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Scree

Choices No Longer Have Consequences

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I found todays news to be perhaps the biggest shock to what ACE has been saying for the last two years; "Choices Have Consequences". It's become somewhat of a Mantra for this game, repeatedly used in live stream after live stream early on at Kickstarter, in interviews and during reddit AMAs. I even cited numerous points Blair had when talking post-mortem about Star Wars Galaxies when he talked about "spheres" and how three distinct professions in the game beautifully interacted with one another, and how when they caved into player demands for more access how it "ruined" the game.

Today's changes feels, to me, like he really didn't learn from his past experiences, nor share them with the rest of the development team when thinking of this change. 

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One of the cooler aspects of early SWG I look fondly back on was the 3 distinct gameplay spheres, the Combatants, the Crafters, and the Entertainers. Think of the spheres like a giant Venn Diagram. Each sphere had their own gameplay and relied in some fashion on the other spheres. In the broadest of strokes:

  • the Combatants would use gear the Crafters would produce
  • the Crafters would use credits from the Combatants to fund shops, cities, resource purchasing, rare components
  • the Entertainers would cure Combatant wounds, and provide appearance customization to the other spheres.

There were other skill setups that fell under the parent spheres, like Doctor buffing fell into the Entertainer sphere, and Resourcers fell into the Crafter sphere but both of their gameplay was different than the primary professions. (Also both of these gameplay styles were emergent so it was pretty awesome to see them sprout up)

The glue that kept all these spheres working together was deeply rooted in 3 rules:

Everything wears out,
Accounts only have 1 character per server, (effectively 1 char per account)
A player can only buy so many skill boxes per character.
It is amazing how broken the spheres became as the first 2 rules were eroded over time (ironically “because it would make the players happier”)

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Because it would make the players happier

You've gutted the mantra to me today, because you made it easier to "course correct" from mistakes. You've made the game easier to reach a wider audience. It speaks to me that you are either concerned about how successful the game was going to be (going back on your quote of "we intend to be a niche game") or you listened to a vocal minority who didn't want to strategize and find players who weren't bloodthirsty murderers to complement their organization; players who would craft or be in those other "spheres". You listened to them, but at the same time you've ruined the promise of "Choices have Consequences".

Players now get multiple opportunities to course correct any mistakes they've made;

  1. VIP now lets players hedge their bets and chose two races/classes/professions. 
  2. Make a mistake? I'll just buy my way into the "correct" tree, by consuming tomes.

Very forgiving. Choices no longer have consequences, they have real dollar costs. 

Because it would make the players happier. The new mantra for Crowfall.

 

Edited by scree

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I think there is nothing wrong with making players happier and encouraging people to buy a subscription which would sustain the game and allow it to grow.

Choices still matter. If I decide to become a woodcutter and a carpenter, I've decided to do those things INSTEAD of investing in combat. I'm left at the whim of combatants. If I decide I want to be a miner, I can now invest in both copper and iron, instead of one or the other (which ABSOLUTELY INSANE, considering the amount of time needed to learn both). That wood cutter is still going to need components from the black smith or the miner. If I want to do carpentry and black smith, I still need the wood cutter and the miner.

The previous system was way too restrictive, the new system is more flexible and welcoming. Locking into mistakes is fine when you have the option to make multiple characters, but it's NOT okay when you're essentially stuck with one character...FOREVER, especially when your only alternative is to buy more accounts.

I don't believe the game should be "punishing", I shouldn't be "punished" for making a choice when it comes to one slot character progression system. Not being able to respec / reverse course would be unbearable. 

I'll be honest, I was having a very hard time convincing people to pick up this game after I got done explaining it to them. The whole "stuck doing one thing" was a huge arguing point. Now it's less of one.

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game catering to casual complaints, which isn't going to be good for the game long term, but looks like ACE wants to learn the hard way. 

Casuals are the people who are going to keep the door open, the lights on, and the game growing. I'll repeat it again, accessibility is not a bad thing. Building a game for the 1% that want a grueling experience is not the key to success.

Edited by Helix

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I don't think anything i've said is factually incorrect, or goes against the spirit of what Crowfall was developed to be for the last two years.

What's changed? Some people didn't like being in a crafting-only role. Or a combat-only role. They wanted to be both. Dependence on players was one of the really interesting reversals of MMORPG design to date. They flinched at criticism. This is a deviation from the original vision. Just to fit a "catchup mechanic" in their game at launch (which isn't needed ... based on EVE for at least 10 years).

To be clear, I'm merely disappointed with this relaxing of the original vision, not abandoning the game. I think I'm allowed based on how many times I've heard them quote "choices have consequences".

Edited by scree

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Because the game does not have traditional alts the need for multiple paths is understandable.  Overall the whole passive training philosophy for an action combat pvp-centric game is misguided though.  People can talk about it working in eve all they want, but Eve isn't an action combat pvp game. 

That being said, we've known we'll have passive training for a long time and quality of life is an important factor in video games.

If I had my way the trees would be 1-1-1 no matter what, but this game isn't made specifically for me, and slowly and slowly it becomes more of a run-of-the-mill game catering to casual complaints, which isn't going to be good for the game long term, but looks like ACE wants to learn the hard way. 

 


Skeggold, Skalmold, Skildir ro Klofnir

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Scree if you say a catch up mechanic isn't needed then I challenge you to buy a new account right now and go up against someone with 9+ months of training. Go against a skilled player with training to back it up and you will get rolled every time. What you need to look at is the new player population that is currently getting destroyed by people with massive amounts of training and no matter what they do they will always be that exact amount of training behind. This means new players will leave, populations will die off and the only ones left will be those who refuse to quit because they have invested so much money to play since day 1 that it would just be a wasted investment.

 

This will only compound with the longer the game is running. 2 years of training vs 1 month, 3 years vs 1 month. 9 months sucks already.

Edited by Venark

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I don't mind a catch up mechanic but what I wasn't clear on is if it's now possible to have more than X amount of training time on your account then time since the game launched. 

 

Basically after 3 months from launch can I have more than 3 months worth of training?


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I'd be fine with this system if they had imposed a restriction; that as the game ages a timer goes up with it. The max effective threshhold. 

For hardcore players, playing right from launch, they could never train beyond that timer. If you played from day 1, minute 0 you could never get ahead of that curve. That at least removes the ability for players to "correct" mistakes they've made. It would also stop people from using alts to funnel into a primary account.

Diminishing Returns is daring whales to spend more money, to get around the limitation.

If a new player joins after the games been out for exactly 1 year. He shouldn't be allowed to train more than 2 years worth of skills (assuming VIP subscription the whole time).

If they made these changes, then existing players could never correct mistakes they've made. They haven't stated this is a restriction. They just keep citing DR as a solution and its not.

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its pre alpha, I agree a cap on time since launch/wipe is a great thing but its pre alpha. let them get the foot print of the system down and we do our jobs on testing it and giving our feedback. They can then adjust or add or remove as needed.

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The only necessary catch-up mechanic is to gate (or reset) the amount of progress that can be transferred into a new CW. New players join new CWs, start on relatively closer footing. By the second CW, the catch-up mechanic may or may not gate the progress they have made, in the name of even newer players. Call it a fresh CW to mark it.

Don't want to be gated? Make a CW that does not have any catch-up gate - so full progress is brought in. Call it a veteran CW to mark it.

Problems solved.

Worrying about helping new players be as powerful as vet players six months into the game has always confused me. Almost no games get significant population boosts after launch. If I were making CF, all my decisions would be significantly skewed toward people who will have the game Day 1.

Edited by mctan

Mic MWH, Member of Mithril Warhammers since 2003,


Hammers High! http://www.mithrilwarhammers.com

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Also, depending on how this all works, being able to train two things instead of one actually exponentially increases the number of potential choices through combinations.

Being able to train more than one thing is very different from being able to train most or all things at once - which would definitely diminish the importance of choices.

Edited by mctan

Mic MWH, Member of Mithril Warhammers since 2003,


Hammers High! http://www.mithrilwarhammers.com

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1 minute ago, mctan said:

Also, depending on how this all works, being able to train two things instead of one actually exponentially increases the number of potential choices through combinations.

Except, more choice in this area is a bad thing.


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19 minutes ago, Yoink said:

Basically after 3 months from launch can I have more than 3 months worth of training?

A non-VIP account will be able to create tomes worth 24 hours and a VIP account will be able to create tomes worth *72 hours.

Edited by moneda
72hrs, not 30dys

Hi, I'm moneda.

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26 minutes ago, Venark said:

Scree if you say a catch up mechanic isn't needed then I challenge you to buy a new account right now and go up against someone with 9+ months of training. Go against a skilled player with training to back it up and you will get rolled every time. What you need to look at is the new player population that is currently getting destroyed by people with massive amounts of training and no matter what they do they will always be that exact amount of training behind. This means new players will leave, populations will die off and the only ones left will be those who refuse to quit because they have invested so much money to play since day 1 that it would just be a wasted investment.

 

This will only compound with the longer the game is running. 2 years of training vs 1 month, 3 years vs 1 month. 9 months sucks already.

I would be willing to bet its *NOT* always the 9+ months of training they have but the advanced gear vs basic gear and knowledge of the game. Not saying a catch up mechanic is not needed but the ability to bypass total time since launch seems silly.

Edited by Verot

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10 minutes ago, Verot said:

I would be willing to bet its always the 9+ months of training they have but the advanced gear vs basic gear. Not saying a catch up mechanic is not needed but the ability to bypass total time since launch seems silly.

Time since launch should be the smallest factor in determining combat effectiveness. Player skill, how they build their class, how they prepare etc should be the driving factors. 

Just seems arbitrary that when you start playing the game should have any significant effect on how you play. Beyond the obvious time to learn the game and acquire gear of course but no there should never be any kind of hard coded limit based on when someone starts playing the game since it launched. 

Edited by pang

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