SM + Agape is actually (accidentally?) genius

SM + Agape is actually (accidentally?) genius

Postby zeech » Sat May 09, 2015 7:20 am

Hmm, it recently occurred to me that SM+Agape Ring actually creates a really nice set of game mechanics.

First of all, let me say that Souls games is not about convenience, fairness, eSports, etc. Just as much as anyone, I want FROM to do a free-to-play Souls fighting game, where you can instantly create a build with any items, with some sort of souls budget that balances both levels and items, and then fight in arenas adapted from PVE levels.
ELO Ladders, matchmaking, ping indicator, auto-tournaments, replays, spectator mode etc. All the bells and whistles you expect from a competitive game.

Ok, but the main Souls series is not about those things. Remember when we complained that the dupe glitches and dragon head infinite souls glitches were patched out? The fact that players had to rely on exploits and glitches to have a proper "competitive" pvp experience is quite telling of the true intentions of the game.

So what makes SM+Agape genius? Ok, assuming that a community forms around certain SM Tiers (it hasn't so far, and maybe never will), then people can aim for a particular tier and stay there using the Agape ring, just like they used to aim for a particular soul level.

HOWEVER, instead of build creation being a purely mathematical exercise, juggling your numbers in a spreadsheet and minmaxing your ARs, now getting the best build for your SM Tier encompasses all aspects of the game.

- You have to know the game and its items intimately, and plan an efficient run to get all your items whilst staying in your SM tier.
- You have to execute your run with PvE skill, avoid deaths, kills and purchases that might waste SM.
- As before, you have to make a good build, mathematically. But at least you have Soul Vessels to experiment and tweak.

(as for Agape taking a ring slot, it's fine - we can just say it's a mandatory item for pvp, just like second chance or pre-patch flip ring. In other words, PvP builds only get 3 ring slots.)


We started to see a little bit of this when the Agape ring was first announced. People immediately started to plan and post their minimum tier newbie troll builds, to see how powerful they could get whilst still able to invade the lowest SM tier. We saw people carefully planning their runs, just like a speedrunner might. Minimum tier PvP might be kinda interesting, actually, since it introduces a lot of limits that you have to creatively overcome, and it's nice and fast to build characters.

A nice feature of this is that you can't just copy someone's build that easily anymore. Characters can be truly unique, in that a particular player might have managed to perform a run ultra-efficiently in a way few others have the skill to replicate, so even if he posts his build & run online, few people can duplicate it exactly. (although it probably won't make too much difference... just an extra attribute point or two, maybe.)


Sure, you might not appreciate or like any of this, but there's no doubt that it's a mechanic that creates deep gameplay.
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Re: SM + Agape is actually (accidentally?) genius

Postby SchwaWarrior » Wed May 13, 2015 12:21 am

I agree with every word of your post. It's wonderful to see someone actually understand something I've been thinking all this time, but with no way to tell anyone without getting told off! (Seems as though the majority of Souls players I meet would rather gripe and whine instead of overcome problems. Great to meet someone who's like me instead.)

I might be weird for it but I don't get too tired replaying DkS2 from the beginning over and over with different types of builds, or even with the same build, to try and efficiently get all the things that build needs in the "correct" order. Planning a route to Straid, especially with First Sin's drastic changes on how to navigate the Bastille, to get the Agape Ring as early as is plausible, is especially tricky. PvP and co-op both seem pretty active at all early SM tiers (anywhere from 0 to 2 mil in just about every area, except the Rat King areas I guess, and the Bellkeeper areas are both wild as ever) so I've been having a blast trying new weapons and new builds out against opponents of every class, ranging from skilled vets to idiots to gank parties to secret fight clubs to plain old shenanigans.

Was worried at first that Bloodborne would kill off DkS2's activity, and I'm thrilled I was wrong; even after trying Bloodborne for weeks the PvP in DkS2 is still simply the best (and you're not forced to buy PSN+ to enjoy it either!).

PvP in the Bell towers with only two ring slots (Bell Covenant Ring and Agape Ring are both "locked in") is kinda tough though, but to me it is a good exercise in learning not to rely on rings so hard.
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Re: SM + Agape is actually (accidentally?) genius

Postby vaskov17 » Thu May 14, 2015 11:25 am

FROM had the perfect system in place in Demons' Souls. If you wanted to troll, you trolled at whatever level you wanted. If you wanted to co-op, you did at whatever level you wanted. If you wanted to PvP, you did at whatever level you wanted. There were set SL levels for PvP, low level trolling was easy, invader trolling was popular, co-op was available everywhere. Zero hassles.

It was PERFECT!

DkS and DkS2 messed this up and I haven't bothered to PvP since, I'm sure many other DS PvP-ers have done the same.

The Agape ring + SM is a solution to a problem FROM created and has been trying to fix (without success) for a while.
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Re: SM + Agape is actually (accidentally?) genius

Postby zeech » Fri May 15, 2015 8:37 am

I feel that SL matching isn't perfect either, because it doesnt account for the strength of your items.
This problem gets worse and worse as you near the start of the game.

Although SM itself isn't a particularly good solution to that either - I would have just put Level Requirements onto items/upgrades/spells etc. (ie. you need to be SL 50 to upgrade that long sword to +4, etc.)

But like I said - SM+Agape is deeper than all of that, because it adds the complexity of doing an efficient PVE run into build making. It's just less convenient so people hate it.
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Re: SM + Agape is actually (accidentally?) genius

Postby musicismath » Fri May 15, 2015 11:46 am

I'm trying to get a new toon up in dks2ps3 but my main beef with this, as in all the souls titles is how to get pvp access as fast as possible. Also in the back of my mind is this FROMfail ring and I am both ambivalent and curious how it would even factor in to a new game... soulsheads need to spell it out for us casuals please.

vaskov17 wrote:DkS and DkS2 messed this up and I haven't bothered to PvP since, I'm sure many other DS PvP-ers have done the same.

The Agape ring + SM is a solution to a problem FROM created and has been trying to fix (without success) for a while.


To me, this implies that FROM has repeatedly reassigned the online dept. of souls to a succession of frustrated employees which helps to explain the spiral of brokenness we've seen since dks1.

@ zeech - SL>SM+agape>SM. I think louislogic said chickenhawks have always been insignificant in souls online, I agree... SM matchmaking has exponentially distorted any notion of a level playing field (pre agape at least)...
But to your point, I feel like weapon upgrading is what should be nerfed, and thus more emphasis placed on stats/scaling bonus and SL. 2 cent
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Re: SM + Agape is actually (accidentally?) genius

Postby vaskov17 » Fri May 15, 2015 2:29 pm

zeech wrote:I feel that SL matching isn't perfect either, because it doesnt account for the strength of your items.
This problem gets worse and worse as you near the start of the game.

Although SM itself isn't a particularly good solution to that either - I would have just put Level Requirements onto items/upgrades/spells etc. (ie. you need to be SL 50 to upgrade that long sword to +4, etc.)

But like I said - SM+Agape is deeper than all of that, because it adds the complexity of doing an efficient PVE run into build making. It's just less convenient so people hate it.


DeS allowed for the freedom to do anything at any level and that was the fun of it. Yes, you could get low level OP invaders but at the same time you get low level OP helpers. In trying to fix this 'problem', FROM has fragmented the player base which in addition to the much larger world and the number of area-restricted covenants creates a new much bigger problem.

SM+Agape being deeper doesn't make it better. It's just a really roundabout way of going back to SL matching.

Just get rid of Agape ring and SM matching and bring back SL+/-10%, soul sucking, etc. Can't go wrong with giving people the freedom to do anything.
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Re: SM + Agape is actually (accidentally?) genius

Postby musicismath » Fri May 15, 2015 3:53 pm

vaskov17 wrote:Just get rid of Agape ring and SM matching and bring back SL+/-10%, soul sucking, etc. Can't go wrong with giving people the freedom to do anything.


agree, but I think we're all under the assumption that it's technically impossible to patch out SM... though you'd think they could just leave it in and override it w/ SL+/- at a higher priority, and at the same time by keeping SM-in-theory they wouldn't even lose face by admitting how flawed it is. ;)
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Re: SM + Agape is actually (accidentally?) genius

Postby Tsmp » Tue May 19, 2015 3:17 pm

Personally, I think the easiest way to fix low-level OP nonsense would be to make it so you can't invade (or be summoned?) in areas where you've killed the boss. Inconvenient for people who try to play at reasonable strengths for their level anyways, but it would lock out griefers, overequipped carries, and make it more or less impossible to have better equipment than a host could at the place and level you're trying to invade.

SM + Agape Ring does solve this problem in a way, but it does it through a method that also messes up other things. The better half of hexes are now unusable unless you want to constantly increase your SM (and after the nerfs they're not quite strong enough to justify that IMO), the system itself is unintuitive and the game does not bother to explain it at all, you quickly reach a point where it becomes impossible to buy new consumables, knives, and arrows and must instead farm for them, yes it is possible to repair your broken equipment without paying souls but it wasn't made available until the first DLC, and there is of course always the question of how many lost levels a fully upgraded weapon is worth if you want more than two to four.

Don't get me wrong, I think the SM system is an improvement over level matching in regards to PvE and random invasions (or twink invasions), but it's just far too inconvenient for dedicated PvP. The level system gives enough freedom to where dedicated PvP characters are quick and easy to make, can have whatever weapons they want, and never need to worry about running out of random stuff like throwing knives and cracked red eye orbs. Say what you want about the intent behind the game's design, but it's a fact that many people come for the challenge and stay for the PvP. You can, of course, create a PvP character in Dark Souls 2. There's nothing stopping you. It's just annoying is all, and if you want to change the stats around to try something different you'd better hope you still have souls left over to upgrade a new weapon with.

Some of you might notice that I've slightly changed my opinion on this matter.
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Magic System Guide:
viewtopic.php?f=90&t=19416

Dual Wielding Power Stance how-to:
viewtopic.php?f=82&t=19381

Bonfire Ascetic Guide and Explanation:
viewtopic.php?f=82&t=19345&p=185263#p185263

Invading in the Dark Chasm of Old:
viewtopic.php?f=86&t=19608
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Re: SM + Agape is actually (accidentally?) genius

Postby zeech » Wed May 20, 2015 8:30 am

vaskov17 wrote:DeS allowed for the freedom to do anything at any level and that was the fun of it. Yes, you could get low level OP invaders but at the same time you get low level OP helpers. In trying to fix this 'problem', FROM has fragmented the player base which in addition to the much larger world and the number of area-restricted covenants creates a new much bigger problem.

SM+Agape being deeper doesn't make it better. It's just a really roundabout way of going back to SL matching.

Just get rid of Agape ring and SM matching and bring back SL+/-10%, soul sucking, etc. Can't go wrong with giving people the freedom to do anything.


It's certainly valid to be annoyed about lost convenience (even if it's deliberate on From's part). But I don't agree that SM+Agape has "fragmented the playerbase". Since the SM system pretty much pushes most players into the same tier eventually anyways.

SL +/- 10% definitely fragments the casual playerbase (who don't know what the "community" SL level is) because their SL will simply be whatever they happen to stop at. Whereas for those players, with the SM system (without agape) eventually all players will be able to play with each other.

Sure, you'll have the people who use the agape ring to limit their SM, who will be "fragmented" from the rest of the max tier players, but SL120 players were always an elite minority anyways.

If you want to say that SM+Agape fragments the *hardcore PvP playerbase*, then part of the blame lies in lack of agreement in the community itself. I get the feeling that, because Japanese players can tick the "only play in Japan" box, they've mostly been insulated from the rest of the world. As I understand, in Demon's where it all began, the SL120 standard was mostly created by the japanese community? Maybe if they were more involved some sort of standard might have evolved faster, dunno.


Finally, SM+Agape is definitely NOT a roundabout way of getting SL matching. That's the entire point of my thread!!

Now you have a competitive tier where you have to trade off your SL versus your items. (and convenience, and PvE skill.)
So you might have a player with a higher SL, but fewer upgraded items, versus someone with a much lower SL, who has given himself some wiggle room to buy consumables and use resonant hexes. That's totally not SL matching.
Last edited by zeech on Wed May 20, 2015 8:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: SM + Agape is actually (accidentally?) genius

Postby zeech » Wed May 20, 2015 8:40 am

Oh, it strikes me as quite interesting the complaints about the Agape Ring, because they can just as easily be leveled against the Inscribed Ring -
Why do we need to wear a ring to coop with our friends? Why have it in such an obscure and unexplained way? Why can't we just do friend invites like every other game?

Or even the multiplayer soapstones -
Why do I have to alternate host/phantom with my friends to play through the game? Why can't we have a shared game world that we just continuously coop through, like every other game?
Why do I have to put a red sign down and get an opponent by pot luck? Why don't we have multiplayer lobbies we can join to fight? Why does the invasion SL matchmaking extend upwards infinitely? Isn't that unfair?

etc etc.

Ultimately one of the beloved things about the Souls games is how it avoids "modernity" and has all of its systems interwoven into its world in subtle and obscure ways. Agape ring pretty much fits right in.

And yes, it's inconvenient. I just wish FROM would make that spinoff Fighting Game. Maybe I should write to Namco-Bandai? :P
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Re: SM + Agape is actually (accidentally?) genius

Postby vaskov17 » Wed May 20, 2015 11:51 am

zeech wrote:... I just wish FROM would make that spinoff Fighting Game. Maybe I should write to Namco-Bandai? :P


FROM already made that game, it's called Demons' Souls. Everyone had a low level mule and you could make your instant PvP toon in about 15 minutes because of that.
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Re: SM + Agape is actually (accidentally?) genius

Postby vaskov17 » Wed May 20, 2015 12:07 pm

doesn't this statement:

zeech wrote:Sure, you'll have the people who use the agape ring to limit their SM, who will be "fragmented" from the rest of the max tier players, but SL120 players were always an elite minority anyways.


contradict your main point on why SM + agape is genius?:

zeech wrote:Finally, SM+Agape is definitely NOT a roundabout way of getting SL matching. That's the entire point of my thread!!

Now you have a competitive tier where you have to trade off your SL versus your items. (and convenience, and PvE skill.)
So you might have a player with a higher SL, but fewer upgraded items, versus someone with a much lower SL, who has given himself some wiggle room to buy consumables and use resonant hexes. That's totally not SL matching.


wouldn't those players fragment themselves right out of the community? Considering you also said one of the problems is the community cannot agree on what SM to stop at, yet you assume that same community would agree on a low SM to stop at and do what you are suggesting in finding a balance between souls spent on SL, upgrades, consumables and resonant hexes?
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Re: SM + Agape is actually (accidentally?) genius

Postby Jumilaattori » Wed May 20, 2015 11:51 pm

On ps4 arena its mostly very neat and tidy. "Cheapest" thing I´ve seen is parry and swap to ugs for riposte, that´s very mild. A few runaway healers but the fights still been good.

I´m running full lion warrior with ring of the living and using scythe and bonefist. I don´t care what lv is my opponent, what is his sm or what´s his setup/build.

In this game you can make like 20 dif builds with the same stats.

If memory serves right, sm 3m can meet with 9m and 9m can meet with max tier so agape is a ring for twinks. I played with souls+ gear and bell tower was very busy.

In dks1 you made lv20 to kiln and could play sorry I meant backstab lv120. I prefer it that way though low lv poison claws can be fun.
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Re: SM + Agape is actually (accidentally?) genius

Postby zeech » Thu May 21, 2015 7:49 am

vaskov17 wrote:
zeech wrote:... I just wish FROM would make that spinoff Fighting Game. Maybe I should write to Namco-Bandai? :P


FROM already made that game, it's called Demons' Souls. Everyone had a low level mule and you could make your instant PvP toon in about 15 minutes because of that.


Where's my Glicko Ladder and matchmaking? Where's my ping indicator? Leagues? Replays? Training mode? GGPO?

Sorry, even cheating with glitches, Souls series is quite far from a standard competitive fighting game.

(I was also going to say Lobbies? Spectator Mode? Friend Invites? - but those can be replicated using the "fight club" structure.)


vaskov17 wrote:doesn't this statement:
zeech wrote:Sure, you'll have the people who use the agape ring to limit their SM, who will be "fragmented" from the rest of the max tier players, but SL120 players were always an elite minority anyways.

contradict your main point on why SM + agape is genius?:

wouldn't those players fragment themselves right out of the community? Considering you also said one of the problems is the community cannot agree on what SM to stop at, yet you assume that same community would agree on a low SM to stop at and do what you are suggesting in finding a balance between souls spent on SL, upgrades, consumables and resonant hexes?


What the community chooses to do doesn't relate to the reasons I stated in the OP that makes me think it's genius.
The design is there, the feature is available. Souls is quite sandboxy, so people have the freedom to find their fun in their own way.

It's more interesting to discuss how the SL120 standard became popular in Demons, how the standard changed in Dark 1 and fragmented into 100/120/150/200, and why a standard has failed to form in Dark 2.

Personally I get the feeling it's because a standard isn't quite as necessary in Dark 2, due to all the different available venues for multiplayer, how the SM tiers get broader as you go up, Soul Vessels, and the balance of weapons/armors in the game. Maybe also because the game became less niche and has more players?
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Re: SM + Agape is actually (accidentally?) genius

Postby zeech » Thu May 21, 2015 8:25 am

Tsmp wrote:Don't get me wrong, I think the SM system is an improvement over level matching in regards to PvE and random invasions (or twink invasions), but it's just far too inconvenient for dedicated PvP. The level system gives enough freedom to where dedicated PvP characters are quick and easy to make, can have whatever weapons they want, and never need to worry about running out of random stuff like throwing knives and cracked red eye orbs. Say what you want about the intent behind the game's design, but it's a fact that many people come for the challenge and stay for the PvP. You can, of course, create a PvP character in Dark Souls 2. There's nothing stopping you. It's just annoying is all, and if you want to change the stats around to try something different you'd better hope you still have souls left over to upgrade a new weapon with.


Actually... what is the problem with Dark 2's SM+Agape system again?

It seems to me that all of the complaints against Dark 2 actually stem from the lack of mules and item duping?

If we had item duping:
- Infinite consumables
- Instant max upgraded items
- Instant PvP builds using Soul Vessel + mules
- Since items are now costless from mules, your SM is just your leveling costs. So we have SL-fair combat using Agape ring (or just the Red Arena which is now SL-matched.)

The only remaining criticism is the inability to use Resonant Hexes... but the previous games never had such things in the first place.

So if we compare Demons/Dark without glitches vs. current Dark 2, or if we compare Demons/Dark + glitches against SoTFS with megamule... I don't think SL matching vs. SM matching actually makes a difference at all anymore?
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Re: SM + Agape is actually (accidentally?) genius

Postby Jumilaattori » Thu May 21, 2015 8:36 am

zeech wrote:or just the Red Arena which is now SL-matched.)
Source?
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Re: SM + Agape is actually (accidentally?) genius

Postby Tsmp » Thu May 21, 2015 10:36 am

zeech wrote:
Tsmp wrote:Don't get me wrong, I think the SM system is an improvement over level matching in regards to PvE and random invasions (or twink invasions), but it's just far too inconvenient for dedicated PvP. The level system gives enough freedom to where dedicated PvP characters are quick and easy to make, can have whatever weapons they want, and never need to worry about running out of random stuff like throwing knives and cracked red eye orbs. Say what you want about the intent behind the game's design, but it's a fact that many people come for the challenge and stay for the PvP. You can, of course, create a PvP character in Dark Souls 2. There's nothing stopping you. It's just annoying is all, and if you want to change the stats around to try something different you'd better hope you still have souls left over to upgrade a new weapon with.


Actually... what is the problem with Dark 2's SM+Agape system again?

It seems to me that all of the complaints against Dark 2 actually stem from the lack of mules and item duping?

If we had item duping:
- Infinite consumables
- Instant max upgraded items
- Instant PvP builds using Soul Vessel + mules
- Since items are now costless from mules, your SM is just your leveling costs. So we have SL-fair combat using Agape ring (or just the Red Arena which is now SL-matched.)

The only remaining criticism is the inability to use Resonant Hexes... but the previous games never had such things in the first place.

So if we compare Demons/Dark without glitches vs. current Dark 2, or if we compare Demons/Dark + glitches against SoTFS with megamule... I don't think SL matching vs. SM matching actually makes a difference at all anymore?


On the contrary, I dislike mega mules and duping, and that's not at all what I said.

My complaint is that the player has to constantly work around SM if they want to make a PvP build that isn't either maximum level (and thus terribly boring/borderline pointless) or has to constantly fight other maximum levels (and it's never fun to lose against someone because you were doing half damage to them and they do double damage to you).

The 'fixes' to the various problems are not fixes, they're workarounds. Want to stay in one specific matchmaking range for whatever reason? Equip this ring, but it also means you won't ever get any more souls. Need more random consumables? Join this covenant and go on this farming route for a couple hours instead of playing the game. Want to invade? Do this thing that isn't invading for, like, 5 hours and fight against people who are motivated by design to win in the cheapest ways possible. If I want to do something fun, I have to do something that isn't fun for at least triple the amount of time, and it's all because I can't simply buy the things I want with the souls I'm not earning from the PvP I'm doing. Duping has nothing to do with this, my character is simply constantly degrading and requires constant maintenance to continue functioning, as if this were a god damned MMO and From was trying to milk money from me or something.

Don't understate what it means for an entire spell school to be invalidated by a matchmaking mechanic. And yes I do mean an entire spell school, because the resonant chime hexes are the only ones that can keep up in PvP against opponents of equal skill. The staff hexes just don't have the tools to deal with an opponent who knows how to dodge spells. We're talking about an entire build type here man, all because Dark Souls 2 absolutely has to use SM instead of level. The only place resonant hexes are viable in non-maxSL pvp is the red and blue arenas, since they pair by level for the first minute instead of closest SM. And if anything that just makes the problem worse, because it's arguably the best spell school so it falls under the "cheese" category against people who can't gain more souls since they're trying to stay in a certain matchmaking range. Which means resonant hexes now kind of act like a punishment against people who use the agape ring, because it's an entire branch of magic that they can't use but can be used against them.

And just because the previous games did not have resonant hexes does not mean it's excusable for this game to have them but make them unusable. That's like saying, "the new Shin Megami Tensei game now allows player-versus-player, but it doesn't work at all, but that's okay because the previous game didn't have player-versus-player either." How in the metric does that justify anything? It's a broken system, and broken systems are bad.

My complaints about SM only apply to organized PvP, and as previously mentioned I actually like the way it works in PvE and playthroughs, and for invading people who are doing playthroughs. Yes, duping would alleviate the majority of these problems, but I dislike it and it isn't/shouldn't be necessary.

Want to know a really, really easy fix for the problems with SM in DaS2, without removing the benefits SM gives DaS2? Either make the Red Sign Soapstone match players according to level instead of SM, or set aside an area unnecessary to the story that pairs invaders/hostile soapsigns by level instead of SM (Dark Chasm? Hopefully somewhere with better landscape, though). This immediately removes all the complaints about SM's effect on PvP, while still allowing players who simply want the PvE/playthrough experience to benefit from the way it locks out overpowered twinks and assists from ruining their experience with unfair bullshit. And what's more, a player would be able to take a character from PvE to PvP if they wanted instead of having to make a new character just because their current one went over the popular SM ranges and there's no way to go back down.
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Useful notes for Dark Souls 2, by yours truly:
Magic System Guide:
viewtopic.php?f=90&t=19416

Dual Wielding Power Stance how-to:
viewtopic.php?f=82&t=19381

Bonfire Ascetic Guide and Explanation:
viewtopic.php?f=82&t=19345&p=185263#p185263

Invading in the Dark Chasm of Old:
viewtopic.php?f=86&t=19608
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Re: SM + Agape is actually (accidentally?) genius

Postby vaskov17 » Thu May 21, 2015 1:06 pm

zeech wrote:
Tsmp wrote:Don't get me wrong, I think the SM system is an improvement over level matching in regards to PvE and random invasions (or twink invasions), but it's just far too inconvenient for dedicated PvP. The level system gives enough freedom to where dedicated PvP characters are quick and easy to make, can have whatever weapons they want, and never need to worry about running out of random stuff like throwing knives and cracked red eye orbs. Say what you want about the intent behind the game's design, but it's a fact that many people come for the challenge and stay for the PvP. You can, of course, create a PvP character in Dark Souls 2. There's nothing stopping you. It's just annoying is all, and if you want to change the stats around to try something different you'd better hope you still have souls left over to upgrade a new weapon with.


Actually... what is the problem with Dark 2's SM+Agape system again?

It seems to me that all of the complaints against Dark 2 actually stem from the lack of mules and item duping?

If we had item duping:
- Infinite consumables
- Instant max upgraded items
- Instant PvP builds using Soul Vessel + mules
- Since items are now costless from mules, your SM is just your leveling costs. So we have SL-fair combat using Agape ring (or just the Red Arena which is now SL-matched.)

The only remaining criticism is the inability to use Resonant Hexes... but the previous games never had such things in the first place.

So if we compare Demons/Dark without glitches vs. current Dark 2, or if we compare Demons/Dark + glitches against SoTFS with megamule... I don't think SL matching vs. SM matching actually makes a difference at all anymore?


The issue is not PvP, it's PvE.

PvP-ers are a lot more organized as a group and it's a lot easier for them to figure out a SM level for constant action.

PvE players on the other hand are the ones that suffer the most as they are far more casual and less organized. That's why there are tons of posts on different forums asking what is an appropriate SM for a particular are, and there is never an answer. That's why FROM added the red border on the travel screen which doesn't work very well. If it was SL matching, players could control their level easily and co-op easily. Since it's SM matching, they are forced to spend too much time figuring out what is the SM level of someone you just played with and want to play with again. Even one day makes a huge difference. I've met some people and played with them one day, the next we are no longer in close tiers so we can't play.
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Re: SM + Agape is actually (accidentally?) genius

Postby zeech » Fri May 22, 2015 7:21 am

Jumilaattori wrote:
zeech wrote:or just the Red Arena which is now SL-matched.)
Source?


https://www.reddit.com/r/DarkSouls2/com ... tchmaking/
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Re: SM + Agape is actually (accidentally?) genius

Postby zeech » Fri May 22, 2015 7:47 am

Tsmp wrote:On the contrary, I dislike mega mules and duping, and that's not at all what I said.

My complaint is that the player has to constantly work around SM if they want to make a PvP build that isn't either maximum level (and thus terribly boring/borderline pointless) or has to constantly fight other maximum levels (and it's never fun to lose against someone because you were doing half damage to them and they do double damage to you).

The 'fixes' to the various problems are not fixes, they're workarounds. Want to stay in one specific matchmaking range for whatever reason? Equip this ring, but it also means you won't ever get any more souls. Need more random consumables? Join this covenant and go on this farming route for a couple hours instead of playing the game. Want to invade? Do this thing that isn't invading for, like, 5 hours and fight against people who are motivated by design to win in the cheapest ways possible. If I want to do something fun, I have to do something that isn't fun for at least triple the amount of time, and it's all because I can't simply buy the things I want with the souls I'm not earning from the PvP I'm doing. Duping has nothing to do with this, my character is simply constantly degrading and requires constant maintenance to continue functioning, as if this were a god damned MMO and From was trying to milk money from me or something.


To use the language "fixes" and "workarounds" implies that there's a "problem". But there's no problem - like I said, Souls games arent about convenience. If you want a max upgraded weapon in Demons, you're "supposed" to farm certain enemies for hours to get that last type of upgrade stone. If you want to respec your character, you're "supposed" to create a whole new character and grind your way through PvE for the hundredth time.

Dark 2 removes some barriers (Soul Vessels) but puts up some others (Agape vs. consumables).
You can say there's a landscape of balance - some things are strong, some things are weak. But also, some things are convenient, some things are annoying.

I can make a super quick character using a rapier+6, knights armor+6, etc. Just need a bunch of souls, and meet McDuff and Vengarl. If I play a tiny bit more PvE, I can get enough chunks and a slab to go +10 on my rapier. I'd then be mostly competitive against anyone that could fight me at my SM range.

But yeah, if I wanted to make a climax build, I'd have to farm up the right kind of hard souls to supply my ammo, get the chime of want from the end of the game, farm up PDBs to upgrade it, etc.

So yeah, SM+Agape makes certain things annoying and inconvenient. But Dark 2 makes certain other things really convenient. (Certainly much more so than Demons/Dark without duping/mules.)

It's all part of a philosophy of a "landscape" of balance - not everything is evenly flat.

Tsmp wrote:Don't understate what it means for an entire spell school to be invalidated by a matchmaking mechanic. And yes I do mean an entire spell school
And just because the previous games did not have resonant hexes does not mean it's excusable for this game to have them but make them unusable. That's like saying, "the new Shin Megami Tensei game now allows player-versus-player, but it doesn't work at all, but that's okay because the previous game didn't have player-versus-player either." How in the metric does that justify anything? It's a broken system, and broken systems are bad.


You're talking in a very exaggerated, black and white way. If it's not quite viable, then its "broken". It's not broken, any more than Flame Swathe or Greatbows. They're simply more suitable for other areas of the game. So Resonant spells are impractical in Agape PvP. They work fine in all other parts of the game. And if you say that the game is "broken" because Resonant spells aren't useable in Agape PvP, then it actually has nothing to do with SM at all - because you already said that all other Hexes aren't useable in PvP to begin with. So an entire class of magic (staff Hexes) is invalidated because of balance. (Let's not forget the 80% of all other spells that also never work in PVP.)

They're not broken - they're just more suitable for other parts of the game. Landscape of balance.

My complaints about SM only apply to organized PvP, and as previously mentioned I actually like the way it works in PvE and playthroughs, and for invading people who are doing playthroughs. Yes, duping would alleviate the majority of these problems, but I dislike it and it isn't/shouldn't be necessary.


Tsmp wrote:Want to know a really, really easy fix for the problems with SM in DaS2, without removing the benefits SM gives DaS2? Either make the Red Sign Soapstone match players according to level instead of SM, or set aside an area unnecessary to the story that pairs invaders/hostile soapsigns by level instead of SM (Dark Chasm? Hopefully somewhere with better landscape, though). This immediately removes all the complaints about SM's effect on PvP, while still allowing players who simply want the PvE/playthrough experience to benefit from the way it locks out overpowered twinks and assists from ruining their experience with unfair bullshit. And what's more, a player would be able to take a character from PvE to PvP if they wanted instead of having to make a new character just because their current one went over the popular SM ranges and there's no way to go back down.


I have no problem with your suggestion. I also always wondered why the level-limited arenas in Dark 1 didn't make a comeback. I liked those too. The more options for "esports" the better, with the logical endpoint being my Souls-spinoff fighting game.

Personally I don't care about fairness when it comes to invasions. Just like invasions have no upper SL limit in Dark 1, I think it's fine for invasions to be utterly random. You could be getting some poor solo PvE guy just trying to get through the game, you could be getting a max-level ganksquad of havelmonsters... you want to ruin someone's day, you take your risks.
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Re: SM + Agape is actually (accidentally?) genius

Postby zeech » Fri May 22, 2015 7:49 am

vaskov17 wrote:The issue is not PvP, it's PvE.

PvP-ers are a lot more organized as a group and it's a lot easier for them to figure out a SM level for constant action.

PvE players on the other hand are the ones that suffer the most as they are far more casual and less organized. That's why there are tons of posts on different forums asking what is an appropriate SM for a particular are, and there is never an answer. That's why FROM added the red border on the travel screen which doesn't work very well. If it was SL matching, players could control their level easily and co-op easily. Since it's SM matching, they are forced to spend too much time figuring out what is the SM level of someone you just played with and want to play with again. Even one day makes a huge difference. I've met some people and played with them one day, the next we are no longer in close tiers so we can't play.


This is a valid point, and Dark 2 is a step backwards in this issue.

But it's been a complaint since the beginning of the series. "Why can't we just have friend invites?! Why does FROM make it so annoying just to coop with my friend? Can't we have a Friend Soapstone or something?!!?"
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Re: SM + Agape is actually (accidentally?) genius

Postby Jumilaattori » Fri May 22, 2015 8:50 am

zeech wrote:https://www.reddit.com/r/DarkSouls2/com ... tchmaking/
Don´t believe everything you read online :D

That was all speculation and its been speculated always that it has always worked like that.
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Re: SM + Agape is actually (accidentally?) genius

Postby Tsmp » Fri May 22, 2015 12:26 pm

Jumilaattori wrote:
zeech wrote:https://www.reddit.com/r/DarkSouls2/com ... tchmaking/
Don´t believe everything you read online :D

That was all speculation and its been speculated always that it has always worked like that.

It has most certainly not always worked like that. You can look up any of the videos online with arena matching before that patch and see an obvious difference. I might even have one myself, assuming I didn't delete it ages ago because I tried talking in it and ended up sounding like a twat.

Don't believe random speculation you hear on the internet.

zeech wrote:
Tsmp wrote:On the contrary, I dislike mega mules and duping, and that's not at all what I said.

My complaint is that the player has to constantly work around SM if they want to make a PvP build that isn't either maximum level (and thus terribly boring/borderline pointless) or has to constantly fight other maximum levels (and it's never fun to lose against someone because you were doing half damage to them and they do double damage to you).

The 'fixes' to the various problems are not fixes, they're workarounds. Want to stay in one specific matchmaking range for whatever reason? Equip this ring, but it also means you won't ever get any more souls. Need more random consumables? Join this covenant and go on this farming route for a couple hours instead of playing the game. Want to invade? Do this thing that isn't invading for, like, 5 hours and fight against people who are motivated by design to win in the cheapest ways possible. If I want to do something fun, I have to do something that isn't fun for at least triple the amount of time, and it's all because I can't simply buy the things I want with the souls I'm not earning from the PvP I'm doing. Duping has nothing to do with this, my character is simply constantly degrading and requires constant maintenance to continue functioning, as if this were a god damned MMO and From was trying to milk money from me or something.


To use the language "fixes" and "workarounds" implies that there's a "problem". But there's no problem - like I said, Souls games arent about convenience. If you want a max upgraded weapon in Demons, you're "supposed" to farm certain enemies for hours to get that last type of upgrade stone. If you want to respec your character, you're "supposed" to create a whole new character and grind your way through PvE for the hundredth time.

Dark 2 removes some barriers (Soul Vessels) but puts up some others (Agape vs. consumables).
You can say there's a landscape of balance - some things are strong, some things are weak. But also, some things are convenient, some things are annoying.

I can make a super quick character using a rapier+6, knights armor+6, etc. Just need a bunch of souls, and meet McDuff and Vengarl. If I play a tiny bit more PvE, I can get enough chunks and a slab to go +10 on my rapier. I'd then be mostly competitive against anyone that could fight me at my SM range.

But yeah, if I wanted to make a climax build, I'd have to farm up the right kind of hard souls to supply my ammo, get the chime of want from the end of the game, farm up PDBs to upgrade it, etc.

So yeah, SM+Agape makes certain things annoying and inconvenient. But Dark 2 makes certain other things really convenient. (Certainly much more so than Demons/Dark without duping/mules.)

It's all part of a philosophy of a "landscape" of balance - not everything is evenly flat.

Tsmp wrote:Don't understate what it means for an entire spell school to be invalidated by a matchmaking mechanic. And yes I do mean an entire spell school
And just because the previous games did not have resonant hexes does not mean it's excusable for this game to have them but make them unusable. That's like saying, "the new Shin Megami Tensei game now allows player-versus-player, but it doesn't work at all, but that's okay because the previous game didn't have player-versus-player either." How in the metric does that justify anything? It's a broken system, and broken systems are bad.


You're talking in a very exaggerated, black and white way. If it's not quite viable, then its "broken". It's not broken, any more than Flame Swathe or Greatbows. They're simply more suitable for other areas of the game. So Resonant spells are impractical in Agape PvP. They work fine in all other parts of the game. And if you say that the game is "broken" because Resonant spells aren't useable in Agape PvP, then it actually has nothing to do with SM at all - because you already said that all other Hexes aren't useable in PvP to begin with. So an entire class of magic (staff Hexes) is invalidated because of balance. (Let's not forget the 80% of all other spells that also never work in PVP.)

They're not broken - they're just more suitable for other parts of the game. Landscape of balance.

My complaints about SM only apply to organized PvP, and as previously mentioned I actually like the way it works in PvE and playthroughs, and for invading people who are doing playthroughs. Yes, duping would alleviate the majority of these problems, but I dislike it and it isn't/shouldn't be necessary.


Tsmp wrote:Want to know a really, really easy fix for the problems with SM in DaS2, without removing the benefits SM gives DaS2? Either make the Red Sign Soapstone match players according to level instead of SM, or set aside an area unnecessary to the story that pairs invaders/hostile soapsigns by level instead of SM (Dark Chasm? Hopefully somewhere with better landscape, though). This immediately removes all the complaints about SM's effect on PvP, while still allowing players who simply want the PvE/playthrough experience to benefit from the way it locks out overpowered twinks and assists from ruining their experience with unfair bullshit. And what's more, a player would be able to take a character from PvE to PvP if they wanted instead of having to make a new character just because their current one went over the popular SM ranges and there's no way to go back down.


I have no problem with your suggestion. I also always wondered why the level-limited arenas in Dark 1 didn't make a comeback. I liked those too. The more options for "esports" the better, with the logical endpoint being my Souls-spinoff fighting game.

Personally I don't care about fairness when it comes to invasions. Just like invasions have no upper SL limit in Dark 1, I think it's fine for invasions to be utterly random. You could be getting some poor solo PvE guy just trying to get through the game, you could be getting a max-level ganksquad of havelmonsters... you want to ruin someone's day, you take your risks.


Mate. This isn't a trade-off thing. If the game is worse in one area than it's predecessor, that's a downgrade. It is in no way an improvement in that area, no matter how well other areas of the game have been improved.

My language is not any more exaggerated and black and white than it's ever been, I simply have a sliding scale that I grade things on. I can say Dark Souls 2 is an improvement in many areas, and I can say it's a step down in some areas. But no matter how you word it or phrase it, if something is bad in some way then it's bad in some way. If the matchmaking system of the game makes it impossible to buy more arrows and requires that I farm for hours if I want arrows at all, then nothing else in the game, no matter how awesome, will change the reality of this fact. I can ignore the fact that this issue exists because other parts of the game are interesting enough to where I don't really care (as is the case for me), but I cannot excuse this aspect of the game. I can't say it's good design because it damn well isn't, and I can't say it's good design because of some other system in the game especially if that other system in the game is the very reason for the flaw.

I like fairness in invasions, but that has nothing at all to do with my beef here. Dark Souls 2's invasions are actually far less random and more fair than Dark Souls 1's invasions, because there is no longer an infinite up or down. At maximum SM, the only people you'll be invading are other max SMs and the people who tried to stay level 150-200 at max SM, and at minimum SM the only people you'll be invading are other minimum SMs and 3-4 ranks higher. No, the issue is that when I'm not farming for more cracked red eye orbs, I'm farming for arrows, poison moss, throwing knives, repair powder, and resins. Because I can't just fucking buy them for some reason. And because of that, the random invasions I would normally be doing to spice up the game for someone else happens less than 1/4th of the time that my system is on (in this case, the 3/4ths of that time is counted in days just so I can spend a day or two invading). And because I'm not invading, nobody needs to be in the Way of Blue. And because no one is in the Way of Blue, the Blue Sentinels can't do the "Sentinel" part of their covenant and defend new players from invaders, so most of them don't even bother to wear their rings. That's three whole covenants suffering because one covenant can't invade. And invaders being scarce has other effects on the game as well, such as most people not knowing Pilgrims of Dark is actually a multiplayer covenant or players summoning less often because they're not under the constant threat of being invaded. Which means that over all, the multiplayer of the game suffers. The reason the multiplayer in Dark Souls 1 was more lively than Dark Souls 2 (back in its heyday, mind you) is because even if you weren't in the Darkwraith covenant for its infinite eye orb it took all of 15 minutes to hop over to the abyss and buy 198 cracked red eye orbs on the spot. Which you could do, because you weren't restricted in the maximum number of souls you could ever have. Whereas in Dark Souls 2, random invasions are locked behind a gate with a "you must farm for 6 hours before you can have fun" sign outside of it. That's bad design, it actively discourages invaders short of removing the ability to invade outright, and all of this exists side-by-side with no less than 5 covenants that seek to reward people for killing red invaders. Red invaders that don't exist.

Resonant hexes being literally unusable does not equate to other magic being figuratively unusable. I can make a pure sorcerer build for pvp because even though I know I'll get my ass handed to me by anyone with a semblance of competence, it's still really cool and sometimes you just have to dust off the old robe and wizard hat every now and then. A resonant hexer, on the other hand, has a expiration date before it starts doing less than 100 damage with all its spells. Given the amount of work it takes to make a new character and have it pvp/invasion ready in this game, all that time just flushing itself down the toilet because of how the matchmaking works should in no way be seen as a "good thing" or "a form of balance" or "the landscape of the game". That's like saying Blizzard can release a new expansion for WoW that makes your character delete itself if you play it too much, in which too much is defined as 12 hours total. And then you're expected to make a new character and play it again until that one deletes itself too, and so on and so forth. Except in WoW you're paying a subscription fee so that sort of thing is at least makes sense from a business perspective, whereas in Dark Souls 2 From Software gets nothing whatsoever from you having to sink more time into the game just so you can enjoy it. They already sold the copy to you, that's the maximum extent of the money they're getting from you. Everything else is just inconvenience for its own sake. And ironically, I'm actually playing the game less because the amount of work it requires is more than the fun I get out of it overall.

The simple fact is that while SM was a noble idea, the way they implemented it fundamentally fucked with invasions in all ways. The only good thing it did to random invasions was make it so that they couldn't technically use anything stronger than the host had access to, but at the cost of invading being more difficult to do. You know what I'm doing instead of farming for cracked red eye orbs now? I'm playing Bloodborne, because even with the bell and chime maiden system being fucking weird as hell I'm still able to actually, you know, invade. People talk about how the bell system is bad and it still works better than this.

Speaking of which, there is now confirmation that they're working on a DLC for Bloodborne. So, umm... yeah. Hopefully it comes with a place that has more natural chime maidens, or makes chalice multiplayer easier to understand for people who don't scour the internet for every little clue. :|
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Useful notes for Dark Souls 2, by yours truly:
Magic System Guide:
viewtopic.php?f=90&t=19416

Dual Wielding Power Stance how-to:
viewtopic.php?f=82&t=19381

Bonfire Ascetic Guide and Explanation:
viewtopic.php?f=82&t=19345&p=185263#p185263

Invading in the Dark Chasm of Old:
viewtopic.php?f=86&t=19608
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Re: SM + Agape is actually (accidentally?) genius

Postby Jumilaattori » Sun May 24, 2015 11:05 pm

Tsmp wrote:It has most certainly not always worked like that. You can look up any of the videos online with arena matching before that patch and see an obvious difference.
I don´t have to look up videos, I play the game.

Tsmp wrote:If the matchmaking system of the game makes it impossible to buy more arrows and requires that I farm for hours if I want arrows at all, then nothing else in the game, no matter how awesome, will change the reality of this fact.
Pretty sure that you can buy 999 arrows and shoot your heart out and still find ppl to vade.

Tsmp wrote: the issue is that when I'm not farming for more cracked red eye orbs, I'm farming for arrows, poison moss, throwing knives, repair powder, and resins.
That´s your choise. If I was a twink, I wouldn´t bother.

Sm is not the problem. Problem is lack of infinite orb. Also vaders like to PvP, why bother with questers when you get fast action at arena and better opponents?

You start a toon, join bell bros and quest with ring on and be constantly summoned. Ores as a reward are cool and winning restrores flasks and durability of gear. Most smooth quest and vade exp. On your play through you find around 20 red and blue orbs without farming and can use them up if you wish. In ng+ cops start to come and you can also start spam vading as a cop or red. You got 1-11m sm time to vade.

Tsmp wrote:Resonant hexes being literally unusable does not equate to other magic being figuratively unusable. I can make a pure sorcerer build for pvp because even though I know I'll get my ass handed to me by anyone with a semblance of competence, it's still really cool and sometimes you just have to dust off the old robe and wizard hat every now and then. A resonant hexer, on the other hand, has a expiration date before it starts doing less than 100 damage with all its spells. Given the amount of work it takes to make a new character and have it pvp/invasion ready in this game, all that time just flushing itself down the toilet because of how the matchmaking works should in no way be seen as a "good thing" or "a form of balance" or "the landscape of the game".
Try arena or dragon bridge ;)

Tsmp wrote:most people not knowing Pilgrims of Dark is actually a multiplayer covenant
Its not.

Tsmp wrote:Speaking of which, there is now confirmation that they're working on a DLC for Bloodborne.
Should be a solid 15h Pve exp.
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Re: SM + Agape is actually (accidentally?) genius

Postby Tsmp » Mon May 25, 2015 12:40 am

Jumilaattori wrote:
Tsmp wrote:It has most certainly not always worked like that. You can look up any of the videos online with arena matching before that patch and see an obvious difference.
I don´t have to look up videos, I play the game.

Tsmp wrote:If the matchmaking system of the game makes it impossible to buy more arrows and requires that I farm for hours if I want arrows at all, then nothing else in the game, no matter how awesome, will change the reality of this fact.
Pretty sure that you can buy 999 arrows and shoot your heart out and still find ppl to vade.

Tsmp wrote: the issue is that when I'm not farming for more cracked red eye orbs, I'm farming for arrows, poison moss, throwing knives, repair powder, and resins.
That´s your choise. If I was a twink, I wouldn´t bother.

Sm is not the problem. Problem is lack of infinite orb. Also vaders like to PvP, why bother with questers when you get fast action at arena and better opponents?

You start a toon, join bell bros and quest with ring on and be constantly summoned. Ores as a reward are cool and winning restrores flasks and durability of gear. Most smooth quest and vade exp. On your play through you find around 20 red and blue orbs without farming and can use them up if you wish. In ng+ cops start to come and you can also start spam vading as a cop or red. You got 1-11m sm time to vade.

Tsmp wrote:Resonant hexes being literally unusable does not equate to other magic being figuratively unusable. I can make a pure sorcerer build for pvp because even though I know I'll get my ass handed to me by anyone with a semblance of competence, it's still really cool and sometimes you just have to dust off the old robe and wizard hat every now and then. A resonant hexer, on the other hand, has a expiration date before it starts doing less than 100 damage with all its spells. Given the amount of work it takes to make a new character and have it pvp/invasion ready in this game, all that time just flushing itself down the toilet because of how the matchmaking works should in no way be seen as a "good thing" or "a form of balance" or "the landscape of the game".
Try arena or dragon bridge ;)

Tsmp wrote:most people not knowing Pilgrims of Dark is actually a multiplayer covenant
Its not.

Tsmp wrote:Speaking of which, there is now confirmation that they're working on a DLC for Bloodborne.
Should be a solid 15h Pve exp.

It's actually kind of annoying when you break posts up like this, because it makes it harder to tie everything together into a single line of reasoning. One discussion can turn into seven or more separate mini-discussions and deviate from the main argument to the point where they no longer apply to it, which only serves to weaken both sides. It isn't good for either of us.

Relying on personal perception alone is insufficient. One person's account is a data point, and cannot be called proof for anything. You need more information to reach a conclusion. If I were to do what I suggested and look up the videos other people recorded (preferably ones of pre-arranged fights so the levels and SM of both players are known), and there's enough evidence to show that the arena didn't use levels at all when pairing players, then what? Do you even know what the levels and SMs of the people you were paired with are? I don't see how you could make such a statement if you didn't have those facts.

Soul memory and the lack of either an infinite orb (or a reliable way to get more orbs) are two separate problems. They both add up to hold back invaders in different ways, but if one were removed the other would remain. Admittedly, the lack of a reusable orb is a much bigger problem than SM, because the biggest problem with SM is that cracked orbs aren't free, but it would still contribute its problems to the equation. This discussion is currently about SM, which is why I was focusing more on that than the reusable orb issue.

Going back to SM, I could in theory throw the Agape ring out the window and just go all the way up to max SM. The freedom of being able to buy stuff whenever I want is wonderful, and then I encounter a level 838 or whatever player and remember why SM is a terrible system for pvp matching. In a fight between two players of equal skill, the one with the better build wins; a max-level build is inherently better than anything under it. But I'm not interested in seeing who has the better build, I'm interested in fighting people who are more skilled than I am. Therefore, I get more entertainment out of fighting opponents near my own level than I do fighting opponents with builds that not only don't have any weaknesses but also are stronger at whatever my own build tries to do by default. There's no dynamism in a fight between max level builds, and it's fucking boring. I've seen such fights go on until the timers ran out and both players were booted back home. As in, they literally couldn't beat each other because their builds were too strong. It's stupid, and such fights don't give me what I want. I don't even care about winning, I just want to fight smart people and see how they adapt to new situations, contexts, and experiences. I want to tie people up in new ways, poke them, and see how they struggle. I want to see them escape and observe how they turn the tables on me, then formulate a plan to turn it right back around and see what happens next. This stimulates my brain in ways other games don't provide, and it's what I find fun.

The bellbros is indeed a well-designed covenant, and it sidesteps the CREO problem with its ring. I liked the forest hunter covenant in DaS1 because Darkroot was such a diverse area there was always something new to do. Like really, always. One time I dressed up in green armor and the fog ring and sneak attacked people with the Dark Hand's lifedrain for 5 hours straight because I could and it was hilarious. On a side note, did you know it was possible to gravelord Darkroot? That's also hilarious. The Bell Towers in DaS2 don't have anything near the level of diversity Darkroot did though (not to mention the sheer size), and there's not much to do aside from "spawn and attack the host before his gank buddy catches up with you". There is no reason to be in either of those areas except to farm bellbros, so the hosts only come expecting that.

Which is why I prefer invading in the Dark Chasm of Old (the Pilgrims of Dark covenant area) instead. There's just so much to do! It's insane! And all the rules for invading are different there, so messing around with them and watching if the host can catch on is just so fun! And no one knows about it, so you always catch people by surprise! The only real hassles are needing to stop so you can burn bonfire ascetics to make more cracked red eye orbs, and the fact that the areas themselves are actually kind of terrible for fighting in. But the invasion mechanics are set up so that neither the host nor the invader have any particular advantage over each other, which is enough to make up for it to me. Anyways, since the covenant has its own unique multiplayer mechanic that isn't available to any other covenant, this defines it as a multiplayer covenant.

Your opinion of Bloodborne is noted. I'm still finding more PvP there than I am in DaS2, and the game doesn't actively punish me for attempting to engage in PvP.
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Useful notes for Dark Souls 2, by yours truly:
Magic System Guide:
viewtopic.php?f=90&t=19416

Dual Wielding Power Stance how-to:
viewtopic.php?f=82&t=19381

Bonfire Ascetic Guide and Explanation:
viewtopic.php?f=82&t=19345&p=185263#p185263

Invading in the Dark Chasm of Old:
viewtopic.php?f=86&t=19608
Tsmp
 
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Re: SM + Agape is actually (accidentally?) genius

Postby zeech » Mon May 25, 2015 4:55 am

Tsmp wrote:Resonant hexes being literally unusable does not equate to other magic being figuratively unusable. I can make a pure sorcerer build for pvp because even though I know I'll get my ass handed to me by anyone with a semblance of competence, it's still really cool and sometimes you just have to dust off the old robe and wizard hat every now and then. A resonant hexer, on the other hand, has a expiration date before it starts doing less than 100 damage with all its spells. Given the amount of work it takes to make a new character and have it pvp/invasion ready in this game, all that time just flushing itself down the toilet because of how the matchmaking works should in no way be seen as a "good thing" or "a form of balance" or "the landscape of the game". That's like saying Blizzard can release a new expansion for WoW that makes your character delete itself if you play it too much, in which too much is defined as 12 hours total. And then you're expected to make a new character and play it again until that one deletes itself too, and so on and so forth.


There we go with the black and white again. So just because Resonant spells aren't suitable for what you want to do (agape invasions), it means it's "literally unusuable"?

Even though they're perfectly usuable in -every- other part of the game? They're usuable in non-agape PvP. They're usuable in PvE, they're usuable in BoB Arena.

In terms of the number of venues they are useful for, Resonant Hexes do better than many other spells/items in the game (some which are literally useless.) But because they're no good for what -you- want to use them for, they're "useless," equivalent to an "expansion in WoW that makes your character delete itself."

Face it, for every given activity in the game, there are some things that are suitable and some not. If I want to do low-level PvP, the ladle is not suitable, Dragon Chime is not suitable, etc. Similarly, things that cost souls are not suitable for Agape gameplay.

Now, if this meant that there wasn't enough things to use with Agape, such that the game isn't any fun, then that would be a problem. But no, if we ran a playthrough with a character that uses Agape and doesn't use Resonant spells, arrows, and other consumables, we could still have a lot of fun, and have a variety of different build types and gameplay. (minus invasions.) --> This is in fact how I play, because I'm one of those obsessive hoarders that can't bear to use any limited items.


However, I take your point about the lack of an infinite invasion item. I assume that FROM wanted to limit invasions because of filthy casuals, and because there are plenty of other PvP venues in the game.
But yes, that sucks for people who like invading. I can see why you don't like it. Whereas I'm perfectly fine with it, because I'm less interested in invasions and more interested in controlled PvP.
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Re: SM + Agape is actually (accidentally?) genius

Postby zeech » Mon May 25, 2015 5:01 am

Jumilaattori wrote:
zeech wrote:https://www.reddit.com/r/DarkSouls2/com ... tchmaking/
Don´t believe everything you read online :D

That was all speculation and its been speculated always that it has always worked like that.


Shrug, various people have tested and posted their results online.

I personally haven't tested it myself, however I haven't seen any test results to disprove it, so I'll just take their word for it for now.

If I get credible evidence against it, I'll change my mind.
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Re: SM + Agape is actually (accidentally?) genius

Postby Tsmp » Mon May 25, 2015 8:22 am

zeech wrote:
Tsmp wrote:Resonant hexes being literally unusable does not equate to other magic being figuratively unusable. I can make a pure sorcerer build for pvp because even though I know I'll get my ass handed to me by anyone with a semblance of competence, it's still really cool and sometimes you just have to dust off the old robe and wizard hat every now and then. A resonant hexer, on the other hand, has a expiration date before it starts doing less than 100 damage with all its spells. Given the amount of work it takes to make a new character and have it pvp/invasion ready in this game, all that time just flushing itself down the toilet because of how the matchmaking works should in no way be seen as a "good thing" or "a form of balance" or "the landscape of the game". That's like saying Blizzard can release a new expansion for WoW that makes your character delete itself if you play it too much, in which too much is defined as 12 hours total. And then you're expected to make a new character and play it again until that one deletes itself too, and so on and so forth.


There we go with the black and white again. So just because Resonant spells aren't suitable for what you want to do (agape invasions), it means it's "literally unusuable"?

Even though they're perfectly usuable in -every- other part of the game? They're usuable in non-agape PvP. They're usuable in PvE, they're usuable in BoB Arena.

In terms of the number of venues they are useful for, Resonant Hexes do better than many other spells/items in the game (some which are literally useless.) But because they're no good for what -you- want to use them for, they're "useless," equivalent to an "expansion in WoW that makes your character delete itself."

Face it, for every given activity in the game, there are some things that are suitable and some not. If I want to do low-level PvP, the ladle is not suitable, Dragon Chime is not suitable, etc. Similarly, things that cost souls are not suitable for Agape gameplay.

Now, if this meant that there wasn't enough things to use with Agape, such that the game isn't any fun, then that would be a problem. But no, if we ran a playthrough with a character that uses Agape and doesn't use Resonant spells, arrows, and other consumables, we could still have a lot of fun, and have a variety of different build types and gameplay. (minus invasions.) --> This is in fact how I play, because I'm one of those obsessive hoarders that can't bear to use any limited items.


However, I take your point about the lack of an infinite invasion item. I assume that FROM wanted to limit invasions because of filthy casuals, and because there are plenty of other PvP venues in the game.
But yes, that sucks for people who like invading. I can see why you don't like it. Whereas I'm perfectly fine with it, because I'm less interested in invasions and more interested in controlled PvP.


We're not talking about items or consumables here. We're talking about what is effectively a character class.

And I'm not just talking about invading while wearing the agape ring. I'm talking about any context in which the agape ring applies, which would be all forms of multiplayer when you don't want to go beyond a particular SM range, no matter what the reason is.

This is a bigger deal than you seem to think it is.
Image
Rest in pieces, Manus.

Useful notes for Dark Souls 2, by yours truly:
Magic System Guide:
viewtopic.php?f=90&t=19416

Dual Wielding Power Stance how-to:
viewtopic.php?f=82&t=19381

Bonfire Ascetic Guide and Explanation:
viewtopic.php?f=82&t=19345&p=185263#p185263

Invading in the Dark Chasm of Old:
viewtopic.php?f=86&t=19608
Tsmp
 
Posts: 2258
Joined: Fri May 04, 2012 11:47 pm
Country: United States (us)
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Re: SM + Agape is actually (accidentally?) genius

Postby Jumilaattori » Mon May 25, 2015 8:52 am

Tsmp wrote:It's actually kind of annoying when you break posts up like this, because it makes it harder to tie everything together into a single line of reasoning. One discussion can turn into seven or more separate mini-discussions and deviate from the main argument to the point where they no longer apply to it, which only serves to weaken both sides. It isn't good for either of us.

Relying on personal perception alone is insufficient. One person's account is a data point, and cannot be called proof for anything. You need more information to reach a conclusion. If I were to do what I suggested and look up the videos other people recorded (preferably ones of pre-arranged fights so the levels and SM of both players are known), and there's enough evidence to show that the arena didn't use levels at all when pairing players, then what? Do you even know what the levels and SMs of the people you were paired with are? I don't see how you could make such a statement if you didn't have those facts.
Just trying to find out the keypoint and reply to what is relevant, makes it a lot easier imo and atleast to me.

People that play(ed) a lot of PvP and spend a lot of time at arena, all said that arena tries first to match you against an opponent close to your Lv. and then widens the range to all. I was always skeptical. I can estimate opponents Lv. with in +-40 and after Lv. 300 its enough to say 300+, 400+ etc.

My point what I brought up poorly was that: Before you would fight ppl that are a lot higher Lv. than you and now you still fight ppl that are a lot higher Lv. than you. Arena is still arena.

You would need 100 dif videos and dif ppl in every video and Lv. of every player in every fight.

Tsmp wrote:Going back to SM, I could in theory throw the Agape ring out the window and just go all the way up to max SM. The freedom of being able to buy stuff whenever I want is wonderful, and then I encounter a level 838 or whatever player and remember why SM is a terrible system for pvp matching. In a fight between two players of equal skill, the one with the better build wins; a max-level build is inherently better than anything under it. But I'm not interested in seeing who has the better build, I'm interested in fighting people who are more skilled than I am. Therefore, I get more entertainment out of fighting opponents near my own level than I do fighting opponents with builds that not only don't have any weaknesses but also are stronger at whatever my own build tries to do by default. There's no dynamism in a fight between max level builds, and it's fucking boring. I've seen such fights go on until the timers ran out and both players were booted back home. As in, they literally couldn't beat each other because their builds were too strong. It's stupid, and such fights don't give me what I want. I don't even care about winning, I just want to fight smart people and see how they adapt to new situations, contexts, and experiences. I want to tie people up in new ways, poke them, and see how they struggle. I want to see them escape and observe how they turn the tables on me, then formulate a plan to turn it right back around and see what happens next. This stimulates my brain in ways other games don't provide, and it's what I find fun.


Doesen´t have to be max Lv. You can make Lv. 255 for say and you can have 20+ dif builds and gather all the stuff and play it how you like it. I´ve had dozens of timer ran out fights on ps3 with Lv. 150 vs 300+ they would runaway to heal, I let them and cast warmth when needed. If its just a fight to death without running away I dont see how a good Lv. 150 couldn´t kill Lv.700+

-Skill
-Build
-Setup
-Lv
-rings

These are the factors. You can be the Lv. 300+ using all possible top buffs and gimmicks. You can handicap yourself. Up to you. I enjoy the challenge but only on PS4 I truly understood that its all up to you. Weaker build, less stats,3 rings, "weak setup" and still it boils down to how well you played. I used to find excuses: "he was higher lv" etc. Now I just say I played poorly, he played better/outplayed me. Its about focus.

Oh and its also about how did you win?

I love the inside/outside. Been using scythe a lot and imo top tier weapon, not many will agree but I´d say S tier. Anyhow a buffed katana can 4shot me, a good player can use it so that we trade hits, how to find medicine to win?

I tell you that it feels damn good when you do. In the end its how did you utilize your setup. Why were you fighting inside with outside weapon and vice versa. Setups that can fight both inside and outside are solid. I could go on with this but for me its trying to win with dif setups, being the weaker and beating everything I face. Like you said don´t care about winning, then there´s no problem just do your best.

Tsmp wrote:Your opinion of Bloodborne is noted. I'm still finding more PvP there than I am in DaS2, and the game doesn't actively punish me for attempting to engage in PvP.
Hmm. BB low/mid Lv. and I could find a host to vade 1/10 of time and then the fight would be 20 min 20 vials with 300 dmg ripostes so always 20 vials.

At 100+ and 3 shot fights, all of them, some 2 shots. No diversity in anything at all, nada. 1-2 weapon, just wdr1. Not a souls game. Broken online with lost connection to network or waiting an invasion 20 min and then you notice that something is broken and exit, instead of main menu you are as a vader but no1 there! exit again and you are in your world! 3rd time takes you to menu. No organized PvP. Waiting times are long. Restocking by dying or going to dream is dreadful. Chalice layouts are awful.

Compared to nonstop vading as bell bro and to 5s wait between fights at arena. With versatile movesets and setups,spells,stabs, souls.

each to their own.
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Re: SM + Agape is actually (accidentally?) genius

Postby zeech » Tue May 26, 2015 5:24 am

Tsmp wrote:We're not talking about items or consumables here. We're talking about what is effectively a character class.

And I'm not just talking about invading while wearing the agape ring. I'm talking about any context in which the agape ring applies, which would be all forms of multiplayer when you don't want to go beyond a particular SM range, no matter what the reason is.

This is a bigger deal than you seem to think it is.


Well, we might have to agree to disagree. I just don't buy it.
The "character class" to me is, "magic guy throwing projectile spells", and there are other ways to do that in the game.

I might be more concerned if Resonant spells offered some unique combat mechanics that can't be found with other spells, but RS and GRS are just your usual projectiles, and Resonant weapon has been nerfed into oblivion anyways. Lifedrain patch is extremely niche. The only good soul-costing spell is Dark Dance. (personally, I hate being on the receiving end of that spell, so good riddance lol.) As for Climax... well that shouldn't even be in the game.

Also, you diss staff hexes a lot, but they're still better than post-nerf lighting spears. Putting aside RS/GRS, for magic projectiles, staff hexes are the 2nd most viable pvp magic projectiles I've seen, after Soul Spears. Soul arrows, pyro fireballs (other than forbidden sun) and lightning spears are all pretty much nonviable for PvP.

Hah, magic balance in Souls games... that's a whole other kettle of fish...
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