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Kryshael

Idea for Catch-Up mechanic

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...for those who are either new or others who have fallen behind (Granted that they need to remove the xp cap on those who have not logged in for a certain amount of time. Real life happens)

One of the biggest drawbacks for new people starting after a new wipe is that they cannot ever catch up with those who started their skill trees on day 1. Not only are there players who want to just pvp until the world burns, but there are also those who like to just craft or harvest. There is currently a mechanic in the game that could be tweaked to help new people actually catch up to those who started before them.

This current mechanic is the artifact binds that are made from the artifact items that drop from the npc's in God's Reach. Currently you can combine 5 of these artifact items into an artifact bind for a set amount of xp. There are multiple tiers of these artifact items from different level npc's that offer different amounts of xp once you combine them.

Use this same artifact system for harvesting. Have "wood fragments" or "ore fragments" drop from their respective harvesting nodes. These fragments are then used to make an artifact that can be used to add xp to the skill trees under Exploration or the Crafting tree. The way for the system to determine how much xp is needed for any one person to catch up to everyone else could be easily calculated since you get 8,640 points per day for the two trees you have selected. Multiply that number times how many days it has been since launch to get the total amount of xp needed to "catch up" to the day one playerbase. You could even add a graphic in the skill area which will show you the amount of xp needed to "catch up". As you use an artifact to gain xp; you then choose which tree you want to add it to (Exploration or Crafting). The amount of xp you get from that fragment is then subtracted from your total for that tree and the UI now shows your updated remaining xp.

ALSO, these artifacts need to be account only and not tradeable. This will prevent people from being able to sell them.

I do believe this would be a great system and would allow new people an actual way to catch up. There are a few other variables that need to be worked out and would love to speak with anyone about it.

Thoughts?

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Great idea. 

I like your idea uses what already exists in some form instead of creating more convoluted systems. Do a task, get exp, the end.

This puts the catch up into the players hands instead of Tome idea of relying on others to save/trade time to new players which didn't seem likely.

If someone wants to catch up, they have to go out and actually do the thing they want to train or they can just putter along and let passive training do its thing. Passive training still has value, but people aren't completely locked behind a time gate.

I would add one thing though. Player and "Boss" monster skulls and earning Combat training. For new/old players that want to focus on combat, they should have an option as well. Put some sort of restriction in place like only 1 of a individual player skull can be owned and turned in per day to keep it from being exploited and players have to be in the group that gets the mob kill.

 

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Posted (edited)

Honestly I think stuff like this is a band aid to a more critical problem.

If the game's economy and content can't support new players down the line without effectively just turning them in to old players the underlying design is ill equipped to appeal to new players in the first place, regardless of any catch up mechanic.

EVE has a catch up mechanism through skill injectors, sure, but it also has reams of content and activities for new players to do at their actual training levels that are economically viable and feel like meaningful progression because a lot of its design is horizontal or efficiency based rather than purely vertical.

Crowfall simply doesn't have that. A year in there is nothing worthwhile a new player can do for an established one. They can't farm or resource fast enough, they're at best just a +1 in fights and require charity to make them useful in said fights because they can't really afford their own gear or vessels.

Compare that with EVE where various spheres of play exist and the economy is built on scale rather than rarity so that the minerals a newbie mines, the scrap they salvage, or the loot they collect from npcs are still objects an established player wants to buy.

With crowfall's rarity system, that new player's bag full of commons and greens is fairly useless to any established player. There's no incentive for anyone to buy them, and that results in an economy where nobody's paying that newbie for his work so he's stuck farming low level mobs to pay established player prices for higher tier gear and tools that he really shouldn't need anyway.

If the only way new players can adequately participate in the economy is to grind until they're effectively old players... then what's the point of having a distinction in the first place?

Just give them a load of skill points when they create the account to bring them up to speed so they can just play the game in stead of putting an artifical grind barrier in front of them that the existing players never had to hurdle.

Edited by PopeUrban

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Rub rock on face and say "Yes food is eaten now time for fight"

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9 minutes ago, PopeUrban said:

EVE has a catch up mechanism through skill injectors, sure, but it also has reams of content and activities for new players to do at their actual training levels that are economically viable and feel like meaningful progression because a lot of its design is horizontal or efficiency based rather than purely vertical.

Compare that with EVE where various spheres of play exist and the economy is built on scale rather than rarity so that the minerals a newbie mines, the scrap they salvage, or the loot they collect from npcs are still objects an established player wants to buy.

Crowfall simply doesn't have that.

I'm not an EVE player but have a general idea how some systems works. It confuses me how ACE can use EVE as an example of what they want to do, yet don't use any of it. Only similarity appears to be you can train passively. If they can't be creative, just copy paste what works.

Making everything linear and vertical instead of horizontal is a big negative to the game design. Seemed like they might be going in a better direction early but took a hard right to just doing the same vertical color tiered system of any themepark or RPG. Driving players to focus on the endless gear/stat progression and not having content to use the stats for.

9 minutes ago, PopeUrban said:

Just give them a load of skill points when they create the account to bring them up to speed so they can just play the game in stead of putting an artifical grind barrier in front of them that the existing players never had to hurdle.

Would be great but seems like ACE believes leveling and re-leveling the same characters is some how teaching players how to play their class. Because bad AI and sacrificing are strong teaching tools. Or they think this time sink is going to keep people logging in and ignoring the lack of content.

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I agree with APE and Pope Urban on the current short-comings, issues, and over-all lack of content.  My only question is, are the issues mentioned already being addressed by what we have not yet tested.  For example, the "Glory, Wealth, and Power' mechanics and any resulting or potential increases in pvp scenarios and/or fun encounters?    And, beyond that, will the game start with much more of a player-base, that hopefully fills the multiple various campaigns & rule-sets (like both 'The Infected' faction wars, the EK's or God's Reach, and 'The Dregs' guild wars for example)?  IF so, might this eventuality alone address many of the current or old issues you've mentioned?

And finally the most important question... Will the various campaign options, current development plans, and potential increased populations result in market-places and a player-driven economy that is strong and dynamic enough to naturally incentivize most players, both new & old?   If it is, then would this not fix many of the various old and current issues that you've outlined? 

Perhaps only then, this catch-up mechanic may be considered more than just a "band-aid"... and actually just a realistic mechanic that incentivizes players (that are behind on the curve) to get out into the world and play/take risks/participate, in order to catch up on the current time-gated passive skill trees?    I suppose that I am very hopeful that such possibilities not only exist, but that they will naturally come to fruition based upon the current game development progression & goals.  Yea, pretty optimistic of me, I know.   

Certainly we are all hopeful for more content and much better content ...  obviously sooner rather than later.   

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Posted (edited)
6 hours ago, APE said:

Great idea. 

I like your idea uses what already exists in some form instead of creating more convoluted systems. Do a task, get exp, the end.

This puts the catch up into the players hands instead of Tome idea of relying on others to save/trade time to new players which didn't seem likely.

If someone wants to catch up, they have to go out and actually do the thing they want to train or they can just putter along and let passive training do its thing. Passive training still has value, but people aren't completely locked behind a time gate.

I would add one thing though. Player and "Boss" monster skulls and earning Combat training. For new/old players that want to focus on combat, they should have an option as well. Put some sort of restriction in place like only 1 of a individual player skull can be owned and turned in per day to keep it from being exploited and players have to be in the group that gets the mob kill.

 

The Combat training one is one of the items I wanted to add later instead of putting in this original post. But you are correct; currently you can kill npc's to get the artifact items and then combine five of them into an artifact bind. Those are then sacrificed for combat xp. Those items drop in the higher tier npc's, but seem to be at a lower rate of drop. So this system is actually already in the game, but since there is a lower drop rate, I am not sure on how much xp is gained from the higher level ones.

 

I do agree that this will not fix everything, but I do feel that it will at least give a new player that was not able to start their passive skill training from day one a fighting chance to at least catch up in a relatively short amount of time.

There are many different things that could be done with this system. I would love to hear others thoughts on how this could branch out.

Thanks for the input guys. All great ideas and concerns.

Edited by Kryshael

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3 hours ago, Kryshael said:

Those are then sacrificed for combat xp.

You mean leveling experience? I meant for applying to Passive Combat Training (Weapons/Armor) like Crafting n Harvesting.

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43 minutes ago, APE said:

You mean leveling experience? I meant for applying to Passive Combat Training (Weapons/Armor) like Crafting n Harvesting.

For the "catch-up", I was actually thinking of them being used for xp in the Combat Tree or for levelling your char. There are different fires in God's Reach you can sacrifice to. They could make it so that depending on which God you sacrifice to, the xp would go to the tree that is related to that god (exploration, crafting, combat, or levelling).

Just a thought.

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Arguably more important than a catch up mechanic is ensuring that engaging in the activities you want to engage in actually contribute towards passive training.  There isn't much room in a game like this for passive training arguably, and it risks being a turn off even with catch up mechs.  I should hammer out something when I get the chance as a NPE post from a number of months ago I had put up went heavily into these issues.  It is time I expanded on it.

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Posted (edited)

TLDR: Been here since kick starter. Don't like the passive skill system. Never have. Have never heard anyone say they did.

 

What is the point of the passive trees? I think initially it was just to have some sort of 'permanence' to your account or a way to slowly but surely get stronger.

What are the pros/cons of passive training taking long time (months, even years) to become a master at something?

PRO 1: It prevents you from doing everything on one account, I can get behind that. But eventually with enough time, you will have everything.

CON 1: It 'rewards' you for having more time in the game. This was toted as a PRO but they have always talked about creating a catch up mechanic. Acknowledging the need for a catch up mechanic would imply that having some people farther ahead is a bad thing. It also negates the 'reward' of having more skills for having been playing longer.

CON 2: It is non-interactive, limiting and boring. The time investment is a big hindrance to those without multiple accounts. Just in the combat tree alone, If I want a 2H plate wearing melee character and a 1H ranged leather wearing character, that is 6 SIX! different passive tree paths. I am going to feel either limited or gimped in my character choices.

CON 3: It does nothing for 'character identity'. All the bonuses are applied at an account level and even then not all of your combat choices will apply

CON 4: If you are too far behind the pack in crafting/harvesting you are obsolete (under the current systems we have access to)

CON 5: You only get the 'Fresh Server' game experience once. The entire appeal of CF is that the game resets and you start over. This really is not the case. With enough passive training you are farming R10 nodes and making end game gear on day 1 of a freshly wiped campaign. I don't mean to speak for everyone but the wipes/sever ups are a blast. It is really a shame that we only experience that once.

CON 5.5: We are currently experiencing a true 'Fresh Server' game experience right now. It takes too long to do anything useful with harvesting/crafting. Crafting on day 1 should be on par with what ever you consider 'minimum viable'. This means that crafting needs a quality baseline of advanced green War Tribe gear. This is either an issue of the passive tree or the loot tables.

CON 6: Pushes you towards needing more accounts. (Good for ArtCraft, bad for Crowfall)

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

At this point of what I'm writing here I went into Discord and told the 3 guys in there I was writing about the passive skill tree. Combined we have about 15 years in testing Crowfall. 2 of us have been here since the start. I told them I wanted to be objective about what I was writing and asked them for more PROs. They laughed. The closest thing they came up with was that it was 'easy' to manage and that it keeps you on equal footing with anyone else assuming you started playing the game at the same time as everyone else.

What I would like to see....

You already have this in place, it is what the vision of the game was based on. Reset passive training After X amount of campaigns. Choose a base training speed that would culminate in the completion of 1 advanced skill line at around the start of Fall/Winter. This way you always complete your training to max and then get to utilize it throughout the reminder of the campaign.

 

Here is how I would see this affecting each of the above PROs/CONs

PRO 1: No change. You still keep this PRO

CON 1: This con is all but eliminated. The only amount you can be ahead of someone is how much longer you've been in the campaign(s) cycle before the next wipe. You also eliminate the need for creating a catch up system.

CON 2: Mostly eliminated. It is still non-interactive and boring BUT if I am focusing on 2H Melee Plate Blacksmith I know that the next campaign I can try a 1H Ranged Mail Grave Digger and not feel gimped. This would be amazing. I would feel much less that I needed to have multiple accounts just to play the game.

CON 3: Really would not be any change here. Other than 'character identity' is no longer tied to the passive system because it is no longer a permanent thing.

CON 4: This con is all but eliminated. The only amount you can be ahead of someone is how much longer you've been in the campaign(s) cycle before the next wipe.

CON 5: Eliminated.

CON 6: Somewhat diminished. You still can not do everything all at once, but you can do something different every campaign(s) cycle when you start fresh.

 

Also, possibilities are endless here. Just off the top of my head you can start a campaign(s) cycle with...

Increased / decreased training speed for different campaign(s) cycles.

You can adjust/change/buff/nerf nodes in interesting ways each campaign(s) reset cycle. We could have a campaign(s) cycle where the melee weapon tree has double values or Iron harvesting nodes are inflated.

You can have a campaign(s) cycle where different paths are some how connected. Things like, bonuses or negatives if you have certain trees trained. Managed to max out 2 harvesting lines? Get a huge combat buff. Things like that.

Campaign(s) cycles where certain trees have increased/decreased cost. Or campaign(s) cycles where some trees are locked out.

Campaign(s) cycles where you introduce new or different trees.

Campaign(s) cycles where the training paths start at the end and you work your way backwards.

 

With changing anything you would face a new set of CONS. Potential CONS for this proposed system might be...

That you lose that sense of 'ownership' and uniqueness that your account has. I would argue that this was very weak to begin with and the source of this now is your vessel.

Some people just wont like it.

Edited by Yoink

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Posted (edited)
5 hours ago, Yoink said:

TLDR: Been here since kick starter. Don't like the passive skill system. Never have. Have never heard anyone say they did.

 

What is the point of the passive trees? I think initially it was just to have some sort of 'permanence' to your account or a way to slowly but surely get stronger.

What are the pros/cons of passive training taking long time (months, even years) to become a master at something?

PRO 1: It prevents you from doing everything on one account, I can get behind that. But eventually with enough time, you will have everything.

CON 1: It 'rewards' you for having more time in the game. This was toted as a PRO but they have always talked about creating a catch up mechanic. Acknowledging the need for a catch up mechanic would imply that having some people farther ahead is a bad thing. It also negates the 'reward' of having more skills for having been playing longer.

CON 2: It is non-interactive, limiting and boring. The time investment is a big hindrance to those without multiple accounts. Just in the combat tree alone, If I want a 2H plate wearing melee character and a 1H ranged leather wearing character, that is 6 SIX! different passive tree paths. I am going to feel either limited or gimped in my character choices.

CON 3: It does nothing for 'character identity'. All the bonuses are applied at an account level and even then not all of your combat choices will apply

CON 4: If you are too far behind the pack in crafting/harvesting you are obsolete (under the current systems we have access to)

CON 5: You only get the 'Fresh Server' game experience once. The entire appeal of CF is that the game resets and you start over. This really is not the case. With enough passive training you are farming R10 nodes and making end game gear on day 1 of a freshly wiped campaign. I don't mean to speak for everyone but the wipes/sever ups are a blast. It is really a shame that we only experience that once.

CON 5.5: We are currently experiencing a true 'Fresh Server' game experience right now. It takes too long to do anything useful with harvesting/crafting. Crafting on day 1 should be on par with what ever you consider 'minimum viable'. This means that crafting needs a quality baseline of advanced green War Tribe gear. This is either an issue of the passive tree or the loot tables.

CON 6: Pushes you towards needing more accounts. (Good for ArtCraft, bad for Crowfall)

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

At this point of what I'm writing here I went into Discord and told the 3 guys in there I was writing about the passive skill tree. Combined we have about 15 years in testing Crowfall. 2 of us have been here since the start. I told them I wanted to be objective about what I was writing and asked them for more PROs. They laughed. The closest thing they came up with was that it was 'easy' to manage and that it keeps you on equal footing with anyone else assuming you started playing the game at the same time as everyone else.

What I would like to see....

You already have this in place, it is what the vision of the game was based on. Reset passive training After X amount of campaigns. Choose a base training speed that would culminate in the completion of 1 advanced skill line at around the start of Fall/Winter. This way you always complete your training to max and then get to utilize it throughout the reminder of the campaign.

 

Here is how I would see this affecting each of the above PROs/CONs

PRO 1: No change. You still keep this PRO

CON 1: This con is all but eliminated. The only amount you can be ahead of someone is how much longer you've been in the campaign(s) cycle before the next wipe. You also eliminate the need for creating a catch up system.

CON 2: Mostly eliminated. It is still non-interactive and boring BUT if I am focusing on 2H Melee Plate Blacksmith I know that the next campaign I can try a 1H Ranged Mail Grave Digger and not feel gimped. This would be amazing. I would feel much less that I needed to have multiple accounts just to play the game.

CON 3: Really would not be any change here. Other than 'character identity' is no longer tied to the passive system because it is no longer a permanent thing.

CON 4: This con is all but eliminated. The only amount you can be ahead of someone is how much longer you've been in the campaign(s) cycle before the next wipe.

CON 5: Eliminated.

CON 6: Somewhat diminished. You still can not do everything all at once, but you can do something different every campaign(s) cycle when you start fresh.

 

Also, possibilities are endless here. Just off the top of my head you can start a campaign(s) cycle with...

Increased / decreased training speed for different campaign(s) cycles.

You can adjust/change/buff/nerf nodes in interesting ways each campaign(s) reset cycle. We could have a campaign(s) cycle where the melee weapon tree has double values or Iron harvesting nodes are inflated.

You can have a campaign(s) cycle where different paths are some how connected. Things like, bonuses or negatives if you have certain trees trained. Managed to max out 2 harvesting lines? Get a huge combat buff. Things like that.

Campaign(s) cycles where certain trees have increased/decreased cost. Or campaign(s) cycles where some trees are locked out.

Campaign(s) cycles where you introduce new or different trees.

Campaign(s) cycles where the training paths start at the end and you work your way backwards.

 

With changing anything you would face a new set of CONS. Potential CONS for this proposed system might be...

That you lose that sense of 'ownership' and uniqueness that your account has. I would argue that this was very weak to begin with and the source of this now is your vessel.

Some people just wont like it.

Great post! A lot of thought put into that. To me, the passive system is a way for people who work a lot (ie. me) a way to increase my skill over time without having to put a ton of time into the training. I still have to go out and collect the materials to make anything, but the time spent doing that actually leaves me time to play the game.

One thing I would love to see is a skill based harvesting system. You skill up your harvesting professions by actually harvesting that type of material.

Edited by Kryshael

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