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More on Action Harvesting - Official discussion thread

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I'm looking forward to trying out the new harvesting combat (we're killing trees right?).

If anything else, it should help with new players understanding why they couldn't harvest before (default state when entering a vessel was combat stance).

@thomasblair I have a general question: Is there a global cooldown for switching between trays, or plans for one?  In Shadowbane we had around a 30 second CD to limit the stance dancing.


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7 minutes ago, Teufel said:

I'm looking forward to trying out the new harvesting combat (we're killing trees right?).

If anything else, it should help with new players understanding why they couldn't harvest before (default state when entering a vessel was combat stance).

@thomasblair I have a general question: Is there a global cooldown for switching between trays, or plans for one?  In Shadowbane we had around a 30 second CD to limit the stance dancing.

Crowfall's stances were very different from this. TB told us in the livestream that there was a tray swapping delay of only a half second. Considering this is the same mechanic Rangers and Druids use to swap trays for their base kits...that sounds about right to me. I like the idea of loading out toggle powers in the Survival Tray that would stay active until hard CCed. You would have to take the risk of going back into OOC (and be vulnerable to dizzy down) to re-activate those toggle powers in a fight. I like that risk and reward. 

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 The player can then perform multiple left-clicks or hold down the left mouse button.

So we went from having to hold F to the choice of clicking LMB or holding down the button... I'm not seeing the improvement here, but the additional harvesting powers sound interesting. I still think harvesting will be a boring affair, interactivity was never really the problem, just the task it's self.

Will we have to un-equip and equip the harvesting tool we want to use? Albion originally had this setup till they realized it was completely unnecessary and basically let you harvest based on whatever tool you had in your back pack and the type of node you were using. Seems like you'll be able to hotbar the tool which seems alright.

If we're going to have harvesters chop down ToL / Banes and smash walls, it definitely shouldn't be possible with plain jane harvesting tools. Maybe siege axes / hammers.

Edited by Helix

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4 minutes ago, Helix said:

So we went from having to hold F to the choice of clicking LMB or holding down the button... I'm not seeing the improvement here, but the additional harvesting powers sound interesting. I still think harvesting will be a boring affair, interactivity was never really the problem, just the task it's self.

Will we have to un-equip and equip the harvesting tool we want to use? Albion originally had this setup till they realized it was completely unnecessary and basically let you harvest based on whatever tool you had in your back pack and the type of node you were using.

From the live stream, it looked like each tool got a slot on the power bar, and hitting the number triggered the switch.  So yes I think you have to equip each one as you want to use it, but it won't take opening up the inventory once you have made that selection to do it.

What I want to know is once BP's come on line, will we be able to stack several tools with the same serial number into a single square, so you don't have to keep flipping them on the power bar.

Edited by KrakkenSmacken

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Once the trays are online, we also need to go back and test a bunch of our previous assumptions relating to how players behave when in or out of the various stances (things like run speeds, sprinting, knockdown, etc.)  This new system gives is a much stronger foundation to work from, so we will see where this new path leads!

Glad to see you're thinking about revisiting dizzy down. 

When the time comes to revisit dizzy down, I think this may be a viable solution. 

Edited by blazzen

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33 minutes ago, Helix said:

So we went from having to hold F to the choice of clicking LMB or holding down the button... I'm not seeing the improvement here, but the additional harvesting powers sound interesting. I still think harvesting will be a boring affair, interactivity was never really the problem, just the task it's self.

Will we have to un-equip and equip the harvesting tool we want to use? Albion originally had this setup till they realized it was completely unnecessary and basically let you harvest based on whatever tool you had in your back pack and the type of node you were using. Seems like you'll be able to hotbar the tool which seems alright.

If we're going to have harvesters chop down ToL / Banes and smash walls, it definitely shouldn't be possible with plain jane harvesting tools. Maybe siege axes / hammers.

Yes, it opens up all sorts of options for material combinations like with regular weapons.  Combos that provide better crit stats to walls,trees, etc, instead of just a generic crit bonus.

They could even break it out to specific material, so picks built to harvest Gold better than Iron. But if they go that route, they really need to lift the 100 damage cap and move it to 250.  Having a specialized pick that could take a gold node out in 4 swings would be worth the effort, and probably feel freaking awsome, where as something that is eclipsed by training on all resource types, meh, who cares if it's a "special" pick, they just don't last long enough to matter.

 

Edited by KrakkenSmacken

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36 minutes ago, Gradishar said:

Crowfall's stances were very different from this. TB told us in the livestream that there was a tray swapping delay of only a half second. Considering this is the same mechanic Rangers and Druids use to swap trays for their base kits...that sounds about right to me. I like the idea of loading out toggle powers in the Survival Tray that would stay active until hard CCed. You would have to take the risk of going back into OOC (and be vulnerable to dizzy down) to re-activate those toggle powers in a fight. I like that risk and reward. 

My question was on trays in general, not specific to the survival tray.  Being able to tray swap from an offensive (ranged) build to a defensive (melee) build is pretty powerful, especially with only a half second delay.  We aren't going to see the same limitations on runes/weapons that the Druid Scimitar build had.

I think that a half second delay between switches is fine, but I can imagine a macro that would allow 2 different weapon sets slotted in the survival tray, 1 weapon as an offensive, say swords, then the second set as defensive, hammer/board.  Under that scenario, I am asking if they have thought about having a global CD go into effect once you have switched trays.


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Guess I'll have to switch my "drinking" hand to my left hand now.. lol.

Kinda liked holding down "F" with my left hand so I could have some game "downtime to eat or drink". But then again I can always hotkey the mouse click to a keyboard key...  I do though have the feeling my right mouse index finger is gonna take a beating after combat fights with now adding harvesting too to the mix. (not to mention a beating on my mouse button hardware too)

I do however, like the "survival tray" to also be the "out of combat stance" concept. And a place you can put all your potions or different harvesting tools. (Does this mean they won't be in inventory that are subject to PVP lootable?)

Do we get instant health pots now to use in the survival tray? ..Health Potion would help harvesters as a "retaliate ability" on any first unsuspected incoming combat blows. (a harvester will encounter fights as an ambush every time as they do not see anything on screen but the targeted "node")

I would allow harvesters to use survival tray abilities like healing potions. But have attackers who are already in combat  (and in a melee/ranged tray), not to be able to switch to the survival tray until out of combat again (after potion global cooldown).  This may help out the first ambush attack on harvesters sustaining a dizzy knockdown.

Heh, or maybe just give survival tray users who encounter sudden combat a different more powerful "retaliate" ability.

Will be interesting how this new tray concept shapes out.

Edited by DealsTru

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Definitely on the right track for harvesting. It's downright unfair to make someone spend a long time doing something (like gathering), in a context of action and danger and strategy, and not have them really actively do anything.

I still say the best way to go about this is the puzzle-strategy way. Like reverse-combat. In combat, you try to maximize damage output. In harvesting, just give people a plethora of abilities (maybe not quite so many as combat has) and combos and such, so that they can dynamically work together trying to MINIMIZE damage to nodes, so as to get more thwacks on them, thus more chances at quality resources (and just-plain resources in general).

Just because a node isn't fighting back doesn't mean you can't have strategic decision-making in the active interaction with the node. And, honestly, though it might not be the best idea, it would be pretty interesting to simply have nodes be attached to some kind of living entities, or be golems or something. I'd still say have different mechanics for such a thing, as it would basically be combat harvesting (don't just have an enemy that you kill, then loot for resources). But, I think the passive object, puzzle-strategy route is the best general route to take to make harvesting all that it can be, rather than just something people complain about having to stand around for hours clicking on things to do.

Same with crafting. I think the introduction of an active element would do wonders. People play passive "click-and-dice-roll" crafting and harvesting systems for more than a decade, and they wanna tell you not to make anything active because the systems are inherently too boring. :P. Combat didn't get exciting purely because people move around and actively input commands. There's plenty of combat that's horrendous and boring. It got interesting by having tactical depth to its active input. The broader the array of significant choices you have (and significant things to react to) in each instance of effectively doing the same exact thing over and over again (which is what you do in combat), the less you think of it as being the "same" thing over and over again. This is why people play shooters, largely. You can use different weapons, different placements, and different team compositions, every single time you play a shooter match, and change it up at any time during the match. Even though it's effectively the exact same clash on the exact same maps, over and over and over and over again.

Annnnnnnywho. Good work! Please keep it up and keep giving thought to Harvesting and its depth! ^_^


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Is all this stuff coming in 5.3.0? Or are you guys going to stagger it, i.e. R/C Split 5.3.0, Environment Update 5.3.1, Action Harvesting 5.3.2, etc.?

 

The more stuff I hear is coming with 5.3, the more likely I feel it'll be a total poorly made socksshow for PA1 and 2s :P

Keep up the good work, and work faster! :P


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2 hours ago, Lephys said:

Definitely on the right track for harvesting. It's downright unfair to make someone spend a long time doing something (like gathering), in a context of action and danger and strategy, and not have them really actively do anything.

I still say the best way to go about this is the puzzle-strategy way. Like reverse-combat. In combat, you try to maximize damage output. In harvesting, just give people a plethora of abilities (maybe not quite so many as combat has) and combos and such, so that they can dynamically work together trying to MINIMIZE damage to nodes, so as to get more thwacks on them, thus more chances at quality resources (and just-plain resources in general).

Just because a node isn't fighting back doesn't mean you can't have strategic decision-making in the active interaction with the node. And, honestly, though it might not be the best idea, it would be pretty interesting to simply have nodes be attached to some kind of living entities, or be golems or something. I'd still say have different mechanics for such a thing, as it would basically be combat harvesting (don't just have an enemy that you kill, then loot for resources). But, I think the passive object, puzzle-strategy route is the best general route to take to make harvesting all that it can be, rather than just something people complain about having to stand around for hours clicking on things to do.

Same with crafting. I think the introduction of an active element would do wonders. People play passive "click-and-dice-roll" crafting and harvesting systems for more than a decade, and they wanna tell you not to make anything active because the systems are inherently too boring. :P. Combat didn't get exciting purely because people move around and actively input commands. There's plenty of combat that's horrendous and boring. It got interesting by having tactical depth to its active input. The broader the array of significant choices you have (and significant things to react to) in each instance of effectively doing the same exact thing over and over again (which is what you do in combat), the less you think of it as being the "same" thing over and over again. This is why people play shooters, largely. You can use different weapons, different placements, and different team compositions, every single time you play a shooter match, and change it up at any time during the match. Even though it's effectively the exact same clash on the exact same maps, over and over and over and over again.

Annnnnnnywho. Good work! Please keep it up and keep giving thought to Harvesting and its depth! ^_^

agreed, I really like in Wildstar where at the base (and maybe too often still), you were just whacking a node, but then sometimes that node sprang to life and you actually had to kill it to get your mats, sometimes a hole spawned to a case you could go down in that had a LOT of nodes you could harvest, but you only had 2 minutes I think to do, so and there was still some distance between so you had to kinda think about what order to take them to get the most out of it, and might have a been a few more I forogt, long since I played that game. Much can be said about WS, but for harvesting they certainly had the right idea at least

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2 hours ago, Lephys said:

Definitely on the right track for harvesting. It's downright unfair to make someone spend a long time doing something (like gathering), in a context of action and danger and strategy, and not have them really actively do anything.

I still say the best way to go about this is the puzzle-strategy way. Like reverse-combat. In combat, you try to maximize damage output. In harvesting, just give people a plethora of abilities (maybe not quite so many as combat has) and combos and such, so that they can dynamically work together trying to MINIMIZE damage to nodes, so as to get more thwacks on them, thus more chances at quality resources (and just-plain resources in general).

Just because a node isn't fighting back doesn't mean you can't have strategic decision-making in the active interaction with the node. And, honestly, though it might not be the best idea, it would be pretty interesting to simply have nodes be attached to some kind of living entities, or be golems or something. I'd still say have different mechanics for such a thing, as it would basically be combat harvesting (don't just have an enemy that you kill, then loot for resources). But, I think the passive object, puzzle-strategy route is the best general route to take to make harvesting all that it can be, rather than just something people complain about having to stand around for hours clicking on things to do.

Same with crafting. I think the introduction of an active element would do wonders. People play passive "click-and-dice-roll" crafting and harvesting systems for more than a decade, and they wanna tell you not to make anything active because the systems are inherently too boring. :P. Combat didn't get exciting purely because people move around and actively input commands. There's plenty of combat that's horrendous and boring. It got interesting by having tactical depth to its active input. The broader the array of significant choices you have (and significant things to react to) in each instance of effectively doing the same exact thing over and over again (which is what you do in combat), the less you think of it as being the "same" thing over and over again. This is why people play shooters, largely. You can use different weapons, different placements, and different team compositions, every single time you play a shooter match, and change it up at any time during the match. Even though it's effectively the exact same clash on the exact same maps, over and over and over and over again.

Annnnnnnywho. Good work! Please keep it up and keep giving thought to Harvesting and its depth! ^_^

I like the thought behind this, but the nodes ALWAYS drop doobers on 25/50/75/100% damage.  Doing less damage in this model is very counter productive.

I do like the idea of combos, opened up through skill training or disks, or different type of tools.  So for example you could have a 3 step combo, that when it lands on one of those 25/50/75/100% points will generate more doobers. I would like to see the whole "beneficial harvest" bonus tied to what you did during the harvesting process, and not how lucky you got.

Golems and elementals are something they have said they will look at in the future. 

 

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12 hours ago, KrakkenSmacken said:

 nodes ALWAYS drop doobers on 25/50/75/100% damage.

Blair, please be sure that group harvesting is advantageous, even when a very skilled harvester is grouped with new, untrained harvesters, so that the best harvest buffs of anyone who damaged the node while it was taking damage prior to the doober spew (your words) apply to the loot roll regardless of who hit the node when it degraded to the next stage.

Otherwise, new players could be further isolated from their guilds. New players won't be good at combat for a while (even if they specialize in it), give away the group on stealth missions, craft poorly, and harvest poorly. So they need to be integrated with someone until they decide they like CF. There will likely always be a need for more resources than there will be dedicated harvesters willing to exploit nodes, so newbies should always be welcome on a skilled harvester's group.


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17 hours ago, KrakkenSmacken said:

I like the thought behind this, but the nodes ALWAYS drop doobers on 25/50/75/100% damage.  Doing less damage in this model is very counter productive.

I do like the idea of combos, opened up through skill training or disks, or different type of tools.  So for example you could have a 3 step combo, that when it lands on one of those 25/50/75/100% points will generate more doobers. I would like to see the whole "beneficial harvest" bonus tied to what you did during the harvesting process, and not how lucky you got.

Golems and elementals are something they have said they will look at in the future. 

 

I understand, but I would change that design. I do not foresee any way to make the "try to take the node down as if it's a stationary enemy that doesn't do anything, using PURELY optimization of your 'attacks'" formula very interesting at all. As you and many others have pointed out, it makes it inherently difficult to account for group harvesting. "Well, crap, if we give cool stuff at 25% damage, how do we determine whose bonus applies when/how?"

If the entire philosophy behind the harvesting is shifted to "try to get as many hits on the node as possible before it dies. More hits is always good, and all bonuses are chance-based on-hit," things become inherently more intuitive AND multi-user friendly. For every additional harvester you add to the team, it simultaneously provides a clear benefit (more hits/contribution = good, rather than "let's do a bunch of complex math to see how many hits player A needs to get versus player B, and which tool to use"), AND makes the "puzzle" harder. Basically, each person increases the need for teamwork in the optimization of taking down the node (if everyone just runs in and whacks it to death real quick, people actually get less stuff), but, assuming that teamwork is used (and accounted for in the design), also provides more benefit. And it's intuitive benefit. The more we thwack it, the more stuff we potentially get.

So, I recommend switching to the, simply-put, "Minimize Damage" model. Let all the buffs and such affect either how much damage you're dealing (less is better), or your chances of getting spiffy stuff on each thwack. So many things are fluid in this model. It doesn't even have to be each individual thwack that gives resources. You could have a chance to get something versus nothing, THEN a separate roll for applied bonuses/buffs for getting a BETTER something versus a lesser something, etc. Or, you could set the thwacking abilities up as combos, so that only the 3rd or 4th hit in the combo actually has a chance of producing somethings. ORRR, you could even stick with the 25/50/75/100% damage model. Only, now, the more hits your team can get on the node before each damage milestone, the better the bonus when it actually hits its resource pinata doober-drop. You could even just give nodes a second bar, if you wanted. I dunno what you'd call it... but, basically as damage is applied and its health bar goes down, this other bar would increase with each hit. You could have buffs and such that made it increase more per hit, etc. Combos could contribute, all that jazz. Basically, whatever value that bar reaches before the health milestones (25% damage first, for example), it would simply use that value to calculate the total bonus for doober drops. Then, reset the new bar and keep on keepin' on.

Meh? I don't have the whole system designed yet. This is just a foundational brainstorming. But, it definitely sounds and feels a LOT more intuitive to me, if it can be done. I know they talked about tracking buffs (especially stacking buffs, etc.) on the nodes being a difficult thing, so that's understandable if there some huge coding/engineering problem with my idea. But, it seems like you could just design all the buffs around working only on the player harvesters (limit their stacking effects, etc.), and design them around maximizing "Effectiveness" damage (or whatever you wanna call that new "damage" bar) whilst either minimizing actual damage to the node overall (if you abandon the doober-drops-at-intervals model), or at the very least minimizing damage to it in relation to to the "Effectiveness" damage.

Thoughts? o_o

 

Not only does this seem to work more intuitively in terms of teaming up on Harvesting, but it also seems to work much better with action harvesting, as you can actually have something to DO while you thwack nodes, and you have to think about how you thwack them (if it's designed properly). Not so much action-timing (like Dark Souls) abilities and such, but timing your combo effects and such together to maximize things could be cool. There's a lot more fun stuff to be thought up than what I just thought up in 10 minutes that can expand upon this system. Just imagine the kinds of things you could do for Motherlodes. It could actually be like a really fun, puzzley boss fight. Especially in situations where you have a team of people trying to take down a node/motherlode as quickly as possible, but maximize quality and quantity of doobers acquired, all whilst combat groups are trying to hold off a huge group of enemies coming to steal your goodies/commandeer your node.

Edited by Lephys
Extra thoughts at the end.

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41 minutes ago, Lephys said:

<snip>

Actually what you are describing sounds much less intuitive than doing the most damage does. The entire mentality behind swinging picks/weapons, pretty much anything in an MMO, is to do MORE damage, not less.

What you have described here, would require a total re-write of the entire model.  Something that even if it was a superior system, is just not going to happen at this point.  ACE needs suggestions that work with slight modifications to what already exists, not total rewrites.  Just think of all the problems with embedding the system changes required in crafting, to in the case of weapons improve damage, but with tools reduce it.  The complexity of the change would be crazy. We already are paying for a couple of major changes with a delay of launch. (Race/Class/Skills), No way they are going to take on another one as dramatic as what you just suggested.

-----

Now, what would be an interesting take on it, would be to improve the results based on how FEW swings you took to get to each 25/50/75/100.  Put a cap on the number of rolls against the plentiful harvest table of 6, with a reduction of 1 every swing, until you hit the minimum of one. 

Have a pick that does 100 you take three swings and, you get 3 rolls on the table (6-3). Have a pick that does 126, and you get 4.(6-2)  Get it done with a single 250, and you get a full 5 (6-1).

For teamwork, only use the counts and bonuses of the player who hits the node at least twice, and breaks the % barrier.  So if other players hit before that players swing, it does not reduce the roll chances.

So for example if I swing with a 50, we are at 5 rolls on the table, then if another guys swings at 25 6 times (total 200), and I finish on 50, we get 4 rolls on the table. If I let player two finished the section, we only get one because he swung 8 times.

Each PLAYER therefore keeps track of swings on nodes, which resets any time nodes are changed.

That turns it into a game of coordination and player co-operation. Groups of players can work together, or a single, fully trained player can handle it by themselves. Mother loads could simply have a higher multiplier possible, but because of the armor/damage issue, would require greater co-ordination to have the finisher strike at the right time.

This could probably completely offset the current beneficial harvest potion, and they could add a leadership training set that bumps up the starting value of 6, so that while possible to get more from nodes with a leader, it's not a guarantee if you're acting like a bunch of muppets.

Edited by KrakkenSmacken

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Unfortunately, I have to disagree with you. I understand where you're going with your "fewest swings" idea, and it's not a terrible idea. However, it is not at all intuitive for my brain to follow examples of that. Give me 3 people hitting the node, and I don't have a grasp on what's going to go down without stopping to do some head math. Maybe that's just me? I couldn't tell you. I can only tell you what my brain can think of, and I can only guess at which method others would prefer.

Don't get me wrong... I understand that it would require a rework, but it doesn't seem like there's THAT much in-place already that couldn't simply be altered without having to completely rewrite systems. Again, it's basically what's already in for combat, only reversing the damage. And, yes, the damage part could be, at a glance, thought of as unintuitive. However, the very idea of harvesting in MMOs has always been "I'm going to get harvest ticks on this node of stuff until, eventually, it's going to die." Several MMOs have even given bonuses of "+X mining chances before node collapse" on tools and such for harvesting. So, I dare say it makes perfect sense to the human brain that, no matter how all the math works or how unrealistic it is, the more times you can remove something from a thing until there's nothing left, the better. If you can scoop water from a bucket 30 times and you're still getting water out, as opposed to 10 times before there's no more water, then you got 20 more scoops of water.

In combat, it's super intuitive to kill stuff as quickly as possible, because if you don't, you'll die. In harvesting, nothing is attacking you, so it's purely a matter of maximizing the node's doober-giving lifespan. That makes perfect sense to my brain, and I would think the brains of many others, but I guess I can't really assume that.

Also, though... one of the examples I gave WAS dealing as much damage as possible. It's just a different type of damage. "Effectiveness" or whatever you want to call your bonus bar... you're trying to make that go up as high as possible, as quickly as possible. It makes perfect sense that your time limit is the node's health bar, effectively. So, once people used such a system like 1 time, they would go "ahhhh. Direct correlation... I keep it alive, but deal as much Bonus/Effectiveness damage as possible." Quite intuitive.

Anywho... I don't really care how, exactly, it's done, as long as it's easy for 3 people to go "Yeah, let's contribute to one another's progress!" instead of "Wait, maybe the best way I can contribute is to NOT-contribute, here? I don't want to ruin your buff, man." You shouldn't even HAVE to think about stepping on each other's toes. There should be nothing but upwards collaboration in mind. That is the easiest thing for brains to process. Pure contribution. Now, within that, sure, you've got buffs and combos and ways in which to maximize efficiency. But you're still only contributing to the efficiency, to a greater or lesser extent. In other words, you can just help kill the thing, or you can help kill the thing 10% more effectively, or 50% more effectively, or 100% more effectively, but you cannot REDUCE the effectiveness of other people's efforts. You can only fail to improve their effectiveness. 

That makes an insane amount of difference. Just the entire mindset behind harvesting is changed. It's the same with combat. You can waste your stun, but you're not going to go "Woops, I used my stun, and you had already used your stun on this enemy, so now I UNSTUNNED him!" You're not going to make someone else's damage be crap because you damaged an enemy incorrectly. However they do the system, it needs to get away from that. The inherent "let's figure this all out elaborately before we even swing at the thing" system is just plain going to end poorly.


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