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Progression insight from a Crowfall & New World guild leader.

I am posting to record my opinion on how progression as a guild worked in two games in which I lead guilds. Feel free to ponder and connect with me about my ideas here.
Both games (CF & NW) had vastly different approaches to character, crafting, and gear progression. Crowfall had a collaborative progression system, New World's progression was entirely individualistic. Let me explain what I mean by communal vs individualistic progression, then express my opinion on which is better.

Collaborative Progression (Crowfall):

In CF, leveling up your character, gear, and crafting was often a Guild effort. Players can trade their progression to others in the form of disciplines. Crafting skill, combat skills, all gear and equipment was tradable. This lead to a natural guild structure that celebrated our crafting leads and supported our members with apprenticeship-style crafting progression for all of our members.

Individualistic Progression (New Word):
In stark contrast to CF, at the time of this post, progression in NW is not tradable. All progression must be done as an individual. All trade skills are the product of your individual grind. All gear is downgraded (even purchased gear) to your expertise (aka gear score) which can only be achieved through individual grind. This lead to a server culture (including my guild) that rewarded collections of individuals who grinded the most hours.

My main question is: will AoC have more collaborative or individualistic progression?

As a guild leader, I personally advocate for more collaborative progression because it allows for organized guilds to outfit all members in their guild, including the less hardcore members, with competitive gear and/or skills. Individual progression promotes a toxic, elitist environment since the only competitive edge is distilled down to players who put the time in to grind endlessly. I want my guild in AoC to remain competitive and I don't want to need to resort to poaching the most active players as the primary means to stay competitive. I want to be able to outfit my more casual members and bring them along to major battles. I want "working together" to be our avenue to success, not "work more." /endrant

There are other pros and cons to consider, but this is my primary concern and I would love to hear other people's ideas about the pros & cons of individual vs collaborative progression systems.

Comments

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    George_BlackGeorge_Black Member, Intrepid Pack
    edited February 2022
    Before I even read, here is a rude post:

    You are giving as your insight from two games that came out yesterday, when AoC is attracting players from the golden age of hardcore mmorpging? As a guild leader?

    Just messing with you a little bit.
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    GeronimoGeronimo Member
    edited February 2022
    It sounds nice, I guess the most obvious con is that anyone who is not in a guild, or is disliked in the guild they are in, is totally screwed.

    @Orga How does that pan-out in Crowfall for people that aren't in a guild?
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    George_BlackGeorge_Black Member, Intrepid Pack
    I agree. Community gameplay IS what mmorpgs should focus before everything else.
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    Rasper NorRasper Nor Member
    edited February 2022
    Geronimo wrote: »
    It sounds nice, I guess the most obvious con is that anyone who is not in a guild or is disliked in the guild they are in is totally screwed.

    Unless what the guilds can create can also be auctioned off for the most part. Each of the middlemen, whether in a guild are not, make the gear expensive rather than exclusive. Kinda reminds me of the Onyxia cloaks needed to be successful in Black Wing Lair of Vanilla WoW. Or like any number of tabletop RPGs that would lead the party on a quest line revolving around magic items. I like the idea of this being a large piece of the end gear pie, personally.
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    NoaaniNoaani Member, Intrepid Pack
    As far as I can tell, Ashes will be individualistic in terms of experience, but collaborative in terms of gear - or at least allow for collaboration.

    Intrepid have said they don't want to have any kind of experience ce sharing, though it was many years ago they said it.
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    DygzDygz Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    edited February 2022
    Especially based on Ashes game design and philosophy, Adventurer progression should be more individualistic.

    Guilds will be collaborating on guild progression and Node progression. They might also be collaborating somewhat on Social Org progression and they might also be influencing Crafter progression to some degree.
    Instead of Adventurer progression, guilds should be guiding members on how to synergize the Active Skills and Augments the individual Adventurers have chosen.

    It's probably better to trade resources and base gear - which should be fully tradeable - than trading gear that's been tailored to specific specs for specific Active Skills, Passive Skills, Weapon Skills and the various types of Augments.

    It's "collaborative progression" - other players dictating how people must build their characters - which is toxic.
    The whole purpose of the Ashes class design w/Augments (along with any class can wear any gear and wield any weapon) is so that Adventurer progression can be individualistic while still synergizing effectively as a group.
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    George_BlackGeorge_Black Member, Intrepid Pack
    edited February 2022
    Adventurer progression should be individualistic? What is this, eso?
    Dygz I dont understand how you still get the wrong impression about this game.
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    NoaaniNoaani Member, Intrepid Pack
    Adventurer progression should be individualistic? What is this, eso?
    Dygz I dont understand how you still get the wrong impression about this game.

    You need to understand Dygz' MMO history to understand what he means sometimes.

    Adventurer progression to Dygz is just experience. In this regard, he is 100% correct, he just didn't do an overly good job of wording his thoughts.

    To most of the rest of us, experience is only one faucet of adventurer progression - the faucet that is usually the easiest to cap.
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    DygzDygz Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    Adventurer progression should be individualistic? What is this, eso?
    Dygz I dont understand how you still get the wrong impression about this game.
    LMAO
    Yes. You don't understand a lot of stuff.
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    George_BlackGeorge_Black Member, Intrepid Pack
    If you two think that:
    1) managing to explore the world
    2) leveling up your combat class
    3) gathering high lv raw materials

    will be a solo (individualistic) task, you are mistaken, big time.
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    NoaaniNoaani Member, Intrepid Pack
    If you two think that:
    1) managing to explore the world
    2) leveling up your combat class
    3) gathering high lv raw materials

    will be a solo (individualistic) task, you are mistaken, big time.

    I mean, it will be, but that isn't the point.

    The point is that the experience you earn is yours and you can not transfer it to another character. You can't earn experience and pass it on to a guild member.

    On the other hand, you can do that with gear progression.

    Just because you have no idea what is being talked about, doesn't make others wrong.
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    Pretty sure its going to be highly Collaborative Progression. Gear is tradeable. If you replace your weapon you could pass your old one down to someone else. You can only master one of the 3 profession trees.. So ether a master gatherer/processer/crafter. Which promotes working together, having different people with different masteries/recipes. Gathers could donate wood, processors could process that wood, and the shipbuilder could make the ship. But you will still be able to do go about some what individually. Gather ore, sell it, buy processed ore, find a crafter to make you gear. for leveling I believe experience earned for leveling is based on how much damage you do to a mob, so there wont be power leveling someone. I've never seen tradable combat skills.
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    NoaaniNoaani Member, Intrepid Pack
    Anarchy23 wrote: »
    Pretty sure its going to be highly Collaborative Progression.
    Indeed, gear progression will be.
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    Everything I’ve heard about this game seems to point at the game being all about communities progressing the world forward together. With open competition/conflict for power within the world.

    Although all of your xp and levels will be your own and untradeable. I think it could be interesting to see an apprenticeship system for crafting.
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    DygzDygz Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    edited February 2022
    If you two think that:
    1) managing to explore the world
    2) leveling up your combat class
    3) gathering high lv raw materials

    will be a solo (individualistic) task, you are mistaken, big time.
    You are the one who is obsessed with your concept of solo.
    I didn't say anything about exploring the world solo or gathering raw materials solo.
    I also didn't say anything about adventuring solo.
    I don't consider solo and individualistic to be synonymous. Especially not within the context of the OP.
    If you do - that's your issue. Has nothing to do with me.
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    AtamaAtama Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    Biccus wrote: »
    Everything I’ve heard about this game seems to point at the game being all about communities progressing the world forward together. With open competition/conflict for power within the world.

    Although all of your xp and levels will be your own and untradeable. I think it could be interesting to see an apprenticeship system for crafting.

    My guess is that it won't be that unusual for people to play in a way that's completely oblivious to node progression. Honestly, that's what I did in Alpha 1. (Though I'm not sure how impactful node progression was there anyway.) In Alpha I never knew what node I was in, and just tried to do quests and level up.

    Some people will just do their own thing, and if they are contributing to a node, whatever, they don't care. That might even be most people. I think it'll depend on UI... Will there be a progression bar on your screen next to character XP? If so, then players will set that as something personal to them. Kind of like the reputation progression bars in WoW that you can enable.

    I'm curious to see how this is handled.
     
    Hhak63P.png
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    DygzDygz Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    Alpha One Node progression was about as rudimentary as could be.
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    Thanks for the replies, everyone!
    Geronimo wrote: »
    @Orga How does that pan-out in Crowfall for people that aren't in a guild?
    Progression was only really attainable in the "faction" gameplay if you were solo. I can't imagine being a solo player in that game though, it would be close to unplayable.
    This does point out a pretty obvious "con" to communal style progression. Although iirc from livestreams, AoC is designed for group play. AoC supports solo players with "node citizenship" system, no?
    Dygz wrote: »
    I don't consider solo and individualistic to be synonymous. Especially not within the context of the OP.
    Correct. You can have a group of players who have progressed individually, and you can also have solo players participating in a communal progression.
    Before I even read, here is a rude post:
    You are giving as your insight from two games that came out yesterday, when AoC is attracting players from the golden age of hardcore mmorpging? As a guild leader?
    Just messing with you a little bit.
    Ah yes, its true im a baby guild leader. I quit playing MMOs in 2005 because I did not like the direction. But ashes brought me back in. I've been testing the leadership chops ive developed over the years with my guild through the new games that have been coming out. We treat every new release as an opportunity to grow as an organization & we've got some catching up to do before AoC release. hah
    Dygz wrote: »
    It's "collaborative progression" - other players dictating how people must build their characters - which is toxic.
    The whole purpose of the Ashes class design w/Augments (along with any class can wear any gear and wield any weapon) is so that Adventurer progression can be individualistic while still synergizing effectively as a group.
    I love this take. This is a downside to collaborative progression. Iirc Devs have mentioned that they want players to be able to have individual skill expression and not lock people into meta builds. This is the benefit of "balancing for groups" and "rock paper scissor" balancing.


    My primary concern is that individualistic progression leads to a political environment where a player's value is distilled down to their individual ability to grind. I'm not saying this shouldn't be a factor at all, but I'm really turned off by the idea that my guild wont be competitive if not everyone in the guild is a no-lifer. There is value that all kinds of guild members bring that is more than their ability to wfh and 2nd-monitor grind. If one of my guild members write a discord bot to organize our community I want my community to be able to decide if we kit that member out in our limited bis gear, etc. My bias here is pretty obvious.

    Although a "con" to communal style progression is that exploits would be harder for AoC to control. Its easier to influence individuals through system tuning than it is to influence groups without taking away trade freedoms. Anyone see any mention of how much BoP or BoE there will be?

    I think I had more "pros & cons" in mind when I wrote this post originally. My bias is pretty obvious but i'd still like to hear other insights. Thanks everyone.


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    NoaaniNoaani Member, Intrepid Pack
    edited February 2022
    Orga wrote: »
    I think I had more "pros & cons" in mind when I wrote this post originally. My bias is pretty obvious but i'd still like to hear other insights. Thanks everyone.

    In regards to your specific situation, things in Ashes are pretty set.

    That guild member that is writing that Discord bot will need to level his character up to the cap. He will have to do this himself (as in, he will need to be online, playing his character -but he can be in a group).

    Once at that level cap, he will also need to know how to play his character. This is important for someone not being a burden in a game like Ashes, but also isn't a given and so should be mentioned.

    Once he is at the level cap and knows how to play his role, your guild can just pass what ever gear to him, as most gear in Ashes is freely tradable, and indeed isn't even going to be bind on equip.

    What I will say is that the two games you have played so far have been two of the three worst major MMO's to ever release (the other being Bless). Don't take the way they have done things as normal.
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    tautautautau Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    We have been 'trained' by the games we have played to equate 'level' with 'strength.' True, there is a strong correlation. But it appears that AoC is going to be a much more complex game.

    Max level won't take that long to achieve. Most players will then default to 'gear' = 'strength' as they have been trained to do in other games. True, there is a strong correlation. I suspect that we will have a LOT of players with 'max level & good gear' and not a whole lot to distinguish between them after maybe 9 months from release.

    Perhaps the strongest players will be those who have the rare ability to think differently, to not assume that 'what I learned to do in WOW is what I need to do here.' Even this far before launch, there are several other possible 'paths to power' that are being hinted at.
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    DygzDygz Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    edited February 2022
    Orga wrote: »
    My primary concern is that individualistic progression leads to a political environment where a player's value is distilled down to their individual ability to grind. I'm not saying this shouldn't be a factor at all, but I'm really turned off by the idea that my guild wont be competitive if not everyone in the guild is a no-lifer. There is value that all kinds of guild members bring that is more than their ability to wfh and 2nd-monitor grind. If one of my guild members write a discord bot to organize our community I want my community to be able to decide if we kit that member out in our limited bis gear, etc. My bias here is pretty obvious.

    Although a "con" to communal style progression is that exploits would be harder for AoC to control. Its easier to influence individuals through system tuning than it is to influence groups without taking away trade freedoms. Anyone see any mention of how much BoP or BoE there will be?

    I think I had more "pros & cons" in mind when I wrote this post originally. My bias is pretty obvious but i'd still like to hear other insights. Thanks everyone.
    Fascinating post. Thanks for sharing!

    I am a cooperative player, rather than a competitive player. And my playstyle is casual challenge/hardcore time. So... I have plenty of time to "grind".
    Seems to me that it's the competitive perception that is causing the sense of toxicity - especially if you're hardcore.
    The guilds I join are casual and cooperative, so we just help each other when we can because we like helping each other. The value of each player is that we like the people who are part of the guild and we enjoy playing games together.

    Ashes has numerous forms of progression, so everyone should be able to contribute adequately to the guild.
    To me, instead of thinking about whether the meta-guild is "competitive", I'd be more concerned about whether we are able to accomplish the goals we've set for Node progression and Social Org progression.
    I'd be wondering how we can help our various in-game sub-guilds accomplish their goals.
    To me, it goes without saying that we try to help our members get the gear they want - even if they haven't written a discord bot. Especially if someone does something for the guild that you like, you should be motivated to helping them out. That really has nothing to do with individualistic progression v solo progression. If want to gift a member some cool gear, for whatever reason, you are free to do so.

    IIRC, BoP and BoE is fairly minimal:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bHC1A1wIsRk&t=255s
    mark 4:31
    "A lot of what we experienced in games that usually come before us is that many things are account bound and they're soulbound to your character... Very little here is character bound. Very very little. The vast majority of gear- yes you will get quest related gear as rewards- but it won't be let's say one set in one dungeon and you must run the dungeon over and over. Instead we want to really emphasize the reliance on the economy and crafters and gatherers and processors to support a majority of the gear structure in-game, combined with that of world raid bosses and dungeon bosses; not a repetitive quest line through a single dungeon.
    ---Steven


    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1duIKUf8gVs&t=1573s
    mark 26:18
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    AtamaAtama Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    tautau wrote: »
    We have been 'trained' by the games we have played to equate 'level' with 'strength.' True, there is a strong correlation. But it appears that AoC is going to be a much more complex game.

    Max level won't take that long to achieve. Most players will then default to 'gear' = 'strength' as they have been trained to do in other games. True, there is a strong correlation. I suspect that we will have a LOT of players with 'max level & good gear' and not a whole lot to distinguish between them after maybe 9 months from release.

    Perhaps the strongest players will be those who have the rare ability to think differently, to not assume that 'what I learned to do in WOW is what I need to do here.' Even this far before launch, there are several other possible 'paths to power' that are being hinted at.

    There will also be meta FOM builds that people will adopt.

    I wonder how unique gear will be. In Star Wars Galaxies (which AoC is imitating in some ways) you could end up with a blueprint for an item that requires a limited source of materials. Once those materials are gone, no more of those items could be made again. Could we have completely unique (or extremely rare) crafted items that might set someone apart? No more, "Farm this dragon until it drops the best-in-slot armor you need."
     
    Hhak63P.png
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    I think every aspect of Ashes leads away from individualistic play. Like EVERY aspect. With the open pvp in the world, adventuring, gathering, and exploring will all be dangerous when you are in the world alone. Yes there is corruption, but I doubt that will be enough to discourage a group of 2 or 3 from stomping on people caught out in the world alone.

    Since you will only be able to pick one artisan skill path, you will be required to work with others to make things with professions. Node society is the most important community you will be in. Group compositions will require some collaboration so that you get a good mix of different archetypes, you cant just do tank, healer, and any random dps (you could, but it would not be optimal and there is no dungeon finder queue tool). Castle sieges and caravans will require many people together to accomplish the task, and again no finder tool for this too.

    So ya, any thought of playing alone would be very limiting to your experience in Ashes.
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