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Ziz

Where's The Long Term Character Progression?

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If you want to play a WoW clone or a MOBA you can find plenty of those elsewhere.  Crowfall isn't intended to be either of them.

 

Most of us (I hope!) are here because we believe in the vision that has been presented to us.  We discuss and contribute, not because we believe we have a better vision than ACE, but because ACE has asked us to be involved in refining the vision.  We do so knowing, and expecting, that ACE will use our suggestions to improve the implementation of the vision without changing the broad strokes of it.

 

While many of the ideas in Crowfall have been tried, and successful, in other games, the combination is new and rather different than anything that's been done before.  It is how the systems interact that will determine whether or not Crowfall succeeds or fails, and we believe that the combination shows enough promise that it needs to be tried.  If you have a specific example of a single game that encompasses even 75% of Crowfall's vision, please bring it to our attention.  Especially if it failed.  We'll want to look at it, dissect what went wrong, and brain storm on how to avoid those problems.

 

For me, when I saw the presented vision vision of Crowfall I said: "Yeah, that looks like what I've been wanting all these years".  I don't see it as blind fanboism to defend that vision so that it can be actualized and experienced first-hand.

 

Now if it turns out to be terrible after it's implemented and I ignore all its warts and continue to defend it, that will be fanboism.

 

It's not fanboism to say "I've tried a lot of fruits and I like strawberry the best, so yes I think I'd like to try strawberry ice cream.  Please let that guy make strawberry ice cream so I can try it.".

 

It is fanboism to assert "Strawberries are the best fruit ever, so of course strawberry ice cream will be the best thing in the world, and anyone who disagrees just isn't thinking about it properly.".

 

I'm glad to say that I've seen a lot more of the former attitude here than I have seen of the latter.


soli deo gloria

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Are you kidding. I make a post about a problem I've seen in other games and you say that's shaky... Then fanbois bash it because of blind trust and that renewed your faith in the community... You think abandoning objectivity for blind faith is a good thing?! You've lost all credibility.

 

People please engage in meaningful conversation instead of blindly marching off a cliff.

Go buy yourself a clue, people are aware of Skinner Boxes by now and don't appreciate being manipulated into progression routines.

 

While I don't approve of passive progression since active progression is more enthralling. It often ends up being a crutch to distract players from lack of content.

 

Meanwhile games like Guildwars original exposed players to the fact that ongoing character development wasn't necessary to have fun, it's a cheap trick literally employed to save money, and works inversely to competitive play. I don't even appreciate runes in LoL because it creates a competitive barrier.

 

Beyond that, you don't just choose disciplines, you seek and find them, and try to replace them with better ones. At least thats the assertion.

 

Now, if you would take off your mental programming and poke your head outside the Skinner Box so you can see what you've been embracing, maybe you'll learn how to have real fun. I believe there's an extracredits episode on YouTube which will get you acquainted...


a52d4a0d-044f-44ff-8a10-ccc31bfa2d87.jpg          Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes... Than if they're upset, they'll be a mile away, and barefoot :P

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People please engage in meaningful conversation instead of blindly marching off a cliff.

 

I love code phrases like this.

 

What it really means: you are disagreeing with me, I can't really argue any of your points, so I'm going to claim no one is engaging with my points.

 

Bonus points for claiming your opponents are blind fans.

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The disciplines have enough customization to prevent you from totally re rolling.

Without them, your character should be at over the halfway point of being "maxed" if you have trained everything you can through archetype and promotion class.

 

You COULD have choosen the wrong archetype and promotional class, but I would hope that would be obvious very early on.

 

Yea my hope is that as long as I hit the right archetype I'm probably going to be happy. But if it takes most of a campaign to get to a promotional class that could make choosing wrong really hurt. It also really depends on how many abilities are tied to skill levels vs disciplines, archetypes and promotional classes.

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I personally prefer active progression over the theoretical passive system they have now. However it's far too early to give any sort of feedback on something that doesn't technically exist yet.

Edited by Helix

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If the combat is fun, the character templates diverse/varied, and the GvG territory control meta is fun, my sense of "progress" is satisfied by building an empire within the war-sim. 

 

I'm glad the devs seem inclined to agree more with this sentiment than the treadmilling crap OP seems to be pitching.  Plenty of games (especially strategy board games) that are immediately fun, and continue to be fun, even in the absense of raising numbers on a spreadsheet.


"Food for the crows..."    Nobuo Xa'el

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Just want to point out that what you want is logarithmic growth with respect to time. The fastest gains in power are at the lower points in time. As time goes on, power gains slow down.

 

The blue line on this graph:

10xlogx.gif

 

The green line is exponential growth; that is more typical of active leveling games as players see massive power growth as they gain higher levels and accumulate better gear (it's not as drastic as 10^x).

 

No no, I'm not talking about the experience to level, I'm talking about the power each level grants. Each level is linear, giving the same boost from level 1 > 2 as 98 to > 99 (even though that final level under this leveling scale would be several thousand times harder to obtain).

 

This means two things, that character progression takes a very long time of active effort by the player, but also that it is not in anyway critical to have. It's just a perk. A maxed out player going against a mid range player might have spent years more actively training his character, but if his gear is weak and his player skill lacking, that mid range player who could be just a few weeks/month into the game can absolutely win. 

 

See the point here? Character progression needs to be the cherry on top in terms of practical value (besides crafting where it should matter a hell of a lot more) and it should take a very long time to push through on the end levels, even though they give the same benefit as the earlier levels. This means they are not at all a requirement, but for those crazy and dedicated enough to pursue them, it's a way to stand out and get a bit more power. But remember, it's just a bit. 

 

 

CF is not another MMO focused on character progression. The market is flooded with games focused on character progression.

 

The focus of CF is the campaigns and the strategy involved to be successful from campaign to campaign. As the game evolves, the meaning of the campaigns could change, and other elements could change, but for what we know now, if you want the type of character progression, this isn't the game for you. This is a strategy simulator.

 

ACE is going out of their way to NOT make this another progression clone, which is the hamster wheel so many are tired of.

 

Themepark MMOs do not provide meaningful character progression.

 

It is active progression, usually, but it is so easy and so incredibly critical to reach max level that it becomes a necessity; something you have to do to be competitive. 

 

Because of this atmosphere of necessity and very quick active leveling process, levels mean absolutely nothing in virtually all MMORPGs. The only one that has meaningful leveling is runescape. Because of the aforementioned linear power reward from progress, and because of the dramatically increasing effort required to level as you go higher and higher. 

 

This means most people never reach more than 70% into any given skill, but that is entirely fine because you do not need to be maxed to be competitive. 

 

There is no atmosphere of necessity in there, and plenty of difficulty to reach it. That creates life into progression. Those willing to tough it out find that they are unique in the world. It's a showcase of tenacity and endurance that most simply won't do.

 

A simple example is comparable to real life. Exercise. Honestly, exercise isn't difficult. All it requires is time and active effort, but you're doing pretty much the same thing, just lifting weights, repeating in a predictable fashion for months and years. Nothing hard. And yet most don't do it. Because you have to be consistent at it. You have to show up and put in the sweat and time. And just that requirement, showing up and doing it, turns away most people. 

 

That is why it's valuable. Because it's rare. 

Edited by unknownxv

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe.

- Nietzsche

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Ah, I didn't know you were referring to the discrete jumps in power. I assume you want 98 -> 99 to take much longer than 1 -> 2? If each level takes more time than the previous, when you normalize the time scale, you end up with a logarithmic growth function. 

Edited by motstandet

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Ah, I didn't know you were referring to the discrete jumps in power. I assume you want 98 -> 99 to take much longer than 1 -> 2? If each level takes more time than the previous, when you normalize the time scale, you end up with a logarithmic growth function. 

The devs already stated that this is the case.

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Ah, I didn't know you were referring to the discrete jumps in power. I assume you want 98 -> 99 to take much longer than 1 -> 2? If each level takes more time than the previous, when you normalize the time scale, you end up with a logarithmic growth function. 

 

The leveling experience would be Logarithmic, or it might be exponential (I'm hardly good at math) but each level itself would give the same minor jump in power. So yes, 98 > 99 would take thousands of times more experience than 1 > 2 but the power given for achievement it would be just the same as 1 > 2. Diminishing returns. 

 

As I try to convey, the point of this is to make character progression matter, but only slightly, far less than most are accustomed to from the traditional themepark. Moreover, because the power gains are minor, in no way are people required, to be competitive, to slave away grinding on it. People could reach a healthy mid range and be entirely valid and powerful warriors. And, precisely because most would choose to curb their leveling grind at some mid range point, those who persist beyond it would be regarded just as they are, tenacious and very dedicated to their character. I find that truly titillating. 

 

As I mentioned though, for crafting, the rewards as you reach near the end would be much more potent than combat related skills. Crafting should be a career, something you have to focus on. Mid range crafters in a sandbox with gear quickly lost would still be valuable, but true masters, they would be revered across the entire community. 

 

They would not be a dime a dozen, like they will be through this passive training system. In probably less than a year, there will be thousands upon thousands of "master" crafters. That is such a depressing thought I can't even express it. 


The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe.

- Nietzsche

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The leveling experience would be Logarithmic, or it might be exponential (I'm hardly good at math) but each level itself would give the same minor jump in power. So yes, 98 > 99 would take thousands of times more experience than 1 > 2 but the power given for achievement it would be just the same as 1 > 2. Diminishing returns. 

 

Right. We were referring to different things. Typically people look at Time Spent when talking about power progression, so that's why I am referencing a linear time scale. If those discrete values of power actually increased as characters got more levels, then the growth would be polynomial/exponential. 

 

As I mentioned though, for crafting, the rewards as you reach near the end would be much more potent than combat related skills. Crafting should be a career, something you have to focus on. Mid range crafters in a sandbox with gear quickly lost would still be valuable, but true masters, they would be revered across the entire community. 

 

They would not be a dime a dozen, like they will be through this passive training system. In probably less than a year, there will be thousands upon thousands of "master" crafters. That is such a depressing thought I can't even express it. 

 

Leveling up in a crafting skill potentially unlocks templates, and reduces the chance of failure. I think ACE also said that some Disciplines/Runes would grant templates as well.

 

I don't think there will be a "depressing" result where master crafters are common. Those crafting Runes might be very rare, and require significant time to train, all at the expense of other skills. I think any way a character is built is going to be highly specialized and rare. There are 12? archetypes, 3 disciplines for each, and an untold number of Runes. I don't think everyone is going to have a Siege Engine crafting alt in much the way not everyone is going to have a Polearm, Falconer Champion. Eve's economy is extremely homogeneous, and yet not everyone can make capitals, Tech 3 cruisers, or even refine ore at high yielding rates. 

 

Will crafters have the same sort of uniqueness and notoriety that they had in SWG? Probably not. But there might not be as much customization. It's a different kind of game. Crafters are valuable because they make stuff for the war effort. They will be valuable, and "master" crafters will be snatched up by guilds.

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If the only limiting factor to reaching crafting mastery is empty time and having to train it instead of combat skills, than in time, many years, everyone will have a crafting alt, mastering in something.

 

I loathe artificial restrictions placed on characters as per how many skills they can actually learn. That really feels lazy and breaks any sense of immersion. Cold artificial restrictions on characters that encourages alts instead of a good progression system that focuses on purpose and individual players/characters, sigh. 


The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe.

- Nietzsche

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You are so pessimistic. It's fitting that Nietzsche is in your sig, ha.

 

Does it really detract from your enjoyment of the game that much if other people enjoy the game in the manner they want? Even if everyone can craft everything, and there is no gating or skills, does that reduce the fun a crafter will have with the system? Can you only have fun if you are a special and unique snowflake?

 

I like being good at something; it doesn't matter if other people are good at it too. In fact, if those other people and I are in direct competition, I get further enjoyment from the game. Challenge me with a fair fight on equal terms. My crafting team will beat your crafting team.

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If the only limiting factor to reaching crafting mastery is empty time and having to train it instead of combat skills, than in time, many years, everyone will have a crafting alt, mastering in something.

 

I loathe artificial restrictions placed on characters as per how many skills they can actually learn. That really feels lazy and breaks any sense of immersion. Cold artificial restrictions on characters that encourages alts instead of a good progression system that focuses on purpose and individual players/characters, sigh. 

 

I actually don't really like this much myself, I'd much rather have one character I can swap skills sets/abilities out on that I can get to eventually do all things. That said this is not such a game and I don't know how much of a difference having a crafting alt will make since you can only have one character per campaign. Of course you can craft better things in your eternal kingdom or if your group is stick without a crafter you could play that. The former doesn't really seem to be important to me and the later would be at the expense of playing something you want assuming crafting is an alt you are just doing because.

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They should make you play Bejeweled to craft, that way only people who are really good at Bejeweled can craft good items. Master crafters will only be the top 0.1% of Bejeweled players. 

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I would like if they incorporated a leveling system dedicated to each world. So with each campaing you restart from level one. Of coarse the leveling should not give you uber power but some sort of bonuses would be nice.

Edited by fastcamcj

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You are so pessimistic. It's fitting that Nietzsche is in your sig, ha.

 

Does it really detract from your enjoyment of the game that much if other people enjoy the game in the manner they want? Even if everyone can craft everything, and there is no gating or skills, does that reduce the fun a crafter will have with the system? Can you only have fun if you are a special and unique snowflake?

 

I like being good at something; it doesn't matter if other people are good at it too. In fact, if those other people and I are in direct competition, I get further enjoyment from the game. Challenge me with a fair fight on equal terms. My crafting team will beat your crafting team.

 

It reduces my enjoyment dramatically, because it demotes Crowfall from an MMORPG World, to more of an arena game

 

Games are a dime a dozen. I want a world simulator, including simulating the aspects that aren't in of themselves fun but add to the whole, like large worlds with long travel time, like difficult character progression, like hardcore loot rules so death hurts. 


The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe.

- Nietzsche

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**UNBIASED TRUTH HERE**

 

I can understand what OP wants, and truly a true linear progression wouldn't be a horrendous addition to this game you have to understand why so many people flocked to this game so fast.

 

I personally have to say back when i had tons of time, I did enjoy that slight power advantage that i got by spending more time pushing my character that one step further It is a tremendously good feeling to end up dueling someone who though may be close, simply cannot beat you if you are at all competent due to the fact that you went the extra mile and got one more piece of epic gear. That hard work noticeably payed off and it feels good.

 

However,

 

More and more these days. (I am a professional with higher than average work hours and a girlfriend and active social life.) I notice that these things that were great when I had all the time in the world to kill. Have completely ruined my experience. I WANT to be the strongest, I WANT to be the best. I don't have the time nor the friends who play constantly anymore to back me up. Leveling and gearing is balanced around those who have the very most time to give to it. If you don't, then you are not even able to compete. Not to mention That feeling when I start an MMO and realize that I am going to have to play for a very long time before I can actually do the activities I like. Upward progression in general is a problem now for most MMO players as the player base is starting to get older and not have the same amount of time. A huge amount of people now don't want to have to "play" the MMO for X hours to be able to REALLY PLAY the MMO. 

 

I know this isn't a moba but why do you think mobas are now numerically the most popular genre of game? Its because it fulfills the fantasy of being a mage in a magical kingdom that doesn't force a player to jump through hoops before you can even compete. There IS NO PROGRESSION PERIOD! and yet no one seems bored of them, if anything they are getting more popular even faster. Just because its an open world game doesn't mean that the rules of game fun doesn't apply to it anymore and that if other open worlds didn't have progression people got bored. If anything, its the opposite, people have been waiting for an open world mmo that doesn't rely on progression over fun.

 

I specify this because someone mentioned that "fun" couldn't carry this game very far and that it would have to keep people interested with progression. WHY?!! 

there are millions of games that rely on competion and fun ONLY and outlast pretty much every MMO ever made minus perhaps WoW, examples include Battlefield, Counter-Strike, and most popular MOBAS. And I understand that an FPS isn't necessarily a good comparison but its simply to highlight the fact that people still play ancient shooters (CS) and they offer no progression. So it progression obviously isn't the only way to keep people playing.

 

no TLDR. 

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A few brief thoughts on this stream-of-consciousness style. 

 

​Don't Underestimate Skill Training

 

Remember this is a system being borrowed from EVE Online - where completely skilling up will take something like 30 years. We may very well end up seeing advanced disciplines somewhat akin to EVE's capital ships, for which training takes an inordinate amount of time, but with a heavy, extremely specialized payout. We also may not, but I still think this is going to be something that takes a very long time to finish up, if the developers know what they're doing (and I think they do, in this case).

 

Still, It Looks a Bit Light

 

That said, I don't disagree with the basic premise here. Getting a highly functional competitive build likely won't take much longer than 1-3 months, if even that, and everything after that is going to be side-growth or icing on the cake. 

 

Sandbox Progression

 

That said, the game is a sandbox, and an endless power progression-treadmill isn't the answer, which rules out a lot of traditional answers to the problem. EVE has worked fine with what would equate to skill training + temporary gear, but EVE also invests its players in the game much more with a political climate and world-permanence that will likely far exceed what we are able to get in Crowfall.

 

Dying worlds solve the issue of the unassailable mega-corp, but does it create a new one in longevity for a genre where investment in the world has played such an important role? 

 

Your Personal Skill Increasing is Not Character Progression

 

And finally, no, your personal skill increasing is not character progression, by definition, so stop responding with that. Your character stays the same. You, as a player, progress. There is a key difference between the two, and importantly, we're only discussing one of them. 

Edited by isarii

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Ndgreene, make no mistake, I think Crowfall as it stands now will be fun to play and something that I will hop into from time to time for 30 mins to an hour to test my player skill in, then get off and forget about it until I play it again for a brief casual stint. 

 

That's not what I think of when I see MMORPG. 

 

I want a world that encourages and rewards players who devote themselves to it. Obviously you do not, because you have more to do in real life. 

 

In a nutshell, that's the difference. I want to put more time into this MMORPG than most, and of course I want to feel like it's worth it. It felt like it was pointless to play EvE a lot (as an individual). I fear the same will be true in Crowfall. It'll just be another casual game, something I enjoy playing for a few minutes and then I am done with until the next day comes along. Because it doesn't pull me in and keep me there. 

 

It'll just be a game, not a world.


The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe.

- Nietzsche

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