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Game Direction - Losing Crowfall as an MMORPG Throne War


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My take would be not to have the wartribe gear max out at an average blue rune and blue belt, but to max out at an average purple rune and blue belt. My reasoning is this: First it only takes 9 runes to get a purple rune, so it is not insurmountable, and a blue belt only requires 9 more, so the only object would be gold. Even a guild of 30 or so players could achieve this level in a short time if they desired. Second, Armor/Weapon Crafting is and still would be secondary to Vessels. A Blue vessel with a blue weapon will out damage a grey vessel with an Orange weapon. this is because the vessel's stats and necromancy additives will add more than any upgrade in weapon color. So if a guild is given equipment through the wartribes good enough so they dont have to really consider making weapons/armor until they are in blue vessels (or at least approaching them), it gives them time to use their harvested resources to level up their runecrafter, jewelcrafter, alchemist, and necromancer first. This gives them better harvesting materials, and better weaponsmith/armorsmith vessels to eventually start making purple and orange gear.

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Crowfall is quickly moving away from an RPG, from an MMO, and from a throne war simulator and morphing into a MOBA (yes, even the "MMO" side of it).  I'm going to start by highlighting how this occurr

Campaign worlds are going to be where you farm discs and materials to make vessels for an advantage in HungerDome.  There are only 2 things you can progress in Crowfall. Your Vessel/Discs an

I think in addition to what's been said, free city building will help a lot in campaign progression. It shouldnt take a few hours to build a keep because you import a seed and building mats. It should

5 hours ago, damebix said:
  • Wartribe Loot (fixing the RPG):
    • Reduce wartribe top end damage and stats to max out at blue quality, and have appropriate damage values to what a blue vesseled crafter would have with a blue crafting rune and a blue belt on average
    • Reduce wartribe armor to max out at blue quality, and adjust armor values and stats to reflect what a blue vesseled crafter would have with a blue crafting rune and a blue belt
    • Rationale - Crafting should mean something, and crafting should be able to compete with wartribe gear at lower end crafting levels.  Currently the system requires Leg Disc/Leg Belt to have any hope in being comparable, and even then you have to hope for good rolls.
  • Campaign Rewards (fixing the MMO):
    • Campaign rewards should include "end game" additives that can only be acquired for winning conquest or divine favor.  These additives can be like hunger shards, but should significantly improve armor, weapons, jewelry, potions, or vessels.
    • Campaign rewards should include cosmetic upgrades - people love their sparkly things.  Campaign rewards should include weapon/armor additives that are unique to the campaign and are visually appealing.  For example, these additives would allow your sword to glow red with fire or blue with ice.  These cosmetic rewards should only be available for winning conquest or divine favor.
    • Campaign rewards should include skins for not only weapons, but mounts, and maybe even siege equipment.
    •  

I agree with a lot of your points in this post, but there is one aspect that is misguided and seems self-serving. As a large guild leader, it makes sense that you would want significant power disparity between your guild members and smaller guilds. It will make fights easier, campaign wins more common, and ultimately means more, compounding advantages.

The problem is that this is the very definition of Uncle Bob and will drive other (and especially solo/small guild players) players away. No one wants to fight battles they literally can't win. 

The numbers you're proposing on Wartribe loot would put it at a 20-30% disadvantage in comparison to crafted gear. When you combine that with vessel, jewelry, and discipline differences with a newer player, you're talking about 50%+. To put this in perspective, Ashes of Creation is looking at a 10-15% power gap based on legendary gear (I think). Albion Online has a ~50% potential power gap, but it's incredibly expensive to maintain and your enemy gets whatever you bring if you die. Realistically, competitive players view 5-10% as a challenging gap to overcome against similarly skilled players in Albion.

I had a long forum discussion with other members of your guild a few weeks ago, and we came to a consensus that to fix the value prop of early game crafting in comparison to wartribes, a small buff to early game crafting was appropriate. Now you're suggesting a significant nerf to wartribe gear instead without offering up any further justification. Please, talk with your guild members, review the old threads, get informed, and then share some logic/rationale for why you think your already competitive guild needs more buffs.

The one place we really do agree on rewards is around skins. This is a great use-case, does not exacerbate existing competitive advantages, and is a lot of incentive to participate in that part of the game. 

5 hours ago, damebix said:

Rationale - If "uncle bob" is holding you back from making meaningful rewards, you are truly misguided.  We need to make a game that rewards logistics, planning, training, skill, hard work, and effort.  People like shiny things, give the people what they want.

I hope you understand how biased this feedback seems. Uncle Bob doesn't matter to you because you benefit from it. But it should certainly matter to ArtCraft, because it will strongly dictate the health of their community. And it definitely matters to those players who aren't trying to no life a video game but still enjoy playing them. 

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44 minutes ago, Nikko said:

My take wold be not to have the wartribe gear max out at an average blue rune and blue belt, but to max out at an average purple rune and blue belt. My reasoning is this: First it only takes 9 runes to get a purple rune, so it is not insurmountable, and a blue belt only requires 9 more, so the only object would be gold. Even a guild of 30 or so players could achieve this level in a short time if they desired. Second, Armor/Weapon Crafting is and still would be secondary to Vessels. A Blue vessel with a blue weapon will out damage a grey vessel with an Orange weapon. this is because the vessel's stats and necromancy additives will add more than any upgrade in weapon color. So if a guild is given equipment through the wartribes good enough so they dont have to really consider making weapons/armor until they are in blue vessels (or at least approaching them), it gives them time to use their harvested resources to level up their runecrafter, jewelcrafter, alchemist, and necromancer first. This gives them better harvesting materials, and better weaponsmith/armorsmith vessels to eventually start making purple and orange gear.

to get 9 runes as a wood working for a purple its around 18-20k resources

without blue belt (Which also takes 9 discs)

Double cost is 400 resources a craft roughtly and it 5-7 crafts on average per discpalines

Veeshan Midst of UXA

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This is one in a long history of threads that are very important. The game needs to feel more like a game; and to do that, we need clarity on the genre. We already have a sensibility of what MMORPGs should be, and the reason so many of them have failed recently is because they aren't embracing the fact that MMORPGs are lived-in worlds. People should play a poorly made dergs ton and then feel like they wish they were still playing more.

It's not a good idea to build a game embracing an idea that your community is "people with very limited free time" and it never has been a good idea. Or, more accurately, if your perspective on this was to make everything super duper easy and inconsequential so nobody feels left behind, you've broken your game. You built a game meant for people who don't have time to play - and what you get is insanely low population and people who come in, play for two days, and leave forever.

When people have less time to play games, they need their time, every precious second, to be valuable. This is why we need things like hourly and daily cards and this is why the reward system is the second most important system in the game (behind city claiming and ownership).

I agree whole-heartedly with the spirit of this post. It's beyond time to stop tinkering with powers and discs and poorly made dergs. Press the pause button on all of that. You have a viable combat simulator. It's time to close the game loops! My list of priorities:

  1. Add a perimeter of empty city parcels to every zone. Allow seed planting in those parcels. Allow a modicum of lego building on these parcels. What can be protected from vulnerability should increase as you rank up the city parcel via gold. Make it a poorly made dergs ton of gold. Just do Shadowbane city building, it would port perfectly to CF. Let us own, rather than be temporary stewards of keeps that already exist.
  2. Add city maintenance and ranking costs. Make it cost so much gold that if a player can sign in for one hour a month, and spends that time killing mobs and getting gold, the whole guild will love them for it.
  3. Make it prohibitively expensive to bane and siege. We need this, in tandem with allowing more people to build cities. In this current setting, my guild of 25 committed MMO vets would not be able to have a city for more than one siege cycle. This won't remedy simply with handshake sieges, because there are still too few cities to own. If we are going to be >1/100 of a server population, we should own a city, IMO.
  4. Increase the difficulty of mobs and mob camps. Literally take your current system and do a step-up. Make normal mobs the difficulty of current elites, elites the difficulty of current captains, and so on. Make it so that a single group will struggle to fully camp a single wartribe, instead of easily wiping it solo and sitting around bored. This will encourage a lived-in experience, and an expectation of relatively low stakes PvP availability.
  5. Just pause worrying about powers and go full boat into cards and rewards. 
  6. Change the way you are doing rewards. Let us score on cards, and get rewards based on our position and size. If we do pretty well as a group of 20, we should get the pretty well reward X20. Make everything per member, let the big guilds suffer and complain and adapt. CF population will skyrocket the moment medium sized guilds are more interesting than 3 faction-sized guilds. A throne war is more interesting with 20 competitors than 3 competitors.
  7. Erase the way imports and exports currently work, and make them function via sacrifice value, and twist the knob. The sooner you decommit from this ridiculous slot system, the better! You'll thank yourselves when you finally do.

We need these things because the honest-to-god truth of the game is that I can play a different game all of the time, then log on for sieges (where nothing happens for 90% of them), and have the entire game experience completed. I don't need to do anything in Crowfall, after a certain point, so I do not live in this MMORPG world.

 

Edited by McTan
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There's been a couple of posts on this, but territory control is something I strongly support. Outposts are your scouts, they give a foothold and act as an alert to enemies. Forts are your more permanent "ok we have a hold here" and where the resources start to generate. Keeps and Castles are your base of operations and if you aren't manning your borders you're gonna get poked or conquered. The components are there, but need more.

I honestly miss when forts and keeps had resources around them because:

Forts were more than just a resource generator. We should want to put up the walls and want to rally the troops to defend territory. Put some resources back around them again so it can be a constant resource generator instead of a "check in now and then for a chest". People may complain that it's "safe farming" but it should only be safe if you're willing to make it safe. Plus we're tinkering with loot protection as it is. (I'm aware of 6.51 changes) The point should be pvp and content. Holding resource ground should matter more than popping one or two harvesters like pinatas.

2 Keeps I feel have the same issue. It's a point battle, when really it'd be nice to see a resource battle. I'd rather compete over resources and see guilds get pressured to maintain their hold because their zone has a better resource spot for a particular resource. (not saying totally limit resources, but we know some parcels generate better than others). Some keeps are just out of the way location-wise and a group might find themselves totally uncontested some campaigns because who wants to waste time if it's just a number? That's not what we want.

3 The little guys can have some room. There's unclaimable places like wartribes, ravines, and forests that while they may not offer as much protection, they'd ideally be less contested by larger guilds who go for the buildings to get points and have the manpower to maintain them. 

I just don't feel as motivated by points. I don't care for the leaderboard or logistics, that's someone else's job. I want to get on and say, "oh hey, our harvesting spot is going to be conquerable in an hour and I'd like us to not lose it so let's go get a fight" rather than "oh there's another ingot fort in this zone so we can take the L on this one until it's up again tomorrow."

To tie back into Dame's point as well, where's the RPG? I don't feel like a warrior trying to defend a guild's hold on territory, I don't feel like I'm exploring something new or learning more about the world around me. Where's the reward? I participate but most of the rewards I see get fed into the guild as a whole, which isn't bad, it helps, but where's something a little more personal? I almost miss the badge trials. It left me with something I could show to say "Yeah I was there, and it was awesome". Now it feels like a lot of campaigns are water under the bridge. And where's the war? We're fighting for points, woo, there's tons of other games that keep score. Score should just be icing on the cake.

I want to fight to keep the war machines fed, not the scoreboard. I can go play other games if I want to have a high score.

 

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Yup. Drop character creation and add a selection screen and stop pretending it's the same game you originally envisioned, cause to me, it feels like the dev's took a hard left, threw up their middle finger and never looked back. Should've kept races and advanced classes time gated. encouraged specialization and interdependencies. We now instead get everybody can fight, harvest and craft equally well, no one knows who makes the best armor for centaurs because everyone can custard craft centaur armor equally the same as they  can craft armor for humans and elves. And all that aside, THIS GAME IS BORING. I lose interest playing. I lose interest watching. I've have zero attachment to any of my characters. After nearly 6 years of dreaming, waiting, and hoping, I'm about 98% sure that Crowfall isn't the game for me. - and without having all the facts, I feel that it was the leadership that failed to deliver as promised.

Eat or be eaten

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44 minutes ago, Omen said:

I feel that it was the leadership that failed to deliver as promised.

Depends on point of view. As a division of artcraft creating their artisan engine(basically a rpgmaker for unity) they have many features now.

6 years of development to go from a playable hunger dome game to what we have today... 79 employee's in 2019 and 63 in 2020, this isnt a small indie studio like the 5 devs of valheim. 

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1 hour ago, mystafyi said:

easy come-easy go was a design concept from over 6 years

That is not true. That design concept wasn't part of the Kickstarter vision, and has not been stated as a design concept until very recently. A portion of the playerbase has been advocating "easy come, easy go" for years, but that vision wasn't coming from ACE. I believe that the first time ACE even said the phrase "easy come, easy go" officially was this year.

Wartribe gear was the first step in this direction, but when it was introduced it was inferior to midgame and endgame crafted gear. Wartribe gear has been buffed several times, and crafted gear has been nerfed several times. Those nerfs seem to be ongoing. The gap between war tribe gear and endgame crafted gear has become very small. And wartribe gear is way better than early crafted gear, and better in most cases than midgame crafted gear.

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13 minutes ago, Jah said:

That is not true. That design concept wasn't part of the Kickstarter vision, and has not been stated as a design concept until very recently. A portion of the playerbase has been advocating "easy come, easy go" for years, but that vision wasn't coming from ACE. I believe that the first time ACE even said the phrase "easy come, easy go" officially was this year.

I have to disagree here. The easy-come, easy-go was indeed part of it along with no leveling(remember that?) and being able to jump right into combat without grind for the sake of grind. Loot drop from mobs was another break from design, this broke crafting to this day. Player run economy and free-building? ya those too went by the wayside....

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3 minutes ago, mystafyi said:

I have to disagree here. The easy-come, easy-go was indeed part of it along with no leveling(remember that?) and being able to jump right into combat without grind for the sake of grind.

The fact that there was no leveling doesn't really make it "easy come, easy go." It just put the grind on harvesting and crafting instead of leveling. And harvesting and crafting were not "easy come, easy go."

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1 minute ago, Jah said:

The fact that there was no leveling doesn't really make it "easy come, easy go." It just put the grind on harvesting and crafting instead of leveling. And harvesting and crafting were not "easy come, easy go."

True indeed. But the paperdoll looting that was part of design does. Yes, its was not 100% of the time and was graduated depending upon campaign type, but it was there.

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8 minutes ago, mystafyi said:

True indeed. But the paperdoll looting that was part of design does. Yes, its was not 100% of the time and was graduated depending upon campaign type, but it was there.

You've got a point on the planned partial paperdoll loot. That would suggest "easy go."

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8 hours ago, damebix said:

The original vision has gone completely off the rails this past year, because loud voices want to turn this game into a MOBA that they can pop into any time and be just as competitive as the people that spent the last year working towards something.  That is NOT what an MMORPG is. 

I disagree with your overall conclusion here. The original vision was persistent customized characters traveling into campaign worlds that are pvp-focused, time-limited, team-based, strategy game competitions. ACE intended to make something different and innovative in the genre, so trying to apply labels based on comparisons to other games is pointless. You have a few valid criticisms buried in there that I agree with, but it's hard to distill it with your emphasis on long-term power progression (that I see as negative to competition) and doomsaying.

- Cosmetic or other types of "Show-Off" rewards for Campaign rewards. I agree for post-launch but I doubt they want to give away good stuff right now in testing.

- The new RNG grinding system is painful for crafters and gives too much advantage to large guilds that can feed resources. I preferred the passive training for crafting professions, if the time frames had been shortened.

- Importing building mats and gold messes up the early strategy game in Campaign. This is addressed on the roadmap with "equipment only imports ruleset"

- More reasons to own and defend objectives sounds good, as long as these are not systems that lock out competition (snowball effect)

 

 

 

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Releasing it as a moba comes off as a cash grab to me.  It looks like it’s failing as an mmo so let’s launch it with moba stuff to try and salvage what it is.  It’s hard to recognize what CF is as opposed to what it was.  Honestly I don’t know if the devs can pull off an mmo that also has its own MOBA.  
 

If you want to  do instanced PvP as a side gig shouldn’t you finish the main product first?  Shouldn’t you focus on what we paid for before you go off the rails and add a bunch of side content? 
 

MMO or MOBA class/disc balance has always been a huge issue I worry the team will be able to do.  Either way it has to be better than it has been or the 33 specs is really only 10.  

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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1 hour ago, Communist_Puppy said:

Don't worry pop will save the game

 

I don’t think the game can actually support a population.  Hell at this point I have to ask:  Who is the intended population. 

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.

wiDfyPp.png

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2 hours ago, mandalore said:

Releasing it as a moba comes off as a cash grab to me.  It looks like it’s failing as an mmo so let’s launch it with moba stuff to try and salvage what it is.  It’s hard to recognize what CF is as opposed to what it was.  Honestly I don’t know if the devs can pull off an mmo that also has its own MOBA.  
 

If you want to  do instanced PvP as a side gig shouldn’t you finish the main product first?  Shouldn’t you focus on what we paid for before you go off the rails and add a bunch of side content? 
 

MMO or MOBA class/disc balance has always been a huge issue I worry the team will be able to do.  Either way it has to be better than it has been or the 33 specs is really only 10.  

whoa... whoa... whoa... hold up. mandalore. Wasn't it you and Krakken (and others) that were such huge advocates of changing up the systems to literally lead us down this path. It absolutely was. It was all the screaming about "feeling locked into one race" etc... etc... that created this vanilla moba/mmo/battle royal mish*mash of a game. You all very much encouraged the devs to stray from the original vision of highly specialized and individual characters, so that you could play all races and do all things equally well as others. I remember all the forum posts  nearly 3 years ago. funny how isn't that about when things started to feel ackward for everyone. I'm certainly not blaming any of the loud voices back then because it all falls on the Devs, but don't act shocked and disappointed when you are getting exactly what you asked for.

Eat or be eaten

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I have no desire to make a well crafted argument in support or opposition to Crowfall. So I’m just going to drop some random observations in no particular order.

What happened to slag gear. I made it myself, and I wore it, until guild crafters could make better gear. Who here remembers it? 4 slag nodes = 12 doobers = 1 slag gear set, easy peasy everybody's a crafter now, and responsible for their first set of gear... And I hate crafting.

Why do wartibes still drop gear? That was supposed to be a temporary fix to get new players competitive faster. How did it become the default way to play, what happened to the original system that was going to speed up gearing players with player crafted items.

Why even discuss a recycling program for wartribe gear. Just fix their loot tables to drop the crafting resources, no need to complicate this misguided temporary fix with a disenchantment process. That’s just more bloat.

I have mixed feelings about Hunger Dome. I played the graybox version alot and I liked it. I have not played the new version yet because I’m concerned I’m going to like it alot more than siege. If campaign sieges had more interesting game loops I wouldn’t be concerned about HD attriting campaign turn out. Maybe a HD season might mitigate that potential problem, if it’s even a problem.   

Why do I have chicken tickers I have to feed, but trees won’t drop apples unless you're wearing a purple harvesting disc and swinging a runestone axe against rank 10 trees. Does something seem a little obtuse and annoying here, it's indicative of the system at large.

Winterblades defended the choke point that couldn’t be breached, then we breached the same choke point they said couldn’t be broken.

This sandbox still has a lot going for it IMO.

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