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Thoughts or ideas on skill training "catch up" system


Yoink

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You def dont want to tie in money and catch up or speed up in training that is def pay to win, even more so with the current system of not being able to speed up progression currently and that progression def makes you stronger.

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The thing about equipment, is that it can be dispensed, your always going to need allies to win, your allies are going to work objectives together, and whoever's acquiring weapons is going to arm their warriors for victory. So, equipment, while holding whatever amount of power, can be imbued without great effort on new players in the right community, or will seek out communities that fairly challenge or accept them. That's not as big a deal.

It's the development that's going to play out whether new players can play with old players, and ACE claimed there would be shallow power scaling, and diminishing returns on growth to limit power.

Ultimately though, what's really going to kick your teeth in is societies. Players will build up large support infrastructure, which will have developed players, strong cooperation, large stored or quickly acquired resources, and vast numbers, which will steam roll new players. Adding any advantages to their already abysmal odds is going to find them helpless to compete. It doesn't matter what skill the game includes, or you think you have, your going to get rekt, effortlessly, by experienced players.

Gains are what RPGs revolve around, and MMOs heavily rely on, so I wouldn't expect much, they can hollow it out all they want, your not going to face experienced players in pretty much anything, this isn't a dueling game, or an arena game, they make arena games for those experiences.

The only thing that is going to let new players enjoy a fair challenge is fresh player campaigns. They can segregate the community to allow new players to participate in fresh player campaigns, where the only unfair advantage will be smurf players using their network and experience to get ahead... catching up is a fairly impractical goal, gains exist to help players feel good about investing their effort, you can have bonus gain events which will help active players catch up on inactive players... but anything you do to catch up subtracts for the investment existing players enjoy... and what does it actually benefit? the new players will never bridge the tremendous about of other advantages experienced players have, with no gains at all.

They could set up arena experiences, have gainless campaigns where players play with base power characters, so on and so forth, but pretty much the only way to really have fair challenges with brand new players is exclusive campaigns.

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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3 hours ago, bahamutkaiser said:

[Excerpts are mine.]

1...So, equipment, while holding whatever amount of power, can be imbued without great effort on new players in the right community, or will seek out communities that fairly challenge or accept them. That's not as big a deal....

2....It's the development that's going to play out whether new players can play with old players, and ACE claimed there would be shallow power scaling, and diminishing returns on growth to limit power....

3..Ultimately though, what's really going to kick your teeth in is societies....

4....They could set up arena experiences, have gainless campaigns where players play with base power characters, so on and so forth, but pretty much the only way to really have fair challenges with brand new players is exclusive campaigns....

1.  Somewhat agree.  ACE claimed they wanted gear to be relatively throw-away, but lately we're getting away from that.  Meanwhile, the Crafter Union is growing... demanding significant rewards for their risk/grind/inventory.  Gifting gear is so easy it could throw all other true skill measures out the window.  I believe they can have both if they channel crafters into siege warfare (or EKs) instead of personal gear with 400% bonuses.  Soon.

2.  Completely agree.  They should stick to those goals fervently unless they develop a game where it's clear they can relax them.  The "roles" people are clamoring for should nothing more than the sum of controlled, reasonable advantages executed in fun, unique ways.   Raw power is not such a role.

3.  Completely agree.  Players seem to be OK with that, as am I, as long as the gear & training power is kept in check.  Unlike #1 & #2, this is acceptable "Game of Thrones".  (#2 is Marvel Comics. They can design in Heroes, but only with careful effort.)  Other players are pointing out we don't want battles to just be Eve's spreadsheets & N+1 win; I don't think they apply.

4.  Somewhat agree.  There are some creative ideas out there on CWs that could pan out.  Crowfall is already an arena-ish game, despite others throwing "MOBA" around like an epithet.  It's also a survival game.  We just have somewhat relaxed starting conditions & bigger maps and let you blow crap up.  I'm in favor of limited starter / testing campaigns and/or resets, but realize there's a zone-like feel if you take it too far and resets aren't popular.  Their best designs for CWs will be around good implementations for creative competitions - e.g. Faction & God Wars - not power-restricted campaigns, like the billions of wasted, power-leveled Zones available elsewhere.

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On ‎3‎/‎28‎/‎2017 at 2:25 PM, IHeartFargo said:

Ugh at this point I feel like we've sketched out an infinitely more enjoyable version of the game than we're going to ultimate get and that is just bumming me out so hard.

Remember the danger to ideas however:

They always (always) sound GREAT . . . as an Idea.

Reality is the harshest Editor there is, and every Idea always goes through that filter on the pathway out of our heads.

“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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10 minutes ago, Bramble said:

Remember the danger to ideas however:

They always (always) sound GREAT . . . as an Idea.

Reality is the harshest Editor there is, and every Idea always goes through that filter on the pathway out of our heads.

Unchecked, and unchallenged, peoples ideas can "feel" right, and still be total disasters.

That goes for ACE and their developers, and it goes for us forum commentators.  A great game developer (Head designer of Magic for 20 years). Mark Rosewater,  puts it this way in a great talk

Quote

 Your audience is good at recognizing problems and bad at solving them

Ignore that truth, and you can end up with this.

2NrWHXn.jpg

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36 minutes ago, Bramble said:

Remember the danger to ideas however:

They always (always) sound GREAT . . . as an Idea.

Reality is the harshest Editor there is, and every Idea always goes through that filter on the pathway out of our heads.

Totally agree :) This is why I edit TTRPGs instead of making them. Easier to see the problem, point it out, and then let the more capable, inventive minds sort out possible solutions.

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What if the catch-up mechanic wasn't necessarily solelya catch-up mechanic, but rather an integrated system in the game?

Pulling pieces together from various people & my own noggin...

I like the idea of a Fibonacci increase in training days across tiers.

Number tiers sequentially 1 - 10/20/30, whatever the system will require.

Keep passive training.

On Day 1 we get X amount of 'free' skills.  For this example I'll use 20. So on day 1 we get 20 fully trained skill 'points' to spend.  Each tier of skill costs 1 'point' times the tier level.

This is a one-time deal: only happens the first time you use the account.

Can only be used on the Universal Train line(s).

During a pre-set time period, say 3, 4, or 6 months, the number of skill 'points' granted increases by a set number, say 10 points every 6 months for example.  The date and amount of these increases would always be known.  The number of points increase needs to be a fraction of the possible skills that could be trained in the same time period.

Add an additional cost for specialization trees.  IE if there are 10 basic tiers of crafting, the first tier of Wood worker, rune maker, etc, would be 11, and the calculation for skill 'points' used in this manner would be say 1.5x or 2x the point cost to dissuade rapid specialization.

Re-work both UT & AT trees to be more consistent, not all one stat in one line, and extended.  For example instead of a basic crafting tree having 5 tiers, extend it to 8 or 10.  Do not have all the experimentation points, speed, etc in one line. This would go for things like AP, crit, and crit damage in AT lines as well,  a quick example using 5 stats (so only 7 tiers), generically labelled A-E:

      A- B- C- D- E-

      B- C- D- E- A-

St- C- D- E- A- B- End

      D- E- A- B- C-

      E- A- B- C- D-

And there could certainly be more "branches" as well as tiers, and have them utilized to provide a smoother/shallower power curve per node, etc.

I read or watched somewhere that the 'basic' nodes are meant to familiarize us with the passive system.  I then suggest a new, separate 'basic' tree is created for that purpose.  Combine the very basics of the UT areas into 1, and make the entire tree take one hour to train.  You will then have access to the basic recipes, and basics of harvesting and crafting, and will be able to make your basic gear set right off the bat & have an idea of what the skill training system will look like.

Finishing this tree will be the trigger for the 'free points'.

I have long been an advocate for removing the 'combat' UT and migrating the gains across the AT's, and making the three UT lines craft, harvest, explore.  This idea could work across any span of UT's.  I also feel that this would let more people feel like they are 'okay' out of the gate and can have 'fun' right away, regardless of when you join.

I think/feel we all recognize you do not want new players leaving if it can be avoided, as we all want a robust, fun, vibrant game with a healthy population. Kneecapping ourselves by not having systems in place to make it fun for latecomers to feel useful/viable/something and want to stay seems ill advised.

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1 hour ago, mivius said:

What if the catch-up mechanic wasn't necessarily solelya catch-up mechanic, but rather an integrated system in the game?

Pulling pieces together from various people & my own noggin...

I like the idea of a Fibonacci increase in training days across tiers.

Number tiers sequentially 1 - 10/20/30, whatever the system will require.

Keep passive training.

On Day 1 we get X amount of 'free' skills.  For this example I'll use 20. So on day 1 we get 20 fully trained skill 'points' to spend.  Each tier of skill costs 1 'point' times the tier level.

This is a one-time deal: only happens the first time you use the account.

Can only be used on the Universal Train line(s).

During a pre-set time period, say 3, 4, or 6 months, the number of skill 'points' granted increases by a set number, say 10 points every 6 months for example.  The date and amount of these increases would always be known.  The number of points increase needs to be a fraction of the possible skills that could be trained in the same time period.

Add an additional cost for specialization trees.  IE if there are 10 basic tiers of crafting, the first tier of Wood worker, rune maker, etc, would be 11, and the calculation for skill 'points' used in this manner would be say 1.5x or 2x the point cost to dissuade rapid specialization.

Re-work both UT & AT trees to be more consistent, not all one stat in one line, and extended.  For example instead of a basic crafting tree having 5 tiers, extend it to 8 or 10.  Do not have all the experimentation points, speed, etc in one line. This would go for things like AP, crit, and crit damage in AT lines as well,  a quick example using 5 stats (so only 7 tiers), generically labelled A-E:

      A- B- C- D- E-

      B- C- D- E- A-

St- C- D- E- A- B- End

      D- E- A- B- C-

      E- A- B- C- D-

And there could certainly be more "branches" as well as tiers, and have them utilized to provide a smoother/shallower power curve per node, etc.

I read or watched somewhere that the 'basic' nodes are meant to familiarize us with the passive system.  I then suggest a new, separate 'basic' tree is created for that purpose.  Combine the very basics of the UT areas into 1, and make the entire tree take one hour to train.  You will then have access to the basic recipes, and basics of harvesting and crafting, and will be able to make your basic gear set right off the bat & have an idea of what the skill training system will look like.

Finishing this tree will be the trigger for the 'free points'.

I have long been an advocate for removing the 'combat' UT and migrating the gains across the AT's, and making the three UT lines craft, harvest, explore.  This idea could work across any span of UT's.  I also feel that this would let more people feel like they are 'okay' out of the gate and can have 'fun' right away, regardless of when you join.

I think/feel we all recognize you do not want new players leaving if it can be avoided, as we all want a robust, fun, vibrant game with a healthy population. Kneecapping ourselves by not having systems in place to make it fun for latecomers to feel useful/viable/something and want to stay seems ill advised.

This is similar to what I am pushing.  We know many skill trees have yet to be updated including the AT skills.  I like most of the skills but the tree can be broken down into much smaller pieces.  Psychology wise it may take the same length of time to get the full effect of the skill we have now but with smaller pieces we get node completion more often which is a satisfying experience... we like to ding the nodes for some silly reason.   Give us more nodes, lots more nodes to accomplish the same thing.

Changing the Tiers to a Fibonacci like sequence no starter points are necessary as T1, T2 and T3 nodes go down so fast you can start getting basic harvest, craft or combat skills, knocking off the first 6-7 nodes in just a little over a week while vet players are getting one node in a month.  the catch up is real and built in.  The AT lines, in fact all skill lines need to use all tiers and can still have several same tier in a row like the reworks to the harvest and craft basic lines.  With tweeking it can all make clear sense, give us that satisfaction of node completion often and regularly, and work properly as the inherent catch up mechanic...

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                                                        Sugoi - Senpai

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9 hours ago, Frykka said:

This is similar to what I am pushing.  We know many skill trees have yet to be updated including the AT skills.  I like most of the skills but the tree can be broken down into much smaller pieces.  Psychology wise it may take the same length of time to get the full effect of the skill we have now but with smaller pieces we get node completion more often which is a satisfying experience... we like to ding the nodes for some silly reason.   Give us more nodes, lots more nodes to accomplish the same thing.

Changing the Tiers to a Fibonacci like sequence no starter points are necessary as T1, T2 and T3 nodes go down so fast you can start getting basic harvest, craft or combat skills, knocking off the first 6-7 nodes in just a little over a week while vet players are getting one node in a month.  the catch up is real and built in.  The AT lines, in fact all skill lines need to use all tiers and can still have several same tier in a row like the reworks to the harvest and craft basic lines.  With tweeking it can all make clear sense, give us that satisfaction of node completion often and regularly, and work properly as the inherent catch up mechanic...

I do agree with the Fibonacci sequence, and using it to reducing the time for T1 etc. I have been training almost since day one of this test into harvesting, and I am still crappy without pots.  It's just too much.

I do however think there still needs to be a way to do things not related to combat, far before "just a little over a week".  The game needs to be fun right out of the gate, for all the appealed to play styles.

That includes future dedicated harvesters and crafters, not just combatants.

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QUICK SUMMARY of catch-up ideas so far.  Hopefully other players will chime in.

(Please PM me for corrections to player attributions.  Accuracy matters; ego shouldn't; many ideas here are found in other threads)

-------

  1. No change needed, and/or table this for later. [Bramble]
  2. Scrap the passive system.  [Various]
  3. Pay.  Various ideas as to how, possibly via VIP, never beyond existing players.  [Yoink / Anthrage]
  4. Automatic, to lowest-common passive % [Ringhloth]
  5. Automatic, based on time since release, fixed increment.  [Yumx]
  6. Automatic, to fixed % of highest player.  [Tark?]
  7. Automatic, to a reasonable level to play a role.  [KrakkenSmacken]
  8. Crafted items.  [SirGeorge]
  9. Just fix the trees for strict diminishing returns.  Incl. Fibonacci series progression. [Frykka & Destrin]
  10. Only a subset of trained nodes are active.  [Vectious]
  11. Diablo3-like seasons (reset plus overall accelerated training).  [VikingNail]
  12. Campaign World training resets, but each CW completed increases the training rate. [Srathor]
  13. Training acceleration, gated by actively playing the game.  [Yoink]
  14. #9, #10, and #13 combined. [Gromschlog]
  15. Automatic, based on time since release, increasing increment, UT only.  (Plus 9 & tree mods.) [Mivius.]
  16. #6, and the same is available to current players as a reduced training "reset".  [Izalea]

-------

@Ringhloth, any ideas for a Cosmic Encounter-inspired catch-up system?  Perhaps not, which is why you switched to Seafall...

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2 hours ago, Dominate said:

QUICK SUMMARY of catch-up ideas so far.  Hopefully other players will chime in.

(Please PM me for corrections to player attributions.  Accuracy matters; ego shouldn't; many ideas here are found in other threads)

-------

  1. No change needed, and/or table this for later. [Bramble]
  2. Scrap the passive system.  [Various]
  3. Pay.  Various ideas as to how, possibly via VIP, never beyond existing players.  [Yoink / Anthrage]
  4. Automatic, to lowest-common passive % [Ringhloth]
  5. Automatic, based on amount of time since release.  [Yumx]
  6. Automatic, to fixed % of highest player.  [Tark?]
  7. Automatic, to a reasonable level to play a role.  [KrakkenSmacken]
  8. Crafted items.  [SirGeorge]
  9. Just fix the trees for strict diminishing returns.  Incl. Fibonacci series progression. [Frykka & Destrin]
  10. Only a subset of trained nodes are active.  [Vectious]
  11. Diablo3-like seasons (reset plus overall accelerated training).  [VikingNail]
  12. Campaign World training resets, but each CW completed increases the training rate. [Srathor]
  13. Training acceleration, gated by actively playing the game.  [Yoink]

-------

@Ringhloth, any ideas for a Cosmic Encounter-inspired catch-up system?  Perhaps not, which is why you switched to Seafall...

@Mivius, sorry for not adding yours.  I didn't get it / need another cup of coffee?

I vote for 9, 10 and 13 combined :)

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23 hours ago, KrakkenSmacken said:

Unchecked, and unchallenged, peoples ideas can "feel" right, and still be total disasters.

That goes for ACE and their developers, and it goes for us forum commentators.  A great game developer (Head designer of Magic for 20 years). Mark Rosewater,  puts it this way in a great talk

Ignore that truth, and you can end up with this.

2NrWHXn.jpg

Yes . . . . wait . . . we are in agreement, right? :D 

That's what I said . . . I think . . . lemme go look again . . .

“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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3 hours ago, Dominate said:

QUICK SUMMARY of catch-up ideas so far.  Hopefully other players will chime in.

(Please PM me for corrections to player attributions.  Accuracy matters; ego shouldn't; many ideas here are found in other threads)

-------

  1. No change needed, and/or table this for later. [Bramble]
  2. Scrap the passive system.  [Various]
  3. Pay.  Various ideas as to how, possibly via VIP, never beyond existing players.  [Yoink / Anthrage]
  4. Automatic, to lowest-common passive % [Ringhloth]
  5. Automatic, based on amount of time since release.  [Yumx]
  6. Automatic, to fixed % of highest player.  [Tark?]
  7. Automatic, to a reasonable level to play a role.  [KrakkenSmacken]
  8. Crafted items.  [SirGeorge]
  9. Just fix the trees for strict diminishing returns.  Incl. Fibonacci series progression. [Frykka & Destrin]
  10. Only a subset of trained nodes are active.  [Vectious]
  11. Diablo3-like seasons (reset plus overall accelerated training).  [VikingNail]
  12. Campaign World training resets, but each CW completed increases the training rate. [Srathor]
  13. Training acceleration, gated by actively playing the game.  [Yoink]

-------

@Ringhloth, any ideas for a Cosmic Encounter-inspired catch-up system?  Perhaps not, which is why you switched to Seafall...

@Mivius, sorry for not adding yours.  I didn't get it / need another cup of coffee?

VIP Perk. You get x amount of speed buffs you can apply to a skill node. Can only be applied to early tier nodes and once you've used yours that's it can't get or buy any more.

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19 hours ago, Frykka said:

This is similar to what I am pushing.  We know many skill trees have yet to be updated including the AT skills.  I like most of the skills but the tree can be broken down into much smaller pieces.  Psychology wise it may take the same length of time to get the full effect of the skill we have now but with smaller pieces we get node completion more often which is a satisfying experience... we like to ding the nodes for some silly reason.   Give us more nodes, lots more nodes to accomplish the same thing.

Changing the Tiers to a Fibonacci like sequence no starter points are necessary as T1, T2 and T3 nodes go down so fast you can start getting basic harvest, craft or combat skills, knocking off the first 6-7 nodes in just a little over a week while vet players are getting one node in a month.  the catch up is real and built in.  The AT lines, in fact all skill lines need to use all tiers and can still have several same tier in a row like the reworks to the harvest and craft basic lines.  With tweeking it can all make clear sense, give us that satisfaction of node completion often and regularly, and work properly as the inherent catch up mechanic...

The problem is you don't have a 'catch-up mechanic', it's just training.  And that won't work.  First, from FAQ:

"While there is an advantage in this system to starting earlier, skill gain is set up on a diminishing results curve; it’s easier to gain the first 20% than it is to gain the last 2%.

Additionally, we have a few ideas brewing that would allow players to “catch-up” to some degree."

Now, ignoring the fact that despite their diminishing returns statement not addressing the fact that nodes are horribly imbalanced, they recognize that a catch-up mechanic will be needed.  And I agree with Krakken:

9 hours ago, KrakkenSmacken said:

I do however think there still needs to be a way to do things not related to combat, far before "just a little over a week".  The game needs to be fun right out of the gate, for all the appealed to play styles.

That includes future dedicated harvesters and crafters, not just combatants.

Your proposal is saying, and I apologize if my paraphrasing misinterprets your idea(s), it's okay to wait 10 days to start to have fun.  But just look at testing.  Look specifically when faction server first came 'out'.  The servers were so full they had to throttle it back to lower numbers, people were excited to get in and test....and then the performance and other factors made it 'not fun', and people exodus-ed out and we returned to relatively 'normal' test numbers.  And week after week I log on and every server is in single digits the majority of the time, with only a few notable exceptions. 

Also consider that most players won't be as dedicated as the testers who do log in time and time again.  While the game won't be for everyone, I think we all agree we want a more robust population that we currently have in testing, and if the game is not fun, for everyone, right out of the gate, then we won't.  Look to other MMO's: If the game is not fun, you will hemorrhage people in the first couple days.  If you hit 30 days and it's still not 'fun', it will get much worse, and you can continue along that line.

Right now they cannot offer anything that will make VIP more attractive than an alt for a crafter, and likely most harvesters as well, given their self-imposed restrictions.  I don't care how creative they get, if you can only train 1 UT, VIP is garbage in comparison to another B2P account where passive training is concerned.  Yes, yes, you will have a small handful of dedicated crafters/harvesters as mains, but not nearly what will be required. Similarly not everyone wants to play 2 or 3 AT's, so that decreases the VIP value as well.  But back to crafters and harvesters, having to wait weeks, or more likely in the case of crafters MONTHS to passively train to even be remotely effective and have 'fun' seems ludicrous.

Months?  Yes. Remember, we have ALL the recipes handed to us, and with pots, very little incentive to train combine success (in fact, I'd argue no reason to take combine success, because if failing abnormally high % of times at 97/98% success would be even more infuriating at 98/99%). So if as a crafter I b-line for wood worker...okay, so I have none of the basic experiementation, or speed, or experiementation points...and now I need to get recipes...and do you REALLY believe the 'good' (in WW case, weapon) recipes should/would reside anywhere beyond the last recipe node?  So even going for that, we're currently talking a month and a half or two months just to get to the recipes, but you'd have no skill to combine them with any decent success rate, no experiementation, no experimentation  points, so if you don't get frustrated and quit over not being able to produce anything that is utter crap, yay, months more training just to get somewhere 'decent'.  That is not fun for the vast majority.  You can place similar scenarios for harvesters...so you're left with the vast majority being the combat trained pvp'rs, and you're going to alienate some of them as well.

Also from FAQ: "

Every player is an immortal, chosen by the gods to participate in an endless war to determine who shall be the King of the Gods. As an immortal, you have the ability to take different forms (or avatar) which provide you different attributes and powers. You retain your memories between these vessels, in the form of retained knowledge (skills)."

Which always bothers me, because we know NOTHING upon entering the world.  I'm so good I'm "an immortal, chosen by the gods to participate in an endless war", but I have no skills, I'm too stupid to choose a vessel with a weapon, never mind armor.  While I understand the restraints of a game vs reality, this is akin to telling a soldier, hey, we're going to send you to war, but you get no training or gear, we're gunna drop you in a war zone where you can literally be killed in the first minute, get your own stuff and good luck.

I'm also concerned with the talk about how soft-launch will be the last skill wipe.  Should it not be upon actual launch?  I would say allowing people who get extra training because they happened to support the game before launch is P2W, you paid and got an advantage.  I don't want, nor need, that kind of advantage.  Realistically we already get the largest advantage at all you can give a person IMO, we will know and understand the game systems already: That is massive.

@Dominate no worries! Mine was a conglomeration of others ideas and my own, not only to smooth the power curve, but allow a mechanism that gives us a few free 'starter' skills (see two paragraphs above for the gripe), and will scale over time to effectively be a 'catch-up'.

Let's see if I can reorganize and simplify:

1. New 'basic' tree, to familiarize with the passive system, trains basic harvest/craft/combat (or anything else they change into a UT/etc), takes a total of 1 hour to train.

2. Once basic tree is trained you get 'free' skill points that trains an entire node, this is a one time deal, and they are auto-granted upon completion (you cannot train anything besides the basic tree until the basic tree is done, and have to spend the points before starting the regular passive training to prevent 'saving' the free points for later use).  Trees are tiered sequentially (1 through N), each node trained with the 'free' train costs the tier in points (t1 costs 1, t2 costs 2, etc).  In my above A-E example, 20 points would train up to D in the first line and you have 5 points to spend, or you could spread them across more lower tier skills. 

3. Specialized tiers would incur an additional cost (wood worker, ore specialization, etc).  This would not happen for some time: using just the example tree above with the A-E again with 20 points initially and 10 more per six months would mean that you wouldn't even be able to spend any points in the lowest specialization tiers for at least a year - it takes 28 to finish the simple A-E 'tree' I used as an example, and you wouldn't be able to spend the 2 remaining points in a specialization node, and technically it would be more likely an 18+ month time frame using my simple example, and I would advocate more tiers than my example, so that would be on an even longer time frame.

4. The amount of free points would increase over time that would serve as the catch-up mechanism. Set amount of time, set amount of point increase, total transparency for both.

5. Trees would be re-worked so that instead of getting 30 crit damage in one node, you get say 6% per node over 5 nodes, but you cannot train them one after another (use A from my prior example as crit damage and look how you would have to train 15 nodes to get the same 30% crit damage, but also get other nodes along the way).

6. Can only be used on UT line(s).

 

These ideas are based on having a catch-up mechanism, us having some starter skills and choices as to how we allocate them, all players have fun on their own day 1 regardless of start date, a shallower power-curve, and 'progression' that makes a bit more sense than it currently does.

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[pulling out Excerpts, numbered]

9 hours ago, mivius said:

1. ...the problem is you don't have a 'catch-up mechanic', it's just training.  And that won't work...

2.  ...I think we all agree we want a more robust population that we currently have in testing, and if the game is not fun, for everyone, right out of the gate, then we won't.  

3.  ...But back to crafters and harvesters, having to wait weeks, or more likely in the case of crafters MONTHS to passively train to even be remotely effective and have 'fun' seems ludicrous.....   Remember, we have ALL the recipes handed to us....    ....no experiementation, no experimentation points, so if you don't get frustrated and quit over not being able to produce anything that is utter crap, yay, months more training just to get somewhere 'decent'.  That is not fun for the vast majority. 

4.  ...I'm also concerned with the talk about how soft-launch will be the last skill wipe.....  Realistically we already get the largest advantage at all you can give a person IMO, we will know and understand the game systems already: That is massive....

 

1.  Not only do I agree, but 1) someone pointed out that just diminishing returns everywhere can still lead to "exponential" advantages, due to multiplicative effects, 2) no offense to ACE, but I frankly don't trust them to carefully implement strictly diminishing returns everywhere and keep them that way over time.  It's not a trivial problem.  They would be far better off just giving nodes a cost weight, removing all the pre-reqs unless they obviously made sense, and doing something like Vectious suggested.

2.  You've overstated Krakken's point, IMO.  We want them to love their started role... we don't need them too.  Too see it just look at any survival game, or any game where players are willing to grind out 100 levels for the privilege of playing the end-game.  It's not pretty, but it's extremely common.  And honestly we can't predict players' willingness to grind out early Crowfall because we don't even have a game loop or real CWs.  

3.  Agree with the recipe point, somewhat agree with the crafting crap point.  On the former, I've posted about moving the Recipes up front or just deciding how partial training of these nodes will be implemented.  Perhaps they could just move the nodes and let us select the specific recipes we learn after X number of points in those nodes.   Regarding crafting crap with just grey/white resources and no experimentation, this is the same issue as #2 - it's OK if you think of early Crowfall as a survival game.  There are many suggestions out there for speeding up training in Campaign Worlds, while not necessarily speeding up account-based passive training for subsequent Campaign Worlds.  No traction so far...

4.  Couldn't agree more.  That announcement got a solid groan from me.  Then another one, when I saw how many forum posts supported it.   We seem to have a lot of players that want to either retain their edge from Beta, or obtain it quickly on soft-release.  

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I genuinely hope that ACE gives this thread the attention we all have. I understand that there are more immediately pressing issues, but this is a trove of good ideas and as much evidence as should be needed that the playerbase has real concerns about this aspect of the game.

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Concerning the "While there is an advantage in this system to starting earlier, skill gain is set up on a diminishing results curve; it’s easier to gain the first 20% than it is to gain the last 2%" point:

This would be kind of catch-up if it were real for the whole skilltree

however, its not. its just real for each node. This is the fundamental problem. As long as I need to train every node until its full to get access to the next, there is no real DR in the training. The way the nodes themselves work now should be how the whole training trees work. I dont even see the point in having nodes with DR inside as long as everyone has to train the whole nodes to advance in the tree. If it has to be everything or nothing, then it can be linearly anyway. DR inside single traits only make sense if i can skip parts of every trait to get faster to the higher tiers.

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3 hours ago, Gromschlog said:

Concerning the "While there is an advantage in this system to starting earlier, skill gain is set up on a diminishing results curve; it’s easier to gain the first 20% than it is to gain the last 2%" point:

This would be kind of catch-up if it were real for the whole skilltree

however, its not. its just real for each node. This is the fundamental problem. As long as I need to train every node until its full to get access to the next, there is no real DR in the training. The way the nodes themselves work now should be how the whole training trees work. I dont even see the point in having nodes with DR inside as long as everyone has to train the whole nodes to advance in the tree. If it has to be everything or nothing, then it can be linearly anyway. DR inside single traits only make sense if i can skip parts of every trait to get faster to the higher tiers.

The diminishing returns of the skill trees is the progression of tiers of the nodes...  T1 to T10.  Yes each node has a built in diminishing return AND T10 will take 1000% longer than T1 to complete.   Because both the nodes and the Tiers have DR it actually does staircase the progression and the relative power between players starting the game at different times.   Graphing it though you would still see the newer player significantly catching up over time.  There are literally TONS of tweeks to the nodes, the timers and entire trees to come.   Many are just placeholders.  For a solid DR plan, every node regardless of tier should be of equal power to the players.  These powers add and do not multiply as far I can see although there are quite a few very powerful T6 nodes in mote Archetype skill tree. These will all get another pass before closed beta.

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                                                        Sugoi - Senpai

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On 3/31/2017 at 1:13 AM, KrakkenSmacken said:

I do agree with the Fibonacci sequence, and using it to reducing the time for T1 etc. I have been training almost since day one of this test into harvesting, and I am still crappy without pots.  It's just too much.

I do however think there still needs to be a way to do things not related to combat, far before "just a little over a week".  The game needs to be fun right out of the gate, for all the appealed to play styles.

That includes future dedicated harvesters and crafters, not just combatants.

I'm not arguing mind you.  I'm pondering.

I agree with the philosophical goal "the game needs to be fun right out of the gate".  I think that idea is simply a practical one given the domain of the discussion is an entertainment and competitive venue.  Well, except for gold sellers . . . but I digress.

So if we agree that ANY game worth it's salt should be "fun and ENGAGING" . . . at any time-span played . . . why do I see a "linear", or "same-oh" approach in an answer to that?  Specifically:  Remove any unknown/mystery to the activity by pre-roadmapping the entire skill tree system, then simply say it has to be speeded up to cough up pre-known and mapped rewards.  That that is the end-game journey for that activity?

This is the hallmark of "The Farmville Approach":  Pre-known, tracing-paper approach, then when game releases people run the static / known / mapped slot car routes as fast as they can?

Again, I'm not arguing, I'm attempting to approach the beast from a different angle.  Trying to think out of the box.

One of the first things I heard in one of the early Dev videos was the idea ACE didn't want people to get hung up on ticking numbers.  That their thought was more along the lines of people actually out on the maps interacting.  

  • I took this to be inclusive of Harvesting and Crafting as well.  More game play less myopic peering at incrementing numbers or progression bars, per se.

I believe this philosophy also fits in with the harvesting / crafting side of things, not just combat.  The trick here is that you have to approach that properly to pull it off.  Anything can fail if not constructed properly, etc.

Given CF is going to be (or should be) more of a LONG TERM love of it's playing community, I'm against simply handing over progression gains faster to satisfy some kind of "but it's got to be funner right away so stuff has to be faster".  I don't believe the two ideas are exclusive answers to each other (e.g. funner = faster progression).

Note I'm NOT arguing there shouldn't be SOME form of progression gains in lower levels.  Of course their should.  But what seems to catch my attention, I think, is that there's a binary approach in general to "making it funner and righter" that has to do with permutations of . . . rehashing crafting / skill trees and finding ways to simply speed that up.  In some fashion.  Counting numbers . . . outside the context of what we will be experiencing in real-time game play in the Throne War.

What if (I dunno, as I said:  Pondering):

We adopt the position that Interest, Fun, Variety, and Engaging good times can be had (and I've shifted my focus here to harvesting / crafting) by decoupling from the absolute idea it can only be found through putting blinders on only looking at the progression or method?

If we take the base harvesting / crafting dynamic (whatever that's going to be apparently), then lay in around it elements specifically designed to break a binary, or roadmapped and completely pre-known method map that will simply be Farmvilled in mechanical fashion.

Elements designed to engage crafters/harvesters in CW activity, and/or if "discovered" are highly valued by CW warbands (e.g. a particular compound or material that is refined/manufactured).

Research Projects.  Designed with a certain degree of RNG, coupled with discoveries and finds in CWs.  Examples might be "rare" finds from a given Harvesting activity that either triggers a discovery, proc's a rare find, or advances a progress bar of some kind triggering completion of some component of research.  All of this in turn cycles back to the Crafting dynamic for the ability to produce or make "special" materials or goods.

The ability to do all this isn't restricted to "end-game-zors" only.  As Kraken and others suggest, fun should be available right away.  So, if we think method, then a fledgling player should be able to have their "special discoveries" or finds as much as a Veteran.  Common sense tells us that (at least) generally, Veterans would have the possibility of "more awesome or elaborate" research projects, finds, what have you, but it's my contention a new player would expect that anyway.  They'd be having their fun, as a newb, and see demonstrated that fun-method continues forward throughout.

Random Discoveries & Triggers:  I'm of the firm belief many games GIVE way too much to players, too soon and too easily anymore. And its got to be pre-known, and MAPPABLE.  And that there's far too much of an expectation everything has to be "known" and approved by the playerbase first, before its even live.  This is a generalization and an opinion, so bear with me.  

What if, in the spirit of what I've just said, as another example of injecting the possibility of interest and the unexpected in crafting/harvesting:

  • Based on some activity-focus parameters set by ACE (not communicated to the playerbase - they get to DISCOVER that through natural-selection in game play) that identifies if someone is really a Jeweler, versus Cook, versus woodworker, versus stone mason, etc., the game trigger some form of "event" for that crafter.  They are visited by NPC X who indicates their accomplishments doing Y have been noted.  And as a result there's an offer for a special task.
  • The special crafting / harvesting task might involve an EK only possible activity, but more likely entail specific foray's into a . . . . CW.  For special finds, for special ores, what have you.  And to do all that we all know you'll likely need your buddies / Guild riding shotgun . . . because a CW is the place PvP lives.
  • All of these types of things can definitely add Fun and Satisfaction and Interest to Crafting and Harvesting . . . while being on a completely separate, though parallel and complimentary track, to the actual progression skill tree.

Anyway, not arguing the game shouldn't be "Fun" early on.  Of course it should.  I'm just wondering if we are focussed too much on what ACE said they wanted to avoid, which was number-counting, and not enough on creative avenues for the human-player, tied to CW and Throne-War dynamics.

Good discussion.  Thanks for the patience.

 

“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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EbrVIAr.png

Graphing 6 tiers of equal power each with diminishing returns and each Tier taking longer.

6FUI4Mk.jpg

                                                        Sugoi - Senpai

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