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Competition vs Domination... A problem that will plague CF.


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Competition is one motivation for players but Domination is another (probably why we still see people cheat in meaningless games of Counter Strike 15 years later)

In the "testing" last night, I saw massive numbers of well geared players teamed up in order to easily dominate the opposition.

Domination is self-feeding, you need little to motivate players to seek to be number 1 (whatever that means) but you will need motivation in order to get players to compete against other equally geared/skilled players imo.

I wonder what mechanics can be put into the game that can enhance the competition aspect?  Just hoping these top players get bored and decide to fight each other is not really a good plan, if you want a healthy player base.

Perhaps this example can make more sense, you and a few other your buddies head down to the local gym for a game of pick up basketball and the other team is 5 NBA all stars.  While the sheer novelty might be fun for a while, at some point, you will be tired of having Lebron James crotch in your face because he is dunking on you every single time.

I mean its fair right? 5v5.. You could just stop whining and get gud, you know, get as good as NBA players, could happen.  And it is totally unfair to demand those guys do not play together, so how do you give them some motivation to split that all star team up and make the games more fair and fun for everyone instead of just the NBA guys?

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Rewards and scarcity.

Rewards will cause huge alliances to fall apart. Sorta. Once only 20 people are able to walk away with shinnies people will think twice before helping other people win more.

Scarcity is basically the same. Sure, you can join the winning group but at some point they gotta start to run out of resources to 'pay' for the extra people. At some point it gotta be better to the player to become a competitor instead of helper. There should be finite resources, and the game should push people to compete for those.

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33 minutes ago, BarriaKarl said:

Rewards and scarcity.

Rewards will cause huge alliances to fall apart. Sorta. Once only 20 people are able to walk away with shinnies people will think twice before helping other people win more.

 

Do not underestimate the greed of folks.  We had a situation in Black Desert Online where each guild could fight for regions, those regions paid out tons of gold income for the guild that held the region.

The top two guilds would just swap the region back and forth, Both showing up to defend the region during siege for their ally, basically it was untouchable, as you had to fight both of the top guilds at the same time.

I hope this is an issue that can be resolved and isn't left in the players hands, cause I find that gamers will typically go the route of most loot for least work.

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2 hours ago, BarriaKarl said:

Scarcity is basically the same. Sure, you can join the winning group but at some point they gotta start to run out of resources to 'pay' for the extra people. At some point it gotta be better to the player to become a competitor instead of helper. There should be finite resources, and the game should push people to compete for those.

It would seem that scarcity is going to be trivialized with the combination of alt accounts/imports and ability to farm on other empty campaigns. 

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5 minutes ago, mystafyi said:

It would seem that scarcity is going to be trivialized with the combination of alt accounts/imports and ability to farm on other empty campaigns. 

The solution is no import.  I talk about it a bit here:

 

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20 minutes ago, Atraeus said:

The solution is no import.  I talk about it a bit here:

 

I understand your solution of no imports, but if that is the method, then what the heck is the purpose of EK's and import/export mechanic? 

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23 minutes ago, mystafyi said:

I understand your solution of no imports, but if that is the method, then what the heck is the purpose of EK's and import/export mechanic? 

That question was raised in the thread.  Short answer is that EK's would act mainly as a status symbol for your guild.  My solution was to make them into a progressive cross campaign kingdom that you can build up using excess resources obtained from the campaigns.

That is the purpose of the export system.  The import system I've deemed as useless and game breaking.

Edited by Atraeus
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16 hours ago, daegog said:

Perhaps this example can make more sense, you and a few other your buddies head down to the local gym for a game of pick up basketball and the other team is 5 NBA all stars.  While the sheer novelty might be fun for a while, at some point, you will be tired of having Lebron James crotch in your face because he is dunking on you every single time.

I mean its fair right? 5v5.. You could just stop whining and get gud, you know, get as good as NBA players, could happen.  And it is totally unfair to demand those guys do not play together, so how do you give them some motivation to split that all star team up and make the games more fair and fun for everyone instead of just the NBA guys?

This is what PvP games are about however, and why they're so hard to make enjoyable for everyone. Those at the top will have a wonderful time, those at the bottom will be miserable and move on to another game. This is one reason why Amazon decided to switch the direction of New World from full PvP to instanced PvP and PvE. Everyone can have fun in PvE, which helps them retain players.

Successful PvP games end up sorting players by skill, so you don't have Lebron playing against an out of shape 40 year old like myself. But Crowfall by design can't implement such a system, so its a gigantic hurdle I'm not sure ACE will be able to get over.

Edited by Talmien
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1 hour ago, Talmien said:

Successful PvP games end up sorting players by skill, so you don't have Lebron playing against an out of shape 40 year old like myself. But Crowfall by design can't implement such a system, so its a gigantic hurdle I'm not sure ACE will be able to get over.

That seems exactly what I hope different rulesets and CWs do. Their greatest KS pitch was being able to make different campaigns. faction and GvG are obvious ones, but I hope we can have even a couple different campaigns under GvG. Let the hardcore PvPers go grief and Zerg each other ad nauseum on their own little 'super hardcore' campaign and let the normal people just enjoy the game and have fun on their own.

Edited by BarriaKarl
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1 hour ago, BarriaKarl said:

 Let the hardcore PvPers go grief and Zerg each other ad nauseum on their own little 'super hardcore' campaign and let the normal people just enjoy the game and have fun on their own.

As long as there is better loot from dregs, folks simply wont be content with letting a group just have that campaign type. 

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19 hours ago, daegog said:

I wonder what mechanics can be put into the game that can enhance the competition aspect? 

I don't think many, in Crowfall. 

1) Sportsmanship and Gamesmanship are human aspects, not game mechanics. The former is taught in sports circles and the latter taught in gaming circles. That is why, in general,  a baseball game or football/soccer game will end with the two teams shaking hands and complementing each other (good game, nice play, etc), and online games will end with people laughing at or insulting the other team. This has been so historically true that the face-to-face right after the game is an expected part of a sporting event, whereas right after online games the teams are often quickly (and silently/separately) whisked back to the lobby. Some online games even encourage a lack of sportsmanship after the match. An example would be SMITE where the only things you can do when a match ends is laugh at the other team, insult the other team, or use graphical emotes including an "eat me" sign, a salt shaker pouring out salt, and a "number 1" finger glove.

2) You cannot "Play to Crush" and "enhance the competition aspect" in the same game. The former seeks to reduce the amount of competition and the latter seeks to enhance it. For example, in EVE Online Alliance Tournaments, the goal is competition. A **relatively** fair competition is expected. Well, as fair as can be expected in EVE. Conversely, in the game world itself, it is pretty well understood that if two sides find themselves in a fair fight, both sides did something wrong. 

 

Competition is the antithesis of successful Conquest. 

 

 

Edited by BucDen
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One of the problem is that there is a huge difference between what ppl say and what ppl do.

In the forums we´re all hardcore PvPers. We play this game to dominate. And when we get dominated, we fight back until we turned the tide. 

But then let´s do the reality check and have a look at the current and the last EU campaign: Domination doesn´t seem to be fertile ground for an already dead game. 

 

19 hours ago, daegog said:

We had a situation in Black Desert Online where each guild could fight for regions, those regions paid out tons of gold income for the guild that held the region.

When I played BDO, we had T1/T2/T3 nodes to fight for. Win a T1/T2 node to participate in a territory war or fight T3 nodewars just for fun if your guild isn´t strong enough to compete for a territory. I think they added even more "leagues" since I stopped playing.
In BDO there isn´t this "red is dead" unless your guild is at war with another guild. So there is no constant domination.* Even if you get stomped by Sovereign on a T2 nodewar - after the war Sov and you will have different regions of interest, so there is no reason for them to deny minor guilds (except their direct competitors) important parts of their game.

 

Edith reminded me: There is domination in BDO: If a guild is so annoying that you don´t want to see them in the game anymore, you declare war to them until their players leave the guild or the whole game. In BDO it´s the last and most extreme measure. In Crowfall it´s all there is.

Edited by Kundrya

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38 minutes ago, Kundrya said:

Edith reminded me: There is domination in BDO: If a guild is so annoying that you don´t want to see them in the game anymore, you declare war to them until their players leave the guild or the whole game. In BDO it´s the last and most extreme measure. In Crowfall it´s all there is.

I dunno what the status quo was when you were playing but you were ABSOLUTELY NOT gonna run Man Up out of the game when I was playing, you could TRY to attack them, probably get your face bashed in, but you could try.  Their gear was on a different level.

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Within campaigns, there's definitely work to be done to add more varied content and create drivers for activity targeted at groups of different sizes. Right now, it feels like either zerg, or hamster gank so you can dodge the zergs.

I do think, though, that nailing down the campaign types will go a long way towards addressing the competition vs. domination concerns. The Basic Progression being: Gods Reach -> Infected -> Shadow -> Dregs

  • Gods Reach: Basic Gameplay Tutorial, Limited progression.
  • Infected: Learn PvP systems, basics of land ownership, etc. Targeted PvP zones with stat/progression caps. Basically limited-progression, Faction PvP themeparks for beginners and people that want to compete in a more artificially leveled playing field.
  • Shadow: Faction PvP worlds that Introduce campaign systems. No progression restrictions, full gathering/crafting. Generous Imports/Exports. Faction balancing mechanics likely needed to ensure this remains a relatively balanced, and less hardcore alternative to Dregs.
  • Dregs: Full progression, Zero or Harsh limits on imports (both total number and type). Potentially limit vessel imports. Require significant in-campaign progression of gear and vessels that is wiped at start of each new campaign. Basically the hardcore, fully-featured, RTS/MMO 'throne war' where guilds race to build up and dominate. Severe import limits are likely needed to provide a soft-reset of power so this campaign-type doesn't become stale.

The other major component that's needed is motivations and incentives: i.e. Exports/Rewards/Economy. Letting players choose the setting they most enjoy and then rewarding participation in infected/shadow/dregs content will help build communities within the game that are focused on different outcomes (competition vs. domination). These interconnected systems are probably one the most difficult to get right and most desperately needed aspects of the game right now.

  • Eternal Kingdoms: I hope EKs become more featured, so that EK rewards will feel valuable. EKs just feel lifeless right now, which does not make me excited for EK rewards. I think EKs will likely need some form of minigame(s) to keep them interesting/valuable.
  • Cosmetics: Done right, player/armor/weapon skins and effects should be fun rewards. Probably needs be time-limited to like X number of campaigns so that the game doesn't bloat too much. It's hard to say right now, given how bad client performance currently is, that this is doable in a manageable way.
  • Economy: The large-scale economic systems are sorely lacking. It's very hard to see where this is going right now. What's currently in the game is basically the bare minimum so that single-campaign economics (or maybe just economics within a guild) functions in a passable way. Even then, there are some big issues.

 

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2 hours ago, daegog said:

I dunno what the status quo was when you were playing but you were ABSOLUTELY NOT gonna run Man Up out of the game when I was playing, you could TRY to attack them, probably get your face bashed in, but you could try.  Their gear was on a different level.

That´s how graceful dominance was handled in BDO. Guilds like Man Up (NA) and Sovereign (EU) were on a completely different level, but as long as you accepted this, they didn´t interfere (ruin ^^) your gaming experience. It´s like Tiger and ant on the same map. 

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The game needs to be fun enough in its own right to encourage end-game play.

Going back to the basketball example, once he's got millions in the bank and endorsements coming in, why would LeBron even want to play a pickup game at your gym if not for the sheer fun of it? It certainly wouldn't be about the money or the ring...the game itself would be the reward. If that scenario were to actually occur, you wouldn't expect all 5 all-stars to team up, because that wouldn't be any more fun for them than it would be for the scrubs.

In other words, I think you have it backwards.

Players need to be enticed in order to seek domination...there must be some kind of reward that they're after. Conversely, if there's no external reward, or if the rewards are no longer meaningful (end-game state where you pretty much have everything), you're just playing for the fun of it, and seeking good competition becomes the default motivation, because that's always more fun.

In the end, it's the only motivation that really lasts. There aren't ever enough pixel rewards to really keep players coming back.

That's been my experience, anyway. 

Edited by Cejo
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1 hour ago, Cejo said:

 

Players need to be enticed in order to seek domination...there must be some kind of reward that they're after. Conversely, if there's no external reward, or if the rewards are no longer meaningful (end-game state where you pretty much have everything), you're just playing for the fun of it, and seeking good competition becomes the default motivation, because that's always more fun.

In the end, it's the only motivation that really lasts. There aren't ever enough pixel rewards to really keep players coming back.

That's been my experience, anyway. 

People ABSOLUTELY do not need to be enticed to seek domination, for me, proof of this is plainly seen in how many cheats exist for so many games (particularly shooters).

It's trivial to win a game of Counter Strike using aimbots and wall hacks, so why do they do it?  To feed their little ego.  Win or lose, they gain nothing, not even fake internet points unless you could K/D ratio, but who really cares about someone's K/D ratio.

If we had a hack in Crowfall, that gave you the very best gear and no way for it to be detected, how many players would use it?  I'm betting tons would use it, some would claim "well everyone else is doing it", some would use it just because they like to win that much.

Lets say that Crowfall had a class/race combo that was significantly better than every other set up, how many players would choose that class/race combo?  They aren't doing it to further competition, they are doing it to dominate.

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10 hours ago, Talmien said:

Successful PvP games end up sorting players by skill, so you don't have Lebron playing against an out of shape 40 year old like myself. But Crowfall by design can't implement such a system, so its a gigantic hurdle I'm not sure ACE will be able to get over.

By design it can do whatever they want

  • 10 player guild limit
  • Friendly fire outside of group
  • Blue only vessel, gear, resource import and drops
  • 100 import, 20 export
  • Winner 50 Export, Loser 0 Export
  • 100k gold admission fee
  • Guilds that don't control a stronghold within last X hours are eliminated
  • Risk v Reward: a huge thing missing from this game
  • Campaigns that restrict accounts to 1 character in use total
  • Tournament system where guilds get more points the more they accomplish with fewer people, not part of an alliance, less they import/export, etc.

They can create any sort of "ranking" or filter system that allows players to decide what, where, when, and how they play along with potentially who they play against.

Is a high skill organized guild going to play in a "Green only" campaign? Maybe, but probably less likely then going after the high reward 100k gold entry free campaign with FF outside of group.

This is a big reason I backed during kickstarter. Only limit is dev's willingness to try new things.

So far campaign rulesets have shown zero creativity and I have no idea if they plan to ever get more exciting.

If the game turns out to have 1 faction 1 dregs ruleset at launch, I don't see it lasting long. There is no way there is enough players willing to play this game as is.

People need a sliver of hope they can win. They might have gotten rid of one force controlling the map forever, but they certainly haven't improved the numerous other areas that seem to lead to people leaving open world games for more player accessible and friendly ones. As in eSport/competitive PVP games, MMOs with instanced PVP, or whatever Wizard101 is.

Edited by APE
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12 minutes ago, APE said:

So far campaign rulesets have shown zero creativity and I have no idea if they plan to ever get more exciting.

Only if you ignore all the things that they have changed and experimented over time with the campaigns. It's not like they've all been the same.

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