Dev Discussion #12 - Raid & Event Difficulty

LieutenantToastLieutenantToast Moderator, Staff
edited December 2 in General Discussion
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Glorious Ashes community - it's time for another Dev Discussion! Dev Discussion topics are kind of like a "reverse Q&A" - rather than you asking us questions about Ashes of Creation, we want to ask YOU what your thoughts are.

Our design team has compiled a list of burning questions we'd love to get your feedback on regarding gameplay, your past MMO experiences, and more. Join in on the Dev Discussion and share what makes gaming special to you!


Dev Discussion #12 - Raid & Event Difficulty
What are your feelings on raid and event difficulty? What are the tuning knobs that make an event difficult, while remaining fun?

Keep an eye out for our next Dev Discussion topic regarding your current gaming obsession!
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Comments

  • caedwyncaedwyn Member
    edited November 6
    1: there is a line between something being "hard to get" vs "too bothersome to get"

    2: the world needs to feel alive so the devs and publishers must encourage all types of players and not just promote one type of player, for example only pvp and shun the potato farmers for instance...

    3:the quests and achievements must be tailor-made to each playstyle, so people would be satisfied with their own in-game "life choices" as their characters grow.
    but at the same time, it shouldn't be impossibly challenging for each player's role to participate in other types of activities, and then again it must not be so easy that anyone can have multi professions and roles...
    EG: priests having personal achievements for reviving or healing in a raid? and so on...

    4: there have to be many layers of reward or achievements because in world of verra resources and politics are everything and it is obvious that not everyone is going to experience owning a flying mount or becoming mayor or other things, but there should be different layers for the average players so they would still feel part of this big system and feel encouraged, at the same time, these layers of reward and achievement must be set in a way that it does not take away the value of any other thing.

    5: I love exploring and finding unique places and do personal challenges like for instance swimming from one nation to the other... now imagine if you get something to be able to show that off like a title or achievement or a trophy .... having such a big and lifelike world and going out of your way to do crazy stuff should come with SOMETHING that functions as a reminder (like how we take pictures of ourselves in those moments)

    6: doing hard work for receiving hard-won victories and trophies and anything, in general, is the best.
    but again, if you have to do constant dungeon run that is so boring and tiring then the new players will not be able to find parties for that dungeon, therefore making it too much of a bother to waste that time.

    7: IF you could make the difficulty level of the raid bosses intelligent to make it fit with a different number of players and levels that would be great, so no matter what level and what number of players there are, it can be always a good challenge and good reward and always do-able.

    8: making the pvp gear a little different than pve gear so if someone chooses to go full pvp or full pve has to either acquire another set of gear for the other activity or forcing people to hire warriors and having different roles that really mean something
  • Magic ManMagic Man Member
    edited November 9
    ^ what caed says basically :# + make everything as hard as possible especially serious stuff like raiding. Let it be not another MMORPG in which you can play and do something else at the same time...soo let there be actual 'gameplay' i guess (it is ridiculous to say that but most games in the genre have no real engaging gameplay). You said PvE will keep us on our toes - just keep that promise and we are all happy :p

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    Soo not like this :D
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  • mcstackersonmcstackerson Member, Braver of Worlds
    edited November 6
    I prefer raids and events to be difficult. When this kind of content is so easy you can just mob them while still receiving decent rewards, they become a chore. When they are difficult and have a risk associated with them, I don't feel as pressured to do them and instead can do something else. I feel like it almost needs to be difficult as there should be a decent reward to justify organizing a group but you need the difficulty so numbers alone aren't enough.

    Right now archeage is fresh in my mind. There are a lot of large group content/events that you just mob over. It's not fun at all but you feel pressured to do it because of the rewards.

    I think making the events timed as well as including different objectives can be nice way to make things difficult without directly punishing failure. Death should always be there but it sucks when you are just randomly one shot. it's nice to be given some chance to react and avoid death.
  • ChreselionChreselion Member
    edited November 6
    If what you can get from it is really good or really special, I think the difficulty level should be high. We don't want everyone running around with a rare mount do we. If we see it ingame, we know they did the impossible and it makes it extra special.

    There should be things for everyone. During an event, you should have multiple grades of rewards and quests for all kinds of players. But the rewards on the other hand shouldn't be that diverse. Otherwise someone who can't grind as much as another player, might feel left out and quit the game all together. It could be as simple as giving a mount to both players, but someone who went the extra mile has flaming particles in the fur of his mount. Then both players got something cool, but everyone knows that the other person went extra hard in it.

    A fetch quest is as stupid as it can be for an event. Even if the rewards are just a box of chocolates for something like valentine. I don't feel like spending all my time running around because Joe Shmoe wants to give flowers and chocolates to his crush, just to realise that the crush is on a diet and we get the chocolates. It could still be a fetch quest, but Joe Shmoe could ask a cook to make the chocolates, ask gatherers to fetch flowers for the florist to make a bouquet for it all to get stolen by this goblin who likes chocolate... (Too much? -> Too much :smile: )

    What I'm trying to say is that players want to see new stuff that's exciting during an event. PvE players could enjoy a special worldboss that shows up during Halloween while special kind of pumpkins sprout everywhere for crafters to make special items during these times. PvP players could fight over a haunted castle that emerged from the darkness with special rewards for who could keep it the longest and who had it in the end.

    I hope got my point across, it was difficult to find the correct words for this topic. (especially if English isn't your mother tongue.) New things to do with cool rewards for different types of players.
  • Chreselion wrote: »
    If what you can get from it is really good or really special, I think the difficulty level should be high. We don't want everyone running around with a rare mount do we. If we see it ingame, we know they did the impossible and it makes it extra special.

    exactly, so i think making those mobs smart and changeable (relative to the opposition) is a great thing if they can do it. (so 2 overgeared people cant help 1 newbie get something awesome while older players can only dream about it)
    Chreselion wrote:
    There should be things for everyone. During an event, you should have multiple grades of rewards and quests for all kinds of players. But the rewards on the other hand shouldn't be that diverse. Otherwise someone who can't grind as much as another player, might feel left out and quit the game all together. It could be as simple as giving a mount to both players, but someone who went the extra mile has flaming particles in the fur of his mount. Then both players got something cool, but everyone knows that the other person went extra hard in it.

    100% agree or maybe they CAN be diverse but on the same level of importance for each particular role.
    Chreselion wrote:
    A fetch quest is as stupid as it can be for an event. Even if the rewards are just a box of chocolates for something like valentine. I don't feel like spending all my time running around because Joe Shmoe wants to give flowers and chocolates to his crush.

    this reminds me of the chocolate runs we did for valentine event in archeage ...
    Chreselion wrote:
    What I'm trying to say is that players want to see new stuff that's exciting during an event. PvE players could enjoy a special worldboss that shows up during Halloween while special kind of pumpkins sprout everywhere for crafters to make special items during these times. PvP players could fight over a haunted castle that emerged from the darkness with special rewards for who could keep it the longest and who had it in the end.

    AWESOME IDEA!
    <3
  • HjerimHjerim Member, Pioneer, Leader of Men
    edited November 6
    The requirement of coordination.

    I don't know what people here think of the raids in ESO, but I really enjoyed the ones I tried.
    The one I remeber very fondly was the one called "Aetherian Archive".

    It had some interesting mechanics. There is at one point where you are forced to jump through three different portals in groups of four. This forced people to form groups and to work together more closely with each other which led to more interaction between the players in the raid.

    I also recall the last boss in the raid having a "burn phase" at around 20% health. In this phase you would lose a large per cent of your health per second until you or the boss died. This required coordination between the healers to try and pump out the most healing without wasting healing on "overhealing", managing mana and keeping the party alive through damage equal to several times their maximum health over a rather short amount of time.

    I am OK with insta death mechanics, but it needs to be very clear and it needs to be avoidable, either through extending maximum health or dodging, some of these mechanics can be really fun and exciting if they are done the right way.
  • DamoklesDamokles Member
    edited November 6
    1. Have the raid difficulty ramp up. Easy boss first for a group to warm up and figure out their teamwork, harder bosses last to challenge a group that knows what they do.
    2. Let us bleed, as long as it gives appropriate awards!
    3. Have the first boss be mandatory, and the raid can then choose the following raid boss order. Some groups will not require specific bosses and would rather choose to skip them.
    4. Give us secret bosses, that require specific requirements from outside of the raid to summon. Maybe some specific item that summons the boss or something.
    5. Make epic gear truly epic and rather give materials most of the time, I like the monster hunter feeling of it xD.
    6. Achievements. Create some time bound achievements, that require you to do this and that in a specific timeframe. Reward those achievements with cosmetic items or titles.
    7. Dont cater too much to all the different playstiles. If people want to play a class in a specific way have THEM figure out how to make it work in a raid. A open world pvp mass aoe healer wont be as strong as a specialised raid healer.
    8. We had a thread about this pop up yesterday: break bars. They can be incredibly rewarding if they are done right. They include playstiles that would normally not be picked for a traditional raid for example: debuff bards, summoners or thiefs. Games like Gw2 managed to implement them in a very rewarding way and specific classes are primarely taken with raids BECAUSE they are good to break those cc bars in crucial situations extremely fast: daredevil thief for example.
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  • edited November 6
    It’s all about time vs. reward.

    If it takes hours upon hours to do a event but the reward is a pointed stick is it worth it? If there is a title or a cosmetic attached to the stick though? Maybe then.

    Raids are slightly different, the finishing of a raid feels like a reward a lot of the time, but same if you don’t get a progression to your character that feels or “looks” different and more powerful would you want to run it again and again and again.

    Raids need a immersive story driven play through that has a good mechanics for bosses that make sense to the boss lore in that story.
    Having encounters that you have to use strategy and tactics to do are always the most memorable. Also having more than one viable option to defeat a encounter, easier ways and harder ways then depending how you finish it will give different rewards. That gives a reason to keep challenging the raid party in different ways.

    Simple gear checks is not a overall answer though is good occasionally.

    You can create alternate difficulties for boss encounters after depending on how you kill the boss, this could be through time limits or through objects available in the encounter area....

    An example would be like instead of a straight you must kills Boss X in 10 minutes, gave it so if you kill Boss X in 6 minutes and do not trigger any of the mines Boss X puts on floor then a special boss will appear later in the raid that would not have before. Possibly it then would spawn more add mobs between bosses as well. Or a gate opens up to a special area.

    Ramp up the difficulty depending on how a raid party does would help in repeating of content and create goals for raiders to achieve as long as the loot is good enough.

  • Not saying what causes this divergence as well is interesting if possible as well as then players will have to figure it out.
  • spoojspooj Member
    edited November 6
    My opinions:

    Annoying/Unfun/Frustrating
    • Anything Monotonous (no thinking/problem solving required, no ambiguity, excessive ease)
    • "time-consuming" but "easy" tasks/mechanics. busywork. i.e. run to these locations, pick this plant, etc
    • "auto-pilotable" content. This should apply for "out-leveled" content but content your level should require attention/immersion
    • "pointless filler-loot". I.e. every mob drops some misc item that is just sold to npcs or contributed to some recipe in the 1,000's as a craftable. I'd much rather see very few drops, but drops as meaningful. Scarce drops. Quality > quantity.
    • content that doesn't require any teamwork or proper team composition. to that point, "superficial" role diversity (roles may appear different on the surface, but class skills are not truly unique/different/fulfilling different roles)
    • risk-free mechanics. I.e. no drawback to your party getting wiped. No downside to fighting a monster beyond your capability and losing. No risk at an enemy surprise-attack (pvp) when you're most vulnerable fighting that huge boss deep in the dungeon. Requires you to always be on edge, and makes it "meaningful"!
    • clear direction. arrows pointing you to exactly where you need to go. no potential to "get lost".


    Difficult but Fun!
    • Necessitated party diversity. In addition, room/desire for "unique" builds. Situations where, hey, this dungeon has x mechanic so we need to be sure to have a guy with y skill from z class. Unique buffs for different classes, that create powerful team comps/dynamics. The difficulty comes in selecting/strategizing ideal team comps for certain content.
    • Risk. I dread content where you just sit back and play on auto pilot. Not only should there be difficulties, but there should be meaningful drawback to getting wiped/taking on certain content. I.e. need to restart dungeon when you get wiped, certain content that you can only attempt at a window where if you fail you lose the opportunity for some time (so you need to ensure you get it right that time), content where you need to sacrifice items, etc. An MMO that I believe does this very well is Project Gorgon. Bosses in this game inflict a permanent curse if you lose to them (many of them very funny, some completely debilitating!). The curse is only broken when you defeat the boss. So there's a huge risk to "batting above your range".
    • Contestable PvE content (which allows PvP)
    • Rare mobs/dungeons. In Phantasy Star there were certain mobs that had a 1/10,000 chance to spawn special versions (kind of like a shiny pokemon!). Difficulty of these mobs are significantly increased, and near-always drop something special. Just gives players something exciting to search/look out for/discover.
    • I believe the loot tables in all content, including low level, should include some very low probability of dropping very rare items. Just to always have something to be on the lookout for! Makes it exciting. Like the "Mirror" in path of exile for instance.
    • Randomized content. This is difficult (to implement) but really interesting/fun when done properly. Bad randomized: allowing possibilities where things don't make sense (fire mobs spawn in an ice dungeon, an ork mob spawns next to an elf mob, a huge lake spawns on top of a plateau, etc.) Good randomized: Take path of exile "maps". These are end-game levels that "roll" combinations of map modifiers (monsters reflect damage, monsters do x% more critical damage) while rolling bonus modifiers (x% more drops, x% more magic find etc). You're constantly "exploring" in that game because you never know what lucrative combination you're gonna get.
    • Content specific to your character. Again probably on the difficult side implementation-wise but allows for a ton of potential. To bring back the MMO Project Gorgon: there's mechanics in this game which "roll" for every character upon creation. I.e. a recipe for one character may create an item completely different than a recipe for another character. Why could this be bad? You could get f*ckd with a "bad roll" in which your recipes aren't so hot. I say tough luck. Why is this really interesting/fun? Everyone is constantly exploring their own character. You can't look up what to do/recipes on a wiki because it's randomized to your own specific character. To give an example, 1 barely + 1 grape creates a consumable brew with a buff completely different on my character than your character, but it always will stay the same for your specific char. (Sorry if this is confusing lol).
    • Variability in difficulty. Have some dungeons be noticeably easier than others, while some are terribly difficult (even at the same level). Let there be a huge gap. Within those dungeons, make some rooms much easier, and some extremely hard. Just makes it more interesting.
    • Significant differences across gear! I despise some mmos that just have a few sets of gear that are "meta". Make there be a large variability/choices for which gear you select. Again, I'll call out Path of Exile again as a game that does this exceptionally well (obviously very different style game).
    • Finally, I would say, don't cater to the care bears. Don't let everyone be a hero in this game. It should be difficult to the point where some players are able to stand out in their role, the vast majority of others are so-so, and then there are some people who you never want to have on your team again due to skill-cap of content.

    Just my humble opinions... Hope my ramble wasn't too confusing.
  • What are your feelings on raid and event difficulty?

    I think that as long as you remain true your mantra of fair risk for fair reward, players will generally be happy with any difficulty that you set. More important than difficulty is an interesting learning curve. I'm less likely to be frustrated by a raid's difficulty if I feel as though I'm learning ways to make it easier next time. Nothing is more boring than a dungeon where everybody Leroy face pulls everything, then beats it to a pulp. A bit of tact goes a long way.
  • NagashNagash Member, Leader of Men
    I like my raids the same way as my bones. Hard and difficult to break
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    The dead do not squabble as this land’s rulers do. The dead have no desires, petty jealousies or ambitions. A world of the dead is a world at peace
  • RLTygurrRLTygurr Member
    edited November 6
    It's a difficult line to draw. Too easy and it becomes a chore, too difficult and you have to play an insanely specific team composition or strategy to succeed (and nothing else is proven to work, so it becomes the meta).

    In the end, what makes a boss fight (or a raid in general) interesting is unique mechanics. Force players to do specific things that don't inherently rely on movesets but can benefit from them. Make players perform actions that aren't related to combat in order to develop their awareness or skills. For example, in a boss fight where a powerful attack can come from one of 8 directions, you only have 3 seconds to put a player in front of it to tank otherwise it does massive damage to the entire raid. This requires teamwork to place players properly, and awareness of the entire raid to know what needs to happen next.

    Another thing is to avoid what I like to call 'adds difficulty', where the only reason the boss is difficult is because of the enemies unrelated to the boss (like regular mobs, not named individuals accompanying the boss). Having an insane number of adds doesn't make the boss interesting, just more difficult.

    In short, I would MUCH rather have a boss that attacks extremely fast with wide-sweeping attacks that need to be either predicted or reacted to than a simple boss with lots of health and a lot of adds. You can learn to defeat a difficult boss, but fighting large numbers of adds is just a stat check and basic knowledge to survive it consistently.
  • Idhalar AlBaieshIdhalar AlBaiesh Member, Settler
    edited November 6
    -There should be difficulty levels. The most common content should still be difficult and challenging and it should go up with the importance and rewards achieved from said content. "Endgame" should make people suffer and be scared, it should be a fucking nightmare in every aspect, previous work, raid preparation and logistics, level, party composition, equipment and personal skill requirements, leadership, tactics and teamwork. It SHOULD keep most people away from the hardest parts of the game, and that's perfectly fine. It should be HARD and achievable only by the best and most dedicated if you want it to feel really unique and epic. Easy content and getting stuff handed to you gets boring fast and cheapens the experience.
    -As long as the mechanics are well designed and implemented I feel that It's better to make an important encounter imposible than too easy, you can always tune it down a little if people is really unable to beat it.
    Only in silence the word, Only in dark the light, Only in dying life.
  • kalendriskalendris Member, Braver of Worlds
    Everyone shouldn't be able to achieve everything. Everyone shouldn't manage to clear every dungeon. Everyone shouldn't get all the things. Make people feel achievement of doing things. Work towards different things.

    Personally I would like to have things Dark Souls difficulty and fail 100 times before getting that glorious victory. Rather than farm the same shit a 100 times and get rewarded by loot which means nothing to me after the first 4 times.

    So difficulty should be hard fights, hard mechanics, and lots of stuff to fail at. Not because your gear is underwhelming, but because you gotta pay attention and survive. Where there are more ways to cope with mechanics.

    There will be kings and queens flying around on dragons, something that not everyone will be able to experience. WHICH IS PERFECTLY FINE. But make sure to make more "unique" things like this so more people can feel included and involved in some way. Small things can seem meaningfull if not everyone else has it, or have achieved it. Doing this through hard events just a handful of people can manage is a way to do so.
  • MarzzoMarzzo Member, Braver of Worlds
    Difficult raiding should require teamwork, and skill. Not just insane grinding hours.
  • 1: there is a line between something being "hard to get" vs "too bothersome to get"

    A: Yes there is a line indeed, I've seen content way to strechted to get items or higher level crafting/farming in certain mmorpg's and items way to difficult to get. Don't get me wrong there should always be a challenge based on the strength of certain items obtainable or certain stuff which can be produced by farming or crafting, but it should be a realistic line which grows evenly throughout the depth of the game. End game content is a totally other story.

    2: the world needs to feel alive so the devs and publishers must encourage all types of players and not just promote one type of player, for example only pvp and shun the potato farmers for instance...

    A: Perfectly quoted above. There are players who are more into the economic part of games, think of crafting, farming, cooking and trading/selling. There are also players who love the challenge of dungeons, both types of players are valuable to make a world feel alive.

    3:the quests and achievements must be tailor-made to each playstyle, so people would be satisfied with their own in-game "life choices" as their characters grow.
    but at the same time, it shouldn't be impossibly challenging for each player's role to participate in other types of activities, and then again it must not be so easy that anyone can have multi professions and roles...
    EG: priests having personal achievements for reviving or healing in a raid? and so on...

    A: Ofcourse there should always be a limit on the amount of professions u can go into. Depending on the amount of professions available ofcourse. (Example) A woodcutter might need a 2nd profession like woodworking.
    Looking at the classes, personal achievements as the example mentioned in the question would be a great choice, since it would encourage players to even play the less prefered classes.

    4: there have to be many layers of reward or achievements because in world of verra resources and politics are everything and it is obvious that not everyone is going to experience owning a flying mount or becoming mayor or other things, but there should be different layers for the average players so they would still feel part of this big system and feel encouraged, at the same time, these layers of reward and achievement must be set in a way that it does not take away the value of any other thing.

    A: Becoming a Mayor for example should not be an easy task, so once it has been achieved it should be rewarded properly, but on the other hand there should be a system, looking further into the politics, that would give any player (depending on the type of city) the possibilty to become the mayor if persued long enough and proven worthy ofcourse.

    5: I love exploring and finding unique places and do personal challenges like for instance swimming from one nation to the other... now imagine if you get something to be able to show that off like a title or achievement or a trophy .... having such a big and lifelike world and going out of your way to do crazy stuff should come with SOMETHING that functions as a reminder (like how we take pictures of ourselves in those moments)

    A: Yes, exploring every part of a huge world, like climbing to the top of the biggest mountain or swimming from nation to nation, a title, trophy or achievement would be great for the more adventurous players, especially aince they will probably be looking less toward the more political or economical achievements in the world.

    6: doing hard work for receiving hard-won victories and trophies and anything, in general, is the best.
    but again, if you have to do constant dungeon run that is so boring and tiring then the new players will not be able to find parties for that dungeon, therefore making it too much of a bother to waste that time.

    A: The problem above could be solved with something like a mentoring skill, which would make it possible for higher level players to have a mentee helping the newer players when they are looking for people to run a dungeon with. Solving the problem of newer players having problems of finding parties for dungeons.

    7: IF you could make the difficulty level of the raid bosses intelligent to make it fit with a different number of players and levels that would be great, so no matter what level and what number of players there are, it can be always a good challenge and good reward and always do-able.

    A: It would be great to have an automaticly adjusting difficulty level and reward level depending on how many players the party counts. It should be do-able, but depending on the skill of the playerz if they actually make it.

    8: making the pvp gear a little different than pve gear so if someone chooses to go full pvp or full pve has to either acquire another set of gear for the other activity or forcing people to hire warriors and having different roles that really mean something

    A: Making it possible to either make pvp or pve gear, would allow people to go full pvp or pve. Which would make a better economy, since pvp players who want to go into some higher danger area PVE would need to purchase better pve gear or bring other people which will always come at the right price, which would give a purpose to all the players who don't really like pvp.


    I hope the answers helped😁😁
  • gundaringundarin Member
    edited November 6
    I love it when raids are really difficult. However I do not like it when they are stat check fights. Worse gear should make it (a lot) harder, not impossible.

    Also, different difficulty levels are great. But not when they are the same fights with different numbers and some different mechanics (like in wow). I'd like to see different dungeons/raids for different difficulty levels.
  • JokucJokuc Member
    edited November 7
    First I want to say that I agree with every single point that @spooj mentioned and will mention a few of those in my list as well

    Difficulty & stuff I want to see for the raids
    • I want a bunch of different interesting mechanics and themes so the raids and bosses have some character!
    • I also enjoy stuff like break bars if done well, just like spooj said, gw2 is a good example of a well-functioning break bar system.
    • There should of course be some variety to the difficulty of the raids, but I feel like the majority should be pretty damn hard with 1-2 "easier" ones and one super difficult (I'll get back to this one further down). If there are easy raids, these become a chore to play for the loot.
    • I am in love with stuff like hard puzzles and logical thinking. Some people might not enjoy this very much, but if I saw a few raids with hidden doors or decryption stuff I'd be excited.
    • I too want to see some raids (not all, we want to have some that are less restrictive) with rooms or bosses that requires the party to bring someone with a specific skill/spell. Maybe you need to use electrical magic somewhere for example.
    • I am also in favor of insta-kill boss mechanics, just try to make these predictable. But remember, predictable doesn't mean easy to avoid. Your party must be able to quickly react when there's a sound effect or visuals implying that the boss is getting ready for its strongest skill. I don't want to see some dumb 10 second cast times that allows drunk Bob to easily get into safety while playing with one hand eating a burger.
    • I absolutely want risk and rewards. As others have stated, everyone doesn't have to be able to beat the hard raids and get the cool loot. I 100% agree that there should be bosses that give you a penalty if you go leeroy jenkins on them and get smacked. And not some insignificant penalties like -5% armor for an hour. I mean real penalties. Not being able to run the raid for a few days and getting some sort of a nasty curse like spooj mentioned. Long-lasting sure, but maybe not permanent curses though. HOWEVER! I do want to point out that only the high tier raids should have this, since if you put the penalty/"curse" mechanic on the "easier" (I don't think there should be any easy raids) raids, this could lead to newer players never getting accepted into a raid because people don't want to get THE CURSE.
    • Please try your best to make the raids cheese-proof. I don't want to see a raid where you can run past all the enemies and go straight to the boss fight and I don't want to see a boss fight where I can stand between two pillars and shoot arrows at the boss because he can't reach me.
    • A difficult raid that is fun to play uses complex mechanics that require fast reaction speeds, knowledge of the raid, memory of attack patterns and logical thinking. Some people say don't make top tier gear a requirement. And I agree to a degree. I still think the 3 most difficult raids for example should require the best gear, it just makes sense. How about randomized mechanics? Well for the most part they shouldn't be used too heavily as it just becomes annoying. But! I think you should spice things up a little by adding a few randomized attacks and events here and there just so people can't run on autopilot if you know what I mean. Would actually be hilarious if there was a room with a bunch of super annoying randomized mechanics/attacks lmao. (Randomized as in you can't predict attacks/things to avoid, not randomized as in sudden boss fight with The Legendary Sandal)
    • And finally for my favorite subject; THE raid. I want to see one super hard raid that requires you to use a specific item or completed event to even enter. I want Intrepid to make a raid that is as close to what you see as borderline impossible as you can. Make it "that one boss" people will be talking about and everyone is excited to hear be beaten for the first time. It really doesn't matter if it's so stupidly hard that only a few will ever beat it, just make the reward worthwhile. With THE CURSE stopping people from grinding it over and over (one could probably do something where you wouldn't get as hard of a penalty if you complete X% of the raid), it'll be pure joy to watch all the hardcore guilds cry as they race for the world's first title.
    it's not like I want a hug or anything, b-baka!
  • VarkunVarkun Member, Braver of Worlds
    What are your feelings on raid and event difficulty? What are the tuning knobs that make an event difficult, while remaining fun?

    Top tier raids should be tough taking weeks to finally defeat.

    Lore should provide hints and tips on how to gain a possible edge in the raid or certain boss encounters.

    Trash mobs need to be more than just trash, let trash mobs have a slim chance to drop crafting materials or recipe's, make it worthwhile to kill them.

    Hidden secret areas that are actually hard to find.

    Move the encounter so that boss mobs are not always found in the same area each time.

    Mini bosses that move through the raid area and will need to be dealt with as they are encountered.

    Make the environment part of the encounter.

    Having said that I feel there should be raids and encounters that less skilled players should be able to take part in. This to a degree will happen with world events that are unlocked plus as the game progresses and raid content becomes out dated. As we are aware many of the raids and dungeons will only unlock when certain requirements are met, node progression etc.

    In all honesty doing such content with friends and guild mates is my main source of fun.
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  • grisugrisu Member
    What makes it hard and fun, what makes it a chore a bore and ENDS in frustration.
    tl.dr. Clarity in all aspects of a game is the king of a good player experience.

    Upfront, I am someone who goes into most games for a challenge. I don't play much shooters for example but I went into DOOM on max difficulty for the sake of challenging myself even on the very real notion that it will frustrate me initially immensely. I like to overcome obstacles, the higher the better. Just to give a short touchstone on where I am coming from.

    Generally speaking, PUBLIC events can range anywhere from easy to hard in all kinds of ways, it's hard to quantify how well organized such events are and I imagine it's hard to come to a conclusion on how to make them the difficulty you intent them to have for everyone.
    GW2 suffered immensely here in their initial years because their take on difficulty was to ramp up the monster count and hp in public events according to the player count participating. This is imo bad and frustrating because all it came down to was it forced you to play A a ranged class or B a tanky class.
    Either way you wanted to just spam strong aoe and hope for the best(since you only got drops if you did enough damage to begin with, so even if you spammed like hell you might just get nothing for all your invested time, it was all fundamentally flawed, deprieved you naturally of participation rewards and just frustrated the hell out of you. It was bad).
    It was neither fun nor exciting imo, it was a chore on top of frustrating in various ways. For example not being able to participate in the way you want by selecting your favourite character.

    Raids, as in organized endeavour from people that banded together for a goal long term, is even worse in that regard. It's supposed to be a crafted experience with a clear baseline in mind. Leaving out all balancing between classes itself and such, especially in raids you expect to be challenged and tested in all sorts of ways because there is a fixed framework that you work in. From your own class knowledge and execution to your understanding of the raid encounter all the way to being able to communicate and play well together with your whole raid team.


    It's a long introduction to illustrate my main point. Clarity is the number one factor for me whether something is challenging and/or fun opposed to lackluster, a chore or just a frustrating time. In a shooter like Doom it's "easy". I got shot from behind so i must have missed an enemy. I miss timed my glory kill to regenerate my health fast enough. I should have played more offensive/defensive/moved more/ moved somewhere else etc. I can look at it every time and find faults in my own play. It doesn't matter how stacked the game is against me. It doesn't matter how frustrating the game is designed to be. I know I made a mistake in this system to overcome the challenge and got punished for it.

    Was I frustrated at times? Yes, but the frustration was never directed at the game/-play, it was always directed at myself and my incompetence.

    I think this differentiates fun gameplay from crappy gameplay.
    I hope that this is not miss read as, I should be told what I did wrong. All there should be is clarity, indicating of what went wrong so I can deduce a way to fix it.
    "I got shot from behind and took a lot of damage" Is vastly different from "Look an enemy spawns exactly there and you shouldn't ignore it"

    Which leads perfectly into another thing I will bring up time and time again whenever I get a chance: Do not delude yourself into thinking you can perfectly balance everything and give us a damned dps meter. DPS meters provide clarity for the individual and in extension organized play that is needed to understand where a problem lies. As well as establish for a fact that something is what it is.
    I heard the elitists arguments, abuse arguments and anti build exploration arguments. Everything has pros and cons, and i can only pff at those arguments.

    (and I will derailing from the main topic here so I put it in a spoiler with a tl.dr.that sums up the relevant part for this topic)
    TL.DR.:The baseline of the following chapter is, you want to give use loads of options to choose from, but I think, giving options, by itself, is not a fundamentally good thing like you seem to believe.
    If I have the options to pick a good skill or another good skill, I have a choice of preference. If I have the option to take a vague skill or another vague skill, I have frustration.
    All you are doing by not providing us this data is hide and obscure the performance of a skill and at best hide bad balance from the player.


    Clarity in all aspects of a game is the king of a good player experience.
    GW2 promised initially to have a vastly diverse character build system and everything will by viable in it's intended situation. I didn't make this up, during their development it was a stated goal. So with all the weapon choices there were a lot of options to ...experiment... with and I will never claim that everything should be viable, like using a weapon combinations that deals only flat damage while you skill into enhancing dot(like bleeding that you aren't even applying with your weapon choice). That's clearly your own fault, but using the clear trait enhancements benefiting your weapon choice should get you to a somewhat even field with other weapon choices with the same purpose.
    Reality was it wasn't even remotely true in a single contained class and not even worth arguing for cross classes, a thief that didn't play double dagger, high crit was worthless and even then you could only hope to kill the casters basically. Using a thief any other way contradicted it's design philosophy and it's fundamental class strengths, any other weapon choice dimished that.
    You lacked the hp pool and armour class to fight anyone for more than a few seconds and if you went astray with weapon choices that offered more skill based survivability to counteract it, it shredded your damage output to a halt while still being frail to the point that people can standard attack you to death while outlasting you. It's just one class I am using to highlight that it had fundamental design flaws that contradicted their stated goals. It was especially bad because as mentioned above it's was absolutely useless for public events due to a lack of strong aoe options as well as the hp pool to use the aoe options you had.
    You can call it a design flaw or neglect on their side, but what I am getting at is that over the timespan I played it only got worse, they streamlined it more and more into the one hit kill thief by buffing exactly that one trait line that enhances it while neglecting everything else. It was so funny to see how a standard attack from a weapon choice that was clearly meant to be for short encounters (aka 1 hit kill and run) out damaged every other weapon standard attack by far. That was their balance for 2 years, not once where other base weapon damage buffed. There have been outliners like pistol thieves with heavy bleed damage focus but it was so conditional it had no use anywhere outside of a 1v1 and even then it was pretty much out shined by the one hit kill while also taking a lot more effort to make it work at all.

    So what now? Did they lie initially about their fundamental design philosophy and just did what they wanted anyway because they knew it's to big a task to balance it all. Did they just fail at it?

    You know what? None of it matters to me as a player because the really frustrating thing is, you invested so much time into it and you will never know how bad it really was and how bad the balance was.You have nothing to compare it too further than knowing "yeah I couldn't kill that guy that was also a mage with the same weapon combo as the one before that i could kill when I used other weapons" You will never have a baseline to compare yourself to of what is good in your class. All those options provided to you just hide behind a fog so noone knows how badly the developers messed up the balance. The only thing accomplished by this this layer of vagueness is protect and hide bad balance from the player.

    With offensive traits you can at least somewhat gauge, this did probably more damage than that on a single target, probably, using a stopwatch and several tries to gauge that the time to kill your dummy partner was like a few seconds lower every time like this.

    It gets even worse with non-offensive traits. At some point they introduced a stat called healing power. I experimented extensively with it and the elementalist class in hopes of playing something very support heavy. So I decked myself out in everything available played it with my pvp group for weeks and had a discussion with my group leaders about it. Final verdict that repeated itself even after months of trying and repeated debriefings? We have no idea what to do with it, how to improve it and in which direction to take it with all the options provided.
    There are clear cut things we can point to and say, yes that healing burst you provide in high intense moments are good especially since you focus on that and look out for it. Yes it heals for more than someone who isn't decked out in that stat, but thats all you can ever say about anything in that game.
    How can we make it better? We don't know.
    Can we justify expanding it, sacrificing several damage dealer positions for it(it literally tanked your damage output to nonexistence)?
    It wasn't a question about preference yet. It was a question about establishing if it had any use at all to us. If we wanted to have it. We couldn't establish for the life of it, not even on a primitive level, if this is useful or not. Like any other skill in the game, we just went with it and said "group effort hurray".
    Improvement was contained to just marginal gear enhancement and doing what we did. We didn't know whether or not we used it well, we just used it, like every skill we had.

    Over the years we had many frustrated talks about class skills and whether they are good or not in group play, but we always left empty handed and frustrated with the game not giving use the means to judge whether something is useful to us or can be switched for something else in our style of gameplay. There were many options presented in GW2, many options hidden behind obscurity so we wouldn't ever know whether we wanted it or not.

    So, in my opinion, strife for clarity in all things you do.
    I can be a life fulfilling dream. Grisu
    I can be a life devouring nightmare. Zekece#1819
  • TsukasaTsukasa Member
    edited November 7
    Event difficulty aside, just don't make it grindy. Don't encourage using alts.
    Bind event items to character or account(based on item type).
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  • I am an endgame PvE player in ESO, and have a lot of fun in the game. But ZOS does struggle with balancing endgame content. For a long time they ran into the pattern of instead of making content hard and engaging with interesting mechanics, they would instead just stack multiple older mechanics on top of each other. At that point, it was more annoying and rng reliant that many people liked.

    But the main issue that is present in the game in its current state is the massive gap between 'normal' difficulty (overworld included) and 'veteran' difficulty. As it is now, normal is so easy that it in no way prepares new players for vet. Boss health and damage output are nerfed to the point it's inconsequential. Even many boss mechanics are removed from normal. This means that when players try to get practice on normal, then try and move onto vet, they find that all they learned from normal doesn't matter.

    I don't know if Intrepid in plans on splitting difficulties like this, but if they do, i encourage them to not make the learning curve too steap.
  • I assume Ashes is going to have 3 main types of raids.

    The first are open raids where people will work together to kill the rarget.

    The second is where two or more groups will fight against each other in order to get the kill (and reward) for themselves.

    The third is where only one group is able to take part in killing the encounter.

    To me, the two questions asked have different answers for each of the above three groups. So between asking what I think of raid difficulty and what levers I think are good to use, thete are a total of 6 answers.

    For raids where all players would be expected to work together, my thoughts on difficulty is that there really shouldn't be much. These encounters should basically be a damage sponge, so that even players new to games in general (let alone MMORPGs) won't have too much trouble feeling like they have contributed.

    For encounters where players woild be expected to fight against each other, my thoughts on the difficulty of them is that they should be just a little too hard to kill if you have a competent group trying to kill you as well - yet should be fairly easy if you have a competent raid and no one else fighting you.

    The levers for this kind of thing should revolve around giving players more PvP opportunities - as this typenof content is more PvP focused than PvE.

    Good mechanics to start with are very high single target damage, so that if an attacking group or raid manages to take out a few healers, it will likely end in a full wipe. Mechanics that cause havoc if the encounter changes target can also be interesting.

    The other thing that can he done to make this kind of encounter easier or harder is how far away the respawn points are located. If they are close, an attacking raid would be able to keep the attack up almost indefinately. If they are far away, the first raid that manages to clear the area of enemies will likely have enough time undisturbed to take the encounter out.

    It's worth noting that this type of content can almost always be cheesed if groups decide to work together instead of in competition. If you have two raids capable of taking the encounter down on a server, and they agree to take turns and not attack the other guild on their turn, then you suddenly have very easy content. On the other hand if you make the assumption that guilds will work together like this and tune the encounter for that, you have an encounterthat is impossible if guilds are not working together. Further, guilds could work together to make this content even easier than intended by attacking it with two (or more) raids.

    For this reason, I've never really seen this type of thing as being viable as the top end of PvE content.

    The last encounter type is where there is a limit on how many players can be present.

    To me, thus is where the real difficulty shoukd be found. It is the only content where I can't simply cheese things by throwing more people at the issue. If there is a limit to how many people I can take, and if the challenge of the encounter is based around that same number of people, then I need to be sure that each person I bring is up to the challenge.

    The difficulty in this type of content comes from the interaction of multiple mechanics. Scripts and single mechanic encounters are not usually very hard - simply figure out what you need to do, and then do it. Even if the mechanic involved doesn't leave much room for error, it still isn't that hard. When you have an encounter that is just a jumble of a dozen different mechanics all with their own timers, all with varying - often conflicting - methods to counter them, things can get chaotic.
  • oddodd Member, Explorer
    What are your feelings on raid and event difficulty?
    For raids, the difficulty shouldn't be based off of one mistake causing wipes or random skills killing people, it should be based off how well the group dealt with each situation. Wiping people like that is lazy design and not really fun. Raid size also becomes part of the difficulty because waiting for people to join is awful; don't make all raid sizes too big. It's a game. It's supposed to be fun, so don't wall people off with unreasonably random-like difficulty or numbers, otherwise we'll all quit or ignore it. An added thing, don't add kill timers to artificially make things harder. Battles of attrition are a thing and removing this option just invalidates builds and strategies, leading to the meta-crazed nut jobs that require you download dps meters and have just the right gears and class.

    For events, it depends on how often it occurs, but it ultimately shouldn't be that hard unless it is a one-time event where the whole server benefits. It's also better if it has tiered rewards so players at least try. If they think they only get a reward for winning, they won't ever do it unless it's insanely easy.
    What are the tuning knobs that make an event difficult, while remaining fun?
    Variety. Base success off of stats, mechanical skill, wits, and whatever else you can think of. Mashing buttons with good gear shouldn't reward you as much. If you aren't super strong, you should still be able to play effectively if you are clever and resourceful with your skills and items.
  • I would love some extreeme difficulty where the bosses can oneshot you. In other words, adding inviormental factors like hiding behind walls avoiding falling platforms etc. a dungeon that requires gathering information to complete and not just having a skilled group that can finish every boss first try. lastly, a little out of the topic, but prove shroud wrong. While playing Modern warfare he mentioned that no game manages to get jumping on rocks/rock colliders right. Apoc have the same problem, with some wierd colliders.

    Thanks for reading and I love the combat, hoping you keep the bow style for the archers in the offical game release.(FPS style)
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  • NoktNokt Member
    edited November 7
    Events:
    • Majority easy to accomplish mindlessly.
    • Not all combat.
    • Rare ones that are meaningfully difficult. I don't want a horde of 100 players to be able to vanquish any event due to numbers alone. Requires player coordination.


    Raids:
    • A clear progression in difficulty.
    • There should be raids that are noticeably easier than others, that allow players to experience what your raid team is capable of creating, without having to be playing at a high level. Optional bosses in the easier raid(s) with higher difficulty curves more akin to later/tougher raids would be fun and gets those capable excited to progress to the next.
    • Raid(s) that truly strike fear into those who have yet to clear it due to their overwhelming sense of difficulty and required coordination.
  • DecimusDecimus Member, Braver of Worlds
    edited November 7
    Difficult and rewarding content is what keeps players logging in.

    Too easy content means it gets completed too fast & players lose motivation to log in (unless there's insane rng drops associated, in which case said content becomes a grind).

    I would personally rather see minimal RNG & maximal difficulty when it comes to content that allows for character progression.


    When it comes to difficulty... complex mechanics for high end content goes without saying, but I'm also a firm believer in "gear checks". If any group of good players can just skip all the easier dungeons & do the difficult ones in random gear, there's a big problem - not just in that it trivializes those easier dungeons, but it also makes the path to min-maxing your character too quick, leaving players starving for new content in no time.

    Gear checks also serve to enforce a proper group composition by having bosses do enough damage on people without good tanking gear, by having groups with very few DDs encounter enrage mechanics and so on.

    There's games out there where the only "difficulty" in "group content" is avoiding certain mechanics and the bosses themselves hit for less than you outheal, leaving said "group content" soloable on a DD character with a self heal and enough sustain. Don't do this.

    That said, as a side note having lots of difficult designated solo content would also be nice - I just don't like when you're able to solo most group content.
  • Wandering MistWandering Mist Member, Founder
    When it comes to content difficulty, the actual level of difficulty isn't too important. What's important is the skill curve leading up to the difficult content. This is something that a lot of developers mess up, by having super easy content and then super hard content with nothing in-between. It's like taking someone who has just finished elementary school and putting them straight into college. You are just setting them up to fail. Designing a smooth difficulty curve is hard but possible, and it really will make a big difference in how the game feels.

    As for the fights themselves, I personally dislike fights where a single mistake causes a wipe. Expecting players to player perfectly 100% of the time is unrealistic, so in my opinion mistakes should make the fight harder, without actually losing a fight completely from a single mistake.
  • One thing that I would like, as a older MMO gamer who has a family, a job and a lot less time to dedicate to gaming is for any dungeon/raid content to be accessible and rewarding even if I don't have enough time to complete the full thing in one go. One of the things that I've noticed lately is a lot of the absolute best gear from any dungeon/raid is locked behind the final boss encounter, and the rest of the dungeon rewards are nowhere near as good so if my raid group or dungeon party don't quite clear the full dungeon we can often walk away feeling like we've wasted 2 hours of our time for no real progress or reward. It would be great if rewards were evenly distributed so that even if we only get through a partial dungeon or raid run we still feel like we've walked away with something.

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