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Capture Points - Official discussion thread

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10 hours ago, Jah said:

Isn't that how Crowfall is designed to work?

For some rulesets, but not all of them. Some campaigns will allow imports, others won't. Granted, the faction ruleset campaigns will probably allow more imports, so you'd have a point there. But I'd much rather the first official sanctioned campaign start at a blank slate and move from there. It'll be more of a hassle for me since I already have gear and training, but I think it'd be a better starting point. 

10 hours ago, Jah said:

How often should they wipe everything to make things more fair for new players?

Until the missing systems like skill tomes are in place to allow them to catch up. Doesn't need to be every single CW ofc, but I'd like to see a wipe with every new huge milestone that has the potential to bring a lot of new players and guilds to testing. The effect gear and training has on combat stats is just gigantic. 

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To the devs:

Are you concerned the ongoing performance issues might spoil the fun factor in these sanctioned campaigns, considering current siege fights on Live servers with 40-80 players already causes severe performance issues (2k ping, 10 fps on good gaming rigs), and even more people might join for the official ones? What would be a backup plan in that case, splitting the population into more servers? 

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Posted (edited)

I would vote for reset and no imports.  I believe it will always be an issue for people to start off behind other players because of imports.  Giving an advantage to the better players/guilds before the fight will make the gap even larger.  This is one of the reason people hate p2w games.  It is that they are getting a competitive advantage before the fight even happens.

Bring in new vessel and have fast leveling, maybe 2/3 times it is now.  Get people in and having fun ASAP.

Skills I can understand not resetting if there is an in game mechanic to catch up.

I also would make sure lag is acceptable in large fights before doing the first campaign. You don’t people talking about how they couldn’t play because of lag/rubber banding, etc…

They game is getting great hype with 5.8, just want it to continue.

Edited by Zorph

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Posted (edited)

In my concern, wipe everything (i'm training since day 1), and give accelerated training or full basic for everyone. Why ? Two words : communication & marketing.

You announced the "FIRST" sanctioned campain for crowfall with reward. The vast majority of players are casual, dumb and assisted (yeah i know... ). It will be a bad advertising for crowfall if too many noobs spread the word that crowfall is pay to win or a bad game (even if it's pre alpha/apha/beta...) cause vets had advantages.

You won't need wiping when you have the catch up mechanic implemented. We need a high player base for crowfall to survive over the years so even if it's not the official release, the first sanctioned campain will be a important milestone on road to the release.

And you need to adress performance issues for large scaling fight before launching the first sanctioned campain.

sorry if my english isn't good enough, not my native language :D

Edited by medrenngard

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42 minutes ago, VaMei said:

How do we test skills and their effect on gameplay, if we don't ever acquire them? Even at the current triple speed, it takes many weeks to reach the end of a skill tree.

This is testing. Allow the game to run as closely as possible to the way it's intended to be run, so we can break it now.

Read the full post please - I didn't suggest not being able to acquire skills, I suggested to wipe and provide skillpoints from the start of campaigns so it's possible to play different specs without having to start from fully wiped accounts. You will have higher chances of breaking the game if you can try different skill training specs every campaign compared to slowly progressing down one specilization over multiple campaigns.

More "commited" skill training is something that can still be tested later on.

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Posted (edited)

My preferences would be:

1.) No wipes. We need to get a sense of how higher passive skills of veterans affect gameplay versus newer players in a meaningful way, as that's currently how the Live game is expected (at least by me) to play out.  Even if there are catch-up mechanics, there will always be some kind of (even slight) disparity.

2.) Limited imports. Down to like 15 or something, instead of 150. Enough that you can come in with a set of gear on your back and a few bare essentials, and that's about it. Again this is generally how I'm expecting most Live campaigns to function, so let's see how it feels.

3.) Funnel players towards each other. This is much more important to me than any discussion on imports or wipes or fixing slippery slope issues. As others have said, the game right now is too much of a round-robin. There needs to be both (a) some way to predict where attacks are potentially going to come from so you can actually attempt to defend and (b) a real incentive to defend the location rather than to just scoot and capture a replacement that's nearly indefensible. A couple of ideas:

  • Some kind of lock-out timers on capturing so that everything isn't available for capture 24/7, because to defend everything is to defend nothing.
  • Create some kind of progression to capture points so that "front lines" are created. For example maybe forts cannot be captured unless you've already taken the surrounding outposts, then keeps can't be sieged until the surrounding forts are captured, etc. So if you see outposts starting to drop you can predict an attack might be imminent and actually prepare a defense.
  • At a bare minimum I'd say you need to prioritize better ways to communicate to the player what's going on with regards to capture points being contested or the like. Hell, I'd really like to see some kind of map indicators for just raw PVP/deaths. Like if so many players die on a parcel within X time period, a big icon shows up on the map to tell other players that something's happening. Even just a small handful of ganks should alert players of that faction that there's maybe some danger afoot in an area.

I'm not sure there's the development time to make significant changes in this regard in the last few weeks before this campaign, but I really hope it is being prioritized. An unfun experience with rewards tied to it will actually be a very awful experience. I'd rather focusing on things that make the game more fun before turning to some kind of victory reward mechanics or incentives. It's a game. Playing it should be fun. That's the reward. In-game rewards of any kind for winning, above and beyond the fun of it, can absolutely come later.

Edited by Darguth

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On the subject of proposed ideas to address the slippery slope and keeping a losing side playing ....  First, I like the 'knobs' proposed as I think it keeps the campaign interesting as it ramps up.  However, I do not think, despite additional opportunities for a losing team to make a big impact or effect a large point swing with creativity and tactics will result in keeping a losing underpop team in the game.  Regardless of 'opportunity'  they are still underpop and the chances of taking anything of consequence remains slim.  I made a post in another thread that I am re-posting here that I believe applies to the question.  In this post Zybak talks about how to keep losing fun and my response is copied below.

Full Post

 

My response .....

---------------------------

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.

----------------------------

The thesis here is keeping the campaigns shorter.  I never really understood Todd's goal of trying to make campaigns last longer due to the stagnation problem I reference with longer campaigns.

On the subject of the wipes for the first campaign.  I am good with a full wipe and it may allow you to collect additional data and comment on what people think about the gear and level up curve, not to mention putting everyone on an equal footing again.

Salute!

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11 hours ago, Jah said:

When will that issue go away?

I see the point you are trying to make, but you're missing the big picture. We're in pre-alpha. That inherently means that not all features are in, which includes the catch up mechanic - Tomes. On top of that, the disadvantages that a new player might experience will go away over time as they get closer to maxing a skill tree or two. Veterans will have more skill trees, but it will be horizontal progression. In a 2 week campaign that's not going to happen.

Also, lots of people aren't playing while they wait for a reason to play. "Sanctioned campaigns" are a reason to play. It will draw a lot of new players in. If there's no wipe then what they are really saying is "Sanctioned campaigns actually started last month, sorry we didn't give you a heads up to start back then". It's more of a problem of messaging in this case. People that have been waiting for a reason to play will feel as though they were misled about the start date, and people love to hate on a company that they feel has misled them in some way no matter how unintentional. That won't be an issue after launch because it won't be bad messaging (ie "Screw ACE for lying to me"), it will just be people finding out about it late ("Oh man, why didn't I know about this game before?").

There needs to be a clear "start point" for anything with actual rewards. Launch will be that for the full game. Sanctioned Campaigns are the clear "start point" for anyone that's only interested in playing for actual rewards.

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1 hour ago, Svenn said:

I see the point you are trying to make, but you're missing the big picture. We're in pre-alpha. That inherently means that not all features are in, which includes the catch up mechanic - Tomes.

Tomes are not planned for soft launch. They are a down-the-road plan. If the month of training we have now creates a fairness issue for incoming players, that problem will exist after launch as well.

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Just now, Jah said:

Tomes are not planned for soft launch. They are a down-the-road plan. If the month of training we have now creates a fairness issue for incoming players, that problem will exist after launch as well.

I don't see how it wouldn't create a fairness issue.  Loved the idea that you had to pick 2 out of 3 areas.  But with talents now, it seems skill progression seems odd. 

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Just now, Zorph said:

I don't see how it wouldn't create a fairness issue.  Loved the idea that you had to pick 2 out of 3 areas.  But with talents now, it seems skill progression seems odd. 

If its not a fairness issue why are so many people asking for a wipe to make it more fair for incoming players?

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Been reading this thread, and pondering the issue, and my view is no wipe of anything, just put a total lock down on imports, for several reasons.

  • This is a team game. New players may not have "tanks" to bring to the field, but some of their faction team mates will. Sure individuals will be ahead, have better vessels, more training etc, but I am with Jah on this completely.  If the game can't work and be competitive with a disparity in these things, the game just doesn't work.
  • The people who already have better vessels and training, are also the same people that can land rush the start, and optimize everything after a wipe.  Within 2 hours of a restart expect to see level 30 guild vessels out in the wild anyway.  Especially knowing this will be happening with the resources. It will speed up the new player experience, AND speed up the veterans ability to power level and gear up fast.
Quote
  • Resources: We don’t have the kind of resource flow that we want, so we are juicing the flow of materials: adjusting the vendors to sell white materials at a fraction of the current cost (ie. back to roughly where they were in the 5.7 game update), and we are placing more resources in the world to get the economy moving.
  • If this is announced NOW, and new potential players hear about it, they may be encouraged to jump in earlier to learn the ropes before the first sanctioned campaign starts, and not make the mistake of thinking they will be on even footing with the vets. It will give them some time to acquire said vessels, and get out in the world, level, and learn the basics of the game before being shoved head first into a competitive environment.
  • With an import lock down, you do get the effect of limiting the ability to bring more to bear that just vessels into the new world.  All resources, and gear, will have to be made in world, and under the expected conditions.
  • It's a model ACE can try as early as the next campaign start in a couple of days.  Just shut off the imports/exports, and see how it feels. If they wipe, it will be a totally untested model they wipe to, and it might be terrible, and you can't get any of the stuff back that has been worked on since 5.8 came out.

Wipe nothing, set the campaign up with zero imports, do it soon, and see what that feels like. 

That's my take on it.  

 

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Posted (edited)
16 minutes ago, Jah said:

Tomes are not planned for soft launch. They are a down-the-road plan. If the month of training we have now creates a fairness issue for incoming players, that problem will exist after launch as well.

Way to pick one small point out of a large post and respond to that. It won't be an issue on Soft Launch because there will be a wipe. Skill training will be much slower so 1 month now is equivalent to 3 months after launch. Tomes will be implemented when needed.

But again, that's not the real issue. The issue is the messaging. If they said "Soft Launch is coming later" then they let people start skill training 3 months early with it carrying over into the game then that would be a problem. Soft Launch will be a set date with a full wipe and fresh start for everyone. If you miss the start of soft launch then it's not ACE's fault, it's your fault. 

The "fairness" issue isn't "he has more skill points, that's not fair!" It's "I didn't start training yet because you didn't tell me that I could be training now for something with rewards later".

Also, just to be clear, I have been keeping up with training since 5.8 went up just in case they didn't wipe. I just don't want poor messaging to make people not play the game.

Edited by Svenn

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Posted (edited)
15 hours ago, Svenn said:

Way to pick one small point out of a large post and respond to that. It won't be an issue on Soft Launch because there will be a wipe. Skill training will be much slower so 1 month now is equivalent to 3 months after launch. Tomes will be implemented when needed.

But again, that's not the real issue. The issue is the messaging. If they said "Soft Launch is coming later" then they let people start skill training 3 months early with it carrying over into the game then that would be a problem. Soft Launch will be a set date with a full wipe and fresh start for everyone. If you miss the start of soft launch then it's not ACE's fault, it's your fault. 

The ability to blame potential players for not already being players is not a comforting solution to the problem that all these pleas for wipes demonstrate. Even after soft launch, we are going to want more players. It won't help that we can say it is their fault that they did not start at soft launch.

If one month of training (at 3x) is already necessitating a wipe for fairness, then I think it is reasonable to be concerned that tomes will not yet be implemented when they are first needed. That is why I am bringing it up now.

Edited by Jah

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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.

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I am getting sick and tired of starting over as an untrained character.  I play a class that sucks early game and comes into its own with end-game training.  I think that's poor design on your part, but as long as it's in place, it'd be nice to play with some training.  If you must wipe skills again, set training to 30x instead of 3x, please.

I don't care about having imports or not.  You need to make common materials easily accessible so we can get to the throne war aspect of the game and not hang out in the crappy harvesting grind for days on end.

The changes to the point system look good, although I'm hoping the point system is just a placeholder victory condition, and that you'll come up with lots of others.   Having forts and keeps start with hostile-to-every-faction owners would be a really good idea, as has been said repeatedly for months now.

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Just now, Jah said:

The ability to blame potential players for not already being players is not a comforting solution to the problem that all these pleas for wipes demonstrate. Even after soft launch, we are going to want more players. It won't help that we can say it is their fault that they are not yet players.

If one month of training (at 3x) is already necessetating a wipe for fairness, then I think it is reasonable to be concerned that tomes will not already be implemented when they are first needed. That is why I am bringing it up now.

The reason it's an issue now is because the shortened nature of everything, coupled with unknown, potentially unique, rewards. In the released game a few months of training isn't that big of a deal. New players will have a little bit slower of a start but can get up to speed with vessels and gear and stuff just by joining a guild. They'll "catch up" just by virtue of the horizontal progression aspect.

Again, the issue isn't the skills themselves. It's the perception from players who will feel they were wronged because of poor messaging.

Also, a question for ACE that seems like a much bigger issue, how are you going to deal with population imbalances? This post is all well and good, but if 500 people join Order, 400 people join Balance, and 100 people join Chaos... it doesn't matter what points scaling or whatever is put in, Chaos just isn't going to be able to keep up.

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1 minute ago, Durenthal said:

I am getting sick and tired of starting over as an untrained character.  I play a class that sucks early game and comes into its own with end-game training.  I think that's poor design on your part, but as long as it's in place, it'd be nice to play with some training.  If you must wipe skills again, set training to 30x instead of 3x, please.

You should wait for release then instead of playing now. Expect plenty more wipes.

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