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Ghosts In The Machine (And Other Places)


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You're not giving any reason for why it should be allowed. So what if they're temporary and limited by inventory space? It's still essentially hiring NPCs to do a job that should be left up to players instead. It's going to take away from the nuance of the game. Are you an unpleasant person that kills everyone on sight on the server? Well then no one is going to work for you when you want to hire people to protect your caravan. That's ok, though! You can just pay for NPC help!

 

To be fair, you haven't given a reason why it shouldn't be allowed. Also, if not defending caravans, then why doing anything else? Why is combat the one place where thralls shouldn't work?

 

I understand that there's a threshold. You shouldn't be able to defend your caravan with 700 thralls. But, what if there aren't 700 thralls in a CW to even find, much less assign to caravan duty? If there are only 50 in each campaign, then if you can somehow manage to gather ALL of them without any enemies gathering any, or any allies gathering them and using them for something else, then, by all means, if you'd like to waste all 50 protecting your one caravan, then watch all the thralls go *poof*, be my guest. More power to you.

 

They're just a resource. Maybe you can use Mithril (for example) to build a caravan vehicle with much higher armor, or even mounted, mannable weaponry? But, the Mithril's only so abundant, so you're only going to find so much in a campaign. So, if you want to do that with your Mithril, why not do it? Either that, or that Mithril is performing tasks that should be left to the players, isn't it?

 

Short point; I agree that Thralls shouldn't be able to just replace players (in both numbers and effectiveness), but as long as they can't do that, I don't see a problem. It's no different from anything else in the game that can aid the player. A sword. If a sword could kill 70 people in one swing, that would be going too far. but that doesn't mean we shouldn't have swords, because players should kill everything with their own bare hands or something.

 

 

This update means that you cannot make thrall's of hostile enemies/creatures. Instead thrall's you can target will be specific ghosts.

Was it that specific? I mean, I don't think a thrall will be an enemy that you just capture. But, what if a thrall is inhabiting the body of some creature as a vessel, down in some crypt or ruin? It might be possible that slaying a particular beastie exposes the restless thrall within. Especially the more powerful ones. *shrug*

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As explained in the FAQ we’re introducing today, Thralls are “the souls of fallen warriors and craftsmen”. If you can successfully harness their power and maintain control of it—which may be a challen

lol @ slave issue. The fact that was ever brought up and even discussed was mind boggling. MMOs of the future will have to replace polearms with pugil sticks at this rate.

There is something strange... in your Crowfallhood! How you gonna call?! THRALLBUSTERS!

 

To be fair, you haven't given a reason why it shouldn't be allowed. Also, if not defending caravans, then why doing anything else? Why is combat the one place where thralls shouldn't work?

 

I understand that there's a threshold. You shouldn't be able to defend your caravan with 700 thralls. But, what if there aren't 700 thralls in a CW to even find, much less assign to caravan duty? If there are only 50 in each campaign, then if you can somehow manage to gather ALL of them without any enemies gathering any, or any allies gathering them and using them for something else, then, by all means, if you'd like to waste all 50 protecting your one caravan, then watch all the thralls go *poof*, be my guest. More power to you.

 

They're just a resource. Maybe you can use Mithril (for example) to build a caravan vehicle with much higher armor, or even mounted, mannable weaponry? But, the Mithril's only so abundant, so you're only going to find so much in a campaign. So, if you want to do that with your Mithril, why not do it? Either that, or that Mithril is performing tasks that should be left to the players, isn't it?

 

Short point; I agree that Thralls shouldn't be able to just replace players (in both numbers and effectiveness), but as long as they can't do that, I don't see a problem. It's no different from anything else in the game that can aid the player. A sword. If a sword could kill 70 people in one swing, that would be going too far. but that doesn't mean we shouldn't have swords, because players should kill everything with their own bare hands or something.

 

 

 

Was it that specific? I mean, I don't think a thrall will be an enemy that you just capture. But, what if a thrall is inhabiting the body of some creature as a vessel, down in some crypt or ruin? It might be possible that slaying a particular beastie exposes the restless thrall within. Especially the more powerful ones. *shrug*

Yes it was that specific.

 

Perhaps a ghost could possess a creature but you do not make a thrall of the creature; you make a thrall of the ghost.

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To be fair, you haven't given a reason why it shouldn't be allowed. Also, if not defending caravans, then why doing anything else? Why is combat the one place where thralls shouldn't work?

 

I understand that there's a threshold. You shouldn't be able to defend your caravan with 700 thralls. But, what if there aren't 700 thralls in a CW to even find, much less assign to caravan duty? If there are only 50 in each campaign, then if you can somehow manage to gather ALL of them without any enemies gathering any, or any allies gathering them and using them for something else, then, by all means, if you'd like to waste all 50 protecting your one caravan, then watch all the thralls go *poof*, be my guest. More power to you.

 

They're just a resource. Maybe you can use Mithril (for example) to build a caravan vehicle with much higher armor, or even mounted, mannable weaponry? But, the Mithril's only so abundant, so you're only going to find so much in a campaign. So, if you want to do that with your Mithril, why not do it? Either that, or that Mithril is performing tasks that should be left to the players, isn't it?

 

Short point; I agree that Thralls shouldn't be able to just replace players (in both numbers and effectiveness), but as long as they can't do that, I don't see a problem. It's no different from anything else in the game that can aid the player. A sword. If a sword could kill 70 people in one swing, that would be going too far. but that doesn't mean we shouldn't have swords, because players should kill everything with their own bare hands or something.

 

Thralls should be allowed to do other things because they aren't the focus of the game. Allowing a Thrall to sell your stuff doesn't have a negative effect on others in the game. Allowing Thralls in combat can negatively affect others. Having negative effects on other players is fine, but it should be YOU controlling it, not an NPC.

 

You are assuming that they will be a completely limited resource. Furthermore, you are assuming that people won't stockpile Thralls up and bring them into campaigns, which they can and will, especially in 100% import campaigns. If they are able to perform well in combat, that gives players a HUGE incentive to stockpile.

 

You are still controlling the caravan - mounting it, shooting the weaponry. I have no problem with that. But it should be PLAYER controlled, not NPC controlled.

 

Thralls are very different from swords. Swords are wielded, aimed, swung, etc. by the players. The actions of thralls, and therefore the outcomes of battles with thralls at least to a certain extent, are controlled by the server. Taking control over actions in-game away from the player and handing it to the server is bad. Player skill, not usage of Thralls, should determine the outcome of a fight. I've said that so much already. It doesn't take skill to bring a stash of NPCs with you to fight your battles. And it would feel cheesy to lose to a group of Thralls while the player that brought them just stands there. And if it's not even possible for a group of Thralls to bring down a player, what is the point of even allowing them to participate in combat?

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Yes it was that specific.

 

Perhaps a ghost could possess a creature but you do not make a thrall of the creature; you make a thrall of the ghost.

Apologies. I meant to ask if it specifically addressed the potential relationship between thralls and creatures. In other words, "has any official word said that we will only ever find thralls as separate from creatures, and never find a thrall as a consequence of killing/defeating a creature?"

 

I should've worded it better/been more specific.

 

 

Thralls should be allowed to do other things because they aren't the focus of the game. Allowing a Thrall to sell your stuff doesn't have a negative effect on others in the game. Allowing Thralls in combat can negatively affect others. Having negative effects on other players is fine, but it should be YOU controlling it, not an NPC.

I dare say the focus of the game is conflict, not combat. Combat, crafting, gathering, construction, vending... that all forms the engine of war, and all of it's done by players, until you let a thrall do it. There'd be nothing okay about letting thralls be capable (in quantity AND effectiveness) of handling ALL the crafting needs of an entire faction in a given campaign, simply because it's "not combat, so it's not the focus of the game." Yes, supplying people with equipment so that they can fight IS part of the focus of the game, because combat does not exist as a completely separate thing from crafting, for example. (In other words, the game isn't about a giant FFA brawl between naked people, with no resource gathering or building or crafting ever taking place.)

 

You are assuming that they will be a completely limited resource. Furthermore, you are assuming that people won't stockpile Thralls up and bring them into campaigns, which they can and will, especially in 100% import campaigns. If they are able to perform well in combat, that gives players a HUGE incentive to stockpile.

No, I'm simply refraining from assuming that they'll be an infinite resource. The stockpiling thing is a good point, though. That's probably something that would need to be considered. Again, regardless of whether people bring in 1,000 thralls for crafting, or 1,000 thralls for combat. It needs to be limited either way.

 

You are still controlling the caravan - mounting it, shooting the weaponry. I have no problem with that. But it should be PLAYER controlled, not NPC controlled.

Sure, but the caravan's getting more protection, regardless of whether or not it's from thralls or armor/weapons. Guard thralls aren't automating the process of winning. They're simply adding to your firepower. Unless they put in the most amazing AI anyone's ever seen, I'd imagine the thralls will be far less effective than a player could potentially be, in combat. Wanna stuff a thrall into your Legendite sword and be that much more effective in protecting your caravan? Or do you wanna be less effective, and have a lil' minion fighting with you? Your choice. Either way, you become more effective.

 

That, and pets are already confirmed, for combat even, I believe (I could be mistaken). But, either way, the same argument would have to apply to combat pets. Whoa whoa! Your pet can do something a player should be doing? DOWN WITH PETS! Would you not agree?

 

Thralls are very different from swords. Swords are wielded, aimed, swung, etc. by the players. The actions of thralls, and therefore the outcomes of battles with thralls at least to a certain extent, are controlled by the server. Taking control over actions in-game away from the player and handing it to the server is bad. Player skill, not usage of Thralls, should determine the outcome of a fight. I've said that so much already. It doesn't take skill to bring a stash of NPCs with you to fight your battles. And it would feel cheesy to lose to a group of Thralls while the player that brought them just stands there. And if it's not even possible for a group of Thralls to bring down a player, what is the point of even allowing them to participate in combat?

The number of thralls you can use whilst crafting is limited by the number of slots your building has. You could apply the same thing to combat thralls. Maybe a given player can only have one in his service at a time. *shrug*. Once again, you're observing consideration-worthy factors dealing with extents, but you still have not actually pointed out why the sheer act of non-player-character combat is inherently evil, while letting a millionty-thousand thralls gather all the resources on the map, build defense towers everywhere, craft everything, serve as inanimate obstacles in a battle, etc., would be totally fine.

 

The problem with thralls is in usage restriction, not in exactly what acts they're allowed to perform and what acts they aren't.

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So what? All I'm hearing in response to me is that it'll take time/effort/be limited/blah blah blah. Who cares how much time/effort someone has to put in? If it's possible, there will be large stockpiles of these no matter how much time/effort/money/grinding it takes to get. But none of that speaks to the main point: WHY should there be NPCs designated to do a player's job in game? How does that add to the game? My point is that it doesn't - it takes away from the experience. Where payment for protection or protection for favors politics would come into the game, you can simply buy/obtain Thralls instead. It's not good game design to use NPCs for jobs that should be done by the player.

 

You know, the argument could go both ways. I've seen servers in traditional MMOs where it's a ghost town and you don't really have player interaction or help regardless. We're all in a fixed role, go kill rats, go raid. We don't get a chance to establish reputations that we want. NPCs took that from us by being merchants or blacksmiths that you just sell rat pelts to in order to buy potions and mats. That's being put back in our hands now.

 

So If we're doing caravan guard duty for instance, what if there are no players to help you for instance? Well? What if you don't trust players to turn on you and loot your caravan, what if your guild's all offline and you're the only one on and you've struck literal gold and you need to get to the embargo vault as soon as possible before other players come circling you? How are their jobs being replaced if they're not there to do it in the first place? Most players in a PVP setting generally laugh at you off or tell you to custard off anyways, that is if they're feeling very generous to not kill you and rob you blind.

 

"I'd hate to have to waste this soul gem I've crafted and the hour I took finding a combat oriented thrall warrior that would greatly enhance my weapon's stat, but I have to release him for caravan duty, I would rather have my gold exported out of this world. I can always capture another thrall later. Maybe I'll get a better one when the hunger gets worse."

 

"We're being outnumbered and we're the only 3 people on guard duty for this stronghold, and our guild is off schlepping in the northern region... that ranger collected some thralls, why don't we ask him if we can buy some off him so we can deploy some for a greater chance of defending our objective."

"Nah let's gank the ranger so we can get them for ourselves" (optional dialogue by party member.)

 

The way I see thralls is just as much of an environmental thing like deploying a barricade. It costs resources and a soul gem to do that. If you can't handle the excitement of having to dispatch several thralls attached to a caravan (that he wasted his soul gem and potential armor/weapon stats and being able to use as a NPC in the EK) and finishing off the player hiding behind them... How will you make it into the "Hall of Heroes", milkdrinker?

 

And what's wrong with buying/obtaining thralls? That's like an extra economy which means more people have a job specialty. Cmon... Miners, Blacksmiths, Builders...Thrall Hunters~

 

It's not good game design to rely on NPC for quest tracking or as vendors. It's amazing game design to deploy NPCs like an alert, defensive EXPENDABLE tool which dictates the emergent gameplay, and gives them purpose instead of just standing at static locations in the world, doomed to roam. They even state that some thralls will be unpredictable...so that means they're not a guaranteed lock to win in combat because the thrall can just easily turn on the player. Plus, they're mobs at first..so the only NPC thing that can apply to them is crafting, which kinda goes back to your double edged argument about thralls taking jobs~

 

Btw 100% import campaigns are very low reward because the risk is low. You're not going to find enough thralls to stockpile like stupid crazy, or the resources to craft as many soul gems as you want. You want more thralls and resources to catch them? Gotta go into higher risk campaigns, and even at that, the import rate drops down so it's all chance. That makes for specific niches of players who will decide okay, I'll get mostly iron because I'm a blacksmith. I'll get mostly loot and gear drops so I can continue the war with import rules in other campaigns for warriors, PVPers. Okay, I'll mostly get thralls so I can improve my stats or sell them to crafters or have them make me armor for a catch because I am a dedicated thrall hunter, and that's how I'm going to make my living.

 

Also there are import rules to consider for campaigns, so you're not gonna bring an army of thralls, or you could if you have the balls to do it while being naked. That makes for amusing gameplay anyways.

 

Ofc this is all theoretical...

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I dare say the focus of the game is conflict, not combat. Combat, crafting, gathering, construction, vending... that all forms the engine of war, and all of it's done by players, until you let a thrall do it. There'd be nothing okay about letting thralls be capable (in quantity AND effectiveness) of handling ALL the crafting needs of an entire faction in a given campaign, simply because it's "not combat, so it's not the focus of the game." Yes, supplying people with equipment so that they can fight IS part of the focus of the game, because combat does not exist as a completely separate thing from crafting, for example. (In other words, the game isn't about a giant FFA brawl between naked people, with no resource gathering or building or crafting ever taking place.)

 

 

No, I'm simply refraining from assuming that they'll be an infinite resource. The stockpiling thing is a good point, though. That's probably something that would need to be considered. Again, regardless of whether people bring in 1,000 thralls for crafting, or 1,000 thralls for combat. It needs to be limited either way.

 

 

Sure, but the caravan's getting more protection, regardless of whether or not it's from thralls or armor/weapons. Guard thralls aren't automating the process of winning. They're simply adding to your firepower. Unless they put in the most amazing AI anyone's ever seen, I'd imagine the thralls will be far less effective than a player could potentially be, in combat. Wanna stuff a thrall into your Legendite sword and be that much more effective in protecting your caravan? Or do you wanna be less effective, and have a lil' minion fighting with you? Your choice. Either way, you become more effective.

 

That, and pets are already confirmed, for combat even, I believe (I could be mistaken). But, either way, the same argument would have to apply to combat pets. Whoa whoa! Your pet can do something a player should be doing? DOWN WITH PETS! Would you not agree?

 

The number of thralls you can use whilst crafting is limited by the number of slots your building has. You could apply the same thing to combat thralls. Maybe a given player can only have one in his service at a time. *shrug*. Once again, you're observing consideration-worthy factors dealing with extents, but you still have not actually pointed out why the sheer act of non-player-character combat is inherently evil, while letting a millionty-thousand thralls gather all the resources on the map, build defense towers everywhere, craft everything, serve as inanimate obstacles in a battle, etc., would be totally fine.

 

The problem with thralls is in usage restriction, not in exactly what acts they're allowed to perform and what acts they aren't.

 

Apologies in advance - I'm bad at forum formatting and don't feel like learning at the moment...

 

 

Your first paragraph I agree with on all counts. Thralls should not be able to fully automate all aspects of gathering/crafting/etc. I guess I overstated before when I said I would be ok with something like this.

 

Second paragraph, you're likely right that there won't be an infinite resource of Thralls, but at some point the state of the game will reach a state where they are essentially infinite, once guilds stockpile enough and enough are being sold at market. Your point that there needs to be a limit is valid. Perhaps the statement in the FAQ about them being freed after their debt is up sheds light on this. Maybe after a certain amount of time, they will degrade and shatter regardless of use?

 

In regard to adding Thralls to caravans and pets and AI - I hate deployable/pet classes in skill-based PvP games. They give less skilled players a handicap. Even if they deploy a pet/deployable incorrectly, fail at using their skills effectively, etc, these mechanics add damage to their overall output for free. They don't have to do anything. There is no skill involved. If a pet is there, it adds damage. I'm not saying that players can't be extremely skilled with these classes. I'm simply saying that they don't DO anything to get that extra free damage. That is a game design decision that I don't agree with.

 

I agree on everything with restriction. Use of Thralls should be limited in crafting/gathering/trading as well, and it seems like there will be a limit with sockets for said Thralls in buildings and such. The difference between Thralls in crafting/gathering/trading and Thralls in combat is that player skill determines the outcome in combat, not in crafting/gathering/trading. Knowledge of recipes/combinations may play a factor in crafting, but, barring some sort of skill-based mini game in crafting, there isn't any real skill involved. You hit a button and boom you've got a new weapon. Same thing with gathering and trading. They are time/resource sinks, but they don't factor in player skill. Combat does. If a campaign was entirely about gathering/crafting, then the winner would essentially be based on man-hours. Whoever has the most man-hours to dedicate to the game wins. This is not so with combat (zergs aside - an entirely different discussion).

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You know, the argument could go both ways. I've seen servers in traditional MMOs where it's a ghost town and you don't really have player interaction or help regardless. We're all in a fixed role, go kill rats, go raid. We don't get a chance to establish reputations that we want. NPCs took that from us by being merchants or blacksmiths that you just sell rat pelts to in order to buy potions and mats. That's being put back in our hands now.

 

So If we're doing caravan guard duty for instance, what if there are no players to help you for instance? Well? What if you don't trust players to turn on you and loot your caravan, what if your guild's all offline and you're the only one on and you've struck literal gold and you need to get to the embargo vault as soon as possible before other players come circling you? How are their jobs being replaced if they're not there to do it in the first place? Most players in a PVP setting generally laugh at you off or tell you to custard off anyways, that is if they're feeling very generous to not kill you and rob you blind.

 

"I'd hate to have to waste this soul gem I've crafted and the hour I took finding a combat oriented thrall warrior that would greatly enhance my weapon's stat, but I have to release him for caravan duty, I would rather have my gold exported out of this world. I can always capture another thrall later. Maybe I'll get a better one when the hunger gets worse."

 

"We're being outnumbered and we're the only 3 people on guard duty for this stronghold, and our guild is off schlepping in the northern region... that ranger collected some thralls, why don't we ask him if we can buy some off him so we can deploy some for a greater chance of defending our objective."

"Nah let's gank the ranger so we can get them for ourselves" (optional dialogue by party member.)

 

The way I see thralls is just as much of an environmental thing like deploying a barricade. It costs resources and a soul gem to do that. If you can't handle the excitement of having to dispatch several thralls attached to a caravan (that he wasted his soul gem and potential armor/weapon stats and being able to use as a NPC in the EK) and finishing off the player hiding behind them... How will you make it into the "Hall of Heroes", milkdrinker?

 

And what's wrong with buying/obtaining thralls? That's like an extra economy which means more people have a job specialty. Cmon... Miners, Blacksmiths, Builders...Thrall Hunters~

 

It's not good game design to rely on NPC for quest tracking or as vendors. It's amazing game design to deploy NPCs like an alert, defensive EXPENDABLE tool which dictates the emergent gameplay, and gives them purpose instead of just standing at static locations in the world, doomed to roam. They even state that some thralls will be unpredictable...so that means they're not a guaranteed lock to win in combat because the thrall can just easily turn on the player. Plus, they're mobs at first..so the only NPC thing that can apply to them is crafting, which kinda goes back to your double edged argument about thralls taking jobs~

 

Btw 100% import campaigns are very low reward because the risk is low. You're not going to find enough thralls to stockpile like stupid crazy, or the resources to craft as many soul gems as you want. You want more thralls and resources to catch them? Gotta go into higher risk campaigns, and even at that, the import rate drops down so it's all chance. That makes for specific niches of players who will decide okay, I'll get mostly iron because I'm a blacksmith. I'll get mostly loot and gear drops so I can continue the war with import rules in other campaigns for warriors, PVPers. Okay, I'll mostly get thralls so I can improve my stats or sell them to crafters or have them make me armor for a catch because I am a dedicated thrall hunter, and that's how I'm going to make my living.

 

Also there are import rules to consider for campaigns, so you're not gonna bring an army of thralls, or you could if you have the balls to do it while being naked. That makes for amusing gameplay anyways.

 

Ofc this is all theoretical...

 

I would say your situation regarding not having other players around to guard you from your guild or otherwise comes down to risk vs. reward. You log on and see that you don't have any guildmates on. Should you go to the mine and try to gather resources, even though you won't have backup if someone comes to try and kill you and take your stuff? The risk is higher, but the reward of having that extra amount of resources could potentially outweigh the risk.

 

I don't see anything wrong with buying/selling Thralls. I think that should be in game. It adds to the economy. Good stuff.

 

I agree that my point about thralls taking player jobs is somewhat contradicting. See my post above (and also Lephys) about limits. I definitely think it should be limited in every situation where a Thrall can be deployed.

 

I'm not sure I agree on the point that you won't be able to gather resources to stockpile Thralls. I think that eventually guilds, especially large ones, will have a large stockpile of these if there is not some kind of mechanic that destroys them after a certain amount of time, or some other artificial cap on the number a person/guild can have at once, especially if you can do things like stacking them in your inventory.

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I'm not sure I agree on the point that you won't be able to gather resources to stockpile Thralls. I think that eventually guilds, especially large ones, will have a large stockpile of these if there is not some kind of mechanic that destroys them after a certain amount of time, or some other artificial cap on the number a person/guild can have at once, especially if you can do things like stacking them in your inventory.

 

Maybe your prediction is right, it's at least a good concern. Inflation is always a problem in an mmo, and I can't see why Thralls wouldn't also be affected by it. That is if, of course, ACE doesn't give them a limited amount of time until they disappear without use, like you stated.

 

Still not completely sure they'd become the staple meta though, but I'm okay with seeing 700 Thralls fight another 700 Thralls. For the first time, at least. :)

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I would say your situation regarding not having other players around to guard you from your guild or otherwise comes down to risk vs. reward. You log on and see that you don't have any guildmates on. Should you go to the mine and try to gather resources, even though you won't have backup if someone comes to try and kill you and take your stuff? The risk is higher, but the reward of having that extra amount of resources could potentially outweigh the risk.

 

I don't see anything wrong with buying/selling Thralls. I think that should be in game. It adds to the economy. Good stuff.

 

I agree that my point about thralls taking player jobs is somewhat contradicting. See my post above (and also Lephys) about limits. I definitely think it should be limited in every situation where a Thrall can be deployed.

 

I'm not sure I agree on the point that you won't be able to gather resources to stockpile Thralls. I think that eventually guilds, especially large ones, will have a large stockpile of these if there is not some kind of mechanic that destroys them after a certain amount of time, or some other artificial cap on the number a person/guild can have at once, especially if you can do things like stacking them in your inventory.

 

Yea, that is a good point. Didn't the FAQ say that the Thrall would try to break out of its prison once in a while? They can't be stored indefinitely it seems. As to how that'll happen is still beyond our knowledge at the moment.

 

The stockpiling is a matter of resources available, so if large guilds stockpile, there has to be a way that it puts them at risk to not stockpiling other resources for defense, gear etc. Thralls in soul gems take up inventory, and if you were to put those captured thralls into a chest(which I don't even know if they'll exist in the world yet), then you can only reap off their effort potentially by stealing/looting it. I guess it's the same idea of exhausting a mining node, thralls sources at ruins would have to be depleted after a while as well potentially. Then there's resources of making/buying soul gems. If a guild is really dedicated to bulking up with thralls, then what are they putting out at risk? That's just a fact of big guilds, what's to say they won't be stockpiling armor/weapons to have a better edge too? Doesn't mean if you're a lone player, you can't disrupt them indirectly in all kinds of manners still. You could just clear their thralls in hit and runs and they've just wasted their resources and time doing so.

 

Another question though, is I wonder if they release a thrall for duty... can other players capture that thrall with soul gems? :o

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Maybe your prediction is right, it's at least a good concern. Inflation is always a problem in an mmo, and I can't see why Thralls wouldn't also be affected by it. That is if, of course, ACE doesn't give them a limited amount of time until they disappear without use, like you stated.

 

Still not completely sure they'd become the staple meta though, but I'm okay with seeing 700 Thralls fight another 700 Thralls. For the first time, at least. :)

 

Indeed. Hopefully they'll have some mechanics to handle inflation, although artificial controls on economy kind of suck. I imagine the imports allowed in campaigns will somewhat combat this, and each campaign will probably have its own internal economy that will be different than the meta economy in EKs.

 

I admit 700 v 700 thralls might be entertaining. Once. RIP old computers, though.

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Yea, that is a good point. Didn't the FAQ say that the Thrall would try to break out of its prison once in a while? They can't be stored indefinitely it seems. As to how that'll happen is still beyond our knowledge at the moment.

 

The stockpiling is a matter of resources available, so if large guilds stockpile, there has to be a way that it puts them at risk to not stockpiling other resources for defense, gear etc. Thralls in soul gems take up inventory, and if you were to put those captured thralls into a chest(which I don't even know if they'll exist in the world yet), then you can only reap off their effort potentially by stealing/looting it. I guess it's the same idea of exhausting a mining node, thralls sources at ruins would have to be depleted after a while as well potentially. Then there's resources of making/buying soul gems. If a guild is really dedicated to bulking up with thralls, then what are they putting out at risk? That's just a fact of big guilds, what's to say they won't be stockpiling armor/weapons to have a better edge too? Doesn't mean if you're a lone player, you can't disrupt them indirectly in all kinds of manners still. You could just clear their thralls in hit and runs and they've just wasted their resources and time doing so.

 

Another question though, is I wonder if they release a thrall for duty... can other players capture that thrall with soul gems? :o

 

Indeed it seems fairly likely that you can't store indefinitely, which might mitigate the stockpiling concern, at least to some extent. I imagine that there will be a bank of some sort within a campaign, although that might not necessarily be the case. I would imagine it'll be something you can build as you build up  your base. Good points about depleting large guilds' stockpiles over time. The mechanic will be interesting for sure.

 

I still hate the idea of Thralls in combat, but it might be something as simple as that you can slot them in your towns to stop PKs from killing in your town while trading. I think that would be annoying, as killing people who are trading should be part of the game IMO. I'm likely overreacting to the whole thing, and I'm sure ACE has ideas in mind for balancing Thralls along with everything else. I guess we'll just have to wait and see how it plays out.

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What an interesting feature! I like the idea of being able to recruit these Thralls to defend my keep. I can't wait to hear more about them as they are finalized.

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I still hate the idea of Thralls in combat, but it might be something as simple as that you can slot them in your towns to stop PKs from killing in your town while trading. I think that would be annoying, as killing people who are trading should be part of the game IMO. I'm likely overreacting to the whole thing, and I'm sure ACE has ideas in mind for balancing Thralls along with everything else. I guess we'll just have to wait and see how it plays out.

 

They could be assigned guards that are only active while you're offline. Something to hold the fort while you're offline. It'd be more organic than hard set windows of vulnerability at least.

David Sirlin's Balancing Multiplayer Games should be mandatory reading for all gamers.

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Boy, is this an awful idea.

Seem to be trying to do too much in my opinion. Just make sure combat is fun and skill intensive, territory means something, and have full loot, and you'll have droves and droves of people playing it.

I don't think anyone here is looking forward to the PvE aspect. We're all here for PvP.

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There is zero indication that thralls can be used as a mobile combat pet. Review the FAQ on page 1 of this thread. Thralls can be used as bind-spirits in weapons and armor, or can be bound to buildings using summoning circles: that's it. They left the door open as to whether a thrall could serve as a building guard but we can be pretty confident that a mulewagon won't have a summoning circle.

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"I think 1/3rd of my postcount is telling people that we aren't turning into a PvE / casual / broad audience game." -

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There is zero indication that thralls can be used as a mobile combat pet. Review the FAQ on page 1 of this thread. Thralls can be used as bind-spirits in weapons and armor, or can be bound to buildings using summoning circles: that's it. They left the door open as to whether a thrall could serve as a building guard but we can be pretty confident that a mulewagon won't have a summoning circle.

 

This is 100% speculation.

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Second paragraph, you're likely right that there won't be an infinite resource of Thralls, but at some point the state of the game will reach a state where they are essentially infinite, once guilds stockpile enough and enough are being sold at market. Your point that there needs to be a limit is valid. Perhaps the statement in the FAQ about them being freed after their debt is up sheds light on this. Maybe after a certain amount of time, they will degrade and shatter regardless of use?

Yeah. Maybe the longer they're in a soul gem, the weaker they get? So, you have to use them within a reasonable amount of time, or they're gone. Doesn't mean there wouldn't be stronger ones that would last longer, and/or start to deteriorate more slowly (and/or soul gems that could hold them for longer without decay, etc.), but all of this naturally facilitates limitation via the rarity of strong thralls and gems (and/or resources for gems). OR, it could be as simple as "you can only bring X thralls into a campaign world with you." Etc.

 

It really depends on the rest of the design, but limitation is very flexible, and can handle almost any situation, really, without outright making it a binary "no, you can never do X/yes, you can always do X" issue.

 

In regard to adding Thralls to caravans and pets and AI - I hate deployable/pet classes in skill-based PvP games. They give less skilled players a handicap. Even if they deploy a pet/deployable incorrectly, fail at using their skills effectively, etc, these mechanics add damage to their overall output for free. They don't have to do anything. There is no skill involved. If a pet is there, it adds damage.

That isn't necessarily accurate. Or, rather, it is of many games, but isn't inherently the case purely because pet-type entities exist. Imagine there's one Archetype, and two disciplines in the game (for simplicity's sake). The Archetype grants you basic combat abilities. Discipline A (we'll call it the Weaponmaster) grants you 10 more combat abilities, which amount to some amount of extra DPS that varies depending on exact skill/usage. Discipline B (we'll call it Petmaster) grants you a pet, with 10 combat abilities that amount to some amount of extra DPS tha varies depending on exact skill/usage. Using a pet, inherently, is nothing more than a different way to allocate a class/discipline/archetype/what-have-you's capabilities.

 

That being said, if a thrall were usable by anyone, then it would not fall under that design. So, there's that. I'm not saying letting thralls be used in combat is just a magical idea and cannot be screwed up if not carefully considered. But, I'm still not against it in its entirety because I have yet to see anyone exhaust the pool of options for designing/handling it well.

 

The difference between Thralls in crafting/gathering/trading and Thralls in combat is that player skill determines the outcome in combat, not in crafting/gathering/trading.

I understand what you're getting at, but you're acting as though combat is pure skill, and everything else is completely unaffected by it. There's an element to combat that is merely basic competence. In other words, an unskilled person could still run at you and hit you. They wouldn't be fighting extremely effectively, but they'd still be fighting, even without any "skill." That's the basis for AI in games. And even Crowfall will have some AI-controlled obstacles. They're not taking the entire place of player skill. Player skill is something applied on top of basic competence. So, thralls could very well function as a mobile obstacle. Or, as individual aspect of combat. Maybe you have some archer thrall guards, and they'll basically aim at hostile targets and fire arrows. They might even try to move away a bit if you get too close to them. But, they're not going to take the place of a player with a bow. They'll be no different than a dart trap in a ruin. It's shooting projectiles out that you have to avoid. Sure, it might not kill you all by itself, but it takes away your ability to simply traipse down a hallway without a care in the world. Same with thralls. They don't have to be able to skillfully take you down in order to be useful.

 

As I believe someone else posited, you could be a lone merchant/gatherer/crafter, and maybe you play at a time when there aren't many others online. So, you take a small wagonish thing and a few thralls out with you to find some nodes. Maybe they guard you while you travel, just so it's not your lonesome self versus anyone who happens upon you. Then, you get to some resource-heavy areas, and you park your wagon and switch the thralls to a gathering role (while they're like this, they cannot fight or protect you at all). I don't know if we can swap their roles once assigned (probably definitely not if they're bound into a weapon/item), but this is just an idea and an example of their usefulness without being OP or taking people's jarbs. Now, if you get attacked, do you switch them back to guards and have them fight, and lose your gathering manpower, as well? Or do you just try to get them the heck out of there?

 

See, they're just a resource. The fact that they can try to attack moving targets doesn't mean they're doing exactly what a player does. Maybe bringing 100 thralls to a siege would be pretty useless. Maybe that would be a dumb idea. The game need not prevent you from doing that, specifically. It can just let you learn from your mistakes. Thus, once again, thralls are able to be useful as guards to some degree. Put all that together with sufficient limitations (active thralls per player, etc.), and you've got something that's by no means preposterous.

 

This is 100% speculation.

In all fairness, so is the idea that they won't be restricted to buildings and such. The point being that "zero indication" of something doesn't negate its usefulness as a possibility to be discussed. :)

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That isn't necessarily accurate. Or, rather, it is of many games, but isn't inherently the case purely because pet-type entities exist. Imagine there's one Archetype, and two disciplines in the game (for simplicity's sake). The Archetype grants you basic combat abilities. Discipline A (we'll call it the Weaponmaster) grants you 10 more combat abilities, which amount to some amount of extra DPS that varies depending on exact skill/usage. Discipline B (we'll call it Petmaster) grants you a pet, with 10 combat abilities that amount to some amount of extra DPS tha varies depending on exact skill/usage. Using a pet, inherently, is nothing more than a different way to allocate a class/discipline/archetype/what-have-you's capabilities.

 

I understand what you're getting at, but you're acting as though combat is pure skill, and everything else is completely unaffected by it. There's an element to combat that is merely basic competence. In other words, an unskilled person could still run at you and hit you. They wouldn't be fighting extremely effectively, but they'd still be fighting, even without any "skill." That's the basis for AI in games. And even Crowfall will have some AI-controlled obstacles. They're not taking the entire place of player skill. Player skill is something applied on top of basic competence. So, thralls could very well function as a mobile obstacle. Or, as individual aspect of combat. Maybe you have some archer thrall guards, and they'll basically aim at hostile targets and fire arrows. They might even try to move away a bit if you get too close to them. But, they're not going to take the place of a player with a bow. They'll be no different than a dart trap in a ruin. It's shooting projectiles out that you have to avoid. Sure, it might not kill you all by itself, but it takes away your ability to simply traipse down a hallway without a care in the world. Same with thralls. They don't have to be able to skillfully take you down in order to be useful.

 

As I believe someone else posited, you could be a lone merchant/gatherer/crafter, and maybe you play at a time when there aren't many others online. So, you take a small wagonish thing and a few thralls out with you to find some nodes. Maybe they guard you while you travel, just so it's not your lonesome self versus anyone who happens upon you. Then, you get to some resource-heavy areas, and you park your wagon and switch the thralls to a gathering role (while they're like this, they cannot fight or protect you at all). I don't know if we can swap their roles once assigned (probably definitely not if they're bound into a weapon/item), but this is just an idea and an example of their usefulness without being OP or taking people's jarbs. Now, if you get attacked, do you switch them back to guards and have them fight, and lose your gathering manpower, as well? Or do you just try to get them the heck out of there?

 

In all fairness, so is the idea that they won't be restricted to buildings and such. The point being that "zero indication" of something doesn't negate its usefulness as a possibility to be discussed. :)

 

In short, I just don't want to see AI Thralls make up for a lack of player skill in combat. I don't want to see guardian thralls to be effective enough that, in an otherwise even fight in terms of player progression, an less-skilled player can kill a more-skilled one because they brought a thrall (or several) with them. And if this is not possible - if the Thralls don't really do much in combat and are just kind of there to be a nuisance - what is the point of having them in the first place? It's just extra clutter.

 

In regard to the lone merchant - I still see it as a risk/reward sort of thing. If you are alone, there is a higher risk that you will get killed and get your stuff taken. If you want protection, you should hire some mercenaries. If they aren't trustworthy, you know for next time not to hire them. That's a part of the game.

 

And yes, this is all purely speculative. I shouldn't have just dismissed jihan as harshly as I did because I'm doing the same thing he is.

 

I have no doubt thralls will be useful. I just don't want to see them being useful in combat  ;) .

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lol @ slave issue. The fact that was ever brought up and even discussed was mind boggling. MMOs of the future will have to replace polearms with pugil sticks at this rate.

 

Indeed, that was one of the absolute lowest points this forums has ever reached, nearly puked all over my keyboard.

Officer of The BlackHand Order

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Indeed, that was one of the absolute lowest points this forums has ever reached, nearly puked all over my keyboard.

 

It was the lowest to me because of the OP. He was a die hard fan of CF and then came out of left field with that topic. I seriously doubt it was a tr0ll thread considering he's not posting much anymore.

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