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Keeping players motivated for 200 power levels? (discussion)Warhammer 40K Discussion
Obviously we have to remember that there is so much yet to come in this game and of course a lot of these concerns will likely be addressed anyway. But it seems like a good time to talk about them now, so we can voice any concerns we have. Anyone have any thoughts on what they would like to chase within Martyr? - Badass looking gear? Major damage? New stories? Peace guys!
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I'm hanging to see what relic status gear will be like and if they bring unique abilities and/or effects.
Perhaps relic gear will require specific power levels to use? could be a carrot to level with endgame gear requiring the full 200 before they can be enjoyed, relic sets could also be a thing to grind for and like those in D3 unlock great abilities or shorten skill and weapon ability cooldowns drastically, could even be effects that rapid fires certain skills, or doubles/triples or even negates, ammo/overheat capacity.
You got some real good points tho re replay value and player incentive to grind. I hope this game strikes a middle ground where you still have to really "work" for stuff.. Just perhaps not to the asian standards xD
I stand corrected.
But the use of paragon points isn't to increase stats of the character, it's to provide skill points as the difficulty increases. If you hadn't noticed the character stats don't increase through the power levels 1-4, nor do the weapon damage levels from power level to power level. It's an interesting way of doing this but there isn't anything in the game to suggest that it will follow the traditional ARPG route of having player 1 characters doing 10 damage and level 100 characters doing 10,000,000. Personally I like the idea because some levels / areas or seasons could essentially be "= to player power level" and everyone could participate with more equal opportunity.
Also paragon points being skill points they are "unspent" on any new characters you create :) therefore they retain their use.
As for the people I know, most of them are deeply disappointed with D3, some of them expected the expansion to fix things, and stopped playing when it didn't. I think most of the hype was because of D2, which at time when D3 got out still had millions of players on bnet. But, be is at it may.
On Paragons, if they weren't changed, in VH-series they looked like this ('Glory Points':
-% Damage type
-% Mana regeneration
While some can be viewed as all-purpose, some are clearly not. Which means levels in HP Regeneration might not be so useful for Psyker, as they are for Crusader. Being a caster class in VH:FC, I spent all my glory on caster-stuff - which would mean resetting them for another character. I don't know yet how this will look like in Inquisitor, but this fact is concerning me.
Full reset during alpha/beta phase is a must, of course. After game-mechanics changing patches, DLCs or Expansions, too.
Full reset is done now because players are worried if they're not using the BEST possible build, they'll be suffering or missing out on something. Every hardcore choice made by the devs risks alienating potential players, which means less funding, which means less long term support for the game. I'm not saying the devs need to go full casual like D3, but I'm not sure there's enough of a hardcore D2 type player base willing to jump into I:M
Paragon's purpose is so that if you spend 800 hours on your crusader, that you don't have to spend 800 hours on an assassin to then play in the same content. It's just to say - speed up the leveling process in order to get you toward the "end game" quicker. I wouldn't say they are doign it to copy D3, they are doing it because the feature makes sense in the type of game they are making and the type of player they are aiming toward.
The problem with referencing PoE was that is was a cheaply made game specifically aimed at a niche in the market. That is to say hardcore ARPG players. They did a great job with the game imho, but their concepts regarding builds and absolutely no respec are both the strength of the game and it's biggest weakness. There is a reason D3 made more money, as I stated previously, the casual playerbase is what makes money these days, not the hardcore. Then you have to factor in the majority of people that play this will be playing because its a warhammer game, not because it's an arpg. So the proportion shifts even further away from the typical ARPG hardcore player.
Just my personal views however. But I do still agree with the majority of your points. Excellent work.
Just to clarify. 1 in 10,000,000 for an infamous Zod rune was a fix for barter system (magic find drops were sometimes exceeded 1000% and there was inflation on items) - it worked almost nothing alone, but could be bartered for something useful. People used it in Runeword items, which consisted of other, very rare runes and were a sign of enormous virtual wealth (both in usefulness and prestige, but not very visible). Nobody I know ever got that drop.
Equally rare drops - I was searching for those for years, using dedicated magic-find character (as a part of my strict, self-imposed no-trade policy). Some I've found, some have not. There was always a cheaper, less powerful version. I guess I could've traded for most, since I found some really powerful stuff.
Thing is, the game almost always left more place for improvement, and being an apex character in subclass took a long time and did typically result in creating a different one, which would take a long time to reach the top, since items rarely overlapped (again, trade was a shortcut).
Paragons - while I don't necessary think they will ruin the game, a question is why having them? Because D3 has them? D3 also has an unicorn level, and is disgusting in many other ways. Path of Exile doesn't have anything alike. The other part is how they are intended to work - if reset / respec is done with a few mouse clicks, they are just shortening actual gameplay and are source of abuse. Would that 5-10% of reduced leveling time mean so much? Are players actually willing to do it every time when changing character?
One-click full respec - again, D3 has it? Path of Exile has a tedious and expensive system of regrets, which effectively disables player to jump from one subclass to other, even with all the items.
Fanaticism - yes, I am far beyond the fanatic border. Most of the players aren't. Then again, casual D2 player would *still* buy the game, finish a campaign with one or few characters, play some MP, return from time to time. But presence of fanatics is important!
Motivation, the Topic
Some of the things keeping players motivated to play more (than campaign and some time after):
- character level progression (skills, points etc - doomed to end at some point)
- character item progression (practically endless, especially with low drop-chance items)
- *other* character progression (seeing fanatics in their glory)
- unexpected events, chances of earning uncommon rewards (with added content, pretty much unlimited)
- wild, wild universe - places dangerous to go, even for high-levels; supreme challenges
- experimenting with unusual stuff; innovation instead watching person X on youtube and replicating
Brilliant post. Many thanks for taking the time to produce it. Some of what you said I agree 100% but not all.
Regarding Paragon level - The point is that when you make a new character that you do not have to put the same amount of hours into them to get them to the standard of your previous character
This leads neatly toward the next point - Yes, players have changed over the years. A lot. While I commend you for playing with such dedication, it is m belief that myself and you are in a minority of players. ie The more dedicated playerbase, and we are dwarfed 9:1 by the casual player-base and in todays world game manufacturers need to make money in order to make content. It's therefore been the direction of almost all games over the past 10+ years to slowly head toward the suitability toward the more casual "pick up and play" audience. Of course that is to the annoyance of many still, as games become easier, simpler and less punishing over the years.
Finally this leads me toward the final point. For the above reason I think the amount of players who would enjoy permanent choices and drop rates ot 1:10000000 (i've played some korean mmo's) would be far smaller than the number of players who would not enjoy such portions. Of course I do not speak on their behalf and a vote would be the best measure.
That being said asidefrom the above points I do agree with much of what you have said. You have certainly provoked me to think how this game and it's weapon system are very much geared toward the casual player base (in terms of build complexity).
I like a LOT of those points, especially permanent character choices, but I'm not sure there's enough appeal in it for a lot of newer players today would accept it, on top of the fact character development isn't really based on the skills you choose, but rather the gear you acquire.
For those not very familiar with Mighty Snakefist (if any!), he is a greatest alive expert on Diablo. Also, very very modest. Also, spent >20k playhours with D2 over 12 years (7 of which almost exclusively with one character), <1k with D3 (obviously) and substantial amounts with other aRPGs (VH-series, for example).
He doesn't play Inquisitor nearly as much as he would like to, because of low system specs, which should change any day. SHOULD'VE ALREADY! SHOULD BE HERE YESTERDAY! [Mighty Snakefist bangs his head on the table, violently. The table breaks]. And he needs a new table, now...
Character love, character build
Back to D2, which was/is probably most immersive, occupying, loved, prized and played aRPG ever. As mentioned, 'character love' was a crucial thing. 99 levels (and no Paragon-nonsenses, no respec) weren't enough to make a character perfect in everything. Indeed, builds mostly had to make hard choices regarding skill-points distribution, often swallowing bitter pill in rejecting something needed.
But! 7 classes could've been made in at least 10 viable builds per class, mostly due to skill-point distribution. Mighty Snakefist snakeself possessed an endless charade of Sorceresses, something with ridiculous builds invented by him - such as 20+ levels of Static Fields, should have weakened large areas by quick subsequent casting, then killed by some other means - haven't worked, it was a stupid idea to begin with. Nevertheless, this masterpiece was made, then levelled all the way to High Hell (equipped internally, there were million items) and tested-tested-tested. Took a few weeks. Was fun. Could've been innovative, if worked.
Fast forward to D3, same experiments require 2 mouse clicks on any existing Wizard, perhaps few items changed, there's inherent Paragon stash maxed already. Is it fun? Errr... Innovative? Much less so, because of an amount of work needed - any crazy/stupid idea could've been tested for several minutes, builds itself take more but not levelling phase...
Oh, and levelling to 99 in D2 took much longer than in D3. Most builds were up-to-85, plus what happens later. Characters were very powerful even at 85, because itemization meant more lategame.
With build decided, item-hunt commences. Classes have specific items, or items suits to some classes much better then the rest. Items suit certain BUILDS withing classes better than the rest.
There were hundreds of Uniques, more than hundred runewords, runes that had drop-rade of 1 in 10,000,000 RUNES (so independent od any drop modifier), items that could be dropped only in certain moments (boss-fights) or certain locations (same level as bosses, but much less probable; still the only way to get them after). Additionally, uncommonly good affixes on Rares could mean really lot, adding another dimension to the game (unlike D3 which, so he's being said, enforces usage of the new/buffed sets each patch).
Snakefist played many times through campaign only to fight end bosses and hope for high level drops, deleting chars afterwards.
Needless to say, item-hunt took most of those 4+ h/day, dedicated to D2.
Special, hard to get items such as keys for uber-Tristram apply here as well.
Not so much in D2, but in many other MMOs, items which make a character special graphically and are ingame-found only, means much as a matter of differentiating dedicated/experienced player, all other aside. Someone with thousands played hours would naturally have those, while new players won't. Kinda nice, even if it's not any bonus.
Not only WH40k canon and aRPG players will be fond of this game, if a number of copies is high enough - bots LOVED to play D2 and D3, too!
What do bots like in the game, exactly?
1. Item-grind - they're proficient in grinding of both item/currency and have algorithms to decide what's worth keeping. If there's automated trade (such at the beginning of D3), they also act as entrepreneurs, with a great success. They tend to do it 24/7.
2. Levelling - if needed, they farm experience on lower levels
Special-scripted and random-powerful, with the possibility of fame and fortune! Happening not all the time, not to everyone! Players often start rumours about how to get some of them most easily, which are mostly false. Nevertheless, rumour mill is a good thing, and when those events do happen, players feel inner warmth to The Emperor and deep hatred towards heretics and other scum!
Funny enough, citizen bots don't enjoy this nearly as much, and if some reading/clicking is needed to start event, may have some troubles with those...
Summary or TL;DR
- 200 Power-levels... are interesting as much as the things they bring. Mighty Snakefist isn't exactly thrilled by current list of gradual weak improvements, as he said before.
- He thinks Paragons are stupid in nature, and he'll have those maxed eventually, so will any the dedicated player - so what's their point?
- Paragons+respec - what's Paragons point, especially if a character can change build and have 'help' of Paragons - this means each player needs like 3 characters, one for each class, only one of which will be harder to make (one collecting Paragons for self and others). It's not needed to say that none will have 10 Necromancers with different builds and will consequently spend like 70/3 times less gaming in levelling, which will be less fun by approximately the same amount. So will be the level of individual creativity.
- Item-hunt and vanity-hunt can be tremendous fun, and main motivation for players to spend much time with the game, spreading His glory.
- Events and constant care - may be major contribution factor. 12 years with one game... Mighty Snakefist, in his wisdom, would pay anything for balancing, adding contents and improving The Game. D2. Monthly subscription, DLCs and expansions, kidney or bone marrow. This may be a CRUCIAL factor in game future! (OK, levels displease Mighty Snakefist, but! An alternative skilltree is added; and so on).
- Bots can be a major problem, they were that in the past and may ruin some aspects of the game for honest players (such as ladders, for instance).
When Mighty Snakefist was young, few hundred years ago, things were HARD and kids RESPECTED the elders (but not Eldars - they were scum condemned by The Emperor even then). Also, the snow cover was incredibly high on most planets!
Apart from that, we didn't have respec. Question is, are kids nowadays that much whinier than we were? That they *need* a respec under any circumstances, and won't play a game without?
Thing is, the last game offering limited respec was Torchlight2. What D3 devs did was what moron does with his ice-cream, they are collected because of employment of people with disabilities is required, and it showed well. It's not their fault and we should treat them nicely and humanely - but the fact is they reverted many, many decisions by 180 degrees (or 360, even!), where none of two become successful and wise decision, that the company is paying large amounts for the game maintenance (unlike with D2!)
Mighty Snakefist thinks - NO! Kids of today aren't that kiddy (WH40k bunch, at least), if the game has difficulty levels they can survive remaking a character - for example, to have Crusader specialised in Sword/Pistol where most choices were made (irrevocably) toward that specific game-style and which can never be equal to to character specialized in, say, hammers. Effectively making different Crusaders for specialised purposes - eg. different party compositions or having solo- and party ones. This was the case in D2, where my beloved Sorceress was made to split points between two damage types for solo magic find, and different ones who were specialised in just one damage type, spending all points in synergies - therefore, good for parties where someone 'breaks' immunities so increased damage is viable to a less degree to immunes, while doing massive amounts to non-immunes.
PLEASE COMMENT THIS!
WOULD YOU ACCEPT IRREVOCABLE CHOICES, IF THEY MEANT BETTER SPECIALIZATION AND INCREASED CHARACTER POOL, AT THE COST OF RESPEC OR PARAGON REMOVAL?
Mighty Snakefist, in His wisdom, believes that THIS game has potential to 'last' a long time, to have gaming value for a long time through adding future content (both paid for and free); also through advance in meta-game and balancing; also through MMO component and parties. His Wise critique is meant for the good of the game - future development is connected closely to a number of players, and having everyone maxed-out takes 'character building and advancement through itemization' component out, so players which 'have it all already' reduce their effective gaming time - he has seen it already.
I feel I should seek counselling when it comes to my insatiable need to respond to some posts. Feel free to just respond with "Shut up hydra" and we can all continue to enjoy our weekend without a repeat of last weekends Forum antics :D
Although deviating from the topic of the thread - It seems like the need to express concern over a feature which was not added to the road map - but moved forward is still rife. So i'll bite this carrot and respond. Firstly as always I greatly appreciate your neutral and respectful tone in these matters. With permission may I kindly ask what has given you the impression they have changed their game direction?
Note - the following represents my personal interpretation of a subjective matter and in no way is my view more valuable than any other single individual.
From what I see the updated roadmap seems to now include a vast amount more detailed content which now includes a plethora of PvE orientated content in addition to the confirmation that investigations and other open world features are being expanded. I would have expected this to reassure those concerned about the detail of such features which is something I too was concerned regarding
From the streams I was left with the impression after the lengthy talk with Viktor that the open world star system is still the most ambitious and core concept within the game and still their primary focus. A similar response to when I asked Viktor in person what Martyr's most valuable and defining feature would be.
Admittedly there has been mention of what is coming within the forthcoming patch - I'm fairly sure we can expect them to always be repeating this pattern within the forthcoming months.
Disclaimer - By probing and asking for clarification on someone elses point of view that this is in no way a personal attack, attempt to silence or belittling of any other opinion. All forum users retain the right to disagree with me.
Think you got some real good content there.
Strongly agree that your character / account level counting toward something other than damage % (via skill points) is a good concept. Even if it just opens up new mission types, new enemies etc or different bosses. Just something!
Also like the idea of "criticall missions" - Personally I think an "ambush" chance on some harder content would be nice. Where you are put in the middle of a far more dangerous zone and make to think "oh poop xD"
Between you and I, I both empathise and sympathise with your views.
Although personally I find in reality little difference between MMOs and ARPGs as a medium when it comes to actual game play, it is the level of immersion that tends to distinguish between the two, or rather the amount of work that tends to be put into it.
If, Neocore was to take the game in that direction of immersion and open world through emphasis, by developing the investigations and their effects then I think it could be achieved.
However, with the new road map and the comments made in both live streams, I am now left feeling that the developers wish to place the emphasis of the game elsewhere; which ultimately is their right, as is our choice to continue support or leave.
Also beyond Neocore's control, is Game Workshop's Orwellian rewriting of WH40K history and lore in the new 8th edition; so who knows what the background is going to be, immersion or not.
A few ideas in reply to your discussion.
1. Allow the experience your characters accumulate to function for more than just bigger numbers. i.e.
- Higher tiers of boss type encounters/locations unique to your skill/weapon/class allocation. This is would provide an additional means of "layering" within quests and story line events etc. How cool would it be to run into pre-heresy era facility, ship, blueprint, set of armor etc simply because you have unlocked something unique to your class/skill choice/weapon selection ?
2. Allow room for more "dynamic" content to greet the inquisitors as they level and improve their gear. i.e.
- Have missions that have "Critical response levels" Please understand that i absolutely DO NOT MEAN to just use a fricking timer for the mission. When i say critical response i mean that the mission shows up because you are warranted strong enough to go into a literal "hot zone" with little to no prep time facing who knows what odds. Now this also should reflect possibly losing something, possibly access to an entire planet if you fail the mission. My point is that without some form of dynamic content "the grind" of doing instanced missions will get old very fast.
These are only a few suggestions, to quote a well known figure, "I could do this all night" =P
But EC promised an MMO and changed their mind mid game to change in-game engine. I don't think we are in any danger of that scenario within Neocore who have always used their own engine (and spent the last few years updating it)
While I question the use of the terms open world, we know there will at least be lots of planets to see (which is the open world) I guess it might fall short of expectations from some players but I don't think it'll end up being the wrong genre xD !
That's a topic for another day tho.
I'll be honest with you, ARPG isn't my thing. I'm here because I love 40K & the promise of an expansive open world environment, with tons to do & see, within the 40k universe. Another recent 40k game, EC, promised but failed to deliver on that. If it happens here too, I'll be moving on.
Problem is top down ARPG doesn't really = immersion. It normally = character obsession. Because you never get to know your character and never seeing faces makes any form of story difficult to be humanised. So it's easier to just make things look pretty and bash them over the head. Really Curious how Viktor will tackle that issue!
Hopefully the list of features will compensate tho as you listed. There is plenty to look forward to!
Seriously though, the key is immersion. Specifically, immersion within the persistent open world. Interactive investigations, Grand Investigations, grinding your character, grinding within your cabal, daily & weekly missions, exploration on the star & battle maps, multiple enemy types, region specific loot, region specific missions, character customization, retinues, interactive NPC's, multiple environment types, moody background noise & music, etc.
I always thought you might be a heretic....serving the God Emperor of Mankind is all the motivation anyone should need !!!
Set this current order state as My default.