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Team Players - Avoiding the Dreaded "MSORPG"

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CoriSparks
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Team Players - Avoiding the Dreaded "MSORPG"

You've all seen it. You may have even experienced it. An MMORPG where you have no reason or incentive to team up with anyone unless you're doing some long, massive raid, effectively turning the game into more of a "Massively Single-player Online RPG" than anything. In games like that, teammates tend to be more of a hassle than anything; no intuitive way to find team-ups, and if someone actually DOES join, it doesn't make much of a difference. If it's more convenient in an MMO to solo most of the time rather than team up, it's pretty obvious that something has gone wrong at the most fundamental level.

When I was playing City of Heroes, I NEVER felt that way. CoH was one of those games where you could be minding your own business and someone could send you a team invite and next thing you know you're running through the halls of a secret lab with your own little group of ragtag Avengers blowing mad Crey scientists to smithereens.

With the way things are in the MMO market today, though, it'll probably take more than just the ability to team up to get people to actually play together. People are, for some reason, becoming more and more isolated even inside their own games. I have confidence that the developers of City of Titans are working on ways to change that, but even so, I'd like to share some of my own ideas for ways we can encourage players to team up with each other more.

Note that none of these are demands, or even full-fledged suggestions. They honestly need to be ironed out a bit more before any serious thought would be given to them, but I still think they'd be good points of reference for people to look at.

1. LFT Button and Team Search
Some modern MMOs do in fact have a "looking for team" option of some sort (I think), but City of Heroes' always seemed to work the best from my personal experience. Part of the reason seems to be because these other MMOs rarely have a feature that allow you to browse people who have tagged themselves as looking for teams from wherever you are. This was a brilliant design choice that I still can't believe most other MMOs aren't taking advantage of, and definitely should be present in some way in CoT.

2. XP Bonuses
I recently had an idea that involved a system where each member of the team gets an XP boost that increases slightly for each member added to the team as a whole. You'll get more XP for running a mission with a full group than just by yourself or with one partner. I've noticed that some games actually do something that could be considered the exact opposite of this, and to me that seems almost like penalizing players for grouping rather than soloing, which honestly doesn't really make much sense in a game genre that revolves around teamwork anyway. Of course, I'm not a professional game designer, so there probably is some good reason that no one's done anything like this that I'm not noticing.

3. Teamwork Buffs
This is an idea that came to me recently that seemed rather interesting. Perhaps there could be unique "Teamwork Buffs" that each archetype can bestow upon other archetypes for teaming with them. For example, if a "Blaster" equivalent teams up with a "Scrapper" equivalent, the Blaster will get an accuracy buff while the Scrapper gets a speed buff, or if a "Controller" and "Tanker" team up, the controller gets a defense buff while the tank gets crowd control, "Defenders" give a max HP increase to everyone on the team etc. It should be noted these do not stack, and instead are there to mostly encourage teams with varied ATs in game.

So these are just a few ideas... Come to think of it now that I'm actually writing this down I can think of several ways the last two could end in disaster... But again, this is mostly just a brainstorming post.

Everyone else, feel free to discuss your ideas on how to encourage more teamwork in the game!

Brainbot
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As long as the game provides

As long as the game provides incentives to team and not make teams the only way to play I am happy. I seem to remember all your ideas were in city of heroes in some way.

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So my roommate and I were

So my roommate and I were playing World of Warcrack, teamed up, and having finished one quest to get a certain lich's phylactery - together, as a team - we then went on to take the quest to confront and defeat said lich. We meet up with the contact, there's a bit of cinematic where everybody gets stunned while the lich does his monologue until an NPC breaks the lich's spell and the actual fight begins. The fight ends as expected, and I head back up the hill to turn in the quest.

Except my roommate didn't get credit for defeating the lich. He had to go back, abandon the quest, interact with the contact NPC again to start the last quest in the chain again and start the cinematic. Second verse, same as the first, and now we both turn the quest in and decide where to go next.

If at any point in the approximately five years since we first noticed - and reported - this particular bug they'd fixed it, I wouldn't be mentioning it now in this thread. But they haven't, at least as of yesterday, and I am forced to conclude that they intended that quest, and others with the same "bug", to be done solo. But if that's the case, why could they not have warned us, instead of letting us find out by having to do the last quest in the chain twice? The previous quest, they had no problem letting both of us pick up the theoretically unique phylactery, why should the final quest in the chain be the one that had to be done once for each player on the team?

My point here: Don't change whether a mission chain works for a team or not in the middle of the chain, and if you do, warn us, please. In fact, warn us whenever it doesn't work for a team, or better yet, never make a mission that doesn't work for a team. /rant

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I'm of the belief, if the

I'm of the belief, if the game mechanics allow it.. people will use it.

If its a underhanded and shoddy game mechanic, then underhanded and shoddy people are drawn to it.
If its a light hearted and friendly game mechanic, then light hearted and friendly people are drawn to it.

I haven't seen any studies on this, but it kinda makes sense if you contrast CoH/V with a some MMOs that have Less friendly communities, in my opinion.
Weather its XP kill stealing or Camping mob spawns. or the other multitude of things. :/

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I'm one of the players who

I'm one of the players who goes back and forth between wanting to solo and wanting to team.
The reasons vary.
I'm all for incentivizing teaming without making it required, in general (I don't have any problem with certain TFs or whatever requiring a team as long as I'm not prevented from advancing because of it).

One of the most frustrating things about teaming in other games, to me, is keeping track of the ream once I'm on one.
It seems like no one talks. Ever. Unless you do something wrong, and even then you're just as likely to get kicked without a word.
In CoH, it was usually easy to see where everyone else was on the map the pace of combat allowed time for communication between encounters and even during the fight.
The chat box was also very easy to to read if you couldn't follow everyone's chat bubbles.
I also liked how synergies between powersets made things feel different when soloing or teaming.
It seems like every encounter in other games is just zerg, rinse, repeat and there are very few tactical decisions to make which would influence the outcome very much.

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In the beginning, CoX had

In the beginning, CoX had come under some criticism, at least among it's own players, for being TOO team-oriented. People who used to complain about Jack Emmert's policies would mention that it was mostly his vision that the game was going to be like paper and pencil DnD, but with computers doing all the math, and superheroes. In other words, the unit that the game was being built for was the adventuring party, with each member serving the team in some capacity. The Defender, in the early going, was considered by many to be the least "soloable" and as such they were pretty unpopular among soloists, which is why I made so many of them. I latched onto the idea of using Task Forces as a way to level up fairly quickly and in a fun way (like without power leveling). So I wanted my toons to be easily able to jump into a TF team whenever possible and I made a lot of Def/Con types for this reason. I made like two scrappers and only one blaster in the 8 years CoX lasted, and the Scrapper never even got to level 50 before I deleted him.

That game had classes that were not terribly efficient mob busters in solo play, but very powerful when you had a team of 8 people with you. Later they tried to balance things so that you could maybe solo a little more, I guess.

When CoX rolled out the ability to respec your character, they made the mechanism for that a Task Force you had to do, one which no single toon could ever do, and which at least tried to get your team to employ teamwork to do it. There was a criticism of this later, but the intention, I think, was to give everyone the opportunity to acquire something we all desperately wanted at the time, BUT to make us team up to get it. To make things even worse, the last door you had to go to basically required everyone to have a vertical travel power or else you needed at least one person with TP to have Recall Friend. Emmert wanted to send the message "Travel powers aren't for combat, but they're still worth a slot, dammit!"

I'm all for teaming up. I have no quarrel with those who'd prefer not to. I have no personal need to do every bit of mission story content in the whole game by myself, but some have posed that as a desire, that all content be soloable. I wouldn't offer that, even if I could easily do so. I personally would still have TFs with mandatory minimum team sizes, if it were up to me, even if the thing could easily be scaled down to the single player. In fact, I would leave the difficulty and mob size settings for all TFs set to the minimum team size and difficulty stated in the description of the TF. If it needs 4 people to start it, then it;s always going to spawn mobs for a team of 4, minimum, and if you set the difficulty to "hard" for that team, you're getting "4-player, hard" as the minimum spawn type in all the missions, no matter how many people drop. If your TF team falls apart and you can't finish, well, it fell apart. You've lost nothing but time, try again tomorrow. Worse things have happened, everyone lived and the world spins on. Some problems, realistically, are too big for one person to solve alone. Sometimes it takes a team. I'm all for keeping that realism in the game and requiring a team for some stuff, and not just big 50-person raids.

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I think the important

I think the important distinction to be made is to reward teaming without penalizing solo play. As far as I'm aware, CoX did a better job of this than any other MMOs I've played before or since.

While teaming should be optional, it shouldn't be "optional" to the point that there's never any reason to work with group. IMO, there's been something lost over the past few years as MMOs have made a point of being "solo-friendly". That thing being lost was any incentive to to form anything resembling a long term group or a core of people you regularly play with. Such as things are, in many MMOs today the group content consists of: Queue up in an LFG window, get shuffled into a group with 4-9 anonymous strangers, burn through [group content] over the course of the next 5, 10, or 20 minutes, collect your reward, and then disperse, never to interact with these people (whom you may not have communicated with at all) again, lest the LFG tool happen to drop you in the same bucket again. CoX was, in my experience the first and last MMO that actually saw groups form up, and more less stick together for hours at a time, with particularly strong groups often coming together again, with people interacting and communicating the entire time.

While the aspect I described above will might very well prove to be difficult to recapture, there's another element that I think would easier to recapture. The biggest perks of teaming up in CoX were not artificial bonuses, they were built into the way that missions scaled with team size. Teaming was more rewarding because the game scaled the missions by throwing more mobs and more powerful mobs at groups, meaning that you got got your bonus XP and Inf in a team simply because you were fighting more enemies in the same space of time. In addition, doing the same content solo and with a full team of 8 were radically different experiences. While as a solo player you might fight a few enemies at a time in a given mission, the same mission in a large team ended up involving more than one epic battle against hordes of enemies. Instead of inexplicably making regular enemies into minibosses, the game threw large numbers of them at you, mixing in powerful heavy hitters in the process.

All in all, teaming in CoX was more rewarding and often more fun than solo play, and the game managed it without penalizing solo play, or setting up artificial incentives to team up, and best of all, it encouraged building effective teams, rather than just lumping silent, anonymous strangers together. IMO, these are all elements CoT should try to emulate and build on. I think that if MWM manages to recapture and refine these elements, they'll have done well.

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I definitely want a chat

I definitely want a chat channel (or several) devoted to those looking to form teams. TF teams, raid teams, PUG mission teams, etc. Preferably moderated so that there's no spamming of ads, etc.

Edit: I think instead of having a queue whereby you can join any TF team from anyplace in the world, it might be better to have specific NPC contacts, like CoX, where people would have to gather if they want to do that. That way you get the immediate idea that "Ok, the people here all want what I want, to do the TF that starts here. Maybe I can talk to them on local chat and we can form a team or two." Or maybe give subscribers the "join from anywhere" option and make non-subs have to gather at the rallying point to start the thing, I don't know.

CoX almost always dad places where people would gather to form teams for doing stuff together. The door from Steel Canyon to Boomtown, on the Boomtown side, was often teaming with people just milling about, at least while street sweeping Boom was a thing. The Perez Park and Hollows inlets were similar. We used to form Incarnate Trial raids in the dance club, and/or in the Vanguard base. That's a good thing to have, a place to go with your avatar to expect to find a pick up team.

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Radiac wrote:
Radiac wrote:

I'm all for teaming up. I have no quarrel with those who'd prefer not to. I have no personal need to do every bit of mission story content in the whole game by myself, but some have posed that as a desire, that all content be soloable. I wouldn't offer that, even if I could easily do so. I personally would still have TFs with mandatory minimum team sizes, if it were up to me, even if the thing could easily be scaled down to the single player. In fact, I would leave the difficulty and mob size settings for all TFs set to the minimum team size and difficulty stated in the description of the TF. If it needs 4 people to start it, then it;s always going to spawn mobs for a team of 4, minimum, and if you set the difficulty to "hard" for that team, you're getting "4-player, hard" as the minimum spawn type in all the missions, no matter how many people drop. If your TF team falls apart and you can't finish, well, it fell apart. You've lost nothing but time, try again tomorrow. Worse things have happened, everyone lived and the world spins on. Some problems, realistically, are too big for one person to solve alone. Sometimes it takes a team. I'm all for keeping that realism in the game and requiring a team for some stuff, and not just big 50-person raids.

The more inflexible something is in design the less fun it is.
I don't play a superhero game for realism. I play to be super. Making an enemy so tough that no one person can beat it is boring.
Games like God of war, Dark Souls, Shadow of the Colossus, Bayonetta, Bloodborne and so forth all had foes that should not realistically be able to be taken in a one on one fight but the hero does because of skill or equipment. It can be just as epic to face a seemingly unbeatable enemy alone as it is to fight an enemy with friends just by having the game adjust how hard the fight should be based on the players involved.

If a game is fun then people will want to play it with others. Its been true since Double Dragon and Gauntlet, through Diablo and up to Castle Crashers and Halo 5: Guardians. All could be played alone or co-op, even pong had solo play, but playing with others was more enjoyable. Playing with others should offer something you want that playing alone doesn't. It could be an easier time with the enemies, a greater difficulty, a boost in power, better loot or simple companionship. Making something in a game need more than one player to do is a very lazy way to get people to co-op in a game.

Also, why can't we get replacements or reinforcements in a raid? How many co-op games have you played where you were saved simply by your friends showing up at the last minute? If you don't get to see that very often then you are really missing out because its one of the best reasons to have co-op IMO. I was playing Overwatch yesterday and had a couple team mates drop from the game and we were getting smacked around pretty bad. Some of us put a call out to friends and when they showed we ended up winning.
I can't enjoy a game that is unable to either adjust to what is happening or allow me to adjust to it myself. If the game can't balance itself when John loses connection and Jim has to walk the dog then I damn well better be able to bring in Tom and Tim to replace them. What you are missing when you say we've lost nothing but time is that time is the most valuable thing a gamer owns. We spend it on doing something we enjoy.
Make us lose time too often and we spend it somewhere else.

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I would like it if I had a

I would like it if I had a chat channel called Vicinity... So only the NPC's and PC's that are in a 3 or so Block Radius show up in it. Not the whole local zone. :[

Radiac
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Brainbot wrote:
Brainbot wrote:

The more inflexible something is in design the less fun it is.

I think this is a very bold statement to make as a general statement, and I personally disagree with it.

Designing a game, as far as I can tell, means writing rules. This means that the process of making a game in the first place actually requires you to make it inflexible in most places to actually cause people to play the game by the rules as written and as such to win or lose fairly, without cheating. If people playing Scrabble were willing to be "flexible" about the whole "only actual words can be used" thing, I could score more points. That might be fun, for me, but that's breaking a rule, and that rule was written into the game, on purpose, for a reason. That reason was to make the game more challenging and limit your options for how you can play your tiles to the point where you have to employ strategy and also win within the constraints of vocabulary of the English language.

Also, no matter how fun a game is, the idea of forming a team for something that's not really 100% required "team only" content, will, at times, be met with the reaction of "What? No, I'm not going to help you do your TF, leave me alone. And just do it yourself, like everyone else always does. Noob..." As the original post pointed out, people are really habitually prone towards just soloing, and if you enable that across the board, with absolutely nothing that requires a team of like 4 to do it, I think that game as a whole loses something.

I think in any game, a good game design element will be one that all players have an opinion about, some good, others bad. Bad game design elements are the ones that flop by leaving everyone going "meh, I can take it or leave it" or try to avoid disappointing one group and end up being strongly embraced by nobody. People who like to team will embrace the existence of team-size-gated content. It will be a hit with them (me). People who are really dedicated soloists will not embrace it, or even like it, but they'll certainly have an opinion about it. The way to make a good game is not to try to set it up such that 100% of the game manages not to disappoint anyone, but rather that the game has different things, each of which has some good appeal to different type of players.

Also, the dedicated soloist is being inflexible there too, because they're being both soloists and completists, which I think is asking too much "flex" out of the game devs. It the game designer designs a TF where you really do need a minimum of X people to be able to do it, like for example if the end boss is some sort of compass-themed guy and you have to have a hero north, south, east and west of him to be able to beat him at all, then I would want to have that TF as a thing, and preserve the actual elements of it that require the team size as stated. The game loses stuff like that if you're dead-set on making everything scalable down to team size = 1, and I would rather have that content than omit it in an effort to appease the soloist completists who would be apt to complain about it. I would rather have that sort of stuff than not have it, and to me, changing the rules on the fly for different teams sizes misses the point entirely. I mean, he's "compass guy", you have to come at him from all four cardinal directions to beat him, that's his gimmick. I don't want to see stuff like that watered down or removed entirely just to make soloists happy. Anyone who draws a hard line at "I refuse to ever join a team" can make that decision, and it doesn't bother or surprise me that they'd end up missing something here or there because if it, I think they ought to expect that. If you had a "Galactus" type in your game, are you going to scale Galactus down to make him beatable by most solo toons? That's a pretty pathetic Galactus, if you ask me. There's bound to be stuff in the game that is made to appeal to soloists, and that's great to have too. I might completely ignore it, but it should be there. PVP? Not for everyone, those who don't like it just don't do it. If you're going to be a completist, you should probably be willing to team up once in a while, for a number of reasons (badges being one of them).

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Just a random comment sort of

Just a random comment sort of related to this. Basically, I liked the fact that in CoH that while no one was ever forced to team, they did make the Task Force Commander related TFs a sort of funnel into larger teams. By that I mean that the lower level TFs could be started with fewer players, but each following TF in the chain from low level to high level required more people to start the TF. The reason I liked this was not the fact that it forced you to team (an aspect of any MMO that I hate when you have no choice but to either team or are forced to solo), but because it had the ability to not only gradually bring people into teams almost from the get go, but it also used the gradually increase to help push people into using all the available resources at times to get that magic minimum number (if not more than that number) without being a giant bash over the head where you feel like the game is going 'Nope! You need to have a huge team!' (i.e.like in those other MMOs where you can level to cap solo, but suddenly have to be part of massive groups to do any/all end game content like Raids).

The greatest high for a Blaster always will be annihilating huge mobs before anyone else knows that the enemies are even there.

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Radiac wrote:
Radiac wrote:

I think this is a very bold statement to make as a general statement, and I personally disagree with it.

Designing a game, as far as I can tell, means writing rules. This means that the process of making a game in the first place actually requires you to make it inflexible in most places to actually cause people to play the game by the rules as written and as such to win or lose fairly, without cheating. If people playing Scrabble were willing to be "flexible" about the whole "only actual words can be used" thing, I could score more points. That might be fun, for me, but that's breaking a rule, and that rule was written into the game, on purpose, for a reason. That reason was to make the game more challenging and limit your options for how you can play your tiles to the point where you have to employ strategy and also win within the constraints of vocabulary of the English language.

Big difference in rules and inflexibility. Unless someone comes to my house and stops me from playing star wars scrabble the game isn't inflexible. Lets turn your argument around look at it from my point of view. If the official rules for scrabble said only 6 letter words can be played would that be more fun? Thats what you are saying when you say raids must always have a set amount of players and the raids difficulty cannot change at all and thats what I mean when I say inflexible.

Radiac wrote:

Also, no matter how fun a game is, the idea of forming a team for something that's not really 100% required "team only" content, will, at times, be met with the reaction of "What? No, I'm not going to help you do your TF, leave me alone. And just do it yourself, like everyone else always does. Noob..." As the original post pointed out, people are really habitually prone towards just soloing, and if you enable that across the board, with absolutely nothing that requires a team of like 4 to do it, I think that game as a whole loses something.

Where do you get this idea that people only want to solo? Multi-player games are not the exception anymore they are expected. A simple search of single player vs multi player will show how the idea that people like to play alone is wrong.

Radiac wrote:

I think in any game, a good game design element will be one that all players have an opinion about, some good, others bad. Bad game design elements are the ones that flop by leaving everyone going "meh, I can take it or leave it" or try to avoid disappointing one group and end up being strongly embraced by nobody. People who like to team will embrace the existence of team-size-gated content. It will be a hit with them (me). People who are really dedicated soloists will not embrace it, or even like it, but they'll certainly have an opinion about it. The way to make a good game is not to try to set it up such that 100% of the game manages not to disappoint anyone, but rather that the game has different things, each of which has some good appeal to different type of players.

Is the game going to have solo only stuff? If not then your idea is do more for one set of players and less for another. Why not open it to everyone and make the entire game more interesting to all people. I still think the way to get people interested in teaming is to offer something they can't get while alone. It seems you only want required team raids to force people to play with you or they can't get the cool items or do the cool missions. Thats the worst way to get people to do co-op.

Radiac wrote:

Also, the dedicated soloist is being inflexible there too, because they're being both soloists and completists, which I think is asking too much "flex" out of the game devs. It the game designer designs TF where you really do need a minimum of X people to be able to do it, like for example if the end boss is some sort of compass-themed guy and you have to have a hero north, south, east and west of him to be able to beat him at all, then I would want to have that TF as a thing, and preserve the actual elements of it that require the team size as state. The game loses stuff like that if you're dead-set on making everything scalable down to team size = 1, and I would rather have the content than omit it in an effort to appease the soloist completists who would be apt to complain about it. I would rather have that sort of stuff than not have it. If there's stuff in the game that is made to appeal to soloists, that's great to have too. I might completely ignore it, but that's fine. PVP, not for everyone, those who don't like it just don't do it. If you're going to be a completist, you should probably be willing to team up once in a while, for a number of reasons.

If we follow your idea that a raid is inflexible then we can spend hours getting to the compass boss only to fail because Tom and Tim have to go. Without allowing replacements or reinforcements in trials it can fall apart in the most annoying way. That's where the inflexibility of design leads to less fun.

I enjoy co-op just as much as anyone else but I don't accept that the best way to get people to play together is to make is required. Your example of a compass boss is not very good. Its looking for a reason to require a minimum amount of players and not a reason to make people want to play together. To make co-op game play more attractive you should offer incentives not restrictions. You can have minimum player stuff but unless it gives you something new its a lazy way to offer co-op in the game.

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Compassman might be a

Compassman might be a terrible example of what I'm talking about, but I personally would rather have the designer's vision of what the TF is supposed to be, in terms of themes and so forth, than force the thing to be scalable down to 1. Maybe the design doesn't work at that team size, for whatever reason. I'd rather still have the TF, even with it's inflexible minimum team size, if that's part of the flavor of the TF, then not have it or have to abandon that story or theme for the sake of making it scale down better. TF's fall apart when 2 of 4 people drop out. I personally think they should. That might be a drag for the two people who we're left behind, but so is any mission failure, and that's going to happen sometimes too. I mean, yeah, it's the sort of thing that makes you say "well, this sucks" but then again, but then again if a frog had wings he wouldn't bump his butt every time he took a step. At some point people accept things as they are. People can fail missions solo too, is there an argument that we ought to make every mission unfailable then? Where does the "flexing" stop and the "rules are rules, you got the bitter end that time, get back on the horse and try again" gear kick in? I think that's all were disagreeing about.

And I agree with the original poster, I think games are less communal and more impersonal than when CoX was in full swing, and I think it's because game designers have listened to the complaints of soloists and actively tried to make games more appealing to the soloist. For the record, if there were solo only content, I wouldn't be against it, if the design of the content required it to be soloed. I just think the game needs to give people a good reason to team up. If you think that can be accomplished by incentivizing it, fine, but that actually slants the game such that the soloists would be able to complain that they're being "punished" by getting slower reward rates for soloing instead of teaming. I personally like faster rewards and would team up to get them, but that's just me.

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At the end of the day, this

At the end of the day, this argument can be applied to nearly every aspect of the game. What if I didn't care to spend my time running about and looking for badges? How fair is it that the people who did do that in CoH could unlock content and stat boosts? Should we demand that badges in CoT provide no rewards akin to accolades, or perhaps even be removed entirely? The same can be said for base building. If I don't have any interest in base building, or perhaps lack the time for it, does that mean no one else should be able to obtain any rewards or advantages from doing so? Should everyone simply get a fully functional base? Certainly SG bases will require at least two or more people - i.e. a group, natch - in order to have that supergroup, so should they be removed from the game entirely?

I doubt anyone wants to seriously entertain such notions. I believe most people will agree that if someone doesn't have the time and/or the interest in engaging in such content, fair enough. After all, nobody is forcing them to play that content, just as nobody is clamoring for the content to be changed to accommodate their play style. Why should different rules apply when the prerequisite is that players team up with other players?

As it stands, we already know that there will be content that will require a certain minimum number of players. Rather than focusing on the parts and aspects of the game which we might not enjoy, we should focus on those parts of the game we will enjoy.

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Radiac wrote:
Radiac wrote:

Compassman might be a terrible example of what I'm talking about, but I personally would rather have the designer's vision of what the TF is supposed to be, in terms of themes and so forth, than force the thing to be scalable down to 1. Maybe the design doesn't work at that team size, for whatever reason. I'd rather still have the TF, even with it's inflexible minimum team size, if that's part of the flavor of the TF, then not have it or have to abandon that story or theme for the sake of making it scale down better. TF's fall apart when 2 of 4 people drop out. I personally think they should. That might be a drag for the two people who we're left behind, but so is any mission failure, and that's going to happen sometimes too. I mean, yeah, it's the sort of thing that makes you say "well, this sucks" but then again, but then again if a frog had wings he wouldn't bump his butt every time he took a step. At some point people accept things as they are. People can fail missions solo too, is there an argument that we ought to make every mission unfailable then? Where does the "flexing" stop and the "rules are rules, you got the bitter end that time, get back on the horse and try again" gear kick in? I think that's all were disagreeing about.

What we are disagreeing about is the best way to make co-op stuff attractive to players who might not do it. To you the best way is to carve off part of the game and call it co-op only. To me its to offer something in co-op that can't be found when alone. Im honey and your vinegar.

Radiac wrote:

And I agree with the original poster, I think games are less communal and more impersonal than when CoX was in full swing, and I think it's because game designers have listened to the complaints of soloists and actively tried to make games more appealing to the soloist. For the record, if there were solo only content, I wouldn't be against it, if the design of the content required it to be soloed. I just think the game needs to give people a good reason to team up. If you think that can be accomplished by incentivizing it, fine, but that actually slants the game such that the soloists would be able to complain that they're being "punished" by getting slower reward rates for soloing instead of teaming. I personally like faster rewards and would team up to get them, but that's just me.

I think you have missed the point the OP was making. The OP seems to agree with my view more than yours. She(?) even said the only reason most games offer for teams is in massive raids.

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Darth Fez wrote:
Darth Fez wrote:

At the end of the day, this argument can be applied to nearly every aspect of the game. What if I didn't care to spend my time running about and looking for badges? How fair is it that the people who did do that in CoH could unlock content and stat boosts? Should we demand that badges in CoT provide no rewards akin to accolades, or perhaps even be removed entirely? The same can be said for base building. If I don't have any interest in base building, or perhaps lack the time for it, does that mean no one else should be able to obtain any rewards or advantages from doing so? Should everyone simply get a fully functional base? Certainly SG bases will require at least two or more people - i.e. a group, natch - in order to have that supergroup, so should they be removed from the game entirely?

You can do these co-op or solo. How does this relate to making co-op stuff?

Darth Fez wrote:

I doubt anyone wants to seriously entertain such notions. I believe most people will agree that if someone doesn't have the time and/or the interest in engaging in such content, fair enough. After all, nobody is forcing them to play that content, just as nobody is clamoring for the content to be changed to accommodate their play style. Why should different rules apply when the prerequisite is that players team up with other players?

Because those different rules actively exclude players. Minimum player required co-op is no different than making quests that have a minimum gear rating except in this case the gear can get up and walk away. Now that games are able to adjust difficulty on the fly, hard limits in game play is a lazy design choice.

Darth Fez wrote:

As it stands, we already know that there will be content that will require a certain minimum number of players. Rather than focusing on the parts and aspects of the game which we might not enjoy, we should focus on those parts of the game we will enjoy..

I am focusing on the part I will enjoy. I love co-op gaming but if the co-op part is not done well then its not fun. Required minimums are not fun to me but letting me choose who and how many I want to co-op with means I can decide what I do enjoy. Making co-op easy to get into, offering bonuses for doing it and having different game play involved is a much better idea than just saying go get friends. The idea that people are going to play solo unless they are required to co-op is not something I agree with. As I said before you only need to read the many articles on the subject to get an idea of most gamers thoughts on multiplayer.

What does the game lose if they make co-op attractive but not required?

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I was trying to remember why

I was trying to remember why I enjoyed team play more than solo play in CoX. It was really the only MMO that I felt this way, but for the life of me I couldn't remember why.

And then you nailed it.

Aegis wrote:

While the aspect I described above will might very well prove to be difficult to recapture, there's another element that I think would easier to recapture. The biggest perks of teaming up in CoX were not artificial bonuses, they were built into the way that missions scaled with team size. Teaming was more rewarding because the game scaled the missions by throwing more mobs and more powerful mobs at groups, meaning that you got got your bonus XP and Inf in a team simply because you were fighting more enemies in the same space of time. In addition, doing the same content solo and with a full team of 8 were radically different experiences. While as a solo player you might fight a few enemies at a time in a given mission, the same mission in a large team ended up involving more than one epic battle against hordes of enemies. Instead of inexplicably making regular enemies into minibosses, the game threw large numbers of them at you, mixing in powerful heavy hitters in the process.
All in all, teaming in CoX was more rewarding and often more fun than solo play, and the game managed it without penalizing solo play, or setting up artificial incentives to team up, and best of all, it encouraged building effective teams, rather than just lumping silent, anonymous strangers together. IMO, these are all elements CoT should try to emulate and build on. I think that if MWM manages to recapture and refine these elements, they'll have done well.

It was the scaling. I remember the ridiculous, graphics-killing sound-card-crushing battles we would get in. And I remember tagging along with the same group in mission after mission and looking for them again the next time I logged in. There was no way solo play could compare. But when I was alone, I could still play, I could still complete the missions; they just weren't as awesome.


I like to take your ideas and supersize them. This isn't criticism, it is flattery. I come with nothing but good will and a spirit of team-building. If you take what I write any other way, that is probably just because I wasn't very clear.
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Brainbot wrote:
Brainbot wrote:

What does the game lose if they make co-op attractive but not required?

Maybe that which I find attractive about teaming in such content is that it has a minimum team size requirement. Do you really believe that it will harm the game if there are one or two dozen missions with such a requirement? At least you'll have the option to not play those missions. If they aren't in the game, then those people who enjoy such content won't have even those few options.

MWM has to try to cater to many different likes and game play styles. That is not "a lazy design choice".

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Darth Fez wrote:
Darth Fez wrote:

Maybe that which I find attractive about teaming in such content is that it has a minimum team size requirement. Do you really believe that it will harm the game if there are one or two dozen missions with such a requirement? At least you'll have the option to not play those missions. If they aren't in the game, then those people who enjoy such content won't have even those few options.

MWM has to try to cater to many different likes and game play styles. That is not "a lazy design choice"..

You can set the minimum yourself and do not need the game to do it for you.
I do think it will hurt the game if they only set minimums and call it a day instead of being creative with co-op stuff.
You have the option to not play any quest unless it has whatever minimum team size you want it to have.
Just calling something co-op only and not even trying to come up with something interesting in that co-op is lazy.

You are arguing like I dont want co-op when I do. I want better co-op. I want those I play with to enjoy the co-op experience and not just do it because its a means to an end. You cant force people to enjoy co-op so why enforce a minimum team size for anything in the game. And if something does really need a minimum team size why make it so easy to be disrupted by someones bad connection or real life interruptions.

You and Radiac are jacking a thread about making teaming more attractive with solo vs co-op arguments.

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I'm going to take that straw

I'm going to take that straw man as my cue to leave this thread.

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It seems you dont know what a

It seems you dont know what a straw man argument is. Here is a refresher.

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Brainbot wrote:
Brainbot wrote:

If a game is fun then people will want to play it with others. Its been true since Double Dragon and Gauntlet, through Diablo and up to Castle Crashers and Halo 5: Guardians. All could be played alone or co-op, even pong had solo play, but playing with others was more enjoyable. Playing with others should offer something you want that playing alone doesn't. It could be an easier time with the enemies, a greater difficulty, a boost in power, better loot or simple companionship. Making something in a game need more than one player to do is a very lazy way to get people to co-op in a game.

The ideal way would be to make a game where people WANT to team rather than HAVE to team for sure. The more often people are doing things they want to do rather than have to do, the more they will enjoy the game and the more successful the game will be. I know it's easy to say and harder to do of course.

I loved CoH because I was able to do things I wanted to do most of the time. Teaming, soloing...almost always because I wanted to.

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When I played CoX, I did TFs

When I played CoX, I did TFs a lot. I made toons that were good at forming and doing TFs, because I felt that I could get leveled up faster that way, and get more good item drops off of TFs completed than just soloing. That was a personal choice I made, and I enjoyed the TFs quite a bit, partially for the camaraderie, but also, largely for the actual payoffs in gear and XP. That said, I'm not trying to ram a TF down anyone's throat, certainly not the dedicated soloer. They can ignore and avoid team-size-gated TFs all they want, that's fine. But the dedicated soloer should be able to understand where the mere existence of minimum team sized content is not meant as an attempt to exclude them. They're not being excluded from anything, they're CHOOSING to exclude themselves from content that requires them to play in a style that's not "preferred" by them. Just like the PVE crowd chooses not to play PvP. You don't here them saying "get rid of PvP, I feel like it's part of the game that excludes me because I choose not to participate in it". It's there, I ignore it and the PvPers enjoy it. Good for them. You want to see a game that truly does FORCE peopel to team up? Go play Overwatch. There is no 1-on-1 version of that game. There isn;t even a player vs environment campaign. It's all team-vs-team. THAT excludes soloists. CoX made different stuff for different types to enjoy and didn't "exclude" anyone in that sense.

I mean, my preferred style of basketball might be 1-on-1, but that doesn't mean I'm going to DEMAND that the NBA, and all of the schoolyards in America convert all basketball to 1-on-1 just to stop "excluding" me from all the games of 2-on-2 and 5-on-5 etc that I personally am not playing in by choice. No one demographic should demand that the entire game be appealing to them to the point of excluding stuff they themselves would rather not do. I'm not demanding that everything be team-able, but I think that having some things be solo-only and other things be team of 4 only, or team of 6 only, is perfectly acceptable, and that no play style needs to be catered to by 100% of the game content. Have different stuff for different types. That way, everyone can find something they like, and you avoid the trap of designing a game that manages not to disappoint anyone while simultaneously really wowing zero people.

Put in stuff for the soloists. I'm all for that. Just don't AVOID putting in stuff for other types of players in order to avoid adding stuff the soloists don't like. It's OKAY if not every part of the game is something you're going to enjoy. As long as it's there for someone else to enjoy, and they do enjoy it, it serves a good purpose and serves it well.

And as Darth Fez pointed out, there are lots of different parts of the game that appeal or don't appeal to different players. Are you going to take the auction house out entirely in order to appease those people who find it boring and a pain to deal with? Are you going to remove all badges to avoid "excluding" those players who couldn't care less about badge hunting? Are you going to avoid having a PvP part of the game to appease the people who hate PvP? No. You're going to keep that stuff and make it better and make it really fun and interesting for the sake of those people who DO want it.

You can claim that all team-only content "sucks" so it shouldn't be done anyway, but that's just plain incorrect. CoX had many good examples of TFs like that. I want more Lambda and BAF Trials, etc in my game, not less. I don't want them to cut that stuff entirely or scale it down so that I could solo it. You can complain that the "boss so strong they cannot be defeated by one toon" is stupid and lazy and demand they nerf it so that you CAN defeat it, or you can play the game as-is and find another way to beat it, like maybe by getting a team together to do so. And if the content needs that, they should probably warn you about it up-front and only offer it to you if you have a team that seems capable of pulling it off. Now, if you want to ALLOW people to try to do such content solo, despite being warned that they'll likely fail, then I'm ok with that, but in the RP immersion part of the game, you're liable to really disappoint your NPC contact when you decide to tilt at that particular windmill and fail to defeat it. That sort of thing can and probably should have negative consequences on your character, in the RP immersion of the game. Since people will probably hate that more than just having a team size gate, I'm in favor of the team size gate. Your mileage may vary.

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harpospoke wrote:
harpospoke wrote:

The ideal way would be to make a game where people WANT to team rather than HAVE to team for sure. The more often people are doing things they want to do rather than have to do, the more they will enjoy the game and the more successful the game will be. I know it's easy to say and harder to do of course.

I loved CoH because I was able to do things I wanted to do most of the time. Teaming, soloing...almost always because I wanted to.

I agree.
The OP had the right idea in thinking of ways to encourage co-op instead of reasons to require co-op. Making it easy to play with others is the most important thing IMO. I also think benefits like the buffs and bonuses to co-op players is one of the easiest ways to do so.
But I would like to see it go further. If the co-op experience was obviously different than the solo experience it would interest more people to join in. I mean more different than just what you expect. Larger or stronger groups of enemies and more people to face them.

If a when you co-op a quest the game noticed that there was more than one person and the AI did things differently than when you do it alone. Maybe your partner has a reputation with the enemies of the quest and now they either hate you more or fear you more.
Maybe pairing up means special enemies join in, like two enemy groups team up to fight you because the two players have different hated foes.
A special enemy could call a member of the group out by name for a one on one fight once in a while.
Or an escort quest that, when in a group, a player needs to be escorted but alone its an npc.
Maybe the enemies all have borg like adaption shields or even attacks and so the group needs to keep switching foes.
How about co-op actions that allow the players to find hidden passages to the end of the quest, so if two people work together they can shortcut the quest but one person has to take the long way.

Most of these quests could be done alone and it would be a lot like the other quests you do but when you co-op it shows you something new. I think those are good ways to encourage co-op without requiring it. Offer something you cant get alone without carving parts of the game off.

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There's a feature in Wildstar

There's a feature in Wildstar in which you choose your playstyle called a path. Some people are explorers, some people are warriors, some people are scientists who read all the lore, and some people are settlers who create buffs for all the other people. Throughout the world, there are things that each of these paths can do and only they can do. Explorers can unlock secret caves or jumping puzzles that other people can participate in, scientists can unlock strange objects or features, warriors can drop caches of experimental weapons for others to try, and settlers build things that provide buffs etc. If you play in a party with all four paths you can do and have no end of shenanigans and adventure.

Likewise with the different abilities here. It would be great if a stealth character could sneak past some enemies to open a secret shortcut, a teleporter can activate a switch on the other side of the room, a dominator can manipulate the mind of an npc to open the safe, a telepath might be able to sense some secret captives in a cargo container in one of the side rooms, and a fire or cold user could manipulate fire or ice barriers. There is no end to the possible interactions that various powers and abilities could have in this game. And teaming with different people can provide a different experience in the same instance because of it. And if you give badges or achievements for people that have unlocked all of the various path specials in an instance, you will find the completionists out there (like me) to want to run it again and again with all the different power combinations just to make sure we got them all.

Speaking of power interactions, one of the things I liked about CoX was that my fire/fire scrapper took significantly less damage from fire and heat. Because of this I was requested to join some group content that was heavy with fire based opponents. I was playing FFXIV last night and using my fire attacks on a flame-based creature and doing just as much damage to it as any other creature and I commented to myself how sad it is that it doesn't have elemental resistances like CoX did.


I like to take your ideas and supersize them. This isn't criticism, it is flattery. I come with nothing but good will and a spirit of team-building. If you take what I write any other way, that is probably just because I wasn't very clear.
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Radiac wrote:
Radiac wrote:

That said, I'm not trying to ram a TF down anyone's throat, certainly not the dedicated soloer. They can ignore and avoid team-size-gated TFs all they want, that's fine. But the dedicated soloer should be able to understand where the mere existence of minimum team sized content is not meant as an attempt to exclude them. They're not being excluded from anything, they're CHOOSING to exclude themselves from content that requires them to play in a style that's not "preferred" by them.

Yes its a choice to do team gated raids or not. The reverse can be true as well. If the raid was not team size gated then you could choose to only do it with a team.
The problem I have with your position is that it makes others choose and you get what you want. If everyone had equal footing to choose then your arguments about choice would mean something instead of being a self serving argument.

Radiac wrote:

You want to see a game that truly does FORCE peopel to team up? Go play Overwatch. There is no 1-on-1 version of that game. There isn;t even a player vs environment campaign. It's all team-vs-team. THAT excludes soloists. CoX made different stuff for different types to enjoy and didn't "exclude" anyone in that sense.

Firstly, you can 1v1 in Overwatch.
Secondly the game is a team battle game so was designed to be played with others.
Finally, this is not exclusion its core design and without it there is no game. City of Titans can have both co-op and solo play without it hurting the games design. It might even be better for the game to let people choose how to play because it could bring in more people.

Radiac wrote:

I mean, my preferred style of basketball might be 1-on-1, but that doesn't mean I'm going to DEMAND that the NBA, and all of the schoolyards in America convert all basketball to 1-on-1 just to stop "excluding" me from all the games of 2-on-2 and 5-on-5 etc that I personally am not playing in by choice. No one demographic should demand that the entire game be appealing to them to the point of excluding stuff they themselves would rather not do. I'm not demanding that everything be team-able, but I think that having some things be solo-only and other things be team of 4 only, or team of 6 only, is perfectly acceptable, and that no play style needs to be catered to by 100% of the game content. Have different stuff for different types. That way, everyone can find something they like, and you avoid the trap of designing a game that manages not to disappoint anyone while simultaneously really wowing zero people. .

I doubt that you are only excluded from the NBA because they wont play 1v1.
You keep saying its a good thing to have separate solo and co-op stuff but you never say why they need to be separate. You say everyone can find something they like but cant seem to come up with how this is different than just letting people choose. Please stop with the odd similes that dont make any sense and give some reasons. Why is restricting part of the game better than not restricting it.

Radiac wrote:

1: You can claim that all team-only content "sucks" so it shouldn't be done anyway, but that's just plain incorrect. CoX had many good examples of TFs like that. I want more Lambda and BAF Trials, etc in my game, not less. I don't want them to cut that stuff entirely or scale it down so that I could solo it. 2:You can complain that the "boss so strong they cannot be defeated by one toon" is stupid and lazy and demand they nerf it so that you CAN defeat it, or you can play the game as-is and find another way to beat it, like maybe by getting a team together to do so. And if the content needs that, they should probably warn you about it up-front and only offer it to you if you have a team that seems capable of pulling it off. 3:Now, if you want to ALLOW people to try to do such content solo, despite being warned that they'll likely fail, then I'm ok with that, but in the RP immersion part of the game, you're liable to really disappoint your NPC contact when you decide to tilt at that particular windmill and fail to defeat it. That sort of thing can and probably should have negative consequences on your character, in the RP immersion of the game. Since people will probably hate that more than just having a team size gate, I'm in favor of the team size gate. Your mileage may vary.

Hey Darth Fez. This here is a good example of a straw man argument.
1: Radiac first makes up an argument then proceeds to win the made up argument in the blue part.
2: Then he exaggerates another argument and tries to take moral high ground in the red part.
3: He finishes off by making up a situation that results in more problems as if its a fore gone conclusion and uses that made up situation to justify his opinion in the green part.

Radiac, you think the game should have co-op only stuff and thats fine to think that. Without giving reasons and then discussing those reasons there isnt a point to repeating what you think. We get it.

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I seem to recall that some

I seem to recall that some players would on occasion gather up a few people to start a TF then kick those people in order to play that TF solo or as a duo, however. The argument seems to stem from whether or not players should have to go through that first step of getting a few people together for just a few minutes to start the TF. I personally lean towards not requiring them to do so. In the hypothetical compass man case, I think providing a little red text warning at the beginning of the TF or even accepting the mission is sufficient. "This mission may be difficult or impossible without the minimum number of players (x)" If said player can still pull it off through use of clever tactics or brute strength, then power to them, if they can't, well...they were warned. I don't think the devs need to adapt the mission's plot or story to accommodate the stubbornly solo player.

As far as letting people in after entering "locked in" content (like the TFs in COH) I can take it or leave it. Perhaps they could award players for completing arcs with an arc reward but anyone who hasn't done the whole thing would only get standard mission rewards. If you stick with it and see it through you get a bonus reward for that. If you join in for the last boss only you'd only get the reward for that mission or boss only. Might get complicated on the back end as you may have to track which missions a player had done on each arc. Or you might restrict them to having only one active arc at a time. Meaning if they join someone else's arc or start a new one, tracking is erased for any other arc. Each player could be presented with a "Do you want to erase progress on arc X and start progress on arc Y?" when joining a team/mission in progress. That would allow them to chip-in for a friend without losing progress on their own arc.

Getting back to the OP we definitely need better matchmaking tools than what exists in many games today. I don't understand why devs launch a "community game" without these tools working at launch. I would go so far as to include it in the tutorial. Take a moment to show a player how to set themselves as LFG and how to search for other players. Filter search results and add a comment like LF LGTF. They don't ever have to use them but everyone should know how to use them.

I also think we should include a helper tag at launch. Given the likely small size of the dev team at launch these people would have to act as psuedo-GMs helping players as best as they can/are allowed. I might also consider a user rating system for helpers. Such a thing might be easy to grief and it's certainly not a fleshed out idea but the benefits to the game and community could be worth the effort.

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Teaming is important to a

Teaming is important to a multiplayer game. More important than soloing even.
To have any form of longevity a multiplayer needs a community that players want to remain part of.
There are many ways to form such a community. Superior gameplay is one, but obviously the hardest to pull off. WoW got by with having the largest player base of all games, and anybody leaving got sucked back in because all their friends stayed behind and the new mmo was not as much fun without them. SW:G had the non-combat professions initially whose sole job it was to maintain a social framework in the game (they also gave buffs and cured debuffs, but their primary job was to give players an entertaining reason to stay in cantinas).
And CoH had its ease of teaming up and having fun while doing so.

A game like COD may be popular but it has no community worth mentioning and diablo 3 isn't faring that much better. Few lobby games are in fact.
And of course SW:TOR is the opposite of what you really want in a game. It is a solo game, now even more so than ever, until max level after which it is raid raid raid. Or PvP. There is pretty much zero reasons to team up (and even the missions that used to require a team are now easily soloable). That game had a horrible attrition rate within months of lauch and is only kept floating because of its massively popular franchise. A game like City of Titans can't afford to bleed four fifths of its player base within the first half year. It needs to come out of the gates with a community already nascent and give every incentive to the players to build close ties to each other.

Strongly encouraging players to team up is the most attainable way to do this.

As for the how, this is not impossibly difficult to achieve. CoH showed that if you give players fine control over the level of challenge and reward they will find a spot that feels comfortable to them. If you then seamlessly accommodate for different group sizes then you take away a big hurdle against teaming up (and if you make sure the game does not rely on some form of holy trinity and that any combination of heroes can be made to work you take away the biggest hurdle).

I agree with the OP that having solo missions that can be grouped but not completed for all are a terrible design error. As is having a story arc that is all soloable, but has one mission in it that requires a group (e.g. because players need to be at two locations at once) are even worse.

I strongly disagree with the sentiment that /all/ content must be soloable or grouping mandatory. There should be room for either (and as the game matures more and more players will be able to solo content initially meant for groups. such is the nature of power creep).

That said, and since I will never get to develop my own game, another way of dealing with this issue is by balancing every mission around a team of 6. When soloing a mission the player will be joined by as many NPC heroes as are needed minus their challenge level, but it will never go below the number required for mission completion. So if a mission has three parallel objectives the player will be met at the door with two additional heroes, even if his challenge level is 10. The catch is that the reward scales to the number of actual players but is divided by the number of heroes (not quite so harshly obviously). Soloing a mission at challenge level 0 means the reward is calculated for one player but divided by six. Soloing that same mission at challenge level 3 cuts the number of NPC heroes to 2 and the reward is a third of the base rather than a sixth. A fulll group of six earns maximum reward. Going above six, and there shouldn't really be a maximum, the players will start seeing diminishing returns, but this can be offset by higher challenge ratings which, like in CoH, increase the spawn rate and the rank of enemies found in the mission.
This would allow the solo players to experience most of all content (raids are a different issue and taskforces I feel should be too).
More importantly, it gives the developers and writers a broader baseline to design group difficulty against. They no longer have to neuter enemy power because they might be met by a controller with next to no offensive or defensive power. A controller will be joined with tanks and brawlers and defenders to tackle any mission. Similarly, it will make defensive powers like buffing, healing and taunting relevant regardless because the team /will/ contain squishy heroes that have to be protected. The developers can design encounters with ambushes from and backup for the enemies that make defensive play by the tanks and defenders required.
The only real requirement, other than the system of powers that can as easily be scaled by level and difficulty slider as could CoH's, is that the NPC heroes have a better AI than Fusionette and that the player(s) have access to a team coordination command palet similar to, but simplified from, a Mastermind's. At the very least it would have to contain commands like: stay here and defend, activate the nearest doodad, follow me and assist (or not), sneak ahead and alpha strike the marked spot.

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One thing that caused people

One thing that causes people to team up in the game Dofus is something called Prospecting. Prospecting is an attribute in that game, like strength, intelligence, dexterity etc.

Equipment in that game has to be made by player crafters, so getting the right materials to drop from defeated encounters is important. The best sets of equipment require the rarest drops, and as you can probably surmise, the rarest drops require the most prospecting. All of a party's prospecting values are added together to determine what items have a chance of dropping from an encounter, so if you want the super rare drop requiring 600 prospecting, you'd better have at least six people in the party ...or an Enutrof (an Enutrof is a class with a much higher prospecting attribute).

I think there is something to this. The requirement to party in order to get rare drops is not a requirement to complete the content, it is just an incentive to form a larger party. So a single high-level player could solo it and get the credit, but not the loot, but a large number of characters could band together to complete the content and also get the rare loot to make the best gear. Since I don't know what the loot concept is going to be in CoT, I can't say whether or not this is something we may want to emulate, but the gist of it is that we can use something like this to provide yet another incentive to group.


I like to take your ideas and supersize them. This isn't criticism, it is flattery. I come with nothing but good will and a spirit of team-building. If you take what I write any other way, that is probably just because I wasn't very clear.
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If you're not going to nerf

If you're not going to nerf the difficulty of the TFs, that is, if there are still TFs like the Lambda and BAF trials that are designed with a team in mind, and if you don't then scale them down to the point where a single player should be able to succeed when set on minimum difficulty settings, etc, then I'm fine with letting anyone try to do the thing and simply making the intended team size a strong suggestion/warning in the NPC text that you read when starting the thing. As I've said, I think this will lead to a lot of players not reading that sh1t and then complaining that the TF is unbeatable to the devs, who, being devs, will most likely respond by later nerfing the TF for them. If you can guarantee me that no such nerfing will ever happen, then sure, make every TF and trial a thing that one soloist could at least start solo if you want, that's not hurting me. If you're going to beg for that level of frustration out of a game, you can have it. Maybe after enough power creep, you'll actually be able succeed, fine.

I just think that eventually the devs will cave and nerf the TFs, and that I do have a problem with. I'd rather see the team size be a hard requirement to start the thing than have that. Having an up-front team-size gate sends a clear and unavoidable message that the content was written for a team of X, and not even possible to complete solo fromt start to finish, and that such was the intention of the devs writing the content.

Examples of good team-intened content and how they'd lose something vital to themselves if nerfed down for the single player:

The BAF trial was a prison break. You were supposed to prevent dozens of prisoners from escaping somehow, which given the number of them and the fact that they ran in different directions, made it challenging to do even with two full teams. Then you had to defeat two AV level baddies within 10 sec of each other while trying to avoid getting one-shotted by the sniper towers. If that got nerfed to the point of being soloable, I would complain that it sucks, and that it does a bad job of conveying the "massive prison break" idea.

The summer movie blockbuster event is another one. The classic ensemble heist movie (like Ocean's Eleven, for instance) being a thing where you have a team of specialists coming together to pull off a daring heist. Now, is having ONE dude doing a heist by himself also a thing in the movies? Sure it is, but the ensemble heist movie is one thing and the solo heist is another. They're different stories. If you want to do a specific thing, then do that thing, and do it well. Don't morph it into something else based on team size. Have a soloable heist thing that's got it's own plot and stuff, make it solo only even, as a challenge, just make the team heist movie it's own thing too. I'd rather have two separate and distinct heist move trials, one intended for solo play and one intended for a team of a specific size, both with their own plot twists and structure, etc, then have one TF that scales to fit the team you bring to it, because you end up writing it to be all things to all people, which is impossible, and it ends up being a jack of all trades and master of none. It leaves everyone flat and nobody gets wowed. On the other hand, you can probably do justice to BOTH the solo heist and the team heist if you leave them separate and make them really shine in terms of what they are and what they supposed to be. I mean, when you get to the part where you have to distract the guard, get the access code, traverse the laser detector field, and disable the security computer all AT THE SAME TIME in order to slip the money out undetected, you're going to straight fail that TF right there if you've only got ONE person doing it, and that part could come early enough in the TF that there's virtually no point in letting anyone start it without a team of the required size.

Now, the Incarnate system's big problem, in CoX, was that it was ALL team content for a long time. What it needed was some soloable mission arcs, which eventually did happen (the Dark Astoria revamp), but probably were too little and too late. I will grant that there should be soloable content and plenty of it, just not 100% of all content. And by soloable I mean "intended to be successfully completed by a solo player". If you want to allow soloers to try to do futile runs at BAF type stuff, without nerfs, then call that "soloable", then go right ahead, just expect complaints and respond to them with "no we're not going to nerf that, it's designed to serve the story that it's telling".

R.S.O. of Phoenix Rising

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Radiac wrote:
Radiac wrote:

I mean, my preferred style of basketball might be 1-on-1, but that doesn't mean I'm going to DEMAND that the NBA, and all of the schoolyards in America convert all basketball to 1-on-1 just to stop "excluding" me from all the games of 2-on-2 and 5-on-5 etc that I personally am not playing in by choice.

*tangent* It's actually surprising how many basketball fans really believe it is a 1-on-1 sport.

"Lebron lost the Finals!", "Michael Jordan was 6-0 in the Finals!" (but only 6-15 in winning titles). "Magic won 5 rings!" "Kobe won 5 rings!"

Amazing how few understand it's a team sport. Every great player won when they had the best team and lost when they played against a better team.

Anyway....lol....

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Radiac wrote:
Radiac wrote:

If you're not going to nerf the difficulty of the TFs, that is, if there are still TFs like the Lambda and BAF trials that are designed with a team in mind, and if you don't then scale them down to the point where a single player should be able to succeed when set on minimum difficulty settings, etc, then I'm fine with letting anyone try to do the thing and simply making the intended team size a strong suggestion/warning in the NPC text that you read when starting the thing. As I've said, I think this will lead to a lot of players not reading that sh1t and then complaining that the TF is unbeatable to the devs, who, being devs, will most likely respond by later nerfing the TF for them. If you can guarantee me that no such nerfing will ever happen, then sure, make every TF and trial a thing that one soloist could at least start solo if you want, that's not hurting me. If you're going to beg for that level of frustration out of a game, you can have it. Maybe after enough power creep, you'll actually be able succeed, fine.

These nerfs are another problem that only happens if things are design to be inflexible. If the raid is designed for groups of any size to begin with then nerfs shouldnt happen. You have a very specific idea of what a raid will be and cant accept that they can be adjusted based on team size without it changing what a group could experience. Your examples of the prison break can be scaled down when you are alone without it changing how it happens in a group. Your examples of a heist movie can be the same quest if you are in a group or alone. Instead of a group of people splitting up and doing a bunch of different jobs one guy has to go from job to job. Alone it takes a lot longer to do than when on a team.
The only types of things that need more than one person to do in a game are
1: Do stuff at the same time. This is pretty annoying as a player because its a problem with only one solution. You are not solving a problem you are going through the motions.
2: Splitting the group up. This could be fun but seems to go against the idea of getting people to form groups. If the reason for grouping up is to split apart why team up.
3: An enemy that is too strong for one person to fight alone. Not that interesting but its the way game difficulty is usually designed.

Each of these can be adjusted to suit any size group if the game is flexible.
1: When alone or a smaller group than tasks need then give a longer time to do the tasks. In DDO there is a quest where you need to defeat two foes at almost the same time. Once one dies you have a short time to defeat the other before the first resurrects. If the group is too small you cant do it. A simple adjustment of how long you have after defeating the first foe based on group size keeps the challenge intact.
2: Instead of making the group be required to split up then make each task has to be done by a maximum group size. This way small groups or even solo players can take on each task in turn but at a certain point in group size the group will split up or stand around. This does not change the challenge involved to complete the tasks but it does allow players to tackle the tasks in a more ways than the predetermined path.
3: Lower the enemys health and damage based on groups size. 2 people can have the same relative amount of difficulty as 10.

Radiac wrote:

If you want to do a specific thing, then do that thing, and do it well. Don't morph it into something else based on team size. Have a soloable heist thing that's got it's own plot and stuff, make it solo only even, as a challenge, just make the team heist movie it's own thing too. I'd rather have two separate and distinct heist move trials, one intended for solo play and one intended for a team of a specific size, both with their own plot twists and structure, etc, then have one TF that scales to fit the team you bring to it, because you end up writing it to be all things to all people, which is impossible, and it ends up being a jack of all trades and master of none. It leaves everyone flat and nobody gets wowed. On the other hand, you can probably do justice to BOTH the solo heist and the team heist if you leave them separate and make them really shine in terms of what they are and what they supposed to be. I mean, when you get to the part where you have to distract the guard, get the access code, traverse the laser detector field, and disable the security computer all AT THE SAME TIME in order to slip the money out undetected, you're going to straight fail that TF right there if you've only got ONE person doing it, and that part could come early enough in the TF that there's virtually no point in letting anyone start it without a team of the required size.

The only thing you can think of that separates a solo heist and a group heist is having one player clicking a computer and the other walking through a hallway at the same time. And to make sure that only those two people could ever do it is to make it happen right away because reasons.
How would this quest be ruined if the solo version let a player click the computer and then has a short time to get through the hall before the laser grid comes back on? It can stay the same when in a group but the solo version is slightly different. What is wrong with doing that?

Why is a quest better with minimum group size if it can be adjusted to suit any sized group without changing what a group would experience? Can you answer this one question without long examples or similies?

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My quick two cents.

My quick two cents.

As I've mentioned before, I personally soloed CoH about 75%, the other 25% was probably split roughly evenly between duoing with friends or family members and teaming either just for something different or because it was necessary to get certain things that I wanted.

So, that makes me mostly one of those MSORPG soloers that some say shouldn't be playing an MMORPG--yet CoH was the only video game I ever really enjoyed, before or since. And I wouldn't have enjoyed it nearly as much as a single player game, even with all the other features in place. The "forced" teaming in CoH could be a minor pain, but there wasn't that much of it, and it was mostly pretty fun and something different--and occasionally an absolute blast!

I guess my point is, a few team-only things and a few solo-only things are fine (TSW WAY overdoes the solo-only thing), but I'd say leave as much open as possible so people can just do as they like. I mean, we're always touting "options" and "freedom". Why take those away unnecessarily?

A FEW special solo only or team only missions or events or side-missions can make them feel special and/or fit a particular storyline/theme, but in general--leave it open for folks team or solo as they like.

I will add, though, that the relative ease of teaming CoH compared to most games had a lot to do with why I teamed at all. God I hate queuing, though. Much prefer the ole LFT!

FIGHT EVIL! (or go cause trouble so the Heroes have something to do.)

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I agree with Empyrean. You

I agree with Empyrean. You can certainly make any number of fully scalable (down to 1, up to max team size) TFs, make LOTS of them for all I care. But please, for the sake of the RP and the story and the preservation of the design vision of the thing, don't mandate that something like the BAF, the Lambda, the Magisterium Trial, etc be scalable down to size 1. Don't omit unscalable or non-scaling friendly story ideas just to appease those who want everything to be scalable. Leave SOME minimum team size >1 stuff, where necessary, that's all I ask. I want the Compassman Trial to really evoke the feel of "four is the magic number, there are four cardinal directions, four seasons, four alchemical elements, four humors, etc", even if you have to do it with EXACTLY four people or fail it. I would prefer that, because it makes the thing feel fresh and different and uniquely its own thing, not just another TF where you don't have to read the NPC dialog and you just zerg in, defeat everything, and get the loot. Please don't mandate that the devs only write stuff that can be scaled down or up to the exclusion of fun and interesting and unique and challenging stuff like that.

R.S.O. of Phoenix Rising

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The BAF, Lambda's, et al were

The BAF, Lambda's, et al were Raid-style content. We'll call this multi-team content for purposes of discussion. Taskforces were a locked-in story-arc (multiple linked missions) with higher than standard base difficulty. The systems we intend to use for instanced content provide tools for dynamic-procedural generation. That is we can scale spawn rate, map sizes, mission objectives, and more to the team size (1 to max team size). We can create content with a higher-than-standard-base difficulty that scales just as appropriately for 1 to max team size as well. This means we don't have to make "taskforces" that enforce a minimum team size, nor lock in / out players.

Instead, team play is encouraged by the reward system also scaling with team size. The more players on the team, the more difficult the spawn rate (not necessarily in numbers of spawn, though this is possible, but also in the type of spawn). Also applicable are achievements earned by greater challenges being met thanks to team-oriented play. More achievements earned results in greater possible reward bonuses upon completion of content.

Now, in theory, it is possible to create Raid style (multi-team) content that scales from 1 team to multiple teams using these systems. Thus, in theory, it is possible to scale this down to 1 player (as far as objectives are concerned), the base difficulty however may be higher than that of even "taskforce type content". However, even if this is possible, it may not be good for the game. There are several reasons for this.

First being that the time to create such content would take much longer to make sure all the parts are working right for 1 person to the max-multiple players. And then there is assuring there is an appropriate rate reward returned for play time involved is commensurate with the increased difficulty in comparison to time played of other types of content. One thing should never be done: permit a single player, or combinations of players into content they can not complete without additional aid even with warnings. History has proven this to be met with much contempt.

Another reason this may not be a wise thing to do is the possibility of then allowing even "taskforce" style content to also scale up to multiple teams. If raid-style content can go from solo to multi-teams, why not then taskforces? Well, again there are multiple reasons. The various components would still need to be built out in order to apply to the scaling system, from designing additional spawn types, map sets, objectives, etc...It can also be prohibitive for content designers to work within the constraints of content already in place (and working) to scale up to multi-team play. Sometimes it is easier to apply a different metric for certain systems than others. For the purposes of this game we're looking at metrics for standard instanced content, higher-base difficulty instanced content, and multi-team-style content.

There is also another type of content we may need to address: world content. That is non-instanced content. This type of content may scale based on the number of players present in a given area, but is much more limited by the player character level applied to an area, map size, and other aspects of game play. This type of content certainly allows for solo play, team play, and on a spread-out enough view, multiple teams in a given area, but not in the same way multiple teams would operate on an instanced map designed for that type of content.

Then there are dynamic encounters that may require one or more teams to complete. This may include "giant monsters" or invasions. Certainly, it may be possible for a "giant monster" to eventually be defeated by single player when it was originally intended for a full team, or for a monster designed for multiple teams to be defeated by a single team. Invasions or other dynamic encounters which ramp up based on the number of players present would certainly not offer the same difficulty nor rewards for 1 player as it would if there were multiple teams worth of people. Yet, such type of content may reward both a solo player working in concert with other players who are teamed.

Basically, not everything can be equitably applied for a single player, a full team, and multiple full teams. It may be possible to build such systems, and certainly we may attempt a version of this for certain types of content. This does not exclude the possibility of designing content to scale up by an order of magnitude to accommodate multiple teams worth of players. Particularly when looking at dynamic world events if not "raids".


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Tannim222 wrote:
Tannim222 wrote:

Sometimes it is easier to apply a different metric for certain systems than others. For the purposes of this game we're looking at metrics for standard instanced content, higher-base difficulty instanced content, and multi-team-style content.

Thanks for posting.
If I understand, the only time you will be required to group up is when you need more than what the game normally set as a maximum group size? And the only reason why you will require this is because to make the challenge adjustable becomes not worth the effort to do? If I am right then that makes a lot of sense. There comes a point when making something work is not worth it anymore.

Can I ask you a few question about a concern I have?
Most MMOs offer only a few things that players can do once they hit maximum level. Raids, farming or PvP. I dont mind farming but it can get dull and I would rather not pvp. Is the only thing I can look forward to is raids at maximum level? If it is how do you deal with the problems of team raids being difficult to do unless you are playing during prime time?

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Brainbot wrote:
Brainbot wrote:

If I understand, the only time you will be required to group up is when you need more than what the game normally set as a maximum group size?

If that is so, that sounds good to me. Makes sense why you'd need to do it and makes those few raids/missions something special.

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I will admit while I do enjoy

I will admit while I do enjoy the ability to go solo if I want to I find most of my enjoyment in MMOs and other online games comes out of pairing up with a group of friends or people fun to play with....

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Nyktos wrote:
Nyktos wrote:

I will admit while I do enjoy the ability to go solo if I want to I find most of my enjoyment in MMOs and other online games comes out of pairing up with a group of friends or people fun to play with....

You know, it's funny you should say that. I find my enjoyment of the game increases greatly with the number of people I interact with, but I usually go into a game playing solo and often find most of my time playing solo nonetheless.

I play solo for two primary reasons. First, because I don't know anyone or don't know if they're online or not. Second, and this is key, because usually grouping with someone means you have to ask them to compromise their playstyle to accomodate yours. I usually have no problems doing what other people want to do, but I usually do have problems asking them to do what I want to do... this is silly I know, but I'm probably not the only one who feels this way. I have a pace of play in which I like to watch cut scenes, read quest text, and overall enjoy the experience the game designers created. Often times, in order to stay grouped with people, I feel like I have to rush through so that I don't make them wait. Even if I don't rush through, I still have this little feeling of guilt that the other people are waiting on me.

In most games I'm in now, people are in such a rush to complete the content, that there's really no difference between one mission and any other mission other than the boss mechanics. I really don't enjoy that.

If we want to make teaming enjoyable, this is probably something we could consider. For instance one of the most common examples of this playstyle difference is when you put experienced people with inexperienced people in an instance. The experienced people have read the quest text a dozen times and are bored with the cutscenes and just went to get on with it, but someone running the instance the first time is probably on a mission arc and will want to interact with the NPCs read the quest text and watch the cutscenes. One of the things that could be done to address this is something similar to what is done in FFXIV inside instances. To wit, an announcement is made to the entire party that at least one character in the party is doing this content for the first time. TERA online does this to a lesser extent with an animated fairy above players heads. I think most people are considerate of others if they are asked to be. And if an MMO player is not considerate they are probably in the wrong game. So some sort of notification like this establishes the social expectations that some characters in the party will want to read the text, watch the cutscenes, and not know where to go or what to do next. Even the most jaded veteran can find the patience to deal with that, but there will always be those who can't. It also helps notify veterans that they'll need to communicate to get through some of the trickier boss mechanics, for example.

I don't know how to address this outside of an instance, however. The Elder Scrolls Online did abysmally at this, making it nigh impossible to group with people in the 'world' since you have to be on exactly the same step in the mission to even see the same content, let alone interact with it. One way we could address this is to actually include steps in the mission text so that one person can say to another that "I just completed step three, I'll wait for you to catch up". But if I read the developer's comments correctly we will have missions change based on the choices characters make. If so, then it will also be nigh impossible for CoT to keep a group together because people will naturally make different choices. SWTOR did a good job of dealing with this during their instanced content by giving you credit for the choice you wanted to make but taking the party down the path of the winning choice. I can see CoT doing the same thing with open world missions if reputations are effected my these mission choices.

Thanks for reading this far. Its mostly psychology, but I think it is important nonetheless to admit that these feelings exist in the playerbase.


I like to take your ideas and supersize them. This isn't criticism, it is flattery. I come with nothing but good will and a spirit of team-building. If you take what I write any other way, that is probably just because I wasn't very clear.
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Brainbot wrote:
Brainbot wrote:

Can I ask you a few question about a concern I have?
Most MMOs offer only a few things that players can do once they hit maximum level. Raids, farming or PvP. I dont mind farming but it can get dull and I would rather not pvp. Is the only thing I can look forward to is raids at maximum level? If it is how do you deal with the problems of team raids being difficult to do unless you are playing during prime time?

At this time, we do not have "end game" designs. The goal is replayability with plenty of alts. It isn't that we don't have concepts for raid-esque content, but we're a long way off from considering them. Between our Paths system, and our faction rep system, experiences of content playing through the game can vary quite a bit (especially over time as more is added). Combine this with our different Classifications, power sets, and mastery powers and even playing through familiar content can yield new experiences through differing play styles offered.

We will also have a similar level-adjustment system for teaming as the old game where the team's level is adjusted to the team leader's allowing higher and lower level characters to team up. This can allow players who've levelled up and may have not experienced different types of content to play with some lower level characters and see and do things they hadn't before. Another option we will eventually provide is a "flashback" system to allow higher level characters to revisist stories in areas they haven't played through or even those they did play through previously but with the ability to explore different choices or branches in the story (thus retconning their past). No pomises on that last part, it is a consideration we have.

Yet another thing will be player generated content. Where players can create their own content using the same (but most likely simplified to a degree) tools us devs use to create content.

We also have plans (read: no promises yet) for a way for players to "craft" missions. Tentatively called Schemes and Investigations, players will obtain pieces of a puzzle (clues and tips), place them on a "clue board" (customizable of course), and piece together a mission (rather mad-libs style).

Then there are going to be dyanmic world events like invasions and such which will offer differing experiences depending upon which type of event, how many players are involved, and even have differing cooperative elements. Along with these will be seaonsal events which should offer some new elements over time (so as to offer previous years' players with new opportunities).

After all of this (which will of course take time as not everything will be in place for launch, or even our major post-launch update, or even after that), then we will probably, maybe, might be in a place to consider raid-esque content.
As to off-peak hours, what remains to be seen is how well we will be able to bring in players from differing time zones from around the world as we will won't have multiple servers, but a single mega-server. Everyone playing the game can potentially play with one another.


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Everything Tannim222 has

Everything Tannim222 has written recently here sounds good to me. As far as content types go, it sounds a lot like old CoX. You've got missions that scale from 1 solo to a full team, then TFs which do the same but are more difficulty and have better rewards, then things like Incarnate Trials which are designed for a full team or two to do them, then outdoor things like the Hamidon and the Rikti Mothership etc that require a small army. That's totally fair, even if none of the TFs ever require, say, 4 people minimum. I still thin there's a place in the world for that type of stuff, but I'm happy to settle for what I've read as described by Tannim222. It's not exactly as I would do it, but I like it.

As for the question of "What is the level capped toon to do as end game content (and don't say farming for loot, PVP, and raids)?". I think that's the oldest and hardest problem in MMORPG design history. Frankly, those three things plus starting over a lot with alting are good enough for me, provided the efficiency allowed by farming is only marginally better than doing content for content's sake the "non-agrarian" way. I would prefer that nobody be able to do 90% of the same mission over and over without ever finishing it and get better rewarded for such than a person who completes multiple different missions in a row. I think there ought to be enough rewards for completing missions and enough limits on how often you can do the same exact mission to completion that your best bet is actually doing (to successful completion) the missions your contact gives you (or whatever, tips, radios, etc).

My impression of farming is that people do it because it is the most efficient means to an end. If you can somehow cause playing through different missions to the point of mission completion to be the "right answer" in terms of efficiency, then I think you've got something really awesome. In CoX there were tip missions that you could do and when you did enough of them you could cash in your earned Hero Merits to get a recipe you wanted. I'm not sure I'd put in a way to get the specific level of the specific item you want like B.O.T.L.E.R. allowed, but something akin to that might be good, like have a counter of how many different missions you've actually completed and get a reward of some kind at some milestone, like 10 missions successfully done or something.

Edit: And since I still think outdoor street sweeping should be encouraged, maybe have something similar, but different, for defeating outdoor mobs. Like if you form a team and go sweeping through one of the tougher neighborhoods, you'd rack up some kind of "Civic Duty Reward Points" for cleaning up the town and making the city safer, then some bureaucrat in the City Hall will give you some goodies, like a temp power or a random Augment, etc.

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Tannim222 wrote:
Tannim222 wrote:

At this time, we do not have "end game" designs.

Thanks for the reply.
There seems to be a variety of things to do at the maximum level. I applaud the choice to focus on replayability. I cant think of many other MMOs that do this.
I have read about the path thing but I am not clear on what it is. It seems like it is the superhero version of a career in other MMOs.
Leveling down to do quests is not something I like that much. It would bother me more if I had gained my ultimate power at maximum level only to lose it when I do that stuff. I wouldnt mind leveling down in the way you explain if it does not remove the powers you have earned but instead adjusts them to the current level you are playing.
Same goes for flashbacks but in that case I would understand more why you lose the powers as its retconning.
Player made content is some good and mostly bad. You usually have to sort through a lot of bad to find the good even if there is a rating system.
The madlibs quests seems new and interesting. Never seen that done before.
World events are nice. I didnt like the city of heroes alien one though. I would much rather see those world events be a prelude to a change in the game. For example after a month of alien invasion the city builds a few ion cannons from empire strikes back to fight off the aliens and life can get back to normal. Until the aliens invade again and now instead of fighting everywhere its around these ion cannons.
Seasonal events are great and the way you explain them is perfect. Keep adding to them so no one is left out but still has new things.

Anyway, thanks for the reply again.

Is there any more you can tell us. I mean about the OPs topic of encouraging co-op. You said that grouping will offer greater rewards and difficulty, is there any more the game will have to make grouping up an attractive choice.

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Tannim22,

Tannim22,

Assuming that the system to "craft" missions by putting together clues doesn't make it into the game around launch, or even if it does, are there any plans for a system to provide short, simple, generic missions on demand along the lines of ye olde newspaper and police scanner?

IMO, this was a major asset in keeping a team engaged as it prevented any awkward lulls in the action that might result when everyone's mission logs had been cleared. Frankly, the lack of any repeatable way to quickly grab a mission and jump into the action without resorting to the painfully unfun alert system is a major problem in Champions Online, IMO.

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I too think that the game

I too think that the game will absolutely need a newspaper/radio thing that can pretty much always give you a mission if you want one. I don't know how hard it is to write simple generic one-of missions for that, but CoX seemed to have enough that you didn't feel like they were too repetitive. Plus there was other stuff to do.

Another question I have is, are we going to have to fly around and click on contacts to talk to them like in CoX, or is it going to be all "cell phone" based from the get-go? I think if you're going to have to go talk to a contact face-to-face, then that contact ought to be giving you story-arc missions that give you badges or unlock something beyond just getting XP and IGC. Like, in CoX, I used to advertize on chat whenever I was doing any of the "Portal Jockey" missions, just so people could get badges with me. I think like EVERY story arc from every contact should give you a badge, for that reason alone. Make ever story arc "collectible". I also liked the accolade rewards and would like to see something like them, but more along the lines of the Crey CBX-9, the Ring of the Archmage, and the Vanguard Medallion, stuff specific to the content you did to get it, not just a generic +5% buff overall. To be sure, I went out of my way to get those generic buffs, I wanted them, but I think the other stuff was more flavorful and immersive, and felt more appropriate as trophy rewards for doing the content you did.

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Aegis wrote:
Aegis wrote:

Tannim22,
Assuming that the system to "craft" missions by putting together clues doesn't make it into the game around launch, or even if it does, are there any plans for a system to provide short, simple, generic missions on demand along the lines of ye olde newspaper and police scanner?
IMO, this was a major asset in keeping a team engaged as it prevented any awkward lulls in the action that might result when everyone's mission logs had been cleared. Frankly, the lack of any repeatable way to quickly grab a mission and jump into the action without resorting to the painfully unfun alert system is a major problem in Champions Online, IMO.

Mision-craft won't make it in time for launch. They are meant to be a more game-play involved version of the old newspaper / radio missions. Where perhaps purchasing a newspaper or listening to the radio yields a clue that can be used in your clue board. Also, it may be possibe to sell / trade clues and tips through the Auction House.

There will be quick, one off missions scattered throughout the world. I believe they're refered to as 'plots' by our comp team. Not every mission in the game will necessarily require a player to speak with an NPC directly, do the thing, and talk to the same npc again in order to get the next mission in the same story line. Sometimes, even these seemingly one-off missions may yield something that sends the player off in search of the next mission. Stopping the random mugger on the street may provide something to the player that once viewed, reveals the location and / or time something else is happening, or give details of where to find so-and-so (or whatever the next plot line is for the next mission).

Paths are also stories that stretch from level 1 to 50. I believe the intent is that a player can do nothing but their Path hop on / off at will so it will always be there for something to do even if you don't want to street sweep or search out your next 'plot' (though there will be an indicator to help find plots if you want to use it).


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Tannim222 wrote:
Tannim222 wrote:

Stopping the random mugger on the street may provide something to the player that once viewed, reveals the location and / or time something else is happening, or give details of where to find so-and-so (or whatever the next plot line is for the next mission).

I was thinking this exact thing. I would be happy to see this implemented!


I like to take your ideas and supersize them. This isn't criticism, it is flattery. I come with nothing but good will and a spirit of team-building. If you take what I write any other way, that is probably just because I wasn't very clear.
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Radiac wrote:
Radiac wrote:

I would prefer that nobody be able to do 90% of the same mission over and over without ever finishing it and get better rewarded for such than a person who completes multiple different missions in a row. I think there ought to be enough rewards for completing missions and enough limits on how often you can do the same exact mission to completion that your best bet is actually doing (to successful completion) the missions your contact gives you (or whatever, tips, radios, etc).
My impression of farming is that people do it because it is the most efficient means to an end. If you can somehow cause playing through different missions to the point of mission completion to be the "right answer" in terms of efficiency, then I think you've got something really awesome. In CoX there were tip missions that you could do and when you did enough of them you could cash in your earned Hero Merits to get a recipe you wanted. I'm not sure I'd put in a way to get the specific level of the specific item you want like B.O.T.L.E.R. allowed, but something akin to that might be good, like have a counter of how many different missions you've actually completed and get a reward of some kind at some milestone, like 10 missions successfully done or something.

I can't speak for others, but I liked farming because it was fun. I had that demon thing on the long map where I could just go in with my Fire Controller and wreak havoc if I was in that mood.

It was something I did about once or twice a week. Just one of many pastimes that kept me engaged with CoH. So taking that away would have made CoH about 2/7th less fun for me. (math!) I also did it alone so it didn't effect other players.

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I myself had two different

I myself had two different indoor missions against Carnies at level 50 that I purposely didn't finish so that I could go farm some Illusionists for the Archmage accolade whenever I wanted to. I kept them even after I got it just to offer them to other people. I'm not saying to make that sort of thing impossible, it has been established that being able to restart a mission in mid-stream is a necessary function to have, I'm saying that it ought not be the most efficient way, in the game, to get IGC and loot. I personally would back-end load the rewards for missions such that you get better results out of completing the mission (and as quickly as possible while still racking up the defeats) than you do by "saving it " forever for infinite farming.

Imagine you're doing a mission in CoX that gives 1000 INF for every minion you defeat. Okay, now there's a new system I have in mind that does things differently. In this new system, the minions only drop 100 each immediately upon defeat, and you get the other 900 per minion defeated at the end of the mission as part of the completion bonus when and if you successfully complete it. When you reset the mission, the end-of-mission rewards pool resets to zero. Also, after every ten missions completed, you get some kind of bonus thingy, like a random drop of some kind of item or something. This way, the most lucrative way to spend one's time is to actually finish missions. I think you'd have to scale street sweeping rewards to something close but not quite as efficient as that, just to keep it competitive, then maybe once in a while you have an event or double XP weekend or something that pushes people into street sweeping as the "better" way to spend your time, temporarily, just to shake things up now and then. You could even sell boosters in the cash shop that make street sweeping or serial mission completion more lucrative and just do that one thing, if that's your favorite thing.

I'm not saying to take away the ability to restart a mission as many times as you want, I'm saying you shouldn't rewarded MORE for doing that than for actually completing missions. In fact I think actually completing missions ought to give better rewards, over time, than restarting the same one over and over.

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Radiac wrote:
Radiac wrote:

'm saying that it ought not be the most efficient way, in the game, to get IGC and loot.

That's kind of the point with our challenges and achievements, the rewards are weighted toward completion. We can even apply this to achievements earned while streetsweeping, not just mission content.


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Radiac wrote:
Radiac wrote:

I myself had two different indoor missions against Carnies at level 50 that I purposely didn't finish so that I could go farm some Illusionists for the Archmage accolade whenever I wanted to. I kept them even after I got it just to offer them to other people. I'm not saying to make that sort of thing impossible, it has been established that being able to restart a mission in mid-stream is a necessary function to have, I'm saying that it ought not be the most efficient way, in the game, to get IGC and loot. I personally would back-end load the rewards for missions such that you get better results out of completing the mission (and as quickly as possible while still racking up the defeats) than you do by "saving it " forever for infinite farming.
Imagine you're doing a mission in CoX that gives 1000 INF for every minion you defeat. Okay, now there's a new system I have in mind that does things differently. In this new system, the minions only drop 100 each immediately upon defeat, and you get the other 900 per minion defeated at the end of the mission as part of the completion bonus when and if you successfully complete it. When you reset the mission, the end-of-mission rewards pool resets to zero. Also, after every ten missions completed, you get some kind of bonus thingy, like a random drop of some kind of item or something. This way, the most lucrative way to spend one's time is to actually finish missions. I think you'd have to scale street sweeping rewards to something close but not quite as efficient as that, just to keep it competitive, then maybe once in a while you have an event or double XP weekend or something that pushes people into street sweeping as the "better" way to spend your time, temporarily, just to shake things up now and then. You could even sell boosters in the cash shop that make street sweeping or serial mission completion more lucrative and just do that one thing, if that's your favorite thing.
I'm not saying to take away the ability to restart a mission as many times as you want, I'm saying you shouldn't rewarded MORE for doing that than for actually completing missions. In fact I think actually completing missions ought to give better rewards, over time, than restarting the same one over and over.

I can definitely agree with not rewarding more. But your way rewards less and I don't like that either. I liked having them reward the same so I can make a choice based on my preference alone. I certainly don't mind a completed mission bonus of some kind (which is what we got in CoH, right?), but cutting the reward by 90% for each defeat is kinda taking that choice away completely.

Part of the fun was knowing the exact moves to make with a certain character on a specific map and doing things like timing yourself to see how fast you can do it. The repetition with that specific thing was a part of the fun. And I also wonder if a character can keep getting infinite missions on a character so being forced to complete them all could be a bad thing too.

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If there's something that

If there's something that absolutely requires N team members to complete, it should probably a) be obvious (perhaps with some NPC or clue revealing "here's what has to happen; you need at least N people working together to do it"), and b) take advantage of instancing to start randomly grouping people doing the same mission. They don't have to be on a team, but when Batman and the Huntress find they're both sleuthing through the Penguin's new skyscraper looking for the fowlbomb they're sure he's got hidden away in it, the natural thing to do is team up. Or maybe not; maybe they bicker and fight over who has a "right" to be there. But when it becomes clear that they need to have somebody on the top floor at the same time somebody else is in the vault to perform simultaneous tasks, or when they encounter the Penguin's Mechapenguin that is just too strong for either to beat on their own, the team-up becomes necessary.

If you go in with Batman and Robin, then you're fine. But if you go in as Batman alone, but another player went in as the Huntress, your instances might get merged.

Again, not speaking as a dev, but just as somebody shooting out ideas.

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to harpospoke: Call me crazy,

to harpospoke: Call me crazy, but when an NPC gives me am mission in a game, I think the intention is that I'm expected to start and then finish that mission in due course, not monotonously keep restarting it over and over forever. While you may find it fun to do that, or I might want to keep a mission in my back pocket to farm it for Illusions, I think the intention is clearly that such things should be completed in due course once accepted as a mission. If you're not going to enforce a timer or something to get people to actually complete missions, then I think simply rewarding them MORE for serial mission completion over time than they would have gotten for farming the same mission over that same time that is perfectly okay. It's called a "mission completion bonus" for a reason, it rewards you for finishing the mission, after all. If completing one's missions in due course ends up being the most efficient way to get XP, IGC and item drops, then I think the game is working as it should, even if it means that the person who chooses to repeat the same mission, for whatever reason, might have other motivations for doing so. You can still do it, but if you're trying to level up or get loot, it's not the most efficient way to do so, which I think is fine. In any event, trials and task forces were probably better rewards-givers if and when you completed them in CoX, and that will probably still be the case in CoT. So what does the farmer really have to complain about? They might have been getting better returns on time spent doing stuff other than farming before, and that's still true now. Different modes of play are going to have different rates of rewards. If they design the game such that mission repeat farming is less lucrative than completing misssions, then I think that design reinforces the intended roleplay aspect of the game that the NPC mission giver wants the mission completed not just re-run ad infinitum, and I like that.

And on a logistical note, the person who rinse-repeats the same mission umpteen times in a row for "the same" rewards, is actually getting BETTER rewards over time than the person who completes a bunch of different missions in that same span of time. Why? Travel. The person who completes their missions has to travel from one to the next, possibly over long distances, wheres the mission repeat farmer does not. Advantage:farming. I would try my best to counteract that advantage with mission completion bonuses that are so good compared to the loot you get during the mission that the "main payoff" for doing missions becomes the completion bonus at the end. I don't know what the percentage split would have to be to make that work, my 90/10 example is just an example. No matter what the percentage split actually is, you still get all the same loot from that mission, eventually, just mostly at the successful completion of the thing, which I think ultimately makes a lot of sense. For RP purposes our Hero probably isn't scavenging the corpses of every mook as he defeats them. He's probably going to defeat the map and the end boss first, then go back and clean up, which means getting the rewards at the end, after the good fight has been won. I think those would be the hero's priorities, and if you're playing a villain character, you probably want to make sure there's no witnesses and nobody watching when you burgle the corpses, so you defeat everyone first, then rob them all once there's nobody conscious to catch you in the act.

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Changing the way rewards are

Changing the way rewards are given does not make farming go away, it changes what farming is. Instead of having someone stop-start a quest they now roll through quests as fast as possible.
There are a lot of reason to make farming harder to do in a game but roleplaying reasons are not one of them. NPCs don't have feelings you can hurt and one characters goals are not the same as someone elses. What is this obsession with making other people play the game the way you think is right?
This might even cause problems in the games life span. Encouraging people to plow through for greater rewards could mean that people do everything quicker and get bored and leave.
If you really want to encourage people to not farm the same quest or the same wilderness location then have it get increasingly more difficult to do it in a short span. It lets people do what they want for a period of time but then they need to move on to something else. Have it slowly reset to normal difficulty over time and they can go back and do it again if they want.

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Another major point against

Another major point against "splitting" the XP and "drops" from kills in that way is that it essentially locks people into finishing that quest, because if they don't it has a large chance of making them feel like they have wasted their time (in the sense that they got hardly anything out of it).

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Radiac wrote:
Radiac wrote:

to harpospoke: Call me crazy, but when an NPC gives me am mission in a game, I think the intention is that I'm expected to start and then finish that mission in due course, not monotonously keep restarting it over and over forever. While you may find it fun to do that, or I might want to keep a mission in my back pocket to farm it for Illusions, I think the intention is clearly that such things should be completed in due course once accepted as a mission. If you're not going to enforce a timer or something to get people to actually complete missions, then I think simply rewarding them MORE for serial mission completion over time than they would have gotten for farming the same mission over that same time that is perfectly okay. It's called a "mission completion bonus" for a reason, it rewards you for finishing the mission, after all.

CoH had that, did it not?

Radiac wrote:

If completing one's missions in due course ends up being the most efficient way to get XP, IGC and item drops, then I think the game is working as it should, even if it means that the person who chooses to repeat the same mission, for whatever reason, might have other motivations for doing so. You can still do it, but if you're trying to level up or get loot, it's not the most efficient way to do so, which I think is fine.

There is where it gets into "working as it should". There were things that didn't "work as they should" in CoH and accidentally made it a better game. They got lucky on a few things.

And this also gets into making one player happy while making another unhappy. You don't seem to want other people to farm and measures taken to stop them would make you happy. However, if it worked like CoH, both the farmer and the non-farmer can be happy. The only ones who would be unhappy would be those who want other people to play like they do. Not saying that is you, but there are actually players who get upset if other players are doing things a different way. Complaints about "not playing the game right" used to pop up on the old forums a lot.

No one was induced to farm in CoH and no one was induced to stop. A true choice was there. But there were players who actually wanted other players to be forced to play the way they considered to be "the right way to play". It's a common problem among human beings in all areas of life really. They get an idea about how people "should" act and want laws to force everyone else to live that way too. I wouldn't design a game around pleasing that type of person personally. The long list of options upon signing into CoH were what made it great imo.

We are "supposed" to sign in a run missions and TF's....but some people just signed in and went to the club and role played. They might not get into a single battle for a week. Not really "as intended", but fun nonetheless.

Others also never did any content but just signed on and sat at the auction house all night making piles of money. That would certainly bore me to tears, but why should they be forced to stop doing it?

Radiac wrote:

And on a logistical note, the person who rinse-repeats the same mission umpteen times in a row for "the same" rewards, is actually getting BETTER rewards over time than the person who completes a bunch of different missions in that same span of time. Why? Travel. The person who completes their missions has to travel from one to the next, possibly over long distances, wheres the mission repeat farmer does not. Advantage:farming. I would try my best to counteract that advantage with mission completion bonuses that are so good compared to the loot you get during the mission that the "main payoff" for doing missions becomes the completion bonus at the end. I don't know what the percentage split would have to be to make that work, my 90/10 example is just an example. No matter what the percentage split actually is, you still get all the same loot from that mission, eventually, just mostly at the successful completion of the thing, which I think ultimately makes a lot of sense.

This is only taking "loot" into consideration. This might be the way to look at it if you were only interested in farming...but that's not us.

I take it you did not farm for loot? There was a reason for that, yes? I didn't do it more than a couple of times a week myself and there was a reason. There are more reasons than that to play which are appealing and compelling. It sounds like all the reasons you enjoyed playing did not exist in farming....so there's your motivation right there. You didn't need more than that before and neither did I.

You are leaving out the repetition as a negative. There is a motivation to do different missions and that is a lack of repetition. That counts too. I played on Freedom and mission teams were incredibly easy to find. (or build yourself) If there was no reason to do them, everyone would have just farmed all the time. It might have appeared that way if you just hung out in Alas Park since that's where all the farmers would gather together. But then you pull up your search box and find out you could form 10 mish teams if you wanted to. I routinely formed all-Controller teams just for the kicks. It was even easy to replace a Controller as they dropped out along the way. So the players were doing a lot more than farming and there is a reason for that. (I still regret not trying that with other AT's like Blasters and Defenders)

That doesn't mean farming was never fun, it just meant that there were reasons to not farm as well which overpowered the reasons to do it. In CoH you could do both and that worked. I liked having the option to just sign on to the Fire Controller and obliterate some demons ....and get rewarded the same for doing it. There are a long list of reasons for why CoH is the only game I've ever enjoyed and that was one of the many. I certainly don't believe CoH got that part wrong.

And I'm still going to need to know I can keep getting missions forever on a character if I'm being forced to complete them.

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Brainbot wrote:
Brainbot wrote:

Changing the way rewards are given does not make farming go away, it changes what farming is. Instead of having someone stop-start a quest they now roll through quests as fast as possible.
There are a lot of reason to make farming harder to do in a game but roleplaying reasons are not one of them. NPCs don't have feelings you can hurt and one characters goals are not the same as someone elses. What is this obsession with making other people play the game the way you think is right?
This might even cause problems in the games life span. Encouraging people to plow through for greater rewards could mean that people do everything quicker and get bored and leave.
If you really want to encourage people to not farm the same quest or the same wilderness location then have it get increasingly more difficult to do it in a short span. It lets people do what they want for a period of time but then they need to move on to something else. Have it slowly reset to normal difficulty over time and they can go back and do it again if they want.

1. If actually completing missions is the new farming, sign me up. I'm personally in favor of that particular "you still lose" outcome, as you've described it. If that happens, I'm in.

2. I did point out that defeating more badguys in the mission would cause you to rack up more rewards at the end. I would have the game keep a count of mobs defeated since the last reset and reward based on the level, type and number of badguys defeated during the mission, but hold most of those rewards in escrow until the end. This way people will still want to defeat the whole map, in most cases. You can modify that for different types of missions if you want to discourage the "kill all" incentive where you want to. If "stealth in, click the glowwie, and get out fast" is the required thing for the mission, you can reduce or eliminate rewards for defeating mobs, etc in those cases.

3. I have absolutely no confidence in the assertion that making mission-repeat farming the most efficient option will in any way extend the game's life span relative to making mission-completion "farming" the right answer. I don't see it actually happening as you claim it might. In short, I just don't believe you on that point.

4. Stating that RP is not a reason to affect changes to the game is, to me, wrong because in this case the game is an MMORPG. The "RP" is right there in the name of the genre. I mean, NPCs don't REALLY need names either, for technical purposes, so if RP is to be ignored, just give them all hexadecimal number tags if you want to. Nobody does that. The RP aspect of the game is a thing, and I don't think it should just go away.

5. There are, or could be, more lucrative things than farming, regardless. If rolling through a Task Force to get the bonuses at the end ends up being more bang for your buck than mission-repeat farming, are you going to complain that they should nerf it? Where does this desire for mission repeat farming to not only exist as an option but to be at least on par with all other options end? It sounds really repetitive and boring to me, and for that reason should probably be less lucrative than other options..

6. I think the game designer that writes a mission with a story line and an end to the mission wants you to complete the mission as part of the inherent design of the game. In CoX, as it turned out, some people discovered that you could choose NOT to do that and come out ahead in some ways. Those people were farming missions not for the love of farming but because it was the most efficient means to an end. I think the design FLAW that led to that behavior being most efficient should be corrected and they ought to set the game up such that actually finishing missions ought to be the most efficient means to that end. If they do that, the missions and so forth are working as intended.

7. When your mission instructions read "Go here and defeat this boss" the expectation on the part of the player is that they're now supposed to go do that. If you then make the game operate such that actually NOT doing that mission (or any mission) to it's ultimate conclusion is actually the more efficient thing to do, you're sending mixed signals to your players. It's like saying "This is a game where you are a hero and go on missions and defeat arch-villains (hint: don't actually defeat the arch-villain and you'll get better earnings *wink*wink*)." It turns the premise of the game itself into a total joke, which I think ought to be avoided.

8. You don't see Batman go into the Joker's hideout, beat up all the thugs, then go back out, wait for the Joker to hire more a$$es for him to kick, then go in again. It's not remaining true to the comic book superhero genre to even technically allow that, and it's similarly anathema to the MMORPG game genre to make that behavior desirable or even acceptable in the game. In a game where you're supposed to be a super and save the day, I think those who just want to pleasure themselves by only doing the first 90% of that and then starting over ad infinitum ought to be rewarded less than those who actually finish the job. If it has to be technically possible fine, if you can't actively PUNISH it outright, fine, but lesser rewards for doing that is, to me, the minimum amount of discouragement of that behavior that the devs could possibly do while remaining true to the type of game they're trying to make.

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1: Sure you're behind the

1: Sure you're behind the idea of changing how to farm to this way. Because it meets your view of how others should play.
2: This is just another way for you to enforce the proper way to play according to what you think is acceptable behavior.
3: I gave a reason for why it could happen. Just saying I don't agree without giving a reason is meaningless.
4: RP is not a reason to change farming. Stop trying to change what I say so you can make an argument. If you don't understand the difference between setting, situation and RP in an RPG then let me explain it for you. The setting is the world the game is set, the situation is what others are doing and the RP is what the players do, their motive and their goals. The setting and situation should give the players inspiration for RP but there is no right or wrong way to RP anything.
5: Read number 2. What you find fun and acceptable should never be more important than what I find fun and acceptable.
6: Some games are linear or on rails and it suits them. These games focus on the mechanics or story over everything else and have a beginning, middle and end. This type of game does not work in an MMO which does not have an end. I explained this because the type of quest writing in MMOs are not completion required. If I stop in the middle of one quest I am not barred from starting another quest. Completion of any quest is an expectation but it is not required and it is so not inherent design.
7: Read number 2 and 5.
8: Do you hear what you are saying? You talk about those who want to farm this one way as if they are bad people, then act like just allowing people to do it for less rewards instead of punishing them is like you are doing them a favor and then finish by hiding behind the developers skirt when you say its the game they are trying to make.

I agree that farming should be kept in check because it can ruin a games economy very quickly.
Your idea has nothing to do with making the game better and everything to do with making sure what you like is the best way to play.

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Radiac wrote:
Radiac wrote:

8. ..., I think those who just want to pleasure themselves by only doing the first 90% of that and then starting over ad infinitum ought to be rewarded less than those who actually finish the job. If it has to be technically possible fine, if you can't actively PUNISH it outright, fine, but lesser rewards for doing that is, to me, the minimum amount of discouragement of that behavior that the devs could possibly do while remaining true to the type of game they're trying to make.

+10

If it was me, I'd make Rewards Scale less and less, till 24 Hrs are up. ;)
Maybe use a Sine Curve? 12th hour is the Least Rewarding? And the close limit gets to 24th hour it gets more and more Rewarding.

Or do what WOW or some MMO's.. Flip the Wording so that it sounds like Players get More of a Reward BONUS if they do it every 24 hours. So its not a punishment if you do it before then, just not as much of a BONUS. Less Frosting on their Cake. ;D

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Radiac wrote:
Radiac wrote:

5. There are, or could be, more lucrative things than farming, regardless. If rolling through a Task Force to get the bonuses at the end ends up being more bang for your buck than mission-repeat farming, are you going to complain that they should nerf it? Where does this desire for mission repeat farming to not only exist as an option but to be at least on par with all other options end? It sounds really repetitive and boring to me, and for that reason should probably be less lucrative than other options..

I'm not convinced that's a good reason.

I know some players avoided the Malta and Carnies because they were a "pain"....but I kinda liked having them there. I wouldn't want them to go away because there were players who thought they should.

Radiac wrote:

6. I think the game designer that writes a mission with a story line and an end to the mission wants you to complete the mission as part of the inherent design of the game. In CoX, as it turned out, some people discovered that you could choose NOT to do that and come out ahead in some ways. Those people were farming missions not for the love of farming but because it was the most efficient means to an end. I think the design FLAW that led to that behavior being most efficient should be corrected and they ought to set the game up such that actually finishing missions ought to be the most efficient means to that end. If they do that, the missions and so forth are working as intended.
7. When your mission instructions read "Go here and defeat this boss" the expectation on the part of the player is that they're now supposed to go do that. If you then make the game operate such that actually NOT doing that mission (or any mission) to it's ultimate conclusion is actually the more efficient thing to do, you're sending mixed signals to your players. It's like saying "This is a game where you are a hero and go on missions and defeat arch-villains (hint: don't actually defeat the arch-villain and you'll get better earnings *wink*wink*)." It turns the premise of the game itself into a total joke, which I think ought to be avoided.

All that is based on the premise that "loot" is all that matters. You and I are proof that is not true since we were not signing on and farming every day. Since you are not that kind of player, it's not an argument you should be making. You are ignoring that players like you exist and assuming everyone will need to be punished for farming to keep them from doing it. It's more than loot as you know since the promise of variety was enough to keep you from farming without any penalties in place. The CoH system worked.

Those Malta and Carnies? I would often be in the mood to tackle them with....a Blaster. ...Just to see if I could do it. I would go in with my AR/Dev Blaster and spend...heck I don't know....a LOT of time setting up traps and planning every move.

It was a terrible waste of time and didn't get me much "loot". I didn't need that incentive to do it. I did it because it was fun.

The way CoH did it worked because there was an appeal for a variety of playstyles. If "loot" is all you care about, that playstyle was there for you. For guys like you who aren't interested in farming, there was contact missions for a while and newspaper missions after that. For guys like me who were in a different mood every day, there was the option to do something different every day. I like having the "kill stuff/collect loot" option because....well...it was fun too.

Whatever CoH, it didn't bore me. Forcing me to play everything just like everyone else doesn't sound appealing.

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What if 'mission hoarding'

What if 'mission hoarding' was de-incentivized simply by providing plenty of missions? Have an NPC, or a chain of NPCs, with a grudge against a certain group of foes and, even after their regular arc of missions is completed, they will continue to give you random newspaper/radio style missions against that foe-group? So, instead of 'saving' that one mission and doing it over and over, you can Repeat that mission, or one just like it, over and over.

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I believe the issue being

I believe the issue being raised is that there becomes an inherent strain between a desire to complete missions for a number of reasons and the fact that doing so may be an erroneous gameplay-move for "playing the game the best you can." This kind of thing happens when the game's purpose (real or imagined) is out of alignment with what the game's mechanics encourage as optimal play.

If you were playing chess with the mindset that you're RPing the King, and have a duty to protect your subjects, and that your black-square bishop is actually a treacherous vizier prone to betrayal, that would make your moves to match that RP be highly sub-optimal compared to the moves needed to win the game. Likewise, if you can farm a mission repeatedly as long as you don't finish it and get far more wealth/loot/XP/whatever, and thus make a stronger, better character with more capability to "win" the game, feeling like you should RP the mission as something serious that needs to be dealt with and concluded with minimal damage to the city and its citizens would cause you to make poorer gameplay-moves than you otherwise might if you viewed it strictly as a game to be "won."

The question, therefore, is what the purpose of the game is, from a design standpoint. Is it to just be an acquisition game, where whatever you do to maximize your rewards and advance your mechanical power is the right way to play it, and choosing to pay attention to plot motivations and RP concerns is something you CAN do, but you should feel is so much its own reward that you don't mind playing the game "poorly" in terms of good gameplay decisions? Or is it to be a game which encourages players to immerse themselves in their characters, at least to the point of playing out the tropes of its genre is the smartest/best gameplay move they can make?

Once you identify the goal of the game (and there's nothing wrong with "acquisition games," lest my prior paragraph seem prejudicial), you want to design mechanics to facilitate that kind of game. D&D is a game that was originally for exploring dungeons, beating up monsters, and taking their stuff. Its mechanics are very good at that. It is not, generally, a game about political intrigue, and its mechanics are often...lackluster...when such games are run.

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Radiac wrote:
Radiac wrote:

1. If actually completing missions is the new farming, sign me up. I'm personally in favor of that particular "you still lose" outcome, as you've described it. If that happens, I'm in.

So... you're not against farming in general, just specific forms of farming?

Quote:

2. I did point out that defeating more badguys in the mission would cause you to rack up more rewards at the end. I would have the game keep a count of mobs defeated since the last reset and reward based on the level, type and number of badguys defeated during the mission, but hold most of those rewards in escrow until the end. This way people will still want to defeat the whole map, in most cases. You can modify that for different types of missions if you want to discourage the "kill all" incentive where you want to. If "stealth in, click the glowwie, and get out fast" is the required thing for the mission, you can reduce or eliminate rewards for defeating mobs, etc in those cases.

After thinking about it a bit I'll modify what I said above. Holding a huge part of "kill rewards" in escrow until completion is more likely to be seen as a punishment for NOT completing missions than a way to curb repeat-farming.

Quote:

3. I have absolutely no confidence in the assertion that making mission-repeat farming the most efficient option will in any way extend the game's life span relative to making mission-completion "farming" the right answer. I don't see it actually happening as you claim it might. In short, I just don't believe you on that point.

And where was it suggested that it should be actively catered for? hat is distinctly different from not actively discouraging it.
Personally I think that MWM only needs to keep on eye on it so it doesn't get out of hand.

Quote:

4. Stating that RP is not a reason to affect changes to the game is, to me, wrong because in this case the game is an MMORPG. The "RP" is right there in the name of the genre. I mean, NPCs don't REALLY need names either, for technical purposes, so if RP is to be ignored, just give them all hexadecimal number tags if you want to. Nobody does that. The RP aspect of the game is a thing, and I don't think it should just go away.

No, there are certain specific things that don't need (nor should) have an RP reason for existing or for not existing.

Quote:

5. There are, or could be, more lucrative things than farming, regardless. If rolling through a Task Force to get the bonuses at the end ends up being more bang for your buck than mission-repeat farming, are you going to complain that they should nerf it? Where does this desire for mission repeat farming to not only exist as an option but to be at least on par with all other options end? It sounds really repetitive and boring to me, and for that reason should probably be less lucrative than other options..

Farming is almost guarantied to be the most lucrative way to get rewards, it's just a matter of what kind of farming. If something else really is more lucrative than farming then they are essentially giving away IGC/loot.

Quote:

6. I think the game designer that writes a mission with a story line and an end to the mission wants you to complete the mission as part of the inherent design of the game. In CoX, as it turned out, some people discovered that you could choose NOT to do that and come out ahead in some ways. Those people were farming missions not for the love of farming but because it was the most efficient means to an end. I think the design FLAW that led to that behavior being most efficient should be corrected and they ought to set the game up such that actually finishing missions ought to be the most efficient means to that end. If they do that, the missions and so forth are working as intended.

And then they are essentially hamstringing players into one "correct" way to play the game. Sure, I fully understand them wanting people to experience all of the content they have made but building the game in such a way that there is only one way to progress at a reasonable rate is not the way to go.

Quote:

7. When your mission instructions read "Go here and defeat this boss" the expectation on the part of the player is that they're now supposed to go do that. If you then make the game operate such that actually NOT doing that mission (or any mission) to it's ultimate conclusion is actually the more efficient thing to do, you're sending mixed signals to your players. It's like saying "This is a game where you are a hero and go on missions and defeat arch-villains (hint: don't actually defeat the arch-villain and you'll get better earnings *wink*wink*)." It turns the premise of the game itself into a total joke, which I think ought to be avoided.

As I said, making it intentionally that way is way different from it "just happening". However, this depends a lot on what you include (and exclude) in these "earnings".

Quote:

8. You don't see Batman go into the Joker's hideout, beat up all the thugs, then go back out, wait for the Joker to hire more a$$es for him to kick, then go in again. It's not remaining true to the comic book superhero genre to even technically allow that, and it's similarly anathema to the MMORPG game genre to make that behavior desirable or even acceptable in the game. In a game where you're supposed to be a super and save the day, I think those who just want to pleasure themselves by only doing the first 90% of that and then starting over ad infinitum ought to be rewarded less than those who actually finish the job. If it has to be technically possible fine, if you can't actively PUNISH it outright, fine, but lesser rewards for doing that is, to me, the minimum amount of discouragement of that behavior that the devs could possibly do while remaining true to the type of game they're trying to make.

You have a point about Batman not doing that but we will be able to play as villains as well and there I can completely see someone repeatedly killing of all the thugs from a "competitor" before possibly killing the "competitor". However, the logical conclusion of you stance here is that you should never ever be able to reset a mission, since it's not "true to the comic book superhero genre". Well, at least outside of time travel arcs but those are special case and would in the end be mostly represented by the flashback system.
Also, I'm sure MWM does not want us to follow missions slavishly.

Honestly radiac, you seem to be painting another "doomsday scenario" in that if people can repeat-farm missions then that will be without question The Best way to progress or get anything done at all. I don't see it happen since I just don't think most missions will have that kind of or big enough "imbalance" (especially when you consider that different missions will be more suitable to different builds) and because I just don't see that CoT will primarily attract those kinds of players.

Personally I think that just making the completion reward big enough to "eclipse" (or overwhelm, overshadow or whatever is more appropriate) repeat-farming will be a better way to go overall. Sure, the end result may be the same as your suggestion but the presentation is way different, and presentation is important.
There are also other ways to incentivise mission completion, like unlocks for other things.

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Segev wrote:
Segev wrote:

...(smart stuff)...

This is quite so. Yet, even if the mechanics of the game supports 'winning through RP', there are lots of players who only See the 'acquisition' route to 'winning' and only play that way.

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Like most, I've been keeping

Like most, I've been keeping an eye on this back and forth between you while trying not to get involved, but you said some things that are really good and bear repeating and expounding upon.
I'm going to start with a truism of Systems Engineering:
In any system in which humans are a component, no matter the design of the system, the performace of said system WILL ALWAYS be dependant upon the motivations of the people in the system.

In other words, you could say that "the metrics drive the performance".

No matter what someone's job description is, for example, if they are graded and measured to some metric, their performance will always be to maximise that metric. and the whole enterprise will suffer the ramifications of that performance, for good or ill.

Likewise in a game like this. No matter what game system the developers give us, individual players will adjust their play to accomplish whatever it is they set as their goal, their motivation. So some players will want to level as fast as possible, whether it is enjoyable to do so or not. I never understood why someone would do that, but to each his own. No matter what game system the developers make, those people will discover the most time-efficient means of leveling.
And one could extend this to all manner of player motivations, whether it be achievement hunting, PvP, or what have you. How many times have you been in group content where the players are more concerned with their personal DPS than whether you actually beat the content? If you give players DPS meters, you will see it, it is only human nature. (DCUO swamp thing seasonal event was a perfect example of that. DPS were so proud they topped the list of damage output, completely ignorant of the fact that their disregard of the fight mechanics prolonged the battle by triple)

Developers will try to keep people from breaking the game and maybe even try to steer players into fostering a cooperative and engaging community environment, but they will never prevent people from gaming the systems to achieve their own motivations.

One of the ways that developers can influence players motivations is to maximize immersion. If players are so immersed in their character that they stop thinking of the game system and just enjoy the gameplay, they are probably less inclined to take advantage of the system itself. In other words, as long as players are immersed, the developers can focus the players motivations on the wizard rather than at the man behind the curtain. A rewards system also drives player motivations, so putting landmarks in hard to find spots will actually cause players to spend time in game exploring where otherwise they would not. And the longer time players spend in game consuming NonRecurringEngineering content vice recurring content the more value the developers get out of their own effort. Because let us not forget that the developers are people too and they have their own motivations that drive the game performance as well.


I like to take your ideas and supersize them. This isn't criticism, it is flattery. I come with nothing but good will and a spirit of team-building. If you take what I write any other way, that is probably just because I wasn't very clear.
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Different play styles will

Different play styles will happen, that's fine. It's not a written-in-stone directive that they all yield the same rewards, is it? Some people liked collecting badges. That was often grindy and didn't generate a ton of INF for those people. People dealt with that as it was. I'm not saying that they ought to take mission-repeat farming out entirely, just that they make it strictly less rewarding than completing the missions. It'll still BE there, it just won't be so efficient as completing missions. The reason for this is "because they're missions". It is in their nature that they be completed in due course. If you want a never-ending supply of mobs to beat on, I would think outdoor street sweeping ought to be the thing that provides that.

Also, each of us has our own ideas as to where the RP should and should not creep into the design. I, personally, think it's totally necessary to respect it here and make missions work in such a way that you get rewarded more for completing missions than for rinse-repeating them, because it causes the missions and NPCs giving them to actually operate in a way that conveys the feeling of "superhero MMORPG" as opposed to "Minecrafty grindfest for earnings". The game can't be everything to everyone, but it can be designed to be a good example of what it is intended to be, and if that's "superhero MMORPG" then I think it ought to give you more for completing missions than for choosing not to on purpose.

As far as escrowing the IGC for the end, look, you're going to give some IGC as mobs drop, then at then end you get a bonus, which will be computed based on how many of each type of badguy you defeated. You can either just show people the total at the end or give them the full breakdown, but in any event more kills means more lootz. So I think people will be fine with that, if it's presented as a bonus at the end that gerows as you mop up the baddies, and not as a witholding of loot for later.

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Radiac wrote:
Radiac wrote:

Different play styles will happen, that's fine. It's not a written-in-stone directive that they all yield the same rewards, is it?

I almost agree with this idea. Stop-start farming shouldn't be encouraged. But quest rushing shouldn't be encouraged either. I think a better way is to try and find a balance of rewards between the playstyles and give the player the freedom to choose.

Radiac wrote:

Also, each of us has our own ideas as to where the RP should and should not creep into the design. I, personally, think it's totally necessary to respect it here and make missions work in such a way that you get rewarded more for completing missions than for rinse-repeating them, because it causes the missions and NPCs giving them to actually operate in a way that conveys the feeling of "superhero MMORPG" as opposed to "Minecrafty grindfest for earnings". The game can't be everything to everyone, but it can be designed to be a good example of what it is intended to be, and if that's "superhero MMORPG" then I think it ought to give you more for completing missions than for choosing not to on purpose.

I can decide my superhero to be a sadistic wanker who takes delight in waiting just long enough for the bad guys to get up again just so I can hurt them some more and not care one bit if the main bad guy robs a bank. I don't have to be traditionally heroic and the game shouldn't try and make me. It's pointless to discuss RP with you because you keep trying to force your idea of Rp onto my characters.
And quests already do give you more rewards for completing them than for stop-starting with a bonus. The problem is that the bonus is not equal to rewards of stop start farming. If all you wanted to do was bring that bonus up to be equal to stop start farming it wouldn't bother me. What you want is to raise the bonus at the expense of a different play style.

Radiac wrote:

As far as escrowing the IGC for the end, look, you're going to give some IGC as mobs drop, then at then end you get a bonus, which will be computed based on how many of each type of badguy you defeated.

Is this a confirmed reward system or you're idea of what you would like? I can't think of any MMO that does rewards this way, they give a set bonus based on the quest itself. They are like 'Beat up John Doe and I will give you 50 bucks', sometimes they will also say 'If you beat up his friends too I will give you another 20'. The goal is to beat up John and an optional goal is beat up his friends. I can't think of any games where the quest reward is based on how many enemies you fight. Even in hunt quests the amount you can earn changes. The quest bonuses are based on other things like location, player level and difficulty and not how many guys you fight. If the emphasis is on kill for reward then things like stealth, spiking, rushing, puzzle solving or any other creative solution all take a back seat. If the game was just a beat em up thats fine, but I don't think thats what this game is going to be.

There is a large section of players that find joy in earning the most and having the best in a game. They will never care about story or setting or anything else. All the Rp and game theme arguments you make for changing something they enjoy do not apply to them. The harder you make it for them to do what they enjoy the quicker they will stop playing. As a gamer I agree with you and will say good bye with a smile on my face because they can have a bad influence on a game. But for every type of play style that is discouraged the smaller the player base becomes.
By accepting these players and their play style into the game you can design things to suit that play style without it hurting the game. Having quests or locations in the world that are obviously suited for farming let MWM have some control over how much these guys can earn but still lets them do what they want to.

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For clarity, everything I

For clarity, everything I have typed and am typing in this thread here is me discussing my own ideas, those having been previously mentioned above in this thread. I'm not talking about how the game definitely WILL be, just how I'd do it if I were calling the shots.

Now, explain to me why acting like "a sadistic wanker" should give you mission rewards commensurate with those that you'd get if you actually completed the mission instead and actually acted like, I don't know, a "hero" or something. Is it a hero game or a sadistic wanker game? You tell me. In my mind, the fact that that RP choice is technically possible is the precise reason for making the rewards WORSE for it. Once the player starts getting rewarded as much or more for doing that kind of stuff, the game has ceased doing a good job of conveying it's intended "feel" of "you're a hero" or "you're a villain". In villain terms, starting the mission and then rinse-repeating in after the first 90% is like saying "I shall RULE the WORLD!" and then just beating up the same 90 cops over and over again while making no progress toward your supposed goal. And then somehow, because of a quirk in the game mechanics, you end up rich beyond your wildest dreams anyway.

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I already said I'm not going

I already said I'm not going to discuss RP with you anymore Radiac. The reason is because you are trying to turn other players into actors with the role you have decided them to play. RP seems to be the only reason you can give for your ideas here because you never comment on anything but that.
If you want to talk more about your idea you have get that RPing and acting are different or you have to drop the RP stuff altogether.

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Segev wrote:
Segev wrote:

I believe the issue being raised is that there becomes an inherent strain between a desire to complete missions for a number of reasons and the fact that doing so may be an erroneous gameplay-move for "playing the game the best you can." This kind of thing happens when the game's purpose (real or imagined) is out of alignment with what the game's mechanics encourage as optimal play.
If you were playing chess with the mindset that you're RPing the King, and have a duty to protect your subjects, and that your black-square bishop is actually a treacherous vizier prone to betrayal, that would make your moves to match that RP be highly sub-optimal compared to the moves needed to win the game. Likewise, if you can farm a mission repeatedly as long as you don't finish it and get far more wealth/loot/XP/whatever, and thus make a stronger, better character with more capability to "win" the game, feeling like you should RP the mission as something serious that needs to be dealt with and concluded with minimal damage to the city and its citizens would cause you to make poorer gameplay-moves than you otherwise might if you viewed it strictly as a game to be "won."
The question, therefore, is what the purpose of the game is, from a design standpoint. Is it to just be an acquisition game, where whatever you do to maximize your rewards and advance your mechanical power is the right way to play it, and choosing to pay attention to plot motivations and RP concerns is something you CAN do, but you should feel is so much its own reward that you don't mind playing the game "poorly" in terms of good gameplay decisions? Or is it to be a game which encourages players to immerse themselves in their characters, at least to the point of playing out the tropes of its genre is the smartest/best gameplay move they can make?
Once you identify the goal of the game (and there's nothing wrong with "acquisition games," lest my prior paragraph seem prejudicial), you want to design mechanics to facilitate that kind of game. D&D is a game that was originally for exploring dungeons, beating up monsters, and taking their stuff. Its mechanics are very good at that. It is not, generally, a game about political intrigue, and its mechanics are often...lackluster...when such games are run.

I still see the same problem that this assumes that "loot" is all people care about.

Now...if CoH was broken in that way....then why didn't we all sign on every day and farm? Did anyone here do that? I think the former players in this thread prove false the idea that farming was the "most rewarding" way to play. I may have done it twice a week....but only for two or three runs for kicks....then I was on to other things.

So why didn't we do that if farming was so much more rewarding than everything else? There are reasons for that which are not being mentioned in this "incentive" conversation. I had a badger...didn't we all? Why would we do that? It's a total waste of time. I did it because I liked seeing that list of badges grow. Once you get beyond the accolade badges, you got almost no real reward for it. Except....collecting them WAS the reward, wasn't it?

Anyone here a min/maxer? I wasn't. I think I had one or two characters where I really hit mids and tried to squeeze every ounce of "uber" out of them. It was kinda fun to do that...but only occasionally. I couldn't do that every time. Why is that? Why would I choose not to maximize every character?

We know the answer, right? Because there isn't just one goal or way to have fun. CoH offered a ton of options and I tried most of them. I think that's true of most of us here too. If farming was the "best" way...then we were all stupid. I don't think that's why we didn't do it.

Farming is good for those days when you don't feel like reading the mission lore, don't feel like socializing, and just want to go smash things in a hurry. Maybe I only had 30 minutes to play that day....my farm mission was perfect for that. And after a few years...frankly I was tired of the 1-20 game and just used my farm mission to level new characters to 20. I tried so many alts pre-20 that it got stale. Most didn't make it past 20 though so that was a great starting point.

CoH had it right. Farming was an option...but only an option. Clearly we all felt it was one of the lower tier options since we spent almost all our time doing other things which are being alleged here to be "less rewarding". I think our preferences prove that was not the case.

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I disagree with the assertion

I disagree with the assertion that RP is not a valid reason to affect the design of an MMORPG in terms of missions and rewards. For every time Brainbot want's to demand I give a "reason" for why I would do what I would do, all I can say is, if you're not listening to the RP-based REASONS I have already stated, or if you claim that what I call a reason is does not meet your definition of what a reason is, then that's your hard luck. I stand by my position, and the way I would design a game is maybe not the way Brainbot would. Neither of us are actually tasked with designing City of Titans anyway, so Brainbot's design and mine both exist solely in our own imaginations anyway.

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Radiac wrote:
Radiac wrote:

I disagree with the assertion that RP is not a valid reason to affect the design of an MMORPG in terms of missions and rewards. For every time Brainbot want's to demand I give a "reason" for why I would do what I would do, all I can say is, if you're not listening to the RP-based REASONS I have already stated, or if you claim that what I call a reason is does not meet your definition of what a reason is, then that's your hard luck. I stand by my position, and the way I would design a game is maybe not the way Brainbot would. Neither of us are actually tasked with designing City of Titans anyway, so Brainbot's design and mine both exist solely in our own imaginations anyway.

Well first, I asked for an answer to a question you don't seem to want to answer. Why don't you agree that rush completion will lead to people becoming bored and leaving the game quicker? I asked before that you to stop changing what I say so you can make an argument.

Second, your rp based reasons are not based on rp. Maybe you are using some definition for rp that I have never heard of or maybe you are just being difficult. I don't know. Whatever the case is, you have a single idea of the right way to play a character in a superhero setting and any deviation should be punished or at least very discouraged. It's so frustrating because you don't admit the selfishness in it. If you could open that closed mind a little you might see that if rewards were brought into a closer balance then more people could do what they enjoy doing.

Thirdly, I did listen to your 'rp reasons', in quotes because rp is not the right word to use IMO. I explained why those reasons are selfish and not in the games best interest IMO. They are too inflexible and won't appeal to as many players as rewarding any choice in play style equally would be. All you want to do is repeat that heroes should be this way and villains should be that way and if you don't play how I play you should be spanked. Is that really the position you want to stand behind?

In conclusion, maybe you could discuss the issues I have with your position instead of blaming me for not agreeing with it.

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In response to "first"

In response to "first"

I don't have mathematical proof that demonstrates that people will not get bored and leave faster in the event that mission-repeat farming is rewarded measurably less than mission completion. You don't have any proof that well-rewarded mission-repeat farming is going to cause anyone to hang around any longer than they otherwise would either. Just because you said it could happen doesn't prove that it will, and as such doesn't require that I prove that it won't. You have your theory, and I have mine, and that's all they are. Theories.

I don't think people came and went in CoX based on the amount of missions they had to complete or could farm. I think it makes no difference at all. I base this on nothing but my own experiences playing and then not playing CoX and I don't think the farming that was available had any effect on that decision, for me. I got bored of it when I got bored of it. Farming had no effect on that on way or the other, as far as I can remember.

But if you want an argument, here goes:

On the one hand, making mission-completion the more well-rewarded way to play might, as you claimed, cause people to get bored and leave faster, as you stated. On the other hand, there's no evidence that that claim would in fact happen. It's also possible that making mission-completion more rewarding than mission-repeat farming might cause people to stay with the game longer, have more fun, make more money at their jobs, have a better relationship with their significant others, eat healthier, make better career decisions, and send their kids to better colleges. There's an equal amount of evidence (zero) supporting that claim as there is for the one you've made.

In response to "Second"
YOU SAID that RP was not a reason to affect mission-repeat farming, then demanded a "reason". I SAID that it is a reason, and then explained that the game would feel and work more like a superhero game if it had the design I'm espousing. That, to me, is an RP-driven reason to do the thing my way. The NPC giving you the mission is doing a crappy job of being a believable NPC if they're not holding you to the task of finishing the mission they gave you. If the rules reward you as much for repeating it forever as they do for actually finishing it, then every NPC is apparently some great idiot. In an RP sense, how stupid am I supposed to believe these NPCs are? And why is a superhero getting paid directly for each badguy he defeats immediately upon defeat? Shouldn't the rewards come from the NPC that gave you the mission to do, and thus be given when you report back and tell them that it's all done?

In response to "third"
If you really want to reward every play style with the same amount of IGC and loot drops, you have to reward badge hunting with as much IGC and loots drops as anything else. You also have to reward going AFK at the beginning of the Task Force then showing up at the end as much as actually participating in the TF for the whole thing. You also have to reward, with IGC and loot drops, just standing around socializing, because some of us liked to just log on and do that. You also need to reward, with IGC and loot drops, all of the time spent working on one's build, crafting items, and designing bases, which was stuff some people liked to do and didn't have such rewards as doing missions had. Also, you have to normalize all content such that the soloer get's the same rate of return on solo play as the large multi-team league gets for doing a big raid. None of that is ever going to happen.

If people know they're getting rewarded significantly less for farming the same mission forever, and they still want to do it, then they can. Maybe they want a badge, maybe they just want to see how fast they can plow through that mission, as a metric of build performance. Whatever. It;s still there, you can still do that. You just don't get rewarded as much for that as you do for actually accomplishing a successful mission to completion. I'm not taking that away, or punishing it, I'm just rewarding it less than certain other options, because I feel that it's necessary to do this, in order to give the game the kind of feel I think it should have.

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Radiac wrote:
Radiac wrote:

In response to "first"

I don't have mathematical proof that demonstrates that people will not get bored and leave faster in the event that mission-repeat farming is rewarded measurably less than mission completion. You don't have any proof that well-rewarded mission-repeat farming is going to cause anyone to hang around any longer than they otherwise would either. Just because you said it could happen doesn't prove that it will, and as such doesn't require that I prove that it won't. You have your theory, and I have mine, and that's all they are. Theories.

I am not asking for proof. I am asking for a reason. Thats how discussions work. I state an opinion and give my reason for it then you counter the opinion with your own and give your reason for it. This continues as we give opinions on each others reasons and then on the reasons for the reasons and so forth. Its how people come to understandings.
Other wise all we are doing is saying I'm right and you are wrong' to one another.
Let me try one more time. My opinion is that encouraging the farmers to rush through quests will make them quit the game sooner. The reason I have that opinion is the game will have a limited amount of quests and when the farmer does the last one and has nothing more to satisfy their farming desire they will leave the game. Now remember your opinion is doing the same quest over and over is bad so you can't tell me they can go do raids.

Radiac wrote:

In response to "Second"
YOU SAID that RP was not a reason to affect mission-repeat farming, then demanded a "reason". I SAID that it is a reason, and then explained that the game would feel and work more like a superhero game if it had the design I'm espousing. That, to me, is an RP-driven reason to do the thing my way. The NPC giving you the mission is doing a crappy job of being a believable NPC if they're not holding you to the task of finishing the mission they gave you. If the rules reward you as much for repeating it forever as they do for actually finishing it, then every NPC is apparently some great idiot. In an RP sense, how stupid am I supposed to believe these NPCs are? And why is a superhero getting paid directly for each badguy he defeats immediately upon defeat? Shouldn't the rewards come from the NPC that gave you the mission to do, and thus be given when you report back and tell them that it's all done?

I said rp wasn't a reason because you seem to think rp means one way to see things. Just because you can't think of a way to role play a greedy hero who tricks those around him into thinking he is great doesn't mean I can't. No I don't think there is anything wrong with being rewarded when a character defeats a foe immediately. Just because you can't think of a hero robbing each guy he beats up doesn't mean that my imagination is so limited. No I don't think the rewards have to be a payment form a contact for a job well done. I always thought the idea of rewards in a superhero game would be more open to interpretation to allow the player to decide if he is getting money or reputation or whatever for the job done.
If you want to play the true blue american superhero I am not going to stop you. I think you should be rewarded equally for choosing to play that character as I am playing one who is not that heroic. Thats not good enough for you though. Unless I also want to play the true blue american hero I can't get rewards. Thats what I have been saying all along. Your rp reasons are nothing more than justifications to support your selfish position of the right way to play a character.

Radiac wrote:

In response to "third"
If you really want to reward every play style with the same amount of IGC and loot drops, you have to reward badge hunting with as much IGC and loots drops as anything else. You also have to reward going AFK at the beginning of the Task Force then showing up at the end as much as actually participating in the TF for the whole thing. You also have to reward, with IGC and loot drops, just standing around socializing, because some of us liked to just log on and do that. You also need to reward, with IGC and loot drops, all of the time spent working on one's build, crafting items, and designing bases, which was stuff some people liked to do and didn't have such rewards as doing missions had. Also, you have to normalize all content such that the soloer get's the same rate of return on solo play as the large multi-team league gets for doing a big raid. None of that is ever going to happen.

Seriously? You want to exaggerate my position again to make a point? And you want to do it with these easily discredited suggestions?
As I understand badges, there are three types, location badges, quest badges and combat badges. These are earned by playing the game and facing enemies. There is no reason to offer additional rewards for getting them because you will already be getting rewards. Any bonus reward would be the same as a quest completion bonus.
Not even going to discuss the insanity of comparing farming to standing around in or out of a raid.
Building a character, crafting and bases are reasons why you farm. They are the way to use the rewards from doing other things.
Groups are rewarded more because they usually can do more things quicker than a single player can. Bonuses for grouping are a separate matter, it is to encourage players to team and in doing also builds a community. This is about keeping people playing longer than they would normally. Forming teams increases the chance to form friendships with other players. When your friends play a game you are more likely to keep playing it just to join your friends.
These examples are lame and don't address anything I have been saying. You are trying to say that not everything has to be rewarded equally. I mostly agree with that.
But in the case of stop start farming and quest completion farming I don't agree. Both styles can be rewarded as equal as possible without it affecting the players on either side.
In the end, rewards should be based on the effort and difficulty to complete something. In a perfect world stop start quest farming wouldn't be the best way to get rewards but that doesn't mean it has to be worse than any other method of equal effort or difficulty. If there is less effort and difficulty to stop start quests than completing a quest then that should be a factor in making the rewards for both equal.
Over reacting and making quest completion the best way to gain rewards is just limiting the appeal of the game and doesn't fix anything.

Radiac wrote:

If people know they're getting rewarded significantly less for farming the same mission forever, and they still want to do it, then they can. Maybe they want a badge, maybe they just want to see how fast they can plow through that mission, as a metric of build performance. Whatever. It;s still there, you can still do that. You just don't get rewarded as much for that as you do for actually accomplishing a successful mission to completion. I'm not taking that away, or punishing it, I'm just rewarding it less than certain other options, because I feel that it's necessary to do this, in order to give the game the kind of feel I think it should have.

For crying out loud. Getting rewarded less is the core reason I don't agree with your idea. Its true that you're not taking away the activity or punishing it, even though you clearly want to and how it will be seen. What you are doing is discouraging it out of some kind of spite. You are saying 'do things my way or don't get rewarded for playing'. Youc an try and spray it with rose perfume and say 'hey you can still do what you want just for less rewards than this way of playing' but it still stinks of a selfish agenda.

The game can still have the same kind of feel you think it should have if you stop worrying so much about what other people are doing and just do the things you want to do. How do you not see that?
If I want to farm one quest over and over and it gives me the same rewards as you doing a bunch of different quests then how does it change what you want to do?

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harpospoke wrote:
harpospoke wrote:

I still see the same problem that this assumes that "loot" is all people care about.

That really doesn't apply to the post you quoted me in. If the goals of gameplay - which, in an MMO, typically involve making the most effective character one can to accomplish game-goals (and personal goals, which are usually more easily achieved with characters that are more capable in terms of game mechanics) - are out of alignment with the goals of what kind of game it is to be, then there is a problem. The question I raised is what kind of game you want CoT to be; what are the goals as a game that you want it to meet? That you want to be able to have?

The answers to these questions should guide the design of gameplay rewards, so that those rewards are more easily or reliably attained when playing the game in a manner which supports and pursues the goals you identified for the game.

If you want a game where heroes rescue kittens from trees, but that activity gives you 1 XP and 1 IGC each time you do it, but you can deliberately put kittens in trees to "rescue" for the same rewards, you've created instead a game where "heroes" spend their time putting kittens in trees and taking them back out. You probably want to redesign the game so "heroes" can't deliberately engineer kittens being put into trees.

If you don't mind that, or you want a game about the cynical examination of "heroes" who create the very problems they solve for vainglorious reasons, however, that ability to put kittens into trees to later rescue for rewards is beautiful design.

Now, if you are going to rejoin with, "but that still presumes all anybody cares about is loot!" I ask you to please suggest other things about which people might care which would belie this.

The idea here is that you design the reward system - whatever it is - to best reward the kind of behavior that the game is supposed to have characters engaging in. A game about political intrigue should reward engaging in political intrigue more than it rewards slaughtering all who oppose you with ultraviolence. A game about beating the tar out of enemies in an arena should reward doing that more than it does rigging fights behind the scenes (whereas a game which rewards the latter had best be a game about the kind of back-room deals that can happen in keyfabe).

It's about design principles: identify what you want the game to be about, and then design it to reward and empower acting in those roles.

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Look, in every DnD game I've

Look, in every DnD game I've played, there inevitably comes a time when some kid realizes they can make magic swords for less gold than they'll get for selling them, according to the cost and price numbers in the book. Those kids, almost universally, end up telling you "I decide to stop adventuring, and just make a fortune making and selling swords. Game over, I win!" At which point, as DM, you look at them and say "Okay, well, your character can certainly do that. The rest of us are going into the dungeon now to fight some dragons, however. You can either come with us or go make swords forever, your choice. If you're not coming into the dungeon, you have to sit there quietly while the rest of us roll dice and make decisions in combat for like 4 hours, or I can call you mom now to come get you right now, if you want. Your call."

In other words, the usual half-a$$ed amount of detail they give you in game economies USUALLY ruins the game, if that's all you end up caring about. That, to me, is what created mission repeat farming as a practice in CoX in the first place, so I'm not thrilled about keeping it around in CoT.

As for rewarding different types of role play differently, I'm 100% in favor of it. If this were a fantasy game about Tolkien-esque hobbits in The Shire, and you came in trying to RP "Hey, Frodo! My name is LeetXXorz001 I'm an alien cyborg from another planet! Wanna see my spaceship? It's has a SWEET computer system , and lasers!" I would personally not write the game in a way that actively rewarded that. To take it further, standing around beating up the same 90 Uruk-Hai in Eisengard over and over would not be rewarded by Elrond and Gandalf as much as actually defeating Saruman at the end of the map.

As for repeat farming in CoX, I think the reasons people did it can be separated into two categories:

1. People who did it to powerlevel characters and gain tangible rewards (IGC and items).

2. People who did it for other, non-IGC, non-item drop related reasons.

It seems to me that the people in group 1 will not miss repeat farming if it is made less efficient than other options, they'll simply move on to the other, better options. They're min/maxers, that's what they do. So that group is not bothered by my design. The second group was repeating missions primarily for reasons NOT motivated by gaining IGC and items, by it's very definition, and as such they shouldn't care that the rewards rates are not as good there either. So basically nobody's put out by this.

And as I've already explained, any attempt to reward all styles of play equally is doomed from the start, so I'm not inclined to try to do that, at all, anywhere in the game. Different rewards for different things works fine for me. The only way I can see really being "fair" about it is to simply disconnect the rewards from the actual game play in such a way that players simply accrue IGC and randomized drops over time, regardless of what they're doing or how they're playing. In that scenario, you could stand around doing nothing and watch your IGC slowly tick up over time. More likely you'd just log in to your three or four separate accounts and keep them running all the time so as to scoop up as much loot as possible over time. That doesn't appeal to me, so I wouldn't design it that way.

In a game world where superheroes exist, I think a hero who intentionally chooses to be a d1ck and NOT defeat the end boss would be treated with some amount of disdain, resentment, and outright hatred by the helpless victims and the NPCs who are depending on them to come through for them and do the mission. In the game design, therefore, I would reward repeat framing LESS than completing the mission and acting like a hero, to represent that. You can still choose to act that way, and you'll see what rewards it gets you. It might even get you funny looks and not-so friendly treatment form some NPCs later on, as I think it probably should, for RP realism. Thus, in an RP sense, you are made to feel as if you didn't do what was asked of you, you've let people down, disappointed them, they're mad at you, and now you're worse off, in some ways, for it, including having made less IGC and gotten fewer random drops. I definitely prefer that to actually giving the d1ck character EQUAL rewards for being a d1ck. THAT, to me, is the MOST non-immersive part of the whole thing. I mean, Superman would not be so highly-thought-of if he were known to routinely let Lex Luthor get away while taking a piss in Jimmie Olsen's gas tank. For that reason I think the tangible rewards for heroes ought to come from doing the HEROIC thing, not from just doing whatever the f*ck you want as if there we never any bad consequences of those choices. And as I've said, failing to advance your villain character's plans for world domination by simply doing repeat farming, as a villain, is just as out of character for a villain as it is for a hero. I tend to couch everything in the hero context, but I believe the same applies to villains too.

Lastly, I would not design a game where you can ever run out of missions to do. You may get to the point where you've done every mission there is at least once, but you'd still be able to do a mission (again) if you just want a mission to do. For one thing, TFs can be done repeatedly. For another, I'd have things like the Radio and Newspaper in CoX that could always be counted on to get you a mission (which would be a random one from a set, which set I would add things to in new content releases over time) if you wanted one. Also, there should be NPCs that can always give you a mission against a specific faction if you want, like the one contact in the revamped Dark Astoria that just gave the same few missions over and over against DA baddies. I would probably make the police the "you can always get a mission from me" NPCs for heroes and maybe like bartenders in seedy bars the NPCs for villains for that. I think that would give them some immersive flavor as "go-to" people for stuff like that. Maybe you'd even have some factions that are strongly opposed to each other like the FBI and The Mob whereby the FBI NPC in the federal building can always give you missions against The Mob and then a guy who knows a guy who has "family" connections to The Mob tends bar someplace or works in a garage and is always outside smoking a cigarette or something.

For this reason, I don't think there's any place where mission repeat farming is going to cause players to stick around when they would have otherwise gotten bored and left. In fact, if you have enough procedurally generated missions (they've talked about having this this), TFs, radios, newspapers, and repeatable missions from NPC contacts to do, that would most likely stay fresher longer for the players than mission repeat farming, I think. At least there you're doing the same set of, say, 100 different missions over and over, but they're different from each other and there are enough of them that you don;t do the same one all that often. Also, you end up doing them in different order, with different doors to go to and on different map with different badguys, etc. And then there's still street sweeping, alting, PVP, and doing large raids.

Let's say that to procedurally generate a mission, you need a map, an end boss, and plot. If you have, say, 10 different maps, 10 different end boss characters, and three basic plots (click the glowwie, or defeat all in the map, or just defeat the end boss) that gives you 300 different missions that you could make by mixing and matching all of the different permutations and combinations. So if your game needs repeat farming to make it playable longer, you're doing it wrong.

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Radiac wrote:
Radiac wrote:

In other words, the usual half-a$$ed amount of detail they give you in game economies USUALLY ruins the game, if that's all you end up caring about. That, to me, is what created mission repeat farming as a practice in CoX in the first place, so I'm not thrilled about keeping it around in CoT.

I agreed that farming needs to be kept in check a long time ago. Not only stop start farming but all farming. You can't keep farming in check by just changing the way to farm you can only keep it in check by not providing a clear best way to farm.

Radiac wrote:

As for rewarding different types of role play differently, I'm 100% in favor of it. If this were a fantasy game about Tolkien-esque hobbits in The Shire, and you came in trying to RP "Hey, Frodo! My name is LeetXXorz001 I'm an alien cyborg from another planet! Wanna see my spaceship? It's has a SWEET computer system , and lasers!" I would personally not write the game in a way that actively rewarded that. To take it further, standing around beating up the same 90 Uruk-Hai in Eisengard over and over would not be rewarded by Elrond and Gandalf as much as actually defeating Saruman at the end of the map.

This is so far from the point I was making. RP does not and should not affect rewards. The guy who wants to be an alien in a fantasy game is not getting any rewards for being an alien. And the true blue hero is not getting any rewards just for being a true blue hero. Role playing is about setting goals and motivations for oneself. When the game decides what the 'right' goals and 'right' motivations are by limiting rewards it is telling players they are wrong for doing things different. That type of message is fine in some games, ones where you are given a specific character to play. It is not a good thing in role playing game that offers you the choice to play the type of hero or villain you want to play.

And I am not asking Elrond or Gandalf to reward me at all for beating up the same Uruk-Hai. I am saying that my beating up those Uruk-hai should not give me less rewards than you beating up those Uruk-Hai. Our motivations for doing it should not change the rewards gained. If Elrond and Gandalf hire us to beat those Uruk-Hai up then you should get the payment if you go back to them with their ears on a necklace and I shouldn't get the payment if I don't. That payment is not made up of 90% of what is in the pockets of the Uruk-Hai. I earned my reward for defeating an enemy when I defeat the enemy and the quest bonus or payment is added on top. It's not made up of what I would have earned.

Radiac wrote:

As for repeat farming in CoX, I think the reasons people did it can be separated into two categories:

1. People who did it to powerlevel characters and gain tangible rewards (IGC and items).

2. People who did it for other, non-IGC, non-item drop related reasons.

It seems to me that the people in group 1 will not miss repeat farming if it is made less efficient than other options, they'll simply move on to the other, better options. They're min/maxers, that's what they do. So that group is not bothered by my design. The second group was repeating missions primarily for reasons NOT motivated by gaining IGC and items, by it's very definition, and as such they shouldn't care that the rewards rates are not as good there either. So basically nobody's put out by this.

Nobody would be put out if the rewards were equal. All that is different in our position is that in mine players would be rewarded equally for the choice they make. Is a players choice important to you at all?
Also, people can do things for more than one reason. Your group one and two are not the only two groups and I think would cross over into one another a lot.

Radiac wrote:

And as I've already explained, any attempt to reward all styles of play equally is doomed from the start, so I'm not inclined to try to do that, at all, anywhere in the game. Different rewards for different things works fine for me. The only way I can see really being "fair" about it is to simply disconnect the rewards from the actual game play in such a way that players simply accrue IGC and randomized drops over time, regardless of what they're doing or how they're playing. In that scenario, you could stand around doing nothing and watch your IGC slowly tick up over time. More likely you'd just log in to your three or four separate accounts and keep them running all the time so as to scoop up as much loot as possible over time. That doesn't appeal to me, so I wouldn't design it that way.

You didn't explain it. You just gave some crazy exaggerated examples just like you give here.
I can do that too.
What if the game rewarded melee play style more than it rewarded ranged play style?
They shouldn't because it would be dumb. Just like the only way to be fair is to disconnect rewards from game play is dumb. These exaggerated examples are all dumb. We are talking about rewards from start stop farming vs completion farming. Nothing else.

Radiac wrote:

In a game world where superheroes exist, I think a hero who intentionally chooses to be a d1ck and NOT defeat the end boss would be treated with some amount of disdain, resentment, and outright hatred by the helpless victims and the NPCs who are depending on them to come through for them and do the mission. In the game design, therefore, I would reward repeat framing LESS than completing the mission and acting like a hero, to represent that. You can still choose to act that way, and you'll see what rewards it gets you. It might even get you funny looks and not-so friendly treatment form some NPCs later on, as I think it probably should, for RP realism. Thus, in an RP sense, you are made to feel as if you didn't do what was asked of you, you've let people down, disappointed them, they're mad at you, and now you're worse off, in some ways, for it, including having made less IGC and gotten fewer random drops. I definitely prefer that to actually giving the d1ck character EQUAL rewards for being a d1ck. THAT, to me, is the MOST non-immersive part of the whole thing. I mean, Superman would not be so highly-thought-of if he were known to routinely let Lex Luthor get away while taking a piss in Jimmie Olsen's gas tank. For that reason I think the tangible rewards for heroes ought to come from doing the HEROIC thing, not from just doing whatever the f*ck you want as if there we never any bad consequences of those choices. And as I've said, failing to advance your villain character's plans for world domination by simply doing repeat farming, as a villain, is just as out of character for a villain as it is for a hero. I tend to couch everything in the hero context, but I believe the same applies to villains too.

And we are back to RP again. You do know that saying the same thing a different way does not change what is being said right? Every time you say that heroes or npcs have to act a certain way I am just going to say that they don't have to act that way. You say that being rewarded for being a dick is non-immersive. To me, being rewarded for being a one dimensional 'truth justice and the american way' hero is non-immersive. I read this game was going to have an alignment system? That is where consequences for actions should be handled. RP actions have RP consequences. IGC is not RP.
As for the bold part, who are you to say what the heroic thing to do is? Seriously, how self important to claim your idea of heroics is the only type of heroics to get rewarded.
I can point out a lot of characters that do heroic things for selfish reasons and many heroes that are selfish. There isn't just one hero concept.

Radiac wrote:

Lastly, I would not design a game where you can ever run out of missions to do. You may get to the point where you've done every mission there is at least once, but you'd still be able to do a mission (again) if you just want a mission to do. For one thing, TFs can be done repeatedly. For another, I'd have things like the Radio and Newspaper in CoX that could always be counted on to get you a mission (which would be a random one from a set, which set I would add things to in new content releases over time) if you wanted one. Also, there should be NPCs that can always give you a mission against a specific faction if you want, like the one contact in the revamped Dark Astoria that just gave the same few missions over and over against DA baddies. I would probably make the police the "you can always get a mission from me" NPCs for heroes and maybe like bartenders in seedy bars the NPCs for villains for that. I think that would give them some immersive flavor as "go-to" people for stuff like that. Maybe you'd even have some factions that are strongly opposed to each other like the FBI and The Mob whereby the FBI NPC in the federal building can always give you missions against The Mob and then a guy who knows a guy who has "family" connections to The Mob tends bar someplace or works in a garage and is always outside smoking a cigarette or something.

For this reason, I don't think there's any place where mission repeat farming is going to cause players to stick around when they would have otherwise gotten bored and left. In fact, if you have enough procedurally generated missions (they've talked about having this this), TFs, radios, newspapers, and repeatable missions from NPC contacts to do, that would most likely stay fresher longer for the players than mission repeat farming, I think. At least there you're doing the same set of, say, 100 different missions over and over, but they're different from each other and there are enough of them that you don;t do the same one all that often. Also, you end up doing them in different order, with different doors to go to and on different map with different badguys, etc. And then there's still street sweeping, alting, PVP, and doing large raids.

Let's say that to procedurally generate a mission, you need a map, an end boss, and plot. If you have, say, 10 different maps, 10 different end boss characters, and three basic plots (click the glowwie, or defeat all in the map, or just defeat the end boss) that gives you 300 different missions that you could make by mixing and matching all of the different permutations and combinations. So if your game needs repeat farming to make it playable longer, you're doing it wrong.

So after all this, you think there is such a huge difference between stop start farming and completion farming that the solution is to create meaningless random quests. That doing procedural generated quests over and over is so different from stop starting the same quest over and over that it requires a 90-10 split in rewards? This right here says it all to me. An huge over reaction to very minor difference because you are too worried what others can do instead of seeing that it doesn't change what you can do. I don't think there is anything left to discuss Radiac.

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Your position that RP doesn't

Your position that RP doesn't matter in this conjecture is just your position. I have my own opinion about that. In my opinion, a game that is a Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game ought to be designed with role playing in mind for it to actually be what is bills itself as. You apparently disagree. You're entitled to your opinion, but don't type "RP does not and should not affect rewards." as if there were a law on the books making it illegal. That's YOUR rule, not mine. And whether or not you call it RP at all, the choices made by the players to either finish or not finish a mission would not, were I the designer, be set up in such a way as to reward infinite mission recursion of the same mission over and over without finishing it as much as finishing the mission. I call that "good, sound game design" because then the missions are working as the designer intended, not being perverted by some min/maxers to milk them for everything they're worth without having to travel to an new map. I would rather the game give better rewards for making you criss cross the city and do different missions, because it's what a superhero would do, it feels more superhero-y to me than just staying in one place and resetting the map over and over.

As far as "meaningless random quests" I do recall CoX having a lot of them. I liked them, in fact. I liked the inside jokes and references to pop culture, etc. Were I making the game, I would make more of that. But that's just me. And if a small number of people who enjoyed mission repeat farming SO much that they take one look at my game and say "WTF? I'm leaving!" then so be it.

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The supposition that

The supposition that repeating a mission without completion is somehow a perversion of the game play is an entirely false notion. It isn't a matter of "oh no players aren't playjng the game we want" in this particlar instance, it is more of "players are playing the game their way".

You may not like the idea that people don't immerse themsevles into the role play aspects of a game, but in a video game setting they don't have to either. There are players who don't read a single word of text beyond where to click to skip or get through the text. They don't care about the conceptual ideas behind character motivations.

They play the tame because of the way it plays (perhaps for the way they can customize the look) and the way they can customize the tactics with different builds (particlar for our game). There aee thise that look for their own particuar challenges wether that is figuring out how to wipe a particlar map as fast as possible or taking on the toughest spawn in the game solo.

There is absolutely no reason to enforce a particlar way to play through the game just because it is a "hero game" or more appropriately a comic book inspired game.

In the old game, the devs certainky didn't intend for players to use Riktin Pylons for dps testing their builds. Much less for players to end up posting their results on forums and collating their data. While this was a (very) small subset of the player base, there were players that played multiple hours as a result of those pylons. Between fighting the pylons repeatedly, to working toward optimizing their builds specifically just for those "pylon tests".

The truth is, farming in of itself does not negatively impact the game as a whole. While true the use of resetting a mission was a QoL feature and some players used it to "farm", this behavior isn't "bad" in the grand scheme of the game. So long as the reward rates (from xp to drops) are within the bounds of expected performance, how players go about doing what they do isn't a problem, so long as players are playing.

Grouping, mission completion bonuses, our achievement system are all forms of encourging players to complete content, but we don't have to enforce any of them (on most cases such as solo vs grouped content).

We even have ideas to encourage role play in certain settings for people to spend time in certain locations and performing certain actions. But we won't force players into these situations either.

Players doing the unexpected, making up their own challenges, running thier own rp events, contests, and games within the game is part of emergent gameplay. As long as everyone isn't outright using an exploit, hacking the game, or harrassing others, and they are playing the game then we've done our part as devs. If players manage to excese certain expectations in certain situations (because players out number devs and can do the unexpected) then we have to look at ways to make adjustments. Which is far different than precenting them from doing something like not beating the final boss because "heroes don't do that".


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Radiac wrote:
Radiac wrote:

For that reason I think the tangible rewards for heroes ought to come from doing the HEROIC thing, not from just doing whatever the f*ck you want as if there we never any bad consequences of those choices.

So tell us, what kind of HEROICS is there in getting bonus payments for the number of thugs you send to the hospital? I mean, aren't heroes supposed to do the right thing regardless of tangible rewards?

If you really want to get that far into "RP justification" then the whole system is already "tainted" by the fact that rewards are "forced" upon us.

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To blacke4dawn: You're right,

To blacke4dawn: You're right, and as I said, the half-baked economics that a game generally has tends to cause people to focus on the fake game currency more than the game probably ought to, but you pretty much have to have an in-game currency, so to some extent, you're stuck with that. This is my way of dealing with that and still maintaining a semblance of heroics, YMMV.

To Tannim222:

You typed "Grouping, mission completion bonuses, our achievement system are all forms of encourging players to complete content, but we don't have to enforce any of them (on most cases such as solo vs grouped content). "
What do you mean by "encouraging players to complete content" and what do you mean by "enforcing any of them"? Because up to now, Brainbot and I were talking about the idea of rewarding mission completion more than resetting and restarting. I had mentioned that I'd give people like 10% of each minion's IGC drop up front and the other 90% at the end, when completed. To me, nothing is being foisted upon anyone and people can still do whatever they like, there are just different IGC and item rewards for each option. I would try to make completing the mission the more lucrative option for a number of reasons, were it my decision to make, but what was discussed was not an enforced lock-out of other options. In other words, you can still try to use Rikti Pylons as a metric fo your build's overall power if you want to, but as you might expect, you're not going to make as much IGC doing that as you might by doing other stuff.

So if missions give best IGC and item results for completion and not so good rewards for resetting and farming, is that "encouraging mission completion" or "enforcing" mission completion, to you? Because to me, it's "encouraging", but I don't know about anyone else. So I just want to get the language straight.

And there's another factor I want to add:

Let's assume you somehow do all the data mining and end up making mission completion and mission reset farming exactly the same in terms of the IGC and item rewards to be gained from each, in the long run, on average. Even if you do that, that's still just an average. Sometimes, travel to the next mission is going to take longer than the average, so it's still a crapshoot and people will see the mission reset farming as the more reliable option and thus do that, if they're min/maxing. In the short run, it allows you to keep punching instead of stopping to fly to another door somewhere, and in the long run, it's "the same" one way or the other, so you stay put, I would think. Also, the mission reset farming can be done on the map of one's choice against the foes of one's choice. If reset farming averages out to be no better or worse than completion in the aggregate, assuming all farming is done on a mix of different maps, you're model assumes too little and underestimates the rate of rewards that the reset farmer gets. You have to compare mission completion of a set of what will likely be different missions on different maps, all of which are accessed through doors an above-average distance apart, to the most optimal single mission a person can do as a reset farm, then make those two things equal which, in the end, makes the mission completion the better option when compared to any other non-optimal reset farm. If you're going to do that, you're basically rewarding completion more than resetting anyway at that point, aren't you? It's certainly simpler to set it up such that completion is clearly better rather than do all the data mining to try to make them closer to equal at that point, I think.

But again, this all depends on your definition of "encouragement" and "enforcement".

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The main problem with the

The main problem with the proposal of withholding the majority reward rate upon completion is that it is harmful towards players whi may be attempting to progress and get disconnected or havto suddenly log off where all that progress is completely lost and they've only earned a fraction of reward for their play time.

It also requires very different metrics for rewards for spawn type based on the level - instanced vs world levels. Which is adds to the difficulty in maintaining parity since street sweeping can already fall behind missions for earnings over time. Even so ithe back end systems would have to be created separately, maintained, and monitored separately completely independant of one another which isn't a sane way of doing things.

Now while even our achievements and challenges system can be subject to some possible loss of progress as I noted above, how we are tracking achievements for bonuses will resolve a good portion of such problems.

But lets take your 90/10 scenario. It could be that optimal builds can still achieve a similar rate gain over time by resetting vs completing because they can avoid travel time and have found an optimal map size, spawn count and type for their particlar build. At least in theory since we're waxing theorhetical nonsense anyway.

The poi t of providing bonuses for completion that are cumulative with all the challenges achieved is to encourage completion. Not make play-through of content so low as to attempt to discourage ressetting a mission. You're postulating a solution to a problem that doesn't exist.


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Radiac wrote:
Radiac wrote:

Because up to now, Brainbot and I were talking about the idea of rewarding mission completion more than resetting and restarting. I had mentioned that I'd give people like 10% of each minion's IGC drop up front and the other 90% at the end, when completed. To me, nothing is being foisted upon anyone and people can still do whatever they like, there are just different IGC and item rewards for each option.

Umm, I was talking about stop start 'farming' vs mission completion 'farming'. I thought it was clear by all the times I said that.

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Tannim222 wrote:
Tannim222 wrote:

Now while even our achievements and challenges system can be subject to some possible loss of progress as I noted above, how we are tracking achievements for bonuses will resolve a good portion of such problems.

Is there a place where I can read about this system? Or should I just ask you here?

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Brainbot wrote:
Brainbot wrote:

Tannim222 wrote:
Now while even our achievements and challenges system can be subject to some possible loss of progress as I noted above, how we are tracking achievements for bonuses will resolve a good portion of such problems.
Is there a place where I can read about this system? Or should I just ask you here?

As of now, consider everything stated as subject to change, void where prohibited, batteries not included, etc.
You can ask me, though I can only provide the basic details.

The basics are that there will be a series of challenges which can be based on how the player plays through the game (stealthing a map, defeating all the spawns, etc...), completing all objectives including any possible side objectives, not being defeated, uncovering the entire map, and more. Some may be equated to speed of completion, or amounts of healing done in a mission, or number of spawns placed under a control effect (for the varying playstyles). There are many possible challenges. The more that is achieved, the greater possible reward bonuses are applied toward completion of the mission. There will be a scaling factor for team size (as some challenges may increase due to the team size). Some of these challenges are useful for street sweeping, and street sweeping may have its own challenges.

Now there is a possibility of allowing players to set up how they want to be rewarded, that is weighted toward per spawn or per achievement. This way, players have more options for how they would like to play the game and be rewarded. The same system may also be used for working toward rarer reward drops, drop rolls, bonus faction rep, and other things. Challenges may be cumulative over time. Such as the number of missions completed consecutively, the number of successive missions completed with no defeats, etc. The more of these cumulative challenges are met the greater the earned bonuses.

Once a challenge is failed, it isn't gone forever, but is reset so the player can start over again. Even if unique badges are awarded for an achievement, and the challenge is reset, instead of losing the badge, the badge remains, but the challenge levels are once again earnable. One fun thing we discussed is how this can be used for players who make their own version of 'hardcore rules' where they would reroll upon being defeated (not game enforced). As there were some players who did this on their own in the old game. The same could happen, but now they might have badges associated with it. Great way for adding badge rewards for pvp too. Yes, that means we can provide ways to earn rewards for pvp through challenges.


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Thanks Tannim222.

Thanks Tannim222.

I like this idea a lot. Rewards based on challenge is how I prefer rewards to be determined. Offering many different ways to increase the challenge is one of the best ways I have heard of to encourage many play styles without making any one of them a clear best choice.

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Radiac wrote:
Radiac wrote:

As for rewarding different types of role play differently, I'm 100% in favor of it. If this were a fantasy game about Tolkien-esque hobbits in The Shire, and you came in trying to RP "Hey, Frodo! My name is LeetXXorz001 I'm an alien cyborg from another planet! Wanna see my spaceship? It's has a SWEET computer system , and lasers!" I would personally not write the game in a way that actively rewarded that. To take it further, standing around beating up the same 90 Uruk-Hai in Eisengard over and over would not be rewarded by Elrond and Gandalf as much as actually defeating Saruman at the end of the map.
As for repeat farming in CoX, I think the reasons people did it can be separated into two categories:
1. People who did it to powerlevel characters and gain tangible rewards (IGC and items).
2. People who did it for other, non-IGC, non-item drop related reasons.
It seems to me that the people in group 1 will not miss repeat farming if it is made less efficient than other options, they'll simply move on to the other, better options. They're min/maxers, that's what they do. So that group is not bothered by my design. The second group was repeating missions primarily for reasons NOT motivated by gaining IGC and items, by it's very definition, and as such they shouldn't care that the rewards rates are not as good there either. So basically nobody's put out by this.

Also, MWM should award some kind of Accolade to SOLO players that collect all the Badges needed (and a few other nick nacks).
An Extra NPC Pet would be the reward for playing SOLO 80% of the time for the past 2 or 3 years.
Of course certain Badges will have a mechanic build in that Down Scales progress if you try to run through the SOLO Arcs for the Badges, just to ward off Evil Spirits, i mean Power Levelers. ;D

Best part is, TF's, Raids, etc... wont count against SOLO'ers on that Toon.
Another Good thing is, since a SOLO'er wasn't really teaming that much for the past few years, probably means, things won't change too much for the future, so make it gradually more fun for them.... Slooooooooooowly. ;)

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Can I ask if the challenges

Can I ask if the challenges are just for each player, or if the whole team gets them? Like, for example, if I solo a map as a scrapper, the "mez" challenges might be more or less pointless for me, but if I team up with a controller, I might want to have that active for the team, so that I get to share in the rewards for the mez my partner does while they share in the slice and dice rewards from the challenges I meet.

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blacke4dawn wrote:
blacke4dawn wrote:

Radiac wrote:
For that reason I think the tangible rewards for heroes ought to come from doing the HEROIC thing, not from just doing whatever the f*ck you want as if there we never any bad consequences of those choices.
So tell us, what kind of HEROICS is there in getting bonus payments for the number of thugs you send to the hospital? I mean, aren't heroes supposed to do the right thing regardless of tangible rewards?
If you really want to get that far into "RP justification" then the whole system is already "tainted" by the fact that rewards are "forced" upon us.

i recall reading about RP players turning Off XP at times. :p

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Segev wrote:
Segev wrote:

The question I raised is what kind of game you want CoT to be; what are the goals as a game that you want it to meet? That you want to be able to have?
The answers to these questions should guide the design of gameplay rewards, so that those rewards are more easily or reliably attained when playing the game in a manner which supports and pursues the goals you identified for the game.

That's an easy one.

A game like CoH.

I think they got it right almost all the time. (sometimes by accident)

As I said, we know that the rewards for farming weren't overwhelming because none of us signed on and did that very often if at all. We proved that idea wrong by our actions. That's because there is more to "rewards" than just loot. The game gave us a myriad array of "rewards" that caused us to do a variety of things. None of those pursuits yielded equal "rewards" to all the others. I would submit those "rewards" were much more important to the game than this loot we are focusing on. Did I get anything for pushing a sniper off a building in PI or FF? Not much....but good lord it was funny.

I had so many options when I loaded up the game that I would frequently have to pause at the character screen to decide what I wanted to do that session. That's pretty awesome. My "farming toon" was one of the options, that's all it was, and it was great to have that many to choose from. Taking that option away wouldn't ruin the game, but it would take away a portion of the reason I loved it.

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Segev wrote:
Segev wrote:

If there's something that absolutely requires N team members to complete, it should probably a) be obvious (perhaps with some NPC or clue revealing "here's what has to happen; you need at least N people working together to do it"), and b) take advantage of instancing to start randomly grouping people doing the same mission. They don't have to be on a team, but when Batman and the Huntress find they're both sleuthing through the Penguin's new skyscraper looking for the fowlbomb they're sure he's got hidden away in it, the natural thing to do is team up. Or maybe not; maybe they bicker and fight over who has a "right" to be there. But when it becomes clear that they need to have somebody on the top floor at the same time somebody else is in the vault to perform simultaneous tasks, or when they encounter the Penguin's Mechapenguin that is just too strong for either to beat on their own, the team-up becomes necessary.
If you go in with Batman and Robin, then you're fine. But if you go in as Batman alone, but another player went in as the Huntress, your instances might get merged.
Again, not speaking as a dev, but just as somebody shooting out ideas.

I'm wary of an idea like this. While it would be really cool if it happened once in a *very* rare while with a like-minded other player, it could also really hamper players' enjoyment of a mission if they were randomly teamed up with others with vastly differing play styles. Imagine stealth-teaming a power-gamer and a read-every-clue person, or a door-sitter with a role-player. There's potential for griefing there. At least when a mission has team requirements stated up front the player can decide whether to team or to do something else. I'm not sure I would like it if I were in a solo mood and suddenly found myself forced to team without any warning.

For the record, teaming is not the only way players contribute to an MMO. Just seeing other players running (flying, speeding, etc) about helps make the world seem more alive than a single-player game world. Even when I'm soloing I still participate in chat, help channels, the economy, etc. Personally, I like it when an MMO lets me try to solo multiplayer content against everyone's better judgment without scaling it to be a single-player mission. Most of the time I'll fail, but I'll feel it's truly multi-player content and not just an artificial barrier. However, having said that, it didn't really bug me that our old city had minimum team requirements for TFs, so I wouldn't have a problem with them in CoT either -- as long as they are completely optional missions and not required to advance past a certain level or tacked onto the end of a solo-able story arc.

Spurn all ye kindle.

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