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jtoddcoleman

Let's Talk About: Campaign Permanence

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I actually disagree with the premise of this post. I have seen very few comments about the temporal nature of campaigns and a ton of comments and threads about ways to add more meaning to the permanent EKs. I think testing your hypothesis is fine, but frankly SB and every game that goes stale is enough evidence for me to believe there is stagnation. I think time restrictive campaigns is a perfect reaction to the problem and is long overdue (kudos on implementing it).

 

Much more concerning to me is why I should want to win a campaign. This is where the Risk analogy falls short. I do think people will play campaigns to win them, just for the sake of winning, as in Risk. Crowfall, as an MMO, has the opportunity to have permanence in a way that Risk does not - through a meta-game. Think of it as a set of 1000 risk games being played simultaneously that all affect the Risk universe (EKs). You all have this in mind with exporting, my argument is there needs to be a bit more space for people to play the meta-game. I want to win my game of Risk because I am competing, but also because winning gives me something tangible and serious. Don't get me wrong, I am all for import restrictions and I think they are key, but with them exporting's purpose is contained in EKs. I think some further discussion and consideration regarding improving the EK system, not removing the EK system (I haven't perceived a lot of calls for this, either) is extremely valuable to the longevity of Crowfall.

 

I would start with Ren's post here: http://community.crowfall.com/index.php?/topic/3140-a-vision-for-competitive-gameplay-in-the-eternal-kingdoms/, which seeks to leverage the great things about the EK and use lore to craft an improved meta-game. Not only is it well thought out, but it uses the types of EK checkboxes the devs have already discussed and with some alterations to the city building and sieging mechanics (see my post in the thread about trophies a la bane scrolls).

 

I really appreciate the openings for discussion you all are providing in my first kickstarter experience, thanks.

Edit: P.S. I saw you reading Ren's post yesterday, I am just giving it a nod towards being very productive, in my view, with regards to what you outlined as productive discourse.

My argument is that improvements in meta game will result in atttention being driven away from campaigns and destroying the whole system in long term. I can understand that you guys want metagame. Ideas like extra trophies, ability to extend duration of campaign for 1 time , score boards could work. However with non-resetting situation an uncle bob will rise. And he can be challanged by no one. Even if an hardcore guild works 7/24 to take his throne, it will be unfair and boring experiance.

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I will echo what some have said here. Time limited campaigns is fine and EK is what needs addressed. Mctan and Virt both ask some good questions and raise good points.

 

Winning campaigns need to mean more than "yay I won." It needs to feed what is happening on the EK's. Which is....what exactly? I don't think the EK's should have direct conflict necessarily, it should be indirectly influenced by winning campaigns. But it has to have meaning. Permenance is the only way to have real meaning I think.

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Even if an hardcore guild works 7/24 to take his throne, it will be unfair and boring experiance.

 

This is not always true.  Fighting against an entrenched and dominant force can actually be fun.  I like to be the underdog sometimes.


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My argument is that improvements in meta game will result in atttention being driven away from campaigns and destroying the whole system in long term. I can understand that you guys want metagame. Ideas like extra trophies, ability to extend duration of campaign for 1 time , score boards could work. However with non-resetting situation an uncle bob will rise. And he can be challanged by no one. Even if an hardcore guild works 7/24 to take his throne, it will be unfair and boring experiance.

 

If anything, the current design already lends itself to the Uncle Bob scenario. The guilds with the biggest and best economies are going to dominate the campaigns that allow imports, and everyone else is going to be forced to stick to non-import campaigns.

 

The bigger issue is that these guilds can craft and build up their advantage in a complete risk-free environment. There's not even an option for the small guys to band together and take them down, because they can just be banned from the Kingdom. So their only option is to become care bear buddies and try to make a rival economy. That's just not intriguing enough for PvPers in a PvP game.


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My argument is that improvements in meta game will result in atttention being driven away from campaigns and destroying the whole system in long term. I can understand that you guys want metagame. Ideas like extra trophies, ability to extend duration of campaign for 1 time , score boards could work. However with non-resetting situation an uncle bob will rise. And he can be challanged by no one. Even if an hardcore guild works 7/24 to take his throne, it will be unfair and boring experiance.

But the nature of the meta-game in my post is that it is contingent on the campaigns.  The EKs are already like this, but don't have the meta-game structure that will encourage campaign winning  beyond its own sake.


Mic MWH, Member of Mithril Warhammers since 2003,


Hammers High! http://www.mithrilwarhammers.com

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I actually disagree with the premise of this post. I have seen very few comments about the temporal nature of campaigns and a ton of comments and threads about ways to add more meaning to the permanent EKs. I think testing your hypothesis is fine, but frankly SB and every game that goes stale is enough evidence for me to believe there is stagnation. I think time restrictive campaigns is a perfect reaction to the problem and is long overdue (kudos on implementing it).

 

Much more concerning to me is why I should want to win a campaign. This is where the Risk analogy falls short. I do think people will play campaigns to win them, just for the sake of winning, as in Risk. Crowfall, as an MMO, has the opportunity to have permanence in a way that Risk does not - through a meta-game. Think of it as a set of 1000 risk games being played simultaneously that all affect the Risk universe (EKs). You all have this in mind with exporting, my argument is there needs to be a bit more space for people to play the meta-game. I want to win my game of Risk because I am competing, but also because winning gives me something tangible and serious. Don't get me wrong, I am all for import restrictions and I think they are key, but with them exporting's purpose is contained in EKs. I think some further discussion and consideration regarding improving the EK system, not removing the EK system (I haven't perceived a lot of calls for this, either) is extremely valuable to the longevity of Crowfall.

 

I would start with Ren's post here: http://community.crowfall.com/index.php?/topic/3140-a-vision-for-competitive-gameplay-in-the-eternal-kingdoms/, which seeks to leverage the great things about the EK and use lore to craft an improved meta-game. Not only is it well thought out, but it uses the types of EK checkboxes the devs have already discussed and with some alterations to the city building and sieging mechanics (see my post in the thread about trophies a la bane scrolls).

 

I really appreciate the openings for discussion you all are providing in my first kickstarter experience, thanks.

Edit: P.S. I saw you reading Ren's post yesterday, I am just giving it a nod towards being very productive, in my view, with regards to what you outlined as productive discourse.

Edit two: I also tried to take on this idea in a much less thought out way here: http://community.crowfall.com/index.php?/topic/3063-competitive-ek-worlds-and-campaigns-that-grant-parcels/#entry75564

 

The main idea is EKs that we fight over, not necessarily on. Winning a campaign earns parcels in EKs.

 

This was almost exactly my hope for the game vision, too, before the full EK details were released. I hope the devs read this post, and of course ren's. ren's thread is a perfect example of how the EKs could be much more than what they're planned to be now. ren's is the most important suggestions so far, iMO.

 

I think I'd much rather see this game than what's planned so far; unfortunately, I don't think these line up with what the devs want.

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I didn't read this whole thread, so hopefully I am not missing anything, but I really don't like the idea of permanent campaigns too much, but I do love the idea of permanent Eternal Kingdoms. I am waiting to hear more about how EKs will function as permanent "eng game" type worlds and what, if any, impact they will have on guild and alliance politics. There are a lot of threads popping up asking for more clarification on this, so hopefully something is coming soon(ish).

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I swear Ren, Virt and I are different people...or at least I am different from Ren and Virt, haha.

Shhh, yer be ruining arr ruse!

Edited by virt

The Shipwrecked Pirates

yarrr....

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If anything, the current design already lends itself to the Uncle Bob scenario. The guilds with the biggest and best economies are going to dominate the campaigns that allow imports, and everyone else is going to be forced to stick to non-import campaigns.

 

The bigger issue is that these guilds can craft and build up their advantage in a complete risk-free environment. There's not even an option for the small guys to band together and take them down, because they can just be banned from the Kingdom. So their only option is to become care bear buddies and try to make a rival economy. That's just not intriguing enough for PvPers in a PvP game.

No, because of the import rules. No matter how big your economy is, a guild can only import x value.  Even if their economy has 1000x value.

 

 

But the nature of the meta-game in my post is that it is contingent on the campaigns.  The EKs are already like this, but don't have the meta-game structure that will encourage campaign winning  beyond its own sake.

They still have some. Nothing big. But you guys are asking for so big that it will shift whole game.

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I think putting permanent campaigns into Kickstarter stretch goals makes the whole pitch incoherent. These ideas might be worth playing around with, but they should not be stretch goals, for that simple reason.

 

The reason I contributed, and contributed as much as I did, is that you had a clear vision. You had an explanation for how things have fallen apart in past MMOs, you had an idea for how to turn that on its head, and this commitment to thinking hard about the issues and taking a controversial stand on a fundamental issue was what persuaded me that the effort was worth supporting. I'm not 100% sure that you've hit on the right idea, but the obvious effort to think through the fundamentals was encouraging.

 

If now you muddy the elevator pitch with stretch goals that cut against the grain of the most fundamental idea, then the whole message rings pretty hollow. "Here's our core idea! Give us more money and we'll throw it out the window!"

 

Again, I'm not saying that the ideas shouldn't be explored at some stage of testing. But they should not be stretch goals, or the whole message gets murky. Keep the kickstarter pitch lean and focused.

Edited by khomotso

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This was almost exactly my hope for the game vision, too, before the full EK details were released. I hope the devs read this post, and of course ren's. ren's thread is a perfect example of how the EKs could be much more than what they're planned to be now. ren's is the most important suggestions so far, iMO.

 

I think I'd much rather see this game than what's planned so far; unfortunately, I don't think these line up with what the devs want.

 

I understand what you are saying, but I disagree that it doesn't line up with what the devs want.  JTC's comments here hinted that he loves and would love the SB permanence, but it is not practical.  I agree with him.  I think the campaigns are excellent in terms of longevity and freshness of the game, but I don't see it as mutually exclusive to giving the permanent aspects of the game (EK) added importance.  


Mic MWH, Member of Mithril Warhammers since 2003,


Hammers High! http://www.mithrilwarhammers.com

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No, because of the import rules. No matter how big your economy is, a guild can only import x value.  Even if their economy has 1000x value.

 

 

They still have some. Nothing big. But you guys are asking for so big that it will shift whole game.

Ren's post does not shift the game, it adds to it.  The campaigns are the central way to impact EKs.  If anything, the only hypothesis that makes sense is that campaigns will be more popular with additions to the meta-game.

 

My argument has nothing to do with guilds building up their advantage.  I do not see any problem with the import rules, in fact I am a huge proponent of them.  I am simply asking for a nuanced view on the purpose of winning a campaign through reasonable additions to how EKs function.


Mic MWH, Member of Mithril Warhammers since 2003,


Hammers High! http://www.mithrilwarhammers.com

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For me personally the biggest concern with shorter campaigns over one that lasts for 6 months or so, is that in the shorter time period you are having to cram a ton of intrigue into it. It's going to be hard to say who the major players are in a campaign within the first month or two because the map is still being explored, resources gathered, fortifications built etc. Which leave maybe one to two months of proper fighting over objectives, that's just not enough time to build real rivalries. Give it a another month or two and a political alliance to dominate the server can be put in effect and others can align themselves to try and overthrow that alliance or dismantle it from the edges. With a short campaign, I don't see those sorts of emergent behaviors becoming as important simply by the nature of the campaign being shorter. I see the prevailing attitude with short campaigns becoming akin to "Guess we lost this one, ah well next one is in a couple weeks." as opposed to "What can I do to unseat the powerhouse on this map." I'm not saying this will be the case across the board, but what's the overall point of the intrigue etc. if the map doesn't last long enough for the most interesting scenarios to play out?

 

If the endless kingdom is nothing more than a hub between matches I just don't see the point in it at all, which you've admittedly said that some people won't go to them or care about them at all. However, how do they tie into the whole thing? If it's just a meaningless trophy room where I keep my statue of +5% ore mining in campaigns then why bother? Sure if I earned the trophy I can take some satisfaction in that, I guess, but ultimately I feel that sort of use of the EK just makes for an even more hollow experience than participation trophies. There needs to be real consequence in the game, it needs to feel like banding up with other players to make a nation or alliance in the campaigns means something. There needs to be space where we can flex our political and intrigue muscles to influence how the course of the world is going. I just don't see something like that becoming possible with a short campaign.

 

During your campaigns the most exciting parts are probably going to be Spring, Fall, and Winter. Spring is where we all rush out into the world seeking our land and mines to fortify. Fall is going to be where the first real conflicts on the campaign are probably going to take place, where large armies clash to try and seize your opponents strongholds and gain ground before the winter comes. Winter is going to be the most important because now the world is actively against you as well as other players, you have to balance waging wars around the limited resources coming in. Winter is where most of the political game is going to have a chance to flourish, if one of the smaller guilds has a key strategic position or a relatively untouched fort during winter them changing sides or losing that fort is going to be a massive blow in the political landscape.

 

Sure the smaller campaigns will have this to some degree, but I perceive people being a lot less interested in pressing hard to win if there is maybe a week or two left of the campaign and one group is steam rolling. This won't be everyone, but it's human nature to some degree.

 

TLDR: The campaigns need to have enough length for the political and intrigue sides of the game to really come into full swing before it ends. Or else the EK needs to play some part to help foster those instead of merely being a trophy room.

Edited by RemlapVII

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I understand what you are saying, but I disagree that it doesn't line up with what the devs want.  JTC's comments here hinted that he loves and would love the SB permanence, but it is not practical.  I agree with him.  I think the campaigns are excellent in terms of longevity and freshness of the game, but I don't see it as mutually exclusive to giving the permanent aspects of the game (EK) added importance.  

 

Thought - why not embrace the original idea of SB permanance with the CF dynamic world design?  Theoretically with SB, there were to be different worlds with different content/settings (fire worlds, ice worlds, etc).  Players would theoretically travel between worlds via the runegates and conquer some more.  While that extreme is probably not needed, what could happen is that campaigns/worlds are linked together, but opening up runegates/portals between them requires significant challenge in the form of resources needed, manpower, time, etc.  The amount of effort correlates to the length of the campaign and campaign winning conditions.  This means that incredibly lop-sided campaigns can have world travel opened up sooner.  This creates "permanence" in that you can move to other campaigns with your eternal champion and continue growing while participating in the endgame for your guild/god/etc, but also restrictive enough to prevent campaign hopping.  Furthermore, if you're winning a campaign, you likely won't want the opposing side to complete this feat.  

 

This creates permanence not in the specific campaign, necessarily, but in the universe as a whole.  Maybe.  I'm a little high on cookies right now and haven't thought this idea through completely, but makes sense at first glance.  


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I understand what you are saying, but I disagree that it doesn't line up with what the devs want.  JTC's comments here hinted that he loves and would love the SB permanence, but it is not practical.  I agree with him.  I think the campaigns are excellent in terms of longevity and freshness of the game, but I don't see it as mutually exclusive to giving the permanent aspects of the game (EK) added importance.  

 

I hate to put it this way, but I think they want EKs to appeal to carebear-ish players who aren't necessarily big fans of nonstop PvP. I could be totally wrong, but that is the vibe I was getting, especially with all the Kickstarter options to "rice out" your little closed garden Minecraft server housing sim. I think they could still cater to carebears and also allow for more competitive EK wars, but they may just see it as developing a huge feature which was not at all part of their initial plan.

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TLDR: The campaigns need to have enough length for the political and intrigue sides of the game to really come into full swing before it ends. Or else the EK needs to play some part to help foster those instead of merely being a trophy room.

 

All this Eternal Kingdom's speculating is going to make it that much harder for people to get invested in the campaigns, since they will be seen as a "means to an end" where only the EK matters, rather than important for their own sake. I can see how this could be a good thing in some ways, but it could end up being very destructive to the core game mechanics if not clarified.

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All this Eternal Kingdom's speculating is going to make it that much harder for people to get invested in the campaigns, since they will be seen as a "means to an end" where only the EK matters, rather than important for their own sake. I can see how this could be a good thing in some ways, but it could end up being very destructive to the core game mechanics if not clarified.

 

Well they've state that the campaigns are the focus over the EK, they just need to work to make sure that the campaigns feel like they are focus in terms of length and scope. Which I just can't see a 3 month campaign doing.

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I hate to put it this way, but I think they want EKs to appeal to carebear-ish players who aren't necessarily big fans of nonstop PvP. I could be totally wrong, but that is the vibe I was getting, especially with all the Kickstarter options to "rice out" your little closed garden Minecraft server housing sim. I think they could still cater to carebears and also allow for more competitive EK wars, but they may just see it as developing a huge feature which was not at all part of their initial plan.

Agreed with most of your last sentence.  I have no problem with "carebears."  If someone is going to play CF, they are not going to be anti-pvp - the "carebear" playstyles in CF are very different from "carebear" games.  I do not see it as developing a huge feature, however, because (1) import/export and the relationship between campaign/EK is part of the core module and (2) city building and sieging is part of the core module.  

 

I am proposing there is space between EKs that function as an add-on to the central campaign game structure (closer to where I feel CF is right now) and EKs that are identical to the campaigns/campaigns being permanent (closer to where they want to avoid/have learned from experience has limited longevity).  I propose that space includes diversifying the types of EK, possibly by adding EKs with "checkboxes" set to PvP & siege-able (Ren's primary idea as I read it), where exporting has meaning beyond just being able to build, it's being able to capture and claim space on the "meta-game" EKs (i.e. winning campaign grants you rights to particular parcels on those "meta" EKs).

 

Here, Ren's idea does not preclude players who do not want to engage in the PvP on EK style from not doing so.  It is, in a sense, opt-in.  The point is currently the EK system has room to add places for people who want to opt-in.  By making a few, more meaningful EKs that more closely resemble a meta-game.


Mic MWH, Member of Mithril Warhammers since 2003,


Hammers High! http://www.mithrilwarhammers.com

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