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Town sieges right at the beginning are way too hard

Discussion in 'Release 38 Feedback Forum' started by Lord_Darkmoon, Feb 14, 2017.

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  1. Gix

    Gix Avatar

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    That's assuming you know where they are. The area just looks like a regular bandit camp.

    Shouldn't the catapults be shooting at the towns? Why are they aiming their catapults at 1-5 guys when they got plenty of infantry?
     
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  2. TarrNokk

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    You can see before entering a town, that it is sieged. If you enter the scene and dont want to be confronted, you can turn and enter Novia and do other things until the siege ends. Especially for Newb characters there is many to explore so no force to enter a sieged town RIGHT in this moment. Oh, you want to go on in your quest RIGHT NOW? Sometimes sh*t happens.
     
  3. Lord_Darkmoon

    Lord_Darkmoon Avatar

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    In a story-driven game I expect a flow to the story. Just like in reading a book. The heroes arrive at the besieged town but instead of actually trying to fight their way through to the city or try to lift the siege they just go into the wilderness and kill some wolves and rabbits? Very exciting.
    When I play a story-driven game and arrive at a siege what is my first thought? I try to help the town. Or at least I would try to get into the town and expect to see panicked people, chaos and a mayor who asks me for help. None of those things are happening in SotA.
     
  4. TarrNokk

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    Ok, lets give it a try: You are the hero and enter the siege, because you are the hero and want to help.
    You insta die= you are not the hero (get experience and try again)
    You run through a safe way into town=you are not a hero
    You destroy the catapults and slaughter your way to town=you are the hero
    All options are in the flow of the story, so where's the problem? If you are not strong enough you have to practise in SotA. That's the game.
     
  5. Lars vonDrachental

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    As you are mentioning books…let us take a short look at e.g. The Lord of the Rings. I do not think that most of the heroes tried to attack Nazgul’s on sight…aside of battlefields I think they mostly even tried to avoid any combat with orcs or other enemies.
    Most books I can remember where a character started right from the start to fight strong enemies these characters mostly died and the story continued with some other characters.
    But lets get back to SotA. You are not a hero, currently you are a newly arrived person who has to find its place and role in a strange world. Maybe you will be one day a hero but I would think that it will take some time till you should/others would call you hero. I think this is a false conclusion as most games pamper newly arrived characters as the chosen ones who will end all evil. Of course this is mostly the end of the story but at the start nearly nobody in this fictional world would ever think that you…a messy person in crappy clothes and weaker than mostly everyone else with no idea where you are and what is going on in this world…will kill one day the ultimate evil that is terrorizing everyone. ;)
    That way it would be more reasonable if the guards in siege scenes would say that you should leave immediately or would try to take you to a secure place…as at the beginning you are the innocent villager and the guards are the strong “heroes” that would try to protect you. But I think such a mechanic is difficult to implement and that way most of the time the NPC operate as if you know what you are doing and that you are strong enough to handle stuff as else you wouldn’t ask for these heroic quests.

    Well…as I understood the current sieges are a first “idea” of the devs on this topic. Maybe there will be someday more functions implemented e.g. that townspeople react one sieges or that sieges also have consequences (e.g. goods the NPC merchants offer, unavailable NPCs or NPC buildings,…) or that sieges not simply disappear if a set time has passed…we will see. But as SotA is still in development everything can change and new functions can come and disappear anytime.
    If you do not like how something is implemented and you cannot find a official hint that there is still something in preparation…make a suggestion in the forum section "Game Features" how to improve the game for you and everyone else. :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2017
  6. Lord_Darkmoon

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    As I said it destroys the flow of the story.
    People could die during the siege but instead of trying to help I go and kill some rabbits.


    This is absolutely legitimate but then the game should portray it this way. As you said with guards trying to convince me that I will get killed for sure if I stay. This could be integrated into the story. We have to accept that we cannot help and watch people get slaughtered and thus our hatred for the enemy builds up. But even then I would expect the story to continue. Me trying to help someone who managed to escape, me helping the guards bring the wounded to safety. Some small quests that keep me occupied and give me the feeling of being able to contribute something even if I am a newly arrived Person. Small quests that have meaning and integrate itself into the story. As it is now I am ripped out of the story. The siege feels artifical. I hope that this will change with future iterations.
     
  7. Timmy Vortex

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    Insane respawn might have to do with completely looting every corpse. I don't know for sure if that's happening in singleplayer as well?
     
  8. Gix

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    At this point in the story you're just a messenger boy that showed combat potential. Your story is that you tried and failed. So now your avatar (aka: you) has to cope with that loss. If defending the people is your goal, then you know that you're not strong enough.

    This is explicitly told through game-play.

    If the assailant were a dragon, would you have charged in?

    I won't argue that it feels artificial... but not for the same reasons you're pointing out.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2017
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  9. Lord_Darkmoon

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    This works in a sandbox game but not in a single-player narrative. If I encounter a dragon right at the beginning of a single player RPG then it would normally be integrated into the story. It attacks, leaves me half-dead and I recover seeking revenge. Something along those lines.
    I can't remember having to deal with way too powerful enemies while following the main quest of Baldur's Gate, Fallout, The Elder Scrolls, Dragon Age or The Witcher, to name just a few games with a single-player narrative.

    Let's take Baldur's Gate for example. What would happen if after fleeing from Candlekeep the hero would encounter a high-level dragon which he simply cannot defeat? Would this fit into the single-player narrative? People would probably stop playing, blaming bad balancing.
     
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  10. Lord_Darkmoon

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    I just tried it again. I entered the siege scene and the guard told me to destroy all of the catapults. No mention of a secret path with less powerful enemies and no mention of me being too weak to handle the siege.
    So let's assume I am new to the game and want to follow the story. I get the quest to go to Ardoris. The town is besieged. I talk to the guard and he tells me to destroy the catapults. But I don't stand a chance. This is a very bad experience for a new player. How am I supposed to know that there is another path?

    Also from a logical point of view: Why is there another path with weaker enemies in the first place? Isn't this a very bad decision of the enemies to guard such a path only with weak soldiers? The path could be used by an army to sneak behind the enemy lines and attack from the rear. I fear that the whole experience for people interested in the story falls apart in this situation. It is so apparent that the siege is artifical and just there for "MMO" purposes and for group play, to redo them again and again. From a story point of view they don't make sense the way they are now. Let's see:
    1. The inhabitants of the towns don't know anthing about the siege although it is going on right before their gates.
    2. The siege is never a threat because nothing can happen to the town.
    3. No matter my level I am always told to destroy the catapults.
    4. Catapults are only shooting at the heroes and not at the town.
    5. An illogical path guarded only by weak enemies which only serves the very apparent reason to help weaker players get through the scene.
    6. Lifting the siege grants me what? Do I become the saviour of the town and everyone congratulates me?
    7. The siege happens again and again.

    Such an element in any other single player RPG would totally tear the experience apart.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2017
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  11. DarkStarr

    DarkStarr Executive Producer Moderator SOTA Developer

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    This is good feedback. We will have the guard warn players that taking on the catapults is only for the strongest and give info about the side paths.

    Long term we do plan to have the besieged towns aware/affected by the siege with convos / quests as well as disrupted services (shops/crafting stations/etc).
     
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  12. Stundorn

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    @Lord_Darkmoon

    Think of the Guard and the easy path as a first breach through the siege the townguards had make and now need help.
    Maybe there will be quests to fight the sieging NPC and also to try to deliver goods into the city to stand the siege, which is more easy and guards safe the ways a bit.

    Just a try to explain that safe sideway.
     
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  13. Hornpipe

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    I suppose the army which is besieging don't know the battle field as well as the defenders. The defenders can therefore follow the most craggy paths and the most unknown. Also, They can also build a supply cord for the city.

    But since the sieges are static scenes, created in geographically limited instances, the problem is that the least well-kept path are always the same and should be known, with time.
     
  14. Gix

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    And you don't feel this to be artificial at all? Why would the dragon leave you half-dead? That's not a "flow", that's a cliché and it undermines the threat.

    You shouldn't assume immunity just because you're the hero of a story. That's a much hand-holding as any quest marker telling you where to go to solve puzzles.

    If I was FORCED to encounter the dragon... like Skyrim does for a few of its dragons, yeah, I'd have a problem with it. Yes. Skyrim FORCES you dragon encounters... you cannot outrun them, you cannot stealth past them.

    If I was just fleeing from Candlekeep because my foster father told me to run away from a DUDE in armour, and some dude (like Xvar) later on told me that there's a massive dragon on my path to the Friendly Arms Inn, you'd bet that I'd be looking for way around or another objective entirely.

    Story be damned at this point; it's called common sense.

    You mention Elder Scrolls but have you played Daggerfall? What about Morrowind? One of the most recognized RPGs of the decade? Caius Cosades's first mission sends you off to a cave/dwemer ruin which is FAR beyond your level... and he specifically tells you "you're not ready yet" but you can do it anyways.

    This is essentially what the sieges are doing right now. I prefer level-scaling encounters myself but, really, the only "bad thing" about how SotA is setup is how each element is communicated (or lack of thereof) to the player.

    This is essentially the point that I've defending on this thread.

    It needs to be communicated.

    Because the enemy general saw more value in defending the catapults and sent lower ranking soldiers to scout the surrounding area?
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2017
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  15. yarnevk

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    I find it hilarious that the usual white knights are responding to a 'siege' upon the forum in this thread because of the messenger, even though the dev in fact responded that this is valid feeedback and it is indeed poorly written dialogue that can be fixed.

    More of these white nights need to remove their rose colored glasses, and actually do as the OP is doing and play a clueless noob and note the quest blockers themselves. Assuming that the devs are doing it is not going to fix the game, because they know the story they know the work arounds, they make assumptions that the players know what is going on.

    Using common sense of doing something else and waiting it out does not work, there is nothing to do in Soltown once all the NPC quests are done, there are no other side quests to do, because the mail needs to go to Ardoris and you cannot get there. All that is left is dumping the player into the MMO grindy adventure scenes killing respawning skellies for no reason. Stories cannot be sandbox, quest chains are indeed on rails, and Skyrim is a good model of how you can do both in the same game. If a player wants to quest they can, if they want to sandbox they can, but rarely do they force the quester to sandbox, and when they do they are careful to add that point to the plot saying come back when you are ready, and there are plenty of side quests to occupy the quester.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2017
  16. Gix

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    What messenger? The NPC or are you talking about @Lord_Darkmoon ? There's no discrimination here; you're grasping for something that isn't there.

    Let me remind you it took 3 replies from the dev before saying anything about the validity of the feedback. It doesn't take a dev to confirm this either, @Lord_Darkmoon's feedback is solid, it's the logic behind it that's arguable.

    Ever had a math teacher giving you a bad grade because, even though you got the right answer, how you got to that answer was still wrong?
    • Sieges need work.
    • The game needs to better convey needed information for the player to make decisions.
    That's it. The whole spiel about other RPGs not doing it is a complete fallacy.

    I want you to take a closer look at what's being discussed here before you start accusing people.

    Asking for more side-quests is a completely different issue on its own.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2017
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  17. Lord Dreamo

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    I think it's a pretty reasonable plot choice to not have a random guy in a world he's never been suddenly decide to risk his life helping strangers in the middle of a huge military conflict.
     
  18. Tibs

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    It will be beneficial to remind ourselves occasionally that, while it may seem better for the game to impose harsh penalties for solo play and reward teamwork, few indeed enjoy masochism, and there must be an opportunity to form/join community. If I enter my game world and am immediately eviscerated I leave. That is not a path to profit, nor is it a path to citizenship.
     
  19. Black Tortoise

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    I agree that more should be done at the presentation layer to guide a newbie through the easy-path of a siege, and to explain the siege and its relevance (or lack thereof) to the newbie's current situation. I agree that in its current state, the sieges are confusing and potentially misleading for a brand new player. I also agree that its pretty easy for a brand new player to run through the easy path (if they know of it), and avoid engagements.

    I agree that this should be handled better in offline mode, and players should have more in depth UX to explain the sieges and how to bypass them. The sieges should be level-appropriate in offline mode.

    I dont agree that much should change in terms of difficulty for players in online mode. I think its fine for a player to incidentally encounter an impossible - but totally passible if you pay attention - situation right from the start. I think its a good thing to foster a culter of it being a brutish, harsh, cold world out there in Novia, and avatars need to be able to trust each other and band together to move past these obstacles. I dont want the game to hold anyone's hand - esp new players - and I dont want guided theme parks with build-in limitations to keep everyone "safe", that would be most unhealthy for SotA culture.

    A proper UX to tell the player "whoa lookout youre under siege, and right now you should be more concerned with taking this sneaky path to the left instead of the why and how behind this terrible event. Quick, before theyre onto you!". If they player chooses to stand and fight, and they lose, well, thats an expected result. Working as intended ;). All that the player needs is an easy way to acquire the information that hints at the very simple solution. The game should tease players into exploring, interacting, jumping, moving, climbing, whatever, all on their own, and sometimes that exploration leads to a situation where you need to walk to a rez shrine. The game shouldnt funnel them down a path of e-z mode and click-to-win.
     
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  20. Black Tortoise

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    Why? The game is about virtue, or rather, the culture of Novia is about virtue. I think its a reasonable scenario, given this context, for a player to have to choose if these "strangers" are worth helping "because, virture!" or for the player to say "i have no stake in this, i dont care if you all die".
     
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