Poll Starting Level Difficulty

Discussion in 'General discussion' started by OctoberNight, Dec 14, 2015.

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Starting Level Difficulty

  1. Make It Hard

    13 vote(s)
    39.4%
  2. Middle Ground

    17 vote(s)
    51.5%
  3. Make It Easy

    3 vote(s)
    9.1%
  1. OctoberNight

    OctoberNight Cookies Golden Founder

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    When we get a more refined combat system how hard or easy should the starting levels be?

    On one hand you can make it on more hard side this tends lead to fewer players sticking to the game but you end up with more players who have a stronger dedication to the game and that tends to lead to a more tight nit community. Hard content at the beginning levels also tends to encourage players to learn core game mechanics sooner rather then latter leading them have much more success when they get to harder high level content. However as already said hard starting content can lead to fewer players sticking to the game long enough the give the game a real chance which could be harmful to the games ability to grow.

    On the other Hand you could make the starting levels on the easy side of thing making sure players have a chance to see more of the game with out the frustration that having hard content at the start of the game can bring leading to more players staying with the game and allowing the game to grow. however this can lead to people don't care much for the game sticking around and these players can be be toxic to the community at times do to their lack of care for the game. Also this can lead to players not learning core game mechanics until and they end up running to these mechanics like a brick wall at higher levels and end up quitting the game out of frustration leading to the game having a poor player retention rate of higher level players.

    Personally I like middle ground. Hard enough to make you pay attention to the game mechanics but easy enough that it wont be frustrating to new players. Hard enough to keep players who wont care much for the game away while easy enough that new players stick around long enough to give the game a fair chance. I feel that games that manage to find the middle ground tend to have the healthiest communities leading to the game having a long healthy life.

    So how do you guys feel about beginning level difficulty?
     
  2. Cavadus

    Cavadus Inquisitive Silver Founder

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    Easy stuff should be covered in the tutorial. I'd prefer it get pretty dangerous as soon as one leaves the cavern.
     
  3. Sahelanthropus

    Sahelanthropus Space engineer Founder

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    Difficulty should not matter early on. I myself, prefer to have a challenge in every game. The key in making a player stay at the game is to introduce them in such a way that he can learn the basics of the game while not being overloaded with tips that are not necessary for the start (for example crafting) or quests that make them run from one location to the other. The first impression must be perfect..
     
  4. GlitchyGirl

    GlitchyGirl Inquisitive Golden Founder

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    I'm a bit torn about it. I kind of enjoyed the lack of direction and the fact that for the most part I seemed to have to discover the objectives by just exploring the map. It really for me at least added some tension along the lines of, "Am I doing this right?" But this perhaps is due to the fact that maybe I've been spoiled by the so called, "nose leading", or "hand holding" of previous mmos.

    For me it's a throw back to the mmos of old. Mainly Anarchy Online, and Ultima Online where you got a set of rules, a tutorial that taught you the basics and bamf, off you go to make yourself. This was also the case with the originals Star Wars Galaxies, yet another game I loved. It is also the case for Repopulation, and was what was sort of done with ER, even if it wasn't done well :x It is also what has been done with Eve.

    The downsides, though in having you a tutorial how you the basics, and then drop you off in the open world is the stark dissonance between the two. For me I noticed that it was quite sudden. For example, in the starting area near the ARK you have a map and a marker showing your position. However once you hit the open world, boom gone. Now this may have been due to the fact that the game is in alpha and thus incomplete, but once I could survive the run into the open world, I found the run into the "open area" somewhat disorienting, and I worry that this steep drop off may be too much for some players.

    By the same token, I also worry that such a steep drop off from the getgo may also be something which discourages players as well, given that so many people are used to that type of hand holding anymore. Which would potentially alienate otherwise paying players, and hurt the chances that PG which has so much potential would continue to thrive and survive as an MMO.
     
  5. OctoberNight

    OctoberNight Cookies Golden Founder

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    That's the hard part finding that balance between not enough hand holding and way to much. I feel that sometimes some games miss the mark when it some to this subject so I wanted to get people talking about now instead of later so the devs have a better idea on how they should go about finding the correct balance for project genom.
     
  6. Cavadus

    Cavadus Inquisitive Silver Founder

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    Y'know, I think Fallout 4 and, to a lesser extent, Fallen Earth, can teach us a little bit about the new player experience.

    One of the awesome things Fallout 4 did was throw the player in some powered armor right away. You fend off a raider attack and as you're slicing through them and feeling completely unstoppable a death claw shows up and starts tossing the player around like a rag doll.

    I think this encounter was perfectly designed. You get all of the highs of feeling like such a badass in the powered armor by mowing down a horde of raiders with a minigun and just when you have them all running, bam! Death claw and shit gets real. A few good swipes and that death claw will smash you to bits.

    What FO4 got wrong was letting the player keep the powered armor after the encounter.

    Another game that I thought did the tutorial, and a huge quest extension of the tutorial storyline, really well was Fallen Earth. In Fallen Earth you start the tutorial at max level with awesome gear, great weapons, and a very exciting mission. You blow up a huge facility built inside of a dam and then... you die. The player awakes quite a few years later as clone and the plot of the tutorial plays a huge part in the main quest line which brings the player all over the map and pushes them through the world.

    I think PG could achieve something very similar to this. Start the player out with all of the goodies, cool enemies, and then come up with some plot about why it was all taken away.

    But imagine that instead of the tutorial we have now we get thawed out, brought up to speed, the big-bad attacks the crashed ship, and the player is pressed into service in one of the mechs. The player cuts down hordes of enemies, NPC infantry and armored vehicles engaging hostile forces everywhere, and right when the player appears to be on the verge of total success the extremely tough enemy hero/boss shows up and blows the doors off the player.

    Then you start the real MMO at square one and introduce the sandbox stuff.

    Hell, you could set the tutorial during the battle which leads to the ship crashing so the player is on the ship in space, it gets boarded, and then we all die in the crash.

    And FWIW, the little green astromech training droid in SWG did an awesome job of walking a player through the non-combat stuff like the UI, crafting, gathering, et cetera. I think a little AI helper of some sort would be an excellent post-tutorial addition.
     
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  7. OctoberNight

    OctoberNight Cookies Golden Founder

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    Some cool ideas and thoughts on the subject keep them coming
     
  8. Deorg

    Deorg Мерсские фореве Golden Founder

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    Sandbox must be)
    And with slow transition to difficulty, the game will be nice)
     
  9. Salival

    Salival Rookie Silver Founder

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    Middle ground, too hard will scare away people from the game and the audience will become niche very quickly, seen it happen in many sandbox games...especially those with pvp.

    Mind you after 3-4 hours of gameplay...once the basic's are well understood...then throw the hammer at them/us.
     
  10. Pighead Elderberry

    Pighead Elderberry Wanderer Golden Founder

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    I agree with this way to do it.

    If folks want to linger in some kind of very early tutorial to 'learn mechanics' then that should be an option, but the game from the very start should be a challenge.

    A challenge does not mean it isn't enjoyable to play. A challenge means you aren't bored and treated like a baby. A challenge means you feel rewarded and like you DESERVE going from level 1 to 2 and 2 to 3 etc. for the first levels just as much as later levels.

    I do not like games that shoot you past good content by using level gating for content AND also punch you through the first dozen levels too fast with easy content.

    If a game is done right, a challenge should be a big part of why it is enjoyable to play. Taking away this aspect NEVER makes sense to me. It may be a little effort to make it smooth and work out, but that is the way to get people hooked from the first time they log in to the very end.

    So, I vote hard. Fun, but hard.
     
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  11. Vesta

    Vesta 3D modeller Staff Member

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    It was hard for me too )))
     
  12. SomeUnregPunk

    SomeUnregPunk Inquisitive Golden Founder

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    I like it hard because it feels more like you accomplished something when you get the gear or the skills to beat the content a bit more easily until you smack into the next harder thing out there.
     
  13. OctoberNight

    OctoberNight Cookies Golden Founder

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    Looks like we are headed for a harder game and I cant complain a challenge is never a bad thing
     
  14. Vesta

    Vesta 3D modeller Staff Member

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    And it`s not bad! I like challenge :)
     
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  15. Pighead Elderberry

    Pighead Elderberry Wanderer Golden Founder

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    I vote hard, but right now it feels for some enemies that it is too hard.

    I am not talking about group behaviors (like a mass of Sliders). I mean for simple 1 on 1 or 2 to 1 combat, head to head.

    I have Level 8 and Level 9 characters now and find that combat can be too difficult with enemies that are rated at the Level 6 and 7 Level rating. I have not in the Open World found higher enemies than Level 7 yet.

    I think for Level 8 and Level 9 players it is a GOOD thing that the lower level enemies are still a challenge and grant decent XP. That means that we can play a lot longer in all areas of the World and not get forced into narrow area only where the 'level appropriate' content forces us to go. That is good.

    We do need to survive enough to be able to explore and test out quests and combat, however.

    Perhaps this will all just go away if we have a healing ability?

    This also will likely improve with better aiming mechanics.

    However, without healing abilities right now, I think we are a bit too weak when we have good quality (common an some uncommon) gear and struggle with enemies of Level 6 or 7 when we are Level 9 ourselves.

    This is partly from enemies BOTH rushing very fast up to us AND dealing high damage relative to our shields and health at the SAME time.

    If some enemies were a little slower, we could shoot them more easily, they would die faster, fight is easier.

    If some enemies stay the same speed (rushing fast is good if balanced right) but their damage is a bit lower, then the fight gets a bit easier as well.

    I see this most at the moment with the Sliders (but their behavior as mentioned in the Balance thread in Test Discusion) is actually a nice thing.

    [I realize this NOT optimized yet]

    Raiders because they at this time do not move, are very easy.

    Diggers are pretty good as it is now.

    Sliders a bit too hard (rushing AND high damage)

    Hounds about right (maybe a little too much damage).

    The cave dogs (I forget name) are far too easy, slow, low damage.

    ALL IS WORK IN PROCESS - I KNOW

    THIS IS JUST WORK IN PROCESS FEEDBACK FOR HOW IT IS RIGHT NOW

    ========== EDIT ==========
    WEAPON STAT BOOSTS

    When my weapon starts to get the boost to the clip size (e.g. Pistol goes from 8 to 10 clip) and the damage goes way up (at least double or more) from using it a lot in one session, then this changes dramatically.

    QUESTION: Is this change in weapon behavior intended? This was not clear to me. If it is, then it makes a huge difference.

    It is unclear to me when the weapon does and should get the bonuses - how long do we use it? Why is the bonus gone after log out, weapon swap? When does it come? When does it go?
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2015
  16. Pighead Elderberry

    Pighead Elderberry Wanderer Golden Founder

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    See the new Digger Thread on Diggers (they seem well done so far)...
     

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  17. Pighead Elderberry

    Pighead Elderberry Wanderer Golden Founder

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    p.s.

    All of the enemies we face now should be extra hard since we do not have critical shots and we do not have any healing other than slow out of combat healing.

    When we start getting criticals and an ability to heal (if we get that) our fights will be much easier. If we get some skills like the Level 5 Raider has, we will have even more power.

    So, most everything should be extra hard now without that.

    Things should have some balance within those parameters, and XP should be given out for the difficulty of the enemy to fight etc. etc. regardless.
     
  18. Sachek

    Sachek Old School Founder

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    I have no problem with a fairly difficult starting level - depends on how they develop the AI.

    It would be a bit suicidal at the moment with the enemy just running straight at you :D
     
  19. Pighead Elderberry

    Pighead Elderberry Wanderer Golden Founder

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    It certainly is hard to know what it will be like as we get things like Criticals (making life a lot easier for us). However, do the enemies then get Criticals on us as well? Making it even out?

    Similarly, if we get abilities, do the enemies also get them?

    If we get healing (packs for healing in combat), do enemies as well?

    If I remember in Fallout the enemies who have Stimpaks will use them, and we had better kill them fast, if we want to be able to loot the unused ones. That kind of combat (enemies use what they have against players) is good - and it means that if we can beat them we get their loot. Like a PVE version of PVP.

    All we can do now is report on the game as it is on any give day - given the rapid pace of changes - and figure that might help even if it may change any moment.

    That is one thing that Genom seems to be doing correctly right from the start - making the Levels starting straight from Level 1 something we feel we deserve (although we can level a couple levels just from some of the starter quests before combat really).
     
  20. Mouzed

    Mouzed Rookie Golden Founder

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    A tutorial just covering the most basic aspect of the game. The rest should come as tooltips.
     

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