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[Discussion] Is there enough PvE? Is the game content balanced?

KilionKilion Member
edited June 2023 in General Discussion
[Introduction]

As a follow up on a discussion from last week I'd like to find out whether the active members of this forum think that the PvE content (whatever they count into that) is enough (1) for them and (2) for the game to gain and retain enough players to keep the game profitable, relevant and active.

[Opinion piece]

While I can see that why some people think that the "pure" PvE might be a bit lacking and could frustrate players in the long term, I don't share this concern - at least not yet, the A2 might change my view. I consider myself primarily a PvE player and though I am aware of the open PvP nature of most content, I feel fairly optimistic that even with low effort it will be able for me to not stand out to the degree that I am forced into PvP all the time and can enjoy the game. Towards that goal I have adjusted what classes I will play to increase my safety and I think that is an acceptable measure to expect from players who want to avoid PvP in this game. The nature of Ashes being a PvX game has been known for long enough for people to make an informed decision of whether or not they like this type of gameplay and for now I don't really see a reason to believe that this would deter players so much that it will lead to the game not being sustainable in the long term.


[Questions]

So what are your thoughts:
~ Are you satisfied with the content balance by amount?
~ Are you satisfied with the amount of isolation between PvE and PvP? (should it be increased?)
~ Do you think that based on what has been shown so far Ashes will be able to retain a sizeable player base - let's say 500'000 active players?

And maybe as a "special" topic question:
~ Do you deem it worthwhile to view Ashes of Creation's content through a lense that always divides between PvE and PvP, would it be more conductive to the discussion to view content as "just PvX" and evaluate the quality and quantity of player interactions with these pieces of content or do you have a completely different perspective on this (like "who care?!")?

Thanks for reading!

The answer is probably >>> HERE <<<

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    NiKrNiKr Member
    edited June 2023
    From what we've seen so far? No. Because we haven't seen shit.

    And because of that I can't really say if there's gonna be "enough". I'd imagine that artisanal stuff will be enough, but I dunno how many people would be interested in purely that activity. Pvp will probably be enough, though that depends on the amount of people overall, so who knows. And the pve stuff could range from "every god damn boss has been farmed by the stronger guilds and every damn dungeon has been overrun by other strong guilds, so we pretty much have no pve to participate in" to "we have several quest-called bosses to farm, we have several weekly instances to clear, we have several secret rooms to grind cause our rogue has a special ability and our mage can remove a few blockages, and we have our own favorite room that is rarely visited by others (due to dungeons being H U G E)".

    And we got no clue where on that range Ashes will fall. I'd personally prefer roughly closer to the former from the middle (that is, a bit more competition for spots).
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    SunScriptSunScript Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Please. You've made another one of those threads Mag7 will just drown in empty theoreticals and reactions to half-read side points by other people and it will all be for nothing.

    We don't even agree on what PvE MEANS on these forums, so rather than trust everyone that surely THIS time we'll have a level headed discussion instead of devolving into semantics and 8 pages of responding to one niche 'Mag7 concern shared by no one else', can we just wait for Intrepid to show more PvE content? That way we can bypass the whole need to even define things and we can just talk about whether what's shown satisfies our needs or not. Doesn't that seem better for all involved?
    Bow before the Emperor and your lives shall be spared. Refuse to bow and your lives shall be speared.
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    SongRuneSongRune Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    edited June 2023
    I much prefer to have these types of discussions in the context of threads relating to specific mechanics (caravans, resources, corruption, etc). At least in those contexts, I know people have some basic foundation and shared focus for what they're discussing.

    Even as an active Alpha 1 tester, I don't have a good concept of the PvE vs PvP balance of the game. We've seen the basics of both, but Alpha 1 explicitly had none of the socioeconomic factors that would drive them to intermingle. Everything was separate. Non-consensual PvP was even disallowed (on threat of permaban) for 95% of the test.

    Nothing we've seen yet, especially in Alpha 1, has given us any experience with how intermingled or isolated PvP and PvE will be. We have been told what the core systems that will drive interaction between PvE and PvP will be. But the details of the balance between them? We're all just guessing.

    We can guess at how the need for Caravans may affect "PvE mostly" people. We often do this in Caravan related threads. We can guess at how things like Freehold Safety or Corruption may affect PvP. We often do this in Freehold or Corruption related threads.

    These discussions are useful in those contexts, but they should remain there. Without a specific context, we have nothing to work with but opinions, speculation, and wild mass guessing. People have learned to have these discussions in specific contexts for a reason.

    This forum doesn't need another thread of people with different guesses and interpretations shouting at each other for 15 pages about something too ephemeral for any cohesive foundation. We know what the systems are, but Intrepid has yet to define the balance between them.
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    NoaaniNoaani Member, Intrepid Pack
    NiKr wrote: »
    And the pve stuff could range from "every god damn boss has been farmed by the stronger guilds and every damn dungeon has been overrun by other strong guilds, so we pretty much have no pve to participate in" to "we have several quest-called bosses to farm, we have several weekly instances to clear, we have several secret rooms to grind cause our rogue has a special ability and our mage can remove a few blockages, and we have our own favorite room that is rarely visited by others (due to dungeons being H U G E)".
    This is kind of the argument I have been making for a few years now.

    It is entirely possible there could be enough PvE content in the game, but it is also entirely possible there may not be enough.

    So far, we have not seen any indication either way - which is why I continue to make my point.

    Anyone that says there is enough PvE in Ashes as of what we have seen up until today is outright lying. In order to think that to be the case, assumptions need to be made in regards to things we should not yet be making assumptions on.
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    AzheraeAzherae Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Well, my answer is once again...

    "Mu" - the question is wrong.

    It's more wrong than the last one.

    The snarky toxic part of me however has some answers! See below!

    Are you satisfied with the content balance by amount?
    Yes indeed! Alpha-1 contained much PvE, and PvP was turned off for considerable periods of time.

    Then there were some sieges and one big test outside a Node City in which I and my partner performed really well. It was great. Overall, I spent approximately equal amounts of time 'wandering the world and poking at PvE type enemies' and 'joining Castle Sieges' so I would say it was perfectly balanced.

    Are you satisfied with the amount of isolation between PvE and PvP? (should it be increased?)
    I feel it would be difficult to increase it beyond 'turning PvP off for non-sanctioned testing periods'. They were pretty isolated during my time testing, except for the Siege Dragons.

    I can honestly say that I don't feel it would be necessary to instance the Siege Map Dragons. That would be going against the PvX principles of the game.

    Do you think that based on what has been shown so far Ashes will be able to retain a sizeable player base - let's say 500'000 active players?
    I feel as if many people would lose interest and it would not be able to retain this player base. I hope it does, but going purely on what has been shown so far it can't even retain me and at the moment I have no competing Fantasy MMO until ArcheAge 2 (FFXI is fun but no longer truly 'MMO' tier for an endgame player).

    Do you deem it worthwhile to view Ashes of Creation's content through a lense that always divides between PvE and PvP, would it be more conductive to the discussion to view content as "just PvX" and evaluate the quality and quantity of player interactions with these pieces of content or do you have a completely different perspective on this (like "who care?!")?
    In order to answer this question I'd need to reference what PvX even is, and since I don't view Fantasy MMOs as true PvX games due to their challenge type, defining 'quality' of interactions is impossible for me.

    An Open World Fantasy MMORPG, imo, does not reach what I personally consider true PvX, it can, at best, achieve 'a balance between the two'.
    By contrast, something like EVE Online can achieve true PvX, where 'allied NPC forces' can 'easily' show up on both sides of a PvP conflict and force all players involved to engage with both the other player(s) and the NPCs as an interactive goal.

    So since it's generally not like that, and the interaction is moreso 'PvE interrupted by PvP' or 'just PvP' or 'PvE, no interruption', I think there's no way to view content as 'just PvX' for me on anywhere near the level I consider 'worthy of the term' as a separate term.

    PvX probably refers to 'attempt to define X however you want but sometimes X will be the other thing, get used to it'. From that perspective, there's no way not to divide it, sometimes PvP is happening, sometimes PvE is happening, sometimes both are happening at the same time.

    When you're at the point of coordinating with Allied NPCs for strategy against enemy Players and NPCs as a meaningful thing, then we can talk about 'a different view of PvX'.

    Personally I feel we should go all the way to XvX, for real advancement in the genre.
    Sorry, my native language is Erlang.
    
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    KilionKilion Member
    @Azherae I don't see how any of your answers are even remotely "toxic". They are made within the frame of the posed questions - as good or bad as that frame might be - and make good, conclusive points without any uneccessary drama on the side. On my book, that's a 10 out of 10 answer.

    @SunScript Don't worry, it was the only "meta" post series I make, I read the feedback :D

    @NiKr @SongRune Fair enough, I'll keep it in mind
    The answer is probably >>> HERE <<<
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    NerrorNerror Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    edited June 2023
    Kilion wrote: »

    So what are your thoughts:
    ~ Are you satisfied with the content balance by amount?
    ~ Are you satisfied with the amount of isolation between PvE and PvP? (should it be increased?)
    ~ Do you think that based on what has been shown so far Ashes will be able to retain a sizeable player base - let's say 500'000 active players?

    And maybe as a "special" topic question:
    ~ Do you deem it worthwhile to view Ashes of Creation's content through a lense that always divides between PvE and PvP, would it be more conductive to the discussion to view content as "just PvX" and evaluate the quality and quantity of player interactions with these pieces of content or do you have a completely different perspective on this (like "who care?!")?

    Thanks for reading!
    I am not satisfied with the content balance because I don't know it yet. None of us do I think.
    I don't think PvE (in the true, broad sense of PvE, and not just PvM) and PvP should be insulated from each other for anything except maybe in the immediate and direct sense for a few story quests of a personal nature and arena fights.
    Based on what they've shown, no, not 500k players. But based on their current plans and the content they've promised to have by release, yes, definitely. As long as their implementation matches their current goals.

    Azherae wrote: »
    "Mu" - the question is wrong.
    What is the right question? Or how would you fix it?
    Azherae wrote: »

    An Open World Fantasy MMORPG, imo, does not reach what I personally consider true PvX, it can, at best, achieve 'a balance between the two'.

    By contrast, something like EVE Online can achieve true PvX, where 'allied NPC forces' can 'easily' show up on both sides of a PvP conflict and force all players involved to engage with both the other player(s) and the NPCs as an interactive goal.

    So since it's generally not like that, and the interaction is moreso 'PvE interrupted by PvP' or 'just PvP' or 'PvE, no interruption', I think there's no way to view content as 'just PvX' for me on anywhere near the level I consider 'worthy of the term' as a separate term.

    PvX probably refers to 'attempt to define X however you want but sometimes X will be the other thing, get used to it'. From that perspective, there's no way not to divide it, sometimes PvP is happening, sometimes PvE is happening, sometimes both are happening at the same time.

    When you're at the point of coordinating with Allied NPCs for strategy against enemy Players and NPCs as a meaningful thing, then we can talk about 'a different view of PvX'.

    I like your thoughts on this, but are you saying you don't consider it true PvX unless you can actually interact and coordinate with NPC allies or factions run by an AI as if it was another person, and have them join the fight? Eve Online doesn't currently have that I believe, unless it's a very recent addition? You can choose locations for your PvP where NPC allies are likely to join the fight though, but that's more a location thing than actual coordination.

    If we take it a step down and just talk about "'allied NPC forces' can 'easily' show up on both sides of a PvP conflict and force all players involved to engage with both the other player(s) and the NPCs as an interactive goal.", I think that can be achieved in a fantasy RPG too.I don't think Ashes will have it in many aspects, and I don't actually want it in all aspects. For the most part, I think we'll see NPCs on the defending side, but as an example, I don't see why it can't be implemented on both sides in sieges. Both sides can have NPC guards or mercenaries that players can assign specific tasks to. Or would you want it to be a more random occurrence, where they only sometimes show up?
    Azherae wrote: »
    Personally I feel we should go all the way to XvX, for real advancement in the genre.

    Eliminating the player and just running simulations is certainly a solution ;) I joke, I think I understand what you mean, but we need better tech for that yet probably for it to be any good, at least on a large scale like would be required for an MMORPG.

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    AzheraeAzherae Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Kilion wrote: »
    @Azherae I don't see how any of your answers are even remotely "toxic". They are made within the frame of the posed questions - as good or bad as that frame might be - and make good, conclusive points without any uneccessary drama on the side. On my book, that's a 10 out of 10 answer.

    I believe toxicity is primarily about intent, with sufficient skill and 'wordcraft' you just get away with it better. Since my intent was to mock your question and the intent of it and get a laugh instead of offering anything constructive, I put it under that label.

    The answers may be toxic or not, but I'm definitely giving in to that part of me by giving them at all. I'm glad that doesn't matter to you.
    Nerror wrote: »
    Azherae wrote: »
    Personally I feel we should go all the way to XvX, for real advancement in the genre.

    Eliminating the player and just running simulations is certainly a solution ;) I joke, I think I understand what you mean, but we need better tech for that yet probably for it to be any good, at least on a large scale like would be required for an MMORPG.

    I believe we need better tech for this for Fantasy MMORPGs, yes. I'm reasonably sure we have the tech for this for a good experience in the other related genres (Simulation/Logistics MMOs like EVE and Elite, or 'military' style RTS). Sometimes it's great, sometimes it requires constant tweaking.

    The reason it doesn't work in Open World Fantasy MMORPGs is because of the setting's flow and purpose. I agree that it can be done with lots of work (making it similar to the Military Style RTS) but then it won't feel like a Fantasy MMO to most people, it will be closer to that Military RTS. Though I guess this is me defining a term I shouldn't define. So for anyone reading, 'Fantasy MMORPG' is probably the wrong label for the aspect of game that I view Ashes as, but note that the 'Open World' part is important so to answer @Nerror's question, yes, they have to be able to act and show up whenever, within reason.

    Games like EVE and Elite offer it as location-based (Elite is harder to explain than that, but it's roughly location based), I still sorta-count them though.
    It is possible in Elite Dangerous for a Neutral NPC pilot to see you get 'pulled out of Supercruise' and attacked by any opponent and choose to drop in and check what is happening. Something in their AI then assesses if they will get involved. If you are winning already they are more likely to engage if they are combat type, and more likely to leave it to you if not. It would not be difficult to add some parameters to that (I suspect they exist but I have no proof) to have the NPC engage if they think they can be helpful without being shot down, relying on their 'class', the enemy 'class', etc. Similarly, it is possible for two NPCs to 'drop out of supercruise into combat conditions while in the same relative space as you who are already in normal space and be fighting and ignore you entirely. Neither of these is directly scripted or 'intended to give you a particular experience'. It's random, to the point where I see this about 1 in every 1000 fights.

    This has also nothing to do with Security forces whatsoever, though the roaming ones can also indeed do this, which makes it quite funny when someone attacks you but a roaming heavy assault/suppressor Security vessel is traveling the same route as you in a Low Security system and their plans of 'destroying you before Security arrives' become 'staring down an Anaconda'. Chances of this seem to be less than 1 in 5000 based only on my experience.

    Ashes' currently (speculated) reliance on 'other players only' to provide this specific experience means that such experiences fall under 'PvP' here for me, the 'PvX' potential is not achieved on either side, not even with the type of small chance provided in Elite. We can hope for 'Mobs having enough observational parameters to determine how/if to assist or hinder a player in a fight' but that's potentially scope creep at this point.

    If you're not worried about it happening, it isn't 'PvX' (when one is defining PvX as Pv(P+E)).

    That's all a long ramble to say that blending them isn't as useful a lens for an Open World Fantasy MMORPG in my opinion. Remove the 'Open World' part and the problem's been 'solved' (at least the structure, AI performance varies) since at least 2006. Which reminds me that my Campaign Medal is probably expiring...

    As for the 'better form of the question', I think this one might be 'unfixable'. The last one could at least have given a definition and asked people to answer via that definition. This one relies on 'the ability of the reader to simulate the entirety of Ashes from given principles' and even for those who technically could do it, if they gave any answer while 'explaining their position' then the position itself would then be either 'attacked' or 'ignored'.

    Can't reasonably challenge someone else's interpretation of vagueness unless they made an error in bases, and therefore all that remains is unreasonable challenges, which isn't really discussion.
    Sorry, my native language is Erlang.
    
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    NiKrNiKr Member
    Azherae wrote: »
    The reason it doesn't work in Open World Fantasy MMORPGs is because of the setting's flow and purpose. I agree that it can be done with lots of work (making it similar to the Military Style RTS) but then it won't feel like a Fantasy MMO to most people, it will be closer to that Military RTS. Though I guess this is me defining a term I shouldn't define. So for anyone reading, 'Fantasy MMORPG' is probably the wrong label for the aspect of game that I view Ashes as, but note that the 'Open World' part is important so to answer Nerror's question, yes, they have to be able to act and show up whenever, within reason.
    What if mobs had a separate aggro range for flagged players (waaay higher than their standard range)? Any pvp encounter would have a much higher chance to aggro some mobs into the fight and, if both sides are flagged, mobs might attack either player. In a way this would be like players fighting near a neutral camp in Dota2 and that camp clapping both players (love when that happens :D ).

    Have some patrolling guards that have an even higher "aggro", and you have yourself a situation where quite a lot of pvp fights would involve npcs too. And if guards are meant to deal with PKers (at least to some extent), then I'd assume they'll be powerful enough to not just stand around in that fight and instead present a danger to either side of the player conflict.

    And as for it being a scope creep, I'd imagine that having a second aggro check that just scans for flagged players wouldn't require all that much work. Balancing would obviously do, but that's always the case.
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    CawwCaww Member
    Conceptually, a well done PvX environment will attract and retain more than enough players " to keep the game profitable, relevant and active". AoC appears to be on the right path to provide that player balance.

    500,000 paying monthly accounts seems like a big ask, an annual amount of $90 million in base revenue, not including cosmetics. It would seem even a third of that amount would be considered a success for an independent developer.
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    CROW3CROW3 Member
    My general view, answers your *special* question. If I'm actively thinking 'this activity is PvE' 'this activity is PvP' in a PvX game, then the PvX experiment has failed. Playing the game will require gathering resources to group against bosses and other guilds, and fighting bosses and other players will be required to gather some resources. It's all the same stew.

    ~ Are you satisfied with the content balance by amount?

    I haven't played any content to determine the 'as is' balance.

    ~ Are you satisfied with the amount of isolation between PvE and PvP? (should it be increased?)

    We'll see, I don't want there to be isolation between the two.

    ~ Do you think that based on what has been shown so far Ashes will be able to retain a sizeable player base - let's say 500'000 active players?

    If they can deliver on their promises, yes. If it's an inch of polish on thin leather, it'll last three months.

    AoC+Dwarf+750v3.png
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    OkeydokeOkeydoke Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Kilion wrote: »
    view content as "just PvX"

    That's pretty much what it is to me. It's just a world named Verra. There are creatures to kill, dungeons, gathering, crafting, sport fishing, home building etc. With an open world pvp, criminal system ruleset, and sieges etc.

    As with any game, I have concerns about their being enough pvp and pve content. In the case of Ashes that means enough things to do in the world and enough reasons to pvp over them. I think Intrepid will succeed in having enough content. Right now I can't say for sure they have enough because we've seen hardly anything and the game is still being made.
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    KilionKilion Member
    Caww wrote: »
    Conceptually, a well done PvX environment will attract and retain more than enough players " to keep the game profitable, relevant and active". AoC appears to be on the right path to provide that player balance.

    500,000 paying monthly accounts seems like a big ask, an annual amount of $90 million in base revenue, not including cosmetics. It would seem even a third of that amount would be considered a success for an independent developer.

    Agreed, 500'000 would be nothing short of an incredible feat!
    I picked the number based on the sales we know about, where the Alpha 2 key sets had sold around 300'000 times. Since those have a hefty price tag and not everyone participating would be want to stay after testing the game I concluded that probably even more Beta keys were sold with not all of them becoming regular subscribers either.

    Doing some back of the napkin math it seems that half that number would already be enough to reach a sustainable level but I'd suspect that is not what Intrepid is aiming for, so another reason why I chose to hear peoples take on something bigger.


    The answer is probably >>> HERE <<<
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    AFAIK no endgame content is locked behind PVP so just like any normal MMO we have known so far PVE is the main timesink and PVP is the main resource sink I believe. Sieges are pretty rare after all.
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    JustVineJustVine Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    AFAIK no endgame content is locked behind PVP so just like any normal MMO we have known so far PVE is the main timesink and PVP is the main resource sink I believe. Sieges are pretty rare after all.

    This isn't quite as well founded as an assumption as it used to be. They explicitly chose to make the oceans a free for all PvP zone where you won't gain corruption because they want to have 'enough risk to match the higher amount of rewards at sea." It is a better assumption these days to assume that best in slot items are going to be out at sea until we are told otherwise.

    I am also expecting them to see the huge flaw of putting some best in slot items in PvP free for all zones with no corruption and others having corruption and will therefore change all dungeons and world bosses to be PvP free for all zones as well.

    Of course take all that with a grain of salt as they have not to clear up the best in slot question relative to this content. But the point is there is almost certainly going to be a lot of endgame content that have very little risk to contest and are therefore 'intended to be gated by some level of PvPvE' and that content is almost certainly going to gate resources.
    Riding in Solo Bad Guy's side car

    https://youtube.com/watch?v=Yhr9WpjaDzw
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    AzheraeAzherae Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    NiKr wrote: »
    Azherae wrote: »
    The reason it doesn't work in Open World Fantasy MMORPGs is because of the setting's flow and purpose. I agree that it can be done with lots of work (making it similar to the Military Style RTS) but then it won't feel like a Fantasy MMO to most people, it will be closer to that Military RTS. Though I guess this is me defining a term I shouldn't define. So for anyone reading, 'Fantasy MMORPG' is probably the wrong label for the aspect of game that I view Ashes as, but note that the 'Open World' part is important so to answer Nerror's question, yes, they have to be able to act and show up whenever, within reason.
    What if mobs had a separate aggro range for flagged players (waaay higher than their standard range)? Any pvp encounter would have a much higher chance to aggro some mobs into the fight and, if both sides are flagged, mobs might attack either player. In a way this would be like players fighting near a neutral camp in Dota2 and that camp clapping both players (love when that happens :D ).

    Have some patrolling guards that have an even higher "aggro", and you have yourself a situation where quite a lot of pvp fights would involve npcs too. And if guards are meant to deal with PKers (at least to some extent), then I'd assume they'll be powerful enough to not just stand around in that fight and instead present a danger to either side of the player conflict.

    And as for it being a scope creep, I'd imagine that having a second aggro check that just scans for flagged players wouldn't require all that much work. Balancing would obviously do, but that's always the case.

    If the majority would accept it, then sure.

    Again, it's not particularly technically hard, and even the primary cases of 'abuse' of this sort of thing can be mitigated by pulling levers in other design space (I obviously can't say with any certainty that it would get rid of most of them)

    But whereas a 'Military worldbuild simulation', 'space sim' or 'high seas adventure' MMO would be full of players who want that specific experience type, based on my research and data collection, it would not be a popular Fantasy MMO outcome.

    If you want to try to compare it to something for quick reference, it ends up being similar to the reaction of the bulk of Fantasy MMO players when you want to introduce more Survival elements. Some people do really like this but it seems to reduce the overall playerbase interest enough to cause the game to be too niche (more upkeep, pain points, etc for the type of person who 'just wants to play the game').

    tl;dr having mobs aggro Flagged players from further away than normal is carebear talk and will ruin the game... or something.
    Sorry, my native language is Erlang.
    
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    NiKrNiKr Member
    Azherae wrote: »
    tl;dr having mobs aggro Flagged players from further away than normal is carebear talk and will ruin the game... or something.
    U rite :D I forgot that people would definitely see "mobs attack me more when I'm flagged" as just another carebear feature that wants to remove pvp from the game.
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    Kilion wrote: »
    the game to gain and retain enough players to keep the game profitable, relevant and active.

    ...

    ~ Do you think that based on what has been shown so far Ashes will be able to retain a sizeable player base - let's say 500'000 active players?
    500 000 is quite a large number.
    Does it need so many to stay profitable?
    What if the number will only be 20 000?
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    AzheraeAzherae Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    Raven016 wrote: »
    Kilion wrote: »
    the game to gain and retain enough players to keep the game profitable, relevant and active.

    ...

    ~ Do you think that based on what has been shown so far Ashes will be able to retain a sizeable player base - let's say 500'000 active players?
    500 000 is quite a large number.
    Does it need so many to stay profitable?
    What if the number will only be 20 000?

    If they want to keep expanding the game without 'losing money', I don't think 20,000 will be enough.

    We're talking about 'active' as in 'daily average' right?

    20k would put it in the region of the main game I play now, and even if that game combined all its servers I still doubt it would feel 'alive' enough. For Ashes, 20k would be 2-4 servers, we'd get...

    2 NA Server, 1 EU server, probably? And then overflow in and out of the South America server?

    For a pretty fast PvX game I feel like that might be a downspiral, but unfortunately we don't really know since the only other new MMO that seriously tried this recently went super hard and made servers with player caps of 2000 for whatever reason.

    Basically I don't think the structure of Ashes would survive being at FFXI population numbers.
    Sorry, my native language is Erlang.
    
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    NerrorNerror Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    20000 is barely enough to fill a single server. That's too few. I guess they could fire 90% or more of the staff, only do work from home and do very few content updates with 20k subscribers.
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    Azherae wrote: »
    We're talking about 'active' as in 'daily average' right?
    Yes, that is how I assumed it might end up in 6-12 months after release, given that many players will experience the game in Alpha 2 phase.
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    NoaaniNoaani Member, Intrepid Pack
    JustVine wrote: »
    I am also expecting them to see the huge flaw of putting some best in slot items in PvP free for all zones with no corruption and others having corruption and will therefore change all dungeons and world bosses to be PvP free for all zones as well.

    Yeah, I've been assuming they would make bosses battleground zones at some point, for reasons similar to this.

    Not sure about dungeons - I doubt best in slot items will be found there, so I dont see the need.
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    KilionKilion Member
    @Raven016 I did some back of the napkin math.

    - The average game designer in California earns something like 80k.
    - I took that number and assumed for Ashes to be maintained and have enough staff to run the game that they need somethng between 150 and 200 staff members. That puts us at 16M$.
    - Add to that the same amount for the building, server structure and so on you are at 32M$.
    - Add to all of this around 40% to cover all the taxes and dues that might need to be paid and you have a aroung 44,8 million dollars annual costs.
    - On player has a subscription fee of 180$ per year. So without other income streams it would take 248'889 players to bring in that money.

    So in theory 250k active players would be slightly profitable. I doubled that player number so that I'd feel confident in saying Intrepid could deem it worthwhile developing and maintaining the game.

    With all that said: I have no idea if the building costs etc are too high or too low, neither do I know the american (and Californian) tax system good enough to say if 40% is over the top or maybe too low.

    But yeah, to maintain the game according to this (very) rough calculation, I'd say anything below 300k active players is not good.
    The answer is probably >>> HERE <<<
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    @kilion They can try to keep the game alive after release for a long time.
    But some players leave no matter what content comes.
    Others stay even if no new content is added.
    I have no idea if keeping many developers 1 year after release is profitable.
    But those who like to collect cosmetics will pay more than the monthly subscription and might stay longer. How many designers are needed to create these monthly cosmetics?
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    KilionKilion Member
    Raven016 wrote: »
    @kilion They can try to keep the game alive after release for a long time.
    But some players leave no matter what content comes.
    Others stay even if no new content is added.
    I have no idea if keeping many developers 1 year after release is profitable.
    But those who like to collect cosmetics will pay more than the monthly subscription and might stay longer. How many designers are needed to create these monthly cosmetics?

    Agreed, they won't need all the developers but some number of them will definitely have to stick around to work on expansions, small content patches and so on. And I tend to make "pessimistic" speculations when it comes to cost structures.

    In any way, these numbers are nothing we should take too serious given my lack of expertise - they at best function as a tool to gain a very rough sense of what would probably be necessary to sustain Intrepids commitment to the game.
    The answer is probably >>> HERE <<<
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