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Cosian

Are we really ready for an extended 'sanctioned' campaign?

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Are we really ready for a heavily marketed first 'sanctioned campaign' ?

The experience my friend is having in his first foray into CF is really the driver for this post.  And I think @Fade recent post resonates here as well.

My friend joined a few days ago and took the default suggestion for a faction upon entering the campaign.  Welcome to NA CHAOS new player!

Certainly there were things to do and explore for the first couple days.  Check out the temple.  Do some safe harvesting around the temple. Get your Pack Pig going.  Make some intermediate goodies.  Etc.... but then what?

CHAOS hasn't had a keep since the early days of the campaign.  If they do control a fort its really just a 'come get me' for Order or Balance.

As such, there is little or no access to crafting tables.  He can't really even work on leveling his lowly white vessel.  I see no real opportunity for this situation for CHAOS to turn around unless a larger organized guild shows up on the CHAOS side.  Since faction is locked for an account for the duration of the campaign there is no side switching balancing that can happen.  Basically he is consigned to tough it out in a less than fun situation until the campaign ends. Thankfully the campaign is short and there will be opportunity for a fresh start.  There is already some talk of guilds interested in switching factions.  And this is a good thing and should be happening for faction V faction campaigns.

But what if the campaign is longer?  My understanding is that a longer campaign is an objective for the first sanctioned campaign.  We are only 4 days into this one and its apparent how this campaign will go whether it ends tomorrow or goes another week or more.

I don't think its going to be a very good experience for new players should they end up on a side that is considerably under powered and are locked into an extended campaign.

Both the player base, and certainly ACE, are aware of this situation and there is a lot of suggestions and ideas being floated from the PB and ACE.  In short, I think going to what we are calling 'The First Sanctioned Campaign' and increasing the length of the campaign is ill advised until some of these 'balancing' ideas can be implemented and tested.  I am just concerned that new entries end up on under powered side and have to suffer through what my friend is experiencing for an extended period.  

I should clarify that I personally feel that making losing fun is not the objective.  Some will win and others will lose.  Such is the nature of campaign gaming.  However, locking someone into a losing and difficult situation for an extended period will have a negative impact on player numbers.  I've been on the losing side in campaign gaming for extended periods many times.  The other side(s) offer helpful suggestions like "you just need to get more players", or, "get your side better organized", etc...  Sure, I'm down for all that; but this is not quick or easy and the bleeding can continue for long periods of time if there are no fresh starts happening. 

I see no immediate solution other than to keep to the campaigns to a week and allow for fresh starts and re-balancing to occur frequently.  

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51 minutes ago, Cosian said:

I see no immediate solution other than to keep to the campaigns to a week and allow for fresh starts and re-balancing to occur frequently.  

There is no easy solutions to core design flaws. 

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Definitely a problem, I’m stuck on order in the eu campaign so I feel your friends pain. Due to being a few days not a problem but agree in a longer campaign, especially when we can’t just swap discs around and craft everything in our EKs, this will be a game breaking problem.

As for an easy answer, I don’t know. As Mystafyi said “  There is no easy solutions to core design flaws.”

 

 

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DEVs should never create a full loot PvP game and let players balance the population among the factions alone. This is asking the players to crowd in the safer and more populous side. it is human instinct for self-preservation. Analyzing the current design I find it best to implement the system that creates hunger in the real world where the human population grows in geometric progression while food in arithmetic. That is, the larger the population in a faction guild, the more difficult it will be to supply everyone.

I think it would be interesting to have a campaign with very limited resources to force the war bettwen cities. Limited resources without respawn and players divided into city maps belonging by small, medium, ou large guilds and resources arround. When the supplies run out (food mainly) the world war begins focused on steal another guilds and the last living city wins. 


We do not need campaigns with predetermined time. This is unrealistic and just forces players to stay in a bad environment.

Players in larger guilds would have fewer resources per member due division bettwen all and each one could  be killed by players in smaller guilds, but with more resources per soldier (best equipment due less division in guild). That is, there would be a balance between total population in one guild and individual power per member (inversely proportional).

All guild members need to help each other and will have to hand over all collected resources to the Guild Bank that who will divide for all members a value into gold used to buy items. Of course, the player receives a guild score for contributing. There may be patents in the guild according to the player's score.

The goal would be to create a  guild capable of making its members individually strong and numerous, which would be very difficult in a world with limited resources and with very large number of players in same group. GREED, WAR and HUNGER like real world.

Edited by hamon

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Nobody is crowding the winning faction.  There used to be a major guild playing on chaos but they have quit playing and their alliance has fallen apart.  Without a major guild leading the charge the factions fall apart and it becomes a 2 sided war.  This particular 2 side war has become who can stay up the latest and control assets all night while the enemy sleeps; there is significantly more value in holding the over abundant outposts and camps than keeps and forts.  

Factions are flawed; I hope you guys are seeing this too.  You can see factions not working the entire time we have been testing scoring.  EU Chaos has never been challenged Bc there is no pop to challenge them.  NA Chaos stands no chance of winning without somebody to lead them.  HoA/UxA/Sugoi lead Order.  Winterblades leads Balance.  UDL has all but quit, there is not a major guild on Chaos anymore.  Look at the leaderboards for the past 5 CW’s.  Order won the first few.  Balance has won every one since then.  Chaos is not only in last place they are normally so far behind that it has to be obvious nobody is playing.  They never own their keep after the first day.  

I don’t know how we are providing data for a 3 sided faction war when we don’t have a 3rd side. 

 

 

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If needed, they will put limits on factions to keep them relatively balanced, but this has been a problem with every single faction based PvP game ever made. If you leave it entirely up to the players, they are going to join the side that is winning and the factions won't be balanced and then people will complain that they aren't balanced. 

I wouldn't worry about the sanctioned campaigns right now. It seems like they won't be happening until the end of the month, or possibly later. I'm sure ACE wants everything working as well as possible before then. They need to get the capture bonus changes in ASAP, get them tested, and then decide what else needs to be done. If they feel they need to add the limits to make it more competitive, even if it's added as a short term fix, it's probably something they can do pretty quickly.

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When Order was steamrolling because Winterblades didn't wanna play Ring Around the Outposts, a slew of the smaller guilds (Spectre Legion, CSC, etc.) went Balance in order to get themselves a good fight and provide some competition, which is counter to the popular narrative people wanna spin about players always choosing the winning side or whatever but it's true. When UDL decides they wanna compete over here again instead of Legends of Aria :rolleyes: things'll be smoother for Chaos, but I'd just like for people to take this pre-alpha state a little less seriously. The game is not done, the sky is not falling, and the population doesn't actually need a guiding hand right now.

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There is no way to artificially enforce faction balance in a game like Crowfall (or any other for that matter). Name one game that manages to handle population imbalances to the degree that it actually impacts/balances PvP.  I've seen all manner of hamfisted approaches; 

  • Locking factions based on populations to try to force players to the other teams
  • Giving combat bonuses to the outnumbered factions to allow them to survive versus zergs
  • Boosting rewards for losing sides to encourage people to join them

I'm sure other methods exist, but these are the ones I've encountered most often. Guess what? they still don't work. Players will join the factions with the best chance of victory, least path of resistance, every time. Sure some people will join a losing side because it guarantees a fight, but they are usually too few in number to actually mount a comeback.

The solution to faction imbalances? Don't play on faction campaigns. Join the Dregs and play in a world where guilds can betray one another, alliances can be stressed and fractured, and yea... guilds come together to screw over the top dog.

Trying to hope that ACE will ever pull off the magic bullet solution to faction imbalance is a futile effort best spent elsewhere.

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@ScreePhasing is a invisible balance system very good and the new dreg is the same of Albion (only mega zergs and no open world pvp)

Edited by hamon

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I don't seek out PvP so it's all mox-nix to me. I chose Balance because I like the banner. It's right up my tree-huggin, fence sittin' mentality. Balance Forever!

Eat at Gaia's Good Eatz
She's got lots of good treatz
Whether you're weak or tough
Her cookin' will give ya a really nice buff!

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I don't think they plan to "heavily market" the first sanctioned campaign. Don't forget it's still a pre-alpha test. There will be more "firsts" of various kinds when they head into alpha, beta, and then soft launch.

It's going to be far from perfect. That doesn't mean they can't try to energize the community by offering some measure of glory for the winners of "sanctioned" test campaigns.

The testing population is still very small. A handful of active guilds have an out-sized effect on faction balance. If a guild decides to take a break from testing, the faction they play on can suddenly lose the majority of its most active players. It would make no sense to try to design the game to ensure balanced factions under these conditions. You'd probably have to split up the guilds. That is not what this game needs.

The first sanctioned campaign is not going to run great, and its not going to be terribly "fair." I don't think that is a reason to not proceed with it.

Edited by Jah

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2 hours ago, moneda said:

When Order was steamrolling because Winterblades didn't wanna play Ring Around the Outposts, a slew of the smaller guilds (Spectre Legion, CSC, etc.) went Balance in order to get themselves a good fight and provide some competition, which is counter to the popular narrative people wanna spin about players always choosing the winning side or whatever but it's true. When UDL decides they wanna compete over here again instead of Legends of Aria :rolleyes: things'll be smoother for Chaos, but I'd just like for people to take this pre-alpha state a little less seriously. The game is not done, the sky is not falling, and the population doesn't actually need a guiding hand right now.

What the larger, organized guilds do is one thing. Most of those guilds won't be playing in the faction campaigns when the game is live. Many other people will look to see which side is winning and join that one. Yeah, some may have the mentality where they want to join the underdog, but they will be the exception rather than the rule. To think that this is something that the players themselves will correct is naive. The entire history of open-world, faction-based MMO PvP suggests it won't. There will be people who purposely wait until a campaign has been going for a bit before they join, just so they can be sure they join the team that is winning.

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1 hour ago, hamon said:

the new dreg is the same of Albion (only mega zergs and no open world pvp)

Claiming the dregs won't have open world pvp is total nonsense.

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2 minutes ago, Jah said:

Claiming the dregs won't have open world pvp is total nonsense.

If you consider 10x1 a true open world PVP ....

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I would say that the majority of people who rolled NA Chaos since day 1 of 5.8 were new players. For the most part they did not organize, they did not join guilds, they just did their own thing and mostly got farmed by vets and guild groups then slowly stopped playing. It wasn't a lack of players, or a lack of skilled players. If they would have organized better a lot of the problems that your friend would have experienced (no access to forts for crafting and a perception of nothing productive to do) could have been resolved.

That being said, this game is not ready for a marketing push for new players until solid group/guild mechanics are accessible in game.

Players mingling around in game is what creates communities, and it needs to both be easier to spontaneously mingle through proper group/raid mechanics and a group finder, and to create a guild or invite friends to one. Once there is a sense of community it's easier to get people to join discords, read up on guides etc. out of game.

The growing expectation that you have to find a guild to play with before you even log in for the first time I think is asking way too much. As we are experiencing, many players are not willing to put in the effort out of game to apply to guilds on the forums, to find people on the community discord, etc. Those who do so are outliers and more often than not, not successful. It's too large of a hurdle for many people, and right now these are people who are knowingly signing up for a pre-alpha! Not your typical player.

What will make or break this game is the success and evolution of player communities. If what is playing out right now happens on launch the game is not going to be successful. The most important mechanics in the game will be the in-game group/guild community building systems and we need them in our hands sooner rather than later, not only to test them but to help with player retention at this early stage.

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2 hours ago, mandalore said:

Look at you, stunting for the sake of it.  Why isn’t UDL playing CF? 

Because it's a boring, broken game right now. lol

Same thing every night.. 8:30 central siege, after that, farm resources or souls. Was more fun without the scheduled content.

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5 hours ago, Nerd said:

The growing expectation that you have to find a guild to play with before you even log in for the first time I think is asking way too much. As we are experiencing, many players are not willing to put in the effort out of game to apply to guilds on the forums, to find people on the community discord, etc. Those who do so are outliers and more often than not, not successful. It's too large of a hurdle for many people, and right now these are people who are knowingly signing up for a pre-alpha! Not your typical player.

I fit this description presently. Of the handful of guilds out there, I don't see any that I would be a instant great fit to, or even fit the base requirements for, and I'm not one to hop between a lot of guilds trying to find one. My assumption is that as the game progresses further towards soft-launch, that other guilds would take interest in this game, or other guilds might form from players that get more serious about it over time. So, I will most likely stay a solo-er for the near future. That can really put a damper on enthusiasm to play -- playing solo is playing into a brisk headwind. I think those who do play solo and do well, or even enjoy it, on an extended basis are a very uncommon type of players.

I have to wonder if I would even try to play in am extended 'sanctioned' campaign. Sitting it out might be for the best; or at least only joining it late, when you know the faction you're going to be with can at least hold a fort overnight.

What would change my mind? I don't know; but it could not hurt to have more elementary features to support contributing to your faction's communal play would help. Such as a server & faction only chat channel (although it would be lurked by spies constantly, it would be better than nothing), and any features, such as compass markers or map pins to point you to nearby faction activity (and again, spies), that would help solo-ers get to positions of mutual supportive play. I suppose a group finder could do, but my impression is that would take a lot more development. And I haven't touched on the crafting challenges solo players face, which will be worse once disciplines are harder to get. The real answer is don't solo - get a good guild.

Maybe the best short-term option for a sanctioned campaign would be to pre-plan which guilds will play which factions so it's not immediately lop-sided, mix the solo-ers in so they're not all in one spot, and try to limit late joiners so it doesn't get into runaway faction state so early.

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