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ACE Q&A for January - Official Discussion Thread

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@thomasblair I absolutely love and greatly respect the design philosophy Crowfall is living by when it comes to balance, it's one of CF's many brave and bold ideas and I'm happy to see it is alive and well.

That said, I have some concern about how some things that are seen to be overpowered are addressed. Powers like Dissipate which were once available only to a single Archtype, but due to the race/class split are suddenly possible on multiple Classes, are problematic in how overpowered it can be on some Classes - such as Ranger - but also how negatively impact the Class it was designed and presumably balanced with it being part of it's base kit - Druids. As we've seen in the past with some counter-balancing approaches, where the same 'nerf' for lack of a better term was applied to all who possessed an ability even though only one archtype/class was actually problematic, I worry that this will result in the opposite effect for some classes.

My questions then would be, do you recognize that applying fixes, modifier powers globally in this way can have a negative impact - taken some classes from a 7 to a 5 where it takes others from a 9 to a 7 - and are you sensitive to addressing this issue? Does the tech even exist to have fine control over things so one Class is not accidentally mortally wounded, while trying to make an over-powered class mortal again?

Thanks as always for doing these BTW, I feel it's an important part of the process and do appreciate it!

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Posted (edited)

Who writes these questions! (rhetorical), and why aren't there like 100 every month?

 

I love getting more info in these Q&A's but all of these questions were barely a drop in the bucket =/

There are so many game systems in the pipeline, where are the questions about those?

@jtoddcoleman 

Edited by baerin

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When you talk about statcaps, are they hardcaps (ie you cant go above no matter what), softcaps(ie after this you get potentially very heavy diminishing returns), or maybe will there be both?

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Ideas translated to implementation is hard. 

There are many many things that on paper look good, but would never work in a game. 

These Q and A sessions let them cherry pick the answers they want to give.  Because the answer "dunno, poorly made socks be broke." is never an answer devs nor gamers want to hear/say.

Good session guys. 

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Posted (edited)

@thomasblairIn the video you say the UI issue relating to Support Power and Attack Power was fixed - which means the 750 SP you were already giving to Druids and Clerics that was displaying as only 75 is now displaying as 750. You also say you gave "another 750" Support Power to Clerics and Druids, which means their UI should be displaying 1500+ - which it is not. It seems to be displaying 750 + 75...did you mis-speak, is this a future change in 5.4 or is something else going on here? Would love some clarification or a correction, thanks!

Edited by Anthrage

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, baerin said:

Who writes these questions! (rhetorical), and why aren't there like 100 every month?

 

I love getting more info in these Q&A's but all of these questions were barely a drop in the bucket =/

There are so many game systems in the pipeline, where are the questions about those?

@jtoddcoleman 

Gotta agree. There was something like 5 questions? And they arent exactly the most interesting ones. The class developtment one was probably the best.

A 15 minutes (11 minutes to be exact) video is also kinda short. You guys probably waste more time setting everything up than actually recording the video.

Edited by BarriaKarl

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39 minutes ago, BarriaKarl said:

Gotta agree. There was something like 5 questions? And they arent exactly the most interesting ones. The class developtment one was probably the best.

A 15 minutes (11 minutes to be exact) video is also kinda short. You guys probably waste more time setting everything up than actually recording the video.

Agreed. Please just continue developing the game. The information in these Q&A's is so worthless that I would rather the developers don't waste time on them. That is just me.

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33 minutes ago, ClockworkOrange said:

Scares me that Blaire thinks combat is in a "fairly good state". It is extremely boring and the skill ceiling is so low that you will not retain players days/weeks after launch.

I think you need to take into context at what stage of development we are at. We are at a pretty decent state for pre-alpha. I think you are looking at this from a finished game perspective and I don't think thats what Blair was trying to convey.

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2 hours ago, baerin said:

Who writes these questions! (rhetorical), and why aren't there like 100 every month?

 

I love getting more info in these Q&A's but all of these questions were barely a drop in the bucket =/

There are so many game systems in the pipeline, where are the questions about those?

@jtoddcoleman 

They come from partners, like myself, members of the community.

I know I am asking for it, but I'll just throw this out there.  If you have a GOOD question, (I'll block spammers of this little favor) PM me, ask nicely, and I MAY post ONE in the right place to get picked up.  Also know, ACE does a bit of picking and choosing on these. Sometimes they leave questions out because the don't know, haven't made a decision, and sometimes they are part of a bigger release or plan of some sort they don't want to talk about yet. 

I reserve the right to ignore and not pass on without informing or responding to any questions at all for any reason.

I also reserve the right to erase this post and all memory of my offer from all sentient beings if it gets too noisy. 

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18 minutes ago, KrakkenSmacken said:

I also reserve the right to erase this post and all memory of my offer from all sentient beings if it gets too noisy.

YOU MAY TRY. MUAHAHAHA.

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Posted (edited)
3 hours ago, ClockworkOrange said:

Scares me that Blaire thinks combat is in a "fairly good state". It is extremely boring and the skill ceiling is so low that you will not retain players days/weeks after launch.

Combat was terrible back during the Hungerdome times. Class spells were wonky, felt clunky, and were locked animations. Things are a lot more fluid and loose now which is a great thing.

The difference in how boring or exciting combat was then and now is Hungerdome was basically a battle royale play mode that was being tested. Right now we have more of an open world campaign world to test in. In Hungerdome you had to actually do something instead of just standing around twiddling your thumbs or looking over your shoulder every 30 seconds to see if you're about to get ganked before you hit that gathering node. You basically were hunting down other players.

Combat is in a good state. The issue is there aren't enough reasons to log in and play test stuff, get good pvp engagements, and actually try to "play" the game while we test it. There's a lack of content that makes just playing the game in its current state boring. The actual pvp combat isn't boring.

"James Goblin approves of this message."

Edited by entityofsin

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Tark said:

I think you need to take into context at what stage of development we are at. We are at a pretty decent state for pre-alpha. I think you are looking at this from a finished game perspective and I don't think thats what Blair was trying to convey.

Not talking about polish. The design of the combat is bad in my opinion.

3 hours ago, entityofsin said:

Combat was terrible back during the Hungerdome times. Class spells were wonky, felt clunky, and were locked animations. Things are a lot more fluid and loose now which is a great thing.

Combat is in a good state.

You can completely disagree with me and feel that combat is in a good place. I think you guys just are trying to justify why I think combat sucks, but it isn't for the right reasons.

Combat sucks because:

  • Classes don't feel unique. Everyone has CC, iFrame immunity, DPS, access to most of the same discplines which are often repeat skills of class/race skills.
  • Aiming is poor. It is too easy to land shots and not easy enough to define who you are attempting to shoot at.
  • Low skill ceiling - This is basically undeniable. What we have in Crowfall is considered a very low skill ceiling for most players. You don't feel like you have gotten any better playing a class. You can't grow, your starting ability is too close to your end game 5 months in ability.
  • Fail at making ranged classes - Playing an archer doesn't feel like an archer, raycasts are not the right way to create projectiles. It is a crap version of archery. Play Rust (same game engine) and shoot a bow, it should feel like this. Shooting spells feels lame. You don't feel like a mage because your fireball won't shoot if your reticle isn't over the enemy. You shoot a giant fireball nuke and it magically poofs in 10-15 feet. This dependence on raycasts and not physics based spells takes us away from "mage immersion" as I will call it. I feel like I can only be a mage in the right scenario and that isn't what being a mage is about.
  • Knight - This class is useless UNLESS you want to guard your castle gate all day long. This class does OK in choke points and sucks everywhere else.
  • No full Friendly Fire (even among guilds/groups) - This encourages zerg play. It also helps low skill players and hurts high skill players. (If you respond to this post saying there is full FF, you don't understand what I am referring to).
  • Templar - Honestly, just boring to play. You play it, tell me how I am wrong.
  • Healers - Low skill ceiling on healing abilities. Too many abilities do not require targeting and instant heal an entire group.

Remember in Vanilla WoW when dungeons used to be hard. You used to have to have a warrior tank and your mage and rogue had to CC monsters even on basic dungeons to pass it. Currently in WoW, you can do the same dungeons and faceroll your keyboard and you can beat it without a wipe.

We somehow skipped Vanilla WoW that required skill and was challenging to play and went to this crappy version to open ourselves to a larger target audience (like Blizzard did). Yet this game is a niche market for competitive PVP players. Yet it fails to excel at any aspect of competitive play. It has a low skill ceiling, it has limited friendly fire, it has Zerg promoting mechanics, it has no twitch aspect (required), it makes very little attempt to balance classes (watch the Q & A, we want to make fun abilities first and worry about balancing second.) This is not the mentality of competitive play design. Most games struggle with balance for years. I don't think people even understand the balancing issues this game will have due to the amount of skill combinations available and amount of disciplines.

I hope I am wrong about EVERYTHING.

Edited by ClockworkOrange

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1 minute ago, ClockworkOrange said:

I hope I am wrong about EVERYTHING.

Time will reveal whether or not a lot or any of our concerns will be valid or not. The market will decide that by how it will react to the release of the game. There's still a lot to be put into place before we get to that point though. All we can do is continue to provide our feedback, share our opinions, help the devs come to some middle ground solution as a bi-product of our discussions and at the end of the day prepare for the worst to come but hope for the best.

Even if everything goes well and the game is designed perfect to how everyone on this forum wants it to be still doesn't mean the game will have a successful launch, become profitable, and have a future past 12 months from launch day.

Regardless of the outcome, there's going to be some bitter people at launch pointing figures at who is wrong, what went terrible with the launch, and those same people explaining how right they feel they are compared to others. There will also be a select few people on this site that will never think this game will be successful or have a successful launch regardless of how much evidence points at the opposite.

You aren't any more wrong on everything than I am right about everything because we don't know what's going to happen at launch. I think that's a reasonable way of looking at it. But I can agree, base class kits need an over haul. Perhaps that will happen but I think it should since Blair even said that the class kits are designed to give each class a feel of what it does and then the disciples let people fly off the rail in whatever direction they want, which is also a good thing. I really want to see how things play out through development and after launch.

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Posted (edited)
56 minutes ago, ClockworkOrange said:

This is not the mentality of competitive play design. Most games struggle with balance for years. I don't think people even understand the balancing issues this game will have due to the amount of skill combinations available and amount of disciplines.

 

This entire Q&A scared me because of the way they approach the vision of combat.  There is no baseline, no guide, no systematic approach to baseline powers other than being cool, followed by disciplines with a similar approach.  This is not something you just stumble around in the dark with.  You should have some idea/basis for what you want. It's well known what the Mana to power ratio is in Magic, and that has not hurt the creativity or the cool factor they are able to put into the game design. 

Being able to just toss at the wall and see what sticks sounds cool, but when it comes to having any semblance of balance, this is going to create a see-saw as players find the ideal combat effectiveness in not necessarily combos, but in the baseline disciplines, making classes less relevant. A good example of this was the early bard song disc, where it took all of 5 minutes before everyone was running with it. That's sorta fine in testing but really dangerous when it comes to future expansion with live games in action.

New stuff should be added to experimental campaigns before being allowed into already contentious running worlds.  If my world was ruined because some new power showed up and threw existing dynamics out the window, I would be disgruntled.

I think they have a serious case of "lo barato se vuelve costoso" (The cheap becomes expensive).  What they were unwilling to spend time early on defining, I fear is going to result in a way more expensive and dangerous balancing act at time goes on.

Edited by KrakkenSmacken

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