Planning Game Mechanics for Missions

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Itlandm
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Re: Planning Game Mechanics for Missions

Postby Itlandm » Tue Feb 26, 2019 6:49 pm

I am baffled that this is not standard on modern multiplayer games. CoH showed us how good this can work many years ago, so you'd think all other games would have snapped it up already. It also lessens the need for strict class balancing and makes the game more solo friendly, since you can have fun soloing a support class or running missions with an unbalanced team. I am quite happy about this.

Not sure how deep into the mission engine players should be allowed to go. A mission completely without bosses sounds a bit weird, but I guess if it is bad, people won't choose it. It does require good balance of risk and reward, or work and reward. If you can get twice the XP and loot in the same time by defeating mooks versus bosses, then obviously people will try to avoid bosses. But that just means the reward for bosses is too low. This kind of thing is what you have large alpha tests for. If we regular patrons can get access to a test server with some decent uptime toward the end of the year, we'll test all this out for you with no hard feelings if you end up rebalancing things before the "open" beta. This is going to take several runs on different settings with different team compositions so a single brief event like the login test won't work for this. Please consider it, this is something that is harder to adjust once the public is playing (and paying).

Of course, simply checking that missions work in general is not going to take long. You can probably do that on your own with just devs. I'm talking more serious data mining here. Missions are the beating heart of a Superhero MMORPG so they need to have more or less their final form when the doors open (although I hope there will be a steady stream of new maps for the next 20 years...)

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Re: Planning Game Mechanics for Missions

Postby Consultant » Wed Feb 27, 2019 6:29 am

We believe in doing a lot of alpha and beta testing, and taking the community feedback to heart. Balancing is difficult, and we already know that we cannot please everyone, but we will listen to everyone.

I will say that we will be doing paid Beta, which is kind of annoying to a lot of people. But the balancing element that justifies paid Beta is that we need the money to build the game. We're not EA, and we do not have a huge pool of money sourced from a successful KS. So we will need to charge for Beta. Despite that, we'll be adjusting things during the Beta, because we want the game to be fun! And making SoH more fun is a task that never ends. :)

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Itlandm
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Re: Planning Game Mechanics for Missions

Postby Itlandm » Wed Feb 27, 2019 8:43 am

Thanks for your response! I am looking forward to the paid beta as much as most of us, I am sure. What I was thinking of is a paid alpha, an intermediate stage between developer alpha and paid beta, open to your existing contributors, for a monthly fee (actually it will hopefully only last a couple months if all goes well?) using your existing PayPal payment options which we are already using, before you invest in your own credit card clearance. I don't mean you should have a polished product at the start of paid beta, but we might smoke out some typical alpha bugs like "servers go down in flames if two teams enter the same building on the same mission simultaneously". You know, the usual stuff that happens for no conceivable reason, is perfectly normal but looks kind of bad to outsiders. Also, you get to test your bug report procedures before the floodgates open.

The closed beta of CoH was basically this level of bughuntery, except it was free. I am sure some people were just playing around, but I know some of us submitted detailed bug reports.

Same for Valiance Online, except a) paid alpha had a single entry fee instead of ongoing payment, and b) very little seems to have happened to our bug reports yet (possibly because of a). Hopefully they will get their head above water eventually. But you already have that, somehow, so it might actually work here.

If you think this would get in the way of getting Paid Beta open by December 2019, then by all means prioritize that. I wish you the best of luck with your extremely ambitious time table, and assure you that you have my continuing support either way.

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Re: Planning Game Mechanics for Missions

Postby Galactus55 » Thu Feb 28, 2019 9:36 am

I will say that we will be doing paid Beta, which is kind of annoying to a lot of people. But the balancing element that justifies paid Beta is that we need the money to build the game. We're not EA, and we do not have a huge pool of money sourced from a successful KS. So we will need to charge for Beta. Despite that, we'll be adjusting things during the Beta, because we want the game to be fun! And making SoH more fun is a task that never ends. :)
Ready and waiting for the "paid Beta" Where do we set this up?
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Re: Planning Game Mechanics for Missions

Postby Consultant » Sun Mar 03, 2019 7:41 am

The plan is this year. :)

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Odee
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Re: Planning Game Mechanics for Missions

Postby Odee » Sun Mar 03, 2019 8:12 am

The plan is this year. :)
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Von
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Re: Planning Game Mechanics for Missions

Postby Von » Sun Mar 03, 2019 2:13 pm

The plan is this year. :)
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Odee
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Re: Planning Game Mechanics for Missions

Postby Odee » Sun Mar 03, 2019 8:20 pm

The plan is this year. :)
Cruel beyond measure... :lol: :lol:
On a day that ends with a "y"...
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Itlandm
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Re: Planning Game Mechanics for Missions

Postby Itlandm » Mon Mar 04, 2019 5:13 am

Certainly looking forward to the beta, but I'd be fine with an alpha too. CoT and VO have both been in alpha longer than they have been in anything else. Did I mention that CoT was supposed to launch in 2015, after a very successful Kickstarter? They've basically been in alpha since then. Alpha is where you see all the things that almost but not quite work the way you want them to. I totally understand why this usually takes some years. "The devil is in the details" as you say in English. Jump animations, run animations, combat animations, emote animations, stray dog animations, getting the hair and the cape to work together. It is all a truckload of work that people only notice if it isn't done.

I'm itching to play a game with customizable missions, sidekicking and a friendly community again. And if I can do that in 2019, I don't mind if the community is tiny and the animations need work, I'll still pay for it. (Actually I already do, as long as I see steady progress.) I am not sure there are thousands like me though.

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Re: Planning Game Mechanics for Missions

Postby Consultant » Mon Mar 04, 2019 6:38 am

Expanding on our plan a bit, we are working to become feature complete for the basic game. That does include some pieces like the powers, powersets, a few example instanced missions, CCT, public events (like invasions), leveling, augments, infusions, teaming, etc. but it does not include an auction house, a full set of missions, a player-facing mission creation system, and other cool stuff that will some later.

Our plan is to do extensive closed alpha testing, looking for and fixing bugs. Then we'll expand the closed alpha testing and very likely report on the progress.

At some point after this we'll schedule the beginning of Beta testing.

Once we begin Beta testing, we'll be on the path to eventual lauch of the game, as all revenues will be recycled back into creation of game content.

By the way, from our point of view, Alpha and Beta testing need to include non-devs, and we will continue to operate this way. We have already begun alpha testing of major game components. For example, we did "real" Alpha tests with supporters in 2017, for the CCT, and again in 2018 for the Combat System and for the Login Tests. At this point I would say we are sort of roughly caught up with VO, but as far as I know, we're the only two successors who have done any Alpha testing with unsupervised supporters, letting them download a version of the game and login and do whatever.

brando81373
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Re: Planning Game Mechanics for Missions

Postby brando81373 » Mon Mar 04, 2019 11:55 am

Again thanks for the update. We are all excited about the game and want it to come out quickly. It helps to have such open communication from the devs on their plan, keep up the good work!

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Major Victory
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Re: Planning Game Mechanics for Missions

Postby Major Victory » Mon Mar 04, 2019 1:49 pm

The plan is this year. :)
Cruel beyond measure... :lol: :lol:
On a day that ends with a "y"...

Does the month end in "Y" as well? Or maybe an "E" or "T" or "R"? :?:

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JestersGhost
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Re: Planning Game Mechanics for Missions

Postby JestersGhost » Mon Mar 04, 2019 6:58 pm

So we'll have options for level-scaling, class*-scaling and team-size scaling.

I must admit I can't think of any other way of scaling missions at this point. So, yeah, awesome. There's nothing I can really add to that :P

Anbd, as others have said, this is actually a really cool tool for balancing rewards from enemies. Would you consider having in the available stats (if only for the alpha/beta) an xp/min counter? You could get an external program that would do that for you in CoH, and it was very useful in tracking the most efficient uses of my time (amusingly, I found dumpster-diving missions were way slower than just solo'ing missions for me, for example).

It would make analysing rewards from the various types and combinations of enemies really easy.





*that is, minion/lt./boss/AV, not player classes
[ quantum sufficit / casual-tempest.net / My Combat Mechanics Thread ]

Consultant
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Re: Planning Game Mechanics for Missions

Postby Consultant » Wed Mar 06, 2019 6:55 am

We have often suggested to people that measuring DPS is not a good guage of how powerful your character is, or how fast it can complete content, or of any potential to maximize rewards. It can be a bit of a red herring.

First off if you are on a team, the teams speed may be controlled by the support personnel who are buffing, and the DPS of the players may be wildly higher in a team scenario than while soloing.

Even in soloing, how much damage you do may become secondary, compared to how much debuff you can do, of how long you can survive in a straight-up fight against many enemies. Play-style has a powerful effect too.

In many games the enemies are bags of hit points. In soH, most enemies have regen, which changes things fundamentally. they are healing while you're fighting them. So, just as one example, having some powers that suppress regen could be more important to overall performance than DPS, when soloing.

It will all depend on the situation.

But we would not necessarily be opposed to a DPS meter. But we do warn in advance that it will not be a clear guage of combat potential.

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Re: Planning Game Mechanics for Missions

Postby Golden Ace » Wed Mar 06, 2019 8:06 am

Suggestion Augment for -regen in attack power.
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