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Isaiah Cartwright on Guild Wars 2 Dungeon Reward Changes

Dungeons

In a new developer blog from Isaiah Cartwright, he outlines the changes that are being made to dungeon rewards which they hope will encourage players to try different dungeon paths and make them feel “rewarding”.

Hello! I’m Isaiah Cartwright, the lead game designer for Guild Wars 2, and I would like to talk to you about some of up upcoming changes to the ways we reward players for participating in dungeons.

Our goal is to make each and every dungeon path feel enticing and rewarding. We also want the rewards structure to encourage players to enjoy a variety of dungeon paths.

To reach these goals, we’ve made a few tweaks to the way dungeon completion is rewarded. Moving forward, the full reward for individual dungeon paths will be on a one-day timer, making it more lucrative to run multiple paths than repeating a single path. This should also increase the rewards for people who only do one dungeon a day. Story dungeons will award 50 silver for completion, and explorable dungeons will award between 1 and 3 gold depending on length and difficulty. As we go on with our project of updating our existing dungeons, we’ll monitor the changes to paths and update the rewards accordingly.

In a related update, we’ve removed the silver you get directly from dungeon bosses, as we have a new champion reward system coming in to place.

Champion Rewards

We’ve been working on a new system for champion-level loot that will raise the payoff of challenging encounters.

All champions in the game will drop a new loot container based on their type. For example, champion bandits will drop a new Embroidered Coin Purse which will contain a few silver, some karma, and crafting materials, with a chance at skill points, rare crafting materials, and new, rare weapon skins. Our goal is to better balance the risks and rewards for fighting champions. This will also make the events that scale to include multiple champions, like those in Orr and Southsun Cove, more rewarding.


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  • Time gating is good, guys.
    I learned that from WoW.

  • Time gating? What is that?

    Sounds like scaling reward to path duration and difficulty is a good idea. But I wouldn’t scale just gold, I would scale everything including (or especially) tokens. If on average, people make as much money and tokens and loot per hour regardless of path, that should take care of much of the reason why short easy paths are preferred.

  • The King of Dust

    Time gating is putting in a delay before you can gain a reward. Delay as in an actual timer, like the one-day timer for the dungeon rewards. Or the one-day timer for the charged quartz crystals.

    Time-gating has its uses. When used properly it can help more casual players keep up with the hardcores who are logged in almost all the time. GW2 does it a lot though, and some of it feels completely unnecessary. Like the charged quartz thing, since they’re account bound and the items you make with them are also account bound.

    As far as crappy mechanics go, “Binding” items to characters sucks way more than time-gating. But that’s not really related to this thread’s subject.

  • The primary use of time gating is to remove control of players’ time from them. While it on the surface might seem to benefit casual players, there is no real need for it – what would it be? Access to most things that casual players would want is already available to them for the same effort anyway. To a point it is that, of course, but they really do not benefit that much from time gating. A reason for time gating that is not talked about as much is that it shapes the way more hardcore players play. Someone might think “hmm I need to do this X times”, with time gating he needs to do it during X days – this means that he needs to come back to the game every day, or else he misses out. This is of course a gross oversimplification, but it’s the main purpose of time gating – to make people return to the game the next day. This is artificial content extension or whatever, but that’s beside the point because most hardcore players have already seen the content way too many times already by the time they play for the rewards instead of for exploration or fun.

  • Thanks.

    So I had a pretty good idea of what it was and what it’s function was, I just wasn’t sure if time gating was something else that I didn’t know about and needed to ask.

  • On dungeons:
    Never seen much replay value past the dungeon master achievement, so to me personally this has always been about rewards. With several lvl 80 chars available, doing multiple CoF runs on a day where I had plenty of playtime was ideal. With the new reward system, the game more or less forces some kind of daily schedule. I would say the time-gating works and I don’t see how it’s casual player friendly.

    On champions:
    While I initially loved the idea of boosting the champion loot, the current zerg-trains running through forstgorge/cs are downright ridiculous. Champions previously completely ignored are now basically killed on spawn 24/7. Events are prologued/failed on purpose to get more champ spawns, kill-stealing has been re-introduced (personally I would say it was never gone in the first place) as the zerg-train obliterates champs in a matter of seconds and the map-chat is full of tears about how people are “stealing” each others spawns and who is more entitled to content than others. Claims of a friendly gw2-community suddenly find themselves confronted with the harsh truth that the moment content turns into any kind of competition, there is no longer room for friendliness. I’ve seen more harsh words delivered in a week than previously in a year.

    With the limitations placed on dungeon rewards, people now have moved to the best available alternative: Champions. But while the farmers previously roamed their dungeon instances, they are now affecting the open-world. Personally I would say Anet got it half-right only: The champ encounters are no longer challenging and yet they payoff too well…

  • If you’re farming a path, it may be because you’re not casual.

    Sure, you might not consider yourself hardcore elite either, but really, what’s the difference between farming a path a few days a month, and farming a path many days a month? Quantity. You’re the same player with more time on your hands.

    Part of the reason for dailies etc is like jam said, to encourage players to log in more often. Another part is to encourage players to play different content. If you have a full day to play, then you should consider doing multiple paths and engage in other activities as well, instead of spending your day farming one path.

    —–

    Dunno about champions, I haven’t had time to farm them (been playing guantlet & other games)… but if your definition of kill-stealing is “getting to content while it’s still active”, I can live with that. With some running speed boost, it’s not hard to be at the front of a zerg. If champions die in literally seconds though (as opposed to figuratively), they should scale them better.

  • The King of Dust

    I was clearing FS on an alt not too long ago. Came across the map zerg while they were waiting the on the champ icebrood Kodan. Turned around to kill a monster to work on the Heart while I was waiting, and when I looked back at the zerg, the champion was already dead and they were moving on to the next one.

    So I followed them to the next one. It spawned, and approximately 10 to 15 seconds later it was dead already. They literally die in seconds.

  • QUOTE

    
    

    On champions:
    While I initially loved the idea of boosting the champion loot, the current zerg-trains running through forstgorge/cs are downright ridiculous. Champions previously completely ignored are now basically killed on spawn 24/7. Events are prologued/failed on purpose to get more champ spawns, kill-stealing has been re-introduced (personally I would say it was never gone in the first place) as the zerg-train obliterates champs in a matter of seconds and the map-chat is full of tears about how people are “stealing” each others spawns and who is more entitled to content than others. Claims of a friendly gw2-community suddenly find themselves confronted with the harsh truth that the moment content turns into any kind of competition, there is no longer room for friendliness. I’ve seen more harsh words delivered in a week than previously in a year.

    With the limitations placed on dungeon rewards, people now have moved to the best available alternative: Champions. But while the farmers previously roamed their dungeon instances, they are now affecting the open-world. Personally I would say Anet got it half-right only: The champ encounters are no longer challenging and yet they payoff too well…

    Completely agree on the Champs. You get told off if you want to finish certain events in Orr, because it’s more lucrative if you fail it… From what I’ve heard, people even threatened to report people who actually wanted to finish events… (not that I believe one second somebody would do that and even if they did, ANet would actually ban somebody over that…)

  • People can become jerks when income is involved.

    That being said, ANet really need to balance sources of income so playing the game is what is most lucrative. And then balance champion health and skills so even very large zergs don’t down the champion in seconds.

    It can be done, but from what I hear it needs to be tweaked further.

  • QUOTE

    If you're farming a path, it may be because you're not casual.
    
    Sure, you might not consider yourself hardcore elite either, but really, what's the difference between farming a path a few days a month, and farming a path many days a month? Quantity. You're the same player with more time on your hands.
    
    Part of the reason for dailies etc is like jam said, to encourage players to log in more often. Another part is to encourage players to play different content. If you have a full day to play, then you should consider doing multiple paths and engage in other activities as well, instead of spending your day farming one path.
    
    
    To me it's not about quantity, but about when I'll be able to do the farming. In an extreme example, say I wanted to do 7 farming runs a week, but only happened to have time on the weekend, I could do that over the course of 2 days without penalty (with the help of alts). With the current system, I'm getting punished for not being able to login every day. Same amount of runs, just less flexibility.
    
    If they want me to consider multiple paths and other activities, then they better improve these first before nerfing the rewards. I understand they are working on a dungeon overhaul, but till then it's just a nerf to the casual player really...
    
    
    Dunno about champions, I haven't had time to farm them (been playing guantlet & other games)... but if your definition of kill-stealing is "getting to content while it's still active", I can live with that. With some running speed boost, it's not hard to be at the front of a zerg. If champions die in literally seconds though (as opposed to figuratively), they should scale them better.
    
    Well, the champ gets 
    zerged down
     in roughly 5 seconds. "Getting to content" means a mandatory speed-boost as well as a decent enough computer to shorten the WP loading as much as possible. If you cannot keep up, you will be effectively locked out of open-world content.
    
    From what I've heard, the gold gain is roughly equal to CoF p1 pre-patch, which I understand Anet considered too high. But contrary to dungeons, you won't get DR on the champ boxes, so you can just keep going.
    
    To me the problem isn't so much with the gold-gain, but with moving the farming from instanced content to the open world. Dungeon content is available to an unlimited number of players and they have to cooperate to succeed. However, the champ farm is the complete opposite, as you will be competing against other players, trying to get as much damage in as possible to tag them successfully and lagging just a few seconds behind the zerg means you will be excluded from loot entirely.
    
    A step in the entirely wrong direction...
    
    
    
    Completely agree on the Champs.  You get told off if you want to finish certain events in Orr, because it's more lucrative if you fail it...   From what I've heard, people even threatened to report people who actually wanted to finish events... (not that I believe one second somebody would do that and even if they did, ANet would actually ban somebody over that...)
    
    No surprise there. From what I understand based on all the dramas on map chat, people farming champs consider others playing outside of the zerg (as in, explore the map, do events, kill champs as you encounter them...) as selfish pricks screwing them over their well deserved loot. No point trying to argue with that kind of logic, but I suppose you could report the farmers for borderline-exploiting the event-chains.
  • QUOTE

    ANet really need to balance sources of income so playing the game is what is most lucrative.

    Yes. Change the rewards, change the game.

    But what, exactly, is “playing the game”? Obviously not leveling, that’s only for a short while. Doing events? Which events? And then why would not those events become the most visited, played in a specific manner? They already are. See Lady Rhonwyn’s comment about events in Orr, or satenia’s about champions…

    The flaw here is that GW2 is too reward-oriented. Many players would not consider doing anything except in the most rewarding way possible because they don’t see any reason to do anything else!

  • If all sources of income are about equally good (in income, time, and risk), then players will play whatever they enjoy most. Farming given paths or champs happens when one sources is much better than another.

    If ANet keeps bumping given kinds of rewards higher than others, and balancing again, at worse we get populations that change activity once in a while, and that’s not that bad, is it? I don’t have a problem with people farming champs, I might join in the fun.

    Of course, provided said content can handle the number of players… make those champs tougher!

  • QUOTE

    If all sources of income are about equally good (in income, time, and risk), then players will play whatever they enjoy most. Farming given paths or champs happens when one sources is much better than another.
    (...)
    Of  course, provided said content can handle the number of players... make  those champs tougher!

    A better idea is to make rewards as a whole mean less.

    Encourage players to see the experience of content as the actual reward, and let “cold” rewards (gold, drops etc) be of secondary importance.

    Of course that would require it to be interesting to for example kill champions. Currently all you do is:
    * Pop a speed boost to get in range
    * Follow maximum damage rotation for 5-8 seconds
    * Collect loot

    I don’t see how just making champions tougher would affect this, apart from making that 10-15 seconds instead. Possibly you would need to get out of the way of attacks more, which seems a very minor thing. If players instead would kill champions for the thrill of battling a champion, instead of for the loot… Now that would change things.

    Other content would need to become interesting as well, of course.

  • QUOTE

    A better idea is to make rewards as a whole mean less.
    
    I agree with that being a nice goal for players, but ANet can't create ideal players. It can only help players reduce their dependency... and if they do that, they have to go about it gradually.
    
    Champions should be fun to kill. They should last long enough. Most problems caused by champions giving good loot would vanish if they lived long enough to be fun. Nobody cares if people farm them... people only care if the act of farming spoils it for everyone. Champions already need many players to fight (exceptions aside) so ANet just has to work on making the fight last long enough to be interesting.
    
    Them lasting longer is necessary... and then having fun abilities to dodge / respond to is also important.
    
    Generally though, I think linking rewards to account points is more promising, because that at least goes up faster if you do different content.
    
    
    They play through content once or twice and then there's no reason to play it again except for rewards.

    The replay value is to be found in the challenge, the playstyle variations (e.g. playing the content using different professions), and the loot. MMORPGs tend to put way too much emphasis on the loot, unfortunately, this has become something players expect.

  • QUOTE

    They play through content once or twice and then there's no reason to play it again except for rewards.
    Yes. Because it's boring crap that no one in their right mind would see any reason to replay unless given something for it. That's what happens when you reward every action players take. It makes them see the gameplay as centered around the rewards. So when you get more reward for doing one thing instead of another, why not do that thing?
    But I'm not talking about lowering the rewards.
    
    
    I agree with that being a nice goal for players, but ANet can't create ideal players. It can only help players reduce their dependency... and if they do that, they have to go about it gradually.
    
    Champions should be fun to kill. They should last long enough. Most problems caused by champions giving good loot would vanish if they lived long enough to be fun. Nobody cares if people farm them... people only care if the act of farming spoils it for everyone. Champions already need many players to fight (exceptions aside) so ANet just has to work on making the fight last long enough to be interesting.
    
    Them lasting longer is necessary... and then having fun abilities to dodge / respond to is also important.
    
    Generally though, I think linking rewards to account points is more promising, because that at least goes up faster if you do different content.
    Let's pretend you are a doctor. A patient comes to you. He complains about pain in his bowels. You prescribe some painkillers and send him home. Six hours later, the man's appendix burst open and unfortunately it gets bad, he dies within twenty minutes. But hey, at least he wasn't in pain, right?
    Obviously, curing the disease is preferable to curing the symptoms.
    
    Making champions last longer does not solve anything, it just makes them last longer. This does not make them any more interesting for the players zerging them, in fact it makes them less interesting. If they last so long that something else becomes more profitable per time unit, people would no longer go for champions. The zerg would drop off because they seek profit, and individual players who do it "for fun" are now faced with super-strong champions that take half an hour to beat.
    
    This is 

    not about creating the ideal player. It is about creating a good game.

  • QUOTE

    Let's pretend you are a doctor.

    But I am a doctor, no need to pretend! (maybe not of the medical kind though)

    ANet’s job isn’t to cure gamers of game addiction, it’s to sell games. Your analogy fails because you’re asking the pusher for advice on how to quit drugs. I respect ANet for making a game that is much easier to put down or play without wasting your life to it… but I don’t expect them to cure people of gaming addiction because that’s not their job.

    Making champions last longer solves the “kill stealing” problem some complain about. That is the only thing I wanted to fix with that suggestion. And I only suggest making them last longer only for cases where they last literally seconds. I would fix this via scaling, so it does not affect how tough champions are against small groups.

  • What devs should strive for is:

    (1) make different content that is fun for different people, and make those content as fun as they can be given the target audience

    (2) balance the reward/risk/time qualities of these different content types so that people will tend to gravitate to what they enjoy most, because they see all alternatives as paying off about equally well per time/effort

  • QUOTE

    But I am a doctor, no need to pretend! (maybe not of the medical kind though)
    
    ANet's job isn't to cure gamers of game addiction, it's to sell games. Your analogy fails because you're asking the pusher for advice on how to quit drugs. I respect ANet for making a game that is much easier to put down or play without wasting your life to it... but I don't expect them to cure people of gaming addiction because that's not their job.
    
    Making champions last longer solves the "kill stealing" problem some complain about. That is the only thing I wanted to fix with that suggestion. And I only suggest making them last longer only for cases where they last literally seconds. I would fix this via scaling, so it does not affect how tough champions are against small groups.
    What? That would assume that I want to stop playing games. No, rather I am asking the pusher to stop cutting the dope he is selling me. I don't want to quit doing smack, I just want to not have to worry about gangrene every time I shoot up.
    
    Making champions last longer solves the kill stealing problem, but not the actual problem of "why are there massive zergs that farm champions?".
    
    
    Even if it's fun, it will be ignored if something gives better reward.
    
    You could have a fun, engaging, challenging dungeon that gives mediocre rewards, and some other mind-numbing activity where all you do is press 1,2,3 continuously but gives high rewards.
    
    Guess where the vast majority of players will be?
    Depends entirely on what rewards are worth. If a mediocre reward is enough to buy most things you want, a lot of players will go for the fun challenge.
  • QUOTE

    Making champions last longer solves the kill stealing problem, but not the actual problem of "why are there massive zergs that farm champions?"

    I don’t actually see that as a problem.

    That is one reason I play this MMORPG, afterall.

  • QUOTE

    I don't actually see that as a problem.

    But only Alaris cares about Alaris.

  • QUOTE

    But only Alaris cares about Alaris.

    No but really.

    What is the problem in having a zerg, in a game mode made to promote zergs? It seems weird to me to complain about a feature that was built in on purpose, works as intended, and is a selling point.

    Zerging is a fun casual way to play the game, and I like zerging in PvE and WvW alike.

  • Plenty of people play games without rewards. But plenty more play games (and spend in) with rewards. That’s just business.

    Of course people flock to high reward no effort… and it’s a sign of bad balance when you have that. Every reward should be on a curve of high effort high(er) reward vs low effort low(er) reward.

    Once the reward / risks are properly balanced, people do pick activities they find more fun. Except greedy people, who will always flock to the highest rewards regardless.

  • QUOTE

    No but really.
    
    What is the problem in having a zerg, in a game mode made to promote zergs? It seems weird to me to complain about a feature that was built in on purpose, works as intended, and is a selling point.
    
    Zerging is a fun casual way to play the game, and I like zerging in PvE and WvW alike.
    It might work as intended or it might not. Why would that matter? You rob someone and your defense in court is 
    "but I meant to take his money"
    ?. And no, it's not a selling point. Do you see "come zerg with us" on the box anywhere? I sure don't. What I see is (all taken from 
    this page
    ):
    
    
    
    
    Guild Wars 2
     defines the future of online roleplaying games  with action-oriented combat, customized personal storylines, epic  dynamic events, world-class PvP, and no subscription fees!
    -----
    The living world of 
    Guild Wars 2
     is filled with thousands of  dynamic events that constantly change based on the actions of players  like you. You never know what you
  • QUOTE

    Now, you say that's why you play MMOs. But is it really? Or is it because you want to play with others in a randomly matched way? If champion battles were affairs of 3-4 players, it would be exciting and sometimes challenging. You would recognize your effort, and the efforts of others. Do you 

    really play MMOs in order to rush around in massive zergs just doing your rotation simply because it averages out to the best possible thing to do?

    I hate that and will not actively search for a zerg nor follow one if it overtakes me. It can be handy (at times) such as when I wanted to the gates of Arrah (so I could get some karma armour). A zerg was heading the same direction. I hopped on the train and as soon as it turned away from my direction, I left again.

    Yesterday, I was in Caledon Forest, doing my daily. One part was doing 2 group events. I came across the Jungle Troll, I got some guildies together, and with the three of us, we banned that troll…. Lots more fun than zerging him to the ground! (we continuned with the neighbouring championg troll and the Krait champion). Some strangers joined in as well and that, to me, is fun. Not mindlessly following a group, from champ to champ, purely for the loot…

  • QUOTE

    It might work as intended or it might not. Why would that matter? You rob someone and your defense in court is 
    "but I meant to take his money"
    ?. And no, it's not a selling point. Do you see "come zerg with us" on the box anywhere? I sure don't. What I see is (all taken from 
    this page

    ):

    Guild Wars 2
     defines the future of online roleplaying games  with action-oriented combat, customized personal storylines, epic  dynamic events, world-class PvP, and no subscription fees!
    -----
    The living world of 
    Guild Wars 2
     is filled with thousands of  dynamic events that constantly change based on the actions of players  like you. You never know what you’ll discover when you log in!
    -----
    Experience a new kind of high-impact, fast-paced combat. Attack on the  move, dodge and roll away from enemy blows, team up with other players,  and take advantage of environmental weapons to dominate the battlefield!
    -----
    
    Guild Wars 2
     is YOUR story. Your choices determine how your  personal story evolves; with thousands of possible variations, no two  players will have the exact same experience.
    -----
    Competitive play in 
    Guild Wars 2
     is easy to learn, but offers  challenges for new players and hardcore PvPers alike. In Player vs.  Player matches, small teams of players battle over maps packed with  objectives, while in World vs. World, armies of hundreds of players from  competing servers wage war across four sprawling maps.

    Oh look at that. Zerging is a selling point - for WvW. Not for PvE champions. That just happens anyway.

    Now, you say that's why you play MMOs. But is it really? Or is it because you want to play with others in a randomly matched way? If champion battles were affairs of 3-4 players, it would be exciting and sometimes challenging. You would recognize your effort, and the efforts of others. Do you

    really 
    play MMOs in order to rush around in massive zergs just doing your rotation simply because it averages out to the best possible thing to do?

    Of course not! Silly.

    I play this MMORPG because I love to play in a zerg. I don't even care if it's the best possible thing to do, I just enjoy running with large groups taking out big foes. It amuses me. I did it in the beta when the cash made didn't stay. I did it back when dungeons were obviously paying better. And I am still doing it now that it happens to be a good way to make cash. Reward isn't a factor here, I have given up on the way of the carrot a long time ago (back in Diablo 2) and vowed never to let petty rewards influence my gaming again.

    And if I don't feel like zerging, I play a dungeon or some other game. I really, really don't see the point of playing a persistent area in a MMO if you're playing it solo all the time. Sometimes I like to solo. But more often than not, I like to zerg.

    And personally, yes, I tend to prefer larger groups. More people to frontline for, more people to rez, more people to try to combo off of or support. I actually like that. If I want a small group higher challenge, I do a dungeon.

  • QUOTE

    Of course not! Silly.
    
    I play this MMORPG because I love to play in a zerg. I don't even care if it's the best possible thing to do, I just enjoy running with large groups taking out big foes. It amuses me. I did it in the beta when the cash made didn't stay. I did it back when dungeons were obviously paying better. And I am still doing it now that it happens to be a good way to make cash. Reward isn't a factor here, I have given up on the way of the carrot a long time ago (back in Diablo 2) and vowed never to let petty rewards influence my gaming again.
    
    And if I don't feel like zerging, I play a dungeon or some other game. I really, really don't see the point of playing a persistent area in a MMO if you're playing it solo all the time. Sometimes I like to solo. But more often than not, I like to zerg.
    
    And personally, yes, I tend to prefer larger groups. More people to frontline for, more people to rez, more people to try to combo off of or support. I actually like that. If I want a small group higher challenge, I do a dungeon.

    Would you notice if they were replaced by NPCs? Just in the zerg, I mean, not when doing dungeons or such.

  • QUOTE

    Would you notice if they were replaced by NPCs? Just in the zerg, I mean, not when doing dungeons or such.

    Yes I would. Well, not for all of them, but some of them do play at better-than-NPC levels. And do stupid things even the AI wouldn’t do.

    Then again, I tend to be pretty saavy with AI knowledge compared to your average gamer.

  • QUOTE

    Yes I would. Well, not for all of them, but some of them do play at better-than-NPC levels. And do stupid things even the AI wouldn't do.
    
    Then again, I tend to be pretty saavy with AI knowledge compared to your average gamer.

    And you are actually keeping track of 20+ people? lol Alaris… If you were truthful I would discuss this with you, but you totally lack integrity. You are literally making this up. While reading these lines, you came to think of counterexamples, but are you sure that those really happened? And if we pretend that they did, are you sure that it’s impossible to create AI to make that happen? Not ANet AI, mind you, but people who actually know AI.

  • QUOTE

    (...)

    I lack integrity because I disagree with you? lol jam, you argue like a republican.

    I don’t have to keep track of 20+ people to enjoy being around 20+ people. I like feeling small in a big battle, something that I have not felt in other games. At some point, I got tired of mowing down waves after waves of foes on my own. I wanted the feel of big battles. I thought online MMOs would provide that, but WoW persistent areas discouraged zerging, and GW1 was fully instanced.

    It really doesn’t matter what is possible to do with AI, if no other game actually offers it, or anything remotely close to it. Honestly, I’ve had a lot of fun playing around with AI zerging in my own game. But I don’t see anywhere decent AI zerging in the commercially-available video games I’ve sampled… simply because good AI is expensive to implement, and not necessarily more fun than dumb cheap AI.

  • QUOTE

    I lack integrity because I disagree with you? lol jam, you argue like a republican.
    
    I don't have to keep track of 20+ people to enjoy being around 20+ people. I like feeling small in a big battle, something that I have not felt in other games. At some point, I got tired of mowing down waves after waves of foes on my own. I wanted the feel of big battles. I thought online MMOs would provide that, but WoW persistent areas discouraged zerging, and GW1 was fully instanced. 
    
    It really doesn't matter what is possible to do with AI, if no other game actually offers it, or anything remotely close to it. Honestly, I've had a lot of fun playing around with AI zerging in my own game. But I don't see anywhere decent AI zerging in the commercially-available video games I've sampled... simply because good AI is expensive to implement, and not necessarily more fun than dumb cheap AI.

    I argue like a republican? But I am not the one calling the other one names. You lack integrity because you admit to not keeping track of 20+ people, yet you claim to notice when they do something extraordinary good (like positioning themselves so that their area buff covers as many people as possible?) or extraordinarily bad (like lagging a bit so that they get separated from the group and killed?). Now the next thing you’ll be doing is to tell me that I am a creationist followed by an explanation about how you actually do keep track of 20+ people even though you don’t.

    Zerging is not the feel of a big battle. Seeing 8 people you know die for the only reason of them randomly being in the wrong place, which is just 50 meters from where you are, is the feel of a big battle. But I see what you mean: you want the combination of safe violence and the feeling of being in a crowd that strive to do something. This is a basic human instinct, especially for males – but for most it gets boring very quickly, unless the opponents are human as well (in an MMO, people prefer to zerg as you have noticed, when it’s profitable. the rewards given are socially meaningful).

    I guess that when you say “AI zerging” in your own game, you mean that you crowd pieces and have them attack in a group. Yes, it’s fun. Are you still working on it? Might I suggest something? Try to implement basic tactics, like envelopment and oblique formation (rectangle groups).

    Yes, good AI is expensive to make, and usually don’t look that good anyway. In the limited case of doing smart (or stupid) things while zerging, it would be easy to make it look good though, since there’s so much chaos going on anyway that you would need to look very carefully to see patterns. The reason this is not done is of course not only that it’s expensive (it is, but you’ll earn that back) but because it’s much cheaper and easier to let players do it instead. And, of course, as above, that it would get boring.

  • So when you are in a crowd, suddenly you see nobody? You don’t have to see everyone to see some of them and what they do. This is not the type of stuff I should need to argue with you, this is pretty easy to understand, and you are smarter than that.

    The problem is that you do argue like a republican. Instead of evaluating what I say for its value, you attack it from any side even if illogical, if it disagrees with what you think. And what you think is that anything you don’t enjoy in a game, if we enjoy it, it must be because of the rewards.

    I tried the update and the PvE maps being overrun, and I enjoyed it. A lot. One thing annoyed me greatly though… too much damn loot. I swear, I totally hated the fact that I had to spend time doing inventory work when there are foes to kill. At some point I just gave up on picking up stuff. Good luck explaining that with your “carrot” theory of the world.

    —–

    I am still working on the game… not often, due to work interferring (and games too). Not sure what you mean by oblique formation etc, but my AI actually groups up dynamically, which ends up forming stuff like frontlines and envelopment but not because it’s scripted as such, but because of how each individual wants both the support of nearby allies and being in the battle at once.

    —–

  • QUOTE

    So when you are in a crowd, suddenly you see nobody? You don't have to see everyone to see some of them and what they do. This is not the type of stuff I should need to argue with you, this is pretty easy to understand, and you are smarter than that.
    
    The problem is that you do argue like a republican. Instead of evaluating what I say for its value, you attack it from any side even if illogical, if it disagrees with what you think. And what you think is that anything you don't enjoy in a game, if we enjoy it, it must be because of the rewards.
    
    I tried the update and the PvE maps being overrun, and I enjoyed it. A lot. One thing annoyed me greatly though... too much damn loot. I swear, I totally hated the fact that I had to spend time doing inventory work when there are foes to kill. At some point I just gave up on picking up stuff. Good luck explaining that with your "carrot" theory of the world.
    
    -----
    
    I am still working on the game... not often, due to work interferring (and games too). Not sure what you mean by oblique formation etc, but my AI actually groups up dynamically, which ends up forming stuff like frontlines and envelopment but not because it's scripted as such, but because of how each individual wants both the support of nearby allies and being in the battle at once.
    
    
    -----

    You forgot to call me creationist. Oh well, one out of two is not that bad.

    The new update is interesting. Hopefully ANet released GW2 when they did to keep us occupied with something while they were working on the actual game. Choking you on loot is a good thing; loot is only valuable if it is scarce. With loot extremely easy to come by, gameplay experiences become more valuable!

    Oblique formation means that they form up into (usually) rectangles and attempt to hold position in the formation even when they could get better results from a “personal” perspective by breaking formation. It is surprisingly efficient. Just like in the real world, it’s hard to make them do that by “natural” AI. It’s cool though that you got them to envelop etc on their own!

  • You focus on the wrong data, but still use decent logic. Ergo, you are not a creationist.

    —–

    I’m still not sure why rectangle formations would be preferred, since most of the combat occurs on the frontline e.g. edges of that rectangle… wouldn’t the width of the rectangle just end up being wasted warriors that exist only to replace lost frontliners? Or is the area there to prevent people from breaking into the formation and backstabbing people easily?

    I admit I need to read more about formations and warfare…

  • QUOTE

    You focus on the wrong data, but still use decent logic. Ergo, you are not a creationist.
    
    -----
    
    I'm still not sure why rectangle formations would be preferred, since most of the combat occurs on the frontline e.g. edges of that rectangle... wouldn't the width of the rectangle just end up being wasted warriors that exist only to replace lost frontliners? Or is the area there to prevent people from breaking into the formation and backstabbing people easily?
    
    I admit I need to read more about formations and warfare...

    The benefits of strict formations are, first, as you say, replacements (replacements only matter if soldiers get tired). Second, troops in formation don’t get surrounded as easily (as you mentioned). This in turn have two benefits, which are first off that you get more incoming than outgoing damage (surrounded individuals tend to die quick), and also that it feels safer to have friends watching your back (which only matters if there is a morale system). Third, formations can be used to cut up enemy formations/groups, denying the benefits for the enemy (for example cutting the enemy line in half to make it easier to envelop each part individually).
    Morale and fatigue systems really make formations matter, otherwise they are not so important really.

  • Well, I don’t have a moral or replacement system (though I do have energy)… although I could put in the AI to retreat if damaged or fatigued…

    The point of a formation would also be to try and outnumber your foes at least locally. Surrounding some foes generally means you have more allies per foe in position to do damage, so foes die faster. Given that just about anyone can heal over time, this can make a difference.

    It also positions the different types of allies more advantageously, i.e. putting heavier armors / melee in front and more ranged/support fighters behind. If you try to jump from the frontlines to your foes’ backline, two things happen: (1) you are the target for a lot of firepower, and (2) foes spread around you and frontliners try to surround you again.