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Topic: A different take on hard cap and what it'd mean. (Read 366 times) previous topic - next topic

A different take on hard cap and what it'd mean.
Hello to everyone!
Just wanted to warn that I wrote this in one sitting, hopefully it's not too hard to understand what I want to say.

I've been spending the past week intensely following the RoA project as well as this one. After much pondering I've figured out that what New Dawn stands for seems overwhelmingly more in line of what I'd like to see from an mmorpg.  I followed Darkfall Online intensely for many years before the release, drawn in by everything they said the game would be. When Darkfall Online released I continued playing on and off until sometime after NA launch, and the one single most thing that I thought was a real shame, was that there wasn't a hard cap in the game. I have two friends who continued playing until the end, and I fully realize the joy they got from this games marvelous combat mechanics.

Now with a sudden re-release in the dawn, I come with my humble suggestions and visions of what I'd like to have seen in Darkfall many years ago. I've read through most of the changes that you guys would like to implement, and I can honestly say I love most of it. I love the fact that you guys don't seem at all afraid of actually changing and experimenting with things. As this inability seems to have been more than just a few games doom in the past (wow-clones etc.).

Now then. To explain my vision.
Imagine being open to a hard cap, taking into consideration many of the changes that you guys already seem ready to implement. With all your ideas regarding new skills, utilities, clan warfare additions etc. Many people seem obsessed with the idea that a hard cap would impose a limit to the game, and thus making it remove player skill. The game would become a "rock paper scissor game" etc. While I agree that it might change the way the game is played by a large margin, that doesn't necessary constitute a bad change to the gameplay. By introducing a hard cap together with all the additions and balance fixes to the game you'd open it up to a whole other type of meta. Where the most skilled players not only have to have the best hand to eye coordination, but also, (even more I should say) knowledge about the strategies and meta surrounding the game. A new meta regarding PvP, (small scale and big scale), clan warfare, PvE, economy and all the strategies regarding these. Hell even role playability and PvE would most likely gain tremendous depth by introducing a hard cap.

The different changes that you guys want to implement by introducing titles etc, does kind of lean towards this direction. However at the same time it seems to me like it might introduce certain limitations regarding the freedom of the player. I'm not saying it's a bad change, I'd just like to give an alternative.

Hopefully the system I propose would cater to most people, the ones that want to lessen the grind for newer players, as well as the people who want to grind and have everything on one character.

For example, imagine that you have a game with a 100 different skills. Where each skill has a maximum skill level of 100. Totaling 10,000 skill points in order to max out your character. Instead of adding specializations, titles, classes etc. Let the players themselves create their own "classes". If you let the players themselves create and use exactly the skills they want to use, but impose a small limitation of, say 5000 skill points. You'd possibly open up the game to a tremendous diversity as well as meta regarding both PvP, clan warfare, PvE, roleplaying etc. Where people would continue creating and refining their builds for many years to come.

Here people might argue that people would still find and use "cookie cutter builds", and there would be a ton of shitty unusable builds, and as such everyone would have to use the same skills to be competitive in the end. This wouldn't be the case at all. Because while it might be true that some builds might be better in PvP than others. As long as the devs continue patching the game, balancing skills etc. The meta would be ever changing, dynamically altering what is considered the "best builds" etc at all times, and while some types of builds might have a slight advantage over other types of builds, the fact that everyone would be able to pick any skill in the game would make people adapt their builds. With counter-builds developing etc. What we might end up with is that we get a some types of charatcers that after a lot of adaptation stand out in one part of the game, for example 1on1 PvP, Siege defence, etc. These character types would continue to adapt until they reach an ideal level of balance between them. In order to counter what the others do.

Well then, what's in it for the people that want to grind everything you ask?
When you have reached your skill cap of 5000, you could for an amount of gold (possibly not very cheap), "save your gained skills/stats" and remove them for the time being in order to grind up something else. What you would end up with is a system that would benefit the players that don't want to grind everything, as well as the people that do. Because the people that do grind every skill in the game would in essence "unlock" them for future usage in builds. Where they would be able to switch builds by paying an amount of gold. This would benefit them with the added versatility of being able to counter enemies more easily. For example take a 1337 guild whose members were rich and had everything unlocked. They would be able to switch their builds to compensate for strategies much easier than one that only had casual players in it. A competitive PvPer would be able to change his build in order to adapt to his opponent etc.

Let me clarify.
Once you have maxed out your first build. You should in one way or another be able to continue grinding and unlocking the remaining skills in order to use them for different builds later on if you want to. The amount of gold you'd have to pay would be dependent on the amount of skill points you want to remove/gain.

Now I'd like to add another suggestion, regarding more specialized characters, crafters etc.

I've seen a lot of people suggesting that implementing a hard skill cap would make crafters irrelevant in group fights, clan warfare, PvE etc. This would only be if we implemented a hard cap retaining the system that is now in place. If you say, added certain strategic skills to the different crafting trees, these players would be able to have an added benefit to group fights, clan warfare, PvE etc. For example a player who has specialized in tailoring might gain the ability to use bandages in-between fights. A carpenter would be able to set up barricades and spikes that do damage to mounts running into them. Thus making the dedicated crafter a very valuable asset to any group fight. Armorsmithing/weaponsmithing would be able to repair peoples equipment between battles(complementing the changes to durability that you guys want to implement).The gathering skills might give a passive bonus to stats, thus possibly making them still OK skills to pick in PvP, just without the added versatility of choosing other skills.  The people who argued against specialized crafters would easily be able to switch to a PvP spec if they got bored with crafting, and for an amount of gold and/or other penalties easily switch back to their role as dedicated crafters afterwards.

Also, despite some -types- of builds possibly becoming more commonplace than others, having a hard cap would make it much more interesting for people who don't really care too much about being on-top competitive PvPers at all times, to create a character that they can feel really at home and just want to have fun with. Even if that build doesn't necessarily have an advantage in high-end PvP, they wouldn't have too big of a disadvantage either. I believe.

I have to apologize for this insane wall of text, I got a little carried away. Hope it's not too incomprehensible.

Please stay open to what this could potentially bring to the game.

Looking forward to playing the game with the most potential I've ever seen.
Thank you for listening.

Re: A different take on hard cap and what it'd mean.
Reply #1
There's nothing wrong with changes only if the developer can understand that nothing was actually broken. Afterall, the fact that DFO was good was an accident entirely. AV did not agree with us on that so their mind was already set, they thought it was best to change the game entirely and it failed. That's what they get for not listening to us.

The grind should not be part of the argument. That was a problem before. This time, we can change it at will if it does not feel right.

Here's the problem. You want the devs to patch combat often. You should understand that we don't want to end up with an imbalanced nightmare combat to patch over and over and over again. In DF UW, you got access to now 10 abilities per roles i think. The devs never stop patching, combat never. It's only 1 or 3 under-payed devs working on the game. Instead of actually working on content, they must patch combat balance way too often.

The fact DFO had no cap was a good thing after-all for that reason. They never had to patch combat, they were ready for more content. Instead of balancing combat, they introduced the new specializations, funhulks(lol), meditation and few more.
DFO's world is very large. Yet, there's no much to do except PVP. Let's focus on contend more than everything else; that's what the whole community want.

You don't get the point about us. We don't want to be allowed to switch build at will, we want to use everything. that was the fun part of DFO, something unique you don't get in any other game. In fact, that's ultimately the best way to balance the game.
Super hybrid is a core feature of DFO. You don't like it, you can pick a title.

On your second suggestion:

I don't like the idea of making crafters playing a part in battle. I think that should be handled with titles as-well. Everything in DFO is deployable. If we can spawn a mount, it only makes sense to spawn some type of barricades or what ever. In DFO, we use Strong boxes as walls during sieges or to block a dungeon's entrance.

If you wish to remove deployable entirely, than that's an other suggestion. It also mean you want tamable mounts that can follow you like a pet with a loyalty system. You want a bunch of complicated things that honestly, i don't mind, but you must make sacrifices in that case.
If you want the devs to work on something as complicated as this, you must stop with all these combat changes suggestion. We should only think about adding few more things, not changing too much. that way, we get nothing, but new contents.

Finally, look at where Runescape is. Today, there's millions of stuff to do in RS and i'm talking about oldschool runescape or darkscape since i don't like RS3. The combat never changed, but there's so much things to do for any type of players. Now, if you play darkscape, during quests, NPC's can also talk. If we can reach that level in DFO, then we're definitely gonna attract all type of players.

Re: A different take on hard cap and what it'd mean.
Reply #2
Thank you for taking the time to write up all this.
We did not answer sooner because we wanted to make sure to read it properly and give you a fair shot at convincing us.

A lot of people have suggested it over the years, and we believe that a hard cap is not an appropriate solution for Darkfall.
We specifically designed the Title system to be a better system than a hard cap or soft cap system.
This is a NO.

The "loadout system" with gold costs to switch is interesting, though, but again does not fit in our vision.
This is a NO.

The crafter use in battle could be a concept that fits with our goals. We already had some ideas with wild nodes being able to be gathered only by gatherers with the appropriate title. It would give them a purpose in PvP, and we could expand later with more. We need to keep balance though, craftering/gathering titles should have, like every other titles, drawbacks. And theirs is the opportunity cost of not having a combat title instead.
This is a MAYBE, but much later and low priority.

For more barricades and deployables, we already have that somewhat in the watchtower system and the siege camp system. We also want to use it for traps and flammable oil on the ground. So we'll have the technology, technically it is already there with the strongboxes. We will test how much resource intensive these existing systems are, and if we see that it is fine, then we'll expand with more items for daily uses.
This is a YES, after technical tests.

Again thank you for the constructive feedback.
The Darkfall: New Dawn Dev Team.

  • Fnights
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Re: A different take on hard cap and what it'd mean.
Reply #3
Interesting reading Mungage, a hard cap was something i liked and i asked several times in forumfall to AV, a hard cap like Ultima with points to assign into certain skills, but afte these years i realized that a system like this will not work properly because Darkfall was build with the jack of all trade in mind. Melee, archery and magic are so dependant of each-other.

Then Av solve in part the issue with the specialization system, the only thing they do right and still today i'm surprised how they came up with this brilliant idea of trade offs (probably proposed by Claus). Is a sorta of skill cap, yes it was limited to destro and magekiller so there wasn't so much alternatives and freedom, but these specs were incomplete, and with the title system they can be expanded and cover several combinations.
These combinations will work like a skill cap class system in a certain degree.

Example, you want focus on melee only and you are not interested in magic or you hate magic? Good, you can have a significant boost in melee masteries and consequent utilities, leave archery the same, and lock completely magic and its utilities.

Since Darkfall is based on the trinity melee + archery + magic you can change the output of these 3 disciplines, example:

= melee = Archery = Magic (hibryd)
+ melee = Archery - Magic (melee dominant with archery as support and magic schools locked)
- melee = archery + magic (magic dominant with archery as support and locked melee masteries)
= melee + archery - magic (archery dominant with melee as support and magic schools locked)
- melee + archery = magic (archery dominant with magic as support and melee masteries locked)
where = mean the same, - mean lock and + mean boost, this is the principle.

And more combinations can be made inbetween these main values to define different playstyles and priorities, like blocking only masteries, or blocking only certain utilities, so much titles you can create.

This system is imo, much better and more easy to balance because you need to just tweak some variables and add/remove some utilities, while with a skill cap you have to rebalance everything to work with the limit of point you have, so all the skills should be uncategorized and merged together in a huge pool where you pick up whatever you want.
This will be more hard and time deamanding.

Another alternative is that your gear define your playstyle, example if you use a greatsword and wear a heavy full plate armour then you can unlock certain utilities and skills and protections values, if you mix with some pieces of a different gear you can have a different boost at the expense of another and so on, but a system like this should be implemented from scratch so i don't know how much can be feasible.

Anyway i'm happy to read that jack of all trades was and still a system that wont work well in a sandbox and is still hated by the majority of the community who started to play the game back in 2009 but leaved for this reason.

PS: You are welcome Mungage and i know why you post here this suggestion, the Rise of Agon forum is turned into forumfall 2.0, all the old toxic community back in forces there,  i get insulted and attacked for just proposing an suggest more specializations and sandbox content , they attack everyone try to change the metagame jack of all trades ystem, they want just their toy back as it was and don't care about anything else, they prefer it to fail again that become a sandbox. Very sad read this.
  • Last Edit: October 19, 2015, 04:42:34 pm by Fnights
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