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Helix

Is crowfall fundamentally boring?

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I reached the conclusion a couple of weeks ago that i'll stick around to see the development journey and see how things turn out, but my current view is I don't think i'll be playing in the longer term.  The things that really kill it for me are:

  • the travelling
  • the crafting - hate it
  • the mindless slog
  • the RSI
  • the all encompassing dependency on some other player(s) or some other process to achieve anything of value 

It just feels too much like work, and not enough like fun.  My funnest (new word) part has been analysing the stats on the skill trees.  

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27 minutes ago, Shikra said:

I reached the conclusion a couple of weeks ago that i'll stick around to see the development journey and see how things turn out, but my current view is I don't think i'll be playing in the longer term.  The things that really kill it for me are:

  • the travelling
  • the crafting - hate it
  • the mindless slog
  • the RSI
  • the all encompassing dependency on some other player(s) or some other process to achieve anything of value 

It just feels too much like work, and not enough like fun.  My funnest (new word) part has been analysing the stats on the skill trees.  

1) The current map is small.. they will (maybe) eventually have mounts. The world is significantly bigger in 5.5 and Live will be much bigger than that. You will continue to hate it. (JTC has stated the goal will be between 1-2k people per server)

2) The crafting is what it is, not going to change . There will be blueprints/thralls/factories to make mass production easier though. Oh, you're gonna love dust in 5.5! This will change... but you will still hate it.

3) It's not a finished game loop, it's an iteration testing environment that they have tried to make as fun as possible. No one (players) seems to want to acknowledge this though. This will change!

4)?

5) This is by design, not going away. It is not, and never was designed around the solo player. If you wish to play solo, you might as well find another game (not trying to be snarky, just the honest truth). It's not changing either.

Good luck!


.

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I honestly think most of what's implemented is in a pretty good state, and the biggest issues are economic and easily fixed.

It takes too long to roll gear, but I can reasonably see that being mitigated heavily via mass production. This system worked well in SWG, making crafting valuable but making reproducing good rolls en masse the goal of the serious crafter so that you'd only actually spend a lot of time rolling occasionally. This was how my crafting life worked in SWG. maybe once a month I'd roll blueprints with 20% of my mats, and reserve the other 80% for mass producing the best rolls.

Vendor buy orders and 100% effective EK or in-campaign vendor uptime needs to be a priority. Buy orders create an ad-hoc 'quest' system that structures play for all involved. Buy orders answer an important new player question of 'what do i do?' because its obvious the moment someone tells you "check vendors" You find a vendor buying a thing you're good at getting, and you go get that, and spend the money on things you need. Buy orders are also the mechanism by which crafters by and large gain enough materials to reasonably supply randoms. The way the harvesting and crafting systems are designed, its going to take multiple players or accounts to get items resourced and made, and buy orders are a necessary asynchronous solution to funnel those mats to crafters so they can spend their shopping time looking for quality components they need from other crafters. Without buy orders this economy can not function. Without a reliable source of vendor slots within campaigns this economy will not function. Faction campaigns are especially sensitive to this need, as they are the first stop for most new players, and the place where most players with a high degree of reliance on merchants rather than guildmates will settle. I don't care how ACE does it, but players need to be able to place and browse vendors in factions campaigns with no upper limit on avaliable space. Make it an instanced "vendor island" with a dropdown list for players that have set up vendors you can gate to from the beach head or something, I don't care, but Faction campaigns will not survive if the only vendor option is to blow a bunch of imports/exports to go shopping or sell things. In campaign vendors will not survive in faction campaigns if there is a limited space to deploy them and players can be effectively "locked out" of campaign vendor placement by their own faction (or worse, enemy factions with alt accounts purposely filling the space) Limited vendor space is appropriate in GvG where the option always exists to simply remove offending vendors by force, but that option does not exist in faction campaigns and as such a solution that creates effectively unlimited vendor space is necessary.

It costs a reasonable amount of resources to roll gear, but that gear decays too quickly. I can see this being fixed easily by implementing a 1:1 copy of the shadowbane repair system as a gold sink (and honestly, gold needs more sinks than sacrifice and paying vendors for it to have economic teeth. Repair your gear to full for a gold price relative to its complexity (total experimentation points invested?) but each repair lowers the max durability by 100. Leave the material costs alone

At actual training speeds it takes an inordinate amount of time to skill in to more efficient methods of gaining bulk resources. I'm fine with the current paradigm of node ranks and the slow drip of higher rarity mats, but common materials should probably be largely exempt from plentiful harvest, or we should get some additional discs obtainable for early players that allow them to make up the difference. Perhaps a minor harvesting disc that adds 1 rank of plentiful to a specific resource type (e.g. Oak Expert adds 1 rank of plentiful to oak nodes only) which would allow new players to hyperspecialize at a heavy opportunity cost, and as they grow in to their skill trees, get potions, or get together with skilled party leaders eventually replace these discs with other ones that allow them to more easily avoid ganks.

Edited by PopeUrban

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Rub rock on face and say "Yes food is eaten now time for fight"

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1 hour ago, PopeUrban said:

 

It costs a reasonable amount of resources to roll gear, but that gear decays too quickly. I can see this being fixed easily by implementing a 1:1 copy of the shadowbane repair system as a gold sink (and honestly, gold needs more sinks than sacrifice and paying vendors for it to have economic teeth. Repair your gear to full for a gold price relative to its complexity (total experimentation points invested?) but each repair lowers the max durability by 100. Leave the material costs alone

If you can fix the armor for gold, then the player driven economy cannot exist.  Decay must happen, especially with all the gankers with that armor that can be repaired.

 

Loot the body, loot the body

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2 hours ago, Devonic said:

If you can fix the armor for gold, then the player driven economy cannot exist.  Decay must happen, especially with all the gankers with that armor that can be repaired.

 

Loot the body, loot the body

Re read what you quoted.

The armor decays at a slower pace for the cost of gold as each repair lowers the Maximum durability. It still must be replaced once the maximum durability reaches 100 or less and thus can not be repaired any further. This was the model used in Shadowbane and replacing gear was a necessary part of the player economy.

Edited by PopeUrban

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Rub rock on face and say "Yes food is eaten now time for fight"

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3 hours ago, Devonic said:

If you can fix the armor for gold, then the player driven economy cannot exist.  Decay must happen, especially with all the gankers with that armor that can be repaired.

Loot the body, loot the body

crafters are the only ones that can repair. then the loop doesn't break. So you can fight, you don't die, return to base and have a crafter repair it where it'll decay eventually but it'll last longer than current or you die and it's being replaced.

Daoc had durability and condition. Durability could be reset to 100% for each repair while condition would eventually reach 0% where the item was destroyed. How often you repaired would cause the condition bar to move faster or slower. durability at 5% then repaired would cause 15 points of condition to be removed but if you repaired at 96% durability then 1 points of condition would be removed. (numbers aren't exact, it's just an example.)


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So having recently had about 150% of my free time taken up by Monster Hunter World, I'm gonna go ahead and say that the game isn't boring. In fact, I feel like the game fundamentally has a lot in common with Monster Hunter, at least in theory, but with a not-insignificant number of relevant differences that I'm sure are much easier to isolate than the similarities, so I won't bother pointing them out.

For anyone who hasn't played Monster Hunter World or any of the older, less streamlined titles in the series, lemme break down the core game loop for you.

In Monster Hunter games, you choose from (currently) 14 different classes of weapons, each with a dramatically different control scheme and general play style, and you go out into a world with a diverse and living ecosystem, use your weapon of choice to murder the local wildlife, cut it into pieces, and use its bones to upgrade your weapon and wear what's left as a hat. Using these upgraded weapons and progressively more colorful hats, you find and murder larger and more dangerous wildlife. Forever.

Interspersed among this core functionality, there is harvesting and mining and EVE Online-level spreadsheet management, but ultimately all of it is in service of the central concept of finding and murdering bigger and scarier things so you can turn their corpse into weapons.

There are no skills to unlock. There is no leveling system. Everyone is on the exact same playing field, with the only content gates being skill, time, and at the very tip top of endgame, a light smattering of RNG. If anyone tries to tell you that Monster Hunter (World, at least - I never played the other entries) gates anything behind RNG, they are wrong - the only things you need RNG to acquire are entirely optional items used to minmax specific builds. Rare monster drops required to craft certain pieces of gear can actually themselves be crafted using in-game systems that have absolutely no random numbers involved.

If any of this is sounding familiar to you, it probably should. There's a running joke in the Monster Hunter community that the real monsters are us, but in Crowfall, that becomes much more literally true, because ultimately, Crowfall is aiming to be a Monster Hunter game where there are way more than 14 different ways to murder monsters, and the scariest monsters are the other players.

Monster Hunter World has become Capcom's fastest selling game of all time and their best selling initial release of any game ever - that is to say more copies of it sold on the platforms it first released on that any other game. Street Fighter 2 might have sold more than 10 million more copies in total, but it's had 30 years and half a dozen remasters and re-releases to pad those numbers.

So clearly, there are at least a FEW people who think that the core gameplay concept is fun, and this game model might actually be a lot less niche than either the devs or we as a community have assumed. So in my view, the real question isn't whether the game is fun, but whether the developers will be able to capture their vision for the game in a way that resonates with all of the people who might enjoy it, given the chance. It took Monster Hunter 14 years of refinement and iteration to catch on in the mainstream - hopefully Crowfall can get there more quickly.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software_release_life_cycle#Pre-alpha <--this is where we are. If your complaint is that the game don't not works good, come back later.

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17 hours ago, Fefner said:

After the durration issues my biggest worry about the game is the game engine. I personally think the enigine will struggle with the amount of players they want per campaign. They really need to start doing "open break the build tests" so information can be collected and when i mean open, open it to friends of already backers and ppl who have signed up for beta...they need to test the large scale stuff sooner rather than later.

You don't optimize a pre-alpha for a release quality gaming experience. They won't even do that in Alpha either. The only amount of optimization they do is to make sure things are running on the live server well enough that they don't have to constantly check to see if the server imploded on itself (crashes).

If they did optimization throughout the development process (like what it seems you're suggesting here) of actually making the product into a full product then the release time frame we'd be looking at would be 2-4 years from now instead of a potential soft launch late this year. It's already been 3 years of development.

Making a video game isn't anything as simple as those clap lights. Can't just clap your hands a couple times and code, art assets, sound files, and perfect optimization just weaves together effortlessly. No product of any kind is ever made like that. You're assuming they aren't collecting data on various things, like server stability, already. In some cases the live servers have had 60-80 people on them at once and that's high numbers compared to during other test versions.


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Beta testing any game is boring.  What you should be doing now is making friends and improving your embedded networks.  That way when the game goes live you not only know how to play the game you also have the necessary infrastructure to get you way ahead of the learning curve.

Just a tip from your Uncle Zolaz.


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6 hours ago, goose said:

Monster Hunter World

There's enough significant difference between the two tho. In fact, these games are miles apart.

MHW is all about the carrot on the stick; crowfall is not.

MHW is all about permanence; crowfall is not.

MHW has combat only crowfall can dream about.

MHW has significantly better AI encounters.

MHW is about socializing with others and teaming up to beat on NPCS to acquire mats to crafting PERMANENT and cool looking armor sets. Crowfall is about teaming up to tear down other peoples stuff ultimately.

MHW gear crafting revolves around fighting monsters and skinning them; killing monsters is fun and exciting. Crowfall crafting revolves around hitting on rocks and trees; combat is necessarily required, boring.

MHW might not have typical progression, but it does have permanent gear / weapon progression and hunter ranks which increase the difficulty. Crowfall has skill lines and sacrificing, but I think the MWO system is more significant.

MHW is more of a themepark than Crowfall.

MHW doesn't give you the opportunity to victimize other players (kill them, burn their strongholds down, sieges their forts, steal their loot).

 

MHW is a great game, made by a large studio with an AAA budget and years of development. I'm not expecting anything of that quality from crowfall. 

I'd compare crowfall to sea of thieves in some aspects. Both of them revolve around emergent game play, player behavior, heavily pvp and are "create your own adventure" type games. As much as I like SoT that game has A LOT of issues. Issues that can see crowfall possibly contracting.

Edited by Helix

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15 minutes ago, Helix said:

There's enough significant difference between the two tho. In fact, these games are miles apart.

Yeah, that'd be why practically the very first thing I said was that I was only going to compare the similarities, which I thought I was pretty specific about - the core gameplay loop and what makes it fun, what with fun being the point of this thread.

The Point

...

You, Apparently

 

Edit: that said, sure, there are other games that could make a sound comparison with some parts of Crowfall, but I haven't spent every minute of my free time since January playing those, so I didn't, with or without extremely clear caveats.

Re-edit: also, if you're not actually open to contradictory positions to the one you posit in your OP, consider not phrasing your position as a question. All that does is prompt people to answer the question, and if you don't actually plan to change your position, there's a word for that.

Re-re-edit: it occurred to me after I clicked Save that my second edit might scan as an accusation of trolling, but the word I was thinking of was "clickbait." Just gonna head that off at the pass. lol

Edited by goose

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software_release_life_cycle#Pre-alpha <--this is where we are. If your complaint is that the game don't not works good, come back later.

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3 hours ago, goose said:

Yeah, that'd be why practically the very first thing I said was that I was only going to compare the similarities, which I thought I was pretty specific about - the core gameplay loop and what makes it fun, what with fun being the point of this thread.

The Point

...

You, Apparently

I mean, you can find the similarities between many games. It's like saying that GTA has a lot in common with CF if you dig deep enough. That doesn't mean the player base is interchangeable . The reality is there really isn't any meaningful similarities between these games other than hitting things, crafting stuff and subtle player progression. They have similar loops, but  A LOT of games do, and MWO has a much different (and more fun) approach. The people who play MHW aren't necessary the same people that would enjoy a game like CF.

Edited by Helix

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5 minutes ago, Helix said:

I mean, you can find the similarities between many games. It's like saying that GTA has a lot in common with CF if you dig deep enough. That doesn't mean the player base is interchangeable . The reality is there really isn't any meaning similarities between these games other than hitting things, crafting stuff and subtle player progression. They have similar loops, but  A LOT of games do, and MWO has a much different (and more fun) approach. The people who play MWO aren't necessary the same people that would enjoy a game like CF.

I don't actually think a lot of games DO have a core gameplay loop as similar in its fundamentals as Monster Hunter's is to Crowfall's. Granted, the shift from a single player-focused progression system to a multiplayer-focused one is significant, and there are a lot of other small differences at the core of the system that are different in meaningful ways, but at the end of the day I think that a lot of the game loop is interchangeable.

That said, I entirely agree that the PLAYER BASE isn't interchangeable, which is why I didn't say anything of the sort. I just said that the core gameplay loop was less niche than we as a community might have assumed, and I stand by that. Grinding in a game that makes the actual process of grinding fun isn't much of a barrier for people, as it turns out. The trick is going to be whether or not Crowfall can A: make the grind fun and B: pull in a wide enough audience to keep the economy alive.

Edit: that said, I think you made some extremely valid points, and I only disagree with the overarching premise of whether or not they make the game inherently not fun. I don't want it to seem like I disagree with everything you've said or that I'm being purposefully antagonistic. :P

Edited by goose

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software_release_life_cycle#Pre-alpha <--this is where we are. If your complaint is that the game don't not works good, come back later.

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3 hours ago, goose said:

That said, I entirely agree that the PLAYER BASE isn't interchangeable, which is why I didn't say anything of the sort. I just said that the core gameplay loop was less niche than we as a community might have assumed, and I stand by that. Grinding in a game that makes the actual process of grinding fun isn't much of a barrier for people, as it turns out. The trick is going to be whether or not Crowfall can A: make the grind fun and B: pull in a wide enough audience to keep the economy alive.

I never really considered crowfall a niche game to be honest, but I agree that if they can "disguise" the grind that it would help a lot. That's a thing MHW does great, it's grindy, but the systems wrapping it are fun enough that the players most of the time don't notice or mind it as much.

Edited by Helix

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i think one of the problems is the testing servers are up 24/7. we don't see an influx of people to be on at certain times. If the testing was on weekends only then we might see more people log on the try out the stuff.

another issue I see is someone wanting to harvest and craft and fight.  those that want to harvest should be doing that and giving the materials to a crafter. that crafter can make better harvesting tools then make better crafting tools (this also includes armor), then make combat gear. the combat person gets gear so they can fight. This is how it's supposed to happen in the retail game. So the current test is boring if all you want to do is combat but feel forced to gather and craft.

Maybe we can get some gatherers and crafters together to make some gear for people and hand them out freely on weekends.


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Camaraderie ~ Loyalty ~ Honor ~ Maturity ~ Integrity ~ Duty

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