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Game Direction - Losing Crowfall as an MMORPG Throne War


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On 4/2/2021 at 5:27 PM, McTan said:

I am really surprised to hear you feel Crowfall has the largest power disparity of any MMO you've played.

It's not a feeling, you can just look at the data. I admittedly have not done this thoroughly because it takes an inordinate amount of time to test effectively, and instead rely on other people's data and estimates.

How much of a power gap do you estimate there is between your entry level kit and full legendary with vessel, disciplines, jewelry, and badges? I'm very roughly estimating 30-50% without nerfing Wartribe gear, and 50-70% with. That is a massive power gap for a game that doesn't have full loot. 

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That is not my experience. I float around in a white crafted vessel with no additives, and WT gear, with a lot of success.

Presumably you are not fighting fully kitted out folks. Most people are not yet at a point where they bring out legendary gear casually, and I don't think many people have legendary combat vessels or combat disciplines yet. But this is what has to be balanced, because people will get there within months of launch.

I also have no problems getting a positive KDA with an entry level kit, but that will not be feasible soon as the power gap eclipses the advantages we do have over the next few months.

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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?

No, I'm not referring to knowledge gap, I'm just discussing the literal power gap. These are stats in the game that help to win fights.

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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.

I feel like you're missing the point. Albion got more popular as it became more accessible. It used to be a game that you could only excel at if you played constantly and the population was minuscule. 

Playing Albion at a high level now requires skill, not necessarily time.

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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). 

That drops off heavily, especially after you're full spec (which most people are now due to the accessibility of fame) and have billions of silver. 

You had barely started Albion, T5 gear takes a few hours to get to. The Crowfall equivalent is a level 10 character with vendor gear. Of course there is going to be a disparity here.

Albion does have a steep potential power curve, however. This is balanced by the fact that it's full loot, and top-tier gear is very, very expensive. Realistically, 10% was a power gap that similarly skilled players argued was overly difficult to overcome in an instanced 5v5 (this system has since been removed, it was previously a defender's bonus for town plots). Likewise, most people complain about one or two tiers of gear being gear crutching, and that is about 9-18% power gap.

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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.

It isn't a matter of aiming the game at people, it's about not making design decisions that completely exclude casual/small-guild players. Nerfing or removing wartribe gear is definitely one of those design decisions. Then you will absolutely have to join a large guild and/or no-life to participate.

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10 minutes ago, Alot said:

It's not a feeling, you can just look at the data. I admittedly have not done this thoroughly because it takes an inordinate amount of time to test effectively, and instead rely on other people's data and estimates.

How much of a power gap do you estimate there is between your entry level kit and full legendary with vessel, disciplines, jewelry, and badges? I'm very roughly estimating 30-50% without nerfing Wartribe gear, and 50-70% with. That is a massive power gap for a game that doesn't have full loot. 

Presumably you are not fighting fully kitted out folks. Most people are not yet at a point where they bring out legendary gear casually, and I don't think many people have legendary combat vessels or combat disciplines yet. But this is what has to be balanced, because people will get there within months of launch.

I also have no problems getting a positive KDA in Dregs with an entry level kit, but that will not be feasible soon as the power gap eclipses the advantages we do have over the next few months.

No, I'm not referring to knowledge gap, I'm just discussing the literal power gap. These are stats in the game that help to win fights.

I feel like you're missing the point. Albion got more popular as it became more accessible. It used to be a game that you could only excel at if you played constantly and the population was minuscule. 

Playing Albion at a high level now requires skill, not necessarily time.

That drops off heavily, especially after you're full spec (which most people are now due to the accessibility of fame) and have billions of silver. 

You had barely started Albion, T5 gear takes a few hours to get to. The Crowfall equivalent is a level 10 character with vendor gear. Of course there is going to be a disparity here.

Albion does have a steep potential power curve, however. This is balanced by the fact that it's full loot, and top-tier gear is very, very expensive. Realistically, 10% was a power gap that similarly skilled players argued was overly difficult to overcome in an instanced 5v5 (this system has since been removed, it was previously a defender's bonus for town plots). Likewise, most people complain about one or two tiers of gear being gear crutching, and that is about 9-18% power gap.

It isn't a matter of aiming the game at people, it's about not making design decisions that completely exclude casual/small-guild players. Nerfing or removing wartribe gear is definitely one of those design decisions. Then you will absolutely have to join a large guild and/or no-life to participate.

I was trying to offer some olive branches in the last post. I played Albion for years, just not in a while. You are not accurately representing its power curve in any way. You can one shot multiple people with certain relic weapons. Entry level being defined as grey with greys is equivalent to Albion being defined as T3. 

I do not recognize your name, you readily admit to not playing enough to be thorough, but then claim to tell me to look at "data" that you conveniently don't have. You perceive the game to be too steeply powered, when actually, it is not. A white vessel character can defeat a fully geared character, of that I have no doubt. If you think that I am not fighting against people who are at the top of the gear progression, I don't know what to say.

You've come in with a particular bone to pick, so I'll leave you to it.

Much more relevant to the conversation is the way Albion does economy, and the fact that it unifies its "EK," its "God's Reach," its "Infected," and its "Dregs" without needing to log out (and guilds). Also its inventory management is lightyears beyond CF.

Either way, gear and power curve remain a red herring to the real discussion: what is the guild progression in Crowfall.

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1 minute ago, McTan said:

I was trying to offer some olive branches in the last post. I played Albion for years, just not in a while. You are not accurately representing its power curve in any way. You can one shot multiple people with certain relic weapons. Entry level being defined as grey with greys is equivalent to Albion being defined as T3. 

Huh? If you think I'm misrepresenting it, then perhaps try correcting me? Saying some weapons one-shot people is not helpful in any way. Ideally use data. Each tier in Albion is ~7-9% power gap. Gear goes up to 8.3 masterpiece (basically another tier), so 12 total tiers, with the first 4 being irrelevant, so 8 tiers of potential power gap. Realistically, most fights occur within a few tiers of each other, and often have IP caps further minimizing the gap. The differences in powers based on mastery are irrelevant because everyone has them in their main weapons.

Entry level in Albion could be considered many different points: T6 gear, specific IP caps for different activities, etc. I didn't say anything about grey with greys, not sure where that came from, unless you're referring to me explaining how your T5 gear compared in Crowfall.

1 minute ago, McTan said:

I do not recognize your name, you readily admit to not playing enough to be thorough, but then claim to tell me to look at "data" that you conveniently don't have.

That's also not what I said. I said testing the potential caps for crafting takes an inordinate amount of time, and I've only done a bit of this research myself. In addition, I am relying on work others have done, which has been posted to these forums, and estimates from myself and others. If you disagree with the estimates, come up with some of your own and explain how they're more accurate.

1 minute ago, McTan said:

You perceive the game to be too steeply powered, when actually, it is not. A white vessel character can defeat a fully geared character, of that I have no doubt.

Of equal skill levels and equally favorable match-ups? I'm very, very dubious. Have you ever actually accomplished this? If not, what are you basing your opinion on? 

I don't perceive the game to be too steeply powered because we're not even to the point where it would be relevant in the life-cycle of this wipe. But your perception that the game is not too steeply powered? That's based on you winning some fights versus some people wearing some gear using some vessel, none of which you know, and definitely are not end-game? Seems logical and very scientific.

1 minute ago, McTan said:

If you think that I am not fighting against people who are at the top of the gear progression, I don't know what to say.

I don't think anyone in the game is at the end of progression yet, nor do I think most people use legendary gear casually. What leads you to believe otherwise? 

1 minute ago, McTan said:

You've come in with a particular bone to pick, so I'll leave you to it.

No bones to pick, I don't even know who you are. I just really don't want to see Wartribe gear removed or significantly nerfed, because I think it's crucial to the game, and especially casual players/small guilds.

Minding the power gap is even more important for ArtCraft than other studios because there are so few ways to outplay with skill in Crowfall. In Albion, it is feasible to outplay a massive power gap due to the number of skill shots and counters involved. That is not nearly as possible in Crowfall.

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8 hours ago, Angelmar said:

Why craft in a campaign when you can craft with all the end game buffs and crafting table thralls in the safety of an EK?

ACE removed any incentive to risk getting ganked by BAP in a keep when they added thrall buffs to EKs.

Well that's not really Darkfall-ish, now is it. We gonna have the 'Easy come Easy go" part, but not before you waste your time clicking a crafting interface in your EK.  

So you're an intelligent guy, help me out here.

So if a crafted purple gear set represents say 20 man hours to make, it's value is worth 20 man hours.

but ya lose it every time you die, that's unsustainable. 2 deaths is a 40 hour work week.

So to make paper doll looting sustainable you lower the value of purple gear to almost zero from Wartribes drops.

Now a purple gear set has the value of free which equals nothing.

Can you explain to me the value of looting purple gear worth nothing, over the value of looting slag gear worth 0.05 man hours.

 

 

  

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I've read/skimmed all the posts on this thread and I can agree with almost everything to a degree.

It's obvious that these issues can't be ENTIRELY addressed before the game's release. However I'm a bit more optimistic that just a few changes would go a long way.

1. Remove importing and exporting of building materials ENTIRELY! This trivializes so many aspects of the game it's outrageous that we're STILL doing this. This would help with territory control mattering more.

2. Reduce the amount of resources on the map in general. Just less of everything. In previous Crowfall campaigns we had times where there were only a few select spots that had awesome rank 10 iron nodes or motherloads in general. Many people remember the Zombie Canyon wars we had a few years ago. Those happened because that's where the resources were! 

3. The siege schedule is just terrible. It makes the game completely inaccessible to smaller and newer guilds because if you don't have the critical mass of XYZ amount of players you just flat out won't hold ANYTHING! Not some random mini-keep at the corner of the map....nothing....New guilds get absolutely demolished and can't even participate in large areas of the game because it's far too easy for the big guys to knock their stuff down with zero risk to themselves.

Making everything go live at once would actually allow some smaller guilds room to do something and we'd see a more diverse battlefield. The same 3 mega alliances fighting for years obviously gets old...however this is what is required because nobody else can hold anything. 

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Regarding "end game" additives:

Completely and totally unnecessary. There is no compelling reason to reward the very top echelon of players with mechanically superior rewards only accessible to those players. This fundamentally creates a barrier to competition by deliberately engineering for stagnation.

Awarding a metric truckload of rare materials or additives that can also be obtained through other means is fine. Get a giant pile of legendary mats, discs, etc. that result in real material power, sure. Allow significant cuts in the grind, absolutely. However, if the ceiling is both defined by and only accessible to the winners you've made a terrible pvp game.

You can not possibly appreciate the difficulty of the uncle bob problem because you are and have been uncle bob for virtually the entirety of the life span of live servers. To put it bluntly, the people already winning don't need a stat buff that only the people winning have access to. They didn't need it to win in the first place, and they don't need it to continue winning or have an incentive to do so. If they did, we wouldn't see crowfall's best guilds constantly beating the tar out of each other for the rewards already on offer, or before that, no rewards at all.

Regarding "The RPG":

Unfortunately this went out the window with passive training and it has nothing to do with mob drops. The game dictates play patterns now, and those play patterns are "grind to progress discs and do nothing else or fall behind"
 

This is the primary reason I was against the removal of passive trees in the first place. Passive trees ensured players logged in and were encouraged to act directly in the interests of gear replacement and pvp objectives. Active progression ensures the only efficient activity is grinding until you've hit the top and can then play the "real" game without sacrificing that progression. To do otherwise is to invite punishment by those that did so more quickly and efficiently by sheer brute force of player numbers, avaliable time to play, or both. This is why my guild isn't playing the game at the moment beyond occasional housekeeping on spec builds and spy play.

This progression system is not fun. It is not engaging. It actively prevents us from doing pvp content we enjoy both in theory and execution. It does not lead us to any sort of engaging pve play because there is no engaging pve play. Active progression grinds like this are never really much fun, and as long time MMO players we're fine with that. We've all shared years of naked leech farms, twinking, and every trick in the book to short circuit these unfortunate design realities in most games we have played.

While we are happy to undertake it because we know how much fun the game is at the end of it all, we're not going to bother completing the same repetitive tasks over and over to get there until soft launch where we know that progression is permanent. We know the systems, we know the game, we know what works and what doesn't, and how to adjust for patch notes. If we're going to grind it out we want to grind it out once and for all so we can put the entire process in our rear view and twink any future members with the passive output from already leveled crafters and harvesters.

This was not the case under passive training. Wipes didn't matter because regardless of where we were on the skill tree or how long ago a wipe was we were able to log in every day and actually start a group and do something fun. Put resources in the bank with our best possible harvesters. Put gear on backls with our best possible crafters. Gank people. Hit some outposts or forts. Chase scoreboard numbers. Whatever.

Now we are faced with either splitting up so everyone can work on their own grind independently, or some members putting off their own progression to jumpstart someone else's. Either way it means someone in the mix is wasting time they could be using to grind. Nobody likes to feel like they're getting in the way of another guildmate's fun but that is exactly what this system requires of us if we are to both play together and play efficiently. As such we only want to do it once because RPGs are about player agency and when your only option is "mine every rock you can or you will not improve mining ever" there is no agency. You either mine rocks until you max that stat pool out or you gimp yourself. We thrive on agency and spontaneity and the passive system enabled that every single day by ensuring whatever we did would always ensure we'd be a bit better tomorrow. We were happy win or lose because we could always choose whatever activity provided the most fun per hour at that exact moment. Now we simply do not have that choice. We either grind until we finish to earn that agency or needlessly gimp ourselves, all under specter of a future wipe that will require making that same sophie's choice again but with worse characters.

I don't think this is such a big deal past release when everyone can go "yeah the game sucks in the beginning but you get past the grind and its pretty good" but I honestly do not believe "progression" is what is hamstringing the Role Playing part of the RPG. Our roles are predefined as "trainee <insert trade skill>" until we are finished and can actually exercise agency with the peace of mind we're not shooting ourselves in the foot in any given PvP encounter. This isn't a PvE theme park where the pace is not important and detours for fun adventures are encouraged. It is a competitive high velocity arms race that requires keeping up with the joneses in order to effectively engage with the primary pvp focus of the game. The only way to do that under this system is endless mindless cycles of harvesting and crafting items no one will use because it is simply more efficient to grind out garbage.

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

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7 hours 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.

After all the sheep have been eaten or frightened away what do the wolves do? They don't eat other wolves, they starve.

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14 hours ago, corvax said:

Nice and mace you got there, be a shame if something happened to it. Like decay.

Ok everybody Smackblith is the one holding the mats. If he is at the crafting table, focus fire and go. 

There is, unfortunately, no BAP there anymore to go after him/her... =/

We need new BAP!

Tyrant: you were too tough, they gave up. (10/15/2020)

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13 hours ago, Angelmar said:

Why craft in a campaign when you can craft with all the end game buffs and crafting table thralls in the safety of an EK?

ACE removed any incentive to risk getting ganked by BAP in a keep when they added thrall buffs to EKs.

Yeah, that is true.

Tyrant: you were too tough, they gave up. (10/15/2020)

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12 hours ago, Yoink said:

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.

Maybe make Boss mobs who drop that strong purple dropped gear more rare? That way, getting the similar dropped weapon will be much harder and definitely not enough for everyone. Same like they did to those outpost chests: they significantly decreased the loot quality from those chests.

Tyrant: you were too tough, they gave up. (10/15/2020)

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While some of the suggestions in this discussion would help, improving XYZ isn't going to be enough when A-Z need help.

So much is missing, unfinished, wonky, or just lackluster compared to what has come before that balancing crafting and dropped gear isn't going to magically turn this into a blockbuster. The existence of Hunger Dome doesn't change anything about Crowfall the MMO beyond less time being spent on it.

I wish Crowfall had elements of a MOBA, like being accessible, easy to learn but hard to master, good matchmaking, lots of relatively unique "builds" split between roles with happy little polished packages, good performance, strong monetization model, decent balance and shifts to meta, clear numbers/information to understand what does what, etc. 

Having an instanced PVP mode with some prebuilt characters doing a late to the party attempt at a battle royale is a far cry from being comparable to even a half way decent MOBA.

I don't know what a "Throne War" even is. They traded complex strategy, conquest, fealty, survival, politics, and player control of outcomes for point accumulation, quests, and dev timed events. Crowfall is a glorified MMO battleground spread across multiple zones over a long time frame but isn't drastically different or new compared to any MMO arena/BG with similar features. Except while other formats attempt to have a degree of "fairness" and sportsmanship, this model allows every possible player gap to exist (stats, experience, team size, time played).

There is no economy without economic tools.

Made a social/guild based game but lack basic organizational/social tools in-game.

Lacking the typical high quality/quantity PVE and fluff of other games, I expected combat to be great. Has to be one of the least skillful combat systems I've ever experienced. WoW is as much if not more of an "action combat" game.

Character building is quantity over quality with superficial complexity.

Power is vertical stat stacking. A horizontal option approach would of been a lot more interesting and would of solved a lot of the crafting vs dropped, newbie vs vet, who grinds more issues that are being mentioned in this discussion.

The crafting concept has so much opportunity but is bogged down by UI and focus on tossing a bunch of junk in a slot machine instead of focusing on a long list of meaningful choices with resources and stats (that exist already) to allow crafters to really crank out unique creations. Again, where a horizontal approach would of shined.

Making another open world PVP "sandbox" sounded great, but clearly there is a reason most struggle. Be it technical issues, lack of resources, or incomplete design goals.

A few guilds being able to claim victory every so often at the cost of so much game experience doesn't seem like a good trade at this point.

Specialization, progression, and meaningful choices are not what they marketed originally.

"Destruction" was a key pillar of kickstarter and doesn't exist. No voxels, no free building, bland siege model.

Risk v Reward is non existent unless you're foolish enough to harvest a lone without an escape build. Dropped loot would help but due to the crafting model and lack of economic tools it isn't feasible.

Worlds are empty and generic but at least they look 2% different each time.

IMO they never made a MMORPG or whatever a Throne War is supposed to be. They made a lot of systems that sort of work together based on a vision that has morphed beyond what I imagine many paid for.

Good chunk of the post launch features should of been ready by launch. With the speed of development, the "full" game won't exist for years post launch when most MMOs are adding expansions and extra content.

Even now, people are too focused on particular features or systems that even if they worked perfectly, it doesn't matter if they don't work together well as a complete package. Forest for the trees. With so much still needing to be added and worked on, I don't see how it will happen by launch or how it will sustain long enough to get their post.

 


 

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5 hours ago, PopeUrban said:

Regarding "end game" additives:

Completely and totally unnecessary. There is no compelling reason to reward the very top echelon of players with rewards only accessible to those players. This fundamentally creates a barrier to competition by deliberately engineering for stagnation.

Awarding a metric truckload of rare materials or additives that can also be obtained through other means is fine. Get a giant pile of legendary mats, discs, etc. that result in real material power, sure. Allow significant cuts in the grind, absolutely. However, if the ceiling is both defined by and only accessible to the winners you've made a terrible pvp game.

You can not possibly appreciate the difficulty of the uncle bob problem because you are and have been uncle bob for virtually the entirety of the life span of live servers. To put it bluntly, the people already winning don't need a stat buff that only the people winning have access to. They didn't need it to win in the first place, and they don't need it to continue winning or have an incentive to do so. If they did, we wouldn't see crowfall's best guilds constantly beating the tar out of each other for the rewards already on offer, or before that, no rewards at all.

Regarding "The RPG":

Unfortunately this went out the window with passive training and it has nothing to do with mob drops. The game dictates play patterns now, and those play patterns are "grind to progress discs and do nothing else or fall behind"
 

This is the primary reason I was against the removal of passive trees in the first place. Passive trees ensured players logged in and were encouraged to act directly in the interests of gear replacement and pvp objectives. Active progression ensures the only efficient activity is grinding until you've hit the top and can then play the "real" game without sacrificing that progression. To do otherwise is to invite punishment by those that did so more quickly and efficiently by sheer brute force of player numbers, avaliable time to play, or both. This is why my guild isn't playing the game at the moment beyond occasional housekeeping on spec builds and spy play.

This progression system is not fun. It is not engaging. It actively prevents us from doing pvp content we enjoy both in theory and execution. It does not lead us to any sort of engaging pve play because there is no engaging pve play. Active progression grinds like this are never really much fun, and as long time MMO players we're fine with that. We've all shared years of naked leech farms, twinking, and every trick in the book to short circuit these unfortunate design realities in most games we have played.

While we are happy to undertake it because we know how much fun the game is at the end of it all, we're not going to bother completing the same repetitive tasks over and over to get there until soft launch where we know that progression is permanent. We know the systems, we know the game, we know what works and what doesn't, and how to adjust for patch notes. If we're going to grind it out we want to grind it out once and for all so we can put the entire process in our rear view and twink any future members with the passive output from already leveled crafters and harvesters.

This was not the case under passive training. Wipes didn't matter because regardless of where we were on the skill tree or how long ago a wipe was we were able to log in every day and actually start a group and do something fun. Put resources in the bank with our best possible harvesters. Put gear on backls with our best possible crafters. Gank people. Hit some outposts or forts. Chase scoreboard numbers. Whatever.

Now we are faced with either splitting up so everyone can work on their own grind independently, or some members putting off their own progression to jumpstart someone else's. Either way it means someone in the mix is wasting time they could be using to grind. Nobody likes to feel like they're getting in the way of another guildmate's fun but that is exactly what this system requires of us if we are to both play together and play efficiently. As such we only want to do it once because RPGs are about player agency and when your only option is "mine every rock you can or you will not improve mining ever" there is no agency. You either mine rocks until you max that stat pool out or you gimp yourself. We thrive on agency and spontaneity and the passive system enabled that every single day by ensuring whatever we did would always ensure we'd be a bit better tomorrow. We were happy win or lose because we could always choose whatever activity provided the most fun per hour at that exact moment. Now we simply do not have that choice. We either grind until we finish to earn that agency or needlessly gimp ourselves, all under specter of a future wipe that will require making that same sophie's choice again but with worse characters.

I don't think this is such a big deal past release when everyone can go "yeah the game sucks in the beginning but you get past the grind and its pretty good" but I honestly do not believe "progression" is what is hamstringing the Role Playing part of the RPG. Our roles are predefined as "trainee <insert trade skill>" until we are finished and can actually exercise agency with the peace of mind we're not shooting ourselves in the foot in any given PvP encounter. This isn't a PvE theme park where the pace is not important and detours for fun adventures are encouraged. It is a competitive high velocity arms race that requires keeping up with the joneses in order to effectively engage with the primary pvp focus of the game. The only way to do that under this system is endless mindless cycles of harvesting and crafting items no one will use because it is simply more efficient to grind out garbage.

This post almost brought a tear to this old Marine's eyes. This game promised so much potential and it's being watered down to a grinder! It aint custardin fun! 

My guild has ~ 200 members, most of us have been together for years and years. We were intrigued by the concepts/vision of the Crowfall Kickstarter and many of us backed the game while continuing to play other games that we found fun. 60 of us have access to Crowfall at the moment, but we didn't want a lot of folks burning out in an endless alpha/beta so we formed an advance team (mostly officers or seasoned vets) to check it out and keep the membership informed. We had up to 20 members in our advance team, only 4 or 5 of us continue to test.

Can ACE make some adjustments to make Crowfall a fun game for competitive guilds? Yes, they can, but WILL they? They seem to be racing down the slippery slope away from the kickstarter vision.  I'm still here, still hopeful, but it ain't easy.

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10 hours ago, Alot said:

It turns out that catering to a tiny minority of no-life gamers is not a winning strategy for a video game company.

This was the death knell of Wildstar Online. It had the foundation of an incredible game. Awesome, innovative combat, unique races. a unique setting....but they catered to the hardcore to the point that the game lost all of the casuals and imploded.

He who does not learn from history is doomed to repeat it.

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56 minutes ago, Toadwart said:

This was the death knell of Wildstar Online. It had the foundation of an incredible game. Awesome, innovative combat, unique races. a unique setting....but they catered to the hardcore to the point that the game lost all of the casuals and imploded.

He who does not learn from history is doomed to repeat it.

While it's true that the game can't survive if it only appeals to the hardcore, kicking the early backers in the teeth / balls to build a game that will ONLY appeal to casuals is NOT NICE.

IMO, ACE needs to find a way to make the game fun for many different types of playstyles and markets.

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It's great to see everyone sharing their PoV and opinions.

Hopefully ACE reads through and see peoples concerns.

 

But one thing people has to remember, you can't say now that the game will flop, just because you dont enjoy the current state - thats a hypothesis and can only be proven after launch.

 

Regarding the easy come easy go, sadly it's just how gaming has become here in modern times. Look at the really popular games, CoD, you queue up with your friends for a few matches, instant gratification.

Among us, instant into the match, instant gratification.

Etc. every popular game has a way to get instant action, Crowfall did not, until Hungerdome came back.

It's a tendency that more and more gamers lean towards, because of time commitment, real life, attention span etc.

No one wants to wait around for action to come. And even with scheduled 'action' with siege windows, the majority of people would prefer action on their terms, when they actually have the time, and dont have to plan their life around it.

You can look at how World of Warcraft went back to 'normal numbers' by losing 41% of their player base a few months after launch.

One of the biggest gripes of WoW players were the unnecessary, forced grinds to stay on top and competitive. (Those people prefer the easy come easy go)

 

Now I am not saying that Crowfall wants to or should become the next new top tier game, and they are clearly not 100% aligned on where they want to go, but it makes sense that they try to cater to modern trends, instead of making 2.0 of a game that died out ages ago.

 

They took a huge risk trying to make this game, and fit it into the market.

 

We've had a huge amount of players come through the game during the years, and it's easy to say 'testing is not for everyone', but those people were also not caught by the game loop.

 

Thanks for reading MY ramblings.

 

PS. The big aoe fights suck, small scale ftw 😄

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My Twitch - My Youtube - Apply to Vanguard HERE!

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I'm not really willing to read through 5 pages of feedback, so I'll include mine below. If its been repeated, perhaps that's a sign.

 

- Crafting is still in a tough spot. The changes that were made more or less threw the baby out with the bath water. Lowering durability and increasing durability hit has not had the intended impact. 

 

- There is nothing to do outside siege windows, outside of farming. You can go hours without finding a person to kill, which wouldn't be terrible if killing mobs wasn't a mindless activity. Even finding anything short of a herald isn't an exciting encounter. 

 

- All campaigns should be 0 import. 

 

- Territory control is non-existent. We've been talking about this for months. Gaining a fort should mean something beyond some mats. If a guild owns all the outposts in a zone, they should receive some sort of buff in the zone. If they own a fort, they should receive a buff within a certain distance of the fort. If we own all forts, those buffs should be zone wide. 

 

- Zerg control. You need some. We've been talking about this for months, years even. You have talented groups of people who are interested in playing with their small core group of 10-15 players that are totally insignificant outside of a larger alliance. 

 

I see and hear a lot of talk about release and it worries me. With the lack of content combined with the seemingly endless about of bugs and crashes, any release soon will result in a DOA game. Other studios, with much larger budgets and fan bases, have pushed out games with less issues only with the same result. 

 

I truly don't mean any harm, but I fully mean the disrespect. 

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On 4/1/2021 at 10:06 AM, damebix said:

 

  • Crowfall is no longer an RPG:  
  • Crowfall is no longer an MMO: 
  • Crowfall is no longer a Throne War Simulator:   

 

My 2 cents:

CF really shines at PVP.  The rest is boring. Thats the main fact about it.

That being said, we should improve the ways for fights to happen, and they should all be linked:

- Sieges:

Keeps are the guilds houses, we can craft there, we can get some buffs and etc. This part is just fine. The bane tree mechanism is also fine, the siege meta of using siege weapons, than getting the wards and then the trees is also fine. What its good is the pre-determined siege time zones and dates. But AC already said that will be a type of setting time mechanism for the defenders, which is great and works really fine at Gloria Victis. Now we gotta know what will triggers that siege. And outposts could be an answerd to that.

Some outposts (not all of em) should be linked to a particular keep/castle, and they should have the same guards lvls as the keep/castle. The attackers should hold ALL those outposts, at the same time, for like 30 min? in order to trigger the siege in the next day, at the time the deffenders set. By doind so, the siege will be oppened to be attacked for EVERY CLAN, not only that one that triggered it.

This will create a new source of PVP: setting up sieges and defending the outposts, anytime trought the day, in order to prevent a siege in your keep. Alliances will raly for those outposts as soon as they get the message that their outposts are being conquered. 

Obs.: Maybe this same idea could be made using the forts as the trigger, and the forts could be triggered by outposts. 

- Forts:

I think that the current prize in forts are good enough, they just need to make BUILDING MATS not bein user from one campaing to another. Why dont make the building mats being linked to the particular dregs like you do on that campaing coin that drops from forts too? We cant use those coins on another dregs, we shouldnt use building mats in another dregs too.

About the forts window time, i think that ACE is completely wrong about it. They created a lot of forts and put them at the same time, in order to make for a small guild possible to get one of these forts. Ok, they can try to ninja a fort while the alliance is elsewhere, but that doesnt favor pvp and makes forts sieges boring.

Right now, it works like that: one or two big groups keep running from fort to fort, chasing the other big group, that almost everytime dont wanna fight. Since there are plenty of options, if one group dont wanna fight, it wont fight and get some forts anyway.

So lets change it: forts siege windows should be QUICK. You go there, you fight for that fort, you win or loose and thats it. Or you take it after that fight, or you dont. 15 min to 20 min siege window for each fort would be great. But not if you have 4 forts at the same time. I would love to see just 1 fort at each time. LET PEOPLE DIE FOR IT. You want pvp at forts? you know where to go and thats it. No more horse riding simulation at fort sieges. Small guilds will have problem to capture some forts? yes, they will have. But they already have that problem. Just look at dregs maps. All forts are hold by big alliances. 

As keeps, forts could also use the same mechanism: you wanna take it? get some outposts linked to it and hold if for a brief time, then that fort will open within 1 hour and you can cap it. I dont see a reason to make forts secured for a whole day. It should change hands more fast. 

- Campaing rewards:

Make a scoreboard, guilds gets points by doing well on campaing. Make it for divine cards as well. THEN YOU MAKE A custard TOURNAMENT WITH THEM!

The best campaing guilds, the best divine cards guilds, fight in a Hungerdome tournament, held by Ace Craft it self, FIGHTHING FOR GLORY. 

That is what everyone who plays MMO is looking for: GLORY. Being known as the best fighter, best guild and etc.

The winners would be the "HEROES" of the next campaing and it should have some time of benefit: They will hold the free city keep and they would have a tax % of each trade made there. Make them the heroes of the next campaing.

Would be great to see a 1x1 tournament, class x class, to make the winner the HERO, the PALADIN HERO, the TITAN HERO and so on. Like the olympics in Lineage 2 that works soo damn good.

- Wartribe gear:

If they made RAID BOSS class of NPCs a really RAID BOSS, i would accept the current good purple itens dropping from them. But no, they are too easy. You can almost solo some of them with some classes and builds. They should require a 10 man party to defeat, and there should exist just ONE at each map, with a random respawn, but with a warning for everyone in the dregs when they respawn. MAKE PPL FIGHT FOR IT.

About the regular WT drops, they should be no better than an average green disc / green belt crafted itens. With some of the higher rank mobs dropping something a bit better. BUT YOU GOTTA MAKE A DIFFERENCE BETWEEN crafting gear and WT gear. Make some stats only possible at crafted gear. Armors needs more bonuses too, more variety.



 

Edited by Coiote
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An MMORPG is suppose to be a long term experience where you discover the world, expand your character, engage in world's politics and economy. Even in an hardcore PvP game, PvE quality is important since it brings hotspots for PvP and an in-game economy if done right (specialized loot tables). Let's look at the actual game:

The main long term objectives in crowfall are to upgrade belts/disciplines or vessel. Developing Ek might be another one for a minority. The grinding to get there is unbearable and has no end value in most cases since the ressources acquired for grinding belts are essentially useless. 

Then comes the PvE. The PvE in this one is empty. You basically got 10 type of mobs that are all the same difficulty (very easy) and drop similar stuff (leather and dust for animals, gold and items for tribes). 

Economy is dead and most crafting specializations are not worth the effort with loot drops. Why invest 10 hours of work to get a full set when you can get similar items in 10 minutes in chests?

Deep city development and political/economical system could of made it. Right now, the territory control aspect has been oversimplified to a point system and city development is very basic with forced location. Mostly, small guilds have no incentive to participate to this since they can't acquire enough points to compete with bigger fishes.

Frankly, there is enough in this game now to make a fun short term mmo brawler but certainly not a deep MMORPG. The direction of the game has been that way for the last 2 years, with loot drop introduction, point system conquest and, finally, with the sacking of the passive skills. The return of hungerdome confirms that overall direction towards a shorter term experience.

And I can understand! The strong point of the game remains the PvP where there is enough diversity to have fun engagements. Hungerdome will bring a concentrated PvP experience which should be fun for most while skipping the poorly made campain grinding, economy, PvE and territory control.

I would even say that most campaigns should switch to short and focussed missions until they sort out the deeper concepts (if they can). Imagine 3 hours campaigns with very specific rulesets (hold the castle, conquest, capture the relic etc.) on randomly generated zones with 175 players. That would be fun. They could still keep one dregs/shadow campaign up at all time to continue improving the longer term goal and to give a place for the 3 majors to compete. 

Right now, crowfall needs to focus on its strengths to rebuild a stronger player base. The PvP is fun, the rest is lacking. The world generation technology is a hidden strength they should use more to open up worlds with different focusses. Diversity of campaigns (very short term ones + couple of classic ones) will bring back a stronger player base which is needed to gather ressources to reach the end goal: having a good long term campaign system. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Well as im leaning more to the MOBA side, i have to say Crowfall is not nearly a MOBA. Its more an Insult than everything else.

I think what crowfall needs is more Strategic gameplay and a better seasonal economy loop like: Spring framing, Winter hot spot for fighting.

Mechanics like the Hungerfog should be implemented in Campaigns aswell. Outposts have to be more meaning full.
Imports are just not needed.

The Map should be rescale on the size of players active joined, maybe to signing in for upcomming campaigns.

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3 hours ago, Yumx said:

It's great to see everyone sharing their PoV and opinions.

Hopefully ACE reads through and see peoples concerns.

 

But one thing people has to remember, you can't say now that the game will flop, just because you dont enjoy the current state - thats a hypothesis and can only be proven after launch.

 

Regarding the easy come easy go, sadly it's just how gaming has become here in modern times. Look at the really popular games, CoD, you queue up with your friends for a few matches, instant gratification.

Among us, instant into the match, instant gratification.

Etc. every popular game has a way to get instant action, Crowfall did not, until Hungerdome came back.

It's a tendency that more and more gamers lean towards, because of time commitment, real life, attention span etc.

No one wants to wait around for action to come. And even with scheduled 'action' with siege windows, the majority of people would prefer action on their terms, when they actually have the time, and dont have to plan their life around it.

You can look at how World of Warcraft went back to 'normal numbers' by losing 41% of their player base a few months after launch.

One of the biggest gripes of WoW players were the unnecessary, forced grinds to stay on top and competitive. (Those people prefer the easy come easy go)

 

Now I am not saying that Crowfall wants to or should become the next new top tier game, and they are clearly not 100% aligned on where they want to go, but it makes sense that they try to cater to modern trends, instead of making 2.0 of a game that died out ages ago.

 

They took a huge risk trying to make this game, and fit it into the market.

 

We've had a huge amount of players come through the game during the years, and it's easy to say 'testing is not for everyone', but those people were also not caught by the game loop.

 

Thanks for reading MY ramblings.

 

PS. The big aoe fights suck, small scale ftw 😄

You are a wise man. I totally agree with what you wrote. It is true that people want action NOW. Fast action, lots of fights. And after the adrenaline is over, I can easilt go and smack some rocks, for example 😃

 

There are hundreds of suggestions of how to change things already. But ACE can only do so much in a given time. Thus, they have hard choices at every step they do. I hope that post like this, from big Crowfall legends like Damebix and with a comment from  Yumx (it looks like you two are brothers, tbh) should drag devs attention and maybe they will prioretise couple things from this post.

 

P.S. @Yumx which project Vanguard is playing right now. I'm very curious :)

Tyrant: you were too tough, they gave up. (10/15/2020)

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