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Is there any way to make teams less boring?


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Oh, I just remembered one way to make teams more interesting - invite drunk people.  Trust me, it will get interesting.  At least it was for me every time it happened.  Especially when it's a relative or friend and you have to try to explain to everyone else what's going on...  🤪

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5 hours ago, KauaiJim said:

Oh, I just remembered one way to make teams more interesting - invite drunk people.  Trust me, it will get interesting.  At least it was for me every time it happened.  Especially when it's a relative or friend and you have to try to explain to everyone else what's going on...  🤪

I don't think "less boring" means what you think it means.

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On 3/23/2021 at 7:02 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.

 

 

Like the man said,"if you're bored then you're boring."

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There is no better teaming than this game. My experience with online games started with Diablo, the original. I loved the new experience of chat rooms, but no teaming to be had. It was random solo. Then I moved to NWN, the original. Being heavily DnD based there were hefty XP penalties for teaming so I gravitated to paladin/clerics that could heal themselves and would run around killing things until max level. Then I tried Guild Wars, the original, and the PvP aspect of the game and the lack of PvE (no DLCs yet at the time) meant I only played it for a short while. We did team there as the NPCs were unreliable but I only played it for a month.

 

I'll go backwards and skip CoH to mention the game I played after that, which was WoW. TBC had just launched. Coming from CoH it was jarring. We don't team? A tank has to whittle mobs and does not tank until max level (no LFG tool at the time so we had to spam the chat for team members (not even server wide chat, we had the habit of moving to different capital cities and spam chat in unison) dungeons weren't run until max level unless after twink gear). A healer needs to whack things on their own until max level and does not heal until then? Everything is solo until max level and THEN we are suddenly in a world of grouping up.

 

Okay, but we can team then, right? Well, yeah, if you have a tank. Queue in 20-30 minutes 'Group looking for a tank for Shadow Labyrinth!' and waiting, waiting, waiting. The Benny Hill track playing if we got a tank but the healer got tired of waiting and left and we start the chat spam again.

 

Now backtracking to CoH which I played before WoW. Starting a tank? You're tanking since level one. Healer? Same. Teaming? Incentives to group up ensured people -wanted- to team since level 1. The lack of holy trinity meant groups would go. Only 4 people instead of 8? Just get more people while playing. Imagine trying to run a WoW/FF dungeon with half a team! But with the dynamic difficulty of CoH the mobs are adjusted to the number of team members so the four are not hindered or smeared by a static difficulty level meant for max team (and trinity). Your friend made a new alt? You can exemplar down and play with them, or they can sidekick up and play with you. In WoW it was common that I kept playing and outlevel my girlfriend or brother. So not only would I have done the quests (so no reward in going back) but the XP penalty grew stiffer for both if I teamed with them to help them do the quests.

 

 

There is a reason this game this game is still so popular and it's not all just to be placed at the feet of being of the super hero genre.

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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?  

If you find yourself bored on these kinds of teams, there are a number of solutions, but they require effort on your part. 

1. Host specific challenge teams, whether it be a max of 4 players at a difficulty level you feel comfortable with. 
2. Use Discord or some other voice platform. This way, even if the game play is boring, you can listen to the idle chatter of teammates who are more likely to talk than type while fighting. 
3. Join or form a supergroup. Pin down the kinds of teammates you're looking for, and recruit those types of players if you form an SG, or share what kind of experience you're looking for and join a group that would be synergistic with that style of play. 

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10 hours ago, Sovera said:

I'll go backwards and skip CoH to mention the game I played after that, which was WoW. TBC had just launched. Coming from CoH it was jarring. We don't team? A tank has to whittle mobs and does not tank until max level (no LFG tool at the time so we had to spam the chat for team members (not even server wide chat, we had the habit of moving to different capital cities and spam chat in unison) dungeons weren't run until max level unless after twink gear). A healer needs to whack things on their own until max level and does not heal until then? Everything is solo until max level and THEN we are suddenly in a world of grouping up.

 

 

My experience with WoW as totally different.  I started with the Ice expansion.  You could join LFG from anywhere and everyone used it, so you could just go into LFG and get a team.

 

You could do dungeons from level 15 on.  I basically just did dungeons and teamed constantly.

 

I played a tank and could get a team instantly.  Later on I tried a dps character and discovered that it took 15+ minutes to get a team.  So I switched back to tanker.

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Just now, DougGraves said:

 

My experience with WoW as totally different.  I started with the Ice expansion.  You could join LFG from anywhere and everyone used it, so you could just go into LFG and get a team.

 

You could do dungeons from level 15 on.  I basically just did dungeons and teamed constantly.

 

I played a tank and could get a team instantly.  Later on I tried a dps character and discovered that it took 15+ minutes to get a team.  So I switched back to tanker.

 

Yes, WotLK had all those commodities. But not back in TBC. Nowadays my WoW leveling experience is questing while LFG is running in the background, do dungeons, continue question where I left off.

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On 3/27/2021 at 3:08 PM, Herotu said:

Inconvenience, disruption of flow and a  five  two minute run back are enough to give players a reason to care. And don't say nobody cares because if that were true, they wouldn't be cobbling together all these complicated, fancypants builds. Heck, they wouldn't be playing at all!

 

Back on live I had a fancy-pants purpled-out blaster build purely so that I could recharge Rise of the Phoenix as fast as possible.

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7 hours ago, DougGraves said:

 

My experience with WoW as totally different.  I started with the Ice expansion.  You could join LFG from anywhere and everyone used it, so you could just go into LFG and get a team.

 

You could do dungeons from level 15 on.  I basically just did dungeons and teamed constantly.

 

I played a tank and could get a team instantly.  Later on I tried a dps character and discovered that it took 15+ minutes to get a team.  So I switched back to tanker.

 

Whereas on COH you can be anything and not run into the bolded issue above. The same issue happens on the more modern FFXIV. Tanks and healers get the LFG pop to pop massively fast. DPS waits. Sometimes 30 minutes or more.

 

Thankfully COH doesn't have that issue.

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I haven't read the whole thread but here's my tip: get our of your small tiny TF bubble and join some teams doing obscure content.

 

I had the pleasure of joining a +2/x8 levelling team in first ward that was <6 teammates. It was challenging and fun, definitely not a steam roll. Here's the more wacky thing, most of is we're pretty IO'd out and we still kept getting beaten down.

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On 3/23/2021 at 7:02 PM, RogueWolf said:

I never hit anything because it was dead before my attack animation was over.

 

either you are targeting the same thing as everyone else or the other characters that you are running with have power-levels much higher than the foes you are facing.

I actually do what I can to avoid running with players that have veteran levels just because of this reason ... well .. and others ...

 

You see, some people just level past all the low levels to get to 50 and then think that that they know how to play the game since they have a 50. They just want to plow through everything and show off how super they are and could care less  about what the rest of the team thinks of their behavior (other than adoring them because they are so mighty, powerful, etc.)

 

I too am annoyed when someone rushes around to speed/stealth something that I wanted to get xp from.

I don't like chasing players that act like a ping-pong ball or a tank the rush through a mob and into the next one and could give bat-droppings about the rest of the team.

That can go for someone that runs ahead of the team and agros mobs and dies after leading the enemies back toward the group.

 

Luckily, I PuG at good bit and generally get to be on teams when people actually figure out how to work with each other and move at a pace where the team is able to fight foes without falling.

 

... and that happens a lot more on servers other than Excelsior.

 

Excelsior is like the new Freedom server. And I mean that with all the bad connotations that obviously go with that. 

Even before AE and City of Heroes when F2P back-in-the-day, it was already a different kind of server population. AE made it ... well the AE babie paradise. F2P just doubled down on it.

Back then, the behavior level was like of DCUO global chat out in Metropolis or inside of the Watchtower gets at some points.

If people like to play like that, that's great. I hope they are enjoying themselves.

 

If you want a team to talk to each other talk to them.

Gratz people. Woot out and thanks when the gratz you. A lot of that used to happen in the game.

 

And, as always, if the team really is that bad, make an excuse and bail out of it. There are better teams out there ... especially in the lower levels from my experience.

 

Teaming isn't the problem. It's your teammates. 

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7 hours ago, UltraAlt said:

 

Excelsior is like the new Freedom server. And I mean that with all the bad connotations that obviously go with that. 

 

 

A little off topic but I, uh, um. @UltraAlt, what does that mean? I play on Excelsior (and I think I played a little on Freedom way back in the day) and now I'm concerned lol! (Are we the bad kids?! I never know what's going on. 😄)

Granted, I've always kept a fairly low profile so things like server reputations tend to fly over my head. When my spouse and I were playing circa 2006/07 I was too intimidated and socially weird to team up regularly and missed a lot of content because of that. Since we've started playing Homecoming, I'm just now getting really interested in checking out Task/Strike Forces and other cooperative challenges. (When we can, we team up with some real-life friends—but those guys play less than I want to so I am, at long last, actually proactively joining pickup groups. Only took...fifteen years or so?) I want to see and do everything, and in CoX there's just so much of everything—I love it. 

 

What I really appreciate about CoX is that there's some kind of game activity available for pretty much any mood: joining an eight-person PUG and steamrolling a Task Force can be a jolt of giddy fun or it can be an exercise in feeling kind of useless. Soloing is rewarding, duoing with my spouse is still fun as heck, getting RL friends together to tackle a Strike Force as a four- or five-person team is a peak gaming experience, etc. Like, I have to be in an extremely specific (and frankly mildly masochistic) mood to enjoy World of Warcraft, but I feel like City of Heroes/Villains has something for me whenever, if that makes sense. Sometimes, especially if real life is dragging me down, being part of an unstoppable killing machine is just what I need. But other times I do want strategy and teamwork and I want to feel like victory is earned. This game offers both, and that's why I keep coming back. 

 

I do feel for @RogueWolf; a steady diet of silent steamrollers would get boring quickly. I fully concur with everyone who suggests deliberately seeking out teams of three-to-five people and recruiting like-minded folks who enjoy a particular challenge. That's my general preference anyway so I'd love to see more of it in LFG. Heck, if I ever get to a point where I feel comfortable putting groups together myself I'll probably do that. Love the suggestion of making "star configuration" a thing, so that term has my (coveted, of course) endorsement as well.

 

If anyone sees some villainous or roguish types from the Excelsior redside Super Group "Intensive Purposes" knocking about, that's probably me, my husband, or one of our friends. If we're not otherwise engaged, I'd be delighted to join in on some "star config" challenges. There's so much of the game I still haven't seen, and would love to tackle it with folks who don't expect me to already know how to do everything. 😉

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10 hours ago, UltraAlt said:

<snip>

I too am annoyed when someone rushes around to speed/stealth something that I wanted to get xp from.

I don't like chasing players that act like a ping-pong ball or a tank the rush through a mob and into the next one and could give bat-droppings about the rest of the team.

That can go for someone that runs ahead of the team and agros mobs and dies after leading the enemies back toward the group.

 

Luckily, I PuG at good bit and generally get to be on teams when people actually figure out how to work with each other and move at a pace where the team is able to fight foes without falling.

 

... and that happens a lot more on servers other than Excelsior.

 

Excelsior is like the new Freedom server. And I mean that with all the bad connotations that obviously go with that.

<snip>

 

 

very mixed feelings on reading this post. 

 

On one hand, I want to agree.

Badly.  I never join groups that are advertised with "speed" "speedy" or "fast". I see any of those words, I give a mental "nope" and keep doing whatever I was doing.  I prefer Kill All or at least Kill Most, and I always hate it when teams branch out totally separate from each other, especially when it happens silently and organically, basically just a team of soloists as opposed to a team. 

 

On the other hand, other than "I don't like that", what's my real objection? 

People are being efficient? Oh the inhumanity. People aren't playing how I want them to play? I mean, I can only keep a straight face for just so long when trying to tell other people what they should be doing. And particularly in a Pug situation. I mean, in a team of PUG's okay, you don't wish actual harm to befall anyone in real life, but at the same time, if you've never met them, they've never met you, and really they're not there in that group to be introduced. They're there to stomp face and get exp and maybe a couple drops. I can't really blame them for being goal-oriented. Gamers gonna game. 

 

But the above dichotomy is a big part of why I solo as much as I do. 

I don't seem to want the same thing from the game that most people I meet want from the game. 

That said, I may take an alt or two and server xfer them around, just to see what life's like on Everlasting, or Torchbearer, etc. 

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3 hours ago, MTeague said:

On one hand, I want to agree.

Badly.  I never join groups that are advertised with "speed" "speedy" or "fast". I see any of those words, I give a mental "nope" and keep doing whatever I was doing.  I prefer Kill All or at least Kill Most, and I always hate it when teams branch out totally separate from each other, especially when it happens silently and organically, basically just a team of soloists as opposed to a team. 

 

 

I'm the opposite when it comes to TFs.  XP can be gotten anywhere. I want the TF to be over as fast as possible so I can go back to my way of playing, mostly solo. Anyone treating non-kill-all missions in a TF as a kill-all/kill-most might as well be farming.   Go farm for your XP elsewhere.  Let's get the TF over quick so we can say our "GJ, TFP" and depart each other.  

 

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21 hours ago, Sadsquatch said:

A little off topic but I, uh, um. @UltraAlt, what does that mean? I play on Excelsior (and I think I played a little on Freedom way back in the day) and now I'm concerned lol! (Are we the bad kids?! I never know what's going on. 😄)

 

I started in Episode 2 so I saw the game evolve over time (eventually to the point that I stopped subscribing and playing altogether (partially because of what F2P had done to the game on many levels)  about a year before sunset for multiple (additional) reasons - Homecoming has removed many of the reasons that I stopped playing)

 

I had full character lists on all the servers before the sunset.

Each server had its own character/favor.

Kind of like it is now. one server wants to be the RP server. one wants to be the PVP server. one (or two) is where the Europeans tend to hang out. One is where the Oceanic/Asian/Pacific players sent to hang out. There is always one most populous server - that was Freedom. It is Excelsior now.

 

The flavors/character were distinct but they really started diverging when the AE came out.

Players did farm and power-level before  the AE release, but the release of AE was a farming boom on steroids.

And that (and the change to F2P/microtransaction [even for subscribers] model) funneled players directly to the most populous server - Freedom.

The F2P revisioning was even called Freedom.

New players went directly to the AE in Atlas when they logged in. And started yelling over broadcast for farms. They would level up to 50 and have no idea how to level up or get to another zone.

Since many of them didn't have much influence at that point, they either tried to play without enhancements or took advantage of one of the spam goldfarmer emails that was being broadcast every 15-30 seconds.

All this was intensified on the most populous server - Freedom.

 

So pretty much the players rushed, didn't learn to develop the use of their powers through experience and were left overpowered and overconfident about what the game was about without actually playing it.

I'm not saying that you are anyone is guilty, but there are many times that more experienced players are going to use different tactics to avoid teaming with that kind of player.

It has nothing to do with a player being new. It has everything to do with a player not watching how others are gaming round them and treating teammates like NPCs instead of watching what is going on and figuring out how to gel with the group.

It happens to some extent on all the servers, it is just more obviously the case on the most populous server - back then, and now.

 

People should play how they like to play.

If they like playing some way or another, there will be others that want to game with them and some that don't.

There are people that like being crass and those that don't.

There are people that like to ding, and those that gratz other people's dining because dinging is an important part of the (any) game (MMOs) .... well ... addictiveness and comradery  ... both which add to play longevity.
 

Players that rush and don't really care about their characters are a totally different kind of players from ones that take time to craft characters or bases (both of which lead to different play styles) ... and marketers that get hooked on the marketing. Players that play overtime obviously have a different understanding of the game and teaming (to each their own for sure!)

21 hours ago, Sadsquatch said:

What I really appreciate about CoX is that there's some kind of game activity available for pretty much any mood

 

Yep. People should play how they like to play and City of Heroes has a huge amount of content to explore ... if you don't go directly to the end-game and think that is all that there is.

Was just pointing out what I see to be an obvious situation that occurs with the most populous City of Heroes server ... which may very well be the situation on the most populous server related to any MMO.

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19 hours ago, MTeague said:

On the other hand, other than "I don't like that", what's my real objection? 

People are being efficient? Oh the inhumanity. People aren't playing how I want them to play? I mean, I can only keep a straight face for just so long when trying to tell other people what they should be doing.

 

The OP was complaining about teammates.

I was giving suggestions for avoiding bad teammate situations.

 

Like Lu Da says in The Water Margin, "Out of the 36 ways to get out of a bad situation, the best one is to leave"

 

My issue is that I'm leading a taskforce - even a short one like Yin - and some (insert necessary expletives here) level 50 (insert necessary expletives here) decides that they are going to stealth/speed the TF for everyone else and doesn't (insert necessary expletives here) care what the rest of the team thinks or wants.

They are the (insert necessary expletives here) and not me for wanting to get xp out of a taskforce when I'm the one that is leading it and did the recruiting.

[This also goes for that 50 that doesn't want to recruit for a taskforce, but wants to be the one to lead the team because - to them - they are obviously the most experienced -  are the biggest (insert necessary expletives here) - and don't respect that someone else took the time and initiative to recruit the team they are running with.]

 

On the other hand, watching someone Leroy Jenkins over and over again is just (insert necessary expletives here) annoying.

Zone into a mission, run into the mob, die, go to the hospital, get back the the mission, run past the team into the next mob (or two) and die, go to the hospital and repeat.

When you get into this kind of situation, It is very annoying because this behaviour can obviously endanger the entire team.

And yes, I do run into this kind of behavior. Sometimes mix in the team rezzing the character so that they can immediately race into the next mob and die.

 

So yeah, what the other people are doing isn't always about being efficient.

Sometimes I just can't tell why they are doing what they are doing because like the example above, it is obvious that the rest of the team isn't falling in battle, why is this other player so obviously oblivious to the rest of the the team?

 

This even goes to entire teams ignoring information that can make the whole team work better and gel as a team.

 

But there is always that old say, "Out of the 36 ways to get out of a bad situation, the best one is to leave"

That being said, I really don't think I should be the one that has to leave when I'm the one that recruited the team/taskforce in the first place.

I owe it to the players in the team/taskforce that aren't that (insert necessary expletives here) player(s).

 

I only kick people in the very extreme situations. I think I have kicked one. 

I was on a taskforce. The beginning of a mission they came in and parked and said they had to do something or other. Team finishes the mission and goes to the next mission. Can't start the next mission because that player is still afk in the mission. Took a minute or two to figure out that they were the player that was door sitting on the prior mission. Announced it and gave them 2 minutes to get out of the mission so that we could continue, before booting them.

 

On the other hand, I'll make up an excuse to bail out if I'm not happy with what is going on with a team. I try not to do it on a taskforce (don't think I've done so yet), but I will bail if the situation requires it.

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44 minutes ago, UltraAlt said:

Was just pointing out what I see to be an obvious situation that occurs with the most populous City of Heroes server ... which may very well be the situation on the most populous server related to any MMO.

 

Thanks so much for the thoughtful answer, @UltraAlt. The historical background is fascinating. We'd drifted away long before free-to-play and probably before Architect Entertainment was a thing—at least, I wasn't really aware of Architect until my husband and I dove into Homecoming last year. (And FWIW I never engage in AE "farming," I don't think; I just really like trying out various player-written missions and have a lot of fun with those.) So I guess we missed all the f2p hullaballoo and yeah, while I don't want to trash anyone else's method of enjoying the game, the situation as you described on Freedom during that era sounds like it would have driven me away if I hadn't already wandered off. 

I don't have any complaints about Excelsior at this point (as I emerge from my mostly-soloing/duoing cocoon) but you've made some interesting observations about high population servers and this thread has piqued my curiosity about the self-proclaimed RP server. Maybe I need an alt over yonder just to see what it's like. 

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21 hours ago, MTeague said:

On one hand, I want to agree.

Badly.  I never join groups that are advertised with "speed" "speedy" or "fast". I see any of those words, I give a mental "nope" and keep doing whatever I was doing.  I prefer Kill All or at least Kill Most, and I always hate it when teams branch out totally separate from each other, especially when it happens silently and organically, basically just a team of soloists as opposed to a team. 

I've never been so alone as I've been on an MMO team where players don't chat and might as well be npcs with occasionally better AI.

 

I prefer non-speed content. And yet I like being efficient, to an extent. I like seeing a group work together, and become stronger as a whole than all the pieces. I even feel some pride in that.

 

It's even better when we mix in some chatter -- and be people to each other. Share in the joy of the efficient, powerful team we've made. We're awesome! And each of you seven teammates have made me a happy player! Thank you so much!

 

On top of that, I'm a roleplayer, and if we add casual in-character banter, it's even better. Or if I'm with people I've had in-character interactions with before, we hang this mission into more subtle, large scale stories.

 

At the end of the discussion, I don't care how long the mission takes if we're taking time to be social on whatever level works for everyone. 

 

But the tag "speed" on a LFG request ... no, that's not my thing, even if it's great for others. To me it's a hint that not only won't there be time for being friendly and helpful to each other, and for casual or roleplay banter, but those will counter to the main goal and be unwelcome to some degree.

 

And somehow, these teams that work together often end up being pretty darn fast and efficient. It's almost as if people who're having fun, and care about each other play a little better.

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On 3/29/2021 at 11:08 PM, DZKFire said:

I haven't read the whole thread but here's my tip: get our of your small tiny TF bubble and join some teams doing obscure content.

 

I had the pleasure of joining a +2/x8 levelling team in first ward that was <6 teammates. It was challenging and fun, definitely not a steam roll. Here's the more wacky thing, most of is we're pretty IO'd out and we still kept getting beaten down.

 

This is actually a very good point. It's surprising how much content this game has. What's even more surprising is how much of it people avoid. Favoring TFs and radio missions by large.

 

Come to think of it... start in Praetoria with a couple friends ideally. Get to level 20 and then transition to First Ward - hopefully pick up a couple more folks. The Praetorian content is pretty tough but also very well designed. If you work closely with your team you'll have a great time taking on those tough battles. You'll be challenged all the way through.

 

Might need to try to recruit for this idea... bet it'd be a blast.

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58 minutes ago, Xeph said:

Come to think of it... start in Praetoria with a couple friends ideally. Get to level 20 and then transition to First Ward - hopefully pick up a couple more folks. The Praetorian content is pretty tough but also very well designed. If you work closely with your team you'll have a great time taking on those tough battles. You'll be challenged all the way through.

We do a bit of this on Reunion.  Then again there's a dedicated Praetorians SG that will join you Goldside for teaming 🙂 And a bunch of us have fought our way up to 50 without crossing, or farming, since the SG gives us access to an Ouro crystal for stuff we missed. And just as you mentioned, get to 20, head to First Ward and keep going. And those Light Paths are life savers when you're that level and escaping DUST troops!

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10 hours ago, Sadsquatch said:

I just really like trying out various player-written missions and have a lot of fun with those.

A bunch of us regularly get together and search for SFMAs to do, round robin pick.  Find something fun?  Did that person write more?  Look for that!  And then we have the Ratings game. Ok, this has no plays but sounds interesting, let's give it a whirl.  Oh, that was godawful. Spin the wheel again.  Oh, that one was great.  Confer on merits of it, award stars, rinse and repeat. 

And when I say a bunch of us, we usually recruit a few so it's a semi PUG at least.

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Darker Deeds: Part One (Arc id 28374) | Darker Deeds: Part Two. (Arc id 28536) Darker Deeds: Part Three. (Arc id 29252) | Darkest Before Dawn: Part One (Arc id 29891) |

Darkest Before Dawn: Part Two (Arc id 30210) Darkest Before Dawn: Part Three (Arc id 30560) | Bridge of Forever ( Arc id 36642)*The Cassini Division (Arc id 37104)*The House of Gaunt Saints (Arc id 37489)*

 

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On 3/24/2021 at 12:02 AM, 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.

 


Just to add my 2 cents:

I also feel that my enjoyment of the game suffers due to balance and challenge level issues. My perspective in essence: For me City of Heroes is a game about teams of super heroes working together to overcome their enemies. For me this also implies that the team needs to work together to be successful. I also enjoyed the game more in in its earlier iterations than now (though of course there are massive improvements that I wouldn't want to miss).

 

I think that these issue are a main hindrance to the further renaissance of the game and that by fixing them the game's appeal could be widened to a bigger audience. And while I can't provide a specific way to solve the problem I think there is a way to at least improve the situation.

 

That said, as we've seen in the thread there is no one opinion on the matter and that means all changes have to consider the different kinds of players and what they enjoy about the game. It's no use improving the game for some while breaking it for others.

 

While I can't offer a solution I would invite everyone to look into what makes City of Heroes so special to find the answers. Despite being flawed in some areas many parts of CoH's game design were brilliant and still are. Using those design principles and existing tools will helps us to address the issue. I would phrase some of the principles as such:

  • Play your own custom super hero
  • Play with whoever you like
  • Play the game in the way you like

Those principles still stand out among other MMORPGs and should always be true.
 

 

Some concrete game elements that relate to these principles and that we should look at:


The sidekick system aka. level sync feature

The design intent of the level sync feature is that all characters in a team are roughly of the same power level. While not a perfect system it worked better in the past because characters were far easier to sync. The later phases of the game introduced more progression elements and parallel advancement tracks which the system does not handle well. In the current game a level synced team can have characters of vastly different power levels.

 

This leads to problems and breaks the design principles. To "play the game in the way we like" and "play with whoever we like" we now have to adapt to the game. Some examples from the thread include making smaller teams, not inviting powerful characters and so on. Instead the game should adapt to us and the level sync feature could be expanded to do that. If I want to go hunt kill Skuls with my level 20 team and my friend Mr. Super Incarnate joins, the rest of my level synced team shouldn't feel irrelevant afterwards.

 

The difficulty or notoriety system

The intent here is to offer the players a choice in the difficulty and composition of encounters and to alleviate some problems from the game's flexible content design (in contrast to WoW's dungeon design with fixed mobs etc.). This choice is supposed to be meaningful, i.e. as a player I want to have something like "easy", "normal", "hard", "very hard" options. Meaning I don't really care about the difference between +1 or +2 instead I care about the difference in the resulting gameplay.

 

Similar to the level sync this system also hasn't grown with the later phases of the game. Given the additional power characters can accumulate there often is no meaningful choice in the system anymore, especially when looking at teams of 8 players.

 

Adjusting or expanding the difficulty selection would restore the "Play the game in the way you like" and "Play with whoever you like" principle and allow us to avoid workarounds like avoiding enhancements or smaller teams. There already have been some suggestions in the thread how to address the problem (additional levels, buffs and modifiers for the opposition). Ideally the solution should try to target the difficulty system itself instead of addressing it solely by introducing more specifically-made harder content. I also don't think there is a need for perfect balance in the game, due to this system. If an old piece of content is too easy we could scale it up or vice versa. Imho this also makes a better fit to CoH's flexible content design. 

 

If coupled with a fitting reward structure the system would also allow for a more flexible endgame and not limit the high level players to current endgame content (though the reward structure is a separate topic).

 

Note that to work the difficulty system relies on an improved level sync feature. If a team's power level is all over the place it becomes much harder to define what easy or hard means.

 

Tldr:

  • The current game has problems with balance and difficulty.
  • These problems stem from not adapting to systems that were added in the later phases of the game.
  • It is important to not break the system for the existing players who enjoy the current playstyle.
  • The existing design and tools of CoH are great and can help us improve the game for all players.
  • Especially the level sync feature and difficulty selection system should be addressed.
Edited by Fayre
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52 minutes ago, Fayre said:

 

 

Adjusting or expanding the difficulty selection would restore the "Play the game in the way you like" and "Play with whoever you like" principle and allow us to avoid workarounds like avoiding enhancements or smaller teams. There already have been some suggestions in the thread how to address the problem (additional levels, buffs and modifiers for the opposition). Ideally the solution should try to target the difficulty system itself instead of addressing it solely by introducing more specifically-made harder content. I also don't think there is a need for perfect balance in the game, due to this system. If an old piece of content is too easy we could scale it up or vice versa. Imho this also makes a better fit to CoH's flexible content design. 

 

 

 

Overall your post was good, but I disagree with the bolded. Introducing more options is directly giving folks what they want without invalidating the game as is for those who like it as is. 

 

More difficult content is needed as much as more options for the notoriety system are.

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