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The Case for Removing Levelling from Crafted Vessels


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Many Veterans will tell you, when levelling the 100th blue vessel the activity has gotten old, what should be a fun and exciting moment of getting your new vessel and taking it into glorious combat is replaced with the dread that it has to be levelled (at least with the discipline change once it is levelled it can get out there faster!)

Common vessels and levelling for the NPE

Yes, i think this is totally fine, for new players the NPE is valuable and if you are making a common quality character then you should have to level it as part of the time investment to a new vessel.

For Crafted vessels:
The acquisition of a new vessel really comes in 2 ways:

1. You grind a load of gold and buy one, which generally means that new players have already got to 30 on one vessel, have grinded and experienced the game to an extent where they can understand their character and not make mistakes (or lesser the chance).

2. Your guild effectively boosts you and gives you a vessel and hand holds you through the process which means the new player is being guided and not waste time/resource/fun in making mistakes.

With these 2 avenues of acquisition then the idea of new players learning a new class on a crafted vessel and susceptible to make mistakes is very low, with the implementation of a respecc this "waste" is further removed.

What are the bonuses:

1. It gets players playing the game again, we always say in my guild that you get the levelling out of the way to get tot he fun. by making it an insta 30 the player would be able to engage in the open world much quicker instead of either slowly grinding out the levels in GR or infected or borrowing some guildes and getting them to power level you (further taking more people out of the open world)
2. It puts the excitement back into vessels: At the moment a new vessel fills me with dread, the higher the quality, the more dread it creates, knowing that grind is even longer on higher qualities.

3. More time for Dregs: getting a new vessel setup would be reduced from a few hours on a blue to 30 mins of setting up discs, gearing etc and then that vessel is ready to get back into the PvP.

4.Fail Faster: if a new player is going to make a mistake, then generally they will make the mistake whether they are levelling slowly or starting fully levelled. At least with failing on a pre levelled vessel if a mistake was made, it was done quickly and not as part of a slow death from levelling.

5.reduces competition for levelling mobs: Currently, larger guilds will dominate levelling areas for large amounts of time to get the crafted vessels levelled, this slows down normal common crafted and new player levelling by making mob scarcity in a place where you really don't want mob scarcity to get new players out into the world faster.

 

What are the Cons:
1. sacrifice items lose value: to be honest, the sacrifice xp of items is not very high and locking out inferior qualities at different level points means the lower quality sacrifice items become useless very quickly.

I cant think of any more cons right now.

 

TL:DR - Remove levelling from crafted vessels and start them at 30, keep levelling on common vessels made through the "new character" button, remove the levelling chore and let us get back to the fun part of the game :)

Cheers

 

Mark

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You guys are severely underestimating how quickly and easily one can put together a vessel once the econ is set up. Once I've got like two people geared out for the harvesting/crafting I can output like 5-7 good vessels a day with just one guy helping out on MLs.

There has to be a speedbump there to keep people from just constantly hotswapping in to new FOTM vessels and the minimal stats on upgraded combat discs simply aren't enough.

Eliminating leveling would remove too much of that speedbump. In stead I'd like to see the penalty for sacrifice rarities removed and sacrifice xp reworked, then simply remove all activity based xp gain on crafted vessels. This would remove the "I have to stop campaigning to grind up a new vessel" aspect while retaining the mechanism that requires active play to get a new vessel to ready status.

This means you still have a speedbump, but that speedbump comes in the form of items you can trade, farm, or kill enemies for on an already set up character so that you don't feel compelled to constantly stop using the characters you've already progressed to do the newbie leveling treadmill for the 40th time, and in stead your new vessel setup comes in the form of "where can I go and what can I do to get the sacrifices" as this keeps your from interfereing with the NPE, has a much better risk/reward ramp as more hazardous pvp areas also pay out better sacrifices, and still retains a level of investment that prevents people from too rapidly swapping out vessels.

Ideally, this means every time you swap a vessel for a more powerful one you always go straight from a L30 old vessel to a L30 new one so that you're always spending your time doing the stuff you leveled the previous vessel to do, fighting mobs or other players.

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7 hours ago, PopeUrban said:

There has to be a speedbump there to keep people from just constantly hotswapping in to new FOTM vessels and the minimal stats on upgraded combat discs simply aren't enough.

If the speedbump is engaging gameplay, that's reasonable. If it's a timesink that the players can readily see is just a timesink, then it is another feature feeding the fun-sucking option list of

  • join the powerhouses that rolled out of beta
  • grind to one day play instead of play
  • go play something else

 

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On 12/24/2020 at 11:59 AM, veeshan said:

If they upped the sac value of artifact and have it carry over it wont be to bad if i can just dump 200 green artifact in and be done. i can get them pre crafted vessel just farming normally and be done with it instantly.

This and they took away the more obvious solution to the problem, that actually used to exist at one point. 

1 GP = 1XP sacrifice regardless of vessel quality.

 

Edited by KrakkenSmacken
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11 hours ago, PopeUrban said:

You guys are severely underestimating how quickly and easily one can put together a vessel once the econ is set up. Once I've got like two people geared out for the harvesting/crafting I can output like 5-7 good vessels a day with just one guy helping out on MLs.

There has to be a speedbump there to keep people from just constantly hotswapping in to new FOTM vessels and the minimal stats on upgraded combat discs simply aren't enough.

Eliminating leveling would remove too much of that speedbump. In stead I'd like to see the penalty for sacrifice rarities removed and sacrifice xp reworked, then simply remove all activity based xp gain on crafted vessels. This would remove the "I have to stop campaigning to grind up a new vessel" aspect while retaining the mechanism that requires active play to get a new vessel to ready status.

This means you still have a speedbump, but that speedbump comes in the form of items you can trade, farm, or kill enemies for on an already set up character so that you don't feel compelled to constantly stop using the characters you've already progressed to do the newbie leveling treadmill for the 40th time, and in stead your new vessel setup comes in the form of "where can I go and what can I do to get the sacrifices" as this keeps your from interfereing with the NPE, has a much better risk/reward ramp as more hazardous pvp areas also pay out better sacrifices, and still retains a level of investment that prevents people from too rapidly swapping out vessels.

Ideally, this means every time you swap a vessel for a more powerful one you always go straight from a L30 old vessel to a L30 new one so that you're always spending your time doing the stuff you leveled the previous vessel to do, fighting mobs or other players.

Why?  Why does this have to be a speed bump? The sheer volume of options is already a huge speed bump.

There are 12 races, and 3-4 classes per race. So at minimum 36 combinations to try there. Assume VIP vessel reset exits, (Includes the promotions, and if you want the runes, but not the race/class) and now you have opportunity to try out 108 combinations before you even get into the different major and minor rune combinations. 

Now consider, powers and abilities are probably the easier thing for ACE to add in, so I would expect post launch piles of the new content will come in the form of new and interesting runes.  Every time they add another one, more opportunity to explore combinations. 

I don't know about you, but in order to REALLY test a build, you have to use it on the field against real humans in a fight, probably for a day or more to at least see if it's viable. 

I think the whole experimentation with different builds, and trying to counter whatever is the current FOTM build is a far better time sink than sinking time on the PvE WT/Fort grind. 

Additionally, the whole crafted vessel XP grind (default is trivial, and really not much of a barrier), is a huge slippery slope for new players.   Large guilds will have stock piles, or have used stockpiles, of the higher end blue/purple sacrifice items you can get from griffons and the like, or can simply power level members in a couple of hours, while the smaller groups get locked further behind this speed bump.  If your in a truck, a speed bump is pretty minor, if your on a skateboard.... it's much more of an obstacle. 

Edited by KrakkenSmacken
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2 hours ago, KrakkenSmacken said:

Why?  Why does this have to be a speed bump? The sheer volume of options is already a huge speed bump.

There are 12 races, and 3-4 classes per race. So at minimum 36 combinations to try there. Assume VIP vessel reset exits, (Includes the promotions, and if you want the runes, but not the race/class) and now you have opportunity to try out 108 combinations before you even get into the different major and minor rune combinations. 

Now consider, powers and abilities are probably the easier thing for ACE to add in, so I would expect post launch piles of the new content will come in the form of new and interesting runes.  Every time they add another one, more opportunity to explore combinations. 

I don't know about you, but in order to REALLY test a build, you have to use it on the field against real humans in a fight, probably for a day or more to at least see if it's viable. 

I think the whole experimentation with different builds, and trying to counter whatever is the current FOTM build is a far better time sink than sinking time on the PvE WT/Fort grind. 

Additionally, the whole crafted vessel XP grind (default is trivial, and really not much of a barrier), is a huge slippery slope for new players.   Large guilds will have stock piles, or have used stockpiles, of the higher end blue/purple sacrifice items you can get from griffons and the like, or can simply power level members in a couple of hours, while the smaller groups get locked further behind this speed bump.  If your in a truck, a speed bump is pretty minor, if your on a skateboard.... it's much more of an obstacle. 

Let me paint you a picture.

You defend a fort on mondey. You run up against a range heavy fire damage comp. You spend the rest of monday kitting out vessels specifically to counter that comp.

You go to fort tuesday, annihilate that comp. Now THEY have to spend the rest of the day rerolling, say, mudman anti0-crushing comp or whatever.

The way this plays out in practice is an endless round robin of busywork and chasing counterbuilds, in a meta which has strong counters, meaning far FAR more busywork because the expectation is that every single engagement is not "experimental" or "unique" but bleeding edge optimal. There is no personality. No "these guys generally run X" or "this player is well known for Y" and no reward for mastry and investment.

When you can hotswap strong counters quickly and on a whim, picking the correct hotswap at an organizational level becomes the most important player skill in the system rather than actually being good at and investing in the characters you play. This is the EVE meta, and it is terrible. Thousands of people playing the same exact thing until one guy says to play a different thing and suddenly thousands of people are playing a different thing. Efficiency as a function of uniformity rather than mastry.

This is RPG systems 101, and what separates an RPG from a MOBA. MOBA are, designed under the assumption that mastry of the game involved mastry of every single variant, that is to say, familiarity and mastry with every champion in an ever growing roster, because your picks can be literally banned or picked by someone else.

This is not how the crowfall system, or indeed any MMO system should work. Those systems are about investment and limitations. This is why you have hundreds of ways you CAN build a character and only 6 character slots, and why the talent tree has more nodes than points

The purpose of having so many options and so few character slots is not that you are constantly experimenting. It is that you make choices, and stick with those choices, and that other people make different choices.

Experimenting is not the goal of if this system, or indeed a sustainable structure for a game that revolves around economic and class structure. Optimization, synergy, and mastry of specific builds is.

Fight clubbing is not the game. Winning campaigns through utilization of known and mastered factors, alliances, and economic strength is the game.

Stockpiling in such a system is an intended benefit and end goal of engaging in its content. Loot is the primary reward for doing literally any activity. If I wanted to play a game where loot was not I would not be playing an MMORPG. I'd be playing a MOBA, or the shorter non-permanent cycle of a BR.

These "think of the children" arguments that phrase "we can't do X because vets will Y and noobs can't do it as fast" are not productive. The answer to that question is to stop putting vets and noobs in the same battlefield. Yes, people that actually spend more time stockpiling stuff will have more stuff. This is not a bug. This is a feature. I'm concerned with WHY they are stockpiling stuff. Replacing gear with the same gear is one thing, but players also crave progression and dislike resets. Sacrifices are direct progression enablers, and the sacrifice system itself serves to give intrinsic value to every piece of loot, even those you don't need for crafting.

That mechanism does not function unless it has an intrinsic personal value to every player. The same is true for any other reward you expect players to engage in pvp risk to control or acquire.

"experimenting with builds" is not gameplay. It is theorycrafting and prep work. Using it as a primary game loop assumes other people also would rather "experiment with builds" and constantly reset progress or discard mastry. This is not a universal goal of the player base, nor does it provide any compelling context for pvp. I can experiment with builds all day without touching campaigns, objectives, or loot.

Looting things in a pvp area, attempting to control loot, steal loot, prepare for enhanced versions of things you have already mastered, and earning the right to employ a quick spec change as a strategy rather than an expectation is pvp with stakes that actually provides context, motivation, and stakes for pvp.

While you might play the game to play a different build every 2 or 3 days, that is neither the systemic structure of the game (or indeed RPGs as a genre) nor the pattern by which players seem to prefer to interact with the game. Its about using builds, refining, them, mastering them. Not Trying new things. Experimentation is step one, not the endgame, and as such is not a basis around which to build an endgame.

Edited by PopeUrban

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Crafted vessels should have to level, and they should have to level in dregs. Anything that pulls even more people out of the world is a hard no for me.

We've been around this ring-around-the-rosey many times though, and I recognize myself as the black sheep. I just think you're all arguing for these types of things while also complaining there is nothing to do and nobody to kill. If the devs find other, more interesting, ways for people to populate the world, fine. But, until that day, if it ever comes, make us level crafted vessels in dregs.

I do strongly agree that leveling crafted vessels in God's Reach or Infected is boring AF. I just lean the complete other way. Make us level in danger.

Edited by McTan
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3 hours ago, PopeUrban said:

Let me paint you a picture.

You defend a fort on mondey. You run up against a range heavy fire damage comp. You spend the rest of monday kitting out vessels specifically to counter that comp.

You go to fort tuesday, annihilate that comp. Now THEY have to spend the rest of the day rerolling, say, mudman anti0-crushing comp or whatever.

The way this plays out in practice is an endless round robin of busywork and chasing counterbuilds, in a meta which has strong counters, meaning far FAR more busywork because the expectation is that every single engagement is not "experimental" or "unique" but bleeding edge optimal. There is no personality. No "these guys generally run X" or "this player is well known for Y" and no reward for mastry and investment.

When you can hotswap strong counters quickly and on a whim, picking the correct hotswap at an organizational level becomes the most important player skill in the system rather than actually being good at and investing in the characters you play. This is the EVE meta, and it is terrible. Thousands of people playing the same exact thing until one guy says to play a different thing and suddenly thousands of people are playing a different thing. Efficiency as a function of uniformity rather than mastry.

This is RPG systems 101, and what separates an RPG from a MOBA. MOBA are, designed under the assumption that mastry of the game involved mastry of every single variant, that is to say, familiarity and mastry with every champion in an ever growing roster, because your picks can be literally banned or picked by someone else.

This is not how the crowfall system, or indeed any MMO system should work. Those systems are about investment and limitations. This is why you have hundreds of ways you CAN build a character and only 6 character slots, and why the talent tree has more nodes than points

The purpose of having so many options and so few character slots is not that you are constantly experimenting. It is that you make choices, and stick with those choices, and that other people make different choices.

Experimenting is not the goal of if this system, or indeed a sustainable structure for a game that revolves around economic and class structure. Optimization, synergy, and mastry of specific builds is.

Fight clubbing is not the game. Winning campaigns through utilization of known and mastered factors, alliances, and economic strength is the game.

Stockpiling in such a system is an intended benefit and end goal of engaging in its content. Loot is the primary reward for doing literally any activity. If I wanted to play a game where loot was not I would not be playing an MMORPG. I'd be playing a MOBA, or the shorter non-permanent cycle of a BR.

These "think of the children" arguments that phrase "we can't do X because vets will Y and noobs can't do it as fast" are not productive. The answer to that question is to stop putting vets and noobs in the same battlefield. Yes, people that actually spend more time stockpiling stuff will have more stuff. This is not a bug. This is a feature. I'm concerned with WHY they are stockpiling stuff. Replacing gear with the same gear is one thing, but players also crave progression and dislike resets. Sacrifices are direct progression enablers, and the sacrifice system itself serves to give intrinsic value to every piece of loot, even those you don't need for crafting.

That mechanism does not function unless it has an intrinsic personal value to every player. The same is true for any other reward you expect players to engage in pvp risk to control or acquire.

"experimenting with builds" is not gameplay. It is theorycrafting and prep work. Using it as a primary game loop assumes other people also would rather "experiment with builds" and constantly reset progress or discard mastry. This is not a universal goal of the player base, nor does it provide any compelling context for pvp. I can experiment with builds all day without touching campaigns, objectives, or loot.

Looting things in a pvp area, attempting to control loot, steal loot, prepare for enhanced versions of things you have already mastered, and earning the right to employ a quick spec change as a strategy rather than an expectation is pvp with stakes that actually provides context, motivation, and stakes for pvp.

While you might play the game to play a different build every 2 or 3 days, that is neither the systemic structure of the game (or indeed RPGs as a genre) nor the pattern by which players seem to prefer to interact with the game. Its about using builds, refining, them, mastering them. Not Trying new things. Experimentation is step one, not the endgame, and as such is not a basis around which to build an endgame.

Let me paint you a counter picture.

Quote

You defend a fort on mondey. You run up against a range heavy fire damage comp. You spend the rest of monday kitting the next two weeks kitting (including crafting, leveling, adjusting runes, etc) out vessels specifically to counter that comp.

Now it turns out you guessed wrong, and those two weeks are wasted and you get rolled again.  Much faster than having the ability to adapt quickly to a changing meta, you find yourself tired of trying to keep up with a larger group able to outfit a new meta every fight, and end up chasing the ideal with at least a couple of weeks of lag between your cycles because your spending that time fighting the VERY BORING PvE mobs trying to level yet another build.

Quote

"Those systems are about investment and limitations."

Besides, it's really going have the quick change anyway. With VIP respec (announced last Q&A), the only real restriction is the first investment in a race/class XP grind. After that your free to mess with the entire talent/promotion/rune combinations ad infinitum, without ANY cost of XP grind, so your goal of investment amounts to....  a few hours of EK leveling off the fort mobs, often with help of a group. 

I just watched some new players in purple bodies level them that way in under 10 hours. 

Quote

Experimenting is not the goal of if this system, or indeed a sustainable structure for a game that revolves around economic and class structure.

Are you sure about that?  Watch just about any stream that JTodd talks about shadowbane and why he has moved towards this new system.  It was exactly because of how much fun the "experimenting" part of character building was in that.  I think your just dead ass wrong on this assumption.

Sorry, but your unicorn world where there isn't a meta you have to chase in a competitive environment that changes every time they add a new major or minor rune, run a balance pass, or just mix things up with campaign ruleset like "Centars only" is quite frankly impossible.

Additionally, the moment all your invested time is made obsolete by a new power, build, discovery, that puts you behind a pointless XP grind,  your prone to a rage quit moment.

Thankfully that is far less likely with the Respec, as an entire race/class option will have to be completely useless in the meta, which I suspect is something ACE will fight hard to have not happen, or fix if it does happen. 

 

Edited by KrakkenSmacken
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2 hours ago, McTan said:

Crafted vessels should have to level, and they should have to level in dregs. Anything that pulls even more people out of the world is a hard no for me.

We've been around this ring-around-the-rosey many times though, and I recognize myself as the black sheep. I just think you're all arguing for these types of things while also complaining there is nothing to do and nobody to kill. If the devs find other, more interesting, ways for people to populate the world, fine. But, until that day, if it ever comes, make us level crafted vessels in dregs.

I do strongly agree that leveling crafted vessels in God's Reach or Infected is boring AF. I just lean the complete other way. Make us level in danger.

I would love to see you figure out a model where that isn't just a bad player experience. 

Running around underleveled, waiting for 30 to get your second major rune, your just fresh meat for the grinder if anyone sees you, and content for wolves. If you have a guild helping you, then you are a burden rather than an asset, and you have to convince them your worth the investment of time to help you, rather than having a fun time being a contributor and playing against people.

You drop the XP leveling requirement, or lose the XP cost scale up at the very least, and those people will be more likely to join dregs all that much sooner. 

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2 hours ago, KrakkenSmacken said:

I would love to see you figure out a model where that isn't just a bad player experience. 

Running around underleveled, waiting for 30 to get your second major rune, your just fresh meat for the grinder if anyone sees you, and content for wolves. If you have a guild helping you, then you are a burden rather than an asset, and you have to convince them your worth the investment of time to help you, rather than having a fun time being a contributor and playing against people.

You drop the XP leveling requirement, or lose the XP cost scale up at the very least, and those people will be more likely to join dregs all that much sooner. 

I am thinking if having crafted start at level 30 but having a higher cap. So say green caps at 35, blue 40, epic 45, lego 50.

This makes it so crafted vessel are viable from the start but there still some lvling to be done.

And now that can happen inside the dregs.

The downside is necromancy would need some changes to fit that. Maybe the lvl isnt fixed and necro increases the cap you can reach? Maybe give extra stat points?

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34 minutes ago, BarriaKarl said:

I am thinking if having crafted start at level 30 but having a higher cap. So say green caps at 35, blue 40, epic 45, lego 50.

This makes it so crafted vessel are viable from the start but there still some lvling to be done.

And now that can happen inside the dregs.

The downside is necromancy would need some changes to fit that. Maybe the lvl isnt fixed and necro increases the cap you can reach? Maybe give extra stat points?

That's a pretty good idea.
 

The better quality vessels start at the same point where the white vessels end off, with all the talents opened, and the leveling points unspent, and as you level beyond 30, every level unlocks a % of the crafted values. Green 20%/level, blue 10%, epic under your scenario would be in a weird spot at 6.66...% , but lego would be 5%. 

Sadly, I don't think there is going to be something like this done, but it is a solution to the question I asked. 
 

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Thats for the reply @KrakkenSmacken but you're under the impression I'm advocating for a "no meta" situation but that's not quite true. I'm advocating for the situation we had in shadowbane, where leveling characters was a primary content driver (but not the only content driver) any time there wasn't objective based play going on. I'm also advocating for a version of that where the pvp that results from it is actually engaging for both sides more often.

The meta ITSELF in shadowbane was a big part of why people were in the world at all, because each time they wanted to run a new spec group they had to invest significant time in to those toons. The early levels were macro'd because nobody wants to play severely underdeveloped toons  and would rather just get killed naked while AFK and get set back than actually play the game under those conditions. I'm proposing a solution where the "early levels" are analagous to SB's "softcap levels" where people are actually in the world, active, ganking each other, getting ganked, and generally having things to fight over because they're doing activities in the world on a character capable of putting up a fight.

We weren't doing it to experiment. We were doing it because somebody else finished a new spec and we wanted to counter it. However the PACE of that arms race was slow enough it allowed us to also do other things. The PACE of that arms race also prevented most from constantly changing specs so that there was a throughline of other activity because no matter the size of wealth of an organization doing so took time and effort away from other activities.

There are even more other things people need to do in CF. This is why the sacrifice system is good. It allows transmutation of one activity to another so people can react to changing conditions and remain engaged with whatever their specific goals are. It also means that your mythical uber-guild has to put in significant work to "constantly change specs" where otherwise there would be no meaningful roadblock to prevent this behavior.

Again, this narrative that "new newbies can['t compete with the pros" is pointless. That will never change and the only thing that's going to get you out of that situation is to either match up to the competitive standard of said pros or enter an arena where they are not present. This is why putting up faction campaigns and refactoring campaign rewards to create objectives "beneath the notice" of unassailiable foes is so important. Designing a mass battle game where you expect literally every army to be competitive with every other army is unachievable.

Simply put, if you are facing an unapproachable foe, the game should have given you an option of a more approachable foe. CF doesn't do this right now. Its a pretty big problem with the current reward design and lack of middle tier campaigns.

That investment and activity, in a pvp area, is what's important here. This is why I advocate the sacrifice model and removal of activity based XP for crafted vessels. It keeps people in the world, but doesn't put them in the world underlevelled and unable to fight. Despite McTan's insistance that forcing people to go to dregs with L15 characters would be a good thing, it wouldn't. Hence you have people do activity on finished characters to prep more finished characters.

The speedbump remains intact, but it actually creates, and encourages pvp rather than encourages people to go braindead in GR. Higher tier loot is more desirable, which in turn results in more people wanting to control it, which in turn results in more fights. Because those fights are carried out by finished characters, those fights also aren't of the "gang of 30s smashing a gang of 15s who have no hope of fighting back" variety. Because any item can be sacrificed, players have many options for how they get that xp and are generally capable of doing whatever content they are good at or enjoy to get it.

Take the sacrifices out of GR. Don't allow crafted vessels in GR. Because Sacrifice XP scales, anyone who can't control the best spots can still get the work done, but still must actually populate somewhere that isn't GR to get it done.

The alternative just results in people spending way more time hitting stone motherlodes and graves to chase the meta than actually playing the builds they designed to fight actually fighting, and instantly devalues all other content.

Edited by PopeUrban

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3 hours ago, BarriaKarl said:

I am thinking if having crafted start at level 30 but having a higher cap. So say green caps at 35, blue 40, epic 45, lego 50.

So your solution for a bad leveling experience is to add more leveling just move the goalposts to make it slightly different yet the same?

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3 hours ago, PopeUrban said:

Thats for the reply @KrakkenSmacken but you're under the impression I'm advocating for a "no meta" situation but that's not quite true. I'm advocating for the situation we had in shadowbane, where leveling characters was a primary content driver (but not the only content driver) any time there wasn't objective based play going on. I'm also advocating for a version of that where the pvp that results from it is actually engaging for both sides more often.

The meta ITSELF in shadowbane was a big part of why people were in the world at all, because each time they wanted to run a new spec group they had to invest significant time in to those toons. The early levels were macro'd because nobody wants to play severely underdeveloped toons  and would rather just get killed naked while AFK and get set back than actually play the game under those conditions. I'm proposing a solution where the "early levels" are analagous to SB's "softcap levels" where people are actually in the world, active, ganking each other, getting ganked, and generally having things to fight over because they're doing activities in the world on a character capable of putting up a fight.

We weren't doing it to experiment. We were doing it because somebody else finished a new spec and we wanted to counter it. However the PACE of that arms race was slow enough it allowed us to also do other things. The PACE of that arms race also prevented most from constantly changing specs so that there was a throughline of other activity because no matter the size of wealth of an organization doing so took time and effort away from other activities.

There are even more other things people need to do in CF. This is why the sacrifice system is good. It allows transmutation of one activity to another so people can react to changing conditions and remain engaged with whatever their specific goals are. It also means that your mythical uber-guild has to put in significant work to "constantly change specs" where otherwise there would be no meaningful roadblock to prevent this behavior.

Again, this narrative that "new newbies can['t compete with the pros" is pointless. That will never change and the only thing that's going to get you out of that situation is to either match up to the competitive standard of said pros or enter an arena where they are not present. This is why putting up faction campaigns and refactoring campaign rewards to create objectives "beneath the notice" of unassailiable foes is so important. Designing a mass battle game where you expect literally every army to be competitive with every other army is unachievable.

Simply put, if you are facing an unapproachable foe, the game should have given you an option of a more approachable foe. CF doesn't do this right now. Its a pretty big problem with the current reward design and lack of middle tier campaigns.

That investment and activity, in a pvp area, is what's important here. This is why I advocate the sacrifice model and removal of activity based XP for crafted vessels. It keeps people in the world, but doesn't put them in the world underlevelled and unable to fight. Despite McTan's insistance that forcing people to go to dregs with L15 characters would be a good thing, it wouldn't. Hence you have people do activity on finished characters to prep more finished characters.

The speedbump remains intact, but it actually creates, and encourages pvp rather than encourages people to go braindead in GR. Higher tier loot is more desirable, which in turn results in more people wanting to control it, which in turn results in more fights. Because those fights are carried out by finished characters, those fights also aren't of the "gang of 30s smashing a gang of 15s who have no hope of fighting back" variety. Because any item can be sacrificed, players have many options for how they get that xp and are generally capable of doing whatever content they are good at or enjoy to get it.

Take the sacrifices out of GR. Don't allow crafted vessels in GR. Because Sacrifice XP scales, anyone who can't control the best spots can still get the work done, but still must actually populate somewhere that isn't GR to get it done.

The alternative just results in people spending way more time hitting stone motherlodes and graves to chase the meta than actually playing the builds they designed to fight actually fighting, and instantly devalues all other content.

Ok, I think I get what you are saying more now.  It's not that you want the speed bump to be during a period in a vessels life that is unviable, but that viable happens early enough that they can participate in the "real" game and level at the same time.  I agree.  I would consider pushing ALL the talent points into the first 15 levels/ (1 per level), and reserve the stat bumps to the last 15 levels. You can easily be viable without the stats. 

First bold, is pretty much what we have now for crafting runes.  Load up as much res as you can, and automate crafting junk to get the runes.  THEN go spend 8-10 hours farming gold in GR/Infected, if you know what you are doing. That those can happen in parallel with new vessels held by other people is what has been happening right now. One guy is gold farming, and the other(s) are riding along for the XP train, often times AFK.

There is a problem with no "middle tier" campaigns. That said, this is guild game, so even if those existed, there would still be that problem as new members would want to join the main guild no matter what tier they were playing in. That's one of the great draws of this game. Guilds can twink new players into viable in the main campaigns quickly.

I can't tell you how many times in my MMO experience that one member of a group of friends got left behind because they were more casual, or that one member who was off the rails bonkers on time commitment, would end up too far ahead to play with the group anymore. That is one of the major downsides to the "must put in time" aspect of MMO's. Seperation of friends by time commitment. 

I do like the idea of "Don't Allow crafted vessels in GR" with a major Caveat.  There MUST be a place for players to participate with those vessels that isn't instantly overwhelming. CR just does not have such a palace. 

I don't think the "Chase the meta" is going to be as time consuming once you have a core set of vessels in race/class combos you like.  I see the VIP respect, + 5k of gold (1hr Farming) to buy the white runes to switch out, is about all it's going to take. 

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"I can't tell you how many times in my MMO experience that one member of a group of friends got left behind because they were more casual, or that one member who was off the rails bonkers on time commitment, would end up too far ahead to play with the group anymore. That is one of the major downsides to the "must put in time" aspect of MMO's. Seperation of friends by time commitment. "

@KrakkenSmacken Well said mate. That's been a problem forever.

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16 hours ago, PopeUrban said:

When you can hotswap strong counters quickly and on a whim, picking the correct hotswap at an organizational level becomes the most important player skill in the system rather than actually being good at and investing in the characters you play.  ...

This is RPG systems 101, and what separates an RPG from a MOBA. MOBA are, designed under the assumption that mastry of the game involved mastry of every single variant, that is to say, familiarity and mastry with every champion in an ever growing roster, because your picks can be literally banned or picked by someone else.

This is not how the crowfall system, or indeed any MMO system should work.

Why not? Serious question.  And, to address one of your many opinions-stated-as-fact, No, EVE isn't everyone flying around with the same build, and the fact that you'd try to throw that nonsense out here and think anyone would believe it is borderline insulting. It's like the folks that used to try to argue that everyone in UO was always running around in whatever the best build is, despite all fact and history pointing to the exact opposite. * cue the guy that refutes this by bringing up the 4 months of the Tank Mage in 1999 *

Other than creating grinds under the guise of 'content', what is wrong with players being able to quickly swap out to gear that best fits the engagement? 

You can do that in EVE Online (ships and loadouts), Warframe (frames and loadouts), Pirate 101 (companions and cards), Ultima Online (damn near everything).  

You are making the assumption that since most MMOs do something, it's dogma. That's not "RPG Systems 101".   Some of the most successful PVP MMOs for the NA/EU audience are the exact opposite of what you present as mandatory design. 

 

16 hours ago, PopeUrban said:

These "think of the children" arguments that phrase "we can't do X because vets will Y and noobs can't do it as fast" are not productive.

If one has no concerns about whether or not the game is still running a year after release, then yes you are spot on. 

 

Edited by BucDen
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