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Is there any way to make teams less boring?


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And before I accidentally cause caustic words to be exchanged:

 

I don't have a "solution" to the OP's "problem"…except to agree *I* think it's a problem as well.

 

However, the cat is out of the bag. HC made "easy levelling" a core precept and they got it. Power Creep has happened, it's done. To nerf things will just drive players away, plain and simple. There are servers out there that have the game set to a sort of "Classic" mode and we could go over there if we wanted.

 

I settled on HC because I figured sheer population was a plus, and it has been by and large. But alot has changed and I had to adapt. I solo alot, way more than I ever did on Live. I AE farm alot (mostly solo or close friend); but I feel like I have to on HC (I never did on Live). But as others have said: in this environment, you are responsible for your own fun, especially if you don't fit the mainstream (which apparently I don't).

 

I don't have a good answer—except that nerfing is not the answer.

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21 minutes ago, CFIndustries said:

 

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).

 

 

Never claimed it was "the" answer. Just a suggestion. And it really depends on the people - both the player and the rest of the team. Some people just don't enjoy it at all.

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

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My $0.02 and it probably isn't worth that much...

I tend to say "good run" as part courtesy and as part "thanks for continuing to play this boring game with me."  CoX has been boring for a very very long time since probably about 2007 for me.  It has always been about the people I get to play with regularly.  Our SG isn't quite as large as it was during the peak of "OMG! CoH is back!" but we still have regularly 20-30 people on during peak and even 12-18 on the oddball (for us Americans) hours.  And yes we do have a few members across the pond.  Anyway... Personally I don't PuG.  I find it boring and a bit frustrating because I cannot easily predict how a random person is going to play and therefore cannot anticipate how I should play my characters.  So I don't.  Sure it means if I'm on when few others are then I have to solo... or <shockingly> I just log off and go do something else.

 

As for being overpowered and balance those are going to be pipe dreams for the foreseeable future.  The sad truth is we are still playing an unfinished game.  Generic IOs were a big change and sets made the issue even more pronounced.  Incarnates take it to another level and were never finished and polished.  In time, maybe there are things that could be done but honestly this seems to be the exact same problem that occurred when they first tried to shoehorn PvP into this game.  Anyone remember the horrid balance issues that had when it first came out???  In a game where the point is to build an unstoppable character, how is it reasonable to wish for a team to be "less" unstoppable?  Challenge is relative and a very elusive goal in games in general not just CoX.  I wish the best of luck to any developer that will tackle it though I'm just glad it is not me.

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4 minutes ago, DougGraves said:

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.

 

1 hour ago, Luminara said:

It's been like this since 2003.

 

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3 minutes ago, iBot said:

 In time, maybe there are things that could be done but honestly this seems to be the exact same problem that occurred when they first tried to shoehorn PvP into this game.  Anyone remember the horrid balance issues that had when it first came out???

 

Just as an aside - go to early, in-development prerelease interviews, and PVP was part of the plan from the start. It wasn't *introduced* until a few issues in (with the Arenas finally showing up,) but it was planned as part of the game. And as far as balance... to an incredible degree more than the rest of the game, "balance" in PVP really meant "go in with a team." After all, we're not just balancing 5 (or 7, or 12, or 16) archetypes, but the powerset combos *inside* those ATs can be vastly different. So, yeah. PVP's balance was "go with a team."

 

 

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33 minutes ago, Luminara said:

 

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.

 

Sounds accurate, esp. on the IOs. When tricked-out incarnates come out to play at lower levels, they can make a mockery of default content. Unless I am misunderstanding now attuned IOs work? 

 

The comment about people soloing when we're ostensibly supposed to be teaming is apt. I've just accepted that as the current norm.

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1 hour ago, Andreah said:

they don't want carnies

They aren't badgers, then 😉

I used to play under the handle @Purple Clown, back on Live. Now I play under @Lunchmoney

 

I'm in the UK and play on Reunion.

 

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Honestly? Just cap your team at five people, set yourself to plus four and eight players, and enjoy.

 

With slightly less players you'll wind up with a lot more room for character or player interaction through chat. When you have eight people the text messages tend to just pile on top of each other assuming people are even interested in talking.

 

The smaller number of players will also mean that the spawns last a little bit longer because there's less overlap of massive damages.

 

Another good option to improve this even further is to take a balanced team rather than whatever randos are available. If you're a support look for one tank, one dps, one controller, and maybe just to mix things up toss in and Mastermind or another Jack type character.

 

Once you get to incarnate stuff on your team just do incarnate content if you're going to have randos on your team. Otherwise it doesn't matter what you're doing everyone's going to split off on their own and just murder everything.

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i don't really have a solution.  I definitely play the game much less now than I did a year ago.

some of that is no doubt just the "ZOMG it's baaaaack!" has worn off for me. 

I still enjoy playing my characters, blue/red/gold.

 

But like...  well, one game that had a Giant Impact on me, was the original EverQuest.  Especially Vanilla, Kunark, and Velious era.  I get massively nostalgic about that era and what the game was like then.  20 years after. 

 

But you can never go home again. 

 

  • I've changed. no matter how nostalgic I get for it, I'm not looking for a game with that much built in XP grind, tradeskill grind, that punishing on deaths, etc.
  • The players have changed. Yes, there are private servers out there that maintain old code sets at fixed patch points. So, on paper, the fundamental rules of the game are what they were.  But back in the day "twink" was a mortal insult among a lot of players, right up there with "ebay".  No one cares anymore, and I can't blame them. People will dual-box. People will accept showers of plat from veteran players, and why not? 
  • But it will never have the feel it had back in the day, when Everyone was new, when Everyone was learning it, when Everyone was exploring it and learning, instead of already know all the mechanics worked, already knowing what's "most efficient", already knowing where to find "the best drops", before people had memorized various maps, etc. 

I think a fair amount of that applies to CoH / Homecoming as well. 

 

I'm glad we have City of Heroes back.  I do enjoy it.  But it will never have some of those early-days feel for me.  I have to let that go, and find enjoyment in the i27 world.  Or I have to put the game down and fire up something else for an evening. Or I can get wild and crazy and spend a couple hours chatting on the phone with family and RL friends, and planning out what we want to do for a bash once everyone's vaccinated and the right number of weeks have passed.

 

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There are plenty of ways to make the teaming experience more "difficult:"

  • Run at higher difficulty
  • Run with a smaller team size
  • Fight harder enemies
  • Make use of the TF/flashback challenge options
  • Exemplar down so you don't get your level 50 set bonuses + incarnate powers

All of these are options which currently exist in the game and can be utilized if you're feeling like things are too easy.

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13 minutes ago, Lunchmoney said:

They aren't badgers, then 😉

 

Wombats?  Sugar gliders?

 

PORCUPINES?!  ARE THEY PORCUPINES?!  *squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee*

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11 minutes ago, Luminara said:

 

Wombats?  Sugar gliders?

 

PORCUPINES?!  ARE THEY PORCUPINES?!  *squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee*

Sunda flying lemurs.

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

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11 minutes ago, Luminara said:

 

Wombats?  Sugar gliders?

 

PORCUPINES?!  ARE THEY PORCUPINES?!  *squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee*

Shrews.

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Hopefully rather than sounding like a complaint this post will sound like an observation.

 

City of Heroes was most enjoyable to me around the time the incarnate Alpha slots came out. There was some specific interesting developments after that, and on Homecoming, but that is the version of the game I've always enjoyed most. It was never hard, nor was it heavily based on a Tanker-Healer-DPS triad. But it also didn't play like it currently does.

 

The lower level game can be okay, but a lot of classes do not play well at lower levels. Dominators and Controllers, which I've always preferred, come to the fore in the late 30s and 40s, right in time to be eclipsed by incarnate abilities and nukes. 

 

Two specific abilities, the proliferation of crashless nukes and Judgment, really lowered the enjoyment I get out of teaming. Lore Pets and Destiny powers aren't far behind. It isn't just that these abilities are overpowered, they are dull. There isn't any way to get around the math that the end game path for an 8 player team is a Judgment firing every ~11 seconds. That's before you consider any actual nukes or nuke-like powers, which can easily result in a nuke firing every 8-9 seconds on average. That is what it is. Folks will say lower the number of team players, avoid the content, don't slot your abilities, etc but you never used to have to do any of those things for the late game to have a combat system.

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4 hours 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 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.

You wanted an echo chamber and got hit with reality. Look, I get you want it to be like the old days on preshutdown with SOs and such. I kinda liked those days too a bit but well, I like how it is today too. Thing’s change. Oh? And they were never needed. 8 people on a team means tanks wont be needed, brutes wont be needed, that troller? Not needed. But appreciated? Sure. You should NEVER be needed. Leads to the BS you see in CO.

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1 hour ago, DougGraves said:

So we agree.  It is IO sets, incarnate powers, and PPs that cause the problem.  And they have been causing the problem since 2003.

IOs have NOT been in the game since ‘03 though? For real. STOP with the IO hate. It’s pretty bloody annoying at this point.

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1 hour ago, CFIndustries said:

I found RP on HC to be either awkward or too intense.

 

Yeah the downside to this is that RPers tend to be... uhm... yeah intense is a good word for it.

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Crashless nukes were necessary because everyone that wasn't playing Archery nor Dual Pistols (who both already had crashless nukes from the get go), just skipped their nukes entirely.  On top of that, now you have newer ranged damage sets like Beam Rifle and Water Blast who were designed without crashless nukes.  And Hail of Bullets is being buffed for Page 2, so it'll be an even better nuke that never had a crash.

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12 minutes ago, RogueWolf said:

 

Yeah the downside to this is that RPers tend to be... uhm... yeah intense is a good word for it.

Now this I uh..agree with. Like um...why are there so many clubs? I guess I get it if you cant go to one in these times due to COVID but still. I do however like the more casual and laid back mini RPSG/VGs. Those are cool! Would love to get more involved with those

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4 hours ago, RogueWolf said:

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.

Check out the Tin Mage and Apex Task Forces, The Mothership Raid, and the various Incarnate Trials if you want to see enemies that don't die so quickly. 

 

Maybe organize a special night where your SG goes and does harder content as a group. Maybe add the Zero Deaths Allowed limit where appropriate. Be sure to implement a "minimum snarky comment quota" and have everyone promise that whenever they feel bored, they will activate secondary mutation.

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8 minutes ago, Seed22 said:

You wanted an echo chamber and got hit with reality.

 

Not needed. But appreciated? Sure. You should NEVER be needed.

 

No I did not want an echo chamber. I even said that up front more or less. I was holding out hope that the minority was not so tiny, though. It is annoying that so many of the "suggestions" are nothing but snark that's out of phase with the reality of the game. But I expected that, too. Just maybe not so much of it. Had to try. :)

 

And I agree that "needed" is bad, But balance is so far to the opposite extreme it's kinda sad. But like lots of others are saying, that's how the bulk of players want it. I'll never understand why, but it is what it is.

 

As someone else called out, this was not complaining just for the sake of complaining. It was an observation that I'm glad at least a few people agree with. Some kind of mechanic to make it easier to roll with those kinds of pugs would be nice. I just wish I knew how such a thing could be implemented. Something like a simple switch for whoever has the star like IO set bonuses set off without having to be anchored to a flashback "TF". I know it won't happen. Just spitballing.

 

To this other tangent that it's only about IOs... no it's not. When IOs came out, I don't remember it being this bad. But it was the beginning of the downhill roll. When AE turned the game into City of Farmers, that was a huge step toward the silly state teams are in now.

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2 minutes ago, BZRKR said:

Check out the Tin Mage and Apex Task Forces, The Mothership Raid, and the various Incarnate Trials if you want to see enemies that don't die so quickly. 

 

Maybe organize a special night where your SG goes and does harder content as a group. Maybe add the Zero Deaths Allowed limit where appropriate. Be sure to implement a "minimum snarky comment quota" and have everyone promise that whenever they feel bored, they will activate secondary mutation.

 

We do all that. Themed ITFs are great. Sometimes we have the right mix of folks on to run lowbie stuff.

 

When I do callouts in LFG for my own PUGs, I always specify "kill most" or "for xp and fun" or something along those lines to weed out the toddlers. It's not foolproof, but it helps a lot.

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Maybe do a Sutter or something that isn't ITF. I promise I'm not trying to be facetious, I just think ITFs are overdone, even if it does have cool maps and loads of XP.

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17 year old games tend to be a bit boring.

 

The trick is exploring new things you haven't done before.

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