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Lvl 75 Gate Splits Game In Two, Undermining "Play As You Want"

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > General Discussion
Lvl 75 Gate Splits Game In Two, Undermining "Play As You Want"

Joonbeams's Avatar


Joonbeams
05.31.2019 , 04:32 AM | #1
SMASHED BY A MACK TRUCK
I stopped playing (but kept subbing) with the announcement of Ossus because [reasons] (stated many times in earlier posts and irrelevant to this post). I've logged in a couple times since then, lurked around here on and off, and generally just stayed loosely tracking.

But the rededication by the studio to investing in this game and taking feedback has been refreshing, and so I finally watched the the livestream which was overall great. I pretty much loved every single part of it--everything--until a mack truck came and blindsided me at ~46:40. It was roadkill for me after that. The runaway truck was a slide that read "Acquiring Items at 75." Alas, it seems that Galactic Renown XP (RXP) and the "new currency" won't be obtainable until level 75. This is a very bad design decision. For me as a "casual" RPing, story-loving, PvPing, altoholic player, this sort of "RXP-Gating" is game breaking.

THE STATE OF AFFAIRS PRE-GALACTIC COMMAND
The worst part of GC/5.0 for me was the effect on base/vanilla game play. I cannot emphasize this enough. Prior to 5.0, the base game was integrated with the max-level game. You progressed from level one to the max level, earning better gear, currency, knowledge, crafting, etc. along the way. You could never do everything of course, but that was never the point.

For example, in PvP, you could earn comms while leveling that were usable at max-level. In PvE, you could earn crystals that were usable at max level. As a crafter, I could craft and sell the best possible items before reaching level max. This created a seamless connection between leveling and the max-level game. You never felt like leveling/re-rolling was "pointless."

XP-GATING AND THE LAW OF UNINTENDED CONSEQUENCES
5.0 changed that and erected an arbitrary brick firewall between 1-69 and 70. Until you hit level 70, you couldn't do anything in the base game to earn CXP, currency, etc. toward the max-level game play. And then, at 70, you started all over again with CXP from level 1. Now it will be RXP, and you will be starting from scratch at RXP level 1 after grinding 74 levels (or maybe buying a Master's Datacron). This is not trivial.

The legacy of 5.0 is that it created two separate games. One that's pre-70, and then one that happens post-70. And with 6.0, you'll now have to level 74 levels before anything you earn pre-75 counts for anything.

For example, this means that low/mids PvP will remain shriveled as happened with 5.0. Low/mids PvP is an enjoyable part of the game for many people, but why invest in it if you can't earn any useful rewards/XP/currency from it? That's not a hypothetical question--Galactic Command killed low/mids PvP (and many of us have shown our data for this in the past).

This isn't just about PvP, it's about class stories, FPs, GSF, heroics, and all the awesome stuff in the base game. It's all "unrewarding" (back off you "the game itself is the reward" types) until the arbitrary level 75? Why does this need to be the case?

END GAME AND MAX LEVEL ARE NOT SYNONYMS
This should be obvious, but it's worth pointing out that "max-level" game play isn't necessarily synonymous with "end game." It depends on what one considers "end game." If it's merely the arbitrary gate between a level and a piece of content, then that's one thing.

But if "end game" is that point in the game where you've completed the story, side quests, low/mid PvP, knowing the class, or whatever else, and then are ready to take on "recyclable" and more challenging content, then that's totally separate from any arbitrary character level. A newer player could reach 70 at some point well before finishing all the story, knowing nothing about the end game content. And a seasoned player might be able to buy a Master's Datacron and immediately jump into ranked PvP without touching the story. And everything in between. So "max level" is not some inherently meaningful transition point, some indicator of achievement or readiness. It's just an arbitrary number that by itself indicates nothing. So there is no good reason to lock

("AND ENJOY IT") IS IMPLIED IN PLAY WHAT YOU WANT
Devs, you are claiming a goal of "Play What You Want." This is a great goal. For me, and I know I'm not alone, the vanilla class stories are the best part of the game. My favorite thing to do is re-roll a new toon, starting at level one, and then slowly level that toon through class story, heroics, planetary arcs, FPs, and lowbies/midbies PvP. But if I can't earn the 6.0 goodies by enjoying the parts of the game I love--things we've been rewarded for in the past--then "play what you want' rings hollow.

I'll try to address some of the weaker counter arguments up front:
  • "But leveling is faster than ever before" - on hand hand, it's not fast enough if your playstyle includes class stories. These basically have a speed limit associated with them if your goal is to complete them (as an RPer, that is a goal for me). But on the other hand, leveling is too fast if you want to play low/mid PvP. I actually use the White Acute Module so that I don't level too fast.
  • "But Master's Datacron" - when I first saw this, I was like 'i'm gonna buy tons of these". But I didn't because I soon realized it blocks you out of low/mids PvP. And it's immersion breaking (for me) to have all my LvL 70 abilities on Tython. (Now, if they offered a datacron that allowed you to start earning RXP and currency at level one, there might be some appeal in that)
  • "But you just wanna get gear the easy way" - yeah, maybe. I dunno. I guess that's the meaning of "play as you want"?
  • "But you should just play for the inherent fun, not for gear" - this one...is just not worth responding to.

So in sum, it shouldn't matter if everyone agrees with my views of how I like to play the game. Play what you want must imply "enjoy" playing what you want and I enjoy playing from level 1. Does that mean that every idiosyncrasy has to be indulged by the devs? No. But I'm far from alone in thinking that the vanilla game here is fantastic and integral. And so at least that should be included in "Play What You Want ("And Enjoy It")...

Tl;dr: devs, please drop the RXP-gating firewall at level 75 and allow us to earn the new XP and currency from level one (and if you've already planned on doing that, and I misunderstood, then bravo and thanks!)

Duckduorden's Avatar


Duckduorden
05.31.2019 , 05:02 AM | #2
TL;DR ..................

I've read posts like this before and all I read is "blah blah blah, game too hard/boring/not how I think BW should do things (how dare they, right?) now, want free gear without working for it or earn it" CXP was DESIGNED for max level reward from quests that would normally give you nothing but credits at max so it makes perfect sense for RXP to also not be available til new max level of 75.......Play your way means just that, play your way........shells are available to you at level 1 with more powerful mods/armoring etc available as you level.

With all due respect, all I hear is a RP/PVP'er complaining because they have to level to 75 and start all over with RXP... the whole point of any game is to PLAY IT. You're argument indicates you've forgotten that lil part.....just my 2 cents adjusted for inflation :-)

Lhancelot's Avatar


Lhancelot
05.31.2019 , 05:28 AM | #3
Quote: Originally Posted by Joonbeams View Post
But the rededication by the studio to investing in this game and taking feedback has been refreshing.
I agree with this. I think since Anthem launched it seems the choke leash was opened up a bit for SWTOR. I don't think it's a coincidence. The studio has undoubtedly made impressive efforts to better their communication. This is awesome.



Quote: Originally Posted by Joonbeams View Post
For example, in PvP, you could earn comms while leveling that were usable at max-level. In PvE, you could earn crystals that were usable at max level. As a crafter, I could craft and sell the best possible items before reaching level max. This created a seamless connection between leveling and the max-level game. You never felt like leveling/re-rolling was "pointless."
Right, this is well said and exactly what I believe, too. The early gameplay years back on SWTOR really was building a foundation developmentally for many players, just by how the easier activities tended to be rudimentary forms of what was to come later on.

As Joon says, in the past the players were rewarded for their participation in lower level activities and lesser forms of what would be considered end game activities for lvl 70s.

PVPing at low levels granted players not only experience for 70s PVP, but an accrual of spendable 70 lvl currency for gears that the low level player could save up and use.

Imo this was a smart way to get players to learn how to play as well as giving them an opportunity to prepare for lvl 70s PVP by also offering a very worthy reward that was usable by the player once they got their character to 70.




Quote: Originally Posted by Joonbeams View Post
5.0 changed that and erected an arbitrary brick firewall between 1-69 and 70. Until you hit level 70, you couldn't do anything in the base game to earn CXP, currency, etc. toward the max-level game play. And then, at 70, you started all over again with CXP from level 1. Now it will be RXP, and you will be starting from scratch at RXP level 1 after grinding 74 levels (or maybe buying a Master's Datacron). This is not trivial.
I hope it isn't going to be this way. ^

Hopefully they recognize these advancement gates they add to slow gearing up only serve to make the game disjointed and far less enjoyable. There shouldn't be a big disconnect between low level activities and cap level activities.

If anything, just the state of lowbies PVP is proving just how bad of an idea it is to minimalise rewards for lower level activities. With absolutely ZERO reason to queue for lowbies, no one queues lowbies now. Lowbies used to be the most active facet of PVP, not just because it was the first opportunity for players to PVP but also because as a lowbie we legitimately could improve ourselves through playing in lowbies. How?

Well, for one we got WZ comms as rewards along with credits. These could be used to buy WZ Medpacks/WZ Adrenals or even saved up to use for gears only available once the character reached cap level. Many PVPers would choose to level through PVP from 10-cap level just because the comms were worth it alone, but on top of that you really got to learn your class's abilities in PVP from the frequent queueing of lowbies.




Quote: Originally Posted by Joonbeams View Post
The legacy of 5.0 is that it created two separate games. One that's pre-70, and then one that happens post-70. And with 6.0, you'll now have to level 74 levels before anything you earn pre-75 counts for anything.
It sounds like a repeat of global command crates. What I dislike about this type of system is you only focus on getting to cap level asap, because you gain nothing for spending or investing time into the lower tier activities. They are nothing but chore-like, and this is why buying Master Datacrons has become the norm, because any opportunity to skip meaningless time investments will be taken advantage of if possible. I guess kudos to BW if that's their reasoning, if anything I am quite sure Master Datacrons are highly popular items off the CM. Personally, I'd rather see BW find ways to reward and entice players to play lower level content and not skip it, lower levels can be fun and equally fulfilling for players if done right by the game.




Quote: Originally Posted by Joonbeams View Post
Devs, you are claiming a goal of "Play What You Want." This is a great goal. For me, and I know I'm not alone, the vanilla class stories are the best part of the game. My favorite thing to do is re-roll a new toon, starting at level one, and then slowly level that toon through class story, heroics, planetary arcs, FPs, and lowbies/midbies PvP. But if I can't earn the 6.0 goodies by enjoying the parts of the game I love--things we've been rewarded for in the past--then "play what you want' rings hollow.
This is right. I realize we have some that actually parrot this idea that the players really can play the way they want right now, and sure, they can. They also end up missing out on tons of stuff unless they actually enjoy Ossus grinding for months on end and doing PVE stuff instead of PVP stuff to gear up for PVP.

Mind you, this only begins once the player has advanced their toon to 70 level.

This is not logical. You can't expect people to drudge along through 69 levels, and afford them nothing to show for it, nothing that can be used for them once they get their toon to 70. All this does is make people either skip the entire process with Master Datacrons or even worse just stop participating in anything lower level just because it's just wasting time when the only rewards worthwhile are given for doing 70 lvl activities.

By removing every useful incentive and reward from all low level activities, the game is suffering in these areas now which only means you end up with far less skilled/knowledgable people at the top because even noobs learn fast there's no reason to indulge in lowbie activities when everything worthwhile gained is at 70. Many people determine they might as well coast to cap level asap, and learn the game then.
TRUE
Quote: Originally Posted by DarthSpuds View Post
RNG is counterproductive because it massively increases player dissatisfaction.
FALSE
Quote: Originally Posted by olagatonjedi View Post
As I detailed in another thread, RNG give the players more control over their gearing.

Lhancelot's Avatar


Lhancelot
05.31.2019 , 05:34 AM | #4
Quote: Originally Posted by Duckduorden View Post
the whole point of any game is to PLAY IT. You're argument indicates you've forgotten that lil part.....just my 2 cents adjusted for inflation :-)
Well, this statement proves that many of us have far different perspectives when it comes to games and why we play them. For me the point of a game is not to play it, but to enjoy it. If they make bad design changes I won't play it.

Now, some may feel the game has not made bad game design changes and that's fine to take that perspective, too.

But my opinion doesn't really mean a thing. BW is going to continue to reap what they sow regardless if I like the changes or not. The important thing is how the majority of players respond to how the new gearing is added.

If new game designs are poorly done, the game will continue to suffer. If the new gearing and other features are successful and done well, the game should flourish and that's what I am hoping for.
TRUE
Quote: Originally Posted by DarthSpuds View Post
RNG is counterproductive because it massively increases player dissatisfaction.
FALSE
Quote: Originally Posted by olagatonjedi View Post
As I detailed in another thread, RNG give the players more control over their gearing.

ceryxp's Avatar


ceryxp
05.31.2019 , 05:54 AM | #5
Quote: Originally Posted by Joonbeams View Post
[B][SIZE="4"][COLOR="DarkOrange"]"Acquiring Items at 75." Alas, it seems that Galactic Renown XP (RXP) and the "new currency" won't be obtainable until level 75. This is a very bad design decision. For me as a "casual" RPing, story-loving, PvPing, altoholic player, this sort of "RXP-Gating" is game breaking.
I only skimmed your post after this part. It's clear you missed a lot of details in the stream. Yes, Galactic Command is changing to Galactic Renown. Yes, everyone is being reset back to level 1. But, GR is an entirely supplemental way to obtain gear.

First, RXP will be acquired directly alongside XP, and you will continue to acquire RXP even at level 75 because it will be based upon how much XP you would have earned, which makes me thing that we will accrue RXP from level 1 and is why I asked that question in the other thread.

Second, the gear we acquire from a GR crate will now be based upon our item level and not our GR level. Gone will be those days of being in full 246+ gear and opening a tier 1 GC grate just to disintegrate everything because it contains absolutely nothing for you. Now, every single crate you open, from Renown level 1 to however high it goes, will drop gear based on your item rating. If you're in full 258 gear you're not going to get nothing but 230 gear because you opened a GR 1 box. Those tiers are gone.

Third, gone are CXP drops from all sources. Why? Because with 6.0 we'll be getting gear wherever we got a CXP drop and that gear drop rating will be based upon our gear rating. Run Esseles or Black Talon SM now and you get three or four CXP drops that are barely enough to get you a single tier 4 crate. After 6.0, instead of CXP drops you'll get actual gear, and because you're earning RXP alongside your regular XP, you may go up a level or two in Renown, which means one or two Renown crates to open, which will drop gear based on your item rating. That's three or four pieces of gear from boss fights (and if you're in a group those drops are individual so everyone gets their own drop), and one or two pieces of gear from Renown crates, and all of it will be based upon your item rating. If you didn't get a single item you wanted for that character, but there was something you would like to give to an alt you can because everything will be bound to legacy (even full left side). If you decide to break it all down, whether you're a crafter or not you'll get materials that you can use to acquire the gear you do want (Charles Points).

Your post is based upon a flawed understanding of the stream because it's clear you missed the part were we will now be getting gear drops based upon our item rating and not our GC or character level. The only specific gate Eric mentioned during the stream was that a person would need to be of a specific (unstated during the stream) item rating for the system to start dropping gear with set bonuses and tactical items.
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Click the link. You know you wanna. You'll get free stuff. - http://www.swtor.com/r/W9ZqZj

Joonbeams's Avatar


Joonbeams
05.31.2019 , 06:17 AM | #6
Quote: Originally Posted by ceryxp View Post
I only skimmed your post after this part. It's clear you missed a lot of details in the stream. Yes, Galactic Command is changing to Galactic Renown. Yes, everyone is being reset back to level 1. But, GR is an entirely supplemental way to obtain gear.

First, RXP will be acquired directly alongside XP, and you will continue to acquire RXP even at level 75 because it will be based upon how much XP you would have earned, which makes me thing that we will accrue RXP from level 1 and is why I asked that question in the other thread.

...
I emphasized the white part from your post above. This is actually the question here. It's the point. And it was not answered in the livestream (as you agree with). I didn't miss any details from the stream. I watched it closely. The portion that starts at 46:40, where they explain what "play as you want" means, leads in with a slide that refers to "acquiring items at 75" which strongly suggests (but does not prove) that the RXP begins at level 75, as it is today with CXP. Would love to be wrong here.

And I'm not really talking about gearing in the abstract, or gearing just for endgame (if you get a chance, please read the OP). I'm talking specifically about the effect of introducing a new XP and currency that can't be earned prior to 75. And how that discourages players from doing pre-75 activities such as lowbies PvP and FPs.

There's no reason why an item-rating based gearing system can't start awarding gear, giving RE opportunities for that gear, and allowing the the RXP and vendor currencies (obviously in smaller amounts) that will useful at max-level to begin accruing at level 1. We've had this before too...

Nemmar's Avatar


Nemmar
05.31.2019 , 06:25 AM | #7
Not to be funny, but you do get a reward sub 75. You get XP, wich translates in new abilties every other level.

Joonbeams's Avatar


Joonbeams
05.31.2019 , 06:28 AM | #8
Quote: Originally Posted by Nemmar View Post
Not to be funny, but you do get a reward sub 75. You get XP, wich translates in new abilties every other level.
Whether it was your intent or not, that was funny....

Phazonfreak's Avatar


Phazonfreak
05.31.2019 , 06:31 AM | #9
You know, when they explained the new renown mechanic and said that a portion of all the xp you earn is transfered into renown xp, I automatically assumed they are talking from level 1 onwards when you start. Kinda like how legacy xp works and is earned alongside regular xp. But you are right, they did not specifically say that. I hope they meant it that way.

ceryxp's Avatar


ceryxp
05.31.2019 , 06:42 AM | #10
Quote: Originally Posted by Joonbeams View Post
I emphasized the white part from your post above. This is actually the question here. It's the point. And it was not answered in the livestream (as you agree with). I didn't miss any details from the stream. I watched it closely. The portion that starts at 46:40, where they explain what "play as you want" means, leads in with a slide that refers to "acquiring items at 75" which strongly suggests (but does not prove) that the RXP begins at level 75, as it is today with CXP. Would love to be wrong here.

And I'm not really talking about gearing in the abstract, or gearing just for endgame (if you get a chance, please read the OP). I'm talking specifically about the effect of introducing a new XP and currency that can't be earned prior to 75. And how that discourages players from doing pre-75 activities such as lowbies PvP and FPs.

There's no reason why an item-rating based gearing system can't start awarding gear, giving RE opportunities for that gear, and allowing the the RXP and vendor currencies (obviously in smaller amounts) that will useful at max-level to begin accruing at level 1. We've had this before too...
I think you did miss a point. Galactic Renown will be a completely supplemental system for acquiring gear because we will now be getting direct gear drops. From all over the place. It was clear to me from the stream that they're turning TOR into a Monty Hall campaign. For anyone not familiar with DnD, a Monty Hall campaign is one where a generous Game Master (the Devs) award the players with huge amounts of treasure. The relevance of Galactic Command and GC crates for gearing is being replaced by direct gear drops, gear drops will be everywhere, and will be based upon our item rating.
--------------------------------------------------
Click the link. You know you wanna. You'll get free stuff. - http://www.swtor.com/r/W9ZqZj