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Capture Points - Official discussion thread

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4 minutes ago, Darguth said:

I'm definitely in agreement with Jah here. If the relatively low imbalance in passive skills now is problematic to having a fun (not necessarily "fair") playing field, then there are fundamental problems with the design of the passive skill system that need attention sooner rather than later.

Again, the messaging is the bigger problem. If you join a released game months late, with planned catch up mechanics coming anyway, it's more of a "oh well, I'll get there".

But imagine ACE says "Soft Launch is coming soon" and on Soft Launch day you finally log in after waiting for things to be permanent only to find out that they let people start training 3 months earlier and just didn't tell you. How disgruntled are you going to be?

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13 hours ago, Tinnis said:

top required change:

make forts at the start hostile. rushing out at lvl 1 to cap no fightin is silly

I've been an advocate for that change for a long while. Here are some other changes I'd really like to see implemented before the ~*~first sanctioned campaign~*~ despite them probably being scheduled for 6.0:

- Locking disciplines to vessels
- Requiring a runecrafter craft major disciplines (even from dust & ore if not from NPC drops)
- Locking out Spirit Bank access from any/everywhere in the world

The game will be fundamentally different with these changes and it seems strange to me we'd see an "official" competition happen before they're in.

 

5 hours ago, ilogos said:

I agree on this point that outposts should have a similar "on fire" symbol whenever it is being capped (similar to Forts/Keeps).

One of the better aspects of having so many outposts on the map so near each other is that one can sit with it open and watch the color of flags change, showing you what faction(s) may be on the map and in what direction they're going.

Oh, and speaking of the map, can we get some clarification regarding the scoreboard?

- What contributes to my personal score?
- Does someone I kill have to be level 30 for it to count? Do they have to belong to a guild? (I've seen both of those "theories" bandied about on streams with zero evidence to back them up but with total belief that both are true.) Is there a cooldown on how long between successive kills on one person will be counted?
- Should the accumulated individual scores of all members of a guild equal the score attributed to their guild atop the board of their faction?

I'm sure I could come up with some more questions if I wanted but my point in asking them is that none of us even know if the scoreboard or point accumulation in general is even working right now and I'd like that not to be the case. Can we get a rundown on how it should be working currently?

 

Regarding the wiping of gear or skills... I can't say I currently care. I can say that I've been playing as though I didn't expect one, that I've foolishly told people in my guild not to expect one, and that I don't know what affect believing there will be one would have on current activity/motivation to log in.

 

Also, I'd like to suggest to ACE that my play time is not a problem that needs fixing. I work nights, which means a lot of my weekly play time will be mornings and early afternoons, and throughout the night on my days off. People who play on the same server as I will might see whatever I do while they're asleep, at work, or at school as "unfair" or some other nonsense and I just want to emphasis that my play time is just as valuable as anyone else's, regardless of what time of the day it occurs in, and I'd appreciate my influence in this throne war simulator not being handicapped because of somebody else's bedtime.

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From my point of view there must be a fair and equal start for everybody at the beginning of each campaign.

The reset via expansions or Seasons is the reason why the succesful games keep their playerbase over years because this is in fact a wipe every time. Well organized guilds and experienced players achive an advantage anyway the more time passes by. But it´s the progression and a new start that keeps you playing to see how far you can come or who succesful you can be with your guild within a Campaign.

The passive skill system is designed not to be wiped at a certain point and works against this. But for example it can be speeded up significantly so that you can maybe skill a entire profession lets say by the end of summer or towards middle of fall. Than you  can make the best possible gear to fight in winter when the only thing that matters is to win the campaign. When the campaign ends, it will be wiped too. This would also give players the chance to decide to be a figher in one campaign or a cafter in another one. The current system locks you into a certain role unless you own multiple accounts.

Just my 2 cents,

Greets

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12 minutes ago, Svenn said:

Again, the messaging is the bigger problem. If you join a released game months late, with planned catch up mechanics coming anyway, it's more of a "oh well, I'll get there".

No, it's not a messaging problem. Because even with catch-up mechanics you have 2 potential outcomes. Either 1) they allow you to fully catch-up in which case the passive skill training system is just a hard, artificial time gate or 2) the catch-up mechanic only gets you "close" to where veterans are but you can never fully catch-up.

Option #1 is a bad concept. Option #2 means that some passive skill imbalance is *intended*. If it's intended, we need to test it to make sure that the concept actually works. Players need to be able to jump into the game, be at a passive skill disadvantage, and still have fun without needing to fully understand why the disparity exists. You can't solve that by over-communicating because new players simply are not going to be able to digest that amount or nuance of information in the time it takes them to form an impression of the game. It's an inherent issue of how new players are going to perceive their initial experience.

Comprehensively documenting why something works the way it does will no't solve the problem of a user perceiving the functionality as a bad user experience. I know. I've worked in software development for a long time and we tried this approach for many years. It was always a bad idea.

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If anything new players need a handicap not a disadvantage.  I think it will be a pretty big turn off when they find out the veteran who is likely killing him had more skills given to them by the game.

PoE and Diablo 3 have seasons, each season is a new reset.

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5 minutes ago, Darguth said:

No, it's not a messaging problem. Because even with catch-up mechanics you have 2 potential outcomes. Either 1) they allow you to fully catch-up in which case the passive skill training system is just a hard, artificial time gate or 2) the catch-up mechanic only gets you "close" to where veterans are but you can never fully catch-up.

Option #1 is a bad concept. Option #2 means that some passive skill imbalance is *intended*. If it's intended, we need to test it to make sure that the concept actually works. Players need to be able to jump into the game, be at a passive skill disadvantage, and still have fun without needing to fully understand why the disparity exists. You can't solve that by over-communicating because new players simply are not going to be able to digest that amount or nuance of information in the time it takes them to form an impression of the game. It's an inherent issue of how new players are going to perceive their initial experience.

Comprehensively documenting why something works the way it does will no't solve the problem of a user perceiving the functionality as a bad user experience. I know. I've worked in software development for a long time and we tried this approach for many years. It was always a bad idea.

It's Option #1. We've known about this system from the beginning. I can't say I'm a big fan of time based skill training (or any sort of time gates), but we've known about it from the beginning and it's really not that big of an issue.

It's a gate that forces people to specialize, with "time" being the limiter instead of some other limitation. The main purpose is to prevent people from being able to master all the crafting and combat and gathering and be able to do everything themselves. That's why it will take something like 40 years to finish out the whole tree at last calculation. They could have gone with hard limits on training or some other limits, but they chose time gates as the limiter.

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1 minute ago, Zorph said:

If anything new players need a handicap not a disadvantage.  I think it will be a pretty big turn off when they find out the veteran who is likely killing him had more skills given to them by the game.

 

PoE and Diablo 3 have seasons, each season is a new reset.

Well, the idea was supposed to be a small power curve with passive training being just a small part of that. I think that's mostly accomplished for combat, but the big problem is gear discrepancies and that comes from crafting side of passive training. They nerfed advanced gear so now there's a smaller power curve which should help.

Guilds are super important, though, and once a player joins a guild that guild should be supplying them with advanced gear. Then the only difference is the passive training which is relatively minor boosts.

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Just now, Svenn said:

Well, the idea was supposed to be a small power curve with passive training being just a small part of that. I think that's mostly accomplished for combat, but the big problem is gear discrepancies and that comes from crafting side of passive training. They nerfed advanced gear so now there's a smaller power curve which should help.

Guilds are super important, though, and once a player joins a guild that guild should be supplying them with advanced gear. Then the only difference is the passive training which is relatively minor boosts.

It doesn't matter how small the boost is, any advantage won't be looked as good.  Giving any handicap to veterans just because they played longer will drive away new players.

This is why most games give handicaps to the new or inferior player.

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9 minutes ago, Svenn said:

It's Option #1. We've known about this system from the beginning. I can't say I'm a big fan of time based skill training (or any sort of time gates), but we've known about it from the beginning and it's really not that big of an issue.

Do you happen to have a source for that? Not implying anything with that question, but it's contrary to my recollection on what the Skill Tome concept was meant to do, so I'd want to refresh on it.

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3 minutes ago, Zorph said:

It doesn't matter how small the boost is, any advantage won't be looked as good.  Giving any handicap to veterans just because they played longer will drive away new players.

This is why most games give handicaps to the new or inferior player.

The passive training system was basically directly lifted from Eve. As much as I hate that game... I have to admit that the passive training has never seemed to be a problem for them there.

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Just now, Svenn said:

The passive training system was basically directly lifted from Eve. As much as I hate that game... I have to admit that the passive training has never seemed to be a problem for them there.

I don't play Eve but isn't that a persistent world game?  More like a traditional MMORPG.

This being a campaign game it seems very different. 

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1 minute ago, Darguth said:

Do you happen to have a source for that? Not implying anything with that question, but it's contrary to my recollection on what the Skill Tome concept was meant to do, so I'd want to refresh on it.

I can't remember exactly which video, but there's a video where Todd mentions something about putting in a cap for skill tomes so you can use them to catch up to where you'd be if you started at the beginning, but not to pass that limit. Essentially a global hard cap on skill training that you can reach either through starting from the beginning or using skill tomes to catch up to.

This was mentioned as a casual remark when discussing the skill tomes and not a definite plan, but the implication was that they want players to be able to fully catch up and they don't want players to be able to bypass the time gating.

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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, Zorph said:

I don't play Eve but isn't that a persistent world game?  More like a traditional MMORPG.

This being a campaign game it seems very different. 

What makes passive skill training any different between these two? Both games are MMOs. Crowfall uses campaigns to change the maps and produce winners, but skill training, characters, and import/export stuff is all persistent. 

Edited by Svenn

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This is a re-post of some ideas and feedback I shared in the bug report thread for 12/26.

The game needs a ton of work in the performance optimization department.  Large fights have been turning into slide shows, players crashing, and lockups.  The group member shader appears to negatively impact performance. Not sure why this was added to begin with as most players can tell who is in their group without the lag inducing group shading.  Hunger shards are still having an impact on performance and treb fields, +2 or more trebs, appear to cause massive fps drops.  Crowfall needs a ton of love in the performance optimization department before live sanctioned campaigns.  Marketing push without a reasonably strong push on performance optimization would be a bad move imo.

Here are some ideas your design team might consider for improving "Win Conditions".

-outposts and camps should not be included in the scoring.
-outposts serve as 50m stealth detection buff to controlling faction, camps restore food passively over time.
-implement hot zone tech that rotates through each adventure/siege zone making the forts in those hot zones vulnerable.  This will funnel pvp to hot zones.  Hot zone rotation should be set for NA prime times on NA servers, EU prime times for EU servers.  6 hour hot zone rotation on weekdays, 12 hour rotations on weekends.  Hold both forts at the conclusion of a hot zone cycle nets you the equivalent of the keep crafting buffs while crafting in that adventure/siege zone.
-buff guards to have variable damage types.
-further out I would like to see spires added to keeps and forts which can be built up and powered on with gold that will put out anti stealth field or perhaps just a massive stealth awareness buff to all players in the fort.
-increase banewood, tol health, have material quality factor into the HP of trebs and other siege weapons.
*NOTE* A passwall group can legit take down a TOL in under 60 seconds, that's just wrong imo.

Crowfall is not ready for a massive marketing push, performance is still a major hurdle ACE engineering needs to work on improving.  Adjusting point capture dials does nothing to prevent the poorly made socks cap / back cap issue sucking the fun from the game currently.

At the end of a night of back capping this is pretty much the sentiment of all parties involved.

 

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Since this idea keeps coming up I'll add that I abhor the idea of "hot zones" or any mechanic that limits what outpost or fort I can attack at any time. The players should determine where fighting is or is not happening. I'd appreciate the least amount of hand holding as possible.

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Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, Tinnis said:

top required change:

make forts at the start hostile. rushing out at lvl 1 to cap no fightin is silly

+1 

This is absolutely needed @jtoddcoleman

Edited by Kreigon

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1 hour ago, Sores said:

The passive skill system is designed not to be wiped at a certain point and works against this. But for example it can be speeded up significantly so that you can maybe skill a entire profession lets say by the end of summer or towards middle of fall. Than you  can make the best possible gear to fight in winter when the only thing that matters is to win the campaign. When the campaign ends, it will be wiped too. This would also give players the chance to decide to be a figher in one campaign or a cafter in another one. The current system locks you into a certain role unless you own multiple accounts.

Just my 2 cents,

Greets

I like the offline skill process ala EVE.  My schedule may not permit me to play everyday or in every campaign and the fact that at least something is happening keeps me interested.  Also, eventually you will have all the passive skills anyway, or certainly be high enough up in all chains to have a strong base to go in any direction for a particular campaign.  

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The primary argument in favor of a wipe seems to be the notion that a wipe puts all players in an equal starting position.  The argument takes the form as something like this: X player has played longer/is better/etc.; X player has thereby accumulated more gear, passive skills, etc.; X player's accumulated wealth will create an unfair advantage when the next campaign starts.  I believe this argument to be folly for a myriad of reasons.

First, wealth is purely a relative measure and this applies to wealth inside a video game. 

Second, each player's inherent ability to build in-game wealth (regardless of the form it takes, e.g. gear, resources, etc.) is not equal.  The respective skills of each player will persist from campaign to campaign (and Crowfall has a pretty darn high learning curve).  Those players who know how to play will immediately have a significant advantage as soon as a freshly wiped campaign starts.

Further, Crowfall is a GROUP game.  Not only will individuals be better at the game than others, but the best players will cooperate with one another in guilds and other associations to increase the wealth gap.

Practically speaking, this means that certain players are inherently going to level faster, harvest more and better resources, craft more and better gear, and all of this will happen immediately following a wipe.  What this looks like day 1 is that, among other things, every single person in a 50 man guild will have advanced weapons, mounts, and level 30 vessels, at the very least (the top pvp players will be in advanced armor, have food and other buffs, etc).  As an individual player, you are going to lose, day 1; as a crappy guild, you are going to lose, day 1; as a great guild, you are still going to lose to other guilds, day 1.  Hierarchies are inherent...

It's the speed at which certain players can build wealth relative to others that creates the largest portion of any wealth disparity in Crowfall, not the wealth they start with.  In a word, you might call this skill or merit.  Simply put, large guilds are better organized and will band together in a way that has an immediate (and as best as I can tell an insurmountable) impact on the scoreboard.

By demanding wipes, all you're doing is giving the players who build wealth more quickly than you do the advantage. 

I don't believe the skill of building in-game wealth quickly should be something that Crowfall supremely rewards and, presently, I don't think it's something that Crowfall really does reward [I have gear I personally crafted without any passive training and I can hang in 60+ person sieges with a starter vessel].  As a general observation, if Crowfall isn't any fun with huge disparities of in-game wealth, then everyone need not begin playing.  Large disparities of in-game wealth are certain to happen with Crowfall's present mechanics (and pretty much every other MMORPG - this is the whole point of an RPG, building wealth/advancement/creating disparities).

Third, the game does not need to be balanced around the present campaign type.  Given that there are many campaign types expected, e.g. campaigns with zero imports, it makes no sense to wipe this type of campaign, at this precise moment.  The people who are demanding wipes might as well demand a different campaign type to test.

Fourth, the more wealth that is built in the game, the more wealth will be passed down via hand-me-downs, discards, loot, or sales vendors.  These items will still be not as good as what is available, but they will be sufficient to compete against "wealthier" opponents in the present game mechanics.  Because the game economy is broken (due to among other things constant wipes), there is not a huge refuge for new/poor players, thus widening the wealth gap.  Again, it's the speed of wealth generation, not the total amount of other player's wealth, that is keeping certain players inactive or disgruntled.  Frequently wiping the game wipes the fruits of the labor of all players, but some are hurt by this more than others.

Fifth, there are major guilds in every faction that are competing at the top of the food chain.  If you're getting your lunch eaten, then join one.  You might just find access to all of the things you complain you don't have or can't get.  They're all recruiting.

If everyone really wants to "even the playing field," then my suggestion is to get back to some of the kickstarter promises.  The concepts to correct these problems were already identified and planned, but attempting to cater to whiners on the forums has created additional (what should have been easily foreseen) problems.  Specifically, if you want losing to be fun, then make losing less burdensome.  This means players being able to compete for the throne on "day 1," e.g. no leveling, no grind, no huge disparity of equipment (although this is presently pretty mitigated), etc.  This would have the negative consequence of making winning less meaningful, but not everyone is certain to win...  everyone is going to lose though, at some point or another.  And I don't think there are huge changes that need to be made to any core mechanics to achieve this.    

I would like to write more, but I just don't have the time at the moment and need to fire this off...

PS, I wouldn't have a sanctioned campaign until the performance is better during larger scale battles.  It's really the #1, #2, and #3 most important issue.

 

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