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March 30 and April 1-3 Testing Feedback

Pelirow

Active Member
Bugs/Issues
1. Meadows far SW Spider area navmesh issue. The side path to the spider area (near the big ember pillar thing) has a navmesh derp that makes the spiders clip into the ground:
EmbersAdrift_2022.04.03.08.15.15.png

2. Crystal Veins has a hole in one of the structures you can fall through and die. If this is intentional, okay, but it's an incredibly dick move then, because: 1. every other possible place it looks like you can fall off has invisible borders so there's an intuitive expectation you can't fall to your death in the dungeon, and 2. It's a 10 foot fall that in no way should make a level 20 tank with full health splat to death. I couldn't do a /report at the area because I was swarmed with 3^ mobs but hopefully this pic helps:
EmbersAdrift_2022.04.03.13.15.47.png

3. Fall damage and death generally needs a major rework, it's incredibly unintuitive and overdone. It's starting to become by biggest gripe about the game.

4. I ended up "in combat" near another group that was actually in combat but I was not in the group at all, this prevented me from being able to staminate like normal. I had previously helped the group out a bit but never joined them. You can see my health bar has the in combat icon. I had to run far away to make the combat state go away:
EmbersAdrift_2022.04.03.13.04.37.png

Feedback
1. Exp felt too fast this weekend. I went from 17.5 to over 20 in 6-8 hours, whereas that was the usual amount of time it took me to get 1 level in previous testing sessions. We did have a stupid easy camp though; the foreman camp north of the castle in Dryfoot that spawns nothing but 2^ mobs. This was an easy and mindless tank and spank camp spot; I suggest it get a few walls or structures to make it harder to pull/LOS mobs.

2. Mob leashing still feels too short to me and easy to drop, I'd prefer it was at least doubled.

3. I was pleased to see the social aggro of the bears now after the tweak; I suggest the same get added to humans so they're less stupid. Right now humans are the easiest mobs to pull and fight.

4. In particular one reason humans are stupidest is they should in theory know to sheathe their weapon to quickly chase us and do better about actually calling for help. Given the incredibly borked social aggro and the slow run speed, it's too easy to deal with humans. I suggest giving humans a major combat movement buff while they are above 90% health to the point it's like they're running without weapons. This would make them more deadly at least.

5. When I hit Marshall level 18 and got Dodge, I tried to test it but quickly shelved it to remem Defender's Level 4 Resilience for 2 reasons: Resilience lasts longer and drops off CD faster. Maybe Dodge has better in-the-moment defensive benefit than Resilience, but mobs die so fast that the ability to more frequently-- and for a longer duration-- use Resilience vastly outweighed the presumably better defense provided by Dodge.

6. I messed around more with crafting and while I enjoy the effects materials provide, I definitely hope we don't lose that customization with the stat squish update and I hope that it can be further refined for more nuance from each material type providing clearly different gains, sometimes different materials strangely provide the same gains, or lower tier materials provide better gains than higher level materials. I'm trying not to comment too much about crafting stats yet since I know it's still ongoing, but I'm also not sure when it is ideal to start providing more detailed feedback on the system.

7. Dryfoot in some ways seems "easier and smaller" than other zones just because of how wide open the area is and how far the LOS is. I'm not sure what I'm trying to suggest with this comment other than wondering if other people felt the same way. It's a cool zone but something feels off. Meadows feels much larger and more diverse in comparison

8. Ant hills are awesome. They're by far the most chaotic and unpredictable that combat can get if groups are less than 6 people; we could use more chaos and unpredictability with fights.

9. The beta right now has weird swings between being challenging and too easy. It feels like the sweet spot for group sizes is actually 3-4 for persistently engaging content. I can't recall a 6-person group that struggled at all at any content we did other than occasional repop issues at NNH Exile Fort and Meadows Wolf Den. I saw balanced and coordinated 3-person groups regularly having little issue downing 3^ mobs other than going OOS. The game has its moments, but I don't think it's yet approached EQ or FFXI levels of challenge for full groups.

10. Now that we have double the amount of storage for a single toon, and 3x the amount of storage if people get 3 alts, I suggest removing coin storage from the shared bank, as this will make it too easy for people to feed their alts with money to increase their own personal bank spaces. An argument could be made that players could just game the system by having a friend help with trading coin, but I'd rather they go through that sort of social contracting than convenient "free" money for lower level alts.

11. Having messed around with both torches and lanterns, I feel like the held height of lanterns should be higher to have better illumination; feels like I'm shining a flashlight on my feet. Was standing next to someone with a torch multiple times and it felt like the higher torch height provided better visibility benefit.
 

Undone

Codemaster
Stormhaven Studios
Bugs/Issues
1. Meadows far SW Spider area navmesh issue. The side path to the spider area (near the big ember pillar thing) has a navmesh derp that makes the spiders clip into the ground:
This is an issue with spider IK (foot placement) and is something I am actively working on. It's the same reason deer sink into the ground on slopes as well.

2. Crystal Veins has a hole in one of the structures you can fall through and die. If this is intentional, okay, but it's an incredibly dick move then, because: 1. every other possible place it looks like you can fall off has invisible borders so there's an intuitive expectation you can't fall to your death in the dungeon, and 2. It's a 10 foot fall that in no way should make a level 20 tank with full health splat to death. I couldn't do a /report at the area because I was swarmed with 3^ mobs but hopefully this pic helps:
CENTRAL veins, not crystal! ;)
But yes, I believe that is an intended spot. You probably shouldn't fall to your death - the fall damage mechanic has not been revisited for quite some time and could use some tuning. We really only try to prevent you to falling to your death where your bag would be inaccessible.

4. I ended up "in combat" near another group that was actually in combat but I was not in the group at all, this prevented me from being able to staminate like normal. I had previously helped the group out a bit but never joined them. You can see my health bar has the in combat icon. I had to run far away to make the combat state go away:
This is also intended. If you are anywhere near combat you will be marked as in-combat. This is to prevent out-of-combat staminating during combat.

Feedback
1. Exp felt too fast this weekend. I went from 17.5 to over 20 in 6-8 hours, whereas that was the usual amount of time it took me to get 1 level in previous testing sessions. We did have a stupid easy camp though; the foreman camp north of the castle in Dryfoot that spawns nothing but 2^ mobs. This was an easy and mindless tank and spank camp spot; I suggest it get a few walls or structures to make it harder to pull/LOS mobs.
Dryfoot is still under heavy population tweaking. Experience for 1 & 2 chevron mobs is being tweaked for full groups.

2. Mob leashing still feels too short to me and easy to drop, I'd prefer it was at least doubled.
Each mob leashes differently depending on their sensors. This is not a universal thing that can just be "doubled" - each is unique in their sensor parameters.

4. In particular one reason humans are stupidest is they should in theory know to sheathe their weapon to quickly chase us and do better about actually calling for help. Given the incredibly borked social aggro and the slow run speed, it's too easy to deal with humans. I suggest giving humans a major combat movement buff while they are above 90% health to the point it's like they're running without weapons. This would make them more deadly at least.
This is a decent idea that I'll look into. Basically have them go from non-combat to combat movement speed depending on their health. It will make outrunning them much more difficult unless you beat them down though.

6. I messed around more with crafting and while I enjoy the effects materials provide, I definitely hope we don't lose that customization with the stat squish update and I hope that it can be further refined for more nuance from each material type providing clearly different gains, sometimes different materials strangely provide the same gains, or lower tier materials provide better gains than higher level materials. I'm trying not to comment too much about crafting stats yet since I know it's still ongoing, but I'm also not sure when it is ideal to start providing more detailed feedback on the system.
There we be some consolidation of materials - but we hope to offer the same choice in the end. More to come in a week or so.

8. Ant hills are awesome. They're by far the most chaotic and unpredictable that combat can get if groups are less than 6 people; we could use more chaos and unpredictability with fights.
Great!

10. Now that we have double the amount of storage for a single toon, and 3x the amount of storage if people get 3 alts, I suggest removing coin storage from the shared bank, as this will make it too easy for people to feed their alts with money to increase their own personal bank spaces. An argument could be made that players could just game the system by having a friend help with trading coin, but I'd rather they go through that sort of social contracting than convenient "free" money for lower level alts.
That's just putting another hoop people would have to jump through to play with their alts and is a non-starter at this point. If we were to do this, we might as well remove the idea of a shared bank entirely.

11. Having messed around with both torches and lanterns, I feel like the held height of lanterns should be higher to have better illumination; feels like I'm shining a flashlight on my feet. Was standing next to someone with a torch multiple times and it felt like the higher torch height provided better visibility benefit.
My original idea was that the lantern would be more of a forward facing flashlight, I just never got around to implementing it.
 

Kittik

Well-Known Member
Feedback
1. Exp felt too fast this weekend. I went from 17.5 to over 20 in 6-8 hours, whereas that was the usual amount of time it took me to get 1 level in previous testing sessions. We did have a stupid easy camp though; the foreman camp north of the castle in Dryfoot that spawns nothing but 2^ mobs. This was an easy and mindless tank and spank camp spot; I suggest it get a few walls or structures to make it harder to pull/LOS mobs.

8. Ant hills are awesome. They're by far the most chaotic and unpredictable that combat can get if groups are less than 6 people; we could use more chaos and unpredictability with fights.

9. The beta right now has weird swings between being challenging and too easy. It feels like the sweet spot for group sizes is actually 3-4 for persistently engaging content. I can't recall a 6-person group that struggled at all at any content we did other than occasional repop issues at NNH Exile Fort and Meadows Wolf Den. I saw balanced and coordinated 3-person groups regularly having little issue downing 3^ mobs other than going OOS. The game has its moments, but I don't think it's yet approached EQ or FFXI levels of challenge for full groups.
Replies to:
1) This is interesting because it leads me to believe that people will go find a camp for 3 levels at a time and avoid any more of the game. Once the "best" spots for exp are disco'd it will become a conveyor belt of leveling. Go to X for levels 4-7, go to Y for levels 10-13, go to Z for levels 16-19 etc... To help combat this maybe we could see high level mobs wandering the area. To keep people moving on.

8) Yes, those seem fun and more of them need to be implemented into the game in more ways. Beehives, beaver dams etc.

9) Mobs need to be harder.
 

Pelirow

Active Member
CENTRAL veins, not crystal! ;)
But yes, I believe that is an intended spot. You probably shouldn't fall to your death - the fall damage mechanic has not been revisited for quite some time and could use some tuning. We really only try to prevent you to falling to your death where your bag would be inaccessible.
My bad, not sure where "Crystal" Veins came from, but it sounds better! :p I definitely thing fall damage should get a pass sooner than later, and I know a number of other folks have thought the same, just jumping off rocks in the world only to suddenly splat. Fairer fall damage could also open up some fun gameplay and encourage more exploration, assuming no-pass borders are limited. I really wanted to jump off one of the ramps in Central Veins to a lower ramp and was annoyed I couldn't; could create some interesting gameplay choices to do stuff like that to knowingly suffer some fall damage to try to get somewhere faster or in an unconventional manner.
This is also intended. If you are anywhere near combat you will be marked as in-combat. This is to prevent out-of-combat staminating during combat.
Even if I'm not in the group that's in combat at all? I was literally not in combat or intending to be in combat at all, I was just near other folks who were in combat. I was staminating then the group nearby that was working the room pulled and suddenly I was "in combat." I thought "in combat" would only trigger if you hit a mob or if someone in your group hits a mob. I was doing nothing but sitting and had no direct mobs attacking me.
Each mob leashes differently depending on their sensors. This is not a universal thing that can just be "doubled" - each is unique in their sensor parameters.
Fair enough, I think you may have mentioned this before, my bad. I amend my statement to say maybe humans should get a bit of a longer leash, depending on if the social aggro gets cleaned up.
This is a decent idea that I'll look into. Basically have them go from non-combat to combat movement speed depending on their health. It will make outrunning them much more difficult unless you beat them down though.
I did something useful! Perhaps if you're worried about total ganking happen, you could instead make it a trigger that gives humans +25 combat movement for 5-10 seconds once they enter combat state. A sprint to start combat, so to speak. Might be the best of both worlds.
There we be some consolidation of materials - but we hope to offer the same choice in the end. More to come in a week or so.
Sounds good, I'll reserve comments until I get to test the system after the squish and Adric's next itemization pass related to crafting stats then.
My original idea was that the lantern would be more of a forward facing flashlight, I just never got around to implementing it.
That makes a lot more sense. I figured torches would be slightly more "radius all around" light while lanterns were more "concentrated direction" light; except the direct was my feet...
 

Undone

Codemaster
Stormhaven Studios
Even if I'm not in the group that's in combat at all? I was literally not in combat or intending to be in combat at all, I was just near other folks who were in combat. I was staminating then the group nearby that was working the room pulled and suddenly I was "in combat." I thought "in combat" would only trigger if you hit a mob or if someone in your group hits a mob. I was doing nothing but sitting and had no direct mobs attacking me.
Yes. If you are anywhere near combat you get marked as in combat. Otherwise supporters could just sit back and not participate and regen like crazy. The act of bandaging does not put you in combat so something has to do it. And that something is being in close proximity to combat.

I did something useful! Perhaps if you're worried about total ganking happen, you could instead make it a trigger that gives humans +25 combat movement for 5-10 seconds once they enter combat state. A sprint to start combat, so to speak. Might be the best of both worlds.
I just checked the code and humanoids do indeed run when you are outside of their weapon range. I think the issue is that humanoid NPCs run as fast as actual human players; so it seems like you could outrun them forever. I could give them a minor speed bump, but then we're back at a situation where you cannot outrun humans, which is already a problem for spiders/wolves.

That makes a lot more sense. I figured torches would be slightly more "radius all around" light while lanterns were more "concentrated direction" light; except the direct was my feet...
The light is more intense, and closer to the ground, so it just illuminates the ground more.
 

Pelirow

Active Member
Replies to:
1) This is interesting because it leads me to believe that people will go find a camp for 3 levels at a time and avoid any more of the game. Once the "best" spots for exp are disco'd it will become a conveyor belt of leveling. Go to X for levels 4-7, go to Y for levels 10-13, go to Z for levels 16-19 etc... To help combat this maybe we could see high level mobs wandering the area. To keep people moving on.

8) Yes, those seem fun and more of them need to be implemented into the game in more ways. Beehives, beaver dams etc.

9) Mobs need to be harder.
1. EXP hotspots is a definite concern and was an issue even in my experiences on P99 and FFXI Eden, which leads me to believe they were also issues for the classic versions of those games once they were "figured out" and is not new to Embers,. This is why I hope to see more horizontal progression, in this case probably some varied itemization, to encourage folks to move about. Right now good exp and good loot are found in very clear places in each zone without any real alternatives; Exile fort in NNH, Wolf Den in Meadows, Foreman camp in Dryfoot (although Undone said this is getting tweaked). I'm not sure the best way to spread out the itemization/pixelchase to encourage people to move about, or alternatives other than loot chase to encourage movement (loot chase is essentially how EQ did horizontal progression and did it WELL). I did like the FFXI skillchain system and if Embers could somehow do something like that, it may organically create locations people would try to exp in addition to the loot/exp hotspots. It was a very nice layer to group gameplay that made the slow grind aspect have an extra jolt to it.

The other two aspects of this conversation we're not able to really gauge are the impact of zone congestion and just how many dungeons will exist per zone. There's zero congestion on the beta server so there's no organic hunting for good alternatives; everyone goes to the best spot because they can. Once people are forced to look for 2nd, 3rd, 4th, even 5th options, how will it look per zone? Hard to tell right now.

I was VERY impressed with the size and scope of Central Veins and Undone said that was on the smaller size. This gives me hope we'll get as number of cool dungeons per zone that will move people around. Plus the aspect of looking for Ember Drifts to get access to portions of said Dungeons that aren't accessible in other ways, if my understanding of the goal behind Ember Drifts is correct.

8. It was highly engaging and unpredictable, I agree more stuff like that would be cool, moreso on the random and unpredictable aspect that keeps you on your toes. Maybe make it so that if you're killing rabbits, there's a chance one rabbit nearby could go into a super enrage state so you'll have to watch out for that one. I wonder if the ashen variants coming later could factor in this discussion of mob unpredictability since they may pop anytime.

9. I feel like for solo thru 4-man groups, there's enough difficulty. It's when you get 5-6 man groups that content seems to get too easy, I feel. I'm not sure there's an easy solution and I guess it's something to just continue to gauge and assess and see how the challenge feels as we get to higher levels, especially as dungeons get added. It may simply be the case that overland content like Wolf Den are actually ideally done by 4-5 at most and dungeons should be the real 5-6 content. We will have to see!
 

Pelirow

Active Member
I just checked the code and humanoids do indeed run when you are outside of their weapon range. I think the issue is that humanoid NPCs run as fast as actual human players; so it seems like you could outrun them forever. I could give them a minor speed bump, but then we're back at a situation where you cannot outrun humans, which is already a problem for spiders/wolves.
So would a simple combat movement buff for short duration balance it out? I guess the question is: would you rather players be more likely to die or more likely to escape if they get too close to hostile humans carelessly (or intentionally)? Right now it is extremely easy to escape humans; I used to run through exile fort behind Ravenrock willy nilly looking for chests and nameds with only moderate care for how many humans I aggroed, knowing I could take a couple hits passing by and eventually outrun and unleash. If I knew those humans would be able to keep pace for another 3-7 seconds and get in another hit or two from each of them, I'd probably think harder about that.
 

Undone

Codemaster
Stormhaven Studios
So would a simple combat movement buff for short duration balance it out? I guess the question is: would you rather players be more likely to die or more likely to escape if they get too close to hostile humans carelessly (or intentionally)? Right now it is extremely easy to escape humans; I used to run through exile fort behind Ravenrock willy nilly looking for chests and nameds with only moderate care for how many humans I aggroed, knowing I could take a couple hits passing by and eventually outrun and unleash. If I knew those humans would be able to keep pace for another 3-7 seconds and get in another hit or two from each of them, I'd probably think harder about that.
What's the difference between a short duration buff and just always running faster? How do I determine when that buff is applied? Lots to consider as it's not a straight forward answer.
 

Pelirow

Active Member
What's the difference between a short duration buff and just always running faster? How do I determine when that buff is applied? Lots to consider as it's not a straight forward answer.
You were worried about hostile humans being able to forever chase a player if they were always running faster, so I was proposing something toned down that still benefits hostile human NPCs. I'm trying to add more danger to hostile humans because they're so easy to pull or run past without repercussion. If they're faster for a short burst after aggro and can get in a few hits before they slow down again, that's significant. Right now they're lucky to even get in one hit if at all. I've had plenty of times where I had to stop and wait on a pulled human to catch up for fear I'd get out of leash range. I feel like I'm herding sheep not pulling a mob that can kill me if I'm not careful pulling. I don't even bat an eyelash when moving around a zone and I run by a hostile human and aggro them. They may as well be trees.

Combat movement buff should simply automatically apply anytime the human NPC goes from noncombat to combat stance, then just tick down like any other buff and drop off in X seconds, probably could scale the length of the buff based off of a comfortable damage amount a supporter class could suffer from a 2^ mob without necessarily dying. It wouldn't be awkward either because a mad dash at the start of combat makes a lot of sense too.

I butt pucker when I see a 3^ bear or wolf suddenly in my path and I steer well clear. I shrug when I see a 3^ human.