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That is Why You Fail

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1 hour ago, Zhym said:

I'm glad you enjoyed it!  Obviously, I can only speak for myself, running the arc with a particular toon. 

 

That's not a bad idea, but IMO it needs more than the usual warning.  IO sets have upped the power level so much that "<Arch-villain Name> is really tough, so you might want to bring some friends" translates to me as, "So you might want to turn the mission difficulty down from +4 on this one."  This one needs a warning like, "No, really, I mean it—if you are trying to run this solo and you're not a fully-IO'd incarnate exemping down, just give up now."  

 

Obviously, it depends on the AT and powersets.  I tried to run this with a toon (as I mentioned above, a level 30 Dual Pistol/Martial Combat blaster) who is taking the "slow path" through content.  He has IOs, but not the most expensive ones.  He's not min/maxed out, but I managed to get him to about 16% ranged defense, at least.  His key to survival is damage and keeping everyone at ranged distance (or on their asses, or flying helplessly backwards through the air) through Ki Push, Dragon's Tail, and knockback effects.  He dies quickly when overwhelmed with numbers in melee.  I also have him doing the full-circle alignment path (through morality missions!) from hero to villain and back again; currently, he's a rogue in the process of redemption to a hero.  He did The Graveyard Shift as a vigilante, and while it was challenging, none of the missions slammed him into a brick wall the way The Freakish Lab did. 

 

I ran it as an En/En stalker, level like 31 or something (not exemped down), with build-as-you go sets, so like I had the full set of ATOs (non-superior, obviously), but in some cases had sort of random slotting.  I ran it at whatever difficulty I normally had set, which I think was like +1/x3 or something like that, and didn't feel the need to turn it down.  I did die a couple of times!  Once to Cortex, I think, once in the Rikti room, and I think I just fucked up at one point and died to normal enemies.  But it was always clearly like, "Just go back and do it more carefully, maybe eat some insps."

 

In contrast, I've run the Graveyard shift with a couple of characters, including the same stalker back when she was in the appropriate level range, and also with I think two different blasters, and I've had a ton more difficulty with it (though I still like the arc).

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You might not agree with Gavric and it upset Jimmy. 

But Gavric did make some clear and concise points.. Retracted statements that Gavric felt were over stepped or incorrect. 

Again the Devs might not like this ATM. because they are at ground zero here.. But when you are at the 10k foot mark above it.. You appreciate the candid statements. 
I did like the notion of making COH Homecoming your own not completely sticking with the old concepts. 

But I can also understand that making NEW Content is a BIG STEP..  There is no one whispering in your ear how to fix or implement some things correctly.  So you are testing it out and then pulling the trigger.. I get it.. Can't go to the moon sitting in an office chair.. Someone has to take that chance and jump in that rocket and take that risk.. 

This suggestion forum has so many ideas..  I just don't know if anyone is even categorizing this info. 

Again Gavric delivery might not have been 100 percent the best and he admits it. But again at least it was clear and had some decent points.  

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Your commentary on Graveyard Shift is well-noted, and some changes are currently working through Closed Beta to make sure they stick. The player feedback in Beta was largely on lore and tone, and not so much on difficulty. I think most over there took their minmaxed builds to the test, and not a partially-slotted frankentoon with SOs, DOs, TOs and endurance issues in to test.

 

As for changes Namely, Graveyard Shift gets easier. I'm currently gauging how much easier via player feedback at the moment. But I tested locally against an absurdly mis-slotted SO's-only Bots Mastermind, and things are manageable. Ambushes are reduced to a single wave in most instances. Zoombies do less damage but are more accurate and hit their friends too. Bosses have been tweaked to be more durable in some instances. The virus has been changed a bunch to be less brutal, working on a % chance rotation for an effect. The fire damage in Pathogen's warehouse is nerfed again, etc. Cortex has been given an aggressive re-education in his "No Kill Like Overkill" ambush strategy, which was 100% my oversight thinking that a squad of basically upright Rikti Monkeys couldn't do that much damage and would drop quickly due to their underling status.

Vandal and Hopkins have been tuned - They were never (or rarely) enemies in regular soloable content and have had their output adjusted.

 

It's not that I designed this content for uber toons working backward from the top of the bell curve, but rather that I had a very limited voice from the people at the bottom of the hill.

 

And as previously stated, if I optimized a mission to be pleasantly soloable as a Emp/Rad defender at-level, or a Mind/Kin controller, or a Petless MM, a brute or blaster would laugh through the entire arc while handing out business cards and taking selfies with the corpses littered from wall to wall. It was an MMO, and it still is, and the hope is that you have at least one friend you can call in to help manage the mess, or to use the inspirations available to you when something bests you.

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"Science. Science, my friend, requires radical gambles and adventures in malpractice sometimes. Take solace in the fact that I tested the majority of these things on the dead, the re-dead, and the nearly departed before I went to live trials.

 

Honestly, most of my "specimens" were several iterations past being considered a human being with their original fingerprints, teeth, or IDs. So it was rather a lot like experimenting on moaning clay putty."

 


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@Gavric

 

Alas, 3 paragraphs in to your original diatribe I was summarily forced to view your opinions with severe skepticism.

 

Were a public airing of discontent to pass the scrutiny of stately manners, veiled behind the fallacy of constructive criticism, rightly it would perish adroitly upon the anvil of scorn.

 

Better to champion the better part of valor by practicing humility, thereby bequeathing both respect -and gratitude- upon those you seek to offer council.

 

The short version? Rude. And wrong.

 

Edit: I notice you have "fud" in your profile... And speak in a deriding tone very similar to another poster that used to frequent these boards... @jubakumbi... Is that you? 🤪

Edited by SwitchFade

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4 hours ago, Piecemeal said:

Your commentary on Graveyard Shift is well-noted, and some changes are currently working through Closed Beta to make sure they stick. The player feedback in Beta was largely on lore and tone, and not so much on difficulty.

 

Quote

It's not that I designed this content for uber toons working backward from the top of the bell curve, but rather that I had a very limited voice from the people at the bottom of the hill.

 

This right here is just cause and effect.

 

I know this community just loves its secret elitist cliques, but we're small enough at this point that this handpicked closed beta cabal is causing more problems than it's ever going to solve, and it also creates a deafening silence from the people in-the-know for 90% of the time to the rest of us.

Edited by Draeth Darkstar
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Closed beta cabal?  Lol.  Okay, then. 🤷‍♂️

 

What would your suggested approach be, for fixing the perceived problem?

 

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5 hours ago, Grindingsucks said:

 

Closed beta cabal?  Lol.  Okay, then. 🤷‍♂️

 

What would your suggested approach be, for fixing the perceived problem?

 

Just... run... an open beta... for testing...?

 

I'm a professional software engineer. The purpose of closed betas is almost entirely business-oriented once you're past the load stability stage. As Homecoming is not a business, and City of Heroes is a nearly 20 year old MMO that does not have load stability problems... it really serves no purpose at all to control information with a closed beta and it unarguably feeds into the ugly, cliquey in-crowd, out-crowd nature of the community that is most obviously exemplified by the whole... 6 year secret server debacle. The larger community deserves better than to be kept in the dark for months upon months at a time while the feedback of a handful of players is all that's really ever considered for serious review behind closed doors, which aside from the social aspects, leads to predictable self-selection bias problems that Piecemeal just admitted to which would be obvious to anyone who's not too close to the painting to see the picture.

Edited by Draeth Darkstar
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7 minutes ago, Draeth Darkstar said:

Just... run... an open beta... for testing...?

 

I'm a professional software engineer. The purpose of closed betas is almost entirely business-oriented once you're past the load stability stage. As Homecoming is not a business, and City of Heroes is a nearly 20 year old MMO that does not have load stability problems... 

 

So did you volunteer or nah

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1 hour ago, Draeth Darkstar said:

Just... run... an open beta... for testing...?

We did have an open beta here on Brainstorm.

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"Science. Science, my friend, requires radical gambles and adventures in malpractice sometimes. Take solace in the fact that I tested the majority of these things on the dead, the re-dead, and the nearly departed before I went to live trials.

 

Honestly, most of my "specimens" were several iterations past being considered a human being with their original fingerprints, teeth, or IDs. So it was rather a lot like experimenting on moaning clay putty."

 


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And it may surprise you to learn that almost everyone that actually engaged in active testing of Page 1 was added to the closed beta group and is helping out with Page 2 currently. It's not cliquey or hand-picked at all - you have to work quite hard to get yourself excluded.

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To add on to this, a lot of the feedback given during the open beta on Brainstorm did make it's way into the final cut.

 

And a lot of it didn't. That's the nature of game development.

 

If you want to get more involved, I would highly suggest doing some testing when Page 2 goes on to open beta and test out content using less-than-optimised builds so that this can be studied before it hits Live.

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Oh? You like City of Heroes?

Name every player character.

I'll be waiting in my PMs.

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7 minutes ago, Jimmy said:

And it may surprise you to learn that almost everyone that actually engaged in active testing of Page 1 was added to the closed beta group and is helping out with Page 2 currently. It's not cliquey or hand-picked at all - you have to work quite hard to get yourself excluded.

 

I'd love to know what I did to do it, then. I did quite a bit of testing for Page 1 powers changes and additions, and from what I remember seeing, my feedback was pretty thorough and much more polite than a lot of the more... let's say "aggressive," folks on the Beta boards at the time.

1 hour ago, Tyrannical said:

So did you volunteer or nah

I did, back before Homecoming was even a Thing. I was one of the people who helped connect Cipher and Leandro after OG Torchbearer was taken down.


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1 minute ago, Draeth Darkstar said:

I'd love to know what I did to do it, then. I did quite a bit of testing for Page 1 powers changes and additions, and from what I remember seeing, my feedback was pretty thorough and much more polite than a lot of the more... let's say "aggressive," folks on the Beta boards at the time.

We aren't even the ones inviting people - current testers are free to invite whoever they wish. In the unofficial testing Discord (which is volunteer-run, not managed by us) you can request an invite from current testers.

 

We only intervene if someone is being disruptive, which to my knowledge hasn't happened since before i27 (and quite possibly longer). This hands-off approach allows us to just focus on development, and as a software engineer I'm sure you can appreciate the benefits of multiple phases of testing with different users.

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28 minutes ago, Draeth Darkstar said:

I'd love to know what I did to do it, then. I did quite a bit of testing for Page 1 powers changes and additions, and from what I remember seeing, my feedback was pretty thorough and much more polite than a lot of the more... let's say "aggressive," folks on the Beta boards at the time.

I recall you did provide good testing feedback. But about 5 days after the first I27 beta release you seemed to mostly disappear (maybe you provided more feedback and I missed it, but I'm not sure). So I figured you stopped testing.

 

When Page 2 drops on Brainstorm, if you'd like to join my Discord server you're welcome to. Like Jimmy said, it is an unofficial Beta testing discord that is run by a volunteer (me). If you are active and constructive (either with Forum feedback or discord feedback), I'd be happy to provide you with a closed beta invite for future Page 3 testing.



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This doesn't pertain to what you wrote OP or anything really, but am I the only one getting tired of long posts written like a bait-y/bloggy article found on a news website? This isn't something unique to HC forums, I see it everywhere now, like everyone is suddenly some kind of BuzzFeed author.

 

Introductory faux titles like "Your X is bad." or "Why XYZ was a dumb decision." emphasized by font edits, followed by a decent explanation, some side jabs of shade and semi-rhetorical/self-asking questions. Repeat with as many bullet points needed, and then make a new introduce an almost identically formatted topic.

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The current system of design changes, closed testing & adjustments, followed by open beta = Most folks find out about changes so late in the process that they have very little impact on what was done, OR even worse, end up being shouted down by those that were involved earlier in the process and have some stake to defend.. (this last part was very evident recently)

 

There is a bit of an echo chamber currently.

 

This is not to offend anyone who does volunteer and do testing. Your efforts are appreciated.

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15 minutes ago, Bopper said:

I recall you did provide good testing feedback. But about 5 days after the first I27 beta release you seemed to mostly disappear (maybe you provided more feedback and I missed it, but I'm not sure). So I figured you stopped testing.

 

When Page 2 drops on Brainstorm, if you'd like to join my Discord server you're welcome to. Like Jimmy said, it is an unofficial Beta testing discord that is run by a volunteer (me). If you are active and constructive (either with Forum feedback or discord feedback), I'd be happy to provide you with a closed beta invite for future Page 3 testing.

IIRC, I switched from mostly testing Blaster changes to mostly testing Energy Melee, but that's not really important. I'll definitely take you up on that, but -

13 minutes ago, Troo said:

The current system of design changes, closed testing & adjustments, followed by open beta = Most folks find out about changes so late in the process that they have very little impact on what was done, OR even worse, end up being shouted down by those that were involved earlier in the process and have some stake to defend.. (this last part was very evident recently)

 

There is a bit of an echo chamber currently.

 

This is not to offend anyone who does volunteer and do testing. Your efforts are appreciated.

I think this says what I was trying to communicate better than I did. I'll happily put in the work to test regardless of how it's done, but I still don't feel that a very long closed beta phase followed by a short open beta is the best way to manage testing for a community with CoH's relatively low population and rocky history with inclusion.

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24 minutes ago, Draeth Darkstar said:

I think this says what I was trying to communicate better than I did. I'll happily put in the work to test regardless of how it's done, but I still don't feel that a very long closed beta phase followed by a short open beta is the best way to manage testing for a community with CoH's relatively low population and rocky history with inclusion.

I disagree. My experience has seen most beta testers quickly get bored. They see the first set of beta patch notes, get excited, test like crazy, then move on and go back to playing on live. That's fine, that's human. The reason why things last a long time on Closed Beta is because of mechanical bugs. I was there for the initial closed beta release and I saw the same enthusiasm there as I did on HC's beta, and I saw the same dropoff in testing feedback after a week or two that I saw on HC's beta. But here's the difference, all the efforts on early Closed Beta were people finding the same bugs. Huge bugs. Obvious bugs. But after those bugs got ironed out, many of those early testers disappeared. The relatively few testers remaining were left with searching for the harder-to-find bugs that were not obvious. Things like Titan Weapons not granting momentum if your target dies, or procs not working properly in auto-hit powers.

 

The best thing that came from HC beta was the renewed early enthusiasm which found a wealth of bugs that even months of closed beta testing missed. What made it great was early enthusiasm wasn't wasted on those easy bug finds (like on initial closed beta when Titan Weapons had the following issues: Tankers granting Crit hits, enhancements not buffing the powers, and losing set bonuses when Fast version of powers were used). I recall waiting for those types of bug fixes prevented people from continued testing of Titan Weapons because why would you want to test something you know is already not working? So the long test period on closed beta was a grind for the testers that look for these types of bugs and re-attacked these bugs when new fixed were implemented. The new Activation Effect Group was not around on the initial pass of closed beta, that was new code implemented when there were unintended interactions of early versions of powers that tried to automatically grant an effect without needing to hit a target (Energy Focus, Momentum, etc). That was a huge code change that came roughly 2 months into the closed beta cycle. But it was worth it, as what was released on HC beta was far more polished and allowed better feedback of the gameplay of the changes as opposed to the mechanical bugs of the changes.

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16 minutes ago, Bopper said:

-snip-

That's fair. There are certainly advantages to phased testing. Maybe the real problem is that the only information coming out to the larger community is, itself, the open beta testing phase. That's not your problem to solve, given what your position is, but I do feel it's a real problem for this community to have such long periods of near-to-total radio silence from the Powers That Be, given the history.

 

Maybe the Homecoming team needs some Community Managers to engage with people more and write roadmaps and such.

Edited by Draeth Darkstar

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10 minutes ago, Draeth Darkstar said:

That's fair. There are certainly advantages to phased testing. Maybe the real problem is that the only information coming out to the larger community is, itself, the open beta testing phase. That's not your problem to solve, given what your position is, but I do feel it's a real problem for this community to have such long periods of near-to-total radio silence from the Powers That Be, given the history.

 

Maybe the Homecoming team needs some Community Managers to engage with people more and write roadmaps and such.

I've seen the flame wars that came from roadmaps and teasers that came out shortly before I27 beta. Not sure if that really helps honestly.

Edit: Link to the roadmap I'm thinking of. I'm sure it's 82 pages of friendly discussion. 

 

Edited by Bopper
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3 minutes ago, Bopper said:

I've seen the flame wars that came from roadmaps and teasers that came out shortly before I27 beta. Not sure if that really helps honestly.

There'll be flame wars from bad actors no matter when the information drops. I don't feel that's a good reason to leave everyone else totally clueless.


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Just now, Draeth Darkstar said:

There'll be flame wars from bad actors no matter when the information drops. I don't feel that's a good reason to leave everyone else totally clueless.

I agree, and I appreciated the roadmap that was provided in that link. It certainly was good information to provide the community about the direction the game is going and why.



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7 minutes ago, Bopper said:

I agree, and I appreciated the roadmap that was provided in that link. It certainly was good information to provide the community about the direction the game is going and why.

100% agreed. That said, it was the also the only post of its kind in 2020 if I'm not forgetting one, and everything in it that was at all specific is already in the wild. It's been five months now, and four since the Issue 27, Page 1 patch notes, which was the last time anything was shared about the state of the project apart from donation information and, I think, one post about some new Dev's Choice arcs? That's quite a lot of time for nobody to be talking about what's on the horizon (or anything, really), especially when we know that there's a closed beta going on.


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1 minute ago, Draeth Darkstar said:

100% agreed. That said, it was the also the only post of its kind in 2020 if I'm not forgetting one, and everything in it that was at all specific is already in the wild. It's been five months now, and four since the Issue 27, Page 1 patch notes, which was the last time anything was shared about the state of the project apart from donation information and, I think, one post about some new Dev's Choice arcs? That's quite a lot of time for nobody to be talking about what's on the horizon (or anything, really), especially when we know that there's a closed beta going on.

My guess is, they were busy with I27, then took their 1 month vacation for the holidays afterwards. Maybe when Page 2 drops you'll get another one, but I don't really see a need for posting the same thing. If something changed, sure, let us know. But everything in that roadmap is ongoing and very little has likely changed in 5 months in regards to their vision.



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3 minutes ago, Bopper said:

My guess is, they were busy with I27, then took their 1 month vacation for the holidays afterwards. Maybe when Page 2 drops you'll get another one, but I don't really see a need for posting the same thing. If something changed, sure, let us know. But everything in that roadmap is ongoing and very little has likely changed in 5 months in regards to their vision.

I think something as small as, "Hey folks, we're starting internal testing for Page 2, and our goal for this one is [lead feature]," would have been perfectly satisfactory. There's no need to reinvent the wheel with every post, of course, but there's also no need for there to be zero public information about what's currently being tested for the next release.


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