Cosmpiercers: Problems and an Ambitious Proposal

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  • MatlkaelMatlkael Posts: 337Member ✭✭✭
    Matlkael said:
    ... In fact, the existence of guards meant that the whole cosmpiercer system revolved around them: how to kill them fast enough, how to ensure your guards survive long enough, or how to kite them together to stop an attack. There was very little (if any at all) player to player combat happening. It was all guards, guards, guards.
    I'm quoting my post to highlight the three different ways that cosmpiercer guards were a bad idea. It essentially makes cosmpiercers revolve around:

    1. how to kill them fast enough
    2. how to ensure your guards survive long enough
    3. how to kite them together to stop an attack

    Even with making guards immune to movement, the first two still remain. Cosmpiercers would still be PVE objectives. PVP would once again be constrained to bounties and lawlessness.

    Divorcing PVE from PVP is, in fact, a step in the right direction. We have plenty of PVE already. It's PVP that we lack, and thus, PVP that we should focus on with the cosmpiercer system.
    Mereas Eyrlock
    "They're excited, but poor."
    - Ilyos (August 2019)
    Rhindara
  • ZhulkarnZhulkarn Posts: 117Member ✭✭✭
    edited May 8
    You are completely ignoring the fact that one side has only so much ships to get to the cosmpiercer through a meaningful blockade. And the cosmpiercer battles do not revolve around guards merely. Guards is an obstacle to be considered and if you consider them wrongly yeah you are toast. Why it is hard to accept that one might make a costly mistake once in a while? Part of the game.

    So let us remove hacking and necessity of going through armored generators as well. Call it a group PvP hack&slash. Let us see how much involvement will occur. And let us even remove mark and experience losses as well. These have been tried in IRE games in other forms and they really did not magically improve PvP participation. It is years old misconception that making things fairly dumbed down and costless increases participation in PvP. 

    Currently aside for the desire of testing things through, I do not see a noticeable spike over the previous versions regarding PvP. So it is not a PvE but a hacking challenge now and the numbered side is not even obligated to watch for incoming ships. It is not hard to count enemy numbers and combatants really. 

    Divorcing game modes is unhealthy in the long run. But let us divorce cosmpiercers from everything makes it a coordinated major group activity and divorce its incentivizing nature which encourages people to have more MLIs, hacking levels, captaincy levels, better ships, military RP drive and tactical awareness. 
  • MatlkaelMatlkael Posts: 337Member ✭✭✭
    With the way Starmourn is set up, bashing for more MILs, hacking, captaincy, etc. still feed into each other. As a prime example, gear (and mods, for now) are MIL-dependent.

    However, removing straight PVE bashfests from PVP objectives is good. Props to the admin, too, for being incredibly fast with the patches!
    Mereas Eyrlock
    "They're excited, but poor."
    - Ilyos (August 2019)
    Rhindara
  • ZhulkarnZhulkarn Posts: 117Member ✭✭✭
    I think by now I can say that you just do not wish to watch out for Ship PvP, positioning elements regarding guards and rather prefer a system where numbers mean direct victory. All the flashy red arrows towards a boring system.

    Instead we can tweak exploits of the guard system, make the Ship PvP fairer between different sizes of ships and work upon enriching the tactical options of the whole mechanic. Either way we shall see how this will pan out in the end. 
  • BalthazarBalthazar Posts: 11Member
    I do want to say that a lot of your argument hinges on the idea that more numbers = automatic win. It doesn't. But if you continue to think that way, then your belief will become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    Hard agree on making ship combat less one-sided, though. Some people need the fear of Ren's battleship put into them before they cry out about Song :S
  • CubeyCubey Posts: 235Member ✭✭✭
    Balthazar said:
    I do want to say that a lot of your argument hinges on the idea that more numbers = automatic win. It doesn't. But if you continue to think that way, then your belief will become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
    Man, dunno what your PvP experience in this game is, but the way Starmourn works, more numbers is win. Skilled players can pull off a victory despite a slight numerical disadvantage (for example 5v6 or maybe even 4v6) but you give me 3 peeps on one side, 8 on the other, and the 3 aren't gonna win even if they're pvp gods. Just spamming basic attacks is enough to quickly wear the outnumbered side and take them out one by one.
    Ideally organized pvp in this game would have arena-style 5v5 matches - but if that sounds too artificial for you, then the viable and more realistic alternative is to have pvp objectives become active only at certain times that folks know in advance, so all interested pvpers from all orgs can show up. This kind of system encourages pvp activity. The current piercer system only encourages raiding when the other peeps aren't around, and the hacking requirements mean you can't even bother unless you have a zerg of at least <number> people in it.
  • ZhulkarnZhulkarn Posts: 117Member ✭✭✭
    edited May 8
    @Balthazar ;Let us not bring elementary psychology terms to the discussion. :P 

    I did not say more numbers = automatic win in any part of the arguments. What I say is not from belief or randomly throwing wild thoughts either but from experience. Starmourn is not the first text game which had some kind of siege, conquest, capture mechanic after all.

    But everyone has their taste and if developers want to roll with these type of ideas then it is alright. Things are still in beta after all. We shall see how that will evolve in the end. I just do not find the current mechanics as motivating as before.
  • BalthazarBalthazar Posts: 11Member
    I promise I wasn't trying to pull a pseudo-psychologist on you. I feel like that's just common sense.

    I played at release, and I absolutely did not fear the Scatterhome zerg (which was bigger than Song's zerg, yes). Maybe that's where the argument is coming from.

    Whatever the case ends up being for cosmpiercers, I hope that it is inclusive rather than exclusive. If you have willing people, bring them all and don't worry about being debuffed. If you're great at captaincy, MIL or hacking, let this place be your time to shine. If you know your class and can play it well, be the person that pings deathsight the most. I feel like that's everyone's goal really.
  • ZhulkarnZhulkarn Posts: 117Member ✭✭✭
    @Balthazar Of course every player wants to be good on some aspects of the game. Just I present the differences between the incarnations of cosmpiercer mechanics and my viewpoint towards those changes.

    Some will agree, some will disagree naturally. 
  • CubeyCubey Posts: 235Member ✭✭✭
    Balthazar said:
    I played at release, and I absolutely did not fear the Scatterhome zerg (which was bigger than Song's zerg, yes). Maybe that's where the argument is coming from.

    You mean the zerg of lowbies who die to two AoEs? That's how pvp looked like back then but it's different now.
    Whatever the case ends up being for cosmpiercers, I hope that it is inclusive rather than exclusive. If you have willing people, bring them all and don't worry about being debuffed. If you're great at captaincy, MIL or hacking, let this place be your time to shine. If you know your class and can play it well, be the person that pings deathsight the most. I feel like that's everyone's goal really.
    You know what? I agree, inclusivity is good. The current system doesn't encourage it though.
  • KitranaKitrana Posts: 62Member
    edited May 8
    Balthazar said:
    I do want to say that a lot of your argument hinges on the idea that more numbers = automatic win. It doesn't. But if you continue to think that way, then your belief will become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    we in CA already know because we tried this back before when there were guards. a 7v3 isn't really winnable even with guards on the lower numbered side. we tried once when there were guards managed to hold off song for half an hour before they finally won it.

    it's been my opinion since i joined up that defense on low-level cosmpiercers is a bloody nightmare and the recent changes have only made the effort more hopeless.
  • MatlkaelMatlkael Posts: 337Member ✭✭✭
    edited May 9
    It absolutely was possible to hold off a 3v7 fight back during the days of Guards + Kith Outburst/IED push/<insert mob kiting ability here>. It wasn't even difficult, at all. Heck, I managed to solo-defend a cosmpiercer against a group of 3.

     Furthermore,
    Cubey said:
    The current piercer system only encourages raiding when the other peeps aren't around, and the hacking requirements mean you can't even bother unless you have a zerg of at least <number> people in it.
    The previous system encouraged this, as well. If you started a cosmpiercer raid when there was even just 1 guard mover from the defending team present, you're in for a terrible time. It encouraged deep surveys of the opposing team to ensure that 1. there were no guard-movers and 2. there were no people-pullers. Essentially, because of the sheer strength of cosmpiercer guards, the only reliable way to succeed in a capture was to ensure that the defending side had as few players online as possible.
    Mereas Eyrlock
    "They're excited, but poor."
    - Ilyos (August 2019)
  • ZhulkarnZhulkarn Posts: 117Member ✭✭✭
    edited May 9
    That tactic was used a few times and again I say, nearly everyone here supported a tweak to that. There is no necessity to bring it forward again and again.  

    Please do not base your criticism of the old system based on one thing. Normally it is not possible to hold off a 3 vs 7 fight but it was possible to cause casualties on the other side. I myself managed a cosmpiercer get delayed about 20 or so minutes 4 vs 1 with timely use of nanoseer skills with the help of guards. But it was a delay since the cosmpiercer itself was a low rank and did not offer a tactical defense point. That was satisfactory from my viewpoint. Lost the cosmpiercer but did my defense duty. 

    So no, unless it is a very high rank cosmpiercer it was not easy to hold off 3 vs 7 fight back then. Exploits should be cause for tweaks not a complete overhaul of the mechanics. 
  • MatlkaelMatlkael Posts: 337Member ✭✭✭
    Even if guard kiting were removed, the main problem still remains: guards are strong enough that they become the centerpiece of the cosmpiercer system, rather than a side mechanic. Everything did (and would) revolve around ensuring guards died first/stayed alive, because they do so much damage and are incredibly effective.

    It would (and did) encourage zerging, even more so than now, because more people directly translated to more damage to deal with guards quickly. It would (and did) encourage off-hours raiding because the sheer power of guards + players were insurmountable (even when defenders didn't kite). 

    In short, all the problems if the current form of cosmpiercers still existed in the previous incarnation, with the previous one having further problems like level-gating and increased dependence on engineers (that heartstart+wormhole, tho).
    Mereas Eyrlock
    "They're excited, but poor."
    - Ilyos (August 2019)
  • ZhulkarnZhulkarn Posts: 117Member ✭✭✭
    Level-gating? So hacking is not level gating then? Armored shield generators is not level gating then? It is even mark gating considering the ships that can pierce them are expensive. Fighting off against superior numbers and levelled players is not level gating then? That is definitely a weak argument that existence of guards was level gating. It was merely another layer of the whole. 

    Particular classes having value in different activities is a FEATURE NOT A PROBLEM. They give them logistical importance and the dependence on Engineers is not as severe as you make it out to be. Like Nanoseer having advantage in preventing the guard damage. Or a Beast/Fury being able to disperse people. That gives motivation to recruit people to various tasks.

    We are encouraged to improve ourselves and bolster our ranks with talented people due to those challenges. Objections against guards keep sounding like some people simply do not wish to rise for the challenge and think that the fun should be related to easily doing some quick group PvP. But I personally enjoy all those things being linked which makes me incentivize people to get better ships, MLIs, hacking levels, cosmpiercer capture rewards. That incentivizes people to be aware throughout the cosmpiercer battle. Incentivizes to watch out for incoming ships, work on battle plans and how to approach the ground battles.

    Let us have some planetary group PvP areas where people can get their PvP on demand fix instead with capture the flag or king of the hill mechanics like corporate complexes, valuable resource sites etc where ground combat is the spotlight. But cosmpiercers should remain as the challenge where all game modes come together. Personally the drive of that ultimate challenge makes us try out different approaches on our side. 
  • MatlkaelMatlkael Posts: 337Member ✭✭✭
    Here's an ideal compromise:

    Factions can hire guards on their owned cosmpiercers at a mark cost of:

    50 + (# of cosmpiercers you own * 50) + (# of guards already present across all your cosmpiercers * 50)

    Upon purchase, the guard will be assigned to a random room in the specified cosmpiercer (same restrictions: not at the dock, maximum # of guards in one room). There would be limit of 20 guards total in a cosmpiercer.

    After 12 hours, the guard would "return home" (ie, you have to restation them). 

    This would be a mark sink if factions opted to use it. It would allow offpeak teams to potentially fight off a larger group. The scaling would make it easier for smaller factions to use.

    These guards should not be able to be kited.


    Mereas Eyrlock
    "They're excited, but poor."
    - Ilyos (August 2019)
  • CubeyCubey Posts: 235Member ✭✭✭
    I'm not sure if you ran the numbers on your "ideal" compromise, but wasting 20k+ on guards that will average out to 1-2 per room is laughable.
  • MatlkaelMatlkael Posts: 337Member ✭✭✭
    The idea is that they'll be around to help defend cosmpiercers during your faction's offpeak times, and not that they're trivially easy to keep up 24/7.
    Mereas Eyrlock
    "They're excited, but poor."
    - Ilyos (August 2019)
  • CubeyCubey Posts: 235Member ✭✭✭
    Once again, what help? I know you did cosmpiercers so you know how large they can get. Even for small ones, 20 guards equals an average of 2 per room. That's barely a speed bump - one level 75 character can clear that.

    Lemme ask, what's wrong with piercers being changed so they're active only at certain times and players know when these times are and can schedule around it? That solves all problems because everyone who wants to be involved in a piercer attack or defense will know when to log in, as opposed to the current setup of "I was absent because the attack happened when I was at work/asleep/out of the game because I have better things to do than stay logged in 24/7". Factions with superior numbers can flex them too.
  • IlyosIlyos Posts: 63Administrator, Moderator Starmourn staff
    I'll be taking these latest suggestions into consideration. There's ups and downs to each suggestion, except probably the one about reducing the number of available terminals per cosmpiercer (I agree that if you have a 5-7 terminal lead, the other side will have a really hard time doing something about it). I will roll out more iterations with changes in the following days and we'll see how it goes together.
    MatlkaelRhindaraReelocAzlyn
  • MatlkaelMatlkael Posts: 337Member ✭✭✭
    Cubey said:
    Lemme ask, what's wrong with piercers being changed so they're active only at certain times and players know when these times are and can schedule around it? That solves all problems because everyone who wants to be involved in a piercer attack or defense will know when to log in, as opposed to the current setup of "I was absent because the attack happened when I was at work/asleep/out of the game because I have better things to do than stay logged in 24/7". Factions with superior numbers can flex them too.
    That's a good alternative, too. As long as they don't always happen at US prime time.
    Mereas Eyrlock
    "They're excited, but poor."
    - Ilyos (August 2019)
    Rhindara
  • RhindaraRhindara Posts: 29Member ✭✭
    edited May 13
    The standardization of the terminal numbers was a great change!

    Unfortunately, the points are still +1 per terminal and the points needed are still massive, so for the cosmpiercers that had their terminal numbers reduced but were already improbable... well, they're now impossible to capture, especially if the enemy is able to land and lock us down. 

    I think we're getting closer to a workable system that will emphasize PvP. We can consider more 'force-multipliers' for defenders once the groundwork is settled.

    Edit: Also, could we get seconds added to the time remaining (before it gets to under a minute) by any chance?
  • CubeyCubey Posts: 235Member ✭✭✭
    edited May 13
    Galaxy brain opinion: these last few days where piercers were impossible to take over is the most fun the game has been in a long time.
    Piercers are stressful garbage and don't work as an engaging pvp mechanism. Doesn't matter if you have the upper hand or not. Their open ended, "anyone can attack at any time" nature means you're constantly worried about the other guys attacking, especially when they have the numbers advantage.

    It's just not fun. We don't need tweaks to the mechanism. We need a complete overhaul, or something else altogether for factional pvp.
  • ZhulkarnZhulkarn Posts: 117Member ✭✭✭
    edited May 14
    Also it seems the game considers a successful defense as a loss firstly, like you capture it back from yourself and that will reduce the daily mark revenue of the original captors. I was unsure if the rewards transferred from original captors to the defenders. Bugged it just in case. 

    I think the main issue comes from people trying to see cosmpiercers as a PvP challenge purely. But its real charm was it being a Ship PvP, Ship PvE, PvP, PvE and hacking challenge at the same time. The previous version was fun because it was merging all game modes. Despite the number differences it was motivating to be there. Everyone has their opinion but currently I do not see and foresee more PvP happening then before. 

    "Anyone can attack any time" nature was workable since it was costly in the previous version which worked as a natural stopper effect to the factions. It would take quite awhile to capture high levels and require team effort instead of sitting with numbers because a slip up would spell doom for the attackers. 

    How about we go back to the previous cosmpiercer system by adding guard moving tweaks? 

    And have some planetary areas to be group PvP grounds instead? They could even have timer-initiated immunity status etc. I would say that would be for the best. It would incentivize visiting certain places more even. 
  • RocketCatRocketCat Posts: 110Member ✭✭✭
    Excited to see how the vulnerability timers work out! We shall see!

    One qol thing: Could we get Cosmpiercer List sorted by date, so that we can more readily see the next Cosmpiercer coming out of vulnerability?
    Hi, I'm Ata. Oh and maybe some other people, too. o:) Check out my various packages for Nexus: Vuu combat system, Global Pathfinder, Slicer Tools, Ship compass, JS from command line, and Vitals Tracker.
    RhindaraMatlkaeljuno
  • CubeyCubey Posts: 235Member ✭✭✭
    Yo, piercers are resetting prematurely. Each time I check COSMPIERCER LIST I see different numbers there.
  • IlyosIlyos Posts: 63Administrator, Moderator Starmourn staff
    Cubey said:
    Yo, piercers are resetting prematurely. Each time I check COSMPIERCER LIST I see different numbers there.
    Slight issue there, will be fixed in a few hours and the hours will be displayed correctly
  • RocketCatRocketCat Posts: 110Member ✭✭✭
    The Cosmpiercer experience is generally an amazing thrill now. I was skeptical of the guard decision at first, but I love that it brings us pure group pvp. We've had some really fun fights and I hope they keep coming!

    The one outstanding issue I see is just how easy it is to sweep Cosmpiercers when there are no defenders around. The experience here is pretty bland... destroy the gens, hack a terminal, wait 10 minutes, hack another, Fly to the next.

    I understand if some don't see this as an issue. With the randomness of timers, over a long period the factions should be on equal ground if they're trading these sorts of sweeps back and forth, meanwhile fun fights will happen at the times where our activities overlap.

    It's a very tricky balance, as too much control over vulnerability timers wouldn't work either. And I dont really have a solution to propose. I'm just wondering what sort of mechanics would lead to a situation where Cosms were always a group vs group experience, as I'm quickly growing burned out from back and forth sweeps of defenseless Cosms. Not pointing fingers, as both sides engage in this. At the moment, it's frankly necessary to do so as the cycle of retaliation is unending.

    I don't really know. What do you think?
    Hi, I'm Ata. Oh and maybe some other people, too. o:) Check out my various packages for Nexus: Vuu combat system, Global Pathfinder, Slicer Tools, Ship compass, JS from command line, and Vitals Tracker.
    Rhindara
  • Pink_CandyflossPink_Candyfloss Posts: 32Member ✭✭
    I'd imagine this could change if Scatterhome got involved and started taking Cosmpiercers, but there doesn't seem to be too much of an urge to do them. I'd get involved but I'm still not happy about losses on death, coupled with the extremely poor rewards from owning them. It is the biggest turn-off from involvement.

    I didn't mind fighting for skyshards and other objectives in Imperian because you didn't lose a thing on dying. No xp loss, no gold loss and the rewards for winning were generally really worth it. I couldn't fight well, but my small efforts still helped.
    Rhindara
  • CubeyCubey Posts: 235Member ✭✭✭
    edited May 26
    RocketCat said:
    It's a very tricky balance, as too much control over vulnerability timers wouldn't work either. And I dont really have a solution to propose. I'm just wondering what sort of mechanics would lead to a situation where Cosms were always a group vs group experience, as I'm quickly growing burned out from back and forth sweeps of defenseless Cosms. Not pointing fingers, as both sides engage in this. At the moment, it's frankly necessary to do so as the cycle of retaliation is unending.

    I don't really know. What do you think?
    Quick math: 32 cosmpiercers, cooldown of 24-48 hours each.

    There's an average of more than one piercer opening every two hours. Of course there's times when none are open but that means there's several open at once at others. No surprise you're getting burned out, there's too many openings. Can't log on without either something being open, something opening soon, or reading logs how celestine grabbed 10 of your piercers while you were asleep.

    Piercer openings need to be more spread out over time. What we have now is not an endless back and forth but still close enough to it to be tiring. Consider this: longer cooldown of 4-10 days for each piercer (yes I said days and yes, that's pretty random - and it should be, to prevent repetition). That's an average of about 4 piercers a day. Few enough that folks can prepare for each one like it's a real battle, trying to be there on time. And 4 per day on average means there's a high chance there's at least *one* piercer battle any day you can participate in, instead of getting screwed because all of them are when you're at job or whatever. I mean, it can still happen but chances for that are pretty slim.

    And yeah this solution means it's possible the other players snatch up your rank 7 and keep it for over a week while all you can do is take rank 1 or some other garbage back. But let's face it, nobody runs piercers for money (as long as losses are not too painful - death is fine, losing 40k worth of comms when your battleship blows up less so). They run it because it's pvp. And pvp is fun. Or at least should be, if done well.

    EDIT: TL;DR version - longer cosmpiercer cooldown times plz.
    Rhindara
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