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Member Since 30 Jun 2012
Offline Last Active Dec 28 2012 06:35 AM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Class Balance Philosophies

25 December 2012 - 02:58 AM

The necro paragraph seems like they ran out of things to say and just pulled that out of their ***. Truth is, the class roles and flavors are not distinct enough. The whole system is homogenized. I laughed after reading this. They must be delusional.

In Topic: About the storyline [Spoilers]

20 December 2012 - 06:04 AM

Sorry to break it to you, but the story archs were designed as rigidly as the maps, meaning, they are all square blocks. Eventually after you are given a little bit of cultural background through your bio question-related personal story tidbits, you'll be funneled into an order where they segment your personal story to be the same generic mush that most everyone of that order receives. From there, you'll be funneled to an even more generic arch with a very insufferable NPC that basically steals the show and derails any consistency the whole construct of the personal story may have had. Basically, they just use the plot points to funnel and segment your story rather than broaden it. Only thing that makes any differences is the few choices you have to do "stealth mission" over "bust in the front doors" type mission, so on and so forth.

In Topic: A seven-step guide to fix GW2's PvE

13 December 2012 - 07:20 PM

View PostAlleji, on 13 December 2012 - 05:37 PM, said:

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).

I especially think you have something in #6. Contested waypoints are not dynamic. They dont force people to go do something, they just make people circumvent content to get where they wanna go. Make battle lines and turn the damn map into a warzone...make PvE sort of like WvW against AI...that really requires people to come out and support each other.

In Topic: the mistakes Anet admitted

07 December 2012 - 06:03 PM

View Postraspberry jam, on 27 November 2012 - 01:17 PM, said:

Chris Whiteside has repeatedly proven to be completely wrong. I might be wrong. Let's see what happens (e.g. removing/destating ascended tier, adding guesting, making dyes account unlocked).

I honestly think that a lot of what they do is just a field test for what they might want to do later on. If you catch on, it seems like they are experimenting with game mechanics to see how the community responds to them. I think they know full well what type of blatant mistakes they are making, but i feel like there is some intended psychological examination of the community macrocosm disguised in  what they do. It sounds very complex, but i think they intended to monitor the amount of grind and adjust it with time.

Some other things that i feel are limiting the longevity and pushing away players in this game are:

Lack of solid roles.
Homogenized builds, specs, and gear setups and how minimally these things actually effect the gameplay. (Read: workaround for gutting trinity mechanics that doesn't work out very well.)
Lack of real skill choice or deckbuilding.
Lack of combat depth.
Lack of desirable progression.
Poorly paced progression.
Lack of proper LFG system.
Lack of basic QoL improvements dampening player mood on a daily basis.
No reason to re-visit old zones.
Poorly implemented scaling system.
Very poor loot tables and loot balance.
Seemingly non-existent class balance that feels like classes were thrown together mechanically and only hashed out conceptually.
No real reason to group with players outside of dungeons because of the lack of roles or effective teambuilding / specs.
Lack of effective means to communicate build choices or setup because of trait system structure ; dampens strategy.
No REAL (armor, weapons, professions, zones, skills, elites, etc.) desirable content patches in the works that we know of.
Willingness to go back on design decision, but not where it actually counts (Trinity)
Poor communication from developer to community.
Deliberate lies and rationalization of said lies by the developer.

In Topic: Assassin's Creed armor

06 December 2012 - 11:46 PM

View PostKurosov, on 06 December 2012 - 02:15 PM, said:

I really despise people who think they are a highly creative butterfly and look down or insult those they deem to be stupid for having different tastes or opinions on the matter. If anybody is stupid I think it is you.

Nah, it's pretty stupid to be so uncreative that you have to replicate other video game characters in an MMO to suit your tastes. Pretty sure only teenagers and short bus people do that. The mainstream casual who fawns over one franchise or popular trope so much that everything they do is influenced by it. It's like drawing the Halo 4 logo for an art class at university, stupid and hints at premature mental state. Not everybody that does this is as described and they are just having fun with it, but there are some really stupid and uncreative people in MMOs, that's what i despise.