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  1. #1
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    Default Character Progression Discussion

    This topic is so vast and it touches on so many related topics that we cannot possibly cover all bases in just one post. What we’re attempting here is to get the discussion started by giving some background, explaining our intentions, what we’ve identified as problems, what we’ve been doing to date, and what we intend to do short and long-term.

    In a nutshell: Our first goal was to give you a starting character which was useful on day one, and after a couple of months of having fun and learning to play the game, your character would become “viable”. After that, more character development, specialization, and high level content, but please allow us to save most of this last part for a subsequent discussion.

    The starting character: These are things we have talked about time and time again but they’re extremely important in order to understand the big picture, so please bear with us one more time:

    In Darkfall a starting character can attack and hit a veteran character and inflict enough damage to kill him after a few minutes if not challenged. In almost any other MMO this is impossible even for players that have played for a couple of months.

    In Darkfall a starting character can use any item in the game without restrictions. No level, ability, or quest restrictions. A starting character can access any area on the map, join a clan, group with any player he wants without penalties, participate in group PvE against any MOB in the game. A group of starting characters could fend off or even bring down a veteran character. A character straight out of the box can man a cannon, a warhulk, sail a ship, ride a mount, rez, loot, harvest, craft, destroy and repair buildings, capture a village, capture a city, capture a sea tower, can own a house – among many other things. A starting character can participate in all activities the game has to offer and he can be useful in many supporting roles.

    Which brings us to why we’re mentioning all this again: We start out with a grind-free philosophy. Everything we mention above, any other game would make you grind, claw, and fight for. Just the privilege of using various weapons could lead to months of effort. We could have easily done the same thing. We’re not trying to compare apples and oranges, but the point we’re trying to make here is that in Darkfall we can take these freedoms for granted, and they do carry over throughout your character’s lifespan.

    Let’s define what we mean by “viable” today: Timeframe: Approximately two months of a moderate time invested playing the game. Your character has most of the skills required for basic PvP combat, a decent supply of equipment in your bank, and you have approximately doubled your starting stats.

    After launch we identified several problems early on, on the way to becoming “viable” which we addressed by dramatically raising the gains while fighting monsters in both magic and melee, introducing changes in PvE, introducing auto-harvesting, added the Industry skill which reduces crafting time across the board, skill books and scrolls, attribute consumables, and last but not least we added newbie protection. We also added various time-saving measures including bag naming, auto stacking of items, and increasing ship speed. We feel that all these together help significantly improve the transition from starting to viable. There are several other things we’re working on which will help this even further. It made sense to us to focus on this first, it being the starting experience.

    Another concern for us is the transition from “viable” to “advanced”. By “advanced” we mean a character with high skills necessary for his preferred style of combat, a large supply of basic and intermediate gear, a fair amount of high end gear, and about triple his starting stats. Timeframe: 4-6 months of a moderate time invested playing the game. We believe that this is also a very important stage for a player. Most of the changes we implemented mentioned above during the starting to viable character transition also apply in this stage. One of our next measures will be implemented in our next patch: We are significantly changing the progression of hitpoints in a diminishing returns fashion. This is done to improve a character’s viability in PvP situations and to make players of all levels more competitive.

    Besides the hitpoint progression measure, we have been studying many other aspects of character development in our ongoing effort to address possible imbalances. We should also mention that we have decided to introduce temporary stat potion boosts in our next expansion scheduled for June 2010.

    While we’ve been addressing the starting and intermediate experience, we didn’t want to neglect the veteran players. We’ve been adding a lot of end-game content and a lot of new features in both our expansions and various patches in between. This is a topic for another discussion coming soon, during which you will discover that nothing is being done in a random fashion, and that everything we’ve been adding makes up a platform on which to build and improve on. We have been doing a lot of work on revamping many of these features and systems so that they can begin reaching their potential.

    A major feature on the way are the Prestige Classes. This is not a minor change, it will actually change the way Darkfall is played. They will take your preferred play-style to a new level and set you apart. These have been a long-term project that we’ve been working on for a while now. They will be a part of Darkfall 2010 launching sometime during Q4 2010.

    We are aware that there are many things to be said about the topic at hand and many arguments that can be raised. We do not pretend to have addressed the issue fully but we have the best intentions to do so over time. We are processing player feedback on this at a very high priority, and you deserve a lot of credit for it. It has taken over a year for us to get a handle on this massive system and during this time we have adjusted our thinking considerably. It's not our intention to sell you anything here, rather to give you a glimpse at the big picture as we see it. Our hope is that this can become the start of an on-going discussion on character progression issues. It may take a little time to process but we expect that we will come back with more food for thought based on the feedback we receive. In order for us to do this effectively, we will kindly ask you to please approach this subject with a spirit of good-will and cooperation, as we hope we have.


    Thank you
    Last edited by Tasos; 04-22-2010 at 21:43.

  2. #2
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    Thank you for another great update.

  3. #3
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    Vets shit on 6 month old players hard not because of skill but because of stats and gear that 6 month old players can't afford. Looks like you addressed the large scale fight issue but what about small scale?

  4. #4
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    thank you, this is all i wanted.


    for now

  5. #5

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    Many things can be said about Aventurine, as well as Tasos in particular, but one thing is certain;

    He/they sure as hell can talk!


    Thanks.
    SupremeGeneral of Agon.


  6. #6
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    So Prestige Classes haven't been forgotten after all huh. Great read, fairly good representation, and good to hear about the hit point issue, it was just about the only real stat related problem.

    And two expansions too! June and Q4, interesting.
    Last edited by Signus; 04-22-2010 at 21:51.




    Community staff are not paid employees of Aventurine. In all business our opinions are entirely our own, and do not represent official Aventurine opinions.

  7. #7
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    I am a fan of the increased developer->player communication.

    Keep it up.

  8. #8
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    Great move with the HP change!

  9. #9
    15,000+ Niburu's Avatar
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    Thx for the update, But what i see is that we will see more diversity and maybe all the cool futures that these games really need in Q4 2010......the Hitpoint change will come in 2 month thats so damn long :-( But good changes anyway. i made a little text maybe you can read it and maybe it is a source for some ideas


    Overall ideas to make the game more interesting,combat wise without adding to exotic stuff.

    First of all you should always think about the fact that if you are good in one thing you will become bad in another.
    What we need in General: Skill gain is fine(except Witchcraft,Spellchanting,Buffs,Heal Spells),Stats gain is to slow and need a specialization.
    -Stats will level muuuch faster on mobs
    -You can have one stats maxxed to 110, one can be skilled up to 90,rest is capped at 75.
    -You can choose which stats will use all 110 points or only 75. Ofc all stats can be leveld up to 110 even if they are not activatet but if you skill up magic for example but it is capped at 75 you will still gain some stats but only 75 INT are used
    -Buffs will go over this cap, example if you have DEX capped at 75 the DEX bonus that you get from buffs will be calculated in the dmg formula
    -stats cap is 110 but you can Buff yourself up to 130 Stats points(to higher the use of Buffs even if you are at cap)

    Atm you have 3 combat styles ingame: Archery,Meele,Magic so thats the first choice of a player if he see's Darkfall. What do i prefer ? I would give the player the ability to "activate" 100 points in one of the three abilities,Archmage,Sharpshooter,Meele Mastery
    Example:
    -This means if you want to be a full mage you can put all your 100 points in archmage but your meele and archery is gimped
    -you can choose to add 75 points to archmage and 25 points to meele

    Archery:
    -Aquatic shoot should be part of every magic disableing specialization
    -more specializations for archery

    Meele:
    -more specializations
    -disable blow only works if the opponent is blocking

    Magic:
    -Bolt spells will fly much faster around same speed as arrows, no AOE
    -coasts for ALL bolt spells is 1 Mandrake=2g same as arrows
    -R50 AOE only does 20 % of the DMG from a direct hit, the use of R50 spells is the knockback to keep meelers away
    -R90/100 heavy AOE fire and they stay how they are
    -Water Magic hase a new spell that allows you to cast under water(Buff)
    -Launch is not effected by Enc.
    -Heal Mount is not effected by Enc.

    School specialization: If you choose to use a school of magic it will not allow you to use his counterpart. Magic schools can be activatet/deactivatet by Mage NPC's

    Magic School-Oppositing School

    Fire(Dmg school)<------------>Water(INT Buff,casting under water,good for magic to higher the DMG output)
    Earth(STR Buff,Meele Prot,Meele Support school)<------------>Air(Dex,Arrow Shield, Archery support school)
    Necro(Debuff,Blind,extra Heal spell)<------------>Arcane(Utility,Caster Support School)
    Witchcraft(extra Heal spell,Debuff's)<------------>Spellchanting(Support school to support others)

    Crafting:
    -You can only activate 1 mastery and the cooldown to change the activation is 1 week.


    What will this change ?
    -the adventage of a Veteran player is the possibilty to choose out of more playstyles and the new player can max out one path pretty fast and can be on the same level as a vet who playes the same spec.
    -we will see many different Roles in a Roleplaying Game

    Other overall targets that i think to be addressed to have more fun in DF is
    -remove the warning in system chat if someone is in your city
    -more craftable items, the mobs should drop the materials that you need to craft certain things and not the armor/weapon itself
    -more fluff that dont need PVP
    -better dungeons with rare mobs or mobs that only can be found there.
    -fix water logging
    -fix loading screen bug
    -fix mountet combat 360° hit ability( you can hit with sword an enemy behind you)
    Last edited by Niburu; 04-22-2010 at 21:54.
    Darkfall Unholy Wars
    Playing Darkfall is the most fun I've ever had on a computer with my pants zipped up and both hands on the desk.

  10. #10

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    think a big matter of contention is the viable to advanced. Do you believe advanced players should be able to whipped the viablke players butt in most situations or only those the advanced player decided to specialize in?

  11. #11

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    Nice post, looking forward to what you have in store, though i just hope the upcoming summer doesn't kill the game combined with low amount of patches before it.

  12. #12

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    I'm really diggin' this new dev communication. Thanks Tasos.

    As for the 'prestige classes', I hope this isn't a step towards making this game like a certain other game I know of. I realize it's nothing like that, but it could possibly lead to that point.

  13. #13
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    Let’s define what we mean by “viable” today: Timeframe: Approximately two months of a moderate time invested playing the game. Your character has most of the skills required for basic PvP combat, a decent supply of equipment in your bank, and you have approximately doubled your starting stats.

    (...)

    Another concern for us is the transition from “viable” to “advanced”. By “advanced” we mean a character with high skills necessary for his preferred style of combat, a large supply of basic and intermediate gear, a fair amount of high end gear, and about triple his starting stats. Timeframe: 4-6 months of a moderate time invested playing the game. We believe that this is also a very important stage for a player. Most of the changes we implemented mentioned above during the starting to viable character transition also apply in this stage. One of our next measures will be implemented in our next patch: We are significantly changing the progression of hitpoints in a diminishing returns fashion. This is done to improve a character’s viability in PvP situations and to make players of all levels more competitive.
    Ok personally i haven´t of doubled my Stats after 2 months so perhaps im not playing a "moderate" amount of time.
    My Question to older players who didnt macro/afkswim is: Do you have around 60-70 in your stats after 4-6 months?

    To be honest im happy that you are gonna change something on the hp-formula!

  14. #14
    5000+ w0rm's Avatar
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    Nice idea, hopefully you will also not forget more specializations or hopefully this will come with prestige classes. Very happy to see HP changes - anything else was just general expected information. Still, thanks for it.

  15. #15
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    Another concern for us is the transition from “viable” to “advanced”. By “advanced” we mean a character with high skills necessary for his preferred style of combat, a large supply of basic and intermediate gear, a fair amount of high end gear, and about triple his starting stats. Timeframe: 4-6 months of a moderate time invested playing the game. We believe that this is also a very important stage for a player.
    Make it a bigger concern of AV !!!

    This is main issue why people leave, the huge gap between viable and advanced is to big and almost unbreakable to cross with moderate gameplay. Advanced is 350ish HP it is impossible to reach that level in 4-6 months without macroing,afk swimming or other non gameplay related skill up methods.
    AV (you) makes sure people do macro or swim to get there. You can not say to people ok you used to do that and all advanced players did that unpunished and since you want it also you are screwed and i gonna ban you. That is not a reasonable answer to players. It is a good method to counter Macroing but will led to a greater unbalance.

    What you want AV a server full of advanced players who been there for ages or give younger players a shot at some equal battle's?

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