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Post 6.4 Changes for a Better Crowfall Overall


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I want to start by saying that overall the direction of the game has been moving makes me think that a decent bit of progress has been made. That being said I think the loot drop system is a more complicated way of solving an issue that in someways will still persist following the release of 6.4.

For context for a good bit during 6.2 - 6.3 I ran a pretty successful econ/merc guild. In an average week we good turn over about a million gold in profits. Not bad for about 15 dudes. I 100% agree with you that the current in-game systems make purchasing gear or crafting gear not worthwhile. Making a sale with a player in game was something that was not frequent. When I sold a weapon or a gear set it was not something that was going to be replaced in days or even weeks.

I 100% agree that there needs to be a better system to promote gear churn. But on the flip side there also has to be an incentive to want to push, craft, and desire crafted weapons. With the system on test right now WT out preforms crafted weapons in pretty much ever facet. I understand how ACE feels about crafting where in that is something that a player signs up for. 100% understand there, but why do I want to craft a weapon that is across the board worse than a dropped item in game. WT tuning needs a pass something that I think easily can be looked at. Sliding WT down and pushing common weapons up as a means would mean that those that don't have time for farming WT but can make gold or have surplus gold can still contribute to the economy. Make crafting matter more and drive it to be something that I want. I also would love to see if there was a way to put quivers on WT's as drop (This is a personal sentiment that I think archer players everywhere would love you for.) An option to mass create a good portion of items would also take away a lot of the frustration of crafting. Also the initial creation system of blueprints to be a deep and time consuming process that requires crafters to really think through what a weapon should look like stats wise and can do but then allow the crafters the option to plug and chug resources. I think there can be a common ground between unfun and too shallow. 

On top of making changes to WT to balance out crafted and WT I think a loot needs to be taken at why a player wants to push for crafted. Even with sliding the numbers up running crafted in a 6.4 for world becomes less of a fun experience and more of a liability. Even on test where gear is 100% free and I can easily replace my losses there were times where I found my self in the test dregs not wanting to take fights. This was a similar feeling shared by a large part of my guild as well. For a large part of the community the system and loops in the game have lead to pushing for crafted gear because it made you feel strong. It was fun to see your work pay off. Now it feels like a liability losing crafted makes you feel as if you screwed over the work of many systems in the guild. Simply said it's no longer fun to run crafted. It's a liability. It feels awful killing 5 - 6 people and getting nothing that I can actually use for my class and then dying and losing half my kit. I really want to make this clear. I 100% agree that crafted especially late game crafted needs a pass. As it stands now on live you get a end game crafted set of weapons and armor then sit on them for a good portion. To tie this back into my earlier statements on crafting and creating an economy in the game I think a happy medium can be struck. Ditch item drop on death but also drastically raise the durability hit on death. When I say this I mean for context a piece of WT gear would last ~10 deaths. Vendor would last around ~5. Weapons along similar lines. This would lead to many different meta shifts. For one crafting could still feel like a essential part of the game. If a crafted gear set lasts for 20 deaths with higher stats than WT or vendor gear then players would still be able to live the crafted power fantasy while still churning through gear. Econ focused guilds could actually curate a healthy player base and maybe even look to make deals with dregs focused guilds looking to take strain off their internal crafters. Smaller and non-aligned guild could have a direct line to items as well through a more robust econ or by fielding WT only. I feel this would also lead to more world interactions as those looking to curate their gear through gold, WT, or harvesting would be more hard pressed into the world. A core problem I see with the 20% drop system is when you win you will snowball very hard. A dominant guild would get to silly heights of snowball something that I personally think would push me away from the game. 

A very big problem that I see in all of these systems no matter if you swap to a durability system or keep a drop system is that fundamentally there is no good way to find gear. With the amount of items dropping from dregs even if an econ guild wanted to run a successful business model it would be near impossible to have the sheer selling space to even list and sell items. Another thing that I have always found odd is that the free city does not allow for easy trading between members. It would be nice if you were able to freely trade in the free city as this could lead to more interesting in game interactions. A real game example I can share is that during one of my contracts a GM wanted to pay me in gold. We both had to spend 30 - 40 minutes finding a random spot in the middle of dregs where we could go with 2 of our members to kill on another and exchange the gold. It was clunky and something that I feel could be easily rectified. We need to also address the elephant in the room which is that EKs are not succifecent trading spaces. A comment made in the last Q&A that really worried me was the thought that players would look to eks for goods and weapons. The current search options for the EKs are...inadequate to say the least. It's very frustrating as a system because you end up playing roulette to find an ek selling anything worth a damn. It feels very clunky and honestly without a trade channel in game where people could even attempt to direct people to an EK, I think pushing EKs as a trading hub is a little unrealistic. The parcel system is also one of the most frustrating and purely time consuming things that even a guild working together can do. Some of the numbers to create parcels are outrageous. I highly recommend you take a Saturday afternoon and make a shire parcel as a single player in test where you can grab all objects. You will want to have a move on your other monitor.

A love the game. I really want it to be great. And for a lot of the problem I think you are dead on. Most of these changes are thing I would have suggested even before 20% drop rate was an option. At this point I am almost certain that is a slider that you will turn down but I really feel that a lot of the changes suggested hear would still apply and make the game overall as a whole feel better.  

Edited by Communist_Puppy
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This post reflects my sentiments on how crafting is feeling completely, as an EU based guild that sold and pushed for selling heavily outside the guild to make gold/dust, we should be jumping for joy at the increased demand, but we are not because we don't feel like anything we make has any real value which just makes us want to grind wartribe like everyone else needs to stay in the game.

Thank you for the post Puppy.

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So many on point suggestions here, all grounded by experience playing the game rather than just speculation. Seriously worth a full read. Here’s what I agree on plus my own take.
WT gear needs further nerfs. I’m happy how much you guys got the AI system to improve since..2017 but this is a PvP game and I should never feel incentivized to kill mobs for gear.

Gear drop belongs in alot of games, just not this one at the moment unless vast changes happen (factories, decreased assembly costs, increased pop to support multiple rulesets). Half the time you wont even be able to use the gear you loot off someone nor will you become their nemesis because they just logged indefinitely until the next time their crafter comes online. Use the durability system and increase dura hits on crafted gear to make fights feel like there’s something on the line. Give players reasons to carry more than just bandages and food in their inventories and *ditch protection on harvesting mats*. One of the best thrills in the game for me after a wipe is rushing minerals constantly looking over your shoulder incase someone wants to take your farming spot and disrupt the potion you have running that your skinners worked so hard to make available to you. Just lost 50 cinnabar to an opposing guild? That’s a priceless, organic encounter that promotes rewarding, strategic play outside of your static siege windows. 100% protection completely destroys the idea of any of that happening.

Allow mercenary contracts and cross faction trading in some circumstances. Start shifting away from temples and towards Free City as the main hub.

Give EK owners a better way to advertise their goods and services. Let EK owners and nobles set tax rates for their land and anyone who wants to have a vendor on it.

Again, just reiterating on points Puppy made above. A lot of us are really looking forward to 6.4 and want to see the game the best it can be .

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Gear loss on death can work but just pairing it without changing the current (very time-intensive) interdependent systems in the game is simply not fun and promotes outnumbering others in PvP to snowball even more.
No idea why this was even discussed and changed, haven't seen anything on the forums or on discord that would give devs a reason to add this.
There are too many other things to address in the game, why even waste time on it before tackling those?
I remember Todd talking in the Livestream about the importance of prioritizing issues and how they prioritize made sense. But this change doesn make sense - such a massive change for the game and it wasn't even mentioned in the Q&A.

Imo Wartribe gear stats/values in the current state are not an issue. Droprate yes, but that's the easiest thing to adjust.
I'd rather have it as a way for new players to come in and be able to get their hands on decent gear before butting their head against the crafting system.
 

From my point of view crafting progression is still more of an issue than wartribe gear dropping with decent stats or devs thinking about more penalties for dying in pvp.
Ever since crafting became active progression without a limit per account the harvesting and crafting aspect of the game became a very common mmo progression:
You grind it till "endgame", because that is the cap.
Every somewhat competitive guild will do that once the game releases with probably most people involved in it dedicating the majority of their time to it until they reach the cap.
It's a risk-free thing to do, it's not challenging, it just an annoying grind. Most will probably not even complain and just do it, but is it a reason to keep it like this and shift focus to other elements of the game?
I do like that it made crafting within multiple professions much more accessible to individuals and smaller groups/guilds by removing the account-based restrictions, but it feels like it's not getting the necessary iteration.

In short:
Wartribe gear should be a weaker but easier to access alternative to crafted gear of the same rarity.
The challenge about crafting gear should be about gathering the resources needed for the crafts (competing for sought after materials in Dregs), not about being able to gather and craft in the first place (aka staying in Infected for days, then being 100% protected in Dregs).

Edited by Koerpermilch
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12 hours ago, Communist_Puppy said:

Even on test where gear is 100% free and I can easily replace my losses there were times where I found my self in the test dregs not wanting to take fights. This was a similar feeling shared by a large part of my guild as well. For a large part of the community the system and loops in the game have lead to pushing for crafted gear because it made you feel strong. It was fun to see your work pay off. Now it feels like a liability losing crafted makes you feel as if you screwed over the work of many systems in the guild.

There should be risk in PvP, you should question whether it's worth taking a fight, because otherwise the game is incentivizing ganking at the expense of gatherers with no cost or risk for the ganker (beyond a bit of durability loss). Durability loss alone is not enough of a risk/reward proposition, in my opinion, because the gatherer doesn't receive the reward, only the risk and nuisance. This sets up an incredibly toxic scenario where gankers can endlessly harass and annoy other factions at very little cost to themselves. At scale it will make POIs untenable. Further, the gatherers (and their defenders) gain nothing even when they win a fight beyond retaining their spot for a while longer.

Crafted gear not only makes you feel strong, it also legitimately makes you strong in some cases, especially for weapons and gathering gear. Since gear can be imported, this is the epitome of Uncle Bob. By adding gear drop, Crowfall has implemented one of the most effective solutions to Uncle Bob: you can bring out legendaries, but you also risk losing them. Likewise, it means that the small guys fighting into Uncle Bob occasionally make bank off of it, potentially enabling them to catch up. 

Albion Online is good proof of this theory at work. You can literally buy XP (fame) and incredibly strong gear with real life money. However, no one considers it P2W because winning a fight also requires skill, and if you lose, whoever you fought has a good chance of picking up whatever crazy stuff you brought out. This could mean that you are funding your enemies with your real life money, or in Crowfall's case, Uncle Bob.  

It's important to keep in mind that these changes are not complete, rather this is a first iteration, and that it only applies to Dregs campaigns. Carebears will be able to play on other rule sets. There are a lot of very simple improvements that can be made. For example, since Crowfall RNG is a known issue, maybe make gear drop a single 20% roll to drop one (random) piece of gear, as a temporary measure.

Crafting does need to require less work, at least to craft barebones gear that rivals wartribe gear. Using Albion as an example again, it takes only a few minutes to gather enough to craft beginner gear, but roughly an hour or two to gather a set of what could be considered standard issue, which will be lost in a single fight if you die. The equivalent of legendary gear can take days or weeks to gather resources for. You also have to bring the gathered materials to a refining station and then a crafting station.

Gathering should also not be risk free, of course. I'm going to give ArtCraft the benefit of the doubt there and assume someone fat-fingered 10% to be 100% drop protection.  

Edited by Alot
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10 hours ago, BlackBlood said:

WT gear needs further nerfs. I’m happy how much you guys got the AI system to improve since..2017 but this is a PvP game and I should never feel incentivized to kill mobs for gear.

I would like to see only poor/common gear dropped, and colored gear only available through crafting.  I don't want this just because of PvP, but because of crafters.  ACE is only paying lip service to crafters if they allow for colored gear to be dropped.  I think it's enough that mobs can drop gold, resources and sacrifice/lore items.  Green+ gear should be for crafters alone.

Does ACE think that there won't be enough crafters to supply the amount of players that fight?  If that's the case, then lower the material requirements, and adjust the knobs that way, so the crafters that are in the game can keep up with the demand.

I can't tell you how many hours I spent farming gold in SB to help support our city.  This isn't a game like fortnite where you just jump in and play; and I believe you know that.  There will be a need for farming gold/resources.  While we may not kill mobs for gear, we certianly will be killing them for their gold/sacrifice/lore items.  All armor and weapons need hide, so someone will have to farm for at a minimum orange level resources.

I've always felt there was a fatal flaw in Crowfall for having colored resources for crafting.  I've always like EvEs system better, where you have a resource, not 6 color levels of a resource.  While the colored resources work in most MMOs, those games are ones on rails, and not an open sandbox.

If WT gear is nerfed, then how do newer players acquire gear?  I think that's something ACE is trying to solve, and they've gone the easy route of putting colored gear drops in the game.  When I first signed up for CF, crafted gear was the only gear, and it was good for craters and players alike.  Seems like the introduction of WT gear has turned stale, and it's time to change the system.

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13 hours ago, Communist_Puppy said:

It would be nice if you were able to freely trade in the free city as this could lead to more interesting in game interactions.

Agreed. I wouldn't even limit it to the free city. You should be able to trade with anyone you want, anywhere you want. There is no good reason to prevent non-allied players and guilds from trading with each other if they want to.

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I'm on board with these changes. I've spoken in my top 5 post as well about the issues that are going to arise from a harvester, roamer, and large scale PvPer's point of view and with values for WT and the drop system as-is, I think some ideas that may work to drive PvP if other systems are brought up to snuff will reduce PvP until that happens. Grinding crafters having inferior payout to grinding wartribes especially throws a huge wrench into the gears of the entire economy's motivation and I think Puppy's proposals here would do a lot to mitigate harvesters and crafters being pushed out of the PvP loop, or making the PvP off-hours being just naked harvesters and stealthers playing cat and mouse. That won't create fun combat situations or a lively server. Wartribe Kings/Heralds/other rare and really high level mobs having comparable drops with top end gear is nice and feels fun, especially with area-wide spawn announcements, but captains and elites dropping axes that are arguably better than what a legendary belt and disc crafter can get me with really scarce legendary mats isn't it.

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I agree with near every observation made here, but I do not share the optimism. The level of disconnect between ACE and the players outside the whale forums makes me believe that they have no idea about how the game is being played, what they want with it, or how they would get there if they eventually settled on a vision. The fact that players need to write out essays pleading for something as basic as a trading system, this far into development of a game that supposedly wanted a player driven economy, is grotesque.

And no matter how much I agree with the post here, it really doesn't matter. A studio that needs to have things that basic explained to them will not have the ability to implement it, because they do not understand it on a fundamental level. The team is long overdue a serious investment in outside consultants, because whatever it is they are doing now, simply does not work.

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10 hours ago, Helix said:

Gear loss is fine long as equally tiered gear is easy to acquire.

True, but what we have today is Hard to get, Easy to lose (HTGETL).

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