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Dev Discussion #40 - Enemy Indicators

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  • HumblePuffinHumblePuffin Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    Well really do think devs do not give enough information when asking questions just ask questions in the broadest sense.
    .

    There will not be typical “zones” like you see in theme park mmorpgs where at level 10 you go here, level 20 you go here and so on. The difficulty of mobs will be in flux based on factors like the advancement of nearby nodes. You can go one place this week and fight level 10 mobs and go back to that same place next week and they are level 30 or vice versa. You could be fighting level 10 mobs and then go over the hill and run into something higher level.

    I don’t believe you will quite see the dynamics of being in a dungeon with such radically different levels like you used in your example but I can definitely see a more targeted and defined variance from the start of a dungeon vs the end of one.

    I think they speak so vaguely because they are legitimately trying to get peoples general preferences without bias, but it would probably be helpful to include links to their wiki pages regarding the topics they are asking about so people aren’t suggesting things entirely out of bounds from their vision.
  • HirogiHirogi Member
    I prefer old school style indicators
  • AzheraeAzherae Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    CROW3 wrote: »
    JustVine wrote: »
    You can say 'this is about preference' but in reality it will actually impact what activities I can or cannot do, as it obfuscates necessary information to push limits. So the real question is actually 'is this worth limiting gameplay and pushing people towards using 3rd party sites more often than they otherwise would in the name of 'flavor and immersion''?

    It’s interesting how we see this so differently. For me, this seems inside out. Limiting target information increases my ability to observe and learn. This increases my engagement with content and gives me greater ownership of the experience. The more engaged I am the greater the immersion.

    On the other hand, the more information you tell me, the less I’ll engage based on YOUR information. I’m assuming constraints and limits based on what I’ve been told, instead of what I’ve personally observed. That seems like a more limiting gameplay experience.

    I’d rather fail a few times against a mob and learn, than be told everything, and avoid that learning entirely. 😉

    I'll agree here, with a caveat that I'd like to discuss actually. While I don't mind the systems, I don't have a problem with the Hardcore method except that it requires more enemy design to fit the model of what I would consider fun. For observing and learning to be fun, requires that something can be observed and learned.

    Simple example from the usual game:

    An area contains some little seedling style creatures, some rabbits, sheep, giant walking mushrooms, tigers, orcs, and giant trees.

    When I enter this area, in a game with this design type, I test my strength against the seedling creature or rabbit first. Because it follows that sheep are, at minimum, larger than rabbits and probably stronger in some way, and the Tigers and Orcs probably are stronger and more aggressive than the sheep. The giant Tree enemies are presumably the adult seedlings and automatically stronger.

    But I don't get a perspective on the mushrooms, by contrast. I have no idea if they are 'stronger than the Orcs and Tigers and therefore those avoid them', or 'weaker than even the sheep'. It is at this point where I make the choice of if I should attack them or not based on how I feel that day, but at least I didn't have to do it for everything else, and therefore I can say 'I can learn this' and don't need any external resource (wiki) to prevent loss or deaths.

    On the other hand if you go 'Here are some wildcats and raptors, some trolls, a large mobile plant enemy, and a bear', I can only make inferences about the bear and be confident, and even then, perhaps not, depending on the designer. I'm not the 'wiki' type by default, but I can at least recognize that it means that every time I interact with things, there's a nontrivial chance that it will be harder than I expected.

    If you now extend it so that I move between two nodes, and in so doing I see two different types of wildcats, the ones I know, and before I can see the precise location of the other node, I meet another type, I can't make a decision on the strength of them, consistently, using the Hardcore system. If I miss a Point of Interest nearby, those wildcats could be out of my level range easily without any meaningful difference in appearance. If they're physically larger, it's probably fine, but across 50+ levels this might start to get ambiguous.

    Is it 'failing' against a mob when you lost via a standard stat-check? The only thing I perceive to have been a 'failure' in that case is a 'failure' to identify that the mob would be stronger than you by enough to heavily invalidate your skill.

    In an Actiony game this is worse, I'm definitely the type to spend upwards of 20 minutes 'fighting perfectly against an enemy far beyond my level' whose HP bar I cannot see. For many classes I play in MMOs, it's a requirement to do this because I enjoy fighting things that will kill me in two hits unbuffed. If I eventually slip and lose against this enemy type, I will wiki it then, because then, I need to know if I tried to kill a level 47 enemy when I was level 30. Damage numbers don't help with this in most games either. Enemy defense after a certain point scales in a way that means '6 levels over you' and '16 levels over you' don't necessarily look that different.

    Now, this doesn't bother me that much. For my group, I AM the scout that does this testing, but that's because it's a specific part of my personality, and I know that others don't share it. I can imagine that you 'are the scout' if you aren't playing alone, @CROW3, but if we were to assume that you had the potential to encounter three very similar looking enemies with wildly varying strength, within the same area, would you also prefer that non-Scouts not have any indicators?
    Sorry, my native language is Erlang.
    
  • DygzDygz Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    edited April 17
    JustVine wrote: »
    You are free to not join the discussion I was having with others Dygz. We were talking about the benefits and trade offs of picking one system over another (and I was hoping to move the conversation to 'possible compromises that would fit more than just one side of the issue.)
    "You can say 'this is about preference' but in reality it will actually impact what activities I can or cannot do, as it obfuscates necessary information to push limits. So the real question is actually 'is this worth limiting gameplay and pushing people towards using 3rd party sites more often than they otherwise would in the name of 'flavor and immersion''?
    That is false. That's not what the real question is. And the purpose of the thread is not to convince you of anything.


    JustVine wrote: »
    The purpose of the thread is to share our opinions. The reason I am being vocal is because the devs might be having the same conversations we were having in this exact thread and therefore I felt it best to give them my own nuanced perspective relative to interacting with other peoples. At the very least it saves them some time having these types of articulated discussions themselves. They are free to tell me to stop themselves if they feel it isn't meeting their intended goal.
    The purpose of the forums is to share our opinions.
    The purpose of this thread is to share the type of enemy indicator mechanic we like.
    You can share whatever opinion you have - but this thread is not about convincing you one way or the other.
    It's also not about convincing the devs one way or the other.
    It's just about sharing what you like. It's not about arguing to convince someone why they should like what you like. And people shouldn't be expecting to be convinced to change their preferences via discussion - especiallly not in an online forum.

    I haven't told anyone to stop doing anything.
  • JustVineJustVine Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    edited April 17
    If you aren't telling anyone to stop doing anything, then I am not telling them to change their opinion, just pointing out the costs of someone else's preference relative to my game play.

    You are free to ignore me if you think my discussion with others is irrelevant.
    Where in the world IS Carmen Sandiego. Anyone seen her recently? Asking for a friend.
  • CROW3CROW3 Member
    edited April 17
    Noaani wrote: »
    So, the question I have for you is - what examples do you have where you have explored a mobs strength or weakness your own?

    Valheim, Skyrim, RDR2. There are more, but I figured you know these. I think a health indicator is all that’s necessary.
    The question then becomes, if you have those many cases where you have explored a mobs strength or weakness your own in other games, why does this need to be added to the game for you? You are already capable of exploring a mobs strength or weakness your own.

    1) it makes the world more dangerous, leaning into the risk v. reward
    2) it makes the world more mysterious especially when moving from one node to another or when a node changes
    3) it encourages grouping & other teamwork responses to mitigate 1 & 2
    You are welcome to your opinion. Obviously. However, you are not welcome to having said opinion without having it's absurdity pointed out to you. Not around me, at least.

    This just made me laugh. I needed that. Gold star for you, my friend.

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  • CROW3CROW3 Member
    Azherae wrote: »
    I'll agree here, with a caveat that I'd like to discuss actually. While I don't mind the systems, I don't have a problem with the Hardcore method except that it requires more enemy design to fit the model of what I would consider fun. For observing and learning to be fun, requires that something can be observed and learned.

    Totally agree. Your point on enemy design is dead on. How can we make enemy actions like healing, buffs, power attacks, etc in a way that can be understood and learned to ID a pattern, then be defeated?
    Simple example from the usual game:

    An area contains some little seedling style creatures, some rabbits, sheep, giant walking mushrooms, tigers, orcs, and giant trees.

    Exactly. Given limited information, humans generally suck at rapid abstract value estimation. “That skyscraper is 1,235 feet high.”

    But we’re very good at relative estimation. That dog is twice as big as that cat, that building is three times taller than that one.

    Same goes for gauging mob difficulty - to the heart of your example. I just need a health bar, and I can use a rough relative weighting for seedlings < rabbits < orcs and bears
    If you now extend it so that I move between two nodes, and in so doing I see two different types of wildcats, the ones I know, and before I can see the precise location of the other node, I meet another type, I can't make a decision on the strength of them, consistently, using the Hardcore system.

    It would be reasonable to guess that they are about as strong as one another. But you’d have to engage it to really find out (as with any experiment). If your arrow does half the amount of damage, you’re kiting or running away.

    Another tactic (assuming some mobs attack each other) would be to observe how much damage it does to a known mob, and how much damage it takes from the mob.

    I just did this when I discovered abominations in Valheim. My arrows did basically nothing, so I kited it into the plains for furlings and deathsquitos to weigh in. That gave me good information to formulate a plan to kill the abomination.

    Is it 'failing' against a mob when you lost via a standard stat-check? The only thing I perceive to have been a 'failure' in that case is a 'failure' to identify that the mob would be stronger than you by enough to heavily invalidate your skill.

    If you’re defeated, you still learn the relative difficulty of that mob. It might be a stat roll failure, but I think that could be determined when you see an extra hit for say 15 hp, compared to a mob well beyond your abilities that hits you for 50 hp.
    In an Actiony game this is worse, I'm definitely the type to spend upwards of 20 minutes 'fighting perfectly against an enemy far beyond my level' whose HP bar I cannot see. For many classes I play in MMOs, it's a requirement to do this because I enjoy fighting things that will kill me in two hits unbuffed. If I eventually slip and lose against this enemy type, I will wiki it then, because then, I need to know if I tried to kill a level 47 enemy when I was level 30. Damage numbers don't help with this in most games either. Enemy defense after a certain point scales in a way that means '6 levels over you' and '16 levels over you' don't necessarily look that different.

    Yeah, I think a health bar is all that’s necessary to navigate traction games too. Like Far Cry 5 for example.
    Now, this doesn't bother me that much. For my group, I AM the scout that does this testing, but that's because it's a specific part of my personality, and I know that others don't share it. I can imagine that you 'are the scout' if you aren't playing alone, @CROW3,

    Yes. 😉
    but if we were to assume that you had the potential to encounter three very similar looking enemies with wildly varying strength, within the same area, would you also prefer that non-Scouts not have any indicators?

    That’s a really interesting question, which I’m going to answer after thinking about it more.

    AoC+Dwarf+750v3.png
  • CROW3CROW3 Member
    Azherae wrote: »
    but if we were to assume that you had the potential to encounter three very similar looking enemies with wildly varying strength, within the same area, would you also prefer that non-Scouts not have any indicators?

    Ok, I’m going to answer this from three different angles: selfishly, generally, and ideally.

    Selfishly. Yes. I want the world to be a dangerous, mysterious place full of the unknown to explore and encounter. No one gets knowledge they didn’t discover or somehow pay for. If you want to succeed, better be prepared to earn that success - nothing is going to be handed to you. This leans into my ‘scout’ role. I’ll be out in the wilds and map what I see, but there needs to be a lack of information for that information to have value. Cartography isn’t just hard because topography takes skill the represent on a 2d surface, but also because the world is very dangerous. The less dangerous the world, the less valuable its explorers.

    Generally. Yes (though maybe not as minimal as I want selfishly). If Ashes wants the world to be a dangerous place with a deep sense of risk v. reward - that depth needs to be reinforced at every turn - especially when handing information to a player they didn’t uncover themselves. I think more players want to figure things out for themselves than the industry gives them credit for - so lean into that.

    Ideally. Yes AND this question brought up an idea: what would you think of progressively revealed indicators?

    Essentially, the more encounters I have with a mob, the more information that’s revealed to me about that mob type / race. This would be relevant for general targeting, as well as for rangers (concept of favored enemies), breeders (master horse breeders having an extensive amount of information about a wild horse visualized in that horse mob than a non-breeder would see), and even bards with an ability to ‘read a crowd’ giving them insight on other players that non-bards can’t see.

    This would be the happy blend between my ‘selfish’ and ‘general’ perspectives. A veteran scout would have ample knowledge (and thus value) to their guild. Maps would have real value, but there would be the ability for any player to gain access to that information by braving the world themselves.

    AoC+Dwarf+750v3.png
  • DygzDygz Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    edited April 17
    JustVine wrote: »
    If you aren't telling anyone to stop doing anything, then I am not telling them to change their opinion, just pointing out the costs of someone else's preference relative to my game play.

    You are free to ignore me if you think my discussion with others is irrelevant.
    I didn't say you are telling people to change their opinion.
    You said no one has presented arguments that convince you to change yours.
    And I'm saying that is not the purpose of this thread. Nor should you be expecting people to convince you of anything. Because this thread is merely about sharing what people like and why.
    That's it. And, now, I'm done with this derail.

  • NoaaniNoaani Member, Intrepid Pack
    @CROW3
    CROW3 wrote: »
    Valheim, Skyrim, RDR2.
    This is not even close to what I am asking. However, it does highlight the point that a system like this is perfectly fine - for games in other genre.

    I explained in an earlier post that it is perfectly possible to explore a mobs strength or weakness your own in games where the mobs intended audience is displayed. As I said in that post, I used to solo specific group content, and even some raid content, and used to run raid content with just 2 friends.

    Exploring a mobs strength or weakness your own is something that is available to do in literally every MMO. There are benefits to be had from doing it everywhere. Some players, like myself, do this.

    In the context of the question I asked you, I was not asking you what games you played where mob intended audience was not a shown to you (which is basically the question you answered - though mob scaling to player level kind of undermined at least a part of your answer there).

    Perhaps I will rephrase the question for you.

    What MMORPGs where mob indicators have been present have you played where you have then explored a mobs strength or weakness your own?
    CROW3 wrote: »

    1) it makes the world more dangerous, leaning into the risk v. reward
    2) it makes the world more mysterious especially when moving from one node to another or when a node changes
    3) it encourages grouping & other teamwork responses to mitigate 1 & 2
    1, incorrect. It adds risk, but no reward. In order for it to lean in to risk vs reward it needs to be something that players can opt in to and gain additional reward for doing so.

    All it is doing is increasing risk by obfuscation.

    2, it makes players more inclined to run the game with the wiki open. MMO's will never be mysterious again, and attempting to make one that is will fail. Any system designed to remove information from players will make the game less engaging for most players, as they will gain that information out of game.

    3, since 1 and 2 are false, 3 is also false. Unless you count adding to wikis to be teamwork.
  • AzheraeAzherae Member, Alpha One, Adventurer
    CROW3 wrote: »
    Azherae wrote: »
    but if we were to assume that you had the potential to encounter three very similar looking enemies with wildly varying strength, within the same area, would you also prefer that non-Scouts not have any indicators?

    Ok, I’m going to answer this from three different angles: selfishly, generally, and ideally.

    Selfishly. Yes. I want the world to be a dangerous, mysterious place full of the unknown to explore and encounter. No one gets knowledge they didn’t discover or somehow pay for. If you want to succeed, better be prepared to earn that success - nothing is going to be handed to you. This leans into my ‘scout’ role. I’ll be out in the wilds and map what I see, but there needs to be a lack of information for that information to have value. Cartography isn’t just hard because topography takes skill the represent on a 2d surface, but also because the world is very dangerous. The less dangerous the world, the less valuable its explorers.

    Generally. Yes (though maybe not as minimal as I want selfishly). If Ashes wants the world to be a dangerous place with a deep sense of risk v. reward - that depth needs to be reinforced at every turn - especially when handing information to a player they didn’t uncover themselves. I think more players want to figure things out for themselves than the industry gives them credit for - so lean into that.

    Ideally. Yes AND this question brought up an idea: what would you think of progressively revealed indicators?

    Essentially, the more encounters I have with a mob, the more information that’s revealed to me about that mob type / race. This would be relevant for general targeting, as well as for rangers (concept of favored enemies), breeders (master horse breeders having an extensive amount of information about a wild horse visualized in that horse mob than a non-breeder would see), and even bards with an ability to ‘read a crowd’ giving them insight on other players that non-bards can’t see.

    This would be the happy blend between my ‘selfish’ and ‘general’ perspectives. A veteran scout would have ample knowledge (and thus value) to their guild. Maps would have real value, but there would be the ability for any player to gain access to that information by braving the world themselves.

    I, too, will speak in the same three terms, as I find it a very useful way to discuss game design things.

    Selfishly, I don't want information hidden and then revealed by encounters with a mob, because there are no systems I enjoy relative to the definition of 'encounters' that matches MMO play in the vision used by most MMOs. I don't like BDO's system because it's both RNG, and relies on victories. I don't like systems that involve me either 'getting hit by the enemy' or 'using a skill repeatedly to gather the knowledge'. If we go outside of the MMO genre the obvious 'correct' answer is Monster Hunter. Tracks, carcasses, signs of how it lives. I don't expect nor particularly wish to see this in Ashes, but I won't complain either, unless there's no way to transfer my knowledge to others in my current party (even if only temporarily).

    Generally, I have no problem with it, if the implementation matches the game's design quite well, relative to the above. If someone could come up with something that I haven't thought of, that would count as a proper 'you have gained experience of this creature' in an MMO, I can't say I would mind having the 'ability to check the mob' or 'seeing a color change in the nameplate' locked behind the action of doing this. It wouldn't solve the wiki problem, though.

    Ideally, I would wish to have the level of area design that I'm used to and mentioned before. I don't need the indicators then, so it blends well. I could 'know the general strength of the rabbits because I actually did whatever interaction was required to get data on rabbits (either ingame or personal)' and then extrapolate everything else from there. I believe it's possible to go even further than this though, and make it so that an area is so complete or complex that (aside from the usual YouTuber 'selling' their knowledge for views) the value of a player in this sense is borne out in their natural experience and knowledge. This could be done without utterly frustrating everyone in the explicit Target Audience in a few ways (actually, maybe just one, if combat is meant to be challenging). So my 'willingness to accept having no indicators' is really contingent on the quality of area design combined with the 'acceptance that this game isn't for everyone' that would be required to face the initial complaints.
    Sorry, my native language is Erlang.
    
  • CROW3CROW3 Member
    Azherae wrote: »
    If we go outside of the MMO genre the obvious 'correct' answer is Monster Hunter. Tracks, carcasses, signs of how it lives. I don't expect nor particularly wish to see this in Ashes, but I won't complain either, unless there's no way to transfer my knowledge to others in my current party (even if only temporarily).

    Cool. I never played the Monster Hunter series, but it sounds neat. Yeah, if there were environmental clues you could use to deduce a mob’s difficulty that would be sweet.
    It wouldn't solve the wiki problem, though.

    I don’t really see wikis as a problem to solve, especially if information about a mob or area in was revealed over time. An outside voice could certainly provide guidance, and a player is opting to get that info instead of having it handed to them by default.
    I believe it's possible to go even further than this though, and make it so that an area is so complete or complex that (aside from the usual YouTuber 'selling' their knowledge for views) the value of a player in this sense is borne out in their natural experience and knowledge. This could be done without utterly frustrating everyone in the explicit Target Audience in a few ways (actually, maybe just one, if combat is meant to be challenging). So my 'willingness to accept having no indicators' is really contingent on the quality of area design combined with the 'acceptance that this game isn't for everyone' that would be required to face the initial complaints.

    Agreed. And I’m aware that my opinion reflects a desire that’s on the edge of the audience distribution curve. That said, the discussion raises questions about where Ashes needs to be more traditional and where it can be more disruptive. Given the latest rounds of MMOs, I think they are too easy, too derivative, too predictable; in part because they just tell the player everything.

    AoC+Dwarf+750v3.png
  • aj9aj9 Member
    Personally I would say Old school as I think less is more in this area. the description says it all imo, by simply knowing the level, you have a pretty good idea whether or not you can solo it, or if you would need a group. It asks just a bit more thought from the player as to what they think the best course of action is as opposed to just having icons to tell them straight up. Not something that really makes a big difference to me personally, but little things like this just keep you that slightly bit more engaged in what you are doing :)
  • NoaaniNoaani Member, Intrepid Pack
    CROW3 wrote: »
    Given the latest rounds of MMOs, I think they are too easy, too derivative, too predictable.
    I can't see how this could be an argument made here. As a general comment I agree, but it has nothing to do with indicators.

    If indicators were the issue, then this would be an issue with every MMORPG going back to the 90's. Since this is not the case, indicators can't be pointed at for a reason as to why these newer games missed the mark.

    Rather, you look at what these games did differently to games that didn't miss said mark (or were at least closer to it).
  • The more customizable the better
  • mcstackersonmcstackerson Member, Phoenix Initiative, Royalty, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    Noaani wrote: »
    Noaani wrote: »
    Yes, there is an objective impact but whether that impact is good or bad is subjective. Ashes with more fast travel would be a different game than Ashes without.

    The point is - the discussion on fast travel HAS that argument, the discussion on indicators does not.

    It isn't that the argument isn't strong, it is that it doesn't exist. There is no objective impact on the game - it is a purely subjective matter.

    Not only is it subjective - it is subjective where the opinion to have no indicators does not hold up at all once questioned (as you no doubt understand right now).

    If i understand how you are using objective than if the game makes you look at the creature in game and fight it to figure out its level instead of looking at the interface, that is objectively impacting how you play the game.

    The original point was that it had no positive objective impact - not just no objective impact.

    Forcing players to attack a mob in order to figure out if it is appropriate for them, many levels too low for them or many levels too high for them - or indeed if it is aimed at solo, group or raid - is not a positive thing.

    All it is doing is creating a barrier to enjoyment of the game, for no actual benefit.

    I find that a positive benefit...which i why i'd prefer it.

    You think players should have to learn raid encounters through engaging them so you must think that has some positive benefit to learning through experience.

    I believe you only argument is that you think it would happen too much, which i don't think it would since mobs in an area share a level, as you level it there is less mobs to out level you, and at some point, you will know all mobs levels.
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  • VaknarVaknar Moderator, Member, Staff
    Noaani wrote: »

    Oh, that isn't what these things here are about. Our answers here have no real impact on the games design - they just exist as a means of engagement.

    The only time one of these threads will have a direct impact on the game is if Steven is involved.

    Just wanted to let you know that this is absolutely not the case and I will be meeting with the design team to present them all of this feedback! The design team are the ones who came up with this topic and dev discussion :)

    Dev Discussions do have an impact on the game. If engagement metrics were the only thing I had to concern myself with, I'd make much different threads ;)

    I hope this clears up any confusion or misunderstanding! Your feedback is important to us and we love reading through all of it! ^_^
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  • NoaaniNoaani Member, Intrepid Pack
    edited April 18
    You think players should have to learn raid encounters through engaging them so you must think that has some positive benefit to learning through experience.

    Raiding is a 100% opt in content type. You can play a game and get full enjoyment out of it without raiding.

    When something is opt in, it is all good to make it have different challenges to the rest of the game. In fact, that is the purpose of having different types of content.

    You are not talking about opt in content. If there are no indicators, not opting in means playing a different game.

    You will never see me tell someone they need to accept the challenge I want (raiding) or play a different game - yet you are telling people they need to accept the challenge you want or play a different game.
  • mcstackersonmcstackerson Member, Phoenix Initiative, Royalty, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    Noaani wrote: »
    You think players should have to learn raid encounters through engaging them so you must think that has some positive benefit to learning through experience.

    Raiding is a 100% opt in content type. You can play a game and get full enjoyment out of it without raiding.

    When something is opt in, it is all good to make it have different challenges to the rest of the game. In fact, that is the purpose of having different types of content.

    You are not talking about opt in content. If there are no indicators, not opting in means playing a different game.

    You will never see me tell someone they need to accept the challenge I want (raiding) or play a different game - yet you are telling people they need to accept the challenge you want or play a different game.

    Raids are opt in the same way the other pve content in the game is opt in. You are forcing your preference on people if they want to play the game that is raids.

    I was asked a question and i answered. I even chose one of the options i was given. I don't think i did anything wrong by doing that. You started this argument. I have given reason why i don't think what i prefer would be huge issue for players and offered ideas on how to avoid the issues you are concerned about. You have now retreated to this argument that giving my preference was bad because others would have to play with it. Either way, a preference is chosen and people have to play one way or another.

    Once again, how was i supposed to answer the question i was asked? Was the right answer?
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  • NoaaniNoaani Member, Intrepid Pack
    Raids are opt in the same way the other pve content in the game is opt in. You are forcing your preference on people if they want to play the game that is raids.
    PvE content in general in Ashes is opt I only to the extent that people can not opt in to the game.

    If you are playing the game, there will be a need to engage in some level of PvE content.

    Even if what you say were the case, what you are now saying would amount to "have it my way, be a full time crafter, or play a different game".
    I was asked a question and i answered. I even chose one of the options i was given. I don't think i did anything wrong by doing that.
    I never said you did anything wrong.

    I asked you for your reasoning behind your choice to see if it was well thought out.

    It isn't my fault it wasn't.
  • mcstackersonmcstackerson Member, Phoenix Initiative, Royalty, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    edited April 19
    Noaani wrote: »
    Raids are opt in the same way the other pve content in the game is opt in. You are forcing your preference on people if they want to play the game that is raids.
    PvE content in general in Ashes is opt I only to the extent that people can not opt in to the game.

    If you are playing the game, there will be a need to engage in some level of PvE content.

    Even if what you say were the case, what you are now saying would amount to "have it my way, be a full time crafter, or play a different game".
    You are still forcing people to play the way you want if they want to raid. The examples was to illustrate your double standard. Having to take an extra step to attack a mob to figure out it's power isn't the back breaking task you are making it out to be.
    Noaani wrote: »
    I was asked a question and i answered. I even chose one of the options i was given. I don't think i did anything wrong by doing that.
    I never said you did anything wrong.

    I asked you for your reasoning behind your choice to see if it was well thought out.

    It isn't my fault it wasn't.

    Cool, lets look at your arguments.

    You claim that players need to be able to see mob information but acknowledge that information, like a mob's abilities, stats, and resistances, isn't normally available. You don't seem to be arguing that this extra info needs to be available so I don't put a lot of weight in this argument since you seem to be just arguing for what you are used to.

    You claim that a player might attack something that is too strong and get one shot. I think this is reasonable but doesn't need to be solved with a displayed level number. I mentioned a few ways we could warn players so this doesn't happen.

    For your attacking every mob scenario, i disagree with this for a few reasons.

    For starters, to learn what a mob drops, you are going to have to kill it. Even if levels are shown, you still need to kill every mob to learn other information.

    In the case of leveling, I think the first thing that needs to be mentioned is quests. There will be quests that guide players to level appropriate locations for leveling so they shouldn't need to worry about finding mobs to level on. This will most likely be how the majority of players level. If a player decides to go off the beaten path, they should still only need to fight one mob in an area to know the level of mobs in that area since they should all be around the same level. Even if you showed levels, a player would still have to spend time riding around clicking on mobs to see their level. Only difference in the case where the level isn't visible, you would have to hit it with one or two attacks to see how strong it is. I don't think this is as difficult a task you are trying to make it out to be.

    Since most people will be guided around with quests and in the end, you need to kill all mobs to know their drop tables, i don't think having to fight mobs to know there level is asking for much.

    Did i leave out or misrepresent anything?
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  • NoaaniNoaani Member, Intrepid Pack
    edited April 19
    You are still forcing people to play the way you want if they want to raid.
    If by this you mean I am forcing people that wish to raid to actuly raid in order to raid, then sure. However, I think it should go without saying that in order to raid you need to raid.

    After that, I am unsure what I am forcing on people who want to raid.
    The examples was to illustrate your double standard. Having to take an extra step to attack a mob to figure out it's power isn't the back breaking task you are making it out to be.
    It is a bigger deal than having the option to see the level of mobs.
    You claim that players need to be able to see mob information but acknowledge that information, like a mob's abilities, stats, and resistances, isn't normally available. You don't seem to be arguing that this extra info needs to be available so I don't put a lot of weight in this argument since you seem to be just arguing for what you are used to.
    In 20 years of playing MMO's, I have yet to see a single solo mob where a player needs ro know any information other than its level in order to be able to take it on successfully, while at the appropriate level.

    This is why other information isn't necessary to display.

    Sure, there is scope in every game to gather information on mobs so as to be successful on them earlier than you otherwise would, but this information isn't needed to be able to take on a level appropriate solo mob.

    Since it isn't needed for the base level activity, it doesn't need to be shown. Not showing it leaves things open for players like you and me to still have the scope to explore mobs strengths and weaknesses to our advantage, without forcing all players to need to do so if they don't wish to.
    For starters, to learn what a mob drops, you are going to have to kill it. Even if levels are shown, you still need to kill every mob to learn other information.
    Needing to kill a mob to learn what it drops is a far cry from needing to attack a mob to learn if you can kill it.
    In the case of leveling, I think the first thing that needs to be mentioned is quests. There will be quests that guide players to level appropriate locations for leveling so they shouldn't need to worry about finding mobs to level on. This will most likely be how the majority of players level. If a player decides to go off the beaten path, they should still only need to fight one mob in an area to know the level of mobs in that area since they should all be around the same level. Even if you showed levels, a player would still have to spend time riding around clicking on mobs to see their level. Only difference in the case where the level isn't visible, you would have to hit it with one or two attacks to see how strong it is. I don't think this is as difficult a task you are trying to make it out to be.
    You shouldn't need need to click on a mob to be able to see it level - not if you are fine with it being displayed on nameplates in game.

    Sure, a player may well need to ride around to find level appropriate mobs, butthat is infinitely better than gaining experience debt hf the time when you look to see if a mob is appropriate.
    Since most people will be guided around with quests and in the end, you need to kill all mobs to know their drop tables, i don't think having to fight mobs to know there level is asking for much.
    I think it is an assumption that quests as theme park as this will exist.

    There is likely to be quests pointing players to some level appropriate content, but likely not enough for everyone in the area. There will be a need for players to explore to find more content.
  • mcstackersonmcstackerson Member, Phoenix Initiative, Royalty, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    Noaani wrote: »
    You are still forcing people to play the way you want if they want to raid.
    If by this you mean I am forcing people that wish to raid to actuly raid in order to raid, then sure. However, I think it should go without saying that in order to raid you need to raid.

    After that, I am unsure what I am forcing on people who want to raid.
    The examples was to illustrate your double standard. Having to take an extra step to attack a mob to figure out it's power isn't the back breaking task you are making it out to be.
    It is a bigger deal than having the option to see the level of mobs.
    You claim that players need to be able to see mob information but acknowledge that information, like a mob's abilities, stats, and resistances, isn't normally available. You don't seem to be arguing that this extra info needs to be available so I don't put a lot of weight in this argument since you seem to be just arguing for what you are used to.
    In 20 years of playing MMO's, I have yet to see a single solo mob where a player needs ro know any information other than its level in order to be able to take it on successfully, while at the appropriate level.

    This is why other information isn't necessary to display.

    Sure, there is scope in every game to gather information on mobs so as to be successful on them earlier than you otherwise would, but this information isn't needed to be able to take on a level appropriate solo mob.

    Since it isn't needed for the base level activity, it doesn't need to be shown. Not showing it leaves things open for players like you and me to still have the scope to explore mobs strengths and weaknesses to our advantage, without forcing all players to need to do so if they don't wish to.
    For starters, to learn what a mob drops, you are going to have to kill it. Even if levels are shown, you still need to kill every mob to learn other information.
    Needing to kill a mob to learn what it drops is a far cry from needing to attack a mob to learn if you can kill it.
    In the case of leveling, I think the first thing that needs to be mentioned is quests. There will be quests that guide players to level appropriate locations for leveling so they shouldn't need to worry about finding mobs to level on. This will most likely be how the majority of players level. If a player decides to go off the beaten path, they should still only need to fight one mob in an area to know the level of mobs in that area since they should all be around the same level. Even if you showed levels, a player would still have to spend time riding around clicking on mobs to see their level. Only difference in the case where the level isn't visible, you would have to hit it with one or two attacks to see how strong it is. I don't think this is as difficult a task you are trying to make it out to be.
    You shouldn't need need to click on a mob to be able to see it level - not if you are fine with it being displayed on nameplates in game.

    Sure, a player may well need to ride around to find level appropriate mobs, butthat is infinitely better than gaining experience debt hf the time when you look to see if a mob is appropriate.
    Since most people will be guided around with quests and in the end, you need to kill all mobs to know their drop tables, i don't think having to fight mobs to know there level is asking for much.
    I think it is an assumption that quests as theme park as this will exist.

    There is likely to be quests pointing players to some level appropriate content, but likely not enough for everyone in the area. There will be a need for players to explore to find more content.

    You seemed to skip over the idea to use a visual queue to tell a player when they are against a mob that has an extreme level advantage and later gone to use that situation as a counter argument. Am I not explaining that idea well enough?
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  • NoaaniNoaani Member, Intrepid Pack
    You seemed to skip over the idea to use a visual queue to tell a player when they are against a mob that has an extreme level advantage and later gone to use that situation as a counter argument. Am I not explaining that idea well enough?
    I've talked about that idea.

    If it exists in a game, then functionally that game is telling players what level the mob is. As such, it is literally just a matter of preference as to whether a player relies on this or on more standard indicators.

    There is literally no reason this system should exist while indicators do not. Players should just have the option of which they use.

    Here is a better question. If these indicators exist, and if players have the option to show or not show indicators, what issue could you possibly have left?
  • I came back to this thread 2 weeks later and tried to catch up on the interesting discussions and points that were mentioned.

    @Noaani brought up some very good points that made me think more about what is really necessary and why I prefer the hardcore style.

    Yes, it is functionally better to have the level displayed, when it comes to QoL. It communicates all the info you need.

    Dying in this game comes with a (kind of) significant punishment, and you do not want the experience to be frustrating. It is important that you can tell if an encounter will be challenging or even impossible to survive.

    When it comes to my personal preferences. I do not want my screen cluttered, and what I would want for myself is at most a simple health bar when HP is under 100%. I hope it can be achieved with the UI customization, seeing how much damage I can do to a target is enough info to assess the difficulty.

    Now, I don't believe there is a clear positive benefit to not showing the level of a target, but it is part of an artistic direction.

    If we take Elden Ring as an example, they took some criticism from other big studio game devs about their UI and UX. It could be considered bad because of how little info is communicated (no quest tracking etc...), however, if you ask me, it enhanced the experience a lot. I lose on enjoyment when a game reminds me constantly it's a game. The feel is very important, you can't just consider a game as a program that needs to perform functions, it's art.

    It's hard to find a working example of a successful MMO that would have taken this route. However, I do not think it means that it would be bad, it just means nowadays the games that we see are trying to reach a very wide audience, and give up on that "artistic" side for the functional side.

    (The next part goes a bit off the rail so I apologize)

    My issue with recent themepark games is that they're often very easy, with a laughingly non-challenging open world, seemingly designed so the lowest skilled gamer in existence could still clear it. And they keep reminding me that I'm running a software on my computer, by assuming I need my hand held at every corner.

    I played Elder Scrolls Online for 7 years, and I haven't done any of the main quests since the expansion that released about 3 years ago. The story can be interesting, but the open world experience is just unsatisfying for anyone who knows what they're doing. The quests will hype up a big bad evil guy, and the actual combat will last 2 seconds, despite all the game zones having scaling to your level. One time, for one DLC, I crafted myself a set of white level 10 gear, with a green weapon, I disabled all of my champion points and most of my passives, and I went in with no UI at all. This was the most fun I had in a long time, the game experience was totally different. Actually challenging content, and most importantly, the total lack of UI really changed my approach for each encounter. This added a whole dimension to the gameplay, and for once I really enjoyed the quests because it had real weight to it, while usually the gameplay aspect is just bland to a point that breaks the immersion and interest in the story. It feels like you're not actively part of your own story but rather just reading text in between button mashing.

    So, yes, of course some people want their UI to give the complete specifications of their enemy, while others want to feel like they're playing a single player survival game. While talking about Ashes to friends, some were horrified and offended about the idea that flying mounts would be only accessible to a few people, they felt excluded. One of the many things that attracted me to this game is that they wanted to break away from the mainstream MMOs we have on the current market to try and go back to the roots of MMOs with a more niche target audience. Not everyone gets a trophy and all that, because otherwise you lock yourself out of very cool concepts.

    I would love to see a game actually try an hardcore approach. It is more work for them on the design front, but by trying different things, it could set itself apart. I want them to take some bold but calculated decisions, to make their game a piece of art rather than a generic MMO experience. On TTRPGs your DM gives you some clues about the threat of an enemy, and death is extremely punishing. I am confident that they could find very good ways to communicate the infos you need without a nameplate.

    Now I also want the game to succeed, and for that it needs to appeal to enough people. But I do not think having the exact level displayed is a deal breaker. There are ways to go around it, that would make the experience different and more immersive, without necessarily causing frustration. I started playing Lost Ark, like a lot of people, and they have absolutely 0 UI info about the bosses you're fighting in guardian/abyssal raids. And it changes the experience, a lot, for the better in my opinion, and it's not about immersion, but just about how good it feels when you kill it. You have different phases at different HP thresholds, so with experience you have a general idea of how close you are to killing a boss. This is not the best example because you have a minimum item level to even be allowed to get it, but I think the lack of info sometimes makes it more interesting. It keeps you on your toes, it makes you be careful when you could afford to take a lot of risks, and it feels a lot more rewarding.

    Anyway, sorry for the long post. Just let me get rid of the overhead nameplates and I'll be happy.
  • NoaaniNoaani Member, Intrepid Pack
    Elwendryll wrote: »
    When it comes to my personal preferences. I do not want my screen cluttered
    I don't want your screen to be cluttered either.

    As you rightly said, this is simply a case of UI customization. For me, players should have the option of something akin to what @mcstackerson said where there is an in game visual representation (unsure on how I would personally want to see this), the level displayed in the players target UI element, or in the mobs nameplate.

    Should a player want, they should be able to have any mix of the above three methods - and I am not at all against adding further methods for players to ascertain mob level - as long as they are customizable.

    As to your comments about ESO - any game will get stale after a number of years.

    I played EQ2 for a decade, and it was only a year or so in to it that some aspects of the game got stale similar to what you talked about.

    Fortunately, that game didn't scale content to player level, so I always had the option of fighting higher level mobs on alts, or of running group or raid content either solo or with just a few friends.

    Sadly, ESO doesn't really leave many options for ways to make the game less stale - the method you found is actually the only one I have really heard of.
  • DygzDygz Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    edited April 19
    Great post @Elwendryll
    One of the major differences with Ashes is that the world is dynamic.
    We can't determine mob level by area/zone. New, higher level mobs can appear as new buildings are constructed and as Nodes progress to a new Stage.

    We need some way of recognizing, "Oh! That mob is intended for us to be two levels higher than what we are, we should probably leave it alone for now."
    Otherwise, we can waste a bunch of time thinking that we just need to adjust our tactics, swap some abilities/augments or rethink our synergies. When actually, we primarily need to gain a couple of levels.

    This can also be problematic when you're in a spot where mobs that look alike have different levels and you're already farming mobs that are a level or two higher than your group. Where the only indication that nearby mobs of the same type are a couple levels above what you have been farming is the color of the level indicator.
    "Okay. Be sure to pull those and not THOSE!"
    "Holy crap! You pulled one of THOSE! RUN!!!"

    Doesn't necessarily have to be a traditional "color indicator" but some kind of indicator would be nice.
    We're supposed to have one of each Primary Archetype in an 8-person group.
    Might be OK if we need a Ranger and/or Rogue to scout and mark mobs.
    Also, could be part of a Ranger/Rogue augment School.
    Could have similar Racial, Religion and Social Org augments.
  • ElwendryllElwendryll Member
    edited April 19
    Dygz wrote: »
    Great post @Elwendryll
    One of the major differences with Ashes is that the world is dynamic.
    We can't determine mob level by area/zone. New, higher level mobs can appear as new buildings are constructed and as Nodes progress to a new Stage.

    I am aware of that.
    Elwendryll wrote: »
    On TTRPGs your DM gives you some clues about the threat of an enemy, and death is extremely punishing. I am confident that they could find very good ways to communicate the infos you need without a nameplate.

    One example I had in mind...
    NPCs in the general area could have random lines about dangerous monsters that appeared recently, they could have visual or sound cues to tell you there is a big level difference, or whatever.

    I do hope there will be disparity in the level of the mobs in an area, and I think if you've been playing in a node for a while, and suddenly you see new monsters, you would be cautious, except if you can already tell their level and then you just scrap that whole dimension of the game loop.

    It really adds to the exploration when you need to get accustomed to an area, know what spots are good for your current level, try to explore a bit and figure out you need to come back later.

    Dygz wrote: »
    Otherwise, we can waste a bunch of time thinking that we just need to adjust our tactics, swap some abilities/augments or rethink our synergies. When actually, we primarily need to gain a couple of levels.

    You're offering 2 alternatives there and I don't think one is better than the other. It's always easier to deal with an encounter if you go level up first, but some people will make sure to go for the highest thing they can kill with their current personal skill.
    Also, it's a matter of perspective what is time "wasted" and what is not. If you're really goal oriented and are looking to optimize your progress to speedrun to max level or whatever, sure, I guess, but the important part is the journey, right? I think getting one shot by a mosquito for the first time in Valheim was a very memorable experience for many players, and in most if not all of the clips I saw, the people were clearly having fun when they realized what was happening.

    Having easily available info on levels etc... lets you plan your leveling route, and takes away from the organic feeling. It prevents you from getting these experiences while exploring. To me, it's an integral part of the exploration to go in a new area with no idea what to expect, progressing carefully to gauge the danger, etc...
    And when you engage a fight with something, and it turns out it's not intended for your level, but you still manage to kill it, the feeling is a lot more rewarding than if you fully knew what you were walking into, or you might have just walked away thinking you wouldn't be able to do it.

    I tend to turn MMOs into jobs, farm the most efficient ways, optimize my progression, when really I have the most fun just discovering things like that, being a bit lost. And sometimes, "wasting" time trying to kill something that's too hard for you, whether you succeed or not, can be a good experience in and of itself, even if it slows down your farming, it can be a good experience and make you a better player in the long run.

    But again, that's just my views, and I can't expect everyone to enjoy the same things, but we were asked on our personal preference, so I explain why I prefer very light UI :) It makes the game feel more organic, more immersive, and puts you in interesting situations by forcing you to interact with your environment more.
  • DygzDygz Member, Braver of Worlds, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    "One of the design elements that we're implementing into our raids is that the raid will not be exactly the same every single time. You're going to have variables that can't necessarily be pre-planned out for. You can pre-plan out for a lot of the raid like how many DPS do you need and healers and support; where the key position and all that kind of stuff; but I think the compelling aspect of Ashes raiding will be the difficulty in achieving this content and having that content change from session to session as well. We want there to be variables that get manifested by you know what type of node got developed elsewhere. Is he going to have acolytes or cultists? What will the acolytes have skills [available] to them? What kit is the boss gonna have? What available skill repertoire will the boss be able to [wield]? ... A lot of those systems are influenced obviously by world development. So the raid kind of takes into account at what stage has the world developed: Are there two metropolises now available in the world? Okay well let's activate this skill in this skill. Now you have five metropolises, well now all these skills have been activated. Are there are they all economic nodes? Are they all military nodes? That we can change things based on that stuff. And it really is a threat assessment from the environment against the players."
    ---Steven

    I don't think it's going to be enough for us to try to learn the phases of boss mechanics - especially in raids - because, in Ashes, those phases and mechanics can change session to session.

    But, it could be cool for a Scryer to place a Py'Rai "level indicator" augment on Hallowed Ground in the midst of battle. Any adds that walk through the AoE have their levels revealed.
  • mcstackersonmcstackerson Member, Phoenix Initiative, Royalty, Kickstarter, Alpha One
    edited April 19
    Noaani wrote: »
    You seemed to skip over the idea to use a visual queue to tell a player when they are against a mob that has an extreme level advantage and later gone to use that situation as a counter argument. Am I not explaining that idea well enough?
    I've talked about that idea.

    If it exists in a game, then functionally that game is telling players what level the mob is. As such, it is literally just a matter of preference as to whether a player relies on this or on more standard indicators.

    There is literally no reason this system should exist while indicators do not. Players should just have the option of which they use.

    Here is a better question. If these indicators exist, and if players have the option to show or not show indicators, what issue could you possibly have left?

    It is not telling you level, it just signals to you that the mob is too strong.

    Yes, it's a matter of preference, which is what this thread is asking for.

    If UI indicators give any more information, like level, or the information is easier to see, then it makes in-game indicators obsolete.

    Any option that you would hinder yourself by choosing isn't an option.
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