Welcome to Project: Gorgon!


Project: Gorgon is a 3D fantasy MMORPG (massively-multiplayer online role-playing game) that features an immersive experience that allows the player to forge their own path through exploration and discovery. We won't be guiding you through a world on rails, and as a result there are many hidden secrets awaiting discovery. Project: Gorgon also features an ambitious skill based leveling system that bucks the current trend of pre-determined classes, thus allowing the player to combine skills in order to create a truly unique playing experience.

The Project: Gorgon development team is led by industry veteran Eric Heimburg. Eric has over a decade of experience working as a Senior and Lead Engineer, Developer, Designer and Producer on successful games such as Asheron’s Call 1 and 2, Star Trek Online and other successful Massively Multiplayer Online Games.



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Thread: The Zerg
  1.   This is the last staff post in this thread.   #11
    Administrator Citan's Avatar
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    Well, no system is perfect, but I actually found the opposite. As a templar in EQ2 I routinely helped out others, just for the sake of being nice, and because of the locking system, it was understood as a nice gesture instead of an attempt to steal a kill.

    In Gorgon right now, you can "help" somebody, but if you do more damage than them against a solo creature, you stop being a helper and start becoming a kill-stealer. And since XP is split right now, many players will resent your "help" because you're inevitably slowing down their leveling.

    I guess the bottom line is that the current system is obviously not going to cut it in the long term because the loot system heavily rewards mega-groups. Mega-groups are actually really boring, even if the rewards are good. It's not healthy for the long-term of the game. The best system I've seen is EQ2s. If you have other systems to propose, that's cool and I'm all ears! But we can't stay with the exact system we have now forever.

  2. #12
    Senior Member Oxlazr's Avatar
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    That "Kill-stealing" mentality cripples so many games it's ridiculous. I don't see why you can't use both systems, though. I think Manticores work well with a zerg-group if only because it brings people together - and nearly all of that loot sees its way to a vendor regardless.

    Otherwise, interior dungeons should require a degree of co-ordination and a well-rounded group; having people play specific roles really makes people feel like they full a niche in the community.

    If you're going to push a group-only loot system, it might pay to flesh out a few of the popular dungeons with additional bosses - ideally, when those spots are contested the groups would effectively kill one boss, then switch to another boss while another group might do the same to avoid diminishing loot-returns.

    Also, I wonder if the "power creep" going forward could be smaller than traditional MMOs might have? If the difference between a level 50 and 100 character isn't overwhelmingly significant, then those two players could more effectively group without levels getting in the way - while the level 100 character could effectively replay older content with it still presenting a challenge. It might mitigate the effect of power-leveling, rather than outright denying a high level player from helping a much lower level one.

    I tend to avoid min/maxing and generally just give away my gear when it passes a certain threshold where the game would otherwise become boring; I don't even bother with transmuting/augmenting - but increasingly I feel the game is presenting more and more ways to min/max and that creates a sort of pressure for players to do so.

    I think it's also important that powerful items cycle out of the economy in a meaningful way - I realise items becoming "bound" is a thing now, and this isn't really going to be an issue until much later (given that level 70 loot will likely become irrelevant going forward anyway) but I feel I should mention it anyway.

    People often think in terms of efficiency - more gear = more gold = more skills and abilities, and a more flexible & powerful character. I'm still not convinced gold is the best means of progression, but it certainly feels like the only one right now.

  3. #13
    Senior Member Crissa's Avatar
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    I have never had a mob 'leapfrog' me that wasn't hit by the other player or reset to its position. The fact that mobs often generate on top of players or their paths is the only time I've seen them add to players.

    I've played far more hours solo than in groups.

    And yes, playing to challenge yourself and a group is fun. I've done that through the Crypts, lending a hand in a group that could barely take the Rhino. I tanked it for a couple minutes but I ended up dying and waiting for them to come back through the dungeon ^-^

    I hate loot-locking. It leads to kill-stealing and buggy bosses and munged attempts to fight them. It's bad enough that a loot-locked spider can land on your head in the dungeon and collide with your character and trip you up. Why is collision turned on when you can't interact with the corpses?

  4. #14
    Senior Member cratoh's Avatar
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    I am so happy that you are using the group locking system from EQ2. It was really good. Do remember however, it was optional - you could set or lose it. Contested dungeons there were great fun. One of the things that made them work though were different areas within the dungeon, and a fair few quest and bosses. For example Runnyeye dungeon, a fairly mid midrange dungeon at the start of the game, could easily cope with 5 at level groups of six people. This was because repop times were pretty quick, and there were multiple path choices. On top of that there were 2 dungeons that were instanced inside as well that took some time. There were also overpowered x2 group mobs as well. The most important thing though - you needed roles in EQ2. You could go to Runnyeye as a healer/tank duo and progress very slowly through. Add one dps and go a bit faster. Add a healer/dps hybrid, a bard for buffs and a 2nd dedicated dps and you knew you were going to have a great time. The reason that things can feel like a zerg here is that there are no defined roles. You can go to a dungeon with 2 people and its a dps, self healing, damage soaking firstaid kit, armor patch using mini zerg. Add more peopel, just use less first aid kits, and faceroll the mobs. Again, in EQ2 - the fights were meaningful, even trash - the trash could drop nice loot, but they didn't just melt at level.

    Another important thing - boss loots. I really dislike the 3 hour loot roll. It completely removes the dungeon crawl from the game. An MMO standard is that Adventurers go to dungeons to get loot and the best loot drops from bosses. The problem in Gorgon is that everyone gets the loot whether they were there for the kill or not. This, to me, is a glaring but easily fixable error. Code in need/greed/pass mechanic - keep bosses dropping loot all the time - stop giving loot to everyone - make it so the boss has RNG to drop pieces for anyone that was IN on the kill - not halfway down the dungeon around another corner. Make it so that if there is for example necro/spider, fire/staff and druid/hammer present for kill and druid/hammer drops - make it need/greed/pass for druid, and greed/pas for other 2 players please.

    It's totally out of keeping with the genre to have these massive loot pinatas like manticores, lab runs, effectively any run at all, in the whole PG dungeon world. Loot doesn't feel special - there is no reward for grouping again and again - you just see used tabs full of vendored stuff from people steamrolling through content. As for the bosses - that is really weird, I mean I have walked in a room with a dead boss in it, and looted it for full loot. What adventurer would leave a boss full of loot on the deck?

    Lastly - again leaning slightly on eq2 here where they had a level limit to receiving loot in dungeons. It has always bothered me that I can go into say Serbule Crypt as a max levelled fire/BC character and get full loot. It would be nice if you ascertained what level you thought a dungeon was - say SC was level 15 at start, level 25 on necro floor then make it that anyone going in there max level auto-delevelled to 20 at start and 30 for necro floor. What is the point of having nice content if new player just shouts out in chat and some high level goes down and face rolls them to the necroboss? Or if someone gets loads of curses and then gets a high level to clear them all? It totally devalues the dungeon - it stops the new player learning Risk/Reward, and ultimately takes away from the longevity of the game. It makes notoriety meaningless, it further devalues loot - i mean, the low level player just went follow/loot..

    I come from a gaming background which went from super hardcore raider to pretty casual part time player/grouped pick up raider over many years. I absolutely love grouping. I love a challenge, I love the experience of grouping up and beating a dungeon. I have seldom felt any excitement at all in Gorgon thus far on any group content. I know it is Alpha, and I am so glad to hear you are going to be really looking at group content, and putting some challenge in the game. I hope you have a think at least about my other points, thanks.

    TLR

    EQ2 group lock - great, it worked.
    Bigger dungeons, multiple paths, quests, more bosses, faster repops, much harder mobs.
    No more loot for everyone. No more 3 hour loot ban. Make bosses drop 3 loots max - make people who killed it need/greed/pass.
    Make all chests boss related - key from boss - or better yet key from random mob drop in general area required to open chest.
    Make roles important - bring variety to P:G. Allow people to be good at a role. Make dungeons depend on roles.
    Make dungeons autolevel overleveled characters.
    Last edited by cratoh; 02-11-2017 at 03:41 AM.

  5. #15
    Senior Member Khaylara's Avatar
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    @Citan we ran Lab few times with 20+ people. Not carrying newbies through, but groups of adequate level people. It's simply because it's the highest level dungeon and there's not much choice yet in that department. It's going to be a bit difficult if it gets loot locked but maybe by that time we get more options so we're not limited to that one dungeon.

    Maybe a stupid idea but...if instancing is not possible, would the server support duplicates? For example 2-3 yeti caves with the same layout and mobs but with the entrance placed in different locations? I know it sounds stupid because people skip it anyway but if the playerbase grows maybe it's worth considering, I don't know.

  6. #16
    Senior Member Niph's Avatar
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    Regarding the original poster concern, I have experienced zerg groups in two dungeons, Kur Tower and Labyrinth. Neither are true zerg, in that if you just run forward killing everything, you'll eventually die before you reach the target (Lomas, Claudia). It always requires some decent pulling. Yes, it's chain pulling (there is always a mob being killed), but not a zerg. A zerg is when you throw yourself at something hoping to defeat it with shear number, and it doesn't work in PG: the recast on Resucitate takes care of that.


    The motivation for big groups is of course that they are better performing. While Claudia can be done with 6, it's so much easier with 24! And the loot is the same...


    There is also the fact that a group must constantly try to beat the respawn behind. Currently, the perception seems to be that you need big groups because of that. But, in practice, two players is enough to clear to the deepest floor of Lab (I know it from experience). Based on that, I think that changing the game to promote 6-men groups should do fine, at least for the well-geared older players.
    Last edited by Niph; 02-11-2017 at 05:53 AM. Reason: Spelling

  7. #17
    Junior Member Elenoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cratoh View Post
    EQ2 group lock - great, it worked.
    Bigger dungeons, multiple paths, quests, more bosses, faster repops, much harder mobs.
    No more loot for everyone. No more 3 hour loot ban. Make bosses drop 3 loots max - make people who killed it need/greed/pass.
    Make all chests boss related - key from boss - or better yet key from random mob drop in general area required to open chest.
    Make roles important - bring variety to P:G. Allow people to be good at a role. Make dungeons depend on roles.
    Make dungeons autolevel overleveled characters.
    ;TLDR
    - group lock is awful
    - instanced loot is the best. No "60runs, 20 drops, rolled nothing, thanks for timesink"
    - loot CD is great in open dungs without instance CD, especially when dealing with zerg
    - trinity sucks, especially in classless games, don't bring that rigid WOW concept as an improvement

    The Negative:

    - played EQ2 just after UO, maxed out and left just because how non-instanced bosses worked, it was terribly boring. We waited for 8h respawn. Other groups came to wait. You've waited hours but needed to be fully prepared to make first shot. Because only that group got A CHANCE to get one item. That was awful and I managed to avoid any other games that followed such rules.

    - next worst thing is crafting/equipment tiers. The thing when you somehow get tier 50 gear in 4 months of playing. And then next update says it's completely useless, because white 60 is always better then yellow 50. And then lvl 65 update... This was lazy concept back then and it still is.

    (The opposite idea: The Secret World builds on what you have and further improves it. So with new content either horizontal system is added, or there is new dung/raid where you get the upgrade tools that allows you to upgrade one piece of gear you have for years a bit higher. New players have the "same gear" as you do, but they need all those items from low dungs/high dungs/quests/raids/new content to make it better. No effort is ever lost. Everything you do accounts to your character. Seasoned players have more pieces with different stats, more possibilities in roles/tuning and more things to upgrade. It's the best way for PvE "theme park" game I've seen. )

    - and the worst in the end: RNG. When you just have a chance to get one item in group (need/greed idea) that has only chance to drop with quite a small chance to have actually good stats. Never seen anything frustrating like this.

    (So to be sure... collecting "tokens" that can be traded for things is better. For players anyway. In TSW, again (it's really good game for dungeoneering), you get token for each boss you kill. More for the last one. Good aspect of this is players are not afraid to go dungs they cannot complete. And even if you don't get RNG loot, you still have feeling you got something out of it and you are closer to the upgrade. People are not afraid going to dung where last boss is "unbeatable". It's a way to gradually raise difficulty to make dungeons accessible for wider spread of people.)

    - things like class locked roles, or trinity roles as a whole, or barely usable market tool (known as auction house)...

    - killing trash for RNG chance of getting needed key... useless. You don't go to dung to grind trash. That's what you do outside the dung. Dung should be directed with purpose and mechanics, not RNG and trash.

    The Positive:

    - group lock - don't see reason for it. In EQ2 it was there to avoid "kill stealing". In some games kills are shared. Everyone can participate, everyone close enough gets a kill (hit wasn't good enough for healers/buffers). It worked too. It TESO (I think) xp are not "shared", everyone gets full XP + bonus for grouping (if that's what developer prefers). No problem with that either.

    - instanced loot is always good - again, no scare of competition, people packs naturally. Everyone who participated gets a thing. Problem with AFKers (people who hit and then just wait) solves for example Secret World by reward tiers (you need to do certain threshold to get highest reward, just for "participation" you get lowest, there are three tiers of rewards for public world event bosses). Instanced loot also allows to distribute rewards based on player (low level gets worse things then high level).

    - if there are public dungs, loot timeout it actually the good idea. High respawn CD (combined with group-lock) is the WORST! (Blessed be EQ2 and Anarchy for showing this) So you can kill the boss for whatever reason again but you don't get the best you could. Many game follows this with 24h CD and it's ok (18h is better for obvious reasons).

    - classes/trinity roles - if anyone wants this, just pick one of gazillion games out there. Don't bring it everywhere else please. It doesn't "add to the game", it binds it. In Secret World there are trinity roles. But it's also classless. So people combine. There are healtanks, dpstanks, dpsheals... then they added dung finder with trinity in mind and how do you get a group when it's "supposed to" find tank+healer+3dps but you actually need healtank + 4 dps. Trinity/classes are mainstream concept, not the only one. And you may notice the classic "trinity" roles players break wherever they are allowed.

    In TSW my "role" I'm good at is dissolving purple shields. I have the timer in my brain, I feel when to interrupt quite fast casting, in every situation I know how to move with purple mobs/mechanic, My priority is obviously to get purple related things upgraded first so I do it better then anyone in our group. In raids I have build for shooting pods, controlling adds and when needed, to carry beating from boss for a while. These are "roles" I like, I'm trained for and I'm good at. I don't trinity for anything like this.

    Tank/heal/DPS adds nothing. Where needed they come by naturally. With all those variations like offheal, dps with one buff, and such. I don't think the game itself needs to create artificial places for those. I hated RIFT for being "forced" to do roles. They callout for offheal, it had to be offheal (and there was one good offheal class, no others accepted). And RIFT has at least basic roles switch, even when it's class locked game, EQ2 was the worst example of this for me.

    - if zerging bosses is an issue, then it's mechanics issue. If the boss only needs DPS to kill then more players means more DPS. World bosses are known from many games. They still can have mechanics (simple, so it's fun for random guys) and be fun even with more players (Defiance wasn't bad in this).

    If you want to have open dungs with good GROUP bosses, good mechanics are the way. Something like split the group, each individual/group needs to get to designated corner/area, where they are fighting their small mobs and they need to pull lever with elemental damage the boss gets immunity for, while main group fights him... Or highdmg AOE when not enough players stand at the right spot when they need to... Or limit it naturally like in one moment players need to spread themselves or be killed - if you limit the size of room then, no more players "fits" in for one fight, the rest will wait outside for the next one... Or there may be organization limits, like 10 pads, each needed the exact same number of players doing specific thing - so smaller group is easier organized and you make "certain" lowbies are not carried because they cannot handle their part on their own, and putting there two people means putting two people everywhere else...

    This means it won't be random, it still needs coordination/preparation. More players makes phases easier but not much faster and certainly not trivial, etc. Tiered (again) is bad. In character based games where character skills > player skills (WOW, PG), people need constant feel of progress (TSW FTW in this). So you raise level to 70. Then you need harder dungs. But you need to leave old content for new players. So in the end there is only one/two dungs people can use at any time (once they reach higher tier, they move there and they never return lower because what with lvl 50 s... gear). This is bad way. Getting tokens, which can be raised in higher dungs so doing any dungs is useful works well (in TSW all dungs are used by endgame players). Works best with CD, so people starts with highest level, get 10 tokens, more dedicated can spend more time to get another 6 tokens, even more dedicated can run low level and get 2 more tokens while still on CD for the highest tier.


    Quote Originally Posted by cratoh View Post
    ...
    I have no idea what "motives" developer has for PG. But making it "trinity", "rng", "tiered"... well, that's fight that cannot we won IMO. There are too many much better games out there that do things exactly just like you want much better. What there is not are games like SWG, UO, Runescape. That do things about exploration, non-combat activities etc. Those that actually exists in genre are 15-20years old (except EVE which is newer, but that's another beast) or are related to small area like A Tale Of The Desert, which has similar technical background as PG, but doesn't try to implement "mainstream" ways to do things. Instead it is the ultimate research/crafting game (way ahead of EVE).

  8. #18
    Member Grobyddonot's Avatar
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    Theres one thing that solves all the dungeon problems above.. Instances. Instanced Dungeons.

  9. #19
    Junior Member Zhahadum's Avatar
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    It's interesting how perceptions differ. Personally I find the EQ2 Loot/XP lock system to be one of the hallmarks of when MMORPGs began the process of shifting from 'the players as a group against an open world' to 'a lot of people playing solo in the vicinity of each other in a theme park with a train track zone progression.' I entered EQ2 after playing the original EQ which I began in the days of original content (back when players equipped bronze/combine gear because it was an actual weapon upgrade rather than the cash loot it is these days) so I came to it having played through the problems that the EQ2 devs were seeking to fix. An interesting note on that front, by the way, at Launch for EQ2 the devs main argument for the mob locking wasn't preventing kill stealing it was that the mechanic enabled the developers to better manage challenge levels. I recall at the time being struck by how the locking had impacted the community. I'd gone from a community where drive by buffing was common to one where the locks made each combat a little pocket reality within the zone and caused people to start ignoring each other's existence because assistance was blocked and/or penalized.

    (It's also worth noting that how kill stealing is being defined in this thread is radically different from how players at the time would have defined it. In their case kill stealing was an issue because the XP/Loot was an all or nothing matter. And even though the person who made the kill received all of the XP and all of the Loot, it was only the loot they cared about and more specifically only the known good drops from the named mobs. Almost no one quibbled about who got the trash loot from the yard trash. So those players would have been perfectly happy with shared XP and an instanced loot table especially in a situation where the loot is proceduraly generated. So from their point of view the situation you're discussing would have been a solution to kill stealing and not a problem to be solved.)

    As far as the mechanic itself goes, I find it doesn't so much solve the problem as create different problems. As is common with such mechanics you don't so much solve a problem as trade one problem in for other issues. In this case you seal off 'kill stealing' at the expense of enabling griefing and facilitating/encouraging power leveling. Some of that griefing can be handled by bans, though after the fact bans don't do much to change the emotional experience of the player who was griefed in the first place, but some of it gets into very interpretative areas. The power leveling winds up becoming an even larger problem. Sure, ten to twenty people getting together and zerging overconsumes the content and impacts game enjoyment, but the power leveling does the same thing with a reduced number of players profiting. In this scenario instead of ten to twenty people you get as few as two who are overconsuming the content as the low level tags and locks the mob and the high level blasts it causing the low level character to reap all of the rewards. The pair in this scenario will devour spawns at a rate that no level appropriate group can match unless you take the next step and apply a damage lock to the mob. Of course doing that only stops direct interference so the high level player is forced to shift to damage shields, buffs, and heals leading to the same result. (I've got my defense buffs, my damage shield, and my heal bot so I target, shoot, target next, shoot, and repeat the cycle while the things I'm attacking kill themselves attacking me.) The fact of the matter is that you really can't mechanically eliminate bad behavior short of using some of modern algorithmic voodoo where a complex series of factors is used to determine if the essence of the rules is being followed and applies penalties (such as quartering the XP award and denying loot) where it isn't.

    Truthfully if I were in your position I'd turn to a different approach. I'd probably use a system which evaluates the threat factor of the group involved and if it passes a calculated threshold have the game instantly spawn reinforcements of a dissuasive size. If they group can then kill that? Hey, they earned it.
    Last edited by Zhahadum; 02-11-2017 at 03:57 PM. Reason: Spelling changes and accuracy.

  10. #20
    Senior Member Crissa's Avatar
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    If it's a DPS vs Boss issue, I would use level locking. You could get messages (like the boss messages) if you're touching or approaching something outside your level. Gear you can't use is useless, anyhow.

    Another would be to have 'hardness' and/or to-hit values which prevent lower level characters from participating in zergs against a target.

    ...

    I've only had kill-stealing as a problem once; I needed those stupid rat-teeth and tails for quests and someone kept shooting the rats over my shoulder. It was really annoying - I'd go down the other tunnel and they'd come zipping back around, and shoot the rat over my shoulder.

    After chewing them out, we traded the items we were farming, but... It was really annoying. Mostly that just means we needed more mobs to interact with.
    Last edited by Crissa; 02-11-2017 at 10:06 PM.



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