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Is there any way to make teams less boring?


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While I believe this is a valid feeling from the OP, I would have to mostly disagree in sentiment. Challenge on a PuG group is not something I would really desire any longer. I would probably be one of "those four" people, as I no longer play my toons until they are 50 and all tricked out. Thus, radio missions and even most TF are soloable even at +4x8 for the majority of my characters, so it is entirely possible for 1-4 people to carry the rest of the team. It happens in PI groups all the time. I have many toons and what I am looking for usually is a quick veteran level or the task force completion badge for TF commander on newer toons.

 

With that being said, I do recognize that not every one plays like I do, so I would have no issues if someone spoke up concerning this, especially if I were going too fast (and there are people way faster than me!). Communication is the key, I think, to getting what you really desire out of this game.

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I've thought about this for about a day now.  I still stand by my original response.  I like characters (in all games) that I can bound through the environment like an exuberant two year old on a sugar high breaking things and taking their stuff.  So....I Brute a LOT.

 

Why are you on a character you are not enjoying?  If you want me to play a Brute in some pre ordained mathematical function it will not happen.  I have recently joined a very organized SG, and started using Discord.  At best my character is like a trained dog.  Go there.  Dont attack.  Attack X area/person  Attack from behind.  Favorite command "Clear this area"  Nearly every PUG TF / mission team I already know which things to do.  If the team leader has not stated in advance what the parameters are "speed, kill most, x creature farm" I will ask if anything like that is important.  Discord not needed.  Just a quick chat question. Then i go do my job.  Break crap.  Kill things.  Get toys.

 

One of my issues running a squishy is it takes me a while to determine how to use the powers effectively.  Which groups to dominate.  How to use the Blaster for fire support without pulling agro, etc.  After (a long) time running various squishies I discovered that it is just experience with the mobs/TFs that led me to understand how to use the powers and what my job was.  I still prefer Brutes.  But now, on a PUG, I can just go do a good job.  Whether people are running around splitting up and going nuts (they probably are) or are all huddled together moving from area to area (quite rare).  That getting comfortable phase took me a very long time.

 

If you want to play a specific support type for a very organized group I suggest you seek out players who share your play philosophy (They are out there!)

 

PUGs have evolved (yes, evolved) into ROFLSTOMP steam rollers.  That happened Redside BEFORE Incarnates and quickly spread Blueside.  By the time of Going Rogue it was the de facto standard of PUG gaming.  I will throw Brutes under the bus for this.  Brutes, back in the day, did not take taunt.  There was no inherent fitness pool (you had to use power picks for it, Brutes desperately need the End from it) You had to use two picks to get a travel power.  It was the rare Brute that found room to take Taunt, especially on a levelling build.  

 

So Brutes would run into a big mob, absord the Alpha, get agro and Fury.  If there were two Brutes on a team....The second Brute tended to go into the next group.  This was the first incremental step into teams leapfrogging from mob to mob in game, no one ever quite being part of a team, but really spokes in a never ending wheel of pain to the mobs we encountered.  Everyone taking their turn using their nuke or mez, or whatever to steamroll through ever larger and larger groups of baddies.  

 

Saying "STOP" now and asking everyone to go back to Tank/Blaster/Healer tactics.....  You should let that dream die.  At least on PUGs.  Again, there are many very experienced players who run organized teams (and RP) through content.  Just is not going to happen with a PUG, in my opinion.

 

 

Edited by Snarky
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My #1 piece of advice for online gaming:  Try to make at least 1 snarky comment per mission.   And if you don't feel comfortable/capable with snark, then by the one who types "LoL" when someone else makes a snarky comment.  Seriously, imagine an ITF with 32 snarky comments.  Would that not be the best ITF run ever?

 

 

 

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Active on Excelsior:

Lode Monkey - Fire Blast / Energy Manipulation Blaster (Blapper), Flaming Doom Monkey - Shield / Martial Arts Tank, Xero-Ranger Monkey - Energy Melee / Energy Aura Stalker

 

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11 hours ago, Yomo Kimyata said:

How about an option where you can fill the remainder of your team with Rikti Monkeys.  And if any of them die, auto team wipe.

Sometimes the way I spastically flail about, I feel like I AM a Rikti monkey on the team.

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1 hour ago, Shred Monkey said:

My #1 piece of advice for online gaming:  Try to make at least 1 snarky comment per mission.   And if you don't feel comfortable/capable with snark, then by the one who types "LoL" when someone else makes a snarky comment.  Seriously, imagine an ITF with 32 snarky comments.  Would that not be the best ITF run ever?

 

 

 

Oh yeah! And give yourself a F10 Battle Cry so you can use it during cutscenes! 😛

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14 hours ago, RogueWolf said:

The thing is... I have no idea how to fix that. I'm sure a lot of people reading this are scoffing and don't even want to. But highly doubt I'm alone in thinking that teams are boring and we wish there was more opportunity for SOME level of challenge in missions from any given random PuG without having to host our own flashback missions with the settings cranked up. Because that's just not an option every time you want to play.

 

When I run a TF, I try to get some sense if the PuG wants speed or challenge. I always go for "challenge", but if I don't advertise as such folks should assume "speed".

 

For "Challenge" runs: (e.g. a low level TF at +4) I find that the players are usually busy enough and need each other's support to work together. I LOVE joining sub-40 level teams running at EXTREME difficulty, but not everyone feels this way.

 

For "Speed" runs: I will usually split off from the main group on "defeat all" (if I am DPS) or if I am support I will pick the part of a fragmented team that can best use my support. I am capable of dashing to the end of certain missions, but usually there is another player who wants to do that so I will slowly eliminate groups to help other players get XP and inspiration drops. Another element of speed runs is that there is no real need for all characters on every mission... if you know the arc well enough, just head to the next objective.

 

Either way... I am usually too busy for much chit-chat (MUST MASH BUTTONS), but I'll break when I can for some banter.

 

 

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Posted (edited)

I counted 4 people in the thread who get it. Like I said, I doubted people even want to "fix" what they don't consider broken.

 

Not everyone has the luxury of regular, dedicated times to play that align with their friends. Not everyone wants to lead the group to set the tone every time. Those things definitely help. I tune out any call that includes the word "speed" for example. I stopped doing PI radios ages ago.

 

I'm in an awesome SG. A few folks in there feel as I do about wanting to keep the game somewhat grounded. Others are one of "those four" as y'all put it and only seek maximum rewards in the most efficient time possible. They are all cool in different ways. Yes, banter is a huge plus, though again, not always possible on OP pugs. The problem is not people being un-social or me playing a subpar toon I don't enjoy. The problem is that game balance makes it so that tanks and support toons are no longer really needed on teams with more than 4 people after level 35. I should add... even playing a brute or blaster runs the same risk of not being needed and getting bored quickly because everything dies so quickly with or without you.

 

I wish there was a way to fix that without it ruining solo play. Sadly I don't think there is. And I'm clearly in the minority of thinking it's even a problem. I was hoping there'd be more who share the sense of brokenness on team game balance. The effort to try to nerf exemplar or Incarnate level shift or whatever you'd have to do probably isn't worth it.

Edited by RogueWolf
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Wilting violets in the gardens. Weak.

Unless they're steamrolling, unless they can absolutely ignore all concept of challenge in mechanic or required teamwork - they'll complain, and quit. 

 

I do it on purpose, I'll run tfs (which again people are too timid to initiate yet leap in when posted - because effort and this is me relax time. That actually has benefit in that you can typically organize whatever you want and people will go if it gives merits or accomplishment badges) - - low level, at +3/+4. 

 

Thing is, it is very doable with reasonable group comp and some team work. CoH makes it easy to attack through a tank/tuff-stuff-scrap, just target them and fling stuff if it's too complicated or you cannot see for the crowds. 

 

But they'll get killed, even once, and then a couple of things happen. They'll shutdown, and allow the group to fail. Or they'll drop. 

 

They'll complain that they haven't slotted even the cheapest of so, available by selling literally junk you don't need as you double xp to fiddy. 

 

What they won't do is think, or cooperate, or rise to any occasion.  Rather become flustered at any existence of a challenge. 

 

'some don't want a slog', sure. What I think it is really, is that some don't want to acknowledge they're not at any kind of skill ceiling - nor be exposed to forced requirement to cooperate. 

 

That's why LFR happens, that's why the quality of the pug diminishes. 

 

That's why there's absolute silence and execution of function, tolerating the other instead of engaging them - because the other is only vehicle to self advancement. 

 

There's little game enforced motivator (or reward) to cause it to be otherwise. 

 

The mmo evolved to be this way, and I get it. The bad side of guilds is what they do to their members. It ain't all roses and lols on voice-chat-du-jour. Plus, arrogantly I feel I haven't the time nor inclination to converse along with the cretinous. Definately a 'me' problem. 

 

So I liked the pug, still do. But so many want a silver spoon. 

 

How to you fix it? 

 

Open pvp. Yes, open pvp, with auto exemp and enh supression on engage to prevent wild bullying.

 

Turn the whole thing into a living hell. 

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15 hours ago, RogueWolf said:

IMHO, game balance is fine up through the 30s (when everyone is at most level 35), and even over that level on up when soloing, or until the team gets to like 5 people. Then it all breaks down and nothing is a challenge anymore even at +4x8 except for a tiny handful of enemies like Vanguard or IDF.

 

I agree with you almost precisely.  My highest level characters are 34.  I just don't play above that level because it is boring.

 

I have characters with XP turned off at levels 13, 19, 23, 29, and 34.  It is easiest to get a team in the teens (lots of Posi TFs) so I log in with a 19 and then switch if a team of a different level is recruiting.  I prioritize lower level teams.  If there is a Hollows or KR team I join those first.  I do Frostfire on a team once or twice a week and the KR Skull arcs a couple of times a week as well.

 

Lower level teams are better.  And mission teams are much better than TF teams.  Characters are not OP so tactics matter and teamwork matters.  And the players are more interested in having fun.  There is more chat and overall it is just a better time. 

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7 minutes ago, RogueWolf said:

I counted 4 people in the thread who get it. Like I said, I doubted people even want to "fix" what they don't consider broken.

 

Not everyone has the luxury of regular, dedicated times to play that align with their friends. Not everyone wants to lead the group to set the tone every time. Those things definitely help. I tune out any call that includes the word "speed" for example. I stopped doing PI radios ages ago.

 

I'm in an awesome SG. A few folks in there feel as I do about wanting to keep the game somewhat grounded. Others are one of "those four" as y'all put it and only seek maximum rewards in the most efficient time possible. They are all cool in different ways. Yes, banter is a huge plus, though again, not always possible on OP pugs. The problem is not people being un-social or me playing a subpar toon I don't enjoy. The problem is that game balance makes it so that tanks and support toons are no longer really needed on teams with more than 4 people after level 35.

 

I wish there was a way to fix that without it ruining solo play. Sadly I don't think there is. And I'm clearly in the minority of thinking it's even a problem. I was hoping there'd be more who share the sense of brokenness on team game balance. The effort to try to nerf exemplar or Incarnate level shift or whatever you'd have to do probably isn't worth it.

 

The game was designed to ensure that no archetype was necessary on a team.  Concurrent with that design choice, content couldn't provide more challenge than any random collection of individuals could complete, and that included the possibility of eight petless masterminds with no enhancements.  The challenge that you feel is missing, isn't, because it never existed outside our own personal preconceptions.  You're seeing it differently now because you have the benefit of previous experience and easier access to certain resources, but that's a change in perception, not in the game's level of challenge.  It's been like this since 2003.

 

There's no problem to fix, as far as balance, power or teaming.  If you're not feeling challenged, or necessary, or entertained when you're on a team, then you need to say so.  Talk to your teammates.  That's really the only reason they're there.  Posting about it doesn't resolve your issue with that team, or future teams.  Speak up when the problem is at hand, not hours later, and you just might find your team experience to be more in line with what you prefer.

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I made a team very much so less boring the other night. I invited everyone to my discord and we decided upon a rule that anytime someone dies on the team everyone had to take a drink to the memory of the one that does. We were on +4, and had a couple people die a lot.

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16 hours ago, RogueWolf said:

nothing is a challenge anymore even at +4x8 except for a tiny handful of enemies like Vanguard or IDF.

  • I'd love to see more difficulty options in everyday content.  ... With increased rewards, as most players will never touch increased difficulty without increased rewards.
  • I'd love to see official content built like 801 (AE 801 link), and scaling all the way from 0 to A (10). 
  • Most teams don't want a challenge nor do they want to need to work together, they actually 'want' easy-peasy Rofl-Stomp, maximum reward, zero danger.  On average, one person rage quits even on a 0 difficulty 801 run.  The average team on a 10 difficulty run goes through 16 people, despite being warned "Incarnates Only, Incarnate Trial Difficulty, ..."  sgmate says "You lie.  I've /NEVER/ died on an Incarnate Trial. Pass me another handful of wakies.  8-p"
  • Run Small Teams:  I run a lot of 3-man teams.  I try to avoid duos because that can be too small, and I try to not go over 5 as that's too big.  3 to 5 man teams seem to be the sweet spot.  I also run other team styles too, not just small teams.
  • If you're doing an ITF, split the team in half, 4 left, 4 right, kill em all!.  First one to the end wins. 😜   You can do this for other things too, but not radios really, as they are too short.  But anything that has enough targets and that you're not 'speed running'.   I tend to prefer scorched-earth tactics.  Although I do run a lot of '1-hour ITFs', 'Kill as much as possible in 1 hour', which are a combination of speed and scorched-earth tactics designed to always take as close to an hour as possible, both positive and negative.
  • Join some of the RP teams on Everlasting.  They tend to be a bit less focused on roflstomping.  They also tend to have fun and interesting character interactions and banter.

 

Edited by Linea
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AE 801 (link) is a variety of missions for fun and challenge, and is designed for a team of 5+ Incarnates.  Just search '801' in AE.  Difficulty Varies: 801.0 Easy, ..., 801.2 Standard, ..., 801.5 Hard, ..., 801.8 Extreme, ..., 801.A Epic, ... 801.F Death.

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22 minutes ago, Luminara said:

It's been like this since 2003.

 

No it absolutely has not. I get the idea that no AT was "needed" per se. But they all got to fill their purpose and compliment each other. It got to an almost laughable point of imbalance between exemplar and IO sets much later in the game. At which point I had lost interest and quit. There's a lot to offset that since Going Rogue and HC, though. It's not bad enough to make me hate the game or want to quit by any stretch. But IMHO it's still a problem. At least for some of us. But as another poster pointed out before you, the bad would outweigh the good in attempting to fix it because of the mentality of the majority of gamers.

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3 gfriends and I ran that freakilok arc this morning. 3 of us werent really io'd out much at all. We had a squid (cough, lobster), 2 tanks, and a blastroller. We ran at 2/4. Was good run. A few deaths. We made it through The Rave without too much death.

 

It was fun, we enjoyed ourselves, merits were had, difficulty was just right. There was no need for 4/8 to be challeneged, have fun, and everyone feel useful.

 

The Rave though man. phew.

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I've been on a few PUG radio teams in PI. Most of them want to run at +4/x8 and fight council, and only council. Fastest, safest xp and loot drops, provided the team has minimal capability to steamroll that group. They don't want caves, and they don't want carnies or arachnos. 

 

But Arachnos, and carnies to a lesser extent, can be a lot of fun to fight, even in radios. If carnie illusionists didn't go pointlessly intangible (it does nothing but make the fight take longer), they be as much fun as Arachnos.

 

Unfortunately, I think a lot of people build too narrowly, and then only want to fight for what they are purpose built to go against.

 

Sometimes, when I'm on a radio team that takes the less traveled path, and goes up against Arachnos at +4/x8, people die. Brutes, and even Tanks, get injured; scrappers start popping their emergencies. Not all the time, and not everyone on the team. But it adds an element of risk. And that's fun.  The group can still steamroll. But you may have to wake up, and pay a little attention to make it happen.

 

Stop only picking out the easiest enemy groups. 

 

Yes, there's an occasional team that roflstomps Arachnos and Carnies too. Swap off your level 50 incarnate to a lower level for a while.

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We just can't take power that people have gotten used to having away from them. The only practical way to address difficulty balance is to have optional harder adversaries or levels of play, and those have to offer more in game rewards (inf, drops, badges) or people will choose not to do them. Most players don't run +4/x8 Council radios over and over because they enjoy the difficulty. They do it because the reward/effort ratio is better and it's not so boring as being on full-fledged doorsit farm.

 

Give them optional harder difficulty settings that reward them proportionately somehow. 

 

I think there's a few ways to address this in regular content, such as, but not limited to:

  • Add Oro-style enemies buffed challenge settings to regular missions which offers an appropriately bigger end of mission reward.
  • Add +5/x12 and +6/x16 notoriety settings, both with some bosses promoted to EBs.
  • Add Lt/Boss/EB leadership buffs to enemies at higher notorieties.
  • Fix the Purple Patch, which has a six-level wide "shelf" of +0 critter vs player to-hit modifiers; imo, no longer appropriate since super-sidekicking.

Any, or all of these, would bet set so that they do not change how things work at +0/x1. And any of those would merit a long thread of their own to discuss the gritty details.

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16 hours ago, Greycat said:

If you're flying through missions, you're probably also talking, reacting and having fun.

 

Quite the opposite usually…PuGs almost universally don't talk on Torchwood, even between missions. Even if I tell bad jokes and make puns, best I can get is "LOL" and silence. And if I stop to type that long the group has moved past 2 more packs of adversaries in the meantime.

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Ok so, because clickbait title....

 

Wait for it....

 

Be more fun on teams. Solv'd.

 

<Shrug> ionno, I have plenty of fun on teams. The game can be difficult... carnies, malta, vanguard, longbow, arachnos, etc.

 

If the team you're on doesn't style your suit, find a new tailor? 😄😋

 

That said, I'm all in on adding new higher difficulty.

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8 minutes ago, CFIndustries said:

 

Quite the opposite usually…PuGs almost universally don't talk on Torchwood, even between missions. Even if I tell bad jokes and make puns, best I can get is "LOL" and silence. And if I stop to type that long the group has moved past 2 more packs of adversaries in the meantime.

 

Which is why I specified "RP" as an answer. And mostly am on everlasting. Run with an RP SG or specify it's an RP team. Different experience.

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

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To the OP:

 

Most fun I've had is finding a group of players who don't use the IO system (or barely do…just simple crafted generics, not sets) and are chronically low on funds from not using the auction house (except to sell stuff). They also don't use build guides and "feel" their way around a build. Less than a handful even have tried to use the incarnate system.

 

This does a number of things:

 

  • The game reverts back to the way it was designed and each AT feels relevant again and +2 is a challenge. I've never felt so useful and I can see the impact I make.
  • We work as a team. It's like the old days: we each bring whatever alt we want, it takes a mission or two to find a groove and our synergies, and then the insanity ensues.
  • It becomes as much a social event as game play. We chat mid-mission between fights, we talk about non-game fun, and we've becomes friends (as much as you can with super hero avatars).
  • We're not going after efficiency, just fun. We fight white-cons all the time and crawl through the levels. And you know what? I barely notice.
  • Getting to 50 stops being the only goal…sometimes is just altitis and hanging out with friends.

 

Don't get me wrong, I have 50s, and I have my share of "kitted" alts (as the non-set-IO users in our group call them). I have T4 incarnates. I have a fire farmer in order to afford those super-builds, and I do a lame job of using the auction system. I enjoy using my überalts for their own sake.

 

But yeah, the PuGs are only fun when it's a means to an end or I'm feeling like "being alone in a crowd." I've met very, very few users I'd consider friends or have exchanged meaningful conversation with. I just assumed everyone was just being efficient, or really just out for themselves. Or there are THAT many socially awkward Torch players…like almost all of them? I stopped doing TFs and iTrials because they aren't fun. ITF is still fun for me, and the arc and repeating missions in DA are fun when I really want to test a kitted alt.

 

Thankfully, I found my regular non-kitted friends via a PuG with one member, who introduced me to the larger group. Now I enjoy that low-level, get-off-the-grind gameplay moreso than the "feeling like a God" gameplay.

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I feel like it's sorta up to me to determine my own level of entertainment. So, if "Teams that do X are boring," then the solution's simple--don't join those teams. On the other hand, if I'm saying, "Teams that do/are X are my favs!" then it's up to me to find or form those kind of teams. Getting exactly what you want from a PuG is just asking to be disappointed, especially if the criterion is, "I MUST be challenged!" That's why diff switches and certain AE mishes exist.

 

That said, I must say I agree with the previous assertion that, after the 30s, things get pretty easy by default. Also agree that the ease of acquiring attuned IO sets (or simply IOs), changes the game fundamentally. However, I would use neither as an argument to change the game's default setting. Having played a character in "Classic" mode allows me to experience something close to the original mode of play (when I feel like doing that). As always, it's on me to shape the game to fit me, rather than the other way around. I'm just one person, after all.

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9 minutes ago, Greycat said:

Which is why I specified "RP" as an answer. And mostly am on everlasting. Run with an RP SG or specify it's an RP team. Different experience.

 

Yah but RP shouldn't be the answer…and my exposure to RP on HC has so far swung completely the other way (more RP than gameplay).

 

I used to "RP light" on Live (Virtue? Intinity? I forget)…but that middle ground doesn't seem to exist on HC like it did on Live. I found RP on HC to be either awkward or too intense.

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4 hours ago, Snarky said:

.....

PUGs have evolved (yes, evolved) into ROFLSTOMP steam rollers.  That happened Redside BEFORE Incarnates and quickly spread Blueside.  By the time of Going Rogue it was the de facto standard of PUG gaming.  I will throw Brutes under the bus for this.  Brutes, back in the day, did not take taunt.  There was no inherent fitness pool (you had to use power picks for it, Brutes desperately need the End from it) You had to use two picks to get a travel power.  It was the rare Brute that found room to take Taunt, especially on a levelling build.  

 

So Brutes would run into a big mob, absord the Alpha, get agro and Fury.  If there were two Brutes on a team....The second Brute tended to go into the next group.  This was the first incremental step into teams leapfrogging from mob to mob in game, no one ever quite being part of a team, but really spokes in a never ending wheel of pain to the mobs we encountered.  Everyone taking their turn using their nuke or mez, or whatever to steamroll through ever larger and larger groups of baddies.  

 

Saying "STOP" now and asking everyone to go back to Tank/Blaster/Healer tactics.....  You should let that dream die.  At least on PUGs.  Again, there are many very experienced players who run organized teams (and RP) through content.  Just is not going to happen with a PUG, in my opinion.

.....

 

I would say "devolved" rather than "evolved"... but really that's a preference judgement on my part. 

The ROFLSTOMP steam roller *is* generally, more efficient, and tends to get most players what they want. So yea. I guess in that sense, it's the fittest adaptation to the environment.

 

I just like it when some degree of team awareness (most of the team being within sight of each other?) is a good idea.

So I solo a lot. A lot a lot. And when I do team, I'm doing First Ward, Night Ward, Firebase Zulu, World Wide Red, etc. 

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14 minutes ago, Andreah said:

We just can't take power that people have gotten used to having away from them.

 

We'd have to remove defenders, corruptors, controllers and masterminds entirely, all power pools, most of the powers in the remaining primaries and secondaries, and inspirations... most of the controls would also have to go, so dominators would take a hike, too, and the majority of the buffs and debuffs attached to individual powers.  Those are the things that are actually causing some people to feel discontent with how teaming plays out, not IOs, Incarnates or *PPs.

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12 minutes ago, Luminara said:

Those are the things that are actually causing some people to feel discontent with how teaming plays out, not IOs, Incarnates or *PPs.

 

I must have been confused by all of the threads about soloing +4/x8 content with IOs, incarnate powers, and PPs.  I did not realize that it was not those things that made it possible to solo +4/x8, but that the existence of the other ATs was making soloing +4/x8 content possible.

 

Because that is the complaint.  Not that teams working together can do +4/x8 content, but that teams are just 8 characters soloing the same mission.

 

 

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