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Five Point Plan to Improve Operations


ImmortalAlien's Avatar


ImmortalAlien
08.30.2012 , 08:39 PM | #21
Quote: Originally Posted by KingofGob View Post
1a. Nerf story mode Explosive Conflict down to the levels of story mode EV/KP.

1b. Change story mode Explosive Conflict to drop columi gear.
Come Terror From Beyond, Denova SM and HM will most likely be slightly nerfed. However, putting them on the same difficulty as EV/KP isn't that good of an idea. The biggest reason why is that the operation would require mechanics to be cut. The mechanic centric fights are actually why Denova is a lot better experience AND tougher overall than EV and KP. I could see a reasonable nerf being to cut out trash encounters - since it's mostly just filler.

1b. is legitimately crazy, btw, unless Denova was nerfed so hard a group of 8 or 16 fresh 50's could do it with relative ease.

Quote: Originally Posted by KingofGob View Post
2. Make sure all story modes going forward follow 1a and 1b.
If we use general MMO development progression along with what we've seen in SWTOR, SM operations 2 tiers behind the highest gear tier will be nerfed to the point that bugs will be non-existent and it should allow a pug group to complete it with ease. The gear these operations drop won't change, and in fact, the drop rate of items on the tier the operation was on will be improved to allow people to gear up for HM's 1 tier behind the highest and the current progression Operation.

Quote: Originally Posted by KingofGob View Post
3. Do not obsolete old operations.
Considering that SWTOR will keep a tight progression path (for now), and that Terror From Beyond SM will be dropping Campaign (maybe), the operations for now won't be obsolete. People will just burn through them faster because they most likely want to make it to the highest gear tier as fast as possible. People still do EV and KP in order to get some Rakata from HM for Denova. People will still do Denova HM to get Campaign for Terror From Beyond. They just won't spend forever on each tier.

Operations become obsolete when a level cap is raised, though. WOW presents a good way for these old operations to stay alive by creating a Heroic mode of them that has the level of all the mobs bumped to the level cap. SWTOR has already demonstrated that it's capable of this through flashpoints.

Quote: Originally Posted by KingofGob View Post
4. Wait two tiers to release nightmare modes.
There's no reason to postpone finishing an operation that long, especially when the current amount of content in SWTOR is very low.

If the devs live up to their promises (but when have they have recently?!), then Denova NiM will actually subvert common (or, most likely, nearly exploitative and safe) strategies for Denova HM in order to make the new mode a legitimate new tier in progression. And, if people don't like that, then Terror From Beyond should be available at the same time or soon after.

Quote: Originally Posted by KingofGob View Post
5. Let F2P characters have access to story mode KP/EV and EC.
Honestly, if SWTOR wants the F2P model to work, they either need to provide big incentives for free players to subscribe or pay extra money OR they switch to a completely non-subscription model. Until the non-subscription model comes, Operations need to be severely limited to free players. However, a good way to get money from those players would be to charge a small (like, $0.50 per day or something) to do an Operation while having only Eternity Vault Story Mode available to do as a pug through the LFG tool if they never pay.

KingofGob's Avatar


KingofGob
08.30.2012 , 09:01 PM | #22
Quote: Originally Posted by ImmortalAlien View Post
Come Terror From Beyond, Denova SM and HM will most likely be slightly nerfed. However, putting them on the same difficulty as EV/KP isn't that good of an idea. The biggest reason why is that the operation would require mechanics to be cut. The mechanic centric fights are actually why Denova is a lot better experience AND tougher overall than EV and KP. I could see a reasonable nerf being to cut out trash encounters - since it's mostly just filler.

1b. is legitimately crazy, btw, unless Denova was nerfed so hard a group of 8 or 16 fresh 50's could do it with relative ease.
Reading this makes me think you don't really get the whole concept of what I am saying. Yes, I think a group of fresh 50s (with some hard mode flashpoint gear) should be able to experience every operation that is released. I did not say that mechanics had to be removed or anything like that, mechanics can just be tuned down damage and health wise. In accordance with this scale down the gear rewarded should be scaled down as well.

anstalt's Avatar


anstalt
08.31.2012 , 08:29 AM | #23
I honestly think TOR should scrap it's current pve endgame design choices and copy LOTRO's. To elaborate, I'll list exactly what i think they should do:

1) Move from Vertical Gear Progression to Horizontal Gear Progression

Vertical Gear Progression (tiered) is old fashioned and should become obsolete. In the modern day of MMO's, developers should have realised that tiered gear sucks. It segregates the community, it makes lower tier content obsolete too quickly. It removes choice.

Horizontal gear progression is much better. Basically, all endgame gear would have roughly equivalent stats. The actual sets from raids are differentiated by set bonuses, stat distribution and cosmetic appearance. By having unique (and good) set bonuses on all sets, it encourages you to complete all raids. Being able to mix and match gear and set bonuses is much more interesting than what we have now.

There obviously needs to be minor vertical progression, but this is simple: leveling gear -> pre-raid gear -> raid gear. Thats it. Make it easy to get the pre-raid gear too.

2) Random Drops

Add random drops to all bosses. These could be pieces of armour, weapons, implants etc. Whatever. Make them rare, make them good, make them different to set gear. Random drops are both an incentive and a reward for repeating content. Adding earpiece/implant random drops to all flashpoints would instantly make people grind them and make them feel happy when they win!

3) Consistent Difficulty Settings

Combined with horizontal gear progression, you need to make difficulty settings consistant. Here is my opinion on the matter:

a) Story Mode = Equivalent to current EV SM. Easy, beatable by 90% of the population, requires *some* co-ordination but can just be brute-forced if needed. Loot should be pre-raid gear with low probability drop rate on random stuff.

b) Hard Mode = Drops raid level loot. Should be equivalent to KP Hardmode now. Only drops one piece per kill with medium probability of random loot drop.

c) Nightmare Mode (Challenge Mode) = Difficulty should be similar to EC HM but be more challenge / mechanics based. Check out LOTRO's Tier 2 Challenges. These were things like "Complete Wound Wing in 7 Minutes" or "Kill Boss whilst always taking his avoidable damage". Its basically the same content, same difficulty, but with added challenge to prove you are uber. Loot should be double drop + 100% chance of random loot drop.

4) Add More Stats

Ok, so this one is just my personal preference but my god, TOR combat is ridiculously simple! Its like the game was designed for 8 year olds who can't read. As a DPS class, the only thing I ever have to worry about is gearing for maximum DPS. As a tank class, all I have to worry about is gearing for mitigation. Its just too simpe.

In my opinion, you need to add a system to modify stats, i.e. LOTRO's trait system.

In LOTRO, you could switch your traits around (deeds, virtues, class and legendary) to dramatically alter your character. Class deeds are the equivalent of our talent trees here. The other 3 types of traits are unique. Essentially, they are alternative ways to change your characters stats.

Now, where this comes in useful is building your character for certain raids. For example, when you went to the raid Ost Dunhoth to do the Shadow wing, you knew you would be taking a LOT of shadow damage, which in turn is tactical. So, before doing the shadow wing, you would switch your traits around in order to maximise shadow and tactical mitigation. If you weren't going to take much damage, you'd trait for more dps/healing/health.

There was basically a massive meta-game involved in LOTRO with regards to perfecting your character for given circumstances. Some people chose raw health. Others chose mitigation. Others trusted their healers and chose extra damage. That entire meta-game is missing from SW:TOR.
Anstalt - lvl 50 valor 81 Shadow Consular

Currently retired due to poor design decisions within the game that have killed its longevity. Get rid of Hickman before he ruins the game completely!

Codek's Avatar


Codek
08.31.2012 , 09:03 AM | #24
Quote: Originally Posted by anstalt View Post
I honestly think TOR should scrap it's current pve endgame design choices and copy LOTRO's. To elaborate, I'll list exactly what i think they should do:

1) Move from Vertical Gear Progression to Horizontal Gear Progression

Vertical Gear Progression (tiered) is old fashioned and should become obsolete. In the modern day of MMO's, developers should have realised that tiered gear sucks. It segregates the community, it makes lower tier content obsolete too quickly. It removes choice.

Horizontal gear progression is much better. Basically, all endgame gear would have roughly equivalent stats. The actual sets from raids are differentiated by set bonuses, stat distribution and cosmetic appearance. By having unique (and good) set bonuses on all sets, it encourages you to complete all raids. Being able to mix and match gear and set bonuses is much more interesting than what we have now.

There obviously needs to be minor vertical progression, but this is simple: leveling gear -> pre-raid gear -> raid gear. Thats it. Make it easy to get the pre-raid gear too.

2) Random Drops

Add random drops to all bosses. These could be pieces of armour, weapons, implants etc. Whatever. Make them rare, make them good, make them different to set gear. Random drops are both an incentive and a reward for repeating content. Adding earpiece/implant random drops to all flashpoints would instantly make people grind them and make them feel happy when they win!

3) Consistent Difficulty Settings

Combined with horizontal gear progression, you need to make difficulty settings consistant. Here is my opinion on the matter:

a) Story Mode = Equivalent to current EV SM. Easy, beatable by 90% of the population, requires *some* co-ordination but can just be brute-forced if needed. Loot should be pre-raid gear with low probability drop rate on random stuff.

b) Hard Mode = Drops raid level loot. Should be equivalent to KP Hardmode now. Only drops one piece per kill with medium probability of random loot drop.

c) Nightmare Mode (Challenge Mode) = Difficulty should be similar to EC HM but be more challenge / mechanics based. Check out LOTRO's Tier 2 Challenges. These were things like "Complete Wound Wing in 7 Minutes" or "Kill Boss whilst always taking his avoidable damage". Its basically the same content, same difficulty, but with added challenge to prove you are uber. Loot should be double drop + 100% chance of random loot drop.

4) Add More Stats

Ok, so this one is just my personal preference but my god, TOR combat is ridiculously simple! Its like the game was designed for 8 year olds who can't read. As a DPS class, the only thing I ever have to worry about is gearing for maximum DPS. As a tank class, all I have to worry about is gearing for mitigation. Its just too simpe.

In my opinion, you need to add a system to modify stats, i.e. LOTRO's trait system.

In LOTRO, you could switch your traits around (deeds, virtues, class and legendary) to dramatically alter your character. Class deeds are the equivalent of our talent trees here. The other 3 types of traits are unique. Essentially, they are alternative ways to change your characters stats.

Now, where this comes in useful is building your character for certain raids. For example, when you went to the raid Ost Dunhoth to do the Shadow wing, you knew you would be taking a LOT of shadow damage, which in turn is tactical. So, before doing the shadow wing, you would switch your traits around in order to maximise shadow and tactical mitigation. If you weren't going to take much damage, you'd trait for more dps/healing/health.

There was basically a massive meta-game involved in LOTRO with regards to perfecting your character for given circumstances. Some people chose raw health. Others chose mitigation. Others trusted their healers and chose extra damage. That entire meta-game is missing from SW:TOR.
(I'll try to keep this brief because I have never actually played LOTRO so I don't want to make a bunch of baseless claims about it that I don't know, pls call me out if I do end up doing that in some way)

First things first, Uh... why not just play LOTRO? A lot of those features don't appease me in any way so I would much prefer this game to not go in that direction (thus why I play this game).

1. Vertical tier progression has it's perks being that people can run what ever they want. I would much rather enjoy a journey where I must first travel through one zone to move onto the next. It's a preference of play style so to call one out dated over the other is rather insulting.

2. Agree, random drops can create a sense of hope and distaste that can bring emotion to the looting process. But I do recognize some people hate the concept of random in general and can see why it was not implemented.

3. Associates with point 1. If things never got harder then what as already out then the game beings to become stale.

4. As much as I love building adjustable sets to increase my effectiveness on killing specific bosses, I've always viewed resistance based gear as lame. It can be implemented in a way where it makes sense but often times, it feels to much of a grind with no real benefit. The idea of obtaining loot that can not be used immediately until similar loot is obtained as a whole is just frustrating to say the least.

Generally the stats are the way they are for the sole purpose of creating a strong balance between success and failure for the boss encounters. The closer the balance is, the more effective the boss fights can be tuned to require raw skill as the means to down the boss.
~Codek

Selenial's Avatar


Selenial
08.31.2012 , 09:18 AM | #25
Quote: Originally Posted by RyanTHX View Post
Ok, I have no idea what all the abbreviations stand for. I am not new to online multiplayer games but yes this is my first mmo. I can't seem to find anywhere that explains the terminology that everyone is using. I find it hard to post sometimes because I feel retarded. -lol-
EV -> Eternity Vault
KP -> Karragas Palace These four are operations (TFB not used much,
EC -> Explosive conflict. yet to be released yet)
TFB -> Terror from beyond

SM -> Story Mode
HM -> Hard Mode These three are the dificulties of said operations, Nightmare
NiM -> Nightmare Mode only available in EV and KP

TFE -> The false emperor (Shared)
BT -> Black Talon (Imperial)
D7 -> Directive 7 (Shared) The only flashpoints i see abreviated
BP -> Boarding party (Imperial)
MP -> Maelstrom Prison (Republic)
The Mandalorian Wars were a series of massacres that masked another war, a war of conversion. Culminating in a final atrocity that no Jedi could walk away fromů save one.
Zarys Sorcerer Cathinka Seeliara Sage
Force In Balance - The Harbinger

twiggie's Avatar


twiggie
08.31.2012 , 09:38 AM | #26
I'm going to bet the folks who disagree with the higher tiers of Story Mode Operations being made easier and more accessible are members of established raiding guilds. Some of us are not so fortunate; my own situation being that I work odd hours and play at off-peak times, which is when the vast majority of guilds are finished raiding. I am also in a guild of five people. What's the harm in letting the players who only want to experience the content have a chance to do so?

As it stands, the only way I can experience Operations is by grouping up with random players on my server. This is fine for EV and KP, but not so much EC. It has been out since 1.2, and I have not even had the chance to step inside of it yet. Believe it or not, there are those of us who are only interested in Story Modes. Why not let us access them? Those who want the challenge and the gear can have their Hard and Nightmare modes. You don't lose anything.

The way the gear progression SHOULD work is as follows:
  • Tier 1 - Eternity Vault and Karagga's Palace: requires entry-level 50/Tionese gear; drops Columi gear/commendations
  • Tier 2 - Explosive Conflict: requires Columi gear; drops Rakata gear/commendations
  • Tier 3 - Terror from Beyond: requires Rakata gear; drops Black Hole gear/commendations

See the pattern here? This make sense for players who only want to participate in Story Modes. Right now, I would have to gear up through HARD MODE Tier 1 to play STORY MODE in Tier 2.

I know I'm not the only person who feels this way. Bringing down Tier 2+ Story Modes in gear requirements and difficulty is a good design for letting more casual players see the content they're paying for, while the players who desire to go above and beyond still have the options to do so.

KingofGob's Avatar


KingofGob
08.31.2012 , 10:58 AM | #27
From the dev tracker:

Quote:
I asked Jesse Sky (Lead Flashpoints and Operations Designer) what kind of gear players should be in to attempt Story Mode and what kinds of rewards they'll receive for doing so. He said that the gear requirements for Story Mode are similar to those for Story Mode Explosive Conflict. It's balanced for Columi and drops Rakata, but will also speed up the acquisition of Black Hole gear. Hard Mode is balanced for players who have geared past Hard Mode Explosive Conflict.
Sounds similar to the plan I had for story mode except one tier higher than I proposed.

RyanTHX's Avatar


RyanTHX
08.31.2012 , 08:24 PM | #28
Quote: Originally Posted by alifaraaz View Post
HM = Hard Mode
NiM or NM = Nightmare Mode
SM = Story Mode
Thank you
Let me show you how it works clanker...

RyanTHX's Avatar


RyanTHX
08.31.2012 , 08:25 PM | #29
Quote: Originally Posted by Selenial View Post
EV -> Eternity Vault
KP -> Karragas Palace These four are operations (TFB not used much,
EC -> Explosive conflict. yet to be released yet)
TFB -> Terror from beyond

SM -> Story Mode
HM -> Hard Mode These three are the dificulties of said operations, Nightmare
NiM -> Nightmare Mode only available in EV and KP

TFE -> The false emperor (Shared)
BT -> Black Talon (Imperial)
D7 -> Directive 7 (Shared) The only flashpoints i see abreviated
BP -> Boarding party (Imperial)
MP -> Maelstrom Prison (Republic)

Thank you too
Let me show you how it works clanker...