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Crowfall's Biggest Problem: Losing Still Needs To Be FUN!

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The biggest problem facing Crowfall (in my opinion). How do you incentivize the losing side to keep playing? How do you incentivize someone to willingly be the opposition to a group that will most likely win?

Edited by ZYBAK
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The different campaign levels should take care of some of that.  In 3 faction losing does not hurt as much and you would still get some export.  Down to the Dregs where the skilled guilds will be, after a loss they should want to try again, try a new spec, get revenge.


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Some little things that could help
1.What if killing players from the winning faction at that time yields more score, would help a little since last place will be getting Bonus points from both sides where 2nd would only get bonuses from 1st place this would help catching up and people would focus attacking the winner cause there now worth double the points per kill so it should keep scoring a little closer together and prevent snowballing in that campaign Can try double score points for people in the lead and tweak it from there.

I feel on the topic of the first one not all player kills should be equal player kill score should be based on there score so if there leading the leader board killing them may give 10 score where some newbie would only be worth 1 for example (Double that if they infront of your faction on score board) There has to be a CD of like 10-20 mins between deaths before there worth points again though i know there a system of some kind in place like this but i dont realy know what it is since devs never said how it works :P

2.I would like to see ways for non PvP combatants to gain score for there faction aswell i find sacrificing items like resources or even crafted good can generate score you should only be able to generate x score every hour this way though to prevent people stacking up millions of resources to dump at the end of the campaign for a surprise victory that no one could of prevented but if you put a 1 hour timer where you can only get say 100 score from resource sacrificing per hour as a faction this should help that. This will be a good way for people to clear out there low quality resources aswell. 

You can expand on this system aswell for loosing sides where they could get mission where the loosing side can sacrafice X resource X amount of times as a faction to earn additional score that the winners can not this would add for additional ways to close the score cap and always give the loosing side a possibility to comeback

3. Missions kinda like quests, these are timed quests that happen every x time maybe once every couple hours, I would like to see every side get these however the loosing sides bonus to score is much higher than first place (For examples winners get 100 score 2nd place gets 250 score last place gets 500 score) upon completling these quests. Some quick mission idea below
- Faction captures 90% of a zone
- Supply missions NPC needs 5000 gold ore from the faction
- Crafting missions give the npc X amount of items
- Kill X amount of (Certain faction usualy the winning one)


Veeshan Midst of UXA

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As a long time campaign player in WWII Online since 2004, the concerns expressed here are near and dear to my heart and certainly a challenge for game developers.  WWII is almost identical to Crowfall in terms of what dictates the eventual campaign winner.  There is no gear curve or player leveling in WWII.  While it is skill and tactics based, at the end of the day its about numbers and good management of limited equipment a side can bring to bear ... but far and away its about numbers.  Here are my observations from 14 years of playing in this type of game.

Over the years the game has tried all manner of 'incentivizing' an underpop and losing side.  This often took the approach of trying to balance things to give the underpop side some advantage.  They tried spawn delay for overpop side.  They tried faster caps for the underpop side.  They implemented mechanics that limited strategic movement thereby limiting the amount of town taking damage an overpop side could inflict in a period.  And the list goes on; falling just short of side locking.  In short, none of the balancing efforts yielded any appreciable results and in general none were received very well by the playerbase, especially controls on how fast one could spawn into the game.

I fear that any effort here to skew the scoring to help the underpop team will yield similar results.  Further, I think that just as taking a town or holding a town was the measure of success for the vast majority of players in WWIIOL, it will be the same here and relegating a losing side to perform 'other tasks' to score won't be the carrot to keep people playing.

One other observation ... without question the biggest impact on losing players in WWIIOL occurred when one side was able to string together more than 3 campaign wins in a row.  And this was very difficult to adjust for two reasons.  1) The game had no mechanics to adjust game parameters or win conditions.  2) More importantly the players had unwittingly created an unassailable side loyalty condition.  Very few people ever switched sides to self balance.  You were Axis or you were Allies.  Squads had their websites built around a side.  The game had structured high commands for each side.  It was only very very late in the games history when much of the playerbase was already gone where large squads came to the conclusion that unless they switched sides to self balance the game was finished.  With that experience in mind,  I would caution against mechanics that promote faction loyalty.  Because at the end of the day the player base will end up having to self balance.  Thankfully I already see that happening to an extent here in Crowfall and it needs to keep happening!

So what to do?  I think the greatest impact that can be had is limiting the length of the campaign.  Who in their right mind would stick around when their vessel is campaign locked in a losing affair for 6 months.  90 days is too long as well.  Even if you have a really good campaign going where the scoring is relatively close you have to consider what is actually happening at day 70.  In this scenario you have a slogfest going.  Sides are fighting over the same old forts.  You take it during the day, side B takes it back during their highpop and then side C takes it during their highpop.  Rinse repeat.  The slogfest can be as debilitating to a playerbase as one side always losing.  We saw this in spades in WWII Online.  Once a campaign had stagnated people lost interest.

So what is the purpose or attraction of having a campaign go more than 45 days ... or maybe even 30 days.  Crowfall has something that WWIIOL did not have and that is what I believe to be a robust mechanic for changing the parameters of the campaign.  So lets see some of that!  Why do I have to wait 6 months for a fresh start and something different.  A fresh campaign is the best opportunity to change the course of the ship.  It is an opportunity to reengage players that may have lost interest, an opportunity for larger guilds to help with some self balancing, and an opportunity for a losing side to make some new alliances and attempt to energize their side.

I believe that if you simply limit the lengths of the campaign the problem will take care of itself and you won't have to go down a path of introducing balancing mechanics and 'incentivization' mechanics.


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1 hour ago, Cosian said:

As a long time campaign player in WWII Online since 2004, the concerns expressed here are near and dear to my heart and certainly a challenge for game developers.  WWII is almost identical to Crowfall in terms of what dictates the eventual campaign winner.  There is no gear curve or player leveling in WWII.  While it is skill and tactics based, at the end of the day its about numbers and good management of limited equipment a side can bring to bear ... but far and away its about numbers.  Here are my observations from 14 years of playing in this type of game.


Hey man, that's awesome. Ash, here, from Day 1 in WWII online, did a stint in HC too for Allies. God, some of those campaigns were rough.

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I think it really depends what kind of rules the devs find for certain problems. E.g. if you are allowed after a campaign ends to keep your inventory and take it over to your EK it can be very rewarding for any harvesters even if you lose a campaign. But if they wipe your inventory and you lose its kind of punishing. And if you are allowed to bring good items from the last campaign into the next one it would be nice. But on the other hand, people that won the last one will have great benefit then for the next one. Kind of hard to balance. But also there could be cosmetic items as rewards. This would make more sense as it is better to balance.


In general the question is still open what kind of role the EK has to play, how you improve it, what kind of benefits its grants for the next campaign and so on and what you can do to improve your character between campaigns. Lets say for winning you get a parcel for your EK with certain ore resource spots and you are then allowed to bring the ores that you harvested from that into the next one. But then what do the losers get. Maybe also some resource parcel but with lower rank or less ore. You could make like a minimum reward for a campaign you get simply for joining it and make it better the more point you contribute. And the winners get some extra stuff may it be cosmetic or something for their EK don`t know.

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15 minutes ago, DocHollidaze said:

Hey man, that's awesome. Ash, here, from Day 1 in WWII online, did a stint in HC too for Allies. God, some of those campaigns were rough.

Aye ... that game generated a ton of great play and stories for sure!  Made a lot of long time friends.  Good to see ya!


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Hoard guilds will always be an issue when they create a game design that support those type of guilds. If ACE try to limit with 50 guild members you always have a hoard guild creating division I, II, III, IV, V etc. so limit amount of guild members dont help except friendly fire, but why not implement friendly fire it right away outside of a limit group size? A hoard guild only care about winning so they will probably try to fill up a campaign with as many as possible to get little resistance as possible since campaigns are rumored to cap at 1650  players. 

Then u have the cheatter guilds who hate losing and exploit the custard out of the game to get a tiny advantage in pvp like Ebonlore type of guilds, dupes, exp. exploits, or broken class issues that seldom get adressed and reported there are quite a few such guilds playing CF right now and I know some of them since the UO days. 

But I agree with most of @ZYBAK view in this topic. The game should be fun even if u are on the losing side of the war, but I know how many guilds resigned in shadowbane  after their city lay in ruins so we will see how it go especially in the guild/Dreg focus campaign world setting. 

Edited by mythx


Crowfall Game Client: https://www.crowfall.com/en/client/

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What if they did the following?

  • Shorter campaigns, maybe 4 weeks to start ending on a weekend to have huge battles.

  • Each season getting more points.  IE Winter giving the most points. They are doing this now.

  • Give extra points losing team for capture of the winning team.  IE in 3 faction campaign.  Maybe 3rd place team gets 3x the points if first team is x amount ahead and 2nd place gets 2x the points.  Basically a catch up mechanic if a team is too far ahead.  Also makes team 2/3 focus the top team.  These numbers can be tweaked of course.  But basically making it so it is better to go up against the winning side to get points.  This will be very important in guild vs guild.  You don’t want mid level guilds thinking the lower level guilds are easy points.

  • I don’t feel individuals should be rewarded in guild/faction campaign for their contribution. 

  • I know many want the winning side to get rewards that carry over. I think this will create a very slippery slope.  Players won’t want to self-balance when they are risking losing rewards.  Winning teams will become run away winners.  I prefer cosmetics, name recognition, EK, VIP, etc…
  • If there are exports.  Losing side are likely to just give up doing PvP and just try and gather resources for the next campaign.  If you know your going to lose why keep playing and be worse off next campaign.

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The winners already have the most sought out prize.  Victory.  Sense of accomplishment.  Maybe throw in there some skins for weapons, vessels, structures, etc...  But not anything that would allow a win-to-win situation.  In board games it's one of the worst design flaws you can think of and I believe it should be avoided in Crowfall.

I'm all for giving more to the losers then to the winners, to incentivise them to try again, and give them an edge in doing so on the next fight.  It could come in many different forms. 

- Ressources  (from raw material up to weapons/armor, structures or vessels)
- Buffs (hp, food consumption, combat stats, crafting stats, harvesting stats, etc...)
- Techs (new weapon/armor/structure/vessel blueprints)
- Intel (IE : some form of fast travelling spirits to scout, better detection of stealthed chars, location of valuable ressource nodes, number of enemies on maps, etc...)
- Better NPCs for the next campaign guarding forts and outposts.  Further aggro range, better stealth detection, etc... 
- Geographic advantage like easier maps to defend, gates closer to best ressource nodes, etc...

For the winners, it would be a fight to see how long they could hold on their dominance against increasing odds, up to the point where they lose and everything resets.  At that moment they'll dominate again and start building their legacy once more until the moment where the odds are again too strongly tipped against them.  Will they dominate longer than last time or is the opposition getting better ?  Maybe they became the underdog as stray players flocked to the other sides to get the added benefits from losing again and again ?  At least it's dynamic and although unfair in many aspects, it keeps things entertaining for a majority of players.  

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