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Balance

Discussion in 'WildStar General' started by Silas Jasar, May 3, 2013.

  1. TeoH

    TeoH Well-Known Cupcake

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    It looks like you're trying to use the numbers as a way of suggesting raider population has dropped. That wasn't what I was referring to, I was referring to the fact that raider population was a tiny portion of the actual subscriber base to begin with. Your previous post runs on the premise that 'everyone acquires everything', when in fact only around 2% or less of the game's subscribers actually clear the hardest encounter in each expansion while it's relevant.

    What you're missing is, your figures show all time completion for content that came out years ago, and you're comparing it to the current tier of progression content. Of course there are more people in 2013 that have cleared WotLK content than the current raid tier - they've had an extra 5 years to do it in and the benefit of gear and character levels that allowed them to pretty much solo the content if they wanted to.

    WoW has 10 million subscribers, and completely dominates the MMO market. Right now it has the largest and most dedicated hardcore raiding scene of any game, and that scene is still an incredibly tiny niche.

    Blizzard provide their own figures for this showing completion for Dragon Soul among active level 85 characters 6 months after the content patch. Notice that only 4.4 million characters even meet the sample requirements of being lv85, out of 10 million subscriptions. Out of that already-selective sample of active lv85 characters, only 4% have completed Dragon Soul on normal mode. It doesn't even show hard mode completion rates.

    This is what you referred to as the easiest content of the expansion - The number of people who actually required harder content to test them was a meagre fraction of a fraction. It's trendy to mouth off about how easy and casual World of Warcraft is, and most of the people doing that haven't actually cleared the hardest content in the game at any stage of the game's life.
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  2. TeoH

    TeoH Well-Known Cupcake

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    I love how your graph cuts off the bottom 80% of the y-axis to make it appear as if subscriptions are plummeting when it's actually an incredible success story that the game has succeeded in maintaining over 9 million subs after 9 years. You can plot the graph of any other western MMO with over a million subs and what you'll get will look like a sheer cliff.

    That graph should tell you that they're doing something very very right.
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  3. MeakGG

    MeakGG Cupcake-About-Town

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    If I play Bioshock Infinite on normal, did I not complete the game? I'm pretty sure it's the same thing as beating it on easy, or hard. I beat it. I got the satisfaction, I saw the content, my story was complete.

    I guess my generalized "acquires everything" was to point out that at level cap in wow, in less than 5 hours you can have full epics. That's noteworthy for many players. Carrot is obtained, and desire to play drops.



    How many times has a guild said "hey, lets go back into this old content and clear it." Not saying it hasn't happened.... but I can tell you from my experience, it doesn't happen often. 49 guilds at current content is pathetic, no matter how you slice it.


    I'm not going off my personal experiences, that'd be pointless. I'm talking about the masses. You might need to re-read this thread. You seem to be arguing 10 different things, and I'm not even sure what you point is anymore.

    If you're trying to tell me the game is still as difficult as it was before, you're wrong. I have more numbers to show you if you need them.

    If you're trying to tell me easier content, free epics, and LFR make the game better/grow... you're wrong. There are numbers to show that as well.

    The OP was trying to say that removing any type of time investment makes the game better, and allows for more money. My argument is the exact opposite. What's yours?
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  4. TeoH

    TeoH Well-Known Cupcake

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    So if they change the colour of some of the items you would feel better, is that what you're trying to say? I'm fairly sure a palette change would not be difficult to pull off, lets just make that tier of equipment blue and then everything is fine?

    In the very same post you just argued that nobody would go back and clear old content that they never managed to clear before, because there would be no point doing a previous tier. Now you don't care about difficulty levels because the satisfaction comes purely from seeing the art assets of the dungeon? Do you realise how you contradict yourself?

    I'm arguing different things with different people at different stages in the thread, because the thread has no consistant narrative. I stepped on your post to address your faulty logic that assumed large portions of the player base "run out" of content in World of Warcraft, which they demonstrably don't.

    The game is mechanically more challenging than it has ever been, while also providing more accessible end game content than ever before. The numbers you've already pasted don't support your position at all in that regard, but i'm sure you're going to tell me that the reason only a handful of people have cleared the top end content is because the rest just didn't want the best gear in the game. Afterall, better gear has never been a significant incentive to MMO players has it?
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  5. MeakGG

    MeakGG Cupcake-About-Town

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    Yeah, make it so you can't get epics from dungeons. That'd be nice. Also, no epics from raid finder, and no raid finder at all. Like I said, I beat the game on normal, I still feel like I beat the game.



    Is that what I said? I thought I said its doubtful guilds would say "hey, lets go clear old content". I didn't consider MC to be old content when AQ was out. I'm referring to the next expansion, a la, "lets go, as a guild, clear ICC, even though MoP is out".

    I'm failing to see my contradiction



    LFR. That's all I need to say
  6. Jeremy Gaffney

    Jeremy Gaffney Carbine Studios

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    Here's some quick philosophy on the subject (still in the office at 6pm Sunday so I'll have to be brief):

    We do believe in catering to the 1% (actually a few different 1%'s). We spend more than 1% of our time on them. Why?

    Well, the 1% grew over time in the MMO market. It used to be that few people were at the end game stages of the MMOs, but of course as time passes the percentage of players there grows. And some who hated PVP as noobies learned they loved it, and some who struggled in dungeons took on veteran dungeons and learned to raid, etc. So that "1%" of people who do the hard end-game content has grown a bit (it's still not pervasive per se; and the toughest raids are still only finished by a fraction of the playerbase).

    Several factors apply:

    1) The 1% are pretty vocal. If they report back to the 99% that the elder game sucks, guess what? Lots of people leave - why bother levelling up if no love was put into the very top content? (Well there actually answers to that, but I'll leave it for brevity).

    2) Over time, your "1%" content becomes easier - better loot drops, people get more skilled, level caps raise. So that percentage our of time spent actually over time does get utilized well.

    3) We devs often ARE the 1%. If you make a game you don't love, it's pretty damn hard to make it good. We want a game we want to play too. There are a disproportionate amount of hardcore raiders/PVPers in the industry (and probably also in those passionate enough to post here or on other MMO sites for that matter).

    4) There's some magic involved. Picture a game with no nigh-inaccessible content. You can go anywhere the first month, there's nothing left unseen. From one perspective, maybe that's great - there's no earning your way into Counterstrike maps, and that game's pretty damn fun. But from another...I dunno, it's pretty tough to have a mysterious, huge-feeling world when you can trivially do it all, and even in games I don't want to or don't have time to raid in I'd like to know there's more out there. That's arguable though.

    So we focus a lot on elder games. We're trying to have innovative answer for each major playstyles:

    Soloers PVE'ers (IMO under-served in most MMOs oddly as they are 65+% of the playerbase in most western MMOs) get more than rep grinds and dailies by having solo story dungeons released regularly, dynamic PQ content (most to be revealed down the road), big frequent updates, housing stuff, good tradeskilling, and more.

    PVPers: Warplots (40v40 player built city v city combat) and arenas (to oversummarize)

    Group PVE'ers: Dynamic raid content, weekly competitions for legendary gear, and more (some to be revealed later)

    Some of that stuff (especially the group stuff) needs to be damn hard. We want the best guilds capturing raid bosses in challenging ways, and pinning them down on their warplots to go beat the <REDACTED> out of the other fortresses. Many noobie players may never experience that - but hopefully they hear about it and aspire to it.

    We're trying to make everyone useful, so the major guilds will end up with raiders, warplotters, and soloers contributing to the overall guild's success, in roughly the proportions they naturally exist in the playerbase. We'll see if we succeed at that (beta's all about finishing implementation, then tuning tuning tuning to make sure it all plays well individually and together).

    Anyhoo, there's tons more on the subject, especially as we do more reveals later this year on elder games, deeper dives on features, etc. Maybe we'll muck up some of the execution (don't believe so at the moment, but there's lots to do still. I don't expect or desire any "gimmes" from the MMO communities as a whole; there's been enough hype in recent years in the biz that the proof HAS to be in the pudding for us and future games).

    But strategically we have a set of goals that we feel passionate about. Opinions welcome.
  7. Glacius

    Glacius Cupcake-About-Town

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    Thank you based Gaffney.

    On a more serious note, I definitely didn't want to get into this discussion since it's hard to make a strong opinion based off of speculation but I really like what Gaffney is saying and I love Carbine's design philosophy of having different things to do for every playstyle.

    Aspiring to get to somewhere that is difficult to achieve is a huge aspect of a healthy MMO in my opinion. The world should have a sense of mystery, and raids should include encounters that give the notion that these are powerful entities and not just something to do as content.

    I liked your point that if those at the top say that elder game isn't as good then a lot of others will follow and I feel that carries a lot of weight.
  8. Rumze

    Rumze "That" Cupcake

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    Huge thank you for that input. Puts a lot of questions to bed and makes me happy with the long term vision.

    More than anything , long term vision is important and it seems like you have a handle on it. And not only that but you have a learning curve in place and stuff to work towards right off the bat.
  9. MeakGG

    MeakGG Cupcake-About-Town

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    Thank you for staying true to what you've said from the beginning. This is the greatest post I've seen from you. The fact that 40 mans are still a high priority, and group content will be the hardest is HUGE for me. I'm glad you are including solo content, and making it a challenge for the solo guys out there, but this confirmation of your focus has just made my night. Time to pop open a beer in celebration. I <REDACTED>ing love you Jeremy. Have my babies.
  10. Rumze

    Rumze "That" Cupcake

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    Gotta wine and dine to get that far :eek:
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  11. UNDERZZZZZ

    UNDERZZZZZ Cupcake-About-Town

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    It's EXTREMELY refreshing to hear devs justify and create content that caters for 'the 1%'. I'm sick and tired of watching the WoW devs justify LFR/hardmodes and all the different modes, just because it opens up more people to the content. It takes value out of that aspect of the game.

    I have been around when the 1% existed, climbed into the 1% with numerous firsts in leveling and raiding, and then quit since. I do not desire to raid in top level content again because it's a drag and the worth is sucked out completely out of it. I've cleared top level content, and what? It's going to get nerfed in 2 months, 10m/25m share the same loot and even those raids are too similar and take the fun out of entering the new raids. I cannot put into words how simply perfect my day was when I entered BT and Hyjal following the massively difficult attunements. If LFR existed then, I'd have been in BT and that initial experience would be non-existent and meaningless. This highlights point 1 and 4 pretty well for me on a personal level.

    I believe it is important to make distinguishable differences through better gear or whatever for the 1% of players, and those differences are generated from the difficulty of those raids. I do agree that entry to these raids needs to be provided, which I believe both solo PVE and group PVE would play a great role in that. But they should be a stepping stone to the 1% and not an alternative to it, which is where I believe WoW has fell massively short. I think that their justifications for opening it up for more people is simply to hide the fact that the correct stepping stones and content have failed to be provided to players who may enjoy similar, but different content.

    As an interesting note, challenge modes from WoW are a GREAT addition, and simple to implement, providing just another slice of content for top players. I don't know what Carbine intend, but a competitive and rewarding feature that didn't benefit players capabilities was definitely something that is enjoyable.

    Catering content to the 1% is important. It gives motivation and aspiration to the 99% which for me personally was a massive factor in my huge time spent when I was in that percentile. When that boundary was eroded, I believe it was the main factor as why my love for the game faded. I wholeheartedly support Carbine's decision to cater for 'the 1%' and would be greatly disappointed to see this philosophy abandoned.
  12. TeoH

    TeoH Well-Known Cupcake

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    Acknowledged, you're throwing man power at both ends of the scale. It's a very rare thing to see after sales updates aimed at the people who aren't running out of things to kill at the top end of the raiding spectrum. The model for almost every MMO out there is to launch, and then stack more raiding tiers onto the top of the current content, satisfying a small vocal group while leaving the rest of the world alone.

    I suppose the thing to note here is, you seem to be committing to adding a great deal more content on a more frequent update schedule than is currently the norm for this market. If you've got the resources to pull that off then fantastic. Most of the arguments over this subject are centered around how to accomodate as many people as possible when you have a severe lack of things for them to do. After all, gating tricks such as rep grinds to get keys to enter dungeons are nothing more than padding to keep people occupied for longer. Difficulty settings are a way of making a single instance available to a larger number of people while still providing a challenge.

    If you have the man power and the backing to just go and make unique content for a wide variety of player types and skill levels, then more power to you. I can hardly argue with that proposal, and I hope you can deliver on it.

    Apparently dragging this thread on was worth it as we suckered a post out of you with actual interesting information in it.
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  13. Dnevnoy

    Dnevnoy Cupcake-About-Town

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    SO glad to hear this. Thanks for taking the time to post.
  14. Glacius

    Glacius Cupcake-About-Town

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    Not to turn this into a payment model discussion, but I think that you bring up a very interesting topic of developer resources and designing so much content for everyone.

    It seems to me that the only way to be able to sustain this kind of design philosophy is to generate revenue via a large amount of stable playerbase. Whether that needs to be through a sub or cash shop, I'm not too sure. It's really hard to pull out numbers with a cash shop system so I don't know how games like gw2 are faring in terms of content updates compared to developer resources nor have I been following the game recently.

    I feel that with this design philosophy, Carbine is taking a risk going for an all-or-nothing approach. Granted, this is an outsider looking in, but with all of these systems being advertised and assuming that all of them will have regular high quality updates, then this game needs to be a huge success to sustain that.

    I'm really hoping that this game does well financially because that means more quality overall. A game can do well with a sub as long as what it offers is worth that to a consumer; Wow has been doing relatively amazing even though it has maintained it's sub.
  15. UNDERZZZZZ

    UNDERZZZZZ Cupcake-About-Town

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    I think that's the trick. Gating based on time alone (through rep) is bad. But gating based on difficulty, which will inevitable take time to overcome is what I personally think is best. At least on the discussion of the concept of gating.

    I disagree with the concept of 'difficulty settings' as I feel it takes away from the experience, and would argue that those particular raids shouldn't be accessible to a wider player base. But as you bring up in your post, this means content and stepping stones needs to be provided to these players who can't access this content, which means more man power allotted from Carbine. Difficulty settings results in simply a WoW clone and a return of the same culture and ideals which spawned LFR, which in itself is a big cluster<REDACTED> and takes a lot of novelty out of the game
  16. Jeuraud

    Jeuraud Cupcake-About-Town

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    So if I missed the point is it not proper for you to point out what I missed, not just belittle me. Or was this your point?
    First; the discussion has to have at least two sides, thus my use of discussion/argument.
    Second; you have to believe in your side of the discussion/argument, thus the reason I will not argue as, or with a Devil’s Advocate (There is nothing to win, when arguing against a devil’s advocate.)
    Third; you have to have more than just opinion backing up your side of the discussion/argument. This requires both data, and the intelligence/experience to use the data.
    Fourth; you have to have charisma. If you don’t have this the chances of changing someone else’s opinion is pretty much nil, no matter how much of the second and third you have.

    Or was this a rhetorical question? My experience in life tells me otherwise.

    I.e. As a new E3, and new to my Squadron's Electrical shop, I persuaded my shift supervisor (Who was a trained and experienced E5.), that what I said was the problem with the bird, was the problem, despite him never seeing it before. I was able to persuade him because despite our age differences, and actual on aircraft experience;
    · I knew I was right (Belief) :D .
    · I had well above average electrical systems training and experience (Intelligence/Experience). I was able to show him what I was talking about using schematic diagrams and meter readings (Data & Intelligence/Experience).
    · I was able to do it in a way that made him believe that I knew what I was talking about, despite me being just an E3 and new to the shop (Charisma).
    Note, I was right; I changed out the part that he had never seen go bad, despite four years of experience, and the bird was able to make the mission it was assigned for.

    I’m pretty sure this was not my first time persuading others, and I know it was not my last, but it was my first time as a Professional, so it's a memorable experience (Also the part was are feel pain in the ass to change out, and nobody had seen it go bad before (Including the Tech Rep.), so there was no experience to fall back on.)
    .
  17. Sabre070

    Sabre070 Cupcake-About-Town

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    I agree though from what has been said I don't even think you'll need to scale raids down as new content gets added in. With multiple paths to getting stronger gear there are going to be more and more ways to get decent gear, which you can then eventually do every raid - you just have to get gear from other means first.

    That is perfectly fine for me, gives people a chance who may not be as good at raiding buy may be better at solo play or in small groups. It also allows people who are good at raiding to get a boost while their group isn't raiding.
  18. TeoH

    TeoH Well-Known Cupcake

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    The question of difficulty settings comes down to this: If you ask people wether they'd prefer to see 2 unique dungeons, 1 easy and 1 hard, or a single dungeon with 2 difficulty levels, then everyone will clearly pick the former. In reality, that isn't the choice we're presented with, because adding a different difficulty setting to a dungeon is trivial while creating a completely seperate instance is expensive.

    A difficulty setting is an easy way to create more content for everyone, even though in an ideal world everyone would of course prefer to just have twice as many unique things to do.
  19. Haoli

    Haoli Cupcake-About-Town

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    For those that were concerned about the viability of focusing on content for all the different playstyles, I seem to recall (can't bring up source atm) from an interview that Carbine had designed a system to allow them to rapidly generate and iterate content without having to re-code it every time?

    I may have interpreted it wrong, but it seems like a developer version of a mod toolkit that lets them modify the world directly, letting them make content faster/more easily.
  20. UNDERZZZZZ

    UNDERZZZZZ Cupcake-About-Town

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    You present the argument exactly how it is, and understand the importance of accessibility. I don't think we're in a position to make an objective judgement on what Carbine should do regarding the provision of this accessibility.

    While I could probably accept difficulty settings, I do think it is important to strive and hope for what is optimal however. Which is the initial situation you described in your post. I'm not actually sure on Carbine's direction on 20m and 40m raids and difficulties.

    But from a purely personal point of view. I much preferred the climb from Karazhan to the completion of SSC/TK. Than the climb from normal mode bosses 1-12, to heroic mode 1-12. While providing unique content is expensive as you say, I would like to feel it's what the community would prefer, at least it is for me. Whether this provision of unique content over 'difficulty settings' provides measurable differences in consumer retention for Carbine, is not really for me to assess. However I think as fans/followers/consumers/whatever, we should be aiming to make developers aware of what we want, and they aim to meets are demands as much as possible.

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