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The Ich

Splitscreen loot system - Please do not make emulated controller farming a thing again!

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Hello everyone,

Splitscreen farming - as most of you will know - was a common method in DD1 to increase the amount of loot for yourself. You would emulate 3 additional controllers to bring in 3 additional characters and therefor quadruple the amount of (shared) loot. As a side-effect, you would also get the active builder bonus from these heroes.

This made the gameplay experience (and fps) much worse, it felt more like you were working in an monitoring station with those tiny camera frames and at one point I had the feeling that the low drop rates in the game were balanced with splitscreen farming in mind. But the advantage of doing so was just too big and forced players into "solo" gameplay instead of playing online with others.

That's why I seriously hope, that we will not see a comeback of this again. If you play the game on splitscreen using heroes from the same account (SteamID), you should have a shared loot pool. If another player with a different SteamID joins your game, he should have his own instanced loot. Sure, in any case someone could buy the game 4 times and join from different devices... but then he has 4 official accounts and I doubt that this would become the norm.

I would like to ask the developers to share a bit more info about this topic. If I missed out on any info, I would be happy if you could point me to the source.

Edited by The Ich
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I really dont know the solution to the split screen farming. No matter what you do unless you can ACTIVELY prevent 2 accounts running the game on the same system there will always be a way to game split screen. This was an issue for DD2 players on console where there was split screen, people would make a second account to boost them through the reset progression. While there is any form of split screen there will always be a way to abuse it. restricitng split screen though also causes issues for those who LEGITIMATELY play split screen sharing the same PC,PS4 etc. If two or more people in the same household want to playtogether and you can only afford one console what do you do? Do you tell them sorry take turns and share one account even though this is a multiplayer game?  Sorry you need to buy another platform for each member to play together? 

If there is an actual way that can tell if there is a human on the other end of the controller (which can be emulated pressing random buttons or whatever) how can we differeniate between those gaming the system and those who are not? 

I would like to find a solution, but I cannot think of one that doesnt penalise families on limited budgets.

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31 minutes ago, dizzydiana said:

I really dont know the solution to the split screen farming. No matter what you do unless you can ACTIVELY prevent 2 accounts running the game on the same system there will always be a way to game split screen. This was an issue for DD2 players on console where there was split screen, people would make a second account to boost them through the reset progression. While there is any form of split screen there will always be a way to abuse it. restricitng split screen though also causes issues for those who LEGITIMATELY play split screen sharing the same PC,PS4 etc. If two or more people in the same household want to playtogether and you can only afford one console what do you do? Do you tell them sorry take turns and share one account even though this is a multiplayer game?  Sorry you need to buy another platform for each member to play together? 

If there is an actual way that can tell if there is a human on the other end of the controller (which can be emulated pressing random buttons or whatever) how can we differeniate between those gaming the system and those who are not? 

I would like to find a solution, but I cannot think of one that doesnt penalise families on limited budgets.

No, you did not understand me correctly. Two (or up to 4) accounts should be able to play on the same system and every account should have their own instanced loot. But my point is, if you are playing on splitscreen using multiple heroes from just one account, then the loot pool should be shared. DD2 is a free to play game and hence additional accounts are basically free. DDA is a purchased game and this makes a huge difference. As I said, if someone really wants to buy the game multiple times to get more loot for himself, so be it - there is no way to prevent or even forbid this. But this won't be the norm.

Edited by The Ich

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Ah sorry, if i misundertood your point. If its just restricting one account then I agree this could be a solution, albeit not a perfect one. As long as it is possible to easy use 2 steam accounts at the same time on the same PC and not give console players an advantage in this respect I am all for it. One of my friends suggested being able to just load in the other accounts details but only have to log into just one steam to open the game. I see this working well. I am not sure how possible this would be. Maybe with cloud saves there could be an external source we could use to allow for this. Running 2 instances of steam that easily allows both players to play and move at the same time (running 4 steams same time?I cannot  bare to think about it)- I am not even sure if it is possible unlike on console.

Edited by dizzydiana
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I have the hardware to launch 4 DD:A's, currently the graphic settings don't really change my fps at all, it's the memory issue bugs currently that gives me problems.

As for the problem, just make Massacre a difficulty that scales with number of players, but this runs into hero deck limitation for solo play, and if not balanced correctly could favor solo or multiplayer play. So not only would you have to 1. Purchase another copy of the game(+DLC) but 2. Emulators are more of a launcher, and/or create multiple instances of the same game to run it/or have multiple electronics(esp. currently no crossplay). They aren't favorable for 2+ inputs from a single person at a time and if you can pull that off, to get 2x-4x loot, that's fair in my mind. Though for DD1 a booster monk was easily macro-able, which is the best I've seen, and no full blown bots automating survivals; so not the best solution but I see it being better if endgame is executed properly.

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The only way to avoid this is to incentivize active play and not require grinding for huge numbers of materials. I dislike it in DD2, but my choice was either farm pristine shards at slug speed, or move up to farming at "agressive snail after a couple of cups of coffee" speed... it was one of the reasons I chose console for DD2 in fact, although it's not that much of a challenge to do on PC... I felt like I was wasting time solo farming for them. I briefly considered going up to 4 accounts it is such a bore.

I've multi boxed other games purely for fun, WoW for example, or to simply have a pre built farming group and an interesting challenge in games like Everquest, but I'd rather it be a novelty, not something that's mainstream because it cuts a boring, repetative grind in half or more. I'd rather have to focus on one character at a harder difficulty than run a group and have to deal with a gaggle of controllers or figuring a bunch of split screen or multi monitor, multi pc, etc challenges.

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2 hours ago, BlueConfusedMage said:

The only way to avoid this is to incentivize active play and not require grinding for huge numbers of materials. I dislike it in DD2, but my choice was either farm pristine shards at slug speed, or move up to farming at "agressive snail after a couple of cups of coffee" speed... it was one of the reasons I chose console for DD2 in fact, although it's not that much of a challenge to do on PC... I felt like I was wasting time solo farming for them. I briefly considered going up to 4 accounts it is such a bore.

Change Material to gear and that will be why people did it in DD1. Farming the ultra rare ult/ult++ gear was a bore because once maps were built it was afk city until one piece dropped then it was a mad rush to beat other players to it to pick it up. In DDA I imagine it will just be because its annoying to afk for something super rare.

Though idk why people have an issue with others making a choice to play solo and trying to force them to do something they just might not want to do. Thus making the game less fun in the name of trying to get more public games going instead of just trying to show people why multiplayer is fun and getting the person to choose to do that. This was the same problem in DD2, monotonous farming is boring and to make it shorter you would use multiple accounts.

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11 hours ago, The Ich said:

Hello everyone,

Splitscreen farming - as most of you will know - was a common method in DD1 to increase the amount of loot for yourself. You would emulate 3 additional controllers to bring in 3 additional characters and therefor quadruple the amount of (shared) loot. As a side-effect, you would also get the active builder bonus from these heroes.

This made the gameplay experience (and fps) much worse, it felt more like you were working in an monitoring station with those tiny camera frames and at one point I had the feeling that the low drop rates in the game were balanced with splitscreen farming in mind. But the advantage of doing so was just too big and forced players into "solo" gameplay instead of playing online with others.

That's why I seriously hope, that we will not see a comeback of this again. If you play the game on splitscreen using heroes from the same account (SteamID), you should have a shared loot pool. If another player with a different SteamID joins your game, he should have his own instanced loot. Sure, in any case someone could buy the game 4 times and join from different devices... but then he has 4 official accounts and I doubt that this would become the norm.

I would like to ask the developers to share a bit more info about this topic. If I missed out on any info, I would be happy if you could point me to the source.

Splitscreen farming is not really necessary anymore with EXP being shared between 4 heroes of your choosing. The game also seems more generous with (relevant) loot than it was in DD1, making it unnecessary to me to abuse splitscreen to get more stuff. (Besides, I view it as an exploit rather than a feature in DD1)

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As long as there are people with 4pcs they can do this regardless of any change.  Even if you ticked off family's saying only 1 account per IP they could still just use a free IP hider on 3 of the machines and still do it.   You can't prevent it if they really want to do it

Edited by fluffycalico

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Just going to copypaste my idea for this that should work in fixing it. Doesn't fix people buying the game 4 times and running it with 4x players though but if they're that dedicated i'd say let them do it. The point of my idea is to simply make it easier to not run splitscreen for extra items rather than getting rid of it entirely. If anyone can think of a better way at handling this please say so.

Quote

Idea for splitscreen rewards/maybe exp: (posted 2 hours after first update)
      I honestly don't know where this should go right now but I thought I should get this out there. Essentially running 4x splitscreen in DD1 is extremely OP and really hurts teamplay so I came up with a solution. 
     Idea: A Logarithmic scaler that allows you to get multiple rewards without splitscreen. Essentially you turn it to 4x and you get 4x rewards at the cost of a difficulty increase. Disables splitscreen rewards entirely and the higher you increase it the harder the game gets (4x rewards = 8x difficulty increase and 8x rewards = 20x difficulty increase for random example). Chromatic Games sets the max number they deem suitable. Could somehow also scale this into EXP like 8x EXP for a char.

 

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6 hours ago, fluffycalico said:

As long as there are people with 4pcs they can do this regardless of any change.  Even if you ticked off family's saying only 1 account per IP they could still just use a free IP hider on 3 of the machines and still do it.   You can't prevent it if they really want to do it

You can't prevent it, but you can limit its advantage to where only the exceptionally dedicated would care enough to jump through those kinds of hoops.

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Oh, I really want to be able to split screen still - having the active builder bonus was awesome! Me playing split screen with 4 of my characters  has absolutely no affect on anyone else playing the game, and it allows me to continue playing it solo on the harder maps! =)

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Maybe the devs could make a "1 player / 2 players / 3 players / 4 players" difficulty option.
The number of "players" would indicate how much loot the map would reward.

However the devs would need to crank up the difficulty by quite a margin for multiple players to balance things out.

For this problem, either you grant loot to everyone but it can be exploited, or you give just the equivalent of 1 player loot whatever the number of actual players there is.
Else, you need to give an option to all the playerbase to acquire as much loot without the need of extra controllers, account or an emulator even.

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5 hours ago, Shindria said:

Me playing split screen with 4 of my characters  has absolutely no affect on anyone else playing the game

It does in a game with trading, progression, an economy and most likely leaderboards. Especially in DDA where loot is going to be instanced so you'll be farming 4x faster than someone playing "normally". 

 

19 hours ago, Galax said:

As for the problem, just make Massacre a difficulty that scales with number of players

All difficulties in all DD games scale with the number of players as far as I remember. It doesn't really solve anything.

 

13 hours ago, Alhanalem said:

Splitscreen farming is not really necessary anymore with EXP being shared between 4 heroes of your choosing. The game also seems more generous with (relevant) loot than it was in DD1, making it unnecessary to me to abuse splitscreen to get more stuff

The EXP sharing definitely helps but the generous loot doesn't really matter. Whether loot drops are incredibly stingy or they rain down on you, there's not really a situation where getting 4x more isn't better especially when you can sell off stuff to help you progress. 

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Split screen in whatever form still presents a problem, even with restricting loot to being account wide. If you have only one PC  and 4 members of your family want to play it how to make it fair but stop one person play it with 3 afk controllers. You are still punishing the family of 4. Their choice becomes share one account and lose out on loot or buy 4 copies of the game. This is not as present as much as a problem with consoles, you can share a game throughout accounts with the home box system and also log into each account separately at the same time and play. there may not be as many families sharing one pc as sharing a console, but it still feels unfair. I dont want to punish players who are actually using the split screen for different individual, but I do see a need to restrict those that use split screen to game the system. When this was discussed over the months the same issue arose, how to make it fair for all legitimate split screen players. The suggestion put forward is fair to ps4 and xb1 players but not as much to PC (i dont know about the switch and account management so cannot comment there). I dont want to any platform to have an advatantage over another so I dont know the answer. Perhaps with some thought the OP suggestion could be improved that solves it in a way that is fair to everyone. 

Edited by dizzydiana

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15 hours ago, Alhanalem said:

Splitscreen farming is not really necessary anymore with EXP being shared between 4 heroes of your choosing. The game also seems more generous with (relevant) loot than it was in DD1, making it unnecessary to me to abuse splitscreen to get more stuff. (Besides, I view it as an exploit rather than a feature in DD1)

You can still quadruple the XP that way. In my opinion this is not a huge deal, since people will boost themself or eachother up anyway and eventually you will reach the top level. The critical part is definitely the (endgame) loot and if DDA is really more generous with loot in general, I am already afraid that this will just be another DDE, which was way too easy and overwhelmed the player with better/op stuff, making the content trvivial and therefor ruined the whole endgame aspect/concept of the game.

14 hours ago, fluffycalico said:

As long as there are people with 4pcs they can do this regardless of any change.  Even if you ticked off family's saying only 1 account per IP they could still just use a free IP hider on 3 of the machines and still do it.   You can't prevent it if they really want to do it

The game is designed with splitscreen in mind, it is an official feature. Not sure, why you are pointing out the completely different direction, which would be to prevent multiple accounts on the same network, when we have quite the opposite here. The point is, that one account should only get one times the loot and not more.

8 hours ago, Alhanalem said:

You can't prevent it, but you can limit its advantage to where only the exceptionally dedicated would care enough to jump through those kinds of hoops.

Yes, there are technical ways. But it would be nicer to find a solution, which encourages players not to abuse this system (or have the feeling to miss out on a lot, if they are not doing so). Multiboxing, as others pointed out, is not exactly the same as splitscreen-farming. You need multiple accounts for this which require a full purchase of the game.

14 hours ago, Fatheredpuma81 said:

Just going to copypaste my idea for this that should work in fixing it. Doesn't fix people buying the game 4 times and running it with 4x players though but if they're that dedicated i'd say let them do it. The point of my idea is to simply make it easier to not run splitscreen for extra items rather than getting rid of it entirely. If anyone can think of a better way at handling this please say so.

Idea for splitscreen rewards/maybe exp: (posted 2 hours after first update)
      I honestly don't know where this should go right now but I thought I should get this out there. Essentially running 4x splitscreen in DD1 is extremely OP and really hurts teamplay so I came up with a solution. 
     Idea: A Logarithmic scaler that allows you to get multiple rewards without splitscreen. Essentially you turn it to 4x and you get 4x rewards at the cost of a difficulty increase. Disables splitscreen rewards entirely and the higher you increase it the harder the game gets (4x rewards = 8x difficulty increase and 8x rewards = 20x difficulty increase for random example). Chromatic Games sets the max number they deem suitable. Could somehow also scale this into EXP like 8x EXP for a char.

That would be one of the way to encourage players with a gameplay solution. The problem is, that it is extremely hard to balance. How do you define difficulty? What exactly is "double" or "quadruple" difficulty? Simple multiplying dmg and HP by 4 won't do it. Increasing the number of mobs will affect time-efficiency. Also taking your example if I could chose between 4-way splitscreen resulting in 4 times the loot or your option which increases the solo difficulty by 8, the first option would obviously be preferable. Keep in mind, that you would also get the active builder bonus for all your (important) defenses. So the difficulty increase should actually be lower than 4, to make this an attractive alternative.

Besides this, I like this idea in general, not just in relation to solo/group/splitscreen gameplay. Having an option to increase the loot of a map by a certain factor, but at the cost of a much higher difficulty sounds like a good way to encourage better builds and replayability of lower level maps (you could either grind on the "hardest" map or choose a higher difficulty mode on a lower map, which pushes the loot on the same level)! Sounds definitely interesting and could be a clever way to diversify map choices and gameplay.

6 hours ago, Shindria said:

Oh, I really want to be able to split screen still - having the active builder bonus was awesome! Me playing split screen with 4 of my characters  has absolutely no affect on anyone else playing the game, and it allows me to continue playing it solo on the harder maps! =)

So basically you are saying, you like to cheat the system. Sorry, as much as I would appreciate others opinion, this is just a case of abusing the gamedesign and for me a form of cheating, which I despise in any online game. And it DOES have an effect on other peoples:

1 hour ago, Cuddles said:

It does in a game with trading, progression, an economy and most likely leaderboards. Especially in DDA where loot is going to be instanced so you'll be farming 4x faster than someone playing "normally".

[...]

The EXP sharing definitely helps but the generous loot doesn't really matter. Whether loot drops are incredibly stingy or they rain down on you, there's not really a situation where getting 4x more isn't better especially when you can sell off stuff to help you progress. 

Exactly this. So many people here do not seem to understand this. The game is always connected and you upload your data to the server. There might be an offline mode as well, but as far as I know, it won't be completely seperated and you will be able to transfer your offline progress to online at any point again. And getting 4 times the loot is an extreme advantage. So what you are doing will always have an impact on the economy, trading, leaderboards and ultimatively balancing decisions like loot drops and amounts. You are always affecting others in one way or another.

1 hour ago, dizzydiana said:

Split screen in whatever form still presents a problem, even with restricting loot to being account wide. If you have only one PC  and 4 members of your family want to play it how to make it fair but stop one person play it with 3 afk controllers. You are still punishing the family of 4. Their choice becomes share one account and lose out on loot or buy 4 copies of the game. This is not as present as much as a problem with consoles, you can share a game throughout accounts with the home box system and also log into each account separately at the same time and play. there may not be as many families sharing one pc as sharing a console, but it still feels unfair. I dont want to punish players who are actually using the split screen for different individual, but I do see a need to restrict those that use split screen to game the system. When this was discussed over the months the same issue arose, how to make it fair for all legitimate split screen players. The suggestion put forward is fair to ps4 and xb1 players but not as much to PC (i dont know about the switch and account management so cannot comment there). I dont want to any platform to have an advatantage over another so I dont know the answer. Perhaps with some thought the OP suggestion could be improved that solves it in a way that is fair to everyone. 

Could you please explain, how you "lose out on loot"? You would get exactly as much, as one account should get. Not less and not more. If you are saying, this is my character and that is yours and we never ever share loot with each other/trade on the same account, first of all I find this not only hard to believe but you should have seperated accounts in that case to begin with. I would even say it is pretty unfair of you to say, that you should get more loot than someone, who also bought just one copy of this game. Shouldn't you be happy about the fact, that you are even allowed to share the account that way with all your family members? I know many other games, where this is forbidden. And still you expect to get even more, than one account would normally get. That is indeed unfair.

Edited by The Ich

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I am sorry that it seems I have not been clear in the point I have so far been trying to make. I am not looking to double loot for 2 players split screen but it should still be a little more than if one person plays it on one screen since there is a little extra difficulty added. I am for removing end game rewards doubling just by the nature of adding in a split screen player. I am just not quite sure how to make it fair if 4 players play together on one account with the adjusted difficulty from having 4 players on the map where it feels rewarding to do so. Since it is possible to only buy the game once on PS4 or XB1, but still have 4 accounts logged in and playing the game together. As far as I am aware and I may be wrong but to share a game on Steam it isnt possible for all accounts to be logged in at the same time playing the same game. I am not quite sure how to raise the concerns that I feel that PC is getting the short end of the stick (and perhaps switch players) compared to PS4 and XB1. I want a system that is equally effective regardless of platform. I do not want afk split screen to give any huge advantage over playing solo on one controller, but even restricting loot gives an XP advantage. I suppose because I have no real solution, I struggle to see what system is best. Since I am nothing more than a lay person I have no real idea of what systems could be put in place that solves the split screen issue in the fairest way.

Edited by dizzydiana

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4 hours ago, The Ich said:

You can still quadruple the XP that way.

That is a bold claim considering they have only ever addressed that loot is instanced and have never mentioned how xp will work in splitscreen.

54 minutes ago, dizzydiana said:

I am not quite sure how to raise the concerns that I feel that PC is getting the short end of the stick (and perhaps switch players) compared to PS4 and XB1. I want a system that is equally effective regardless of platform.

It is fair so far so the concerns are unfounded. Everyone who bought a copy of the game at this point in time has the ability to 4 player splitscreen, thus everyone has the ability to get 4x loot. It's not cheating or advantageous to any given player because all players can do it.

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7 hours ago, Cuddles said:

It does in a game with trading, progression, an economy and most likely leaderboards. Especially in DDA where loot is going to be instanced so you'll be farming 4x faster than someone playing "normally". 

 

Except leaderboards mean less than nothing to me, I can very well do without trading. so for *me* what I do in the game has no affect on anyone else. Leaderboards are pointless in a game like this anyway - it's a single player AND a multiplayer game. I play single player.

6 hours ago, The Ich said:

So basically you are saying, you like to cheat the system. Sorry, as much as I would appreciate others opinion, this is just a case of abusing the gamedesign and for me a form of cheating, which I despise in any online game. And it DOES have an effect on other peoples:

Nope, I don't see that as cheating at all - I was taking advantage of a feature as far as I knew. And everybody else had the option to play the same way, so nobody had the advantage over anyone else anyway.  And again, I play single player 99% of the time. The only times I did any multiplayer was for events, cos they were fun =)

 

*edits* I had to go check which map it was I used split screen on, it was for getting the kobold on a treadmill on NM, and I honestly think making it all the way through to wave 35 on that map, I *earned* the pets. Absolutely did not feel like that was cheating at all.  Would often take me the entire day to do the map, because gaming happens around life, not the other way around =P

Also, and I know I am in the minority here, people cheating in games also doesn't affect me at all. As long as I can play my game my way, what others do doesn't matter to me. I do tend to play all games 99% solo though.

Edited by Shindria
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Honestly I just hope they prevent it outright. But then I generally think things shouldn't be able to be soloed and should require everyone active + scale hard enough that I do mean EVERYONE active. 

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1 hour ago, Xurtan said:

Honestly I just hope they prevent it outright. But then I generally think things shouldn't be able to be soloed and should require everyone active + scale hard enough that I do mean EVERYONE active. 

I understand the desire to promote multiplayer above solo. I dont however agree that solo should not be possible. What happens to those who either start later or progress slower than others. If everyone else is in Massacre and you are not what do you do? If everyone has reach Ult++ equivalent and you are only in Trans equivalent what do you do?  Everyone will progress differently and there will always be players who dont keep up with the crowd or prefer to play at lower difficulties. There has to be a way to complete the game solo but take a longer time than if you are playing with a group. What if the player just doesnt want to play with others for some reason, what if the player has been prevented from playing online co-op from Parental settings? What if they cannot play online due to internet issues? if the game was truly made to only be completed in a group there would not be a single player option in the first place. 

Making multi-player a feature that people want to play over solo should not mean making solo impossible. It should be engaging as you suggest, and require input from all present. It should also offer some sort of incentive be it extra XP, better quality loot or whatever. This way it is still better to team up with others, but doesnt prevent those who do not wish to or cannot play with others from also being able to play.

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