A Point of Concern: "Horizontal Progression"


  • TF#4 - EMISSARY

    SO numerous times the devs have talked about how theres no progression system where you get significantly stronger, so theres no overly large gear/playtime gap. This can be seen in the kickstarter preview and the front page of the main website, among others. Now that seems like a good thing for accessibility and to avoid the horrible "first 50 hours" curse* that nearly all MMOs have, but if not executed properly, it would hurt the game a lot more than helping it.

    *i am referring to how most MMOs are designed entirely around endgame and as a result starting out a new MMO is generally annoying as hell

    There isn't much information at all about how exactly the gear system works, but the devs have repeatedly stated about how you can be competitive the instant you make your character, which worries me. Minimizing the power gap is a good idea, but if there's nearly no power gap between a new player and an experienced player, that will hurt the game significantly imo.

    As an example, if someone can make a new character then they fight someone who is less skilled than them if they play smart, I consider that a well designed power gap. If this skilled player on a new character can fight someone around their skill level and still win, that's worrisome. At that point progression will be pointless.

    One of the key aspects to making an MMO fun to play and progress in is the need to get stronger. The way MMOs get the player to move forward and experience new content is generally through the promise of getting stronger. The less power that you get from bettering your gear or skills, the less incentive there is. The less incentive there is to get stronger, the less content the player wants to do. Making rewards meaningful is incredibly important for the longevity of a game and I dearly hope the devs keep that in mind.

    Now, in a PvP perspective, PKing in a game like this is designed around risk vs reward. Use more valuable stuff you can potentially lose, and you'll do better. With a nonexistent power gap, both the risk AND the reward is gone. PKing is no longer dangerous and as a result its no longer tense or interesting. PKers bugger off, and the risk of PvEers going outside of their comfort zone is gone, thus leaving only the reward which will no longer be much of a reward.

    Gear ABSOLUTELY needs to have an impact. Rewarding the player for exploring with knowledge points will not be enough, as you can't lose or trade knowledge. Having a game without typical levels and whatnot is absolutely fine (and is what i prefer honestly) but if the benefit of getting everything else is too little, it will harm the game a lot more in the long run. My request is to make sure there are significant rewards for all playstyles. If all someone wants to do is combat, they should have options to work for, and the promise of power is what drives that.


  • TF#12 - PEOPLE'S HERALD

    The number of available spells, only allows you to be more versatile in different situations. The most important thing is how you will use these skills. You just need to be considerate and insightful to defeat the enemy. The game values your skill, not the equipment that you are wearing.


  • TF#4 - EMISSARY

    @muker That isn't beneficial to the longevity of the game. Skill should always matter the most, but if gear is worthless it will make a lot of content worthless.


  • TF#12 - PEOPLE'S HERALD

    @myux The game has no better armor, it is only situational. The knowledge system under development provides great content and motivates players to explore and travel to other planets. Developing your city is also an interesting task, so I think that the content of St in total. And not as you have identified some minus.


  • TF#12 - PEOPLE'S HERALD

    @myux Gear is not worthless.
    They never said a new player can be same good everywhere on the world as an experienced player.
    They just say, in 1to1 they are basically same.

    You will need gear and gear is much more important as you imagine right now.
    Simple examples they gave us while Q&As: If you want to go into a very cold area, you need to wear warm clothes otherwise you will probably die.
    This example is portable to all other examples.

    Also the Skillsystem, an experience player will lose against a new player if just by chance its abilities counteract each other. The BigSuperFireMage can easily defeated, when the new player has fire immunity.

    In this system it is all about knowledge.
    And not just knowledge you earn ingame, also about figuring out how synergies are work and which combinations of skills are best for the special situation.
    Thats a huge longtime motivation.


  • TF#4 - EMISSARY

    @muker The knowledge system wont be enough, as it's mostly for skill points. Once you have the skills you want, theoretically there's not much else you can do to make yourself stronger, as you can't lose skills. You can lose gear, which makes it more valuable and worth fighting people for. But it requires value in the first place.


  • TF#12 - PEOPLE'S HERALD

    @myux All equipment is easy to restore, this will not be difficult.


  • TF#5 - LEGATE

    I think that the diversification of alloys count ... For example a gold plate is better than an iron plate ... Gold plate imho give you more armor , but at the same time if a newbie is more skilled than you , can kill you Also wearing an iron plate...


  • TF#12 - PEOPLE'S HERALD

    @myux how you know the knowledgesystem won't be enough? You don't know much about how "big" the knowledgesystem will be.
    Also the Knowledge System is not the only content you get.
    Also i believe Dynamight, that they will have a very interesting system, how they implement knowledge and how it is obainable.
    So it means, you will get "Stronger" by learning more and more about the ideal combination you will need to get a special task done.


  • TF#4 - EMISSARY

    @muker That also means gear would have no value.


  • TF#12 - PEOPLE'S HERALD

    @myux said in A Point of Concern: "Horizontal Progression":

    @muker That also means gear would have no value.

    Exactly, gear will not have values like "strength", "intelligence" or "dexterity".


  • TF#4 - EMISSARY

    @kralith I am making assumptions, but I think it's not overly strange to say that knowledge won't be a resource that's tradeable, or a kind of currency that would be beneficial to obtain after you have everything you want. If nobody carries anything of ACTUAL value that can be traded or killed for, there's no reward to PKing, which harms the game in the long run.


  • TF#12 - PEOPLE'S HERALD

    @myux there will be much worthful things, mostly it will be materials, because you will need them if you want to build up your place, want to go to an expedition or into a Labyrinth, or even want to participate into PVP actions.
    You will need all the time things. And there will be indeed "better" gear. That means gear for special situations you want to solve. And this gear will maybe not be obtainable in an easy way, so you will need other resources to go there and get these hard to get stuff.
    Or you just buy it from other player, but the value will be in depending how hard you can get the material for it.
    In this case it will be not like "oh i can collect in easy and short time all i wanted."
    True, we have just a slight idea about, how this system will work, but it is said by Jacopo several times, that it will be a very long run to get all the knowledge you need to know.


  • TF#12 - PEOPLE'S HERALD

    @myux We will trade tomes of knowledge to learn abilities.


  • TF#4 - EMISSARY

    @kralith Gear not being valuable isn't a good thing. If all gear is easy to obtain and only needed in certain situations, then there's no market or incentive for them. If all of the progression is done through knowledge that you can't lose or sell, there's no longer an incentive for anything once someone gets as far as they want to.


  • TF#12 - PEOPLE'S HERALD

    sigh
    @myux slowly i get the idea, you won't understand, what we try to tell you.

    Okay, summary again:

    • There will be valuable and less valueable gear.
    • There will be gear thats easily obtainable, but also be gear, thats hard to get.
    • Gear will have values, but not to raise basevalues of a character, but to support your skills.
    • That means, you will need much different gear to be able to do all the stuff ingame.
    • Also gear will have a durability, that means you need to replace it after a while.

  • TF#4 - EMISSARY

    @kralith "gear that's hard to get" is all I need (durability helps too), but i'm not certain on if that will actually be the case in execution. All of the developer notes put emphasis on how the game "isn't a grind", which could mean the supposed difficult to obtain materials would actually be a simple task for someone in endgame.

    Also, I understand perfectly what you're trying to say, but you're assuming too many things about how the game will be designed when everything is uncertain currently. There's no way to know if anything will actually be rare and valuable or not, because the devs could make a poor estimation.

    and i could do without you pretending i'm an idiot when it's just you not considering the wider picture. Developers aren't robots, they can and will make mistakes. All my post is about is a request for them to be careful around a delicate mechanic. So chill with the passive aggression.


  • TF#12 - PEOPLE'S HERALD

    @myux yes i agree, the devs will make much mistakes on their path to the finished game.
    The human nature let us make mistakes, the only question is, what we learn out of our mistakes.

    Yes i just assume, because i just play with the informations about their vision and the vision tells me, what they want and what they not want.
    We can just assume as long we don‘t see how they realized the system from their visions.
    That means, all we do is assuming from our view to the vision till we will get first impressions in Alpha.

    And all the pre alpha participants will need to stop this assuming in public till this phase of testing is over.



  • @myux said in A Point of Concern: "Horizontal Progression":

    One of the key aspects to making an MMO fun to play and progress in is the need to get stronger. The way MMOs get the player to move forward and experience new content is generally through the promise of getting stronger. The less power that you get from bettering your gear or skills, the less incentive there is. The less incentive there is to get stronger, the less content the player wants to do. Making rewards meaningful is incredibly important for the longevity of a game and I dearly hope the devs keep that in mind.

    Guild Wars 1 had almost non-existant gear progression, and in 2 of the 3 Guild Wars 1 campaigns, you would hit max level before leaving the tutorial/beginner island. At that point your main progression was acquiring new skills, not unlike Fractured. That game was successful enough to spawn Guild Wars 2 which was a huge and expensive project. You don't need to be constantly increasing in power to have satisfying progression.

    Now, in a PvP perspective, PKing in a game like this is designed around risk vs reward. Use more valuable stuff you can potentially lose, and you'll do better. With a nonexistent power gap, both the risk AND the reward is gone. PKing is no longer dangerous and as a result its no longer tense or interesting

    This is assuming the only reason to kill people is for their gear. Silkroad Online(and I believe Archeage) had a merchant/caravan mechanic where player merchants could buy goods from one city and would transport them on camels and elephants to another city. The farther the distance between cities, the more they would make. Other players could flag themselves as thieves and try to kill the merchants and steal their loot so that they could sell it themselves. Silkroad Online didn't have full loot, but the risk of loss could still be tense.

    In Fractured, I imagine people carting around expensive resources aren't going to feel the game isn't tense enough for them. A gulid that has successfully conquered a city and taken it as their own aren't going to feel unrewarded because because their enemies didn't have gear that they wanted. Someone who gets satisfaction from PKing everyone they see and earning their reputation as a PKing asshole is still going to have that satisfaction regardless of the gear they can loot. You don't need gear power progression to have rewarding PvP.


  • TF#7 - AMBASSADOR

    Gosh, it's almost like this isn't an RPG just because it's "an MMO" or something.

    I always love seeing all these would be RPG experts running their mouths about "the reason to PK" and other things they clearly don't really understand. >_>


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