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Reader Comments (29)

Posted: Dec 1st 2011 12:46AM JuliusSeizure said

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@Utakata

It's more like 'raid or do stuff other than this endgame system'. The problem I think for veterans is that everything else is old hat, and that this system is particularly grindy.
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Posted: Dec 1st 2011 2:09AM Jeromai said

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@Utakata

Some people had issues with the large team size nature of the Incarnate Trials. 12-24 players are a lot of people. This produces organizational and herding issues, time to assemble issues, graphics card issues, nightmare raid flashback issues, etc. This can influence a subset of people into not enjoying large team sizes.

Some people had issues with the repetitive grindy nature of the Incarnate Trials. There were only 2 Trials at the beginning, and then 2 more were added. Given the amount of slots and powers to unlock, that's a lot of repeated playthroughs of the same content. Add the nature of players to optimize the fun out of everything - because the BAF and Lambda Trials were more established, and easier in design, they can be more quickly completed and there was a strong preference to run BAF particularly, over taking on a variety of Trials.

(The designers also revealed a certain heavyhanded clumsiness/laziness by trying to reduce the number of rewards you would get from the BAF and Lambda after crossing a certain threshold. The thinking was apparently that this would "encourage" players into running the other two. The resultant screaming over the Test Patch notes helped them pull the idea, but personally, I'm disappointed that they even entertained this as a viable idea, that you can lead players around by the nose by reducing rewards. It reveals a certain lack of caring about intrisincally entertaining 'fun' factors, and laser-like focus on extrinsic shinies.)

Some people had issues with the lore and story and writing quality of the Incarnate Trials. Ie. poor, in their opinion, and all focused on the Praetorians.

Some people had issues over the lack of options for the Incarnate rewards (besides grind the Trials repeatedly). They did add in some kind of random drop system for soloists/small teams as an afterthought, but some players did the calculations, and it was apparently about 500 times slower as running a Trial once. Some people took that as being rather insulting.

And some people had issues with all the above other people who had issues with the Incarnate Trials, and wished they would just shut up and go away.

It's...divisive, to say the least. :)
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Posted: Dec 1st 2011 3:57PM Utakata said

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@Jeromai

Thanks for explaining all that.

The Incarnate system seems to be philosophically a great idea. But in practise it has a lot of issues and causes a lot of issues. Really the problem seems that devs need to get away from the tired old paradigm of endgame content having to be a) a raid and b) grindy. And of coarse there's the issue of super heroes and villains don't really raid or grind in general. They tend to do things by themselves or in small groups.

So Incarnate system should of take this into consideration. And instead created scalable mecahnaics that the difficulty level can be adjusted and the droprate accordingly at a reasonable rate - none of this 500% crap, make 100% at worst. And above all, make it fun and interesting.

Anyways...that's the best thing I can suggest with my little more understanding of the situation. But I know I'll likely be leveling another toon when I hit 50 intead, until I see Paragon Studios moving in the above mentioned direction with Incarnate.
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Posted: Dec 1st 2011 8:57PM (Unverified) said

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@Utakata

As explained recently (at that short-notice player summit a the other week) the current Praetorian endgame storyline was (and is I suppose) supposed to be the equivalent of the big crossover world events in comics. So large groups of heroes and villains fighting against significant events. I'm not sure if they really succeeded in conveying that to the playerbase, but I can understand that thought.

The next issue has been announced to have relatively significant solo/small group focused content for incarnates with its Dark Astoria revamp. That might possibly be more in line with what you're talking about.
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Posted: Nov 30th 2011 10:54PM Heraclea said

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I'm afraid this is one of the reasons I don't log on much there any more. I played more or less continuously since late 2004. Burnout is a factor, to be sure. But the main reason is that I played so long that I acquired a fair number of max level characters -- 20 on one server, and a few scattered elsewhere.

I liked having a large roster of characters with different power sets. If a team said, we need an controller, odds are I could switch to a controller. It was hard, but doable, to grind them through IOs. Eventually, thanks to trading, we got them all at a comfortable place. But having to grind all of them now through incarnate raids is too daunting and slow a chore. I am forced to pick mains. I am forced to focus on a small number of character and roles. I do not want that.

Posted: Dec 1st 2011 1:45AM Jeromai said

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The argument that "if you don't like it, you always have the option of -not- doing it" is a deeply flawed one.

Sure, technically speaking, it is an option. Between playing the game (or individual activity) and -not- playing the game (activity.)

What people are generally asking for when they speak of options is the option of playing the game (or activity) in multiple ways, that suit different preferences.

CoH has always had a firm foundation in this. Some of their major selling points was sidekicking and dynamically scaling spawn sizes. You could always play with your friends regardless of your level. And you could play the game with whatever team size preference you liked, from 1-8. The difficulty slider, mission architect, all of it reflects options in playing the game and customisation of your experience.

Inventions loot could be obtained in multiple ways, random drop, story arcs, trials and task forces, buying via the market, etc.

I had always imagined that Paragon Studio's take on an endgame would have creatively been able to cater to the whole spectrum of solo, small group, team preferences. Or preformed group or PUGs, etc.

I was sorely disappointed by both the design and the implementation. On paper, the 'turnstile' queueing system exists. In practice, since you can't queue while doing any missions, and because the Incarnate Trials require a certain mix of abilities, people prefer to cherry pick and form their own league than join the queue. It's not as if other MMOs have not figured out how to create this system by now, there's nothing new or innovative about it, it just has to be functional.

Solo and small group preferences were neglected for a year. And the whole Incarnate system smacked of being "forced" to do something in a specific manner if you entertained the idea of participating in the new, shiny system. Forced to play in big groups. Forced to repeat a few raids endlessly. It's ridiculous.

The new Dark Astoria Incarnate plan makes a lot more sense on paper. Options to run one-off missions, story arcs, or street sweep. Team size 1-8 as normal. Same chance of earning the same reward, just at different rates. If it arrived at the same time as their precious raids, the Incarnate endgame would have been perfectly acceptable as it would have included options.

Posted: Dec 1st 2011 2:41AM JuliusSeizure said

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@Jeromai

Supposedly they're fixing the turnstile? At least as far as making it work in missions.
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Posted: Dec 1st 2011 5:46AM Jeromai said

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@JuliusSeizure

Yes, that's what they said they were doing. That'll be one more step closer to acceptable when it hits Live. Any guesses as to when?

My optimistic guess: March 2012. Which would make it roughly a year since I quit on seeing the state of the Incarnate system in beta.

I have always been waiting to return to CoH. I would not complain so bitterly about it otherwise. But I will not justify a sub fee to a game in a condition I'm not happy with, going in a direction antithetical to my preferred playstyle.

They rectified the direction somewhat with the player summit annnouncement. Now it's just a waiting game.
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Posted: Dec 1st 2011 9:14AM JuliusSeizure said

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@Jeromai

March seems like a good guess to me, but that's based on nothing more than my doubt of it being any sooner clashing with my expectation that they'll not want to let it take any longer than that lest the players get too restless.
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