Thoughts from a longtime player and 120 crafter

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Powersurge, Mar 11, 2020.

  1. Powersurge

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    I have played the game for several years and i'm interested in making our game more popular and see it expand. I feel it will require some hard choices. These will not be popular choices for some folks. I have 120'ed every crafting skill in the game except for the blacksmithing tree. That includes all of the enchanting (both weapons and armor), carpentry, tailoring, and leatherworking. I can make some of the best gear in the game. That means all light armor and any weapon needed by a mage (wands) and all ranged weapon users (archers). I mention this to let anyone who reads this know, I'm willing to do whatever it takes to ensure our game not only survives but thrives. If that means I lose all of that and start over...then that is what it means...

    At this point, i think we need some major game mechanic adjustments and we need to let Chris and his team make the necessary changes to increase our player base...whatever that means...I will say again...all of us need to step back and forget our individual needs in the game. I have spent quite a bit of RL money on this game. I did it back long ago when i first started playing.

    I have spoken several times to many of my guildmates. And right now we need to get more players in our game. If that means I have to give up my 100 million plus of crafting experience earned and start over to see 100,000 people playing our game and see it thrive, then i'm happy to do that. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.

    I'm speaking to you game developers....ignore the noise and make the game appeal to the masses. Yes, not everything you try will work out. But if we are not willing to try our game will not survive.
     
  2. Anpu

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    Are you saying you think a world wipe would suddenly cause thousands and thousands of new players running to play this game?

    I don’t think that’s going to happen.

    I think various other issues, and the kind of game this is are the reason for our low population.
     
  3. Girlsname

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    I’ll play again when developers actually play their own game. =)
     
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  4. Numa

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    I think what @Powersurge is saying is that if major changes to the game and game mechanics are necessary to bring lots of new people in then Catnip should do so even if it triggers a wipe (which has to happen if major changes happens to the skill trees).
     
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  5. CICI

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    Something like what star wars galaxies did with Combat Upgrade/new game enhancement sota needs to do =)
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2020
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  6. ShurTugal

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    I dont believe so. I believe they are saying that we need to stop adding frivolous crap to satisfy a few, take pause on new content and fix and or rework the basics of the game in a way that will draw in new blood and if by doing that means a character wipe (which I dont think it would) they are willing. I to am willing to have this happens if it means righting the ship instead of insisting on limping forward, taking on water and slowly sinking beneath the waves...
     
  7. Dawgs of War

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    Respectfully, I disagree. Customers (players) are rarely if every satisfied by taking things away from them. From a limited perspective, the majority of the crafting issues seen expressed on the forums are broken down to two areas. First the cost of raw materials needed to make "Uber" gear and the second, the ability for crafting to be profitable. These do not require a skill reset to correct. They do however require that the devs change their approach to and opinions on how they regulate the economy.

    The concern that too many Uber items in the game causes power creep is simply invalid. As new content is added it should naturally be more difficult and require better skills and gear. As for how Uber items effect PVP, all good PVP happens based on skill not on gear. If gear has ever been a factor in PVP that should be corrected. PVP based on gear will never be competitive.

    In the end, what will really increase the player base? Let the game be the true sandbox it needs to be. The devs need to stop over regulating and micro control. Many of us, devs included, came from the other game that did in many ways grow on its own. The players had the ability choose its path and that was the magic.

    The game in some ways could be compared to a growing child. As parents (Devs), we endeavor to protect our young at all costs. However a child with a hovering parent never fully develops. Overprotective parents do more harm than good.

    Devs need to stop trying to fix things that don't need to be fixed. Crafting became broken because someone felt the need to fix the economy and avoid power creep. A reset of skills will not correct this. A reset of the Devs approach to the game is the true answer.
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2020
  8. ShurTugal

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    I also disagree. While yes, you can't satisfy every player, you can make the vast majority of players happy with the game your building and the direction your taking it. Successful games do this. Also while a complete character wipe is probably not needed and wont happen, this approach of a complete reset and restart when the train has gone completely off the tracks has been done so it's not unheard of. Also also, our concerns with the game go FAR beyond just the crafting. Crafting has its issues but so do many many other things. Other than that, I agree with the rest of your post and find it to be valid insight. :) :)
     
  9. Earl Atogrim von Draken

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    I said already and I will say it again:
    If we want to compete with AAA MMOs we will die a bloody death and this death will be justified.
     
  10. GMDavros

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    That was pretty much the reason I quit playing SWG.

    Fenris
     
  11. kaeshiva

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    I think we're long past the stage when we could have gotten away with a wipe. Too many hours have been invested, too much money has changed hands, and persistence was announced as a commitment. Complete reset/restart is just not going to happen at this point and honestly, it wouldn't fix the problems.

    The problem of "new players can't compete" is not really a problem anymore. Its gotten so much easier to level nowadays that getting enough experience to do most of the existing content can be done in a couple of weeks. Gearing takes longer, yes, but this is not fortnite where everyone hops in all ready to go, nor should it be. There would be nil benefit from a wipe at this stage, and only a mass exodus of loyal customers who would make their final exit. A wipe wont fix it, as unless the core underlying problems are addressed, we'll end up exactly where we are now in a few years' time.

    However, you do make a good point about development needs to proceed in a way that is best for the game. Not everyone agrees on what that is. I personally think we should stop messing around with new systems that we've done fine enough without for years and fix the core issues - the massive economic imbalances, the dated quest system/journal, the dated recipe book/journal, and stop punishing players for logging in and actually playing.

    There's simply no need for permanent loss mechanics in this day and age, there's no need for it to take days of doing nothing but watching tedious refining timers every week just to process the stuff you get, and then wasting 90% of it throwing it into an RNG abyss, and there's no reason for everything you try to get to feel like a slot machine. The gratification of the occasional 'nice drop' or "succesful craft" is quickly overshadowed by the disappointment experienced the other 99.9% of the time. These arbitrary "time-wasters" are the main thing that I see pushing people away, because they can go play a different game and sit there and enjoy it, without having to dull their brain with netflix or tab out and play something else while they wait for things in Sota to happen or wait out a boss respawn hoping that this time, maybe you'll get lucky.

    When progress is a giant, looming, scarce scalable cliff before you, the player has to make a decision to either start the painful months-long ascent, or to not bother. With so many other options competing for players' attention in today's gaming market, that decision is easier to make, than 15-20 years ago when if you wanted to play an online game your options were severely limited. You tolerated it, because you had to, not because it was fun or enjoyable or desirable.

    Sota has other tricks up its sleeve, though. Incredible player retention mechanisms through non-combat progression and activities, ancillary systems (such as book writing and house decorating and the gathering-crafting advancement, emote collecting and siege clearing and celestial mechanics, the virtue system, the music system, animal taming, strong community events, social systems, quest arcs, player dungeons - even PvP, if it gets given a purpose/faction system/arena/whatever - the rest of the "living world" outside of combat). This other stuff? That's the good stuff. That's why I stay for years and those are the best memories - not "that time I killed stuff for 12 hours and trained some skills so I could kill it faster." That's important, too, but its not what keeps me logging in month after month, year after year, in this game or any other. This gives you meaningful stuff to do each time you login and take a few steps further up that cliff. You'll get up there eventually, but if you don't enjoy the journey, what's the point?
     
  12. CICI

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    People don't like change
    We also need to add Vendor Search =)
     
  13. Superbitsandbob

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    Feel sorry for Chris as he is stuck in a hard place. He knows what changes are needed to help increase the population but the wealthy, old, high level crafters only seem interested in their own personal in game wealth and not the long term health of the game. Listening to the streams all you get is a constant noise from the same minority who want all loot distribution to go through their merchants.

    The majority of RPG players clearly don't want their loot to be made by other players, nor do they want to wander around a poorly performing, deco bloated town for hours searching NPC's for something to upgrade their character. They want to kill the dragon, kobold, skelington or troll and have that rush of clicking "loot" to see what they get.

    Can the game afford to break away from the funding of the current minority who want their own way to implement changes that may increase the population? It's a really tough decision.
     
  14. Anpu

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    What specific “need some major game mechanic adjustments” needs to be adjusted? That’s completely vague.
     
  15. Sentinel2

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    With all respect, I don't get it.

    From what Chris has said in his Port/Nip streams, people are leaving the game shortly after they start playing. Sounds like the NUE is turning them off. Or something shortly there after. Hardly getting into anything with high level crafting. Or even basic crafting IMO.

    At this point I don't see EP1 getting much love. With some exceptions, I suspect their time will go towards EP2. I'm very curious to see how that turns out. Looking forward to the future.
     
  16. jschoice

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    I know it is hard to admit but this game will never pull big numbers. I enjoy the game alot and I understand that changes need to happen but there is no way with the current funding and amount of devs will be able to make substantial changes that will change people's perspective of the game. We just dont have the resources that the developers of ESO or FFXIV had when they did a complete reboot.

    I do think changes are being made and can be made that will made something increases in population and stabilize population. But we need to be more realistic of what can happen with out another 30 million falling into their lap.
     
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  17. kaeshiva

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    Its not really just high level crafters. High level anything-ers want to keep their power.

    And honestly, if they've put in 10,000 hours of gameplay, they should keep it, else what's the point of playing and making progress?
    Its not about 'taking away' from what people have earned - but rather, adding something meaningful that players can do/achieve/get along the way.

    This is a balance problem, in that there's nothing a low level player can do/obtain/get that a high level player can't do faster or more efficiently, leaving the low level player with little to do other than grind to become a high level player. Some games address this by having low level resources either be required in, or be convertible into, high level resources giving the new player some way to get their head in the door. There are a lot of little economic niches that people of low combat/crafting level could fill.

    I'll give an example - add a coal mine. These are Tier 1 nodes in term of experience and drop 3-5 coal per whack. Its not worth my time as a high level player to go mine coal, but a low level player will always find a market for it for a smidge under the NPC price. Same thing with the other 3 key crafting fuels. Make the acquisition rate reasonable for the time investment.

    A lot of things in this game are implemented backwards. Like Tier 2 crafting recipes dropping from supply bags that you have to be level 100+ to farm in any meaningful quantity. Put the recipes in bags that drop in tier 3 scenes or lower. Its not worth my time to go farm low level crap, but it gives lower levels 1) accessible to the recipes that THEY need 2) something to market.

    Give a value to player time / labor that is not contingent on being at least level X, and lower levels can then participate and be part of the economy while they work their way, day by day, to becoming high levels.


    My personal observations track with this, in trying to get friends to play.
    The biggest complaints are quest system related or navigation related.
    We often joke that if we can get someone past the painful first week, they're much more likely to stick around.
    Why is the first week painful? How can we make it less so?

    Some pain points:
    New players pick up a load of things, and don't have the capacity to carry it or bank space to store it.
    Suggestion: Consider upping base encumberance a smidge or looking at weight of stuff a new player is likely to pick up. Consider upping starting bank capacity.

    You do get a row deed fairly early, but then you have to know someone/somewhere to place it (POT only deed) Consider letting the quest deeds be placed in the many many empty PRTs and adding some sort of guidance to let players know that, many people are NOT going to do the social look for guild thing until AFTER they are sold on the game, and housing is key to that.

    Low level crafting is extremely daunting, hundreds of recipes available on vendors, priced in a way that a new player really can't afford to buy them all, and they don't know about recipe discovery...how would they? I know the thing is "you have to talk to people, its an mmo" and I agree, but some people may not want to commit to that until they've decided its a game they want to spend time in. I certainly don't get friendly with folks in a new game until I've evaluated the game as something I'm going to continue to play.

    Once I took a new player under my wing, and did the usual explaining of various things, we spent a couple of DAYS going through all the things you could do. His comment to me was (regarding Sota) "Where it seemed there was only a curiously appealing puddle, you've shown me its an ocean." We need to be able to show new folks the ocean of things through mechanics they can access independent of having to be 'taught' - the game needs to be better at teaching, the interface better at explaining, etc. Nobody's going to read a massive player guide help document, and even if they did, a lot of the documentation is very out of date or confusing and not easy to search. I'd say we really need a searchable, indexable in-game help, accessible via a somewhat obivous ? icon on the interface.

    Things like functional maps (and minimaps that you can hover over things and see what they are), tooltips explaining what items are FOR, are basic, basic functionality that Sota lacks.
    This ties in to what I've said above, about a new player being able to find their niche, their place in this world and have things worth doing throughout their journey, instead of it just being 'grind until you can actually start playing'.
     
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  18. Sentinel2

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    Something I ran into with ESO as well. Starting out I was overwhelmed with the shear number of people running around. And all actively doing something. Other than the quests (I think their quest system is pretty good btw), I found my self flopping around trying to figure out what else to do.

    The ESO main page has a number of helpful guides on the right which really were helpful. And a number of handy youtube videos were just what I needed to really begin enjoying the game.

    Perhaps instead of adding these guides to the forums, we should consolidate the lists and add to the main sota page? Making it easier for a new player to find more information?

    @Elgarion thoughts?

    If you check the ESO main page, you will see what I mean.
     
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  19. Sentinel2

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    I disagree.

    ESO had similar issues at the beginning. After hearing the problems my friends were experiencing, I decided to not play and moved on to something else.

    Here we are years later, I checked MMORPG.com and looked at their top games list. I was surprised to see ESO on the top 10 list (I think it was number 4 or something at the time). It was on sale on steam (paid $10 for it).

    Today is has about 13 millions players. And it shows. Hard to find a place in game empty of players. I don't know much about their history. But today it's pretty good.

    I'm encouraged by what I'm hearing for EP2 in Sota. I have a couple Sota alts. All setup with subscriptions. So hoping it helps. One of the few things which discourages me from spending more is non trade items. But that's another discussion.
     
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  20. Numa

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    ESO has a low level quest I heard that rewards the player with a room at an NPC inn. No need to do interact with players (who are not on all the time) and setup door access manager rights to the room. Just do the quest and you're ready to go.

    https://elderscrolls.fandom.com/wiki/Room_to_Spare
     
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