Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 41 Thank you
09-18-2011, 11:31 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Husanak View Post
This is hogwash, no offense.

The truth is everyone likes new shinys... including PvP people.

What is not so appreciated is items that are simply unbalanced. You seem intelligent enough to understand the issue with cloaked tractor mines... and the spamming of harpangs... and adding more ways to "confuse" when the current way to do it is a spot of controversy.

Honestly it seems to many of us... and based somewhat on things mentioned or stated by the developers. That some of these items where never honestly tested in regards to balance. What is unbalanced in a PvP setting is equally imbalanced in a PvE setting. I do enjoy the odd round of PvE missions... I have done the weekly missions over again countless times... lets be honest most of the new shinys make it MUCH easier then it should be.

You have mentioned that you are a student of game design, if so then you must squirm as much as I do when I see them add some of these items. (Which almost always get toned down later as Cryptic ends up admitting they are not well balanced) Proper game design should offer a proper amount of challenge. Adding items that make the game play in a new way are fine... ones that simply make the game easier. I don't consider that proper design. Truly its a fine line... I think you can agree Cryptic needs to do a better job of finding that line.
Despite your disagreement with my premise, you have given me the respect that someone besides top tier pvp players might have a handle on the game mechanics and how the design works. I have 30 characters now. I have 19 of them at cap. I've played with dozens of builds and experimented with every class in almost every ship. While I do pvp, I am primarily a pve player. But even against the AI we have, I'm perfectly able to judge one skill in comparison to another or one build to another. Even if it were possible for me to win a pve engagement without skills, I still want to put the best skills on my bar. If I didn't have that ability, I'd have given up the game a long time ago.

I don't agree that pvp balance is automatically right for pve though. In pve we rarely get focus fired upon; it's very common in pvp. Our hit points are miniscule compared to any npc ship on elite or even advanced mode, and even normal mode sees enemies with vastly more hp. Unless we want tedious long drawn out battles, we need more damage in pve at higher difficult levels than pvp does, since you can blow up a ship in seconds in pvp now.

I'll agree that sometimes the devs have gotten something wrong. They didn't take server stability into account when they added scorpion fighters for example. They didn't take spam into account enough in general. But I maintain that if we separated the two sides from each other then a lot of the problems pvp had would not have occured, and much yelling and arguing could have been prevented, and maybe some of the banned people need not have worked themselves into a state that got them banned,. So yes, more testing, but fun for pve is an important goal too; just as important as pvp balance since so many more people do it.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 42
09-18-2011, 11:35 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Heretic
Geko is currently working on a revamp of the ship command and weapons parts of the space skill tree to make it easier to fly multiple ships and swap out different weapon energy types without gimping yourself in the process.

Other issues in these areas are similarly being addressed in the course of this process.

At some point on the future we have also discussed decoupling the space and ground skill points.

A full review of space powers is also on Geko's long-term list of things to do.
Thanks for not forcing me to overcome my laziness eventually and just posting the relevant information here directly.


Quote:
Originally Posted by hurleybird View Post
Maybe not, but nothing else has ever gotten through to these guys. They either need to:

a.) Learn how to play the darn game

or
b.) Seek help from the PvP community

But they instead choose
c.) Randomly **** around and break things

We've tried diplomacy. We've tried being nice, writing long intelligent posts. Doesn't work. We keep getting stupid **** that unbalances the game. And lately the pace of destruction has rapidly accelerated. Tough love might not work, hell it probably won't and maybe nothing will -- but it's about the only tool left at this point.
But where do you think some of these changes come from? From our commentary here, among others.

Stuff like fixing a Scramble Sensors bug or the torpedo cooldown obviously doesn't come here. But the BFAW change certainly came from PvPer feedback. All 4 of them. (First Change: Make it affect all beams instead of just one! Second Change: Fix the miscalculated damage for Dual Beam Banks. Third Change: Buff BFAW so it always provides a benefit. Fourth Change: Change the buff so the overall strength is more reasonable.)
It would certainly have been preferrable if they hadn't overdone it. But may I remind you that you yourself first believed the BFAW buff (Change 3) was fine? And it took the Jedis among us a while to really organize all the math to show why it was not fine.

We want fixes now. And we want them to be perfect. That's a tall order to ask, I am afraid. We'll have to live with that taking time.

My wish from the developers is that they spend more time testing stuff on the Test Servers. Try to compartmentalize the changes so they don't have to go live with the next C-Store piece that needs to go live a week later and is also on that test build. Work with the PvP community and the community team if necessary to create a PvP testing environment that's more thought out than 10 random OPvPers duking it out. Maybe come up with a set of changes you want to test, and host a tournament on Tribble (or now Redshirt).

Of course, maybe that's just as unrealistic as excepting the devs to become top PvPers, hiring BigRedJedi as consultant, and fix everything now with perfect balance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cmdrrom View Post
Hey Hurley,

I understand your frustration, but I gotta agree w/ the other poster... we should keep it cordial and diplomatic. I feeeeeel your frustration and pain, honestly I do -- I'm right there with you. In fact, I sincerely hope Heretic and Gecko take your advice and actually work w/ the OPvP community. But insulting people is rarely the best tactic at pushing an agenda, especially one as important as this.
It seems to me that diplomacy isn't Hurley's strength, and he often falls into a certain... antagonistic behavior pattern. Maybe that's what makes makes him a good PvPer, but I wouldn't want him as community representative. :p For that, I think the rest of us has to step up and be the best we can in such discussions, be it PvPers + Devs or PvPers + PvErs.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 43
09-18-2011, 11:54 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shakkar View Post
So yes, more testing, but fun for pve is an important goal too; just as important as pvp balance since so many more people do it.
I agree with you PvP AND PvE need to be fun and engaging for the game to move forward. I think we simply disagree on how best to get there.

Honestly I would like to see the PvE mobs get LESS HP LESS shielding... and more intelligent design, meaning more skills... more chains of skills.. What if every mob you faced was a bit different. Why does X mob always have to have the same set of skills.

I agree that good PvE is very much needed. I think what we have now is lacking somewhat. As so far the way to make things more challenging has been to give things more HP and pretty much give them cheats.

What if we gave them 100 variations of 3 or 4 skill roles that made them a real challenge. Some would try to heal and tank... some would pop off 3 or 4 tac skills and try to burst. What if it wasn't BORING.

I know you don't see it that way 30 toons tells us that. Really though the AI needs work... and when the AI is up to par the skill balance... is something you would look at in a new light.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 44
09-18-2011, 11:58 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Husanak View Post
The truth is everyone likes new shinys... including PvP people.

What is not so appreciated is items that are simply unbalanced. You seem intelligent enough to understand the issue with cloaked tractor mines... and the spamming of harpangs... and adding more ways to "confuse" when the current way to do it is a spot of controversy.
I'm not so sure about that. While you are correct that these items are out of place and far away from balanced, pretty much all the time something new is announced threads are poping up about how bad this item/ship/whatever will screw up the game. This happens before even information or testing is available and usually the "lol-ification" of this "new shiny" begins.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Shakkar View Post
Despite your disagreement with my premise, you have given me the respect that someone besides top tier pvp players might have a handle on the game mechanics and how the design works. I have 30 characters now. I have 19 of them at cap. I've played with dozens of builds and experimented with every class in almost every ship. While I do pvp, I am primarily a pve player. But even against the AI we have, I'm perfectly able to judge one skill in comparison to another or one build to another. Even if it were possible for me to win a pve engagement without skills, I still want to put the best skills on my bar. If I didn't have that ability, I'd have given up the game a long time ago.

I don't agree that pvp balance is automatically right for pve though. In pve we rarely get focus fired upon; it's very common in pvp. Our hit points are miniscule compared to any npc ship on elite or even advanced mode, and even normal mode sees enemies with vastly more hp. Unless we want tedious long drawn out battles, we need more damage in pve at higher difficult levels than pvp does, since you can blow up a ship in seconds in pvp now.

I'll agree that sometimes the devs have gotten something wrong. They didn't take server stability into account when they added scorpion fighters for example. They didn't take spam into account enough in general. But I maintain that if we separated the two sides from each other then a lot of the problems pvp had would not have occured, and much yelling and arguing could have been prevented, and maybe some of the banned people need not have worked themselves into a state that got them banned,. So yes, more testing, but fun for pve is an important goal too; just as important as pvp balance since so many more people do it.
This pretty much says everything. Even if the PvE game is easy most of the time and we would not need any ability doesn't mean all the abilities have to be useless for PvE use. Without anything the game would become Starfleet Command Arcade Mode. That being said, I don't think that it is possible to balance every aspect for PvP and PvE, balancing something on one side will probably render it useless on the other side... I appreciate the energy some people are willing to invest to something that is balance in their opinion but you can not ignore how this would influence the huge PvE aspect of the game only because some 5 people think it would not matter.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 45
09-19-2011, 12:06 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Husanak View Post
I agree with you PvP AND PvE need to be fun and engaging for the game to move forward. I think we simply disagree on how best to get there.

Honestly I would like to see the PvE mobs get LESS HP LESS shielding... and more intelligent design, meaning more skills... more chains of skills.. What if every mob you faced was a bit different. Why does X mob always have to have the same set of skills.

I agree that good PvE is very much needed. I think what we have now is lacking somewhat. As so far the way to make things more challenging has been to give things more HP and pretty much give them cheats.

What if we gave them 100 variations of 3 or 4 skill roles that made them a real challenge. Some would try to heal and tank... some would pop off 3 or 4 tac skills and try to burst. What if it wasn't BORING.

I know you don't see it that way 30 toons tells us that. Really though the AI needs work... and when the AI is up to par the skill balance... is something you would look at in a new light.
This would be wonderful. Most of us would probably like that and it would not only be supported by the PvPers. Unfortunatly this would require a complete rework of the AI, or better the implementation of an AI first something Cryptic probably can't do and doesn't have the resources for. It's sad but the PvP and PvE sides in this game are too different at the moment.

There was a thread a while ago where somebody suggested AI changes and some people where against it. Still some people seem to like the dumb NPCs we have at the moment and these players also can't be ignored.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 46
09-19-2011, 12:19 AM
As usual the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

1) Yes balance is... let's say suboptimal. There are several flaws and noone is denying it. But really who expected a perfectly balanced game? As long as the STO is running there will always be balance changes. We can only hope they will get smaller and smaller. But for now we are in the stage of powers which are more or less mandatory to have (eg. EptS) and of those which are totally useless (e.g. Aux2Bat).

2) There are bugs and every now and then we find them and get them resolved. EM misfiring when under the influence of SS is currently the most obvious but we also had bugs which have been less obvious until someone took the time to really look at them. Sometimes it is the community who finds them and informs the Devs. After fixing the bug the power might change from OP to useless.

3) Not enough time. Time is probably one of the main problems and leads to a lot of bad blood between players and Devs. While we tell them to be faster and are angry because it takes ages to fix/balance something the Devs sometimes have to wait. Maybe they can't find the bug... they know it is there but as long as they don't find it they can't fix it. Maybe the guy who is able to fix the bug has something more important to do. Maybe it is something they can't change currently because they are lacking the tech and it takes time to develop it. And lastly they need time to examine the new data after introducing a new fix. PvPs after a couple of day see a problem and want it fixed. Devs have to wait some time to see if it really is a problem or if the players just haven't adapted yet. They collect feedback and start anew again...

4) Lack of communication. One thing is certainly true the PvP-community is a well of wisdom and Cryptic should start to use it. I don't say Cryptic doesn't know how to balance a game or doesn't know its own game but it is certainly true that the PvP-com sees a lot more potential problems/issues/builds than the entire dev team... simply because we outnumber them. Also while the Devs might now the theory behind the powers the players know their actual value ingame. The question is how can we make it easier to work together? And I mean before you even start implementing a change. Cryptic should include the PvP community in the planning stage and not when already half the fix is implemented or even finished. Even then players will see ways how the change will influence PvP.

My proposal to increase the flow of information:
1) Whenever Cryptic plans to change a skill make an official thread in the PvP forum. In it explain how the skill currently works, known bugs, what you think its current problems are, how you want to change it and what you want the skill to achieve (e.g. AoE dmg, reduce healing, spam clearing...). Maybe include things which you can currently not change because of technical difficulties. In this thread players can start to discuss your ideas and tell you about possible problems and their own ideas. As soon as you have some kind of consent (there is no way everyone will be happy) you can start to implement the change.

2) As soon as possible you should put the skill on Tribble/Red Shirt/whatever test server to let players test the changes. Maybe only invite some people at first. As soon as it hits Tribble make a couple of PvP test games. 4+1 dev vs 4+1 dev, full premades, pugs... the more combinations the better. Maybe once every 2 weeks at a designated time. Get feedback, talk about it, change it again, new test and so on until everyone says ok this might work. Push it on holodeck and... you will still get people complain. But this time the power will be more balanced. It will still need some tweaks, but it won't be so much OP/UP that it will be mandatory/useless. At this moment the basic should be right.

3) After the release of the changes keep talking. Over time people will find new problems, maybe new bug. Cryptics part should now be to make small changes. From +50% dmg, go down to +45% maybe it is enough. From here on small steps should be enough.


The big problem... this process will take forever. But I think it will be worth the wait. Sadly there are a lot of things we as players don't know. Changes might have to be pushed early because it is needed for a release. New items which you don't want to have released because everyone likes a surprise. I know the above might only be possible in a perfect world (pun not necessarily unintended) but at least step 1 the thread should be possible and already help a lot.


And now I hide in shame because of the wall of text...
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 47 Variety would be nice
09-19-2011, 12:27 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Husanak View Post
I agree with you PvP AND PvE need to be fun and engaging for the game to move forward. I think we simply disagree on how best to get there.

Honestly I would like to see the PvE mobs get LESS HP LESS shielding... and more intelligent design, meaning more skills... more chains of skills.. What if every mob you faced was a bit different. Why does X mob always have to have the same set of skills.

I agree that good PvE is very much needed. I think what we have now is lacking somewhat. As so far the way to make things more challenging has been to give things more HP and pretty much give them cheats.

What if we gave them 100 variations of 3 or 4 skill roles that made them a real challenge. Some would try to heal and tank... some would pop off 3 or 4 tac skills and try to burst. What if it wasn't BORING.

I know you don't see it that way 30 toons tells us that. Really though the AI needs work... and when the AI is up to par the skill balance... is something you would look at in a new light.
Having mobs use different strategies, even if randomized, would be preferable to what we have now. For example, I know that if I face the Breen I need sci team to clear the cruiser's subnuke, and I need polarize hull and/or omega pattern to neutralize the frigates tractors. If I'm flying an escort with only 2 sci skills, those are the two I'll bring...everytime. And most of the older mobs don't even use that much against us. Especially at the advanced and higher difficulty levels this would be a major improvement to the game. Do it well enough and they could do away with the crutch of giving the mobs huge hp pools. Then pve and pvp balance would be closer to each other.

I hear you about pve. I have found ways to make it more interesting, such as levelling one toon purely though story and another purely through dse and fleet actions, etc. At least 2 of my characters levelled completely though pvp. But for me endgame has been to have a character to fly each ship, and to play every race/trait combination. I didn't find pvp the compelling engame that you and most enthusiasts have. My biggest problem with it is that a premade trumps a pug, and a top tier premade trumps everyone else. There is no way without using private queues (which is how I pvp) to make for an even match. I think in the future we can both see reasons for hope. More Featured Episodes means new enemies that probably use more skills than the Gorn in Stranded in Space. It means more variety and eventually a kdf pve level path. More pvp players means they can hopefully put in a leaderboard and skill based matching; right now the biggest thing wrong in pvp is that most have no chance at all when they come up against some of you guys. I've seen way too many matches end up 15-0, which isn't that much fun even if your team got the 15. It's really unfun to repeatedly be on the 0 side. Skill matching would really boost pvp.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 48
09-19-2011, 12:34 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by decker999 View Post
This would be wonderful. Most of us would probably like that and it would not only be supported by the PvPers. Unfortunatly this would require a complete rework of the AI, or better the implementation of an AI first something Cryptic probably can't do and doesn't have the resources for. It's sad but the PvP and PvE sides in this game are too different at the moment.

There was a thread a while ago where somebody suggested AI changes and some people where against it. Still some people seem to like the dumb NPCs we have at the moment and these players also can't be ignored.
Of course they can. LOL

The Devs can ignore anything they want... PvP case in point. lol

Honestly the AI doesn't even need to be rewritten. Just give the AIs variations of Skill roles pvp players use. Perhaps MOB X needs 20 diffrent combos of 4 skills out of a pool of 8... and the activiation times pre programed. This IS what they do now... there just is no variation right.

Honestly anyone arguing that the AI in game now is good is a tool and can be ignored.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 49
09-19-2011, 12:50 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Husanak View Post
Let me inject with a bit of the obvious. The guild wars devs took the EASY road. I won't argue as to its success or not, I never played Guild Wars.
But why not take the easy route? This isn't some design contest where going a difficult route nets extra points for trying.

The community wants to see results first and foremost. It doesn't really matter to us that some bugfix is hideously complex - the bug will hinder and annoy us no less for it. And it doesn't also matter if PVP balancing can only be achieved by splitting PvE and PvP mechanics.

Sure, I would prefer if the PvE AI would get set some improvements (and if it was only more scripted power use) and more closer to PvP so that PvE balance and PvP balance become equals. But that is not even remotely as important than having enjoyable matches now at every time, without having to exclude some powers because they are broken or unfun or both, or getting it ruined by people using these powers.

I want, at some point, see a PvP tournament where we can say "everything goes, this is the order of the matches, you have X amount of time to do them" and have it an enjoyable and entertaining tournament for everyone involved. If that means that Beam Fire At Will (PVE) works differently than Beam Fire At Will (PvP), that's fine with me.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 50
09-19-2011, 01:05 AM
Its hard to argue that their hard road has been all that smooth is it. Perhaps evidence suggests the easier approch might be the better option.... what do I know I just play games.

Honestly I really believe that if they did it right... they could make PvE better as well.

Your right though they don't really seem to want that to happen in the way most of us would hope... so perhaps there is some merit to the idea.
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