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How would you like end-game PvE content to be implemented?

XerheartXerheart Member
edited September 2021 in General Discussion
Before everyone gets out of their seat, I know Ashes is not a PvE game, (any PvX'ers here?) PvE is not Ashes primary focus. But what I am asking is a hypothetical situation where, Intrepid's launch of Ashes goes great and now they have extra resources and want to give end-game PvE content a trial run, to see how it goes.

So how would you like to see it implemented?

I think a given for end-game PvE content is for it to be instanced. (If you have a different opinion let me know!)

With that, I see two main options for the type of content:

1.) Raid/Boss fights
2.) Timed/Challenging dungeon content.

If we had to pick one, I think starting with Raid/Boss fights would be the best course to go with. I am of course biased since I raided in semi-hardcore WoW guilds (I didn't raid 7 days a week, but we pushed the difficult content). I would love to see maybe 4 - 6 bosses get added into a patch. They don't have to all be in the same instance either! I think a really cool idea would be to have bosses in different zones: A frost-themed Dunir boss in the mountains, a storm-themed Nikua boss near the ocean, a poison-themed Tulnar boss underground etc. Forcing players to travel the world to defeat these threats. But there are more specifics when it comes to boss design. so let's get into it:

Raid size: Raid size is a tricky one, sometimes having more players, makes a fight feel more epic. But also having more players requires difficulty in coordination. If you have a 25 raid size, one or two players missing could ruin a night for 23-24 other people. I think since AoC already has some large-scale world boss fights, smaller raid groups would be best. I think my ideal range is as low as 8 and as high as 15. I think it allows for some tight-knit groups of friends to form. Easier to relate to 10 or so people than 25-40.

Trash: I think raiding is most fun with little to no trash. For those who are not familiar with that term, trash is the mobs/monsters that a raid group needs to kill before they can fight the boss. Some trash is fine, but more often than not, people just end up trying to afk it and it is not very engaging. I think a bit of trash is not too bad, as it can add to the overall feel/immersion to a raid.

Reward structure: I think this is where some tension between players can come in. In a lot of games, some of the best gear rewards, if not the best, comes from raiding. Even I, an avid WoW raider, do not think the best gear should necessarily be from boss drops. I think there are two options: A blend of rewards or comparable rewards. With a blend design being, some of the best gear, crafting supplies, etc. coming from raid content, and the rest coming from other content. The upside being; it allows for a healthy mix of power coming from all forms of content. The downside; some players could feel forced to doing content they don't enjoy if, say, the best caster/cleric weapon drops from a boss and is 3x better than any other drop in the game. Comparable is nice in concept, with the drops being of equal power to all other content, meaning you can raid if you want to become powerful or if you hate raiding you can acquire the same amount of strength as a raider in the content you enjoy. However, you can definitely run into balancing issues once you implement gear with unique effects. Gear with just raw stats is easy to tune, but the gear is less interesting. Gear with unique effects or ability procs, is more exciting, but harder to balance. I am unsure of what is best for AoC right now. I could go either way.

Cosmetic rewards/mounts are any easy reward structure in my opinion to add to raids. Unique cosmetic and not power altering drops from raids is always a great incentive for people to complete the content. I know for some, cosmetics is the end-game, but hopefully, it is not too off-putting for them, and usually, these players are the type to do all forms of content anyways...usually.

Hardmode: I, of course, am a fan of difficult versions of bosses, with more unique rewards and new and challenging mechanics. However, I love the idea of starting the hard mode not just being a menu option. (For WoW players, even though I never played during this raid, think Ulduar). I want the trigger to be immersive and natural: Let's take the example of the frost-themed Dunir boss in the mountains: Maybe there are 4 destructible pillars in the cave of the boss room and if your raid destroys these before starting the boss fight, that triggers the hard mode. Adding the threat and mechanics of a crumbling cave to the fight. With the storm/water-themed Nikua boss, you need a group to go out on a ship and hunt a sea leviathan and present the head of that monster to trigger the sea spirit boss. Or an astrology Vek-themed boss, where if you can include religion and crafting to the hard mode; maybe you need an artisan to build an altar and a religion player to pray to it, to start the hard mode.

This has gone long enough so ill stop there. What do you think? What content would you like to see? Ideal raid size? Reward structure? Hate any form of PvE? Let me know!
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Comments

  • DygzDygz Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    edited September 2021
    Ashes doesn't have an endgame. Nor should it.
  • TalentsTalents Member, Intrepid Pack
    Well we know that their current plan is to have the large majority of PvE dungeons/raids as open-world content, not instanced. I agree with them doing that but I wouldn't mind them making very hard instanced PvE content that didn't drop any materials or gear, but gave achievements, cosmetics, and titles maybe, but never gear.
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  • Talents wrote: »
    Well we know that their current plan is to have the large majority of PvE dungeons/raids as open-world content, not instanced. I agree with them doing that but I wouldn't mind them making very hard instanced PvE content that didn't drop any materials or gear, but gave achievements, cosmetics, and titles maybe, but never gear.

    I can definitely see the appeal of not tying any player progression and power to potential raid content. Only the rewards you mentioned. I would be fine with it as well.
    Dygz wrote: »
    Ashes doesn't have an endgame. Nor should it.

    Could you elaborate? As in, once I get max level and max out a profession, the game is over and there is nothing more to do? Or do you not want any end game content, cause you feel as if it would be detrimental to the leveling aspect. I guess my confusion is, end-game to me, is the reason to play the game once I have completed the leveling aspect. Do you feel like the game should finish after that? Just want to make sure I understand your stance!
  • DygzDygz Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    Xerheart wrote: »
    Could you elaborate? As in, once I get max level and max out a profession, the game is over and there is nothing more to do?
    Max Adventurer level and max Artisan level does not mean the game is over and there is nothing more to do.
    Ashes is a dynamic world, rather than a static world.
    New dungeons, new mobs, new recipes, and new content appear (and disappear) with the rise and fall of Nodes.
    There is also Social Org progression, Religious progression, Naval progression and Node progression.
    As well as the impact of the Castles.
  • Could these instanced bosses I've mentioned not be implemented with the node/other systems. The mountain dunir boss could only be accessible with a mountain area metropolis? I am totally open to the idea of these bosses not always being up.
  • OkeydokeOkeydoke Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    "End game" pve content is already going to be in the game, in the open world. If intrepid finds itself flush with money several months after launch they should probably reinvest that money into what's working, upgrading and expanding all of their current systems. Not dumping money into instances that splits the player base up, makes the world feel less alive and runs counter to their whole design philosophy.

    Just my humble opinion.
  • Interesting, I can see the worry of the world feeling more empty with groups in instanced areas. I feel like with weekly lockouts that would be limited. I feel like if it's not a core focus and only adding a few bosses, it wouldnt clash to hard with the design philosophy, especially if the rewards are limited. I feel like the core of AoC is not suddenly going to implode if there a re couple of raid bosses.

    I also feel like instanced content is just so core to player retention. I of course don't have access to metrics and this is just a guess. But that would be another discussion in itself.
  • OkeydokeOkeydoke Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    It wouldn't be just a few bosses, the amount would grow over time. If you feel so strongly that instancing is so core to player retention, which you are very wrong about, then how would a few instanced bosses on weekly lockouts retain players anyway? Seems that content would be eaten up quick to me and lose any retention power it had. Until more are added in.
  • XerheartXerheart Member
    edited September 2021
    Because I feel like there is a difference between having no instanced raid content vs some.

    I guess I could be heavily overstating how important instanced content is. And I can especially see AoC breaking away from the mold of instance heavy content, since they are focusing development on outside systems that engage the player. I get that AoC can have great player retention, without it. But I think just a little bit, especially if it is tied to something like node progression and other outside systems, can be a great benefit to the game. Sure it would be consumed quickly, but like we said, Ashes doesn't need a ton of instanced content. Just a fun side piece of content with some fun rewards. The whole point of instanced raid content is to not take up tons of development time. But just sprinkle in here and there. It doesn't need to be black or white, all or nothing, all I can see is instance raid content enhancing the core systems of Ashes.
  • OkeydokeOkeydoke Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Instanced raid content in a general sense would not only not enhance, but would obliterate the core systems of ashes.

    But I agree with you that a little bit wouldn't be too damaging as long as there's no substantial gear progression from it.

    There already will be instancing for a certain amount of dungeon encounters. Google ashes of creation wiki instancing, it describes it there. I can't link, on my phone
  • George_BlackGeorge_Black Member, Intrepid Pack
    edited September 2021
    Map zones with aggressive, social, hard hitting mobs with large amount of HP, dropping good materials and offering the best experience points, skill points and death certificates (items sold for gold to npc vendors), filled with a few open world raid bosses, as well as mobs related to challenging high lv quests.

    I want these zones to be for groups of 8, harder as you get deeper. The places where all the high lv players would go to in order to get wealthier and reach the lv cap. (Why get wealthier? Because it's open world pvp and guilds can own castles. There is no endgame and the game never ends.)

    Some of these zones should house the epiclegendaryworld raid bosses.

    Dark forests
    Snowy mountain top
    Deep caves (unrelated to the underworld)
    Catacombs
    Towers that reach the clouds
    Volcano craters
    Massive battlefields from ages past
    Pyramid style tombs half burried in the sand

    I want my endgame pvp day to go like this:
    Form the group, get our consumables, polish our equipment, ride out of the city, reach the outskirts of the node, dismount and fight our way to some open world raid bosses, killing those dangerous mobs and any enemy players, killing the rb if it has spawned and then grind a good spot until we get the xp we wanted or the materials we wanted. Return to the city and start over to another zone.

    I dont care for repetitive instanced waves of mindless AoE trash mobs, without the danger of other players, leading up to a boss that has been killed by my group countless times.
    I know there will be some and I will complete it if the loot is valuable but it wont be fun past the first time.
  • SirChancelotSirChancelot Member
    edited September 2021
    I could dig on some instance dungeons for time runs for cosmetics or titles. Maybe even scalable versions for one through eight players?

    But besides that just harder zones and deeper levels of dungeons will be the PVE endgame. All of which are tied to the growth and decay of nearby nodes. So all the world PVP will be changing the PVE landscape.

    Plus if I push and clear out the lowest layer of a dungeon and get everything I want out of it and am bored with it, I'll probably just move to a new area of the map since it will be so huge and find whatever the big dungeons are over there. Which is why I'm all for a global Merc system to be a part of instead of tying down to one City the whole time.
  • Okeydoke wrote: »
    Instanced raid content in a general sense would not only not enhance, but would obliterate the core systems of ashes.

    Could you clarify why you think it would damage the core systems? (Let's assume crafting materials and powerful gear do not drop and only stuff like cosmetics) Is it because it would reduce outerworld population? Or something else?


    My worry is that alot of this world content will just be completely destroyed by that one zerg guild that forms. And that one guild will singlehandedly ruin any world content for everyone else. (Or are there anti zerg mechanics in place already?) I do think zerg mechanics have their place, I just remember how much it ruined ArcheAge for me and alot of others. There were so many things I felt like I wanted to try and complete and then would be like,"oh yea, once we start that, guild X is just gonna come wipe us. Not because they are any good individually, but because they just have so many people". This happened on my server where slowly the big guilds died out and the zerg guild absorbed the remaining players, getting even larger. And none could touch them, so u were just at their mercy.

    That to me is the benefit of instanced content. Allowing for content for smaller groups in the face of oppressive zerg guilds in world content.
  • Let me also add I enjoy PvP content, but a guild of 15 getting one shot by a guild of 200 does not seem like interesting gameplay. However, A fight between 15 guildies vs 20 enemy guildies in a dungeon seems super fucking cool.
  • OkeydokeOkeydoke Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Because the core systems are all about the contesting of resources and bringing players together in conflict and in alliance. I could type a much longer explanation out on my computer but not on this damn phone. But that's the gist of it. The more people in instances, the less people in the world participating in the core parts of the game. And like I said there already will be some instancing.

    As far as zergs and mega guilds dominating, that's a concern. The devs have some countermeasures in mind for it but I'm not 100% convinced they will be enough yet.

    The real solution will be for players to work together with other groups of players to achieve objectives. There probably will be a zerg guild that tries to block other groups from certain content. Those people being blocked need to team up and fight back. That's the game. Its one of the concepts the game owner has talked about most.
  • edited September 2021
    In my opinion "pure end-game PvE content" for Ashes would need to be "Gated" behind end-game PvX content for consistency sake, i would like the implementation to have the following aspects:

    I would like the "end-game" map to be a big Island/mini continent unteleportable to and only accessible through the sea.
    I would like the "end-game" map to have the strongest monsters with the best drops/exp and require atleast a 8-man party to deal with them.
    I would like the "end-game" map to have a good amount of average bosses and atleast 1 or 2 World Bosses.
    I would like the "end-game" map to have a open world dungeon in the center of the island.
    I would like the "end-game" map to have a Instanced dungeon also in the center of the island.
    To enter the instance would require a quest in the island and to reach the "safe" PvE-only content you will have to traverse the most hostile PvX area aswell as the possible hostile sea to reach the island.

    Edit: Also i believe the instance should be weekly/bi-weekly and its monsters/bosses rewards and exp should be less than the ones found in the island/open world dungeon as a price for safety inside of it.
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    Aren't we all sinners?
  • maouwmaouw Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    edited September 2021
    Instead of hard lock-out timers, I'd prefer if there was a shared quest chain that you do to open/gain entry to a dungeon/raid/boss to basically achieve the same thing instead of logging out to wait for a respawn timer.
    Would need some serious thought about how to make the quest-line contestable though.
    I wish I were deep and tragic
  • akabearakabear Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    maouw wrote: »
    Instead of hard lock-out timers, I'd prefer if there was a shared quest chain that you do to open/gain entry to a dungeon/raid/boss to basically achieve the same thing instead of logging out to wait for a respawn timer.
    Would need some serious thought about how to make the quest-line contestable though.

    Prefer a mix..

    but for hard lockout timers, I enjoyed the minimum re-spawn time with a range that it can re-activate.. that lead greater opportunity for the fortunate to mobilize and try for access, rather than complete.

    But some of the pvp conflict to enter such raids that did have long lockouts were some of the most epic fights in my L2 experience and would love to see similar experiences replicated.
  • XerheartXerheart Member
    edited September 2021
    @Okeydoke
    Okeydoke wrote: »
    Because the core systems are all about the contesting of resources and bringing players together in conflict and in alliance. I could type a much longer explanation out on my computer but not on this damn phone. But that's the gist of it. The more people in instances, the less people in the world participating in the core parts of the game. And like I said there already will be some instancing.
    .

    Thanks for clarifying and I feel you, I was responding on my phone while out yesterday till my wife started giving me that look.

    Do you think there is a possibility to tie in a lot of those aspects with instanced Raid content? Of course we are going to be speculating and everything that sounds good on paper might not happen, but here would be some of my ideas:

    1.) Only unlock the instance after a world boss is killed.
    - Either raiders will be encouraged to interact with world bosses or ally with PvP guilds to work
    together to down a world boss. (I think PvE guild and PvP guild alliances would be awesome and
    cause some youtube click bait drama videos haha)

    2.) Have high weapon and armor degradation from Raid wipes:
    - Encouraging raiders to farm outside of their raid times or again, ally/hire master craftsman or
    gatherers to supply their runs.

    3.) Consumable and material sinks:
    - Similar to the previous one, increase the amount of food, potion, armor kits, etc. sinks by having
    raiders use them while killing bosses, adding more demand in the economy, giving other raiders and
    non-raiders alike more reason to farm items.

    4.) Add attunement/quest items to raids:
    - Adding things to start the boss or do a hardemode of a boss: Like my previous example, maybe to
    do the Dunir frost mountain boss, they need a fire orb, only obtainable by a jewel crafter whos creates
    it from farming mobs in a dungeon in a desert biome and then has to transport it on a cavern up to
    the mountain region.

    I know some raiders will never like gathering/crafting, so I tried to add aspects that encouraged hiring of other players or alliances. I would want the instanced PvE content be made so that it is best experienced, only if raiders took the time to interact with other players in other content. Basically tied into the social aspect of AoC.

    Do you think these aspects, if done correctly, could allow this instanced Raid content to exist and enhance the core AoC experience? Or is it one of those things that is cool on paper, but not worth the risk of trying to implement in case of it backfiring? Or just straight-up am I still missing your point on it being detrimental?

  • BaSkA_9x2BaSkA_9x2 Member
    edited September 2021
    I'm not defending or attacking instanced PvE content and things might change in the future, but AFAIK PvE instanced content will not be on par with "endgame" open world PvE content. I predict it's gonna be a "nerfed version" of the open world content, only really useful for experience. Also, the term "endgame" is different in AoC than in other games, because every tier of crafting requires previous materials, so "everything is endgame" more or less.
    Xerheart wrote: »
    I am asking is a hypothetical situation where, Intrepid's launch of Ashes goes great and now they have extra resources and want to give end-game PvE content a trial run, to see how it goes.

    I have a feeling that focusing too much on open world PvE content might be problematic, especially to casual players which might feel like they're not able to do jack sh*t in the game. So I actually could see Intrepid "changing" their view on PvE instanced content, as long as open world rewards are still better somehow, pleasing all crowds.

    P.S.: I care about the casual players because they are the people who keep a game alive (IMHO) and I think Steven/Intrepid also know this, so we need to understand that we might need to make some compromises. Even though I'll probably spend 50+ hours a week playing AoC, some people will spend double that and others will spend a third of that, but if and only if the game is enjoyable. I believe AoC needs to be enjoyable to all types of players, without resorting to stupid sh*t like PvP scaling or selling boosts. So, if Intrepid needs to add instanced PvE content to make sure the game doesn't die, I won't bitch about it as long as "safe content" never gives better rewards than "dangerous content".
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  • OkeydokeOkeydoke Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    If the devs decided to change course and add more instancing then yeah I think those are good ideas. Really good ideas actually. I like your ideas on tying the entrance to the instance on open world mechanics. The killing of a world boss, the transporting of an item by caravan. And making instanced raid wipes more costly to further drive the economy.

    But instancing sucks imo, im just an opponent of it. And I know it would spread like cancer in the game over time. So I'll pretty much always argue against it. But I do like your ideas, they make sense. If intrepid decides to go heavier instancing at some point I think those are definitely good ideas for them to think about.
  • Yea I get it for sure, I think I'm looking at it with over-optimistic expectations in the first place. I agree it can negatively spread over the life of a game.

    I appreciate the back and forth tho, cheers!
  • OkeydokeOkeydoke Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    The cynical side of me says we're probably going to see more instancing at some point.
    But i think they can balance the corruption system and risk vs reward mechanics and the amount of content/types of content to where the average player has a reasonable shot and a reasonable amount of success in completing content, of course failing sometimes too, as everyone will at times.

    But obviously if people are just being mowed down by the dozen every time they go pick a flower, much less try to run a dungeon, there's a problem.

    There are a lot of factors that go into how that all turns out. Hopefully intrepid nails it.
  • OkeydokeOkeydoke Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    My biggest concern for the game are mega alliances, alliances that go way past in numbers than the officially allowed limit. No idea how intrepid is going to police it. And that could lead to a very dominant force on a server that really stifles competition and essentially breaks the game. Maybe the players will be able to handle it with counter mega alliances. But even so I think we could wind up with some individual servers that are just very lopsided and uncompetitive.

    I hope im worrying for nothing and the game won't have these issues, we don't know everything intrepid has in mind yet. But if it does have issues like that, the calls for instancing are going to be constant.

    I'd rather them alleviate the problem by turning the game into a 3 way faction/rvr game before they go the instance everything route. Either one would be a radical change though. Hopefully their current vision works, its the one I prefer. But I'm also aware players will take advantage of systems if they can, and im worried about mega alliances for sure.
  • Yea I have the same worry as you, I think I might try to pose this question to the devs in the next QnA, unless someone knows if its been asked before.
  • OkeydokeOkeydoke Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Not sure if intrepid has talked about it yet or not. You'll probably get an answer of something along the lines of that's a pvp problem that has pvp solutions. In other words, the players should be able to deal with it by forming counter mega alliances. I like that answer. And it will definitely work out fantastic on some servers, maybe even the vast majority. But I think some servers are just going to be fucked.
  • From what i remember reading, mega alliances and dictatorships are going to be left alone. I think the reasoning was that infighting would eventually break them up. But mega alliances won't be able to control everything due to the way Mayors are decided in different nodes. At least for scientific nodes it is decided by a vote. If you don't like the way one node is run then you can move to a different node. I think this will make it very hard for mega alliances to actually form a monopoly and end up making everything non competetive.
    As for a problem of larger guilds vs smaller guilds, guilds can level up, and guild higher ups can decide between increasing number of players able to join and perks that may make them as a guild stronger.
    Raid wise, it seems like everything will be open world, not entirely sure how well that will work, I hope that there'll be enough raids that different guilds can raid in different areas or smthn and it'll definitely mean that stronger guilds with PvP players as well as PvE will be probably have a monopoly, I'm a little bit nervous at the possibility of having to muder players as well as bosses. Difficulty is decided by how well bosses are downed earlier in the raid, stats I don't think will increase, but the AI behind the boss will be harder to beat and they might gain new skills. Different levels of AI will also have different loot tables and chances for drops, in otherwords, the better you do, the better the loot you will get.
    As far as equipment goes, I think legendary equipment can drop, and also legendary crafting materials. I think mounts that drop will be royal and able to fly, but also have a time limit on them, they will also have to be hatched.
    As far as trying to balance the game by preventing strong drops from raids, that is probably bs. Ashes of Creation is a risk vs reward game focused on social elements more than anything. Raids fit that perfectly, so why wouldn't they drop good gear and recipes? Probably looks up legendary stuff on the wiki for more on that tho.
    Lastly, not fond of an "endgame" area, feels like it just keeps you away from the node system. Looking around WoW, I barely ever go to Stormwind, and I find that kinda sad, the rest of the game other than the shadowlands area has become obsolete. So personally, I would like less emphasis on an endgame area, and more emphasis on levelling up the nodes or travelling to nodes that are levelled up already to get to stronger raids. As for expansions in the future, maybe introducing new enemies to the story line would be better? Right now in the story line, we are establishing our foothold again in the world. so once that happens, invasions from different areas would be cool?
    Damn this was a long post, sorry for word vomitting ^^
  • SardokusSardokus Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Sorry if I am too old school with this but for PvE I would have to say Everquest had the best raid content formula ever. About 12 groups get their consumables preps together and head off into a super demanding raid zone. It truly was epic and demanded total coordination of splitting pulls and raid comps, I loved it. Epic loots for a few maybe some rare spells , armor drops along the way off trash. So the next day of the raid was the talk of the town in the guild about how everyone wiped or snatched victory.
  • I think there are a lot of interesting ways you h Could tie open world and instances together which would do wonders for giving pve players incentive to pvp ( I got to siege this x so town y can get to metropolis, so instanced dungeon y can activate)

    Or even create semi instanced content like you find a wizard NPC who can open a portal to a instanced pocket dimension but he has to concentrate on keeping it open so your raid can get in there. If he loses concentration/dies your raid gets kicked out.

    Now you have to decide, whole raid goes in to fight? A single person stays out side to fight any would be wrong doer from killing wizard? Or do you find a sister guild to watch your back while you are in the dungeon?
  • DygzDygz Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    edited September 2021
    Iffithy wrote: »
    I think there are a lot of interesting ways you could tie open world and instances together which would do wonders for giving pve players incentive to pvp ( I got to siege this x so town y can get to metropolis, so instanced dungeon y can activate)
    That is already in the design.
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