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Passive Training Needs Help - Introduce "Active" Training


Deioth
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I think I speak for a lot of people when I posit that the implementation of passive training in Crowfall leaves a lot to be desired. This is especially true for those who would prefer to harvest and craft instead of fight due to the nature of it being entirely time gated leaving especially newer crafters with a sense that they have no value. Even a catch up mechanic will not change the inherent problems with the current iteration of the passive training system because the inherent problems are at its very core. The system as it currently exists will actively push prospective players away no matter what else the game may bring. No one wants to feel like—certainly not in an MMO setting—that their playtime isn't actively making their character stronger in some way or another. Players want to be rewarded for spending time playing, not time waiting. Certainly you can spend time working towards gear, but gear matters mostly in combat, less so for harvesting, and is supplemental at best for crafting (thus requiring heavy passive investment to craft well). While the idea is novel and the reasons for it sensible, at least to a point, it is in dire need of a new approach.

Many of us would rather see the passive system removed completely and simply make it active like any other skills based game; If you fight, you gain Combat xp, if you harvest you gain harvest xp, and if you craft you gain craft xp, or something along such lines. I want to propose the following two idea to try and mix and match the best of both worlds. Crowfall's inherent design meshes well with passive training, at least on paper. It just lacks supplemental systems to keep players feeling engaged and to incentivize playing over waiting. One, we need playing the game to mean faster progression. We need an active system to generate training points. Two, the nature of passives themselves--particularly relating to the Combat tree--is not very alt-friendly. Every single vessel should feature their own vessel-specific supplemental passive points. Together, these two additions should make the system feel engaging, fun, and rewarding.

 

“Active” Training

The first idea of “active” training is not so much active training at all but instead a way to speed up passive training. Instead of simply giving you points, engaging in normal every-day game activities will instead increase the rate at which you generate passive training points. Every single day would have a soft cap of how much faster you can make the training ticker tick and every weeks worth of gameplay would feature a hard cap of how quickly you can generate points. The soft cap should be quick and easy to reach, say about an hour of general gameplay, be it PvE, harvesting, crafting, or the big one of PvP. However, for those that play many hours every day, while they would improve their training time much slower after hitting the daily soft cap they can still hit the 7-day hard cap within only 3 or 4 days. The soft cap would also take into consideration the nature of players' activities. God's Reach would limit this training speed boost at a 2-day cap; you must engage in these activities on a Campaign world to reach the 7-day cap. As well, PvE would also hard cap at 2 days, meaning you can only reach the daily soft cap twice doing only PvE, whereas every other activity would cap at 5 days (assuming it makes sense to cap non-PvE activities at all which would, at minimum, be caravans, harvesting, crafting, and PvP activities). This increased training speed would last for 3 days of inactivity and reduce back to normal after another up to 7 days depending on how many days worth of soft caps you've reached the equivalent of. The 7-day cap would generate a training point at a rate of 1 every 4 seconds (it is 1 every 10 seconds currently) which is slightly slower than pre-alpha accelerated training (which was the equivalent of 1 every 3 seconds at 3 points per 10 second tick).

Players will have an incentive to log in and play, engage in activities that benefit their faction/guild in Campaign, but won't have to feel like they're required to log in every day just to keep their training going. This will allow players to feel like playing actually advances their crow in the direction they really want to play.  VIP could even hit the soft cap in 30 minutes and decay 3 times slower (9 days inactivity, 21 days decay) as an additional non-competitive perk to VIP.

 

Vessel Training

In addition to “active” training to improve passive training speeds, there would also be a pool of generally applicable training points (meaning, you can add them freely to any node you have access to) on a vessel by vessel basis. Playing on a vessel will generate additional training points for that vessel and that vessel only. These points would generate based off of every activity that has experience gain associated to it (so any that don't, assuming PvP or land capture and the like doesn't, would now generate xp) starts building points at some % of the experience points it'd be worth. This also means that sacrificing at level 30 would be an additional way to generate vessel-specific training points. Either this can generate on a per-activity basis or be like a post-cap leveling system (think Champion Levels in Elder Scrolls Online) where you “level” up indefinitely after 30 to gain vessel-specific passive training points. These would have a hard cap of some amount--say 12,000 or whatever ends up feeling right--every 24 hours.  As well, every vessel (again, based on rarity) could also get a flat bonus of vessel points once hitting 30.

There would be no soft cap in how quickly you generate them, but vessel rarity will have an impact on this generation. Precisely how to implement how rarity affects vessel point generation would require testing on what would feel best. I think rarer vessels should take longer to generate these points, but perhaps get more per generation, and have a higher cap as a reward for having them. Another thing about vessels is that when replacing them you would hold on to the points that vessel has generated. However, choosing a different race and a different class from the vessel you're replacing would cut the vessel-specific points by 30% each. Vessels would also be hard capped (and perhaps regular passive training could be, as well, relying on Vessel-specific to compensate) at a certain maximum possible points, with the cap being higher based on rarity.  Replacing a capped vessel would only provide any remaining bonus at-30 points a higher rarity would warrant (and maybe you can only replace a vessel with a higher rarity unless the class and/or race are different so it balances out to avoid abuse).

When applying these points, they would be added like regular passive training; you'd need access to that node and simply click to add them, but this would be irrelevant to your current passively training trees. If passive training was already applied, vessel-specific would be tacked on to the end. Passive training added to a node would overtake--and thus refund--any vessel-specific training so you can add the vessel training elsewhere.

As players build up their Crow, they're going to want to have value in the passive training tree for any alts they may use. Some players may genuinely want to be harvesters only or crafters only, and a system like this would allow them to create vessel alts to fill in more of their desired trees by pushing each vessel in one direction with their crow building another. This works well for combat players, too, for those who like to switch based on mood or need between classes of differing armor and weapon types. One bad thing about passives as implemented now is they make you feel like you're being pigeon-holed. Despite all the intent of this game to have tons of build opportunities, the current iteration of the passive tree makes this effectively impossible if you want to main a melee plate class but off-main ranged leather. With vessel-specific training, you can still build up your alts' training thanks to vessel points with your crow points pushing your main's weapon/armor choices.

 

 

These two systems working together should greatly enhance player interest and engagement with the passive training system, expand player build potential, and enhance everyone's gameplay in every single way. One way or another, the passive system needs improving, and no amount of tweaks to tree design or even speed will fix the underlying problems. Players should have more build freedom than the passive tree allows and should feel like playing the game actively progresses their character and these two ideas will accomplish this perfectly. One thing is for certain: This needs to be done before launch. MMOs live and die by how good their launch and first impressions are, and the more casual players and softcore PvPers out there this game will need to rely on will be turned off hard by the current passive training system. Fix this now, even if it takes another 3+ months to code, test, and implement, for the sake of Crowfall's future or it will be at a sincere risk of turning off thousands of potential players who would otherwise thrive in the game's other systems.

Original post in Spoiler.

I'll keep this revamp short and sweet and too the point as possible.  The passive training tree, no matter what additional changes may need to happen to it and related systems (namely, harvesting and crafting and their viability below blue (really, purple) rarity/rank nodes)), really needs to be supplemented with an active contribution system.  While a lot of people like it or at least tolerate it, the fact of the matter is that many more people could live without it or even are directly turned off by it--At least, that has been my experience whenever it is brought up on the forums and in guild.  So, I propose two additional supplemental systems to really make the passive training tree feel fun to grow without it feeling stifling and arbitrarily time gated.

First, I propose an "Active" training mechanic where actively playing the game starts to reduce the tick counter for when a passive point is provided.  Second, I propose Vessel Points that can be universally applied to any node your passive tree has access to that are gained much the same way and are specific to each vessel

Active Training System

  • All game activities (PvE, harvesting, crafting, PvP, sieging, caravans, sacrificing) will build up an "Active Training" bar that, once filled, reduces time to tick a passive point by 1 second.  This caps out at 4 seconds per tick (slightly slower than during 5.100 testing of 3 every 10 seconds; this would be the equiv of 3 every 12).
  • The speed at which the bar fills begins to soft cap after filling once which resets every 24 hours.  Performing the same activity over and over could also build less and less of the bar over time; or perhaps instead of the bar itself soft capping, the activities themselves cap.  PvE would begin to soft cap at 25% of the bar, sacrificing at 50%, harvesting/crafting/caravans at 75% of the bar, and PvP activities would soft cap at 1 full bar.
  • Your active training tick bonus, after 3 days of inactivity, would begin to reduce back to 10 seconds per tick, one tick per day.  For VIP, this inactivity and reduction time could be tripled.
  • A modest play session, depending on activity focus and variety, would take only 1-2 hours to fill the bar and soft cap it.  More hardcore play of 4-6 hours per day would hit 4 seconds per tick in 3-4 days.  This rewards play without significantly setting the "I have a life" players too far behind in the training treadmill and, once you're capped to 4, would require very little play (like, just kill one mob every 3 days levels of play) to retain that tick rate.

With this system, players feel like their activities in game have a genuine affect on their progression.  People are rewarded with more passive training points by playing, thus incentivizing play.  This will help keep the population up, but with the passive system always there at a flat minimum the more casual and "I have a life" types will still have something to look forward to, as well, with minimal "punishment" for taking a Crowfall break such as due to a family vacation.

Vessel Training System

  • As with the Active Training System, there would also be a Vessel equivalent.  Every activity that would net a bar gain will also start to net flat amounts of passive points attributed to that vessel only that can be universally applied regardless of tree being passively trained.
  • A post-30 experience bar will start to fill based on the activity performed.  Each fill will net 10 points (or whatever feels right and at a good pace, like 500 or 1000) and each subsequent fill after so many points will start to take exponentially more experience to fill.  This could be compared to many other MMO's post-max leveling systems like ESO's Champion points.  A vessel would also hard cap at a certain amount per 24 hours, with a higher cap (but slight increase in time to gain points) based on rarity, starting at maybe 10k for white up to 15k for orange.  VIP could also mean the exponential increase in exp per VT point gain is removed, but the cap will remain the same.
  • Hitting level 30 on a vessel nets a flat boost of VT points based on rarity.  Whites, 50k.  Green, 70k.  Blue, 85k.  Purple, 95k.  Orange, 100k.  This means an immediate jump into any direction the player wants to go with that vessel.  If the vessel is replaced (once that system is introduced) then you only gain the amount you would that has not been acquired, so replacing a level 30 white with a blue would only net 25k VTP after the blue vessel hits 30.
  • VT points are universal and can be added to any passive training node you have access to regardless if the tree is being passively trained or not.  Points are amended on top of any passive training currently added to a pip.  If you add passive training to a pip that has VT on it, you're refunded any VT overflow from filling the pip.
  • Replacing a vessel (when the Replace feature is added) will require replacing it with the same race and class type.  You lose 35% of gained VTP each for a different class and a different race.
  • Unlike the ATS, the VTS will actually gain "rest" experience the longer a particular vessel remains unplayed.  Not only will there be an experience boost to earn each VTP gain faster, the cap increases at a similar rate, up to maybe 30k on a white and 40k on an orange (which would take just as long as 10k under normal circumstances to gain).  VIP could again gain a benefit from this, maybe getting an extra 50% to that cap and a faster rate of acquiring "rest" experience for max level vessels while they go unused.  This way, the "I have a life" players can reliably in their more casual playtime still stay within spitting distance of the hard core players.

With this system, players can immediately jump into any direction they want with that particular vessel.  If you're a combat player, you can just supplement that vessel's particular needs in a combat tree.  For harvest and crafting focused players, they can get a combat vessel a decent start without sacrificing their passive training at all.  This also means those who really like harvesting or crafting can have multiple vessels for multiple harvests/crafts, each building up their own tree without sacrificing their focus via passive training.  This also would apply to combat players because if their main focus is healer classes but they dabble in DPS they can keep their passive training going focused on supporting their main healer vessel while their alt vessels branch off with VTP.  With the Rest system, more casual players are given a built in catch up mechanic to keep up with the more hardcore players.

 

I truly think these two additions to the passive training system will greatly enhance player engagement, sense of progression, and reward for effort.  It will allow players to feel they are progressing by playing but still retain the innate design goal the passive training system exists to achieve without being "punishing" to less active players.

Edited by Deioth
Proposal v2.0
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I skimmed instead of reading in full. I'm pretty against implementing active training of any form. Even some soft thing with a daily cap. But someone suggested somewhere else that they make their system more like EVE. In EVE, rather than say each point in a skill taking 1000 points the first points can be trained in minutes but the cost goes up exponentially per point in the same skill.

Lower a lot of the prereqs to move on to 3 instead of 4, and do the EVE system. That way people can quickly dive deep into the trees to train the skills they really want to be training faster, but it takes a VERY long time to reach maximum efficiency when you start trying to go 5 points into your areas of specialization.

Make people choose between quickly building a variety of things they can do or being able to fully master a specialization before anyone else can.

Edited by Andius

"To hell with honor. Win."

A Beginner's Guide to Crowfall (5.8.5 Edition)

 

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7 hours ago, Andius said:

I skimmed instead of reading in full. I'm pretty against implementing active training of any form. Even some soft thing with a daily cap. But someone suggested somewhere else that they make their system more like EVE. In EVE, rather than say each point in a skill taking 1000 points the first points can be trained in minutes but the cost goes up exponentially per point in the same skill.

Lower a lot of the prereqs to move on to 3 instead of 4, and do the EVE system. That way people can quickly dive deep into the trees to train the skills they really want to be training faster, but it takes a VERY long time to reach maximum efficiency when you start trying to go 5 points into your areas of specialization.

Make people choose between quickly building a variety of things they can do or being able to fully master a specialization before anyone else can.

 The problem is the difference between four points and five points is very little

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And the skill trees have other problems. I still cant get over the fact I have to waste points in completely undesirable nodes to get a node I want. At least keep it thematically accurate. Why the heck am I, as a wannabe skinner (don't judge me), required to spend point on wood harversting nodes before I get blood and bones. No, I dont really care for more apples or whatever. I would certainly be happy if I can play the game without ever needing to fell a single tree. Like, I really dont want that, man.

EDIT: Just create some proper reasonable cluster. Here goes Wood harversting stuff. Here goes Stone, skinning. Could even make such that if you start in one of those the others get more expensive. As in making trying to master them all, not impossible, but simply not that optimal. Actually this seems pretty good.

Here is my current skill tree. (Having been hoarding points since I am STILL getting stuck on loading terrain.)

https://imgur.com/zpYI3EDzpYI3ED.png

You guys can clearly see with nodes I want and which ones I just rushed through. Also, 4 pips to move ahead!?

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Easy solution. Active progression, limited # of things you can actually specialize in tho. Let's say you have an allotted amount of "points" that you can accumulate and use to spend on things. Perhaps you could have enough to specialize in two or three things and that's just about it.

I'm not sure why the devs decided to go with passive progression, it's arguably the worst thing about EvE and you don't see many games actively pushing it. Why? Because active progression is more interesting.

Edited by izkimar
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I only skimmed what you had to say but I couldn't agree more that the passive system needs re-working, they emphasise the importance of crafters but where's the individuality/identity for them what makes them different from anyone else. 

Whilst I do like the system that is in place I do think it needs improving. The passive system has its pros and cons whilst it might make crafters feel less important in my opinion. The power curve of the passive training for combat being quite low allows anyone to engage in pvp including crafters, gatherers etc. which I would assume is their reason for having such a system in place which in my mind is a good system to have if done right.

Some sort of "Active training" for the passive trees is definitely a step in the right direction, I hope they look into this but for what its worth I do trust their vision of the game and I'm sure they will make the right decisions. If I'm wrong about anything I've said above don't hesitate to let me know.

Edited by Vladthelad
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16 hours ago, Deioth said:

Many of us would rather see the passive system removed completely and simply make it active like any other skills based game

But many of us are here because of the passive system ...
You have multiple choice with active training, we dont.

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17 minutes ago, Aedius said:

But many of us are here because of the passive system ...
You have multiple choice with active training, we dont.

passive training like this is bad tho, what do crafters do, what do harvesters do, what if i want to swap roles, cant cause passive training

hoayaga2.jpg

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Professions are suppose to enhance skills in the game. Combat is the main focus of the game right now, so no one ever complains really about that profession. To make harvester's and crafters relevant off the hop, there needs to be classes for those professions as well. That will balance the game and make all 3 professions are of equal importance. I liked 5.10 line up of skills better, it made more sense and flowed better then in 5.11 IMO. They tried to rebalance/remake something that was not broken, the issue is having characters that are just as relevant in the game world regardless of the profession trained in. As is all classes are combat classes, not including disciplines here because they are augmentations not class skills. Combat based classes are getting upgrades on top of upgrades, where as a Harvester/Crafter has to WAIT at least a month+ (didn't do the math, but basic Harvesting or Crafting trees at 100% is ALMOST the same amount of skills a Lv 30 combatant has.) Personally this is where I feel the issue lies for crafters and harvesters, they need they're own specialized classes, but if they do this it will not be until after the game is fully launched.

Edited by Azerlin
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10 minutes ago, Staff said:

passive training like this is bad tho, what do crafters do, what do harvesters do, what if i want to swap roles, cant cause passive training

You can craft usefull blue stuff right now, not all, but some equivalent to wartribe with 2k dura.

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4 minutes ago, Azerlin said:

Personally this is where I feel the issue lies for crafters and harvesters, they need they're own specialized classes, but if they do this it will not be until after the game is fully launched.

Whilst I do agree that crafters need to have more identity, I think creating classes for crafters could bring on a host of its own problems. Perhaps a re-work of the passive system would be more favourable how this could improve said problem for crafters I don't know.

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12 minutes ago, Vladthelad said:

 Perhaps a re-work of the passive system would be more favourable how this could improve said problem for crafters I don't know.

The issue with passive vs. active is time. In 1-2 hours I have a fighter ready to go, awesome. Then there's Harvester's and Crafter's that have to sit and wait to be relevant in anyway. If there is to be passive learning there needs to be classes for each profession. Also doing things in this way can future prof the game. They can add a new profession and a set of classes to go with it in future expansions. Just keep doing it the same way, race/class combo's, highly doubt you'll ever see a half-giant or a minotaur jewel smith with they're fat fingers, LoL. As far as Harvesters go I feel they are over shadowed by the other 2 professions and having this will give them the distinction they need.

Lets take Harvesters for the example, because that is the easier path to give one in. Have 2 classes, "Excavationist" with Ore, Stone, and Grave promotions, and a "Reaper" with Logging, Animal, and Farming promotions. A VERY simple Crafters class, "Theorist" with promotions in Assembly, Exanimation, and Production OR "Specialist" Metal Working (Jewel, Weapon, and Armor smith) Carving (Wood, stone, and leather), Mystic (Alchemist, Necromancy, and Rune crafting). Give me about 2h for each class and I could easily have the trees set up with skills and buffs that are NOT over powered and will make sense as well.

Not trying to argue, but reworking passives is not going to fix this issue, new active mechanics will and new classes would be the easiest and most effective way.

@jtoddcoleman PLEASE feel free to take this and run with it. I get it, balanced combat IS priority, but the other professions need that equal balancing as well. ;) 

All in all though things are coming along very nicely and I'm looking forward to the beta realise to got kick some ass! LoL

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26 minutes ago, Staff said:

post pics of the gear

unknown.png

this was done today in the hurry (the healing crit should be the same) with 1 week late in blacksmith, no reroll ( dust is hard to get with only rank 8+ ), no belt bonuses and no leather or wood craftor.

So yes, you can already craft usefull stuff, not the better, but you can choose the stats.

Edited by Aedius
add leather/wood info
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35 minutes ago, Aedius said:

unknown.png

this was done today in the hurry (the healing crit should be the same) with 1 week late in blacksmith, no reroll ( dust is hard to get with only rank 8+ ), no belt bonuses and no leather or wood craftor.

So yes, you can already craft usefull stuff, not the better, but you can choose the stats.

hook me up with one with AP please :) need the durability and damage isnt good enough

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2 minutes ago, yianni said:

hook me up with one with AP please :) need the durability and damage isnt good enough

I dont have the bonuses outside the dredge ;)
Also i could have 1 more experimentation point ...

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6 hours ago, yianni said:

 The problem is the difference between four points and five points is very little

Yeah I didn't word it very clearly but I was saying if they go with an EVE system most of the things that have a prereq of 4 in the previous skill should have a prereq of 3 instead. They ended up doing a similar thing in EVE a few years back (reduced a lot of the old prereqs of 4 or 5 down to 3 for some skills) with the justification you "shouldn't need to master" a skill to use it to get on to the skill you're really trying to train.

"To hell with honor. Win."

A Beginner's Guide to Crowfall (5.8.5 Edition)

 

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Active training = in game bots running on scripts ...  No thank you!   It is easily 'cheated'.  

Passive training is there for players that work long hours yet play regularly ...  thanks ACE!  

Passive training is fine if Done Right ...  they just simply have not yet gotten it right.   Every single player account is bottle-necked or time-gated by it, and that's simply a fair system and frankly a big positive.  

Current system is too slow at the start (to get to a viable point in certain specializations).   An early One-Time Passive Points Bonus should be awarded as soon any vessel on an account hits max level,  and also another one time bonus at the completion of any campaign, in which the player participated in, and achieved a minimum player score of 'whatever-ACE-determines'.  These two passive skill point bonuses should essentially be enough (for players starting out) to progress to a tangible point of in-game relevance, in whatever spec they choose... having spent their accumulative & bonus points wisely, that is.  

Keep in mind, that active veteran players will likely always be ahead of (or have an advantage over) new 'active' players that start the game later on down the road regardless, in pretty much any training system implemented.  

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