Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 1 PVP Weekly Update 05/11/2012
05-11-2012, 06:25 PM
Hi folks welcome to a new feature - The PVP Weekly Update.

Every Friday before I leave the office for the day Iím going to jump into the PVP forums and give you an update. It may be a small update or it might be a big update. It may be a very simple ďthere is nothing notable to report this week, how is everyone doing?Ē sort of thing. Or, it could be ďhere is a list of big things that are on their way to you on Tribble. Go take a look and tell me what you thinkĒ sort of post.

Whatever it is, itís going to happen every week.

Todayís Topic Ė State of PVP in STO.

Put simply, the current state of PVP in STO = FAIL

I donít think I can be any clearer on this point. You the players donít like it, we the developers donít like it and all the data we pull from the servers backs up the statement as well. Now, we could start discussing why PVP is the way it is. There are lots of reasons, some you as players know and some you donít. Discussing that particular topic wouldnít move us forward, now is not the time to figure out who is to blame for what and why.

It is however time to move forward. The first question we (the developers) had to ask ourselves is can PVP be saved?

I donít use the word ďSavedĒ lightly. I donít mean fixed, updated, or fun. I literally mean saved.

Now, what Iím about to tell you is going to scare a few people, itís going to make some of you angry. Itís not meant to do either of those things, and please donít read into anything I type. Iím not trying to be sarcastic, blame you the players for anything, or infer that the opinions of the players in STO that care about PVP donít matter . I just want to make sure you understand where we are at in this process.

Right now because PVP is in such bad shape that we (the developers) have to decide if we think we can turn this problem around. Participation in PVP related activities is so low on an hourly, daily, weekly, and monthly basis that we could in fact just completely take it out of STO and it would not impact the overall number of people that log in to the game and play in any significant way.

SeeÖ I told you.. scary. I know, some of you are reading this and getting angry. I understand but this is simply the bare naked truth.

Cryptic is a business and everything that makes up STO requires resources to develop, implement, and maintain. I think itís pretty obvious that since the launch of STO that PVP has not had a fair share of those resources allocated to it. This fact is the primary reason PVP is in the state that itís currently in.

Something has to be done, PVP cannot stay the way that it is now. We either have to try to save it, or take it out of the game completely. We have to allocate resources in order to save it and thatís where I come into the picture.

Right this moment, Iím the only resource PVP gets. My job is to figure out if I can find a way to improve the entire system in a way that does not impact development of the rest of the game in any significant way. Itís going to be a challenge to put it mildly, but Iím going to try. Iím going to do my best to make PVP a viable STO gameplay feature that appeals to a much larger audience than it does now.

Itís simply going to have to get better and appeal to a much larger group of players on a regular basis if itís going to survive. This also means that many of you are not going to like the changes I am forced to make in order to meet these goals, but before you get too upset at something I change you might want to consider the alternative, which would be no PVP at all.

There are big changes coming to PVP, some I think you are going to like, others no so much because no one likes change. Some are not going to make a whole lot of sense at the time because you wonít be seeing the whole long term plan I have in store for PVP over the course of the next year or so.

As far as these forums go, keep in mind that much of what is bothering you right now at this particular time in the current implementation of the PVP system isnít something Iím really going to get very involved with. Itís all going to have to change, and change in a very big way. Iím not going to spend much time trying to solve an current issue you might have right at this very moment when there is a very high probability that a month or two down the road a large scale change to the PVP system in general is going to solve the issue.

Here is an example..

I see lots of threads about KDF players having access to gear that FED players do not. This isnít going to be a problem in the new system since their will not be any FED vs KDF PVP. All PVP in the new system will be cross faction queues.

More information in next weekís edition..

Have a good weekend.

Goz
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2
05-11-2012, 06:29 PM
For the newcomers who may miss in the 13pages

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cryptic_Gozer
There is already quite a bit of trying of trying to read between the lines here with my original post, and really we should try to stay away from that.

If I say something that isn't very clear just ask. I'm watching the thread if I can give you a better answer I will.

For instance. as to the question about no more KDF vs FED pvp.

There will not be KDF vs FED only queues.
There will not be FED vs FED only queues.
There will not be KDF vs KDF only queues.

There will just be... PVP queues, period.

Making PVP profitable isn't really a consideration at the moment either. You shouldn't get all that wrapped up in how we do or don't make money on something. PVP is just like any other type of content we make. We just want you to log in and play the game. If we can get PVP to a place where lots of people want to log in and do it then it becomes profitable.

There also seems to be a bit of confusion on this... (I'll highlight the area I think is causing the confusion)

"Right this moment, Iím the only resource PVP gets. My job is to figure out if I can find a way to improve the entire system in a way that does not impact development of the rest of the game in any significant way. Itís going to be a challenge to put it mildly, but Iím going to try. Iím going to do my best to make PVP a viable STO gameplay feature that appeals to a much larger audience than it does now."

"Right this moment" is the important bit here. I meant right now, as in today and most likely over the next couple of weeks.

I didn't mean I'm all your going to get or I'm going to be doing everything all by myself. That's not the way things work at a game company.

PVP having a dedicated person that "owns" it is a very big thing. There aren't that many things in STO that really have a dedicated person assigned to them. In fact PVP is really just one of three I can think of.

DOFF's - Heretic
STF's - Me
PVP - Me

It means that I can go to a producer and say "I really need a few days of programmer time to add feature XYZ to PVP" and as long as it's a reasonable request It will happen.

It means I can go over to the systems team and say "Hey I'm seeing reports of xyz causing issues in PVP" and they will look into it and get back to me with an answer.

It means I can go over to Dan and say "I really need these 4 new maps added to PVP with the next seasonal update, and they will get added to the schedule."

All of these things are something that PVP has never had and I believe it will make a huge difference.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cryptic_Gozer
Before I was given PVP I had other day to day and week to week tasks that filled out my schedule. I had STF's and other stuff. That other stuff is being moved off of my plate to other new content designers. Which by the way is a answer to another question I noticed earlier, the fact that we now have a few more people in the design department is a direct result of PWE. If we didn't have additional staff, this wouldn't be happening.

Oh and for the record... I asked to be given PVP, it wasn't forced on me. I personally think it has a great deal of potential, it just needs attention.





oh my. 10char

"I see lots of threads about KDF players having access to gear that FED players do not. This isnít going to be a problem in the new system since their will not be any FED vs KDF PVP. All PVP in the new system will be cross faction queues."


What gear? you mean the consoles? The sets? What? Can anyone else tell me what he is talking about?

Cross Faction q's? you mean FvF and KvK? Or do you mean it will all be RANDOM?
F+KvK+F?


Changes that appeal to the masses eh or take it out? Thats our choices?
The masses though the maco shields were fine. Why does this worry me?


TO Goz

Thanks for putting it straight, bluntly and to the point though. I realize no questions may be answered till monday but this is communication and communication usually breeds progress.


-----

LOL Its sinking in. Take it or No pvp Oh man. Not what I truly was expecting.

What does this all mean?? AHHH more questions!!!!
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 3
05-11-2012, 06:34 PM
Thanks for letting us in. Just knowing there is something going on behind the curtain helps relieve my personal anxiety. Please let me know how I can help.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 4
05-11-2012, 06:35 PM
I stopped PVPing for a wide variety of reasons shortly after the game went live.

I look forward to seeing what will happen. And since it CAN'T get worse, how bad can it be?

Seriously though, I know you will give it a great go, and I bet we'll like how things eventually turn out.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 5
05-11-2012, 06:38 PM
Cross faction queues? I wouldn't mind some ellaboration on that, sounds intresting though.

Regarding the scary save it or scrap it notion, I think it can be saved, and if it were relaunched in a big way once it was fixed with big incentives to get people involved and participating, it'd sort of snowball and pick up momentum. If nothing else, PVP being largely under the Radar allows it's rennovation to go on until things reach a point where you can "box it up" and unleash "NEW PVP! (tm)" with a big event etc.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 6
05-11-2012, 06:38 PM
Not to sound like a **** (too late Mav!), but one of the biggest hurdles you are going to have to face is the systems team. They really really really do not have any idea of what they are doing, and Gecko has repeatedly demonstrated a complete lack of willingness to listen to suggestions. You inadvertantly caught some flack from myself because of the shenanigans the systems team and the QA team have done since Snix left cryptic.

PvP lives and dies on game mechanics and not just how balanced they are, but how innovative, and how well executed they are. As it stands right now, I think most of the pvp community can safely agree, the game mechanics are in dire straits at this time.

There are simply too many for me to list in one post (and indeed we can make an several hundred page long thread.. we have in the past) examining the core concepts, the Math, and the execution.

I'm not particularly shocked by your announcement that you could simply remove the ques and most of the players wouldn't notice. Most of us veterans have known that for at least a year now. Especially over the last year and a half or so. We que up, and deal with the same people, game after game after game.

Not only this, but several scores of pvp fleets have left this game over the last 2 years, due to a combination of the mechanics being way off, and frankly, the sheer lack of pvp modes... with only one of them being any sort of fun (Arena).

On a side note we can also tell that most people wouldn't notice pvp being gone... we see their fail builds daily or get told to "que up solo... cause you premades suck!", or get hate tells, all because the pve aspect doesn't challenge enough to cause even mediocre ship builds. Simply put, pve is so bad it allows for Fail Builds. This is another hurdle you will have to over come. We can help with this somewhat (as I have tried to do for a while now, with my cruiser thread, Husanak with his Escort thread, and Mai Kai with his sci thread)

As long as you're demonstrating a willingness to learn and listen to feedback you'll have my backing all the way Gozer. Even if I don't necessarily agree with the changes. I'll make suggestions to tweak. But I won't hate on you like certain ...other devs.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 7
05-11-2012, 06:39 PM
After reading your post, two things immediately come to mind for a response:


1. While it's good that you're allowing cross-faction PVP, doesn't this defeat the purpose of "reviving" the Fed vs KDF war in S6? Wouldn't PVP be one of the best ways to revive that? Again, I'm all for cross-faction pvp, but I'm not sure removing FvK is a good idea


2. You said you were supposed to be fixing PvP with a minimal impact on game development. To be honest, I'm not really sure it's possible to fix PvP at all, unless you guys do one of the following:

1. Adjust weapons or abilities to work differently inside PvP, or in light of their effects in PvP (a pretty large task, I'm guessing)

2. Prevent certain "overpowered" abilities or weapons from working at all in PvP (again, a pretty big change)

3. Change the combat system entirely to include PvP in its consideration (again, not possible as you made clear)


You've definitely got your work cut out for you, Gozer, and I don't really envy your position. I do wish you the best of luck though.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 8
05-11-2012, 06:39 PM
I appreciate your candor Gozer, and I look forward to hearing more on what is going to happen with PvP and the changes you are working on (Regardless of if I like them or not, something happening to PvP at least shows attention to the system)
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 9
05-11-2012, 06:46 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mavairo
Not to sound like a **** (too late Mav!), but one of the biggest hurdles you are going to have to face is the systems team. They really really really do not have any idea of what they are doing, and Gecko has repeatedly demonstrated a complete lack of willingness to listen to suggestions. You inadvertantly caught some flack from myself because of the shenanigans the systems team and the QA team have done since Snix left cryptic.

PvP lives and dies on game mechanics and not just how balanced they are, but how innovative, and how well executed they are. As it stands right now, I think most of the pvp community can safely agree, the game mechanics are in dire straits at this time.

There are simply too many for me to list in one post (and indeed we can make an several hundred page long thread.. we have in the past) examining the core concepts, the Math, and the execution.

I'm not particularly shocked by your announcement that you could simply remove the ques and most of the players wouldn't notice. Most of us veterans have known that for at least a year now. Especially over the last year and a half or so. We que up, and deal with the same people, game after game after game.

Not only this, but several scores of pvp fleets have left this game over the last 2 years, due to a combination of the mechanics being way off, and frankly, the sheer lack of pvp modes... with only one of them being any sort of fun (Arena).

On a side note we can also tell that most people wouldn't notice pvp being gone... we see their fail builds daily or get told to "que up solo... cause you premades suck!", or get hate tells, all because the pve aspect doesn't challenge enough to cause even mediocre ship builds. Simply put, pve is so bad it allows for Fail Builds. This is another hurdle you will have to over come. We can help with this somewhat (as I have tried to do for a while now, with my cruiser thread, Husanak with his Escort thread, and Mai Kai with his sci thread)
Regarding this last point about PVE, I think things like the D'deridex Defender that snuck it's way into tribble inadvertantly after one patch would work well for that. As an aside, having a "defender" version of all NPCs at least for Veteran and Elite would make them feel more like Veteran and Elite. Going through PVE on elite, my only indication that I'm doing so as opposed to normal most of the time is stuff takes slightly longer to go boom. Having to think a little more about how you're going to bring something down would prepare people better for PVP.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 10
05-11-2012, 06:47 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Revo
PvP needs two major things to be popular (or at least as popular as its going to get).

1) It needs to be fun
2) Rewards and incentives.

1. may seem somewhat obvious but fun covers a wide range of things. I've always found PvP to be fun. I doubt people would be here in the PvP section if they did not enjoy it on some level, but its obvious that their is something wrong with the current set up if no one is playing. You can only play the same maps so many times before it gets boring. Therefore there always needs to be new maps and new game types being introduced. If we can get one or two new maps a season then it would be infinitely better than what we have now. New game types are also important to stop it going stale.

Game types like:

Death match - Best of say 5 or 7 games. Each player has one life and the last team left standing wins the game, until someone gets the best of the series.

King of the hill - one team must defend a location while the others try to attack and conquer it with a time limit.

Capture and Hold - same as we have now, but add a time limit as they can sometimes go on for way too long.

Capture the flag. Find a flag on the map and bring it back to your base before the enemy can intercept you.

Arena. Normal match that we have now. best of 15 kills or 30 kills.

Shuttle PvP. It's tons of fun and should have an easy option to get into.

PvE vs PvP. this can be anything but esentially there is a pve objective at the centre of the map that needs claiming. it will be defended by pve enemies. both teams have to win the objective while trying to stop each other. sort of like ker'rat just thought out a little better.

Territory war - the holy grail of PvP. A large area of zone devoted to pvp. It would have shifting borders as places are captured and defended.




2. Now onto rewards. MMO players often need an incentive to play. while PvP is easier to grind because each match is different, a lot of people need it to be just more than fun.

Scoreboards PvP players are competitive by nature. They need to see how they are doing compared to other players.

Unique loot. Why play PvP if you can get the exact same stuff by doing PvE? Have sets, costumes, item, consoles etc that can only be earned in PvP.

Reward winning but don't punish losing. PvP can be very hard to win. You can play 10 games and get trounced because the other side is just better than you. There should be no shame in losing unlike in PvE. The winning side should be rewarded for winning their matches but the losing side should not feel like their efforts have been for nought. Using the STF's as an example. Give one EDC (or what ever it would be) to the losers, but 2 or 3 to the winners. Therefore its more productive to win but does not put bad or weaker players off from ever playing it again.

More accolades and trophies. Back to the competitive side of things, people will enjoy showing off their trophies for kills won, or damage dealt or by having done something impressive. Some cool trophies would give people something to aim for and to get batter at.

Fleet starbases. Tie fleet starbases in there somewhere. Perhaps unique areas for collecting trophies or places that display leader boards, or special crafting areas designed around pvp players. Perhaps full on starbase attack and defence missions.



Finally I want to say that while having cross faction queues only is not ideal, it probably is a good idea. It will make it easier to start games and should make it a little more interesting. Perhaps a theme can be built on it, as wargames under the Omega Force training program.

PvP can be saved and can become an important part of this game. It just needs to be enjoyable and worthwhile.
All of these ideas are great. I hope you implant some if not all of them. You will be my best frend. Thank you for giving us these updates!

This message has been approved by: bluepig@greenpig - Goddess of Ker'rat Warzone
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