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Another "don't forget the casual player" Post

Two or three weeks ago, I randomly came across a video on AoC. From that moment I have been watching, reading, and listening to anything I can on this game. I have never been so excited about a new game. It's so rare and perhaps nonexistent these days to see as much passion, commitment to maintaining game integrity, and scope in combination with the resources and talent required to actually pull something off as ambitious as AoC. I'm a software engineer by trade, so I have an idea of the herculean effort it will take to fully realize this game as envisioned by Steven. Seeing the recent Alpha-1 footage and monthly dev updates gives me a lot of hope they'll pull this off. Seriously, I'd give both legs to work on a project like this (no arms, I need my hands for typing).

The things making me so excited are not necessarily the numerous game mechanics, lore, classes, races, massive game map with various biomes, etc., but the commitment Steven has to maintaining the integrity of the game. I've seriously struggled to gather a shred of desire to play new games as of late. MMORPGs/RPGs I've played in recent memory are disingenuous. They're too easy, P2W, incomplete, or lack compelling content among other things. The message from AAA game studios seems clear: our top priority is to turn a profit. This feels markedly different from Intrepid. I fully believe if Intrepid made just enough money to pay the staff, keep the lights on, and continue making more content, but not a dollar more, they absolutely would. Why? For the love of the game. Ironically, I think this approach will make them far more successful than any modern MMORPG developed by competing AAA studios. If AoC makes it out the door, I wouldn't be surprised if it became a pop culture icon much like WoW did in its glory days. Time will tell.

---

I've read several posts about "balancing" casual vs hardcore players and whether AoC will be a worthwhile game to play without a huge time investment. I want to add my voice to this group of people. I really dislike the term "casual" because it implies apathy or an unwillingness to invest oneself in the game. If you didn't catch my drift earlier, that couldn't be further from the truth. I want this game to succeed so badly. For me, the difference between myself and a hardcore player boils down to a matter of free time.

Here's my reality. I'm in my 30s, have a wife, kids, and work full time. As much as I'd love to play a game 10+ hours a day, I simply can't. Even playing 2-3 hours a day a few times a week can be unrealistic. So, when I hear it will take roughly 45 days of playing 4-6 hours per day to reach max level... it's disheartening. That means if I don't abandon all my family responsibilities, I'll get there in 4-5 months. Oof. So much for alts.

I've read/heard many assurances that casual players will have a place in AoC, but we'll really only know after the game is released. I can see the responses already. "AoC isn't meant to be easy", "not everyone can be a winner", and so on. I couldn't agree more with those core tenants such as risk vs reward preached by Steven and others. However, I'm concerned about things going too far to the extreme. There's a real danger, and history would agree, in making things too exclusive and creating systems that compels the average Joe to make unhealthy RL tradeoffs in the pursuit of in-game rewards.

In an interview, Steven said something along the lines of, "People interested in something like AoC are a niche audience belonging to an 'aging' population". I disagree with that because (a) I don't consider myself among an aging population (although the neighborhood kids might disagree) and (b) there's something fundamentally compelling about the MMORPGs of an era gone by that draw certain people to them regardless of age. It's more about timing, isn't it? To say otherwise would be to claim the genre of MMORPGs will go to the grave with the "neck-bearded basement dwellers" of today. (As an aside, I will never grow a neck beard and despite having a basement, I sleep upstairs in the home I own).

I'd be curious to know if Stephen's claim about the aging demographic of MMORPGers is an assumption or if there is data to support that claim. After all, I believe the reason people are so committed to the vision of this game is because they want to recapture the feeling of awe and wonder they felt when playing a great MMORPG... particularly for the first time. I sense a sentiment within the AoC community that the only people who will enjoy AoC are those already familiar with the genre, and therefore the game should be heavily catered toward said demographic. If such sentiment exists, what a narrow vision! AoC feels like an attempt to restore the genre to its "purity", and I think a duty comes along with that to help those new to the genre experience that "first love" we old timers remember from days gone by. What I'd give to erase my memory of Skyrim just to experience it fresh again...

But think of it! Those of us in our 30s and 40s grew up at a time technology was just beginning to be sufficient enough to make MMOs possible. Our generation is perhaps the only one who truly get what makes an MMORPG so great. AoC is a manifestation of that. Don't let it get lost on a generation. I have no idea what sort of implications, if taken seriously, that might have on the game. I'm just saying, don't discount all the Fortnite players. Most of those kids have no idea they missed out on one of the greatest eras of games during the dawn of DSL.

Steven has said "our game's not going to be for everybody and that's okay". Absolutely agree. AoC won't be everyone's cup of tea. However, it's one thing to discover an awesome, fun, satisfying game, and another to realize you'll have to play the equivalent of a part-time job to remain competitive.

(An aside on competitiveness in the game: I keep hearing AoC isn't meant to be an us-vs-them game and players are rewarded for working together. I predict human nature will fight against this. Competition is fun. Not only that, but sieges, caravans, and the node system will inherently create situations that breed competition, intrigue, and backstabbing. This game will not be all rainbows and unicorns while frolicking around holding hands. Friendships will end. Metas (meti?) will matter. Groups will form for no other reason than to lay siege to a node and pull someone off their throne, literally and figuratively. As long as systems exist that allow players to compete, maintaining a competitive advantage will be a necessity to stay relevant. Yes, I think this is amazing.)

---

Wow, this post is long-winded (oops, I wrote an essay!). Hopefully that won’t dissuade too many from reading this because I feel passionate about what I've said.

I'm not begging for handouts. I don't want the game to be easy. I don't want to take away from the success of others. But I do hope version 1.0 of AoC takes a holistic approach to gameplay. I want to be a dedicated player, totally immerse myself in Verra, and achieve a great many things... but not at the expense of being a dedicated husband, father, friend, and coworker. Actually, friends might be expendable... you get the point.
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Comments

  • George_BlackGeorge_Black Member, Intrepid Pack
    What other mmos have you played?
  • CROW3CROW3 Member
    edited July 2021
    Balance the important things in your life, then set expectations for the time you can play in that time. I just want to explore, gather mats, and contribute where I can when I can. But I have no interest in playing the amount of time I used to.

    That said, I don’t want Intrepid to constrain AoC to comport to my play style. I’d like them to build the game they want and I’ll adapt accordingly to find what I want to do.
    AoC+Dwarf+750v3.png
  • MerekMerek Member
    In general, complaining that you can't reach endgame without putting in the effort is a bit ridiculous. I know you aren't exactly asking for maximum payout for minimal effort, unlike other posts, but don't expect to be competitively viable. And remember, this game is a sandbox at its core, you could log out for a week and comeback to find your node in ruins.
  • darksingedarksinge Member
    edited July 2021
    Merek wrote: »
    In general, complaining that you can't reach endgame without putting in the effort is a bit ridiculous.

    You missed the tone of my post if any of it was interpreted as complaining. All I did was offer a perspective from my small corner of the universe. Offering counter opinions and challenging assumptions when done respectfully is a healthy thing for this or any community. Otherwise we’re all just sitting in an echo chamber. Allow me not to mince words: I’m absolutely not asking for maximum payout for minimal effort. A game has to be challenging and difficult to feel rewarding. But (once again, from my perspective), if I compete against another player, I want my chances of winning to be weighted in favor of how skilled I play the game over the pure amount of time played. Those are both important factors (time and skill), but it’s just how I feel.

    From a realistic point of view, a significant time investment is a barrier of entry to a lot of people. Like I said in my post, I desperately want this game to succeed. And honestly, I have no idea if my concerns will even matter. If the game is fun, it’s fun! All I’m saying is, hey, can we at least consider this?
  • Why would you want to get to endgame so quickly? When I played WoW in 2004 I had ton of fun in slow leveling, going thru questlines, stories AND visiting different locations (so different from each other - deserts, snows, jungles, volcano, savannahs, etc). Lack of ability to kill some NPC was forcing me to call for help and make friends. Once I started to do end raiding - Molten Core, etc... I lost all interest of the game and stopped playing for 14 years...

    When I came back I could do most of the content alone and the most disgusting thing was fast leveling, instant dungeons joins, speed runs, no interaction with other players. Like everyone was in hurry to level up and later in the endgame to get piece of gear, and bye-bye... disgusting

    In 2008 I played Warhammer Online, the game was fun - not only in my favorite fantasy system BUT because starting from level 1 was already fun in PVP-ing, World Questing, you were dropped from start to the story - like you play Orc, you already hate Dwarves... etc. Later on - sieges and pushing the frontlines to the capital. But what I want to say - the real FUN was thru all the levels, from the very beginning of the game. So if the game is designed well, why would you like to get to endgame content so fast?
  • DygzDygz Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    edited July 2021
    There are two spectra of casual/hardcore - time and challenge.
    The actual labels are semantics - it doesn't really matter what label is used for casual...we should know by now what the concepts are.

    Lots of people who used to be hardcore 15-20 years ago are now some form of casual mostly because they don't have hardcore time and... defeating a hardcore challenge can take more than casual time. Also, some people now just want to chill after the stresses of adult life.
    But, for sure, there are casual time/hardcore challenge players.

    It's not really possible to recreate the wonder of playing a MMORPG for the first time 20+ years ago.
    Ashes doesn't have an endgame.
    It's possible for casuals to participate in Siege and Caravan competition and be viable.

    Steven will be in his late 30s by the time the game launches and a lot of the devs are older than Steven - I expect them to understand and design for players who used to be hardcore/hardcore and are now some form of casual.
  • AerlanaAerlana Member, Alpha One, Adventurer


    MMORPG was a niche, slowly with influence mainly (but not only) from WoW and GW1 (then others) it became the notorious genre, and is now declining.

    its declin comes from MMORPG lost itself. WoW, FFXIV, BDO, GW2, Aion (for those i played more than 1 year) are not "real" MMORPG, and from what i read, neither is TESO or SWTOR and... in fact nearly the whole market now.

    I won't list all things that make them different from what "MMORPG used to be". But i will say the "why" (IMO)
    You get more money when you have more players, you have more players when you can satisfy the hardcore gamer and the casuals and casuals are the largest part of potential customers. (Casuals either because the real life doesn't allow them to play more, or simply because they don't want to spend too much time in video game/in this game. Either is fine)

    I don't say casuals are bad for MMORPG and will always defend for them to have spot in any mmorpg. But while some are totally ok with the fact they won't be able to do some part of content, to be blocked to achieve some things, Others really hate it... The "LFR" from wow, the "story mode" in FFXIV comes from the fact people complained not being able to see all content, all story. And i won't blame both game to try to appeal such people. . . Even more because the story, the environment, the cinematic it is a work time for some devs which is only shows to small part of players and it can be frustrating for the dev itself... Was quite well explained before WOTLK xpac to justify the come back of naxxramas.



    But while this simple example explain well how some casual want to be able to "see all" and even "have all", it is not the worst part... Duty Finder, short dungeons, no dangerous open world area. etc etc... All those only to be sure that even with 1 or 2 hours a day, the casual people are able to enjoy the game. How could you enjoy dungeon of 3-4 hours duration with only 2hours a day ? Even if some have far better gameplay than many hardcore, they can't do such dungeon because "too long"


    Most MMORPG i saw (i mean without those short dungeons and other thing not really casu-friendly) remain "casu-friendly" if they did accept to only see "part" or "small part" of the game. but they had thing to have fun.



    i do not fear AoC to be "non-casu friendly". the population is aging like said Steven, Moba, variety of FPS, Battleroyal, and many other things are far more appealing to the young audience... and also far more fitted to be in short time session...

    But the population is aging because we have "modern" MMORPG which try to appeal as much as possible all kind of casuals, with a genre that can't do it well.
    With some good "real" MMORPG, able to stick to this line, (so mainly with publisher ok with the fact it won't have millions and millions customers) it can seduce lot of young players. Who would discover what MMORPG was and should be.

  • Thank you OP. Love this post and it's very well put together. I'm an Art Director, early 30s. I'm busy. I'm too too excited for this game, but i hope there will be room for busy real-life individuals in this game. I do not mind investing myself into an MMO, i mean, that's the goal! But I probably won't be able to invest myself to play 8+ a day on weekday. So, OP i totally get your point!
    m6jque7ofxxf.gif
  • JustVineJustVine Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    I think ops fear is both a valid emotion to have, but also comes from their mmo experiences in the past. End game means a very different thing in Ashes than most places. Therefore so does max level.

    The ways to 'cater to the casual' that would serve not just them but everyone, would be to have a good and clear content progression at any given set of level ranges. Content in many mmos becomes quickly irrelevant or skippable to 'rushing to end game' being part of the later design. If there isn't proper mid game raids and other pve activities, the game as currently designed will be less interesting for everyone. I think we can all agree we want getting to level cap to be a fun journey, not a meaningless grind.

    I think that if the game is fun and challenging at mid level and has compelling social activities to participate in at mid level, then you won't have the unfortunate situation you are worried about.

    However I have gotten a sense from various dev diaries that they intend to build the game with that in mind. If you are still worried about it however, it'd be a great q&a question to ask. 'Will there be compelling mid level content for serious gamers who don't have a lot of time to get to level cap quickly?'
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  • darksingedarksinge Member
    edited July 2021
    Mordimer wrote: »
    Why would you want to get to endgame so quickly?

    Two thoughts.

    First: I've intentionally avoided making suggestions on game play and mechanics because (a) I'm new to this community and feeling things out, and (b) I'm by no means knowledgable about game design. As an analogy, I have a musical background and know when I'm playing a great song, but composing a great song requires a completely different skillset.

    So, asking why I would want to get to endgame so quickly I think misses the spirit of what I'm trying to say. I'm not suggesting per-say the leveling experience should be fast, medium paced, or slow. I'm saying, as a busy person trying to juggle many priorities in life, I want to have a blast playing AoC without off-balancing my RL responsibilities.

    Second: a more direct answer to your question. I too got hooked into WoW, a little later than you. I started playing right before TBC was released. I got seriously hooked, playing literally 14-16 hours a day for months on end (not an exaggeration, do not recommend). For endgame content, I had the opposite experience as you. I thrived on the endgame content.

    The saying that "the game doesn't actually start until you reach max level" is not unfounded. Will this be the case with AoC? I don't know, but I'd love an answer.

    Additionally, I love making alts to explore new play styles. I had fun leveling my first toon in WoW, but after my second and third, leveling became a chore. Only having 2 buttons to click as a Ret Paladin until reaching level 30 when I could add a third button to click was rough (perhaps a slight exaggeration, but not by much). I was all about the gear chase and end game content. Considering AoC will have 64 classes, I'm gonna want to play a lot of them. Slow leveling and slowly unlocking new abilities in order to have new experiences kinda throws a wrench into that.
  • JustVine wrote: »
    I think we can all agree we want getting to level cap to be a fun journey, not a meaningless grind.

    This is an awesome thought, couldn't agree more.
    JustVine wrote: »
    Will there be compelling mid level content for serious gamers who don't have a lot of time to get to level cap quickly?

    That's a great question and gets at the heart of my concerns.
  • AzheraeAzherae Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    I'm just gonna say it even though it's another case of 'turning this game into FFXI more'.

    MMOs need level capped zones/dungeons.

    Fantasy MMOs have many many easy 'lore reasons' for these. Barely an afterthought. Especially needed in heavily open world games like Ashes where you get 'people who can kill weak enemies much much faster, for their drops', and indirectly grief lower level players.

    MMOs can't usually afford the whole '3000 different enemy models' either, so it helps in another way. If only the enemies in a certain level capped area drop a specific form of an item for crafting or whatever, the method by which competition happens in that area, changes, but you get to realistically 'not waste models' as much.

    Balance isn't usually a problem, you just never make the level capped area better than a higher level area (maybe in one specific thing), and you just patch it hard if it turns out to be.

    Fosters guild activities, lets people make new friends and teach less time-endowed players...

    It fixes so many things, so reasonably quickly and easily, that I feel the content part of the game should be planned around this from day one. If nothing else, it would mean that when a group hears that a rampaging level 44 army is coming for them and their node citizens are level 30 on average, they can go 'hide in the catacombs' and know that if the enemy comes for them it will be more of a fight and not just a bloodbath.
    Sorry, my native language is Erlang.
    
  • DizzDizz Member
    I don't think most people can really have full experience of end game in Ashes in my image, I consider end game as a very last piece but high investment of a game, a extreme example flying mount in Ashes.

    So I'm not even think about the end game, I more hoping they make leveling, questing, jumping puzzle, dungeons most people can go into, world, lore, social element..etc kind of things good and I hope I can have fun in Ashes like I have fun to explore in Zelda: BotW or GW2, end game you will be there but you may never really get what you want in my opinion about end game in Ashes.
    A casual follower from TW.

    ↓Good youtube channel to learn things about creating games.↓
    Masahiro Sakurai on Creating Games:
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCv1DvRY5PyHHt3KN9ghunuw
  • JustVineJustVine Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    darksinge wrote: »
    JustVine wrote: »
    I think we can all agree we want getting to level cap to be a fun journey, not a meaningless grind.

    This is an awesome thought, couldn't agree more.
    JustVine wrote: »
    Will there be compelling mid level content for serious gamers who don't have a lot of time to get to level cap quickly?

    That's a great question and gets at the heart of my concerns.

    Submissions are still open here until Thursday this week
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  • George_BlackGeorge_Black Member, Intrepid Pack
    Another casual post will be ignored.
    It's ok if you dont want to put your priorities in order and you ask others to accomodate you.
    It's ok that you are not content with going at your own pace, even if that means that you wont have an impact at the larger scale happenings.
    There are other mmos that do that for you. Not this one.
    Since you watched recent material on AoC Ill let you know about the drive behind this mmo, which was mentioned more than 3 weeks ago.

    The core aims are open world pvp and pve/raiding, no p2w, social based gameplay and economy, risk vs reward, challenges and real progress/achievement.

    And since the aim isnt sterilized instanced content, in which all the power lies with you and your choice to queue or not to queue in the group finder/bg, then you have to achieve power to deal with whatever is out there in the open world (which will be more than an ez mode story quest line), and you do that by progressing your character.

    And you do that by investing time. Other people might want to invest more time, and like all things in like, more dedication leads to better results.

    Be offended if you want. It's the standard reaction these days. Or accept the facts and make a logical decision and gain peace of mind.
    Or listen to the non-confrontetional, yet misleading supportive comments if that's what matters to you.

    AoC wont be for everyone, and these are not my words. The guy decided to spend millions to make a good game. Not another typical modern mmo.
  • @George Black Oh, I'm not offended at all. However, I am frustrated by responses that attempt to shut down dialog while I'm making a good faith effort to hold a meaningful conversation. Challenging, and dare I say "confronting" others' points of view is an absolute necessity to uncover the greatest ideas, but it requires tact. And yeah, if you say offensive things, people tend to get offended. Who knew?

    Steven has been very clear he welcomes feedback from all players with all types of backgrounds and different experiences. Since this is his game, and he's given the go ahead, I'll continue adding my two cents to the pool of shared meaning and experiences. I hate to use the "T" word, but c'mon, saying things like "another post will be ignored" is toxic. That attitude pushes would-be players away from the community and does a disservice to the game.
  • AzheraeAzherae Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    darksinge wrote: »
    @George Black Oh, I'm not offended at all. However, I am frustrated by responses that attempt to shut down dialog while I'm making a good faith effort to hold a meaningful conversation. Challenging, and dare I say "confronting" others' points of view is an absolute necessity to uncover the greatest ideas, but it requires tact. And yeah, if you say offensive things, people tend to get offended. Who knew?

    Steven has been very clear he welcomes feedback from all players with all types of backgrounds and different experiences. Since this is his game, and he's given the go ahead, I'll continue adding my two cents to the pool of shared meaning and experiences. I hate to use the "T" word, but c'mon, saying things like "another post will be ignored" is toxic. That attitude pushes would-be players away from the community and does a disservice to the game.

    True, but in a way, @George Black probably needs more care and sympathy than you, in some ways. Given the response, there are some implications about what that person needs the game to be like, for their own enjoyment.

    In many ways, that type of player is much more at risk of losing what it is they want, than someone who wants a more 'mainstream' thing, so it's easier for them to be put on the defensive. The kindest thing you can usually do is ignore it and go on with your own conversation. After all, this thread definitely hasn't been ignored so far, and it's unlikely to be.

    Let George breathe.
    Sorry, my native language is Erlang.
    
  • Azherae wrote: »
    Let George breathe.

    Dang, you're right. Sorry, I just got caught up in the heat of the moment.
  • George_BlackGeorge_Black Member, Intrepid Pack
    edited July 2021
    Dont label me mate.
    Toxicity is in the eyes of the beholder.

    Give your feedback on the system designs, sure. Have a dialogue.

    But opening a dialogue about the base design and aims of the game will lead you nowhere.
    But again if what you seek is familiarity and points that you identify with, then by all means, slap the good old "toxic label" to anything that moves.


    Speaking of frustration, do you know how frustrating it has been for mmo players that had to deal with BDO, AA p2w or ESO/FFXIV singleplayer+coop "mmo" casual aimed designs?
  • darksingedarksinge Member
    edited July 2021
    Speaking of frustration, do you know how frustrating it has been for mmo players that had to deal with BDO, AA p2w or ESO/FFXIV singleplayer+coop "mmo" casual aimed designs?

    Dude, I totally agree with you. I've experienced most of those things and don't want any of it to happen anymore than you do. As stated in my original post, one of the greatest factors driving my enthusiasm is knowing Intrepid will safeguard the game against such practices. It guarantees the integrity and longevity of the game. Hell yeah, that's awesome. I think my concerns spring from my over exuberance which in turn is causing a serious case of FOMO.

    You make a good point that the base designs of the game are more or less set in stone. I fully understand it's wildly unlikely this post will move the needle at all, but (a) feedback on system designs has actually been encouraged (maybe not in the way I'm thinking) and (b), you gotta start somewhere.
  • DreohDreoh Member
    Speaking of frustration, do you know how frustrating it has been for mmo players that had to deal with BDO, AA p2w or ESO/FFXIV singleplayer+coop "mmo" casual aimed designs?

    I completely agree with your point of view, and I hate the over-casualness of the modern MMO genre

    But Wildstar, an otherwise amazing MMO died entirely because it catered too much to the hardcore.
  • DygzDygz Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    Ashes will have casual content.
    Again... you should expect Steven to be aware of your situation and design for it since he is in the same phase of life you are.
  • CROW3CROW3 Member
    Dreoh wrote: »
    I completely agree with your point of view, and I hate the over-casualness of the modern MMO genre. But Wildstar, an otherwise amazing MMO died entirely because it catered too much to the hardcore.

    I think what Wildstar was to you, Vanguard was to me. Good ideas that flamed out from bad planning & execution. Here's hoping Intrepid has the same hangups with how those experiences toppled in the market, and will choose a wiser path.
    AoC+Dwarf+750v3.png
  • George_BlackGeorge_Black Member, Intrepid Pack
    edited July 2021
    I think mmos die if the business model isnt in line with the target market.

    Steven is financing the development, plus is using a subscription model, with the support of non tradable, cosmetic only cash shop.

    People have added their financial support with packs.

    There will be no corporate shareholders to make a mess of human resources, with failling expansions, trying to appease everyone.
    There wont be voice acting costs, elaborate questline scripts and ingame cinematics.

    Marketing? See for yourselves what's happening rn.

    Devs can make money elsewhere in IT. Steven can make money elsewhere too.

    IS wants AoC to be a good game. They are not conserned with "dying" or catering.
    They are not worrying about capturing xbox or ps5 players, meaning they would have tp base the game in controller capabilities.

    I see a lot of replies to topics of the type "you will be free to do whatever you want", but it's not true.

    And dont only cherry pick "give us your feedback". Remember "AoC wont be for everyone" and "tempare your expectations".
    And if you think that I am gatekeeping, I argue against many directions the devs are going towards so far:
    Weapon abilities system
    Class system
    Ability animations philosophy.

    PvP? Some people want a weaker corruption system, others a more punishing one.

    Action combat. Tab combat.

    Addons

    Node type advantages.

    Naval

    Exploration.

    Endless topics for feedback.



    Topics are all good. But be realistoc about your expectations.
    Im 30yo planing to have a kid in 2 years.
    I am a hardcore open world PvPr and want to be in the known guilds. Will it happen? I think not. Ill take the game at my own pace and have fun with my friends, beeing as competitive as I can.

    I most certainly wont play another eso/ff14 mmo. A waste of time since everything is handed to you, everything isnt a threat, and the only endgame is title farming, cosmetic collecting, house decorating boredom.
    And I know AoC wont be it, nor it will have p2w.
  • It is nearly impossible to balance a progression based system both for people who have loads of time and for people who have very little time. The best option in that regard, imo, is to make as many aspects of the game fun, and impactful. It should be fine if you can't be online 8 hours a day.

    There should be a place for you. Whether that be as a processor for your guild, making ingots, lumber, cutting gems, etc. or even a crafter where everyone gathers and processes the materials and creates a list for you via in-game mail to make for them. You would pull the materials from the guilds warehouse, craft up the items, and drop them back into the warehouse then send a mail off saying that their requested items are completed.


    However, I do feel that as a person who does have lots of time (because games, specifically MMO's are the thing that I like to do with my time, and it is the sole reason I have a wife who is also a gamer, and do not yet have kids) I should not be limited in enjoying the game and dumping 8+ hours into a game a day because of someone else's life style choices. Not that I'm saying you shouldn't have had kids or chose that specific SO or job, but more that they were a choice and we all live with our choices.

    There should be a place for you in the world of Verra and it shouldn't be just as fodder for the jerks that wish to gank lowbies.

    Take a Castle siege for example:

    Guilds participate in Castle sieges in an effort to capture and occupy one of the five guild castles in Ashes of Creation.

    "Sieges occur once a month within a server prime-time window."
    Due to the time period in which the siege occurs, you may not be able to participate. (busy making dinner/having dinner with the wife and kids, etc.) However, the preparation before a siege is equally as important, maybe even more important.

    Theoretically, you should be able to work together with your guild for you contribution to be meaningful to the castle siege defense or offense.

    Same goes for pretty much anything else.

    As far as your end-game question:
    End-game
    There is not going to be a typical end-game in Ashes of Creation.[10]

    Part of the whole experience with nodes is that there is no real end-game, in that the world is constantly shifting every day. Month one is going to be really different from month two; and that's for the level 50s and level 1s.[10] – Jeffrey Bard

    We want the game to be a living game, which means that all content should be relevant at all times. I’d say that we try to make as little distinction between the leveling up experience and the end game experience as possible. The whole journey is important to us, in order to maximize the fun people have during different stages of the game.[11] – Sarah Flanagan

    So, while I know you may not be able to put as much time into the game, you should be able to have an impact in the time that you get to play, and that's the important part, imo. If you dedicate yourself to something specific you will absolutely be useful and impactful to someone or something in the game, as long as the amount of time isn't negligible to the average, which I doubt it will be.

    I'm sure you have, but if you haven't absolutely check out the AoC wiki, it is a wealth of information, and I find new things on there all the time that are interesting.
  • DygzDygz Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    Ashes has many progression paths besides just Adventurer progression.

    "The idea is not to be a game where somebody can essentially no life for a week and be max level. The idea is to incorporate some significant chunk of time but still respect the casual player, because you know the way we respect the casual player is not everything is driven in our game through the adventuring progression line. Not everything is driven through your class level per-se. There's a lot of different progression paths that are available and make you relevant within certain systems and mechanics within the game; and some of those paths are more casual friendly and some of those paths are more hardcore friendly. So with regards to the adventuring class, the idea is to make sure that investment needs to be pretty significant and that the reward then is respective of that investment."
    ---Steven

    "There is going to be a lot of PvE content for all portions of the playerbase... Part of that risk versus reward: Your risk is your time you're putting in to having a chance at getting the reward and successfully completing; and that should feel good based on how much time you devote. Now I know that there's a spectrum of casual and hard-core players in the time there, what we can do, but that's why we have many different content paths that play towards how you affect the world around you."
    ---Steven

    "Multiple playstyles should be relevant and viable. Additionally, you have a spread between casual players and hard-core players; and most of us exist somewhere on that spectrum. The progression path in a society or religion is more conducive to the time we have to play. Whereas, someone else may be playing several hours a day, and they have a better opportunity for the raid/level progression that might require some more dedication. So we want to have these different progression paths available to accommodate the different times in our lives that we have to play the game. And all of those types of progressions will make us relevant in some way shape or form to the general world."
    ---Steven Sharif

    "Traditionally in MMORPGs you're going to see a larger population of casual players than you do of hardcore players; and that's just the way the cookie crumbles from a population standpoint. And because of that and the way that nodes collect experience and advance as a result of player activity, those casual players will actually have more impact on node progression than the hardcore players will: at least as I predict, because of the sheer quantity disproportionate between the two different groups of people... You may see in Ashes the smaller hardcore group of players progress further into the late-game content, right. But they don't have the numbers to influence the nodes in those locations as quickly as the more casual... larger population has near the outskirts."
    ---Steven Sharif
  • I feel your pain but honestly it's a part of the journey. I'll play at a hard-core mentality on casual hours for that sweet pvp if it's worth it. Is it a challenge to play under leveled sure. Does the challenge make it more fun, of course. Just take things at your own pace and don't worry about keeping up with people who can no life a game. Plus you don't want the no lifers getting bored. They do have value to an mmo.
  • Honestly I think steven is in his own bubble of L2 and doesn't even consider the casual player base, and personally I don't think the L2 mentality will work in 2021. So I am kinda worried but seeing how he is actively taking community feedback I think there is hope and we are still so early in the alpha. So only time will tell.
  • DreohDreoh Member
    WinnieV12 wrote: »
    Honestly I think steven is in his own bubble of L2 and doesn't even consider the casual player base, and personally I don't think the L2 mentality will work in 2021. So I am kinda worried but seeing how he is actively taking community feedback I think there is hope and we are still so early in the alpha. So only time will tell.

    People always say the "it's a different era" thing, but I don't know how quantifiable that really is.

    Sure studies have been done showing attention spans are generally lower, but I personally don't think that's as influential as people think.

    The latest God of War was a slow burn story driven game and it did just fine in this era that everyone always says "players don't have time to deal with travel times in video games" and such
  • ClintHardwoodClintHardwood Member
    edited July 2021
    I disagree with making this game 'casual-friendly'. The core of every cooperative game are those who commit much time to it, for example guild leaders, raid leaders, and mayors. When they quit, the game dies. Especially since AoC is a game where players make the content.

    More precisely, if you level the playing field between the grinders and the casuals, the grinders no longer have a reason to play. They'll reach a point where they're strong, realize that further grinding will net them extremely diminished returns for their time investment, and stop playing the game because there's nothing left to shoot for. Your mayors are gone. Your dedicated raid leaders are gone. Those dudes in your guild who are always online—they're gone. The game world will be dead.

    Instead, you'll have a game full of on and off players who are too inconsistent to create a reliable gaming experience. They won't have time to crawl dungeons and siege castles with you or help guard your caravan. They won't have time to raid your nodes. You'll be playing by yourself while the grinders are on the next addictive gaming experience that rewards them for their time investment.

    Such is the danger of making a game too 'casual'. One may argue that 'grinding' is unhealthy and a sign of addiction. And maybe it is. But that doesn't change the fact that they bring liveliness to community-driven games. Keep the grinders on the treadmill and you have a guaranteed success.

    Now, there are ways to manage the playing field between grinders and casuals such that it keeps both players content, but it is a difficult balance to manage. Should Intrepid introduce zones where stats and levels are equal? Introduce daily bonuses to boost those with limited time? I don't know, I'm not a game developer. All I'm saying is to be careful of pie-in-the-sky dreams. Your fellow grinders are the glue that keeps your game together—more so in a sandbox mmo than a themepark content ride.
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