascendant" God, already given randomly, is your very idea of the perk map, where you can choose to go toward another god if you wish (their position being influenced by the universe ring and the campaign rule set, as you suggested).

3.1 - the Sign perk map is guild wide, very general perks, given to every members of the guild while unlocked (global bonuses basically). I see only a layered ladder here, where the guild leader are confronted with multiple choices to make (this way a fighting guild is not stuck with harvesting passives, or a crafting guild is not stuck with support power related bonuses).

3.2 - the Ascendant perk map is more talent oriented and much more impactful on player's gameplay. You should be able to find your way around, and to chose the best you can, out of the God you've been given.


4 - They would be using both passive and active development.

4.1 - The Sign perk map being the guild's one, I think it makes sense that what is gained, should be gained the hard way. Meaning "active perk point acquisition", meaning conquering, attacking, defending, building, harvesting, crafting, manufacturing, sieging, occupying, etc.

4.2 - As for the Ascendant perk map, not everyone can play the same, so I think we should stick with passive perk points acquisition here, going along with the length of the campaign. Where player's choice can be done, either the player is hardcore or not, either if he is playing rather solo or in a huge guild.


5 - Both perk maps should be limited in term of choices and in term of completion. Meaning for the Sign map, you guild could have chosen to cover harvesting related bonuses during this campaign, over combat. Meaning for the Ascendant map, the player could end up with one or two "neutral-god-related" skills, among 10 possible "reachable" options (out of maybe 30 in total), depending on the choices made.


More meaningful choices here, impactful enough to give it a thought. And which will allow you to have the "character you want" in campaigns.


My 2 cents,



Edited by Eaden
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