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Second test Campaign - Official discussion thread

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IMPORTANT NOTE: New Non-Sanctioned Campaigns will kick off today (Thursday, December 20): EU at 2:30 pm CST and US East at 9:30 pm CST. Before the current Campaigns end, players need to take items they want to import into the new Campaign and place them into the Spirit Bank. This includes any weapons or armor that is equipped on your characters, items on your vendors and items stored in local banks. Disciplines that are equipped on your character are safe and will not be lost.

JTC reflects on what we've learned so far from Campaigns and how this learning will impact future Campaigns. 

FULL STORY

 

Update: looks like we are having trouble with import/export settings -- so we're going to hold off on restricting imports until we can get that fixed.   Thanks! -- Todd


Valerie "Pann" Massey, Director of Community
 

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No imports... that's a bold step.  I like that for CWs down the line when we have training and the CW lasts 3 months.  I dislike it in CWs where we have next to no training and they only last 2 days.

Resource rebalance sounds good for now at least.

Point system needs to be less easily manipulated by 2 dudes in the middle of the night capping all the forts while everyone else sleeps.  FFS, make forts harder to capture.  It should be a challenge for a 5 man group even without active defenders.

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The Important Note Pann's opening post here seems to contradict JTC's write up. I can see that the sanctioned campaigns should have no imports, but will the next round of non-sanctioned ones also have no imports?

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3 minutes ago, Durenthal said:

No imports... that's a bold step.  I like that for CWs down the line when we have training and the CW lasts 3 months.  I dislike it in CWs where we have next to no training and they only last 2 days.

Resource rebalance sounds good for now at least.

Point system needs to be less easily manipulated by 2 dudes in the middle of the night capping all the forts while everyone else sleeps.  FFS, make forts harder to capture.  It should be a challenge for a 5 man group even without active defenders.

It's because people hide on servers when its their down time so they farm in safety and avoid fights (which undermines the whole point of it being a pvp game). 


40 minutes ago, Andius said:

W/HoA were held up as like these mystical forces of highly skilled players with legendary theorycrafters chained to a desk in some deep dungeon holding all the arcane secrets we could use to win if only we knew them.

wiDfyPp.png

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It's because time is valuable and crafters are the weakest most exposed and carrying all the good stuff. Have fun in basics everyone.  I have been hoping they do this for a while so the poorly made socksstorm can wake up a few people. 

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The two biggest problems, that I see, that should be addressed before the first Sanctioned Campaign, is that points are collected too quickly and it's too easy for solo and duo players to take forts/keeps, especially at the beginning of a campaign when all the guards are neutral.

My suggestion would be to:

  1. Increase the turn in time to 30 or 60 min. Personally I would rather Outposts be collected every 30 min, Forts every other hour, and Keeps once a day (and rebalance the points they give to match), but I'll settle for increasing the turn in time for now
  2. Have the guards be hostile when they're neutral, so you have to have a group to take forts in the early rush to get points. You could just make neutral guards hostile to players, code an NPC faction as a fourth faction (just don't show the points they collect), or have already hostile mobs owning the forts in the beginning.

You probably can't do any of these since you don't have a team that can implement this, but as long as we agree it's a problem, I'm fine with it


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You Can't Be A Genius, If You Aren't The Slightest Bit Insane.

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1 hour ago, coolster50 said:

You probably can't do any of these since you don't have a team that can implement this, but as long as we agree it's a problem, I'm fine with it

 

Yes, my capacity to get things fixed this week and next are certainly diminished -- but agreed these are issues that need to be addressed.

Todd

 


J Todd Coleman

ArtCraft Entertainment, Inc.

Follow us on Twitter @CrowfallGame | Like us on Facebook

[Rules of Conduct]

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3 hours ago, coolster50 said:

The two biggest problems, that I see, that should be addressed before the first Sanctioned Campaign, is that points are collected too quickly and it's too easy for solo and duo players to take forts/keeps, especially at the beginning of a campaign when all the guards are neutral.

My suggestion would be to:

  1. Increase the turn in time to 30 or 60 min. Personally I would rather Outposts be collected every 30 min, Forts every other hour, and Keeps once a day (and rebalance the points they give to match), but I'll settle for increasing the turn in time for now
  2. Have the guards be hostile when they're neutral, so you have to have a group to take forts in the early rush to get points. You could just make neutral guards hostile to players, code an NPC faction as a fourth faction (just don't show the points they collect), or have already hostile mobs owning the forts in the beginning.

You probably can't do any of these since you don't have a team that can implement this, but as long as we agree it's a problem, I'm fine with it

For me, it's also the ring-around-the-rosey feel. Why do I want to hold the Outpost, besides points? If the answer is, "I don't," then it becomes a pretty mundane exercise of back-capping. I got fairly tired of it in one hour. Maybe when we can free build in the world, I'd feel differently. Perhaps it is also the sheer density of things to capture is a bit over the top and impossible to really defend in a way that isn't capture-capture back.


Mic MWH, Member of Mithril Warhammers since 2003,


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

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58 minutes ago, McTan said:

Maybe when we can free build in the world, I'd feel differently. 

Is free building even a thing?  How would player free built assets generate points?  Can stoneborn build from the corpses of their fallen?  


40 minutes ago, Andius said:

W/HoA were held up as like these mystical forces of highly skilled players with legendary theorycrafters chained to a desk in some deep dungeon holding all the arcane secrets we could use to win if only we knew them.

wiDfyPp.png

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Make it so that forts go on cd for a few turns after capping and keeps only give points immediately after a successful defense.  This makes defense definitively more valuable than offense.  Coupled with an ability to actually defend, I think this would make a big difference.  I also think the risk/reward of crafting in a fort makes it not worth it, which eliminates a fort's logistical value.  Maybe make it so you can craft out of a local bank inside a fort?  I know ganking in base is supposed to be this huge use case you guys want to enable but considering that allowing it is just moving people into keeps and beachheads with no apparent benefit, maybe it's not that good?

Edited by canvox

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There is currently a bug not allowing players to unlock their characters to join the new campaign, is this intentional? If not, please help us devs!

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Quote

I’m sure many of you have heard of the halving-and-doubling rule for design. I can’t remember who I got this from [...], but basically it says that the quickest way to iterate on balance is to half or double a number and try it to see how it feels. Then half or double the difference and keep doing that until it feels right.

I just wanted to point out, that giving this method a fancy name doesn't make it a "rule". This is the worst possible way of "fine-tuning" stuff – brainless trial and error. It's not only wasting time by forcing lots of pointless iterations, but actually may not work at all, if the underlying mechanics are too complex or, in worst case, show a chaotic-deterministic behaviour (that means slow variations in the input variables result in extreme and unpredictable changes in the output).

If we are not able to make a mathematical model of the system, then at least we have to consider how variables interact with each other, and if they do so in a linear or exponential way. If we lower crit damage by 50% and crit chance by 50% (relatively), we'll end up nerfing crit boni to a 1/4. We could apply this wrong "rule" endlessly without finding the right spot, without proper understanding of the underlying mathematics. But with the right understanding, it just takes a simple equation to do it right on the first try.

Bottom line: It's part of the job of game design to not just randomly apply such approaches that only makes sense, if you don't actually understand what you want to create.

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Great Job getting the campaign systems online! This is a monumental step toward making crowfall the objective based throne war simulator we've been dreaming of since kickstarter, and the entire team at ACE deserves every bit of holiday break they can get for the remarkable progress over the last six months to the live facing client!

Know that when I and other players second guess and tear down your decisions we do it from a place of love for a project in which we see both the potential for something truly special, and a team who obviously cares deeply about realizing that potential far more than pushing out an early release and turning the on switch in the dollar printing machine.

Campaigns are a monumental step. I wish I could buy you all nice presents for the holidays in thanks.

That said, we still have much to do together, and as such I'll do my part of flapping off at the mouth, and I'm sure you'll do your part to evaluate this and all feedback critically and within the lens of your own vision and come to the conclusions best for Crowfall in the coming months just as you have done for the past few years.

Night Capping/The imbalance of flat scoring with nonflat population activity.

 

In stead of just adding to a constant score total each turn, split the day in to chunks. Lets call them superturns. The game still counts score as it does now, but that score is not translated directly to victory points. In stead it is used to determine where teams place in the current superturn.

These superturns are valued by time of day, using whatever metrics are used to determine when to set siege times. Teams are given VP related to where their faction has placed in the current superturn and that superturn's value.

So for instance, lets say we're looking at NA, and we split the day in to 4 superturns and award points to teams based on the placing 1st/2nd/3rd:

Morning: 6/3/1

Afternoon: 6/3/1

Primetime: 12/6/1

Graveyard: 3/2/1

This means that fighting during prime time is worth more than fighting at any other time of day, and we've done this because our metrics for this region indicate that this is when the highest level of player activity is. In addition, the lower number of overall points and constrained focus on each superturn leaves far less room for players to be swamped in a day or so by some team owning all of the pois. In the current system, victory is a function of volume rather than competition. You're encouraged to take literally everything, and once you've done so it is simply time consuming for enemies to retake it, and you stack on a lot of score while defending nothing.

In the superturn system, how MUCH your own is irrelevent to total victory. All that matters is you own more than your opponents for the score checkpoint of a superturn. This somewhat mitigates runaway nightcapping by ensuring that taking advantage of a lack of enemy activity doesn't necessarily bank an entire server's worth of points, while still giving utility to "overcapping" by altering the difficulty and required claim amount for the next superturn.

This means that even if I nightcap the whole server, I'm not effectively advancing the win any more than if I spent the night edging out active enemies. My efforts are still useful. I've still made it more difficult for my opponents to win the next superturn, but I have enabled a short term rather than long term advantage for my team, giving my opponents (when they log in) ample opportunity to contribute meaningfully to victory without also having to have a similar period of relatively unchecked free capping.

Because the losers and second place experiences a lesser overall differential in point gain at less populated times, and that differential is based on cometition rather than total sum of claims, gaining an early advantage does not necessarily necessitate an enemy be similarly dominant over the other two factions. Indeed an early advantage under this system can be eroded simply by the other two factions only slightly outclaiming the faction with the early lead rather than allowing that faction to bank a bunch of points early and coast on that early victory for an extended period of time afterward.

The tedium of outpost capping and how to define the front lines.

Outposts are fine, but they could benefit from more direction. currently there are so many in he world that they serve to diffuse players away from one another rather than funnel them toward one another and in to conflict.

Link outposts to forts, runegates, and other outposts sequentially to create "front lines" and clearly define relative "territory" to push players in to conflict.

Imagine a set of lines connecting all outposts. In order to attempt to cap an outpost it must be connected to something your faction already owns. Your faction always owns the runegates from its beach head. At the beginning of the campaign all outposts are considered neutral, and so teams must begin, naturally, by attempting to capture the outposts near their runegate. Once those are captures they can capture outposts near those outposts and so on until they get to a fort or keep. Forts require this outpost chain to be claimed, but after the initial capture keeps to not, effectively making siege times a way to get an alternate functional base from which to outpost cap.

For expansion in to other islands, factions must own the fort associated with that runegate, effectively making them owners of the link as well. This creates a natural expansion of territory which may splinter in multiple direction, and adds strategic context to ownership of all POIs beyond simple scoring. Is it better to chain cap directly to the heart of enemy territory for a more target rich environment of pois, or broaden their own territory in an effort to hald enemy incursion upon their POIs?

Players may attempt to decap enemy outposts they do not have links to as a form of sabotage, but may not cap outposts "behind enemy lines" so to speak.

This system creates a clear set of territory and battle lines that create clear, obvious natural regions of each map where players attempting to help their faction should go. As well, it creates a sense of progression as players may be progressing these links toward an objective (like a fort) and in general this links objectives together in to a coherant whole. You need outposts to capture forts, you capture more outposts to further secure forts. You want to have assets close to keeps during siege and you want to own keeps as they are effectively secondary beach heads.

This system can just as easily function in FFA campaigns by allowing players to construct outposts and automatically linking them based on proximity.

Data and metrics, and why you might want to be careful with them.

As I stated previously, this is a great step and I'm glad you're getting lots of data on software performance. however with a complete lack of reward for winning and the knowledge of repeated and often unexpected wipes, know that your data is tainted. Player behavior in the absence of proper campaign rewards is, quite likely, very different from player behaviour when winning campaigns does something other than give you fuzzy feelings. There's a reason you have people already complaining they don't "get anything" for capping, and indeed incentivizing capping has ben an ongoing issue ever before campaigns made it in (this is how we ended up with all the stuff in forts and keeps)

I wouldn't give too much credence to how much people interact with campaign objectives right now because, in a practical sense, you have given players no incentive to interact with them. While many may work in the "spirit of the game" many more are primarily concenred with gearing themsleves up and filling their spirit bank so they can wreck face or not get their faces wrecked. Players in general care about as much about the campaign score as they did when there was no campaign score because in a practical sense it has the same impact on their play. Its just numbers that have no intrinsic benefit.

Until your reward model incentivizes players to give a crap about winning campaigns, don't rebalance campaigns under the assumption the majority of players give a crap about winning campaigns.

Edited by PopeUrban
Prefaced with something positive because I don't like being a hardcore negative nancy know it all armchair developer in someone else's hard work.

PopeSigGIF.gif

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

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9 hours ago, srathor said:

It's because time is valuable and crafters are the weakest most exposed and carrying all the good stuff. Have fun in basics everyone.  I have been hoping they do this for a while so the poorly made socksstorm can wake up a few people. 

Fort guards dont make much difference to certain classes, which are so tanky that they can just jump into the forts and wreck everyone. 


Huginn ok Muninn, fljúga hverjan dag, Jörmungrund yfir; óumk ek of Hugin,, at hann aftr né komi-t, þó sjámk meir of Munin

Gathering of Ranger videos

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2 hours ago, PopeUrban said:

The tedium of outpost capping and how to define the front lines.

Outposts are fine, but they could benefit from more direction...

This sounds interesting, but it'll take some doing to get it implemented.

In the interim, for the sake of getting away from the tedium of the neutral capping race at server start, I'd just as soon see all of the forts & outposts claimed at start with pre-defined front lines. Running around the map looking for places to stand around for a few minutes isn't the most exciting way to start a new campaign.

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Just now, VaMei said:

This sounds interesting, but it'll take some doing to get it implemented.

In the interim, for the sake of getting away from the tedium of the neutral capping race at server start, I'd just as soon see all of the forts & outposts claimed at start with pre-defined front lines. Running around the map looking for places to stand around for a few minutes isn't the most exciting way to start a new campaign.

True. that would be a much more expedient fix for the immediate future.


PopeSigGIF.gif

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

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