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T-D-C

Member Since 19 Aug 2009
Offline Last Active Feb 03 2014 10:23 AM

#2117036 A seven-step guide to fix GW2's PvE

Posted Alleji on 13 December 2012 - 05:37 PM

Before fixing anything, let's quickly identify the core problems with GW2's PvE today. And by "PvE", I mean only the open-world PvE here, not personal story or dungeons.

So, the problems:
- The world is dead. Other than cursed shore, the dragons, and lion's arch, it's largely empty.
- "Dynamic" events are hardly dynamic, as we were led to believe.
- The reward structure is really, really bad. This is actually the main reason for the first problem.

...aaand now how to fix all this, starting with the pre-requisites and moving on to more complex changes:

1. Better event scaling. Currently events don't scale well for large number of players (10+). You just get more mobs in pre-set spawn points that get aoed down just as easily. Anyone who's spent 30 minutes in Cursed Shore knows this. Some improvements were made in this regard compared to a few months ago, but it's very little. Events with more players around need to spawn veterans and champions and add additional spawn points, not just additional mobs. Basically, things that are not negated by AoE.

2. Iterative difficulty scaling for events. Most events never fail. Why not? Because they're too easy. Anet needs to add difficulty scaling that's not dependent on number of players, but based on the number of times the event was successfully completed previously (on top of number-of-players scaling in #1, not instead). Every event stats at difficulty 0 after a server reset. Each time it's completed successfully, the difficulty goes up by 1 point. 1 point of difficulty translates into 1 additional mob per wave, +3% mob health and damage, etc.

So instead of facerolling Shelter's Gate Camp for loot every 10 minutes, one day you might come there and get zerged by veteran spiders. Woah, what happened? Well, see, the last defense barely succeeded and turned the difficulty from 7 to 8. And they had more people than you did, so tough luck. But now that the event failed, the difficulty scale goes down by -3, so next time the event will be at difficulty 5. This system will calibrate itself to the average number of players in an area and add a huge amount of variety to the same events, while the +1/-3 system still ensures it succeeds most of the time. (The scale is hidden, so people don't intentionally avoid scaled-up events.)

3. More events. More, more, more. There are a handful of basic event "templates" in the game and 95% of all events fit in these: defend a point, assault a point, escort an npc, kill a boss, kill mobs until the bar gets to 0 (or 100%). I honestly don't see why anet isn't minting these like crazy. I highly doubt they take a lot of time to make, given that you already have all the components... just need to put the pieces together in a slightly different configuration in a different area. BAM, new event. Reduce the frequency of each individual event to keep the number of concurrent events the same, but increase the variety. I'm not asking here for a brand-new zone with brand-new armored crabs and a ton of scripting to be used one time and then abandoned. This would probably take far less work.

4. Balancing rewards. The base reward for completing an event is pitiful. 1.5 silver, some experience that you don't need at 80, and a bit of karma that's grossly outweighed by the daily jug. (The daily jug was a good idea, but it's just... difficult to outperform it. That's a different subject.) The bulk of the reward comes from the drops and drops from a single champion are much worse than from aoeing waves of mobs for 4 minutes. Most of the time the champion takes more effort too!

The second problem is the disparity between zones. Events in Orr are well-known (so everyone does the easy ones), highly populated and give max rewards for level 80. Events in every other zone are the complete opposite. To balance this:

- Normalize the silver/exp/karma rewards for lvl 80s throughout the world. Seriously, it's a tiny amount of money anyway and getting 1.5s or 0.9s won't really impact anything. All it does is make lower-level events look bad.
- Improve drops from champions. Duh. To avoid causing inflation, do not flat-out make them drop 15 silver, but simply add a chance for each champion to drop zone-specific items. Each zones or a group of zones could have things like unique armor sets and unique weapon skins. There are zone-unique weapon skins in the game currently, such as "Steam" weapons in Charr areas, but they're easily obtainable and thus can't serve as an incentive to go there.
- Also add tokens to champions. For X tokens from champions in Charr lands, you can buy a rare armor skin (that also drops only in this areas), but weapons can only be gotten as a drop. Something like that.

5. Worldwide and zone-wide event notifications. Another very simple addition, but once you've really made events dynamic (points #1 and #2), added more of them (#3), and gave the players a reason to go there (#4), tell people about them! Display all events happening in the zone on the map, with an option to toggle it off, and display MAJOR events happening in other zones on the world map, like Orr temple assaults, dragons, swamp monster in Queensdale, etc. People will see events and flock to them instead of wandering about empty zones alone or farming events in Cursed Shore as a zerg.

Also, display this next point in the corner of the screen (under your personal story) at all times:

6. Daily zones. Now we're getting into more ambitious things. It's time to really create a dynamic world. Each day 1 or 2 zones could become event hubs. Balefire means business today and made a pact with the ogres to attack Ebonhawke! The entire area turns into a warzone. You know, the Charr are really attacking. Basically, turn the area into Cursed Shore + difficulty scaling (#2).

Hearts are disabled (Farmer Joe doesn't really care about shooing away the gryphons from this cabbage when THE CHARR ARE ATTACKING). All regular events that fit the war theme are enabled with a majorly increased frequency (remember, we reduced it in #3 and increased the total number of events). There are additional events active: every outpost gets assaulted on a regular basis and after a successful defense, there are events to march out and take down a champ or recapture a lost outpost. Again, this is all just copy/paste stuff (#3). Optimize the templates and then make more events!

As a bonus, drops of zone-specific rewards are doubled for the day when that area is a warzone.

As a second bonus, if a critical number of events is failed during the day (this could be a rather high threshold), the zone is under Flame Legion's control for next 1-3 days, every waypoint is disabled, you still can't do hearts in it (Farmer Joe is dead, his head is on a spike, and so are the cabbage-loving gryphons), and after these 3 days, the map becomes a warzone for the day again. Same events are running with the aim of recapturing it. This time it can't fail.

7. Live GMs. All of the above would do a good job of making the world appear dynamic, as it was advertised in the beginning, but dedicated game-masters controlling the world would make it REALLY dynamic. Provided there's a good framework for creating events (#3), anet could expand it to create events out of pre-set pieces on the fly. Starcraft's map editor did it in 1999 by allowing you to create custom missions using building blocks already provided with the game, why can't we do it on a live server in 2013? This outpost is getting attacked by X waves, each one consisting of Y mobs for Z minutes. Oh and there's a dragon at the end, which I'm going to personally control and target people with it. Go!

A GM per server or even 1 GM per few servers could further spice up the "daily areas" and add an occasional special event to other places in the world. And once again, I don't mean "occasional" and "special" a la brand-new invisible precursor-dropping crabs that take months of development for one night of lag. No, "special", as in, there will be a unique event somewhere a few times per day that's not part of the game's default package. You know, something new.

-------------

Well, that's pretty much it. A game like this would almost certainly keep me playing for years, paying a sub fee, and buying all the expansions. (Provided those expansions also expanded the above model).


#2074156 Ascended Items

Posted shanaeri rynale on 12 November 2012 - 03:33 PM

I hope these items additional power is only used in that one zone. Perhaps the infusion slots allows us to defeat the Karka easier than normally(like killing Mursaat with infusion instead of without). I also can't find any excplicit mention of the word armor.

If they work with increased stats outside of the zone(doesnt matter how big or small) it will be IMHO second only to introducing a sub fee in terms of betrayal by Areanet.

I just can't believe they would be that stupid to make them work everywhere, so until Friday i'll continue to think they will only work in the single instanced dungeon.


#1860406 No PvE Endgame?

Posted Red_Falcon on 01 September 2012 - 11:04 AM

I made a list of 23 endgame activities, posted it everywhere, yet someone still not finding endgame.
Honestly at this point, if you can't find endgame for you then it's your problem.


By the time you achieved 100% completion of the whole game they have made other expansions.


#1378939 Whats your desk for GW2'ing look like?

Posted dalehitchy on 27 April 2012 - 03:04 PM

Posted Image


#1771740 Gamescom: "When it's ready", authenticators, GvG, ...

Posted Colin Johanson on 20 August 2012 - 03:21 PM

Sorry that was a bad joke at attempting to mock the misinformation ;)

Colin Troll will see you in game Friday!


#1625476 So why the server restriction?

Posted wildkytten on 24 July 2012 - 01:54 AM

GW2 unlike other games allows you to play the game on ANY server through the guesting feature.  Any DE's you do, experience, karma, gold, items, etc you gain are yours, you won't lose them.  The only restriction is not doing WvW on another server which is reasonable.

The game is also different in the fact that if you go into WvW, it upscales you to 80.  This right there is the tradeoff for having one home world per account.  People would constantly make new characters on whatever world was currently the top one and just go in to participate.   Limiting an account to one home world circumvents this.

However Anet has done something the top game in the genre does not do, it allows you to play with friends on another server without paying money.  Oh sure, you can always make a new character on that other game and spend a couple weeks getting to 85 and regearing up to become a viable character, but as a certain ignorance in these very forums often says (in relation to GW2), that is antisocial.  GW2 wants people to be social, they make it easy to play with our friends.  They respect the fact that many people don't want to schedule their lives around a game but still want an enjoyable game.

The problem is, to give someone want they want, they have to cut something from the game.  If they let you make a new character on any server, this unbalances WvW so would need to cut that.  There will always be something that is limiting in some ways to protect the overall balance of the game.  If that's unacceptable to you, well, you do have a choice on what to do.