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tonyb

And then we doubled it

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Finally got around to watching the last DEV Stream.


When the DEV's were talking about Nightmare 4, I was reminded of listening Jay Wilson talk about the original failure called Inferno/D3 Endgame. During the stream the developers chuckled that they could not yet beat NM4. They commented that it was a good thing, and should be that way, and for a short while circled around on this theme. There is this idea that if you lock out content and make it frustratingly difficult the players will applaud your dedication to some higher ideal about effort vs reward.


The casual players will not applaud, nor chuckle. They will go play other games that are less frustrating to play. Casual gamers will not be content playing at the kids table, while the hardcore players are the only ones able to access the end game (NM4).


Since the majority of your player base will not be hardcore players you should probably think about where you will make your money when all the casual players go to play other games.


For MMOs where there is a ton of stuff to do instead of tackling hardcore content you can put up barriers, but this game there is 1 thing to do. If you make it so casual players cannot do that one thing casually you are going to alienate a large portion of your potential market.


Casual players will still buy new heroes, slots and aesthetics that come out. When an OP new hero is released, they will buy it. When a cool new mech suit is added with hover boots, they will buy it. They will give you their money as long as you keep the game fun for them.


Please do not try and pull a Jay Wilson with NM4. Hell, Instead of deciding NM4 is end game and putting up a wall, why not take an approach from other successful games. Give a smooth progression though to NM4... then after a month or two, when a large enough percentage of the player base is at NM4, release NM5? This way, the hardcore players can get there first, and everyone else can catch up. 

I have over 450 hours logged so far in this game. DD1 and DDE I have well over 1000 hours logged between the two. I am not a casual player.  I say this though as I feel the direction the game is headed based on the comments made during the dev stream is risky at best.

I could be wrong with my assessment of the Developers comments in regards to design details. I could also be wrong about the effect this would have on the casual player base. Luckily I am not held to account for the decisions they make. But I would be disappointed if this game did not go the long run cause it did not have enough of a satisfied player base, so I felt the need to at least voice my concerns.

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I'm pretty critical of the frequent "this is alpha" response to excuse every design misstep.  Here, I think it may be appropriate.  The Diablo debacle was terrible because that was the way they released their finished product to the public.  During balance passes like those we are seeing in DD2, it can be a lot more informative to make things too hard and then dial them back rather than making them too easy and dialing them up.  

The comparison is of course muddied by the fact that blizzard didn't sell access to their test versions.

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I completely agree, while im not a huge fan of games going completely casual i do think they should tone it down a little, i've always wondered what was wrong with DD1, to me, a much more fun game than this game has been so far, yes DD1 might have been slightly too easy, but did that make it boring? absolutely not, not for me personally atleast (and many of my friends), and looking at how many people have quit because it's "not worth their time" because of poor progression, i think something needs to change fast before the game already dies in it's alpha state.

that's just my 2cents, not hating on DD2, i just want a fun game like DD1 was and not some insane grind 5000 hours till you finally have some good gear game.

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Pretty much the truth. I wouldn't even say it's catered to a "hardcore" crowd, honestly, as there is nothing hardcore about any of the nightmare modes. It's just "well do you feel like spamming repairs on your walls for 2 hours because your defenses suck at killing things in a remotely decent time?"

There's a huge, huge reason Diablo 3 is doing really well right now, and how it was an utter failure before they fixed the difficulties/scaling. Loot and stats were also pretty bad at launch, and I can't say they are much better here right now because they are beyond boring.

Rewards should match the difficulty at any level, and right now, they are very far apart. Hopefully Trendy can see that and adjust and see just how boring loot is at the moment. In Diablo when you find a super nice item, you feel that power grow exponentially. Here, you get 3% more health or some garbage which.... is kind of laughable, sadly. 

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I think you misunderstood. The idea is that RIGHT NOW with the current content NM4 should not be possible to beat (or at least not easily). But with the upcoming additions to the game, with more builds and strategies possible it will be possible to beat it.

The game is still in alpha and the possibilities are still very limited, I mean the next patch should double the number of builds possible, just wait to see what they have up their sleeves before judging.

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@Sombrero quote:

I think you misunderstood. The idea is that RIGHT NOW with the current content NM4 should not be possible to beat (or at least not easily). But with the upcoming additions to the game, with more builds and strategies possible it will be possible to beat it.

The game is still in alpha and the possibilities are still very limited, I mean the next patch should double the number of builds possible, just wait to see what they have up their sleeves before judging.

If something is supposed to be impossible, why have that difficulty right now? I don't understand that mentality. I'm not saying I want to be in NM4, as I can't even be assed to push through NM2 right now, but that argument is just silly. They need to tune the game for the stuff they have IN game right now, not "5 months down the road you'll be able to use future builds to make this easier."

NM4 should be tuned to need the current options, and as they add more, ramp up the difficulty from NM5-10 or something, and 10 being the one that requires very special builds to do. You don't have a difficulty in an open game where anyone can play if they want, that's impossible. People do not like that, and reviews will reflect that.

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I think you misunderstood. The idea is that RIGHT NOW with the current content NM4 should not be possible to beat (or at least not easily). But with the upcoming additions to the game, with more builds and strategies possible it will be possible to beat it.

It is possible I did (hence my disclaimer in the final paragraph). 

I am not commenting on the current state of the game.  I am commenting on a concern about a potential design decision for release in the future.  I do not know if they are heading in the direction I outlined, I just got worried when I heard them talking and wanted to simply toss this out there.

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Saw the thread title, came in for Jay Wilson, left happy.

For real though, I see where you are coming from TS.  I agree with the majority of what you are saying as well.


They did take a big risk with this update, but they seem very good at responding to criticism with patches and such as well.  I have faith it will be a good game, but will we have wait for years like in D3 to get that game?  I too feel like they took quite a few steps back with the current patch, so only time will tell.

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I can actually get behind them releasing a difficulty mode that isn't mean to be beaten right now. I know it's a defense used all too often but this is an Alpha. What I feel they are trying to do is set up the framework for the future of the game. They are trying to set up the idea that NM4 should only be bragging rights. From what I've read the gear gains from NM3 ---> NM4 will actually be rather small. It's not about upgrades or progression. Thinking, "I need to be able to beat this to beat the game." is a flawed perspective. It's meant to be something for the most obsessive hardcore players. 

Lets take a step back and look at this from another perspective. In single player games very often you will have a difficulty setting. Easy Normal Hard and sometimes things like Impossible or whatnot. Impossible difficulty should not be for everyone playing the game. It should be for the crazy people that cheese the system and exploit everything. That's what I view NM4 as. It's not meant for everyone and the gear upgrades are not required. Don't look at it as a progression of levels in order. Look at it as Challenge levels after you have beaten a game. To inverse your argument if the game is made easy enough for every casual player the hardcore players will leave. From what I've heard before this patch people complained about NM being too easy. So giving some kind of impossible goal that could quell those complaints until the game is more fleshed out seems like a good idea to me. 

I've also had a few complaints this update as I'm sure everyone else has. A few with NM itself... But my complaints were always about the loot dropping in NM not feeling like a big enough increase (For NM1-3). It's never been about the difficulty of the things involved. 

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A part of the problem is just from naming.  If you have NM 1, 2, 3, 4, there's an expectation to go through them in sequence.

If NM4 were in it's own "Challenge" category, and titled "Hardcore Unbeatable Mode", it would look more like Mt. Everest and less like the logical next step.

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They are trying to set up the idea that NM4 should only be bragging rights. From what I've read the gear gains from NM3 ---> NM4 will actually be rather small. It's not about upgrades or progression. Thinking, "I need to be able to beat this to beat the game." is a flawed perspective. It's meant to be something for the most obsessive hardcore players.

That is the mentality that is worrisome for me.  It is not bragging rights.  It is the next step in the progression for the game.    No matter what they do, or say.  It is not a flawed perspective that one should go from NM1 to NM2 to NM3 to NM4.

For bragging rights there should be a ladder for maybe OnSlaught levels per map.  Not the core game progression.

You will never get a player saying "Welp, I can't progress any further but the Developers think that is cool cause I am not good enough.  I am going to go ahead and buy this Micro transaction".

Blocking core progression in a game like this to only hard core players takes away the only thing this game has to offer.   

In single player games very often you will have a difficulty setting. Easy Normal Hard and sometimes things like Impossible or whatnot. Impossible difficulty should not be for everyone playing the game

I get what you are saying. And If this game had the depth and story-line of Bioshock: Infinite, or the Mass Effect series I would buy this argument.  But it does not.  This game has gear progression at its core.   

To inverse your argument if the game is made easy enough for every casual player the hardcore players will leave.

I personally do not agree with this statement.  Knowing we would have a future release for Nm5 and Nm6 I would run Nm4 as much as possible to get the perfect set for all my characters so I can beat the next NM to come out in the first wave.  

I do concede though that the difficulty needs to be there.  It needs to be a challenge but certainly achievable.    It is on a spectrum if you will, and they need to draw the line where it makes the most sense for the majority of the player base.  Working that out is going to be a very long iterative process.  I will also go on to say there are a multitude more casual players than hard core players out there.  It is only smart to appeal to the largest demographic so you can afford to continue to make the game great.  That will inform where to draw the line.


All that being said, my concern is a specific mentality.  Not the implementation.  I am not even sure Trendy has the Jay Wilson mentality about NM4.  It was only a handful of statements that raised the red flag in my mind.

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I don't think the problem is the name. I think the problem is how NM was conceived. In DD1 NM meant new types of enemies, new strategies, new challenges. In DD2 NM means higher damage and higher HP pool. Could have a new name, but also could have different types of enemies so people know it is a whole different story,.

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@Tristaris quote:

Pretty much the truth. I wouldn't even say it's catered to a "hardcore" crowd, honestly, as there is nothing hardcore about any of the nightmare modes. It's just "well do you feel like spamming repairs on your walls for 2 hours because your defenses suck at killing things in a remotely decent time?"

There's a huge, huge reason Diablo 3 is doing really well right now, and how it was an utter failure before they fixed the difficulties/scaling. Loot and stats were also pretty bad at launch, and I can't say they are much better here right now because they are beyond boring.

Rewards should match the difficulty at any level, and right now, they are very far apart. Hopefully Trendy can see that and adjust and see just how boring loot is at the moment. In Diablo when you find a super nice item, you feel that power grow exponentially. Here, you get 3% more health or some garbage which.... is kind of laughable, sadly. 

Indeed, I would rather see rarer passives on specific items instead of the same passive being available on 5 different items so that when you get one really nice item you REALLY feel the difference the way you do in Diablo 3/Torchlight 2. It would take some effort from Trendy to do this in a manner that enforces build variety and you don't end up with perfect gear sets housing each passive at really high stats, but it is certainly doable and would be FAR better than currently. A good example is the Amp Up passive on Gloves for electric aura attack rate. It is known that the passive is very strong that even drastically inferior gloves/some with no Def Power may still provide superior DPS with this stat and performance, despite. If you got a great tower glove with this passive you would really see the difference, though. I would like to see similar instances with Hearty Blockade, Phoenix passives, etc.

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@tonyb quote:

The casual players will not applaud, nor chuckle. They will go play other games that are less frustrating to play. Casual gamers will not be content playing at the kids table, while the hardcore players are the only ones able to access the end game (NM4).

But if you only offer the kids table, then the hardcore players will get bored and go play other games that give them a proper challenge.  The only way to keep both groups in the same game is for the casuals to accept that there are players who are better than them.

Onslaught mode shows some promise as an ultimate challenge mode similar to Diablo III's greater rifts, but it still needs some work.  Some properties I find especially enticing about GRifts are that a single run is relatively short and I have the option to save my progress for later with the keystone.  I can even have multiple keystones at once.

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I disagree to OP, I think that NM4 should stay really hard to beat, casual players will still be able to join others games plus it's called Nightmare, what would that be without it being really hard?  

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@tdb quote:


@tonyb quote:

The casual players will not applaud, nor chuckle. They will go play other games that are less frustrating to play. Casual gamers will not be content playing at the kids table, while the hardcore players are the only ones able to access the end game (NM4).

But if you only offer the kids table, then the hardcore players will get bored and go play other games that give them a proper challenge.  The only way to keep both groups in the same game is for the casuals to accept that there are players who are better than them.

Onslaught mode shows some promise as an ultimate challenge mode similar to Diablo III's greater rifts, but it still needs some work.  Some properties I find especially enticing about GRifts are that a single run is relatively short and I have the option to save my progress for later with the keystone.  I can even have multiple keystones at once.

Hardcore players in every genre make up the lowest percentage of total players, but end up taking the most development time to satisfy. Trendy is spending pretty much all their time working on builds - that you can't have until nightmare, tuning nightmare, gathering feedback on nightmare, itemizing nightmare. 


I don't necessarily believe that's a wrong strategy per se, but it's important that everyone have a sense of perspective. If Casuals progress smoothly and are then suddenly presented with a wall, they'll leave. Quickly. We saw it happen with Wildstar. "oooh, it's a hardcore game, casuals can suck it, 40 man raids soo hard". And then everyone bailed because they spent so much time ***ing around with their hardcore idiocy, they didn't bother to make the rest of the game playable. 


Personally, I think it's ok if people who are currently "at end game" get bored. Let them go away and come back later. Or play less frequently, or whatever. If all of Trendy's time is spent dealing with nightmare issues, the casuals will not adopt the game, and it won't make money. 


I think Trendy needs to just suck it up and tell everyone that the game is going to be "gear wiped" before release. And possibly before Beta too, depending on their road map. Let people keep their lvl 50's, but make them grind out the gear again. That way, they can overpower Nightmare for a while, Trendy can fix stuff based on their internal priorities and not based on what problem is causing the most sobbing on the forums, they can wipe the gear and say "ok, here's the stuff we fixed. Try again for a while, let's see how it goes."

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Yep this is pretty mirror to what happend to diablo 3 on launch, ridiculously high difficulty as well as terrible loot system what really turned it around was when they got rid of inferno and the monster power system and replaced it with an easy torment 1-6 format as well as working on a smart loot system to take some of the grind out of people gearing up.


Another interesting thing that happend was at one point they had a community event where they increased the legendary drop rate by 100% during which the players absolutely fell in love with, It made playing feel more rewarding you could do a rift and come out with 2 or 4 legendary items it was so popular that the developers decided to permanently keep the drop rate and it was a huge improvement it is one of many changes that helped their reaper of souls expansion save Diablo 3.


Both games are entirely about collecting loots and theorycrafting builds. The developers working on Diablo 3 learned from their game launch that making everything harder and more grindy is NOT a good thing sure it'll appeal to a handful of die hard players but it will completely turn away the rest of the community. Hopefully Trendy realizes this and adjusts some things.



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@tdb quote:


@tonyb quote:

The casual players will not applaud, nor chuckle. They will go play other games that are less frustrating to play. Casual gamers will not be content playing at the kids table, while the hardcore players are the only ones able to access the end game (NM4).

But if you only offer the kids table, then the hardcore players will get bored and go play other games that give them a proper challenge.  The only way to keep both groups in the same game is for the casuals to accept that there are players who are better than them.

Onslaught mode shows some promise as an ultimate challenge mode similar to Diablo III's greater rifts, but it still needs some work.  Some properties I find especially enticing about GRifts are that a single run is relatively short and I have the option to save my progress for later with the keystone.  I can even have multiple keystones at once.

I completely agree with OP, especially in the top quote here. I also agree it will not entertain the die hard fans that want to play over 1000+ hours. 


The balance IMHO would be making NM1 for casuals, and "make it RAIN legendaries for the love of all that's good" so that casuals can experience all the FUN gear that the developers keep "bragging" about on these Dev Streams. Then, you can scale NM2 to NM4 accordingly and make the die hards happy.


For me, with almost 500 hours of playtime, all I want to do is log in, maybe do some dailies, collect some pets and have fun with all this passive gear. Currently, without smashing my head on the keyboard and torturing myself for 30 mins to an hour of my time playing "Repair Blockade Defense 2" solo to complete a single run of NM1 this is NOT fun ...

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@nuzo quote:

I completely agree with OP, especially in the top quote here. I also agree it will not entertain the die hard fans that want to play over 1000+ hours. 


The balance IMHO would be making NM1 for casuals, and "make it RAIN legendaries for the love of all that's good" so that casuals can experience all the FUN gear that the developers keep "bragging" about on these Dev Streams. Then, you can scale NM2 to NM4 accordingly and make the die hards happy.


For me, with almost 500 hours of playtime, all I want to do is log in, maybe do some dailies, collect some pets and have fun with all this passive gear. Currently, without smashing my head on the keyboard and torturing myself for 30 mins to an hour of my time playing "Repair Blockade Defense 2" solo to complete a single run of NM1 this is NOT fun ...

Your bolded parts really hit the nail on the head, especially the repairing blockade bit.

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@tonyb quote:

Finally got around to watching the last DEV Stream.


snip

Ok, so now diablo is infinitely hard. and inferno 10 is harder than inferno ever was. The thing that they didn't get right it the gating made the game feel repetitive.  People got stuck on Act 1, some people got stuck on act 2. It's not that they doubled it. Its that they made the gear progression too much like wow in effort to make the game longer than it should be to have true end game farm gear. Now you have limiteless difficulty that is far harder than anything in inferno. But the maps you are able to play is ALL of them Think of nightmare 4 is akin to Greater rift 55-60  except easier to get to as far as DD2 goes. Heh. Get this strait. the game didn't lose longevity because it was hard. it's progression lead to the same map and same grind on the same area of act 3 over and over again. It's not because the game is hard. Not because of that. oh and by the way Vanilla Diablo right now is still better than most other Diablo clones.


Oh after we get that squared away. Guess how many people in percentage get to end game in these loot based games IE Nightmare 4 or in diablo past greater rift 50? Less than half a percent. We need. to not have a gear treadmill that will happen with this game to release bigger and better rewards to do. Simply put. Diablo 3 has gear creep, the gear now is far better than it was when Reaper of souls launched. They had to adjust for it because Torment 6 wasn't difficult enough. 


if they consistantly just give better and better loot. with out updating the old  loot this will make the game feel like WoW we don't need a loot treadmill we do not need them to wait for 1-5% of the playerbase to beat 4 to progress to a new release of 5. That will just make the progression boring and uninteresting. They need to have static gear power learn how to make diverse builds where one build isn't garbage over the other. They need to look at diversity. New maps and diversity. 


Do not think we want to play the game for several months get to nightmare 4 and think that with in a nother couple months the whole progression we just made was for not. EVERY PIECE of gear in diablo sense ROS, has been retroactively buffed. For instance the crusader I made in the first season, now has a better set in the game later, because all the buffs to that one set went to the old already dropped gear. That makes the game fun. Having an even playing field. Nightmare 4 should be some of the hardest content in the game, else no one will find challenge unless they do onslaught. and it will feel like Torment 6 did on season 3. too easy. They need to make sure they don't increase difficulty till farther into the. 


we want to hold value in the gear we collect not lose value every few months and have to regrind gear. we need to have static gear power, we just need to branch out and have more options. Soon enough nightmare 4 will make sense to you. But till then, just get gear so you can reliably do that and onslaught. People don't want their gear to be devalued every few months. let alone every year.  Unless they release like 10 maps and call it an expansion we shouldn't ever have an increase in gear power for the sake of making content easier. You guys don't have the right to easily do nightmare 4. It should take work. and it should remain that way.


But the time it takes to start doing the difficult modes and the fact that good gear isn't common at all. You shouldn't have to be carried to get the gear you need to progress. I do agree that the loot is unrewarding. The Loot needs to drop good items more often by quite a bit. we don't need to feel the grind till you are level 50, and when we are level 50, we don't want to take hours and hours to find one good piece of gear to get closer to completion. We don't need this game to be as big of a time sink in order for you guys to make money. This game takes 2-4 times longer to get to 50 as it does in diablo 3 with a fresh start on your second hero. Which is insane. You don't get rewarded along the way either. the Loot is cool when you actually have cool effects going off. we need more things like tazer suit, and things like that to be boss. We do not need to get as many grays whites and greens. those are no fun. 


The loot is the issue, the grind feels like it starts early.



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I never understood the ***ing about D3 (which I continue to play to this day) or other games which have a difficulty slider that goes well beyond the average player's ability to play at.


As far as D3 is concerned, playing the game through the lower difficulties was enjoyable, you didn't have to care too much about builds, gear, whatever, you just hit buttons and mobs exploded.  The different difficulty layers are just there to adjust your game play to the level of challenge you enjoy, then there is hardcore where one death means the character is gone.


You don't have to play at the hardest difficulty levels if you do not enjoy the game that challenging, some do, most don't.  Before Alpha, the vast majority of players haven't been out of Insane, talks of how hard NM4 is do not even register with them, old NM1 was out of their league.


Does it matter?  Is your enjoyment of a game limited by your ability to reach the maximum potential?  I never finished Donkey Kong, still loved that game and sunk god knows how many hours into it.  What has happened to modern gamers?  A bit soft, "Oh, I can't handle there being a difficulty level I can't hack."  I can't hack it either, it is something to work towards.  If you could face-roll NM4 in a week then what else is there to do?

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