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Potential Grouping Pitfalls for Paths

Discussion in 'WildStar Classes & Paths' started by F8L Fool, May 30, 2013.

  1. F8L Fool

    F8L Fool Cupcake-About-Town

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    When I think about Paths the first thought that comes to my mind is how awesome they sound, at least on paper. I love the idea of catering to specific playstyles that goes beyond how you like to kill people. There are many facets to MMO's and gaming in general and I applaud Carbine for recognizing that. However, due to the current design of the Path System I am also very worried about how they will impact dungeons and raiding.

    Each path will have the ability to interact with the environment in a unique way that a different path cannot. That is great when you are playing alone, but when it comes to dungeon groups I can already foresee a lot of drama. In order to experience the optimal amount of path content in the game, you would ideally need at least one of each path in your party; 1 Explorer, 1 Settler, 1 Scientist, 1 Soldier. That way you won't pass up a special mini-boss since you don't have a Soldier, or a shortcut with a hidden treasure chest because your party lacks an Explorer. Grouping up with all 4 paths equals the most bang for your buck. So obviously people would want to craft groups accordingly, right?

    I can imagine whispering a group that is looking for a healer and getting the following response when I ask for an invite: "Great, but what path are you? Oh, we already have two Explorers, thanks but no thanks." This practice would undoubtedly become more common as people began to learn what paths were useful in specific dungeons—i.e. a Scientist is the only one that can open up the best content in the Dungeon of Donkey Dingo Vampires.

    What I want to know is the following:
    1.) How will Carbine combat excluding certain paths from specific dungeon groups?

    2.) Will more than one of a specific path (2-3 Soldiers) ever be required to unlock certain path content in a dungeon? If so, see question #1.

    3.) Are any of the dungeon path content (rewards) so good that it becomes unthinkable to not bring X path along to unlock it?

    The reason I am bringing this up is I distinctly remember being left out of groups in other games, simply because I wasn't the right class/profession/build/etc. combination. It was infuriating at times and made me question my character choices or even reroll entirely. Although I want paths to be lucrative, varied and obviously enjoyable, I don't want glaring imbalances or favoritism. I know, I know, that's asking a lot but it's a goal worth striving for.
  2. Extatica

    Extatica Super Cupcake

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    1. I see path's more for during questing, and in open world and a bit less in dungeons. Ofcourse there will be dungeon content for those paths, but i don't see that content being ALL important so that you NEED all paths in a group.

    2. I don't think so (and hope not). Although you never know.

    3. I don't think they will ever do this in a dungeon setting. Mayby in raid settings, but then you got 20/40 players and only 4 paths so it would be lickely you have 1 of each path in the raid.

    In dungeon i rather see solo rewards, for the person with the path or some minor rewards for the whole group. But no huge ass rewards.

    But that's what i think :up:
  3. Bomoo

    Bomoo Cupcake

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    I guess it really depends on whom you're grouping with. When I was more involved in MMO grouping back in the wows, we always ventured to bring the person, not the spec, class, crafting profession, etc. True, we didn't do as well in the content as people who super tryhard stacked their raids for maximum potency, but I'm still a believer in this; I'd sooner bring a third hunter who was a cool person than some jerkass playing a class we were missing and could do better with.

    Part of the blame perhaps goes to wow for making such an inflexible role system - something which I am extremely pleased to see WS addressing (with every class capable of speccing in either dps or "useful"). You still may see the kind of dick exclusionary behaviour you describe, but hopefully the multi-role class system will lessen it somewhat. Being excluded for being the wrong path, as you also described, may still happen, but again, they will hopefully make the path content in dungeons more of a colourful extra than an absolute necessity.
  4. Reiketsu

    Reiketsu New Cupcake

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    I don't think it's up to Carbine to control it. It's the attitude of people like whom you are talking about as to why I will never PUG.
    I always run with friends so if more that one person needs it, you run it more than once.
  5. Yule

    Yule Cupcake

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    Not so much on topic, but from what i have seen in Rift (where every class/calling can fill 3 roles out of Tank, Healer, DPS or Support) its a player mentality issue rather then game design. Most people dont want the responsibility that comes with being the healer or tank, which results in 1+ hour queues in LFG for DPS and instapops for tanks/healers.
  6. Sonntam

    Sonntam Cupcake-About-Town

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    Carbine has not mentioned even once Paths becoming useful in dungeons. It seemed to me it's a questing/open world thing.

    Plus, isn't Dungeon Finder going to be a thing? I doubt that it will be possible to handpick and say: "I want an Explorer Stalker!". You will get what one can get and like it.

    And what concerns groups that are built in zone chat... if there are many people in the zone, a group may choose to be picky about who they take. But then you will be able to find another group yourself too. But if there are few people in the zone, then they will likely take anyone that they can find, so they don't have to wait for another 15 minutes.
  7. Veckna

    Veckna Well-Known Cupcake

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    This was in SWTOR to an extent (certain trade skills could open shortcuts in dungeons or spawn NPC 'pets' to help fight). Was never an issue for me while levelling my 7 alts to 50 (and I did all the instances on each on the way up at least once to reduce repeating planets).
    Doubt it will be an issue in Wildstar either (at least from a pickup group perspective). Organised groups will depend on what they're trying to accomplish but I'd think that would be lower down on the list than things like class/spec preferences anyway.
    As Sonntam mentions, if it's not in the LFG tool it won't matter for those using it either.

    TLDR: Don't see it being a problem.
  8. Paul_Cousins

    Paul_Cousins Cupcake

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    Same here. I loved in SWTOR that some crafting skills allowed players to bypass parts of dungeons or summon special bosses.

    I could see the same thing done in Wildstar.

    Explorer picks a lock.

    Scientists cracks a password coded door.

    A Settler has dynamite (watch the Wildstar Paths video to see what I am talking about) to blow a hole.

    And Soldier could summon a special dungeon boss.
  9. Mierelle

    Mierelle Cupcake-About-Town

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    The closest example of what you are talking about was the Anzu i Sethekk Halls, I never experienced that other classes was left out though Druids brought some extra flavor to the instance.

    Paths could bring "new life" to a instance I've already ran all week by giving a bonus boss/objective if I happen to have someone with me. One way to reduce the requierment for them would be to have the bonus bosses share loot-table with the rest off the bosses or make it only beneficial to the one with the path (like pala/lock mount bosses in Scholo/DM).

    In raids you'd need 1 out of 20/40 people to have that path so here I see more possibilities than problems. Read something about Settlers creating spawnpoints/graveyards outside a boss chamber.

    All in all, I hope they do bring in these kind of things into the game. I do agree with your concerns so it's important they balance it right so one path doesn't become a requierment or supperiour to the others.
    F8L Fool and Bomoo like this.
  10. Paul_Cousins

    Paul_Cousins Cupcake

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    I would see that as a bonus.

    In the old Vanilla WoW raids if the Shaman self-res, Warlock res-orb, and Paladin's sacrifice were on their one hour cooldowns, after a raid wipe it took twenty minutes to get back to where the group died. And another twenty minutes to get organized to try again.

    Having a Settler create a temp graveyard nearby would rock in such a situation.
  11. eselle8

    eselle8 Well-Known Cupcake

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    To the extent paths end up having a role in 5-mans, I suspect that the content and rewards will be tuned so that it's a fairly minor consideration and won't be very relevant in putting together groups. It's not just an issue of people being left out. It's already enough effort to find a tank, a healer, and three DPS. If you then had to make sure you had one of each path represented, it would take a long time to find compatible PUGs.

    I could see them being more important in raids and for open world bosses. But if you're putting together a group of 20 or 40 people, it's likely all of the paths will be represented. At most, people might realize the group is very Explorer heavy and doesn't have any Settlers, and reserve the last DPS spot for a Settler. But one spot out of 40 isn't a huge deal.
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  12. F8L Fool

    F8L Fool Cupcake-About-Town

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    I somewhat like the idea of having the bulk of the bonuses be for player with said path. That way rather than spawning an extra boss that gave everyone a chance at extra items, it would just be for the path. The rest of the group could be given bonus path experience that was better than the Open World rate, enough to be rewarding, yet not lucrative enough that you'd exclude one path for another just to get it.

    I think another good way to reduce favoritism would be to make them consistently dynamic. Sometimes the Science event would be doable, sometimes the Settler, and so on. That way it wouldn't be the case of people knowing they always need to bring an Explorer and Soldier to get the paths done in one dungeon, all 4 in another, or just one in the next.

    Raids on the other hand should have the most enjoyable and rewarding path content. You could do that in the form of optional bosses and events. I could go on here but that isn't really an issue I'm concerned with balancing since it's large scale.
    Sonntam likes this.
  13. Rumze

    Rumze "That" Cupcake

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    Why would raids have the best path content? Path content is supposed to help you experience the game world.

    You already have buffs or group utility that your path will bring to raids. You don't need to gate bosses in raids behind path content. That would be counter productive to the path motto of play it your way.

    Again I respectfully disagree on this point , completely.
  14. F8L Fool

    F8L Fool Cupcake-About-Town

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    I probably should have worded it differently. I don't think it should have the best content in regards to experiences and fulfilling the purpose of the path system; playing the game your way. What I mean is it should have the best lump sum rewards, outside of the highest level challenge/path rewards.

    Conversely I disagree that gating raid bosses or events behind paths is counter productive. How is taking a base mechanic in the game of "play your way" and gradually ramping it up to apply to dungeons, BG's, and raids in any way "counter productive"? They've already expressed in various interviews that Paths will impact at least two of the PvP modes—BG's and Warplots with no comment on Arenas—so it makes perfect sense.

    If you apply their current design logic it makes sense that it would extend to raids. I for one would love being in a raid with 5-6 other Explorers and having to work together to uncover some hidden path. Or how about a group of Scientists working together by playing some cool mini-game together (like the ones shown in demos) that unlocked a door. It is still very much me playing the way I want. It really comes down to differing opinions of what the path system should encompass and how it should evolve.

    But like I said in my last post, the subject of paths in raiding isn't really a cause for concern for me which is why I didn't bring it up in the OP. I wouldn't mind seeing another thread discussing it, though.
  15. Rumze

    Rumze "That" Cupcake

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    Hmm I actually agree with you on the lump sum reward but I don't think gating bosses through paths should apply to raids - simply because it then becomes a matter of we need 5 of this, 7 of that and 6 of this one - sorry you cant come we need a healer who is either scientist or explorer. Im fine with skipping trash .

    As long as you have one of every path in your group, it should allow access to content . That way raids don't have to worry about getting specific paths in their raid composition and can focus on the raid content itself. It s not part of the min maxing equation that raiders tend to gravitate towards , and allows path to be truly a fun unique way for the person to customise their game play.
  16. Aari

    Aari Cupcake-About-Town

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    We know that Carbine is working on randomized Bossencounter.
    With this they might also simply include a System where the Game recognizes the Paths in the Group and designs the dungeon accordingly.
    If for example there is 1 of each path in the group, 1 random path is chosen, lets say Explorer. This now determines the access to a Boss wich now means the explorer has to get to a certain area in the dungeon to use a switch wich open the door to said boss.
    Now, you go as 3 Soldiers and a scientist. Instead of this switch wich was only accesable as an Explorer you now all of the sudden have a small Mini-Boss (That doesnt drop axtra loot) that is guarding the door to the same Boss and needs to be killed in order to advance.
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  17. frogbound

    frogbound New Cupcake

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    People not inviting certain classes or speccs are greedy little <censored>.
    I always accept people of the same class and/or specc as me, because why waste time on finding something that may not be there at the moment?
    Sure you may miss out on something but hey you should also keep in mind where that would have an effect.
    While leveling ? Not so much, you will replace everything sooner than later and skipping extra bosses won't hurt that much - you can always come back later, right?

    As for Raids and Endgame Content: Yes people will most likely be idiots once again, but you will have to run the dungeon a thousand times anyways to gear up, so why bother?
    Smile at the No and get a group with nicer people who may become friends!
    This is not a competition on who is getting his stuff faster, we are most likely of the same faction so why cast you out for not being a specific path?
  18. WakeskaterX

    WakeskaterX Cupcake-About-Town

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    I read this as Bossen Counter. And immediately thought of the Higgs Boson. Random tangent.

    Ok: On topic,

    I think paths would be a nice addition to dungeons adding flavor when available. I think with the randomization factor it could make it so that maybe you need multiple explorers or whatever.

    Good ideas here, the path side bosses should give people from that path the bigger rewards and then lesser rewards (xp, gold) for the guys helping. Oh it might create a little bit of drama but I think most good groups would go clear it real quick to help out the guy who benefits (esp if they get xp for their path too).

    Maybe even side areas that require an Explorer to lead them there, a Scientist to open a door and then a Soldier to summon a boss. Not every time but there could be chain path stuff sometimes to give each category a chance (or at least 2-3 of em) at getting stuff.
    F8L Fool likes this.
  19. Nezk

    Nezk Cupcake

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    I Think it is a good thing to need 2 soldiers and 2 scientists in your group to unlock a certain boss, it makes players feel unique and needed.

    Homogenization for sake of convenience is why Wow has lost 70% of it's subs.


    I see what you're saying but I wouldn't be surprised if path combo's unlock unique content.

    An adventure is supposed to be hard, if a rare boss drops the best necklace you could have and you're forced to find and befriend people, it's the kind of thing I hope turbine goes for

    (maybe never to the extent of 4/5 of the paths needing to be the right ones)
  20. F8L Fool

    F8L Fool Cupcake-About-Town

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    The paths themselves are all unique in the sense that the methods and goals of each are designed to be very different from one another. Whether or not the item rewards for each path in every dungeon will be different remains to be seen, but is a distinct possibility. Is doing a different event type for each path, that always results in the same reward—regardless of the path executing it—a homogenization of the paths? Yes and no; both positions are valid depending on the scenario at hand.

    Yes, in the sense that the outcome of the path is the same. No, in regards to how you accomplish doing so. Whether the ends or the means are more important is highly debatable. I'd argue that it's mostly the means that takes precedence the majority of the time, although the purpose of this thread leans towards addressing the end result. But as of right now we don't even know how/if paths will apply to dungeons or how the rewards will be distributed—if there are some beyond Path XP.

    Paths are very much about how you do something different from the rest of the crowd. Similar to the way that classes are too, but on a more psychological level rather than a physical one. I don't think it would be possible to homogenize them without defeating their very purpose.

    In response to path combos: it's one of the main things I'm trying to discuss. Having combos takes the issue of needing a specific path and multiplies it. For those that are saying "people won't be that picky" and "LFD won't discriminate that way" I have to disagree. If LFD really doesn't take paths into account and X, Y, or Z dungeon requires a certain path to do content, then people will gravitate towards making their own groups for some dungeons, I guarantee it. I prefer custom made groups but not if it consistently leaves the same people with the short end of the stick.

    P.S. Turbine (makers of LOTRO and Asheron's Call) isn't the studio that is making this game. Carbine is the company that is developing this one and it is their first game as a studio. NCSOFT is the publisher.

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