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Story Mode Operation Difficulty


MichaelStuart

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So I'm told ops are coming back.

Good for the people that have been asking but not going to lie for me its MEH.

 

Still, I do ask that when designing the story mode for the new operation, that it be made to be completed with 8 random strangers of varying skill levels, less than optimized gear and who can't talk to each other.

I'm not saying that story mode should be a casual walk in the park but nor should it be a cross country marathon.

I just remember when the last operation came out and most players beside the hardcore raiders could get them done even on story mode. (Also they were really buggy)

 

So here are some things to hopefully keep in mind when designing it.

  1. Players should not need to go read a guide to understand the encounter mechanics
  2. Players should not need to use voice chat
  3. Allow for player redundancy, by that I mean the whole encounter should not become impossible because a player died (even tanks and healers)
  4. Keep mechanics that split the party to a minum
  5. Make clearer what needs to be interrupted
  6. Remove repair costs. (Wiping should be expected)
  7. Avoid enrage timers

 

Well that's all I can think of.

 

Thank you for reading.

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Agreed, this time Story Mode must be really easy so that all players who want to can complete it, but still give them a taste of raiding so they are encouraged to get into Veteran Mode. Bosses like Kephess or Calphayus have been nerfed so much that there are no mechanics on SM, so when you enter VM you will be stuck. Therefore, Story Mode should contain enough mechanics that you learn the fight correctly for higher difficulty modes, but not anything that requires good coordination.

 

Regarding enrage timers, a good compromise would be stacks of Determination like in WoW. Everytime you wipe, your damage and healing increases, so that if you wipe often enough, it should no longer be possible to wipe on a boss.

For example, I've once seen Sparky (one of the easiest bosses) enrage at 40% on Story Mode because players had low DPS and were attacking the adds. If the HP/enrage timer were to be tuned for those kind of players, good players would kill the boss in 20-30 seconds, which makes the operation too boring and doesn't give enough time to see all mechanics. Something like the Determination stacks would allow the boss to have high HP while still ensuring casual players can kill it.

Edited by Jerba
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If they are nerfed into the ground, which your recommendations would lead to, then not only will those that want this content not be catered for, but any wannabe raiders will never be able to get a group cos, you know, no ones running them.

 

Reading a single webpage, such as Dulfy's guides, isn't a whole lot to ask for. Hell, you could even just try to figure them out yourself! Bizarre, I know.

Edited by leehambly
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If they are nerfed into the ground, which your recommendations would lead to, then not only will those that want this content not be catered for, but any wannabe raiders will never be able to get a group cos, you know, no ones running them..

 

Hard and nightmare mode?

 

Reading a single webpage, such as Dulfy's guides, isn't a whole lot to ask for. Hell, you could even just try to figure them out yourself! Bizarre, I know.

 

But if you can't get a group because you don't know what your doing, you can't get a chance to figure it out. Catch 22.

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But if you can't get a group because you don't know what your doing, you can't get a chance to figure it out. Catch 22.

 

Of course you can, just pile in.

Seriously, I met a dude last night in game that said he wasn't ready for a specific one of the new uprisings because he needed to do some research first... c'mon, just play the game! It is only a game. Work it out together.

 

However, just let your team-mates know that you are brand new to it. I have been in and led many operations both in guild and pug and never seen anyone turned away - however, if you say you know something and you don't, or say you can do X Y or Z and cannot and have no knowledge of how or even what those things are... well... I cannot help you there.

 

And I will say that completing some content, regardless of the difficulty, with no guide and working it out yourselves is one of the more enjoyable and bonding things you can do in game, whether its your first crack at a SM boss or your nth crack at the HM version.

Edited by leehambly
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The problem is and always be the trinity when designing easier operations.

 

It becomes always difficult to find healers and tanks and trying to make it DPS only like a tactical FP but still have it feeling like an operation would be a nightmare to try implement imo.

 

There is hope though I am thinking in how they've given us abilities in story chapters. I would think something cool would be something similar where you had a tactical op but you then get at least 1 healer and tank by choosing who gets the role and they get an additional bar with some set abilities that allow them to heal or tank ( like how we got rocket launchers etc. in KotET ) and still keep their usual abilities.

 

This could be a few healing abilities for the healer and some threat gain plus tank stat boost for the tank ( maybe also some set def/shield like a bolster given to the tank once they select that role ).

 

This sort of design would allow for a much easier encounter that would still feel like an operation.

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Of course you can, just pile in.

Seriously, I met a dude last night in game that said he wasn't ready for a specific one of the new uprisings because he needed to do some research first... c'mon, just play the game! It is only a game. Work it out together.

 

However, just let your team-mates know that you are brand new to it. I have been in and led many operations both in guild and pug and never seen anyone turned away - however, if you say you know something and you don't, or say you can do X Y or Z and cannot and have no knowledge of how or even what those things are... well... I cannot help you there.

 

And I will say that completing some content, regardless of the difficulty, with no guide and working it out yourselves is one of the more enjoyable and bonding things you can do in game, whether its your first crack at a SM boss or your nth crack at the HM version.

 

Also groups are much more likely to take noobs when it's only one boss raid to get through as opposed to 2 hours worth.

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Of course you can, just pile in.

Seriously, I met a dude last night in game that said he wasn't ready for a specific one of the new uprisings because he needed to do some research first... c'mon, just play the game! It is only a game. Work it out together.

 

However, just let your team-mates know that you are brand new to it. I have been in and led many operations both in guild and pug and never seen anyone turned away - however, if you say you know something and you don't, or say you can do X Y or Z and cannot and have no knowledge of how or even what those things are... well... I cannot help you there.

 

And I will say that completing some content, regardless of the difficulty, with no guide and working it out yourselves is one of the more enjoyable and bonding things you can do in game, whether its your first crack at a SM boss or your nth crack at the HM version.

 

What about your 6th crack at the first SM boss?

 

Finding players of like mind is always the best option but we're not always going find those special someones that stick with us to the very end think or thin, most people have to make do with random strangers that are looking for a quick run and will leave as soon as things turn bad.

True its easy enough to explain mechanics to people, I've done it enough times, but beginners still need to practice that knowledge. When the wipes start happening a lot of players will quit, then when your down one tank and healer the whole thing because uncompletable.

 

I too agree that being honest is best.

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The problem is and always be the trinity when designing easier operations.

 

It becomes always difficult to find healers and tanks and trying to make it DPS only like a tactical FP but still have it feeling like an operation would be a nightmare to try implement imo.

 

There is hope though I am thinking in how they've given us abilities in story chapters. I would think something cool would be something similar where you had a tactical op but you then get at least 1 healer and tank by choosing who gets the role and they get an additional bar with some set abilities that allow them to heal or tank ( like how we got rocket launchers etc. in KotET ) and still keep their usual abilities.

 

This could be a few healing abilities for the healer and some threat gain plus tank stat boost for the tank ( maybe also some set def/shield like a bolster given to the tank once they select that role ).

 

This sort of design would allow for a much easier encounter that would still feel like an operation.

 

I agree with you but I still feel that some mechanics would still have to be removed.

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What about your 6th crack at the first SM boss?

 

Finding players of like mind is always the best option but we're not always going find those special someones that stick with us to the very end think or thin, most people have to make do with random strangers that are looking for a quick run and will leave as soon as things turn bad.

True its easy enough to explain mechanics to people, I've done it enough times, but beginners still need to practice that knowledge. When the wipes start happening a lot of players will quit, then when your down one tank and healer the whole thing because uncompletable.

 

I too agree that being honest is best.

 

Yeah, there are a number of phases you go through when encountering an entirely new boss...

 

I try to relate it to that "Forming, Storming and Norming" thing you see in business workshops. The first time you go in somewhere, you don't have a damned clue what the hell is going on, so much screen spam and flashing lights, you barely know what to pay attention to and what to ignore. Mostly you run around with your hair on fire and then slowly settle into "Ok, what is it we are doing here?".

 

Ok, through experience this period is longer or shorter - and with pointers from more experienced players you can hone in on what's precisely required. But don't think for one second that you are the only one going through that.

 

All I can say on those pugs that drop at the first sign of problems.. good, they are the ones generally wanting to be carried. Drop them, head to fleet and randomly pick another - maybe this one has some guts and tenacity? Cos you are all gonna need it.

 

However, watch the percentages when you fail, fairly judge whether or not you are progressing - what happened then? Why did we die? 1, 6, 12, 20 shots at one boss is fine, so long as you are all moving in the same direction. Knowing when to "call it" is a tricky one and people will often see it as a failure... when in fact you just weren't quite ready yet, or the group wasn't quite the right composition - and having that clarity of thought after several hours (often frustrating hours) can be difficult and tempers do and will get frayed - but with good communication (which is why you NEED voice comms) you will be stronger. Seeing words displayed on a screen doesn't give the tone - and that tone, at 1:30am on a Saturday morning is very important.

Edited by leehambly
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So I'm told ops are coming back.

Good for the people that have been asking but not going to lie for me its MEH.

 

Still, I do ask that when designing the story mode for the new operation, that it be made to be completed with 8 random strangers of varying skill levels, less than optimized gear and who can't talk to each other.

I'm not saying that story mode should be a casual walk in the park but nor should it be a cross country marathon.

I just remember when the last operation came out and most players beside the hardcore raiders could get them done even on story mode. (Also they were really buggy)

 

So here are some things to hopefully keep in mind when designing it.

  1. Players should not need to go read a guide to understand the encounter mechanics
  2. Players should not need to use voice chat
  3. Allow for player redundancy, by that I mean the whole encounter should not become impossible because a player died (even tanks and healers)
  4. Keep mechanics that split the party to a minum
  5. Make clearer what needs to be interrupted
  6. Remove repair costs. (Wiping should be expected)
  7. Avoid enrage timers

 

Well that's all I can think of.

 

Thank you for reading.

 

If you listened to the Stream, they said they want to make "Story Mode" more accessible to everyone, and have the veteran and master modes for people looking for challenging content, which is how it should be.

I don't think you have anything to worry about.

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Are you joking or trolling? SM ops are easier than Valky encounter now. Those who need voice chat for Story Mode Operations must be nude.

 

Also, no challenge = no fun

 

If wiping a few times to figure out the mechanics is a problem to anyone, they shouldn't play any game at all, and just watch TV tbh.

Edited by fatsi
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So I'm told ops are coming back.

Good for the people that have been asking but not going to lie for me its MEH.

 

Still, I do ask that when designing the story mode for the new operation, that it be made to be completed with 8 random strangers of varying skill levels, less than optimized gear and who can't talk to each other.

I'm not saying that story mode should be a casual walk in the park but nor should it be a cross country marathon.

I just remember when the last operation came out and most players beside the hardcore raiders could get them done even on story mode. (Also they were really buggy)

 

So here are some things to hopefully keep in mind when designing it.

  1. Players should not need to go read a guide to understand the encounter mechanics
  2. Players should not need to use voice chat
  3. Allow for player redundancy, by that I mean the whole encounter should not become impossible because a player died (even tanks and healers)
  4. Keep mechanics that split the party to a minum
  5. Make clearer what needs to be interrupted
  6. Remove repair costs. (Wiping should be expected)
  7. Avoid enrage timers

 

Well that's all I can think of.

 

Thank you for reading.

 

I think you identify some valid issues, but I disagree that the solution is making Story Operations as aggressively boring as Story chapter content.

 

Ravagers and Temple of Sacrifice were terribly buggy at launch, true. Story would've been fine without the bugs, but that made it nearly unplayable for most players. Hard/Veteran for these Ops is still drastically overturned. There are massive balancing issues across the Veteran Ops today, but that's a separate issue.

 

Theres no way to solve for the lowest common denominator on player skill, there has to be some expectation of reasonable player skill in any video game. Otherwise you're just watching the AI complete the content. Gear already doesn't matter in Story Operations because of bolster and voice chat is only necessary to overcome player skill issues and the other big issue...

 

The biggest issue that leads to players needing to read guides and voice chat to complete Operations is that the game offers zero indication in-game regarding mechanics. The difficulty should be in executing mechanics, not figuring out what they are, especially in Story Ops. There's no excuse for this and no amount of nerfing the content will make up for it. On voice chat, that's a fairly integral part of MMO group content, so I don't agree with this design goal. However, it shouldn't be required for the purpose of explaining unclear mechanics.

 

Story Ops are already redundant generally. You almost never need both tanks or both healers, so you can lose one of each. You can also clear most Story Ops with 2-3 solid DPS, so there's redundancy already there. What's the limit to this? Solo Ops? Otherwise, I agree that splitting the group is one of my least favorite mechanics, it is often a lazy mechanic choice. I agree that repair bills are pointless and needlessly disincentivize the content. I think enrage timers are trickier to remove, but I'm not inherently opposed to the idea.

 

Just some assorted thoughts/replies. Nice conversation starter though!

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Geeez the ops isnt even out yet and you are already asking for a nerf :)

 

Anyway, the thing is that these are operations and they are supposed to be challenging content. Look at Uprisings they are a walk in the park and Story mode can be soloed. I am not saying i want SM to be hard, but i don't want it to be too easy. Operation are to be a different level of content, as you have more players that need to do their role, it cannot be made easy just so that everyone can do it.

 

The SMs we have now are already nerfed to the ground. On the other hand, I surely dont want to make this completely undo-able by regular people, since the swtor community got so small I would like everyone to have a chance to finish it, so i dunno, not too easy, but not too hard.

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Look at Uprisings they are a walk in the park and Story mode can be soloed.

 

A side note on this... given that flashpoints are Story (Solo), Vet (Tactical) and Master (HM)... I personally think the story mode uprisings were always intended to be run solo.

 

It just doesn't make any sense to have Story (Tactical), Vet (Tactical but slight harder, no koltos and sometimes needing trinity composition - I think really its either heal or tank, they rarely need both) and Master (HM).

Edited by leehambly
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I don't think they are too difficult, have had no trouble joining groups of randoms with people who have never been to OPS before and we complete it without a single wipe.

 

What I WOULD like to see is an alternate method of utilizing NPC tanks. Or maybe as mentioned, a set of bars to allow people to tank. The best bet would be something similar to story flashpoints where you get an NPC droid.

 

This would be HUGE for operation finder, instead of 6 ppl at a time waiting on two tanks you have a constant queue of 8 players joining in and out of ops. The queues could be similar to warzones in the pop times. That alone would add so much to this game and give the level 70 more options.

 

As of right now something has to change. Random queue times are anywhere from 30 mins all the way to 8 hours. That is just not acceptable for a game people pay to play.

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I don't think they are too difficult, have had no trouble joining groups of randoms with people who have never been to OPS before and we complete it without a single wipe.

 

What I WOULD like to see is an alternate method of utilizing NPC tanks. Or maybe as mentioned, a set of bars to allow people to tank. The best bet would be something similar to story flashpoints where you get an NPC droid.

 

This would be HUGE for operation finder, instead of 6 ppl at a time waiting on two tanks you have a constant queue of 8 players joining in and out of ops. The queues could be similar to warzones in the pop times. That alone would add so much to this game and give the level 70 more options.

 

As of right now something has to change. Random queue times are anywhere from 30 mins all the way to 8 hours. That is just not acceptable for a game people pay to play.

 

IF ONLY in SM, but being able to pull your companions in an ops group would be great. Ok it would functionally be a nightmare to manage, but does give people options. Could you imagine?

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Allow for player redundancy, by that I mean the whole encounter should not become impossible because a player died (even tanks and healers)

 

If tanks and healers dying shouldn't matter then why even take them? Full dps team would kill everything faster. Just add kolto stations to operations, remove all mechanics, remove damage from environment... Tactical ops here we come!

 

Or even better remove all other players from it and let us use 7 healer companions while you're at it.

 

Is there any limit to this? How much longer are you ready to see really bad players? Even in veteran mode flashpoints people still want them to be easier (which would mean removing all damage or enemies would do max 1 dps).

Edited by Halinalle
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If tanks and healers dying shouldn't matter then why even take them? Full dps team would kill everything faster. Just add kolto stations to operations, remove all mechanics, remove damage from environment... Tactical ops here we come!

 

Or even better remove all other players from it and let us use 7 healer companions while you're at it.

 

tbh the 16m groups used to be for this kind of thing... but the hardest part of a 16m group is getting the 16m group. Ofc it means when you lose a dps or a healer you aren't losing a huge percentage of that kind of output - and it was a little more forgiving. Ofc if you lose a tank and have no back-up or res, you are buggered most likely anyways.

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If tanks and healers dying shouldn't matter then why even take them? Full dps team would kill everything faster. Just add kolto stations to operations, remove all mechanics, remove damage from environment... Tactical ops here we come!.
I'm not saying it wouldn't matter, losing any player will make the encounter harder, I just don't believe that it should mean a wipe.

Even if tactical ops become a thing, a full DPS group shouldn't lose because a player died.

 

Or even better remove all other players from it and let us use 7 healer companions while you're at it.
Solo ops are another discussion altogether.

 

Is there any limit to this? How much longer are you ready to see really bad players? Even in veteran mode flashpoints people still want them to be easier (which would mean removing all damage or enemies would do max 1 dps).
The only limit is that I expect a player to know how to interrupt (as in know that the ability to interrupt exists), know that cool downs are there for a reason, and that they have more than one attack. Basically, how to walk and talk, not how to 100 meter sprint and full alliteration.

There will always be bad players but the inability to do blood hunt does not make them one.

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