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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  1. #1
    Member Clip's Avatar
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    Tuning Non-Elite Mob Availability and Drop Rates

    LET'S START WITH A PLEA: If you're just commenting to say people like me are not welcome in PG because we ruin the game, and "win" by getting this thread locked down, yes, I already know you think that and I've heard "GTFO" from you before, in game and on this forum. Please for at least half a second think about just not commenting. Anyone's capable of a little politeness.

    Context: How we ruined Monaco for a friend.

    Another PG player and I used to play a game called Monaco, which is a top-down 2D heist game where you run around avoiding guards. We enjoyed it, played a lot, and eventually invited a friend to try it with us. Unfortunately, we were so used to playing the game at our own fast pace that our friend couldn't keep up and was frustrated by the difference in play styles. I think we ruined the Monaco game experience for her and she never played again.

    What goes around...

    I bring this up because I've heard about similar things happening in PG. In fact, it happened to me, and partly as a result, I really don't play much PG right now.

    The pain point in the player experience is the power curve from when you max your combat skills, to where you start to accumulate enough well-rolled gear to really make the most of your combat abilities. It's more of a cliff, you hit max level and you're doing a small fraction of the damage and have a small fraction of the survivability of a well-geared build, but because it's max level, you're all aiming for the same pool of mobs for gear and crafting ingredient drops.

    For me, I felt a real sense of accomplishment at maxing my combat skills, had a fair mixture of gear, enough that I could solo the top level non-elite mobs, and start to farm gear. I enjoyed grouping with others of similar power level and especially helping out guildies and lower level players with uncursing, etc. What I really wanted was to farm up some gear to where I could pull my weight without taking charity from much more powerful characters.

    And so I farmed, and farmed, and farmed, Gaz Caves, Rahu Plateau, Gaz overworld, etc. Every place I could find a single max-level non-elite mob (and I'm pretty sure I found them all), I spent week after week patiently killing them, hoping for that purple or yellow drop with the right ratio of skills so I could reroll it to work for my build.

    Project Gorgon had taught me to be patient, and that I'd have to work for it, so I was patient, and logged in every night, grouped occasionally for dailies or to help people out, and went back to killing frost mage skeletons, except when the area was too full of other players to be worth it.

    Eventually, I decided to join a Gaz run to see what that was all about, since I died instantly in the entryway on my own. It was frantic, people pulling quickly to advance through the dungeon before things respawned. My damage output was negligible compared to the fully-geared uber-players, and the elite mobs dropped loot so fast that I couldn't even read the descriptions before it was time to keep moving.

    I think I ended up replacing almost every piece of gear that I'd found in my entire previous time playing the game. Two hours as a spectator in a group had completely outweighed months of solo play.

    And that was it. The answer was to just accept charity, and play what was, to me, a too-fast, confusing, not-fun experience where the screen was so full of damage effects and numbers that I really couldn't even follow what was happening. Like my friend who never played Monaco, I'd encountered an experience (elite mob group runs) in PG that simply wasn't worth the headache to learn to enjoy all at once.

    If there was a way that didn't hit that particular gameplay cliff, I'd probably play through the progression and end up just like all the other players who've tuned their builds and enjoy elite runs, but in PG, there simply ISN'T any other way to farm up gear. Solo mob loot drop rates are simply so low that nobody seriously considers doing them. (Obviously crafted gear is an option for most slots, but that doesn't give the gameplay experience progression that combat does.)

    This leads to a simple suggestion:

    1. Increase the gear frequency and quality drop rates of non-elite, top-level mobs, enough that they're a viable choice.
    2. Take a look at whether there's any locations where top-level mobs are reasonably concentrated and can be farmed. (For 70, it was that one corner of Windy Cave where you could get 8-10 mobs, and nowhere else in the game. For 80, I honestly didn't even bother looking. "Fool me once," etc...)


    Even if rare gear drops are 100x more likely on solo mobs, they'll still probably not be half as good as elite mobs, with their 6x built-in multiplier where everyone in the group gets loot.

    I'm not talking about making non-elite mobs a GOOD option, just making them not laughably, ridiculously pointless compared to elites. Just get them up to maybe HALF as rewarding as the turbo-group elite mob drop rates. Since solo farming is inherently slower (partially due to risk since you can't expect a rez, partially DPS + regen time, but also because there's no safe concentration of them to reliably grind anywhere), there's not much risk of them drawing many people away from the group combat experience.

    Overall, PG is a great game, the community, guilds, and events are awesome, the writing and humor are fantastic, the new zone work on Fae Realm and Sun Vale have been impressive and cool. I think "make soloing gear farming even half as viable as grouping elites" is a pretty modest suggestion, and still wouldn't make soloing remotely good enough to pull people out of groups.

    This will create an alternative path to joining and enjoying end-game grouping:

    What it would do is give a little bit more of an on-ramp to the end game experience. Being able to gear out your first build (I was never able to, especially since main/off-hand gear are effectively impossible to get without charity runs), and then moving on to trying different combat skills, knowing that there's SOME way you can actually finish the build, would make it less of a gameplay cliff when people are transitioning to the end game experience.

    For players who enjoy the crazy group runs from the start, there's no harm in it all. They'll load up on gear and phlog from Fae Realm elites and GK runs. You could make non-elites drop 100x the rare gear and most players wouldn't even notice because it'd still be a waste of time compared to the rewards they're already getting.

    Yes, 100x is a made up number. I have no idea what the actual tuning should be, since what I've seen from my ~100? ~200? hours in PG from max-level non-elites has been basically zero "keeper" drops. (Hard to estimate what percent of my total gameplay time was spent at max level, but I definitely broke 100 hours just solo grinding at 70 when it was the max and never saw a useful yellow drop.)

    Obviously I haven't given up on PG! Still a great game.

    Thanks for reading this long post! I tried to give more context about my perspective and game experience, which hopefully helps explain the request.

  2. #2
    Senior Member poulter's Avatar
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    Valid points raised and I agree that current drop rates for purple and gold items from non-elite mobs are almost non-existent.
    However, player stalls, crafting and grouping to kill elites do provide alternatives.

    Regarding 'charity' runs:
    Most vets have been running GK for 2 or 3 years and know the tactics, have max-crafted gear, etc.
    What initially took 10 max-crafted gear level 60 players (group sizes are different now) to clear GK, now only requires 2 vets for chest runs (assumes bosses are avoided).
    Many vets in level 70 max-crafted gear could solo single patrol mobs in GK.

    With the introduction of a Fairy Realm dungeon I expect this to change and everyone will be back to needing organised groups with pullers, crowd control, healer and damage builds i.e. no charity runs in FR for a few months. It happened that way for DC, Lab and GK and hopefully FR will be the same - although many vets are already in level 80 max-crafted gear.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Glythe's Avatar
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    Maybe you do not know - but max cracted gear is better than drops. In other words.... players can craft items with 6 modifers (and then on top of that add augmentation). Surface world easy content should not give you the really good stuff in 5 minutes.

    I think overall the average drop rate on yellows is fine when you consider a difficult dungeon experience. I have killed zuke many times and have never gotten his ring in the class that I wanted in the rarity I wanted.

    Unless some things change with some of the more powerful (maybe read as broken) armors like nimble - I doubt gaz will be difficult for a max geared 80 character pair.

    There are builds that solo in gaz with 70 max gear all the way down to beaky.


    This comes from a player who lived before the casino existed (money was so much harder to grind back then). I lived and struggled as you did too once. I made a perfectly rolled level 50 set and it lasted me until I got a dropped set from gk. And then later I replaced that with snail armor I built.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Coglin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Clip View Post
    . And so I farmed, and farmed, and farmed, Gaz Caves, Rahu Plateau, Gaz overworld, etc. Every place I could find a single max-level non-elite mob (and I'm pretty sure I found them all), I spent week after week patiently killing them, hoping for that purple or yellow drop with the right ratio of skills so I could reroll it to work for my build. .
    In my opinion, your error is assuming that solo farming mobs for good drops is even remotely a good way to get gear. The game is designed around having that gear crafted. It seems to me you are complaining that the least effective way to get gear, which is not design, was not as effective as the methods designed to be the most efficient.

    What you should have been doing is farming materials to get gear crafted. I find it perfectly reasonable that running around farming random non-elite mobs would be painfully inefficient.
    Coglin, Master Bard, subsequent druid. - Master of all Animals that can be Handled.

  5. #5
    Member Clip's Avatar
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    Thanks for reading all that and responding thoughtfully! That's pretty awesome and appreciated.

    Yep, those are all good advice, and I did get my crafting skills maxed, etc. I also realize that group play is the most rewarding by design, because we need people grouping to let Citan tune the game.

    But the point is that all of those things can still be true, and solo mobs can be less pointless.

    Up until max level, farming mobs was actually pretty rewarding. You gradually improve gear roughly in tune with your level advancement, but when you hit max level, that particular progression hits a brick wall, and a previously fun and rewarding (if always inefficient and slower than other ways) part of the game abruptly becomes so much worse as to be completely pointless. (As you've all reinforced with valid "go do something else" advice.)

    The point where this can hurt the game is that players who were enjoying it, and may have gradually been moving into the pool of long time players doing group content, can hit this brick wall and move away from playing PG instead of staying engaged.

    Dramatically increasing the solo mob gear drop rate and quality won't (at present) threaten to dethrone crafting or group elite runs.

    Just doing occasional Work Order binges got my Tailoring and Leatherworking high enough to make gear sets. Certainly I know a bit about surveying for the gems. I could log on and start building a crafted set pretty much any evening.

    But I was having FUN hitting wolves and skeletons and bandits on the head and every evening or two, seeing a piece of gear drop that made me think "oh, that might be part of something that would improve a build." I miss that, and waited for the Fae Realm update to see if we'd see that aspect of the game fixed a bit. (Fae Realm was a great update, but actually made things worse from this perspective.)

    And that's what it comes down to, a part of PG that was part of a balance of fun, where I mostly did solo combat, but joined groups on occasion, just stopped working. Without at least SOME rewarding combat, outside of cartoon-hyperspeed-headache-inducing group play, there wasn't the right mix gameplay to make PG a balanced meal anymore.

    Tuning games is really hard, so I don't know how easily this is fixed, and how much solo drop rates can be increased without threatening other preferred routes. But right now anything is better than zero, so it's worth asking.

  6. #6
    Member AgentBbrian's Avatar
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    Solo stuff is garbage, it seems everyone in here knows it.
    It's just a vendor trash /augment distill resource to crafting or workorders for your private shop, but it's all just crafting material to craft your gear.
    Gota get 25 skill in 5 skills to be able to augment - distill/phlog the gear to tweak the armor, so eventually you are doing crafting for gear anyway, that's forgetting you have to skill up those augment skills to be able to do that and jump through a quest to unlock it in a zone that will literally kill you for being there.
    I hate crafting in games, every game wants to reinvent the wheel, or in PG's case rip it from Diablo3, that had the exact same issues with gearing up as solo, hell even their main developer multiboxes and is on video saying it with this kind of gearing wheel.

    People will find a way whether they like it or not if it's completely not fun or not.. to get the objective complete and, some will even defend it to their grave without even realising what they're doing and what they did to get there and not realise the changes that happened after they did it and know nothing of how to do it if they started a new character and will be on the wiki like the rest of us, but they have all the resources saved up on another character ready for the new toon anyway.
    New people play for a month and are like woo this game is awesome.. then find out about what they need to do later on to get where they want to go and the augmenting system then start to play less and less and eventually find reasons to stop and go play something else that is fun.

    In my time zone, there is alot less players online to do the grouping stuff that people are like "just do this instead" so doing what is considered "normal" isn't actually normal it's soloing like all the other people and being jipped for it because thats how the drop rate tuning is currently, ya gota get the handouts from people who did the stuff before in a time zone they could do the stuff in, basically spectator into a group until you get some gear.. the gear wheel without crafting.. is pish.

  7.   Click here to go to the next staff post in this thread.   #7
    Administrator Citan's Avatar
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    One of the changes in the next update is relevant here: random augments will drop in loot. (They'll be more common at low level than at high level, and at the eventual max level they won't drop in loot at all -- that's to avoid making high-level Augmentation crafting useless.) My goal with loot augments is to help players get through the tricky parts of the game's difficulty curve. It's not the only needed step, but its another step in that direction. So we'll take that step and then see what the next step should be.

    It's not intentional that solo loot is "pointless" compared to group loot -- at any level. Group loot should be better, but exactly how much better? That balance-point has changed many times during development. Right now the scale is tipped too far in favor of group loot. I intentionally cranked the rarities of group loot (during pre-Steam testing) to encourage alpha players to group, because I desperately needed feedback and data on grouping -- and it was VERY hard to find a group with so few players on, so it needed to be REALLY worth it. Now that it's a bit easier to find a group, elite monsters' rarity-chances (and/or possibly the sheer amount of equipment dropped) feels too high to me, and I may tone it down a step. (Just a step -- I don't want to overshoot the mark by nerfing too hard.)

    Solo monsters also need a bit more oomph, too, but not all monsters need the same thing. Loot is very personalized, and VERY complex. Every monster has its own loot profile, and many solo monsters just need some general tuning up: the goalposts have moved since their loot profiles were made, and newer monsters are better. I've been working on those behind the scenes in recent updates. The harder ones are the ones that need new content. For instance, a level 70 polar bear drops a single Tuft of Fur 25% of the time... that seems especially poor. I mean, when that bear drops flower seeds, the seeds are pretty high-tier. But you get the same Tuft of Fur from every bear in the game, whether they're level 40 or 70. Tufts of Fur are important for crafting across many levels, though, and its important that you be able to gather crafting needed materials in high-level areas -- I don't want to intentionally send high level players back to kill newbie bears. So fixing this bear will involve creativity, which takes time. Maybe high-level bears drop Massive Tufts of Fur, and I retrofit some recipes to use that instead of plain old tufts. (And maybe you can tear a Massive Tufts of Fur into three smaller Tufts of Fur, a la Perfect Wood. In fact, the reason we have Perfect Wood is to solve this exact sort of problem.) Or maybe in this case I decide its not worth the trouble. Maybe I can just have level 70 bears drop TWO Tufts of Fur. Does that make them worth killing for anyone, ever? I dunno. Whatever I end up doing to the bear, that'll fix one single monster. Then we need to repeat for ... every monster in the game, eventually.

    Anyway, figuring out how to improve solo loot will take time, and I'll do it in steps. The next steps are in the next update!

  8. #8
    Member AgentBbrian's Avatar
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    In a popular game i used to play, the monsters had a chance to spawn a paragon version of the mob, which was basically an elite version of those mobs with elite loot and a chance at a rare paragon thingy, it was kinda common if you were farming those mobs for a while, within an hour you would see a handful of them.

    Another game i used to play they had parts of the map with what they called a "champion spawn" basically an activated pad that started a gauntlet of spawning mobs that got stronger and stronger(wasn't just mass mobs, they had stages of an elite after 5 stages etc..) to the kill a boss at the final spawn that would spawn a chest, all the mobs were lootable, it was out in the open world, some champion spawns were fixed in spots other spawned randomly around.

    It would be nice if there was a group finder for each dungeon and the daily, they're handy and don't bog up the chat, i mean if this game releases and lots of people come to play it's just going to be an ugly chat mess without it, it might help people get groups to farm dungeon instead of solo, just being able to see people actively looking for group in those finders without needing to use the chat, i mean there could be a new channel added to chat after that aswell "lfg" that pops up with an automated "dirtyflamingspider has started a lfg for wolf cave <click here to join>".

    Dungeon loot should be good, it's a dungeon, it should be where you see the top tier gear/mods on gear for that level, i hope the dungeons dont end up like solo loot after this patch where you see more white and green than everything else just because people were talking and making the comparison of how bad the loot is for solo play compared to a dungeon.
    After looking back on forum threads i couldn't find the one asking for dungeon/group loot feedback and the info about how the loot was improved in dungeon.

    Am still looking for this patch notes for what's coming up next.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Coglin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AgentBbrian View Post
    In a popular game i used to play, the monsters had a chance to spawn a paragon version of the mob, which was basically an elite version .
    No thank you. Last thing I want when leveling my off, low level classes, is a random elite spawning and killing me, ruining my leveling experience.
    Coglin, Master Bard, subsequent druid. - Master of all Animals that can be Handled.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Mbaums's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Citan View Post
    ...
    I think more tufts is better than mega tufts because of inventory related reasons.

    Augments dropping is great. I think I overall agree with less elite drops, but you don't want to make grouping pointless compared to crafting. You also need more types of mobs, so that players focused on 1 slot, like a lute, and can farm it in a reasonable amount of time. Also, you'll probably want more named solo monsters in the open world with the higher loot chances.

    I think the loot issue stems from the number of mobs groups murder. I kind of expected the solution would be an increase in mob HP, which is still needed. If you remember from the boss-monster-event in Serb Hills, players were willing to wack on a big monster for 45+ minutes before complaining. For those who were not present, the rage-crit heal mechanism made the fight never ending! I think people still had fun for the first 20 minutes tho. A super-group fighting a non-event named for 2-3 minutes is probably appropriate, whereas now everything dies in under 30-secs.



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