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Queues/TFOs, and why most of them don't get played

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  • seaofsorrowsseaofsorrows Member Posts: 10,913 Arc User
    edited September 2018
    Good game design doesn't just let people blow through content by using exploits to get 500K DPS, it makes them work for it by making things take time.

    lol.. Right because things like flying around aimlessly waiting for portals to spawn or blasting wave after wave of totally unchallenging trash mobs waiting for a timer to expire are just fantastic examples great game design and skill.

    You're embarrassing yourself.
    animated.gif
    Discovery is good, it's you that sucks.
  • peterconnorfirstpeterconnorfirst Member Posts: 6,223 Arc User
    edited September 2018
    I’m again glad to find you in full agreement with the OP as the addressed changes which, like you quoted, limit themselves to address the overall timeframe and not the difficulty if those maps. In a way they would even make them more interactive and engaging and less of a “just sit it out” thingy as 90% of the player base in CCA got accustomed to while the remaining 10% make the lucrative effort/reward ratios happening. ;)
    Wrong again, I am in complete disagreement with the OP because most of the OP's suggestions are just that.

    Ah, so you are a strong advocate of the empty queue list we have and just find CCA, ISA and the red alert maps to be a disturbing and annoying abnormalities. Yea that makes sense. Sorry I have doubted you.
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    Looking for a fun PvE fleet? Join us at Omega Combat Division today.
    felisean wrote: »
    teamwork to reach a goal is awesome and highly appreciated
    Bring it on
    coldnapalm wrote: »
    wishful thinking is not really a reliable source
  • tunebreakertunebreaker Member Posts: 1,222 Arc User
    How? No really, most MMOs on the market have adopted horizontal leveling systems were all post launch content has enemies at the same level at the vanilla end game enemies do, with the big changes being they are given most mechanics that require timing and dodging to counter.
    That has NOTHING to do with timegates we're discussing.
    How is that even trolling? that's basic game balancing that every game tries to have(even if they fail miserably)
    See the answer @seaofsorrows gave you. And lol @ basic game balancing.
  • peterconnorfirstpeterconnorfirst Member Posts: 6,223 Arc User
    azrael605 wrote: »

    No part of this has ever or will ever apply to me.

    Well while I do have some economic aspects to consider in my gang of a dozen end game characters I’m with you on that one to 100%.
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    Looking for a fun PvE fleet? Join us at Omega Combat Division today.
    felisean wrote: »
    teamwork to reach a goal is awesome and highly appreciated
    Bring it on
    coldnapalm wrote: »
    wishful thinking is not really a reliable source
  • tunebreakertunebreaker Member Posts: 1,222 Arc User
    But nope, that isn't enough for some people. Unless they're getting 400 marks for every 5 minutes of gameplay it just isn't enough.

    I know you lack reading comprehension, but let me try nonetheless - I didn't mention rewards in my OP at all. In fact, I specifically mentioned there that I really don't want to discuss it. But others felt they needed to be brought up, so oh well.
    I only want player performance have an actual impact on their progression in game.
    Except it does though because those patterns devs put on monsters make them invulnerable for periods of time. You will never be able to beat some bosses under X amount of time because the system make it impossible to damage them for that long.
    *insert some lame joke about...* ah, nvm.
    Seriously though, did you even read my post before you started to with your absolute nonsense? Nowhere I complained about how bosses are hard, because they are invulnerable or something. I complained about unintuitive timers that in most cases require you to kill as much trash tier mobs as possible until timer runs out.
  • peterconnorfirstpeterconnorfirst Member Posts: 6,223 Arc User
    edited September 2018
    Ah, so you are a strong advocate of the empty queue list we have and just find CCA, ISA and the red alert maps to be a disturbing and annoying abnormalities. Yea that makes sense. Sorry I have doubted you.
    No, i'm an advocate for games to be designed like games, and not be based around the incessant whining of a handful of people who think games should be jobs where only profit margins matter.

    As a full time PvEer in STO the changes the OP suggests will double the fun and excitement on those maps for me. Glad to see we are in agreement here after all! :)

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    Looking for a fun PvE fleet? Join us at Omega Combat Division today.
    felisean wrote: »
    teamwork to reach a goal is awesome and highly appreciated
    Bring it on
    coldnapalm wrote: »
    wishful thinking is not really a reliable source
  • meimeitoomeimeitoo Member Posts: 12,395 Arc User
    edited September 2018
    Good game design doesn't just let people blow through content by using exploits to get 500K DPS, it makes them work for it by making things take time.


    I don't use the T-word often, but, c'mon, that's a bit of a trollish statement -- especially coming from a veteran player like yourself. You know better.

    As for 'working for it,' some ppl plough thru the field, by the sweat of their brow, until the labor is done. Others cultivate their knowledge, working at learning the field first: and then, when it comes to the actual reaping, make it look effortless. Who's the harder worker?!
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  • tunebreakertunebreaker Member Posts: 1,222 Arc User
    Seriously though, did you even read my post before you started to with your absolute nonsense? Nowhere I complained about how bosses are hard, because they are invulnerable or something. I complained about unintuitive timers that in most cases require you to kill as much trash tier mobs as possible until timer runs out.
    >Asks if I even read the post
    >Then goes on to talk about the very thing I just talked about as if I didn't just talk about it.
    This is beyond surreal at this point. I'm honestly not sure if you are being serious anymore because what you said is literally the exact thing I talked about in this thing you quoted.
    I know you lack reading comprehension, but let me try nonetheless - I didn't mention rewards in my OP at all. In fact, I specifically mentioned there that I really don't want to discuss it. But others felt they needed to be brought up, so oh well.
    I never said you did. for someone who likes to insinuate that other can't read... you seem unable to do so yourself most of the time.

    Ah, so just trolling then. Noted so.
  • lordsteve1lordsteve1 Member Posts: 3,492 Arc User
    So to get back on topic, are there any queues where a time gate is acceptable right now?

    Off the top of my head Counterpoint, because it isn’t really noticeable and also the taxi part sort of makes sense to let you drop off assault teams within a certain time. Sure you can do it faster than the time but you also have to knock down TN and protect DS9 at the same time. And the first stage timer I believe can actually be moved onwards if all enemies are killed before the timer?

    Miner Instabilites.
    The last stage makes sense as as a times portion because even if you vaped everyone you still need the Gorn guy to power down the drill so there is still and objective going and more npcs will beam in to stop you.

    Most other ones could or should be swapped to let the mission progress once players clear a certain checkpoint in the queue.
    MI for example really should advance once you power up fully of have closed a set number of portals. Link the final stage trigger to something meaningful.
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  • peterconnorfirstpeterconnorfirst Member Posts: 6,223 Arc User
    edited September 2018
    Behind the curtains I can’t stop laughing here sorry guys. :D:D:D

    LOL I mean @somtaawkhar speaks in favor of games to be designed like games. Swarm, the latest PvE map introduced by Cryptic has a 7 minute third phase. A phase where on advanced or normal difficulty any form of interaction of the players won’t do anything at all towards the completion of the map. You play it as it is supposed to play, you can AFK, hell you can even hop toons and set up another map until you return just for the reward to take. It all does not matter, for real. The stage will auto conclude on its own when the time elapses. I endured it all multiple times to see how un-game-like it is.

    Granted, the other PvE mentioned are a bit less uninventive for a “gamer” lol any gamer but talking about games to be designed like games or even good game design is really a joke in itself here made by you.

    There are times when I wonder if you ever set foot in a PvE in like ever dude.
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    Looking for a fun PvE fleet? Join us at Omega Combat Division today.
    felisean wrote: »
    teamwork to reach a goal is awesome and highly appreciated
    Bring it on
    coldnapalm wrote: »
    wishful thinking is not really a reliable source
  • kyle223catkyle223cat Member Posts: 584 Arc User
    I think at this point all of the possible reasons for the queues not betting played have probably been discussed. Right now it’s not much more than a “screaming” match between select players who have a difference of opinion based on play style and experience. There’s nothing wrong with that in itself, but every time I come back to revisit this thread, it only goes even further downhill. It’s probably best a moderator goes ahead and shuts this show down.
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  • captainwellscaptainwells Member Posts: 718 Arc User
    Recently, we have seen Cryptic trying to revitalize Queues (rebranded into TFOs). So, I thought real hard why I don't get myself into some of the TFOs, and when I ran out of thoughts, asked several of my friends to share their opinions too. So while some parts of my post and criticisms are not exactly my own personal thoughts, they are absolutely a concern shared by multiple people in game.

    And actually, it really boils down to that most of the offerings in game are just repetitive, tedious and sometimes downright annoying after multiple times of playing. Rewards, as they currently are, are more of a mid-tier problem, since while obviously players are driven to queues that give out the most rewards for least effort, ultimately it doesn't start to matter once you have solid fleet of Admirality ships to get your daily dil and thousands of marks just waiting in your Assets tab. Rewards surely play their part, but I don't want to discuss those in this post - it's about mission designs themselves.

    So, apart from poor rewards, what makes the queues so unappealing? Mostly timegates, or bad mechanics. All of the popular queues (sans Swarm, but I predict it will die down soon) are totally case of "how good team is" = "how fast you complete the mission". There's no senseless waiting or at worst cases trying to fight the game rather than NPCs. But that's minority of the queues in game.

    Rather, so many queues in game have timers that you simply have to wait to run out, before you either progress to next stage or mission can end. Even worse, that horrible practice has also crept into latest storyline missions. And the mandatory timers are not just annoying, they are also anti-immersive. As one of my friends said: "if a fleet is invading, they don't gain more ships just because you can kill them extra fast;
    or realistically they wouldn't, anyway". Yet we see this practice in so many queues today. And at the same time, it doesn't give you any incentive to play well, cause you know the mission will be over in X minutes anyway.

    Another extremely annoying feature is how either being shot at or shooting yourself completely breaks almost every interaction on missions, whether it is closing a portal, transport or whatever. Thus, an incredibly good QoL change would be if at least being shot at wouldn’t cancel said interactions. Said mechanic feels just to be thrown in to annoy the hell out of everyone, while actually not adding a layer of challenge.

    Thus, I, with a little help from my friends, compiled a list of worst offenders, and thought what might be good ideas to perhaps revitalize those. I'm not saying that all of my suggestions are perfect, but something needs to change and just complaining and yelling "fix it now!!!" while not offering anything at all didn't seem very right thing to do either. Also, I apologize if I left something important out, but it's open forum, you readers can always add your own thoughts.

    Assault on Terok Nor – console sequence is unintuitive, there's no real indication which consoles might be the right ones, so it becomes mindless running around and pressing F. Also other players can mess up your progress.
    Possible fix: Keep 3 consoles only you need to activate in correct sequence, and mission progresses as soon as one player gets it right. Activating wrong console resets sequence only for that player, not for the entire team.
    Alternative possible fix: If a logic puzzle is absolutely needed, maybe replace the console run with something similar to Quark’s Lucky Seven (where Rom hacks Odo’s computer), that only 1 person needs to complete.

    Azure Nebula Rescue – ideally, it’s 12 minutes of doing exactly the same stuff, and the reward is only determined by luck - not very good mission design if you ask me. Current state is doing something for 3 minutes and waiting 9 for nothing to happen - it's horribly bugged and needs to be fixed ASAP.
    Possible fix: there are 4 asteroid bases, and 4 classes of ships to be rescued. Assign one ship to each base and have the mission to end as soon as you’ve rescued 2 ships from each class. Autofail when you don’t manage to do so in 12 minutes.

    Battle of Procyon 5 – same **** 3 times in a row. I know you wanted to make it look like the actual “battle of Procyon 5”, but it just feels so dumb and unappealing.
    Possible fix: Cut parts 1 and 2 entirely and change the interaction mechanic per my interaction paragraph in this post, and it could possibly become one of my favourite missions in game.

    Binary Circuit – mission is absolutely awesome, but the race mechanic between 2 teams (for some unexplained reason) + required amount of 10 players can be offputting.
    Possible fix: Make it a single team, 5 player mission.

    Borg Disconnected
    Possible fix: Make the stage progress as soon as the team manages to save 15 disconnected Borg vessels.

    Counterpoint – actually, this mission doesn’t seem to have a big problem with getting players, so probably not a big priority, but for QoL improvement…
    Possible fix: Have the mission autoprogress as soon as the team has closed 5 portals and transported 15 troops.

    Days of Doom – I know it’s integral part of the mission, so I have a hard time of coming up with a meaningful change, but 10 minutes of waiting until Scotty finishes his core is incredibly unpopular among large part of players.

    Dranuur Gauntlet – this would be a fun mission, but it suffers from what's possibly the worst execution in the game. Killing enemies faster just means enemies spawn faster and you get **** faster. And the mobs move right to and past the satellites and will spawncamp the players, and when you're not quick enough, they'll spawn more waves whether or not you finished the current one.
    Special comment from a tank friend: tanking doesn’t help at all, it's impossible to draw fire away from defense satellites.
    Possible fix: Fix the aggro and design the mission to autoprogress as soon as you’ve cleared X number of enemy groups. Fix the respawn location so that players aren’t under fire from all three groups as they re-enter. And make it possible to heal the defense satellites.

    Gateway to Grethor
    Possible fix: mission progresses to boss stage as soon as 15 transports get through. Autofail when they don’t after allocated time.

    Herald Sphere
    Possible fix: Stage 2 progresses as soon as you kill 5 Herald attack groups. Autofail when you can’t do it in 4 minutes or when 15 ships get through. Stage 3 - fix the bug with command ships and have it autoprogress as soon as you kill 1, maybe 2 groups of herald forces.
    Link to bug

    Storming the Spire – probably my personal favourite mission, but so many of my friends are complaing about timegates, so here goes.
    Possible fix: Mission autoprogresses as soon as you get 50% control of the spire. Autofail when you fail to do that in 10 minutes or when Voth get more than 150 troops.

    Swarm - 3rd stage is too long and gets repetitive.
    Possible fix: Mission autocompletes when X number of transports get through.

    Undine Infiltration – mission was very popular until the fire extinguish mechanic was changed and turned into an incredibly bugged state.
    Possible fix: Revert it back to the previous state.

    Hopefully the devs are listening, since you've nicely done their work for them. All they've gotta do now, is implement these changes.
  • tunebreakertunebreaker Member Posts: 1,222 Arc User
    @kyle223cat. I disagree. Why shut something immediately down just because people who are currently online and observing forums have nothing more to say. If a thread has run its course, it will die naturally.

    I'd say this is one of the main problems here. Threads get shut down immediately after a problem is perceived to get some form of discussion. Usually it's not solution (queues are still dead, aren't they?), rather a day or two of ideas thrown around which ultimately lead nowhere. Yes, you can make the argument that it doesn't matter cause devs won't read everything (or anything) anyway, but I'd like to stay optimistic.

    One of the main draws of forum design over the Reddit model is that old threads, if popular enough, will stay relevant and in news feed when there's enough people commenting. We shouldn't shut the thread down simply because someone decided to go off-topic and/or troll the discussion.

    Sure, that doesn't excuse necroing or artificially keeping the thread at top with pointless bumps for weeks. But I don't think we're at that point just yet.
  • seaofsorrowsseaofsorrows Member Posts: 10,913 Arc User
    @kyle223cat. I disagree. Why shut something immediately down just because people who are currently online and observing forums have nothing more to say. If a thread has run its course, it will die naturally.

    I'd say this is one of the main problems here. Threads get shut down immediately after a problem is perceived to get some form of discussion. Usually it's not solution (queues are still dead, aren't they?), rather a day or two of ideas thrown around which ultimately lead nowhere. Yes, you can make the argument that it doesn't matter cause devs won't read everything (or anything) anyway, but I'd like to stay optimistic.

    One of the main draws of forum design over the Reddit model is that old threads, if popular enough, will stay relevant and in news feed when there's enough people commenting. We shouldn't shut the thread down simply because someone decided to go off-topic and/or troll the discussion.

    Sure, that doesn't excuse necroing or artificially keeping the thread at top with pointless bumps for weeks. But I don't think we're at that point just yet.

    I agree.

    I totally get what @kyle223cat is saying, but at the same time there are a lot of pretty good discussions and ideas here. There are always going to be those that try and be argumentative just for the sake of getting the thread shut down and we are seeing that here. Best thing we can do is just keep trying to contribute positive ideas and keep things as on topic as possible. With that being said..
    lordsteve1 wrote: »
    So to get back on topic, are there any queues where a time gate is acceptable right now?

    Off the top of my head Counterpoint, because it isn’t really noticeable and also the taxi part sort of makes sense to let you drop off assault teams within a certain time. Sure you can do it faster than the time but you also have to knock down TN and protect DS9 at the same time. And the first stage timer I believe can actually be moved onwards if all enemies are killed before the timer?

    Miner Instabilites.
    The last stage makes sense as as a times portion because even if you vaped everyone you still need the Gorn guy to power down the drill so there is still and objective going and more npcs will beam in to stop you.

    Most other ones could or should be swapped to let the mission progress once players clear a certain checkpoint in the queue.
    MI for example really should advance once you power up fully of have closed a set number of portals. Link the final stage trigger to something meaningful.

    Most of the queues I have issue with are covered in the original post. Counterpoint never really felt like a time gate to me, but in cases like that, it would be nice if the rewards were amplified for getting more teams transported. It starts to feel 'grindy' when you're going to get the same thing for doing the bare minimum that you would for putting in maximum effort. I actually like the way CP is structured, but it would be nice if we could make it a goal to get X number of transports to see if we can get a nice bonus. Same with Miners, I don't mind defending the Gorn for X amount of time, but again.. it would be nice if better performance yielded better rewards. That makes it feel a lot less like a time gate and more of an interactive goal that keeps you invested in what's going on.
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    Discovery is good, it's you that sucks.
  • hippiejonhippiejon Member Posts: 1,581 Arc User
    So here's a thought, I'm having reading all this.
    Timegates are annoying. It doesn't matter how many trash mobs you defeat, or portals you close, or pies you bake, etc etc during that time because at max level, the tiny amount of experience you get from defeating/closing, etc means nothing. The reward for completing an optional is what? a couple more marks? Again , almost means nothing in terms of reward.

    If the designers are so keen on timegates, we should be receiving better rewards the better we do during the timegated sections. I.E. If the team defeats 50 mobs during the time they make less than a team that destroyed 100. These are just numbers for example. Basically if we are going to be time gated (and it sure seems like that is current Dev thinking on TFO design) then it needs to be made worthwhile to be doing more than minimum effort during the forced timegated sections.

    IF we are going to have a 7 minute required stage of a TFO then figure out a way to reward players who do "better" during those sections.

    Just a thought, not even sure if it adds anything to the discussion, but I hope so.

    -Hippie
  • tunebreakertunebreaker Member Posts: 1,222 Arc User
    Well, as I said in my OP too, Storming the Spire is not an issue for me. However I suspect that's only because it's so tough that you'll have something to constantly do even being a very high performing player. But, as I also said, some ppl say they find it unintuitive, and I see where they're coming from.

    Korfez has some sort of timegate-y parts (defending Turei, for example), but that's a non-issue.

    It's fine to have some mild form of waiting every now and then, especially when it's applied in a plausible form, but Cryptic has recently just applied it absolutely everywhere possible, and incredibly unappealing and unimaginative ways (Azure Nebula is probably the worst offender, considering that even if your team performs extremely well all those 12(?) minutes, you still might lose optionals get less rewards than with a weaker team just through bad RNG luck), so it has gotten extremely disturbing.
  • warpangelwarpangel Member Posts: 9,427 Arc User
    lordsteve1 wrote: »
    So to get back on topic, are there any queues where a time gate is acceptable right now?

    Off the top of my head Counterpoint, because it isn’t really noticeable and also the taxi part sort of makes sense to let you drop off assault teams within a certain time. Sure you can do it faster than the time but you also have to knock down TN and protect DS9 at the same time. And the first stage timer I believe can actually be moved onwards if all enemies are killed before the timer?

    Miner Instabilites.
    The last stage makes sense as as a times portion because even if you vaped everyone you still need the Gorn guy to power down the drill so there is still and objective going and more npcs will beam in to stop you.

    Most other ones could or should be swapped to let the mission progress once players clear a certain checkpoint in the queue.
    MI for example really should advance once you power up fully of have closed a set number of portals. Link the final stage trigger to something meaningful.
    If there are, I'm not aware of it. As mentioned before, to-win timers really need a fail condition or it's just a waiting mission.

    Like in Counterpoint, you don't actually have to protect DS9, attack anything, or ferry assault teams. All you have to do is wait for the timer to run out and the mission will advance all the same no matter what anyone did during the phase.

    With a fail condition, it can work. If DS9 getting destroyed meant losing the mission. If you had to get X assault teams on Terok Nor before the time runs out or lose the mission. Then it would be a proper mission. But as long as you don't actually have to do anything at all and the mission/phase will just win itself, then it's just a complete waste of time. Might as well go get a cup of coffee while waiting.

    It's always noticeable and it never makes sense. If no player action is required to complete the mission, what's the point of having the players there at all, waiting for win o'clock? Besides padding Cryptic's play-time metrics, of course.
  • tunebreakertunebreaker Member Posts: 1,222 Arc User
    warpangel wrote: »
    With a fail condition, it can work. If DS9 getting destroyed meant losing the mission. If you had to get X assault teams on Terok Nor before the time runs out or lose the mission. Then it would be a proper mission.

    Not sure about DS9 being destroyed, but failing to close 5 portals or transporting 15 troops during allocated time will fail the queue on elite. However, the problem is that if you have a team that knows how to read the mission objectives, you'll be sure to close/transport at least twice the amount needed.

    And yes, I agree advanced queues being pretty much autowin is ridiculous, but remembering the horrible outcry after DR how people were constantly failing advanced queues, I'm not surprised they changed it.
  • lordsteve1lordsteve1 Member Posts: 3,492 Arc User
    edited September 2018
    Yeah on elite counterpoint the mission fails if you don’t close the number of portals (5?) and dontbferry enough assault teams. So there are fail conditions.

    In fact CPE is an odd elite queue because it can be handled pretty well with what would be considered subpar builds for the likes of HSE etc. It has a good mix of challenges so it’s not just a shooting gallery.
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  • markhawkmanmarkhawkman Member Posts: 35,231 Arc User
    hippiejon wrote: »
    rattler2 wrote: »
    Big Dig?
    Main issue: 20 man queue.

    Don't know what other problems there are with it off the top of my head. Been forever since I saw the map.
    Oh it's totally the 20 person requirement to even pop that makes it unplayed. Total agreement there.
    I'd love to see it get the remastering treatment like the Minefield did.
    I once got stuck trying to 4-man it... that was a long time ago and a major PITA..... Had to shoot so many Romulans I got the Praetor title...
    -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
    My character Tsin'xing
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  • lordsteve1lordsteve1 Member Posts: 3,492 Arc User
    I’ve always felt the big queues like Big Dig, Breaking the Planet and Starbase Fleet Defense would be better as a sort of persistent mini battle zone that just resets after each successful mission. That way the map could adjust to how many players are there and you could run it with as many or few as we’re present.
    No more nightmare trying to get 20 players together with that.
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  • hippiejonhippiejon Member Posts: 1,581 Arc User
    Wow. I really like that idea Steve.
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