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Thoughts or ideas on skill training "catch up" system

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It's important that when people use the "crowfall will not be for everyone" line they put it into proper context.  There are certain aspects of the vision that are in its DNA, and certain major systems that have been changed that might ripple out and make other systems counterintuitive for the new shape the game will look to take. 

When they scrapped traditional characters for an account wide training system they hamstringed character development in many ways.  There are certain things they can tweak to make the passive skill training system better, but to me it's pretty obvious that if their system is going to need a catch-up mechanic, where new players a year or two down the line are basically just skipping over the early progression process that the original players went through, how good is the system really at that point when a good portion of it needs to be bypassed.

It's kind of like in WoW where most of the game world is now bypassed by new players and they are given a boost to near max level.  It's not really aesthetic or good design, and the pros and cons of the system should be carefully evaluated at that point. 

I don't think ACE is going to scrap passive training, they are too invested in it now.  Catch-up seems like a gimmicky little mechanic though, but aside from resetting trees I don't know what else they could do to make this system interesting. 


Skeggold, Skalmold, Skildir ro Klofnir

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11 hours ago, Frykka said:

Split all those super nodes into 5 equal parts in a row like the crafting or harvesting trees and make those nodes tier up properly for diminishing returns.   It can be easily fixed and front loaded so the game is fun and you have some noticeable power gain in just the first 10 days before the longer diminishing returns set in...   the AT trees need to be seriously stretched out and need to start with T1-T2 nodes like all the other trees and then progress through every node tier and not jump to T3 and then to T6.

If you split the nodes up you will run in to the same issue just over a longer period of time.  The stupid strong nodes should be nerfed in to the ground, or they should completely remove combat training from ATs and the General skill lines.


"Float like a Butterfly.... Sting like a Misplaced Decimal Point" - Xarrayne 2018

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@Tark, we agree in concept, and ACE will decide the % difference. The higher that difference is, the more equity a plankowner (started @ soft launch) account will have. Surely 50% of maximum is the biggest difference tolerable, but 90% would allow new players willing to spend big bucks to outstrip many non-vip accounts in training level, considering the rate of missed opportunities I've experienced with passive training so far.

 

@APE et al., I think our fundamental disagreement is whether the perceived benefit from a persistent character (crow) outweighs the angst felt by new players over the skill gap. Surely inherent features of the skill system will allow new players to partly close that gap in one field of endeavor fairly quickly and after the difference becomes too big to tolerate, a catch-up system should help further close that training gap. Certainly all other power gaps between new accounts and plankowners can be bridged by joining a good guild and learning one's chosen role well. 

Maybe it would help to delineate levels of angst a concern can have for a game. Here's an attempt:

  1. Challenging - These concerns may possibly make CF a better game than it would be without them. (like the subsistence/food system or friendly-fire)
  2. Annoying - Tolerable with work-arounds. (this is where I put the skill-gap as Blair has described it.)
  3. Deal Breaker - Intolerable to a specific player, who moves on. (since we already have skin in this game, some of these are "wait and see" for many of us.)
  4. Game Breaker - These are Deal Breakers for so many that the game fails. They must be changed before soft launch.

I don't think the skill gap is a game breaker. It isn't for EVE online, but I admit EVE's skill-gap is a deal-breaker for me (because I'm so cheap).

 


I think the K-Mart of MMO's already exists!  And it ain't us!   :)

 

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1 hour ago, chancellor said:

@APE et al., I think our fundamental disagreement is whether the perceived benefit from a persistent character (crow) outweighs the angst felt by new players over the skill gap. Surely inherent features of the skill system will allow new players to partly close that gap in one field of endeavor fairly quickly and after the difference becomes too big to tolerate, a catch-up system should help further close that training gap. Certainly all other power gaps between new accounts and plankowners can be bridged by joining a good guild and learning one's chosen role well. 

Power gaps cannot be bridged by guilds. Every single MMO I've seen, joining a good guild is not a given. Most decent sized guilds won't let you in unless you can meet certain requirements. You have to already be able to do they content they're doing, you have to have a certain amount of experience in the game, you have to contribute a certain amount to the guild every week. These aren't things new players can meet.

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Yea, double post. Seems like there are two nearly identical threads rolling, but since the one in testing isn't really a suggestion thread, I'm going to copy here.

3 hours ago, KrakkenSmacken said:

Not if you have to choose which of the three lines you get to train.

If I was saying train everything in the basics for free, then that would be true.  What I am basically asking for is that for players who have made a choice to take up crafting at the very start, to get a boost into crafting that those who decide to take up harvesting and combat do not.

That means those skills still mean something, as they have to be trained passively for those that did not start with them, just like once you pick a character in D&D, getting a skill you did not initially take is a real hard choice and trade off, but is simply base line to those that did. In the harvesting discussion with Raph, TBlair was clear that he didn't want untrained players knocking nodes, and wanted to make it so doing that was a total waste of time. This currently applies to all players for months, even those who want to take up harvesting full time. That is not the way to draw in new players, to make them work for months before seeing any real progress or ability to participate in their chosen profession. That would be like making everyone train for at least 2 months at an archetype, before getting any of the archetype abilities.

They could even add a higher tier first node on all the basics, so if you didn't pick it for free at the start, it takes even longer just to start to get into.

After posting this, I thought more about the D&D analogy and thought of another way to accomplish the same thing, that I think may appeal to more people.

First, this will work better with a Fibonacci approach to Training Tiers and that T1 starts as being a 1 day to train value, but can work under the current 1-1 model as well. 

Quote

T1-1 day, T2-2 days, T3-3 days, T4-5 days, T5-8 days, T6-13 days, T7-21 days, T8-34 days, T9-55 days, T10-89 days.

This will also require tier balance pass though, with the new system in mind.

So this is how it would work.

At any point in time prior to training any skill not in one of the three basic general lines, you can pick what your crow is strong in, what it is weak in, and what it is "normal" in. The time prior to leaving basics is to allow you to decide early, but to commit before you move further.

Once you pick,

  • All Tiers in the line you picked to be strong in are reduced by 1. So Tier 1 items are free if you have the prerequisites, Tier 2 become Tier 1, etc.
  • All Tiers in the line you picked to be weak in are increased by 1. So Tier 1 becomes Tier 2, and so on.

You are never obligated to pick, in which case you remain a generalist forever, and all three lines are "normal" once you start training something above basic. (With a warning).

This would mean that focused players could focus the moment they started, and pick up a pile of free T1 basic skills, but would also immediately be required to take twice as long to develop the weaker general skill line.  They could choose to wait until the last moment and train all the basics, but in reality doing so would offer no advantage to picking up the free ones, and spending twice as long on the weak train.

Thereafter, they would train at an accelerated rate into their strong profession, at double rate through the weak, and "normal" pace through the third. Eventually they would cap out the strong profession, lose the benifit, and still suffer the penalty to the weak one, making fully filling out all aspects take even longer because of the way the Fibonacci series works.

Even if ACE allowed for people to train one general for each category under this model, every character that made the choice would still have a definite focus profession, a weaker secondary, and one that they would take nearly forever to finish out. But even with only one general at a time, it provides another way to balance and give consequences for choices.

EDIT:

Skill "reset" becomes easy.  All you do is take away every skill trained in the strong line, and let them re-pick weak/strong/normal, forcing them to give up all advantage they gained by training into the easy line, but letting them boost into a different direction from then on.

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Weird, I thought my last posts on this topic was in this thread but it was in that other patch notes thread...

Anyways as usuall I think some are overthinking and over complicating things. Just make it so new players get a temp buff that speeds up training. Make it a VIP perk, you get x amount of speed buffs you can apply to a node, that's it simple. No need for new systems and overhauls to current systems. Time based passive skill system might not be perfect and its certainly not to everyone's tastes and preferences but it is what it is at this point and nothing much is going to change with it in my opinion so at some point might just have to deal with it and move on to something else.

Edited by pang

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18 hours ago, ringhloth said:

Having to buy cash shop items to stay relevant if you start late is basically the definition of PTW, and that would basically kill Crowfall.

Not stay relevant but to become relevant. And it wouldn't be winning because they would just take you to a point you're viable enough to participate but still at a disadvantage to a day 1 player.

So it's more like paytobehalfwaydecent which is acceptable to me.

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1 hour ago, blazzen said:

Not stay relevant but to become relevant. And it wouldn't be winning because they would just take you to a point you're viable enough to participate but still at a disadvantage to a day 1 player.

So it's more like paytobehalfwaydecent which is acceptable to me.

To you maybe, but a large portion of the gaming community it would not be.  The issue is still in the system and how long it takes to get anywhere.  The system should be adjusted instead of players being able to throw money at the problem to fix it IMO.

Edited by destrin

"Float like a Butterfly.... Sting like a Misplaced Decimal Point" - Xarrayne 2018

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The best catch up mechanic would be shallow progression, with combat reliant on gameplay skill and tactics.

Not confident that this will be delivered though. 


a52d4a0d-044f-44ff-8a10-ccc31bfa2d87.jpg          Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes... Than if they're upset, they'll be a mile away, and barefoot :P

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30 minutes ago, bahamutkaiser said:

Not confident that this will be delivered though. 

You haven't been confident in the Devs since the KS ended, what changed since then?


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1 minute ago, coolster50 said:

You haven't been confident in the Devs since the KS ended, what changed since then?

Their Centaur role, and emphasis on strategy. Among other things. You've been here almost as long, try and keep up. 


a52d4a0d-044f-44ff-8a10-ccc31bfa2d87.jpg          Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes... Than if they're upset, they'll be a mile away, and barefoot :P

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Just now, bahamutkaiser said:

Their Centaur role, and emphasis on strategy. Among other things. You've been here almost as long, try and keep up. 

You sounded like you gained confidence, my apologies.

 

To get back on topic, @blazzen, your paytobehalfwaydecent is borderline p2w. You shouldn't pay to progress faster 


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Just forget the whole idea of passive AT training and let every AT start with useful strength.

It should be enough to have combat training or not or to have better equipment or not. AT training ist just too strong atm and if it got nerfed, which it should, it could just be deleted if it shouldnt have a strong effect.

We dont need AT training for diversity. Thats what runes and disciplines etc are for. All AT training does is make newcomers weak.

Edited by Gromschlog

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1 hour ago, yoink said:

The whole issue might go away if there was a cap on how much you could passively train.

If we're back on the topic of how to rework the passive skill system, the best system I've heard was a combination of an active and passive system. You can still train a skill completely passively, but every time you do something related to your skills, you shave down a percentage of the training time. It suffers diminishing returns, and has a cap of 50% shaved off, so someone can't spend 8 hours grinding to get a skill advantage, and casual players playing for <1 hour each night are still shaving off 20-30% of their skill training times.

Edited by ringhloth

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48 minutes ago, ringhloth said:

If we're back on the topic of how to rework the passive skill system, the best system I've heard was a combination of an active and passive system. You can still train a skill completely passively, but every time you do something related to your skills, you shave down a percentage of the training time. It suffers diminishing returns, and has a cap of 50% shaved off, so someone can't spend 8 hours grinding to get a skill advantage, and casual players playing for <1 hour each night are still shaving off 20-30% of their skill training times.

100% support this.

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I don't feel that the catch-up system should be tied to real money and should simply be part of game mechanics [Or else it will feel like Pay-to-Win]. I'm all for giving value to VIP, but I hope that to be more cosmetic or options rather than statistical.

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15 hours ago, chancellor said:

@APE et al., I think our fundamental disagreement is whether the perceived benefit from a persistent character (crow) outweighs the angst felt by new players over the skill gap. Surely inherent features of the skill system will allow new players to partly close that gap in one field of endeavor fairly quickly and after the difference becomes too big to tolerate, a catch-up system should help further close that training gap. Certainly all other power gaps between new accounts and plankowners can be bridged by joining a good guild and learning one's chosen role well. 

Maybe it would help to delineate levels of angst a concern can have for a game. Here's an attempt:

  1. Challenging - These concerns may possibly make CF a better game than it would be without them. (like the subsistence/food system or friendly-fire)
  2. Annoying - Tolerable with work-arounds. (this is where I put the skill-gap as Blair has described it.)
  3. Deal Breaker - Intolerable to a specific player, who moves on. (since we already have skin in this game, some of these are "wait and see" for many of us.)
  4. Game Breaker - These are Deal Breakers for so many that the game fails. They must be changed before soft launch.

I don't think the skill gap is a game breaker. It isn't for EVE online, but I admit EVE's skill-gap is a deal-breaker for me (because I'm so cheap).

I hope the system allows for new players to close the gap fairly quickly, but quickly is relative and the current system doesn't appear to be so.

While I assume a catch up mechanic will be added as the devs suggested, to me it seems like an unnecessary band aid for a problem that could be avoided from day 1. If fans and the devs can already foresee an issue that they've said will need to be addressed in the future, why leave it alone until then?

If it required a ton of time/effort that would be one thing, but I've seen numerous suggestions that potentially decrease/remove the issue with math/tweaks to the current systems. If a little work now would remove future problems along with potentially keeping and bringing in future customers, seems like an easy choice.

No clue if the gap will be a game breaker as it isn't finished yet, but it doesn't seem like a reason to purchase/play the game.

Relying on "good" guilds to take in new players that offer little isn't a solution to me. New players will likely need to make mistakes and try things before deciding on their role so I don't see them quickly catching up by focusing on one area to be good at. Eventually everyone will probable have a focus, but older players have the luxury of time and being on a even field with others, new players don't.

EVE is a unique design and despite some features being somewhat similar, the overall context is quite different and no comparison to me. EVE has also adapted to a changing market/community over time and isn't the same as it was on Day 1. If ACE looks to EVE for inspiration, they could avoid having to make the same changes over time that were more of band aids/fixes and not improvements to the base design.

12 hours ago, pang said:

Weird, I thought my last posts on this topic was in this thread but it was in that other patch notes thread...

Anyways as usuall I think some are overthinking and over complicating things. Just make it so new players get a temp buff that speeds up training. Make it a VIP perk, you get x amount of speed buffs you can apply to a node, that's it simple. No need for new systems and overhauls to current systems. Time based passive skill system might not be perfect and its certainly not to everyone's tastes and preferences but it is what it is at this point and nothing much is going to change with it in my opinion so at some point might just have to deal with it and move on to something else.

Until they actually say what they plan (if anything), it will be an ongoing discussion as it is an obvious issue that will become more so over time. As someone that wants the game to do well over time, this is a decent potential problem that could be addressed sooner than later when things do get more finalized. I agree it doesn't need to be overthought or the devs to rework tons of things, but them saying it will be for "future devs" to solve doesn't mean it will be.

10 hours ago, bahamutkaiser said:

The best catch up mechanic would be shallow progression, with combat reliant on gameplay skill and tactics.

Not confident that this will be delivered though. 

Agreed. There is still plenty of time and polishing to do without having to massively rework any system. Simply tweaking the math could go a long way to decreasing/removing major hurdles for players that join over time.

While I accept tiers of gear with higher stats that come with cost/risk factors, the passive training vertical power/options come with little. Sure we can't be everything quickly if ever, but once someone does choose a path, its just stacking numbers. Shallow could mean a lot of things, but to me, the training system goes against what I believe it means.

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On 3/28/2017 at 8:43 PM, destrin said:

These skills that have +10% crit chance, +30% crit damage need to go or be severely neutered.  The current power curve gains from AT training is nuts.  If it was more in line with the numbers we see from the weapons trees in the general skill lines I don't think it would be a huge issue. 

Some players, in a twisted sort of logic, point to those same nodes as evidence of clear AT roles and easy catch-up.  "There's no problem because everyone can quickly earn all that power." ACE simply messed up those curves and front-loaded some trees, e.g. Champion's +100 AP and Confessor crits.  Give ACE credit for trying different power *profiles*; e.g. high crit in one AT vs. high AP or final damage in another.  That's fine.  Also, for generally having AT returns diminish with high Tier costs for large rewards -- also good.

I'm not sure how the catch-up issue is solved by stretching the AT Tree to be like Combat.  First, Combat provides far more overall power, so would be expected to take longer to earn.  (It's actually a better example for addressing catch-up.)  Second, the AT Tree is less complete at the moment since it lacks Promotions.  (Completing it could make the trees comparable and wouldn't solve either the power curve or catch-up issues.)  Third, the Combat tree has equally bizarre gating and disorderly diminishing returns.  

I'm tempted to think that the whole thing is just first pass, trial stuff.

 

6 hours ago, Gromschlog said:

AT training ist just too strong atm and if it got nerfed, which it should, it could just be deleted if it shouldnt have a strong effect.

I like the core idea, but we would need to consider at least two counter viewpoints:

  • No, hardcore PvP players will expend absurd energy to obtain small 5-10% advantages.  What they won't do is get excited about 5-10% gained over years, and they won't care if larger bonuses are available elsewhere in the game, e.g. Vessels or Gear.  Corollary:  nerf the passives, you might want to nerf the Marketing of an innovative passive system.
  • They don't need to have a strong effect if the sum total of such benefits are perceived as strong.  

 

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