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What Happened to the Vision?/Proposed Changes

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The Initial Vision

Crowfall was supposed to be a game that brought you straight into the "endgame" of an MMORPG. No level grind, just gameplay. Why did this change SO much? That was my biggest take away from the Kickstarter video, and the main point that brought me into the game itself. 

Anytime we're looking at testing a new character build we're forced to waste 2 hours grinding away our -not so free- time. For the sake of what? The NPE? Giving a sense of Progression? 

Building up our Forts and Keeps, crafting better equipment, seeking out and slaying creatures to capture their souls and craft disciplines. That's the progression I thought we would have in Crowfall. I don't care about applying attribute points, we just put all the points in one statistic anyways; where is the hard decision there? Leave improving the attributes of the vessel up to the Necromancers. 

*Edit* With the advent of today's Q&A (12.1.2020) I feel extremely excited for the future of Crowfall. It's actually kind've funny because the way I describe a lot of the changes below reflect how I see them moving forward in new patches. The removal of the passive skill tree is extremely exciting, though I know some were very interested in it. :D

Replace Passive Training with Active Training

This is the number ONE thing that Crowfall needs to address IMO. It essentially locks an account into a single role to play in the throne war, becoming sub par at all other roles. Few people want to stick to a single role within the bigger scope of things, it feels detrimental to a player's curiosity of what else the game has to offer when you can't feasibly try a new task out and be GOOD at it through learning how it works. You can learn all you want in the current system, then have to fork out another $60 for a game you already bought to make a new account and wait a year to be good at the thing you already know how to do. 

Look towards Runescape. People STILL play that game and it's outdated. Jagex still makes money off of the game and it's been out for at least 15 years. The reason is that there is always a sense of progression in everything you do. You wanna chop some muthalickin trees? Cool, you're going to get better at it. You wanna go fight people? Cool, you're going to get better at it. 

Suggestions for the Switch
Don't REMOVE the Training aspect of the skill system. The skill trees need work but don't remove that part of the game. Just give those boosts passively as the player partakes in associated activities. If I'm mining ore, slowly trickle in the benefits from the skill tree into the character's progress.

If I'm cranking out poor quality daggers, but I'm still experimenting and training myself as an immortal crow to be GOOD at blacksmithing, then by the gods I should be good at it. Nobody gets better at something by NOT doing it. 

You should want players grinding to progress in your game, because it means we're playing your game. If I can not play your game, and still get better at it over time - you're doing it wrong. Sure, EVE has been doing the passive thing and it's worked for them. That's only ONE game I can think of off the top of my head that matters, that is doing that.

- Breaking it down -  

  • The Nodes of each Skill Tree are broken down into individual Skills such as Mining, Leatherworking, 1h weapons, 2h weapons ect ect... (Think Runescape) that are associated with our Character (Not Eternal Crow). As we perform actions in the world those skills rank up. After gaining 10 ranks in a Skill, you gain one proficiency in that skill, up to some proposed total. Example: Mining Proficiency 1. This unlocks Mining benefits for your character, that were already in the skill tree, such as plentiful and bountiful harvesting when gathering Ore. 
  • When you gain Proficiency in a Skill, you gain a Talent Point that you can apply to the associated Talent Tree. (More on that Below)

Talent Tree and Disciplines


Obviously getting rid of levels can make the Talent Point system meaningless. Do we just get all the points necessary to get to "Level 30"? This is my proposal to answer that question:

When you start your character, you're given X amount of talent points to spend, and as you gain proficiencies you unlock new talent points you can spend in the skills associated trees. Obviously, if there are lets say 10 different "skills" and your Proficiency in any skill can get to Proficiency 5 (Such as Iron Ore Proficiency V) that means you can get upwards of 50 talent points throughout the course of your character's career as an Eternal Hero. There aren't that many talent points to apply in the current talent tree. To fix this, we use the Discipline system to add on new talent tree options, as well as using the Skill system itself.

Within the game there would be an expanded Talent UI that has multiple tabs for each Skill in the game. I believe that the skills should be Generalized in the tab system, and then expounded upon in the Talent Tree itself. Examples Below.

Melee Tab (This would also be a Skill that you can gain proficiency in)

Contains 1h, 2h, Dual Wield weapons + Shield.

Mining Tab (This would also be a Skill that you can gain proficiency in)
Contains Iron, Aurelium, Copper, Silver, Tin paths through the Talent Tree.

ect ect... 

As you gain Proficiency in the associated skill, you gain a talent point to spend in that skills Talent Tree. This is where you will find Increases to Gem % Chance, Mineral % Chance, Damage to Nodes, ect ect...

- Breaking it down -

  • Talent points are earned through active training. Once you gain a level of proficiency in a Skill you earn a Talent Point to spend in the associated skill tree. (Remember: 10 levels in a Skill=1 Proficiency)
  • There are Skill Tabs in the Talent Points UI, this shows what proficiency you are in each Skill, and how many talent points you have to spend. 
  • Within each Tab are Talent Trees where you can spend Talent Points earned through actively training in the associated skill. Example: Mining Tab > Iron Ore, Silver Ore, Tin Ore. These all have their own Talent Trees.
  • Equipping a Discipline unlocks new talent tree options, these can be stat bundles (since we're not leveling we won't be getting more attributes, other than equipment.)

Final Notes

Whew, I didn't expect to spend over an hour going over my thoughts on each of these concepts and changing stuff around. I'm going to wrap this up here, but this post is a WIP. Updates will be made after suggestions/criticisms/ideas come to light. I hope you all find this to be a good fix to the current systems in Crowfall. 



Edited by OsirianLegacy
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  • OsirianLegacy changed the title to What Happened to the Vision?/Proposed Changes

One of the reasons I backed was specifically for the passive system.

It was one of the best features of EVE, and allowed me to focus on the stuff I can do NOW in stead of eternally focusing on grinding for stuff I want to do LATER.

I don't want to be stuck in an eternal loop of "better go mine or I'll never get better at mining" because it literally forces me to make a choice between progressing my character, or playing the entire rest of the game.

As is now, the active (read: non-crafting) parts of the game are accessible to all players. If my guild needs leather, or ore, or stone, I can go help them get it without the fear that I'm falling behind. If we want to go fight over some campaign cards I can do that without fear I'm falling behind. My time is the most valuable resource I or any player have, and every second of it I spend doing progression activity just for the sake of progressing is a second I'm NOT spending helping another player achieve a shared goal. I play MMOs to accomplish shared goals with other people, not to personally make a number as big as I can as fast as I can so I can eventually help other players a year later after I'm done with that progression.

Crowfall is not a game about personal progression first and shared goals as the endgame. The shared goals are the primary system. Campaign competition is the primary system, and progression is the secondary system.

The recent change to a more grind-centric crafting system feels terrible for this reason. I'm not longer operating in terms of output and what helps my group accomplish its goals efficiently and am in stead focused upon a system that creates conflict between my progression and my group's goals.

I shouldn't be weighing my activities between what's good for ME and what's good for my GUILD. Those should be one in the same. The passive setup means I don't have that conflict. Whatever it is I'm specializing in, I do in a manner that's good for the guild. Whatever it is I'm not, gives me a reason to lean on that guild and creates a system of shared progress for all of us.

Leveling also doesn't bother me for this specific reason. Leveling is a fallback if I haven't prepared to avoid it as a result of a shared action of loot acquisition. It's there to encourage me to skip it by making even bad loot valuable, and it's there to help new players learn the game. The only problem leveling has is the "cutoff" for sacrifice rarity. Sacrifice values should just be flat rates.

Edited by PopeUrban

LMAO my website is broken please click this to apply to Flames of Exile (maybe, if that's not busted too)

On 5/11/2015 at 1:48 PM, CAWCAWCAW said:

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

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@OsirianLegacy As you can see from @PopeUrban's post above we didn't ALL back the game for the same reasons. Most of us can find things that have changed from the 'original' vision that we see as improvements and other things that we see as NOT good.

However, ACE needs to find a solution that satisfy enough players so that 1) They bring in enough revenue to pay the bills and repay the investors, and 2) We have enough active players to allow for good PvP.

A PvP game with few active players won't work. The players ARE the content. Time will tell if the changes they made to the vision work well. Stay tuned.


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