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tsp_maj

A random addiction

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Is Crowfall really a "competitive" space?

 

Also, competitiveness in gaming can sometimes be the antithesis of "fun" for many players, so should the devs focus on creating a competitive MMO or a fun MMO?

 

The word fun is far too subjective.  I'm going to simplify their side by calling it the dueling complex.  They want to load one round into the same weapon, walk their ten paces, turn and shoot.  With the environment being as equal as possible only true skill will win.  Essentially they want to pit their skill up against the skill of others and see how they stack up.  To them, that IS the most fun they could have. 

 

The trick is how do you make a game that is still fun for them, while being still fun for you?  Compromise.


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The word fun is far too subjective.  I'm going to simplify their side by calling it the dueling complex.  They want to load one round into the same weapon, walk their ten paces, turn and shoot.  With the environment being as equal as possible only true skill will win.  Essentially they want to pit their skill up against the skill of others and see how they stack up.  To them, that IS the most fun they could have. 

 

The trick is how do you make a game that is still fun for them, while being still fun for you?  Compromise.

 

I fully agree.

 

However, the poster I was quoting seemed to be under the assumption that Crowfall was a "competitive space" and that little to no RNG should be allowed.

 

This is an argument I've had hundreds of times throughout my MMO history, particularly in WoW.

 

People seem to want the sterile, balanced and competitive nature of MOBA's and FPS's in their MMO's, and it's just not possible.

 

While I don't particularly agree that there is anything inherently "fun" about RNG, I do feel that the lack of it is "un-fun".


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Randomness is frequently brought in to replace the uncertainty of physical reality brought about by the simplifications of the simulation.  How much is a matter of taste.

 

I decided I'd just pull out one line here as it's a point that is repeated.

 

The argument I'm making is that the simulation in this case is potentially complex enough that we don't need to simulate uncertainty. You don't need to calculate tohit because people are aiming, right? That same thinking can be extended to "you don't need to calculate a damage range because weapons have actual swing arcs and projectiles have velocity" or "You don't need to simulate critical hit chance because we can actually aim for weak points"

 

It's a matter of where it makes sense to use RNG, and where it doesn't. In the case where weapon damage is consistant across an entire swing arc, then yes, it makes sense to use a damage range. In the case where there aren't any heads or backs to aim at then yes, it makes sense to roll dice for critical hits.

 

The problem here is when you do both. Let's say you track headshots and backstabs, but you also roll criticals. That necessarily takes a skill component (the backstabs or headshots) and dilutes it so that it conforms to the dice roll model. You can't have 2x damage on a backstab if you can also randomly roll for a 2x damage critical because then a critical backstab is entirely too much damage.

 

Similarly, if you're tracking the apex of a weapon swing or the velocity of a ranged attack then you can't really get best use out of damage roll variants.

 

So it really does come down to a choice. Do you err on the side of dice rolls, or do you err on the side of skillshots? You can't do both in enough measure that they have significant impact without creating an ultimately frustrating ham-handed system.

 

 

Because maybe the game isn't all about being "better than the other guy" for many players?

 

Everything about crowfall is absolutely about being better than "the other guy" or more specifically "the other team"

 

That doesn't mean 1v1 fights, but it does mean being on a winning team and using whatever your preferred play style is in a competitive manner.

 

Nobody says you have to do everything in the interest of winning, but the game is designed from the ground up to be a game of winners and losers.

 

It is literally a long form strategy game with winners and losers, not a brownie points system where you're awarded for participation. and everyone eventually caps out some honor score sooner or later. That's the primary design deviation from other MMOs and one of its primary selling points. Winners actually win, and losers actually lose. The entire point of the game is to compete against other players, with the assistance of other players, not to live at your own pace in a persistent world. You can't ignore that competitive design because it's literally built in such a way that being part of it is your only option.

Edited by PopeUrban

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Everything about crowfall is absolutely about being better than "the other guy" or more specifically "the other team"

 

That doesn't mean 1v1 fights, but it does mean being on a winning team and using whatever your preferred play style is in a competitive manner.

 

Nobody says you have to do everything in the interest of winning, but the game is designed from the ground up to be a game of winners and losers.

 

It is literally a long form strategy game with winners and losers, not a brownie points system where you're awarded for participation. and everyone eventually caps out some honor score sooner or later. That's the primary design deviation from other MMOs and one of its primary selling points. Winners actually win, and losers actually lose. The entire point of the game is to compete against other players, with the assistance of other players, not to live at your own pace in a persistent world. You can't ignore that competitive design because it's literally built in such a way that being part of it is your only option.

 

Everything about chess is absolutely about being better than the other guy, does that mean that 100% of players who enjoy games that are absolutely about being better than the other guy are going to enjoy it? No.

 

Since you're speaking in absolutes, then you would agree that it doesn't matter how trash the combat system is, the character building system turns out to be, no matter how clunky the combat is, as long as it is all about being better than the other guy, you're happy to play it?

 

That's what you are saying?


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Randomness can add to the skill requirement. Poker is a great example, there is a tremendous amount of skill involved in calculating the odds of various hands and the odds of your opponent actually having those cards and the odds of you drawing into "the nuts", etc. A deterministic version of poker without a random element would be a very boring game, I think.

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ok here's the problem with all the rng stuff.

 

ultimately, in order for the rng 'curve' to be worthwhile it has to approximate the 'standard curve'...weapon damage is the easiest to model.

 

The problem here comes with the player frustration factor...

option a)

- rng allows me, given the right gear/build/whatever to, say 35% of the time one shot an opponent. example of this would be the early build shadowbane double backstab. While it is all about the lawlz for the attacker, nothing more frustrating than pretty much being unable to do anything other than die if you're not.

 

alternatively

 

option B)

- same skill, but latter build where backstab was nerfed significantly...to the point that it was not worth the investment...frustration to the attacker.

 

option c)

- honestly i think the best implementation of rng was how sb had procs at the end. you had to hit the target (which was different than the beginning, in the elven bw proc priest era) and then you had a 5% change to proc, and then you had 5% chance to do proc damage based upon your weapons proc tier, applicable debuffs and applicable resists. If the proc gods were on your side? you were death incarnate...if not...ha, gimp. But, in the end it was never overpowered to the degree that it couldn't be countered (ie. option a backstab) or underpowered that it wasn't worthwhile option, given a set of circumstances. 

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Everything about chess is absolutely about being better than the other guy, does that mean that 100% of players who enjoy games that are absolutely about being better than the other guy are going to enjoy it? No.

 

Since you're speaking in absolutes, then you would agree that it doesn't matter how trash the combat system is, the character building system turns out to be, no matter how clunky the combat is, as long as it is all about being better than the other guy, you're happy to play it?

 

That's what you are saying?

 

You don't play chess to move pieces around on the board. You play chess to kill the other player's king. Whether you're doing it to earn money or just because you like to play chess is irrelevant, but the point is that yes, you're playing chess to win a game of chess.

 

As to your other points those are all aspects of the same system. Like the rules of chess, they all exist to serve a central goal, and that goal is groups of players competing in a military and economic contest to obtain enough victory points to win a campaign. If competing for that goal isn't fun, then the game isn't fun, and thus bad.

 

I wouldn't be happy playing an unfun game just to win at it any more than I would set up a really nice chess board just to move the pieces around.

Edited by PopeUrban

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Not sure I agree. If you're playing to win and I'm playing to see if I can all my pieces arranged on the board in the shape of a heart, there's nothing fundamentally broken with that model. The fact that I am having fun pursuing a goal other than the game's predefined victory condition does not make me (or the game!) bad, wrong, or defective.


Official "Bad Person" of Crowfall

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

Tully

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Randomness can add to the skill requirement. Poker is a great example, there is a tremendous amount of skill involved in calculating the odds of various hands and the odds of your opponent actually having those cards and the odds of you drawing into "the nuts", etc. A deterministic version of poker without a random element would be a very boring game, I think.

 

Apples and oranges. You can't calculate the odds of an opponent's RNG mid fight, and you don't need to calculate your own RNG mid fight. By the time you get in a fight the RNG is passive and not an active factor. In a CCG or other deterministic slower system with massive amounts of probability information on your opponent, it's a good thing. I can calculate odds in poker because I know my opponent doesn't have any of the cards in my hand, I know each card is unique, and I know what cards have been played already. In an MMO I know very little about the resources avaliable to my opponent that would effect the outcome of a random factor, and even if I did I'd have to calculate those probabilities several times a second and account for a much larger and less controlled set of variables.

 

All RNG calculations on character sheets come down to "can I make this RNG event reliable enough to be better than alternative options?" If you can't, then its wasted points/materials/whatever resource you had to spend to get it. If you can, then you're done playing the "interactive" part of the dice when you set up your build.

 

The biggest problem I have with this is that it's effectively a redundant design at that point. if I can either stack critical chance, or raw damage, and get comparable damage then why does the option exist? If going one way or the other is based upon multipliers or other passive effects, then it's not really an option to begin with.

 

It's the same sort of problem as having spells named fireball, magic missile, and lightning strike if they're all effectively the same range, damage, cost, and cooldown. It's meaningless bloat that doesn't add depth to the game if their function isn't significantly different.


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Not sure I agree. If you're playing to win and I'm playing to see if I can all my pieces arranged on the board in the shape of a heart, there's nothing fundamentally broken with that model. The fact that I am having fun pursuing a goal other than the game's predefined victory condition does not make me (or the game!) bad, wrong, or defective.

 

True, however demanding then that the rules be structured in a way that makes it easier to arrange your pieces in the shape of a heart is detrimental to the intended model.

 

There's nothing wrong with setting your own goals, but there's a lot wrong with making concessions to personal goals in a system designed around a central one.

 

Most MMOs have variant goal structures because most MMOs don't really have a "Hard win" condition. In stead they have multiple "soft win" conditions, like winning an arena fight, or finishing a dungeon, or crating an epic weapon.

 

Crowfall is a bit different in that all of those "soft win" conditions exist specifically to serve a central campaign mechanic. If instances arise where a "soft win" disrupts or actively impedes that design, it's a problem. In an instance where it does not (say, dance emotes, decorations, or other social elements) then it's not such a big deal. Combat design is more strongly linked to the "big picture" of campaign wins, and thus it's a system that can't really make concessions for variant rule structures at a design level.

 

That shouldn't prevent people form setting personal goals within that framework though. Nothing wrong with that.

Edited by PopeUrban

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That's legit. A stead is a place. In stead of means in place of.


Official "Bad Person" of Crowfall

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

Tully

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Speaking of RNG and Combat, I really enjoy the build options in Tera. Similar to the build system in CF, players get a limited number of "points" to spend on buffs for their skills. These often give choices between flat bonuses, random effects, or both.

 

For instance, their new gunner class creates a lot of synergy between skills with a setup where Skill A has a % chance to reset the cooldown on Skill B. So with the right selections and skill rotations, you have a decent chance to increase your overall damage output.

 

Similarly, their iframe skill has an option for 35% chance to reset its own cooldown. This skill gets used a lot for positioning and defense, so it goes off fairly regularly.

 

It can still be very rewarding in the "gambling" sense to use an important skill more often than normal, without the "insta-win or gimp" aspect. Making good use of the rng bonuses can swing a match in your favor, but only if you know how to capitalize and are in a position to do so.

 

It's about the only time I've enjoyed RNG in combat.

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There's something about chance. IT gets over-used in a lot of games (like with entire builds around critical chance effectively mattering more than all the +damage factors you could ever pile onto your character, etc.), but I think it makes a nice seasoning or garnish to the dish that is an RPG.

 

Honestly, I think it's something about RPGs. The existence of skill ratings, etc. -- of measurements of our character's skill as separate from our own -- I believe sort of goes hand-in-hand with the existence of chance. In other words, if your direct effort and skill isn't determining 100% of the result of that crafting attempt, or that attack, or what-have-you, then something has to. And if your character can be bad with swords, then how can you simply override that by making all his attacks land perfectly, simply because you're so skilled? Doesn't that defeat the purpose of a swordsmanship skill for your character?


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There's something about chance. IT gets over-used in a lot of games (like with entire builds around critical chance effectively mattering more than all the +damage factors you could ever pile onto your character, etc.), but I think it makes a nice seasoning or garnish to the dish that is an RPG.

 

Honestly, I think it's something about RPGs. The existence of skill ratings, etc. -- of measurements of our character's skill as separate from our own -- I believe sort of goes hand-in-hand with the existence of chance. In other words, if your direct effort and skill isn't determining 100% of the result of that crafting attempt, or that attack, or what-have-you, then something has to. And if your character can be bad with swords, then how can you simply override that by making all his attacks land perfectly, simply because you're so skilled? Doesn't that defeat the purpose of a swordsmanship skill for your character?

 

I think RNG is important and worthwhile in a crafting system, simply because most of the time we don't actually have a skill based simulation for the act of crafting. As for character versus player skill, I agree that it's important, but I don't agree that RNG is the greatest way to express it. Similar logic ties in to mining and other non-interactive tests of aptitude. Unless you have a skill based minigame or whatever for accurtately getting iron from a deposit, it makes perfect sense to use a weighted RNG system for it.

 

However, when you DO place greater responsibility in the hands of the player for hitting, the act of actually dealing damage, or whatever, I believe it's inappropriate to then also layer RNG on top of it that invalidates the player skill check you just made him pass.

 

Take a swordsmanship skill for instance. You character's swordsmanship skill is going to determine how efective he is at actually dealing damage with a sword, his his armor penetration rating, his attack speed modifier, etc. Your skill is going to determine if he hits or misses the target (because we're not using a tabbed system where it makes more sense to roll a tohit check) even if these are all flat modifiers, it doesn't lessen the impact of character skills. When you're testing a player skill, you shouldn't also test a character skill. If you aren't testing a player skill, then an RNG skill check is a good stand in.

 

Given crowfall's reliance on manual aiming, attack timing and combo usage, and active defenses from your opponents I just don't see a need to RNG roll for the quality of a hit. The player is already being asked to put forth a lot of effort to ensure the quality of every hit.


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However, when you DO place greater responsibility in the hands of the player for hitting, the act of actually dealing damage, or whatever, I believe it's inappropriate to then also layer RNG on top of it that invalidates the player skill check you just made him pass.

 

Take a swordsmanship skill for instance. You character's swordsmanship skill is going to determine how efective he is at actually dealing damage with a sword, his his armor penetration rating, his attack speed modifier, etc. Your skill is going to determine if he hits or misses the target (because we're not using a tabbed system where it makes more sense to roll a tohit check) even if these are all flat modifiers, it doesn't lessen the impact of character skills. When you're testing a player skill, you shouldn't also test a character skill. If you aren't testing a player skill, then an RNG skill check is a good stand in.

 

Given crowfall's reliance on manual aiming, attack timing and combo usage, and active defenses from your opponents I just don't see a need to RNG roll for the quality of a hit. The player is already being asked to put forth a lot of effort to ensure the quality of every hit.

 

Oh, absoutely! That's what I'm trying to say. Maybe you sometimes deal 25 damage instead of 29 damage, because of the mathematical representation of your character's ability to consistently hit the same way, based on his Swordsmanship skill. But, ESPECIALLY in an active combat (manual aiming/attack timing/physics based swing-collision, etc.) system, it's a terrible use of RNG to have you randomly miss, even though your sword is going straight through the other character's model because you, the player, aimed your attack perfectly. A better way to represent your character's ability to perform with a sword would be to alter his swing somehow (maybe as a Swordsmanship nublet, your swing is slower, or your stabbity thrust attacks are less accurate to your reticle? The same works with "shakiness" on a drawn bow for Archery skill, etc.). So, it's very useful, but it can easily overstep its bounds.

 

Another great example, even in non-action combat, is how hit-chance is handled in games like XCOM (the new one). Obsidian's Pillars of Eternity went a slightly different way from the norm, wherein, they pit your character's attack value against the opponent's defense value, take that difference, and apply it to a d100 roll to determine the hit result. So, basically, the more accurate you become, the less chance you have of missing (you can even have a 0% chance to miss) or grazing (a poor hit), and the greater the chance of hitting or scoring a critical hit. Just that one change in the relationship is great, as opposed to most other games that use attack rolls, in which you usually have, at best, something like a 95% chance to hit, because, I dunno... your character could always just sneeze in the middle of an attack or something? On every single attack?

 

That's just an example, though, of how much difference a change in the usage of RNG can make.

 

I agree that in Crowfall's style of combat, it should play a very small role. It can still produce some nice little ranges of factors to deal with, but it doesn't need to determine things that player skill is already tasked with determining.


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