Core game dynamic issue: Individual vs Group play

anthriel
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Core game dynamic issue: Individual vs Group play

Postby anthriel » Mon Feb 05, 2018 5:59 am

Its sad to see yet again more people leaving the game. The thing is that often i hear similar reasons for why they sadly leave (i.e. it tends to come down to guild dynamics, lack of guild diversity, something to do with guild imbalances etc etc... basically the guild system)... and i have posted about these type issues in a few previous threads.

I've been thinking a bit more about what is the core issue underlying player discouragement with the existing guild system and have come to think perhaps it is because while EO and RoK look similar on the outside, they differ greatly in the fact that RoK was largely a game catering to individual play and EO is one that is very strongly geared towards group play. I suspect many players come to EO expecting RoK-style individual play but are not so happy to when they eventually realize they are forced into group play that is repetitive (e.g. always lose cos not enough guildmates to beat other guild) and boring (want to run OAD but not enough willing participants to fill out party etc).

For example, in RoK you had the ability to use alts and farm stuff more as an individual. You had the freedom to work hard on your own, achieve results and only join clans with like-minded individuals once you were self-sufficient. There was a natural check and balance to clan sizes in RoK cos eventually you didnt want to carry more 30 deadweights if you could accomplish what you wanted with 10 core players and not need to share. In EO you are almost forced to join a guild in order to get any progression in exping or items (due to many things like: better party exp system, top OADs needing 6player parties, key times spawning many hours away from the OAD boss time, trap zones meaning keys cant be farmed solo, no alts allowed, zone/area capture for guilds participants only, guild domination in events etc etc). There is no check and balance to guild sizes because having more numbers in a guild is absolutely ALWAYS better.

Basically this means that people are forced to group play.... and while on the surface it seems like a good idea (theoretically it would appear to promote player interaction), it is actually a bad double-edged sword because the forced player interaction has repercussions when it eventually breaks down (prominent guild members quit, guild disbands, players leave game when their friends stop playing, people dislike some other ppl in their large guild but cant afford to quit the guild so just play less, guilds with high staff membership accused of cheating/corruption etc etc). Many people coming from RoK hope to be able to excel at the game in the same way they excelled in RoK (i.e strong individual play) but find themselves sucked into dealing with guild related bs they rather not deal with.

I wonder if its time to recognize that the EO innovation of trying to force group play is actually one that has contributed to the breaking of the game's attractiveness and therefore take steps to re-engineer EO to be more like RoK was in favoring individual play. That's not to say there wont be guilds or player interactions etc. But hopefully the re-engineering will mean ppl can choose to run their own (probably much smaller) guilds and still be viable. Hopefully it will mean that there is more guild diversity, more fair competition, more unpredictability and more happy players playing however they want with whoever they want. Hopefully it will diminish the 'people-drama' and breathe much needed life into what is a very good game (much better than RoK in so many ways) but that has seen the most important thing (i.e. it's playerbase) decimated by the aforementioned 'people drama'.

As for the mechanisms to achieve this, there are several... but lets leave that for another day if NH and others actually agree with the above assessment. Peace all.

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JadeFalcon
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Re: Core game dynamic issue: Individual vs Group play

Postby JadeFalcon » Mon Feb 05, 2018 7:01 am

Regarding the guilds
Ill be cynical and wonder if its the guild system, or the people in the guilds. We all know what happen to Pandamonium.
Anyway, I guess we could work with a Guild alliance system? basically officers (and only them) in each guild would share an alliance chat to combine stuff, while other people wouldt have to perhaps deal with the rest they dont like. Example, I'd make my own alliance, and only Folder would have to deal with me, sparing other Silo's from my inane babbling.
Cant be very hard to implement.



Regarding solo playing:
Besides OADs, you can play as an individual. I level my chars basically alone, because im a loner - not that i cant find groups to level with. In fact, i even PK alone, for most part.

Now OADs... well, I would have no problem with more single man, random spawning oad's that would benefit the "solo player" - hell, random one man world walkers. I'd benefit with those, actually.
But for "big party" oad's, those would have to be ever so slightly more powerful just to justify the hassle.

I dont think allowing more alts is a solution since it would basically scale the problem for the most part - instead of 3 vs 3 people you'd have 6 vs 6 alts, for example - and newer players with no alts would be screwed.
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anthriel
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Re: Core game dynamic issue: Individual vs Group play

Postby anthriel » Mon Feb 05, 2018 8:34 am

JadeFalcon wrote:Regarding the guilds
Ill be cynical and wonder if its the guild system, or the people in the guilds. We all know what happen to Pandamonium.
Anyway, I guess we could work with a Guild alliance system? basically officers (and only them) in each guild would share an alliance chat to combine stuff, while other people wouldt have to perhaps deal with the rest they dont like. Example, I'd make my own alliance, and only Folder would have to deal with me, sparing other Silo's from my inane babbling.
Cant be very hard to implement.



Regarding solo playing:
Besides OADs, you can play as an individual. I level my chars basically alone, because im a loner - not that i cant find groups to level with. In fact, i even PK alone, for most part.

Now OADs... well, I would have no problem with more single man, random spawning oad's that would benefit the "solo player" - hell, random one man world walkers. I'd benefit with those, actually.
But for "big party" oad's, those would have to be ever so slightly more powerful just to justify the hassle.

I dont think allowing more alts is a solution since it would basically scale the problem for the most part - instead of 3 vs 3 people you'd have 6 vs 6 alts, for example - and newer players with no alts would be screwed.


You mention Pand which is abit of an outlier. You are right that there is a problem with some ppl in some guilds. But there's bad eggs in every game. The question needing to be asked is why are so many ppl affected by the bad eggs instead of being able to effectively avoid them and continue playing unscathed and happy? It's because they were all incentivised by the system to join a guild (of which the choices were very limited) instead of remaining as viable independent solo players... and therefore we end up with a situation like Pand where some one third of the playerbase gets burned by a dodgy leader. But it's not just Pand. The current guild system is a melting pot for shit to infect large portions of playerbase and leave them with bad taste in the mouth (whether it be in being burned by bad leaders, discouraged by quitting leaders, discouraged by repeatedly being outnumbered by opponents, hearing complaints about cheating/corruption etc etc etc). Let's not forget that apart from Pand, many other guilds have come and gone (Def, Torm, Rev etc) and those are not to be lumped into same category as why Pand died... Yet they too suffered from the various drawbacks of the current guild system which forces group play over individual play. Once discouragement spreads (for whatever perceived reason) it spreads fast and divides players further, leading to more drama and less enjoyment of the game.

Yes I'd agree more solo OAD boss/worldwalkers etc would be an interesting addition and potential step in right direction. I also agree that allowing alts isn't necessarily the right answer for the reasons you mentioned. The mechanisms I had in mind were more incentives for solo play, significant disincentives for simply jumping on the bandwagon of largest guild who will accept you and changes to current OAD styles to make them more accessible to hungry solo players etc. Your suggested guild alliance system could be helpful but imho it needs some mechanisms to ensure there's no incentive to just make silhouette battalions 1-30 who have no reason to compete with each other and effectively function as 1 big guild anyways.

Thx for engaging on the topic. Peace.

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Re: Core game dynamic issue: Individual vs Group play

Postby _X_ » Mon Feb 05, 2018 4:24 pm

+1

I think this is good talk about one of the core issues currently plaguing EO.

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daedroth
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Re: Core game dynamic issue: Individual vs Group play

Postby daedroth » Tue Feb 06, 2018 4:39 am

I tend to solo play, it is rare for me to group up (which will make the new OAD quests interesting I am sure - not played for a bit, got seduced by Dragon Age Origins and now im debating #2 and #3).
I know one of the main reasons I have left clans in the past is based on people I don't like, in fact I think that is the only reason ever.
It is nice to have people to talk to, but also nice to chill out and mindlessly solo while reading a book, watching a movie, listening and singing (badly) to music.
It would be nice to cater for all, just the balancing and the reasons for catering for all should be right and just!
I definitely want to see more single player things to do though.
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NiteHawk
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Re: Core game dynamic issue: Individual vs Group play

Postby NiteHawk » Tue Feb 06, 2018 9:08 am

I have and always agreed with the guild bit.. I do think/wish I added a guild limit to start of the game because it would of been less of an issue and people would of learned to deal with it then, atm right now theres alot of bonds with players and breaking them up wouldn't do much really as they'd just hug each other with Discord, etc. Eventually once more competitive guild things are in (like alot of the systems we talked about in the past) it might promote people breaking off more and people would be less upset. I do want to eventually do this or something that really promotes staying in smaller packs rather then one giant one.

I also get that sometimes bad apples can cause guilds to shatter, but this shouldn't cause people to quit. I think it has to do with if one big group splits up into two or three smaller groups, while the other larger group doesn't split up, they will struggle to survive VS the bigger group. It's not fun when someone can dominate you because of numbers. I'm not saying that some players don't do good because they're skilled, in fact, theres a few people who can dominate very well when the numbers are even. I applaud stuff like that.

I think the whole 'WE WORKED HARD AND YOU CAN MAKE A GUILD LIKE US TOO' isn't such a good statement as it's a lot easier to do that when the game was young, and players weren't in tight-knit groups as they are now. We don't have enough new players coming in before others leave, thus another guild forming is very hard. There has often been only two, maybe three guilds max. It's our nature to want to join the bigger boys too, we want to be successful.

I will have to disagree about the whole guild domination thing that wasn't a thing in ROK. It was quite a big thing. Through my days in a few large guilds like Prophecy, we were quite a large group, and we would often dominate and I know some of the players would do borderline sketchy things to be more dominate in events. We'd also often smash people in OADs while they were doing them using extra keys. I remember it quite often anyways. I'm not saying it's not an issue currently or we shouldn't fix it, I'm just pointing out that I kind of disagree with the notion that ROK was a individual player game. It did have more solo elements when it came to OADs, but the big OADs weren't soloable at all. I do think we could add a bunch of interesting soloable oads though again that are fairly good item wise. While I was admin I still saw it too. I think back then there was alot more players so there was 4-5 bigger guilds rather than 2-3, I know there was as small guild here and there but the guilds was an issue even before.

/////

In regards to leveling. Leveling is easier even without a party than ROK was. Leveling in groups only gives a small boost but this doesn't mean that leveling solo is harder. I do agree with some OADs though, there should be some more OADs or starter keys that allow 1-2 people to do rather than a full party of 6. Something similar to the ringleader, but maybe more interesting. When it came to ROK you couldn't really solo any of the harder OADs, but there was a good amount of mid-gear equipment that you could do in 2 alts or with one other (4 alts split amount 2 people). I'm pretty sure the bigger ones like TOTD, COB, Lighthouse, Dragonspire, etc, had almost double the players than we actually allow currently in EO (though in ROK you'd probably run with between 5-7 people with 2 alts each.)

/////

ROK did have the alts thing, which helped reduce the need for having as many players as you currently do now. I kind of favor having +1 alt but then it would also be a problem when for example, we release a tablet client or FB client. And as Jade said newbies would struggle more and it would also be harder for people to multitask two clients. With the removal of XP loss it might not be such a bad problem but I'm still tied on the fence about that. You want to know why I think ROK was far more easier when you solo? It would be because of alts. In EO, you cannot bring a healer like you could in ROK. You could have a priest/zerker combo and run through something like MOV fairly easily. You can level with a guardian to protect your buddy. You can pretty much offset the lack of heals or defense by using a healer/dps combo and I think that helped a big deal soloing alot of things. With our game SOLOing would be very easy or very hard depending on the class you pick. It's hard to balance for one type of char when chars do something very specific. That's why two alts was good too, easier to balance. You would expect a player to bring as I said above.

Something that can offset alts if you can only do one would be hired goons. You could hire lets say a barbarian, or something else. Might be a possibility. Wouldn't be as smart as a player obviously, but it would really help.

Anyways some good points, we do need more solo things, wondering about the discussion that will come on this stuff, specially guilds, alts, what to do about being able to solo certain things, etc. I wouldn't mind trying 2 alt limits too, I always wanted to keep it a 1 alt game though, but I feel like its very hard to balance an OAD for all classes without it too, but then it also makes other problems by doing so, etc.

Regardless I do intend on trying to fix things before we do a push on advertising. I think we can get a good amount of people via steam, facebook, tablet app, etc but if we don't fix issues now we will lose them fast.

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JadeFalcon
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Re: Core game dynamic issue: Individual vs Group play

Postby JadeFalcon » Tue Feb 06, 2018 10:21 am

Another thing that i think we should consider (although mind you, we discussed this before):
Make OADs spawn randomly.

Currently, with set times, Silo can smash anyone that opposes it (bwhahah - but its true). With random times for spawns (OADs and Keys), other clans could get lucky and muster people to do the OAD/Key without us noticing.

This wont be a perfect solution - Silo still mostly owns the dragon for example - but it can help, i think.
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JadeFalcon
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Re: Core game dynamic issue: Individual vs Group play

Postby JadeFalcon » Tue Feb 06, 2018 10:23 am

NiteHawk wrote:I have and always agreed with the guild bit.. I do think/wish I added a guild limit to start of the game because it would of been less of an issue and people would of learned to deal with it then, atm right now theres alot of bonds with players and breaking them up wouldn't do much really as they'd just hug each other with Discord, etc. .



Better late than never. Just check how many accounts Silo has, and set the limit there. As and If we lose accounts, just keep on lowering said limit until you reach a sensible number.
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Terron
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Re: Core game dynamic issue: Individual vs Group play

Postby Terron » Tue Feb 06, 2018 10:44 am

leveling solo is harder, slower and less progressive. instead of monsters attacking 6-12 targets they attack you. you have to constantly drag monsters to try for 1v1, wasting time, and you get less overall exp. and spent more gold than you make very often. i realize you could use food items to cut costs but then it is so slow progression you might aswell log off and wait for a group. solo training should get a real boost in exp imo.
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daedroth
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Re: Core game dynamic issue: Individual vs Group play

Postby daedroth » Tue Feb 06, 2018 11:30 am

You know I have been against alts... but here is more food for thought:

If you keep party size limit, but allow two alts.
It would help smaller clans with oads etc, while the larger clans wouldn't be affected.
Although it could be exploited through swarming tactics...
So... maybe it won't work :roll: Ah well, back to the drawing board.
Disclaimer: Any ideas I come up with may not even meet my approval. I am just posting an idea based on the topic I have just read.
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