I'm very surprised this Difficulty/Injury systems went live today, considering the various concerns on the Tribble forums. For instance, regarding the complaints about loot drops at higher difficulty settings alone, either...
a) ..no change was made and the supposed "higher difficulty = better loot rewards" feature is still severely lacking. Honestly, loot was the least of my concerns right up until the point where we all went from being in the same boat to being in different ships - the U.S.S. Easy Street and the U.S.S. Death-By-Taxes. If higher difficulty settings are going to be paired with a money-sink death penalty system that everyone on normal difficulty can simply ignore, than there better be an obviously improved drop quality/rate (as advertised) to balance out that penalty for wanting to fight more challenging opponents. Currently there isn't.
b) ..a change to loot was made based on our feedback and went to live untested, which is reckless and irresponsible of you. And I know it didn't get tested by the players on Tribble, since we were still complaining about loot drops on the latest Tribble build, and even had a developer commenting that it was "still being tweaked". So, uh.. I guess we're testing those tweaks on live now? Is that really wise?
This isn't even touching all the complaints about out-of-wack spike damage from certain race/ability combos on the various difficulty settings (which as far as I can tell have never been addressed). Is this supposed to be your way of getting us to thoroughly test out that injury system, because without having addressed those "I was one-shotted" complaints I guess we're going to be wracking up those expensive injuries fairly often.
These system needed more time in testing, or at least more people actually testing them and not just shouting blind complaints about death penalties on normal mode without having ever set foot on Tribble. You did a 180 on normal mode and went from a "we truly believe this will be a good system for everyone" stance to completely removing it from normal mode based on complaints from people who couldn't even be bothered to test the system. And yet real concerns based on real feedback from players who did bother to actually spend their time testing your new systems has apparently been completely ignored.
Frankly, I don't see the point of helping you out by stepping foot on Tribble again. From where I'm sitting it looks like the most influential feedback comes from complaining about proposed changes without actually bothering to test them.
You did a 180 on normal mode and went from a "we truly believe this will be a good system for everyone" stance to completely removing it from normal mode based on complaints from people who couldn't even be bothered to test the system.
Actually, I wouldn't call it a 180 since everyone was told that it would be optional to begin with.
I've tried this out on Tribble prior to today and while I do agree that drop rates need some attention and certain NPC groups need adjustment in terms of them being absolutely ludicrous on Elite setting ground combat, overall the system does work. Future improvements/tweeks can come via patches, as I'm certain they will.
The current issues it has aren't sufficient to delay releasing it IMO.
His points are valid. I log onto Tribble less and less with each passing day for all the reasons he pointed out.
Well that is like deciding not to vote because you don't like the current political atmosphere. Not very smart. I am not saying that to flame, I am just saying that hoping that some folks won't give up.
Combadge, dude you are going to give yourself an ulcer. All the posts I have seen from you are complaints. Which is your right, but man, if everything was that bad for me I would find something else to do (maybe new game) or take a break and come back. I did that with Vanguard (took a year off), came back when they had fixed a lot of issues and was much happier.
This change was big enough for me that I did log onto tribble last week and copied a character over. I ran the same mission on live, and again on tribble at elite level. I must say it was more challenging and the drops (3 blues to one green) were much better. But since drops are random, it will be different for everyone.
So I look forward to patching and maybe even starting my main over at elite.
While the path being taken by these two threads is different, they both tend to arrive at the same conclusion. That the test server has some issues in its effectiveness to be a test server. This mirrors the criticism I've had for the protocols of testing that go back to last year, with Champions Online.
I can understand and sympathize with players who do use Tribble and do get frustrated with the process. It made me livid when doing so with Champions Online.
I wasn't very helpful in the discussion though. As I was too angry to be at all productive.
This time I guess I still share the criticism. But am much less upset about it. And so ... in the interest of trying to be more productive ...
What can be done to improve this?
Right now I see one of the biggest problems Cryptic has is ... they can't get fixes done quick enough in their process to keep some really big bugs that they do know about from still going live.
That's a hug issue for a test server because the testing process still seems to be doing its job (finding and identifying bugs). But the protocols seem to create an obstacle in the fixing of the bugs part of the process.
I don't know the specifics of what they do to change the game and patch it and update it. But I do remember some of the posts from the Champions devs seemed to indicate that their process is a bit unwieldy. And the fact that Mindful Reinforcement made it live in its pre-changed form months after it was changed kind of leads me to believe that the way they change the game to put it out onto the servers can be ... part of the problem?
This discussion obviously needs a lot more input from the developers. Since they know the specifics.
But ... we should keep trying to impress upon them the importance of this criticism. As negative as it could get, there is some very important feedback here. There are some problems with how bugs get fixed. And this can and does frustrate the players.