Question about extended cut
I am currently playing the end of mass effect offline and downloaded the extended cut yesterday from a friends place. I am not sure of the dlc is active. Where is the first new dialogue section found so that I can tell of the extended cut is part of my game or not? Thanks for the help!!!
submitted by mrescape
It's Time for a Talk About PvP balance: A friendly Discussion
Well, here we are. The first new addition to base defense in ages, and....it appears to not compensate for what we've lost. It doesn't even appear to work very well, or at least not as the community envisioned. That's not bad in and of itself, but through all the hubbub and usual impotent screaming, I think we're looking at the wrong thing here.
Wildcard...your game balance is fundamentally broken.
Things like heavy turrets, even if they're meant to be to decrease lag, are basically band-aids on a chest wound. They're not going to fix the major imbalances in PvP. And PvP imbalances are driving a TON of the toxicity and loss of players felt. You could fix a lot by addressing this, and probably wouldn't have as many screaming rage letters from the community.
Now, I know you guys at Wildcard try. And I'm not going to suggest you don't do good work. I mean, look at the dinos. They look amazing. The game is extremely pretty if run at the higher settings.
But...you guys just aren't good at PvP balance. I'm sorry, but it's true. You have a grind-heavy game that makes resource acquisition difficult, but raids are incredibly easy. This is an absolute exercise in frustration which is bound to lead to rage in the part of players. Nobody wants to lose everything overnight, when "everything" means weeks or months of work.
You're currently stuck between two different models, from my perspective. The "quick progression, easy raiding" model, where everything revolves around smash and grabs or blitzkriegs and the fight is an ever-ongoing war for resource and territory control. The other is the "slow progression, difficult raiding" model, where wealth accumulation and progression is a slow, team-based initiative that results in well-fortified bases that rival tribes glare at each other from, wondering who will be the first to break the cold war and whether your tribemate getting shotgunned in the head while out gathering fiber is reason enough to commit to the massive resources needed to bring down the other tribe's feifdom.
Both of these are acceptable models with different pros and cons. But the way the game is currently balanced, these two models are kludged together, and the result is migrane-inducing. It takes ages to build up bases and tames, but everything you've spent weeks doing can be undone either over an hour as the alpha turns your base into scrap, or two guys with a stego and some c4 steal everything or throw it on the floor. You put in a TON of effort, but the likely good of payoff is not proportional. Why bother to form anything other than a megatribe with unfathomable, sever-lagging resources or a two-man grieving party? There is none.
This isn't helped by the immense lack of diversity in PvP, ESPECIALLY in base design and defense. First off, dinos are basically useless for base defense. As long as kiting is a thing, there is literally no way force your attacker to fight your battle dinos rather than just have them run off into the woods to eventually be killed by a flock of terror birds or something as they roam the countryside. This renders the entire draw of ARK, the dinosaurs, utterly useless from a defense proposition.
Things aren't much better for the dinos from an offense point of view. Dinos can't hurt anything beyond stone, and almost no dinos can even hurt stone. This makes most dinos completely and utterly useless for base raiding, because again, why fight their dinos with your dinos when you could just lure the whole pack off a cliff into the ocean instead? Instead, you have a few dinos with very specific uses, those being either to soak up the autoturret bullets, or to haul your equipment and seige structures to the site of the raid.
So with most of the dinos out, What's left? The answer: autoturrets. Most traps are either finicky and situational, or can easily be solved by applying more c4 to the issue or some other form of brute force. So we're left with mass spammed autoturrets on a metal box, to ensure no blind spots and maximum coverage.
This? Is BORING. It's not only bad for server performance, it turns raids into a routine with a set checklist that will bring down a base 100% of the time if you have the right ingredients. There's no puzzling over how to crack a base, figuring out defenses, devising clever ways to destroy or bypass then. Apply stego, apply c4, you win.
You COULD argue that the community could balance this, making things harder and messing up plans by making sure people are online and forcing them to fight you. Bigger tribes, multiple timezones, all that. But that hasn't happened, no matter how much you/we/everyone WANTS it to happen. Instead people turned into toxic shitheads who wipe people for little/zero reason, grief constantly, cheat at every chance they get, and never engage in actual PvP outside of megatribe combat. Why bother when you can just wait until they fall asleep from exhaustion and offline raid them in 20 minutes?
The end result of this is a game where PvP doesn't feel like a game feature or an activity. It feels like a hazard, like the cold or wild dinos. Just another survival risk, except this one is made up of shitty people and murderous megatribe hordes that hate the fact that you exist on their property. Hide well or talk smoothly, but be prepared for WHEN, not if, you have to start three months of work all over again.
So what is to be done? A number of things, fortunately. This is by no means an unsolvable problem, nor should Windcard be shamed as a studio for not being good at PvP balance. PvP balancing is HARD, and considering ARK probably wasn't meant for PvP at the start, their dev team not having experienced PvP makers on what was, at the time, a fairly new and novel genre is understandable. Thankfully, Wildcard is not the type of studio that can't adapt, nor does it not recognize the value of modders and their ability to come up with quality ideas and content that's worth including. This makes things easier.
First off: make dinos useful to base defense. This seriously just requires something that can tether their aggressive asses to a certain area, or an AI routine that allows them to patrol. This doesn't fix the problem of dino balance, but that's an issue for the TLC pass. Just by adding in dinos as a credible defense, you've already ENORMOUSLY increased the difficulty, and made it much harder to use bullet sponges to just drain the turrets.
Second? Auto turret diversity. I'm actually in favor of limiting turrets, because they're both server-lagging and the ugliest fucking thing I've ever seen in terms of base design. But if you're going to limit them, you need a number of different options to encourage base diversity, and to be able to legitimately defend against multiple types of adversaries. Dinos? Heavy grenade turrets. Psychotic speed-build players? Quick and nimble auto turrets, or even wide-arc flame turrets if they get too close. Crazy griffins diving to try to destroy your power lines, or hovering lightning wyverns trying to annhiliate your dino defenses? Flak turrets to blow them out of the sky like it's World War II all over again. The nodding community has GREAT ideas about this sort of thing; if you apply some of your top-level modeling and animation to their ideas, you'll be able to integrate changes that much faster.
Thirdly? Defense diversity. This doesn't have to mean a bevy of new content or items, no. It could mean making tripwires and traps unable to be blown up or destroyed, FORCING tribes to either tiptoe around them, or use shittier dinos to trigger them. It could mean making changing around structure effectiveness/strength to account for the cheapness of C4. Mr Rad Tools, one of your sponsored mods, has an amazing set of concrete and behemoth concrete defense walls, that seem ripe for integration. It could even mean the ability to make spike pits or moat structures (not terraforming, that would be insanity and impossible for the game engine), just to make it that much harder for raiders to get to your sweet sweet loot.
The point of these would be to make raiders have to COMMIT to a raid. They'd have to go in knowing success is not guaranteed, that they're going to lose dinos and armor and resources as they slowly puzzle or bulldoze their way through the defenses. And it'll make them have to decide whether what they might gain is really worth more than what they could potentially spend or lose trying to crack open the stronghold. Or whether they'll take too long, someone will come back online, and then all hell breaks lose as a raid turns into open tribal warfare.
These changes are not the only options, obviously. But there needs to be some sort of overhaul of how things are balanced, or the game is going to continue to degrade until it falls apart. I think there's some real opportunity for improvement here, if Wildcard sits down and talks to the community and the modders, and come to a workable conclusion.
It won't be as big or flashy as a new DLC. Bit I think it would do worlds to improve the health of the game, AND the community.
Your thoughts and comments are appreciated.
Edit: Edited for minor grammar corrections.
submitted by boozehorse