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ArcaneFuror

Brief Discussion on Mobbing

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Ok, let's get two things out of the way, what am I talking about and some obvious disclaimers

1. What do I mean by 'Mobbing'? Large grouping/parties/gangs packed together. (Planning on discussing the consequences, how it may affect the game/experience, should it be considered an issue, ect.)

2. Whether you see it as an issue (or not), there's always multiple factors that cause something. For this some obvious factors for the magnitude of it include: Small population-so one person difference matters more than a normal mmo population would be, demographics of the population, organization, circumstance, ect.

 

And obviously working in groups is a good thing in a multiplayer environment. But my main question I raise is, "Is it too much? Chiefly does it favor/necessitate mobbing too much?" (Also please feel free to bring up other questions or concerns regarding this topic or a similar topic in the discussion.

Lets take for example this past campaign:

The Trial of Maeve has come to a conclusion, and is where I feel this topic has had the most obvious effects.
Nobody can claim that balance were lacking in numbers; multiple factors such as organized guilds moving there together, people wanting to join the winning side, and also from an rp/lore perspective balance is the more neutral and wide reaching faction of the three. Ok that last one is my opinion and understanding, but I digress.

But what happened exactly and what makes me bring the discussion up? Well... the first few weeks weren't exactly... pleasant
Rolling death type unpleasant.


I was on chaos, who scored second by a good margin away from order (R.I.P. order), and at one point near the end we kinda got close to balance. But wait! I can almost hear the clacking of detractors saying "Yall got close! There was no problem see! You just countered your argument". I'd argue we only got as close as we did because balance got bored and lazy, and then kicked their 'mobbing machine' into a more active state just to secure their win.
Why would they get bored and lazy? Because there wasn't enough prey. In the spring/summer months, especially in the early spring months, you were almost garunteed to run into balance, and when you did, it was at least 5+ people. But most common in my experience was running into at least 7 man groups, and there wasnt even any sieges near me! Just roaming death squads hoping for some loot, plumping up their K/D/A ratios (Keep this in mind later). This obviously killed the mood for some people in chaos/order, especially if you weren't in a guild or were in the small guilds (We all know the kind, the small 5 man guilds that are more like friend clubhouses than anything, nothing wrong with them obviously, those can be a blast sometimes if you get the right group, but they're not exactly competitive material in most cases). So what do people do? They take a small break and think about the new situation.
So we have a large difference in registered population, organized demographic is also very different, and the already out numbered factions who also have to fight one another are losing some activity. So these death squads rolling around for easy pickings for KDA and maybe some loot aren't getting fulfilled. If 5 people find a small 2 man band, obviously only 2 kills are gonna be gained at max. And the people with these death squads are doing it because they wanna pvp, they wanna fight, they like that stuff. Some may start going in smaller bands or on their own because of the feeling of being unfulfilled, especially if they're already strong and geared up as it is.

Long anecdote and observations about it are done, so what does this mean? Well we got a list of factors that played into what happened.

1. This campaign had K/D/A be a part of the leaderboard, which that and the bragging rights it entails is our really only method of competition we have at the moment (and for some, this is the only fun that can be had in these test phases, I'm not much of a PvP person at all, I'd rather just grind xp/mats in a semi-meditative pace in some dungeon or isolated forest someplace, but I digress). 
2. Sure the death mechanic got a change halfway through, but still applies to a similar degree, but the death mechanic really punished death. REALLY punished it. One death hitting all equipped gear's durability to a very significant degree. A handful of deaths could shatter a set alone, much less the normal decay and the like.
3. Related to number 2, but also the map and the fights necessitated the need for increased movement, aka packpigs. Which had only 200 durability, and cost 900 gold (Expensive thing that easy to break, but necessary for effective play? hmmm). yay for the patch that happened during the campaign allowing us to sell things to npcs for gold!
4. XP (as far as I've noticed, I havent done a test to verify) isn't split, but rather the same for each participant (If it is split, it isn't a noticeable difference, maybe a mix of split and static baseline?). So this means that it is way more efficient to go in groups (paired with the benefit of being able to always eat the R10s, the biggest bounty, even with some people being under-leveled.) so much so, you'd be considered a fool by any min-maxer/statistician/tryhard for not rolling in a group to improve. Seriously there is no point in not mobbing for this reason alone. And if you've played the game more than 2 hours, you'll quickly notice that leveling is a constant part of life. (Vessel rarities, un-resettable talents, stats relating to gathering and crafting, just to name a few reasons)
5. Everything of worth is in the pvp zones, and if the anecdotal account hasn't stated anything, they're really dangerous. And of course its part of design, but its still on the list of causes for obvious reasons. But not just the mats and scoring stuff, if you want to level past 15 on a vessel, especially past white vessels where rarity starts to matter, you have to go in pvp zones.

And this is nowhere near a comprehensive list of everything about it. But is it too much? Should we completely isolate the solo player? or the ones who play more than the few others in their 'clubhouse guilds'? Or the PvE-er who wants to farm or xp run but everyone they can access online are the pvp centrics who are farmed out this campaign and only want to roam around fighting people? Or the one harvester that can gather those nodes in an efficient manner and there's no-one who wants to join to just help keep them safe? ... See where I'm going? The over encouragement of mobbing extends far past a small solo demographic or whatever. And I'd even say harms the "beneficiaries" of this same effect, but instead of it being harm through oppression and grief, but harm through spoiled experience. Too many hunters, not enough prey. Spirit bank being available anywhere, at all times, at no limit (Also the one of very few protections on the small end, able to insure a small portion of their work) made a kill hollow. Being so big made competition virtually non existent, easy claim to resource nodes and being constantly geared, making the impact of death less on them, as if their stuff breaks they can just replace it, where the other side has broken gear being more devastating. The big side just winds up never feeling fully satisfied, as now their wearing premium grade stuff amongst outnumbered foes covered in rags wielding butter-knives. (Haven't you noticed more videos of outnumbered fights? Heck even the most recent of this post war story video was an outnumbered fight being won. *And it was a balance member, hmmm* )

Thoughts? Questions? Solutions? Throw your two cents about this in here. There's a larger conversation to be had, but I'm ending this here, this has taken a while to write as well... My biggest forum message ever I think... But I really like what this game has the potential of being, so I really want to engage, see what happens, enjoy the ride, and put in my two cents. Maybe something positive will come out of it?

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Posted (edited)

Also known as "Zerging" or "Zergs" :)

I saw this as a big issue with Albion Online, and not so much of an issue with ArcheAge. Both of these games had open world, free-roaming, PvP in a sense. I think you could compare these two and see how Zergs became more of an issue for one and not the other. I think part of it has to do with giving more options to the player in terms of what is available in the environment. Basically, in ArcheAge nothing was focused to the point where it bottle-necked the players (to some extent). You could create your own routes to trade goods and capitalize on rare resources and the world was large enough where a Zerg couldn't be practical to interrupt that trade mechanic. In Albion Online, it was flawed because you had to use certain entrances and exits in the map, and people would follow and gank you nearly without constraint.  

All in all, I think it would be wise to diversify the world map where those alternate routes, trade ins, and rare resources are located, and allow the horde of players to gravitate towards city centers, War Tribes (for Discipline farming), and portal passages.

Edited by ilogos

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I wonder how long a PvP game would last if it was structured so that people could easily avoid PvP.  

Everyone has the same opportunity to be on, ally with or create “the big side”.

If still you want to play in a game created for regarding the strong as the little man, protection from obliteration is available in Gods Reach and EKs, should you want or need it. 

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22 hours ago, Ble said:

I wonder how long a PvP game would last if it was structured so that people could easily avoid PvP.  

Everyone has the same opportunity to be on, ally with or create “the big side”.

If still you want to play in a game created for regarding the strong as the little man, protection from obliteration is available in Gods Reach and EKs, should you want or need it. 

Flex those internet muscles Ble.

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Posted (edited)

There’s lots of CC.  Just that retaliate is so strong and virtually no CD.  It’s pretty evident by people completely skipping -15% control in talent trees.  Also many times a true Zerg can be toppled with AOE.  We have some strong AOE in this game, but not much.

Edited by Ble

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2 minutes ago, Ble said:

There’s lots of CC.  Just that retaliate is so strong and virtually no CD.  It’s pretty evident by people completely skipping -15% control in talent trees.  Also many times a true Zerg can be toppled with AOE.  We have some strong AOE in this game, but not much.

The retaliate point is a good one, but your AOE point doesn’t ring true.

 

AOE damage is only going to topple a Zerg if it is stronger than the AOE heals present in the game. 

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Posted (edited)

Please explain to me the strong AOE heals.  I have a max stat Earthkeeper, Crusader and Paladin.  Out of all three kits there’s only one, really, and it’s a group-only ult.

Edited by Ble

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Posted (edited)

for example... pixie dust + holy symbol + divine light + block, if paladin and cleric bring it to one point its tricky to melt against those heals down, exept you have a balista in range ;)

Edited by Surelia

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Posted (edited)

How does that counter burst AOE?  Exactly what you described would be easily wrecked by knight ult plus a couple neck breakers.

 

my point is, if you are going to kill many with few, you’ll need to be able to attack more than one target at a time, with respectable burst cleave.  Just normal low dmg AOE will be healed through by situations like your example.

Edited by Ble

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sounds like something to think about as soon as they decide to "balance" the powers, but first get in all powers. atm balistas, druidbombs and chain-neckbreakers are the only critical aoes for healers to deal with. as always just my point of view of course.

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3 minutes ago, Ble said:

How does that counter burst AOE?  Exactly what you described would be easily wrecked by knight ult plus a couple neck breakers.

Or a druid bomb. Or a ballista. But that's about it. 

Of those 3 I prefer the way ballista's work the best as it's not really 1 shot type damage. I'm really not a fan or syncing big AoE direct damage attacks to try to insta gib people. Prefer field type AoE's that pulse/tick but give you a chance to get out and continue fighting. 

We could really use a couple more stack busters overall though and preferably from range. And I think the AoE cap should be 10 players instead of 5 on a lot of the big field type abilities. 

  • Stormcaller lightning AoE could be improved
  • Ranger barrage could be improved. 
  • Templar Vindicator Blazing light could be improved (was over nerfed)
  • I'd love to see Confessor meteor be a long range projectile with splash burning dmg upon impact
  • Frostweaver needs to get some sort of AoE
  • Radical Cleric symbol of fury could be better. I think the radical cleric AoE root should also do a pulsing damage field. 

Need better ranged field type AoE overall and I think it needs to be able to hit 10 targets while healing can only hit 5. I think the lack of this causes a lot of the clumping in fights. The strong AoE healing means the only way to cut through it is with burst AoE damage like you said typically with neckbreaker. 

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Posted (edited)

Another thought would be to have a ground target AoE anti healing field. 

All targets who stand in the field receive 25-50% less healing.

That would be a cool power to give to some of the lesser played stealth promotions like the Duelist Vanguard Scout or that Assassin promotion I can't think of the name that nobody plays.  

The tech should already exist for it. It would essentially be the opposite of Pixie Dust. 

Edited by blazzen

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Posted (edited)

I'm a huge fan of anti-healing.  Healing in this game is too easy (read:  thoughtless) and almost completely reactive.  I would love to see anti healing come in as an ability and more barriers and damage reductions go out to healers in the form of combos.  We have anti-barriers already, so it would really be a nice game of chess to work your way through anti healing and anti barrier with use of smartly applied DRs+healing boosts+lowered healing.

I'd love for there to be a way to seperate good healers from ... less good ones.  As it is now, you put two in a group and press your buttons on cooldown, spin n win.

Edited by Ble

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Ble said:

Please explain to me the strong AOE heals.  I have a max stat Earthkeeper, Crusader and Paladin.  Out of all three kits there’s only one, really, and it’s a group-only ult.

So let’s talk about it.

 

first off in a latter post you use a very specific set of circumstances so that would be the exception to normal play instead of the rule. In doing so you re enforce the uncle Bob mentality by stating you not only need to run 2-3 specific classes but you must also take a specific promotion class. So what you did with out even realizing it was told every new player reading this thread is if you don’t want to play an alpha warrior champion, a knight, or a healer it’s best to simply give in and join the Zerg. At least that way you can play the class you want to.

 

Now to speak more specifically to AOE heals vs AOE damage. It isn’t black and white like you’re attempting to make it. First the alloy combines for armor at least for blacksmiths add to incoming healing, or reduce the chance of a crit hit, or increase resistances and that’s just the armor and the defense. Second the armor also increases support power and crit heal damage amounts.

 

Now though let’s talk about AOE heals. The crusader has 3 just in class alone. The best of which is a group ult which also gives a player with less than 50% health a shield. Now anyone who has played this game knows that disciplines are extremely helpful and help to round out builds. Of those disciplines you have 4 that are extremely helpful to healers. You have dryad that has a cone AOE heal, you have pixie, that has an AOE ability that improves healing by 25%, and another AOE that reduces damage, you have naiad that has 2 AOE heals, and you have Field surgeon that turns your heals into a mana battery, has a skill that removes dots and places a small heal on all group members, and has the rescue ability that literally prevents a group member from dieing while placing a heal on them that heals for 189-231+840% weapon damage.

 

now imagine what it like to fight a group that has 2 clerics for healer and off healer running field surgeon and naiad with roughly equivalent gear to what you have and tell me again about those alpha warrior neck breaker crits.

 

 

Edited by Dakoth

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Posted (edited)
On 6/13/2019 at 3:45 AM, ilogos said:

Also known as "Zerging" or "Zergs" :)

I saw this as a big issue with Albion Online, and not so much of an issue with ArcheAge. Both of these games had open world, free-roaming, PvP in a sense. I think you could compare these two and see how Zergs became more of an issue for one and not the other. I think part of it has to do with giving more options to the player in terms of what is available in the environment. Basically, in ArcheAge nothing was focused to the point where it bottle-necked the players (to some extent). You could create your own routes to trade goods and capitalize on rare resources and the world was large enough where a Zerg couldn't be practical to interrupt that trade mechanic. In Albion Online, it was flawed because you had to use certain entrances and exits in the map, and people would follow and gank you nearly without constraint.  

All in all, I think it would be wise to diversify the world map where those alternate routes, trade ins, and rare resources are located, and allow the horde of players to gravitate towards city centers, War Tribes (for Discipline farming), and portal passages.

Sorry but that's not true. I played on Tahyang server in archeage and one faction had such an obscene zerg the other may as well not have existed. That zerg specifically rolled on tahyang to ply that numbers advantage against what they assumed would be weaker competition as it was the official RP server.

"Zerging" is a product of logical thought and a will to win. Having more dudes is never a disadvantage, and in the context of open PvP, is pretty much the point of the game.

What do you think "Build your army" in the trailers of literally all of these games means?

Edited by PopeUrban

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3 hours ago, Ble said:

I'm a huge fan of anti-healing.  Healing in this game is too easy (read:  thoughtless) and almost completely reactive.  I would love to see anti healing come in as an ability and more barriers and damage reductions go out to healers in the form of combos.  We have anti-barriers already, so it would really be a nice game of chess to work your way through anti healing and anti barrier with use of smartly applied DRs+healing boosts+lowered healing. 

I'd love for there to be a way to seperate good healers from ... less good ones.  As it is now, you put two in a group and press your buttons on cooldown, spin n win.

We already have anti healing mechanics. Black mask, assassin toxins, and plaguelord are direct healing debuffs.

There's a solid argument that anti healing isn't strong enough compared to healing, or that healing is too strong.

I think the latter is the case. Healing is fine. The problem is that while ACE had the foresight to disallow healing effects from identical sources stacking, but not the foresight to prevent merely similar effects from different sources from stacking. This is the source of the 2 healer meta, essentially. Healing was designed around the assumption of a single healer in a group, but because stacking heals is as easy as bringing a different healer class people just stack healing effects.

If in stead healing effects were more broadly types we wouldn't have this issue. E.g. "Ground AoE heal" is its own effect which covers cleric circle, templar circle, and druid rain. "Single Target Heal" Covering both druid balls and cleric hots (perhaps by picking up orbs canceling single target HoT) etc.


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14 minutes ago, PopeUrban said:

We already have anti healing mechanics. Black mask, assassin toxins, and plaguelord are direct healing debuffs.

There's a solid argument that anti healing isn't strong enough compared to healing, or that healing is too strong.

It’s currently so laughably weak that it’s not worth talking about.  It’s not going to make a bit of difference when used vs competent healer.

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26 minutes ago, PopeUrban said:

Sorry but that's not true. I played on Tahyang server in archeage and one faction had such an obscene zerg the other may as well not have existed. That zerg specifically rolled on tahyang to ply that numbers advantage against what they assumed would be weaker competition as it was the official RP server.

"Zerging" is a product of logical thought and a will to win. Having more dudes is never a disadvantage, and in the context of open PvP, is pretty much the point of the game.

What do you think "Build your army" in the trailers of literally all of these games means?

Zerging logical thought that “numbers” always prevail in a battle has been disproved through out human history. Many times in Europe the actual deciding factor wasn’t  who could field the largest number of peasant conscripts, but who could field the largest number of well armed and well trained knights.

 

the Zerg mentality starts not as a will to win, but a psychological need to win as the specific type of person that chooses the Zerg because it wins and not because they are tired of being a victim to game mechanics ties their self worth to “winning” the game.

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