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Homecoming Server Update (April 5th): Nemesis Plots, Contests and Progression

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24 minutes ago, Peerless Girl said:

 (I do miss the old good feeling you got unlocking your Origin-specific store contact back in the day).

Well, they're still missions. Ghost falcon's always fun if you just want someplace to keep churning through Rikti.

 

And if you don't have an Ouro portal by 30, the Science store contact will unlock it, since it's time travel related.

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Primarily on Everlasting. Squid afficionado. Former creator of Copypastas. General smartalec.

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I love the mass upgrade feature! I agree with the sentiment that leveling up should be something to look forward to. Going shopping to upgrade myself every 5 levels or so wasn't particularly enjoyable in my opinion (though obviously some may disagree), so being able to upgrade what I have on the spot is already a plus. That just makes it even better!

 

As for making TOs redundant, back during the old days I often would subsist entirely on whatever dropped for me until I reached roughly SO level, at which point I'd start crafting IOs. In my opinion IOs themselves made the non-static enhancements redundant simply from how convenient IOs are. This is just my playstyle of course, but in terms of functionality the investment of slotting your powers up with slightly more expensive IOs around level 25, then being able to mostly fill your new slots with drops until a full replacement at 50, was a much more enjoyable experience.

 

In terms of "power creep" I don't think it's the leveling period we really need to be concerned about. The worst of power creep is in the end-game and the newer powersets that often outclass the older ones. But that's a whole different debate.


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Posted (edited)

At level 15, you can slot pretty decent generic IO's, making this new "SO Combination" method pretty pointless, right off the bat.

 

I hate to see you guys wasting time and resources on stuff that probably shouldn't even be in the game anymore in the first place.

 

We already have a big problem wherein a substantial amount of the playerbase think that they can play "without IO's." 😏

 

I've never played an MMO where so much of the community and now, even the development team, would encourage people to run around without gear on. 

Edited by Septipheran
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I like the enhancement upgrade feature; however, like others have said, I will never use it as I always just pl a new toon/alt of mine up to at least lvl 22 or 27 for lvl 25 or 30 common IOs.  I never buy TO/DO/SOs and almost never use any of them (with the rare case where I have green SOs and don't feel like making common IOs, I'll slot the SO in until I stop being lazy).

 

I'd like to see it expanded in a way so that when you want to boost multiple IOs, you can say "boot this IO with these 5 boosters" or a "use these 6 catalysts to combine them with the 6 IOs in this power" type of thing.

 

Baby steps. :)

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Number Six said:

The biggest problems this change (which incidentally required very little developer time and is something that could be slipped in between larger updates) aims to address:

 

1. The early-game slog, which is enough of a drag that it compels many people to skip it entirely by DfB spamming or farm sitting. We're not too worried about low-level power creep since this part of the game is often not even played.

 

2. SOs making for a poor player experience in that leveling up during a series of missions actually makes you less effective unless you stop to go replace all your enhancements. Leveling up should always be something to look forward to, not a stressor that makes you worry your enhancements are going to break and significantly diminish your power in the middle of a mission.

 

It's not a 100% fix, but is intended to be an incremental effort.

As someone who always plays the early game on every character by running through story arcs/missions and never DFB or farming, these changes seems wonderful to me.   I'm one that'd often even buy a few level 10 accuracy TO's to get me through.  When you aren't zooming through levels, they can help a lot. 

 

This will be very nice for the pre-level 22 game.  After that point, I still can't imagine not using IO's.  SO's and the auto upgrade would need to be made very cheap to even hope to compete.  I guess still a nice feature for those that just want to completely avoid the market and IO's for whatever reason though.

 

Edit:  A little thing, but I also always thought the tutorial drops should be accuracy instead of damage.  I always slot accuracy first, so never understood the rationale for only getting damage as your first drops.

Edited by Riverdusk
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2 hours ago, Greycat said:

Well, they're still missions. Ghost falcon's always fun if you just want someplace to keep churning through Rikti.

 

And if you don't have an Ouro portal by 30, the Science store contact will unlock it, since it's time travel related.

Right, I knew the missions still existed. I still love Agent Six's stuff for Naturals, it's just that the store part is now pointless. Would be cool if she had something cool and unique (and the others too) to offer for doing it.

1 hour ago, Septipheran said:

We already have a big problem wherein a substantial amount of the playerbase think that they can play "without IO's." 😏

 

I've never played an MMO where so much of the community and now, even the development team, would encourage people to run around without gear on. 

 

You can. The game was never balanced around IOs, and hopefully, never will be. And the "lack of gear" was actually a huge selling point for CoH back in 2004-2005, because there wasn't anything like it at the time. Remember, WoW didn't exist yet, and it had the "same old" gear system every other game did.

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The low level enhancement treadmill is without a doubt one of the most outdated and functionally useless aspects of this game and it's absolutely the right thing to address, and this proposed update looks pretty good. 

 

It's a problem when the best strategy is to literally not use enhancements until level 22.

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I like the idea, but DOs are such an upgrade at 12, perhaps drop TOs as planned, but give us DOs until 22? The SO upgrade at 22 has always been one of my favorite parts of leveling

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Posted (edited)

I like no longer having to re-slot EVERYTHING manually with the same enhancements should I level an alt the traditional way.

 

I don't find concerns about power creep to be valid - there are much more insane examples that can be made with endgame power creep, examples that can never be fixed no matter what the devs do - so making the earlier levels less miserable is a win/win as far as I'm concerned.

 

I'm all for voicing concern about questionable changes, but I'm not seeing anything but good here.

Edited by ScarySai

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2 hours ago, Septipheran said:

At level 15, you can slot pretty decent generic IO's, making this new "SO Combination" method pretty pointless, right off the bat.

 

I hate to see you guys wasting time and resources on stuff that probably shouldn't even be in the game anymore in the first place.

 

We already have a big problem wherein a substantial amount of the playerbase think that they can play "without IO's." 😏

 

I've never played an MMO where so much of the community and now, even the development team, would encourage people to run around without gear on. 

The flip side is I hate seeing people think they can't play without IOs or perma-everything, or thinking people not set up that way are "useless." The game, as mentioned, was balanced around SOs. And back when Incarnates were released, I saw people complaining they couldn't defeat Trapdoor even with their "builds" - where my SO'd characters were perfectly able to.

 

Knowing you can play without SOs, knowing your powersets, is not a problem.

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Primarily on Everlasting. Squid afficionado. Former creator of Copypastas. General smartalec.

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I mean, if they can creep the low-level Player Power Levels up to match the high level creep, then they can improve the difficulty curve at all levels, theoretically.  Assuming they strike the correct balance.

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The thought just occurred to me, so at risk of looking the gift horse in the mouth - any chance we could get an option to apply and/or combine multiple enhancements/boosters/catalysts in a power at once? I used to be able to skip the animation, yet on my 2k monitor it doesn't let me do that, so I have to sit through the booster/catalyst/combination enhancement every time, for every single slot I'm boosting/catalyzing.

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Peerless Girl said:

You can. The game was never balanced around IOs, and hopefully, never will be. And the "lack of gear" was actually a huge selling point for CoH back in 2004-2005, because there wasn't anything like it at the time. Remember, WoW didn't exist yet, and it had the "same old" gear system every other game did.

IO's in COH *are* the end game gear. The game is already laughably easy, with people soloing Incarnate trials and MoTF badges.

 

The reason why the game is so easy? Forum warriors have been spouting out that "gAmE iS BaLaNcED aRoUND SO's" nonsense for years.  

 

If IO's shouldn't be in the game, just take them out. To develop content as you're implying with the idea that the best gear in the game doesn't exist, is willful ignorance. And it absolutely blows my mind that such a big portion of the playerbase advocates for never learning how to properly build characters. 

Edited by Septipheran
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44 minutes ago, CrashPositron said:

I like the idea, but DOs are such an upgrade at 12, perhaps drop TOs as planned, but give us DOs until 22? The SO upgrade at 22 has always been one of my favorite parts of leveling


Poking about, my concern is costs.  For a low level character - DO's are freakin' expensive, and SO's are practically an arm, and a led, and your first born.  Retaining TO's allows a budget option.

Yes, I know there are ways for an extreme lowbie to earn merits and convert them into converters and make a mint...  But players shouldn't be forced into such ruts.

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Excellent improvement and first step.

 

Once vetted and published, devs, please allow me to suggest compiling data as such for internal review,

 

- Brackets by lvl 1-9, 10-19, 20-29, etc...

- Inf generated by hour, by lvl, by bracket

- Total average inf held per toon, per bracket

- Total in spent on so's by bracket, by toon

- Total inf spent upgrading by toon, by bracket

 

Using the data it should be clear that SO prices are mapped a bit improperly into the progression matrix of DO/SO/IO, allowing for an adjustment by bracket of SO pricing in the different ranges and usages.

 

This second step would aleviate many potential issues that mimic, essentially, a tax wedge.

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16 minutes ago, Septipheran said:

IO's in COH *are* the end game gear. The game is already laughably easy, with people soloing Incarnate trials and MoTF badges.

 

The reason why the game is so easy? Forum warriors have been spouting out that "gAmE iS BaLaNcED aRoUND SO's" nonsense for years.  

 

If IO's shouldn't be in the game, just take them out. To develop content as you're implying with the idea that the best gear in the game doesn't exist, is willful ignorance. And it absolutely blows my mind that such a big portion of the playerbase advocates for never learning how to properly build characters. 

 

I am speaking about the fact that it was Paragon's stated intent that the game be balanced around SOs, and stay balanced around SOs. IOs were seen as a "bonus" and was never intended to be a balance-point. By the same token the game is not balanced for Incarnates either (outside of certain Incarnate Trials). That is the "end game progression" NOT IOs. Some may be "willfully ignorant" but if you were there, you know this, if you are new, then it's worth explaining that, unless HC changes Paragon's original goals, the game was not intended to balance around IOs because it had spent 3 years developing content without them, and there was never an intent to "re-invent the wheel". You can advocate changing that, of course, but something tells me HC's devs don't intent to do so lightly. 

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3 minutes ago, Peerless Girl said:

 

I am speaking about the fact that it was Paragon's stated intent that the game be balanced around SOs, and stay balanced around SOs. IOs were seen as a "bonus" and was never intended to be a balance-point. By the same token the game is not balanced for Incarnates either (outside of certain Incarnate Trials). That is the "end game progression" NOT IOs. Some may be "willfully ignorant" but if you were there, you know this, if you are new, then it's worth explaining that, unless HC changes Paragon's original goals, the game was not intended to balance around IOs because it had spent 3 years developing content without them, and there was never an intent to "re-invent the wheel". You can advocate changing that, of course, but something tells me HC's devs don't intent to do so lightly. 

The Paragon Dev's did make this argument, often. They also knew how silly it was. Why give players the means to trivialize your game and then not balance the content around this new level of power? 

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Posted (edited)

@SeptipheranShort of a grand overhaul of the entire game's difficulty, a prospect I think we both agree would more than likely be disastrous, who cares if some people run with SOs? 90% of my characters can carry trials and task forces by themselves, it doesn't affect me, and I know it won't affect you.

 

This is a worthy change, the early game enhancement system is awful.  Your enhancements are basically worthless until 14, and 'whatever' until 22. Do IOs eventually render it all irrelevant? Sure, but that doesn't mean the pre-IO game should be entirely discounted. Look at what Blizzard did to early game progression in WoW, for example. Eventually, those characters are going to blast through the earlier content and outlevel everything , sure - but the constant disregard for the early game made it all hollow. Something to blast through without care, not something to enjoy and get invested in.

Edited by ScarySai

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Posted (edited)
3 minutes ago, ScarySai said:

@SeptipheranShort of a grand overhaul of the entire game's difficulty, a prospect I think we both agree would more than likely be disastrous, who cares if some people run with SOs? 90% of my characters can carry trials and task forces by themselves, it doesn't affect me, and I know it won't affect you.

 

This is a worthy change, the early game enhancement system is awful.  Your enhancements are basically worthless until 14, and 'whatever' until 22. Do IOs eventually render it all irrelevant? Sure, but that doesn't mean the pre-IO game should be entirely discounted. Look at what Blizzard did to early game progression in WoW, for example. Eventually, those characters are going to blast through the earlier content and outlevel everything , sure - but the constant disregard for the early game made it all hollow. Something to blast through without care, not something to enjoy and get invested in.

My point is that the devs are wasting precious development resources on optimizing and improving gray-con throwaway gear. It's a waste of their time and everyone else's. This is a good opportunity to implement more robust IO system tutorials, rather than doing what they're doing. My original point was that we already have a substantial portion of the playerbase who is not using IO's. This is further incentivizing them to not learn how to properly build their characters. 

Edited by Septipheran
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8 minutes ago, Peerless Girl said:

 

I am speaking about the fact that it was Paragon's stated intent that the game be balanced around SOs, and stay balanced around SOs. IOs were seen as a "bonus" and was never intended to be a balance-point. By the same token the game is not balanced for Incarnates either (outside of certain Incarnate Trials). That is the "end game progression" NOT IOs. Some may be "willfully ignorant" but if you were there, you know this, if you are new, then it's worth explaining that, unless HC changes Paragon's original goals, the game was not intended to balance around IOs because it had spent 3 years developing content without them, and there was never an intent to "re-invent the wheel". You can advocate changing that, of course, but something tells me HC's devs don't intent to do so lightly. 

The problem with this arguement, is we're not really playing the same game we were back then. The HC team has already drastically changed things including making incarnate powers and IO's so much easier to acquire than they were on live, increasing the the prevalence of top end IO builds which has drastically had an impact on the difficulty of the content AS it was designed. 

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3 minutes ago, Peerless Girl said:

I am speaking about the fact that it was Paragon's stated intent that the game be balanced around SOs, and stay balanced around SOs.

An important point - because a game balanced around SO's is a game not balanced around random desireable drops and requiring tens-to-hundreds of millions (and in the billions back on Live) to be "competitive".  A game that is much more solo and casual friendly than the grind-and-raid system that characterizes WoW and it's many imitators and derivatives.
 

2 minutes ago, Septipheran said:

Why give players the means to trivialize your game and then not balance the content around this new level of power? 


Because back in the OG days, max tricked out toons were the minority.  And because the devs knew of the Coming Storm.  Yes, they're not such a minority anymore.  Yes, the Storm didn't come.  But the same objections to grind-and-raid still hold.  There's a lot people who play CoX because they aren't forced into such a narrow lane.
 

2 minutes ago, Septipheran said:

My point is that the devs are wasting precious development resources on optimizing and improving gray-con throwaway gear. It's a waste of their time and everyone else's. This is a good opportunity to implement more robust IO system tutorials, rather than doing what they're doing. My original point was that we already have a substantial portion of the playerbase who is not using IO's. This is further incentivizing them to not learn how to properly build their characters. 


Your point is that Dev team isn't catering to a particular playstyle and forcing everyone else into that "properly built" playstyle.  (My comments on the belief that's there's only One True Way to play are not only unprintable, but would get me summarily banned.  I will simply leave them to your imagination.)

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@SeptipheranAnd what resources are being 'wasted' here? We already know of some changes being worked on for the next page, some of which I find deeply concerning and potentially misguided - but they are confirmed as in the works nonetheless.

 

Sure, it sounds easy to add ingame tutorials for IO builds and set bonuses, except doing that in a 'simple' way would be really, really, really, really hard to do. The best option there would be to just copy/paste forum entries into a separate tutorial journal tab. Certainly not something a pop-up could do, additionally, I would call it more of a waste of resources. The IO system is a complete mess that insane people like us managed to make work - new players to the system have access to all the resources they'll ever need to get there, simple encouragement is all they need.

 

 

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Posted (edited)
5 minutes ago, ScarySai said:

@SeptipheranAnd what resources are being 'wasted' here? We already know of some changes being worked on for the next page, some of which I find deeply concerning and potentially misguided - but they are confirmed as in the works nonetheless.

 

Sure, it sounds easy to add ingame tutorials for IO builds and set bonuses, except doing that in a 'simple' way would be really, really, really, really hard to do. The best option there would be to just copy/paste forum entries into a separate tutorial journal tab. Certainly not something a pop-up could do, additionally, I would call it more of a waste of resources. The IO system is a complete mess that insane people like us managed to make work - new players to the system have access to all the resources they'll ever need to get there, simple encouragement is all they need.

 

 

We're playing a game that has Kallisti Wharf completely unpopulated. No street sweeping, no missions, no nothin'.

 

I've been waiting for the Coming Storm to come since 2012. The devs seem hell-bent on spending their time fixing stuff that isn't even broken in the first place. They've already nerfed the majority of my live characters to the point that I don't even want to play them anymore. I guess at this point, I'm just on the ground having enough of all their "improvements" and hoping that they just start to move the game forward...

Edited by Septipheran
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1 minute ago, Septipheran said:

We're playing a game that has Kallisti Wharf completely unpopulated.

Who cares about Kallisti Wharf? It was going to be the staging ground for the Battalion invasion, something I don't ever expect to happen. As far as I'm concerned, until (Big if, by the way) this gets officially licensed, the idea of new content is a pipe dream, so the best we can ask for is QoL and some updates to underperforming/old/clunky sets/systems. If it does, though - you can bet that the Wharf will have more visitors.

Just now, Septipheran said:

The devs seem hell-bent on spending their time fixing stuff that isn't even broken in the first place.

 

I agree, but the early game enhancement system was actually broken and stupid. I'm no stranger to calling out what I think to be bad changes, but this is a good change.

4 minutes ago, Septipheran said:

They've already nerfed the majority of my live characters to the point that I don't even want to play them anymore.

And I'm against that, I was kicking up quite a storm with the tar patch changes, something I still consider to be incredibly misguided. What does that have to do with this?

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42 minutes ago, Doc_Scorpion said:

Poking about, my concern is costs.  For a low level character - DO's are freakin' expensive, and SO's are practically an arm, and a led, and your first born.  Retaining TO's allows a budget option.

Yes, I know there are ways for an extreme lowbie to earn merits and convert them into converters and make a mint...  But players shouldn't be forced into such ruts.

I don't know if it made it into this build or not, but one of the things we're planning to do is change the "vendor trash" drops from enemy defeats from TOs to DOs. Those sell for more and should hopefully help low-level characters afford DO "budget builds", while players who are into using the market and selling drops / taking advantage of merits can slot SOs or buy/craft IOs earlier. Though remember that generic IOs below level 30 don't expire but are less powerful than SOs.

 

It's something we plan to monitor during the testing phase, and if it's still too harsh, adjust the pricing on level 5-20 DOs/SOs while leaving the higher level SOs the same.

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