How to make SotA great (please read carefully before posting)

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Corv, Jun 21, 2018.

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  1. Azzamean

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    I really wished the devs heard the different side a long time ago. They have a house divided. Reviews on the game are 50/50 and that is pretty universal. There are a lot of us who don't want the endless grind and the excruciating feeling of pay to win.
     
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  2. Azzamean

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    It would take a brilliant quest writer. But an amazing story line that captivates can really make the bad aspects of the game seem much less.
     
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  3. sbf2009

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    If I think about it for a bit, I really don't see why not. I don't really care too much about graphics or what have you, but just looking at it from the perspective of someone who spends a lot of time on older console RPGs:

    1) The quest line definitely needs improvement in terms of writing, player direction and motivation. Nothing in engine stops a rewrite, just words. I like the clickable key word interface. No reason it can't be used to do something compelling like an older Bioware game or Planescape.

    2) The grind is half a balance problem, half a variety problem. Reworking progression and adding in a greater variety of mobs and lower level content seems doable. Because the game is designed more as an MMO, end game content is apparently weighted stronger. In contrast, a traditional RPG would be front weighted. So low and mid tier (with the tiers being broken up into a lot more sub-tiers to make the difficulty curve look less like a staircase and more like a ramp) encounters and dungeon would help a lot. So would the dropping of intermediate strength equipment from low level quests.

    3) Almost everything wrong with crafting can be attributed to some sort of number that can be changed (material drop rate, failure rate, strength, materials needed.) Basically, just re-balance for less grind and more reward. Maybe make crafted arms and armor stronger, but require more resources to do it and have a lot more skill progression per item made.

    Those are the three points that stick out at me the most. It'd be nice if the game was action based instead of hotbar based, but that's the only thing I can think of that the current engine would not be able to support and wouldn't really be necessary to improve the single player experience, anyways.
     
  4. Bubonic

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    It may be possible. But IMHO it would take a major amount of writing/rewriting to add flavor text, reworking the economy to lose the conceit of "only player crafted items" so you can have cool lore-based gear in the world, and a less convoluted character advancement system.
     
  5. Freeman

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    Everything said there plus a combat system that is fun. The skill progression and combat is a weird combination of uninteresting, unfun and weirdly balanced. I understand the desire to do something new, but it would have been better doing something traditional than what this is. My friends who've tried it hate it worse than I do.
     
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  6. Stundorn

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    I have found a short solution:

    UO skillsystem with 700 points to distribute.
    Skill limitations to make playerskill key in pvp.
    Dependencies in all aspects to create an economy and worthwhile groupplay.

    In Short, adapt to UO or cancel online and create a good story.
    Like Ultima 4-7 or Planescape Torment if you want it to be more steampunky.

    And create sandbox gameelements and support roleplaying.

    When i read "rich roleplaying" i feel tricked and betrayed like others argued 2 years before about pvp or housing and stuff.

    Read the pvp topics from 2016 and rethink about what was done and what side was supported and where it leads to.

    Read all the old topics, good hint are the moderated and closed ones where people made good suggestions, but were overtoned by the 12 active hardcore grinders and progress lovers what dislike RP and dancing but repetetive content and endless grind and some sellers and yes sayers and try it the way around all these people suggestion, but mostly have quit since.

    Maybe try the other way round, imho you havent anything you can loose.
    You can turn around and try it the other way or the Seer of Drachental, Seidmenn of Gladsheim and whatnot predicts that in 2019 nobody remember anything about SotA and Mr. Garriott can again start programming mobile games.

    Edit: i want SotA be a success!

    Still...
    but no hope

    Game has it's atmosphere and good stuff for Tavern RP and for god's sake Danceparties, but....

    Tons of people said Sea of Thieves is crap because of no vertical progression.

    I had already tons of fun and immersive, challenging and really good gameplay.

    I tell you this is the future, because everybody can partake from day 1 in all aspects and have fun together.

    Levels just segregate people where they should interact (cooperate or compete) together.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 22, 2018
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  7. By Tor

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    I'm also one of the few original Kickstarter backers who pledged thousands of dollars in hopes this would be the spiritual successor to Ultima. Unfortunately, it's not. It's a mmo. I've still had some fun playing it but it wasn't what I pledged for.

    I do agree with many of the above posts. The story isn't up to the quality of the original Ultimas.

    Once the quests are finished - there really seems like there's nothing left to do. Sure, you can craft or grind - but how fun is that after awhile? Not very, for me. I've been logging on less and less frequently for that reason. I check my vendor and log off.

    There was a mention at some point by Darkstarr about crafting being expanded with the possibility of explosions and such - which would help. Daily quests, more random quests (like the altruist monk and bounty hunter), more world events (like the Dragon attacks) would all go a long way on making this game worth logging into again.

    Maybe if RG is up for it, he could get more involved in tweaking the storyline and quests. That may help tremendously.
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2018
  8. Magnus Zarwaddim

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    I play, but am not ecstatic (I wouldn't say I'm unhappy) about it. I play for the community. There are many times I log in, play alone, then just log off within an hour or less. But if I am playing WITH others, then I tend to play longer.

    To this end, I wonder if tools for player-made content would not help a lot. Not just notes and chests that others can access.

    Anything that makes group play fun would help. As a basic starting point the developers have done a good job with Upper Tears. More things like that which get people to group. Control Points had this in the past, but changed a lot to make it not much of a thing anymore. The Obsidian Trials seem a good step in the right direction (albeit for PvP).

    And another thing that might help is SCALING. Making static scenes with increased difficulty will work for some, and only for some time. But entering a random encounter with weak mobs is not fun. Challenge is probably the operative keyword here.

    Good luck!
     
  9. Kpopgurl

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    Design the game. Then develop it with a clear vision. SotA lost all its momentum and fanbase by not having a clear vision.

    I expected a virtual world and was curious how the spirit of origin to make these worlds would bring something new. Not a hugbox for old people with a lack of social life. Game clearly didnt cater to gamers after all. It catered to minorities, and thats why only a fraction of its initial backers are left to play it.

    I wish for the future that they realize the current leftover community cant be taken as measurement for what is needed to attract more players. Finally ban RMT.
     
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  10. hammadowna

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    Some of these ideas sound like it would be on the same level of catastrophe that the Star Wars Galaxies update had. You can't please all of the people.

    Embrace and dive into what's here and I know you'll like what you find. Don't worry, the water is cozy! These are TRUE opinions from me, hammadowna. No one else.
     
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  11. Azzamean

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    +1
     
  12. Jens_T

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    - why are you, as a (former?) Ultima / Garriott fan and backer not interested in SotA anymore?
    KS backer from the beginning. Ultima fan since C64 times.
    I am still around as I spent a few hundred hours and posts (in addition to $) trying to improve the game and remind people of the story & CRPG heritage.
    I stopped actively playing as it is not fun for a single explorative, story-driven CRPG-player. I wanted to do a quest-reset since the option became available but the quest bugs and issues seem to still exist.
    Not interested in playing it anymore as quests are grind, story is lacking (both from content and systems) and SotA became more a MMO than a selective multiplayer game.
    I don't have time to grind and am not interested in a MMO unless enough close friends play it. The friends who backed SotA with me in KS all left (despite pledges up to Baron) as they don't find the game mechanics fun.

    - Why are you, even though you are playing, not happy with the game?

    N/A

    - What can be done to make this game more appealing to your friends?
    - What went wrong and how can we fix it?

    Taking my personal interest aside I believe SotA needs a clear statement what it is and a clear cut with the past. Then it could find new funding.
    I don't see SotA become a "single player" (or selective multiplayer) RPG anywhere near the level of U5-U7 or modern games like "Pillars of Eternity" or Divinity. Five years of development left text interface, story writing, quest engines and (most important) impact on the world in a basic state. Travian and Portalarium will concentrate on a MMO sandbox. With this Portalarium will alienate / lose the remaining few Single Player / RPG / KS backers but might have a new chance in the competitive MMO market. That said, I believe the community interaction and my trust in the company overall (a few individual devs excepted) is lacking. Either they need to go back into "closed developing" or change their management and communication style.
    My personal opinion is that a few months of bug fixing and polishing won't be sufficient to regain trust and successfully fund EP2.
     
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  13. Galadriel O'Sullivan

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    What went wrong was after 5 years the game is absolutely unplayable on 99% of computers I try to play it on. Literally had to spend over $1000 just to get this game to play smoothly. Crazy.
     
  14. Pounce

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    Dude, the kickstarter was about an game that is offline and you can go online to have adventures together. Then it turned into offline and online seprated, then into the online grindfest with optional offline we have today.

    While i am not totally against online and do the grind if it is worth to do it the idea (an Ultima game) is not really ..there.

    It is an nice game, and probably will get better, that is, if it survives long enough to get to the point.

    The problem is right now to much is not polised to the point it makes fun to log in every day.
     
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  15. Magnus Zarwaddim

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    Sorry to double-dip.

    I was just thinking again about how the community puts on a lot of different types of events. And I appreciate the hard work that goes into helping us advertise, even though it is a manual undertaking by the developers (posts on the main website, updates to the "book" we all have each release). And of course these are already announced in a sub-forum, but I was thinking more "immersive" announcements in-game.

    Would we benefit as a whole if there were some mechanism for players to advertise events that everyone could then hear about in-game? It would have to be moderated. Maybe a form on the website that is then announced in-game through a town crier?

    For example: "Here ye, here ye. The town of Littlecreek in the Hidden Vale is currently hosting their annual Midsommarblot."

    Just a thought. :)
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2018
  16. Kaffien

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    Work on obtaining more users and retaining them.

    1. Main quests should not be bugged upon release.
    2. Stop adding new stuff no more extras beyond what was promised until glaring issues are fixed.
    3. Test your quests as a normal player. Test them as a new player. IE not as god mode etc. Actually follow the steps, no more skipping through.
    4. We are in release now, we shouldn't be testing as if we're beta players anymore. (I love helping out with QA builds though)
    5. More Linux support would be excellent. (This was the main reason other than a town deed I pledged as high as I did.)
    6. If basic quests do not function correctly, this does not cast the rest of the game in a positive light.


    PVP stuff.

    1. Start catering to your main player base, not just to PVP as it is close to your heart.
    2. Do not force those who do not want to PVP to PVP.
    3. For those who do love PVP reward them for it.


    Good faith and promises

    1. When you promise an exclusive reward or a limited reward do NOT go and start handing them out. You've basically lied to the folks who were able to back at the Row Deed level.
    2. This hurts peoples faith in your company and the game. This also makes people feel as though their investment has no value.
    3. Fulfill your promises such as for the busts of the faces of those higher tier backers, or do not offer such things. IE, stop over promising things.


    Regarding Telethons.

    1. Make your telethons / fund raisers etc run for 24 hours (even if you just hold the donations open and the video stream is closed).
    2. Hold a vote on the themes of fund raisers. I honestly had not interest in a few of them.
    3. If there's a very popular stretch goal you don't meet at the end of a fund raiser, perhaps hold another mini one to complete it.
    4. Hold expired stretch goals for another fund raiser, IE no stretch goal left behind. and its all the upper tier things we missed.
    5. Do not hold a telethon / live stream when raising money on a Monday. (just in case that wasn't made apparent by the last one)

    LOOT!

    1. Higher tier monsters should have some sort of higher tier loot. not just recipes not just experience.
    2. If you can't scrap it, stop giving use worthless loot.


    Damage Control and Maintaining relations.

    1. Lastly, when folks get laid off, long time folks even, you need damage control, quicky.
    2. Do not allow the players time to wonder and speculate.
    3. As soon as the dissent starts happening you'll start seeing people leave, justified or not.
    4. We get very nervous about our investment of time and money by the previous sales of IP by Lord British in the past, patterns are drawn etc.


    That being said still one of the best games I've played in recent years. It's more than a game to me. It's a place to be.
     
  17. Pounce

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    Well...
    I planned for archery.... And i mean kinda an pure archer.
    But...
    The way things are set up you need to learn tons of magic (resists) more magic (because the way buffs work, or rather not so much)

    Then archery is spamming dps, half the firerate, double the damage, that already would not change one bit but would make it feel better (and really, an archer running around with 8k arrows, serious?)

    Trafitional dungeons, like, dungeon crawling, there is Hilt. and...nothing else of that type,. nothing where you clobber your way in but..Hilt.
    Instead we have CP and so on, static fighting wave after wave.

    Story, presentation of quests, could be done on an parchment easy to read, not in chat UI where it is a pain to read long text, beside it breaks immersion in an long way the way it is formatted.

    Armor, heavy/light, no medium, that leaves pretty much mellee and mages (yes there is leather and chain but the whole skill tree is mage and mellee_]

    Combat, bare bones tactics needed.
    Pretty much an ranking of targets to cycle through, but no real crowd controll, assist function, an class/skilltree improving the group with the tactical right buffs.

    I like the classless systhem but there is not real way to specialise really, be awesome in one field, scrifice others.

    Magic is from an rpg point of view an mess, you learn death and life because you need to for high level content or just to pvp competitive, but from an rpg side .. and mage doing life and death school?

    No summoner class, barebones tamer class (nothing that makes you sacrifice persoan dps to work though your summon/pet

    As higher you get in l;evel as more toons are cookie cutter of the same set of skills from all skilltrees, no consequences.
    Classless works in single player rpg, in mmo you need at least in endgame more specialisation to make group play interesting (as said nothing against classless but we need specialisation with consequences.)

    Well, in one regard it is mmo, you either grind or left in the dust regarding the playing of high end content..
     
  18. Metlore

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    What I think needs honestly changed (granted I understand it may require major reworking):

    I. The Card Combat:
    1. You can't focus on the world and the card deck simultaneously.
    2. It feels very confining. I have skills that I never get to use.
    3. It disconnects me from my character becaues either I have a very small limited number of skills with a fixed deck or I have minimal control over how they come up without deck swapping like a madman.
    4. What part of deck switching is immersive? It isn't. It just isn't.
    5. But Metlore, card combat is kind of fun. Yeah it kind of is. Playing solitaire fun too. That doesn't mean I want to use it as the system to immerse me into my character. Imagine D&D if you had to shuffle your spells and wait for them to come up each fight.
    6. Why can't I use spells to affect the environment for quests? Put out a house fire with a water spell or use an earth spell to unclog a river.

    II. Jack of All Trades needs to stop:
    Why would I interact with other players when I can just do everything pretty well myself? Why should I dedicate myself to a few select schools for such a small small bonus? Oh, you used this spell? Well so can that avatar, and that one, and that one over there. I'm sorry but you can't be great at everything. That's life. Go make friends.

    III. No impact on the World
    1. No hard moral choices.
    2. No world impacting quests.
    3. None of the quests have ramifications. It would be great if there were quests that made me unable to go to some cities anymore or granted me hero status in others.

    IV. Creature Variety
    1. Different types of bears, wolves, boars, etc that are all the vastly the same except for being different colors don't really count.
    2. I would love to have some more interesting creature variety. I was very excited to see the Reapers and boars. Please add more.

    V. The Dialog system really is that bad
    1. I would rather have whole sentences to choose from like in Baldur's Gate, than to just run around clicking every available word. It's about as unimmersive as possible. I used to just click all the words and then scroll back through and read, which isn't very personable.

    VI. PVP Hazards
    1. I hate PvP, but I loved that you were forced to go through areas that were PvP. It's a big world. Parts of it should be dangerous and risky to go through. Am I the avatar on an adventure or am I just going to sit at home bird watching? I kind of expect that saving the entire world inconveniences me and takes me outside of my comfort zone.

    VII. Improve loot so PvE is more rewarding
    While true that the best weapons and gear should come from crafting, that doesn't mean that all of it should. Make combat worth more than just XP.




    Now, I have asked my friends why they have not stayed in the game and the bottom line for them usually comes down to two things:
    I. Everything still feels too rough. We've launched now so the lack of polish is no longer an excuse. I think the big thing for my friends is that there isn't a single thing in the game that is polished. Every single system in the game is still under development and probably on average about 70% complete. They don't want to look for the diamond in the rough because there's too much rough to try to go through. To be very honest, I've put enough money in the game that I felt obliged to stick with it long enough to find that there are a lot of diamonds almost ready to come out. Most of my friends just picked it up during a steam sale or only grabbed the base game and they sign in, feel a little underwhelmed with each thing they try and give up. They just write that 20/40 dollars off. I think the dev response to this is the NUI, which is to make things "easier" or "clearer direction" but I haven't heard a single friend say "the game is too hard." I have heard that everything feels too rough and monotonous so they would prefer to just keep waiting.
    2. The card combat. To put it simply they all either hate it or are like me and at best just feel like they have to tolerate it. See my points above.



    All the above was stated with hope that it helps the game. There is some emotion in some of the points and it's somewhat unavoidable at this point. We all have different points of view. This is mine. That's ok. I am truly sorry if anything upset someone. I would like to end on my absolute favorite thing this game is doing that I consider the "WoW killer" or the "ace up the sleeve" or whatever you want to call it.

    The Events!

    Other MMO's have "events" but it's just a method to toss in new content or make you buy an expansion. Don't get me wrong, new content is fantastic. Shroud's events aren't just about new content though. They make the world feel alive. Dancing with Lord British, meteors changing the map, dragons getting fiesty, they all just make the world feel alive. I love signing in and knowing something happens. The more events the better. They don't have to be world shattering cataclysm events either. They just have to be fun and sometimes unexpected. Please keep them coming. Darkstarr going to an NPC town and decimating it because they acted against him? Yes please. The player ran events like plays, etc. Yes Please.

    Thanks for reading all this!
     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2018
  19. Dantuin

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    - why are you, as a (former?) Ultima / Garriott fan and backer not interested in SotA anymore?
    I am (was) here mostly for the single player game having played and loved most of the Ultima series (never played UO).
    I am a KS backer and pledged very large in faith longing for that updated Ultima type game.


    - Why are you, even though you are playing, not happy with the game?
    To be brutally honest, I currently do not play because in my mind it became more of a grindy unbalanced MMO than it did a Ultima quality RPG type game.
    In my opinion there is really no point to playing the current game, nothing attracts me to stay playing (not for lack of trying, just no real pull to continue).
    I guess I am still kinda here with the steady dwindling hope that the game can maybe someday become closer to the game idea I pledged for:
    Rich story-line, consequences for what we do, be more challenging as we progress (scaling), and definitely not require that we group up to do the story, this to me is a huge show stopper.
    I care much more about the journey than I do the end game content.
    I like the idea of being able to craft my own stuff within a reasonable time-frame, I don't mind having to adventure to get the mats..

    - What went wrong and how can we fix it?
    Well I am not sure how to fix because it seems to me that the game currently does not know what it wants to be when it grows up.. is it a single player or is it a MMO..
    The way i saw it progressing in my mind is to make a super solid single player Ultima type game with a rich immersive story that scales up as you play it and then add the bonus of playing with others if you wished.
    I just don't know if that is possible anymore with the seemingly very ingrained RMT element and the grind-based game play, so I have no words of wisdom here.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2018
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  20. arihitsstuff

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    I am a KS backer, for $40, IIRC. Ultima VII was the first serious computer game I got into, and I LOVED it. I was really hoping for a single-player game with a story at least in the ballpark of what Ultima VII was. SotA ... is not that. The combat is an active turn-off, and there are no plus sides I find remotely interesting.

    I can tell you the exact moment I knew SotA was not going to be a game for me, long before I knew story and combat and world were not things I was interested in: when stuff started expiring, and I thought "well, I'm usually ok with throwing a bit of money at a game, so let's see what they have", and I think there was even a cat pet that I liked, but then I scrolled and saw the houses, and the PRICES. And I noped out right there.

    Later I found out that Markee Dragon is a trusted trader. That ... well. Let's say it confirmed that I did not want to give any more money to SotA (and I never would have backed it, had I known about the background with Ultimate RPG). I'm really put off by all the RMT stuff, it gives such a big vibe of "a lot of people pushing the game are into it as investors". This is not a thing I want to see in games in general.

    I suppose I should add that I also found a lot of the forum rather off-putting, because of the heavy moderation and the constant low-level passive-aggressiveness floating around. I'm still subbed to the main reddit because I'm interested to see how the game ends up doing, but I must say, I didn't think there would be this much disinterest in the launch.

    I know you requested possible suggestions to make it better, but frankly, I do not think you could fix it in a way that would interest me again, as the root of my dislike really is the monetization. I do not spend money on things I fundamentally disagree with.

    Outside of that issue, I do think the game over-promised - it's like so many ideas someone came up with ended up being promised, with no larger thought of how to actually deliver or how it would fit. I think SotA should have decided early on what it wanted to be, and then stuck with that, and polished that. Length of development also did it no favors - the world if 2018 is different than the world of 2013.
     
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