Jump to content
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

Random thoughts from a new player


Selphea
 Share

Recommended Posts

I’ve been playing Clementine on and off for a couple weeks now, taking it slow because I’m alternating with other games and work. Here's a my thoughts so far! (warning: this ended up being an essay)

Early game felt slow.

Few notes about the early game, it feels kind of lopsided. Levels came fast because of the boost, but a few things felt slow:

  • Lower MP payouts. Mssions such as Military Subway and Scarred Planet seem reduced compared to official
  • Higher level enemies. On the other hand enemy levels were increased, such as Military Subway going from lv10 to 20, making them slower to run.
  • Beefier enemies. Furthermore, enemy HPs at Lv10 and lv15 were increased, making missions even slower to clear
  • Higher MP reqs. And finally advanced class requirements were raised, such as Acrotecher requiring 7 Ranger and 7 Force instead of 3 Ranger 5 Force
  • Meseta gain felt slow. The main source of meseta at low levels came from selling weapons, but weapon NPC sell prices were reduced so I had to rely on the daily which made me not really want to play after completing my 5 for the day. It took a few days to buy PAs and re-gear up halfway, switching from Ranger 7 to Force 7 then Hunter 7.

Mid game feels okay.

I’m just getting into mid game with B rank missions, and it feels better. Here’s my observations so far:

  • Mid-game gearing depends on player economy. Seems very dependent on hand-me-down outdated weapons. Those are very cheap. However, one possible risk is this is subject to players continually putting up outdated weapons for sale at affordable prices.
  • Lowbie weapon grinds. I haven’t touched grinding yet. I’m running 0/10 A ranks which seem fine for B rank missions. Even though B grinding is easier, generally a 0/10 A beats a 10/10 B so there seems to be no point, though there's some exceptions where Bs have really good stats.
  • S ranks. This is subjective but I feel classes with S rank weapon access should be rewarded for using their S rank rights. Consider making outdated 10⭐ weapons pass all grinds at 100% so that a Fighgunner using S Dual Blades for instance gets an “express lane” for newbie gearing compared to an Acrofighter using A Dual Blades. This also helps distribute demand rather than clustering everyone towards 10/10 A then 10/10 best in slot.
  • Megid enemies come too early. B enemies being level 50+ instead of 40-45 means the moment someone gets their advanced class they already need to start dealing with upgraded Deljaban throwing Megid. The latest update made Vijerina / Resist cheap so I picked it up and it’s not a problem anymore, but if people move elsewhere then new players after me will have trouble.
  • Mid-game versatility. The biggest challenge with mid game is probably versatility. With one good line shield and the right weapons e.g. Dark line shield, Light weapons, doing specific quests at level is easy but moving out of that to run a variety of missions means I'll probably need to farm and spend another 100k to 150k to pick up a new line shield and 2 A weapons at 40%+.
  • I miss GAS. This is random but I personally miss a lot of the GAS customizations I used to run, like having Counter bonuses and EVP buffs with level 21-30 melee PAs on Acrotecher. Not fast but it was fun to just Zondeel and run right into a mob and parry it, then iframe counter.

Playerbase.

Also some random thoughts about the likely playerbase

  • Likely playing other games. PSU is an old game and I expect most players to come back for nostalgia, or try out new content during their main game’s downtime, be it NGS which sorely lacks content right now or XIV between updates and so on.
  • Maybe busier. A lot of players probably played while they’re younger and might have jobs, families etc.
  • Streamline the early game? Normally with older games with smaller populations, developers tend to speed up the early game so that the playerbase can get concentrated around the higher levels. Then they focus on making content for high levels. Some games even offer an instant jump to cap but I'm not a fan of that.
  • So the formula is probably a casual early-mid game, pick up welfare gear, then start a grindy endgame rare hunt. I think 20 100 hours to reach the endgame unoptimized is pretty standard for an RPG.

Other stuff.

  • Horizontal progression would be nice. PSO and PSU are all about the rare hunt (unlike PSO2). However, original PSU was designed as a vertical progression game i.e. new weapon tiers being added all the time, powercreep like 10% PA boosts and so on. I feel like there are a lot of weapon skins in PSU. If there’s a way to design it as a horizontal progression game where as many weapons and gear sets are viable as possible, it would probably add a lot of replay value. Like if I could do Build A by farming 6 of one kind of Twin Saber, and Build B with 6 of another kind of Twin Saber.
  • Philosophy. I think Clementine needs to communicate a philosophy or guiding principles so that players know what to expect. Like is the goal to make a hardcore server or a casual-friendly server? I know a number of changes and additions were made, such as grinding, PA damage, new gear and so on, so generally bringing that together would be nice. For instance PA damage was adjusted for class balance, but what is Clementine’s vision or definition of balance? Should all classes have the same DPS? Or is it more a matter of specialty, such as one class being top in single target at range but weak at AoE, another class being top in close range mobbing but weak at range and so on. Especially since some classes are quite similar, like Fortefighter and Fighmaster, Acrofighter and Fighgunner etc, it would be nice to get an idea of what each class is intended to do differently from others.
  • Website. Finally on the website itself, it can be difficult to get an idea of how to get started. I think a new landing page might help. Personally when I first land on Clementine’s website I’d want to know 1) What I need to do to get started -- likely a huge button that takes me to the download page, which in turn has a button to Getting Started)  2) A link to the latest update/event to show the server is active 3) The philosophy, like what should I expect, a vanilla-like experience or a different one? And different in what way? 4) links to the community in case I have questions 5) Patreon.

That was a lot! If you've made it this far then thanks 😆 Overall I get a feeling it's not easy to decipher the inner workings of the original server and get it running as much as Clementine does today so it's pretty amazing that I can play PSU again.

Edited by Selphea
Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 minutes ago, Selphea said:

what is Clementine’s vision or definition of balance? Should all classes have the same DPS? Or is it more a matter of specialty, such as one class being top in single target at range but weak at AoE, another class being top in close range mobbing but weak at range and so on. Especially since some classes are quite similar, like Fortefighter and Fighmaster, Acrofighter and Fighgunner etc, it would be nice to get an idea of what each class is intended to do differently from others.

This is something Clem is really struggling with at the moment and I nor anyone that isn't on the balance team can give you or the community a definitive answer to balance overall.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Moderators

Early game is very troubled right now. It really does feel like the game's testing you for some reason and that's not really fun. It's not what you want from starting a new game. We're currently addressing those issues you mentioned and more to make for a smoother experience when starting out. We're also hoping to spice up the mid game and add new activities / new challenges and new ways to play to keep you entertained while you reach that sweet sweet level cap.

I'm sorry, I'm being vague right now but we're in the middle of planning out what changes, what stays and what goes. The current state of the game creeped up on us without none of us realizing it'd get like this, but we'll update and keep on polishing it until we get it right. I hope that we're able to share more about the future very soon, but we hear you and others who think the same. We also share the same concerns.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

20 minutes ago, Selphea said:
  • Lower MP payouts. Mssions such as Military Subway and Scarred Planet seem reduced compared to official

Uh... Are you sure about this? Because I'm looking at the MP payouts for Scarred Planet and Military Subway on Clem compared to the JP wiki and it looks like Clem has higher MP payouts.

30 minutes ago, Selphea said:
  • Meseta gain felt slow. The main source of meseta at low levels came from selling weapons, but weapon NPC sell prices were reduced so I had to rely on the daily which made me not really want to play after completing my 5 for the day. It took a few days to buy PAs and re-gear up halfway, switching from Ranger 7 to Force 7 then Hunter 7.

While I generally enjoy the early game and disagree that it needs to be faster, this point I agree with. Early game meseta is miserable, especially as Clem has increased the cost on certain consumables. 750 megistarides are a pretty big gut punch to non-TECHNIC characters early on (and even past early game they remain a drain on your meseta that TECHNIC users just don't have to deal with, which is especially fun when you already need to pay for more trimates because you can't use resta/giresta).

48 minutes ago, Selphea said:
  • Higher MP reqs. And finally advanced class requirements were raised, such as Acrotecher requiring 7 Ranger and 7 Force instead of 3 Ranger 5 Force

This I will also agree on. Basic classes are awful and extending the time you spend in them doesn't help anything.

43 minutes ago, Selphea said:
  • Streamline the early game? Normally with older games with smaller populations, developers tend to speed up the early game so that the playerbase can get concentrated around the higher levels. Then they focus on making content for high levels. Some games even offer an instant jump to cap but I'm not a fan of that.

I'll just say that some of us enjoy the early game content and do not want to be rushed through it. I have as much fun playing the game on B or C rank as I do on S2, and rushing to S2 would just mean there's less content for me to experience. Where do you draw the line on this, anyway? When S4 is released, will you want people to get to playing S4 in 20 hours?

1 hour ago, Selphea said:
  • Horizontal progression would be nice. PSO and PSU are all about the rare hunt (unlike PSO2). However, original PSU was designed as a vertical progression game i.e. new weapon tiers being added all the time, powercreep like 10% PA boosts and so on. I feel like there are a lot of weapon skins in PSU. If there’s a way to design it as a horizontal progression game where as many weapons and gear sets are viable as possible, it would probably add a lot of replay value. Like if I could do Build A by farming 6 of one kind of Twin Saber, and Build B with 6 of another kind of Twin Saber.

This would be great but it'd require a huge amount of rebalancing to make work, so I'm not too hopeful of something like this happening any time soon.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
30 minutes ago, Zeta said:

Uh... Are you sure about this? Because I'm looking at the MP payouts for Scarred Planet and Military Subway on Clem compared to the JP wiki and it looks like Clem has higher MP payouts.

Try running the actual mission, the payout is lower than what Clem wiki says it is (apparently because the wiki numbers are based on an event). Scarred Planet C was 20something.

30 minutes ago, Zeta said:

I'll just say that some of us enjoy the early game content and do not want to be rushed through it. I have as much fun playing the game on B or C rank as I do on S2, and rushing to S2 would just mean there's less content for me to experience. Where do you draw the line on this, anyway? When S4 is released, will you want people to get to playing S4 in 20 hours?

Probably a hot take but it's not less content to experience because it's the same content, just with different numbers. Once you get a full set of your main weapons, gameplay doesn't change a whole lot. I'm also okay with B or S2 because I'm still gonna AoE the group spawn with the same AoE, and still going to focus down the boss with the same PA. The main difference in experience would be to get to play with other players instead of soloing a bunch of filler middle difficulties.

And on the same note I would have to say yes it sounds crazy but 20 hours to get to S4 when S4 happens is indeed what I'm thinking. Though I wonder if there should even be an S4 in the first place.

30 minutes ago, Zeta said:

I'll just say that some of us enjoy the early game content and do not want to be rushed through it. I have as much fun playing the game on B or C rank as I do on S2, and rushing to S2 would just mean there's less content for me to experience. Where do you draw the line on this, anyway? When S4 is released, will you want people to get to playing S4 in 20 hours?

This would be great but it'd require a huge amount of rebalancing to make work, so I'm not too hopeful of something like this happening any time soon.

Not necessarily rebalancing I feel. Just that when the level cap isn't going to go up anymore, any new items will hover around the same damage range, though they might have different special properties.

32 minutes ago, Jakoo56 said:

Early game is very troubled right now. It really does feel like the game's testing you for some reason and that's not really fun. It's not what you want from starting a new game. We're currently addressing those issues you mentioned and more to make for a smoother experience when starting out. We're also hoping to spice up the mid game and add new activities / new challenges and new ways to play to keep you entertained while you reach that sweet sweet level cap.

I'm sorry, I'm being vague right now but we're in the middle of planning out what changes, what stays and what goes. The current state of the game creeped up on us without none of us realizing it'd get like this, but we'll update and keep on polishing it until we get it right. I hope that we're able to share more about the future very soon, but we hear you and others who think the same. We also share the same concerns.

Thanks! It's definitely not an easy thing to get right. Just a lot of testing and seeing what happens and trying to fix the unexpected.

Edited by Selphea
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Your great thread, has brought back some memories of the original Sega Server. It to some extent had similar problems. So (if I remember correctly), a group of generous players, realized that very high level players have tons of meseta and stuff anyway, and the player shops were jam-packed with all kinds of stuff (in the old days).

 

So, some kind of "starter pack", was created (by the player base, for NEW players/starters), with a big chunk of starting meseta, and perhaps other items.

 

We could do something similar, but make it part of the Clemantine system, whereby when one reaches level 10 (or something), the players get a one time bonus pack, with plenty of meseta, weapons, line shields etc etc, of suitable types/levels, for lvl 10 players. Range of equipment, so as they level up, they can keep changing stuff. I.e. some stuff they can equip now, and some for later on (I.e. C and B ranks).

 

It may have also included a list of players, who are happy to play with newbies, in missions and "train them up", I can't remember exactly.

Edited by Adooma
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Selphea said:

Try running the actual mission, the payout is lower than what Clem wiki says it is (apparently because the wiki numbers are based on an event). Scarred Planet C was 20something.

Fair enough. That's a pain.

1 hour ago, Selphea said:

Probably a hot take but it's not less content to experience because it's the same content, just with different numbers. Once you get a full set of your main weapons, gameplay doesn't change a whole lot. I'm also okay with B or S2 because I'm still gonna AoE the group spawn with the same AoE, and still going to focus down the boss with the same PA. The main difference in experience would be to get to play with other players instead of soloing a bunch of filler middle difficulties.

It isn't really the same until S->S2. Pre level 50 you have different variations of enemies to 50+ (late B rank or A rank). At S rank the enemies all get faster, which changes things meaningfully. S rank also means access to PA fragments and thus new PAs.  S->S2 I'll agree that there isn't much meaningful progression outside 'enemies are level 150 now', which is a shame (it'd be nice if there was something new about S2 instead of just higher stats). You might not care and just want to be rushed past this stuff so you can party S2, sure. But the lower difficulties aren't identical.

 

Edit: Note that I do agree with you on early game meseta issues (and type requirements), I just don't want to wake up and see patch notes saying "Base experience rates have been increased by 300%". The idea of a starter pack with exp tickets and some basic gear is more appealing, because like Seority says I don't have to use them to power level (they'd go right into my storage where they'd stay until GAS is released).

Edited by Zeta
Link to comment
Share on other sites

As a veteran player who just returned a week ago, I wholeheartedly agree with you Selphea. 

 

I too went to Acrotecher and was perplexed that the requirements changed, however I'm not too perturbed by the MP distribution as most other people are on here. That said, I'm not racing to a master class, so I'm sure my view on this is skewed. My biggest hurdle was always being out of meseta, and still is. I get meseta from the daily and PC'ing basically every thing that drops in the mission. Good friends of mine helped me out in this category, so thankfully I'm not using jank, but I can only imagine the struggle had they not helped.

 

Starter bundles sound like an amazing idea. @Adooma After hitting a certain level, once per account, you can receive one of these. Obviously, it shouldn't contain too much so people don't farm them, but enough to get over the just-starting hump. Some ideas of an honor/fame/rewards system has been brought up in the Discord. Bonuses for experienced players to help level others up. This would make a good incentive for people to at the very least pay attention to new players or even start up alts and be apart of C/B level missions.

 

The biggest problem which you pointed out is there is no "mission-statement" per say for Clementine. What is the goal of this server? To play PSU, yes ofc, but how? Should be quick to level, fast-paced, endgame focused? Or more chill, and an enjoyable experience, geared towards the grind? Of course a happy middle is always the goal, but doing so is a different story. Giving players the option of any of these may be what we should strive for. Take the suggested starter-pack for instance. You could use it to boost yourself quickly, or not use it and grind the old fashion way. Hell, there's even a command to take off the scaled leveling at lower levels, so I say, why not both?

 zoidbvergsmall.jpg

 

Very glad to hear that the team is aware of these issues and is currently working on solutions. Thank you Selphea for going in-depth about this.  💗 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On almost daily level i check specifically the following areas, to see if there's any new player i see, whom i can push up to higher levels.

4th floor, transfer terminal, raffon field base.

and occasionally i check the memorial, but of course absolute new players wont travel there alone. But i can still give hand there <3

With the hope that once they have at least one character carried high up, they can enjoy the game.

3 hours ago, Selphea said:

Lower MP payouts

+

3 hours ago, Selphea said:

Higher MP reqs. And finally advanced class requirements were raised, such as Acrotecher requiring 7 Ranger and 7 Force instead of 3 Ranger 5 Force

The other one is Acrofighter Which is also 7/7

I wish that the normal classes were much easier. I mean i understand that giving advansed class away too early can give ""too much benefit"" they exactly pick this two class, due to the faster attack speed. However, if someone is literally forced to do it solo, because no one help, or they would prefer to solo. Then aquire an advansed class earlier could be a solution for them.

And if i remember correctly, some time ago (it may not be a case anymore, correct me if i'm wrong! I have literally nothing to compare it with), someone mention that the MP requirements / level, is a bit higher here.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Jakoo56 said:

Early game is very troubled right now. It really does feel like the game's testing you for some reason and that's not really fun. It's not what you want from starting a new game. We're currently addressing those issues you mentioned and more to make for a smoother experience when starting out. We're also hoping to spice up the mid game and add new activities / new challenges and new ways to play to keep you entertained while you reach that sweet sweet level cap.

I'm sorry, I'm being vague right now but we're in the middle of planning out what changes, what stays and what goes. The current state of the game creeped up on us without none of us realizing it'd get like this, but we'll update and keep on polishing it until we get it right. I hope that we're able to share more about the future very soon, but we hear you and others who think the same. We also share the same concerns.

I'd like to give this one an extra like, but i couldn't.. So i have to be creative , and use my words instand

From what i understand, the game were really hard to smooth up to the way, that it is today. But with the time, patience, and care, and team work. Accomplished, what no one tried before! And that is a big step, for anyone whom wishes to relive their memories, and wishes to experience this old game for their first time.

I belong to the group who haven't play with it, which makes every little update exciting! <3

And that's one of the reason of why do i check the areas for low level. so we can enjoy the game together <3

Much love for you guys <3
May the server be populated with many awesome person ^_^

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, Zeta said:

It isn't really the same until S->S2. Pre level 50 you have different variations of enemies to 50+ (late B rank or A rank). At S rank the enemies all get faster, which changes things meaningfully. S rank also means access to PA fragments and thus new PAs.  S->S2 I'll agree that there isn't much meaningful progression outside 'enemies are level 150 now', which is a shame (it'd be nice if there was something new about S2 instead of just higher stats). You might not care and just want to be rushed past this stuff so you can party S2, sure. But the lower difficulties aren't identical.

Yea, now that you mention it, they do get progressively faster and more aggressive from B to A to S. The first time round it helps with learning for sure.

8 hours ago, Zeta said:

Edit: Note that I do agree with you on early game meseta issues (and type requirements), I just don't want to wake up and see patch notes saying "Base experience rates have been increased by 300%". The idea of a starter pack with exp tickets and some basic gear is more appealing, because like Seority says I don't have to use them to power level (they'd go right into my storage where they'd stay until GAS is released).

This may be just me but I don't see a lot of reason to follow the official servers and go all the way to 180. It creates a lot of problems with making a lot of cool looking weapons obsolete, pulling new players and endgame players far apart, having to balance for many level ranges across many difficulty levels, really long and lonely stretches of solo levelling and like you say, it doesn't play all that different from S to S2 (and imo, S3 and S4 too). And generally speaking I'd rather run a new mission than an old mission on a new difficulty, but adding a new difficulty means creating a lot of work to update old missions with a new difficulty.

My personal opinion is, find a nice number to cap at, reduce the number of difficulties so that from a dev perspective there's no need to balance the same darn mission 7 times. And then for challenge add new time attack or party-only quests where enemies are buffed beyond what they had on retail (I'm thinking 6x HP, super armor even on the Bel Pannons, heavy status resists), and make it really clear it's party only, like at the starting area you can't even go through the entrance unless 6 people stand on 6 buttons to open a door or laser fence.

Also I just re-looked at my playtime in a few Steam games, turns out 20 hours is for the more story-driven singleplayer games. The actiony grindy ones like Code Vein, Grim Dawn and God Eater 3 and Daemon x Machina actually worked out to 80 to 100 hours per playthrough.

7 hours ago, Seority said:

The biggest problem which you pointed out is there is no "mission-statement" per say for Clementine. What is the goal of this server? To play PSU, yes ofc, but how? Should be quick to level, fast-paced, endgame focused? Or more chill, and an enjoyable experience, geared towards the grind? Of course a happy middle is always the goal, but doing so is a different story. Giving players the option of any of these may be what we should strive for. Take the suggested starter-pack for instance. You could use it to boost yourself quickly, or not use it and grind the old fashion way. Hell, there's even a command to take off the scaled leveling at lower levels, so I say, why not both?

True that, playing for the journey is a playstyle too. There are ARPGs that are about the journey rather than the destination, and that can be fun, like when you unlock a new skill or get a new piece of gear that changes how you play. Granted there's no stat or skill point allocation or constellation system here, so gear and maybe PA Fragment PAs are the main way to see that progression, like picking up a Me/Quick from Onma, then a Har/Quick and so on.

Incidentally I was thinking of AT but the early game made me decide to go AF since AF setup is easier after thinking "ohmygosh I need to farm a Har/Quick and 6 whips and 6 daggers and 6 twin daggers and level my buffs and debuffs to 41..."

Edited by Selphea
Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 7/21/2021 at 9:40 PM, Selphea said:

True that, playing for the journey is a playstyle too. There are ARPGs that are about the journey rather than the destination, and that can be fun, like when you unlock a new skill or get a new piece of gear that changes how you play. Granted there's no stat or skill point allocation or constellation system here, so gear and maybe PA Fragment PAs are the main way to see that progression, like picking up a Me/Quick from Onma, then a Har/Quick and so on.

And that's what Phantasy Star is about, at least to me. I think I'll even borrow that for my forum signature.

On 7/21/2021 at 9:40 PM, Selphea said:

This may be just me but I don't see a lot of reason to follow the official servers and go all the way to 180. It creates a lot of problems with making a lot of cool looking weapons obsolete, pulling new players and endgame players far apart, having to balance for many level ranges across many difficulty levels, really long and lonely stretches of solo levelling and like you say, it doesn't play all that different from S to S2 (and imo, S3 and S4 too). And generally speaking I'd rather run a new mission than an old mission on a new difficulty, but adding a new difficulty means creating a lot of work to update old missions with a new difficulty.

My personal opinion is, find a nice number to cap at, reduce the number of difficulties so that from a dev perspective there's no need to balance the same darn mission 7 times.

If this means that every difficulty level is able to be more meaningful than "enemies are higher level" and we get GAS so there's a continued feeling of character progression (instead of levels), sure why not.

On 7/21/2021 at 9:40 PM, Selphea said:

And then for challenge add new time attack or party-only quests where enemies are buffed beyond what they had on retail (I'm thinking 6x HP, super armor even on the Bel Pannons, heavy status resists), and make it really clear it's party only, like at the starting area you can't even go through the entrance unless 6 people stand on 6 buttons to open a door or laser fence.

I'm not adverse to the idea of a party oriented 'challenge mode' you can activate in existing missions that makes the mobs more difficult in exchange for more exp and higher drop rates. That said, gating content behind 6 man parties is utterly gross and '6x hp super armor heavy status resists' wouldn't even be remotely fun to play. Things like making enemies faster and increasing spawn sizes would be better (though the latter might be technically difficult, dunno).

On 7/21/2021 at 9:40 PM, Selphea said:

Incidentally I was thinking of AT but the early game made me decide to go AF since AF setup is easier after thinking "ohmygosh I need to farm a Har/Quick and 6 whips and 6 daggers and 6 twin daggers and level my buffs and debuffs to 41..."

Well AF needs 6-7x (don't forget neutral) of weapons too, but yeah leveling buffs is not a fun process. Inevitably everyone just does a buff party where you silently sit in a circle with 5 other players spamming buffs until they're maxed. It's just meaningless tedium. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

A wall of mediocre obvious things. You feel sorry for your time at the initial stage, but you don't mind the time of those who will read the same thing for the hundredth time.

On 7/21/2021 at 11:02 PM, Selphea said:

A lot of players probably played while they’re younger and might have jobs, families etc.

Therefore, respecting our time, spare us from reading such topics, thank you. <3

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, SHOTGUN said:

A wall of mediocre obvious things. You feel sorry for your time at the initial stage, but you don't mind the time of those who will read the same thing for the hundredth time.

Therefore, respecting our time, spare us from reading such topics, thank you. <3

I feel sorry for the new players who will come after me.

Personally I know the game well enough to go through it but when I see the server at 50 players I can't help but think about what can be done to bring more people in and get them to stay.

If many people have brought it up, then I think it's something that really needs to be looked at.

Like even if I have a convo with a friend I'll have to tell them "you have to be mentally prepared, they changed quite a few things from official, if you only play for a couple hours a day you'll probably take a few weeks just to unlock your advanced class" -- I have to lay the truth out for them.

14 hours ago, Zeta said:

I'm not adverse to the idea of a party oriented 'challenge mode' you can activate in existing missions that makes the mobs more difficult in exchange for more exp and higher drop rates. That said, gating content behind 6 man parties is utterly gross and '6x hp super armor heavy status resists' wouldn't even be remotely fun to play. Things like making enemies faster and increasing spawn sizes would be better (though the latter might be technically difficult, dunno).

IMO, don't underestimate player damage and party synergy. 6x the players is likely going to be more than 6x the DPS of one player, like having an Acrotecher is going to boost everyone's damage and defense straight up. And then if there's a Protranser applying Burn EX or Freeze EX that's either going to soften them even more or they'll take a lot of damage before they can even move.

But it's hard to design that kind of challenge and still make it accessible to solo players, balancing for 1 player instead of 6 is very different, though the drops don't have to be new, maybe just a higher chance of prototypes or something.

As for increasing spawn sizes, that's why I'd prefer that happens in a new mission. It's not just spawn sizes, enemy composition and placement are kinda important for a party challenge. Party play makes it possible to do evil things like put a bunch of ranged damage/healers behind a line of large melee enemies with a different element in a narrow corridor. Like jump Orcdillans to charge at you while those light element Newman archers stand back and snipe you... and the floor has traps if you try to rush the archers. And they need super armor otherwise knocks are kinda annoying in party play.

Of course maybe there's no reason to keep solo players out, there was that one guy on PSO2 who soloed the final raid boss in Episode 6 in an hour. If someone wants to do that for bragging rights I guess there's no reason to stop them. Maybe in the mission description just have "Recommended: 6 players" in a different color at the very top.

14 hours ago, Zeta said:

Well AF needs 6-7x (don't forget neutral) of weapons too, but yeah leveling buffs is not a fun process. Inevitably everyone just does a buff party where you silently sit in a circle with 5 other players spamming buffs until they're maxed. It's just meaningless tedium. 

Personally I run Saber (US) or Twin Daggers (JP) + Daggers + Whips on AT or 3 weapons. AF on the other hand only needs Twin Sabers or Claws + Slicer, or 2 weapons. Reason being Twin Sabers and Twin Claws are more versatile than AT's melee options. PAs like Assault Crush combine speed + mobility + damage + launch disable. With AT Hikai has damage but the first part doesn't disable, Rising Strike has speed and disable but has no mobility and so on.

Edited by Selphea
Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 hours ago, Selphea said:

IMO, don't underestimate player damage and party synergy. 6x the players is likely going to be more than 6x the DPS of one player, like having an Acrotecher is going to boost everyone's damage and defense straight up. And then if there's a Protranser applying Burn EX or Freeze EX that's either going to soften them even more or they'll take a lot of damage before they can even move.

But it's hard to design that kind of challenge and still make it accessible to solo players, balancing for 1 player instead of 6 is very different, though the drops don't have to be new, maybe just a higher chance of prototypes or something.

As for increasing spawn sizes, that's why I'd prefer that happens in a new mission. It's not just spawn sizes, enemy composition and placement are kinda important for a party challenge. Party play makes it possible to do evil things like put a bunch of ranged damage/healers behind a line of large melee enemies with a different element in a narrow corridor. Like jump Orcdillans to charge at you while those light element Newman archers stand back and snipe you... and the floor has traps if you try to rush the archers. And they need super armor otherwise knocks are kinda annoying in party play.

Of course maybe there's no reason to keep solo players out, there was that one guy on PSO2 who soloed the final raid boss in Episode 6 in an hour. If someone wants to do that for bragging rights I guess there's no reason to stop them. Maybe in the mission description just have "Recommended: 6 players" in a different color at the very top.

It happening in in a new mission doesn't really fix the fundamental problem here, which IMO is 'the game is too easy in parties'. It'd be better to have a challenge mode for existing missions so the existing content can be tackled either solo (normal mode) or in a party (challenge mode) and give you a good level of difficulty either way. This way there's no content that's gated behind parties - if you like soloing or no one else is on, you can still play the regular mission and all you're missing out on is an exp/drop/whatever boost. But if you have other players around you can tackle the challenge mode. Or maybe you just want to chill duo run the normal mode with a friend. You've got the option of playing either way.

As for how exactly to balance it, well it'd take some work and adjustment for sure. I can't imagine a feature like this would be present on Clementine any time soon, even if the developers like the idea and want to implement it. I'd much prefer seeing the enemies become more dangerous instead of just gaining massive HP pools and becoming bullet/technic sponges. Some level of boosted HP might be necessary, but I doubt 6x is the answer. Do note that there's already some kind of party scaling in the game (enemies do gain extra HP with every party member), though it's minor enough that I wouldn't blame you for not noticing it.

Locking it behind six players sucks because... if only 4 players are on and want to play the mission, you're SOL? And I can't try to duo it with a friend? Obviously it's hard to balance around variable player counts - a mission intended for 3-4 players is probably going to be easier with 6 and pretty hard with 2. You can try and implement scaling to counter this out, and that may be worth doing. If this was a large official server with tons of players you might be able to get away with a 6 player only mission, but as a small private server I think it'd mostly work out to 'many players don't get to play the mission'. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

15 hours ago, Selphea said:

but when I see the server at 50 players I can't help but think about what can be done to bring more people in

Nothing will save this server, because problem not in the game, it's shitty because of community and owners and always be at 50 online and endless wipes, you will see. There is so much hypocrisy, passive aggression, lies, and indifference that it cannot be otherwise. On the other hand, they try hard for some reason, although they themselves hate the game, the server and the players. And you have no choice where to play, unless only offline or in local network multiplayer.
 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

28 minutes ago, SHOTGUN said:

Nothing will save this server, because problem not in the game, it's shitty because of community and owners and always be at 50 online and endless wipes, you will see. There is so much hypocrisy, passive aggression, lies, and indifference that it cannot be otherwise. On the other hand, they try hard for some reason, although they themselves hate the game, the server and the players. And you have no choice where to play, unless only offline or in local network multiplayer.
 

Speak for yourself. The problem doesn't lie in the community, except for ridiculous and unhelpful nonsense like this, which seems to only ever serve to drive people away further with lies. Are you trying to help solve the problem, or make it worse? I could hazard a guess. If I'm a shitty owner then so be it, but unfortunately I'm what you landed with and I apologize for that. But there are plenty of amazing people in this community who are passionate about a game they love, as am I, and we've all always done our best. If I didn't care then I wouldn't have spent as much time as I have working on this project or fighting the fights. I would have left years ago with the rest of them. I try hard because I love this game, and I owe it to the community to get PSU into as full of a state as I possibly can, even if it drains me dead some times. Please don't forget that we actually have to reverse engineer all of this, and we're confined to the limits of what is realistically possible. We don't have any resources or packets from JP, so there is very little reference data.

Lastly, there are no more wipes! I don't know where people keep getting this idea, but blathering it out blindly doesn't help to reassure new players reading that.

 

Most of what Selphea has listed we're already aware of and started working toward solutions. Being that it's likely to be a major update, it will take some time to get going but you can expect a couple of helpful tweaks next maintenance at least which address some bad feels and bad smells.

The problem for me is that the game isn't fun right now and fails to scratch certain itches. It's grindy as hell to catch up, running the same mission is boring, nothing rewards your time and effort, and it isn't friendly for new players to even begin. There's little to no stimulation. Rather bafflingly, there's also an entire game here that isn't... here. All of which are problems we're aware of and have been working to address for quite some time now. Last patch introduced huge changes to how the drops system worked back-end, which was massively from community demand, but also sets us up to solve many other problems over time. Now drops can be filled into boxes without the worry of them being full, since in the past they were limited to 3 items, as well as allowing boxes to roll multiple items instead of 1, which will be utilized more in the future, as is the hope.

We'd introduced the guardians quests which, while I'm aware they're not enough still, are a step in a better direction for helping new players get into the game. I know early game Meseta is an issue, as well as leveling basic types, and generally gearing up. We've already kicked into action and are experimenting with this specifically since 2 weeks ago. I'm happy to tell you that it feels a lot better than it did, and I hope it will help players ease into the game in a much more natural way, when the patch releases anyway.

Realistically, and if I'm being honest, there's a very real barrier between what we can do, and what we can be allowed to do. I could list off many things that could help to resolve these issues and make the game fun for new and old players, but would it be accepted and allowed? The general standing for a lot of us for a long time was that change = bad, but maintaining an old RPG in 2021 with unpleasant mechanics will only bring in temporary nostalgic fans, who will inevitably leave either way, and thus we have "50 players" all the same. If I'm to maintain a server, if I was in Sega's position, shouldn't I make some effort to resolve these issues with more modern and generally accepted changes from this era, to align with what current gen players expect? Well to some extent, yes? if we want new players to come in anyway. The important thing is that PSU maintains its charm and character, and I can already identify many things that directly violate that, and hope for it to be resolved sooner rather than later. Although not all of the changes Clementine has introduced are inherently bad.

On a closing note, people will come and go from Clementine, others will wait for something to release or to be resolved, and others will take breaks from time to time. It is the nature of private servers. I'm painfully aware of the people that have moved on, why they did, and the ones making complaints about Clementine not being like official (and the others making complaints it is like official), whether in features (again, working on it), or overall feel. People often think I'm oblivious to it, that I want it or ignore issues with it, but I can tell you that the biggest waves of depression that come from Clementine, for me, are from some of the changes it's had. Half of the problems that exist come from things being changed and "balanced", but can you believe that going backwards is harder than going forwards? at least in some aspects of these changes. Naturally I want to fight it, and I do when I have the energy to.

Thank you to all of you for taking time to share your concerns and ideas. While I might not reply often, I do still read them all and think about them.
Rest assured, we've been working ridiculously hard to resolve issues and bring in more features, and I hope to be able to write up about it soon.

I hope people will continue to work with me to resolve issues. As always, much love 🧡

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Marmalade

I'd just like to say that I've had a ton of fun with this game so far, and that the good has significantly outweighed the bad.

Even if you do take the game in a direction that I don't enjoy and I end up quitting, that doesn't invalidate all the good times I've had killing mobs, leveling up and farming for gear. It's been great to get to experience Phantasy Star Universe even after having missed the official servers.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We love you and want to see you more real and less ignorant. The same goes for humans, if they were less ignorant it would be fun to play even at low levels. Every time I try to keep a company of newbies, they say "no, thanks" and go out, after which they write that they are bored and lonely and shower with ridiculous suggestions to simplify the game to click to win, themselves not understanding the fact that this is nothing will not relieve them of boredom and loneliness.
And they pretend to be kind and positive, it feels like they are not real and always lie about what they think. For example, recently I came up with a new nonsense and told everyone that I was a transbian. And they answered, "Well done, I support you," WHAT? I imagined this word, how can you generally support something that does not exist, you know, this is hypocrisy, it's like I'm talking to machines programmed to speak in a positive way. The same people show passive aggression over time.
All that I saw was that it is impossible to be friends with anyone, everyone wipes their feet on me and at the same time smiles, so as not to violate the prevailing atmosphere of hypocrisy and keep the mask.
I am very sorry for being a bitch.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Marmalade said:

If I'm a shitty owner then so be it, but unfortunately I'm what you landed with and I apologize for that. But there are plenty of amazing people in this community who are passionate about a game they love, as am I, and we've all always done our best. If I didn't care then I wouldn't have spent as much time as I have working on this project or fighting the fights. I would have left years ago with the rest of them.

You know, there will be always someone who would try to mess around... So don't let anyone make you feel like you're bad for doing your passion!

With the very limited knowledge you guys had on the earlier versions i heard, it's almost a miracle that we can call this server playable ^_^

The amount of time, patience, care, effort, the love and passion, you all put into it. Made this dream become possible.

So i'd give this a happy applaud any time! Sure it have issues, but i believe if this project reached to this destination we are currently in, will be strong enough, to get to the end, with or without complaints.

1 hour ago, Marmalade said:

Lastly, there are no more wipes! I don't know where people keep getting this idea, but blathering it out blindly doesn't help to reassure new players reading that.

Prehaps they only get worried, or want to cause a little panic. I heard that there was about 4-5 wipes on the test version. But i heard this is the final,  so i feel happy that i found this game in the best time <3

1 hour ago, Marmalade said:

Being that it's likely to be a major update, it will take some time to get going but you can expect a couple of helpful tweaks next maintenance at least which address some bad feels and bad smells.

*fingers crossed it may affect the GT's power*
And hopefully we wont get wiped :O

Just kidding ^_^

1 hour ago, Marmalade said:

The problem for me is that the game isn't fun right now

I can almost copy and paste what @Zeta have said, so just give it a like and a heart here ^_^ ❤️

1 hour ago, Marmalade said:

I know early game Meseta is an issue, as well as leveling basic types, and generally gearing up. We've already kicked into action and are experimenting with this specifically since 2 weeks ago. I'm happy to tell you that it feels a lot better than it did, and I hope it will help players ease into the game in a much more natural way, when the patch releases anyway.

Untill the new player need to work too hard for their dream, i'll going to got their back, and push them up high <3

1 hour ago, Marmalade said:

Realistically, and if I'm being honest, there's a very real barrier between what we can do, and what we can be allowed to do. I could list off many things that could help to resolve these issues and make the game fun for new and old players, but would it be accepted and allowed? The general standing for a lot of us for a long time was that change = bad, but maintaining an old RPG in 2021 with unpleasant mechanics will only bring in temporary nostalgic fans, who will inevitably leave either way

The nostalgia, is a thing, but i'm one of the rare bird of the community, whom haven't play the game in it's glory days. And i don't mind play old games. Especially if the community is good ^_^ So far i can say we have an awesome community,

 

1 hour ago, Marmalade said:

and thus we have "50 players" all the same

45 friendly and 5 who would just end up solo only.  But who ever so far i've met here, seems like a nice person.

1 hour ago, Marmalade said:

If I'm to maintain a server, if I was in Sega's position, shouldn't I make some effort to resolve these issues with more modern and generally accepted changes from this era, to align with what current gen players expect? Well to some extent, yes? if we want new players to come in anyway. The important thing is that PSU maintains its charm and character, and I can already identify many things that directly violate that, and hope for it to be resolved sooner rather than later. Although not all of the changes Clementine has introduced are inherently bad.

This is a tough thing, to pick up, because the game is already made up in a way, you all know. understand, and love. Stray away from it, would cause bad mouth. Not to mention, that the game is only allow some little changes, without cause more problems than solution. Going slowly but surely will be key here. But i know for sure, and see it. That the things should be change will cause anoyance in people's heart if the changes wont happen soon.

2 hours ago, Marmalade said:

people will come and go from Clementine, others will wait for something to release or to be resolved, and others will take breaks from time to time. It is the nature of private servers. I'm painfully aware of the people that have moved on, why they did

But we will going to have a solid playerbase eventually, if things will be resolved. And thus hoping for a happy end of the story. Seeing new players coming in warms my heart, and i do anything for them to stay ^_^ But i'm not a mage, but the game has a really good potential, in become something good. Because you guys care about it, and love it!

2 hours ago, Marmalade said:

and the ones making complaints about Clementine not being like official (and the others making complaints it is like official)

We can't make literally anyone happy.... Try hard (and die hard, doing it :( )

2 hours ago, Marmalade said:

Thank you to all of you for taking time to share your concerns and ideas. While I might not reply often, I do still read them all and think about them.
Rest assured, we've been working ridiculously hard to resolve issues and bring in more features, and I hope to be able to write up about it soon.

Take yo ur time, we got your back ❤️

Link to comment
Share on other sites

7 hours ago, Zeta said:

It happening in in a new mission doesn't really fix the fundamental problem here, which IMO is 'the game is too easy in parties'. It'd be better to have a challenge mode for existing missions so the existing content can be tackled either solo (normal mode) or in a party (challenge mode) and give you a good level of difficulty either way. This way there's no content that's gated behind parties - if you like soloing or no one else is on, you can still play the regular mission and all you're missing out on is an exp/drop/whatever boost. But if you have other players around you can tackle the challenge mode. Or maybe you just want to chill duo run the normal mode with a friend. You've got the option of playing either way.

As for how exactly to balance it, well it'd take some work and adjustment for sure. I can't imagine a feature like this would be present on Clementine any time soon, even if the developers like the idea and want to implement it. I'd much prefer seeing the enemies become more dangerous instead of just gaining massive HP pools and becoming bullet/technic sponges. Some level of boosted HP might be necessary, but I doubt 6x is the answer. Do note that there's already some kind of party scaling in the game (enemies do gain extra HP with every party member), though it's minor enough that I wouldn't blame you for not noticing it.

Locking it behind six players sucks because... if only 4 players are on and want to play the mission, you're SOL? And I can't try to duo it with a friend? Obviously it's hard to balance around variable player counts - a mission intended for 3-4 players is probably going to be easier with 6 and pretty hard with 2. You can try and implement scaling to counter this out, and that may be worth doing. If this was a large official server with tons of players you might be able to get away with a 6 player only mission, but as a small private server I think it'd mostly work out to 'many players don't get to play the mission'. 

I agree the game is easy in parties. That's 2005 game design where games tried to make one mission do everything - support party play, solo play etc. A Challenge or Epic or Inferno etc difficulty doesn't fix the issue that many missions are single element so you can equip the right Line Shield and barely take damage, or that many missions aren't dense enough for all 6 players to have something to do.

A spawn size or composition change is going to make it a new mission. Even if you call it something uncreative like Epic Unsafe Passage and bump each spawn to like 8 buffed Deljaban, it's not Unsafe Passage anymore, it's new content.

I'm not super hung up about whether it should be gated for 6. Like, if in the description it clearly says a party is recommended I'm ok with with that. But it should be balanced for 6 uncoordinated/random players at cap so that if you have 4 but with good strategy, optimal team comp, decent gear it'll probably be easy. Coordinated and uncoordinated makes a huge difference.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 minutes ago, Selphea said:

A Challenge or Epic or Inferno etc difficulty doesn't fix the issue that many missions are single element so you can equip the right Line Shield and barely take damage, or that many missions aren't dense enough for all 6 players to have something to do.

Yeah I'm not super fond of the way line shield elements work in this game. Up until S2 I actually ran around using a neutral line shield because it made things more interesting (but now way too many things 2 shot if I do that, and getting 2 shot isn't terribly fun).

9 minutes ago, Selphea said:

A spawn size or composition change is going to make it a new mission. Even if you call it something uncreative like Epic Unsafe Passage and bump each spawn to like 8 buffed Deljaban, it's not Unsafe Passage anymore, it's new content.

I'm not super hung up about whether it should be gated for 6. Like, if in the description it clearly says a party is recommended I'm ok with with that. But it should be balanced for 6 uncoordinated/random players at cap so that if you have 4 but with good strategy, optimal team comp, decent gear it'll probably be easy. Coordinated and uncoordinated makes a huge difference.

I think at this point we're talking about basically the same thing = 'it'd be super cool to have hard mode/challenge variants of existing missions geared for party play.' Might be best to leave it at that, otherwise we might end up quibbling details and definitions here forever about a feature that may or may not happen.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Posted (edited)
8 hours ago, Marmalade said:

Realistically, and if I'm being honest, there's a very real barrier between what we can do, and what we can be allowed to do. I could list off many things that could help to resolve these issues and make the game fun for new and old players, but would it be accepted and allowed? The general standing for a lot of us for a long time was that change = bad, but maintaining an old RPG in 2021 with unpleasant mechanics will only bring in temporary nostalgic fans, who will inevitably leave either way, and thus we have "50 players" all the same. If I'm to maintain a server, if I was in Sega's position, shouldn't I make some effort to resolve these issues with more modern and generally accepted changes from this era, to align with what current gen players expect? Well to some extent, yes? if we want new players to come in anyway. The important thing is that PSU maintains its charm and character, and I can already identify many things that directly violate that, and hope for it to be resolved sooner rather than later. Although not all of the changes Clementine has introduced are inherently bad.

On a closing note, people will come and go from Clementine, others will wait for something to release or to be resolved, and others will take breaks from time to time. It is the nature of private servers. I'm painfully aware of the people that have moved on, why they did, and the ones making complaints about Clementine not being like official (and the others making complaints it is like official), whether in features (again, working on it), or overall feel. People often think I'm oblivious to it, that I want it or ignore issues with it, but I can tell you that the biggest waves of depression that come from Clementine, for me, are from some of the changes it's had. Half of the problems that exist come from things being changed and "balanced", but can you believe that going backwards is harder than going forwards? at least in some aspects of these changes. Naturally I want to fight it, and I do when I have the energy to.

Thank you to all of you for taking time to share your concerns and ideas. While I might not reply often, I do still read them all and think about them.
Rest assured, we've been working ridiculously hard to resolve issues and bring in more features, and I hope to be able to write up about it soon.

I hope people will continue to work with me to resolve issues. As always, much love 🧡

It's not easy for sure because this is uncharted waters. Besides the development work there's the community management, communication, content design, systems design... 😱

But I do think there could be more players, though it's not a quick fix thing. Things like website navigation, or in the game itself, how to tell people there's an entire star system with hundreds of missions to run, thousands of weapons and other items to hunt and more being added each update, cool attacks like tossing a planet at enemies with level 41 Diga, mods like Reshade and HD textures to make PSU look better than it ever did and so on.

That's why communicating the philosophy is important. Not on a small scale like the rationale behind each update, but the end goal, pretty much an "About PSU Clementine" page somewhere. I personally like the idea of a modernized PSU but it does need to be defined clearly -- what's the charm and character of PSU that shouldn't change, and what modernization means. It might worth spinning off another thread about what people love about PSU and what's the not so good parts.

Just because the first step isn't smooth doesn't mean the whole journey is a mistake. Sometimes getting from point A to point B means flying through turbulence. As long as it's clear the destination is better, it's about figuring out what else needs to change besides the original change.

Edited by Selphea
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...