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Deioth

The New Guild Experience - The Passive and Crafting Problem

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3 minutes ago, miraluna said:

It's not irrelevant. IF the passive training to max blacksmith took 1 week to complete, would it still be an issue?  The reason people want to "actively grind" the skill is not because grinding of worthless items is fun -  it's because they want it to go faster, and braindead grinding is easier than putting effort into learning complex systems, building a crafting character, getting properly geared, and working up the supply and economic chain. All of those things I consider to be the more important parts of being a "great crafter".

So the core of the active vs passive issue is how long should it take to max your skill tree?

One week wouldn't be good because then why bother having the tree at all.  Just make Crowfall the newest iteration of DayZ style survival games at that point.  The problem is that the time gating immediately turned off new players in our own guild.  The issue is that they couldn't access the gameplay they like which were the non-combat systems.  Being time gated from being useful whether you play the game or not during that time is the issue.  It is NOT how long it takes to max.  This is why having an active point generation system that is added to for any activity would be an excellent compromise, cater to the game's original vision, and give the non-combatant types a reason to play and something to work towards.  They PvP?  They PvE?  They harvest?  They craft?  The capture points?  All these activity points can be put right into that craft or harvest tree and they are actually playing the game, rather than being immediately turned off and feeling sour about being sold something other than they expected.

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3 minutes ago, Deioth said:

The problem is that the time gating immediately turned off new players in our own guild.  The issue is that they couldn't access the gameplay they like which were the non-combat systems.

I agree there is a problem with crafting/resources early to mid game partly due to time based skills being so important. There needs to be purpose and viability for crafting while waiting for those skills to increase. The devs added leveling as their active component to counter the passive combat skills(they also did some changes to those skills which lessened their effect on combat), so I imagine like that will also happen to crafting. 

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48 minutes ago, Deioth said:

 5. We can tell.  Winterblades shows up and they can 1v5 us basically.  Tyrannical that damn SOB is just straight up wrong what he can do and survive 😋  Hax we could actually do something against, even Clams nowadays, depending on numbers and if our healers logged off.  We're nearly there for craft/harvest levels and getting closer with mats for a solid blue kit, but the climb is a cliff and that's just not good NPE.

Deioth,

Think on this statement from your reply.  A few additional facts to consider:

Guilds like HAX, Cursed, UXA, corvus citadel and especially Clams  (our former faction mates) wear the same gear Winterblades and HoA use.  (Everyone except HAX has been here since December and 5.8, and HAX has been here about 3 months)

Cursed/Clams/Corvus/UXA have the same training as Winterblades and HoA. (Again since 5.8 skill wipe)

If you're "actually doing something" against HAX and Clams you're competing against people with same gear/training as WHoA.

The difference between WHoA and the other guilds is leadership, coordination, knowledge, and experience.

Edited by Angelmar

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8 minutes ago, Angelmar said:

The difference between WHoA and the other guilds is leadership, coordination, knowledge, and experience.

Winterblades runs like a paramilitary unit. I would be p1ss drunk happy with winning a 1v5 ratio. Go peasant power!

Edited by mystafyi

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30 minutes ago, Angelmar said:

Deioth,

Think on this statement from your reply.  A few additional facts to consider:

Guilds like HAX, Cursed, UXA, corvus citadel and especially Clams  (our former faction mates) wear the same gear Winterblades and HoA use.  (Everyone except HAX has been here since December and 5.8, and HAX has been here about 3 months)

Cursed/Clams/Corvus/UXA have the same training as Winterblades and HoA. (Again since 5.8 skill wipe)

If you're "actually doing something" against HAX and Clams you're competing against people with same gear/training as WHoA.

The difference between WHoA and the other guilds is leadership, coordination, knowledge, and experience.

Oh trust me, HAX and HoA and Clams have all just as easily wiped through us.  As mentioned, it tended to depend on numbers and our healer status if we could come out on top, and some names we usually see were clearly on alts that weren't geared or were even white vessels (because they actually would take damage) in a few recent fights (mostly on Infected).  There is a definite difference, though.  Tactics aren't going to magically make our entire group focusing one guy kill him before he takes a 6K Rescue, or to reverse the situation result in our death before the rescue can even be aimed.  The gear differences are clearly noticeable.  I've done less than 1k on a neckbreaker crit to leather yet in mail I'll take a white one for 3k.  We can tell who has gear and who doesn't.

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37 minutes ago, Angelmar said:

Deioth,

Think on this statement from your reply.  A few additional facts to consider:

Guilds like HAX, Cursed, UXA, corvus citadel and especially Clams  (our former faction mates) wear the same gear Winterblades and HoA use.  (Everyone except HAX has been here since December and 5.8, and HAX has been here about 3 months)

Cursed/Clams/Corvus/UXA have the same training as Winterblades and HoA. (Again since 5.8 skill wipe)

If you're "actually doing something" against HAX and Clams you're competing against people with same gear/training as WHoA.

The difference between WHoA and the other guilds is leadership, coordination, knowledge, and experience.

I think many people who currently play this game vastly underestimate how much Crowfall is a knowledge based game, and how harshly punished you are for lacking that knowledge.  The less knowledge your individual players are armed with, the larger of a burden on your leadership to guide them effectively (while also playing their own characters properly).

 

Being able to trust the line members of W and HoA to know what they should be doing with themselves and having the leadership have the knowledge to always make the right call is the reason they seem invincible.  Close that gap and you can kill them in wartribe gear.

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7 minutes ago, Hungry said:

Being able to trust the line members of W and HoA to know what they should be doing with themselves and having the leadership have the knowledge to always make the right call is the reason they seem invincible.  Close that gap and you can kill them in wartribe gear.

Maybe.  Every time we get into a fight with a couple people it turns into a like 4v15 with the next encounter.  Makes it even harder to learn anything when 90% of the fights we're grossly outnumbered 🤷‍♂️ The call goes out that there's PVP and we're effectively zerged lol

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I believe they call that "Hardcore PvP" here, lol.

 

Purple gear is 15% better than white. So they are doing 15% more dmg and taking 15% less. Lets just say someone maxed out in passive combat has 15% better skills. Add vessel into this again lets just say 15% better. So 60%, considering this isn't a "skill" based game as I've seen said when the hit boxes were brought up in the forums. It's just they know what order to push the buttons in better than most... sounds like WoW.

I am sorry all these things add up to make a difference.  

If they didn't you wouldn't race to get max gear, or complain about 15 imports.

You all would run your zerg ball in all whites and would still win.  

Edited by Darksun_

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19 minutes ago, Deioth said:

Maybe.  Every time we get into a fight with a couple people it turns into a like 4v15 with the next encounter.  Makes it even harder to learn anything when 90% of the fights we're grossly outnumbered 🤷‍♂️ The call goes out that there's PVP and we're effectively zerged lol

Numbers are a separate issue, and usually has to be solved with allies.

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3 hours ago, Angelmar said:

I admit I only skimmed the wall of text.

First, you're badly falling into the trap of assuming perfect gear equals minimum viable PvP competitive gear.  (This is false and many folks demonstrate this regularly by playing on their non primary region server NA/EU in white vessels with wartribe gear)

Second, you shouldn't waste time crafting whites "intermediate" gear.  ACE has instead given you Mana from Heaven and wartribes gear is better than whites will be anyway.  High end purple wartribes gear is as good as good greens or crappy blue gear.

Third, your point that passive training will drive some ppl away is accurate.  It's same issue EVE faces.  (With addition of vessel leveling, I too have wondered what the point of passive training is and couldn't it get rolled into vessels or talents?--a lot of folks want the no-effort skill gains tho)

Fourth, you're point the finger at the wrong training branch.  Crafting has lots of tools to allow a crafter without skills to be effective quickly and with a bit of dust and min-maxing make gear thats only off by 5-10%. Where passive training really is an advantage, is harvesting, and there are fewer buffs/gear options (but not none) to carry noobs in this area. Check out community resources for buffs/gear options https://winterblades.net/crafting-combinations/

Fifth, many guilds in the CW (essentially every guild other than -W- and HoA) started in the last 9 months.  The many Chaos guilds started before gear got significant nerfs and normalized in 5.9. This climb is not insurmountable. It does mean you have to accept your going to be at a small disadvantage. See #1. 

Sixth, Eldritch is shooting themselves in the foot trying to be run before they can walk.  Instead of learning the game on a populated faction, they are trying to be a 10man army of Order against the rest the NA population.  (To ameliorate this issue, setup arranged fights and scrims.  Clam Stacking Casuals good crew that started in December to sparr with).

Seventh, don't turn down offered help.  I dmed Vunak August 25 and offered to pass him some BS crafting gear and vessel.  He never circled back to me.

I wouldn't say anyone is assuming that being in near perfect gear is the equality of minimum viable PvP. I would say that Blue grade and up is where you want to start your crafting adventure. Wartribe gear is decent if you are playing as an extra to a group or going against other players in wartribe gear to a degree. But if your entire group is in wartribe gear and is fighting against others that are in decent crafted gear there is litter chance to compete, especially with stats coming in from various other sources like the passive training tree. Experimentation Points are extremely important to crafting even lower grade gear and to get max experimentation points you have to be done with the crafting tree to get the last two, otherwise that blue grade gear is no where near someone elses who can craft with max experimentation points. Its likely a waste of mats. 

(the cycle you have to go through to get to a point where you are maxing out on points is pretty crazy. Blacksmith to make BS gear. Then makes Necro and Alchemy gear, Necro makes BS Vessel of higher quality to make more BS and Necro gear. etc. The loop is really badly done)

Not being able to utilize and craft white grade gear to be useful or having white grade gear not be useful at all and a waste is exactly what is wrong with the current system. Its not even about being viable as a combat player, but being viable as a crafter. You have to spend months in the passive training to be viable to craft for a guild especially if that guild already has crafters in Blue - Legendary vessels and crafting gear. There is nothing you can actually craft as a new crafter that wouldn't be better crafted by someone deeper in the crafting trees. 

You can start harvesting fairly quickly and gain decent enough resources that people will utilize. Dust is always useful and you get that from hitting just about anything in the game harvesting wise. New Harvesters have a place in any guild. Will that harvester get as much dust as another that is deeper in the harvesting training trees and geared etc.? No. But their dust they acquire is just as good as anyone else. 

The disadvantage is not small. It is quite large. I know many HoA and W players are running around in Legendary grade items and/or vessels. Along with max passive training. The 15% difference is not 15% anymore when you add everything together into one large stat advantage. Is it insurmountable? No definitely not, but it is going to take quite awhile to catch up to an already established force that is maxed on a lot of different things. Older guilds should have an advantage, but I dont think that advantage should be time gated with no alternative but to sit and wait months to get to that point where you are caught up. 

Going Order was probably the best thing we could have done honestly. It is giving a large insight into how new players and guilds will have to deal with certain issues currently with CF in its current iteration. Its good testing. We can't just cover up issues by starting the game a certain way. The faction imbalance will likely always be a thing on the campaigns that have factions. Faction systems have historically always had issues with population balance. Not showing the issues currently in CF with that would be a mistake especially since its even worse in CF because of the way passive training works with how time gated it is.

I appreciate everyone that has reached out to me from Balance and Chaos offering help in various different ways. I didn't get back to some of you (likely forgot tbh, sorry). But we somewhat wanted to build from Order to get the full experience of what it would be like trying to build things ourselves from the ground up. We are doing okay for ourselves currently with gathering materials and things for getting our vessels going and gear. Again though, we are 3 campaigns in and still have a long way to go before we start getting to a point where our 10 can face off against 10 Balance or 10 Chaos and it isn't a knowledge of the game thing many like to say it is. 

I mean that is why all the crafters hate it when passive training gets wiped. 

Edited by Vunak

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3 hours ago, Deioth said:

Being time gated from being useful whether you play the game or not during that time is the issue.  It is NOT how long it takes to max.

If you have to be at max crafting skill to be "useful", it doesn't matter if you gain the skill actively or passively - the only factor that counts is time to max skill. I don't think the problem is active vs passive, the problem is crafting not being "useful" enough at lower levels of skill training. Either not enough items to create at low skill that have value, or the power curve not flat enough.  In EVE, as a new player you can manufacture something easy and useful like ammunition, but you aren't going to be crafting capital ships anytime soon.

Passive training accomplishes other goals like equalizing some progression between hardcore and casual players (good for attracting a wider audience), and creating some role specialization (good for attracting dedicated crafters and building a diverse community of players). I do not want CF to be a game where everyone has a stable of easily-created crafting alts they only login when they need a new piece of gear.

As a newer guild you want to be in legendary gear right now so you can compete against the veterans in the same testing environment. In a post-launch situation, newer guilds would be moving from GR > Factions > Dregs  over time as they learned the game, and passive training, gear quality, and economic status would increase at each stage as well. W/HoA will be in the Dregs, and if new players jump in there at the start, they should get crushed. 


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Just wanted to say this has been a really interesting read, and I've learned a lot from this. As an inexperienced player, I have to agree with @Deioth's points on the new player experience.

It's been great reading the responses from the more veteran players, to know that passive training and high quality gear isn't as crucial as it may seem at first.

The real problem here, that should be reiterated, is that to the new player it DOES seem crucial.

Thinking about this in the long term, one could argue that these problems could be ironed out with knowledge stemming from a more solid tutorial phase, and community guides and tutorials for how to play (which don't really exist considering how frequently the game changes).

This however, shouldn't mean we neglect the psychology of a big chunk of new players who will never even get that far. I can easily see players, after realizing their progress is time-gated, losing interest in the game. Not to mention this kind of contradict's the hard-core nature of this game, but that is a different discussion which I'm going to mention, and then run.

6 hours ago, Deioth said:

But, we expect an uphill battle we can actually climb, and the current iteration of crafting and harvesting all stemming heavily from the current iteration of skill training has ensured that we're climbing not a hill but an oil slicked cliff. 

Though, if I were to improve upon this metaphor it more feels like I'm being hoisted up said cliff by a pulley system controlled by the devs, and I don't actually do any climbing (yes, this is not the case as what has already been mentioned, but again, the feels man, the feels).

I do welcome some passive training, but it can easily feel like a child at a carnival where you want to ride the big ride, except that guy is there blocking your path, telling you: you need to be this old to ride (versus the common height requirement). Also, this is an opinionated point, but I don't believe ANYONE wants this to adopt mobile game mechanics to the current level.

Conclusion, I do agree (or accept) there are some great points made by both sides, but I have to lean on the side that the system needs to change. I like a lot of the suggestions mentioned to combat the passive training problem, though I don't FULLY agree with all of them. I'm not going to write a book on my own thoughts at the moment. I trust Artcraft's direction so far, and I know they want to make the best possible game (it's in their own best interest as well, and they have been super receptive to the community so far).

So I'll leave at at that. This is a problem. Hopefully it will be further revised.
 

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I say keep the passive skill tree, but perhaps incorporate a new player single unlock specialization choice... 

perhaps automatically prompted when a new account gets any one vessel, the first, to max level (level 30)...  

Examples of specialization choices as follows;  Plate-wearer,  Leather-wearer,  Single-handed melee weapon specialist,  Logger,  Quarryman,  Blacksmith,  Runecrafter,  etc.  etc. ... 

(The level 30 vessel pre-requirement is there purely to help the new player make a slightly higher informed decision regarding this one time new player specialization perk/choice)  

Once a choice is made that skill tree path is either automatically filled in to provide that player (perhaps) 80% towards max in that one particular specialization, or perhaps just instantly award them enough points that can consequently only be spent along the corresponding specialization path (whatever is easier on the developers)...  

All other passive points accrued are accumulated & spent as normal under the current 'time-locked' passive skill-tree approach.  Every new player now has a valid starting point, yet still has incentive to monitor the passive tree and remain involved with those accrued points and subsequent unlocks over the long term.  

I believe this particular concept should replace your #3 (crafted vessel skill trees) idea, as I do not believe that ACE would ever approve that particular approach (but I could be mistaken).  

Edited by Rhea
added melee to Single-handed weapon specialist

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6 hours ago, Dern said:

If you're looking to gear up some Crafters maybe the community can pitch in and get you some Crafters sets.  This will hopefully get more Order players fit for combat and competitive on the battlefield and make the game more fun in the current build.  I'm willing to help so let me know if you're interested.

 

This doesn't fix the inherent issues in the game but it would be nice if there was a guild on Order to help lead and grow the faction.

Spectre  Legion is currently working on that but with only 5 of us being active currently it makes it a bit tougher to get the ball rolling (hopefully when beta rolls around some day we'll see a full roster in game) . I'm the one who helped Eldritch gear out their vessels & if my clan actually took the alpha as seriously as balance we could easily get the rest of our crafting vessels on par to help Order.   Still their points do carry some weight behind them and other points do not.   Currently the mob drops vs player crafted low end stuff is a bit out of wack especially on the green tier items.  The majority of the mob drop stuff is better than a white vessel max crafting a blue item.  The only thing that may be better is the damage but the rest of of the stats will be lower overall.    Possibly dropping the dust cost on green & white gear a little more could help balance this out a bit so the stepping stone is a bit better.

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1 hour ago, miraluna said:

If you have to be at max crafting skill to be "useful", it doesn't matter if you gain the skill actively or passively - the only factor that counts is time to max skill. I don't think the problem is active vs passive, the problem is crafting not being "useful" enough at lower levels of skill training. Either not enough items to create at low skill that have value, or the power curve not flat enough.  In EVE, as a new player you can manufacture something easy and useful like ammunition, but you aren't going to be crafting capital ships anytime soon.

Passive training accomplishes other goals like equalizing some progression between hardcore and casual players (good for attracting a wider audience), and creating some role specialization (good for attracting dedicated crafters and building a diverse community of players). I do not want CF to be a game where everyone has a stable of easily-created crafting alts they only login when they need a new piece of gear.

As a newer guild you want to be in legendary gear right now so you can compete against the veterans in the same testing environment. In a post-launch situation, newer guilds would be moving from GR > Factions > Dregs  over time as they learned the game, and passive training, gear quality, and economic status would increase at each stage as well. W/HoA will be in the Dregs, and if new players jump in there at the start, they should get crushed. 

Hence why part of my post suggests significant changes to crafting so that newer crafters can make worthwhile white/green gear.  Even if all they're doing is just picking the stats and getting a mere smidge more weapon damage and armor compared to good world drop rolls, this would create progression.  I don't think I made this point in my initial post, but another significant problem the current system creates is that there is no progression whatsoever.  It's not worth the mats, it's not worth the time, and without enough experimentation points (which means you need mostly maxed crafting) it's not even worth the gold from vendoring the result.  We don't want to be in legendary gear right away.  We want to be able to progress our gear with our crafting levels.  We want to be in competitive gear and we should be able to make it with only a couple weeks into crafting.  Then, we'd have an uphill battle rather than a climb up a cliff face.

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7 hours ago, Deioth said:

We want to be in competitive gear and we should be able to make it with only a couple weeks into crafting.  Then, we'd have an uphill battle rather than a climb up a cliff face.

 

You can, but as is evident by your posts your guild has not accepted help from others and you don't seem interested in doing all the things in game that are designed to boost your crafting ability apart from passive training.

What's funny is I don't think you realize that it use to be the case that recipes were actually gated by passive training. lmao

But anyway, the core thing here is you at least stated what your time frame expectations are which is what you should have said more concisely from the very beginning. You want your small guild that is brand new to be equally competitive as people in bigger groups that have been here since the last wipe, and some having been here for 3+ years - in a couple weeks.

Amazingly, you can be, or close to it, you just have to do a lot of work like A LOT of work- which you can actually do - but I sense that you don't want to do that stuff but would rather just grind out mobs or grind out crafting poorly made socks nobody will ever use to gain crafting points you can allocate.

I respect your guys attempt to be hard chargers, and most of us recognize the crafting system needs to be improved, but you aren't gong to get much sympathy from people who have been neckbearding this game for more than a year if you aren't doing all the stuff we have to do to be competitive.

 

Edited by DocTrine

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18 hours ago, Deioth said:

New guild, and resources are extremely limited given this is a prealpha game.  We were fortunate to even discover that disc was a thing.  We went into Order fully expecting to be alone.  Imagine now that we didn't get Foreman.  Imagine now that we didn't have a small and established crew to work with.  Then tell me again with a straight face that you could recommend the economy in its current state. 

But you did get all that stuff, and as you yourself pointed out, the population is low. The economy will be a lot better with a lot more people. With a strong economy, players will be able to buy what they need. Even if it is a problem now, it won't be in the future, so there's no reason to make knee-jerk changes.

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23 hours ago, DocTrine said:

Attribute stats comprise an enormous amount of the source for crafting and experimentation points.

Disciplines add more. 

Food, like Bon tippers, helps more.

Crafting gear add more.

Crafted vessel with the right racial bonus and enhanced stat pools allocated to the specific crafting line add tons more.

It may not be obvious from the outside, but this is a huge part of it. With maxed passive skills in runecrafting, my runecrafter without crafting gear, using a basic vessel & sitting in temple can at best make 'ok' tools; like blue +45-50 with full re-roll and almost no experimentation available for durability or the alloy effect.

Getting to top level crafting is as much about the gear as the passives, and it takes multiple rounds of your Runecrafter, Blacksmith, Jewelcrafter & Necromancer making incrementally better gear and vessels for each other to get there. And as Doc said, you need Sapho, Tippers, Pot Pie, Thrall buff from a keep, crafting leadership, as well as loot gear with Str/Dex/Int for each of those craftsmen to do their best work.

 

Edited by VaMei

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14 hours ago, Vunak said:

The disadvantage is not small. It is quite large. I know many HoA and W players are running around in Legendary grade items and/or vessels. Along with max passive training.

I have one legendary item, some of my main combat gear is blue, and my best vessel is blue. I'm still training mail, and have not started into one handed weapons training.

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2 hours ago, Arkade said:

But you did get all that stuff, and as you yourself pointed out, the population is low. The economy will be a lot better with a lot more people. With a strong economy, players will be able to buy what they need. Even if it is a problem now, it won't be in the future, so there's no reason to make knee-jerk changes.

The economy is probably worse for them because they decided to go Order, so their Temple area is probably mostly devoid of vendors.

For my part, I think the economy is fairly decent again with the addition of gold from WarTribes. With currency velocity again people have a means of exchange that fits into the vendor system to allow for asynchronous trade.

I've managed to get about 10 characters geared up, and outfit some of my harvesters with premium discs like Foreman and Connesuer, get an epic mount recipe, etc. all from other player vendors.

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