State of Shroud of the Avatar. <Opinion>

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Greyfox, Jan 17, 2018.

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  1. Greyfox

    Greyfox Avatar

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    We game to escape reality. We are motivated to play a specific game by three specific motivators. First the social component, why multiplayer games are so popular. We enjoy chatting with others, working together, grouping, and building communities. Second is the need to achieve. Character advancement, earning currency, building, defeating, and feeling powerful, competing with others. Lastly and perhaps the most important motivator is the escape from reality. We want to feel like our avatar is impacting the virtual world in a unique and meaningful way.

    Shroud has an amazing community, the best I’ve ever experienced in any game. The development team is also top notch. Yet the community, outside of a dance party, is lacking. SOTA is missing crucial gaming elements to ensure group gaming is fun and desirable. There should be absolutely NO penalty for grouping and everyone should get full experience for every experience generating event. We absolutely need the ability to group fast, effectively, and efficiently from any location to any location on the map. We need guild and large group goals. Perhaps a dragon that can only be killed every 24 to 72 hours. Everyone is level balanced so even a new player can experience the content. Once killed everyone is flagged and unable to repeat until the timer resets. EVERYONE earns loot and reward points EVERY time. Give us a castle to defend that earns us points towards rare loot.

    Achievement in SOTA consists of an infinite XP treadmill that increases exponentially with minimal Return On Investment (ROI). The player’s time is not respected. Endless time is required to be invested for minimal gain in achievement. The crafting system is built with the same high investment, minimal ROI. There is no reason to play because there is minimal motivation to play. The early UO had fantastic experiences such as taming dragons, killing demons. Every other successful MMO has similar experiences of advancing to end game and being able to experience meaningful and exciting content. SOTA you kill yet another bear and get yet another skin. If you are lucky you grind your 10th dragon in an hour and get more loot that each time makes the loot less valuable.

    I’m playing games like Warframe where as a space ninja, I kill the same mobs but each mission I feel significant progress and purpose. WoW I can fly around the world and be amazed at the adventure and experience. LOTRO I kill demons solo. SOTA PVE content is NOT FUN. We feel underpowered, nerfed, beaten, and without purpose. SOTA PVE feels too much like a job and not a game.


    Lastly and most importantly escape reality. Breath of the Wild feels like we are part of the virtual world. To be fair their budget was substantially more. Other games with minimal budgets where we feel part of the world. Ultima Forever, Rimworld, or Pillars of Eternity. We need our world to feel alive and immersive. I don’t need my weapons to react like real world weapons to be immersive. I need my weapons and spells to feel BETTER than the real world to be immersive. I want to cast a fireball, while flying, and shooting lasers from my ass. Otherwise I may as well get some work done in the real world where my ROI is respected.

    Many of these issues are low hanging fruit. The game has progressively become overly tedious, complex without purpose, and grind intensive. Help us help you!
     
  2. GrayFog

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    Yup.

    And Warframe is really good.
    It's lacking endgame/group content too though :p
    I mean the endgame/group content in Warframe basically consists of just killing the Eidolon Teralyst.
    Sorties and the two raids are not really hard either.
    But still, it is good and i keep playing it once in a while. And i am sure more content is coming soon (more open worlds/landscapes and +2 Eidolon Bosses).

    I agree on everything else you said about SOTA.
    The endgame is just a mindless super, ultra, heavy grind. There are no goals.
    The return, the feel of "i achieved something" is really extremely minimal.
    Grinding Producer XP is even worse.
     
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  3. Thorgred

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    I bet 5 CotOs this thread gets locked in less then 1 day if enough people agree.

    But yes, this game is heavy grind and grind is boring ...
     
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  4. Rada Torment

    Rada Torment Community Ambassador (ES)

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    Thank you for sharing your feedback. I'm agree with some points but sometimes we must understand there are games for everyone, and not all games are suitable for all audiences.

    Is like trying to have 10m players like WoW in a game like EVE Online (as example), not possible by design and mechanics. This is the year, so we will see what they really want to do with our favourite game.

    Sorry to hear but this is your experience. I have been playing since long time ago and I still have fun, happy with that they are doing and I always discover something new every month I play.
     
  5. Toadster

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    Although I agree with some of your assessments, I feel there is just one easy fix that would turn it around again.

    Turn OFF Death Decay....

    The challenge or purpose in Sota is more open then in some games and requires you to set your own challenges. Either with a group or Solo. I want to do ‘X’. You need to study how to do it, find out what skills your going to need, build your deck out efficiently. Prepare your group with roles and responsibilities and go try. This use to be an amazing part of the game, our guild could field 8 plus a night that we’re willing to try anything. Sometimes we were successful and other times, not so much. But either way the group had fun. Since they put in skill decay this has almost stopped completely. Every once in a while you can convince a group to try something new, but if it is a learning experience now tied to 100-200k experience loss that requires an hour or 2 of mindless grinding to recover, the next time is harder to get a group together to try, to learn, and to laugh at the mistakes.
     
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  6. Fister Magee

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    I also feel removing decay would help many 'feel' they are making progress again. Decay is what I believe hurting the game first and foremost.. PVP mechanics being second.
     
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  7. psteg

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    I agree with a lot the op has stated but I still have a lot of fun playing this game. I also have been playing for a bit and see a lot of good changes and addons every month. But I also see some bad changes and priorities going more for eye candy rather than game mechanics and content. I am looking for a second game to play (ESO) to compensate for the constant grinding and extreme high cost of experience points it takes to make any gains. I also agree that the death decay system has got to go. This is keeping a lot of my friends joining.
    They want to launch in March, I say they are not even close to being ready. But we shall see. In the meantime I will not be putting any more money towards this game until we are past launch and I see what the response from the public is.
     
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  8. 2112Starman

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    I agree with most of your points. I think the community is actually pretty toxic period... Its one of the things it inherited from UO to be honest.
     
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  9. Rowell

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    I know several times in the past, I've responded to comments like this. I do agree with the OP, content in SotA is mostly grindy. For the most part, there is little rhyme or reason. Bandit camps litter the countryside so much that it makes one wonder why so many people have turned to thuggery to survive (is the economy really that bad)? A vast majority of resource nodes are co-located with critters that will attack you; a wolf, a bear, a bandit, a skeleton. Cabalists are so numerous in their sieges of towns that it makes you wonder what the royal army is doing when a dozen towns around Brittany are under siege and ablaze.

    I've also made some suggestions to offer alternatives to "the grind". Things that wouldn't take too much to bring about, and would help further enrich the environment.

    Item #1) Attractions. Instead of having just a bandit camp in some section of a scene, create a tiered compound "event" area that the player(s) must work through to get to the end and accomplish some goal (such as kill the bandit leader). Part 1: Defeat the guards outside the compound. Part 2: Breach the main gate. Part 3: Defeat the first "mini-boss" encounter. Part 4: Work deeper into the camp (ie, clear the trash). Part 5: Solve some puzzle which would allow you into the inner section of the compound. Part 6: Defeat the second "mini-boss" encounter. Part 7: Defeat the inner guards ("elite" mobs). Part 8: Defeat the "final boss" encounter.
    The compound can be laid out in such a way that the players must complete each encounter before moving on to the next. Even though some encounters may be avoided (by sneaking around, or some other mechanism), other mechanics (like unlocking the gate, or solving a puzzle) must be completed before continuing. It's basically a dungeon encounter, with a purpose.
    Or, as I posted in a previous comment:

    "Another way to improve things might be to make "attractions". My meaning in this is, instead of having a little bandit camp to roll through, set up the camp as some sort of maze; make it like a mini-dungeon. Start off by taking out the guards near the entrance. Then work into the outer portion of the camp ("clearing trash"). Then you meet the first "mini-boss"; the watch commander. Then you break through the second lines of defense. Clear a several more groups of guards (different type of trash than the first). Then you meet the second "mini-boss"; the guard captain. Then you breach the inner camp. More guards, perhaps some environmental traps/puzzles, perhaps free some prisoners (to complete a quest), perhaps recover a stolen item. Then you meet the camp boss. Defeat him, and open the camp treasure chest (that can only be looted 1 time every XXX number of hours for each person). Theoretically, you could change things up a little so the camp is not always the same; you go in one day, and there are prisoners to save, go in the next day, there are are stolen items to retrieve, etc."


    Item #2) Control Points. Personally, I'm not a fan of the current form of Control Point. It's merely a wave battle that increases in difficulty, ad nausium.
    It's like a grind where the mobs come to you (instead of you running around the area looking for them).

    From a design perspective, I would like to see a control point area split into 3 different lanes, like so:

    Entrance
    . . . . | . . .
    . / . .|. . \
    .1 . . 2 . . 3
    . \ . .| . ./
    . . . . | . . .
    . . .Exit .

    Your group enters the area and picks a lane to clear. Combat ensues. Wave after wave come. After every X number of waves, you get a reward and the difficulty increases for the next group of waves. Continue to the last wave where the "Boss" (could be a solo mob, or an "elite" group of mobs) comes out. Defeat the final wave and that Pathway is clear for the next X number of hours (or until another path is cleared. Then the path becomes active).

    Each path could have a different layout, different mobs, different "puzzles"/challenges to deal with during the encounter. You could even scale each path so that different levels could tackle them (like Path 1 is Adv Level 20-40, Path 2 is 41-80, and Path 3 is 81+, for example).

    So, for example, if Group A clears Path 1 (which will remain clear for, say 2 hours) and Group B comes along and starts clearing Path 2....the moment Group B clears Path 2, Path 1 becomes active again, and Path 2 is clear for the next 2 hours.


    Item #3) Territory. Another fun idea to liven up things is to set up an area with "capture points". On one side of the map, is the entrance to the scene. On the opposite side of the map is the Bandit Stronghold (or the Kobold Stronghold, or the Satyr Stronghold). Between the strong hold and the player entrance are 5 capture points (say, 2 villages, a small cave/mine, a wooded area for lumbering, and a fishing camp on a pond). The point of the "game" is to maintain control over the 5 "capture points". To capture a point, you (and your group) must defend the point and defeat all incoming attackers (X number of waves, or X number of minutes). Once a point is captured, you can move on to the next one and capture that.

    So, as an example, a party enters and approaches the first capture point (the first small village). The players raise their flag in the village center which starts the waves. The players defend waves of attackers (trash, trash, mini-boss, trash, trash, mini-boss, trash, trash, main boss...or whatever). Once the players have defended the village for as long as required, the village is considered captured. If the players continue no further, do not press on to the next capture point, or leave the area...the npc's will start attacking after X number of minutes and re-take the village (if no players are around to defend it).
    If the players continue to the next capture point (say, the fishing hole), they follow the same steps as the first capture point. Since they are actively engaged in the next capture point, the previous capture point(s) are considered safe and won't be attacked (since NPC's would have to fight through the players to even get there).
    This continues until the players capture all 5 capture points. After capturing the last point, the players are on the defensive. They can stay and keep fighting to hold the last capture point, or can leave, and the npc's retake what they lost.
    This sort of event gives meaning to why the players are fighting. With the introduction of mini-bosses, and other mechanics, you can spice things up beyond a simple grind. You can introduce caravans between capture points the enemy already possesses as a target for players to raid...or even caravans between capture points the players possess that the players must defend from attackers. There could be prisoner-of-war that players must save in enemy encampments. The sky is the limit.


    These are just a few suggestions i'm offering to help as an alternative to the grind.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2018
  10. Weins201

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    :)

    And they keep chasing the right side of the bell curve o_O
     
  11. Aurelius Silverson

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    Always interesting to see what others think, and a good, thoughtful post. Only thing I'd personally disagree about is

    For many, maybe most, those are true - but that's not how I measure 'achievement', I'm much more interested in a 'game' - or maybe more accurately, an 'alternative' space apart from real life - where I can do things I want at my own speed, meet friends and help them enjoy themselves, and not have any constant need to 'achieve', or 'succeed', or 'compete' because WAY too much real life gets dominated by those, often at the expense of the stuff I consider fun. For me, game worlds need to accommodate many other, different approaches as well, to really hold my attention and imagination. In the past I've given up on quite a few that let the content for some types of play unbalance or dominate compared to other approaches to the game. Hopefully I'll not end up doing the same with SotA.
     
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  12. Rada Torment

    Rada Torment Community Ambassador (ES)

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    It's interesting to note that the community ingame is fantastic in many aspects, but in social media enviroment you will always find good and bad things, it's not new so I guess no surprises for anyone.
     
  13. Numa

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    @Greyfox - though I don't agree with everything, that is one damn good post :)

    The two passages below struck a chord in me in particular:

    SOTA is missing crucial gaming elements to ensure group gaming is fun and desirable. There should be absolutely NO penalty for grouping and everyone should get full experience for every experience generating event. We absolutely need the ability to group fast, effectively, and efficiently from any location to any location on the map. We need guild and large group goals. Perhaps a dragon that can only be killed every 24 to 72 hours. Everyone is level balanced so even a new player can experience the content. Once killed everyone is flagged and unable to repeat until the timer resets. EVERYONE earns loot and reward points EVERY time. Give us a castle to defend that earns us points towards rare loot.

    Achievement in SOTA consists of an infinite XP treadmill that increases exponentially with minimal Return On Investment (ROI). The player’s time is not respected. Endless time is required to be invested for minimal gain in achievement. The crafting system is built with the same high investment, minimal ROI. There is no reason to play because there is minimal motivation to play.

    In spite of all the wranglings on the forums, I feel too that this is one of the best communities I've encountered in my years of gaming. The devs and other internal teams are obviously working very hard to deliver on the vision and directions for the game that were set.

    The one thing that worries me is the small size of the player base and I hope that addressing the two concerns above will fix that come release.
     
  14. Greyfox

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    1) Death penalty XP loss is a horrendous game mechanic and should be abolished never to return in ANY form, EVER!
    2) We don't need a population as large as WoW to be fun and successful. Population goals should be several times more active than the current for our minimum and WoW numbers for our maximum.
    3) Achievement can be different for many. Some might consider the number of friends on their friends list as an achievement. To save a wall of text, realize we each have achievement goals. SOTA is not currently meeting most of our achievement goals. If it were the population would be higher and more active.
    4) I've never developed a game. I have played a lot of games. I know fun when I see it, this game does have fun aspects but not enough. We do have social elements, but not enough. We do have immersion, but not enough.
    5) Fun, fast, and bug free.
     
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  15. Brass Knuckles

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    I actually agreed with what you quoted, I play to achieve. I realize there are people who like to dance and chat and they should be able to enjoy that play style.

    We all need our corners of this sandbox game to play in. I play to advance, character, loot, skill, property, and yea build friends.
     
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  16. Vallo Frostbane

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    Decay is fine... if achieving anything in this game would be more purposeful and embedded in systems that help players who struggle to learn the game. Best teachers are players you play with... but forcing that with Hospitallers is not going to solve the issue.

    SotA isnt fun for most gamers because it lacks gameplay features we will not see before q2.

    I think everything mentioned in this OP post has been repeated time and time again unfortunayely.
     
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  17. Stundorn

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    Maybe you and others - for me this is wrong, i play to immerse and ave fun, but dont forget reality ever.

    i don't care for persons - the game was fun and immersing when i began, thats all.

    not neccessarily - i like playing 100% iC - but never met players who are like me.
    i try to build a community with likeminded players and i sometimes like grouping, but i more like to play solo, because i then can play on my own pace, with my private immersion and such.

    i was allways someone who said that i'd love to have a sandbox where all are equal strong, no level, no achievement, no progression only fluff to gather, only playerskill that counts...
    I dont care for currency and i dont want to compete in systems where it is not only about playerskill, but allways and more about most time spent grinding something (skillpoints, levels, gear... whatever).

    here i agree

    No :eek::D
    the Community is divided and in no way unite about many things, beginning from RMT over PvP to Shop, Coto's or SP/MP or whatever "unique" feature SotA has.
    In some way the community is a bit too much enthusiastic and often seems blind - but this may also rely on moderation :rolleyes:

    agree - but as SotA is also a SP Game with even a SPO Mode - i'd say that SotA is not a MP game in the first line - MP is for socializing in the first line, for hanging out in PoTs, showing your decorations and dance stuff.
    PvE Grouping content or Raids and such aren't even existent. All you do when you group is maybe having fun together, but from a gameplay or gamemechanics view grouping is counterproductive and gives you nothing. There are no dependencies within characters and no classical archetypes - the whole skillsystem is more for a SP experience than anything related to MP, no matter if we talk about PvE or PvP.
    there's just no group content - if someone can solo the content, then people go and solo it - simple as that.
    You will allways feel bad if you do ssomething in a group when you know others solo it and get the higher reward for it!
    What do you want 8 people get 25k XP each to kill a dragon and same loot for everybody?
    i hope this game develops not into a big Lobby Game to fast teleport to the next grinding spot.
    agree

    thats relative - you sound as if you feeling unrewarded for your spent time and therefore have no motivation anymore, but there are many things you can get motivation from.
    To play your cahracter and immerse into the virtual world alone can be motivation enough - the problem i see here is to feel to have to achieve something.
    If it's not fun to fight why be part of a treadmill? why not only do things that are fun?
    The problem is the games actual content is already exhausted by a lot of players - i'd say everybody at Level 90+ who can solo everything is only achieving higher skills and repeatedly grinding the best xp/hr spots, gathering materials for crafting and artifacts to be on top in the market. This hanging the measures that high, that normal players cannot and won't ever compete.
    Powergap between players is limiting the experience of beeing part of one world. There is more a feeling of everybody is in his own world. The Dancers, the Rolplayers, the casual gamer, the hardcore grinder, the PvPer... they all are spereated more or less and don't share the world.
    And with how the game is setup regarding skills and "levels" and such it wont't be easy to bring this together.
    agree again...


    to be not deleted or closed you need to be constructive and give ideas - more than like give all people of a group of Dragonslayers same xp and loot.

    something like: hard caps, hard limits to create dependencies for PvE and Crafting to create economy and nobody self sustainable, hard decisions where one need to choose from strenght, but also weaknesses he has. Bosses and Artifacts are something special etc...

    today you cannot stop the hardcore players. The harder you make it for them the more you loose casual gamers. In the end the hardcore gamer is still unsatisfied, because he either way beats all content in some weeks, but you have lost all your 0815 casual gamers who are the community in the end.

    Without limits, restrictions, dependencies, a mediocre gameplay and economy and all that, the game only caters to addicts who have nothing to do but to play games.

    limits/ softcap are bypassed, content exhausted, system is gamed

    BUT...

    the game can be fun, highly immersive and is good for people who like to play Lone Wolf SP and socialize or RP from time to time with others in MP.
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2018
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  18. Vodalian

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    I think it's hard to avaoid the grind in a multiplayer game without an end. A player with 1500 hours will be a bit better than a player with 1000 hours. There will always be the next few skill points to strive for. Things like death decay and crafting failures don't really change the basics of these mechanics. We still compare ourselves with our fellow avatars. Being "good" exists in relation to others. If some aspect of the game is made easier and faster, that will just raise the bar for what is considered being "good" and nothing really changed.
    What we can do is making the grind less tedious by having fun content. Like for example the fine ideas of @Rowell above. Thats the way to go imo.
     
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  19. Rowell

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    To continue on with alternative to grind ideas, something for the gatherers / crafters.

    In some of the towns (or even small encampments in adventure areas), have NPC's that issue re-curring daily quests for gathered or crafted items. A miller that will reward you for gathering 25 Maple Wood, a fisherman that will reward you for bringing him 15 fish, a carpenter that will reward you for giving him 2 Study Chairs. The reward could be monetary, or a component needed for crafting (a bronze Hilt, or silver bars, or a ruby).

    Or maybe there is a ranger scouting an area because the sudden population explosion of wolves. The pack needs to be thinned so he rewards players for turning in 10 Wolf Heads.
     
  20. Stundorn

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    or with hard caps and hard limits to have this "endgame" reachable for everyone and feel eqal strong and neccessary and able to make a contribution in the whole world/ community.
     
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