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Lack of population has been an ongoing problem for Crowfall, and the designers need to take some time to work out why that is and what they can do to fix it.

There are tens of thousands of people with access to the beta right now.  Yet under 1% of them are playing at peak times.  I've heard all the excuses about how people who've paid for early access don't actually want to test an unfinished game, how an upcoming wipe is causing people to not want to play, etc.   Wait, let's unpack that last one a bit.  People don't want to participate because there's a chance their work will be wiped away.   Crowfall progression feels like work.  Every aspect of it.

What it comes down to, is that while Crowfall occasionally feels rewarding, it rarely feels like fun.   And that's the core problem you have, ACE.  Those of us who persist in the test do so because those rare elements of fun make us want to seek out more of it, or because we feel an obligation to our guild.  The vast majority of your testers have decided that there's not nearly enough fun to justify all the work that comprises the rest of the game.   If the game had a lot more fun, a wipe would be meaningless because we'd be enjoying the gameplay, and doing more of it later would also be enjoyable.

Let's examine some of the elements of Crowfall.

  • The New Player Experience is a necessary evil.  New players need to learn the mechanics and concepts and weird stuff that makes Crowfall unique.  And going through it once is educational and rewarding (free mount, relatively fast pace of advancement for white vessels, at least).  But after the first time on each class (let's be generous and say that it teaches us how to play our class and is therefore worthwhile the first time you play a class), it's just work.  And if you have a crafted vessel, it's more work to get to max level.  The better the vessel, the more experience you have with the game, the more work it is to level the vessel.  Why is that?  We should pay for our stronger vessel with a longer leveling curve?  That suggests that even the devs see the leveling process as work, a price to be paid to reach the real game.
  • Harvesting for mats.  Resource nodes have 1000 health.  Node dmg is capped at 100 per swing unless you're using energetic harvesting.  So let's assume an average of 10 swings of a tool to destroy a node (longer in the early game, shorter for trained harvesters with good gear and energetic harvesting later on).  Each node pops out a couple of useful doobers, some dust, and a fair number of less useful doobers.  Solo harvesters spend a lot of time hitting resource nodes.  They deplete their stam, they use a glowing tool that can be seen a long ways off, they make a lot of noise.  All this so they can attract gankers for a bout of massively unbalanced PvP (the ganker chooses the start of the fight, when the harvester is low on stam usually, the ganker is in pvp gear as opposed to harvesting gear, the ganker carries no loot while the harvester is a loot pinata, and when the ganker wins, it recalls home immediately to offload its loot.  No risk vs reward here).  And the rewards of solo harvesting are dwarfed by the drops from forts and pig caravans.   So solo harvesting is a lot of work (there's that word again) for little reward and no fun.  Group harvesting (motherlodes, with harvesters and guards, or even groups of harvesters working in close proximity (although there are no places at all in recent maps where this is viable for most types of harvesting)) is marginally more rewarding, and less dangerous, but it's still work rather than fun.  Maybe here we have to accept rewarding rather than fun?
  • Forts.  A fort produces a large amount of free resources each hour to the faction/alliance/guild that owns it.  Forts are rewarding.  Capturing a fort involves bringing a large number of people to capture a flag in the last few minutes of an hour-long siege window.  Because the only thing that matters is who owns the flag when the siege window ends.  5 minutes of blob vs blob combat dictates who gets the reward for the next 24 hours or so.  And the forts only have their siege window in prime time for their local time zone.  Same as keeps.  This promotes appointment gameplay.  Login at the start of prime time, hope your blob is bigger than the enemy blob (because large group combat in crowfall is a numbers game for the most part), logout after the siege window ends.  No real reason to play outside the siege window once you've got a leveled and geared character.   I would like to see Forts replenish their loot at random intervals throughout the day (based on population on, if you prefer), with less loot per pop, and a 5 minute warning before the loot spawns.  Fort fights should be good fun for 5 man groups.
  • Caravans.  I think ACE did pretty well with these.  Pigs spawn at a decent rate, move at a decent rate, and can lead to small group combat, which is what Crowfall does best, and where all the fun is to be had.  They are probably too rewarding in comparison with harvesting though - a solo pig runner will come up with way more uncommon and rare resources in a day than a solo harvester.
  • Keep sieges.  These should be the epic centerpieces of Crowfall throne wars.  Instead they're a blob vs blob mess.  Blob vs blob combat isn't fun with current game mechanics.  There's no way for individual skill to count for much.  Tactics don't do a lot either - it boils down to "isolate someone on the other side and burn them down.  Repeat over and over.  Move in the densest blob you can so the enemy can't isolate your guys and burn them down."  Shot callers may get some reward out of blob vs blob fights, but for Joe Normal, the only reward is the satisfaction of either defending your stuff or destroying the other side's stuff.   There's no fun in the moment, just the reward at the end.  Honestly, I have no idea how you fix this with current gameplay mechanics.  It's going to take some significant changes.
  • Wartribes and Thralls.  This is.. ok, I guess.  Doing it solo is asking to be ganked.  Doing it in small groups can lead to some small group fun (and occasionally being run over by a roaming blob).
  • Throne War mechanics.  There really are none beyond sieges.  There's no way to claim and hold land, and no reward for doing so even if you could.  There needs to be fun stuff small groups can do at any time that will help their team compete, and that needs to be the bulk of the gameplay.

In the end, solo play in Crowfall is neither fun nor rewarding (unless you're a solo stealther ganking solo harvesters, I suppose).   Small group combat is fun, and possibly rewarding, but really hard to find in Crowfall as things stand, because everything worth fighting over is worth bringing 50 people to do the fighting, and is conveniently scheduled so guilds can do so.  Large group fighting is not fun at all, but rewarding if your blob wins (note that I didn't say if you win.  If your blob wins).

ACE, please take a look at your systems, scheduling, and mechanics, and rejig things with an eye to making gameplay fun.  Small group combat is where Crowfall shines, so try to focus on that in the short term, while also looking for ways to make large group combat fun, and to make solo play viable and fun.

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Lack of population has been an ongoing problem for Crowfall, and the designers need to take some time to work out why that is and what they can do to fix it. There are tens of thousands of people

So yea I normally stay away from the forums due to trolls and negativity regardless, I've been summoned from my crafting corner of solitude. I am probably going to be the only person to disagree with

The main problem with the game now is the low level of content that drives PvP. PvP should be at the center of everything in this game whether it is sieges, farming, crafting or gathering. Here are so

25 minutes ago, Durenthal said:

In the end, solo play in Crowfall is neither fun nor rewarding (unless you're a solo stealther ganking solo harvesters, I suppose).   Small group combat is fun, and possibly rewarding, but really hard to find in Crowfall as things stand, because everything worth fighting over is worth bringing 50 people to do the fighting, and is conveniently scheduled so guilds can do so.  Large group fighting is not fun at all, but rewarding if your blob wins (note that I didn't say if you win.  If your blob wins).

ACE, please take a look at your systems, scheduling, and mechanics, and rejig things with an eye to making gameplay fun.  Small group combat is where Crowfall shines, so try to focus on that in the short term, while also looking for ways to make large group combat fun, and to make solo play viable and fun.

They need to nerf stealth as a mechanic across the board and increase map space SEVERELY to accomplish that, so far they've shown they aren't willing to do this. If I try to solo for light harvesting or PvE I feel like I have to take Mole hunter just to stand a chance vs any given Slayer. 

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14 hours ago, Durenthal said:

Lack of population has been an ongoing problem for Crowfall, and the designers need to take some time to work out why that is and what they can do to fix it.

You have some fair feedback points but performance is the #1 reason more people aren't playing.

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40 minutes ago, miraluna said:

You have some fair feedback points but performance is the #1 reason more people aren't playing.

As for me, I would if forced to choose between fun and performance, rather play a game that is fun and performs poorly than a game that performs well but isn't fun. Of course the game will only appeal to most players if it's BOTH fun and performing well. 

IMO, ACE MUST address both of these major concerns to attract enough players to make this PvP focused game work. 

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There are people who are focused on the game's poor performance, but in my group it's that Crowfall feels like work, not fun.  

We wanted a game in which 10 to 20 people in a guild could make alliances, cooperate with others to win fun PvP battles and develop kingdoms to win rewards and titles and feel accomplished.

Crowfall is none of those things.  It just has cumbersome mechanics at every level from NPE to crafting, to combat to passive skill tree that results in a game where you work for hours, days, weeks, hoping for a fun balanced fight occasionally.  Every fight we saw over 5v5 was simply numbers.  We'd take a keep with 10 people, 20 people would show up to take it from us.  We merged out guild into a bigger guild, then our 30 players got rolled by 50.  etc...

I think the eventual player base will be about a 1000 accounts, less if they have to pay VIP to play.  How ACE survives with so few players, much less without monthly subscription fees is beyond me.

Basically, ACE made a game for a small niche of players who want to join large blobs and fight other large blobs.  Turns out that niche is much smaller than they thought.

This game needs to be retooled for smaller to medium size guilds or it's going to die.

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40 minutes ago, Syyk said:

There are people who are focused on the game's poor performance, but in my group it's that Crowfall feels like work, not fun.  

We wanted a game in which 10 to 20 people in a guild could make alliances, cooperate with others to win fun PvP battles and develop kingdoms to win rewards and titles and feel accomplished.

Crowfall is none of those things.  It just has cumbersome mechanics at every level from NPE to crafting, to combat to passive skill tree that results in a game where you work for hours, days, weeks, hoping for a fun balanced fight occasionally.  Every fight we saw over 5v5 was simply numbers.  We'd take a keep with 10 people, 20 people would show up to take it from us.  We merged out guild into a bigger guild, then our 30 players got rolled by 50.  etc...

I think the eventual player base will be about a 1000 accounts, less if they have to pay VIP to play.  How ACE survives with so few players, much less without monthly subscription fees is beyond me.

Basically, ACE made a game for a small niche of players who want to join large blobs and fight other large blobs.  Turns out that niche is much smaller than they thought.

This game needs to be retooled for smaller to medium size guilds or it's going to die.

I don't think that ACE deliberately made a game for a small niche of players who want to join large blobs and fight other large blobs.  It's what they backed into with the current implementation.  The niche that enjoys a game like this is too small to generate enough revenue to support their studio, much less return the investment.

I don't think it's too late to save the game. But don't launch with this style of Zerg vs zerg with PvP locked into a few minutes per day.

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2 minutes ago, MacDeath said:

I don't think that ACE deliberately made a game for a small niche of players who want to join large blobs and fight other large blobs.  It's what they backed into with the current implementation.  The niche that enjoys a game like this is too small to generate enough revenue to support their studio, much less return the investment.

Sadly, their original game design would have been a winner. They made too many changes to core design in the past couple years in response to players treating pre-alpha like a game. They simply listened to the wrong people and will probably fail at this stage. 

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13 minutes ago, mystafyi said:

Sadly, their original game design would have been a winner. They made too many changes to core design in the past couple years in response to players treating pre-alpha like a game. They simply listened to the wrong people and will probably fail at this stage. 

And what was that? What did they change exactly?

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20 hours ago, Durenthal said:

Lack of population has been an ongoing problem for Crowfall, and the designers need to take some time to work out why that is and what they can do to fix it.

There are tens of thousands of people with access to the beta right now.  Yet under 1% of them are playing at peak times.  I've heard all the excuses about how people who've paid for early access don't actually want to test an unfinished game, how an upcoming wipe is causing people to not want to play, etc.   Wait, let's unpack that last one a bit.  People don't want to participate because there's a chance their work will be wiped away.   Crowfall progression feels like work.  Every aspect of it.

What it comes down to, is that while Crowfall occasionally feels rewarding, it rarely feels like fun.   And that's the core problem you have, ACE.  Those of us who persist in the test do so because those rare elements of fun make us want to seek out more of it, or because we feel an obligation to our guild.  The vast majority of your testers have decided that there's not nearly enough fun to justify all the work that comprises the rest of the game.   If the game had a lot more fun, a wipe would be meaningless because we'd be enjoying the gameplay, and doing more of it later would also be enjoyable.

Let's examine some of the elements of Crowfall.

  • The New Player Experience is a necessary evil.  New players need to learn the mechanics and concepts and weird stuff that makes Crowfall unique.  And going through it once is educational and rewarding (free mount, relatively fast pace of advancement for white vessels, at least).  But after the first time on each class (let's be generous and say that it teaches us how to play our class and is therefore worthwhile the first time you play a class), it's just work.  And if you have a crafted vessel, it's more work to get to max level.  The better the vessel, the more experience you have with the game, the more work it is to level the vessel.  Why is that?  We should pay for our stronger vessel with a longer leveling curve?  That suggests that even the devs see the leveling process as work, a price to be paid to reach the real game.
  • Harvesting for mats.  Resource nodes have 1000 health.  Node dmg is capped at 100 per swing unless you're using energetic harvesting.  So let's assume an average of 10 swings of a tool to destroy a node (longer in the early game, shorter for trained harvesters with good gear and energetic harvesting later on).  Each node pops out a couple of useful doobers, some dust, and a fair number of less useful doobers.  Solo harvesters spend a lot of time hitting resource nodes.  They deplete their stam, they use a glowing tool that can be seen a long ways off, they make a lot of noise.  All this so they can attract gankers for a bout of massively unbalanced PvP (the ganker chooses the start of the fight, when the harvester is low on stam usually, the ganker is in pvp gear as opposed to harvesting gear, the ganker carries no loot while the harvester is a loot pinata, and when the ganker wins, it recalls home immediately to offload its loot.  No risk vs reward here).  And the rewards of solo harvesting are dwarfed by the drops from forts and pig caravans.   So solo harvesting is a lot of work (there's that word again) for little reward and no fun.  Group harvesting (motherlodes, with harvesters and guards, or even groups of harvesters working in close proximity (although there are no places at all in recent maps where this is viable for most types of harvesting)) is marginally more rewarding, and less dangerous, but it's still work rather than fun.  Maybe here we have to accept rewarding rather than fun?
  • Forts.  A fort produces a large amount of free resources each hour to the faction/alliance/guild that owns it.  Forts are rewarding.  Capturing a fort involves bringing a large number of people to capture a flag in the last few minutes of an hour-long siege window.  Because the only thing that matters is who owns the flag when the siege window ends.  5 minutes of blob vs blob combat dictates who gets the reward for the next 24 hours or so.  And the forts only have their siege window in prime time for their local time zone.  Same as keeps.  This promotes appointment gameplay.  Login at the start of prime time, hope your blob is bigger than the enemy blob (because large group combat in crowfall is a numbers game for the most part), logout after the siege window ends.  No real reason to play outside the siege window once you've got a leveled and geared character.   I would like to see Forts replenish their loot at random intervals throughout the day (based on population on, if you prefer), with less loot per pop, and a 5 minute warning before the loot spawns.  Fort fights should be good fun for 5 man groups.
  • Caravans.  I think ACE did pretty well with these.  Pigs spawn at a decent rate, move at a decent rate, and can lead to small group combat, which is what Crowfall does best, and where all the fun is to be had.  They are probably too rewarding in comparison with harvesting though - a solo pig runner will come up with way more uncommon and rare resources in a day than a solo harvester.
  • Keep sieges.  These should be the epic centerpieces of Crowfall throne wars.  Instead they're a blob vs blob mess.  Blob vs blob combat isn't fun with current game mechanics.  There's no way for individual skill to count for much.  Tactics don't do a lot either - it boils down to "isolate someone on the other side and burn them down.  Repeat over and over.  Move in the densest blob you can so the enemy can't isolate your guys and burn them down."  Shot callers may get some reward out of blob vs blob fights, but for Joe Normal, the only reward is the satisfaction of either defending your stuff or destroying the other side's stuff.   There's no fun in the moment, just the reward at the end.  Honestly, I have no idea how you fix this with current gameplay mechanics.  It's going to take some significant changes.
  • Wartribes and Thralls.  This is.. ok, I guess.  Doing it solo is asking to be ganked.  Doing it in small groups can lead to some small group fun (and occasionally being run over by a roaming blob).
  • Throne War mechanics.  There really are none beyond sieges.  There's no way to claim and hold land, and no reward for doing so even if you could.  There needs to be fun stuff small groups can do at any time that will help their team compete, and that needs to be the bulk of the gameplay.

In the end, solo play in Crowfall is neither fun nor rewarding (unless you're a solo stealther ganking solo harvesters, I suppose).   Small group combat is fun, and possibly rewarding, but really hard to find in Crowfall as things stand, because everything worth fighting over is worth bringing 50 people to do the fighting, and is conveniently scheduled so guilds can do so.  Large group fighting is not fun at all, but rewarding if your blob wins (note that I didn't say if you win.  If your blob wins).

ACE, please take a look at your systems, scheduling, and mechanics, and rejig things with an eye to making gameplay fun.  Small group combat is where Crowfall shines, so try to focus on that in the short term, while also looking for ways to make large group combat fun, and to make solo play viable and fun.

 

@jtoddcoleman @thomasblair Durenthal comes across a bit direct (that why we love him - actually), but he's onto something here. Aside from my disagreement with him on "Work" being a version of fun in MMOs, I do think we need some more "Group" engaging systems that encourage or require collaboration without feeling like we need to muster a force of 10-30 just to do basic tasks in the game; 5-10 player groups should be the primary design building to 100-200 player combat occasionally. Many of these things you've already committed to, and I personally see active work to correct. (thank you) Specifically - "ways to win" being diversified with rewards, 10 of X reward regardless of guild size, new class depth is going to help immensely. Blob is bad for tactical gameplay, bad for fun, and bad for performance. An epic battle with hundreds of players participating doesn't have to have hundreds of players on the same parcel, or for the love of god the same damn blade of grass... IMO. :)

Also - what if there were "solo trophies" that could be earned from the campaign for doing X number of tasks - like the RNG chests in other games that people spend hundreds of dollars opening on Youtube and get hundreds of thousands of views that give cosmetics and such. For every 50 nodes harvested or 25 players killed (not assists), at the end of the campaign I get a trophy that doesn't cost me an export but I can open in my EK for RNG awesomeness. I'd love to decorate my EK with a bunch of dark necromancer tokens. Pretty pixels for days my friends! Cool way to leverage the campaign reward system at an individual level, and drive engagement - I imagine you already have the data tables tracking individual player activity. @Tiggs What if you gave these RNG chests out in special streamer events too.

In response to his post directly:

1. NPE and leveling - this "Curve" and time to 30 has been changed many times, I think its actually in a really good place. Even leveling the purple vessel I just did made me be out there in a PvP zone with friends to kill enough bog bears and elk. At critical mass this would be frustrating but fun because newer and lesser geared and equipped players could have come and killed me while leveling, but hopefully my friends would have engaged them while I ran away :) - one recommendation 

2. Harvesting for Mats - this absolutely needs to be buffed as the primary way of gathering for your guild - its a great and rewarding way single players can contribute, and with the new Discipline trees making it possible for a PvP vessel to be a Crafting vessel (because the harvesting runes become the crafting runes - and those slots were largely unused on PvP vessels anyway) I'm personally optimistic what potential that creates.

3. Forts - you nailed this one. Perfect problem statement and solution offered - Nuff said.

4. Caravans - yep.

5. Keep Sieges - Basically need to split up the blobs into groups of 5-10 to make the siege work - need MECHANICS! Need more build up, cool off, and diverse ways of playing in them. I suggest specifically they make it required to take and hold a certain number of outposts nearby the keep in order to continue the siege. For example, if you have to hold 4 towers nearby and that causes the wards to be attackable, if you lose one the ward's shield comes back. Player Collision and/or Friendly fire might be needed to fix blobbing. Even simpler - what if you had to destroy x % of the walls before you could engage the wards?

6. Watribes and Thralls - I think this is a great system with infinite upside - creating more "boss" mobs that are rare and announce their spawn in Events will be epic!!!

7. Throne War Mechanics - we just need some side objectives, and a more diverse scoring/reward system to fix much of this. The Divine season cards are a great start - need the "Daily" versions "Flash Cards" as @Communist_Puppy suggested for example. For the love of god ACE - lean in to this system!

 

Thank you for reading,


The "Zen"

(Zenatos/Zenithra)

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23 minutes ago, mystafyi said:

You have been around a while and your no dummy, so I have to ask what is your question since that one would entail quite the comprehensive write up for an easy sunday morning. :)

To be fair though, if you're going to post something highly critical like that and someone asks you for clarity on what specifically you're talking about that is a fair question.  Your response is pretty uncool.

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8 hours ago, miraluna said:

You have some fair feedback points but performance is the #1 reason more people aren't playing.

Can confirm, getting 5-50 fps is unacceptable on a rig that craps out 144-240fps on maxed everything else in basically every graphics intensive game to date. And I really don't want to hear the ignorant: "oh well optimization is the last thing developers do", because...that is just plain old wrong. I'll be honest, if this game was developed on Unreal Engine, ACE would be getting at least double the frame rate with the same unoptimized code & unoptimzed models. I won't say its entirely unity though, because a fair bit of WELL developed Unity games run really well for me...and uh...well, ACE needs to have some accountability for their absurd performance levels.

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On 10/10/2020 at 2:00 PM, Durenthal said:

Lack of population has been an ongoing problem for Crowfall, and the designers need to take some time to work out why that is and what they can do to fix it.

There are tens of thousands of people with access to the beta right now.  Yet under 1% of them are playing at peak times.  I've heard all the excuses about how people who've paid for early access don't actually want to test an unfinished game, how an upcoming wipe is causing people to not want to play, etc.   Wait, let's unpack that last one a bit.  People don't want to participate because there's a chance their work will be wiped away.   Crowfall progression feels like work.  Every aspect of it.

What it comes down to, is that while Crowfall occasionally feels rewarding, it rarely feels like fun.   And that's the core problem you have, ACE.  Those of us who persist in the test do so because those rare elements of fun make us want to seek out more of it, or because we feel an obligation to our guild.  The vast majority of your testers have decided that there's not nearly enough fun to justify all the work that comprises the rest of the game.   If the game had a lot more fun, a wipe would be meaningless because we'd be enjoying the gameplay, and doing more of it later would also be enjoyable.

Let's examine some of the elements of Crowfall.

  • The New Player Experience is a necessary evil.  New players need to learn the mechanics and concepts and weird stuff that makes Crowfall unique.  And going through it once is educational and rewarding (free mount, relatively fast pace of advancement for white vessels, at least).  But after the first time on each class (let's be generous and say that it teaches us how to play our class and is therefore worthwhile the first time you play a class), it's just work.  And if you have a crafted vessel, it's more work to get to max level.  The better the vessel, the more experience you have with the game, the more work it is to level the vessel.  Why is that?  We should pay for our stronger vessel with a longer leveling curve?  That suggests that even the devs see the leveling process as work, a price to be paid to reach the real game.
  • Harvesting for mats.  Resource nodes have 1000 health.  Node dmg is capped at 100 per swing unless you're using energetic harvesting.  So let's assume an average of 10 swings of a tool to destroy a node (longer in the early game, shorter for trained harvesters with good gear and energetic harvesting later on).  Each node pops out a couple of useful doobers, some dust, and a fair number of less useful doobers.  Solo harvesters spend a lot of time hitting resource nodes.  They deplete their stam, they use a glowing tool that can be seen a long ways off, they make a lot of noise.  All this so they can attract gankers for a bout of massively unbalanced PvP (the ganker chooses the start of the fight, when the harvester is low on stam usually, the ganker is in pvp gear as opposed to harvesting gear, the ganker carries no loot while the harvester is a loot pinata, and when the ganker wins, it recalls home immediately to offload its loot.  No risk vs reward here).  And the rewards of solo harvesting are dwarfed by the drops from forts and pig caravans.   So solo harvesting is a lot of work (there's that word again) for little reward and no fun.  Group harvesting (motherlodes, with harvesters and guards, or even groups of harvesters working in close proximity (although there are no places at all in recent maps where this is viable for most types of harvesting)) is marginally more rewarding, and less dangerous, but it's still work rather than fun.  Maybe here we have to accept rewarding rather than fun?
  • Forts.  A fort produces a large amount of free resources each hour to the faction/alliance/guild that owns it.  Forts are rewarding.  Capturing a fort involves bringing a large number of people to capture a flag in the last few minutes of an hour-long siege window.  Because the only thing that matters is who owns the flag when the siege window ends.  5 minutes of blob vs blob combat dictates who gets the reward for the next 24 hours or so.  And the forts only have their siege window in prime time for their local time zone.  Same as keeps.  This promotes appointment gameplay.  Login at the start of prime time, hope your blob is bigger than the enemy blob (because large group combat in crowfall is a numbers game for the most part), logout after the siege window ends.  No real reason to play outside the siege window once you've got a leveled and geared character.   I would like to see Forts replenish their loot at random intervals throughout the day (based on population on, if you prefer), with less loot per pop, and a 5 minute warning before the loot spawns.  Fort fights should be good fun for 5 man groups.
  • Caravans.  I think ACE did pretty well with these.  Pigs spawn at a decent rate, move at a decent rate, and can lead to small group combat, which is what Crowfall does best, and where all the fun is to be had.  They are probably too rewarding in comparison with harvesting though - a solo pig runner will come up with way more uncommon and rare resources in a day than a solo harvester.
  • Keep sieges.  These should be the epic centerpieces of Crowfall throne wars.  Instead they're a blob vs blob mess.  Blob vs blob combat isn't fun with current game mechanics.  There's no way for individual skill to count for much.  Tactics don't do a lot either - it boils down to "isolate someone on the other side and burn them down.  Repeat over and over.  Move in the densest blob you can so the enemy can't isolate your guys and burn them down."  Shot callers may get some reward out of blob vs blob fights, but for Joe Normal, the only reward is the satisfaction of either defending your stuff or destroying the other side's stuff.   There's no fun in the moment, just the reward at the end.  Honestly, I have no idea how you fix this with current gameplay mechanics.  It's going to take some significant changes.
  • Wartribes and Thralls.  This is.. ok, I guess.  Doing it solo is asking to be ganked.  Doing it in small groups can lead to some small group fun (and occasionally being run over by a roaming blob).
  • Throne War mechanics.  There really are none beyond sieges.  There's no way to claim and hold land, and no reward for doing so even if you could.  There needs to be fun stuff small groups can do at any time that will help their team compete, and that needs to be the bulk of the gameplay.

In the end, solo play in Crowfall is neither fun nor rewarding (unless you're a solo stealther ganking solo harvesters, I suppose).   Small group combat is fun, and possibly rewarding, but really hard to find in Crowfall as things stand, because everything worth fighting over is worth bringing 50 people to do the fighting, and is conveniently scheduled so guilds can do so.  Large group fighting is not fun at all, but rewarding if your blob wins (note that I didn't say if you win.  If your blob wins).

ACE, please take a look at your systems, scheduling, and mechanics, and rejig things with an eye to making gameplay fun.  Small group combat is where Crowfall shines, so try to focus on that in the short term, while also looking for ways to make large group combat fun, and to make solo play viable and fun.

@Tiggs I don’t often agree with Duren but can we get an ace response to any thing he mentioned?  It’s a well done post that raises serious concerns about the state of the game.  

Edited by mandalore
40 minutes ago, Andius said:

W/HoA were held up as like these mystical forces of highly skilled players with legendary theorycrafters chained to a desk in some deep dungeon holding all the arcane secrets we could use to win if only we knew them.

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I'll agree on every critique said by Durenthal Like many of us in this topic. However i'll give an opinion on this matter in particular :

 

On 10/10/2020 at 9:00 PM, Durenthal said:

Keep sieges.  These should be the epic centerpieces of Crowfall throne wars.  Instead they're a blob vs blob mess.  Blob vs blob combat isn't fun with current game mechanics.  There's no way for individual skill to count for much.  Tactics don't do a lot either - it boils down to "isolate someone on the other side and burn them down.  Repeat over and over.  Move in the densest blob you can so the enemy can't isolate your guys and burn them down."  Shot callers may get some reward out of blob vs blob fights, but for Joe Normal, the only reward is the satisfaction of either defending your stuff or destroying the other side's stuff.   There's no fun in the moment, just the reward at the end.  Honestly, I have no idea how you fix this with current gameplay mechanics.  It's going to take some significant changes.

To me, the solution for the blob vs blob problem should be adressed by giving tools ( and by that i means power/skills ) that are meant to deal with these larger groups. And that means having power that are thought to be used in these situation. Aurora emitter is/was a first step in order to do that, but i think it's not a main damage spell as it was mainly a debuff that could not be stacked. And it had a CD that was, even after the +8 second, still too short. We need more of these, and with more CD, and more direct damage so these smaller group can play aggressively and take down larger group with more ease. And I think it will help guild to split up to fight, and will make the Zerg vs Zerg a bit funnier to play.

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1 hour ago, Purpearl said:

I'll agree on every critique said by Durenthal Like many of us in this topic. However i'll give an opinion on this matter in particular :

 

To me, the solution for the blob vs blob problem should be adressed by giving tools ( and by that i means power/skills ) that are meant to deal with these larger groups. And that means having power that are thought to be used in these situation. Aurora emitter is/was a first step in order to do that, but i think it's not a main damage spell as it was mainly a debuff that could not be stacked. And it had a CD that was, even after the +8 second, still too short. We need more of these, and with more CD, and more direct damage so these smaller group can play aggressively and take down larger group with more ease. And I think it will help guild to split up to fight, and will make the Zerg vs Zerg a bit funnier to play.

Speaking of tools, it's been said that if the only tool in your tool box is a hammer, then EVERY problem looks like a nail.  We need more tools so Zerg vs zerg wont look like the only way to fight.

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