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Horizontal scaling, a new type of progression.

STAR WARS: The Old Republic > English > General Discussion > Suggestion Box
Horizontal scaling, a new type of progression.

Drudenfusz's Avatar


Drudenfusz
10.27.2012 , 08:47 PM | #51
I would like to have horizontal progression, but it is too late for SWTOR to do that. Instead they will continue with the way they have already chosen, we know already that they working on raising the level cap and such things.
My Old Republic Warring is Magic
Gwenya - The Drudenfusz Legacy, Jedi Shadow on Jar'Kai Sword
When you play the game of PvP, you win or you die.
English version <- SWTOR Wiki -> German version

VegaPhone's Avatar


VegaPhone
10.28.2012 , 07:20 AM | #52
Horizontal scaling works when there is a greater purpose in the game, and sand box features.

For example right now with gear progression it gives an immediate sense of purpose, and the reward quickly translates into an achievement. Its simple and effective... but takes time to offer enough content.

So how do you offer horizontal progression that is rewarding, fun, gives a sense of achievement and purpose to the game?

There are several ways, and one key way to look at it is more from a sand box perspective that uses horizontal progression as their end game... basically think sand box MMO as offering a greater purpose.

However, that is not the be all and end all that secures the concept of horizontal progression since sand box MMOs by themselves are not enough.

-As a themepark, this game needs to have more customization.
-Player house decoration for ships or better yet actual houses
-Instanced housing, or better yet non-instanced housing (but thats towards sand box and a sand box crafting system)
-Pazaak
-Swoop racing
-Gambling
-Player bounties
-Quests that shape an area by building an alignment with NPCs and can be related to open world pvp (again this is more towards sand box aspect of the game)
-Unique items with unique abilities - this is very important with horizontal progression
-Also less restrictions - Dual spec, and possible switching AC's
-Benefits for doing more completionist activities - which can reward open world pvp for example alignment with NPCs
-Duel arenas
-Tournament systems
-Large WZ's
-Exploration and making raids/ops and FP in actual physical locations and not instanced (this is important)
-Physical locations for WZ's
-Mini games

At this point the list is offering more activities, and basically what it does is make the game have so much content that not having the simple carrot on the stick reward system, the game is rewarding enough. That when a person does a raid, they do it not only for customization, completion, helping others, rare items, other benefits... but also for money.

Games that have important money sinks change the concept of how we perceive rewards, and that is why having a sand box feature with horizontal scaling is important.

So if they add 3d space combat, maybe that can include some sand box features of destructible space ships, destructible guild ships, but there is a lot pvp, and money invovled - made or lost.

And sand box on the ground can include non instanced guild fortresses that lead to instanced housing. And having an economy around that. I posted some ideas on this, and basically have WZs that are related to player housing for getting resources, building houses, and having WZs that imitate guild fortresses that allow players to customize the design themselves and beating the guild fortress gives access to the victors and gives them access to resources, and also this be related to an alignment of NPCs and how the NPCs aligned with the guild can affect the area, and the map as well. So quests relating to a certain NPC will be moved to another area.

And it can lead to a greater objective as well, of maybe getting guild ranks and having a high guild rank to build a fortress in a safe instanced place on the capital having some political influence as well.

But the gist of all this is, there needs to be more content, more customization, more items, more alternatives to a rewarding swtor experience that has a lot of life and depth... and something like a day/night cycle would be very important in a game that has horizontal scaling.

Also fixing the side quests to be more dynamic.

Its a lot of work, and many video gaming companies have taken a year off to revamp thier games, such Dark fall unholy wars. So its not inconceivable, but to be realistic it has to be close to what already exists in the game.

So basically, horizontal scaling begins at lvl 50 as everyone is suggesting, or now with Makeb at lvl 55. And they remove the gear grind for ops and wz... but again... they need a lot of content... so in the future for sure, it will be wise for them to do so...

Since the fact they will face is how to offer content to new players starting from lvl1 to reach expansion number 3 with 400 hours of lvling to begin end game, and then spend 200 hours to just get gear for Ops, then spend another 200 hours jsut to get gear for WZs.

And after they are done that... the world is static, they are on the fleet, and there is nothing for them to do.

So in essence in the current state of the game, it needs a gear grind to hide what is missing from the game which should be a fun, and rewarding game that is about content and not gear grinds.

And swtor would greatly benefit by trying to incorporate this, because once they have things like open world pvp, duel arenas, swoop racing that even allows players to make their own custom maps... it becomes a lot of repeatable content that allows players to have fun giving devs more time to work on the content that players will consume quickly like ops/PVE content.

AboB's Avatar


AboB
10.28.2012 , 12:56 PM | #53
Quote: Originally Posted by Quething;5334492[COLOR="Red"
]Another advantage of horizontal scaling not yet mentioned is the lower bar to understanding the entire endgame, in addition to the lower bar for participating.[/COLOR]

Look at what happens to a fresh 50 in SWTOR right now. You go back to the Fleet, and suddenly your map fills up with quest offer markers. Which one do you take first? The game wouldn't let you talk to that Gree ambassador lady if you weren't able to actually do the quest, right? Your log fills up with "operations" and "hard modes" and what's up with these "dalies," for that matter?

There's absolutely no guidance whatsoever for what order you're supposed to do these things in, or how to know when you're ready for any of them. If you have some MMO experience you probably know you're not ready for most of it, because you know that gearing is a thing and you're not geared, but there's no indication of what's first or what exactly is required for what comes after. You just have to have a good guild or ask in General "ok I'm 50, now what do I do" and hope somebody feels like not being a jerk.

With horizontal scaling it wouldn't matter. You could do any level 50 quest as soon as you got it. No more spending months between picking up the Denova quest and actually getting to the instance, at which point you've completely forgotten the story thread that brought you there in the first place.
Reading this post instantly reminded me of a time before in-game tutorials, monthly subscriptions to Nintendo Power, wondering how the hell the boss is even beatable, and dying A LOT. No, it wasn't the best of times, but it was a time when developers were able to focus on creating new content, without worrying about whether or not it's too hard. I will go on record here to state the fact that I haven't done much of the endgame content.

Majspuffen's Avatar


Majspuffen
12.17.2012 , 06:23 AM | #54
Things are escalating and people are still as blind to see how damaging the vertical scaling is to the game?

I sit in a perpetual facepalm these days as I watch the game "progress". I can still find enjoyment in PvP, and I remain in the game because of the community. People might be blind to it but, the lack of cross-servers have really fostered a community on my server and there are lots of people that I like, and even a bunch of people that I really do not like. I feel like I have a personal connection to the game.

But I digress. Cross-servers are not relevant to this thread, I merely wanted to explain what's keeping me in the game, since I just grow more and more frustrated for each and every patch.

Let's look at 1.6, and what came with it.
Elite War Hero Gear: A large portion of the community seem satisfied. Yay!! Gear gap has been reduced! PvP is now more about skill, and less about gear! You rule, bioware.

Another large portion of the community seem dissatisfied. Wat?! TEH GEAR I WORKED ON FOR SO LONG IS NOW GIVEN OUT FOR NORMAL COMMS???? And this elite war hero gear is barely an upgrade, WHY SHUD I BOTHER COLLECTING IT? U SUCK, BIOWARE!

As much as you try, you can't please everyone. If you were to implement horizontal scaling, no doubt a lot of people would be upset. A lot of people would be happy, too. It will be the same thing as with the Elite War Hero gear. The only difference is that it would be beneficial for the game, and it would take a lot of pressure off of the developers. One less headache to deal with, and since gear will always be balanced it will be easier to balance new encounters, right?

Let's just look at what is inevitably going to happen. Or, some might argue that it already has happened, and I would agree... so, when PvE progresses (i.e new raid tier is released with new gear) then PvP has to follow. They need to do it this way because otherwise, PvE gear might become the optimal gear for PvP, and that is something World of Warcraft wants to prevent... Sorry, Star Wars the Old Republic*...

So we get Campaign gear, and we get War Hero gear.

We get Dread Guard gear, and we get Elite War Hero gear.

And in order to keep the gear gap shut, we get new recruit gear. MK-1, MK-2...

Before I go on, look at this quote:

Quote: Originally Posted by Quething View Post
Another advantage of horizontal scaling not yet mentioned is the lower bar to understanding the entire endgame, in addition to the lower bar for participating.

Look at what happens to a fresh 50 in SWTOR right now. You go back to the Fleet, and suddenly your map fills up with quest offer markers. Which one do you take first? The game wouldn't let you talk to that Gree ambassador lady if you weren't able to actually do the quest, right? Your log fills up with "operations" and "hard modes" and what's up with these "dalies," for that matter?
In 1.6, Bioware sends you mails where they try to teach you the end game... I've been level 50 since January but those mails confused even me. Or maybe it was less confusion and more astoundment. Astoundment that they had to give people a guide through in game mails with missions at end game. There are tutorials? Apparently the end game isn't self-explanatory enough.

You'd think you'd get to end game and go off and explore the galaxy! No such things. Everything is instanced and tiered by gear. They give you some tionese comms, to encourage you to PvE but honestly, can't you just take the free PvP gear and go PvE with that? I did with my merc. Granted, I went with friends in full War Hero (also pvp gear...) so maybe they carried me. Perhaps I'll equip my healer in recruit gear at some point, just to see if I can heal through a hardmode flashpoint with that gear. If I can, then I have proven my point.

Bioware has confirmed that they will release content at a snail's pace. Not through words, mind you, but through evidence. I for one do not play operations! I did, before and in early 1.2, but I stopped because I didn't like all the farming I got involved with. I think I've explained what happened somewhere in this thread. Basically, I got fed up with all the grind. New people joined the guild and since they didn't have the gear to join us in Denova, we had to carry them through KP and EV HP/NMs. It was BORING. And did it feel rewarding? Sure it did. Only the entire guild (except for four players) stopped playing, because they realized it was "wow in space".

If they had stayed, yikes... I've played Terror from Beyond, story mode. It is a spectacular operation. But not so spectacular that I'm willing to farm it, time and time again, week after week, just for gear. Where am I supposed to go with that gear? Is it supposed to give me a foot in for the next tier? Why would I even care about that. It's not like they are releasing new operations on a monthly basis.

But I'm starting to repeat myself, and I'm side-tracking the point. Yes, I understand the allure of getting new gear. The sense of achievement, of progress. But when you look at the progression table, the goal is within arms reach. It is not like in early World of Warcraft, where you worked your way through tiers and farmed the end game (unless you were in a very serious raiding guild. I wasn't, but I still raided 2-3 times a week.)

I for one would love to see nightmare modes for flashpoints. Flashpoints are so much more accessible, but their function in the game is to help people get into raid gear. So people need to be able to farm them. So the difficulty level of the "hardmodes" are aimed towards disorganized groups... is that fun? I certainly don't think so. The only flashpoint that offers any sort of challenge is tier 2, and even then it's a relatively small challenge. I pve in pvp gear for crying out loud, it's not like I'm running with optimal gear, but it's still steamrolly as f***.

What can I look forward to, in terms of flashpoints? In tier 1, we have like what, 7-8 flashpoints? Maybe more? In tier 2, we have one. How many will we have in tier 3? One as well? Why, isn't that just a marvellous game design! It would be okay if the other tiers didn't become trivialized. This notion of progress is just a way to diminish the end game, making it less. How can people not see that?

People want to be rewarded for their time and effort. There are lots of ways to reward them for that without sacrificing the entire end game for it. Time challenges, could be one thing. Defeat a certain encounter under a certain amount of time and you gain some cosmetic loot, be it speeders, pets or moddable items. I think a lot of old hardcore PvEers miss the days of early WoW, because back then, having the end game gear actually meant something. When you strolled around in your capital city wearing the best gear avaialble, it meant something. You became almost an icon on your server. I never got any such gear, but I still remember looking at those who did with awe and amazement. SWTOR could achieve the same thing in this game by giving specific rewards to real difficult challenges.

SWTORs end game is flawed in almost every aspect. I guess their PvE is doing alright, all things considered. Their PvP is a mess and sure, 1.6 was a step in the right direction. But how far can they keep this up? Crafting is pretty much pointless. It's all about statz! Cybertech craft super armorings. Armormechs/Synthweavers/Armstechs creates augments and MK-6 kits. Biochem creates stims. It's all so very boring. When I rolled synthweaving, I had hoped to make moddable armors. Think tailoring in SWG, that was what I was hoping for.

But no. Just statz. Statz, statz, statz.

Darthdaedric's Avatar


Darthdaedric
12.17.2012 , 07:56 AM | #55
I like this idea. I think it sounds like an improvement from what we have.

Majspuffen's Avatar


Majspuffen
01.06.2013 , 03:55 AM | #56
Well level 55 is on the horizon. Can anyone say that SWTORs level 50 experience was a success?

Two new operations, both part of the same tier? No new set bonuses at all. No new item models, just lazy recolours. Two new Warzones, and a pre-season that's been out for 7 months.

I for one am extremely disappointed in this game. I remain subscribed out of interest, and because I can still manage to find enjoyment in the game, and I like the community on my server. That said, the new expansion had better be amazing if I am to remain interested in this game.

SWTOR is the definition of an MMORPG falling prey to power creep. Implementing augments back in 1.2 was an incredibly bad idea. It is nice to be able to fine-trim your stats, I can understand that argument, but I personally think that they should have sold mods and enhancements seperately. As for all I know, serious PvPers rarely use the mods they are given. They'll take the mods they think are best. For example, on my Operative I keep buying boots and gloves for the mods and enhancements I want. I doubt that is what bioware originally intended.

SWTOR simply wasn't made with augments in mind. They have a shot at fixing that at level 55 I imagine, but I really hope they'll consider going for horizontal scaling. They've failed miserably with vertical scaling.

totherkins's Avatar


totherkins
01.06.2013 , 04:43 AM | #57
The issue with horizontal scaling is mainly without lack of a better definition GW2 you get into a game and you have your horizontal gear and instead of grinding to get better gear you are grinding to get a higher rank and better looking gear.

At rank 40 in GW2 you already look awesome you have enough resource to buy whatever you need and to get to the next tier is a ridiculous grind and you find yourself asking why am I grinding if I already look good and am skilled with the game?

Will horizontal scaling appeal initially?

It sure will but in 3 months time their is nothing for you to do except sit on the fleet strutting it out in your gear. As much as players think they hate the vertical scaling it's what keeps their interest and makes them play hours and hours. Trust me I thought I hated vertical scaling then I was introduced to horizontal scaling and where as my skill wasn't an issue(mainly because I could que with good groups, who could tell me what this did and that did)

I quickly came to realize I'm that douche that likes the gear grind.
Tötherkins - 50 tank Juggernaut
Ultimate Individual Class PVP Records 2.0
http://www.swtor.com/community/showt...78#post6184878

Majspuffen's Avatar


Majspuffen
01.06.2013 , 02:17 PM | #58
Quote: Originally Posted by totherkins View Post
The issue with horizontal scaling is mainly without lack of a better definition GW2 you get into a game and you have your horizontal gear and instead of grinding to get better gear you are grinding to get a higher rank and better looking gear.

At rank 40 in GW2 you already look awesome you have enough resource to buy whatever you need and to get to the next tier is a ridiculous grind and you find yourself asking why am I grinding if I already look good and am skilled with the game?

Will horizontal scaling appeal initially?

It sure will but in 3 months time their is nothing for you to do except sit on the fleet strutting it out in your gear. As much as players think they hate the vertical scaling it's what keeps their interest and makes them play hours and hours. Trust me I thought I hated vertical scaling then I was introduced to horizontal scaling and where as my skill wasn't an issue(mainly because I could que with good groups, who could tell me what this did and that did)

I quickly came to realize I'm that douche that likes the gear grind.
You can say the exact same thing about Vertical Scaling. I was full War Hero on my main early last summer, and I kept playing PvP even though I didn't have anything to work for. The only thing the gear grind gave me was imbalanced Warzones. PvE-wise, it gave me a significant lack of content since I don't enjoy steamrolling through the tier 1 flashpoints or earlier operations.

Besides, GW2 did Horizontal Scaling in a bad fashion since it is only applied to Battlegrounds, and not World PvP. It feels like a game within the game.

totherkins's Avatar


totherkins
01.06.2013 , 05:56 PM | #59
Quote: Originally Posted by Majspuffen View Post
You can say the exact same thing about Vertical Scaling. I was full War Hero on my main early last summer, and I kept playing PvP even though I didn't have anything to work for. The only thing the gear grind gave me was imbalanced Warzones. PvE-wise, it gave me a significant lack of content since I don't enjoy steamrolling through the tier 1 flashpoints or earlier operations.

Besides, GW2 did Horizontal Scaling in a bad fashion since it is only applied to Battlegrounds, and not World PvP. It feels like a game within the game.
True, but BW would need to implement solo ques as well because in horizontal scaling bads realize they suck but if they have solo que said baddies can solo que and blame it on someone else which is honestly one of the reasons why LoL is successful and they have good developers to it appears.
Tötherkins - 50 tank Juggernaut
Ultimate Individual Class PVP Records 2.0
http://www.swtor.com/community/showt...78#post6184878

Majspuffen's Avatar


Majspuffen
01.10.2013 , 05:20 PM | #60
After all this time I have finally decided to unsubscribe to the game. As of the 17th January, I will no longer be able to bump this thread. I regret how I wrote it originally, and perhaps I'll revisit it to make it clearer and shorter, before my time runs out.

I am not happy to unsubscribe. I remained subscribed out of interest; I wanted to see this game succeed. Month after month, I expected something that would take the game in a new direction. But it hasn't. It feels like I am back in World of Warcraft: Cataclysm. I have to wait ages for content and balance patches, and while waiting hype builds around the patch and then once it is finally released, it isn't nearly as big as you first thought. 1.2 was proof of this, and 1.2 was when I started to tire of the game. Ever since 1.2 I've questioned their decisions. Ever since 1.2 I've worried about the state of the game, due to the layoffs and what not.

There was more content before 1.2... in a sense. There was more playable content. Sure, the game lacked a group finder so people had to ask in General Chat on the fleet, but honestly that wasn't the end of the world. It forced people to communicate, which is actually a good thing. Back before 1.2 we had 3 warzones, 2 operations and a bunch of flashpoints. Today, we have 5 warzones, 2 operations and 1 flashpoint. What do I mean by that?

The old content has already lost its challenge. Challenge. The reason we play games. I can forgive Bioware for having different difficulties on their operations. In fact, I think that it is good that they cater to players of various different skill-levels. I don't think anyone enjoys the steamroll the early flashpoints and operations have turned into. It's so much trash, and the boss-fights are so short. The only flashpoint you can get any sort of enjoyment from is Lost Island. How many times can you play that before you get bored?

People should play for fun, and always for fun. There doesn't have to be any gear grind. Who says there has to be? World of Warcraft? Well, they have been doing a poor job with gear ever since Wrath of the Lich King was released. Before 1.6, a lot of players had full War Hero gear (me included, on two characters)... yet we didn't stop playing. Why? Because Warzones were fun. That is the only incentive there needs to be. Why are people so blind to that?

You want to be rewarded for your time spent in the game? Add cosmetic rewards. Congratulations, you beat Eternity Vault on nightmare mode. Here, have this super awesome outfit... no, it won't make your next try any easier, it will just serve as a badge of honour. Is that not enough?

I don't care at all about my stats. They are there because I need them to be there. They aren't making this game more fun. The few treasures I have are the items I had prior to 1.2. The Korrealis speeders, for example. I got two of those. Then there's the titles and pets and outfits from the Rakghoul event. I never use any of those, but I have them, and that feels rewarding in itself. They are the true rewards of my time spent in this game. The rakghoul rewards I only have on one character, too, since I didn't have an alt back then, making my main even more special to me.

Gear creates so many problems. Bioware did do something right in 1.6... the gear gap between Elite War Hero and War Hero gear is minimal, and that is good. But there is still an insane gap between a new 50 and a veteran. Lately I've seen lots of new level 50s in Warzones, and while it is fun to see new faces, it isn't very fun to see their healthbars in your team. Losing games simply because people don't have gear to withstand the stupid damage we have in pvp these days. Killing a person in 5 seconds is not satisfying, either. Balanced games... they are fun.

It's been a year. What have we got? No new set bonuses of any description. We've gotten one new set of gear, recoloured how many times? Once? Yikes... this game has let me down tremenduously. The further the game "progressed", the worse the experience became. I was always riding with the wave. I was among the first on my server to have the best gear available. Still, the game has changed so much. These days when I play PvP, there is so much damage and so much crowd control flying around all over the place that I just get frustrated.

I don't get why people defend vertical scaling. I really don't. It saddens me a great deal. Surely, a level playing field with a much wider variety ought to have more longevity than new items that trivialize old content, no?

Ah well... I don't trust Bioware to fix their game anymore. Whenever we get news, it's just about the Cartel Market. Look at the front page, for crying out loud. It's all resorted to the cartel market. It feels like EA wasn't happy with the game, and they are trying to cushion it's fall and try to grab as much money as they can before finally declaring the game dead. That might not be the truth, but it sure feels that way. And I get that feeling from playing the game, listening to friends and reading these boards. Bioware's state of the game posts aren't exactly lifting my hopes, either...

I sure hope the game will recuperate... but until I see a step taken in the right direction, I shall remain unsubscribed. I will log in and chat with friends, perhaps try my hand at roleplaying... but I'm not giving them any more money, until they actually do something with their game.