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Is there any way to make teams less boring?


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1 hour ago, Seed22 said:

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.

 

I have removed my agreement with Luminara that it has been since 2003, I am sorry I believed her. 

 

I have not removed my stance that IO sets are a huge problem with OP characters. 

 

I would love to see someone create a character with only SOs and solo +4/x8 content on a blaster.  Show me that it is not significantly harder to do so with SOs than with IO sets.

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2 hours ago, RogueWolf said:

 

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.

I've seen a LOT of what I consider 'odd' posts in this thread.  But as I have read your replies and observations it has made me think you are not insisting anyone play a specific way to make teams better.  You are honestly sounding out the boards for what can make the game better.  That is nice.  Obviously there are some serious disagreements here lol. 

 

Personally, i'm having the time of my life on PUG teams and with my SG.  I know what to expect from both, and I have strong boundaries.  One example: When I level an alt I have a couple ways I go.  If I am exploring a new AT/Poweset I will 'slow level'.  This involves 4 DFBs, then start TF and SF (i tend to Rogue)  I do these specifically in order.  I do not join a team running them at +/x anything.  I seriously try to help the teams efficiently complete the assignments. (Pither would be proud!)   I will gladly take extra time on most of these to complete them as kill most or any other odd (pre-stated) requests.  Some will find this method boring as crap.  I absolutely love it.  If the leader/team decides to change the level I will request they do not.  (I answered a specific ad, I am not a mind reader)  If they insist, I tender my resignation.  I will do +4/x8 ITFs.  I prefer these on incarnates.  It is a blast.  If I am trying to be PL'd I will ask whoever is advertising if bringing a 35 Brute in is okay.  They should know the toon will be not a lot of help.  I will try, but surgeon hunting is about all i can do.

 

Anyways, I hope you find new ways to make teaming more fun.  I also hope this thread generates some good ideas for all of us.   

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4 hours ago, RogueWolf said:

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.

 

In sense of stepping on each others' toes and curb-stomping the archetype barriers people imagined, perhaps.  The archetypes weren't designed like classes in EQ/WoW, to complement one another and work together cooperatively, they were designed to be completely self-contained and independent units which were capable of filling multiple roles when teamed.  Every one of the original archetypes infringed on every one of the other originals from the beta stage, in multiple ways, and that was both a deliberate design choice, to ensure that this game never fell into the holy trinity model; and encouraged post-release to attract the players who liked the MMORPG model but didn't want to be dependent on others for basic progression.  The release of CoV, with five "new" archetypes that turned out to be variations and/or hybrids of the existing archetypes, didn't move the game away from that, not by a single micrometer.  Nor has anything that's been added since then.  Not Praetorian content, not Inventions, not Incarnates, nothing.  Every archetype ran roughshod over every other archetype's bailiwick, from the beta stage onward, and people have bitched about feeling useless when in teams since the game went live, despite embracing the game for the very same quality that made that "problem" exist, the solo-friendly design of every archetype.

 

So yes, I tell you, it absolutely has been this way since 2003.  Teaming has never been about working together to overcome long odds in Co*, it's always been about socialization, because the design of the game was centered on the individual, not the group.  We teamed then because we wanted to team, not because we had to, and we still do it for the same reason today.  The only difference between then and now is that more people have realized that teaming in this game is just throwing a bunch of soloers into a room together and letting them run wild, because it was designed that way.  The only purpose you, or I, or anyone else has ever brought to any team has been the purpose we created for ourselves.

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What about something along the lines of a player rating system that help folks kind of know at a glance what kind of team they are on?  It could be a system that automatically determines a rating value based on IO sets equipped and incarnate powers activated, etc. or it could be more of a player set flag stating what their playstyle or teaming goals are.  Just bouncing around some ideas...

 

Semi sidetrack - I agree with the general sentiment in MTeague's post (with the exception that the OMG doesn't wear off for me and I'm having a blast) that there was fun in those challenges but I'm no longer there.  He mentioned the original vanilla Everquest...  LOL - Yep.  I had a blast too back then.  I spent nearly THREE MONTHS camping Stormfeather for the Eyepatch of Plunder and with constant in game support from my son, my brother, nephews, work friends, other friends and my guild I was finally able to get it!  I left my computer running for weeks at a time logging in every few minutes to every few hours to check... other times just sitting there for entire days online waiting (and talking in chat).  I remember dying in places where ther was absolutely no way to get my corpse back without help from some uber friends. 

 

Every.  Part.  Of.  That.  Game.  Was.  A.  Painful.  Slog... and I loved it.  Even EQ2 was painfully difficult without teaming.  I can definitely say that I am no longer there.  Now almost every part of my real life is a painful ordeal err, challenge rather, and I have discovered the sheer joy that is being stupid powerful in the best super hero MMO ever created!  My brother recently convinced me to try EQ Project 1999.  I was intrigued.  I spent a day setting it up and another day trying to get back into it, but it was clear to me at that point that it was much better as a memory.  No longer 'my cup of tea'.  

 

Back on point - When players come to Homecoming to play CoX again they are just super excited and happy to be able to play their game again.  It seems that often new players choose Homecoming for a variety of reasons (others they know play on HC, population, regular QoL and some nice updates and changes and even some cool new stuff on a regular basis plus nice forums, support, account management, etc.).  However, in everyone's rush to get back into CoX folks are having expectations (whether they realize it at the time or not) that HC will be run like a Live MMO.  If you aren't sure what I mean by that, then you have just made my point.  

 

Homecoming is wonderful.  It is a miracle.  It is a gift.  It is a good thing.  A blessing.  Homecomings' very existence by all rights should not have occurred.  The almost INSANE chain of precarious events that lead to HC and all of these servers is quite literally almost unbelievable.  And it's still a precarious situation.  This server is not sanctioned or approved.  They are working on that but to date it is still in limbo.  The team doing all of this for us is volunteer.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with anyone having expectations, including that this game was a wee bit broken *before* shutdown and that now that it's up and running again someone should maybe attempt to 'fix'  the power creep/lack of team challenge.

 

However, you may find that the HC team has different expectations than you.  Or perhaps they feel the same but know that a project to add new content is a massive undertaking and they just don't have the time/resources/desire to do it justice.  Crappy 'new content' can take a game in a wrong direction.  SWTOR did  a fine job (/sarcasm) of trying to roll out a whole new tier cheaply.  The resulting Fallen Empire/Eternal Throne mess killed my desire to keep going in that one.  So we need to be sure what we ask for doesn't break it for others - because they WILL leave.  And that DOES matter.  

 

So in closing I would sum it up by saying I agree with those of you who are experiencing this and want SOME kind 'fix' and these thread popping up do bring up valid issues.  However the -reality- of the circumstances that led to HC and the current situation surrounding HC and those running it may not be conducive to these things being done quickly if at all.  You may want to consider taking a peek at some of the other CoX servers out there.  Also, there is always the option for a group of like-minded folks to put together their own server and maybe pull in a couple of devs to help.  Maybe since HC is sort of a community thing they could fire up another shard for hardcore and let a smaller group manage the direction of that one instance only (sounds like a nightmare to me, lol).  But I digress...

 

PS -  You could always fire up EQ Project 1999 if you're really feeling nostalgic and pining for the 'old days'.  That should scratch that itch pretty well for ya...  Not saying for you to go elsewhere - that's never right when I see that!  I want folks to stay here on HC.   Just sayin' it was an eye opener for me.  LOL

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5 hours ago, DougGraves said:

So we agree.  It is IO sets, incarnate powers, and PPs that cause the problem.

 

All these things were not complimented by corresponding increases in the power of the opposition. 

 

With the exception of Incarnate content complimenting Incarnate powers, but that got largely blunted by the +3 level shift.

 

====

There is also the problem that mechanically most teams (and many solo) ride the rails of defense and accuracy.  So not sure where there is room to adjust in the current framework. 

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20 minutes ago, Haijinx said:

 

All these things were not complimented by corresponding increases in the power of the opposition. 

 

With the exception of Incarnate content complimenting Incarnate powers, but that got largely blunted by the +3 level shift.

 

====

There is also the problem that mechanically most teams (and many solo) ride the rails of defense and accuracy.  So not sure where there is room to adjust in the current framework. 

Hmmmm....seems a lot of the thinking on "Make teams more fun" devolves to "make things nearly impossible....oooooh so much fun!!!"  It is a super hero game.  If I want to be killed by fish monsters while i try to wield a rusty sword while wearing moldy armor there is another game for that

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1 minute ago, Snarky said:

Hmmmm....seems a lot of the thinking on "Make teams more fun" devolves to "make things nearly impossible....oooooh so much fun!!!"  It is a super hero game.  If I want to be killed by fish monsters while i try to wield a rusty sword while wearing moldy armor there is another game for that

 

The Bad Guys are supposed to be Super too.

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7 minutes ago, Haijinx said:

Maybe we need more Avs then

There are missions where you fight 5 at a time.  Last weeks Hess I did with a team at +4/x8.  It was miserable.  We still didnt chat much... roflmao.  But we finished it.  ground those peeps down one ugly sliver at a time

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There is a lot of "i never knew this content existed!!" floating around when I run teams. At all sorts of levels of difficulty, with all sorts of teammakeups.

 

My teams have always been runwhatyoubrung. An interesting challenge with newtoyou content (like new to you cars) is always a win. There is an enormous stack of content.

 

When was the last time someone spawned Kronos?! 

 

Just a Just Asking example...

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On 3/23/2021 at 6:02 PM, RogueWolf said:

I'm often stunned after a TF is over and everyone else says things like "great job" "good run" "great team" and I'm like... it was??? That was boring AF. How do you know the team was good when no one needed each other? Four of you kinda plowed through it by yourselves. We barely said anything to each other the whole time because no one felt the need to communicate. All I did was follow behind the pack as you ran off like toddlers on a sugar high and occasionally dropped a buff to feel like I was doing something. I never hit anything because it was dead before my attack animation was over. But I guess that really is some folks' idea of fun?  

 

These things go through my head on a regular basis, but I bite my tongue because I don't want to be "that guy." 

 

IO sets are a double edged sword. The whole point of the game is to feel like superheroes. We all get that. It's great being able to solo EBs. But when so many people have figured out these insane min-maxed, soft-capped builds, by the time you're, say, mid-30s... everyone is a brute. Everyone can dish out and defend against so much psycho damage that the only purpose of a tank is to herd critters into nice little clusters to make them even easier to sweep away, and you don't really need support toons anymore. You don't truly appreciate how boring a TF is until you play a controller. The Imperious TF is about the only exception. But not always. Even then someone can probably go AFK for awhile and no one would notice (I speak from experience).

 

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.

 

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.

 

 

I'm not scoffing and, indeed, you are not alone in thinking that teams are often boring.  My play experience is precisely the same as yours.  Solo play is fine- one can dial the notoriety up or down as needed, and get precisely the level of challenge that is exciting, while not being a steamroll or so hard as to be frustrating.

 

Teams tend toward the steamroll at levels 50 and over, which then renders AT specialties (tanking, controlling, heal/buff/de-buff) almost an afterthought and often makes for a boring (if frenzied) experience.  

 

I had once thought to address this by creating an RP supergroup dedicated to play with characters of lvl 35 or lower (players would voluntarily shut off xp so that they would not level beyond 35).  I never tried it because I reckoned there would not be enough people interested in that kind of play over a long term duration (must players I see when I use search are 50 or higher).

 

But reading this topic makes me wonder if there aren't enough of us to form our own SG specifically dedicated to the sort of play we enjoy.  Maybe we ought to start a recruitment topic and bat around ideas for a group of this kind?  If there are at least a dozen or so of us, maybe we could get something going?

 

If so, then we could hash out the specifics (Villains, Heroes, or Vigilantes?  SO's, Standard IO's, IO's sets? etc.).

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1 minute ago, Grindingsucks said:

 

I'm not scoffing and, indeed, you are not alone in thinking that teams are often boring.  My play experience is precisely the same as yours.  Solo play is fine- one can dial the notoriety up or down as needed, and get precisely the level of challenge that is exciting, while not being a steamroll or so hard as to be frustrating.

 

Teams tend toward the steamroll at levels 50 and over, which then renders AT specialties (tanking, controlling, heal/buff/de-buff) almost an afterthought and often makes for a boring (if frenzied) experience.  

 

I had once thought to address this by creating an RP supergroup dedicated to play with characters of lvl 35 or lower (players would voluntarily shut off xp so that they would not level beyond 35).  I never tried it because I reckoned there would not be enough people interested in that kind of play over a long term duration (must players I see when I use search are 50 or higher).

 

But reading this topic makes me wonder if there aren't enough of us to form our own SG specifically dedicated to the sort of play we enjoy.  Maybe we ought to start a recruitment topic and bat around ideas for a group of this kind?  If there are at least a dozen or so of us, maybe we could get something going?

 

If so, then we could hash out the specifics (Villains, Heroes, or Vigilantes?  SO's, Standard IO's, IO's sets? etc.).

Well, considering the entire Classic Hero thing exists then you probably WOULD find enough people to sign up for it. 

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Well, possibly.  Those guys are more into recreating the specific experience of the early live game, though.  Not sure if something less focused would appeal to them.  Then again, I guess there's only one way to find out.  

 

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First I want to start by saying I agree with the OP. +4x8 with a full team end game is easy - zero effort required. While this is fairly obvious status quo the important question for each person is, "Is it fun?"

 

On 3/23/2021 at 4:02 PM, RogueWolf said:

I'm often stunned after a TF is over and everyone else says things like "great job" "good run" "great team" and I'm like... it was??? That was boring AF. How do you know the team was good when no one needed each other? Four of you kinda plowed through it by yourselves. We barely said anything to each other the whole time because no one felt the need to communicate. All I did was follow behind the pack as you ran off like toddlers on a sugar high and occasionally dropped a buff to feel like I was doing something. I never hit anything because it was dead before my attack animation was over. But I guess that really is some folks' idea of fun?

 

I agree with many folks throughout this topic. Everyone is just being polite regardless of the actual experience. And some of those folks probably did genuinely enjoy the time. I'm more like you though and there are some TFs that I'm just brain dead following along so that I appear to be participating. There are also times I'm the toddler on a sugar high though depending on what character I'm playing. Bottom line... it's EZ merits. But again begs the question - "Is it fun?"

 

On 3/23/2021 at 4:02 PM, RogueWolf said:

IO sets are a double edged sword. The whole point of the game is to feel like superheroes. We all get that. It's great being able to solo EBs. But when so many people have figured out these insane min-maxed, soft-capped builds, by the time you're, say, mid-30s... everyone is a brute. Everyone can dish out and defend against so much psycho damage that the only purpose of a tank is to herd critters into nice little clusters to make them even easier to sweep away, and you don't really need support toons anymore. You don't truly appreciate how boring a TF is until you play a controller. The Imperious TF is about the only exception. But not always. Even then someone can probably go AFK for awhile and no one would notice (I speak from experience).

 

I agree, IO sets are a double edge sword. But I'd be sincerely disappointed if they were nerfed or removed. While I'm not a true min/maxer I do enjoy tuning my character to my play style. Nothing beats the feeling of getting everything setup the way I want and feeling... Heroic! ...or Villainous depending...

 

But in many instances I have seen general controller builds being largely useless due to Time to Kill being so low at this point. There are some exceptions to this, as with everything, but broad enough for a generalization. Buffs and Debuffs less so because they do impact things even if they do feel some what superfluous. But still the question remains... "Is it fun?"

 

On 3/23/2021 at 4:02 PM, 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.

 

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.

 

You've kinda nailed my experience right here with this last part.

 

The levels play a big part. As you hit the final stretch you get all those enhancement slots and truly flesh out your character. You start making strides to the pinnacle of power. But I think that's the smaller part of the bigger problem.

 

The balance in this game is totally lost when you're in a team of 8. All the bonuses, buffs, debuffs and sheer volume of damage is more than any mob can generally handle. But... if you limit your team size to 3-5, something I saw someone else mention in a post as well, then you hit an idealistic medium. Everything feels impactful and nothing is meaningless - especially if you keep the difficulty cranked up to +4/8 even with a smaller team size. Even at level 50 with everything maxed out, you'll strain yourself a bit to keep up with an encounter designed for a full team. Speaking from personal experience, it feels great regardless of what level I do it at.

 

If you haven't guessed by now the reason I kept asking the silly question, "Is it fun?" is that this issue is LARGELY subjective. Some people care, some don't and many more probably aren't even aware of it. The Homecoming team has brought a great boon to us by granting us all a chance to play again but, in short, it's ultimately up to us to make it fun.

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You could always pvp your team. Be a controller and put yhat aoe immob on autocast, gale as well.

Be the tank with zero defensive powers.

Rp instead of fight. 

There is so many things to do in City of 

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1 hour ago, Grindingsucks said:

Well, possibly.  Those guys are more into recreating the specific experience of the early live game, though.  Not sure if something less focused would appeal to them.  Then again, I guess there's only one way to find out.  

 

I’d be down for “classic lite,” meaning limiting to SO’s, doing a bit more traditional travel, focusing on story arcs more, etc. When we ran the ‘04 emulator, we were waiting to purchase travel until level 14 (iirc), and picking Powers we didn’t use to simulate picking the inherent fitness pool. There’s an in-between method for sure. I’d be down for it.

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22 minutes ago, cranebump said:

I’d be down for “classic lite,” meaning limiting to SO’s, doing a bit more traditional travel, focusing on story arcs more, etc. When we ran the ‘04 emulator, we were waiting to purchase travel until level 14 (iirc), and picking Powers we didn’t use to simulate picking the inherent fitness pool. There’s an in-between method for sure. I’d be down for it.

 

Hmm... alrighty.  I'll have to cogitate on it some more, then.  I'm cool with SO's.  IO sets tend to really over-tune the power of a character when you have it all kitted out.  I do love my procs and globals (that crackly sphere that envelops the target when a hold proc triggers gives me a little tickle of joy in my heart) though.  I'd probably want a middle of the road approach to IO's, allowing individual procs and globals but no sets.  That seems like a reasonable compromise.

 

I'll try to work up an initial pitch and put up a dedicated topic for it.  If we get enough interest, then we can hammer out the particulars. 

 

 

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12 hours ago, DougGraves said:

 

I have removed my agreement with Luminara that it has been since 2003, I am sorry I believed her. 

 

I have not removed my stance that IO sets are a huge problem with OP characters. 

 

I would love to see someone create a character with only SOs and solo +4/x8 content on a blaster.  Show me that it is not significantly harder to do so with SOs than with IO sets.

If IOs were not in the game then swathes of players would have gotten bored and moved on.

 

For an awful lot of people being able to build chars with IOs and set bonuses are a large part of enjoying the game. Without it I'd be long gone. 

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9 hours ago, Xeph said:

 But... if you limit your team size to 3-5, something I saw someone else mention in a post as well, then you hit an idealistic medium. Everything feels impactful and nothing is meaningless - especially if you keep the difficulty cranked up to +4/8 even with a smaller team size. Even at level 50 with everything maxed out, you'll strain yourself a bit to keep up with an encounter designed for a full team. Speaking from personal experience, it feels great regardless of what level I do it at.

 

To me this is the Gold Star answer of this thread.  Whereas some have taken the thread as another reason to take up various banners (again) of change this, I hate that, why is this like the way it is and I dont like it...just really ...Snarky...tm.....stuff...  Xeph found an answer that has the possibility of working.  Today.  Without altering the game or other peoples play experience one single bit.

 

So, Fancy Bow to Xeph.  This may not be the exact solution the OP wants.  But it is the type of analyzation that looks for a solution in the "real world" rather than come up with a laundry list of stuff that needs to be 'fixed' before the OP can begin to find a way to reach a goal.

 

hmmmm....I think i achieved a nice balance of complimentary and snarkiness in that.  Danged, I am good.

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Cap teams at 5 outside of Incarnate Trials!  WOO!

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52 minutes ago, Marshal_General said:

Maybe we need a sub-par build thread where everyone only has around half the resists and defense and so forth.

 

Then they would be really happy for those buffs and controls.

 

Heh...yeah...

 

Y'know, in thinking about this, feels like it's not so much having a subpar build, but rather having a normal (and good) build being made subpar by by easy acquisition of goodies. Not saying we should all go back to grinding and such. Some people play just to rise up and max out, so that's part of the deal. But if I can belabor the whole "classic mode" a wee bit more, the game plays just fine in its near-original form. You just can't get that same type of teaming, though, unless you take dedicated steps. So maybe your subpar build threat idea ain't so far fetched.:-)

Looking for SFMA content over multiple arcs? Search for the following arcs under "cranebump."

Ordinary People [3 parts]=1. Standard Operating Procedure, 2. Hope and Bullets, 3. The Last Full MeasureInvestigation of a series of thefts leads you deep into a vengeful plot that threatens all of Paragon City. Will you and Kings Row's "ordinary" heroes be able to stop it?

Leviathan [5 parts]=1. Hollow Pursuit, 2. Hollow Ring, 3. Hollow Victory, 4. Origin, 5. Mantle:  The  assassination of a local politician with national aspirations sets off a media frenzy among everyone's favorite reactionary network, NewsAnon. But the bigger issue is, who's behind it is all? All signs point to the one and only Hollow Point. But, as you soon find out, signs can be deceiving.

Coming soon: 38S-1: Special Forces: A prison break from a facility no one has ever heard of, featuring villains thought long gone, pushes The.38 Specials into action to thwart the insidious, multi-layered scheme of Paragon City's latest nemesis.

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2 minutes ago, Darmian said:

Cap teams at 5 outside of Incarnate Trials!  WOO!

I'm for it! Call it a "Star Configuration" or something (like the Clan Stars in Battletech [there's somethin' I haven't thought of in ages]). 

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Looking for SFMA content over multiple arcs? Search for the following arcs under "cranebump."

Ordinary People [3 parts]=1. Standard Operating Procedure, 2. Hope and Bullets, 3. The Last Full MeasureInvestigation of a series of thefts leads you deep into a vengeful plot that threatens all of Paragon City. Will you and Kings Row's "ordinary" heroes be able to stop it?

Leviathan [5 parts]=1. Hollow Pursuit, 2. Hollow Ring, 3. Hollow Victory, 4. Origin, 5. Mantle:  The  assassination of a local politician with national aspirations sets off a media frenzy among everyone's favorite reactionary network, NewsAnon. But the bigger issue is, who's behind it is all? All signs point to the one and only Hollow Point. But, as you soon find out, signs can be deceiving.

Coming soon: 38S-1: Special Forces: A prison break from a facility no one has ever heard of, featuring villains thought long gone, pushes The.38 Specials into action to thwart the insidious, multi-layered scheme of Paragon City's latest nemesis.

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