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Thread: Soul System Gripes

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    Telaran
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    Default Soul System Gripes

    Let me just inform Trion that I personally am a huge fan of Rift, I have it pre-ordered and am working to get more of my old WoW guildies to come over. I did get this email from a friend of mine who is currently beta testing and I was hoping someone could shed some light. Again this is NOT my words, and I am NOT looking for flames. I want some honest thought on how to answer my guildy friend.

    First off before I tear Rift apart, let me say that I like the game. It’s like WoW 2.0 for people who love wow, but are tired of it. I fall into that category, so Rift seems like it could be a good game. I’m mostly disappointed at their lack of innovation than turned off by it (why didn’t you try harder?).

    Invasions are awesome, gameplay seems pretty solid.


    What I want to really talk about is the ascendant class system, and how they took a terrific idea…and destroyed it. [http://www.riftgame.com/en/classes/system.php]

    In fact there were only 2 things they did correctly. Letting you preview a class, and giving you a suggested pairing.
    It goes without saying that this idea had huge potential, having 3 classes opens a huge world of possibility. However, instead of trying to innovate their class structure, Trion Worlds decided to just take the structure of WoW classes and cube it (X^3). I don’t think they realized that also compounds all the inherent weaknesses of that system.
    Here I will talk about the inherent weaknesses of the WoW talent/class structure and how they pertain to RIFT. Note that Blizzard made attempts in Cataclysm to “deal” with some of their issues, and moved away from their own system. RIFT made absolutely no attempt to deal with these issues and just chose to compound them further.

    1) Information:
    In order for a player to make a successful choice, they need to make an informed choice. If players can only pick numbers out of a hat, how are they supposed to pick the class they want? The answer is trial-and-error. If you really enjoy exploration you’re in luck. If you don’t, come back in 3 months when the elitists can tell us what we are actually doing.
    Now, Rift actually does make an effort to give us some information; but they don’t give us nearly as much as we need. I read about the classes as much as I possibly could, and in the end I still found out I made a bad soul choice.
    2) Transparency:
    So, you gave me some information. Well that only helps me if that information is applicable. Oh cool, you increase my crit by 5%...so what’s a crit? Is 5% crit better than 10 strength? How would I know? I’m making an important decision about my character here, and while you gave me some information you didn’t give me enough to let me make an informed decision. I have a dual engineering degree and love math…why can’t you just let me use the math? If you tell me how things work, I can do math and figure out what I want.
    WoW was notorious for this, and Rift makes absolutely no attempt at fixing it. In fact they just compound it by giving you more wrong choices. They only way to know which attribute is best is to have the elitist tell me.
    3) Intuition:
    Alright, so you won’t tell me enough to make an informed decision…surely I can just feel this out. I can just make a slightly educated guess, right?
    Rift: “Sure thing man, but when you increase your weapon attack you get this awesome new shield power that you can’t use if you don’t have a shield.”
    Greg: “That makes no sense. If I am trying to increase my damage why are you giving me powers I can’t use with any other soul but this one? And a defensive power at that?”
    Rift: “Well you could always go in the warlord tree and increase your armor. Then you get a 4th finishing move that does the exact same thing as the other 3 you have, but with slightly different wording.”
    Greg: “You’re not helping me get what I want…I feel like you’re giving me a random collection of abilities regardless of what I choose to focus on”
    Rift: “Exactly”
    Greg: “So I should pick with my eyes closed till level 80 and then try and then figure it out?”
    Rift: “Pretty much…or just wait for the elitist to you what to pick.”

    Dear Rift,
    Humans have a natural ability to detect cause and effect. Humans gain the ability to detect balance and fairness at about 3 weeks old. Why are you not using this to your advantage?
    4) Meaning:
    Alright, so regardless of my talent choices, I’m getting a random collection of abilities that may or may not work together. Well at least I get some cool powers right?
    Rift: “Actually most of your powers are redundant of each other. But we put subtly variations on them, so it’s impossible to know which one is better.”
    Greg: “great...”
    Rift: “The only ones that are not redundant are your debuffs. Even though your only level 9, we gave you 4 and you have to focus on keeping all 4 of them up through out the fight. Sadly, all of them are so insignificant that they really don’t do anything anyway, but we wanted to test your multitasking ability.”
    Greg: “So, let me get this straight…I have 3 talent trees, 75 talent choices, and 20 abilities…and I should just press 1,1,1,2 until someone helps me figure out a rotation?
    Rift: “Give it 3 months, and the elitists will have it down.”

    5) Compatibility:
    Okay…So I have this random collection of slightly redundant abilities that are not all that great. Well at least I can use them all right?
    Rift: “actually, no. Because you chose paladin as your soul, 5 of your 9 abilities require you to be wearing a shield. That means its pointless for you to use paragon powers or champion powers because they require you to use that hand for other things. Of course we will still let you do it, but you’re just making yourself weaker. Also Rift blade powers require a high crit, so don’t pick that soul either. Everyone knows good tanks don’t stack crit.”
    Greg: “so 3 of the 4 offensive souls are incompatible with the best tanking soul?”
    Rift: “You should have picked beast master. Wait, that one might not work either.”
    6) Only Gods can save us:
    So, now that I looking at hundreds of thousands of possible talent combinations…I don’t have enough information to make an informed choice…I can’t feel out what things are better or worse…not everything works together…and nothing convinces me that it’s better than the rest…what am I supposed to choose?
    Rift: “You can either fumble through months of trial and error and incorrect mathematical theories; or you can wait for the elitist jerk to do it for you, and just do what he says.”
    Greg: “So you gave me hundreds of thousands of talent choices, but in the end you just want me to blindly follow the only guy who has the power to actually make sense of this?”
    Rift: “fumbling in the dark is an option…”
    Greg: “Well what is the point of so much choice if you want everyone to spec the same way? Unless…oh…you didn’t.”
    Rift: “Now he understands.”
    Greg: “Do you realized you just made a game where 90% of the population can’t make informed decisions on their class, and of the choices available to them 90% of those are terrible or inefficient? That’s only a 19% success rate!
    Rift: “Do you think we should settle for our own sub-forum on elitist jerks, or we should create a new website all together?”
    Greg: “You’re not setting just people up to fail, you actually want them to! That’s terrible! What’s the point of choice if almost no one has the power to succeed?”

    “Why not instead make a class system with fewer choices, but with intuitive, informed, and meaningful options? Isn’t it better to have 3 good choices than 500 bad ones? Won’t I feel better about my class if I can see the cause and effect of my choices? Don’t I have a better option of getting what I want if you tell me what the classes actually focus on? Why did you make 8 souls if I can’t combine 3 of them with my soul?

    Conclusion:
    Dear Rift,
    If you weren’t so infatuated on making a bigger WoW, you could have actually made a much BETTER WoW. I enjoy your game, but I regret to inform you I don’t look forward to the 900,000 hotfixes I will have to endure while you try to fix your class system.

    The end.

  2. #2
    Prophet of Telara Skryth's Avatar
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    That was the wost review I've ever read. He basically wants his hand held at character creation. God forbid you have to actually think when picking a class.
    Last edited by Skryth; 02-17-2011 at 12:39 PM.
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    I had a similar reaction when I first saw the soul trees, too. My default class is melee rogue, I like stealth and backstabs, so I hit the assassin button and check out the first tier of skills. Increase crit chance 1%, increase Final Blow damage 5%, increase Savage Strike damage 5%... What? This is my very first skill point, isn't it too soon to send me to a dps parser?

    I would prefer the early skills all have a different focus, maybe one offense, one defense and one utility, rather than three similar improvements with only one correct answer.

  4. #4
    Prophet of Telara Skryth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arkeid View Post
    I had a similar reaction when I first saw the soul trees, too. My default class is melee rogue, I like stealth and backstabs, so I hit the assassin button and check out the first tier of skills. Increase crit chance 1%, increase Final Blow damage 5%, increase Savage Strike damage 5%... What? This is my very first skill point, isn't it too soon to send me to a dps parser?

    I would prefer the early skills all have a different focus, maybe one offense, one defense and one utility, rather than three similar improvements with only one correct answer.
    Really? You couldn't figure out that getting a 5% increase in the only melee ability you have is better than a buff to an ability you don't have yet or a measly 1% crit? This is what I'm talking about. If you took 2 seconds to actually look at the root abilities, you would have seen that you need 2 points into Assassin to get Final Blow...the Savage Strike talent is 2 points!! It doesn't need to be made easier, you need to actually take the time to look at the trees. They already added in the ability to preview a talent tree before you even pick one. Why don't you actually use the ability to do so instead of complaining that it needs to be dumbed down.
    Jolly fat people are living proof that it is not possible to "laugh your *** off", though we're trying...

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    You're recommending documentation as the means to learn the game rather than playing it. Pretty sure that argument is settled, tutorial levels won and paper manuals lost.

    A player comes into the game with no clue on the mechanics, but they do have an idea for a character. The dual-wielding berserker or the implacable tank, the nuker or the dot caster, let their early choices reinforce that idea. Introduce the theorycrafting later once they've had some exposure to the combat.

  6. #6
    Prophet of Telara Skryth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arkeid View Post
    You're recommending documentation as the means to learn the game rather than playing it. Pretty sure that argument is settled, tutorial levels won and paper manuals lost.

    A player comes into the game with no clue on the mechanics, but they do have an idea for a character. The dual-wielding berserker or the implacable tank, the nuker or the dot caster, let their early choices reinforce that idea. Introduce the theorycrafting later once they've had some exposure to the combat.
    No, I'm suggesting you use the tools they've given you and a little common sense. You're suggesting they make the decision for you so you don't have to think about it. You're right, tutorial levels did win out. Now go actually pay attention to your damn class when playing through them instead of complaining they're not holding your hand hard enough.
    Jolly fat people are living proof that it is not possible to "laugh your *** off", though we're trying...

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    You're just telling me to get over it, and sure, I did, I know the right answer now, but that's not really a defense.

    Why is it more fun if the first few skill points are a math quiz rather than a way to differentiate characters?

  8. #8
    Prophet of Telara Skryth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Arkeid View Post
    You're just telling me to get over it, and sure, I did, I know the right answer now, but that's not really a defense.

    Why is it more fun if the first few skill points are a math quiz rather than a way to differentiate characters?
    No, I'm not telling you to get over it, I'm telling you to stop whining that it doesn't fill in your tree for you and to actually look at more than the first branch tier. If you actually look at the whole tree, roots and all, it's easy to see where your points will be spent. Take the time to actually look instead of wanting everyone to tell you how it works.

    The guy was complaining that there are similar abilities in different trees. What, does he want each tree to not be able to stand on it's own with a full 51 point build? Does he want it so that you must pick a certain soul setup in order to get the abilities you need in order to be anything but useless? Then what's the point of having the trees go up to 51 points? Why not just have them all go up to 22, then there's no worry about what to put points into.

    And he was complaining that he needs to wear a shield for tanking abilities in a block heavy tanking tree!! He was complaining that smashing a shield into someones face requires a shield!

    He complains that you have to perform trial and error to figure out what works, or you wait a few months for the "elitists" to tell you how to play. How the hell do you think the "elitists" got their information? Magic? No! They tried out different builds and found what works! It's trial and error! You just want them to carry your lazy *** so you don't have to put any effort into it!
    Jolly fat people are living proof that it is not possible to "laugh your *** off", though we're trying...

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    While I do agree that some of the early decisions could be a bit more immediately useful, part of the fun of a system like this is figuring out what does work. There are more than enough ways to theorycraft your way into a viable build before starting.

    Like I said, the system is somewhat ambiguous, just enjoy the ride and discover what works. It's not like you can't respec into a better role...

  10. #10
    Soulwalker
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deonnyn View Post
    Let me just inform Trion that I personally am a huge fan of Rift, I have it pre-ordered and am working to get more of my old WoW guildies to come over. I did get this email from a friend of mine who is currently beta testing and I was hoping someone could shed some light. Again this is NOT my words, and I am NOT looking for flames. I want some honest thought on how to answer my guildy friend.
    To be honest that entire quote reads to me as a whiny tirade of a person who lives his life by ElitistJerks and hates that he (or she I suppose) is incapable of returning to their own logical thought process.

    Either that or its a classic case of a gamer gone numb.

    Really, the easiest response to that is just point out how incredibly wrong some things are. Like point #2, really? Almost every single game with any sort of RNG mechanic is guilty of lack of information on the specifics of how things work. I can understand wanting more detail into the inner workings, hell I'd like some more too, but this isn't a Rift thing, its a gaming (PC or otherwise) for the past several decades thing.

    Also, being from WoW, its painfully obvious he ate the cake with regards to carefully crafted spell abilities. Sure there is some difference in class abilities in WoW, but largely they're entirely cosmetic. Some classes (Death Knight and Mage come to mind off-hand) are literally the same exact abilities, just worded differently. They may have slightly different mechanics, but they all boil down to "Big hit, little hit, debuffs/buffs" when you start breaking things down to core mechanics as your guildie seems to be doing with Rift.

    That could actually be part of the problem, he's so ingrained into WoW that he refuses to see how its a shallow game and artificially creates depth to it to justify playing it. Not that Rift is any different, but I've seen numerous people (friends and otherwise) try and convince themselves a game is more than it is just to satisfy they're desire to be "elite" or satisfy some crazy desire to feel they're doing more than simply wasting time (beyond the simple entertainment value).

    Edit:
    I will admit that Rift does appear to be seriously lacking in non-DPS/Tank/Heal related abilities that lots of people find fun in WoW (Mind Control, Conjuring Food, so on and so forth), but I seriously doubt your guildie is refering to those kinds of abilities.
    Last edited by Nessin; 02-17-2011 at 06:41 PM.

  11. #11
    Telaran
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    Ummm, why exactly do you need to min/max for the sake of leveling?

    As an assassin, you have three options to increase your dps with your first points. Does it really matter which you pick? Is the slight difference really that big of a deal? Even if it was a big deal, you can redo your points at a trainer for barely anything.

    Its not a math quiz unless you feel the need to do max dps to enemies that die extremely quickly no matter what you do as a rogue.

  12. #12
    Rift Disciple Novelty's Avatar
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    1) There is loads of information out there. I don't suspect you're going to know the in's-and-out's of any class, on any game, without sitting down, playing it, and getting a feel for it. Are you going to need to spend time to learn from experience? Yes. From there's you'll get an understanding of what works good together and what doesn't. Why? Because regardless of the information you're given, reading about a game (no matter how in depth) in no way shows you what it's like to play that game.

    2) Information has been made available in multiple locations, including the changelog. Spend 5 minutes to look it up, and you'll have formulas. Trying to put this formulas directly into the tooltip/popup would be stupid. Dex affects Crit (which then affects Crit Hit) & Dodge. If something gave 15% Dex, instead of reading "Increase Dexterity by 15%" it'd read "Increase Critical Hit by (([Dexterity*0.15]*0.5)+([Strength]*0.5))0.41 and Increase Dodge by (Dexterity*1.15)". I'm sorry, but how is doing this better?

    3) What you define as "not intuitive" I define as "intuitive". I want a Bard that can have a pet and stealth? Sure! I want a bunch of abilities that allow me to do mediocre ranged and mediocre close up damage as a rogue? Sure! I want to tank as a rogue? Sure! There is so much versatility out there in these classes in comparison to other MMO's.

    4) If you don't want to figure out how to play the combination of souls you took, then fine. Send me a PM, I can make you a browser based flash game that will just popup a number on screen. You'll have 3 seconds to press it. The cycle will repeat, but may throw you a curveball for "Boss NumberPressing". I won't even charge you a monthly subscription. Just so you don't have to learn how to play it, I won't put in any settings.

    5) You mean a Bladedancer and a Marksman aren't two good souls to spread my points evenly between?! BUT I WANT TO HIT THINGS WITH MY DUEL-WIELDING-BOW! No, not everything mixes perfectly. But it DOES allow you customizability to play your class how YOU want, to develope your own strategies that compliment YOUR playstyle.

    6) You're basically complaining that you're to stupid to figure out how this game works, and that it isn't cookie-cutter enough for you. You complain about not wanting some "elitist jerk" to tell you how to play the game, instead you want the game to railroad you into how you have to play the game.
    Ive put in a medium-ish amount of time into RIFT as a Rogue since mid beta 6. Thus far, I have a DPS, Support and Tank Roll. Did I need to play around with each a little bit? Yup! Are they all viable and effective? Yup! Are they the 100% most efficient they possibly can be? Nope! Does it matter at such a low-level? Nope! By the time you need to worry about Min/Maxing your character, you'll have more then enough understanding of game mechanics do to so without the game saying "Pssst, put your points here"

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    Rift Chaser Unloved's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Skryth View Post
    No, I'm not telling you to get over it, I'm telling you to stop whining that it doesn't fill in your tree for you and to actually look at more than the first branch tier. If you actually look at the whole tree, roots and all, it's easy to see where your points will be spent. Take the time to actually look instead of wanting everyone to tell you how it works.

    The guy was complaining that there are similar abilities in different trees. What, does he want each tree to not be able to stand on it's own with a full 51 point build? Does he want it so that you must pick a certain soul setup in order to get the abilities you need in order to be anything but useless? Then what's the point of having the trees go up to 51 points? Why not just have them all go up to 22, then there's no worry about what to put points into.

    And he was complaining that he needs to wear a shield for tanking abilities in a block heavy tanking tree!! He was complaining that smashing a shield into someones face requires a shield!

    He complains that you have to perform trial and error to figure out what works, or you wait a few months for the "elitists" to tell you how to play. How the hell do you think the "elitists" got their information? Magic? No! They tried out different builds and found what works! It's trial and error! You just want them to carry your lazy *** so you don't have to put any effort into it!
    BRAVO!! intelligence, i love you man! keep up the good work!!!
    Baaaaah

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    Rift Disciple Tunasalad's Avatar
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    Skryth is my hero. Have my internet babies u STUD!

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    You folks are weird. If steep learning curves were a good thing, Dwarf Fortress would outsell Angry Birds.

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