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UnleashTheKraken

An Open Letter to the Devs - 5/22/2017

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Hello, 

My group of friends and I have been watching this game closely since KS. Many of us have invested hundreds of dollars and have watched CF develop with great anticipation. We've really enjoyed testing as well as speaking to Tyrant in-game. I can speak for everyone when I say we love the level of interaction and commitment of the devs. We appreciate your hard work, and we think the new iteration of the game looks more polished than ever. We're very much looking forward to seeing this game continue to develop and we will continue to support it with both our wallets and advertising by word of mouth. That being said, we have some concerns.

Our group has been playing together for several years and through several games. In those games, we tend to push the boundaries of what "builds" should be run. We constantly theorycraft and try to build the better mousetrap. We're min-max freaks. While playing through that lens, we also realize that this is pre alpha and I want to stress that our concerns are towards different perceived trends.That being said, here are our concerns.

While testing every weekend, usually battling in 2v2s as well was 3v3s etc, we've found that some archetypes are just better than others. For instance, a legionnaire has the highest base movespeed as well as a arsenal of heals. With some of the new runes, the legionnaire also has the ability to hit like a truck. We've recently seen legios running combinations where a couple of dps classes will kill themselves on the legionnaire. The legio also has the ability to reset the fight and kite around with his high ms. Simply put, the skill "floor" of the legionnaire is skewed in his favor meaning he can make many more errors than his opponent and not be punished for it. What we have, essentially, is a WoW death knight (early wrath of the lich king)  that can just do too much. We feel that this archetype needs to be reexamined (we've tested this and even build a full suit of armor / weapons with full lifesteal on a non healing archetype, and it was not enough to keep up with the sustain). This brings me to my next point.

Currently, with the healing and self heals of some classes, the fights drag on for the better part of an hour. A champion can double leap and reset the fight and a legionnaire can simply run away and self heal while reengaging on his terms. The ability to reset a fight at will and control the tempo is very skewed towards certain classes. Everything equal, fighting certain combinations and classes has led us to fights that have lasted 20+ minutes until both sides have give up and move on...Likewise, we have participated in 2v1s where we can have just dodged around a knight / templar combo until everyone became bored and left (maybe they were really bad...I don't know). We have also played ranged archetypes where we can just perpetually kite melee pursuers around. 

Keeping the above in mind, escapes and gap closers feel too easy. Currently, there are far too many ways to disengage and run, which leaves one player chasing anywhere from 15 minutes to an hour just to secure a kill. Also, some of the leaps and charges do not work up hills or become challenging to hit with max distances of disengages. 

In short,

We hope that damage / healing / hitpoints will be reexamined to make this game less forgiving and that certain classes will having healing drastically reduced. We also hope that the idea of every class having some form of healing is looked at, even as an emergency button. We feel that these changes would make a glass cannon truly feel like a glass cannon as well as a tank truly feel like a tank. We are also concerned about move speed and the ability to disengage from fights. Certain classes, mages, etc, should be punished for positioning mistakes and have less of an opportunity to deploy seemingly free escapes. There should be a need for classes to peel and stick to targets as opposed of buttons that put you across the map with the attackers having mediocre methods to reengage or pursue. 

 

 

Edited by UnleashTheKraken

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To be honest I feel like the healing is lower right now than it was before.

The Legionnaire is being changed into the Cleric in the future, they have already said that.
Many disciplines have not been balanced properly yet.

And luckily this game is not being balanced around 1v1s 2v1s 2v2s.

I will say it now and keep telling everyone, it all comes down to teamplay and player skill.

If you really are min-max freaks as you say you are, then you haven't done enough testing.

There's a counter to everything right now.

Edited by Yumx

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23 minutes ago, Yumx said:

To be honest I feel like the healing is lower right now than it was before.

The Legionnaire is being changed into the Cleric in the future, they have already said that.
Many disciplines have not been balanced properly yet.

And luckily this game is not being balanced around 1v1s 2v1s 2v2s.

I will say it now and keep telling everyone, it all comes down to teamplay and player skill.

If you really are min-max freaks as you say you are, then you haven't done enough testing.

There's a counter to everything right now.

 

32 minutes ago, UnleashTheKraken said:

We constantly theorycraft and try to build the better mousetrap. We're min-max freaks. While playing through that lens, we also realize that this is pre alpha and I want to stress that our concerns are towards different perceived trends.That being said, here are our concerns.

While testing every weekend, usually battling in 2v2s as well was 3v3s etc,

Everything equal, fighting certain combinations and classes has led us to fights that have lasted 20+ minutes until both sides have give up and move on...

 

 

 

 

Edited by UnleashTheKraken

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I know what you mean. There are certain classes that are just basically unkillable. The fessor, druid, and to some extent the lego can just choose not to die in open field PvP if they chose to just run away. But this really only matters for small scale, non poi combat, so it really might not matter. But center the PvP around a stationary poi and it should be different, I think. Also, give time for builds to readjust with all these new disc.


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13 minutes ago, yoink said:

I know what you mean. There are certain classes that are just basically unkillable. The fessor, druid, and to some extent the lego can just choose not to die in open field PvP if they chose to just run away. But this really only matters for small scale, non poi combat, so it really might not matter. But center the PvP around a stationary poi and it should be different, I think. Also, give time for builds to readjust with all these new disc.

Group combat and POI's will solve a lot of the cheesy setups and strategies people run. We're currently in the solo "run away from everyone" meta because there's nothing to fight over. Once there's POIs, caravans, and other objectives running away won't be as worthwhile. 

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now you can run away, but later on you would have to leave behind all the properties you have put on your transport-donkey (or whatever animal) ...

 

Moreover, remember the hunger, when you were constantly pushed together by the fog?

 

No, my friends, there will be days when you have to stand your ground fighting for scarce ressources or die ...

Edited by StefKalisch

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Healing is lower for support archetype base kits since last patch (due to weapon damage getting removed from the abilities, if I understand correctly), but overall healing and mitigation is way up due to disciplines. With the right disciplines, nearly anyone is a tank now - 1v1s can really drag on.

Not that I'm at all worried about it, TTK is an easy problem to fix with a few numbers tweaks, and this testing period is explicitly not about numbers balance (they just want to make sure the disciplines work at all).

I am worried about the mobility disparity, however. OP is correct that certain classes can reset fights at will while others can't, and it's difficult to stop enemies from simply running away in general. Certainly larger group fights over POIs, caravans, sieges etc. will be a different story, they'll force legios and fessors to stand their ground to some extent. But if Crowfall is anything like Shadowbane, then constant 2v2s and 3v3s erupting over harvesting nodes will be a significant part of pvp - and those are going to be rough for many classes.

Edited by Avloren

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4 hours ago, UnleashTheKraken said:

We hope that damage / healing / hitpoints will be reexamined to make this game less forgiving and that certain classes will having healing drastically reduced. We also hope that the idea of every class having some form of healing is looked at, even as an emergency button. We feel that these changes would make a glass cannon truly feel like a glass cannon as well as a tank truly feel like a tank. We are also concerned about move speed and the ability to disengage from fights. Certain classes, mages, etc, should be punished for positioning mistakes and have less of an opportunity to deploy seemingly free escapes. There should be a need for classes to peel and stick to targets as opposed of buttons that put you across the map with the attackers having mediocre methods to reengage or pursue. 

 

 

Healing is actually too weak for the future and will lead to very easy to execute short TTKs when people learn to set up and coordinate correctly. 

As others have mentioned in this thread, and I've been saying for a long time when it comes to balance concerns, right now you do not have launch type pvp.  You have people fighting in a field with no objectives.  This game will be about objectives, those are what will win campaigns.  Once you add them people have fixed-points (strongholds, pois) or semi-fixed points (caravans) to fight over and that changes how one must approach PvP to "win".


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1 hour ago, Avloren said:

Healing is lower for support archetype base kits since last patch (due to weapon damage getting removed from the abilities, if I understand correctly), but overall healing and mitigation is way up due to disciplines. With the right disciplines, nearly anyone is a tank now - 1v1s can really drag on.

Not that I'm at all worried about it, TTK is an easy problem to fix with a few numbers tweaks, and this testing period is explicitly not about numbers balance (they just want to make sure the disciplines work at all).

I am worried about the mobility disparity, however. OP is correct that certain classes can reset fights at will while others can't, and it's difficult to stop enemies from simply running away in general. Certainly larger group fights over POIs, caravans, sieges etc. will be a different story, they'll force legios and fessors to stand their ground to some extent. But if Crowfall is anything like Shadowbane, then constant 2v2s and 3v3s erupting over harvesting nodes will be a significant part of pvp - and those are going to be rough for many classes.

But running away from a fight over a harvesting node is essentially a loss, as you are then giving the node to the enemy

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or to put it very rude: Who gives a **** if the little rat escapes as long as you remain with the treasure .... (sry, brave duelists out there)

 

- well, anyways, perma stealth and perma burrowing could also be limited to a certain time in case of Need later on 

 

Edited by StefKalisch

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Really for having followed CF since KS, OP really seem to ahve missed the point of both the game in general, pre-alpha as well as the latest massive reveal.

Like legionnaire gonna be renamed and reworked with the upcoming class/race split, even then the base ms I geuss would go on the centaur race, and sure that is good, but they would likely also get the thing that legionnaire have currently that they require more food then other races, so during winter you would be a fool to use centaurs then, when resources gonna be scarce.

And you say you know its is pre-alpha, but the rest of your post certainly dont reflect that

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I mean, they did just add in almost 300 powers with relatively very very little restriction. 

Im actually surprised that there is a clear indicator of just one of the classes being too strong. 

At this point we are making a transition away from archetypes and to classes, and we just threw in 300 new powers. Things are going to be pure chaos for awhile. They are testing the discipline rune technology of what they can do rather than try and balance anything. 
 

This can make things frustrating if trying to min/max and figure out a build.


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18 minutes ago, Vectious said:

At this point we are making a transition away from archetypes and to classes, and we just threw in 300 new powers. Things are going to be pure chaos for awhile. They are testing the discipline rune technology of what they can do rather than try and balance anything. 

Indeed - they said on the stream they basically just threw the equivalent of eight new classes into the game all at once - basically doubling it...

for reference comparing the number of tooltips i prepared (a combo counts as 1)

~300 new

vs

~130 base class tooltips

Yea...

Edited by Tinnis

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5 hours ago, UnleashTheKraken said:

 

 

 

The thing is, in the real game you will be fighting sometimes in groups larger than 5v5. 20v20? or more?

In the real game you will often be fighting over locations on the map, so running away means you concede the fight and the enemy wins. In Big-world with no objective or point to fighting, sure running away feels like winning, when in reality it means you gave up the field.

Your concerns only seem relevant to me respective to the alpha environment and proto-campaign.

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1 hour ago, Gummiel said:

But running away from a fight over a harvesting node is essentially a loss, as you are then giving the node to the enemy

You may not be fighting over the nodes so much as the material your enemies have already gathered. The hundred or so ore in your pack after an hour of gathering are worth far more than the dozen ore you leave behind in the node. A gatherer that can escape the fight has won, for all practical purposes.

Admittedly we don't know for sure this will be the case in a real campaign. Maybe some nodes will be scarce enough that fighting over the node itself is worthwhile. But judging by the pre-alpha so far (at least, before easy access to the spirit bank broke the whole system), and the way things worked in Shadowbane: in both cases the contents of the gatherer's pack is the real prize.

Edited by Avloren

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2 minutes ago, Avloren said:

You may not be fighting over the nodes so much as the material your enemies have already gathered. The hundred or so ore in your pack after an hour of gathering are worth far more than the dozen ore you leave behind in the node. A gatherer that can escape the fight has won, for all practical purposes.

Admittedly we don't know for sure this will be the case. Maybe some nodes will be scarce enough that fighting over the node itself is worthwhile. But judging by the pre-alpha so far, and the way things worked in Shadowbane: in both cases the contents of the gatherer's pack is the real prize.

Nope, the amount of materials you can carry on your own body will be non-relevant, if you fight over a node you will be fighting because of the node and the ability to set up a factory on it, if you want to fight for already harvested good you would not be seeking out the gatherers themselves but rather the caravans used to transport 100's if not thousands of materials between the factory and the enemy base, and again te defenders of the caravan can run, but the caravan animals and wagons or whatever it will be can't

 

Edited by Gummiel

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This may be against the active testing philosophy, but some kind of arena based PvP server (like the old Hunger Dome) would be fun to test combat builds.  Or, maybe even a "CTF" style map to put address OP's concerns.  I know this isn't the long-term vision for the game (DUH :ph34r:), but when the devs refocus on testing balance vs systems, I hope we get this as an option.  

The current focus is obviously not on balancing combat and TTK, damage, engagement boundaries, etc.

 

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57 minutes ago, excelsias said:

This may be against the active testing philosophy, but some kind of arena based PvP server (like the old Hunger Dome) would be fun to test combat builds.  Or, maybe even a "CTF" style map to put address OP's concerns.  I know this isn't the long-term vision for the game (DUH :ph34r:), but when the devs refocus on testing balance vs systems, I hope we get this as an option.  

The current focus is obviously not on balancing combat and TTK, damage, engagement boundaries, etc.

 

Well, that is already here.

EKs are online even outside of playtest windows at this point and you can enable PvP and invite up to 12 players for a 5v5 or 4v4v4 or 3v3v3v3. Or set your EK to open and public.

You can even build an interesting arena.....for awhile anyway.

Also @Anthragei beilive made a 2FORT map :P

Edited by Tinnis

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Just now, Tinnis said:

Well, that is already here.

EKs are online even out-side of playtest windows at this point and you can invite up to 12 players for a 5v5 or 3v3v3v3

You can even build an interesting arena.....for awhile anyway.

 

Yeah that's not quite the same as an organized, official arena-based server though?  I'm thinking something that provides quick access to discs, weapons, armor, etc. without the need to craft, and a sanctioned format (again, like CTF).

But I see your point! :)

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