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The Grind vs. NPE - Why invest hours & hours playing an incomplete game for the chance to play the c

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by healinghands, May 13, 2017.

  1. healinghands

    healinghands New Member
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    This is a post directed first & foremost to BPG, though all are invited to discuss.

    My goal is to point out one of the biggest and most fundament flaw of Darkfall's New Player Experience ("NPE"), and urge BPG to remedy the flaw. This flaw may not be too apparent now, at the point of launch. But it is there, festering, held at bay only by the exuberance of RoA's launch and the enthusiasm of the vet playerbase all beginning their grind together. This will fade in the next few months, and that is when this flaw will make itself apparent, severly limiting the number of new players who will stick with the game.

    The basic argument is simple. One of the linchpins of Darkfall's charm is its deep & engaging combat. BECAUSE the combat is deep & engaging, everything else built around it--the full loot, the territory control, the tight-knit community & its culture of achievement & competition--clicks into place. The combat is not deep & engaging when you first start the game. It is not deep & engaging for a relatively long period afterwards.

    I'm not talking about the numbers in the background. The extra 100+ of each resource, extra 10-20% damage done, the resource effeciencies, all the passive things in the background that create a large gulf between a newish character and a fully developed character. I'm talking about actual honest-to-goodness gameplay mechanics which are locked behind a grind for no good reason.

    I'm talking about how a new character has no access to effective resource management, no access to the iconic mobility present at all stages of an end-game fight, and a melee system without parrybreak or whirlwind (let alone a 2 hander, which is pretty much meta-required). To me, this is a sensible list of BASIC combat mechanics that all Darkfall players should have access to from the very start. The combat doesn't make sense or shine until you have at LEAST all of these tools in play.

    There's more to it, of course. There's heal-others, debuffs, soft CCs, WoF, field-AOEs, etc. The point is, Darkfall's combat is compelling because of the many many options that players have to approach every moment of every engagement. The NPE locks an entirely ridiculous extent of these options behind grind-gates.

    There's a lot of gamers out there who, if given a taste of Darkfall's combat from the moment they log on, will push past the potent barriers of old graphics, vast & complex systems, and even the grind to catch-up to a superior vet playerbase. Give them a taste. If your first 30 hours of counter-strike gameplay consisted of only a pistol, and the game locked weapon buying, armor, grenades, and knife behind the grind, how many of you would have put the game down forever in the first few hours? What if Street Fighter gave you only the ability to use medium punches and you had to unlock light & heavy attacks, kicks, counters, and jumps over the following hours of gameplay all the while fighting other players or NPCs that have everything unlocked? How many new players would stick around months after release?

    There will be many who advocate against this idea, I think. Those who associate grind with MMORPG, with content. Or the overly fatalstic "realist" who will argue grind is a necessary evil. I expect there may be a "LOL you noob I can make a new character and with nothing but a vast compilation of game knowledge, a generous bankroll of regs, gear, & gold, and my crew of 6 fully maxed out/geared out players willing to dedicate hours each day to helping me, I can be viable within 10 hours of play." I remind them that I'm not advocating for the removal of the grind. I'm advocating for removing the grind from the BEST and the most BASIC parts of what makes Darkfall, Darkfall.

    We want people who don't know Darkfall to fall in love with Darkfall. So why does it take hours and hours of gameplay before you unlock only the most BASIC pieces of the gameplay that make this game so good? There is no good reason.

    My personal recommendation?

    All new characters begin with:

    (1) starter staff/bow/S&B/2hander slotted in their hotbar
    (2) fully-leveled heal-self/transfers (still grind for lesser magic passives, int/wis, general passives, staff magnitude), and unleveled witches brew
    (3) Begone
    (4) Parry Disable (for all weapons) & Whirlwind (for all weapons)

    New combat tutorial that explains:

    (1) 4 weapon slots & what they are used for (staff-used for spells, spells are varied in effect and give you options, bow-dedicated ranged DPS weapon, higher potential DPS but gives no utility, S&b-used to mitigate damage & mounted combat, 2hander-dedicated melee DPS weapon)
    (2) basics of resource management (and now a fresh character has the ability to at least semi-efficiently manage resources)
    (3) basics of mobility (begone/bunny hopping)
    (4) basics of melee (parry vs. parry disable, whirlwind usage)

    The true test-have two fresh players begin the game with some duels. Does the game allow them to have fun, engaging battles with meaningful choices that reward skillful gameplay? With the above changes (or something like it), I believe the answer will be yes. Currently? No, not with no parry break, no mobility or ability to reposition outside of long, boring mount chases, and horribly inefficient resource management. It takes hours of play to gain only a few of the above basics. Darkfall has lost many players who would have treasued it because it locked away the most basic elements of what makes its combat good behind hours of the grind. Don't make the same mistake this time around.

    Best of luck to all.
     
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  2. Myspace

    Myspace Skeleton Archer

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    While this is well-intentioned, and I could see how a vet could be anxious for new players to "experience darkfall properly"

    - Giving me begone at the start is meaningless. It's a knockback spell you can aim. How to use it is not at all intuitive, and even if you give a tutorial on basic bunnyhopping, when and where to do it is not going to be apparent. You'll still get run down at the start by players with the other movement spells / people who have experience using it better so it doesn't help with survival either.

    - I wonder what there is left to look forward to in the game after you give everything up front that way. Sure, new spells are cool, but say you have a player who wants to play destroyer or some other kind of melee build in the game. They have begone, near max transfers, witches brew, whirlwind, and parry disable? What's left to work toward? Passives? Buff spells? I was pretty stoked when I got begone because by that time in the game I had an idea of wtf to do with it. If I got it at the start I'd probably have killed myself trying to use it in combat more than anything else.

    There is enough nuance in this game to get used to, like perspective switching and inventory management etc.

    I think it's unreasonable to expect beginner darkfall players to get "what's so amazing" just by giving them the tools and a one-liner tutorial on how they work. It doesn't matter how good you make beginner transfers if I'm never going to remember how to use them. Instead of needing just the 3 basic reagents for transfers, now i'd feel like I need to track 6 or 7 right from the start since Witches Brew / Begone would feel so powerful used properly at that level.
     
  3. Eagleglow

    Eagleglow Ghost
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    I dont really see the "grind" my lesser is 90 and the passives are 30 ish and i have barly done anything and been playing casual for the past week.

    Its not like you join black desert online or wow and expect to get evwrything handed to you the first week its an mmorpg not a fps
     
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  4. Sacrillegious

    Sacrillegious Fire Elemental
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    Holy fuck I hate you all.
     
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  5. Benevolence

    Benevolence Akathar
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    ehhh somewhat yes and no.

    Theres a fine line here where u want to give players tools, but at a pace where they can fluently learn to integrate them into gameplay.

    U dont want to give a new player 15 hotkeys off the start. This game is already very overwhelming at the start (all sandbox games are). when u come in the realm of possibilities is so huge its hard to get an understanding of the game without vet help. I think that aspect definitely needs improvement. It's difficult tho.

    To be brutally honest, im not a fan of begone as it is anyway, and imo it needs a change. Its incredibly unintuitive to have a push spell that u have to position at just the right distance to make it a pull spell. There is no way a noob is going to even think of it in the normal course of life. Its basically an exploit that was fun and required skill so it was never fixed. I want the skill to be changed to an actual pull skill. make it pull shit unless u get it just right but make it ALWAYS pull. drop this at lvl 1 or lvl 25 greater for easy access, but imo not at the start.

    Let the noobs get used to the basics of simply aiming ur shit at moving targets and dodging. u play df so u might not appreciate anymore that even such simple player skills arent just there, they need to be trained.

    im gunna be blunt, and tell ya right now that an actual newb (not a returning vet, but like a skyrim player trying sandbox in an mmo format for the first time) is not gunna win or lose a pvp fight based on whether or not they had parry disable and witches brew.

    I think 25 skill for disables is VERY reasonable. Its extremely easy to get and by tat time the player has done enough melee/archery to get comfortable with the core mechanics of fps aim in an mmo world. they're ready to start integrating skills. i'd say here that i'd like to see Whirlwind changed to 25 req tho.

    as for transfers, imo they're useful enough at the start, level easy, and are already all available at the start. they don't need to come power lvld too. Same with witches brew. lvling these spells and it requiring essences are a driving point of the economy right now, and later on these spells can easily be power lvld once essences are cheap (since few people will be lvling at that point)

    TBH at the end of the day, despite u clearly already ignoring this... the grind is needed.

    The. Grind. Is. Needed.

    this is not an arena game. this is not a battleground game.

    It's a conquest game. From what i understand it, the objective is a fluid, dynamic sandbox world, with both haves and the have nots.


    IMO the biggest problem by far with DFO's NPE is not any grind, or gear discrepancy, or griefers. Its simply that the game is incredibly unintuitive for many core features, and has a huge lack of information (which compounds the unintuitive problem a LOT). For example: DFUW's map with mobs/holdings/etc shown needs to be done here. As a general rule of thumb, u don't want people using third party websites as core parts of their gameplay (player maps)
     
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  6. Avarious

    Avarious Wildtribe Mage
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    In some games namely single players games they start you off in a tutorial with almost all if not all your skills to give you and idea of what you will be working up too after the tutorial is over (sends you back to newbie status leaving you wanting to get those skills back) maybe something like that will give players a test of end game spells / combat that way they see the worth behind the grind.
     
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  7. Ogrinn

    Ogrinn Deadeye
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    What mmo starts you with everything in your kit available? None.

    The point of a new player starting with the bare minimum is to ease them into the game.

    I agree with those points, better hot bar customization and even more tutorial tips are needed.
     
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  8. Navlaan

    Navlaan Infernal

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    but BDO has an immense grind, and if you die you lose exp lol.

    The new Darkfall grind is actually easy as hell now. I ain't complaining though... I don't feel like grinding for a third Darkfall lol. It's fine the way it is now.

    edit: Melee still takes a long time to level up I feel, at least compared to archery, since with archery you're safe and there's almost no down time; stamina is all you need to regen mostly.
     
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    #8 Navlaan, May 13, 2017
    Last edited: May 13, 2017
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  9. Scrapnotcrap

    Scrapnotcrap Eodrin
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    It's really not a big deal.

    The only things that feels grindy in ROA is the melee grind to unlock mastery, VIT and DEX grind as-well since they fall behind easily. Everything else is fine. I mean, i actually had to medidate melee as i was grinding it just to unlock my mastery.

    I agree with some of your point. Things like begone should be unlocked earlier, but not at the start of the game. Giving too much stuff for a newb at the start will only confuse them even more.

    One complain i do have is the gold required to unlock your skills/spells. Those things will make you stay poor, even as a vet. The gold sink on regs is already heavy now that we're not getting as much gold as we used to, but things that require 1000 gold, 500 gold to unlock, that's pretty heavy, especially on a new player who's not leveling stuff in the right order.

    ...

    For now, i only wish that the melee grind to unlock mastery was part of the whole scribing system.
     
  10. Chuck Zitto

    Chuck Zitto Gravelord
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    After playing a week now and hitting it pretty hard I still think the grind is to long to become pvp viable for new players. Based on what I have seen after we all are levled up a new player is gonna take a good month to be pvp viable maybe more if they can only play casually. IMO df was best the last few months when leveling was extremely fast and we actually pvped each other sieged each other went to sea towers fought over villages etc instead of grinding and farming mats. However there are many people who only enjoy the grind and once its basically done they get bored because they dont try to create content and conflict they just like to get that ding sound when somthing levels up.
     
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  11. Nero Gothic

    Nero Gothic Goblin Scout
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    Chuck....NOONE cares that u think the grind is too hard. lol my god.
    --- Post updated ---

    Whoa... A whole week?
     
  12. Niburu

    Niburu Skeleton Archer

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    Why dont they make Destroyer/mage Killer the Standard for every Player. Once you want to buy a elemental school you lose the benefits of Destro.

    Also jumpshot shouldnt be a specialization for archery.
     
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  13. Sero

    Sero Menhir Sentinal
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    The only grind in Darkfall atm is player skill. Everything else is trivial.
    --- Post updated ---
    agreed.
     
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  14. Stormsblade

    Stormsblade Goblin Warlord

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    Healinghands is right - All of you who are critical of the anti-grind measures because "the grind insn't too bad" are blind to how many players quit the game instead of spending hours doing something they truly do not want to do before they can actually experience PvP.

    There should still be character development in the game - But a new character should start out "viable" and progress to "optimal."
     
    #14 Stormsblade, May 13, 2017
    Last edited: May 13, 2017
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  15. Sero

    Sero Menhir Sentinal
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    except a good player makes whatever they have work. Melee/archery, bolts/debuffs. Make it work.

    It doesnt take much to get rays either.

    I love how people assume they just become gods when they get high magic. You're still going to get dumpstered by Vets.
     
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  16. Stormsblade

    Stormsblade Goblin Warlord

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    Nobody has argued anything like what you are arguing against.
    It's like your reading a different post.
     
  17. Sero

    Sero Menhir Sentinal
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    you're saying noobs cant actually experience pvp. You can actually experience PVP from day 1. You're arguing against grind and having to have a maxed character to pvp. You don't have to.

    The only thing that could be done to this grind, is increasing the base starting stats or increasing the amount nectar of the gods gives. That's about it.

    The fact is, people who complain about the grind are always going to find something to complain about, they want this faster,t hey want it now, its stupid they have to do stuff, yap yap yap. This isn't free handoutsfall, this is Darkfall. You want it? Earn it.
     
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  18. Cincere

    Cincere Dire Zombie
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    Ok well #1.. this is an mmo.. #2 grind? What grind? This is NO LONGER a grind here... I have played for maybe a total of 15 hours since launch and without hardly leaving starter mobs I already have higher mage spells.. I have arcane magic already. In the original games state.. it would take you a month of solid grinding to get arcane magic... and a lot long if you are only casually playing as I am. In all honesty... They should have left it that way as well. This game had a very unique way of actually making you feel like you actually were achieving a serious goal and felt great to eventually get there. Now.. Its fucking cake. IMO... its way too fast. They also took out ALOT of simple skills like walking running swimming ect.. they just straight up gave us 100%.

    You are comparing being locked out in call of duty gun and ammo grinding to an mmo's selection of what you NEED first. You don't need whirlwind at all to be viable in pvp.. you just want it period. You can ask many vets... A good player whom has learned how to play this game.. can kill a group of people whilst being nekkid with a r50 sword, cheap shield and minimal regs.

    It might take you awhile to figure it out... and no.. there is no arena for you to practice in. Get into a good clan.. and they will show you how its done. I think you actually failed to mention stats and that probably has more importance over anything else mentioned. Meditation is in and working so... that's all cake too. When this game launched there was no meditation.. that came way later.. like a year before they shut the original down.

    The grind is gone in this game... You are very lucky to be able to experience it this way as well. So for those mentioning grind... You really have no clue as this game had by far the grindiest skill gains ever. They did it that way on purpose to try and keep progression to a minimum.

    Archeage and Black desert online.. are set up so you spend a ton of money on p2w.. there is no p2w here. You gotta work for it.

    I keep seeing people talking about resetting the game and start from scratch since they launched with a few bugs... If they do that I kinda hope they turn the grind back on as seeing they have added more mats for crafting now you actually have something to grind mobs for.

    Its kinda irritating to me hearing about this new player experience bullshit.. Games were ALOT more fun when you didn't have a damn guide.. you actually played the game to figure stuff out.

    The answer to all of this you mention is play the game.. there are vets here... its an old game... nothing can be done about that. You CAN NOT fix a vet vs new player, experience gap.
    --- Post updated ---
    There is only 2 things that suck about this game that makes it tough... full loot and dying being sent back to where you are bound. There is not another game out there that has these two bound together the way this one does. There is no way to quickly get back into the fight. You die... and hope your shit is still there when you get back. On a busy server it never is... on a low pop server its ok just time consuming going back. And... if you go all the way back and its not there.. well.. that's quite discouraging.

    Yesterday... I was bound in bel melek... I was buying skills in shoal... someone kicked me with their horse into the acid and I died... could not get out in time. I healed every time I could and statted. Revived in bel melek and you know damn well all my shit was looted. What if I would have had my bank on me to buy stuff? I would have lost it all. I know very well people will definitely quit after that. That is hurting this game more than anything else. It always has. Not to us of course because we love the game for what it is but for MOST.. they don't want that griefing part and its very discouraging.
     
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  19. Stormsblade

    Stormsblade Goblin Warlord

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    This is an extremely fallacious argument.

    This may technically be true, but we all know that until you reach a certain amount of skill you are actually a liability in PvP as opposed to a capable asset.

    Put the best player in Darkfall on fresh character and I'll beat them, and I'm shit.
    In reality, new players on new characters just take hits and clog up firing lanes.
     
    #19 Stormsblade, May 14, 2017
    Last edited: May 14, 2017
  20. BeatIt

    BeatIt Eodrin
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    grind is 30x better then normal dfo

    my noobs friends have all elemental to 30 playing 3-4 hours at night
     
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