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CDP Topic: Game Content Accessibility

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  • aandrethegiantaandrethegiant Member Posts: 3,351 Arc User
    edited December 2019
    How about some Historic perspective?

    To give you an idea of where this game community was at launch... and the excitement that was building upon game launch, my 2nd episode hosting the Neverwinter Online Crossroads Show, The NOCS, likely gives you the closest perspective in existence today.

    Taking a Look Back before game launch in February 2013. I must say that the Neverwinter community was near NUCLEAR, abuzz and chompin' at the bit for any and all information about the game!! It was a really enthusiastic time.

    Information was scarce of course, until this interview!

    Our very special interview stars Lead Producer Andy Velasquez and Senior Environment Artist Crypticmapolis, with a surprise cameo by Cryptic COO (Chief Operating Officer) Craig Zinkievich!

    We scored over 10,000 views the night of the cast on iTunes. I believe it still holds the one day ratings record for anything Neverwinter related. Please enjoy Chris (and anyone else that wants to take a walk down Memory Lane)!!




    TYRS PALADIUM - A Premier Neverwinter Online Guild
    No Drama. Camaraderie. TEAM Focus. That's the TYRS way. If that's your style, come join us!
    Research our Guild here: Read our official Recruitment thread | Sign up here: Tyrs Guild Website! | NEVERWINTER GUILD LEADERS: Join the Fellowship!
  • aandrethegiantaandrethegiant Member Posts: 3,351 Arc User
    edited December 2019
    gweddry said:

    kreatyve said:


    New players who don't have experience with games like Neverwinter are being put off by the chat restrictions. Generally in an MMO, players tend to use the chat system to try to ask questions they may have, or seek help with quests. If a brand new player has to get to level 30 without being able to ask for help in-game, it can be very off-putting, enough so that at least some percentage probably quits playing over that alone. I have some links over the years of players reaching out to forums for help on how to unlock chat - here, here, and here. There are many more threads on Reddit, asking how to unlock it.

    HUGE HUGE HUGE. We just talked about this with a new recruit THIS WEEK. He stated that he feels like he's BEING PUNISHED for being new.

    I want to repeat that:

    "I feel like I am BEING PUNISHED for being new."

    May that RESONATE down the HALLWAYS of your staff's offices Chris. This must change.

    Gating content has punished this game's playerbase unmercifully over the years. But when you gate COMMUNICATION up to level 30?? That goes too far. This needs to end and it needs to end today.

    This new recruit didn't even REALIZE he could join a guild. How could he? He couldn't chat with anyone.

    Guilds are the LIFE BLOOD of Neverwinter. No other force can keep people playing like guilds can.

    Guild leaders and officers rally their guildies... they will entertain each other in game and on their forums and social media in ways NO ONE at Cryptic can reach, none the less accomplish. Camaraderie. Friendship. Teamwork. Some even utilize the word Family. Scheduled weekly questing and raiding guildies and alliance members can COUNT ON. In corporate terms: PLAYER RETENTION. THIS is where your main focus must be. Not PvP.
    I don't necessarily disagree here. [snip]

    To echo what's been said, both parts can coexist. They have for a long time, until neglect and power creep put a stop to it.
    Yes you aren't wrong about neglect and power creep, and I support ANY and ALL guilds that play the game the way it was intended (not cheating/exploiting etc), whether its PvE or PvP focused.

    BUT with a much smaller developer staff and a much more tight schedule, the devs have to prioritize and we need to be realistic.

    In my opinion, I would much rather see the Cryptic dev team prioritize content and fixes for it's prime target -- PvE players, alliances, guilds. That is a MASSIVE job right there.

    Any decision to work on PvP runs the risk of alienating the PvE playerbase even more because it affects their character builds and stats and the combat experience for the worse. That just cannot be a good idea. Neverwinter cannot be everything for everyone. It is what it is, a PvE MMO game with some PvP elements.

    TYRS PALADIUM - A Premier Neverwinter Online Guild
    No Drama. Camaraderie. TEAM Focus. That's the TYRS way. If that's your style, come join us!
    Research our Guild here: Read our official Recruitment thread | Sign up here: Tyrs Guild Website! | NEVERWINTER GUILD LEADERS: Join the Fellowship!
  • bananitsabananitsa Member, NW M9 Playtest Posts: 37 Arc User
    Cryptic devs will HAVE to focus on the PLAYERS of Neverwinter. PvE and PvP. Because BOTH exist.

    Have a good one :)
  • oremonger#9999 oremonger Member Posts: 213 Arc User
    edited December 2019
    sorry off topic
    Post edited by oremonger#9999 on
  • thefiresidecatthefiresidecat Member Posts: 4,486 Arc User

    Well this went off the rails again rather quickly. Much sadness. :'( smh, just shoot me now.

    wishing to be shot over a thread going off the rails is a little more concerning than the thread going off the rails. it's ok! it's not worth dying over or even being hospitalized over!! :) huggles!!
  • quickfoot#7851 quickfoot Member Posts: 488 Arc User
    Feedback Overview
    I would just like an alternative way to get stuff from end game content. ATM It costs $1,000 + US dollars worth of enchantments, mount, insignia's, companions, rp's, etc to have a chance in ToMM, or even be accepted into a group that's not just for training. To me, that's insane. I know you don't have to spend irl money to get there, I'm almost there and haven't spent much on the game aside from vip here or there when I miss out on the zax or just forget. But, I've had to farm events like crazy for years and come up with ways to make profits with my in-game currency.

    The issue is with new and casual players, are they going to spend over a thousand dollars to get there fast, or are they willing to wait 2 years to run ToMM?

    Feedback Goal
    Have an alternative way to farm loot from end game content, specifically, the weapon sets, I feel left out, probably will never get lionheart set, especially with such low alliance and guild populations in the game, combined with a bunch of new players that will take years to get there and old player that have left (who otherwise would have been able to help).

    Risks & Concerns
    Can't be too easy, or else no one would run difficult end game content at all. Even if it takes 2 months, I'd be fine with that.

  • quickfoot#7851 quickfoot Member Posts: 488 Arc User
    edited December 2019

    Feedback Overview
    I would just like an alternative way to get stuff from end game content. ATM It costs $1,000 + US dollars worth of enchantments, mount, insignia's, companions, rp's, etc to have a chance in ToMM, or even be accepted into a group that's not just for training. To me, that's insane. I know you don't have to spend irl money to get there, I'm almost there and haven't spent much on the game aside from vip here or there when I miss out on the zax or just forget. But, I've had to farm events like crazy for years and come up with ways to make profits with my in-game currency.

    The issue is with new and casual players, are they going to spend over a thousand dollars to get there fast, or are they willing to wait 2 years to run ToMM?

    Feedback Goal
    Have an alternative way to farm loot from end game content, specifically, the weapon sets, I feel left out, probably will never get lionheart set, especially with such low alliance and guild populations in the game, combined with a bunch of new players that will take years to get there and old player that have left (who otherwise would have been able to help).

    Risks & Concerns
    Can't be too easy, or else no one would run difficult end game content at all. Even if it takes 2 months, I'd be fine with that.

    Tomm wasn't meant for everyone. yes if they have to farm 2 years to get there that's what they need to do. you need to have goals in this game. they'll be lomm ready or the new dungeon ready in a reasonable amount of time. odds are if they are that new they don't know their character well enough to be tomm ready anyway. the lionheart set is great but it's not like other content is gated behind it. the burnished set and alabaster set work with all content. when you are just given stuff in games like this it ruins the game.

    I remember in Masseffect 3 they made it cheap and easy to just buy the stuff you needed. and there was some cheese to help too. I did all of it. I paid some money (it was cheap I think 30 bucks did it) and I cheesed the game some. I had everything I wanted and within a week I quit ME3 because boring. If I'd had to grind for that stuff for real I would have been there a lot longer. I learned a lesson over that. lol.
    Right on, I agree not everyone should be able to run ToMM, and that there should be hardcore dungeons, with loot that is gated behind it. But at the same time, I feel like BiS items should be obtainable through some other means, even if it take 4x longer to get. The most fun I have in the game is PvP, and when a weapon set gated behind the hardest PVE content in the game makes a huge difference, it's not right. As it currently is, you have to be part of a tightly knit group to be able to get your weapon set, and like I said, guild and alliance populations are low, and many veterans have left. I'm not saying unbound rings should be available some other way, but that maybe make them grindable, but Bound to Character. They could have some other loot in ToMM that makes it worth running for the very elite 0.1% of players (like unbound rings for example), but gating the weapon set behind that feels wrong to me. Especially when I see people lfm ToMM (with weaps), so to get into a ToMM group, you need the weaps that are gated behind it? That's not right. And with some nerfs comming like to orcus set, people are saying to get those weaps now, or else it will be too hard next mod. Then there is future content, at some point they will develop dungeons with the expectation that people have these weapons.

    One easy to implement way to make it possible to grind out the weapon set, is make the currency to buy them from the vendor available in FE's and only with 3x runes, you can only run 2x of them every week or so, and it would take a while to get the currency needed at that rate. Though, atm, icr exactly how much they cost from that vendor. If they did this, it would make ToMM ever slightly more accessible to more players.

  • cwhitesidedev#9752 cwhitesidedev Member, Cryptic Developer Posts: 253 Cryptic Developer
    rikitaki said:

    Feedback Overview
    Playability of content regardless the player level.

    Feedback Goal
    The scaling project brought some neat adjustments - however, if even Winter Festival event came with a warning that low lvl players might have problems there, it simply does not work yet.
    I would like to suggest using what you already have - and by having a different approach make things finally work. It will not probably be the state-of-the-art you seem to aspire, but it will bring results faster. Probably less irritating results as well.

    Feedback Functionality
    The scaling brought some really nice ideas - IL directly reflects weapon damage or total amount of various stats on the gear.
    The question is: would you be able to do the same for the attributes of the mobs? It should not be that hard - it should follow the same curve as the IL on our gear, so theoretically if you have a "spot on" mob on any level, you should be able to extrapolate it to any direction.
    Target: do not scale player, but the mob. That way you will not mess with any player build-up or idea.

    Example of how it would behave:
    Player level 1 at-will power does 10 magnitude damage to the mob lvl 1, which - after put in the damage formula - removes roughly 50% of the mob life bar.
    Player level 80 at-will power does 10 magnitude damage to the mob lvl 80, which again removes roughly 50% of the mob life bar.
    Now, if the the mob would be separately scaled to each player damage formula purposes - and the interaction would not result in absolute numbers, rather produce just the percentage - players of various levels can effectively cooperate in dealing with the same mob!

    Why I suggest this
    Because atm the scaling is a total black box. Is irritating players by irrational outcomes. Or is not implemented at all. ...which is really shame

    Risks & Concerns
    (-) Assumes you have a reasonable weapon damage and IL curve - and a mob that is in "spot on" place.
    (-) The mobs scaling to the player level must come with a (preferably soft) cap on the maximum Power and HP that player of each lvl can get from enchantments, runestones and companions. If not - a low level player with high level enchantments might become a really scary monster. :) (however, again, you already figured out the IL curve - and you can easily count the max HP or Power a high-end player can get from those sources)
    (-) This scenario has always detrimental effect upon level-up. So it would probably require an ability to postpone the level-up till the logout, or at least till the end of a dungeon/skirmish. (basically it reverses the situation where players overgrow the mobs - the mobs easily overgrow the player's gear)
    (-) This would let lvl 1 player to roam anywhere, so many areas would have to have lvl restrictions checked.
    (-) ...and this is not applicable for the PvP at all

    Hi Rikitaki,

    Thanks for taking the time to post. We are actively looking at changing how scaling works and will inform the CDP with more details in the new year.

    Thanks

    Chris
  • cwhitesidedev#9752 cwhitesidedev Member, Cryptic Developer Posts: 253 Cryptic Developer
    adinosii said:

    I will argue that "accessibility" as such is in some cases not the base problem, but rather a symptom of a different, underlying problem. Now, if I try to restrict myself to talking about accessibility in the narrowest sense, I note the following issues:


    Disability issues

    The problems of color-blind players have already been brought up, but you also have some players who are deaf or with serious hearing issues. This means they have limited ability to participate in content where synchronization over a voice channel is seen as necessary. There are ways around that, at least for those players who run with friends or a considerate guild. However, there are some bosses where there are auditory cues (as opposed to visual) for impending attacks,or which type of attack is coming. This puts deaf players at a considerable disadvantage in those situations, as they may not be able to select an optimal response in a timely manner.

    "Outleveled" content

    It has been possible for content to become inaccessible by outleveling it. As an example, here is my personal pet peeve: I collect titles, but I am missing one: "Arachnophile". The reason....when I was leveling up, I outleveled the "Defend the Village" skirmish, so I cannot get the corresponding achievement. If it had been brought back as a CTA it would have solved the problem, but this is one of 3 old skirmishes that have never been offered as CTAs. I have also suggested offering an event where max level restrictions on this old content get lifted temporarily, just to allow people to complete missing achievements and such.

    Help, I have no idea what to do!

    Having content that is "accessible" is irrelevant if you are not aware it exists or how to reach it. When the ability of low level players to ask questions and seek advice on the chat channels was taken away it resulted in many players getting into a position where they feel stuck - they have a problem - they don't know how to proceed but they cannot ask for help. The result - they give up and find some other game to play. Yes, I know this was done in order to combat spam, but that could have been implemented so much, much better.

    "Help, I get slaughtered!"

    This is not about accessibility as such - the content is "accessible", just not doable, so as far as the player in question is concerned it is inaccessible. Players may not know what they need to improve to reach the maximum potential for their characters. I would like to see either an "Advisor" NPC or a "Advice" button in the client, which would give players advice on how to improve their builds and or stat allocations. I'm talking about advice like:
    • "Your stable is not full and some of the mounts you have do not have insignia bonuses."
    • "Your primary weapon and head gear is inferior, considering your level ."
    • "Joining a guild would give you new boons and improve your stats."
    • "You do not have any bonding runestones"
    • "Switching to a better companion would increase your DPS"
    • "You should boost your outgoing healing bonus to become a better healer."
    • "You have not completed the so-and-so campaign. Finishing that would give you a couple of boon points."
    I am talking about the kind of advice that experienced players typically give "newbies" in their guilds - but making advice like this available to everyone would help more players get to the point where they can tackle all the relevant content - thus making the content really "accessible" to them.

    "I can't be bothered"

    OK, I was going to only talk about accessibility in the strictest sense, but I cannot resist mentioning this point - it really has to be considered as a part of the "big picture". Having content that is "accessible" is pointless if people do not want to do it. There are too many places where the reward/effort ratio is just too low. Players don't care if the content is "accessible" it doing it feels like a waste of time - for all practical purposes it might not exist.

    "I'm not wanted"

    Apart from the issues noted above, accessibility is not really an issue for the "solo" content. However, for group content there is one more barrier to access. You may have a character that meets all the requirements,has an "optimal" build, and the player is sufficiently skilled, but is nevertheless unable to do the content in question as his particular class/paragon is just not wanted. This is partly a perception problem - some classes are seen as weaker than others and in a party with random people, players will want the "stronger" classes to keep the run as short and problem-free as possible. This means that if you belong to one of the "weaker" classes, your ability to access the content is reduced, as other players will be reluctant to bring you along. Case in point: The cleric in ToMM. A good Devoted (healer) Cleric can find a spot in a ToMM group easily, but an Arbiter (DPS) cleric will be ignored, due to the general consensus that he does maybe 25% less DPS than an equally geared and skilled member of one of the stronger classes. (Yes, I know the data you collected says the gap is smaller, but the reality is that you are comparing only the "top" Arbiters against more "average" members of some of the other classes). I mentioned the Arbiter as that is my favourite, but there are a few other classes/paragons that have the same problem. It might be informative to look at the relative number of characters of the various classes/paragons that actually complete ToMM - I think that will give you a reasonable estimate of the perceived performance of those classes, and how that is reflected in the chance of those classes basically having access to the content.

    The survivor bias

    There is a story from WW II about an analysis of planes that returned from missions despite being hit.

    The original idea was to strengthen the parts of the planes that suffered the most damage - until someone pointed out that they should be strengthening the parts where they had no damage data - as those were the planes that did not survive being hit.

    How is this relevant?

    Well, you are basically asking the "survivors" for their input - but maybe you should consider asking those who are no longer playing, and focus on fixing whatever caused them to stop playing. Just sending out a "we miss you" mail to former players and give them some nice stuff if they just answer a short survey....and then process that data.
    Hi Adinosii,

    I like this post very much. I really appreciate the time you have put into it and I/we have been thinking about the content for a while.

    We will be focusing on accessibility next year as well as a number of other areas and communication, clarity of purpose, relevance are all things that need to be improved. We will be doing a pass across the game in all the areas that you and others have mentioned specifically in regard to communication around everything in the game in regard to its purpose as well as explaining how core systems and mechanics work individually and in relation to other players. I have just hit 80 and my biggest take aways so far are:

    1: We need to do a better job with release quality and bug fixing.
    2: So much of the cool and integral part of the game just isn't communicated.
    3: It takes a long time to get to the 'fun'.
    4: Much of the content just isn't worthwhile and this isn't necessary.

    And look I just went off-topic!

    Anyway as a player this really sticks out to me:

    "Your stable is not full and some of the mounts you have do not have insignia bonuses."
    "Your primary weapon and head gear is inferior, considering your level ."
    "Joining a guild would give you new boons and improve your stats."
    "You do not have any bonding runestones"
    "Switching to a better companion would increase your DPS"
    "You should boost your outgoing healing bonus to become a better healer."
    "You have not completed the so-and-so campaign. Finishing that would give you a couple of boon points."

    I wish i had this when i was leveling. I was lucky and joined a guild where the folks took the time to explain a lot of the game. I assume many don't have that luxury.

    Thanks again Adinosii. Keep it coming and more detailed info to follow.

    Chris
  • cwhitesidedev#9752 cwhitesidedev Member, Cryptic Developer Posts: 253 Cryptic Developer

    Topic: Systems Documentation.

    Feedback Overview:

    Systems within the game are poorly documented. This is a trait which many MMOs are guilty of, but which is done particularly well by single player RPGs. All tooltips and references should have all terminology standardized. All cases of, "more" for example should refer to multiplication and all cases of "increased" should refer to addition as an easy example. All debuffs should be referred to as a single thing, for example, "enemy defense reductions," and should not have multiple terminologies.

    Feedback Goal:

    • Give players who are struggling a reference document to refer to, in order to help them overcome any issues.
    • Prevent any underlying confusion which exists in the current system, where you have things referred to as, "enemy damage reductions" and, "outgoing damage debuffs" as well as other terminologies.
    • Make reporting bugs easier. If systems are documented properly, it is easier to identify if something is or is not a bug as the tooltips have proper meaning.

    Feedback Functionality:

    An in game encyclopedia should be added, documenting all of the gameplay mechanics. It should include counter stats, how the various mechanics interact with each other, the order of operations within the game, damage calculations, etc. It does not need to include information about monsters attacks (an in depth bestiary), as that is something which should be left to a player to discover, but systems documentation should be on the development side, not on the player side. Power tooltips should be concise, lists telling you exactly what the powers do. The current ones are a big improvement from before M16, but there is still a lot of work to go. Furthermore, when hovering over an item in the combat log, it should give you a brief damage calculation with the option to press another button to see an in depth calculation showing the damage resolution.

    Examples of all this functionality here, shamelessly stolen from a single player RPG (Pillars of Eternity 2):

    Example of a skill tooltip.

    Note, you can click on this tooltip to link to further detailed information. In game it could maybe open the Encyclopedia page for this.

    Example of hovering over something briefly in the combat log.



    Example of combat log tooltip after pressing shift.



    Example of the in game Encyclopedia.

    Note, the blue hyperlinks link to those relevant sections of the in game Encyclopedia. Having a bestiary, while nice, is not necessary. The systems information however is essential.

    Risks and Concerns:

    Making these changes might at first cause some confusion, as it will lead to large scale changes of many of the tooltips within the game. Furthermore, easier access to information due to it being less hidden behind cryptic terminology and having to either look stuff up and test it yourself may reduce the difficulty of the game even further as it becomes easier for players to find things. Both of these concerns however are minor, as with time players should adapt to changed tooltips and in terms of game difficulty, games should be difficult from a mechanical perspective, not because of poor access to documentation.
    Very cool thefabricant,

    Thanks for the time and effort you have put in here. We will discuss this idea (Encyclopedia) in the new year. We will be working on improving discover-ability, streamlining info and tuition across the game as you know but having an encyclopedia could also be very helpful and cool. I will get back to you following discussion.

    Thanks

    Chris
  • cwhitesidedev#9752 cwhitesidedev Member, Cryptic Developer Posts: 253 Cryptic Developer
    sobi#1980 said:

    I do feel for you, to have to read all of this. Though, it seems as if you're enjoying it and i think i might me too :). Let me briefly outline my insight into the core topics discussed in this forum, whilst highlighting epic responses from the playerbase, and hopefully that would give you a good insight into these topics.


    SCALING:

    cwhitesidedev#9752 said:



    "Do you and other members of the CDP feel that scaling has any value at all? What about events that all players would like to take part in but can't for example from an experiential standpoint".

    What you call Scaling is making value for newcomers at the detriment of end gamers. First of all, let us clarify that all end gamers have been newcomers but vice versa, not so true. Then lets acknowledge that all end gamers have spend more time and effort in the game than newcomers. Finally, on average, end gamers have spent a lot more resources/money than newcomers. Why then are you sacrificing the latter for the former? Why even sacrifice anyone?
    micky1p00 said:


    Perception of progress:

    "A player who has worked hard for their gear (or spent $) expect to see some benefit even if marginal. If pre scaled player A is 'stronger' than player B, then a good system will maintain this order, scale it, yes, but still Player A will remain > player B.
    This is fundamental to the larger concept of MMO, the eternal hamster wheel where players gear up, become stronger, and get harder enemies. The important part of it, is that if Player A put a year of game time, then they expect it to reflect as compared to player B who didn't. This is the mentioned devaluation of progress, but in any scaling system devaluation expected, the problem is that in the current one it's annulled"
    .

    Bullseye! Is she right or is she right? But it isn't a huge problem for end gamers, that have skill which newcomers haven't yet encompassed. There are actually 2 issues, one is the way in which primary stats like armpen and critical strike and etc are scaled; so effectively making your hard earned power less effective (the most expensive stat in the game per 1k value). The 2nd is described well by gabriel below.


    "Older content has no meaningful rewards. This is the real killer. Higher level/IL character hate scaling because it increases the time needed for the run and they get no real reward for the time they lose. Introducing different tiers of the same dungeon could help as you could give better rewards fo higher tiers".

    Other than rAD, there are no rewards in older dungeons that are to be sought. So first, players are forced to play content that they do not want to, and then they are scaled on top. Bad news. Another issue is that hard earned gear usually has to be replaced with gear that focuses on armpen/critstrike, which is counter intuitive for a progression based game.


    "I (personally) think that scaling, as a concept, is very interesting. For old players, it opens the possibility to keep old content relevant, and this is very important to Neverwinter since just 1 dungeon or trial or skirmish is released per mod. "

    There has to be an incentive to run old content. Giving tiers to each dungeon would more or less may solve this but it will definitely segregate the community and queue times will shoot up.

    My two cents

    Make older content downscaled and upscaled i.e. all players are scaled to a benchmark. Meaning some will upscale and some will downscale. Give good rewards to provide incentive to end gamers. Then, give them the excuse that if you truly are skilled players, why do you need gear? ;P

    Make newer content non-scaled and introduce rare rewards. Let the end gamers grind those rewards for a sense of progression. My previous suggestion in this forum about introducing benchmark timings that increase the chance of the loot the faster the dungeon/trial is completed could really make PUG really hyped in NW.


    "I think MMOs mean different things to different people. For you it is clearly to feel like a God but for others that might not be their primary driver."

    MMO's mean progress, be it that you are into collection, gearing up to become the best or just enjoying the lore (which obviously has a sense of progression). MMO's need this progression and NW is probably one of the few MMO's out there that is extensively reliant on upgrading gear to progress. The whole game would contradict itself if it suddenly jumps from progression from gearing up to lets say a game like GW2 ;) that have a progression in the sense of fashion items.



    ACCESSIBILITY

    Feedback Overview

    "Let's have two versions of each dungeon/trial (at least the level 70 ones): the one we already have and a "story dungeon" instance."

    This might solve the above issue.

    Summaries are really useful thanks Sobi. I am reading every post but not all CDP members will. Therefore if folks have the time a summary every so often is a very powerful tool for this type of initiative.

    After the holidays we will refine and streamline the conversation and then discuss examples of execution and then finally i will write a proposal on behalf of the CDP that will be sent to the team (they are already reading but a focused document is even more useful) for further discussion.

    Chris

  • cwhitesidedev#9752 cwhitesidedev Member, Cryptic Developer Posts: 253 Cryptic Developer
    rjc9000 said:


    Hey,

    I think MMOs mean different things to different people. For you it is clearly to feel like a God but for others that might not be their primary driver. How many times when playing D and D do you do a module that is vastly lower level than your character? Isn't D and D as much about the experience of playing with others in immersive and challenging (Not just power but also problem solving) worlds and situations as it is about leveling up and being all powerful?

    For all the bluster and gusto of the startup screen proudly displaying "DnD" ... I think this game is more accurately described as "an action game with RPG elements that features DnD names and settings," rather than "a true DnD experience as close as you can get in a MMORPG."

    I don't have much experience with the actual tabletop game, but what I have glanced at from player handbooks, online recounts, and meme laden homebrew (see: Chicken Infested Commoner), the reason story/immersion works in the tabletop game is because gameplay is directly integrated in the story.

    If I want to talk things out rather than fight, I can do that with some diplomacy rolls.
    If I want to scam everyone with tricks, illusion, or really hilarious persuasion, I can do that with the right application of magic.
    If I want to mouth off to some NPC I don't like, I can do that, but I have to face the consequences of doing so.

    Whereas NW, the gameplay is practically all combat. Sure, there are times where the player is doing non-combat stuff in universe, like infiltrating a party, except that the quest eventually devolves into forcing players to kill enemies.

    Additionally, there are other aspects of the gameplay that attempt to trick me into thinking it's DnD based, but fail under closer inspection. For example, ability scores barely impact your overall build with bonuses clocking in at half a percent or a quarter of a percent per each point., or the fact that there is only one situation in the game that actually asks you to make a ability roll check.

    And for all the gusto about story and setting, NW is not exactly very good at investing players in the story that aren't already fans of the setting.

    Take for example, the reveal of Drizzt.
    • To longtime fans of the book's, there's that "oh ****, it's Drizzt!" moment.
    • As someone who hasn't read the books, I scratch my head and wonder why there's a million clones of this guy.
      All he does is that he shows up, tickles enemy HP bars, and makes me do all the work.
    So why is this guy one of the most popular DnD characters? I'm sure the books are better written, but the portrayal in NW isn't exactly a great sell on making me want to figure out Drizzt's backstory.

    Same goes for the characters and plots themselves.
    • Why should I care that some warlock guy and this cleric have some disagreement like some soap opera?
    • Why should I care about the Lord guy who runs Protectors Enclave, aside from "plot demands me to do so?" Not like Lord whatshisface was very thankful for my assistance, other than "here's a cape or two and starter gear for your efforts."
    • The plots themselves and most of the promotional material are all about being some "epic hero" who saves the day from "evil cult/group/spies/insert bad guy of the week here". Not exactly setups that are great to explore character relationships.
    I wouldn't be surprised there's a fairly large subset of NW players that came to be an "awesome epic hero" and don't really care about the story, because the game isn't exactly great at making the story a standout.
    ---------

    I don't speak for everyone, but for the subset of players that @thefiresidecat /myself/a decent many others, we didn't come because we were die hard fans of the Forgotten Realms.

    We came because the MMO was a action based MMORPG with fast combat and a combat system that attempted to do something different from the MMORPG formula.
    Or because it might have been a console MMORPG that happened to be fun and fast paced to hold interest.
    Or because our friends/family/significant others/etc tried it out and we wanted to join them.
    Or because we liked the gameplay and stayed because of the people we met along the way.

    The main appeal was its fast paced nature: I could use one of my abilities every few seconds instead of "do a cool thing, then spend the next 15 seconds being boring and just basic attacking". The system also had feats/passives/etc in place that would make it so you were stringing together your abilities for a good reason, rather than some passive 5% thing that runs in the background.

    Some classes could never touch their At-wills, but required players to have faster fingers to string together the attacks under a time limit of a buff. Some classes dealt most of their damage with encounters, but you had to use your At-wills to make them more powerful or take the encounters off cooldown. Even the classes based around At-wills have more skills, buffs, debuffs, and feats that gave a good incentive to not just blindly hold down the At-will button all day.

    Right now, most of the classes play like the one thing most of us wanted to avoid, use your cool ability and then spend many seconds holding down At-wills because there's nothing else to do.

    As for not following the "MMO trinity", initially, NW set itself with crowd control, to follow the Striker/Leader/Defender/Controller thing of the 4e DnD.

    Adds couldn't be instantly nuked like they could now, so now you had to have someone managed their position/keep them stunlocked while the rest of your team had to focus on other stuff. But, nowadays, all the enemies worth CC'ing are all immune to crowd control, or CCs have such a low duration that you may have well accidentally tripped them. Or adds are so pathetic that you instantly nuke them and move on.

    There are more problems with NW's gameplay other than "slow cooldowns" or "not being a holy trinity based game" that could make it into a lengthy Word document detailing issues or feedback/areas for improvement, but I'd think you'd want a few separate threads for that.
    Hi RJC9000,

    Thanks for all of your comments and for taking the time to share your thoughts.

    I just wanted to point out that the quote and related reply is out of context. I was replying to a previous comment that mentioned D and D in regard to feeling like a 'God'.

    Whilst this is somewhat off-topic i feel like we could focus more on making content that requires more thoughts and allows the players different ways to achieve the same goal.

    Thanks

    Chris

  • rev#7881 rev Member Posts: 343 Arc User
    edited December 2019
    off topic
  • hawkeyelhawkeyel Member Posts: 389 Arc User
    edited December 2019
    I do not like the idea of introducing benchmark timings. The timing would turn this game into a never ending speed run to the finish. Something many have said they dislike already. If you really want to add story and meaning into the game none will ever see it being they are rushing just to get the best end rewards.I am also not a huge fan of DPS checks either. Being this game has never had balance and it is very likely to never have it depending on what ever the new content might be like it will always favor on one or the other types of DPS leaving out the rest. Just like TOMM is doing today. And I have spoken already and am waiting an answer on improving this games voice chat. Or either offering some more support toward third party chat like discord. Communication in any teaming game is very important hope to see more action on that part of the game. Thank you.
  • thefiresidecatthefiresidecat Member Posts: 4,486 Arc User
    edited December 2019

    sobi#1980 said:

    I do feel for you, to have to read all of this. Though, it seems as if you're enjoying it and i think i might me too :). Let me briefly outline my insight into the core topics discussed in this forum, whilst highlighting epic responses from the playerbase, and hopefully that would give you a good insight into these topics.


    SCALING:

    cwhitesidedev#9752 said:



    "Do you and other members of the CDP feel that scaling has any value at all? What about events that all players would like to take part in but can't for example from an experiential standpoint".

    What you call Scaling is making value for newcomers at the detriment of end gamers. First of all, let us clarify that all end gamers have been newcomers but vice versa, not so true. Then lets acknowledge that all end gamers have spend more time and effort in the game than newcomers. Finally, on average, end gamers have spent a lot more resources/money than newcomers. Why then are you sacrificing the latter for the former? Why even sacrifice anyone?
    micky1p00 said:


    Perception of progress:

    "A player who has worked hard for their gear (or spent $) expect to see some benefit even if marginal. If pre scaled player A is 'stronger' than player B, then a good system will maintain this order, scale it, yes, but still Player A will remain > player B.
    This is fundamental to the larger concept of MMO, the eternal hamster wheel where players gear up, become stronger, and get harder enemies. The important part of it, is that if Player A put a year of game time, then they expect it to reflect as compared to player B who didn't. This is the mentioned devaluation of progress, but in any scaling system devaluation expected, the problem is that in the current one it's annulled"
    .

    Bullseye! Is she right or is she right? But it isn't a huge problem for end gamers, that have skill which newcomers haven't yet encompassed. There are actually 2 issues, one is the way in which primary stats like armpen and critical strike and etc are scaled; so effectively making your hard earned power less effective (the most expensive stat in the game per 1k value). The 2nd is described well by gabriel below.


    "Older content has no meaningful rewards. This is the real killer. Higher level/IL character hate scaling because it increases the time needed for the run and they get no real reward for the time they lose. Introducing different tiers of the same dungeon could help as you could give better rewards fo higher tiers".

    Other than rAD, there are no rewards in older dungeons that are to be sought. So first, players are forced to play content that they do not want to, and then they are scaled on top. Bad news. Another issue is that hard earned gear usually has to be replaced with gear that focuses on armpen/critstrike, which is counter intuitive for a progression based game.


    "I (personally) think that scaling, as a concept, is very interesting. For old players, it opens the possibility to keep old content relevant, and this is very important to Neverwinter since just 1 dungeon or trial or skirmish is released per mod. "

    There has to be an incentive to run old content. Giving tiers to each dungeon would more or less may solve this but it will definitely segregate the community and queue times will shoot up.

    My two cents

    Make older content downscaled and upscaled i.e. all players are scaled to a benchmark. Meaning some will upscale and some will downscale. Give good rewards to provide incentive to end gamers. Then, give them the excuse that if you truly are skilled players, why do you need gear? ;P

    Make newer content non-scaled and introduce rare rewards. Let the end gamers grind those rewards for a sense of progression. My previous suggestion in this forum about introducing benchmark timings that increase the chance of the loot the faster the dungeon/trial is completed could really make PUG really hyped in NW.


    "I think MMOs mean different things to different people. For you it is clearly to feel like a God but for others that might not be their primary driver."



    Chris

    I don't understand why it's necessary at all though. why not just make it all level 80? you've just leveled a toon. you can see how long you're at level 70.. who is it serving to have most of the content in the game level 70 instead of level 80? have various difficulties thru the dungeons with varying payouts.. boom problem solved. no difficult scaling equations to try and balance in without having all sorts of bugs arise... yeah? I really don't get why scaling is such a lovebug with the devs... it makes sense to have it for the events because everyone.. but for past dungeons it really doesn't compute for me.. you have to be at least level 70 to play. scaling should be for level 80s of various gear and skill sets.. so basically 99.9 percent of the people playing at any given time are going to be level 80...
  • bpstuartbpstuart Member Posts: 229 Arc User
    Feedback Overview: Update the chat with new options.

    Feedback Goal: I would like the chat to have the option to remove yourself from the "Looking for guild" "Looking for party" channels. I thought i had but i keep seeing "Added to looking for group Channel" when i log in and i have been getting pestered to join groups and guilds rather frequently lately and would like to not. In fact disabling invites would be a nice option. Julia has had to deal with invites while streaming so there are times when they are just not welcome.


    Feedback Functionality: perhaps a setting in the chat options menu that just turns off invites. Anyone trying to send would just see "Send invite" grayed out.

    Risks & Concerns: The only risk i can see is someone turning invites off then forgetting that they did so perhaps a little icon dipicting your oppeness to messages and invites somewhere.

    ( if there is currently a system like this that i just haven't found or have forgotten about call me a hamster and tell me where to find it. )

    You could also make Emotes more accessible by adding an STO like emote menu instead of having to type "/emote dance " or whatever it is. i type rather slowly.
    Ego etiam cupo recrari et amari diu post mortem meam
    I too wish to be recreated, and to be loved long after my death.
This discussion has been closed.