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Item Rewards - Official discussion thread

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so my question is this, will this gear be good for sacrificing? it seems like it might. At least that might help with the horrible xp grind. But builds REQUIRE disciplines, making them RNG is bonkers. I mean I can't even get decent materials to craft without foreman, FFS at least give a consistent method of obtaining all the exploration discs.

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I think this is a good idea. I think it will improve the economy of the game by adding interesting variations of loot independent from the crafters. I see that there are ways to deconstruct the loot, but are there ways for us to improve it?

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Posted (edited)

Count me in the nervous group. Rather than improving the economy, I see this as competing with the economy before it's born.

Master craftsmen will be competing with loot for market share on anything but their best work. Entry level craftsmen will be left out entirely. The harvesters that feed them will see lower demand for their goods, particularly after salvaging and refining is implemented.

IMO, give us the tools for a real economy (a valued common currency, manufacturing & storage inventory), and we will fill the need for gear. Then change loot from finished goods to components that are better, or just different, than a craftsmen can produce but still require crafting to become useable gear. SWG's Acklay bones, Night Sister vibro motors, Krayt tissues, Geonosian power cubes and all the other loot only components made for incredible gear and were all well worth chasing and fighting over, while adding to the economy by demanding the best craftsmen and the best materials for assembly, 

Edited by VaMei

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To this end, random loot (weapons and armor) will provide players a way to quickly stockpile items that shortcut the need to be completely reliant on a pipeline of harvesters and crafters.

RIP crafters.


Guild Leader of Seeds of War

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After rereading and discussing it a bit I think this is a horrible idea with many negative impacts. Aside from tanking any crafter that hasn’t reached high skill levels, it adds another item to the incentive to grind a particular type of mob. On top of being a bad idea it’s just too many eggs in one basket. 

Their seems to be a paradigm shift over the last few patches that doesn’t make sense to a lot of us. I don’t know if it’s miscommunication or misunderstanding, or fear that CF needs to attract a more folks from adjacent audiences. But I don’t personally feel like some of this is going in the right direction, and this loot drop is another symptom of it.


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18 hours ago, oneply said:

You have a tester base screaming it’s sick of grinding for randomized loot...so you add more randomized loot....

And on top of that I see nothing about the horrendous state of bank/inventory management. Something there’s a weekly new thread complaint about. But now we are getting more junk to have to hold on to/deal with...

crafters are begging for an economy, but you’re effectively removing the need for the crafters to produce items for it....

It seems like there is a major disconnect between the devs and testers. Different visions of what this game is supposed to be. One wants a game with meaningful PvP and a crafting economy. And the other wants you to grind grind grind and maybe get some lame PvP in the process.

Thank you for typing this out so I don't have too.

Rng is the problem not the solution.

We need dedicated discipline droppers that drop the same discipline everytime.

We need to get rid of "Rare Drops" and stop gating player progress behind a random generated number.

and I run 4 accounts and still have to make mules for inventory space...


www.lotd.org       pking and siege pvp since 1995

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A few points, since there seems to be a lot of confusion and trepidation about this system.

Part of our game vision has always been -- and remains -- fostering interconnection between players of different types.  That hasn't changed.  However, we can't pursue that goal to the exclusion of everything else.  In our current design, we haven't just encouraged interconnectivity, we have enforced it in dozens of ways.  Players aren't just more efficient or effective when working with others, they are completely dependent on others.  And by "completely dependent", I mean that.  If a player doesn't have access to a variety of crafters with a spread of disciplines, they can find themselves in a position where they simply cannot participate in the game.  And this happens early; you hit your first gate within a few hours of gameplay. If a player cannot find equipment of the appropriate type, their game play loop is broken.  This is not theoretical, or conjecture, we can see it happening now.  We can debate the reasons WHY it they might not be able to find that equipment -- I can name a dozen reasons, and I'm sure you can too -- but what cannot be debated is what happens, if a player finds themselves in this situation.

They quit.

Of course, our team will attempt to identify and fix every root cause that leads to this situation.  But that's not enough.  We need to have a design in place to correct for that situation, if and when it arises.  In an open world, there will be scenarios (Durenthal noted one, above) where players may simply choose not to do something.  Whenever a system is 100% dependent on the actions of other players, which we of course can't control, we are in danger of that system failing.  and if that system is critical to the game, that's a problem.  

Randomized, disposable items is a solution to a very real problem.  This system is almost identical to the system that we used on Shadowbane.  I know that it works.

So why don't people like it?  Let's look at the main concerns, as voiced in this thread.  Some of them I agree with, some of them I don't.

Concern #1: "it creates more grind"

I don't agree.  Players can ignore this system completely and use the previous method to harvest and craft items.  Adding an optional way to get something in the game that can be ignored isn't forcing an additional "grind".  Further, since these items can be sacrificed for XP, this system shortcuts the PvE loop (less grind) and since they can be salvaged, it shortcuts the harvesting loop (less grind).  For the last year, we have heard complaints from our PvP-focused backers that the balance of time I get to spend in PvP was being far out-weighed by things I have to do, in order to PvP.  This should dramatically help to address that problem.

Concern #2: "what happens right after a wipe?"

I agree with this concern.  This is a valid issue.  That said, I believe this is an issue that we already had, resurfacing: all of the top-tier items in the game are gated behind months of passive training.  This is definitely a problem with the current design, and once that I've been thinking about for some time (long before loot).  I have ideas for how I think we should address it, and of course I'm open to other ideas.  I absolutely agree that it needs to be resolved before launch.

Concern #3: "this will cause even more strain on the banking system"

This is also valid, and unfortunately I don't have a great answer... yet.  This isn't a design issue; I want more storage.  The reason for the limited bank space / guild storage options is purely technical; the engineering team has been working on a solution for some time I'll be delighted to launch it the moment it is ready.  I get that there is a lot of frustration in this area, and I look forward to the day when this problem is behind us, more than you can imagine.  

Concern #4 (which I imagine is the most critical): "this means that crafters won't be important"

I absolutely understand that crafters are nervous that this will undercut their role in the game.  But there is a difference between being something being "important" to me, and forcing me to be 100% dependency on it.  Food is important.  Oxygen is critical.

We recognize this concern, and we're taking great pains to underscore the importance of crafting.  We aren't going to drop any legendary quality items.  Every attribute that can be found on a loot item can be created via crafting, but not vice versa.  Loot items are disposable; they are made to be used (and used up) very quickly.  They can be salvaged for resources and components.

We are putting these safeguards in place because our intention is still to keep dedicated crafters at the top of the economic food chain.  We want crafting to be a full game experience and parallel advancement path. 

However, we cannot go so far in this pursuit that we risk making a game that is literally broken for everyone else.  

Todd

 


J Todd Coleman

ArtCraft Entertainment, Inc.

Follow us on Twitter @CrowfallGame | Like us on Facebook

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Posted (edited)

OK, so I don't think this is "more RNG" in the sense that it means more grinding. This should really flow simultaneously as we grind for the things that are hard to grind for (which isn't changing yet for sure and I understand people still being upset about that), A.K.A. throwing more dice than we did before as we roll.

We can and have already been crafting our own gear, especially if we're farming the high-level mobs for the disciplines we need. This is just an extra source of gear for a solo or a group of dudes to get as incentive when not finding the drops they are after.

This is literally an extra bonus on top of the process that people are bitter about currently. No one will depend on this gear and will already have gear when farming, so it's a either a potential to get a slot upgrade/replacement for a breaking piece of gear or something to carry home to get rid of (giving to a buddy, selling for gold to vendors or sacrificing for XP). Both are bonuses.

Chill out folks, this is probably the first positive thing they have changed in loot lately that isn't going to automatically be locked behind a barrier or game loop. This is extra reward for what we are already doing. Yes, it's RNG, but it's not gated or required. Imagine going to the craps table in the casino and they give you a different color die that only independantly counts for for whether you get a door prize for a comp meal. That's what this is. 

Now for those of you that made the point that it's just extra stuff to cram into our limited bank space... *picks up pitchfork*

edit: 
Oh poorly made socks, JTC replied just before me. I promise I am not being a fanboi and agreeing just to agree lol

Edited by Samulus

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29 minutes ago, PaleOne said:

We need dedicated discipline droppers that drop the same discipline everytime.

I actually don't like disciplines being gated behind random drops, either.   I feel like they are too critical to creating builds.  I'll talk to the design team about this one.

Todd

 


J Todd Coleman

ArtCraft Entertainment, Inc.

Follow us on Twitter @CrowfallGame | Like us on Facebook

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, jtoddcoleman said:

I actually don't like disciplines being gated behind random drops, either.   I feel like they are too critical to creating builds.  I'll talk to the design team about this one.

Todd

The Shadowbane discipline rune hunting system worked. The discipline droppers spawned in predictable places, and always dropped one specific rune, so it wasn't RNG. Other people knew where the mob would drop as well, so it led to small scale PvP. You might not always get the rune, but someone did. It was great!

Edited by Jah

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Posted (edited)
56 minutes ago, PaleOne said:

Rng is the problem not the solution.

We need dedicated discipline droppers that drop the same discipline everytime.

We need to get rid of "Rare Drops" and stop gating player progress behind a random generated number.

As I see it, there are two directions Ace can take the game.

1. The guilds and individuals take care of themselves with only limited trade. In this scenario random and rare drops and forced interdependence are a bad thing. Players will want to go get whatever their next item is that allows for personnel advancement, and they will expect to know how/where to get it. Random and rare drops will frustrate them, and forced interdependence and professional specialization will present roadblocks that may be very difficult to overcome for individuals and guilds that have not achieved critical mass.

2. Allow and encourage a player driven economy to solve most problems through specialization and trade. In this scenario, a player obtains personal advancement by adding value to the economy by whatever means (s)he chooses, and takes those profits to the market to buy what they want. If you want to farm gold, harvest, craft, farm minors, or whatever job the economy needs filled, you can do that and earn gold for your time. Here, RNG and rare drops are not a bad thing, because anything of value you get from your time can be sold to those that want it, and you can use that gold to get what you actually want. OTOH, adding aspects to the game that undermine professions also undermines the economy. Managing an economy that potentially spans multiple campaigns, each with its own specific ruleset, will present a daunting task that may go places Ace doesn't want to follow.

Edited by VaMei

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@jtoddcoleman thx for giving us a bit more detailed information here...

16 minutes ago, jtoddcoleman said:

... Every attribute that can be found on a loot item can be created via crafting, but not vice versa.  Loot items are disposable; they are made to be used (and used up) very quickly.  They can be salvaged for resources and components. ...

 

the in the article shown gearparts have stats that can´t be crafted - yet!? maybe the salvage outcome gives here the answer?

15 minutes ago, jtoddcoleman said:

I actually don't like disciplines being gated behind random drops, either.   I feel like they are too critical to creating builds.  I'll talk to the design team about this one.

Todd

 

8 professions + cook should get sth together here, or they are rewards for tasks given by the gods, there should be enough options without that painful need to farm mobs on timer. for all kinds of discs. because thats what we are doing, running around on timers or kill an ancient r7 wolf with instant respawn for hours and hours and hours. and thats just for a few active players in guild, because many got bored by the grind and hopefully will come back when we have sth. more enjoyable.

i am still on crowcain, but i am always missing information of the greater picture which gives a lot of knockdowns

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@jtoddcoleman

on concern #4. If there was a functional economy new players wouldn’t need random loot drops. Every established guild eventually runs into a position of not needing their common and uncommon mats. If there was a system in place we could be selling those mats and gear for something of value. (Gold no longer has value). Give us the tools to make an economy. 

A saying comes to mind. “Penny smart, dollar stupid.” 

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23 minutes ago, Jah said:

The Shadowbane discipline rune hunting system worked. The discipline droppers spawned in predictable places, and always dropped one rune, so it wasn't RNG. Other people knew where the mob would drop as well, so it led to small scale PvP. You might not always get the rune, but someone did. It was great!

Agreed.

Disc rune droppers should spawn in same spot, not roaming, as a random spawn doesn't induce as much conflict as a static one. Timers are fine, however I do like the idea of being able to kill X number of monsters to force a spawn. @KrakkenSmacken had an idea that if a monster was on a 60 minute cooldown you could reduce the spawn timer by 30-60 seconds per wartribe kill in the camp. This might require some tech though. 

Completely agree about the 100% drop percentage also. There should be a Juggernaut mob/thrall that always drops the Juggernaut rune. 

With discipline quality being a thing I suggest the following:

R5 and below disc droppers = white quality. These would be found in God's Reach. You could kill the disc rune dropper or just buy it off a vendor instead. 

R6 = 75% green quality, 25% blue quality. R6 and up would not appear in God's reach. You'd have to go to a campaign world. 

R7 = 50% green quality, 50% blue quality

R8 = 25% green quality, 50% blue quality, 25% purple quality

R9 = 25% blue quality, 50% purple quality, 25% legendary quality

R10 = 50% purple quality, 50% legendary quality

Or something along these lines to where the higher the rank the better chance you have at a higher quality discipline. Similar to how the loot tables work for harvesting nodes. 

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, jtoddcoleman said:

 


THANK YOU! This is a very informational and helpful post, it answers a lot of the concerns people may have had (which we only had because we don't get to see all the inner workings :) )

These types of posts and this level of information is really appreciated!

Edited by Pann
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Posted (edited)

@jtoddcoleman

If you chase every aspect that causes a player to quit you’ll make a game that doesn’t have an audience, players quit and move on, not every game is for every player. Game audiences are not singlular homogenous entities, they are made up of many different audiences with overlapping interests. The key to a game finding its particular audience is to hit the sweet spot that maximizes enough of those overlapping interests, but also provides a unique experience that keeps its conglomerate audience attached to the game. 

We’re at all time low turnout right now, we can’t get people to login and every patch adds something that knocks a few more people out. We can’t keep momentum, now I get that hey it’s pre-alpha and stuff changes, that’s fine, but a lot these changes are still pretty fundamental and add more layers of difficulty to compete and try different things, so people quit. That’s the sort of people you should probably chase, the ones that want to be here and were part of guilds with logistics chains but are just tired of jumping through hoops to try and finish a build or play. They shouldn’t have to make the choice between spending their limited playtime trying to finish a build/level a character or PvPing. That’s whats killing you, not people bailing cause they can’t get some gear and don’t want to talk to anyone or engage in trade.

On the topic at hand, we have piles of common materials we practically throw away (well sacrifice on commons or make siege equipment anyways) that could easily help fill these niches, but we have three major problems: buying/selling asynchronously is a pain in the ass (vendors are cool and all but a tedious and time consuming user experience to shop - not to mention limited placement) crafting en mass is time consuming, and gold is worthless to us (if we could charge dust I’d be crafting and selling common gear around the clock).

Solve those problems and you not only fix the  reason some people quit, but also prop up an in game economy without random drop loot putting a floor on crafted gear and undermining your own mechanics.

And something to keep in mind: nothing is a “bonus”, if it’s of any value or use it gets added to the calculations of min/maxing and efficienctly achieving goals, it’s not extra by any means, it’s just a new variable in the equation. For example this system just told me that on a wipe or clean slate scenario we should ignore crafted gear until the crafters are capable of surpassing the drop loot (weeks now or maybe months with “real training speed” ?) and we should focus on grinding gear and resources (while harassing others who should be doing the same). We just removed crafting from being a major aspect of a fresh start, and that’s how a “bonus” alters our game play loop and strategy.

Edited by Duffy

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3 minutes ago, Duffy said:

@jtoddcoleman

If you chase every aspect that causes a player to quit you’ll make a game that doesn’t have an audience, players quit and move on, not every game is for every player.

Agreed, we can't chase every rabbit down every rabbit hole.  And we aren't.  We don't make these decisions blindly; we can look at the data we collect .  We can look through the logs and see how far players get into the experience, and what state they are in when they stop playing.  We can also then reach out to them and ask them for reasons why they quit -- which is important qualitative data to add on top of the quantitative because often people don't "quit", they were just logging in to check our progress and intend to come back when the game is more complete.  I also read these forums and social media for at least 2-3 hours a day, to get feedback from you guys.   We don't make changes in a vacuum, even if it appears that way from the outside.

To reiterate my previous post: we can tell from the data that there is a significant issue in the gameplay loop where players find they cannot move forward, and they quit.  While a thriving player economy will (hopefully) alleviate a large percentage of these issues, there is no guarantee of that, and since there is no guarantee we need failsafe mechanics.  I'm happy to discuss the reasons why players might hit the point where they can't move forward, and brainstorm ideas to resolve those issues -- and we should, because the less it happens, the better. 

But regardless of the reason why, we shouldn't build a system with no failsafe mechanic, where a player can find themselves literally gated with no alternatives.  I understand and agree with the desire to protect the crafting profession, and I will absolutely endeavor to do so, but we have other design goals that also have to be considered and accommodated as well.  

Todd

 


J Todd Coleman

ArtCraft Entertainment, Inc.

Follow us on Twitter @CrowfallGame | Like us on Facebook

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