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Game Direction - Losing Crowfall as an MMORPG Throne War


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4 hours ago, DocToral said:

 

Agreed, of course as soon as they nerf wartribe gear, a month later people will be burned out on the crafting/harvesting loop.

Changes to looted gear, and this concept of easy come easy go, needs to incorporate changes to crafting most likely.

if blue crafted items is good then it would be fine i get fk load of blues cause i need purple and blues i just burn for disaplines at this stage. atm crafting is purple or oranges and blues if ur desperate and cant find ur weapon on wartribes or something u cant get. this is mainlycause the nerf 2 blue only getting 1 stat instead of the 2 it use too.

Veeshan Midst of UXA

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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

14 minutes ago, veeshan said:

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I still love how bows still get stats equivalent to 1h weapons it seems, 1st pic was all in crit dmg which came out as 12.8% compared to maces 24.5% or what not, 2nd one was all AP roll gets 38 AP compared to maces 70AP
These were 16 pip crafts it stupidly hard to get more than 16 pips on woodworker (Purple belt atm so missing 1 pip there) 

im guessing they inteded quiver to provide the rest of the stats but then decided against it.
 

Could craft bows like veeshan... or you can just pick one off the ground at a wartribe with similar stats:

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Edited by Angelmar
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2 minutes ago, Angelmar said:

Could craft bows like veeshan... or you can just pick one off the ground at a wartribe:

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yep and it takes 12-18 hours of harvesting to make one lol

Runic weapons are not realy worth making either cause the difficulty bonus is like +40 over normal ones and the bonus stats dont tend to cover the loss on stats due to lower exp (Im 110 exp aand assembly) atm since purp belt and bon tipper it all sooo yeah stick with normal ones wepaons

also runic spellbound bow doesnt get a penalty on range apparently so thats probs a bug

Edited by veeshan

Veeshan Midst of UXA

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Hunger Dome was the reason I invested so heavily in Crowfall.  At release, I will only be playing campaigns to get a vessel and disciplines for Hunger Dome - the focus of my Crowfall time will absolutely be Hunger Dome.   Why?  Because Hunger Dome is pure fun.  The campaign is mostly boredom and grind.  If I could drop real money on someone for a legendary vessel and discs, I'd never set foot in a campaign at all.

I've been saying this for years, but I'll repeat it here:  ACE, if you want the campaign aspect to succeed, you need to make it fun.

It's not fun to spend interminable hours grinding for harvesting and crafting disciplines whose drop rates are dictated by RNG.   It's not fun to participate in blob vs blob battles where player skill and individual build choices are essentially meaningless, where numbers are the primary determining factor in the outcome.  It's not fun to craft an item that's worse than a trash drop off a wartribe mob.  It's not fun to spend hours in the campaign world without getting small group PvP.  It's not fun capturing a fort during an hour long window in which only the last few minutes matter.  Etc. Etc. 

There have been a lot of decent suggestions on how to fix what ails campaigns in this thread. Here are my thoughts on what it'd take to make campaigns enjoyable for me:

  • Meaningful territory control.  Owning a keep should affect the area around it, providing benefits to the owners or hampering invaders.  Owning a keep and all the outposts around it should extend that further out.  In order to siege a keep, an attacking force should have to take a number of adjacent outposts nearby.  Sieges should be player-instigated, and not on a timer.
  • Fort fights should matter for their entire duration.  I don't like the window system, but I don't have a good replacement for it.  So fix fort fights so that control over the fort for the entire duration of the battle matters, rather than just who holds it when the timer runs out.  Have a counter for each side involved that ticks up for each player who's in the throne room every 10s.  At the end of the hour, the team with the highest count owns the fort.  Or have an ownership token that drops on death or when the owner exits the throne room and puts a banner over the holder's head.  The side whose players own that token for the most time during the hour wins.  You're smart people - figure something out.
  • Easy come easy go is a perfectly valid idea, but you haven't balanced it out yet especially in terms of harvesting and crafting.  That system is definitely not easy come.
  • Wartribe gear remains a good idea, but you should just cap it at white quality, with greens dropping from bosses in infected and blues dropping from bosses in campaigns.  It'd be nice to see crafting mats drop from wartribes too.
  • You need to find things for small groups to do.  Right now, everything that's worthwhile for a group of 5 is also worthwhile for a group of 20.  If a guild has 20 people on, they don't run around in 4 groups of 5 looking for trouble, they run around in a single group of 20.  It's annoying as hell and makes the game less fun for everyone, but the system seems to encourage clustering up.  One thing I'd love to try is that in some dregs campaigns, only your group is immune to friendly fire.

For me, Crowfall has always been most enjoyable during small group combat.  Hunger Dome provides that in spades.  Campaigns don't, and they don't offer anything else that's fun to replace it.

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4 hours ago, Toadwart said:

 

I dont think it should.

Crafting was advertised as a path you could take as your main focus for your character, but how many people have you seen that are main crafters? Does a "main" crafter have a place in a 5 man hunger dome team? What I see is people buying multiple accounts to craft on and logging them out to play their main "combat" characters.

Why try to balance the entire game (unsuccessfully imo) around trying to make crafting a viable main profession when 99% of people just log in alt accounts to cover that and promptly log them back out?

Stop trying to fit a square peg in a round hole, minimize crafting and give it to combat mains like other games that learned this decades ago.

This would be a horrible step in the wrong direction. Far more people than you realize would like to main crafters, and do it's just meaningless at this point due to nerfs in crafted gear and they keep buffing War tribe gear. Another glaring mistake is you state things should be balanced around Hungerdome. Really? There aren't enough BR's out there for you yet? We need this game to be a BR or a MOBA? No way in hell this game should take another step in that direction, and suggesting they should balance or do away with crafters because they would not "fit in a hungedome team" is asinine.

What needs to happen is for Wartribe gear to go away, all the way away, allow players to craft a simple kit straight away with no crafting skill needed. Then allow crafters to make gear that is actually worth buying.

Making crafting less valuable is yet another step towards making this game a moba. It is so far off track due to the loud minority it may not be able to be saved. I said it before it happened that removing passive training was a mistake, and here we are living with that now. The passive system needed another look and a catch up mechanic, but it certainly never should have been scrapped completely. imo. However, I have gotten far off point, crafting needs to be a viable game play style.

Edited by Ajokoira
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24 minutes ago, Durenthal said:

Fort fights should matter for their entire duration.  I don't like the window system, but I don't have a good replacement for it.

The best I've been able to come up with is playing with the guards and the rewards so that taking it early is easier and holding it is more rewarding.

When the window opens that's shift change. There are no guards and taking an undefended fort is easy. Every couple of minutes the guards gain a level as they settle into their shift. At the end of the window the guards are up to hard mode and a real force is required to take it. When there are no enemies inside the fort, guard respawn is very short, so repelling an attack immediately gets you reinforcements.

On the rewards side, I'd prorate the value of the fort by how long it was last held. If it never changed hands, then it's full strength until the next window. If it flipped in the last minute of the window, it's only worth 1/60th of full value until the next window; you took it from them, but you didn't gain much.

... something like that.

Edited by VaMei
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Top end crafted gear is absolutely better than WT.

I want Mid level crafted gear to be better than WT.

You don't have to make top end better, top end perfect gear is fine.

You don't have to nerf WT.

But buff the mid level crafted gear.

I don't want to only be viable on a crafter once I am near the end of my progression.

Edited by Yoink

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52 minutes ago, Durenthal said:

Hunger Dome was the reason I invested so heavily in Crowfall.

CF is many things to many people, and many of those visions are mutually exclusive unless CF becomes a mainstream game with a very large and diverse player base.

*IF* CF was supposed to be an MMORPG, and if Hungerdome 1.0 was little more than proof of concept for the combat engine, it was also poor messaging to many players about what CF would eventually become.

*IF* CF was supposed to be a BR/MOBA, then all of the crafting and progression elements were poor messaging, as well as not shutting down any player impressions that this would be a child of SB meets SWG that you can win.

IMO, JTodd needs to bite the bullet and tell us who his target customer base is. No matter what the answer is, there will be tears from some players that wanted something else. The farther before launch that happens, the better for the success of the game.

Trying to make CF into something for everyone before it's actually anything at all will only end in it being nothing to anyone. Do one thing, do it well, and only then expand on your vision.

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20 hours 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.

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.

The problem is and was, players without the connections necessary to climb the interdependency cliff that is crafting, simply didn't even start. 

ACE made a choice to skip one option that was available, buffing the "basic" gear that is trivial to craft enough to make it also "minimum viable" to be competitive.  There is several design desires that are completely at odds with each other that have caused this problem. 

The largest of these being the game is competitive by nature and you can be faced with that competition within an hour of starting up a character, simply by going to a PvP zone in infected. The whole MMO level up over time, power differential by level that is built into most RPG's simply does not work at all in an environment were you are expected to be competitive. 

In a competitive environment, it's not reasonable to expect players to be behind for a long period of time on the power curve due to things outside of their control. 

That is completely opposed to the other goal, of crafters needing to feel special and valuable. For crafters of supplies for a competitive game POWER is what make them feel special, and POWER is exactly what you can't give them because if you do then new players are not viable, and is also precisely what they are squawking about not having. 

That left ACE with two choices.  Make crafters feel less special, or leave players in a non-viable competitive state.

It's really that simple. 

Now, ACE is also going another way, by moving Easy Come/Easy Go further down a ways.  Easier access to the materials that build the better gear, and reduced interdependency are both steps in that direction. 

From the 6.510 patch notes.

"Harvesting Crits now reward more resources. In addition, Harvesting Crits drop much more high rarity resources when harvesting higher rank nodes."

If ACE ever did decide to lower the power of easy to access gear, they would put new players on a slippery slope of non-viability just like they used to be. 

The health of a COMPETITIVE game depends on ALL PLAYERS feeling able to COMPETE, and not have that competition reserved for those that have access to a large guilds crafting infrastructure. 

Edited by KrakkenSmacken
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This crafting discussion is a red herring, IMO. What we need is guild level progression, not individual character progression. That is why NPC crafter thralls were so integral, we need to level them up as a guild. That is why we need lots and lots of guilds to own cities, so they have guild-level progression.

Without guild level progression, or only allowing 3 alliances to have alliance level progression, the game is doomed.

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2 hours ago, Ajokoira said:

Another glaring mistake is you state things should be balanced around Hungerdome. Really? There aren't enough BR's out there for you yet?

Do you honestly think the campaign will bring people to play this game or keep the ones that do try it?

Yes I believe the Battle Royal is played out at this point, but the campaign is not going to keep this game afloat. Honestly, I dont see anything that leads me to believe this game will be successful if launched this year.

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16 minutes ago, Toadwart said:

Do you honestly think the campaign will bring people to play this game or keep the ones that do try it?

Yes I believe the Battle Royal is played out at this point, but the campaign is not going to keep this game afloat. Honestly, I dont see anything that leads me to believe this game will be successful if launched this year.

I agree that it will not in its current format, but I think the campaign MMORPG is the only thing that possibly could keep the game afloat. It has a 0% chance of success in BR genre. If they actually do some of the MMORPG elements I and others suggested in this thread and many others, it would easily succeed. People are so thirsty for an actually MMORPG.

Hell, a bunch of my guildmates liked MO2, a game with the combat version of a snail.

Edited by McTan
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1 hour ago, McTan said:

This crafting discussion is a red herring, IMO. What we need is guild level progression, not individual character progression. That is why NPC crafter thralls were so integral, we need to level them up as a guild. That is why we need lots and lots of guilds to own cities, so they have guild-level progression.

Without guild level progression, or only allowing 3 alliances to have alliance level progression, the game is doomed.

This is SO TRUE! CF needs guild leveling

 

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17 hours ago, mystafyi said:

Oh you sweet naive child, you are blessed to have stayed so innocent.

 

19 hours ago, mandalore said:

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

I forgot my /s

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1 hour ago, Toadwart said:

Do you honestly think the campaign will bring people to play this game or keep the ones that do try it?

Yes I believe the Battle Royal is played out at this point, but the campaign is not going to keep this game afloat. Honestly, I dont see anything that leads me to believe this game will be successful if launched this year.

I do, I play purely in the hopes that the siege system and the campaign system will be improved, and I know many others that feel the same way. I play this as I thoroughly enjoy large fights and sieges however, I also realize and agree that there needs to be something for the small teams and individuals to do as well and ALL of these things need to have meaning and weight behind them.

There is a way (as outlined by many posters in many threads, you can look at some suggestions I have made in other threads, and @Yoink has made to get started) that can "fix" the majority of issues with this game within the current framework. I am not so naïve as to believe that this game will launch this year and be a game I want to play, I would be for implementing the changes that have been discussed the last few months and launching after that even if it took another year.

At least we agree on one point, I do not see a launch this year as being anything other than a complete fail. Changes need to be made, the game is dead boring, there is zero meaning to much of anything, they kicked, and I mean field goal kicked crafters in the bean bag to the point that I am surprised anyone wants to do it, hell we have classes that are so niche they may as well not exist and THAT needs to be fixed.

There have been some really great ideas thrown around the last few days, that if implemented would completely change the soul of this game and make it worth playing but I feel like they will go largely ignored by the devs and that is a shame. I feel like we are all witness to a development team that has a huge amount of talent but enjoys shooting themselves in the foot. It reminds me of the original SWG, the vocal minority on the forums screamed and cried until the devs destroyed the soul of that game as well. Not saying SWG didn't have issues prior to CU, but at least it had a direction and challenge, after CU it was just trash. I don't want to see that here, but unless a direction is sorted and stuck to, that is what is going to happen.

Edited by Ajokoira
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5 minutes ago, Ajokoira said:

field goal kicked crafters in the bean bag to the point that I am surprised anyone wants to do it

I doubt many people want to do it, but they have to in order to be competitive.

Crowfall has taken a complete 180 from being a game designed around being respectful of people's lives and time to one where you are only competitive if you no-life or are in a large guild with a stockpile of no-lifers. 

For as much whining and griping as there is about Wartribe gear, no one actually believes that it's competitive to end-game crafted gear, which in Crowfall is available to large guilds within weeks of a wipe. Much of the whining seems to be coming from large guilds who want a more significant power disparity between them and casuals who "don't put in the work".

The funny thing is that they're shooting themselves in the foot. It's irrelevant how easily they can win fights if there is no one to fight. Not to mention that most skilled PvPers don't enjoy fully lop-sided victories, so even members of large guilds will get bored and move on.

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54 minutes ago, Alot said:

I doubt many people want to do it, but they have to in order to be competitive.

Crowfall has taken a complete 180 from being a game designed around being respectful of people's lives and time to one where you are only competitive if you no-life or are in a large guild with a stockpile of no-lifers. 

For as much whining and griping as there is about Wartribe gear, no one actually believes that it's competitive to end-game crafted gear, which in Crowfall is available to large guilds within weeks of a wipe. Much of the whining seems to be coming from large guilds who want a more significant power disparity between them and casuals who "don't put in the work".

The funny thing is that they're shooting themselves in the foot. It's irrelevant how easily they can win fights if there is no one to fight. Not to mention that most skilled PvPers don't enjoy fully lop-sided victories, so even members of large guilds will get bored and move on.

I am sympathetic to this reasoning, but I think it's not accurate. The problem with Crowfall is that almost none of your time is of any value at all. Gold is meaningless, there is no player economy because there is no consistent demand on guilds to spend their gold. 

We need meaningful PvE to fuel meaningful PvP. Everything else is fluff. The meaningful PvE should be derived from a constant thirst for gold at the guild level, so that every camp and every coin is coveted. Can't play a lot? Cool, get on, protect our farmers, secure a camp, help us achieve our most recent guild goal (upgrading this part of the city from R3 to R4, etc. etc. etc.).

The idea that they can design an MMORPG that "respects people's time" went the direction you're talking about (easy to do everything quickly, so game over quickly) when it should have gone the direction of "every minute that every player spends playing CF generates value to their teammates, some of which play more than they do." Respecting people's time means making sure when they log in, they have something to accomplish of note. It does not mean making sure that when they log-in, they are fully competitive. This is why most players only log on for forts and keeps, they are the only things to accomplish of note.

Please note, I am simply talking about the MMORPG genre, as I see it. Immediately full competitiveness is the definition of BR and MOBA, IMO. That way of respecting people's time is completely valid, but I think fails for Crowfall and games in its lane.

Any MMORPG design philosophy that shies away from the genre involving significant commitment, is doomed from the outset. 

tl;dr I had most of the week off, and barely played Crowfall. Why? There was virtually nothing for me to do in game that would help my team.

Edited by McTan
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1 hour ago, McTan said:

The idea that they can design an MMORPG that "respects people's time" went the direction you're talking about (easy to do everything quickly, so game over quickly) when it should have gone the direction of "every minute that every player spends playing CF generates value to their teammates, some of which play more than they do." Respecting people's time means making sure when they log in, they have something to accomplish of note. It does not mean making sure that when they log-in, they are fully competitive.

I'm not advocating for immediate, full competitiveness. I'm advocating against exacerbating an already incredibly punishing power disparity between casuals/new players and large-guild members by nerfing Wartribe gear.

Having things to work for is good, but if it makes the game inaccessible and leads to a power gap that is so significant it can't be overcome, that feels bad for everyone involved. Crowfall currently has the largest power disparity of any MMO I've played.

When I refer to respecting people's time, I'm talking about things like the active leveling/discipline/resource grind that replaced passive skill training (which I still think was a great design, led to unique characters, allowed casual players to participate, and would have provided significant revenue for ArtCraft).   

Quote

Any MMORPG design philosophy that shies away from the genre involving significant commitment, is doomed from the outset. 

Can you cite an example of this? My only experience is Albion, which went the opposite direction, becoming significantly more accessible, and has grown more popular as a result. They have progressively reduced the power gap and it is probably 10x easier now than at launch to gain fame, silver, etc. They've also implemented a lot of activities with power caps and have core game elements around instanced fights. 

Albion has done all of the things people on these forums say will be Crowfall's death knell, and the game has prospered. It turns out that catering to a tiny minority of no-life gamers is not a winning strategy for a video game company. There has to be fun for casual players as well for there to be population. 

Wartribe gear is equivalent in purpose to IP caps in Albion: they both allow casual players to participate.

Edited by Alot
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1 hour ago, Alot said:

Crowfall currently has the largest power disparity of any MMO I've played.

When I refer to respecting people's time, I'm talking about things like the active leveling/discipline/resource grind that replaced passive skill training (which I still think was a great design, led to unique characters, allowed casual players to participate, and would have provided significant revenue for ArtCraft).   

Can you cite an example of this? My only experience is Albion, which went the opposite direction, becoming significantly more accessible, and has grown more popular as a result. They have progressively reduced the power gap and it is probably 10x easier now than at launch to gain fame, silver, etc. They've also implemented a lot of activities with power caps and have core game elements around instanced fights. 

Albion has done all of the things people on these forums say will be Crowfall's death knell, and the game has prospered. It turns out that catering to a tiny minority of no-life gamers is not a winning strategy for a video game company. There has to be fun for casual players as well for there to be population. 

Wartribe gear is equivalent in purpose to IP caps in Albion: they both allow casual players to participate.

I am really surprised to hear you feel Crowfall has the largest power disparity of any MMO you've played. That is not my experience. I float around in a white crafted vessel with no additives, and WT gear, with a lot of success. I'm not really interested in some of the crafting possibilities, but then again, I don't prioritize my individual progress - so I may be a big outlier. I do think that Crowfall can have a steep knowledge curve, steeper than many games, maybe that contributes to this disparity you experience?

As far as my statement, "Any MMORPG design philosophy that shies away from the genre involving significant commitment, is doomed from the outset." and your pointing to Albion. Albion may be moving back toward less commitment, but to play it at a high level requires significantly more time than Crowfall. It has been a couple of years since I last played, so I can't say I'm up to date.

My experience was Albion having a better reward per hour played compared to Crowfall. I was not competitive in my T5+ gear versus T8 relics. Much steeper power curve, where you literally got better abilities because of your gear (as opposed to simply strengthening your powers). 

I think it is a bad recipe to aim an MMORPG at casual play. Aim it at committed players, and then find ways to include casuals in helping to team. To me, it feels like ACE have designed systems that actively discourage me from playing more. Passive training was one of the top contributors to that feeling, during its reign.

Edited by McTan
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